My photo
Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review

By the numbers:
Swim: 255 minutes
Bike: 1936 miles
Run: 913 miles

PRs at 10k (49:10) 10 mi (1:23) and 1/2 Marathon (1:47)
Hardware 3x 1 Sprint du and 2x Sprint tri (in the old fat boy division
40+ clyde)

Questions from the tri list:

-What one word describes your 2008 season? Does it match what you said
last December in anticipation of this year?

Rebirth.... Last December I doubt I said anything... could have said

-What one word comes to mind when you think about your 2009 season?

Crescendo... my fitness and racing have gotten progressively better.

-Did you race any new distance this year or try any new type of racing
or sport?

I tried running while weighing less than 200# for the first time in a

-What was your greatest thrill or joy this year from training or racing?

Just that... racing... whether it was racing my buddies around the
office park... competing for hardware in the master's Clydesdale
division at our local tri/du races or simply competing against myself
during the fall road races.

Watching my times improve linearly with my weight reduction was pretty
cool too.

-What was your biggest disappointment this year from training or racing?

Jax 1/2 marathon.... I wanted to end on a high note with another PR.

-What was your favorite race in 2008?

Beaches Fine Arts Sprint Triathlon

This picture:

and the fact that I came in 4th place in the 40+ Clydesdale division got
my competitive juices flowing again... and pointed out how fat I had


4 miles at lunch with 3 @ 7:45... was supposed to be 2x that

but... I'm old and I may need some energy to go Jukin' later

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The loss of an old friend and training partner

I never even got to say goodbye… We had been training together for years… always with me… no matter the pace or distance…. Never a complaint despite the weather, time of day, or my mood.

How careless… and how quickly a rear bumper can end a relationship… and it was all my fault…. In an instant… on Sunday morning

I left my trusty Garmin 201 on the rear bumper of my Suburban on Saturday. I’d taken it to the bike trails… it had never synched with the satellites in the hour or so I’d ridden so I left it there to synch and forgot about it.

Sunday morning I ran to the store for bread… and it flew off somewhere and is gone.

I am heartbroken.

I am an idiot.

RIP old friend

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RR - Jacksonville 1/2 marathon

Short version: (There will not be a long version. )

I failed. I planned to run 13 sub 8 minute miles… and grin and gloat and float the .1 to the finish line.

I did not. I started fast… maybe too fast (7:38).. I held that pace through 5 miles. Wheels started falling off during mile 6. One bright spot… I ran my first sub 50min 10k… then I made a rather ugly fall back through the field. The last 3 miles were 10s… I just didn’t have it… I guess I overestimated myself and what I was capable of… I went to make a withdrawal from the First National Bank of Pain and had non-sufficient funds.

We are all looking for that line… just how far we can push it… and on 21 Dec 2008 for the given distance. I found it… and it pushed back.

Bring on the full marathon on 15 Feb 2009. I’ll be ready.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

March 13, 2007

I wrote the below in March of 2007.... it has taken me almost 2 years to see my vision come to fruition.

Now to make it a reality.... on Sunday at the Jacksonville 1/2 Marathon

Gate River Run 2007 - Race Report

I saw the ghost of my fitness today
Through eyes blinded
by poor choices
by a body broken down
and a wounded spirit
healed and scarred with apathy

I saw quite clearly
Though far away now
As though the sands of time
Had etched the outlines
deep into the metal
of my very being

I was running
Feeling a pain all too familiar
But different somehow
Not the bittersweet pain
Of pushing beyond
What I used to think not possible

No, this was pain just to complete
Just get to the end
What I found at the finish
Was not the joy
Of a finish line
just a line, a finish

But what I saw
When I looked back further
Was the joy, The spirit
A body glistening with sweat
Tired and hurting
Yet far from spent

I looked back once more
and longed to be him
that person that I saw
at last the revelation
I was not looking back at all
Instead, envisioning a future

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend update

not much to say... ran 11.5 on Saturday. I had planned to run on Sunday but... good to get the miles in. My pace was solid. Right on a 9 mpm pace. I was cold the entire time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Once a Soldier

Yesterday when I read a report from my friend Hurricane Bob Mina. He treadmill "raced" a guy he refers to as the "perfect soldier". Well... he didn't actually race the guy. He simply ran the same pace as "the perfect soldier" and in so doing ended up running 4 miles in under 30 minutes. After reading Bob's report I thought to myself... that I sure would like to do that... I bet that I could go under 30 minutes for 4 miles... In fact I'd just missed that very goal last week... I'd tried, and failed, to run 4 7:30s. I came close but the last mile... I could not hold the pace.

Today I didn't feel great. Got back late last night from a business trip with too much gluttony... breakfast buffet... goodies during seminar breaks... long lunches... happy hours... long dinners... combined with crappy weather.

So I decided to run 6 with 4x8:00/mile in the middle.

It was sprinkling when I went to change and pouring by the time I left. I was soaked before I left the parking lot.

Warm-up mile seemed easy... a 9:07

As I started the first tempo mile I decided to run on feel and try to stay loose. I felt great.... the rain was pouring... 7:21.

During mile 2 the rain eased up. I was still wet and cold but my legs kept turning over... I began to believe that perhaps, I too... could be a soldier... 7:27

My breathing started to get labored at the beginning of mile three and I had to force the legs to keep the turnover high. 7:29

I knew that I could gut it out on the last mile but it seemed to be forever. I ran a slightly different route today so where the finish line was I did not know. I had to alter my gait and take long slower strides... my breath was ragged but... I made it. 7:22

4 miles - 29:47

The rain poured again during my cool down.... not that I cared.

Thanks for the motivation Bob.

Being all that I can be...
CPT Michael D. Cowart (Ret)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Toddling Town

in Chicago this week.

Weather is awful... 34F and raining. Our offices here are in the basement.... therefore no windows.

I ran 17 on Sunday.... speed varied... Ran a few with Kara in the 11 mpm range and a bunch (8 maybe) right at 9 mpm... felt awesome at mile 15... and seriousl;y considered the full for next weekend... well... until mile 17 that is....

Still a little sore today.

I would love to go for a run outside. Maybe if the rain turns into snow.... otherwise I'm treadmill bound in an hour or 2.

Gotta get my pushups in too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Marathon Swim

My friend Tony is going to swim a Marathon

Marathon Swim
Who: Tony Lyons
What: Marathon Swim - 42.2 km or 26.2 miles. 1688 lengths of a 25 meter pool.
Where: Canada Games Pool, 65 East Sixth Avenue, New Westminster, B.C.
When: March 27th 2009
Why: To raise funds for the CKNW Orphan’s fund
Why #2: Why would one go and run a marathon? Im going to swim one cause it is there and because I can.

Tempo Day

Today was tempo day.

The training schedule called for 6 miles including 4 mi @7:29 [gulp]

That looked hard…. But… I wanted to train hard so…

Mile 1 - 10:51 nice warm-up… but I had aches and pains in both legs.

Mile 2 - 7:28 – tried not to think…. Decided that I needed new training music.

Mile 3 - 7:35 – tried not to slow down

Mile 4 - 7:29 – began to have to put some effort into holding the pace.. forcing the legs to turn over.

Mile 5 - 7:46 – started in a hole… running along the railroad tracks it is easy to lose focus and let my pace drift… I did for .3 miles or so before I noticed… spent the rest of the mile trying to get lost seconds back.

Mile 6 - 10:55 – spent and wandering… just trying to cool down.

I missed the 7:29 goal… but… I can’t overachieve every day.

I think I’m sick… I’ve been looking forward to this run all week and will replay it in my head a few more times over the next few days.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Half or Full?

The Jacksonville Marathon (and ½ Marathon) is 21 December.

I’m on the fence about whether to do the ½ or the full.

Thae case for each…

Because it’s there
Because I’ve done it 4x
I just PRed the ½
Catered training run for the full Marathon I’ve already registered for in February

Maybe I can PR again… sub 8s even…
It’s ½ the cost ($35 vs $70)
My friends are doing the ½
My longest runs have been 2 14 milers… last month

100 pushups

I started this program today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Saturday ride

26 mile ride on Saturday...

Picture paints 1k words:

Outback Distance Classic 1/2 Marathon

The “Outback” is our local Thanksgiving Day race. I’ve competed in this race a handful of times…. Nothing makes the deep-fried turkey taste better than 13.1 miles of appetite building.

The timing of this race makes it an easy target to focus on after triathlon season is over. Conversely my two best ½ marathon times have been at this race with my PR of 1:54:17 set in 2004.

In the days leading up to the race I was not sure if I would be racing or not. My little blonde training partner was signed up to do her first ½ marathon and had asked me to run with her. I said yes… and silently cursed to myself…. I was ready…. Really ready… I was in the best shape I have been in for a very long time…

Race morning: I mention something about running with her… she said “Go on…” “Run your own race…. I’ll be fine”. Inside I was doing back-flips…. Yelling and screaming for joy… outside… I just looked at her and said “Are you sure?”

With that all settled we got out the door pretty much right on time. My daughter, Masey was running too. She was signed up for the 6k… I was not worried about her one bit. She’s a runner… 2 seasons of track and a few 5ks under her belt… she’d be fine.

We got to the race site about 35 minutes before the race started…. All we needed to do was make a quick run to the little blue boxes and we’d be fine…. Well… they had 18 or so boxes… and the line for each was about 30 deep….

So…. We actually got to the start line about 3 minutes *after* the gun went off… no worries… it’s a chip timed event.

About 200 meters into the race I spied a familiar face er… I mean back end… It’s Layne Wallace from the tri-list... looking strong…

I passed a lot of people in the first mile… having started at the very back end of the race… When the 6k split off from the ½ Marathon I expected the crowd to thin… not the case, however, the road was smaller and still fully packed…

I tried to keep steady… and run nice and easy for the first 4 miles and not pay too close attention to the pace…. I hardly noticed that these first 4 miles went by at a ~8:05 pace…

I did take notice of my pace on the 5th mile… I had been passing slower runners for the first 4 miles and in the 5th mile I finally got passed by a few… Self doubt started creeping in… a sampling of the thoughts in my head:

“Did I start out too fast?”
“I’ve never run this fast before…. In a race this long”
“I hope I don’t pay for this later”

My thoughts were getting a little annoying… so I simply followed the next set of feet that passed me… and really didn’t think at all for the next 2 miles….. Until the Lifesavers… someone at the side of the road was handing out lifesavers… and yelling out the flavors on offer… my brain woke up to Wild Cherry and I snagged one… As I attempted to unwrap my lifesaver the next aid station came into view... my newly awoken brain remembered that mile 6 aid station = gel… so I pulled it out… So I ran through the aid station with lifesaver in one hand unopened gel in the other… still trying to get my brain to tell me how to obtain water in this state.

Thankfully there was one person handing out water a little further down the street… I managed to shove Gel and lifesaver into my mouth and grab a sip of water without choking or tripping.

With my gel and lifesaver life was better again… pace felt easy again. A mile further up the road I ran into another old friend… one of my old Army buddies that I seem to run into at a race every year or so. We managed to have a 10 minute conversation without slowing down…. The last question he asked me was: What’s your goal for today. I answered “Sub 1:50”

He just looked at me and said “You better get on up the road then”

So, I did just that. Holding my pace took a good deal of focus for miles 9-12… my legs were not really screaming… but they were recommending that I slow down. I did not, however, and when the mile 12 marker came into view I realized that I had a little bit left.

I managed a ~7:40 pace for the last 1.1 through a cruel little neighborhood in which we had to make at least 12 turns. As I rounded the last of them and the finish line came into view, I was quite pleased to see 1:49:xx on the clock… I had just gotten under 1:50 for the gun time.

Chip time 1:47:06 for a 7 minute PR….

At the finish line I had my requisite bout with asthma and set out to find Masey… I found her in the car… texting… like only a 15 year old girl can. She’d had a good race.

We walked/jogged backwards through the 12 turns of the final 1.1 miles… met up with Kara and ran her in to the finish as well.

And the fried turkey was good…

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

1st annual Gobble de Loop….

Today was our last workday before thanksgiving….

Mark, Chris and I set out… three middle aged… middle management types in the insurance industry… with families, kids, SUVs… Shrinking 401ks…

A perfect opportunity to see what we are made of.

The race was a single loop… 1.1 miles with a mile warm-up and a 2 mile cool-down.

Mark was to get a 1:30 head start… Chris :30.

After our warm-up… and a quick nature break… Mark is off… 1 Minute later… Chris left too… in the 30 seconds I jogged alone… trying to prepare my mind for the pain my body will soon endure.

I hit the start line in mid-stride and started running at a good, tempo, pace… after about 15 steps… I said out loud… “this is a race!” and hit the gas in earnest.

I could see Chris almost immediately. He was only 150 meters or so ahead…. I just tried to stay smooth. Just around the first corner I could plainly see them both. They both looked to be running slowly… I know that they both have long strides, however, so I didn’t get too confident.

My plan was to try to run with high turnover to get my speed for the first half, then stretch out my stride for the back straight. This plan did not work very well… I have not done this in training and it’s killing me by the end of the first quarter so I abandon the idea.

Just around the second turn I can see both Chris and Mark again… I focused on Chris…. He was closer. I felt myself slowing down a little… I tried to pick it up and little by little Chris (and Mark) started coming back to me.

As Mark reached the final turn I saw him put his hands on his hips… whether it was to stretch or catch his breath… it did not matter… I knew Chris and I would both catch him.

Chris is only about 4 steps in front of me at the final turn… that is the good news. He saw me… that was the bad news. Chris hit the gas…. We both passed Mark and he opened up another 4 step gap by the end.

I ran a 6:31 pace… 17 seconds better than last week… but… I still think I could have raced smarter. I was so afraid of Chris’ sprint that I was apprehensive about catching him in fear of him dropping me immediately after putting in all that effort.

Well… that, is the demon that I will wrestle with for the next week.

Can’t wait to do it again.

More home improvement and a 10 miler…

Most important item to tackle on Sunday… figure out what is wrong with the washing machine. After the bathroom issues on Friday… I took it slow and methodically… eventually the culprit was identified… a tiny sock for a 7 year old foot was lodged in the drain pump.

Kara and I left together and ran the first mile together. 11:15… then she ran 7 while I ran 9. I did a double of the big loop with a tiny (.3 mi) shortcut on loop 2 to avoid Tiger Hole Rd and the traffic there because it was getting dark and I didn’t want to get runded over.

Started out strong… and… easy… with 2 8:30s.. the next 6 were not as easy as I wanted them to be… ~8:55 pace… never really worked too hard…. But it was no Sunday stroll either…

Mile 10… where I should, if I calculated correctly, catch Kara again… As the mile begins she is nowhere in sight…. I sped up…. And checked all of the side streets… I where she *should* be… on one of the streets on the back part of our loop… Finally a half mile later I catch a glimpse of her… 300 meters ahead. I picked it up to about a 7:45 pace in an attempt to close the gap.

I finished about 50 meters behind her… a total of 10.25 miles.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sushi, sake, and a six miler….

I had Friday off…

You know the saying… do something every day that scares you? Well I’d done that earlier… I removed the toilet in the kids bathroom fixed the flange and upt it back… and it worked!!!

So it’s 11 PM on Friday night… 42 degrees… I’m running through a dark neighborhood…

Don’t ask why…

Just suffice it to say… Running is a cheap form of therapy…

The evening had begun well enough… Sushi and sake with Kara, Masey and Missy…

I had decided on tights, an under armor and a long sleeve yellow shirt with lots of reflective stuff on it… I got a few funny looks in my silly outfit... big guy... tight shiny pants... bright yellow shirt...

I was cold from the first step to the last… I felt tight until the last mile… averaged somewhere in the 9:20 mpm range

I finished… and was in a much better place mentally because of it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Raceday Thursday

Met up with Mark and Chris at lunch.... both of them are in the beginning stages of fitness build-up... We have been adjusting our race format accordingly for the past few weeks in order to make the race competitive. Today we definitely did better.

How I came in last:

We decided to run 2 miles the race one loop (1.1 miles) all out. Mark was to get 2 minutes and Chris was to get a minute. Nice talk getting caught up with each other for the first 2 miles.

Mark takes off... Chris and I jog for a minute... then Chris is gone.

After another minute I take off... Just concentrated on running with good form and with quick feet.

I cover the first quarter @ a 6:21 pace... I round the corner and I can see Chris and Mark ahead... Chris seems close... 100 meters or so. I think that I have him for sure... just a matter of time. Mark is almost at the next corner but... I gave him 2 minutes... so I think that I'm doing okay.

On the next straight away I see them both again. Mark seems closer but Chris is still ~100 meters ahead!?!?!?! I still think that I can get him... well I think that for about 10 steps.... then, as the final corner approaches... the grim reality sets in... I will be last. I still ran hard... clocked a 6:48 mile... But it just was not enough.

The cool down mile was all talk about mile splits... pace... and next time.

Can’t wait till next time....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Midweek Mid-distnce

I ran 10 today.... no warmup... no cool down... no stretching... intervals... nothing.

I simply walked out the door with a sketchy idea of running 10 and looking for new extensions for my work loop.

I found a great extension... a service road next to a spur line of railroad track. it's about .5 miles long and turns my 3 mile loop into 4 quite nicely.

every mile was a sub 9. easy peasy for the most part... the last two miles were not super easy anymore but they we far from hard. Average pace 8:51.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chicken Wings and Goose Eggs


I don’t know how my extra-long weekend got reduced to this… It’s almost 6PM… I have 50 minutes… I have waited until just before the chicken goes in the oven…. We are having chicken wings… I can’t enjoy chicken wings unless I have earned them…. So far this weekend I have earned nothing… Okay… so I did earn some applause for my karaoke rendition of “Just a Gigolo” Saturday night but I’ve got two solid goose eggs in my training log.

I stand at the end of my driveway somewhat irritated at myself. I wanted to do 15 today. No real reason I shouldn’t have.

I decide to run the complete loop. It’s ~5.6 miles. I don’t really do the math on how long it will take I just start running…. Okay not quite so fast. I start by jogging/walking/jogging for a minute or so while I dork around with my MP3 player. I finally decide that it’s only going to produce music for one ear…. Whatever….

I plan to warm-up for a mile ~9:30 or so… then run 8:30s.

My first glance at my Garmin shows a pace somewhat north of that due to dorking described above… I just start running…

Mile 1 ends up being a 9:09. It is not really easy or much of a warm-up… It is *running*

At the one mile mark I do, however, kick it into tempo pace. I don’t look at my pace much… just try to stay smooth. I know this route well. I hear the beep…. Mile 2: 8:06… I try not to think too much.

I have this idea that I should test myself and try to run a sub 8 for mile three… being the middle mile and all… so I pick up my pace just a touch… At this point I am in the familiar place now… in the zone so to speak… completely aware of my body and what it is saying to me… yet the world… on the outside is somewhat of a blur…. Mile 3: 7:52

Sixteen seconds… that’s the difference between miles 2 and 3… those 16 seconds get into my head… self doubt creeps in…. it does not help that this is the worst section of my route… along a fairly busy road… the legs feel heavy… I feel myself holding back… knowing that I have not just this mile… but another to run…. I check the pace often… not a good sign. Mile 3: 8:08

I’m not dead tho… and now I have but a mile to go. I have decided to use the final ~.5 mile to cool down… I don’t know what time it is but I know that I’ll be cutting it close with the wings…. 50 minutes… I just run… like it’s raceday… or mile repeats day… I don’t look at the pace… well..okay I steal a peek after 3 or 4 minutes… 7:20… self doubt jumps on my back… immediately… I feel like I can’t hold the pace… I fight through it but the damage is done… I push with all I can muster. Mile 5: 7:34

I run the last .6 with a heavy feet.. but a soul that is lighter by far…

Finish time: 46:48… I shower while the wings cool…..

non running report

Thursday night:

I ran a quick at like 9 PM….

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weight and Fitness

today the discussion on the tri list was about weight and fitness.

I can't say too much about that.

I am, however, learning about weight and speed.

I can give you 18 reasons why I am running as fast or faster this fall as I ever have before:

Reason #1 - focused, consistent training
Reasons 2-18 the 17 pounds I have lost since May.

It is absolutely amazing.... how easy running is... and I *still* carry 199# on my 5'10" frame...

Someone asked me today what I thought about running 7:30's for a 1/2 marathon... I told him that I'm just 15# away...

Today was raceday… just me and Mark. Chris is nursing injury and sickness.

We decided to do 2 loops of racing. I gave mark 4 minutes.

I started out too fast… over redline by a ½ mile in… decided to hold it as close to that as possible and just see how long I could suffer.

When I saw 7:05 for the first mile I *immediately* slowed down… sometimes these gadgets can be demotivational. I caught myself and tried to get back into rhythm. Soon after I saw Mark ahead… I knew that I was going to catch him so I relaxed a bit and tried to push as hard as I could until the end of mile 2. 7:17 was not too bad considering… a good effort.

Enjoyed the cool down mile and nice chat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veteran's Day

We all had the day off yesterday. Nice to have time to do nothing inthe middle of the week.

I ran 7.4. 4 with Kara at an 11 mpm pace and 3.4 at ~8:55 pace. Felt flat and achy... probably due to the sqauts I did Monday at lunch.

Monday, November 10, 2008

in the long run...

View Interactive Map on

My run yesterday was not the positive reinforcement that I have been receiving for the past few weeks.

I ran twice on Friday… raceday with Mark and Chris got pushed to Friday which meant that, in addition to my speedwork on Wednesday I had a tempo run on Friday.

I was tired before we even started but… game on!

We did a warm-up jog of about ½ mile to our new starting point.

I gave Mark a 4:30 head start and Chris a 1:30 cushion.

I ran the first mile in 7:20. Soon after the end of the first loop I caught Chris… He was having shin splint problems again. By the end of mile 2 I had Mark n plain sight (7:40) and caught him in another quarter… then we basically shut the race down and jogged it in.

I ran again Friday evening after a quick spin on the trainer. Kara had missed her lunchtime run and wanted to get in a run. Basically a 10 and an 11.

Nothing on Saturday… did not eat well either….

I was determined to run 14 on Sunday.

Once again I ran mile 1 with Kara (11:57) then:

9:02, 9:17, 9:15, 9:13, 9:07, 9:29, 9:24, 9:22, 9:21, 9:43, 9:39, 9:38, 10:02

Caught Kara right on the 14 mile mark. Ended with 14.52

The run was hard. I tried to make it an *easy* run. The splits were ~25 sec per mile slower than the 8 straight sub nines from a week previous. I’m not going to worry about it too much. It was basically 13 miles at a 9:25 pace… but I really wanted 9:15

My Kendall Story

I wrote the following to the tri list... another listmember was dealing with a simlar accident with his daughter.

Three years ago my daughter (10 years old at the time) fell out of a tree and broke both the bones in her right arm.

We took her to the hospital. They told her that they could not give her anything for the pain until she had been x-rayed. Needless to say, she was in a lot of pain. And she cried and gritted her teeth for an hour waiting for the technicians.

They let me go back with her and sit next to her while they took their pictures. I knew that she was hurting... and that there was nothing that I could do except coach her along and try to keep her mind off her pain.

For the last picture they had her rotate her wrist so that they could get a clear view of both bones. This was the worst yet. I knew that this hurt... and I hated to see my baby girl go through this. I guess that I got quiet. She could see the tears in my eyes... just as the technicians were taking the picture she looked up at me and smiled.

There amidst all the pain that she was going through... she wanted to show me that she was okay... and that everything was going to be okay.

It took two surgeries, 7 months, and a half dozen casts later but she's fine now. With only a 1.5" scar.

I think of that moment... that smile.. a lot.... when I think about how hard something is... or parenting is...

I think of how proud I am to be that little girl's dad... and how much better a person I am because I try to live up to deserving such a kind and gracious child.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Quick update….

Raceday was fun last week… I hope that it is a launch point that leads us on another adventure of self discovery.

Although it was not a storybook race… we all laid it out on the line… and embraced our pain…

As if Thursday was not exhausting… I ended up running 6 more Thursday night with Kara.

Friday was spin class downtown…

Saturday – goose egg… zippo… and too much food

Sunday – I was amped... ready to go… Kara was going to do *at least* 10… which meant I might get in 14…

Well... she decided to do 8… I was determined to run at least 10. I ended up running the first mile with her.


Then tried to make up two miles on her in the next 8.

– The last 3 were tough. Those 2 8:30’s were a little much… they felt good but… HR spiked... breathing hard etc.

11:15 – caught her by running our loop backwards.
10:31 – .4 homes – I was cooked!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pace - A poem - by me


Is not lack of passion,
Waning motivation,
Or absence of will.


Is being mindful of the moment
You don’t see the finish line…
Though you begin to tire.


Is the desire to keep going,
At a Speed you can sustain,
Never becoming still.


Because you don’t want to
Jeopardize your ability
To attain what you most desire.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the die is cast...

Thank you for signing up for The Outback Distance Classic your entry fee. Packets will be moved to the start of the race for pickup beginning at 6:30 AM on race day.

Thank you for registering the 2009 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer. Be sure to look for the official race newsletter for updated information or visit

Yep… I registered for a marathon today… and the half on Thanksgiving... the price goes up from $85 to $125 on Saturday… so I decided to take the plunge.

Also this:

has me intrigued…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Run PRs

I have a brand new 10 mile PR.

Digesting that happy news has led me to ponder the rest of my PRs.

I think that they are all soft.

Well… except for the Marathon PR 3:58 set in 1998 at a time when I weighed 189 pounds.

Here they are….

Marathon: 3:58
½ Marathon – 1:54:17
10 Miler – 1:23:24
15k – 1:18:22
10k – 57:25
5k – 24:08

I think that I can beat them all… by next April.

Well that’s it… that is my goal…. Now that it’s publicly stated I guess I better get busy backing it up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Run 10 Miler

I had just about decided to settle… you know… gotten to the point where I thought that I was going downhill... aged past my prime. I’d even thought like some do of starting over… creating a whole new list… My over 40 (Masters if you will) PRs.

Okay… I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself.

The Pumpkin run is one of my favorite races. I think I’ve done it 5 times now. Training has been going well. My focus has been on a couple of half marathons… one in November and one in December. The 10 miler would be a good mid-term.

It’s not so much that the morning of this race is on the coldest morning in months… it just seems like it because we are up and outside in shorts so early…. This year did not disappoint. My old friend Mark came over to ride to the race with us. It was chilly… the seat heaters were on. J I am a Floridian… under 60F= seat heaters for me.

On the way to the race we discussed pace. Mark has missed a good deal of training of late due to work, and, family, and life in general. I, on the other hand, have been quite consistent and focused. Mark said that he was shooting for 10 10 minute miles. This forced me to publicly state my goal of 8:30s. I tried not to think of the pain required to live up to that statement. With the handicap decided at 1:30 per mile we were ready. Kara, competing in her first 10 miler was silent. Her goal was simply to finish. Mark and I understood… racing a new, longer distance always a bit scary.

Got to the race plenty early… lines for the blue boxes were pretty short… We ran into a few old friends waiting for the start… always nice to catch up.

BOOM! The gun goes off in the middle of our conversation and I’m not ready quite yet… being the cold weather weenie I am, I kept on a long sleeve t-shirt over my tank top. I attempted to get it off while shuffling to the start line and trying to lose neither my hat nor sunglasses… I ended up with my head out of the head hole and both arms pinned behind my back as I crossed the timing mats… I yelled to Mark over my shoulder to pull my shirt off… he made some derogatory comment then yanked my arms free.

Now… one of the reasons I love this race is because it runs through a cemetery… completely closed off and isolated from traffic… quiet… and scenic… narrow canopy roads. Well… except for the start… the narrow one lane road and 1000 runners makes for some serious congestion. About a minute in I passed two walkers... abreast of each other… WTH? Some people…

By the end of mile 1 things had pretty much sorted themselves out. The clock at the mile marker, however, did not have good news for me… 8:49. Great! In the hole already.

Mile 2 is an out and back section. This gives you an opportunity to see the rest of the field. It also provided one of the best sights of the day. Somehow I missed Mark… I know… a lot of runners out there… but I was looking… and Mark is 6’5” and big boneded… with the long grey hair of a civil war general… but anyway…. I did see Kara… the look of fear from before the race had been replaced with a look of determination… Good. The best sight, however, was seeing Layne out there racing… The clock at the 2 mile mark told me that I’d just run ~8:00… I tried not to think about how hard it would be to continue at that pace.

Miles 3-5 were a bit of a blur. I even forgot to take a gel at mile 4 as I had planned. By the time it occurred to me... I was almost to the 5 mile marker. Although I had no idea where I would get some water to wash it down. I swallowed it anyway and began to look for the 6 mile marker. About a half mile later, I hit my lowest point in the race. I saw and aid station ahead... Finally I get to wash the vanilla power gel out of my mouth… As I tossed my cup to the ground I pass the 5 mile marker… that’s right the 5 mile marker…. The other thing about this race is that it is multiple loops of the cemetery. I had mistaken the 8 mile marker for the 5 mile marker. Instead of cruising home… I was just at the halfway point. Nothing to do but keep running and do some math at the clocks set at each mile marker.

My math was telling me that I had made up the 1st mile deficit and was holding my own.

At the beginning of the last loop I caught my old dentist. He’s one of the those fast skinny guys… dropping him and holding him off kept my mind occupied for a couple of miles.

At the nine mile marker I freaked a little. A glance at the clock and mental math produced a non-favorable result. .. I had somehow miscalculated and need an 8 minute mile to attain my goal of 8:30s. I lengthened my stride and picked it up as best I could. Somewhere before the finish line I re-worked the math in my head and realized my earlier error and probably slowed down a tad…

I finished in 1:23.24 (8:20 pace J)and immediately had an asthma attack… super… L I retrieved my shirt from the start and my sweatshirt from the car and pretty much had my breathing under control when Mark finished. He’d done well too… averaging 10:15s on minimal training. Kara finished strong as well… knocking 30 sec per mile off her 15K pace from 6 months ago.

Yet another fun part of this race is that the course is lined with pumpkins… about one every 10 meters or so… After the race competitors can go out on the course and pick a pumpkin to take home…. we managed to poach three of the orange gourds for ourselves before we headed home.

The best parts of the day:

1. Seeing Layne out there racing... with a big smile on his face.

2. Kara finishing her first 10 miler

3. Mark getting back into running… and hearing him vocalize his comeback plan and upcoming races.

4. And I have a brand new PR… my 10 mile PR was 7 ½ years old… and I had just about come to the conclusion that running PRs were all in the rear view mirror for me. Now I have a different attitude.

More on #4 later.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting in the miles

Last Friday

… I thought I had strep… felt awful… throat hurt like swallowing a handful of glass.

Went to the walk in clininc. Strep test and mono tests negative but… they gave me antibiotics anyway.

No run on Friday or Saturday. No training at all.


Not sure what I had but I set out on a long run. Didn’t think much about the distance or pace.

I left the house with Kara…. She said that she was planning to run 9 or so.

About a 1/4 mile in I realized I had forgotten to get any gum… no big deal? Well… it kinda was. With my throat so raw keeping it from drying out was a real concern... so, I turned around and headed home to get some.

That put me more than a half mile behind… so I just started running at my own pace. Mile 1 ~9:40

Mile 2 – this part of the run is through the Secret Cove neighborhood. (~2mi)

I started thinking survival:

“Long run today”
“you’ve been sick”
“how long until you start feeling like doodoo”
“guess this will be a sufferfest”

In just a minute my pace slowed appreciably… I pushed the negative thoughts back… cranked the mp3 player and just started running… hardly glancing at the Garmin I ran one loop … almost caught Kara… passed her on the second loop… then ran a third. All the while clocking steady ~9:30s.

Hit a gel at around the 5 mile mark, then two more 9:30s Up Belfort Road.

The last part of the course is a ~1.1 mile loop off Rex road. I picked it up a bit to catch Kara. Mile 8 – 8:58 and Mile 9 8:33. Ended by running a 10:30 home.

Total 10.5 mi @ 9:30 pace.


5 miles recovery supposed to be 4 but I miscalculated my loops… mostly 9’s to 9:30s


Spin & weights


Workout was to be 5 miles with miles 2-5 @7:55.

Did pretty much that. 7:55, 7:49, 7:47