Thursday, February 26, 2015

Teacher of the Year

Since you're probably bored at home/work/school and have nothing else to do, be sure to vote for my school's teacher of the year, Sheri Haynes, for the White House Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year award.

If she wins, I'll lay off junk food for an entire week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February 16th-22nd Training

Monday: No running. Does sledding down my driveway count as cross training?

Tuesday: 1.3 miles (7:47). Hamstring tendon was super tight and was only getting progressively worse.

Wednesday: Day Off. 

Thursday: 3.1 miles (7:23). Started out the same as last time but it wasn't getting progressively worse.  At around three miles, the hamstring muscle itself completely revolted and it became pretty painful.  I also had to walk the last 1/3 of a mile home in 10 degree weather.

Friday: No running. Saw Dr. Kindred so I could get my hamstring looked at on the ultrasound.  He said it was a strain in the muscle, which caused some tendinitis near the insertion. Got a massage and the guy really worked on my hamstring.  He also really needed to cut his nails.

Saturday: No running.

Sunday: 4.5 miles (7:10)

Week Total: 8.9 miles. Lowest mileage week in forever. Well, I did only run 3.7 miles the first week of last May.  Most of this past week, I felt like this was going to linger around for quite some time, and potentially end my spring campaign but I now feel like it's getting a little bit better. Hopefully I can start some consistent jogging towards the end of the week.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

February 9th-15th Training

Monday: 8.6 miles (6:23). The lower/middle of my hamstring was insanely tight a few miles in.  Was going to do some strides but thought it would be too much on the leg. Things got a little better at the end until my hamstring revolted while running down a hill with .4 miles to go.  Walk of shame back to the school

Tuesday: No running. Got a massage and on a bright note, I found a new good masseuse. She put a whooping on me and said the inside of my hamstring felt really inflamed.

Wednesday: .2 miles (7:54). Knew it wasn't going to happen.

Thursday: No running

Friday: 2 miles (7:27). I thought I'd be good for a few but the hammy still really hurts.

Saturday: 2 miles. I was going to do the Hot Chocolate 5k but after trying some strides, I knew it was going to be a bad idea, especially since there's a huge climb, followed by a downhill in the last mile.  I knew the running gods were telling me not to run because I couldn't find my watch, phone or running hat (it was 20 degrees, so I had to settle for my Batman hat with one of those puffy balls on top).

Sunday: No running. 

Week Total: 12.8 miles. Terribly frustrating week.  Things were going super well, I was transitioning over to some fast workouts and I was feeling like a million bucks.  I was thinking this would be a short term thing but it doesn't appear to be getting any better.  I was going to race the Mercedes Half-Marathon next weekend but I doubt that will happen.  I also have another 2-3 important races in March that may not happen now.  Hopefully I can resume training by the end of next week.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 2nd-8th Training

Monday: 9.7 miles with 6xstrides (6:24); 7.5 miles (7:10)

Tuesday: 7.5 miles (7:04); 9.1 miles with 12x400m with 90s jog rest. Kind of a random workout...originally, I was going to do 12x60s on with 90s off as a fartlek during lunch.  But my co-teacher was absent, so I helped out the sub during my expected planning period. I then was going to do the workout in the afternoon and since I had more time, I was going to run 10x2:00 on/off at a progressive effort.  But when I was peeing in the woods right before my workout, I thought, "you know, let me see if the track is open".  It was, so I was going to do 6x800m at 2:20 instead. But at the end of my first 400, I thought 400s sounded better to me. So the plan was now 12ishx400m in 70 with 200m jog, plus a little walking rest to take up 90s.  I ended up running 13:30 for my total time (don't feel like doing the math).  It probably would have been a little bit faster because on the first few, I would run in lane 1 and have to go to lane three around the second half of a turn because of standing water.  I then realized I was being dumb and could run my "odd" intervals entirely in lane three and on the evens, I could start at the lane three 200m marker and then cut over later on. I expected to die more quickly than I did and I was able to hang on once some fatigue crept in.  I was able to close out the last few in 65-66 and with my highly unscientific formula, I feel like I am in at least 14:30-14:40 shape, which isn't too bad for right now.

Wednesday: 9 miles (7:09); 7.5 miles (7:24)

Thursday: 11 miles (6:11); 7.5 miles (7:30)

Friday: 9 miles (6:28); .2 miles (7:53). Long day and a long week.  Started when it was almost pitch black before deciding that running was stupid, so I turned around and ordered pizza.

Saturday: 17.9 miles with half-marathon in 70:27.  Ran with my man, Connor Kamm.  The plan was a progression but a Kenyan showed up.  We dropped the Kenyan a little over halfway through and kept up the pace until 10 miles before slowly backing off.  Felt good on a tough course.

Sunday: 9.5 miles (7:08); 6.3 miles (7:37)

Week Total: 115.8 miles.  One good workout and a controlled effort that I didn't think would be controlled.  This old man is starting to get senile mean!

I was impressed to see Chris Derrick dominate cross country again.  I expected him to win but since Ritz has always been my favorite pro runner, I was hoping he would pull it out.  And I'm also expecting there to be some Kenyans in the next edition of G.I. Joe action figures.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Frostbite Half-Marathon

The Cedars of Lebanon Frostbite Half-Marathon has been on my Tennessee racing bucket list for a few years.  I was planning on running it a couple of years ago but I had the flu. What a waste of $8 pre-registering was! At this race, there's usually a decent turnout (800ish people) and it weaves throughout the park.  Everyone I know that has run it has enjoyed it, so I planned on giving it a go this year. Connor Kamm and I planned on using it as a long progression run.  The goal was to start at just under 6:00 pace and work down to a sub 5:00 effort the last mile or two.  The course was supposed to be somewhat tough...lots of rolling hills and a 2-3 mile long gravel section.

Nice rollers

I heard it was suggested that you arrive at the park early because the parking situation can get pretty rough but as usual, I left a few minutes later than planned and got caught in a never-ending line.  I kept on having to drive further and further away from the start.  I looked for a spot in a parking area about a mile away, but that was also completely filled.  I then planned on stripping down to my singlet and racing shoes (and shorts) and using the run to the start as my warm-up since I imagined I could be up to two miles away.  Finally, I got to a lot with a few spaces open and after parking, I realized that I drove a complete loop around the park and was actually right by the start. Procrastination paid off!  But my luck quickly ran out as a I saw a Kenyan that I've never seen before, warming up. I guess he really wanted that first place trophy and coffee mug. I went from a relaxed, calm mindset to a stressed out one because I now potentially would have to race an unplanned, all-out half-marathon during some pretty heavy training and two weeks before my "first" race (which is also a half-marathon).

As soon as I registered, I saw Connor and let him know about the red-alert situation.  Plan 2.0 was to start faster and if the Kenyan was way too fast, we would go back to our original plan.  But if he was beatable without killing ourselves, we'd try and take him out.  Luckily there was a list of of pre-registered runners and Connor started looking at the "K"s, since that's probably the most common letter for Kenyan last names or something  There he was, Geoffrey Kiptoo.  After Google stalking and looking him on up Athlinks, the only things I saw were a 2:14 marathon over three years ago and a 72 minute and change half marathon at Indy Monumental this past November.  Since Kiptoo is a common last name for Kenyans, I wasn't sure if it was him or not.  But I was hoping it was the 72 minute guy!

Finally it was race time and we were off.  We started at a really relaxed pace and started working into our rhythm as the race went on.  The first mile had a couple rollers and we went through three abreast in 5:21.  To make matters worse, there was some other guy with us and I didn't know who he was, either.  But he was wearing tights in mid 50s weather, so I was hoping he wouldn't be a threat. But then again a few years ago, I thought some guy was one of those all-show and no-go triathletes, but he turned out to be a runner who smoked me.  Hopefully this wouldn't be the case.

We continued to hang around the 5:20s on the rolling hills with Geoffrey still with us and the tights guy randomly falling back and then barreling in front of us on the downhills. His manic downhill charges didn't last long and it was down to the three of us.  I couldn't get a read on Geoffrey yet but it was still early in the race.

A few miles in, we jumped onto the gravel road (not literally).  I hate running on gravel because it jabs you in the foot and you can't get a good feel for the ground.  We hung together and I had to hurdle the occasional mud hole and frozen puddle. On one of the gradual hills, it sounded like Geoffrey struggled up it a little bit, which I hoped was a small chink in his armor. But then again, I had a college teammate who always sounded like he was giving birth but he would still go on and whoop you, so I didn't read too much into it.

Geoffrey would throw in a random small surge here and there and Connor and I wouldn't give him any breathing room.  We were finally off the gravel but still had a tough headwind, which had been a factor from the start.  A little bit over halfway, Geoffrey grabbed a cup of water at a stop, which was right before a hill.  I told Connor that I thought he was starting to struggle, so we pushed on the gas and immediately got a five meter gap. I wanted to press a little bit for the next few miles in hopes to break him, so we went from hanging around 5:20 pace to knocking out the next three miles in 15:40, even though there were a lot of climbs.  On one stretch, there was a long, gradual hill that had a stop sign at the end, so I told Connor we could relax at the stop sign.  But the joke was on him because I never told him which stop sign I was talking about and we continued to stay on pace.

After we hit 11 miles, we had about a 20-25 second gap, so we relaxed some and then cruised it in. Our plan was still to tie, so we slammed on the brakes the last 10 meters and crossed the line together, with the same time to the tenth of a second.  We then asked to be listed as a tie in the results but the dude in charge claimed Connor's big foot crossed the line first.  We then let him know it was by the torso, but he told us that he didn't have that technology. But it turned out he had a photo from a 45 degree angle that still called Connor the winner.  Bunch of haters.  The joke was on Connor though because someone later swiped his racing flats, tights and singlet.  I guess he may have a stalker or crazed groupie or something.

All in all, it was a great day for me.  Running a little bit over 70 minutes on this course, with a 12mph wind is probably worth something like 68 and change on a flat course in ideal conditions.  And the best part is that it felt really smooth and controlled at about the same effort as my 12 mile run last weekend.  Really the only bad thing about the race is that when I walked down my school's hallway Monday morning, one of my students said his dad ran that race and saw that I got beat. Thanks Connor

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January 26th-February 1st

Monday: 10 miles (6:39); 7 miles (7:25)

Tuesday: 8.7 miles (7:01); 8.5 miles with 6x20s strides(6:26)

Wednesday: 11 miles with 9 mile medium progression. Goal was five seconds a mile faster than a couple of weeks ago: three miles each in 18:45, 17:30, 16:15.  Ended up at 18:31 (6:13, 6:05, 6:13), 17:26 (5:50, 5:48, 5:48), 15:50 (5:28, 5:26, 4:56). First section was super easy but I had a nice tailwind for most of it.  The second section wasn't too bad, even though there was a strong headwind for about half of it.  I struggled a little bit the first two miles of the last section because it was mostly into a headwind.  On the last, I got a little push from behind and since I was 5:05 pace at .7 miles, I decided to push the last quarter and break 5:00. Felt decent afterwards and happy to see I'm getting more fit with each additional week; 9.1 miles (7:11)

Thursday: 9.9 miles (7:26); 7 miles (7:21)

Friday: 10.7 miles (6:26); 7.3 miles with 4x10s hill sprints (7:13)

Saturday: 21 miles with 12 miles fast. I was going to do a light but fast fartlek on Friday and a 12 mile moderate run on Sunday but the weather was supposed to be really bad on Sunday.  And since Joey Elsakr wanted to do 12 miles at 5:25 pace on Saturday, I decided to join up with him for that.  I was super intimidated for the workout because it was about 10s a mile faster than I wanted to run and I didn't want to hold him back or get whooped by the young'n.  We ended up at 5:22 pace for the 12 and it felt really good.  The first six went by really quickly before slowly getting a little bit of tiredness.  But once I hit 10, it was smooth sailing and a huge confidence boost.  Instead about being about 15-20s out of shape, per mile, I feel like it's now close to 10-15.  Afterwards, we celebrated at Jumbo and Delicious.   Also, I ran 133,1 miles in the last seven days, which is a new lifetime PR.

Sunday: 6.8 miles (7:35); Skipped second run.  Dreary, cold and rainy all day and I can enjoy a skipped run after a solid workout and heavy week.

Week Total: 117 miles. Great week overall.  Two solid runs and the best sign that I'm coming around is that my legs felt light and fresh all week long. Time for some hard training.