Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another week in the books

Lack of updates this week. Nothing really interesting happening, just the usual- running, working, family, eating and sleeping (not enough)

Sunday started off with a scare as my left achilles was so stiff and sore from the race the day before that I had to bail on my run with Spada, managing only 2.75 miles before calling it in to avoid further damage. After a day of tender loving care to the area I was okay on Monday and have been fine since, save for a bit of soreness immediately after yesterday's track workout. Just something I'm having to keep an eye on. Thursday and Saturday were my only workout days this week (although I did run harder than expected today at the end of my long run- harder than I should have done, oh well). Had a good tempo effort with messrs Holder, Linz and Spada on Thursday (will be very productive being able to train with these guys over the summer) and a short but not particularly sweet track workout yesterday. Today enjoyed a great group run at Mcmullen and turned on the gas for the last 5 miles. This week will be all about easy running with a workout on Wednesday and King Tiger 5k Saturday and then my big race the Friday after.

This week also saw the NCAA Div 2 champs being held in the QC. I managed to go on Saturday night and witnessed some great events, including a stellar performance from fellow blogger and Charlotte resident Meagan who followed up a fine 3rd place in the 10k on Thursday night with another All American performance in the 5k last night. Neely Spence took this one with an awesome front running display and the ability to kick off that with 400 to go!

Watching these guys and gals getting after it on the track definitely stirred my juices and gave me the taste for getting my spikes on this summer. Throughout June on Tuesday nights a track series is run at Myers Park HS and although I certainly won't be doing any of the races before my goal 5k i will definitely run at the next couple. I ran terribly in the mile there last year, barely breaking 5 minutes (!!) but hopefully the weekly track workouts I have been doing will put me in better shape than that this year. I will also be trying my hand at a 400 at one of them so I can try and post a respectable time for coach Budic's summer challenge! Speaking of whom he'll be down this week so we're going to hook up for a couple of runs, yay!!

Have a great week everyone! Great to have the Monday off tomorrow- time to remember those who sacrificed their lives to safeguard our freedoms. I'm going to take advantage of the day off and run at 8am and then the Mainwarings are heading to the JCC to check it out and become members so we can have a pool to go to for the summer!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Great Harvest Frustration

3rd. 16:36


- felt stronger than last race and held form much better
- ran alone again and positioned as high as I could, a good step ahead of next finisher
- err, that's it (other than the fabulous prize of bread, hat and apron from the sponsors!)

Frustrated I'm not running faster. I ran sub 16 three months ago! My workouts are indicating I'm in better shape than this. I'm hoping cutting back on the workouts will see improved times in my next 2 races- including today that was 4 hard workouts from Saturday to Saturday. Chill time!

5:13,5:12,5:18,0:54- clearly the course was long-maybe I can add that to my list of positives, probably worth 15 seconds at least.

Left achilles very stiff after- hope will be fine for tomorrow's early run with Spada- gonna be a slow one whatever!

Was good to do a new race though and I think they did a great job of pulling it off pretty smoothly considering all the hassles they had faced with regard to parking, etc. Having said that I didn't see the need to have the finish in the parking lot rather than on the straight road we had just run down! Standouts for me in this race were John pushing Jordan most of the way despite seemingly only half training the past few weeks, Jordan's gf Meghan with victory a week out from the NCAA D2 champs here in Charlotte and Chad pr in his first race as a married man despite only swimming for the past month. Maybe I should take that up!

Signing off with a snap of the big guns at today's race, post awards ceremony, pre bread feast

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hard earned rest

I didn’t know what to do with myself when I woke up this morning! Naturally I stirred at 5 (my normal get up time!) but this time instead of reluctantly swinging my legs over the edge of the bed and getting up I merely smiled and turned back over and went back to sleep! Yes, today was the first day in the past two weeks that I didn’t have to get up for a run. Of course after that I kept waking up again every few minutes but it was nice to be able to just get up when I wanted this morning.

After workouts Saturday, Monday and Wednesday and a race ahead on Saturday I took today off and will be going light tomorrow. My workouts have been going well (see r2w link to the right) and I’m confident that I’m going to have a better showing in one of my upcoming races. Whether that will be on Saturday we will see. It is a very tough course and I will still have those three recent workouts in my legs, but my confidence in my fitness is definitely growing. My new ‘goal’ race for this period of my training is a 5k in China Grove on Friday 11th June. It is a night race, straight out and back on the main street and is reputably fast- certainly faster than either of the 2 grand prix races I have before then anyway!

After June 11 I plan to chill out for a while, ‘regenerate’ while watching copious amounts of World Cup football (Eng-er-lund!!), before hitting the next phase of training again in July, gearing up for Greek Fest 5k in August and beyond that (don’t tell Tim yet!) a potential Fall marathon.

Until after Saturday’s race….

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend workouts

So Thursday and Friday were pretty bog standard ‘meat and potato’ days, just over 8 on Thursday and then 9 on Friday. Friday was originally going to be just 4 with workouts ahead Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, but I checked my email late on Thursday night and a few guys were meeting up near my house the next morning so I jumped at the chance to run with them rather than alone! As I drove home from work on Friday night I was pondering that before I got back to my desk on Monday morning I would have two more tough workouts in the bag plus an easy run in between- the weekend seems to extend nicely in front of you when youy look at things like that!

Saturday I ran a good, solid workout at Mcalpine with Aaron, AJ and Spada. I added on a few extra warm down miles than usual to make it my long run for the week too, so that I could take Sunday real easy before today’s workout. This left me pretty zapped actually and Sunday’s run was consequently no faster than 7:45 pace!

The rest of Saturday was spent playing with the kids and trying to recover from the workout before Lisa and I headed out in the evening to enjoy a few drinks and dinner to celebrate our 11th anniversary! In true Mainwaring style we were home by 9pm relieving the babysitter of her duties and getting to say goodnight to the kids before they fell off to sleep! Another nice ‘family’ day on Sunday and then an early night to prepare for the 5am wake up call for today’s workout.

The workouts are going well at the moment and the legs are feeling pretty good. Just a question of executing it in a race now. This Saturday I'll be toeing the line in the 4th race of the GP series and after a welcome 'down' week this week I'll be looking to perform better here than I did in the last race.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1,000 up

Wow, four days since my last post and I feel I've got a ton to write. I guess i should up date this daily but the problem is the only real opportunity I get is after the kids go to bed and with my ridiculous early morning running schedule I'm only about an hour behind them and there are more important things to be doing in that hour like eating and watching tv! Oh and my stretches/exercises of course....

Let's start off with the title of the post. Today I went over 1,000 miles for the year to date. My goal at the start of the year was to hit at least 2,500 miles this year for the first time (I get injured a lot!) so I'm well on track to do that at the moment, in spite of my 3 week hiatus in March with my calf problems.

Since the race, I've been ticking along pretty well. Saturday was a pure recovery day. I ran 7 or 8 miles very slowly, my legs were sore and I was just trying to promote recovery.

Sunday I woke up feeling a ton better so headed out on my own at 5am so I could get 15 miles in comfortably before the kids woke up and ensure Lisa got a lie in on Mother's Day. I headed out to check out the course for the next race in the GP series a week on Saturday. The weather had taken a distinct turn for the better and it was perfect for a run. I closed the last five miles of this in just over 30 minutes without really intending to pick it up too much so that was good. The course appears to be challenging to say the least but I would say a good race course with plenty of hills and corners where a lot of position swapping could well take place. I feel I need to redeem myself a little in that race after my sub par Twilight effort.

The rest of Sunday was fun as we celebrated Mother's day. The weather was beautiful and we hit up a new park we'd never been to before and had a picnic and goofed around for a while.

After a quick pit stop at Baskin Robbins for ice cream we got home to have the news confirmed that Chelsea had sealed the Premier League Title with a ridiculous 8-0 victory over Wigan. Disappointing but at least now I can focus all my attention on the upcoming World Cup. Cannot wait for the June 12th opener versus the US! I definitely anticipate bragging rights around here after that one!

Monday saw another easy day on the trails and then Tuesday it was time for another Miners Run which was most enjoyable. Typically I do a workout on Tuesday but this week I put it back a day to give my legs an extra day recovery from the race. Instead I headed out today and bashed out a solid effort at the PDS track. After a difficult workout last week and a sub par race I was a little concerned heading into this morning's effort but it went pretty well in the end and raised the confidence levels back up a bit

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Twilight recap

The evening started with a surprise. There I was doing some final strides before the race, minding my own business, when I hear a voice, "Captain!". I look to my right and there's Budic striding out getting ready to toe the line himself. Complete surprise, brilliant!

Anyway, five minutes later and we were off. As expected this was a tough one! The first mile was harder than expected because of the headwind that was gusting. In contrast to the Skyline race Jordan gunned it from the start and took Ryan Bender, Chris Bailey and another guy with him. This was too fast for me so I ended up running solo, which didn't help. The other three guys who had beaten me at Skyline were not there tonight.

Hit the first mile in 5:18 but was already working hard, which wasn't the plan! Second mile I felt I was pushing hard when really it should have been an 'easy' mile- 5:16. So I hit the hill on Cedar knowing the last mile was going to be hard. I gained on 4th place guy and took him coming up Trade. This was the only overtaking manoeuvre I was involved in the whole race! As we hit Stonewall I literally felt I was crawling up the hill and my form went all over the place but I held it together to finish pretty strong in the home straight. Immediately I was very disappointed with the time but I was pleased with the effort and the racing aspect as I ran this solo. I was way behind the top three but 'won' the second race. Jordan smoked the field in a very impressive 15:30 on a tough course and in tough conditions- windy, sunny, humid, high 80s.

A couple of days later to reflect and I've got to admit I'm not that happy with the race. The problem (and benefit!) with running the same race year after year is that you've always got something to compare your latest race against. I've run this race three times previously and this was by far my slowest effort. This is when the doubts creep in, especially as you're getting older in your 30s (!), "will I be able to run that fast again and even faster?". That is certainly the goal so it's just a question of getting back to work and seeing what comes of it.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday CRC

A few months back I wrote a post about the Charlotte Running Club and the impact it was having on the local running community. Well yesterday was the official one year anniversary of the Club. In honor of that a group of us headed out for a run last night before heading to a bar and doing a shot of Tequila (Cinco de Mayo!) and a 400m run. Happy birthday CRC!!

Prior to the run I scoped out Friday's course with Billy for a total run of 9.5 miles. It was hot out there and a good reminder of how hot it will be on Friday night for the race. Fun times ahead! Today is a rest day. My only workout will be downing as much water as I can during the day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Headed out the door at 5.15 this morning to meet up with Steve for our 5.45 call to the track. Temps were in the low 70s, dew point high 60s, it was going to be rough! Met up with a depleted mining crew as they were heading out on their run. I wished Jay, Mike B and Bill a nice run and carried on to the track to do some drills/strides before the workout. Steve joined me right on time as usual and we set off.

The workout was 1600 in 5:25, 2 1ks in 3:07, 600m in 1:48 finishing with another k in 3:00, 400m recovery jog between each interval. This is how it panned out….

Tried to find an 81 second groove immediately on the first interval. What I thought was going to be the comfortable part of the workout turned out to be tougher than expected though. Both Steve and I were breathing pretty heavy by the third lap even at the pace we were running- this was clearly going to be a long and painful one! Hit the mile in 5:23, on target, but effort wise already behind the eight ball! The first k was a relatively smooth 3:09, the second k a very unsmooth 3:09. As I jogged the 400m leading into the 600m I at least consoled myself with the thought that this one was going to be over quicker- only one lap to go after the first 200! I didn’t look at my watch during this interval, I just tried to run as efficiently as possible. 1:49. Happy with that but not looking forward to the final k! Have to confess I went to the well for the final repeat. Arms and legs were pretty much flailing everywhere as I tried to summon every part of oxygen I could into my lungs and I closed with a 3:11- way off schedule but certainly 3k effort if not pace!

Looking back I’m pretty satisfied with this workout. In spite of the conditions I hit most of the times apart from the last one. Having said that I spent a lot more energy than I would have liked and this might come back to haunt me on Friday night! Still, no run now until tomorrow evening, then Thursday off so the plan before Friday is to get as much sleep as possible and drink water until it is coming out my ears. I typically have been drinking at least 2 liters a day plus all my other fluid intakes, that is being ramped up to 3 starting from today!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dog days are back

So after another beautiful morning for running on Friday and another 8 miles in the bank with Jay, I woke to Saturday's workout and a change was in the air. As soon as I left my house and joined Spada, Billy and Adrian I could tell the long sleeve wasn't going to last long. 8 miles and a very encouraging workout later and it had been confirmed- the Charlotte summer humidity had begun and likely that will be it until September! Already consigned to the closet are all my running tops- shorts and sneakers easily sufficient from here on.

Saturday was a fun day after the workout. Helped Jay move across town then gathered up the girls and we had lunch at Brixx with Val, Lauren, Jay, the Hovis's, Bill, Billy and Jordan before heading to the Nature museum for the afternoon. Sunday saw another very early long run with Spada and victories for both Chelsea and Man U meaning that the season goes to the wire although Chelsea will comfortably beat Wigan next week to clinch the league. An ipod, solo run on the trails this morning which felt a lot harder than the 7:03 pace under the blanket of humidity- tomorrow's track workout could be interesting based on how I felt today. Hopefully I can do the workout justice though and take the rest of the week easy before Friday night's 5k down town, the third race of the GP series.

And good news received from Cleveland today- Coach Budic is planning on being in town next week and I may get to run three times with him!!

Enjoy the humidity everyone- hydrate well!