Monday, March 11, 2013

GHS Swamp Rabbit 13.1

Now, I can look myself in the mirror and say, "you were wrong." For the last couple years following my surgeries I convinced myself I just wasn't built to run long distances. The past 3 months, and especially Saturday, erased any and all doubt in my mind.  I don't know what else to say, but it's an amazing here goes...
Fighting the women talking about the bachelor
There's been enough build up to the race so I don't see any reason to re-hash the details. Jer flew in late Thursday night, so we didn't have much time to do anything other than talk race strategy. I took Friday off work so we could go do our packet pick-up and I could show Jer the race course. He was rather interested in the hills that comprised miles 11-13. We wrapped up driving around, had lunch, came home to do a little work, then I had to coach my little leaguers that evening. We finished up Friday with a nice pasta dinner (still not sure this makes a difference, I ate extremely heavy at this meal). I'm usually not a great sleeper but I managed to nod off around 11:00, thank the Lord.
I don't understand, where is everyone?
Saturday morning came quickly - and it was cold. I mean, cold. Like Jer was complaining that Colorado was warmer. We all donned sweats to the start line as we thankfully had my wife and dad there to take our things before starting. We stretched, stood in line for a last minute pee break, and shuffled quickly to the start line. Here occurs what ended up being the funniest part of the day by far. Jer came into this raced focused on setting a 13.1 PR. All the variables were in his favor, especially the thick South Carolina air and the fast Swamp Rabbit course. As the gun sounds, Jer is caught up fiddling with his iPod and shoe laces, failing to realize the rest of the field has left the starting block. Literally, he was the last person to cross the start line. Recipe for success right?

Also - I have to highlight my friend Mike, also known as the second most photogenic guy in history right? Seriously I've never seen someone so happy to torture their body. Congrats!
Not much to talk about for during the race. It was pretty standard...I felt good the whole way through, but the ever present thought of wearing down was in my mind. I knew the end had a couple hills so I was careful to save some energy for the finish. To be honest, I probably left some time out there on the course. I wound my way through the course, hitting the aid stations at miles 8, 10, and 12. The station at 12 was really the only one I was craving something, even though I knew it wouldn't have a single physical effect on my performance. But mentally, it was nice to pound a Hammer shot. The two hills at the end definitely weren't easy, but my plan of conserving energy worked to perfection and coasted comfortably up and over both. The top of the second hill left roughly a quarter mile to the finish, which everyone tells me I looked smooth and powerful over...they were convinced I had plenty in the tank. Maybe, maybe. 

One thing that doesn't get enough attention with these races is the support behind the scenes. I can't tell you how much my wife did on race day to make it easy on me, let alone the 3 months of rarely seeing me in the evenings because I would come home and go straight into a workout. She deserves a huge shout out, so here it is. To her credit, all the photography from the race is straight from the amateur hands of Mrs. Clydesdale. And she caught some stellar shots, highlighted now:

Only one thing is going through my head when imagining the old man's thoughts....

Who is this wild banshee? And why is his shirt unzipped so far?

You have to admit, Jer looks pretty calm at the 11.5 mile mark. 

All joking aside, this was an amazing race. I can't thank my brother enough for being an integral piece in this whole process, all from 1800 miles away. I can't express just how influential he's been in my life the past few years, and this is just one small example.  I doubt I ever would've done something like this if it weren't for him and we had a hell of weekend together.

So...the results, right? My first 13.1 - 2:04:24 chip time. I was hoping to break two hours, but hey I'll take it. Jer on the other hand was quite impressive. He achieved his PR and finished 27th overall, despite the slow start clocking in at 1:29:48. So there you go...a brief, not quite detailed, roughly guided recap of what happened Saturday. Other than what's previously stated, we ate our faces off afterward. Freaking amazing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Excited About New Shoes....yet not really....

One Year...
600+ miles...
Two Pairs...
Three, just three?

Regardless, it was time for some new shoes (as previously discussed a couple posts back). I try to support the local running stores here in town, and since I had some store credit I went ahead and jumped for the GTS 13's. First run tonight and DAMN what a difference! I was really starting to feel the effects of adding mileage on some worn down treads lately, so tonight felt like running on pillows with springs on the bottom.

I think I mentioned a brief brush with pain a couple weeks ago when I started to feel some pulling in my right calf, but I'm starting to think that could also be attributed to the old shoes. No sign of injury recently and the runs are still just clicking along. Six and half weeks to go and I'm feeling pretty good. The long weekend runs are the ones I'm most interested in at the moment. As long as I can complete the mileage I'll be happy.

So, about the whole "not excited" part. After Brooks killed the color options on the 11th and 12th edition, the 13th comes in rather mundane if you ask me. Brooks returned back to a look similar to the X edition. You pretty much get red/white or blue/white. Blah. I actually reserved my pair on the phone, so I wasn't sure what I was getting when I picked them up today. Thank God they were the blue. I hate red. I don't think I should have to explain myself.

So here we are, the last four pairs of Adrenaline shoes...guessing I threw all other former pairs out in the trash, but I absolutely LOVE this shoe.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mental Humpin'

Well, my ultimate nightmare for the P200 & 13.1 has been realized. I'm going to die if the weather is anything like tonight....

Cold ( ~40*)
Windy ( Gusts at 30 mph )
Rain. Real rain.

But my goal was to let as few things as possible interrupt my training schedule, so I set out in the elements. Seems pretty important to me to have the right gear for bad weather, especially the rain. Pretty easy to work around the cold, but nothing is worse than being wet. At least not to me. If I'm wet for any reason other than:

a.) working out
b.) swimming
c.) showering

...I'm not happy. My Brooks LSD jacket did the trick tonight for both the wind and the rain, fortunately. I think they should start paying me for endorsement as much as I mention their products.

So that brings me to my question. What gets you over the mental hump during a run? Whether it be pain, cold, rain, disinterest, etc...what keeps the legs churning? I think it varies based on the session, but for me I ventured off to thinking about work and some lingering issues I'm dealing with. That's sad, if you ask me, but hey it worked. So, what is it for you? Music? Running Group? Let's hear it!

And just for entertainment value, I offer you this....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Half Marathon Kick Off

This week marked the official kick off of 13.1 training as we are now 12 weeks out from the race. I'm using Hal Higdon's Novice One plan as guidance but will most likely improvise along the way a little. Best example being that my long weekend runs are already six+ miles. I think the biggest change in routine will have to do with number of runs per week. I'm used to three runs, so hopefully the additional day and mileage have ONLY a positive affect.

So...what better way to kick off training (outside of the seven miler on Sunday) than to post-surgery PR a 5k run. Bested the previous PR from earlier this month by roughly 25 seconds. Best part was feeling awesome during not quite ideal weather conditions. This evening it was roughly 45 degrees with wind gusts up to 30 mph. It did give me a chance to field test some new apparel (yay Christmas!). So I can give my best two thumbs up to the following items:

Brooks LSD Lite III - lightweight but amazing as far as wind protection. I was extremely warm despite the conditions, plus it contours well to the body. Only a typical tech t-shirt as a base layer. Well worth the money IMO.

Saucony Gloves - basically these gloves, without the weird Euro design. They're lightweight as well, but excellent wind protection. I would say they run big as a medium was plenty of room for my hands.

With all that said, I'm pretty much checked out for the week. Friday, I'm off to Colorado to visit my brother and sister-in-law for NYE. I promise a report from what is certain to be a frigid weekend run. CAN'T WAIT

Sunday, December 23, 2012

More Milestones

In lieu of holiday indulgence, I actually decided to venture out on a run this evening in hopes of diverting any Christmas weight gain. Not to mention, this week "officially" started my half marathon 12-week training program. I would say that the training got off to a good start...1:05 and 7.1 miles. This marks the longest run I've completed since junior year of college prior to breaking my leg. Needless to say, this is extremely encouraging as I jump into 2013 full bore staring down the barrel at the half marathon.

So onto some gear talk: I've already been given a couple REI and Academy Sports gifts cards for Christmas, and I'm ready to do some strategical shopping for the winter season. On my list is:

1. Gloves - lightweight, breathable. I lost a nice pair during the move. Since I'm a big fan of Brooks apparel, considering these:

Night Life Gloves

2. Long Sleeve Shirts - Love REI's poly/spandex tech shirts Found Here

3. Shoes - still trying to decide on new shoes and will probably try to find a cheap pair of the GTS 11's that I mentioned a few weeks ago. If no luck there, then it's on to the 12th addition. Although, I'm doing more research into the PURE line from Brooks...not sure if they offer enough control for my gait though.

Good luck to those running holiday races, and Merry Christmas! Put together a plan for 2013 that has you pounding more pavement!

Monday, December 10, 2012

5K PR!

I'm rather swamped these days; even more so than I used. I used to think I was swamped, but those days are long gone. Today, I started a new job (again). Basically, I was expecting your typical orientation type first day but what I encountered was quite the opposite. Sat down, fired up my computer and was given a project that needs a finished contract by the week's end. Oh, and I haven't done what I'm doing now in three years. So heeeerrreeeeeee weeeeeeeee gooooooooo!

Running has really taken a back seat the past week or so. Last week I was busy transitioning my old job accounts to new people, followed by an early departure to Richmond for a wedding weekend. It's hard to complain too much about the weekend as I got to play golf twice and indulge in a tremendous amount of free booze...speaking of...the groom was a friend of mine from Clemson...we warned the bride's father that he would need plenty of bourbon at the reception. They ran out of bourbon...then ran to the store for more...and ran out again...ran to the store yet again...and yes, ran out once more. Anyway, I think I'm supposed to be bragging about running accomplishments right?

December update - haven't run in a week I believe - and PR'ed tonight in the 5K. As always, I'm referring to the post surgery PR numbers. 27:04 & an 8:40 pace. Probably not a coincidence, but I also cracked 200 lbs tonight. The battle with the Clydesdale mark continues....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Muuuur Crimmus

Well, a mere seven months after purchasing our house and we finally have a relatively finished living room. My wife did a great job decorating for Christmas, and we finally bought a TV for "her" room. I say "finally" because the man room has been set up since the day we moved in. Anyway, as they say, "if momma's happy, everyone's happy".

So, here's what I'm battling right now. It's about time for new shoes and I'm doing my due diligence. I'm a huge Brooks fan, specifically the Adrenaline GTS. I've owned every pair since the 5th edition. Currently, I'm rotating two pairs of the 11th edition and it is clearly the best shoe I've ever worn. Now, here's the kicker...Runners World just announced the GTS 13th edition as their editor's shoe of the year. I mean, I have to try it right??? But why go away from a good thing especially with four critical months upcoming? Plus there's the cost issue...if I can find a pair (or two) of 11's online, I could pretty much get both pairs for the cost of one pair of the 13's. Plus the 13th edition has terrible colors, you know, because that's pretty important. What have your experiences? Thoughts in general?

Training these days is mostly maintaining. I have about three weeks to go until the official 13.1 training begins. Last couple runs have been good, although I'm starting to develop a little pain in the arch of my left foot. Going to do some research on plantar fasciitis and pray that's not what is going on here.