Monday, July 30, 2012

July 23rd-29th Training

Monday: 11.7 miles with fartlek.  Ran two laps (4.2 miles) of 1:00 on/off around Moss Wright Park. Because of the tough long run on Saturday, I was hoping to average sub 4:50 on the fast portion, but I ended up averaging just over 4:30 pace on the fast and 5:45 pace for the whole thing.  Good session. 5.6 miles (7:17)

Tuesday: 8.3 miles (7:08); 5.4 miles (7:25)

Wednesday: 12.8 miles with 10 miles medium (5:49 for medium).  Super muggy.  Ran with Vance and Joe for 3.5, then broke away.  Sped up some the last half and felt decent.  Felt much stronger than this eight mile session two weeks ago; 4.5 miles (7:45)

Thursday: 9.2 miles (7:09); 4.4 miles with 6xhill blasts (7:35)

Friday: 8 miles (7:22); 5.4 miles (7:30)

Saturday: 12.2 miles with Goodlettsville Classic 4 Miler in 20:45.  Luckily, Jef Scott and Patrick Cheptoke stayed at home.  Goal was a progression, starting at 5;15ish and working down to sub 5:00. Ended up running 5:20, 4:56, 5:09, 5:18.  Got lazy the second half of the race and just wanted to be finished.  Maybe I could have broken 20:00 if I would have ran really hard, but who knows.  I never run well on this course, but I always feel like it's about 15-20 seconds long.  Super humid outside and was drenched at the end; 5.1 miles (7:38)

Sunday: 5.4 miles (7:17); 7.9 miles (7:09). Felt like crap.

Week Total=105.9 miles.  Much better week than last week.  I had a strong tempoish session, a good, fast fartlek and a comfortable medium run.  I'm starting to get some patellar tendonitis, so I need to stay on top of that.  I'm ready for this heat to pass, so I can see where I am.  I feel like I'm a little bit behind schedule, fitness wise.  I'd like to be in sub 65:50 half shape when I start my marathon cycle, so we will see. I'm hoping for a good, hard workout on Tuesday, and have a trail half marathon on Saturday, where hopefully I won't have to run too hard.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Saucony Grid Type A5

For the past 1.5 years, the Saucony Grid Type A4 has been the favorite shoe in my rotation.  I use it for all of my races, my fast workouts and if I'm training for a marathon, I'll use it during my long runs as well.  I reviewed it in one of my blog posts last year but in a nutshell, it's a 6.3 ounce running/racing shoe with a 4mm drop.  For it's lightweight, it has a surprising amount of cushioning, yet is also responsive as well.  I still have two "alive" pairs, with one of them having over 600 miles on them with plenty of living still in them.

Saucony  Men's Type A5
Last year, Saucony updated the shoe and renamed it the A5. The A5's kept the same exact outsole, but shaved off half of an ounce off the upper, which means a lighter shoe, without losing any cushioning or support.  From the get-go, I was a huge fan of the A5.  While the upper of the A4 was a bit snug for my wide hobbit feet, Saucony added FlexFlim to the A5 upper, which allows for a more comfortable and "stretchy" fit.  Another change that I liked is that the tongue on the A5 is longer than A4, which keeps the shoelace knot in place.

Saucony  Men's Type A5

The A5 has turned into my new favorite shoe and with so many colors to choose from, I will be sure to stock up.  If you are looking for a new racing flat, or shoe for faster workouts, you should definitely give the A5 a look.

Saucony  Men's Type A5

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Even though I am till in my "off-season", the raceaholic in me decided to sign up for this race.  This was a first-time, low-key event that took place in a small town outside Mt. Juliet.  The event was a fundraiser for the family of Danny Rollins, to help in his fight against cancer.  A lot of people showed up to support the good cause, which also included a bake sale and music by a bluegrass band.

I was hoping to use this as a hard workout around 10k effort, instead of a flat-out race.  I'm starting to slowly sprinkle in some faster running, so hammering a race probably isn't the best thing for me right now.  Unfortunately, Festus Chemoi showed up.  I haven't raced Festus in over a year but I knew he has been busy with work and hasn't been racing as much as he would like.  However, he is a talented and tough competitor, so I knew I would have to run hard to have a shot at beating him.

Festus has run under 1:50 in the 800m and has a 1500m PR of 3:44.  While he's not in his best shape, I knew he had a ton more speed than me, so I would have to keep a hard pace and try to crack him before the last mile.  We ended up warming up in the pouring rain together and catching up with how life has been treating us both.

When we were called to the start, it was still raining and there appeared to be around 100 people.  The small, hand-held air horn started the race and we were off.  I took off from the gun and Festus quickly joined me.  I could tell the pace was way too hard, but I tried to convince myself that the hard pace would be more beneficial to myself than Festus.  After about 3/4 of a mile, Festus put in a hard surge and immediately put about 4-5 seconds on me.  Even though I knew I had to stay close, the pace would have been way too hard for me to handle, so I let him go.

I went through the first mile in 4:41, with Festus still several seconds ahead. For a brief moment, I had visions of myself fading off even more and tasting defeat, but I quickly snapped out of it and focused on pursuing him and not giving up any more ground.

The race was an out-and-back course and I could see the turnaround not too far down the road.  I checked my watch and saw that the course was going to be a good bit short, which benefited Festus more, so I focused on catching him quicker than I anticipated.  According to my Garmin, the turnaround was right around 1.4 miles and a within a minute or two, I ended up catching and passing Festus.

I knew I had to keep my foot on the gas, even though the fast start was starting to play its effects on me.  I went through the second mile in 4:53 and after about another half mile, I was pretty sure I had the win, so I backed off a tiny bit to earn the win by about 15-20 seconds or so.

It's always nice to win but I was a bit frustrated that the pace wore me out so much.  A month prior, I went through three miles of a half marathon much faster and feeling much better than this.  But in the off-season, it's good to get a bit lazy and lose some fitness.  After the race, Festus and I knocked out another three miles, and exchanged numbers so we can get together for some runs in the future.

Despite the pouring rain, it was a fun race for a great cause.  Hopefully they were able to raise a lot of money and for a first year race, they did an excellent job.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 16th-22nd Training

Monday: 8 miles (7:23); 5.5 miles (7:15ish)

Tuesday: 10.6 miles. I was going to do a structured progression but I woke up to find my Garmin broken and my stopwatch dead. I decided to just run a "natural" progression (start easy, finish hard) but by about 5 miles, I was feeling worn out, so I jogged the rest of it; 5.4 miles (7:30ish)

Wednesday: 10.6 miles (7:30ish); 4.5 miles (7:30ish)
Thursday: 10.3 miles. I was planning on running a 6400m tempo around 5:10 pace, with 4x400m afterward, but I was trashed today. Ended up calling it at 4800m with splits of 5:05, 5:06, 5:11. It felt like I was running 5:30 pace but my legs had no power at all and felt exhausted; 5.4 miles (7:15ish)
Friday: 9.9 miles (7:03); 3.8 miles (7:43)
Saturday: 20 miles (6:12). Ran easily for 10 miles and then did 10x90s on/off at 5:20/6:15 average, then another 4-5 miles or so. Struggled on the fartlek portion, recovered a couple of miles later and got pretty tired over the last mile or so. Really worn out at the end of the run and I boosted my usual one can of post-run Citrus Drop to two cans..  However, I felt better than I did on Thursday and it was my longest run in over two months.

Sunday: 5.3 miles (6:57); 7.9 miles (7:03)

Week Total= 107.2 miles. Pretty frustrating week, intensity wise. For some reason, I've been abnormally worn out and tired this week. I used to never take naps and have been needing 2-3 hour naps everyday and my legs have been garbage. At least the long run was somewhat motivating.  Maybe the heat is just starting to catch up to me.  

My knee is also starting to ache a bit and I noticed my form is starting to become sloppy, which probably also explains the worn out hamstrings.  I need to pay more attention to running taller and to start up the Myrtle Routine agani.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Good App for Andriod or iphone

As much as I love running, I also like finding good deals and values. I'm not one of those crazy couponing people that buy stuff they will never use or one of those shopaholics who will check out the latest sale to save a few bucks when they could save more money by not shopping and putting that money towards debt. My wife and I are pretty frugal (cheap) and understand the importance of financial responsibility.  But if something comes up (especially if it's free) that is practical, I jump all over it.

I use Virgin Mobile for my cellular service. I got grandfathered in on the $25 unlimited text/data plan but unfortunately, it only comes with 300 minutes a month.  I've been looking for a app I can use over the network or wifi that doesn't use my monthly minutes. I tried out Groove IP but the quality is terrible.  Vonage has a decent app that's free for a limited time right now that can make free calls to any landline or cell phone in the USA, Puerto Rico, or Canada.

You can download it at  The quality is pretty decent and is definitely worth checking out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 9th-15th Training

Monday: 11.1 miles with 9.8 mile medium progression. Goal was 4 miles@6:20, 3 miles@5:55, 3 miles@sub 5:30. Ended up averaging 6:10, 5:50, 5:29.  Struggled a bit on the last portion, but I always do early on in the off-season, especially when it's so humid; 5.5 miles (7:18)

Tuesday: 9 miles (6:41); 4.5 miles (7:10)

Wednesday: 13 miles (6:40) with 8 miles medium (5:50).  Ran the first four miles of the medium run with Vance and then branched off for an additional four miles. Felt really flat on this, when I normally feel really relaxed on these runs; 4 miles (7:19)

Thursday: 8 miles (6:40); 6 miles with 8xhill blasts (7:30). Felt decent on these

Friday: 7.8 miles (7:29); 5.7 miles (7:28)

Saturday: 8.2 miles with 5k race in 13:56. Course was actually 2.85, so no PR for me! Festus Chemaoi showed up and we went hard from the gun.  I split 4:41 for the first mile with Festus a few seconds ahead.  Caught him shortly before two miles, which was a 4:53 split and then backed off a bit towards the end to get the win.  The effort was much harder than I would have liked, even though this would have been pretty easy a month ago; 3.4 miles (7:26)

Sunday: 17 miles (6:27). Felt decent most of the way but got a bit tired towards the end.

Week Total= 103.2 miles. Good combination  of volume and intensity.  Felt a bit more sluggish on some of my higher quality days, so hopefully I'll feel better next week.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Firecracker 4 Miler

I don't think I've ever run a Fourth of July race.  Well, technically, this was a third of July race but I guess you get the point. This race took place on the greenways around Hendersonville, which is literally right up the hill from me.  Not to mention, one of the the parent's of a kid on my cross country team was helping put it on, so I decided to give it a go.

The race took place in the evening, which meant it was going to be hot. About an hour before the race, I ate a light dinner of a big bowl of spinach with some chicken and Italian dressing and I was on my way.  Because it was 95 degrees, my goal was to run around tempo effort and click off around 5:10 per mile.  The greenway only has a couple of hills without many turns, so I knew it would be easy to get in a groove.

Because they changed the venue the week of the race, I knew the distance probably wouldn't be exact, so for the first time ever, I wore my Garmin in the race.  I use the Garmin for almost all of my training but I don't use it on a marked path or race because the difference in measurement between the watch and course would drive me crazy.  I wouldn't know which one to believe, so it's much easier to use my old faithful stopwatch.

About 100 people came out to brave the heat and finally, we were off. Early on in the race, you get some nice downhills, which got me rolling a little too fast, a little too early.  I went through the first mile in 4:52, so I slammed on the brakes a bit.  The second mile contained some small inclines that you really don't notice at first but definitely slow things up.  I got to the turnaround and ended up splitting 5:15 that mile.  On the third mile, the uphills become downhills, so I was able to gain back some time and went through the next mile in 5:05. 

I was feeling strong and controlled and because the course was going to measure a bit short, I debated trying to break 20 minutes. It wasn't meant to be because right when I started the fourth mile, I started to get a killer side-stitch.  No matter what I did, it just became worse, so I had to slam on the brakes and just wanted to finish without making it worse.  I crossed the line in 20:23 with the course probably being about 15-20 seconds short, which meant I covered my last mile around 5:30 pace.

Overall, it wasn't a bad run because I felt really good through three miles before the spinach salad started its attack.  I can definitely tell I've lost some fitness over the month, but that's a good thing.  This was a fun, low-key race that I think I'll most likely run again next year.

Independence 5k

This was the third year in a row that I ran the Independence 5k in White House, TN.  It's definitely a small-town race, but because I do a lot of my training in White House and teach there as well, I always try to make it to their two annual races.

For the past three years, the course as been the same: start in the park, jump on the greenway and run mostly downhill until you hit the turnaround near the high school.  While last year, the turnaround people were confused what distance the race was and most of the top people ran anywhere from 4-6 miles, this year, the cone was in the right place and we were reminded to turnaround once we got to it.

Because I was still in my running downtime, I decided to run this around tempo effort.  When the race started, I talked to Dave Schmanski for a minute or so, before taking off.  The mile markers  were in a different spot than last year, so I ignored my splits and just kept a steady effort.  After turning around, I tried to stay strong on the uphills but started to fizzle out a bit, so I backed off some and cruised it in.  My finishing time on my watch was 15:23, which isn't too bad on that course, especially with the 90 degree weather.  Racheal Mason, a third grade teacher at my school won the women's race, so it was a clean H.B. Williams Elementary sweep!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 2nd-8th Training

Monday: 8.6 miles with strides (6:44); 5.5 miles (7:25)

Tuesday: 5 miles (7:19); 8.2 miles with 4 mile race in 20:23. Since it was about 95 degrees during the race, my goal was to run controlled 5:10s or so.  Splits were 4:52, 5:15, 5:05, 5:16 (.96 miles, so probably closer to 5:30).  I was feeling really controlled but after about three miles, I got a killer side-stich, so I really had to slam on the brakes.

Wednesday: 10.6 miles (6:33); 4 miles (7:39)

Thursday: 9.6 miles (7:00); 5.7 miles (7:30)

Friday: 8 miles (7:05); 4.8 miles with 6xhill blasts (7:26)

Saturday: 15 miles (6:24).  Felt like crap the first half but loosened up towards the end.  Probably averaged close to 6:15 over the last half; 3 miles (7:44)

Sunday: 4 miles (7:40ish); 8 miles (6:53)

Week Total= 100 miles.  Decent volume but didn't have the intensity that I wanted.  I was planning on throwing in a 10 mile progression run on Saturday, but I felt like crap and it's too early to force things.  I did get a good workout last Saturday, which gives me a good long run and two solid workouts in an eight day period, which isn't bad.  Too many times people look at their Monday through Sunday schedule, instead of looking at what they've done over the last seven days.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

June 25th-July 1st Training

Monday: 6.4 miles on the trails (6:50ish); 5.6 miles (7:00)

Tuesday: 7.4 miles (6:23); 3.6 miles with 4xhill blast (6:57)

Wednesday: 8 miles (6:02) with 6.56 miles medium (5:46); 5.7 miles (6:48)

Thursday: 13 miles on the trails (8:15ish)

Friday: 5.3 miles (6:41); 4.5 miles (7:27)

Saturday: 7.6 miles with 5k race ( 15:23).  Race was out-and-back on the Whitehouse Greenway, which is always a tough course.  Not sure how accurate this course was because it started and finished in a different spot from last year and the mile markers were inconsistent.  Ran this around tempo effort.

Sunday: 4 miles (7:01); 9.1 miles (6:43)

Week Total= 80.2 miles. Just an easy base-building week with a sprinkling of intensity.  Next week, I'll shoot for around 100 miles. I've been drowning in myself in coke and have been chowing down on a bunch of junk, so I need to clean that up a bit.  If I stopped running, I'd easily be 200 pounds in two years, and probably have diabetes within five.