Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Last day of March but the start of a new season of running for me and I've found the Neverending Hill to top it off. Here is a little ditty I wrote for today, it's starts off complainy but only so you can appreciate the photos I posted of my new running area. I'll post one here too but the rest are @dailymile.

Everyday I run the same home loop. 3 miles with 10+ cul-de-sacs, cookie cutter houses that are all the same, ugly pugs that try to bite me and the rest of the yappy ones who bark EVERY single time I pass by, and all of it blocked in by a curvy busy main road that has no edges to run on. Essentially marooned in suburbia. The same old monotonous loop everyday for at least 3 times for over two years now. Sure I can drive elsewhere, but driving defeats the purpose of running and I hate wasting time. You can understand then my excitement for finding ANYwhere new to run that is close enough to get to without my car. Although it wasn't easy and involved crossing the main road, running right next to cars on the innerstate, and off-roading a little bit through a marsh, it was totally worth the trouble.

Probably one of the best runs I can remember since high school. The area wasn't so exciting once I actually was out there a while, but still, there is a nice long sidewalk to run down and a pretty serious hill, okay mountain to run to the top of. Seriously I was going up that and immediately dubbed it The Neverending Hill, because the thing just kept going up. But really the only bad part was that I am kinda sore from the marathon or I'd probably still be out there running.

I went pretty far, but there was who knows how much sidewalk left to explore when I turned around about 4 miles in, and the best part was I didn't even touch my neighborhood route! I even saw some deer off in the woods! I was like 50 feet from them. So much better than being barked at by yippy little dogs. Pretty pumped that I now how have the choice to ignore that.

bf 2455

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It appears I was third in my AG, lulz.

Also I am definitely doing the dogwood mile if my schedule permits it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

3.29.10 Sore.

that is all.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3.28.10 Knoxville Marathon

Alright so I know a lot of people were looking for me to hammer out a great time, and I had every intention of doing that, but sometimes you just have one of those days where absolutely nothing goes your way.

So as for my training for this thon' it wasn't anything special, in fact I was surprised I was knocking out 18 milers at all considering where I was in January, barely able to run 4 miles without stopping. The reason for that was literally no training in November and December, the months where I really should have been building up a decent base I did absolutely nothing and lost a ton of fitness. I knew this going into the race, but my training recently suggested that I did still have hope. I was running the same times I was last year on my daily and long runs and I really felt good on my longer runs too so it seemed like the waters were fine to jump in.

Race Morning:
This started off magnificently. I was awake at 5 ish and had a light breakfast, my usual nothing out of the ordinary. I pinned on my bib which somehow never turns out level. Checked the weather and it actually just showed cloudy for 2 hours into the race! Considering it was raining while I was reading that I didn't have a lot of confidence in that prediction. Drank some gatorade before heading out the door, right on schedule.

I get downtown to the parking garage and for some reason the cars are backed up forever. It took at least half an hour to finally get into the garage and get parked, ugh I waited forever and without realizing it lost a huge chunk of warmup time. Surprisingly none of the people in that car line were running it seemed because they drove right by the garage. Now normally I have April or somebody around, but since she is pregnant and days (hours?) from popping out our baby it was the best thing for her to stay home. Still I like to have somebody around to talk to before the race because it relaxes me.

Anyway I decided to go find the bag check, which I didn't see because I really needed to use the bathroom. The lines for the porta-potties stretched from the start line to the finish, so I decided to go to another inside. Unfortunately some bright person decided to lock that one and so there I was with essentially no bathroom. I waited in line, 10,15,20,25 minutes. All I could do was stand there and kind of stretch. Meanwhile the clock is slowly ticking down toward the marathon. By the time I made it in and out I had maybe 5 minutes left to warm up, and so I had to skip the bag check and run my junk back to the car. It was pretty tense, but I just tried to stay calm. I swear time just felt like it was flying by 1000 miles an hour the entire time today. So I run up 5 flights of stairs to the car, which actually wasn't there. I must have parked on another level.

The Race:
I heard the friggin national anthem and said screw it. The first person I saw I said will you take my stuff. She memorized my name and #, and I said "I'll see you at the finish" then I ran like hell back to the line. I didn't make it. Things just get better from here. So I run TO the start, just so I can turnaround and start with like the 9:00 pace group, which wasn't bad, but there were a TON of them so I had to snake everyone until I could find an open sidewalk. I wasn't even thinking at this point, I was literally having an out of body experience, Crazy!

Finally we get into the race and of course the hills. Rollers and more rollers, but I was actually feeling good despite starting late. How late I didn't know so I just had to listen to other people to find out what they were running. That's pretty unreliable though and so I just tried to run at a good clip and not worry about the time until I saw the 10k. Chugging up and flying down hills. There are tons of uphills, but each one goes back down, then right back up. It's a wearing first 6 miles that is hard to describe. You want to go fast, but you know you shouldn't. So 10k reads about 42 right as I cross. Okay, not where I want to be exactly, but on pace nonetheless, especially with a late start. And what'ya know is up next, good old Noelton hill. Ugh what a beast. I did pretty well although it's a serious punch to the legs.

I was expecting flooding on the greenway but it was the nicest part of the race and the paths were dry. This was the part of course where I tried to conserve energy for the second half. I tracked a few people, but mostly just tried to maintain and relax. I was doing well. Mile 10 came up with Tyson Park and I took a GU here, and by the way there wasn't a water stop where I didn't drink at least a few sips of water or powerade. Right as I went to go up the final hill of the half, at 11 miles something just hit me. My stomach dropped and I felt like I was going to die. I really wanted to find a bathroom quick. Alas there were none to be seen. I went through the half directly at 1:30:00. Not good but I had slowed down a lot due to my ugh, condition. I was eagerly and desperately looking for a porta potty. I also managed to see the woman who was holding my jacket and things at this point, she recognized me and hollered "Go Ron!", crazy day.

The Second Half:
But it never came, until mile 16. I slowed Way The Heck down inbetween then, thinking I could make up the time after by conserving but it was really hard to focus and a few people passed me here. Finally thank the lord I found the first porta-potty in 7 miles and spent good 5 minutes there. I hate to stop during a race, but it wasn't even a choice at this point. Directly after this I kept feeling something and hearing it go click clack click clack on the bottom of my shoe. I thought it was a rock and tried to the the 'swipe' method, but it really didn't come out. So I finally had to just stop and pluck the dang thing out. It was some sort of washer or something, no idea. But I was like oh great, yet another something else to slow me down. Crazy!

So I get back on track actually running again. Things still weren't good though. My stomach was still tied in a knot and now I get to fight the wind for the rest of the race. It literally hurt to run. and at mile 18 I think it was the first time I ever really considered dropping out of a race. This was simple torture. Each time I tried to run my chest tightened up and I felt like I couldn't breathe. So I took my first hill walk at 18 or so.

Still a shard of hope remained. I just kept telling myself it will pass and I'll get a second wind. I reached 19 and was like, okay 10k to go, I still might be able to hit 3:10, which is a BQ. I figured I needed some secondary goal because after the stop I knew I lost way too much time and so that became my next motivation. But it didn't last long. Running across the bridge I was being blown all over the place and I couldn't have been running more than 8:30 or 9:00. I mean I was barely getting one foot in front of the other and said heck with it I might as well just walk. So I did. Just friggin' walking out there. I was a mess, but my only hope quickly became finishing this thing. I knew there was nothing I could do. This race was completely out of my control and I felt like it wasn't even me running, and it wasn't, I never run like this!

My right calf was now cramping and I stopped a few times to stretch it to no avail. My legs obviously weren't fresh, but I could easily run at pace until my heart felt like it was going to explode again. Over and over I would get up to pace, hold it for a few minutes and then just feel like I was going to die. Yo-yo'ing everyone, but mostly the yo-yo never returned. People along the course were great, other runners, volunteers, just people outside giving out fruit, sheer awesomeness. I felt bad for walking through their stations. I've never done that. It felt like I was insulting them.

The finish:
Still there was nothing else I could do. It was a battle that I had pretty much given up on. I would walk some, run some, walk some run some and do this as much as possible. I wasn't quitting though. There was no backing down, and I was finishing this if I had to crawl to the line. The only nice part here was the wind at the side and knowing that there is just two miles left. Two miles isn't even a warm up but Lord those two miles hurt. There were a few hills that I walked, but I actually gained some ground here and found a second wind. Probably about a minute slower than my normal runs, but hey it was consistent and I was actually maintaining so I'll take it.

I passed a few people here, but it also started to rain. It got cold so I put my arm warmers back on. Legs were pretty trash but I found a nice little group to latch on to and passed them up by 25. I bolted back across the start line (make that 3 times for this race) and went on down a nice steep hill, which of course leads right back up the nice steep hill on the other side and into the finish. I managed to pass one or two marathoners here, but most of them were halfers that were coming in. I actually felt good here and I suppose it's because I knew it was almost over. I crossed the finish line and really didn't feel anything. I guess it's because I knew this race was over for me a long time ago and had pretty much accepted it by then.

Despite all that the post-race was the worst. It was a total downpour and I was freezing. I puked numerous times, behind the uhaul, in front of the uhaul, in the bathroom, in the porta john, pretty much if there was a place to puke I found it. Funny though this never ever happens. Maybe it was the GU or something that didn't sit right, but I really just felt sick the whole race and it hit me afterward, hard. I drank something and of course you can imagine how that went. I didn't even bother eating. Ugh I was miserable. I don't even know how to describe the emotion. It's kind of an anger/helpless/wtf/astonishment all rolled into one. It just felt like everything was out of my control on this day and there was nothing I could do to prepare for it.

Please don't believe that I'm giving you excuses, that's not the point of all this. I ran what I ran and I'm confident that I could do no better on this day, and I'm happy with that. My training was not the best. I knew this going in but I'm confident that my goals were achievable. Having ran a 2:59 last year I know that I CAN do it, and I really think I still could on a better day, and I don't just mean the weather. In hindsight I wish I would have ran the half. I nearly switched yesterday when I heard someone else switch at the Expo, but it's just not in my character to back out or back down regardless of the situation, and if you've read this far that should be pretty obvious.

My original goal for this race was simply to start and continue training again and I accomplished that. I even made it back to 80 mile training week by the end which made me very happy. The problem was I saw some light at the end of the tunnel and unfortunately put an expectation on this race instead of just having fun with it. I just have to remind myself that the race wasn't the end of my training cycle, it just was the beginning.

To all my daily mile fellow runners, you guys are awesome. I appreciate and ingest every word and advice you have, no matter your pace or accomplishments. Believe me I listen to and respect you all. Congrats to those who ran along side of me (and a few in front of me) today at the race.

The Lesson:
So what did I learn from this insanely crazy day in my running journey? Well firstly, you can never be too early or prepared for a race. I learned that sometimes you don't need to PR (big for me) and that sometimes you just have one of those days and that's okay. Another thing is that I will be properly trained for my next marathon. I knew I was jumping into this one with minimal training just starting from January 1, so I probably should have just done the half. Oh - and I also learned that GU doesn't like me one little bit apparently, I don't know though my stomach still doesn't feel right.

But mostly I learned that there are some really good people out there. The woman who had my stuff found me afterward and returned it to me. I mean how amazing is that? I let her know that she was an awesome person and it was so nice to have met her. I offered my artistic services to her as repayment of her kindness. Such a cool thing happened from what I consider to be a stupid risk or incident. Whatever you want to call it I am glad for those silly risks and incidents so that I can still be amazed by just people, it was far better than any PR I could have ran today.

Knoxville Marathon
3:21:06 (7:40)
chip: 3:20:37 (7:39)

fasttwitch 182

Saturday, March 27, 2010

3.27.10 - One more day

 and of course Tomorrow

Once I put on those racing flats and a singlet it was super hard not to sprint this one. Hay is in the barn. Like clockwork the weather takes a turn for the worst. I'm used to it because it happens EVERY year, but i really wanted to avoid running into a 14 mph wind in the last 6 miles this year. I'm not one to back down from a challenge though, gonna PR if it kills me.

 fasttwitch 158

Friday, March 26, 2010


Easy run with a few accelerations mixed in. Taper is over and legs feel better than they have for a month after all this rest. Just a shake out run tomorrow in race gear then to the expo to pick up my packet and time chip.

bf 2446


Took another rest day. Right when I was going to run a mere 2 miles it started raining and thundering. Supposed to rain on Sunday, but I'm still hoping for the best.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


 Three more easy days until the marathon! Good run to get acclimated to the heat. Legs still aren't as loose as I'd like them to be, but with just a couple miles a day left to run they should be good to go.

bf 2443

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Did an easy 4 miles (yesterday) but forgot to post, probably because it was over quickly and nothing to write home about.

bf 2437

Monday, March 22, 2010


Second half of my run from earlier. put me at 6.42miles / 43:31 for the day. Second half felt much better than the first, mostly due to taking off my longsleeve which was over a tshirt and arm warmers. It was warmer than I thought it would be because of the sun, but the wind was around 12mph so it was a lot windier than I would have liked. It snowed this morning, it'll probably be 70 tomorrow. Just checked - 60 tomorrow with snow tonight, 70 is for Wednesday :) Gotta love consistently inconsistent weather.

bf 2433

Sunday, March 21, 2010

3.21.10 - 22 day streak

So I had a streak of running that just ended yesterday. After doing caricatures for 4 hours and driving 1 hour each way I was worn out. I just spent time with April and watched tv. It was nice, although going for a run did cross my mind about a hundred times. It started raining super hard and that pretty much was the final sign.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

3.20.10 - Group Run

Great run this morning covering the second 13 miles of the marathon. I got in with my little group from last week, Greg and Doug and we ran it together. The pace was comfortable and I never found myself out of breath but my legs were still a little tired from last week. We talked mostly about our past marathons and our goals for this race. Doug is shooting for 3:30 and considering he's kept up with me and Greg (about 30 seconds faster than his goal time) I think he'll have no problem with it. This was a pretty easy 13, could have easily run some more if I needed to.

The last half of the marathon course is somewhat flatter, but still has it's challenges. Mostly in the form of multiple back to back turns and gradual inclines, but after a 13.1 beating on the first half those small challenges are multiplied. Ipod is brain-dead and hasn't responded since I tried to check it at the end of the run, so no stats.

bf 2427

Friday, March 19, 2010


Sunny 65º, that pretty much sums up an awesome day. This run went well. I actually felt like I had legs today and breathing was relaxed and controlled throughout. Wanted to run longer but decided to save it for tomorrows group run.

It's a little late to make habits, but I'm going to try to run every morning this coming week just to prepare a bit for getting up extra early marathon morning. Hopefully I can work out a nice routine so everything goes smooth and I'll be prepared to run when the gun fires next Sunday.

bf 2414

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The Sun Exists! After what felt like a decade of rainy overcastedness finally the light returned today. Too bad my legs didn't feel as chipper as the weather did. After yesterdays workout they were all but dead. I felt like I was wearing cement shoes and even the small little hills were pushing the quads. Still I went a little longer than I planned which was good because I didn't feel decent until the last half of the run. I'm looking forward to getting through Saturday and then taking it super easy.

 bf 2404

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

That Good old 18

Repeat of last Wednesday's hilly workout (18 miles). This one was much harder though. My hamstrings and quads were already tired from the start and it took a lot more effort to sprint to the top of those last two hills. From here out it's all downhill though, so I pushed hard on this workout.

I'm really looking forward to the taper because I miss the feeling of fresh legs. Only a week and a half till 26.2 miles so all the rest of the runs will just be maintaining fitness and trying to rest the leg muscles.

bf 2397

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Not sure about this one. Felt pretty fast, but ipod said it was over 7:00 pace so I decided to do 3x200m sprints @5:36 at the end just to prove my point to it.

bf 2379

Monday, March 15, 2010


A little windy and overcast today but not too cold. Legs weren't fresh due to some squats, wall sits, etc. last night but the run wasn't too bad. Probably would have went longer but didn't quite get out early enough to run before dinner like I wanted to.

This weekend is the group run, but I just realized I may not be able to make it due to a caricature job in the afternoon. It's not until 1, but I have to drive about an hour to get there and grab a bite to eat before I leave so it's cutting it a little close, but will be doable if I plan it out right. My days usually go better if I just go ahead and get the run in first thing, so it'll probably end up better that way. Less than two weeks to the marathon.

bf 2369

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Spring forward is a great thing, no doubt about it, but not so much when you are two weeks out from a marathon. I'm used to waking up, eating, and running at certain times and it all gets out of order all at once. Today was a struggle to catch up with the lag. That and the fact it was rainy really threw me off.

Regardless I made my way relunctantly to the treadmill and hopped on. Things actually went well despite how I was feeling and much of this run was at or slightly around 9.0 mph. I probably should have taken it a bit easier, but every time I run fast on the treadmill the time seems to go by so much faster compared to a comfortable pace.

I'm also happy about the time change though. I love being able to run either before or after dinner, and running later always reminds me of summer runs when the sun is setting, shirts are optional, and all is warm and happy.

bf 2363

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Knoxville Group Training Run - 1st Half

Every year I forget just how hard the first half of the course is. And each year I get reminded with a beating to the legs. The course is rolling hills, but with two really nice inclines at 7 and around 11 that really put a smackdown on any hope of freshness in the legs. Despite that this run went well enough, and fortunately all the rain cleared out just for us in the morning so we had sun!

I got in a group of about 4 other people and we ran together the entire time. One was running the full, about my pace, and the other three were running the 5k or half. One guy Keith was shooting for a 1:20, so we had a group really close to my pace range. By 13 miles I was wanting to stop, but Keith wanted to go farther and I didn't mind so three of us kept going and ended up with 16 miles. I don't know the pace because none of us had GPS and of course my ipod crapped out. My legs were very worn after this one, but cardio I didn't really feel like I was pushing anything. This was one of those inbetween runs, I didn't feel good at any point, but I never felt bad, and it was tough at times, but not really a hard effort.

I'm about a heartbeat away from getting a Garmin. Ipod said it had no battery power and turned itself off mid-run, even though it was on the charger all night and had full power this morning. I'm sick of complaining about it, anyone have a Garmin they don't want? lol.

fasttwitch 156

Friday, March 12, 2010


bleah blah day outside. Severe thunderstorms, lighting, and plenty of rain all-day-long. I was miserable and cranky. Finally 2 hours after dinner got in my run on the treadmill so at least now I don't feel lazy.

"Long" run tomorrow in the morning with the training group. Should be 13-15 if all goes well, but who knows what will happen with the weather. I'm definitely going downtown either way, just not sure how many miles I will get in.

bf 2358

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And now it's time

Okay so I pretty much abandoned this blog, which was literally my home for over a year and now I feel bad about it. Since I hadn't been updating as often as I should, I have yet again changed my mind back to logging here. I will just log the same stuff as on daily mile. I'll no longer include the time/run data, just the text because if people really want to look at those it's it two places which log it much easier than here. I will also have to refigure how turn off the auto-feed to twitter and only post to twitter when I have something extra other than daily info.

Did one loop in the hood. Legs are pretty much shot but I need the cardio so suck it up legs. Just trolololo'd along. Had to use the bathroom and the ipod quit the run on me after 30 seconds, so i started a new one which is always annoying because you can't manual input your runs like here so it gets split into two runs. Probably the worst part about it is if people want to cheat they can so it really serves no purpose not to let people insert their own data, or in this case, simply combine a run within 1 minute of another run. Or better yet, fix the dang software so it doesn't just quit the run without your permission. Meh, I know it's my own fault for just not switching to Garmin, but I still enjoy having all my miles logged there as well.

Sorry for the rant. Anyway it was rainy today. I wasn't sure if I was going to get this one in not from rain from lack of motivation. It sprinkled here the last two loops but it actually felt good. I think the hardest part about days like this are just the gloom factor really gets me down. Once I got out there though it was a pleasant 60 degrees and made for nice running weather, however dreary it may have felt.

Put this run as an alright simply because of leg tiredness.

blue free 302+2050= 2352
fasttwitch 88+52=140
gm 8+1051 =1059

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's race time again

Time to go over race plans. Every year I bust out the spreadsheets and pace calculators to start figuring out just what the heck kind of goal I should be aiming for in my upcoming race. Well this year is a bit different due to my lack of training. November and December were complete and utter disasters in terms of running, with maybe one run in December, and a handful in November, and honestly Oct. and Sep. didn't look to pretty either, yikes! NOT good for marathon training. At all.

So first the somewhat short journey:

2 months of sloth-like activity really add up. Okay I did do a lot of actual work in there, with baby Veronica on the way and all, and then of course the occasional core routine just to not feel totally bad. Either way it was a good rest, especially for a beat up shin, but at the cost of a huge amount of aerobic fitness. Basically I started from nothing again January 1st, but the nice thing about running is once you scratch past the crusty out of shape surface, previous fitness is waiting there beneath it.

So I started slowly in January with a few miles here and there, and worked my way back up, but barely squeaking out 25-35 miles/week, pretty horrible. Finally in February I started feeling pretty good again, and soon I was back up to getting in decent length runs, averaging about 50 miles/week, much better but still not great. Then last week a breakthrough with over 80 miles, a lot of that from a rough 24 miler, but mostly from relatively good training adding up that allowed me to be able to run everyday again.


So I'm 2.5 weeks out from the marathon and I really would like to beat last years time of 2:59:27, which, if you read my race report was far from the ideal race by a really angry giant beast of a margin. I feel behind where I was last year. I had a ton more training and on a more consistent basis (i.e. 11 weeks OVER 90 miles in the previous 5 months of the marathon) yeah, compared to uh 0-30 miles in those same weeks and just 1 week over 80 - that's a huge difference. But last years training got me to where I am now and that's the only thing I can focus on at this point.

So I'm definitely not as confident as I was last year in that respect, but I do know what to expect, and that is a huge advantage. I also am hoping for a nice day to run, or at least an acceptable day for a marathon. Last year was not in my opinion, but it's out of my control so I'll just hope for the best.

And now the Math from last year
10k = 6.2 @6:37 pace
13.1M (6.9@ 6:31) brought me up to 6:34 overall pace
20M (6.9 @6:56) brought me down to 6:42 overall pace
26.2M (6.2 @7:18) brought me down to 6:50 overall pace

So there is a telling theme here which is dying in the second half, or in other words, went too fast the first half. Granted last year my goal was 2:55, and I really really think if it had been a better day (no wind, no stomach deal) I may have shaved a minute or more off my time, but maybe not. So I was actually on pace for my goal, but the reality was that I should have went much slower for the day I was given. Hindsight is always 20/20 though, 20/10 in this case.

This year I plan to basically go out conservative. 6:42 the entire race, if I can manage it. That would put me 2+ minutes slower at the half, and still tied with last year at 20 miles. Which is 2+ minutes more energy conserved over the course. If I stay on pace I finish in 2:56! and if I fall off I still have a chance to PR. Better yet I can negative split the sucker and hit 2:55!. Either way I think it will be much smarter, especially since the first half of the course is actually hillier. Fatigue does most it wonders the second half so between conserving on the hills and running slightly slower aerobically, this strategy takes the most advantage of both the course and my own fitness. Now fueling for the second half will be important too. Stomach pains all but knocked me down around 16 miles so I'll do everything not to let that happen again by fueling often and not getting dehydrated. I plan to have plenty of extra gu/shot blocks instead of just a couple like last year.

So that pretty much sums it up for now. The plan is in place, all that's left is the execution and hopefully not dying this time in the last half of the race. Honestly even if I bomb this thing I will be happy because I am back running again. My real goals are far off in never never land, and my real purpose for running this marathon was simply to continue running as much as possible and I knew it would motivate me. I hope to remind myself of this on race morning. I love to run, but sometimes when life throws a wrench at you, or a baby, it's easy to get to sidetracked.



half 13.1