Friday, December 31, 2010

Night and Day

Miles 9
Time 1:04:50

Well that was a pleasant surprise. I woke up this morning feeling markedly better in myself and went out and actually had a decent enough run. The company and hour certainly helped. Being off work and with the girls still up in VA I was able to hijack Ben and John's run with Meagan and Billy and we ran around a still muddy and partially snowy Mcalpine again. I'm still shaking this bug thing I've got but certainly felt a lot better today.

Still feel really sluggish though, legs very heavy. My hamstrings are so tight that they are noticeably sore and it is definitely affecting my turnover and efficiency. One of my New Year resolutions is to improve my flexibility and dedicate myself to stretching and massaging better next year. Without improving this aspect I've got no chance of getting faster. Speaking of which, two of my aims for the early part of 2011 are to beat both my 5k and 10k PRs. The 10k will be at Richmond in April, the 5k will likely be one of the Spring track meets. The rest of 2011 is as yet undecided. A Fall marathon is definitely a possibility but may leave it a little longer.

Here's to a great 2011! Hangover run at Mcalpine tomorrow, my competitors will be more hungover than me that's for sure but I am looking forward to having a few drinks and seeing the Year in with Lisa and Emily.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Run down

Miles- 17
Time 2:04:28

I ran twice today. This morning was the usual Dowd run and I felt fine, enjoying a good chat with Kevin, Tom and Jamaar who I have rarely run with previously. This afternoon I took advantage of being let out of work early and my family's continuing vacation in VA to run solo at Mcalpine. Well that run absolutely sucked! I trudged around in the mud barely capable of maintaining a 7 minute pace and almost stopped to walk during the last mile. I've been run down all week fighting a virus and this afternoon was the culmination of this. I did a half ass track workout yesterday that can also be put down to this so I'm going to play it by ear the next few days and get back to 100% as soon as possible. I was looking forward to running the CRC Hangover 5k on Saturday but i may now just be a spectator.

Hey, it's New Year's Eve tomorrow. Wishing all my reader(s) a very Happy New Year and a wonderful 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Miners' Yawn

Miles 8
Time 59:38

Felt completely blah on this morning’s Miners Run. I stayed up half the night watching England demolish the Aussies in the cricket so when 5am rolled around and I had to get up for this it felt like I had never even been to bed! I was a very quiet member of the Group this morning and felt like I could fall asleep any moment as we headed back along the last mile of the greenway back to Old Bell. Pulled the plug on the workout I was going to do later in the day and put it off till tomorrow when hopefully I’ll feel better after a decent night’s sleep

Monday, December 27, 2010

Frozen Mcalpine

Miles 6
Time 41:58

With sub zero temperatures re-freezing the mess left behind from yesterday's snow, I decided to work from home this morning so I could go in once the roads had thawed a bit. This gave me the opportunity to get my run in at Mcalpine again. The trees still look beautiful with all the snow on them but underfoot it's a mess there with plenty of ice. Tomorrow's Miners' run there at dark 30 in sub 20 conditions could be interesting!

Lisa and the girls headed up to VA for a few days and my parents are safely home so the house is eerily quiet! At least I can watch plenty of cricket and football in peace for a few days

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Week in review

Miles 58
1 long run, 1 day off, 1 double, 1 workout, 1 snow run

Well this was originally planned as a cutback week with 50 miles and 2 workouts but I ended up only doing one workout as my Tuesday run turned into my long run, pushing my workout back to Friday and today's snow curtailed any chance of the 2nd workout being done. However, Christmas Eve's double pushed my mileage for the week up so I'll take it as a wash. I'm ready to get some structure and discipline back into my training though as we head into the New Year.....

Boxing Day Snow Run

Miles 8
Time 56:00

An even 7 minute mile pace for today's run. Woke up to a few inches of snow and headed into Mcalpine at lunch time to have a rare fun run on the white stuff. Enjoyed it! Brought to an end a bit of a weird week of training but more of that in my review of the week.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I got a run in!

Miles 4
Time 29:28

Admittedly it was at 3:15am but still....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Double

Miles 17
Time 1:58

Anticipating a likely zero on Christmas Day I decided to get two runs in today. This morning I hit the workout I had originally planned for Wednesday. I met up with Aaron, Spada and Mike K at Old Bell and we jogged out to the 4 mile mark. As we hit Margaret Wallace on the way back, we turned the burners on. My goal was to get back to Old Bell at about 5:20 pace. Aaron took me through mile 1 in 5:18 then I was solo for the second always slower mile in 5:23 and hit the last one in 5:16. I carried on into Old Bell to get the full 5k distance in 16:35. It would be a stretch to say it was a tempo effort as I was pretty much balls out but I'm still pretty happy with how it went, especially as it was probably about 20 degrees (I wore my new shorts and arm sleeves and both rocked!)

Later on in the day I decided to head out again (without having showered from the morning run) and I actually felt decent again. My ipod kept cranking out great tracks and the weather was fantastic so I really enjoyed this! We'll see if I can get out tomorrow- the only chance will be if the kids sleep 'as normal' and I can get a few in at 5am- unlikely though!

My Richmond award came today and it was a pretty nice plaque which they had actually bothered to put my name on. It reminded me that i am three for three with age group wins in marathons.

I sent an email to coach today requesting assistance from Jan 3 onwards. I've earmarked an 8k at the end of January as my first race of 2011 with the ultimate goal being sub 32:30 at the Richmond 10k in April and a new 5k PR on the track some time in the Spring also.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with the family doing festive stuff. I made an amazing looking pie for tomorrow and we all made Gingerbread Houses. There is so much food in the house it is ridiculous!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dowd fun

Miles 9
Time 1:06:47

Tuesday's Miners Run and the Thursday Dowd run are my 2 favorite runs of the week and today's proved to be no exception. Good times with Aaron, Billy, Jason and Justin. Shortly after I headed to Dicks to spend my winnings from Saturday's race and came home with a sweet pair of Nike arm sleeves. Looking forward to rocking them tomorrow during the workout I am doing with Aaron and Spada. i'll certainly need them, it is expected to be 23 degrees at 8am.....

Other news on the 'gear front' is that I have picked up a pair of the new Wave Rider 14s and the first impressions are that they are an improvement on the 13 which I liked a lot in their own right

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scoping out hills

Miles 6.1
Time 41:40

Enjoying a nice lie in on the first day of my 5 day break I ran over to the Hovis' neck of the woods to check out a couple of hills as potential workout venues and carried on up to Monroe down to Mcalpine and back. I put 4 or 5 strides into the last couple of miles, my upper legs just feel continually 'tired' at the moment. Stretch, massage, strengthen, stretch, massage, strengthen.....Looks like weather is going to be really crappy over the weekend, may even get a White Christmas!! Parents' flight back on Sunday could be interesting.

After the run, headed out to the mall and finished my Christmas shopping. All done, wrapped and under the tree, nice!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

3,000 up

Miles 13.5
Time 1:43:17

Halfway into today’s Miners Run I brought up my 3,000 miles for the year. I remember at the end of last year hoping I would be able to crack the 2,500 barrier in 2010 for the first time, so I have smashed that out of the park- an ode to virtually injury free running!

Mike and Ben have started meeting up at 5 now on Tuesdays. Naturally if I am awake at this time (which I usually am) I will head out of the door rather than wait for the 5:30 crew. So that immediately puts 4 miles on to my run. The other reason this morning’s run was long was the influence of the returning Megan who took us on the longest route possible in Mcalpine today. I was happy with this though- the extra mileage, run at a nice slower fat burning pace, will have helped address the ridiculous amount of food I ate at Applebee’s last night with my parents. It does put a spanner in the layout of the work I had planned for the rest of the week though. I was going to do workouts Wednesday and Saturday (yes, Christmas Day) but will now do them Friday and Sunday instead.

Today is my last day of work until next Monday. I am looking forward to spending some time with my parents and getting my last minute Xmas shopping done. I wish my reader a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week in review

Solid week, 60 miles, a workout, a good race and a long run. Various little issues with my upper right leg have been showing themselves this week so I need to make sure I keep on top of all my stretching and massaging.

Going to take Monday off so next week the milage will drop again ready to hit it hard moving into 2011 the week after

Cold Sunday run

Miles 15.3
Time 1:47:18

I was pleased to get a good solid long run in this morning after yesterday's race. I ran my Sardis Lane/Alexander loop to get started and was running a little late for my anticipated meet up with Jordan and Meagan so pushed it harder than I normally would. J & M were not there when I got to Old Bell but AJ was so we ran over to the main lot together and bumped into Caitlin, Will, Leonard, Megan, and then Billy and Ben later. Good company and a good run, legs were very cold in shorts but it was nice to be able to head out a little later than normal with my parents in town.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mt Mourne Elf 5k

Miles 7.7
Time 50:07

I closed out 2010 with a successful race! It would probably register as a B+ in my grading system used below. I finished 2nd overall in 16:07 sandwiched between a sub 15 Furman Senior and the State Div 2A XC High School runner up. Despite being a relatively small race this one attracts some good guys- Anthony Famigletti ran 14:30 here in 2007!

The course was a fairly flat out and back and measured very slightly short on my Garmin. I ran splits of 5:07,5:14,5:24 as the headwind started to affect me in the third mile. My breathing was good throughout, just didn't have much turnover which wasn't surprising. My slight groin strain wasn't an issue and hasn't noticeably stiffened up since the race so i should be good to go.

Now I just need to think about goals for 2011 so I can start planning my race calendar! My immediate thoughts are that I would like to run a fast 5k/10k in the spring just to mix it up a little having spent the last training cycle training for the marathon. Until I 'firm things up' I'll just keep putting some consistent milage in with a couple of workouts and a long run per week.

Meanwhile my parents are in town. They enjoyed coming to the race yesterday. Mum was introduced to Biscuitville sausage biscuits (she initially thought I was handing her a burger for breakfast) and both appreciated the Southern welcome they got from my running buddies who were there- not often they get called Sir and Ma'am!). I have two days of work next week and then am off till after Christmas so looking forward to a nice relaxing week!

Review of the year

On the eve of my last race of 2010 and with apologies to friend and fellow Blogger BMac for copying his idea, I figured now would be as good a time as any to have a look back at the races I ran in 2010, a year I am considering as my best since I moved over here in 2005.

Cupid's Cup 5k: 15:58 1st Place Grade A

I couldn't have asked for a much better start to the year than this. A couple of months after Thunder Road I was only just getting back into hard training so a sub 16 effort (my only of 2010 as it turned out) was a pleasant surprise. Loved the course and was able to take advantage of the 2nd half of the race being entirely downhill. Disappointed I won't be able to defend my crown in 2011 as we will be in Disney that weekend.

Shamrock 4 miler: 22:38 13th place Grade C

Just after Cupid's Cup I faced my only injury setback of the year so far. A calf strain kept me off the roads for a couple of weeks. I had to scratch from the Corporate Cup Half I had entered and was worried I would miss the first race of the GP series. Returning to training a few days before this race I took advantage of my free entry to run this as a tempo workout and ensure I kept my hopes of the Bonus points for running every GP race alive. I had a fun race running alongside Caitlin and Meagan. Caitlin would go on to run a stellar 2:42 in her debut marathon and so qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials while Meagan starred at the NCAA DII track championships later in the Spring. Me? I was just happy to get through this race unscathed and ready to jump back into harder training.

Run For The Money 5k: 16:58 1st place Grade C

A month and some good workouts later, I was pretty disappointed with this solo effort on a very tough course. Fortunately I was still able to get the W and earn $1,000 for my friend's Not For Profit Organization. Very happy to oblige

Skyline 5k: 16:20 5th place Grade B-

Again I was expecting better from this race. On what is definitely one of the faster courses on the GP circuit and with a stellar crew including Jordan, John Compton, Dan Matena and Ben turning up, expectations were high that I could get a good time and certainly attack the 16:00 barrier. I was able to stay with the front group through the first mile but soon got detached and was fighting the rest of the way home. I should have been able to take much more advantage of the fast downhill finish

Twilight 5k: 16:43 4th place Grade C

This is always one of the toughest races of the year. It is run on a Friday night in the middle of May and so it is invariably 90 degrees and humid. This year was no exception. I couldn't latch on to a good pack once the race started and was pretty much struggling throughout. The seeming force nine wind which hit us as we headed towards the finish line was the final nail in the coffin. Easily the best part of this race was coach Budic completely surprising me by flying in to compete! Oh and I beat him as he was short of fitness!

Great Harvest Bread 5k: 16:36 3rd place Grade C+

Again I was dominated by Jordan and John Compton in this race. Again I wasn't offered much competition from behind. The result? Another solo struggle over a new and fairly challenging course.

King Tiger 5K: 16:35 3rd place Grade B-

As above but with Brett Howell replacing John! I purposefully took this one out hard to see what I could come through two fairly fast miles in with a fast 5k the following Friday on the horizon. I came through in 10:20 which I was pleased with and then lost time and momentum as I expected on the significant hill that hits you in the last mile

China Grove 5k: 16:20 5th place Grade D

Probably my most disappointing race of the year. It was all set up for a fast race. Fast, flat out and back course, really solid field, but I just didn't have it. I went through the mile in 5:05 and was tucked in with Chris Lamperski and Jay Holder through the second but when the action hotted up I had nothing and they crushed me. I decided after this race that it was time to chill for a few weeks and reduce the training workload. A Fall Marathon was being considered and I needed to recharge the batteries.

Race For Hope 5k: 16:31 2nd place Grade C

A race I decided to enter as it was being held in Mcalpine and I could jog to the start from my house. There was also $100 on offer for 1st place and I was hoping I would be able to snag that with not much more than a tempo effort. So I was bit miffed when I turned up to register and caught sight of John Compton and Ben Hovis. John took it, I got $50 (my only prize money of the year outside the $1,000 for charity I won and the money for my GP overall placing) and Ben took third

Streetlight 5k: 16:41 1st place Grade C-

The family were out of town so I wanted to get a race in. Headed up to Concord and led from the gun on what was a deceptively tough course- or it may have been the humidity. Last mile was a real grind and again I didn't feel too good about the race, in spite of the W.

Run For Your Life 4 miler: 21:31 2nd place Grade B

This was the race that I labelled "emerging from the funk" when I recapped it later. After a string of pretty disappointing races at last I had something to shout about after this one. Jay was back racing and we were stride for stride through 2 miles before I started turning the screw and managed to pull away and stay away. A good, strong performance, ironically in a time 19 seconds slower then my 4 mile split pacing Jordan at the weekend! This race also saw me beat Bert Rodriguez for the first and probably only time as he took a wrong turn during the final mile!

Panthers 5k: 16:13 7th place Grade B+
The studs always come out for this one as it starts and finishes at the Panthers stadium (although regrettably not on the field itself) and usually has some good prizes on offer. It's a tough course though and always steaming hot so I've had mixed results here over the years. In this race I again tracked Jay with every move but this time delayed the kick until the last 200 yards to grab 7th with my fastest ever time on this course

Greek Fest 5k: 16:03 4th place Grade B-

I didn't have Jay to run with for this one so was back running solo. I hit the first mile hard in around 5 minutes and hoped I would be able to maintain a good pace on what is easily the fastest course of the GP series. I was getting pretty strong from the marathon training that was now in full swing so I hung in there quite solidly to post a decent enough time, although I had been hoping for at least a sub 16 effort. The - is for the way the 3rd place guy came past me during mile 2 and I couldn't respond and go with him. If I had been able to I may have gotten into the 15:40s

Bill Sudek XC 6k Invite: 20:34 28th place Grade B

We headed up to Cleveland to visit the Budics for the Labor Day Weekend and it goes without saying that Tim found me a race to jump in! I ran my first XC race in years and had a blast on a rolling grassy course in true XC weather getting rolled on by a bunch of eager College guys but representing the 35-39 year age group pretty well!

Blue Ridge Relay 206 miles: 21:59:07 3rd place Grade B

Although this was a team race, no review of my running year would be complete without a quick recap of this race. Our mixed team of 12 headed up to Asheville and brought home the Mixed Open title and a crushing new course record. It was a truly memorable run filled, sleep deprived weekend full of great experiences and new friendships forged. My three legs went pretty well, especially my third which included a 5 mile run straight up a mountain which I crushed and set an unofficial course record. Plans have already been set in motion to send a strong Mens team up there next year to take down the overall course record.

Hit the Brixx 10k: 34:12 3rd place Grade B

Just a week after the Relay my legs were still very tired from my efforts there but I was able to put in a solid enough effort chasing down Jay the whole race and pipping him at the post again. This race pretty much sealed my 2nd place overall in the GP series with one race to go

Lungstrong 15K: 50:50 5th place Grade A-

I was really pleased with how this race played out. Training had been going great for Richmond and I was looking for a good performance to confirm that I was moving in the right direction on my path to the big race. I took the pace out aggressively, managing to run alongside John Compton though 6 or 7 miles and hanging on strongly once he went up the road. This concluded the 2010 GP series and confirmed my overall Runner Up status. Only Jordan in front of me after a consistent series.

Richmond Marathon: 2:35:10 7th place Grade A

So an A to start the year and an A to finish. After a really solid 3 month training block behind me I was ready to roll and attempt an average 5:55 pace marathon. I had Jay for company through 7 miles but pulled away at that point and ran the rest of the race solo. It was a great course and we had perfect weather as I was able to stay both physically and mentally strong to achieve my goals and take 3 minutes off my previous PR.

It brought a solid year of racing to and end (save the 5k I've jumped in on today) and certainly after a bit of a slump in performances during the hot and humidity of early summer I was able to get stronger as the year progressed. This was probably my best year since 2005 when I set all my shorter distance PRs. I may not be as fast now as I was then but I am certainly wiser and stronger and the goal going forward will be to build on this so I can attack my other PRs in 2011 and beyond.....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Better day at the office

Miles 8.1
Time 55:18

I woke up this morning to find that the ache in my IT band had dissipated only to be replaced by an achy groin- lingering effects I think from the workout in the cold on Wednesday but something that I've had before and know that it doesn't usually last too long. I was able to knock off 8 miles this am making up a little for the missed miles yesterday. Typically I would probably scratch tomorrow's race and ensure full recovery before trying to run 5:10 pace again but with my parents in town and nothing else on the horizon till March at least I'm going to give the 5k a shot. We'll see how it all plays out.....

In the mean time if you want to read how someone can run a sub 2:25 marathon take a peek at this

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bad day at the office

Miles 4
Time 32:10

The forecast bad weather was messy enough to keep me from heading to the Dowd this morning. Instead I headed cautiously down to Mcalpine where I figured if I slipped on the ice there the chances of getting hurt would be less than on the sidewalk! Unfortunately my upper right leg was still sore from the previous day’s workout. I didn’t stretch and warm it up sufficiently before I left my warm house and it was aching immediately. After 4 miles I stopped to massage it out but was done after that and just jogged home instead of adding on any more. It’s something I’ve been managing for a while since it flared up briefly during the marathon. A massage did it wonders and I had been keeping on top of it until this run so hopefully I just need to look after it like I did before and it won’t be an issue going forward. We’ll see tomorrow

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cold workout!

Miles 8
Time 54:07

It was 10 degrees this morning as Ben and I headed up to the multipurpose Lansdowne loop to do a workout of 8*2 minutes with 1 minute recoveries. Apparently it was the coldest ever December 15th in Charlotte history!! With that and the 5:30 start in mind I was fairly content with the workout that saw us cover just over three miles in the 16 minutes and 25 seconds of work. I would imagine I should be capable of a fairly similar time in the race on Saturday.

A 'wintry mix' is forecast for the morning which will make the roads treacherous and put my usual 9 mile Dowd run in jeopardy so I may have to find another way of getting the miles in

My parents arrive tomorrow too! Looks like the weather system will have passed by the time they land so hopefully that won't be an issue. Should be a fun 10 day visit...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If you're up you might as well run

Miles 11
Time 1:22:56

The Miners’ Run typically commences at 5:30am on a Tuesday. However Mike and Ben have started to meet up even earlier to get an extra few miles in and then swinging back to Old Bell at 5:30. This morning I was awake and ready at 5 so I headed out to meet them. Ben took us round some nice hilly roads that he has discovered since moving in to his new pad. Being that Ben lives less than a mile away from me it was nice for me to discover new potential routes. One particular loop looked very promising for a tough hill workout so I will check that out again later in the week. Ben and his wife Megan moving close to me is going to be great for my running as I will always have 2 willing running partners available. Another plus is that Ben always needs to be done by 6:30 (fine by me!) and when he is fit he is faster than me so I’ll have a good workout partner too (he is actually jumping into the workout I have planned for tomorrow morning).

The run itself was fun. The wind had dropped so the temps were in the teens with little wind chill which was better than expected. We caught up on the gossip from Saturday’s after race party and picked Aaron and Mike K up at 5:30 for the standard Miners’ Run in Mcalpine. It was good to get 11 miles in on a week day and gives me a head start for the rest of the week.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Neighborhood loops

Miles 6
Time 41:02

I wanted to run on the roads today rather than Mcalpine and after last night's freeze I was wary of ice on some of the sidewalks I would be venturing on on my usual road loop so decided to just run around our neighhborhood a few times. I was able to get into a good rhythm and clock the miles off nicely so my legs have recovered from Saturday already which is a good sign.

Miners run tomorrow. It's going to be absolutely freezing here the next couple of mornings apparently. My current attire to counteract this is hat, short sleeve covered by long sleeve and gilet, tights and gloves. Seems to do the trick, I hate having to wear too much.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week in review

I was able to hit the planned 60 miles this week on 7 runs and got a couple of workouts in. The workouts indicated that I'm still to get my pre Richmond legs back but there's no rush and I'll just keep patient and plugging away. Next Saturday I'm jumping into a 5k race and it would be nice to book end my successful year with a 5k victory after my victory at Cupid's Cup 5k back in February

Recovery day

Miles 6.6
Time 47:53

Suitably sore of head (beers) and legs (Jordan) I luckily was able to have a lie in of sorts this morning and didn't head out for my run until just before lunch time. It was a pretty slow and stiff run but good to get out there and sweat out some of my excesses and loosen up the legs a bit.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Charlotte's day of running

Miles 16.44
Time 1:41:49

The day started with a pretty lame attempt at pacing Jordan. I managed 10k with him but never really felt that comfortable and was a bit disappointed to have to let him go on his own at the 10k mat. I carried on running on the course just past the 11 mile mark where I stopped and cheered a few friends through and headed back to my car, got into some warm clothes and walk/jogged over to the finish area so I could hang out with friends and watch people finish. Jordan went on to run 2:24:46 an incredible solo effort, Billy ran an awesome 2:41, Danielle memorably achieved her sub 3 hour goal by 14 seconds and Kevin finished his first marathon with a comfortable BQ.

Suitably inspired I headed home and picked the kids up for the second instalment of Charlotte's big day. Had fun hanging out at Mcalpine watching the Womens and Mens Open races and then it was Emily and Sophie's turn to organize their own race when we got home!

The third part of the day involved beer and plenty of it as I was able to enjoy a rare night out in town with some of Charlotte's finest runners at the post race party.

A great day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pacing gig

In Thursday’s post I mentioned that I was looking forward to a day of spectating on Saturday at the Marathon and then the XC races. Well I can confirm now that I will have a bit of a closer look at the action at Thunder Road than originally anticipated. I am going to try and help last year’s winner and 2010 Grand Prix Series Champion Jordan Kinley over the first few miles of the race. Jordan is back to defend his crown and is looking to lay down a time in the mid 2:20s. That is 5:30 pace!! My goal is to take the race out at that pace and see how far I can keep going! I ran my last 15k race at a pace slightly faster than that so on a ‘normal’ day I would expect to be able to maintain 5:30s for 9 or 10 miles quite ‘comfortably’ but with Richmond still in the legs I honestly don’t know how it’s going to turn out tomorrow. Certainly my Tuesday track workout was an indicator that I have a long way to go before getting back to the fitness levels I had pre Richmond but we’ll see. It will actually be in my best interests to run as far as I can so that I don’t get stranded miles out of the city with a long run back into town!

Originally I had hoped to help out my buddy Billy Shue in his quest to go sub 2:40 and was going to jump in the race at about half way and help pace him but we caught word that the race organizers were specifically on the lookout for this after complaints last year and would be disqualifying any competitors who took advantage of ‘outside help’. So I’m actually getting a race number tomorrow so that I’m an official entrant in the race. Maybe if 5:30s prove to hot to handle I can still help out Billy and throw in some 6 minute miles instead! Should be fun!

More Mcalpine solo

Miles 6.2
Time 42:17

Today I ran exactly the same route as I did Wednesday but as you will see it was noticeably faster. My legs feel recovered from the workout now and I rolled pretty good this morning. The change in temps definitely helps too. In the same way that during the summer a drop in 20 degrees from 90 feels like heaven, an increase from the teens to the 30s in the winter has the same effect. I found myself overdressed this morning, unzipping and rolling up sleeves and wishing I had worn shorts. Oh well, better that than going out underdressed! I didn’t do my strides this morning but made sure to put in some spurts in the last couple of miles to get some turnover in and then did some good stretching afterwards. My legs are going to need to be ready to roll tomorrow as you will see from my next post!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Slight warm up

Miles 9
Time 1:04:30

With T Road looming, it was a slightly smaller group than normal that showed up for this morning’s Dowd 6am run. But what was lacking in quantity we made up for in quality with myself, Jay, Jason, Caitlin, Mike K and Justin hitting the roads for the traditional 9 mile loop. The weather had crept back into the 20s and my legs felt a bit more recovered from Tuesday so this was an altogether more enjoyable run than yesterday. I was meant to do some strides to finish but put them off until tomorrow when my legs should be back to 100%.

Saturday is going to be a fun day of race watching with Thunder Road in the am and the XC nationals in the afternoon. Just got to plan my vantage points at T Road as I will likely be just running around from point to point and there are quite a few people I want to see and support. To keep Lisa appeased I will take the kids to the races in the afternoon. Hopefully the expected warm up in temps will take hold!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lone idiot

Miles 6.2
Time 46:30

My legs had that hollow post hard workout feeling as I headed out into the freezing temps for some recovery miles in Mcalpine this morning . It was just me, my headlamp and my ipod out there. Usually I come across at least one other idiot getting his miles in but today it was literally just myself. The run was very low key starting out at 8 minute pace and getting down towards 7s by the end. Knackered.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Back to Tuesday night track

Miles- 7.75
Time- 49:55

Tuesday always used to be my track workout night, dating back to my days in England when I would head to Battersea Park track after work every Tuesday or get the train to Guildford to train with the Guildford & Godalming AC boys at the Spectrum Center. Then for a good while after moving to Charlotte I would head to AG track on my way home from work on a Tuesday to get it done. The last couple of years however I have tended to do all my workouts in the am, what with having two tracks within easy distance of my house and other willing early risers 'happy' to join me at dark thirty.

So it was a nostalgic trip of sorts back to AG track last night to do my first workout there in ages. It was nice to see some familiar faces there as I was warming up- Jocelyn, Michelle, Boriana and Shenna. Warming up being a relative term of course as the temps were already below freezing. I really had no idea what I wanted to do I just figured it would be good to get 3 or 4 miles of work in at around 5:20 pace.

At about 400m into the workout I decided I would do the old staple 4*1600 with 400 jog. My legs seemed as stiff as planks as I was heading round the track in the cold and this coupled with my current unfamiliarity with running at this pace and the darkness which meant you could barely see the lanes for most of the circuits led to a very average workout where I felt fine aerobically but just couldn't seem to get the legs moving and body working efficiently. 5:18,21,25,21 the fairly pitiful stats but for now I'll take it and hope for better next time. I did enjoy working out on an evening again and going forward maybe today's Miners Run/AG workout double will become the new Tuesday staple.

Polar Bear Run

Miles 7.9 Time 58:39

The traditional Miners Run was renamed the Polar Bear Run today in honour of the 17 degree temps that greeted us this morning. A motley crue (one for Spada there) of Ben, the Mikes, Jay, Nathan (notably wearing shorts!) and Steve met up at dark thirty and I got a nice and easy shake out run in before I attempt a track workout later today. Suffice to say it was cold! I felt fairly decent though, helped no end by England polishing off the Aussie tail early last night and giving me ample time to catch up on some sleep lost from watching the other 4 days of the match.

I don’t even know what workout I’m going to do later I just want to get the legs turning over at sub 5:20 pace again. We’ll see what they’ve got.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back in the groove, off the leaderboard

Apologies for the lack of updates lately. I'm determined to get this blog kick started again so may have to resort to posting my daily runs again just to keep me updating regularly. Bear with me...

30-ish miles the week after Richmond, 40-ish the following week, over 50 this week including my first workout (a 10 mile tempo in just over an hour to help out Billy on his last big workout before Thunder Road next week) and 60 planned this week. This hasn't been enough to keep me on the Athleticore CRC mileage leaderboard as I have slipped off it back into the peloton. Still on course for over 3,000 miles this year though, which will be a record oh by about 800 miles or so!

The legs seem to have come round nicely and feel ready to get back to some harder work. With a 5k on the horizon in less than two weeks it's probably about time to start adding some more 'quality' to the mix so with that in mind I'm going to be heading to the track on Tuesday after work to spin the wheels a bit. There has also been some talk of pacing duties at the Marathon on Saturday so we'll see what comes of that.....

It's going to be cold the next few mornings with temps in the low 20s. I actually like getting wrapped up and heading out into this stuff. When we're toiling through the yucky Summer weather we dream of these mornings so there's no way I'm going to start moaning now....

In other news we're getting all geared up for Christmas here. Straight after Thanksgiving we got the tree up and all the other paraphenalia Lisa likes to get out. The kids (obviously) love this time of year and it's fun seeing how excited they get about stuff. With a ten day visit from Grandma and Grandad Mainwaring on the horizon it should be fun times in the Mainwaring household the next few weeks.

So, more regular postings coming I hope, as the post Richmond build continues in earnest.

Lastly, two major shout outs today. One to fellow CRC member and blogger Allen Strickland who ran 3:19 in Dallas today and will have to think of a new title for his blog. Secondly to one of my best UK friends, now Calgary resident, Duncan Marsden, one of the main instigators who got me into this sport in the first place, who ran 2:32 in Sacramento today with a handy negative split.