Saturday, July 31, 2010

Long Trail Run

Met up with a great crew at Francis Beatty Park for my first run ever there. I'm not a big fan of trails but enjoy the change of scenery from time to time. It was fun and my legs got a good bit of time under them without doing too much damage on the soft stuff. Also used muscles that don't typically get recruited on normal runs- maybe sore tomorrow!

We did three loops in 51, 45 and 44 minutes, no idea of mileage but we guessed at just over 6 for each loop. Girls were cranking it on loops two and three, their lighter weight and lower centers of gravity a big advantage over lanky uncoordinated me!

We'll see if I can close this week out with a half decent workout tomorrow. Whatever I will hit 80 plus for the first ever time- all in singles!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mcalpine recovery

Not much to say about today's run except I had good company (Jay, Aaron, Brian and Chris) and the pace was nice and chilled for the 9 mile loop we did. Looking forward to the weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Booty Loop Tempo

The Booty Loop is probably the best known outdoor fitness location in Charlotte. It winds around one of the more exclusive residential areas in Charlotte and offers runners and cyclists relatively safe and hilly terrain. Everyone knows about the Booty Loop. This weekend sees the 24 hours of Booty eventa Cancer fund raising event named specially after the loop. Here it was this morning that myself and Caitlin's crew did our respective workouts.
They were doing 3*3 mile, I had 8m AT Tempo on the schedule.

Despite the loop's notoriety, I had in fact never run the loop before! Portions of it yes but not the whole thing. As we headed off on our respective workouts up Queens Road West I had to confirm the route I was supposed to take as I pulled away from the group- they were running just over 6 minute pace, me just below 6 minutes.

I had a good workout, the terrain is ideal for a good hard tempo run with a mile of uphill followed by a flat mile finishing with a downhill mile. I did 2 loops (just under 6 miles) and headed into Freedom Park to finish it off on some flatter terrain! I was pretty zapped by the time I made it back to the Dowd but sitting here now a few hours later I feel fine and ready to close out the week over the next three days

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Legs started feeling as if they were coming round yesterday evening so I planned to do a workout this morning. However, with others doing a workout Thursday I also had the option of taking another 'easy' day and pushing the workout back a day so that I could have some company. I still hadn't 100% decided what I wanted to do as I left the house this morning! I had my flats on but as I was warming up for a potential workout I made the decision to just get an easy run in and be ready to hit a workout hard tomorrow. The legs felt decent at last and hopefully I'm fully recovered from the race now. I'd better be with 44 miles and 2 workouts planned over the next 4 days....

Fantastic news from Barcelona yesterday where the Brits swept Gold and Silver at the European Championships 10k. People are actually moaning that these were only the European Championships and there were no Africans (or Americans!) present but who cares they still won and is a great boost to British endurance running. Of course they are never going win medals on the World stage but seeing them on the top of the podium at these Championships will hopefully prove inspirational for other runners and kids who are starting to run. Good job Mo and Chris and good luck in the 5k!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Miners' Run

Hadn’t done the Miners Run for a while. Typically Tuesday is a workout day for me so although I often see the Miners every Tuesday I rarely get to run with them much. Ironic today then that I only got to run with three miners and 2 of them did their own workout. Still it was good to chat to Brian for the bulk of the run and an ‘easy’ way to get some good miles in. More miles than anticipated in fact as having run up to PDS (just over 2 miles) I reset my watch so when I looked at my watch during my ‘second run’ and added on some miles to get to my planned 10 I had now in fact run over 12. Not really what my knackered legs would have liked but this gets me 2 ahead of schedule in what is planned to be a record breaking week- might need those extra miles in the bank later in the week!

As I said, my legs still feel pretty beat up since the weekend! I’m still trying to decide which days I am going to get my workouts and long run in but don’t want to force anything- we’ll see how I wake up in the morning….

Monday, July 26, 2010

A run of two halves

Needing to make up for my missed long run yesterday I emailed a plea for some company on today's 16 miler. Luckily Jay came up with the goods. I was going to run to Lauren's house, pick him up and run back to mine so he could get his 8 in and I'd give him a ride home. So at 4.45am I left the house and headed off towards Providence Road. It was miserable! Even by recent standards the humidity felt ridiculous (it later transpired that the dew point had read 76- according to coach's blog this meant conditions were "very uncomfortable, fairly oppressive") and after 4 miles I was already thoroughly drenched and dehydrated. This, coupled with my tummy not feeling great meant for a death march along Providence. Luckily though Lauren's church had some sprinklers going off full tilt so I was able to stop there and stand in the water for a couple of minutes. Then I met Jay and he had a nice chilled bottle of water ready for me. A few gulps of that and a ceremonial dump of the remainder over my head and I was starting to perk up a bit. The run home was far more tolerable and I thoroughly appreciated Jay's contribution!

Legs are still very sore from Saturday so I'm going to continue to take it day by day as to when I will get my workouts in this week. The schedule I have set myself will have me hitting 80 miles in a week for the first time ever....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Week in review

60 miles(goal 70), 7 runs (no 'long'), a successful 6*1600 workout and 4m race

80 miles, an AT Tempo and LT Tempo workout, and two long runs on the agenda next week.

Recovery run

Today I was meant to run 16 miles. I was also going to have to do it early and solo as I needed to get it done before 7 so that Lisa could have her weekly lie in. As you will know from my previous post, this wasn't going to happen! Legs felt trashed from the race! Instead I slapped on the calf sleeves and headed out down to Mcalpine at 9am and ran an easy 6 just to try and flush some of the crap out of the system. It's days like these where you have to listen to your body and change your plans if necessary. I will hope to get the 16 miler in tomorrow instead

Emerging from the funk

1 1/42 1/326 Jordan Kinley 26 M 484 CHARLOTTE NC 20:25
2 1/49 2/326 Paul Mainwaring 35 M 6 CHARLOTTE NC 21:30
3 2/42 3/326 Greg Isaacs 26 M 2 CHARLOTTE NC 21:34
4 3/42 4/326 Jason Holder 26 M 1 CHARLOTTE NC 21:44
5 1/56 5/326 Bert Rodriguez 30 M 673 ARLINGTON VA 22:01 *
6 4/42 6/326 Alejandro Arreola 28 M 3 CHARLOTTE NC 22:03
7 2/49 7/326 Aaron Linz 37 M 488 CHARLOTTE NC 22:16
8 5/42 8/326 Brian McMahon 28 M 686 CHARLOTTE NC 22:21
9 1/15 9/326 Richard Harris Jr. 24 M 85 HICKORY NC 22:32
10 2/56 10/326 Mike Beigay 32 M 491 CONCORD NC 22:37
11 6/42 11/326 Billy Shue 26 M 58 CHARLOTTE NC 22:37
12 7/42 12/326 Chad Crockford 28 M 40 CHARLOTTE NC 22:50
13 1/69 1/297 Meagan Nedlo 27 F 19 CHARLOTTE NC 23:08
14 1/6 13/326 Corey Tretsky 19 M 26 ROCK HILL SC 23:13
15 3/56 14/326 Kent Morris 30 M 718 CHARLOTTE NC 23:15
16 1/22 15/326 Stephen Spada 45 M 4 CHARLOTTE NC 23:17

* would have been 2nd but for missed turn

At last a satisfactory race performance, probably my first since I ran 15:58 at Cupids Cup in February. Race morning dawned with some good news on the 'competitive' front. Aaron would indeed be toeing the line and Mike Beigay was going to be racing sans stroller. It was very hot and humid but I was mentally and physically prepared for that. Warmed up with Jay,Mike, Kent, Spada and Aaron and was ready to go.

There was interesting news right at the front of the race too. Bert Rodriguez (to my knowledge previously unbeaten in Charlotte races) was in town and would certainly give Jordan something to think about. As the race started, those two immediately took off. Jay followed, then Mike, and Aaron and I found ourselves next to each other. We both joked that it would be nice to not bother racing and just watch the race up front between Jordan and Bert! The first mile was pretty much straight uphill. As the race settled down I moved up to Jay and Mike's side and the three of us formed the 'chase group' behind the front two. Mike was clearly strong on the hills and I always consider hills a strength of mine so this first mile was a question of getting myself into a good race position without taxing myself too much in the heat. We went through the mile in 5:32 which was fine by me.

As the course flattened out and we moved onto East, Jay and I got some separation from Mike and for the next mile and a half literally ran side by side, feeling each other out, considering options about the race and wondering how this was going to play out. We'd said in the week that we would likely be running together and here we were! At about 2.5 miles there was a water stop and for probably the first time in a race of under 10k I actually made sure that I took a cup, had a sip and threw the rest over my head- it was hot alright!

It was just about here that I managed to create a small gap on Jay. The move had been made now and I had a mile and a half to try and stay out in front. I was now running up a very straight road on Worthington and was the prey for all the guys behind! We turned on Lyndhurst and there was a short sharp uphill before we turned on to Mcdonald and ran down the same road we had started up. In the distance I could see that Jordan had dropped Bert and Bert seemed to have missed a turn but was too far ahead for me to have said anything! Coming down Mcdonald I tried to open up and bring it home. It didn't feel like I was and the finish seemed an eternity away but I did indeed close this mile in 5:10 and I crossed the line pretty satisfied. Turning round I discovered that Greg had progressed in typical fashion through the field and had pipped Jay for third. Bert had found his way back to the course and came home next, followed by the rest of the usual suspects coming in close to each other, some happier than others with their results. Jordan had dominated in his usual fashion and run a truly impressive time in the heat.

After a short warm down with Jordan, Meagan, Cory and Billy and the Awards it was off to Big Daddy's for a super breakfast with a few members of the Charlotte Running Club and then home to spend the rest of the day messing around with the kids. Good times.

All in all I was pretty happy with the way the race played out. I raced wisely, not even worrying about splits, etc. and my approach paid off. Training has been solid lately and at last I had a race that reflected that.

The heat really did take it's toll though. Waking up this morning my legs certainly aren't ready to run 16 miles so I am going to take it easy and push my long run back until tomorrow. It means that this week will be 60 rather than 70 miles and next week will be 80 rather than 70, but that should work well as I have a 'down week' after the 80 anyway.

Shout outs to everyone who layed it on the line Saturday. It was certainly one of the hottest days of racing I had ever experienced but we took it on and got it done. Two weeks till the next GP race......

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Dowd Run

Today’s run was the becoming legendary 6am Charlotte Running Club run from the Dowd YMCA. Week in week out you can turn up at the back porch of the Dowd YMCA at 6am and know you are going to meet up with a bunch of likeminded individuals eager to bash out a 7-9 mile run at 7-7:30 pace, rain or shine. The route is the same each week and depending on what distance people decide upon you either do the short, medium or long Colville loop- generally the latter which gives you a good 9 mile run.

I consider 9 miles at 7 minute pace my ‘meat and potatoes’ run, my default run if you like. Any shorter than an hour and it is likely to be a recovery or pre race run, any faster and it’s a workout, any longer and we’re getting into ‘long run’ territory. So being able to share my meat and potatoes with a bunch of other people is ideal rather than doing it on my own!

This morning was no different and give or take a few exceptions (notably the Crockfords and CRC President Linz) the usual faces were ready to roll out at 6am. Two points to note here. Firstly AJ wasn’t there. Although his bright and breezy demeanor and company would be sadly missed the pace he sets on these runs wouldn’t- we could hopefully count on none of the miles being sub 7 pace now. Secondly, Spada WAS there. This is rare. Steve likes to be done and breakfasting by 6am and has an undeniably logical theory that driving further than you are going to run is a futile exercise! He isn’t one for hanging around and will often park his car as close to the finish line as possible at races so that he can be home before most people have even finished the race- and we love him for it!

Anyway, back to the run and I have to say my legs felt a whole lot better than yesterday. There’s a lot to be said for those recovery runs at 8 mile pace. It may surprise a few people that someone who typically runs at 7 minute pace does run at 8 minute pace from time to time but I have done it a few times now and it really does seem to make a difference, especially after a particularly hard workout like I had on Tuesday. This morning we did the long loop so 9 miles and then I tagged on an extra mile and a half at the end plus some striders in the parking lot to take the run to 11 miles and set myself up for a day off tomorrow before the race on Saturday.

The race should be fun from a competitive standpoint. Up front Jordan will likely put on his usual dominating performance and you can normally count on one ‘surprise entrant’ showing up. Behind, there are a bunch of guys who so far this season have finished just behind me and who knows how fit they have been able to get in the 7 weeks since the last race? Also, Aaron (possibly) and Jay will be toeing the line. For one reason or another the three of us have rarely toed the line together when we are all fit. At our most recent race in a 5k a few weeks back Jay thoroughly had my measure and he will again on Saturday if I run like I did at last week’s race. We joked this morning that Saturday would be a great deal easier if we both just ‘jogged’ together until the last downhill and then just raced from there. It’s going to be hot and humid out there and people are going to have to be ready for a lot of hurt!

By frontloading my mileage this week I am able to experiment with a day off tomorrow before the race and still get my planned 70 in for the week. Typically I always run the day before a race but I am trying something different this time round as I try to pull myself out of my racing ‘funk’. Check back in on Saturday and see how it all shook out….....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recovery acres

Today was a question of getting some easy miles in to flush the crap out of my legs from the double on Monday and workout yesterday. My legs felt awful and the humidity stifling but luckily I had the company of Aaron, Jay and Spada again and we made it through the 9 mile run at barely an 8 minute mile pace. I'm hoping I feel up to 9 or 10 tomorrow morning as then I will be able to take the day off on Friday and still hit my 70 for the week.

Looking forward to getting back to GP racing at the weekend. A solid performance in what is a 'double points' race should cement my current 2nd position overall

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Met up with Spada, Aaron and Jay for this one- no way I wanted to do this one solo! First thing I noticed as I walked out the door that yesterday morning’s temps were just an anomaly. It was hot and sticky already (at 5:20am!) so this was going to be tough! Went pretty well though. Originally I was down for doing 6*1600 with 400 jog (2 min) recovery in around 5:25. It transpired that the recoveries were a decent bit longer than this on average so the paces I managed to get down to on the last couple need to be put in perspective. Legs felt pretty decent though and workout was under control which was the main aim. Now got to start converting these workouts into races!

5:30 (first lap 87!)

Monday, July 19, 2010

6 at 6 and 7 at 6

Double day today. Needing 70 miles this week and with a race on Saturday I decided I would frontload the week and get two runs in today. First up I met Jocelyn at RFYL at 6am and we did a run around the 4 mile course with a bit added on at the end. This was a nice run as firstly the air seemed a lot fresher this morning and my legs felt light and peppy in acknowledgement and secondly I hadn't seen Jocelyn for ages and it's always good to catch up with her news. She's visiting Chester with work soon and Chester is less than 30 miles from where my family live in England! The only down side of this run was reminding myself what a tough first mile the race on Saturday will cover!

After doing the obligatory day at work it was time for the second run of the day and I met up with Caitlin(fresh from her stunning 17:01 and 3rd place at Beat the Heat on Saturday) and Jason. At first all I could think was how bloody hot it was but as the miles passed and the conversation flowed the heat became less of an issue and in the end I notched over 13 miles today without feeling too much the worse for wear. Just as well as tomorrow am 6*1600 at PDS looms....

Then home to make sure the parrot was okay and watch Contador controversially grab the yellow from Schleck. Whatever you think about the 'ethics' of Contador's move, one thing's for sure, Schleck is going to go nuts in the mountains tomorrow!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week in review

Think I'll start doing this again. At least it will mean that I update the blog once a week!

66 miles(goal 60), 9 runs (no 'long'), a successful AT workout, a 5k win where I ran awfully, 1 swim.

70 miles, a 6*1600 workout, 4 mile race and 16 mile run on the agenda next week....

Easy like Sunday

A nice relaxing and productive day began with a lie in until 6:45! I can't remember the last time I got up when it was light outside! Watched the Tour and the last few holes of the Open and did some jobs around the house. I'd already hit my goal of 60 miles for the week so today's run was going to be short and easy. I decided I would run up to the JCC where I could relax, catch some rays, read my book (fittingly enough "Schindler's List"!) and have a swim before running back home. Both runs were uneventful though hot!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A splash, a dash, and a parrot

So shortly after completing the post below I headed out the door to run up to the Harris Y where Billy and Chad were competing at the Splash and Dash- a 400m swim followed by a 5k run. I had a 15 mile long run on the schedule so I decided (sorry Tim) that I would split the run in two pieces- before and after the race.

The 8 miles there passed nicely. After the usual shuffle of the first two miles I was handily clicking off 6:20s towards the end as I tried to eliminate the negative thoughts about last night's race. It was 7.10 when I arrived at the race, in plenty of time for the 7:30 start, only the race had started at 7! So I missed Billy and Chad's swim but caught the start of their respective runs. The event was a little weird for a hardcore runner like me. The swim started in waves depending on the time you had put down as being capable of. Consequently, you are racing against the clock rather than one on one. As Billy and then Chad finished up I could tell that Chad had gained a little on Billy but not by much. It was over to the timing tent where it was revealed that Billy had edged out Chad by all of 2 seconds. They had swum the same time, Billy had beaten Chad by 17 seconds in transition and then Chad had gained 17 seconds back on the run. Billy got the benefit of rounding I guess and took his first ever race victory- well done Billy!

After the awards ceremony it was time to run back. Unfortunately 2 hours had passed now and the relative cool of 6 am was long forgotten and the sun was beating down alongside the humidity. Fortunately though, Chad and Danielle, Chris Bailey and Jay also needed some miles so we headed off together back to my house. At this point Jay offered me a deal. He would run all the way back to my house if I drove him back to his house. Of course I accepted and we made it back via two water stops as the heat intensified.

It was then time to rehydrate, refuel and get myself positioned nicely on the sofa in front of the British Open, perfect napping conditions! An hour later the phone rang to wake me from my bliss and so began the story behind the third subject of my title. One of Lisa's friends needed their Quaker Parrot looked after for a couple of days. Who better than pet averse hubbie to do the job?! So a meeting point was arranged and here I am now watching the golf with Mickey. Lisa had assured me that looking after a bird would be easy and it would only be for a couple of days. Actually it is for a week and when I picked up Mickey her owner had a full crate of paraphernalia that I needed to remember what to do with, including a book that I was told I should read! So far I have ascertained that Mickey likes golf, crackers and apples but not raisins and bread and is showing no interest in jumping up on to my hand which will need to happen soon if I am going to be able to take her outside later which apparently I have to do! The next few days could be interesting!

Ups and downs

First of all, apologies for the lack of posts lately. I find with this blog that if I miss one or two days I start to let it slide ("I'll update it tomorrow..."). So I am resolving to try and update it every day from now on. Means it will be pretty boring and probably just a recap of each day's run unless anything else exciting happens but at least I won't be going two or three weeks at a time without updating this thing.

So a quick summary of what has happened since my last post and from now on I hope more regular posts will be forthcoming.

The ups

- Cracked the sub 60 at last (58:87)
- Received Richmond training plan from Coach
- Said Coach paid a visit and was able to get two runs in with him
- First two workouts on the plan were very solid
- Lisa and the kids away equals more free time than I can wish for and endless sport watching possibilities on TV (TDF, World Cup, Open)

The downs

- Lisa and the kids away equals missing them badly.... :-(
- Ran a HORRIBLE 5k last night in Concord. A win is a win but my time was terrible (16:41) and I had nothing in the third mile-all I was doing during that mile was thinking what could be wrong (diet? lack of sleep? iron levels? old age?) Decided afterwards not to over analyse and just see what next week's 4 mile race (6th race of the RFYL Grand Prix after a 7 week hiatus) brings....

Right that's it, I'm running (literally) off to the Splash and Dash to watch Billy and Chad lay it down.