Thursday, June 27, 2013

School Teacher Might Make World Championships Team | Runner's World & Running Times

Here's a good article on the fourth place finisher at last weeks 1500m National Championships.  The guy is getting it done with a full-time job, with less than impressive high school PR's and didn't start rolling until after college.  Seems like a great guy as well.

School Teacher Might Make World Championships Team | Runner's World & Running Times

Netflix Pick of the Week

The Avengers is a movie that most of you have probably seen before, but it's finally on Netflix. It's just your typical superhero movie with a lot of action and special effects. 

 My cheap butt even paid the $12 or whatever it was to go see it in the theaters when it came out last summer.  While these types of movies are never about the plot, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) aligns the Avengers together to help save the world from Loki (Thor's brother) and his army.

As usual, Ironman is pretty smug and witty, Thor is hard-headed but wants what's best, Captain America is an old-fashioned dork and the Hulk makes the actions scenes what they are. And I guess you have the Black Widow and Hawkeye, but they don't catch your attention as much.

I'm surprised this came to Netflix so quickly and it's one of the better superhero movies out there. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

June17th-July 23rd

Monday: 5.6 miles (6:59; 5.9 miles (7:16)

Tuesday: 7.4 miles with 4x3:00 fast with 1:00 easy. Was planning on doing six, progressing from a little slower than HMP to close to 10k pace. Legs could never get going and was barely under 5:00 pace, so I called it at four; 4.5 miles (7:15ish)

Wednesday: 10.7 miles (6:41)

Thursday: 8 miles with 4 miles of .15 miles fast/.35 miles jog. I threw this in since I ended Tuesday's session early.  Averaged 5:54 pace for the four miles and progressed from just over 5:00 pace to running the last several around 4:15 pace.

Friday: 6.1 miles (6:58)

Saturday: 18.6 miles with half-marathon in 63:12. Best race I've ever had by far.  Everyone shot out way too hard and I was probably outside the top 50 at the mile. Moved up to 34th at the 5k in 14:48 and a couple of miles later, caught a big pack of guys.  I ran with them until eight miles and then left the pack.  A few minutes later, some guys caught me and we hung together pretty much until the end, before sprinting it out.

Sunday: 5.9 miles (6:34)

Week Total= 72.6 miles. Great race but a dramatic few days leading up to it.  Earlier in the week, Kate was throwing up, a couple of days later, Mary was throwing up and I thought I would catch it for sure.  I barricaded myself in the guest bedroom for a couple of days and would spray Lysol wherever I walked.  Fortunately, it paid off!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Half-Marathon Championships

The race starts at 6:15am.  Well, that is if the race doesn't get cancelled or delayed because of incoming thundrstorms.  There are 156 guys in the field and even though I was 15th last year and am in better shape (and didn't really have a great race), I'd be happy to finish in the top 25.

Last year, it was all Abdi Abdirahama but this year, he has to battle Mo Trefah, Olympic Silver Medallist, Meb Keflezighi and a ton of other tough guys.

If you want to sign up for tracking, you can do that here:

There will also be a live finish line cam that you can find at  The first runner should cross the line around 7:15am.

Hopefully the race will be on in 12 hours and one minute!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

This evening after my weekly Brixx run, my buddy, Doug Boomer, suggested that I check out the Netflix documentary Knuckleball! I'm usually not a big documentary guy and while I used to love watching baseball way back in the day, I don't really follow it much anymore.  But I had some time to kill, so I decided to give it a go.

Knuckleball! (2012) Poster 
 I was surprised to see that the knuckleball isn't used very much.  Since I used to try and practice it in my backyard when I was little (butchered it) I figured it was a normal pitch.  I also learned that it's less hard on the arm and lets pitchers get in more throws and helps extend their career.

The movie follows two "knuckleballers", Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey during the 2011 season.  The movie details the struggles that go into the pitch and the perseverance and dedication they put into perfecting the pitch. 

It's a bit long for a documentary but I found it enjoyable to watch.

June 10th-16th Training

Monday: 20.1 miles (6:13). Not a great long run and didn't have a single mile under 6:00, which hasn't happened in a long freaking time.  Got into the lower 6:00s about halfway and stopped for a quick waterstop.  Started getting a little thirsty by 14 miles and after 16 miles, it got progressively worse every mile and the last mile was pretty rough with a 6:30.  Lost about 6-7 pounds of water, which is about twice as much as usual on a long run; 4.3 miles (7:28).

Tuesday: 6 miles (7:30); 7.5 miles (6:58)

Wednesday: 6.8 miles (6:41); 5.4 miles (6:59)

Thursday: 11.7 miles with 6400m tempo. Was shooting for six miles at 4:55-5:00 pace with a couple of 400s at the end.  The pace felt really and relaxed at first and then the heat started getting to me a little bit more every lap.  It was 82 with a 72 few point but on the black track with no shade or clouds, it had to be hotter than that. Stopped at four miles and decided to jog a mile to the park so I could do a fartlek with at least some shade.  The plan was to do 3-4x3:00 fast with 1:00 rest and I stopped about 1.5 minutes into the second one because it was too hot.  Ran 19:48 for the four miles with splits of 4:53, 4:58, 4:56, 5:01.  Since I bagged this one early, I'll try something a little more intensive than originally planned on Saturday; 4.5 miles (7:20)

Friday: 8.1 miles (7:18); 3.4 miles (7:27)

Saturday: 13.8 miles with 10 miles of 1/2 mile on/off.  Conditions were a little better with a temp of 72 and a dew point of 63. Plan was to run the fast portion at 5:05 pace and the sort of fast portion at 5:25 pace.  Ended up running 51:17 for the whole thing with rounded mile splits of: 5:10 (2:42/2:28), 5:09 (2:42, 2:27), 5:10 (2:42, 2:28), 5:08 (2:40/2:28), 5:11 (2:42/2:29), 5:10 (2:42/2:28), 5:05 (2:39/2:26),  5:10 (2:41/2:29), 5:10 (2:41/2:29), 4:50 (2:42/2:08).  I was really pleased with this.  I was planning a max of 8.9ish miles (2.5 down and backs on the road) but it felt so easy the whole way, I went 10.  Normally I start to feel this workout about 6-7 miles in, but I felt just as good at nine miles as I did in the first.  It felt like I could have run this workout almost twice in a row if I had to.  Since it felt so smooth, I decided to push the last half mile a bit.  I had two mini hills and a small downhill and felt good without any wobbly legs or booty lock.  I could have kept it up for at least another 1/4 mile if I had to.  I also took the last one as a good sign because I normally have an insanely hard time changing gears, especially when I'm tired, but I was able to accelerate pretty smoothly on the last one; 3.4 miles (7:28)

Sunday: 9.5 miles (6:53).

Week Total= 104.6 miles.  Crappy long run, frustrating tempo run but great Saturday session.  And best of all, the Saturday session tells me more about my half marathon fitness than the other two.  I feel like I'm on a good upswing and feel much fitter than I did in March.  Next week I'll back off the mileage a good bit, throw in a light progressive fartlek on Tuesday and then get ready to roll on Saturday at the USA Half-Marathon Championships.  They have live finish line video and probably tracking as well.

My goal was to get in the top 10 at the race and if it was the same field as last year, I feel like I would have had a realistic shot.  But this year, the field is twice as deep and much faster up front.  Last year, I ran 65:01 for 15th and this year, I doubt 65:01 will be in the top 25, or maybe the top 30.  I don't care about my place so much because you can't control how others finish or perform.  But there are a lot of people just ahead of me on paper that I would like to beat.  Last year, I went out way too hard and died the last 5k.  This year, I plan to be a little more patient, make up some good ground from 10k-10 miles and then throw down.  If the conditions are perfect, I'd like to say I have a shot at running a low 64, if not break it, but who knows?  I've been a roller-coaster this season.

Hendersonville Classic 10k

Man, I'm falling behind here.  But on Memorial Day, I jumped into our local 5k/10k race.I race in Nashville a ton, but I've only done a few races in the Hendersonville area, which is my backyard.  Since I'm focused on the half-marathon, I felt the 10k would be the better option, especially since the local pro triathlete won the race last year. I can't have that!

The race starts at Drakes Creek Park, before venturing out to the greenway and then finishing up on Indian Lake Blvd.  It's a mostly flat course, even though there's some tough little climbs. It benefited the Cumberland Crisis Center and was put on by Mauricio Sanchez, who I knew would do a great job.

I was hoping to run around 5:00 pace and sneak under 31:00.  A 10k at half-marathon pace is one of my favorite sessions and with the weather and being a little rundown lately, I felt like I was around 65:30 half-marathon shape in those conditions, so 5:00 pace it was.  Well, a tad under since 30:59 gives you more street cred than 31:00.

I saw one of my Nashville running friends, Jackson Miller on the starting line, and talked with him for a couple of minutes before the race started. When the gun went off (well, it could have been a gun, I don't remember) I found my rhythm and was feeling pretty good.  I went through the first mile in 4:47, which was surprising.  It felt pretty smooth and I wasn't sure if the course was certified or not, so I kept on.

I haven't been lost in a race in probably over a year.  I used to get lost all of the time and in high school, I even got lost in a cross country meet twice in the same race, despite running with the course map.  Well, it was time for a detour again as I cut a right towards the parking lot, instead of going straight on the road.  We eventually figured out we made a wrong turn and I was back on my way after losing around 10 seconds or so.  Despite that wrong turn, I went through the second mile in 4:54.

After the second mile, it was time to leave the park and head to the Hendersonville Greenway, which I run on quite a bit.  I had a hard time believing I was running close to 30:00 10k pace, so I switched my Garmin screen over a few windows to check out my average pace.  It said I was running 4:48 average, which was a bit of a morale booster, because it felt so smooth, but also let me know to back off a bit.  The third mile had a mini monster hill and I tried to power to the top and lost some time on that mile as I split 5:08.

After leaving the greenway, the course weaved around Veteran's Park and then went through some neighborhoods that I've never been through.  I started to feel the weather a little bit and was also getting a little tired but I tried to still keep a steady rhythm.  Finally, we left the neighborhood, jumped onto Indian Lake Blvd. (not literally) and I knew we were getting close to the end.

Indian Lake has a couple little rollers, which always get to me a little bit. I did my best to get over them without pushing too hard and could finally see the entrance to Drakes Creek Park in the distance.  I made my way into the park and came through the finish line in 30:26 to take the win.  My GPS said 6.32 miles, which is almost dead on for a normal certified 10k course.  It was a good confidence booster because it felt pretty smooth and would have been under 30:20 without the wrong turn.  Hopefully this means things are on the upswing.

Overall, I like this race a lot.  It was well managed, I always like it when races have 5k and 10k options and they even had free snow cones!  Next year, if you're looking for a Memorial Day race, come up the road to Hendersonville.  I got the pictures from, so be sure to check out his site.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Netflix Movie Monday

Well, vacation time is over so it's back to the real world. Rather than be a bum, I've set a goal to do something productive every day (cut/weedeat the front yard today, backyard tomorrow, etc.) And I guess that means I need to update this more often and add some more articles I've been planning for a while.  Anyway, I've always been an old school horror movie fan.  Maybe it's because it reminds me of my childhood because I would always watch them on cable growing up.  But I liked the simple plot, classic villain and they weren't as graphic as most horror are today.  I don't mind a good amount of blood, but I can't stand torture type horror movies like Saw, etc. Not my cup of tea.

Lately, Netflix has added Friday the 13th 3-8.  Other than Freddy, you can't name a better old school villain than Jason and the Friday the 13th Nintendo game was insanely hard as well.  And as an added bonus, all of the movies are in HD.

June 3rd-9th

Monday: 9 miles (6:57); 4.8 miles (7:47)

Tuesday: 12 miles with 10x2:00 hard, 1:00 easy.  Since the misery index was 157 (82, 75), I debated taking two minutes rest but I need more extensive stuff,  not to mention, I would rather suffer more through 30 minutes instead of 40.  Plan was to average around 4:40 pace on the fast portion.  I ran pretty controlled for the most part and pushed the last couple some.  I was surprised to see I averaged 4:35 pace for the fast stuff and 5:18 for the thirty minute portion.  Good confidence builder; 6 miles (7:25)

Wednesday: 10 miles (6:56); 6 miles (7:25)

Thursday: 9 miles (6:51); 6 miles (7:14)

Friday: 13.2 miles with 9 mile progression.  80 degrees, 68 dew point.  Plan was to run three miles at 16:30 (5:30), 15:45 (5:15), 15:00 (5:00).  Ended up running 16:29 (5:30, 5:30, 5:29), 15:39 (5:12, 5:12, 5:15) and 14:59 (5:01, 5:02, 4:56).  I felt really flat for the first 1k of the first portion and it took me a while to find my grove.  The second portion was a little easier than expected and the last section got tough about 1.5 miles into it.  I was expecting to call it a day at two miles, instead of three but realized I was being a pansy, control freak, so I made myself run the last mile.  Glad I did because I hit my time and it didn't feel any worse than the prior two miles.  Surprisingly, I saw that I ran this exact same workout almost exactly a year ago.  Then, I ran 16:23, 15:43, 14:47.  The weather was a little bit cooler  then and I ran it on my usual hard workout road (Lower Station Camp); Skipped second run.  Had a killer headache

Saturday: 10 miles (6:52); Skipped second run.  Got in about two hours later than planned.

Sunday: 6.8 miles (6:49); 9.1 miles (6:37). Was planning on a 20 mile long run and 3-4 mile easy run but thunderstorms came through.  I'll do my long run tomorrow.

 Week Total= 101.9 miles. Volume was a bit lower than expected but I missed a couple fluff runs and had to delay my long run.  With all of that going well, I would have been 115ish but at least I got in two good workouts.  Next week the volume will be a little higher than expected (because of the Monday long run) and I'll get in one hard workout and one moderately hard one.  My upper hamstrings have been insanely tight this week, especially the top of my left gracillis.  I probably need to cough up some cash for a massage.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

May 27th- June 2nd Training

Monday: 13 miles with 10k race. Goal was to keep the race around half-marathon effort and run just under 31:00.  Ended up running 30:26 with about a 10 second wrong turn.  Garmin said 6.32 miles, so I'll take it as a legit 10k.  Started out a little too fast and made myself slow down a little bit.  Ran the exact effort I wanted, which hopefully bodes well for my half-marathon fitness 5.4 miles (7:22)

Tuesday: 8.7 miles (7:10); 7 miles (7:07)

Wednesday: 5.4 miles (7:25); No afternoon run because I had some sickness.  My throat was killing me, I had a fever and I had body aches with alternating sweats/chills.  Hope this doesn't hang around.

Thursday: 9.6 miles (6:38); 5.4 miles (7:12)

Friday: 12.3 miles with failed workout. Goal was to run 10 hilly miles of 3:00 fast/3:00 medium on my five mile out-and-back run. I was hoping to run under 5:20 pace for the whole thing but on this run, I just run by effort.  Legs felt dead and drained on every hill and after my fourth 3:00 fast interval, I canned the workout to cover just under four miles at 5:17 average.  When I ran this workout about six weeks ago, I was about 15s ahead of my "today self" 21:00 in. On the warm-up, I thought about doing this workout on the flats and looking back, I should have. My aerobic system was pretty decent but my muscles/power weren't ready for this effort because of the virus. I felt really worn out yesterday and should have known better today; 5.5 miles (7:13)

Saturday: 10.7 miles (6:50)

Sunday: 17 miles with four mile MP effort thrown in at the end. First run in Florida and man, it was miserable.  It was already close to 80 degrees and super muggy at 7am.  I felt like absolute dog crap the first few miles and really wanted to stop but I knew another bad session would not help my fitness level.  Stopped for some water at first miles and then ran four miles the other direction.  Started feeling a little more smooth and was clicking off 6:00ish miles.  At 12, I stopped for another water break and had a 6:09 average.  For the fast miles, I would have taken anything under 5:20 pace because of the heat and ended up running 20:16 (5:09, 5:05, 5:06, 4:56). I felt strong on the fast miles but picked it up some the last mile so I could break 5:00.  Glad this run went from terrible to decent; 4.7 miles (7:03)

Week Total: 104.7 miles. Was hoping for another week around 115ish but the virus and the traveling put a dent in the volume.  I'm frustrated that I haven't had an entire "good" training week in quite some time but I feel like I'm slowly getting to where I need to be.  For the half-marathon, I just want to be at my Murray Half-Marathon fitness level.  I was there not too long ago and feel that getting back to old fitness will be easier than building fitness you never had.  I'll be in Destin, FL all this week, so hopefully I don't slack on the training.