Thursday, November 24, 2011

RFYL GP Awards Night

Tuesday night saw the end of season Grand Prix banquet where I picked up my award for winning the Series for the first time. It was a great evening and nice to meet and talk to my friends, rivals and training partners in a different environment and in different clothes than usual!

After several years of running the Series in the same format it was discussed that there may be a change next year at last with two separate and shortened Series, one ending with the Greek Fest 5k in August (which would mean an almost exclusively 5k race line up) and one starting with that race and progressing through a 10k, 15k, Half and finishing at Thunder Road Full. This seems a very good idea to me and could reinvigorate interest into the Series and also get more people running at Thunder Road. I would certainly be interested in taking part in the second series, even though that may mean that my 2012 Marathon ends up being Charlotte rather than a faster and bigger marathon which was my original aim. We'll see, lots of water to pass under the bridge before then anyway!

On the training front, things continue to progress. After a few weeks of gradually increasing my mileage, the legs and body are eventually starting to come round and I feel ready to take on some additional work as I start to focus on training for the Half in February. Coach Tim should have my new schedules to me shortly so I'm looking forward to a Winter of hard work!

The 5k rust buster on Saturday turned out okay. I was pushed a bit harder than I would have liked for the victory and resultant pair of shoes but got it done. 16:55 was an ugly return on the effort I had to put in but hopefully will prove a good benchmark as I get fitter over the next few weeks. If nothing else the race made my mind up not to jump in the Turkey Trot today so I am looking forward to running there to watch and then doing a workout with Aaron (who is racing) afterwards.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Back at it

I haven’t updated this in over 6 weeks so I thought it was about time I got my loyal reader up to speed with what’s been going on with the Captain recently. Last time we spoke I had just returned from a great trip to New York and I was suffering from a season ending knee injury.

The following Saturday, after a week of no running, I ventured up to Lake Norman to run the last race in the GP series to confirm my victory. I got round the 15k with an achy knee in the middle of the pack. As it happened John Compton raced and won by a big enough distance that I could have stayed at home and still won the series but I needed to be up there and make sure all my bases were covered. 48 minutes after the gun went off, Lisa called me on my cell that I was carrying while I was running and confirmed John had won the race and I knew overall victory was mine.

I took another week completely off then attempted a jog the following Saturday. The knee was still sore so I took another week completely off and also got myself a sports massage that seemed to help enormously. The following weekend I managed a couple of 4 milers and since then I have been very gradually increasing the mileage and intensity back to the point now where I am no longer too concerned about the knee and am back in a regular routine.

I ran 40 miles my first week back, then 45 and am on course this week for 50. I’ve done a couple of 10 mile runs, a couple of short tempo runs and even headed to the track this week for a low key workout. Tomorrow I’ve signed up for a 5k in my local park that I plan to run pretty hard so that I can blow the cobwebs out a little bit more. I’m a happy Captain!

Which brings me on to goals for the next few dark and cold Winter months. Well obviously the main one will be to keep healthy and get consistency back into my training. There is a Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach in February that I am definitely considering using as a goal race to train towards, figuring that the strength I gain training for this will set me up for some fast races over shorter distances in the Spring. I haven’t run a Half in quite a while so it would be good to shoot for a PR on what will be a flat and fast course with some of the faster guys in Charlotte heading down for me to chase. The kids are off school for two days following that race so the plan is to make a long weekend family trip out of it. Coach Budic is lined up to get me some new training schedules shortly!

So I’m happy to be back at it and hoping to finish off the year fit and healthy and ready to launch into 2012 with gusto! And if I needed any more inspiration to get myself out there and training hard again then I didn’t have to look any further than some of the performances of my friends and rivals over the past few weeks. Marathon season has been in full swing and there have been some memorable and inspiring performances around the country, from new PRs to Boston qualifiers, gutsy finishes and solid debuts. Good stuff!