Monday, September 30, 2013

September 23rd-September 29th

Monday: 8.4 miles (7:18). Quads are destroyed; 5.6 miles (7:10)

Tuesday: 10.2 miles (6:47); 6 miles (7:37)

Wednesday: 5.3 miles (7:03); 10.7 miles with eight strides (6:51)

Thursday: 11.6 miles with two strides and 20x1:00 on/off. Was planning on running 400s, but getting this done during my lunch break made more sense rather than making it a two hour track thing. Wanted to average sub 4:40 for the fast portion and ran 7.16 miles for the 40 minutes for a 5:35 average and just over 4:30 pace on the fast portion.  Slowly worked into these and my legs didn't have much pop but was able to recover well in between them.  Decent workout; 5.4 miles (7:48)

Friday: 5 miles (7:02); 9.1 miles (7:03); Used Mary's Massage Envy gift card so I could get a massage.  I've learned getting a massage from there is like going to McDonald's when you're craving a really good hamburger.  

Saturday: 8 miles (7:08); 3.5 miles (7:26). Was planning on 5.5ish miles and some hill sprints but my stomach was really hurting

Sunday: 9.4 miles (6:20). Was planning on 20 with my last five miles in 5:15-5:20 but my stomach started hurting 5.5 miles in and only got worse.  Besides the stomach, I was feeling really good; 11 miles with 9 mile progression run. Felt like these two sessions would balance out to give me somewhat of the same stress level as my original plan.  Plan was three miles sub 18:30, three miles sub 17:15 and four miles sub 21:20.  Ran 18:20, 17:04 and 16:00.  Legs really achy on the first portion, second portion was a little bit better and I struggled with the third and only ran three miles, instead of four.  A little disappointing because this pace should be pretty easy. 

Week Total: 109.3 miles. Decent volume post marathon.  The marathon jacked me up a lot more than expected.  Maybe my effort level during it wasn't too bad but the downhill nature of the course destroyed my legs.  I really wish I would have run five minutes slower, but oh well.  Towards the end of the week, I would struggle during my second run of the day and wanted to just stop and walk.  I'm visiting the doctor Monday to check my iron levels and am hoping to get in a good week with two hard sessions and an easy long run.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vanderbilt Commodore Classic

In college, I really didn't like cross country.  I hated the uncertainty of the course: you really had no idea what kind of pace you were running and each mile could be drastically different from the prior one.  Way too much unpredictability for my liking.  Now, I kind of like those aspects.  I don't worry too much about pacing or splits, I go by effort and then worry about competing the last part of the race.  I guess you could say I finally have the cross country mentality.  But man, I really, really hate running on grass.
Don't let these people fool you. It's not fun

This was my first cross country race since 2011 and my second one since 2003.  Without a real race since the half-marathon championships in June and the fact that I've been struggling with consistent workouts lately, I didn't know what kind of time I would be able to run.  I wanted to go for the win and felt like I could at least break 25 minutes for the tough 8k course, but felt like I may have to run 24:30 or so to pull it off.  I felt like that would be insanely hard.

In races that are deep and where I expect to get plenty of whoopings, I run by effort and don't worry so much about tactics, at least not until late in the race.  After the field was realeased, I Google stalked researched the field and came up with what I believed to be the main contenders.

The #1 contender in my eyes was Matt Miller.  He runs for Belmont University and had a breakout year last track season, running 14:20 and 29:44.  He seems like the grinder-type of runner, which makes him hard to beat. Those type of guys are tough buggers and it's hard to crack them as they are very patient and persistent.  And since he was a local kid, I really didn't want to lose to him.  In fact, that was my main goal of the race.  Other than that, I felt that John Valentine from Missippi State and JJ Webb from Northern Kentucky could be tough and there is always a surprise guy or random Kenyan.
Not only would I hate losing to a local guy, but as a bearded runner, I would be losing to a guy who can barely grow peach fuzz
My pre-race expectation was that the leaders would go out in 4:50ish, with me around 4:55 and then I would hopefully catch up by 2-3 miles and then try to crack them in the fourth mile.  Them youngans like to go out hard, relax and go hard again.  They frequently get lazy in the middle, which is my strength. So making my strength their kryptonite would hopefully result in a shot at victory.

For this race, I was running as part of the newly founded Nashville Striders. We had nine guys and six girls running and for those of us who ran in high school or college, the plan was to wear some of our old warm-ups, uniform, etc.  Luckily I had my old Harding jersey that hasn't been put on since the 2004 Outdoor Track National Championships, so it was time to bust it out of the drawer.

Those are buildings inside the logo, not Batman flipping you off

After arriving at Vaughn's Gap, a lot of us warmed up together and we looked like a ragtag group of misfits with our 20 year range in age and United Nationslike wardrobe attire.  About 20 minutes before the race started, I broke off alone so I could do some drills and a bunch of strides since I was feeling pretty stiff.  While doing the strides, I remember how much I hate running on grass, especially grass with tons of pot holes in it.  And it was wet grass. Who wants soaked socks before the race even starts?

To be honest, I was getting really nervous about this race.  I was worried about my fitness level and did I mention I really didn't want to lose to the Belmont kid? Shortly before the gun, we gathered together for our team cheer and then toed the line. Luckily we were in box four and rather than having everyone meet towards the middle, all the teams had to curve towards box one as there was a very narrow bridge that went over a creek (I think there was a creek) about 200m into the race.  This meant that I had to go out pretty quickly so I wouldn't get trapped behind traffic on it and since we had a decent box, I had a much better position.

The gun shot and I tried to get moving without breaking my ankle in a pothole.  I expected a pack to merge in front of me but somehow I was in front.  And when we hit the bridge, I had about a 10m lead on everyone. What was this about?  A couple minutes into the race, you make a hard right turn, which was a good oppurtunity to see where everyone was.  At this point, my lead was increasing and I had at least 20m on everyone.  I got nervous that I was going to be that idiot who went out too hard and then got swallowed up by the pack.  I made the decision to keep my effort level the same because it felt good and I wanted to break away a bit so the pack would race among themselves rather than hunt me down.

After this photo, I stole most of them from Jeannette Faber

After doing a mini loop in the back part of the course, we made our way back across the bridge again to the main part of the course.  Everyone probably wondered who the idiot leading was and I heard a couple of people ask what "Harding" was.  I went through the mile in 4:47, which was quicker than I wanted but it felt good.  We made another sharp turn a little bit after the mile and it looked like I had close to ten seconds on everyone.  I kept on the gas and then it was back to the back portion of the course, but with the hills.  I freaking hate this part because the grass is super high, the footing is terrible and it's really cambered in same spots.  I could tell I was crawling on the mini hill and the hill afterward and thought for sure the pack would catch me any second, especially since I had a 5:07 split for the second mile.

Ted Towse: The only 42 year old who can run fast on two days a week of running.  He also just moved into a swanky apartment and bought a fast sports car.  Middle life crisis anyone?

After getting back to the main part of the course, I heard my friend Scott Bennett say that I had a 60m lead, so I pressed a little bit again because I could tell my body was going into half-marathon mode, rather than 8k race mode. I have a lot of trouble zoning out during the short races and have to remember to pay attention.  Right before the three mile turn, I looked at my watch to see my total time and then watched as the chase pack made the turn.  I had twelve seconds, which was good.  Anything much under 10 seconds, and people start to chase you.  With 12 seconds, people will frequently forget about you.  That would be good because I was on my way to the slow, hilly part again.  While running past the teams, I started seeing people I knew and ran by some of my Kenyan friends who used to run for Middle Tennessee State University, who cheered me on and Patrick Cheptoek who has beat me every time we have raced. I'm ready for my half-marathon rematch, Patrick!

Jeff Edmonds: Fastest Philosopher I know

And not a moment too soon, I was back on the hills again.  I still felt like I crawled through this portion but I could tell my lead was extending.  I ran by Joe Pekarsky, who I coached in high school and one of his Kenyan friends who yelled, "now it's time to go crazy, man!" I debated taking my jersey off and swinging it over my head but was worried I would get disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct or having too good of a tan or something.

Vance Berry: World's Nicest Lawyer

After four miles, I pressed on the gas for a minute or two to hopefully serve as the final nail on the coffin for the guys behind me in case they started trying to make their moves.  I heard my buddy and local Saucony rep, Ricky Lupp say I had over a 20 second lead, so I started putting on the brakes.  Give me some slack, I had a 20 miler scheduled in the morning and a marathon scheduled a week later.

Hunter Hall: My favorite Swiftwick employee

I shut it down even more as I ran the final 200m or so and crossed the line in 24:49.  JJ Webber outkicked Matt Miller for second in 24:58 and John Valentine was fourth in 25:11.  I felt good crossing the finish line and definitely had a lot left in the tank.  If I would have hammered the entire time, I feel like I could have run in the lower 24s, which is a good confidence booster because I'm really rusty right now and not anywhere near my peak fitness.  I even felt like a kid again as several people asked what college I ran for but all that ended when later on someone said "good race, sir".

Matt Pulle: I ran my butt off trying to beat him in a race three years ago but could never catch him

The Harriers ended up getting 4th out of 13 in the non-D1 field and on the women's side, they were 6th out of 13.  Blair Burnette and Joe Melvin also ran really well in their first ever cross country race which is impressive because they performed well against a bunch of college kids.

I ended up cooling down with Matt Miller (the Belmont kid) who turned out to be a super nice guy with a good head on his shoulders.  Hopefully he stays around Nashville after graduation so we can have three guys qualify for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.  And after running with him, he turned out to be the type of guy I wouldn't mind getting whooped by.  Glad I found that out after the race!  I also thought I heard some punks making some comments about us but they shut up when I turned and looked at them.  It was unfortunate because I would have loved to asked the ring leader if getting his butt kicked by us once already wasn't enough.

Don't mess with me punks, that's Shogun Rua

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find results because I couldn't find them posted anywhere.  I'll usually check the pages of the teams who ran there and on the Northern Kentucky page, they had a big article about how he won his second back-to-back race. Before they call him the "overall" winner, they should check "over all" the results. And the kid was taking credit for it on his twitter.  But I'm not even sure if he's old enough to buy beer yet, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Overall it was a really run face and I plan on doing it next year.  And maybe one of these days I'll lace up the spikes for Club or 12k Nationals.

Balanced 8k splits: 4:47, 5:07, 10:10 (two miles), 4:45 (.97)

Netflix Pick of the Week

Most people have probably seen Super 8, but for those who haven't, it's a fun modern-day type E.T. meets Stand by Me type of movie.  Heck, it was even produced by Steven Spielberg.

The movie takes place during 1979 and a group of kids are making their very own zombie film for a film competition.  Obviously, a bunch of kids in the 70s will most likely make a terrible movie, so they decide to take some footage at a train station so it's at least a little better and more realistic.

While at the train station, they end up catching the scene of all scenes: a massive track wreck caused by a pick-up truck that collides with the train, that almost ends up killing the kids. They go to investigate and our found by someone, who warns them if they ever discuss what they saw, their parents will be killed. Obviously, the freak out and run away just as the Air Force hits the scene. Oh snap.

After the train wreck, a lot of strange things start happening in town.  All of the dogs run away, people go missing and people's electronics disappear.  Two of the kids, Joe and Charles, start to investigate and hear a lot of sketchy-sounding military chatter.  They also watch their film footage and notice a large, mysterious creature escaped from one of the train cars.  Eventually, the townsfolk are forced to evacuate to the military base and while there, Joe learns that his lady friend is missing and maybe abducted by the alien creature. The white knight wants to go save his princess, so the hunt is on.

I've finally chosen a movie that isn't too obnoxious and is actually family friendly.  I don't even think my wife would be too scared of this one.  So before you start watching the old school throwback Halloween movies, this would be a good start.

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 16th-22nd Training

Monday: 4 miles (6:59); 10.3 miles (7:12)

Tuesday: 9.1 miles (6:57); 6.8 miles with 8xstrides (7:05)

Wednesday: 5 miles (7:15); Was going to do a track workout, but a parent picked their kid up 1.5 hours late from running club and I still had a ton of crap to do when I got home. Started my warm-up but didn't have the mental energy and time to get in 12+ miles, with a lot of fast running.

Thursday: 6 miles with 6x3:00 on/1:00 off. 3am wake-up for this and ran it about tempo effort at the pace I would run ten in.  Short warm-up with a couple strides and then into the workout.  Averaged 4:53 for the fast portion and 5:27 for the 24 minutes.  Not a bad session considering how early it was, lack of good warm-up and the course (up and down a .6 mile section that climbs/drops a little over 40 feet each way). 7.1 miles (7:05)

Friday: 8 miles (6:56); Was going to run again but heard two Kenyans might show up tomorrow, so I skipped the run.

Saturday: 27 miles with Top of Utah Marathon in 2:22:30. I'll put the recap up tomorrow or Wednesday.  OK effort I guess but could feel the altitude 18-19 miles in.  Was getting a little tired after 24 miles, so I shut it down quite a bit.  Quads sore at the end.

Sunday: No running. Full day of traveling. Quads sore.

Week Total: 83.3 miles. Lower volume than I wanted but I skipped 20+ miles of running.  Content with the marathon but wasn't expecting my quads to get so sore.  I'm behind the fitness level I want to be at and I have a half-marathon in three weeks, so I need to figure out a good schedule to get me back in the right direction. I'm also 5+ pounds heavier than I should be right now, so I need to cut out some of the crap.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

Man, finally getting these done on a Monday.  I watched a couple Netflix movies this week.  The first was Safe Haven, which was a movie chosen by the wife.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not ashamed to admit I like a good Nicolas Sparks flick.  This one started out boring, got sort of good towards the end and then had the most ridiculous ending of all time.  The second movie I watched, End of Watch, was much better.

File:End of Watch Poster.jpg
End of Watch is a low-budget crime movie. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Mike Pena, who play two young LA cops.  They film most of their activities on a video camera for a film project, which gives the movie a documentary type feel to it.  You get an insiders view about their lives and who they are as individuals, as well as the ups-and-downs of police life.  You can also sense the tight, brotherly bond they share but I guess you have to get close to someone if you spend all day with them in a car.

The cops get into more than their fair share of action and usually come out on top.  But they start to get in over their heads and unknown to them, are hunted by the Mexican cartel.  The movie can get slow at times but overall, I liked the format of the movie.  Yeah, there were a couple major plot holes at the end but I still found it to be a good watch.

September 9th-15th

Monday: 10 miles (6:45); 5.6 miles (7:31)

Tuesday: 7.3 miles (6:50); 8.1 miles (7:07)

Wednesday: 5 miles (6:58); 11.7 miles with 6400m tempo on the track. Goal for the tempo was sub 20:20 and ran 20:03 (5:02, 5:01, 5:01, 4:59). Felt like crap on the warm-up but the tempo felt good. I was planning on doing 2x400m afterwards, but I was getting a pretty bad side-stitch from eating dinner right before this and I didn't want to wear out my legs for Saturday.

Thursday: 10.2 miles (6:43); 5.4 miles (7:30)

Friday: 5.8 miles (6:56); 6 miles with 4xstrides and 4xhill blasts (7:15ish)

Saturday: 14.8 miles with 8k race. Ran in Vanderbilt's Commodore Classic. I always run by effort but I was expecting to hang behind the pack for 3-4 miles before making my campaign for the win.  After 200m, I had a nice sized lead, built it up to around 10s by the mile, 20s by the middle and did my best to maintain that without having to work too much.  The footing was really bumpy and I felt really slow on the thick grass and hills. Shut it down a good bit the last half mile and got the win by nine seconds in 24:49. Mile splits were: 4:47, 5:07, 10:10 (2 miles), 4:45 (.97). Motivating race because it felt pretty relaxed. If I would have hammered, I feel like I could have run at least in the 24:teens on what's a pretty slow course.

Sunday: 20.1 miles (6:18). Ran this a few hours later than normal.  The weather wasn't too bad and I felt like running with some calories in my body and with some extra sleep would be better being I raced yesterday and have a marathon next weekend. Quads were a little achy but I felt pretty good.  Around 15 miles in, I was getting insanely thirsty and would scavenge around neighborhood entrances signs for a water hose but came up short.  Luckily, I found a house a couple of miles from my house at the quarry.  The water was hot and tasted like chemical crap but it did the trick.

Week Total= 110 miles.  Pretty decent week.  The tempo run was nice and smooth and the race was an indicator that things are going in the right direction.  While I'm not fit yet, I'm getting there. I have a marathon next weekend and the plan is to get in a nice, steady session and if I feel good, roll a bit towards the end.  Should be fun.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Netflix Pick of the Week

Blood and Bone is a decent action flick with a low budget/indie feel.  It reminds me of a Fast and the Furious type of movie but with worse acting.  Yeah, it won't win any awards and has too many plot holes to count, but it is a pretty fun movie and worth a watch.

Isaiah Bone (Michael Jai White) just got out of jail, where he spent quite a lot of time. His buddy was set up for a murder he didn't commit, the man who set him up also gets him killed while in prison and then he takes the dude's wife.  Before he dies, his friend makes Bone promise to take care of his family if he doesn't make it out, which Bone promises. Bone finally gets out of the slammer but to get to the man who had his friend killed, he needs to work his way up the underground fight scene and luckily for Bone, he knows how to fight.

As Bone beats up a lot of guys, he becomes connected with the man who arranged his friend's death.  He puts a plan into action on how to stick it back to the guy while reuniting his friend's family. 

No complicated plot here, just good ol' fashioned revenge, a cheesy love story and a lot of man-on-man action (fighting action).

And one of the fighter's in the movie, also starred in an earlier Netflix pick, Miami Connection.


Monday, September 9, 2013

September 2nd-8th Training

Monday: 18.2 miles with 10k (31:57) and 5k (15:30). Plan was to run 32:00/15:30ish, so it was right on target.  The 10k was pretty warm and had some company on my butt for the first mile before I broke away a bit.  Rolling course with balanced splits of 4:59, 5:08, 5:05, 5:08, 5:20, 5:16, 61. Pretty relaxed effort and was probably a little slower than tempo.  5k was alone from the get-go with balanced splits of 4:53, 5:09, 5:28 (1.1). The sun came out for this one and the misery index was probably around 150.  Felt like I ran this one slightly slower than 10k effort; 3.1 miles (7:28)

 Tuesday: 8 miles (6:50); 7 miles (7:23)

Wednesday: 7 miles (6:54); 8 miles with drills, 8xsoccer field strides, 5xhill blasts (7:10 for the run, minus the strides)

Thursday: 5.9 miles (6:47); 12.4 miles with drills, 8xsoccer field strides and 10x2:00 on/off.  Ran the fartlek on my own version of Newton Hills, which is almost a clone of Boston. Started out a little more relaxed and started working pretty hard 5-6 in.  Fate would have it that nearly all of the fast portions included a good bit of uphill running, which whooped my butt.  Ended up averaging 4:51 pace for the fast running and 5:41 pace for the 40 minutes.  I ran pretty hard, and recovered well between them but can tell my speed and power is still pretty bad right now. 

Friday: 4.6 miles (7:13); 10.7 miles (6:51)

Saturday: 9.5 miles (6:56); 4.8 miles with 4xlazy strides and 4xhill blasts (7:43)

Sunday: 19.9 miles with 16 miles medium. Bribed Connor Kamm and Ben Li with cinnamon rolls, smoothies and cereal if they came up and ran with me.  Ended up averaging 5:33 for the 16 miles with loop splits of  22:19, 22:04, 21:49, 21:53 and finished out the last .18 miles at 4:30 pace. I was shooting for mid 5:40s on the first loop but we got rolling pretty quick. Anytime I noticed the pace dipping under 5:30, I'd back off some.  First two loops were really easy, started getting mentally tired on the third loop and my legs got a little bit of that dull, flat feeling on the last loop.  Never struggled on the hills and the fast finish felt nice and smooth.  Having company out made things a ton easier.  This was five seconds a mile faster than last time, four miles longer and felt much more controlled. Running this at the tail end of a heavy week was a good confidence booster. I feel like controlled 5:30s will be very attainable in two weeks.

Week Total=119.1 miles. Good, solid week. I was hoping to be in sub 64 half-marathon shape in about six weeks but I'm not sure how realistic that is right now.  I don't "feel" fit at all right now but the heat and dew point are deceiving.  Next week, I have the Commodore Classic on the agenda. A few weeks ago, I was hoping for a controlled 24:30 but now I feel like I may have to throw down to stay ahead of the college kids. We will see.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Netflix Movie of the Week

This week's pick, Hellboy, is written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, who also wrote and produced several other movies that I really liked (Pan's Labyrinth, Devil's Backbone, Hellboy II, etc.)  The movie is based off the dark comic book series: Hellboy, Seed of Destruction.

Hellboy is a demon who came to earth as an infant after some Nazi's opened up a portal to another dimension (yeah, I know it's out there).  The Nazi's and the evil Russian, Grigori Rasputin, were trying to unleash some monstrous entities on the Allies in order to defeat them.  But the Allies put a whooping on them, but not before some of the Nazi's escaped and Rasputin got absorbed into another dimension. 

Flash forward 60 years and Hellboy is working for the secret government agency, the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, along with psychic, amphibious humanoid, Abe, and Liz, who is having trouble controlling her pyrokinetic abilities. The Nazis come back with Rasputin and their multiplying, hellhoud, Sammael.  It's now up to Hellboy and his crew, to save the world or something.

 Hellboy is one of my favorite comic book movies that has come out and is probably the best one currently on Netflix. He doesn't have daddy issues like Thor, he doesn't have biopolar disorder like the Hulk, he's not a skinny white-guy like Ironman and he wouldn't lead us into Syria like Captain America probably would.  It's full of action with a decent dose of comedy and is worth a watch.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Baby #2

On Wednesday at 7:10 pm, my second kid was born weighing in at eight pounds and four ounces and 20 inches long.  The Wietecha name will now hopefully live on with Ellis Hudson Wietecha.  We had a heck of a hard time naming the kid and we didn't have a name set in stone until the final week.   We told a few people his first name before the birth but no one knew the full name until he was born.  I'm surprised I was able to keep a secret for that long, because I'm normally like Michael Scott when it comes to secrecy. 

The original due date was September 2nd, but since he was already pretty big, they scheduled an induction date, which obviously was August 28th,.  Hospital life wasn't for me and I was getting pretty stir crazy being stuck in that room but after he was born, it was all worth it.

But after that, we were still stuck there for almost 48 more hours.  Yeah, it was cool being able to order food for "my wife" whenever I wanted but the only thing that was good was the sweet potato fries and chicken quesadillas.  I was longing for real food because the only other thing we had besides cafeteria food was fast food and candy, but luckily my mom brought me a stash of Powerbars and when my buddies Ted, Justin and Hunter came to see me, they snuck in some beer. 

Ellis is a super laid back baby and his name suits him well.  He barely ever cries and is content to lay still against your chest.  Maybe if he had a black mohawk and was ripped coming out of the womb, Jett would be a better name, but Ellis seems to be a perfect fit.  People ask where we came up with the name and I honestly don't remember.  I was on a big "last names as a first name" kick for a while and I liked Elias a lot, so maybe I came up with Ellis because of that. Who knows, but it's a fitting name.

All of the former names we expected to name him before they lost their number one status (sort of in order): Finn, Maddox, Miles, Weston, Jack, Jaxon, Davis, Tate, Camden,  Jett, and probably a few more I'm forgetting.

All of the cool names that I really liked that Mary instantly vetoed: Alistair, Liam, Serj, Sebastian, Jonas, Jansen, Jamison, Elias, Reed, Titus, Mirko, Maciek, Elias and a bunch of other really freaking cool names

But now with a girl and a boy, the circle is complete.  Maybe having three kids would be cool, but I'm too poor.

August 26th-September 1st Training

Monday: 9.4 miles (6:51); 5.6 miles (7:13)

Tuesday: 6.8 miles (7:49); 8.7 miles (7:30ish). Was going to do a 6400m progression on the track (5:10, 5:05, 5:00, 4:55ish) followed by a few 400s at mile effort but there were football games going on at both of the track. Since it was after 8:00 and pitch black, just ran easily.

Wednesday: 9.4 miles.  Woke up at 4:25am to do a fartlek before heading to the awesome.  Slogged through 2.5 miles with some strides and then got into the workout: 10x3:00 on/off with 1:00 jog rest around my four mile loop. Well, I only did nine because I finished the recovery jog of my ninth interval about a 1/4 mile from my house.  Ended up at 5:02 average for the fast portion and 5:32 pace for the whole thing.  Not too bad I guess considering I was running hard 40 minutes after waking up and it was pitch black outside.  On the tree covered parts of the course, it was really hard to see and the road was really bumpy, so it was hard to keep a smooth stride.; No second run.  I really wanted to sneak out of the hospital and run but it wasn't strongly encouraged by the wife.  I wanted to get in about 8-9 miles, but mainly I needed to escape because I was getting major cabin fever.  Bad food, an uncomfortable bench, a room with a busted AC and a tv remote that only lets you move the channels up (with 125 channels, so if you accidentally move up one channel too many, you're screwed for the next five minutes) really started to wear on me after a few hours.

Thursday: 12 miles (6:59); 8.1miles (6:59)

Friday: 9 miles (6:54); 6.8 miles (7:26)

Saturday: 10 miles with a bombed workout. I was going to run 16x400m at 70ish with 1:00 jog rest and 3:00 jog rest every four intervals.  I felt super drained from the get-go and even though I was running 68.5 or so average, I felt way off and after seven of them, I was getting really tired, so I stopped. This makes four weeks in a row with at least one bombed session.  Maybe I'll just blame it on being in the hospital for the past few days and a misery index of close to 160 (on a black track, with no shade).  Maybe if I would have started out in 70-71, I would have lasted longer, but who knows? Right after stopping, I saw a guy I know at the track and he asked if I'm ever out of shape and I told him I actually am right now and am in the middle of a pity party; 6.8 miles (7:28)

Sunday: 9.6 miles (6:33); 5.4 miles (7:16)

Week Total= 107.1 miles.  I was shooting for closer to 115, but the skipped run and shorter Saturday volume killed that.  My favorite part of the week was staying in Nashville because I was able to run with someone on almost all of my runs while there. I definitely wish I lived a bit closer so I had more training partners, but I try and get it done with what I have. I have my first race in two weeks and a marathon in three weeks and I'm pretty nervous about both of them.  Hopefully things turn around soon.  I think I've almost hacked out the last of my congestion (I saw almost because I took an iron pill on Saturday and then hacked it up nearly fully intact about 10 minutes later).  I also need to stop being in love with my old workout times from the spring when it was cooler and I was faster and be a little more conservative with my estimated fitness.  As much as I would like to run 5:00-5:05 pace for a half-marathon and 5:20 pace for a marathon with my current fitness in 140-150 misery index, I don't realistically think I can.  Next week brings cooler temps and I have my hardest week yet on tap.