Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Thanks to all the fellow runners and friends who have congratulated me on my race. I really appreciate all the kind words from everyone! I took the day off today as my legs are still really sore. Quads are completely sore, all four parts and hams are too. Only my right calf was sore, so I think maybe one of my legs is longer than the other, or my stride needs a little perfecting because the soreness is definitely more geared toward that side.

I didn't walk or anything today as I was busy working on my website. I have it completely designed as I finally worked out some of the problems I was having with flash and the new Actionscript. So now all that is left is to check all the links. I also went downtown to pick up my award for the race and meet up with Regina who leads our marriage group study on Sunday's before church. She has been wanting me to do some murals and I had a book to return to her. Since our church is right by the Runner's Market, it was two birds with one stone.

I posted pics of the worn tread of my shoes on twitter today.
http://tinyurl.com/dgucpu http://tinyurl.com/cj5hkl The saucony's are literally falling apart. I mean that is normal for a shoe, but the way these are headed it seems a little too far along for what few miles are on them. Entire chunks of rubber are fraying and falling off, and I'm starting to think maybe my shoes were in a bad batch? If this is normal for a racer, then I don't think I'll be buying anymore. So if anyone out there knows if this normal, please drop a comment because I don't want to be criticizing for no good reason! edit: I actually researched a little and found at least two other reviews which said tread wear is quick on this model.

My legs feel a lot less sore today than yesterday, and tomorrow I'll be able to run a little. Not sure how far, but a slow hour sounds really sweet. Going to try to take it easier on my rest days. I always intend on it, but running fast feels so gooood :)

Monday, March 30, 2009


So I didn't quite get my goal of top 10, but 1st place in my age group isn't anything to slouch about! What a race. It was definitely hard and without a doubt a tough day, but the training paid off. Maybe it's a little too early to start assessing things, but now that I have some data to work with I don't think it's a problem.

Split times from milliseconds - I like this site, but very hard to interpret data. The Knoxville Track Club has a much cleaner streamlined way of showing the race data (but no splits).

1- 41:07.966
2- +45:00.002
3- +47:55.058
4- +45.24.004

06.2M - 41:07.966
13.1M - 1:26:07.968
20.0M - 2:14:03.026
26.2M - 2:59:27.3

average pace @
10k | half | 20Miles | 26.2
6:37 | 6:34 | 6:42 | 6:50.671

So firstly we can see that at 10k I was well within my goal pace which if I were to hold, would put me at a 2:54 finish time or so. So that was good pacing for the first few miles, especially with all the halfers running much faster. Even with big old Noelton hill, I gained time through the half, 3 seconds a mile (about 40 seconds). That was the flattest part of the course, so I'm sure it helped a little with the pacing, but I was still very much on track for 2:55 or so. I felt really good at this point, and it leads me to believe that a 1:23-1:24? wouldn't have been out of the question had I chosen to just do the half. Compared to last year I still gained 4 and a half minutes of time (even with pacing for a marathon) so that is a pretty good gauge of improvement. Mcmillan calculates the effort as equivalent to an 18:24 5k, 38:13 10k, and 1:25 half, but considering I ran 18:35 back in November and the fact that I usually beat Mcmillan at it's own game, 1:24 would definitely be possible.

At 20 miles I had slowed another 8 seconds a mile and lost about 2 minutes overall time from original pace. By the end of the race I lost another 8 seconds a mile, so I was really slowing down hard there. That was the part of the course with the roughest wind so that compounded matters. Also my legs really started feeling the burn even before 20, so slowing down was imminent. Judging from how sore they are today, I regret not doing like a million more hills over that last few months to prepare. From here on there was really nothing left to do. Factoring in all the issues I think it was a great time. I'm kind of glad I didn't hit a better time goal actually because that leaves a lot of room for improvement next time, lol.

As for training I did have about two weeks off with the tibia and that didn't help my fitness a bit, I was running 5:22 mile repeats, and after back down to 5:34 range. Also I was supposed to be -Building- on the speedwork, but mostly I ended up just maintaining. I did the best with what I had though. I have some really good ideas for training the next two months, and really want to get into some races rather quickly. There is a one mile race at the end of April, and I'm pretty much set on running that thing no matter what. I've really been wanting to break 5 minutes, and that is the perfect opportunity to do it officially. So I can't wait to get back into training. I recover pretty well, so hopefully I can get in some quality workouts over the next few weeks. I really want to work on speed the rest of this year. I've been so worried about mileage that I think I sacrificed a lot of coordination/speed drills which gave me great endurance, but not a lot of turnover.

There is also the issue of pacing itself. The Nike+ system is great, but unfortunately is off by a fraction for me - if you notice yesterday's total mileage of 28.12 (93% accurate) then you know that it's not as accurate as a gps. It is a footpod, so it's never going to be as accurate as gps, but it wasn't nearly as far off as I had believed. Just two miles, that's less than a mile for every 13 which ain't really that bad. I knew it was off as I said, and is the reason I run for time, and not for miles. As much as I'd like to have a garmin, it's really not in my budget right now, and as long as the nike system is working 30$/year is just fine by me. In fact I recently had a sensor battery die, but since April never uses hers I had an extra one so no problem at all. I got almost 3,000 miles out of the last one, so that ain't bad either. But pacing is still an issue. I never really know how fast I'm going so it does become somewhat of a guessing game. So if I want accurate pacing I have two choices between visiting the track, or hoping I get a garmin as a birthday gift or something.

So things are looking good, one mile race April 24th, and then the 10k Expo at the end of May. Not sure beyond that point. I almost did the Rutledge Marathon last year, and unless some other race looks really good, I might plan on running that - it's in October I believe and this will the be the second year of the race. Goals at this point are less about time and more about training. Speed drills, striders, and once a week speed workouts with a long run every other weekend are the basic plan. Mostly I just want to build from this marathon, it is by no means an ending point, but a springboard into further training. Actually I just looked at the calendar, and Carl from Oak Ridge has a June Madness series that looks interesting, with another 1 mile race June 6th, woot. I'll definitely try that mile race, and hopefully can get some more info about the series once I get a chance to check out the Roadkill Club's site.

Okay that's about it for today, wow I didn't think there would be that much to talk about, but I guess I was wrong. Hasta

Sunday, March 29, 2009

3.29.08 Knoxville Marathon

Race Report

Had a little trouble sleeping last night, waking up at various points but I woke up at the first ring of the alarm. I got ready quickly and since everything was packed there wasn't a whole lot to look for or make sure I had. April went with me, as my bag carrier and moral support and I guess as my wife too. Got a place to park and walked over to the convention center. It was cold this morning, but since it was early I was hoping it would warm up a little bit as the race went and I would be okay in just shorts and the technical tee they gave us this year. Warm up went well, just did some jogging and stretching, and a few accelerations. Before I knew it we were heading to the start line.

The corral this year was set up for 6:00-8:00 minute miles, so I just got situated in the front about 5 minutes from the start. The handcycle guys started 5 minutes early, and after that was the star-spangled banner. They didn't really have anyone talking like they do at other races, usually a UT coach or something like that, but it was all business today. I was lined up between a very fast looking african on my left, and a beardy runner to my right apparently sponsored by marathonguide as he had all the gear on. (later I would find out it was the winner from 3 years ago Justin Gillette).
So they took an extra minute, and fired the gun. I nearly forgot to get my ipod ready and in the first 20 meters of the race I was jostling and looking at it trying to make sure it was recording, it paid off later on. So we are cruising along and I just stuck with marathon guide for a while as I figured he would have to have a good pace. Didn't see a mile marker for 1 or 2? Not sure what happened there and had no clue as to my pacing, and mostly I was just tucked into crowds trying to block the wind. Lots of runners were passing me, but honestly it didn't bother me. I grew accustomed quickly to looking to the right or left, taking a quick glance at the color of their bib. At 3 miles I saw a marker and my ipod said just above 20:00 or so, so I was actually on pace. We took off into a neighborhood which has rollers, lots of up and downs. Basically you burn the downhills and try to make it over the uphills. There was a guy on my heels at this point, and it was funny to see him accordion back and forth. I tried to save energy on the hills, but honestly it wasn't working.

Mile 5 came along, I think it was high 25 or low 26, can't really remember, real windy. There were puddles to dodge here as some parts of the road were covered all the way across, and about 10 feet long, so you either ran through the water, which I really didn't want to do, or you took the grass/mud. I went through the grass, but it didn't help much. Came up on mile 6 around 40 minutes, not sure if that was the 6 or 10k. I looked at the clock, but mostly I tried to stay focused, plus I was grabbing powerade or water (didn't matter to me) and so that also made it difficult to judge the time. One of my track kids who was volunteering yelled out my name here and that was a nice boost.

Now we are coming it to it, and I was conserving as much willpower as I could, the HILL at Noelton. Every year this thing is brutal. I started trekking up it and made it halfway, just tried to conserve and maintain. By the time I reached the top I felt like my chest was going to explode, and the hams took a pretty good blow as well. Still, I recovered pretty fast I entered the Third Creek Greenway which winds through a forested area. It was wet here too, and many times I had to go off the path and across some muddy grass instead of foot-deep water on the course. One marathoner passed me here, and he was moving pretty well so I just let him go. There was a lot of race left, and I figured if I had any chance of catching him, it would be later on in the race anyway. Miles 8,9,10 went through the creek and it is relatively flat, with a few really steep but short hills. I was feeling decent at this point. The good part about this area is that the wind was somewhat blocked by the trees.

Miles 11,12 were pretty good. I had a few runners ahead of me in sight, so I just made sure they didn't get too far. At 12.5 April was at the hill waiting for me, I think I ran up on her too fast as she said she didn't get any photos of me :( Now the half marathoners were coming up on me, making their final push to the finish, which was just down the hill (and back up) so I let them go and kept going were directed. There was another hill to run up for me here, this one is usually a downhill on the 5k courses run downtown and goes right by the expo center. I started chugging up this one, and a marathoner with a headband passed me here. He looked fresh as a dang daisy and said "let's go" and took off into the wild blue. I already wasn't feeling great and we were heading straight into the wind.

Someone had said I was ninth just at the split, but I wasn't sure as the halfers were there as well, so I thought maybe he was talking about them. Nonetheless I was just trying to smart and keep a decent pace. So out we go into east Knoxville, a long uphill, but not really that steep. The wind was bad now and my arms were getting cold. Passed 14 miles. Things started getting fishy at this point and I was having some serious G.I. issues, they crept up on me early around 8-9, but now they had intensified and I was really distracted. More wind and nobody to hide behind. We ran up through some neighborhoods, and honestly this was the craziest part of the course, left, right, left, left, right, left, right. I had no clue where I was going. At 16 I checked my ipod and it wasn't that great. I can't remember the time, but I remembered thinking I had slowed a bit. Coming up on 17 I thought I was at 18. demoralized. My hams and calves were starting to get tight, and the G.I. issue hit me again where I almost had to walk. This would almost be a constant for the rest of the race, even up to the final mile. I'm not sure what caused it, I guess just being cold and racing like crazy.

At 18 I looked at my ipod 2:02. A guy here came up on me, but I was struggling. He said "We are still on good pace" I just said, my stomach is killing me, and the legs ain't much better. He said good luck and went on by. I remember looking at him and thinking "he's not going that fast" and then thinking, I must look like I'm walking. Now we are heading out toward the innerstate, mile 19. No houses, no nothing for protection, dead on into the wind. I crawled. At one point, running over the bridge, I just prayed to God that I finish the race. The wind hit me so hard I almost fell down, literally. Each step was a struggle. The only good thing about this dang bridge was the view, and the fact that in minute we might be running with the wind a bit, and of course mile 20. The finish line is growing nearer, and I certainly ain't getting any faster.

It's funny there were some points where I felt great, talked to the volunteers, asked questions, chatted away. These were the parts when my stomach didn't feel like it was going to hit the pavement I guess. It was kind of like that the rest of the way, sometimes feeling great, then I'd feel like I was dying, but mostly in the legs. My hams were tight, and the calves were right behind em. At 20 I saw beardy running the opposite direction, he was roughly 3 miles ahead of me (I didn't know that) I was hoping he was only like a mile, so I could get turned around and heading back toward Neyland Stadium!

Mile 22, four miles left and it's the turnaround point. I know I only have four miles left. I think if I can just maintain I still have a chance to get under 3 hours, but at this point I'd be happy just to cross the finish line today.
At 23 I pass the opposite runners and shout encouragement to them. That made myself feel a little better. There was a water stop at this point where someone said "Go Ron", but I have no idea how they knew me? Maybe this blog or twitter, could have even be an old track kid? I dunno, but that was pretty cool they recognized me. The next mile was familiar because it's part of the 10k course for the Expo 10k I have ran before. So I knew exactly what the course was like for the last 3 miles. A marathoner came out of nowhere though and passed me here. I guess he was smart and saved his energy for the final few miles, I was almost going to go with him, but decided I would have to make my last mile the fastest as I didn't have a lot left.

Passed 24, 2:4?:?? I can't remember now, but I knew If I just held on even to a 7 minute pace I should make it. We run across Gay St. bridge and I see a runner coming back to me. By the end of the bridge I almost caught him. I passed him within the mile, he looked like he had fallen or something, but apparently he was hurt as he started walking. Passed 25, one mile to go! Aah it was crazy I couldn't believe just one more mile. I looked at my ipod something like 2:51:something, uh oh, I turned it up a little more and more, but not too much because there is still the giant hill that leads into the stadium to run up. We met up with the half marathoners, and it was a rush to pass them (no offense) as I ran by. I was almost there and dang it I just wanted this thing over!

I saw the stadium and got this crazy grin on my face, smiling from ear to ear I looked around and took it all in, I was THERE! I took off at a dead sprint and headed toward the 50 yard line. I didn't even look at the clock, i just ran and smiled. I gave the power fist as I crossed the line and then stumbled around. I could hardly walk, my legs were shaking, and but I kept moving. Photographers were trying to take my picture, and...haha, I almost fell over right when she snapped off the picture, lol. I was just wanting to get something to drink and find the bathroom at this point.

April met up with me and we "walked" to the after party at the Arena. My legs tightened up in a bad way, and it hurt to walk or stand or sit. There is no pain like it, a total charlie horse over the calves, but mostly the hamstrings. Super tight, overworked, feeling like my legs were going to explode. After hobbling 10 minutes to the Arena (it's less than 5 minute walk) I just sat down in the bleachers for like an hour. I didn't even get anything other than some gatorade that I had brought along. After the hour or so of sitting there shivering and shaking uncontrollably, I hobbled around to get some food. They actually had some pretty good stuff this year, so kudos on the selection (other than pizza and chili). I ended up getting the chili though because I needed something warm. I didn't eat but a spoonful and threw that away, and had to just nibble various bagels and granola because each time I swallowed, I wasn't quite sure if it was going to stay down. So after another half hour of sitting there I was feeling better and decided we better get going, and hobbled the 5 minutes back to the car in the cold wind.

My right hamstring seems to had taken the brunt of the damage. And when I got home I just went to sleep with a full ice pack wrapped securely to it. It was undoubtedly the hardest race of my life. I wish the weather had been a little more optimal. I mean the marathon is challenging enough the way it is, I knew that going into it. I also knew that the hills were tough, but this was like putting your legs through a meat grinder. Needless to say I've earned some days off. Tonight we are going out for my VICTORY dinner, because despite everything I still managed to run a sub 3 hour marathon. My finish time was Somewhere around 2 hours 59 minutes and some odd seconds.

see that runner! my foot is behind them.
The first place finisher ran a 2:29, God bless ya Stewart Ellington, raining champ from here in K-ville. Gillette (they guy I lined up beside) came in second with a time of 2:37, third place was 2:47. I am not sure of the other finishers times, but April kept track of them and I placed in the TOP TEN (10th lol) in this marathon! That was one of my Gold goals that I made when I first started training! Now that's unofficial, so even if I didn't get it, I'm perfectly happy. Honestly once I started getting past halfway into that crazy wind, I just wanted to finish the race. So yay me, I'm a marathoner and although I have a lot to learn, I couldn't be happier to be one. Now it's time celebrate, rest, recover, and training for the next crazy goal I devise - 50k? 50 mile? some crazy time goal? who knows!

7:00 am. Knoxville Marathon.
38° Mostly Cloudy 76%H SW14 mph
2:59:09, (28.11) fasttwitch 44

Saturday, March 28, 2009


All the miles, all the hard work, tomorrow it will be put to the test! The ultimate 26.2 test of endurance and will. I'm somewhat nervous, but I don't have those butterflies in my stomach yet. It will hit me tomorrow though, the closer it gets to 7, the more butterflies will appear. I had a good time just relaxing around today. Tried to get in some miles, but it started raining. Had to go inside to the treadmill, where my ipod didn't record about a mile because it ended the run instead of resume. I figured someone was trying to tell me something and just called it a day on running. Went down to the expo and other than having to pay three dollars for public parking??(not sure how that happened) I had a pretty good time. I actually met one of the girls from my track team last year and we talked for a bit. She seemed to be doing really well and was helping with a cycling booth that I really wasn't all that interested in. It was good to see she remembered me and she really seemed liked she was staying fit and involved.

Got home and cooked on the grill. Food was delicious and now I'm about to watch my favorite movie Without Limits, well if April isn't watching tv. Otherwise I'll go to the runner rup "300", that one always gets me going too. The weather was odd today, lots of rain, but in the afternoon instead of storms it was bright and sunny, hopefully that will make the morning just a tad cooler, and from the weather channel it looks to be pretty much optimal conditions for this time of year other than the wind. I've got my race morning map planned out, and driving downtown today I found that the exit i normally take is now blocked off due to construction, but I was able to navigate better this time and found my way in no time.

So other than just checking my bag tonight, making sure I have everything ready to go, I think I am ready. I mean in my head I think I'm ready. Going to go over my split times a bit more as I don't quite have them in stone. 1:26-27 i think was 2:50 and 1:24-25 was 2:45 i believe (little test there). So after that I just need to get some rest and get ready to wake up early.

2pm. home. 65° Few Showers 73%H wind SE 12 mph
13:15(1.94), bf 1249

Friday, March 27, 2009


Took another day off running. Was hoping for six, but it was rainy so I decided to just take full rest. Have to go pick up my packet at the expo tomorrow, that's about it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


After the storm system moved away it was bright and sunny and made for a great run. I took it easy today, and the legs responded well to the day off yesterday. I would even say that during today's run I felt better than I have for a while. The pug tried to chase me again, but this time I fought back with a kick and that sort of stopped him in his tracks. His white pudgy friend also defended me? I've seen him do that before. The white one gets in front of the black and tries to "block" it from getting to me, and also nips at him. The owner was heard yelling behind me as I rounded the corner out of that cul de sac. I had to do a couple more kicks just to be safe though. I really didn't want another bruise/scratch or worse a full bite this close to the marathon. The last scratch hurt more than I had expected, and the bruise is just now going away. Neosporin has helped the cut heal, but it's still kind of open. As long as it doesn't affect my running i'm okay, but sleeping on a bruise prevents sleep, which makes the day worse, so in a way there are other ways it can be bad.

Anyway it was a good run and just two more easy days left now. I think tomorrow 6-8 depending on how I feel, then Saturday 4 in the morning and of course some striders. I tried working out a menu but have been unsuccessful. For now I'm just going to go with lasagna Saturday night, and tomorrow some other kind of pasta, fetuccine alfredo sounds good. Also I'm going to my marathon pack together. I can't get everything until the expo on Saturday, but I'd like to at least have my clothes and all the stuff I do have in one place and ready.

Trying to be as positive as possible. My strategy for the race as of now is to make it 18 miles and then decide what to do based on my pace/time and how I'm holding up. Hopefully I'm doing well at that point and can try to slowly increase pace over the last 6-8 miles. I really want to finish the race strong, rather than burn out and die a slow death at the end. Fortunately I know my body pretty well and should be able to decide that when I get there. I also have to go over my splits again just to get a better of idea of 5k, 10k, and half checkpoints.

5:38pm. home. ??-(warm with nice breeze)
1:13:01, (10.62) gf 627

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Stayed true to my word and took the day off. It was rainy out so it wasn't hard to do :) I had fun though today finished a drawing and took part in the Runners Round Table.

Hams are still kinda tight, hope they loosen up over the next few days...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Decent run in beautiful 70 degree weather. It was pretty warm but with a strong wind that made it a lot cooler. Legs still aren't 100% recovered especially in the hams. The left quad is still feeling funny, but not as numb as it was before so I think it's getting better. It's weird because it feels like it's going to sleep during the run, but the sensation feels more like a rush of heat in the quad. Not sure how else to describe it. I did one trip up the HH about 6 miles in, trying to simulate Noelton, and then towards the end I did three pickups with some regular running inbetween. Not much else to report, just taking it easy from here on out. Tomorrow I may take a full rest day, Thurs/Fri do 6-8 miles each, then Saturday 4 mile jog with 4-5 striders. Not going to overdo any of those runs for sure.

2:29pm. home. 70° Mostly Cloudy, 41%H, SSW 16 mph
1:05:04, (9.35) gf 618

Monday, March 23, 2009


Anticipation is very high.In 5 days and 9 hours I'll be racing my heart out. I've been thinking a lot about what kind of things I need to do. Stay focused, not go out to fast, get rest, taper well, wake up on race day, etc. There is a lot to think about I suppose. It's funny you train for months and months and then you don't really think about these things until the race is just around the corner. Well at least I'm preparing now and not the night before.

So things are going pretty good. The run today was out in the heat and I worked up a nice sweat. Nothing too fast or crazy, just a normal easy run. After I got back I walked with April for a few miles. I'm wanting to take a day off sometime this week, maybe Wed or Thurs. I'm not real sure yet. Most people might take the day before the marathon off, but as I've found through my training I tend to get stagnant right after a full rest day, so i'm wanting a buffer of a few days inbetween. My hammies need the rest though as they are still a bit tight. Some deep massage therapy would probably do the trick. Either way I'm just taking these next 5 days as easy as possible, and will probably do some striders tomorrow and Saturday night in my marathon gear just to keep the legs springy.

Things are going well, I'm just trying to get all my plans in order so I can be to the start line as ready as possible.

5:38 pm. home. 70 degrees ??wind/humidity. (warm)
1:01:33, (9.28) bf 1247

Sunday, March 22, 2009


After our marriage group/church this morning we went out with some new friends for lunch. It was nice and we ate at one of our favorite restaurants here in Knoxville, Aubrey's. After that I really wasn't very motivated to much of anything today. Is that a bad thing? One week out from the marathon and I'm tapering, so I really don't want to overdo anything, which is my usual tendency. I really want to get to the start line as fresh as possible, because last year I wasn't. I wasn't very smart last year and on the Wednesday before I had my track running hills, and so I jumped in with them thinking it wouldn't be too bad. It was bad and I paid for it at the half.

So today I was thinking of doing some speedwork at the track, but I guess I learned my lesson from last year because I decided that it really wasn't going to benefit me that much at the race. Don't get me wrong, I always feel better after getting in some speedwork, but this close to the marathon is asking for trouble I think. So I decided just to run easy around the neighborhood. The sun was setting and I actually ran the last few miles in the dark. We have streetlights of course so it wasn't too bad, and actually since the sun was down it was nice and cool. The legs are still a little beat up honestly. I can feel some tightness and soreness in there so I think other than a few 100 meter striders throughout the week that'll be all she wrote for speed.

Well I'm confident going into my first marathon that I will at least have a chance at meeting my gold goal. I really have no idea and it's kind of open waters as far as predicting anything. I was doing a few pace calculations and if I can make it to the half in 1:26-1:27, I have a good chance to get under 2:55, and if I make it to the half around 1:24-1:25, should be able to pull a 2:50. I'm not expecting to get to the half any faster than that as it's like a 6:30 pace, but who knows, it could be my day. So I have some general ideas of split times that I will use. I dont' have a garmin, and nike+ doesn't give overall pace, only current pace which isn't all that helpful.

Speaking of nike+ I plan on writing a review of the system very soon. I already have a basic skeleton written up, but I'm going to flesh it out more. I love writing in this blog, but because I update it everyday it's more of just a training log than anything. So I'm considering starting a second, more informative blog, where I post opinions and offer up subjects for discussion among other things. Also I would only update it once a week or so, that way I could have plenty of time to research different things and provide better material to read. Anyway that is on the backburner, as I'm solely focused on running my first marathon. But if you read this training log (God love ya) then please leave a comment and let me know if you think it's a good idea.

7pm. home. 67 degrees, wind 15mph (didn't notice?) humidity 32% (nice and cool after sunset)
1:04:12, (9.13) gf 610

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Confident. I am feeling really good after the course preview run this morning. It started out with an early wake up, toasted a waffle, grabbed the gatorade and got on the road for the drive downtown. I wasn't really tired this morning, actually I was just kind of normal and laid back. I sort of had a mix up when i got downtown because they redid some stuff and now the exit ramp i usually got off on is no longer in service, so I sort of did a backroads connect the dots type of driving until I finally found a street that I knew. Fortunately I remembered last year they didn't start right away, so I wasn't worried about being late. I think I got there right at 7:30. The marathon staff guy said his hello's and all that, and we were out the door, a group of about 25-30 runners.

I started running with the lead pack, but they were just kind of jogging. It was kind of uncomfortable to run slower, but I wanted company so I stuck with them for a mile or two. Eventually another runner ran past them, so I just went ahead with him and started up a conversation. He was a good running partner, but was only doing 10 miles, so was turning around at 5. We just chatted about training and the things you talk about while running, garmins, injuries, time off, work, etc. It was good and he was keeping the pace moving along nicely for me. At 5 we parted and here I turned around for a bit, hoping to see some other runners coming, but I couldn't see any. Fortunately the course was marked with green stenciled arrows and I was able to follow them for the rest of the half marathon course.

It was a great morning run. Kind of cooler, but really nice out and it was fun to run through the 3rd Creek Greenway which is a mostly wooded area, and then on into Tyson Park. I did have to stop at 7 miles after "the beast" hill on Noelton Drive. Everyone knows that thing, haha. I also stopped in Tyson for a quick bathroom break. I had a good time running alone actually and it was nice just to run how I felt. Before I knew I was nearly to the end. I talked to Elijah, the staff member of the Marathon and we chatted for a while afterward. He is running Boston this year with some other guys from Knoxville. In fact he said one of the guys he runs with placed 25th last year at Boston! crazy.

Unfortunately my dog scratch isn't feeling very good. I cleaned it and everything, but it is sore today. The good thing is it didn't really affect my running, but I did stay up all last night thinking about the whole situation. I just couldn't sleep. It's somewhat distressing that nothing will probably come of the incident, but I'm just going to move on. If something else happens I am just going to call animal control and have them pick the dog up. It's illegal to have a dog off the leash in our neighborhood (at least according to our home owners association) So I don't know. I just don't want to have to be "nervous" to run through my own neighborhood for fear that something stupid will happen again for no good reason. / rant

I am excited about the marathon. It will be interesting to see what happens.

knox half preview. 32-37 degrees wind calm 67% humidity.
1:34:47, (13.69) gf 602

Friday, March 20, 2009


Dog attack. Okay not attack, but I was "injured" by the pug today. There is about a two inch scratch that broke the skin on my right hip from where it lunged at me from behind. I stopped my run (after running a few miles) about halfway through and cleaned it, then went to talk to the neighbor who owns the dog. She of course denied that the dog did it? WTH was I was seeing a ghost dog. The thing is, that dog is the only one loose in the whole neighborhood, and even worse was she had told me on another occasion that she didn't own that dog and it was her neighbors. Anyways it was a mini-fiasco and it put a damper on my motivation so I just decided to be done with running for the day.

The good part of the day was going to Red Lobster for April's Grandfathers birthday! Woot. I'm not sure if I've ever even had lobster, but I was excited to get to try it today. I had been waiting all week and at least that made me feel better about things. The scratch wasn't the big deal, it was the whole denial/calling me a liar thing that got to me.

Tomorrow is a morning run over the first half of the course. I guess the reason why they aren't doing the second half is because it is so windy, turny, and overall just not a great route to run to the traffic. On raceday everything will hopefully be marked well enough that I will not get lost on the second half as I will be running blind. Maybe tomorrow someone else will want to run a little bit of it, and if so I will definitely be doing that. I'm actually going to check out the forums tonight and see if there are any runners around my goal time and try to hook up with them. It will be a lot easier if I have a companion to carry me (and I them) along the course for 26.2 miles.

So kind of a bummer today not getting in all the hills I wanted, but whatever. Tomorrow should be good to run with some other people, which will actually be the first time in a long while. My scratch is kind of stingy, but hopefully it will heal up in a few days (if it's not infected).

home. 56 degrees wind 12mph 25% humidity
45:41, (6.86) gf 589

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Longer run today, went a few extra miles, while listening to the extra mile :) podcast. It was kind of a tough run. The weather was a little warmer and I didn't quite feel "it" today. Mostly I just focused on the next mile or loop. The run went by fast enough and before long I was heading down the final stretch.

My hams are still sore from Tuesday's workout, and the tibia acted up a little at the beginning of the run. The left quad was a little numb today, but I massaged it a lot last night and I think that helped to keep it from totally being painful. I hope that gets worked out before the marathon. I can handle the tibia- it's just a little soreness, but the quad thing would be a bad feeling to carry along for 26 miles.

Tomorrow April's grandpa is having a birthday get together at Red Lobster, I am excited about that. I can't remember the last time I ate there. April has been walking downtown with a friend, and she has been wanting me to go run there. She says it's hilly, so I just planned on making tomorrow a hill workout day and running there.

9:40am. home. 60 degrees, 8mph wind, 60% humidity (warm)
1:41:14, (15.00) gm 963

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Today was a beautiful day to run. Sunny and not too windy. My hams are tight from yesterday, but that wasn't the bad part about today. The bad part was my left quad, which has been having numb symptoms, went totally numb to the point of extreme stinging pain for a good 30 minutes at the end of the run. I'm not sure what is causing this. The good part is that it doesn't prevent me from running, but does suck to have something hurt by being numb? Kind of a contradiction I know. The only way I can describe is to lay on your leg for about 20 minutes then get up and walk around. You feel that tingly burning sensation - yeah now imagine running with that in your quad. Not fun.

Sorry to complain but that's what runners do right? Haha, it really was a great run despite the pain, and it was actually pretty fast too. I'm excited for the marathon. I know it's gonna be a hundred times harder than I can expect, but still I think I will do okay. I'm just hoping I haven't set my expectations way too high as far as running sub 3 hours. It is my first marathon after all and I'm not ignorant as to how hard it is to achieve such a time. Many people out there work just as hard and probably harder than I do at training, and still haven't achieved what I hope to accomplish. I have the will to do it, but I can't speak for my body :)

5:45pm. home. 68?? degrees 8mph wind 40%?? humidity. (warm)
1:26:14, (13.01) gm 949

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I wasn't sure what to expect tonight. I had hoped to meet up with some other runners, but there was only one other runner guy, a few walkers, and a couple students. I was about to talk to the guy after my workout but he left before I was finished and I didn't get a chance.

The workout went well considering I haven't done speedwork for a while. I was breathing pretty hard especially on the 3rd and 4th laps, but still I wasn't really going top speed. I just didn't have the coordination. I really need to be working on that -> running drills, quick feet, striders to be precise. Like I said though the workout was fine and I was surprised to even be running as fast as I was to be honest. Didn't wear the spikes tonight, stuck with the shoes I'll be racing in. They are so torn up already (the tread).Image and video hosting by TinyPic
So it looks like they don't have too many racing days left in em already. That's okay though - I needed a new pair of trainers and I'll just start using them for everday running. I'm not 100% on that though. I think I'll see how they're doing after the marathon, then decide. I don't like spending 85$ on shoes for a single race and less than 100 miles - that's just silly to me.

Anyway after the three repeat miles (with 2 running laps and 1 walking inbetween) I did an 800. That thing nearly blew up my calves and hams, so I figured it would be best to stop there for the fast stuff. I decided to try a "test pace" mile, where I would go at a comfortable rate that I felt like I could hold for a while. The first ended up being around 6:20, and the second was probably the same, but I didn't catch the time. So that is great! If i can hold a 6:30 that will get me a pretty decent marathon time, and If there's anything left toward the end in the last 6 miles I might be able to pick up the pace a few seconds.

I am nervous. I've been really anxious the past few days when i think about the marathon. I'm not sure why, but my heart starts beating faster and I kind of have to shake off the nerves. I think it's just that I haven't raced for a while, so really anything could happen. I'm a little afraid of totally bonking too. I've put in some really hard work though and at this point I just have to be confident and let what happens happen. My main goal is to enjoy the marathon, have fun, and do my best, hopefully all three. I'll do my best NOT to check the weather constantly in the next week, because there's nothing I can do about that. I'll be running hard no matter what day we are blessed with. Okay enough rambling. I've got other things to do. Like sleep.

5:25 pm. track. 69 degrees 5mph wind 35%humidity (warmer)
3x1600 w/1200m recovery 1x800 2x1600 @6:20-6:30
1:03:09, (10.00) fasttwitch 18

Monday, March 16, 2009


Still sore from yesterday's brutal run, so it was a nice easy recovery run today. Was hoping to go for twelve miles, but other than my muscles being sore the left achilles was a little tight and I didn't want to stress anything. Plus tomorrow I'd like to do a little speedwork (mile repeats) so today's run was just to keep from getting stale. I find that if I take the entire day off, the next day is pretty bad. So anyway it was good just to take it kind of easier and save it for tomorrow.

My training log is now updated, well at least past two months are. I have a lot of back-logging to catch up on, but I think the format is looking good. The bad part about Freewebs is that you cannot copy and paste tables, so for each table I have to rewrite EVERY single thing. I also have to resize the tables each time and mess with the font colors and what not. All that and I still have to enter all the data in which takes a while, especially if it's going to be accurate. Theres also no functions, like autosum or any kind of cell numbering (isn't that the point of tables?) So it's really no wonder I sort of let that go the wayside. But it's back now and I'll be better about keeping it updated. I tried out the forum feature - it's crappy I think I'll just delete it and keep the Log as simple as possible.

4:44pm. home. 58 degrees mostly sunny w/6mph winds 80% humidity. (cool)
1:02:38, (9.03) gf 584

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Most painful long run I think I've experienced. I don't believe it was dehydration or anything like that, it was just lack of fitness. I haven't been running the longer distances and it really showed today. While 12-13 miles is a breeze, going beyond that lately is like walking into no mans land. The good part of today was going on a slightly different course (found some cool new areas to run) and the fact that I got out there and actually completed this run.

Because I am so close to the marathon this is my last long run. I'll still be trying to get some speedwork and medium-long runs in (16-17) but this run will be the farthest till the marathon, so it was important that I get it done. I wanted to go for 3 hours, I made it to 2:55 before things just completely fell apart.

The first 2 hours of the run went fine, but then things started degressing quickly and I could feel the legs starting to get worn down. By 2 hours 30 minutes I was just hoping the run would be over. It was a combo of three pains: 1 the hips and calves. It's hard to describe this feeling - it's a combination between feeling like they were hit with a baseball bat and having a charlie horse. Just really bad pain that continues to build. The second was from my lack of fitness aerobically my chest felt like it was going to explode. I couldn't breathe properly. I felt like someone had pumped up a balloon full of air and if I took a deep breath the balloon would pop. I tried to get air in whatever way I could. At 2:40 I hit the last hill and that's when my heart and shoulder gave me pain. My heart literally felt constricted, and the shoulder starting to throb - I'm not sure why this happens (the shoulder thing) but I've noticed it before on runs, even back in high school.

I slogged the last 10 minutes and then had to walk. I only needed five more minutes, but with the above three circumstances it was just too much and I ended it just short of my goal. The worst part was because I ended early I had to walk back and the calves were so overworked and tightened that it was just painful to even walk. I stopped by a store and got some water, but that didn't really help, my muscles just needed rest. Layed in a tub of cold water when I got home - it was the only remedy for the pain.

I took a nap because I felt like I was going to be sick after that, and now it's later so I'm trying to get this blog in. Today was a success despite the bad ending. I know it will help me for the marathon, not only physically, but psychologically. The reason being that I will not want to quit and walk - because of the pain that I know I will feel. If I would have kept running today the rest of the 5 minutes, I wouldn't have had to walk as far, and the pain during running was far less than walking. So that alone is encouragement not to walk, and to push through to the end.

After today's run I know that I'm not as fit as I wanted to be at this point (at least not for the longer distances) but I had a bad few weeks and that kind of took me down a notch. Still this training cycle has been full of running and I feel more ready for the marathon than I did for the half last year. Most of all I just want to go out there and have fun, but at the same time I want to leave nothing on the road. I want to push myself to the maximum and after the race, or one day after, or a week after be able to say I gave it all I had and that was the best performance I could have possibly given - that is the goal. Keeping that in mind while searing pain is engulfing my legs, heart, and lungs will be the challenge.

4pm. ball camp+bike trail+2greenway par loops. 58 degrees cloudy w/8mph wind 80% humidity. (cool)
2:55:01, gf 576

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Guys this is laughable. Another day off. It rained most of the day. I suppose I could have hopped on the treadmill, but I really want to avoid it. I guess a rainy day is a good day to rest, so whatever.

The fun part of today was all the happenings in distance running and track and field. I had no idea the NCAA championships was even this week, but I found it while searching for the Piers-City-Piers half-marathon that world record Haile Gebreselassie was running in today. So that was a ton of fun. It was like going to a track meet. Galen Rupp was awesome, and you wouldn't have believed the women's mile and 3000 meters it was incredible! I twittered about it if you want to read my reactions.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Amazing run today! I felt great the whole way, even at an increased pace. The calf issue hasn't effected my running at all this week. There's still some soreness in there if I press on it, but the key to that is...not pressing on it. Anyway this run was four loops around the hood, with three trips up the HH. So I felt really confident when I got back to the house and I ran about two minutes faster than I normally do that route without the hills! I'm not sure what got into me today? maybe it was the weather or maybe I'm just recovering some of that fitness from before my time off. Whatever it was it was great.

The one thing I did notice today was some soreness around my hip joints. I did the HH a few days ago as well during my run (forgot to mention) and I think running those downhills has put some additional stress on the hips. Still though it's not a big thing, just something to make a note of. After this run I'm feeling really confident. I might get up and run with the ktc guys at fleet feet, but it's 90% chance of rain (raining already) and I'm just not sure if it's gonna happen. We'll see. Next weekend is the chocolate factory run that is the first half of the course. I'll probably do that, but unfortunately it's probably on the first half of the course, so I might not. I haven't been on the ktc forums for a while, so I might hit them up with some questions about it. Sunday I might try a 17-20 miler and push the pace on it. I really want to know where I'm at and I think that will be a good indicator. I just don't want to push too hard, but get an idea of how far I can go before I really start breaking down. If today was any indicator, I should at least be able to make it to 20 before I have to struggle a whole lot....? So we'll see about that too.

3pm. home. 43 degrees 6 mph wind humidity 76% (chilly)
1:28:52, bf 1239

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Streak ended today. It was rainy and spent the day working on art.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Morning run was cloudy, cool 60 degrees, and windy. The wind wasn't too bad, only around 13 mph. I was sweating pretty good so I had no problem with a little extra wind. The run went fine. I actually talked to a neighbor of mine who was interested in buying my car that's been sitting in the parking lot for this past year. I never drive it because April and I have other cars, so our "old" car just kind of sits there rotting away. The only problem with it is that we don't drive it, lol. So the battery has went dead all the numerous times we've replaced it with a new one. Well because of that the circuits have made the left and right blinker not work, so really that's the only problem with it. My dad gave me a part to fix that, but I never got around to it because....we never drive it, haha.

But the morning run did feel good. I really didn't want to get up this morning though. I was having my usual crazy dreams. In this one I was the leader of mankind against the machines in an apocalyptic world where it was mostly my responsibility to find out which humans were terminators and which weren't. It got pretty intense as my dreams normally do, and the entire dreamtime lasted years. There was one cool part where I had been living on a ship (space-vehicle) and actually had terminators I had reprogrammed living alongside me. The rest of humanity had left Earth, and this day they came back, but their ship was ridiculous. My ship was huge, but theirs was like a hundred times bigger. You ever seen those russian dolls where one goes into the next, and that one goes into a larger on and so on. Well my ship was the size of the ones from the movie independence day, and it was the "smallest" russian doll. Yeah. I think i survived the whole thing, but I'm not sure as I was drifting in and out of sleep during the end.

So anyway the whole point of that was just that it was hard to wake up, and in a few weeks I'll have to be racing at that time. I'm doing better though and have got my eight hours for a few nights. The other problem I have is that I don't run as early as I'd like because I'm so hungry when I get up. It's like as soon as I stand up out of bed my stomach goes crazy and I have to eat something. I guess I could eat and run, but I never feel good when I do that. The other option is just to get my butt in gear and go to sleep another hour earlier. So hopefully I'll get my routine going here and be awake and ready on the 29th.

9:45 am. home. 60degrees cloudy 13mph 63% humidity - (felt cool)
1:30:33, gf 546

Later run ended up being an 8 mile tempo. Felt great the whole way through.

4:47 pm. home. 55 degrees cloudy 12 mph wind 50% humidity (cool)
1:07:13, gf 554

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Was really hot and windy today. I ran for about 6 miles on the hills at the soccer complex and then stopped for some water. I was pretty exhausted and figured I could run some more later on when maybe the wind died down. I ended up having to go the art store for some things and then went to dinner with April after that. At least I got in some running done in the heat today.

80 degrees sunny 15mph wind 40% humidity.
46:35, gf 535

Monday, March 9, 2009


It was hot today. The run was hard and even by mile 2 I felt dehydrated. This weather is crazy, 30 degrees last week, and now it's 70-75 all of a sudden. What happened to the 50's and 60's !?!? Either way it's good training, so I'll take, it is just hard adjusting to it. I really had to push my way through this run, nothing came easily. By the last two miles my mouth was crusted and my lips were sticking together because I really needed some water, but I knew if I stopped it was over. I was determined to run the entire time and not stop early though. Finally after feeling not so good at the finishing pickup I was finished and cold water was sweet and delicious. It took a while for my lips to return to normal as they had caked layers of salt and dried saliva, gross! So enjoy that little detail my fellow runners or perhaps readers who just like to peruse my blog.

On secondary exercises I've been diligent with sittups, it's been about a week straight and I've done leglifts and planted sittups every night - a little later than I'd like it to be, but at least I'm getting it in. Last night I did wall sits which killed (and I was sore today by the way) and also some lunges so that was good too. Anything at this point additional I really feel is going to affect my performance at the marathon.

4:45pm. home. 70 degrees sunny with 4 mph wind 37% humidity.
1:30:07, gm 937

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Not a very good run. Was really tired and just seemed to be worn out quickly. Stopped this run early. Left quad - which as been numb since I started running again, was numb again. Also my left hip bone (the joint area) was really sore when I got up this morning. Since I was also exhausted I decided to just end it early and try to go longer tomorrow.

5:15 pm. ball camp .74 degrees 18 mph wind.
36:29, gm 925

wall sits 1:45/2:00
lunges 2 x 10

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Wow 22 days from the marathon! Holy smokes. I knew it would come fast, but man it's here. Today was awesome! I'm using tons of exclamation marks to let you know! haha, well today really was good. It was like 70 degrees and a little windy, but not too bad. The legs felt surprisingly good and....drumroll.......calf was fine. yaay me. So yeah it didn't hurt at all this run. Now it's not gone completely, but running was pain-free. If I press on it in the right spot definitely still there, but being able to run free was awesome.

Great run today, felt controlled but loose, not too hard of an effort. I even managed to push it a bit on the last mile. Good news things to be falling back into place a bit. Tomorrow I'm planning a 3 hour long run. Kinda long, but hey, three weeks to go so no holding back. The run tonight was an even number, kinda funny I wasn't even trying for it :O

5:10pm. home. 72 degrees sunny 13 mph wind.
1:32:00, gm 920

Friday, March 6, 2009


Calves were not good today super-tight and I have no clue why. The right one especially. The soreness isn't the "good" kind like you feel after weight lifting, it's the bad kind that is just pain. Must have been from all the days off? Either way I did a shorter run today because I didn't want to push things too soon. Hopefully tomorrow they might loosen up a bit. Left quad has been numb past two days? Not sure what that is about, but it's kinda freakin me out. Well, at least I did some kind of running today.

4:29 pm. home. 62 degrees 16 mph wind.

42:27, gm 908

Thursday, March 5, 2009


RUNNING OCCURED TODAY! Isn't it amazing. The calf still isn't 100% but clllose enough for me. Gah, 3 weeks out from the marathon and I'm having all these days off. I would be sorry for not updating, but nobody reads this but me so it really doesn't matter. I'm mostly just talking to myself I guess. Anyway me, you had a rough week.

IT WAS HORRIBLE. My head hurt constantly. I literally had a headache since Sunday all through yesterday. I even almost passed out. My brain hadn't been getting it's fix of oxygen and my body really didn't react well to it. It was crazy to think how exercise is kind of like my addiction. If I don't get it my body goes into withdrawal. Crazy Week.

Good news is the calf isn't healed all the way, but it isn't sore to the touch, I can press on it pretty good before any pain, so that is good. Now it's time to just go slow and get back into a routine. The marathon will be here before I know it!

3pm. home. 60 degrees partly cloudy 15 mph wind.
1:22:05, gf 532


GAAAH DAY 6 I feel like I'm dying :(

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Day off 5 :(


Day off 4 :(


Day off 3 :(


Day off 2 :(


Day off :(