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

Friday, September 28, 2012


First race of the season last night…

Here's how it went:

Lined up too far back
Ran past half a dozen folks who were trying to mount on the uphill.
Went down on the back side of lap one… wheel washed out in a corner (aka I corner like a 6 year old)
Went down again when my handlebars got caught in the tape…  WTF?
Mechanical on lap 2…  lost half a lap adjusting my saddle
Once I had sufficiently taken myself out of the race with all of those shenanigans I settled down, stayed out of the dirt and mud, and ran off a number of smooth laps.
When I heard "last lap" I gave it all I had and managed to stay with a couple of the fast guys most of the way around..
Once we crossed the line they were congratulated for finishing in 2nd and 3rd  and I was sent off to do another lap (they had lapped me)
In retrospect this gave me the opportunity to continue to move up in the field but…
My azs was done… I mean I was simply dizzy from effort.
I proceeded to run into a tree… crash again in the same corner…  and then again 3 turns later…
At that point I kinda pulled the plug and soft pedaled the back side of the course.

All that said….  The most fun I've had after work on a Thursday evening in a long time…

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Fall Bounce

Nope it's not the new pumpkin scented dryer sheet…

Every year….  There is this particular phenomenon…

It's like magic…

Awesome sauce for runners here in the deep south…

And just yesterday I caught a brief glimpse…

Ya see it's hot here…  like hot enough to make the devil sigh…  from April until October every year…

And if the southern runner will just keep training…  keep straining…  and sweating to near the point of drowning or growing gills in the choking humidity… and keep building the mileage despite embarrassingly high split times….  At harvest time one will reap the fall bounce

Yesterday was just a brief taste…

After months of "easy" runs at a ~11 minute mile pace…  and running faster leaving me wiped out for the rest of the day….  I went out in ~80F low humidity weather…  and knocked out 8miles at a  9:15 pace…  smooth…  easy…  like I had little wings on my shoes

And Fall is really not even here yet…  this is just about to get good.

is it just me?  or do you bounce?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Report - "The Secret Race"

The Secret Race is a definitive look at the world of professional cycling—and the doping issue surrounding this sport and its most iconic rider, Lance Armstrong—by former Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle.

It was a good read…  but one without too many jaw dropping moments…

Yes lance is a good guy to have on your side…  but a douchebag to everyone else.

EPO use rampant in the late 90s and early 2000s…

Transfusions blood doping of choice since the EPO test along with micro dosing EPO, and testosterone…

I kinda had that figured out already… 

What did surprise me was to what he proclaimed innocence: Raced clean at Rock Racing and that he still had no idea how he tested positive for having someone else's blood.

It was also interesting to find out what he's been up to since 2008 when he was suspended for the 2nd time.

But the most important revelation of the book for the general public is that it completely dispels the "everyone doped so the playing field was level" myth.  Better doctor = better chance of wining.

Have you read it?  What did you think?

Haven't read it yet?  Get it.  Read it. It's good.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Mountain

So…  I have managed to pull myself out of the feeling old funk… and given myself a nice kick in the azs…

I've done some centering (aka yoga cert training)

And I'm 81 days into my 100 days of cycling…

Most importantly, however, I have a mountain…

It started like this:

My stated goal…  is finishing in under 30 hours at RATS…

Let's break that down…  it's 4.933333333333333 miles per hour

Or about a 12 minute per mile pace… over this type of terrain

Can I do it?  I'm not sure…  it scares me a little bit…

And I like that

"We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope." ~Wallace Stegner

We are going back to that wild country….

What's your mountain?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fast Wednesday

It used to be Tempo Thursday….  And that had a nice ring to it but…

But... Thursday is a busier work day…  anyhow…  Wednsday is working out for now.

The last two weeks have been tough…  it's really hard to crush intervals and run hard in the oppressive heat.

Today… not quite so hot and threatening rain

it was  I had it in my head that I could hit my goal pace today… it was also in the pit of my stomach that it would be difficult.

During my warm up mile I could tell that I did not have great legs..  but no major aches or pains either which really is a pretty good status report all things considered.

At the one mile mark I picked it up…  and felt okay…  a quarter mile later when I checked my Garmin it did not report stellar news…  I was a good 45 seconds off my goal pace…. 

At this point I spoke a bit sharply to my legs (inside my brain of course) in a Jens Voigt accented voice "Run Legs!"

My legs responded in the voice of my oldest teenage daughter (the contrary argumentative one…) "We are running dad!"

Hmmmm…  my legs never called me dad before…  that's weird… 

So I decided to  try and ignore the voices in my head and run just a little faster… 
Mile 1 was still 35 seconds over the pace I was shooting for…  I just kept running and trying to stay smooth…  and each mile was just a little bit better than the previous one…  aided no doubt by the nice rain shower we had.

Well…  at least until the last mile…  I slid a bit…  not a bad thing really when my legs get heavy and turnover gets more difficult towards the end of a session, I think that just proves I gave a good effort.

In the end it was still a bit off of my goal but a decent effort nonetheless.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Advice to the first time marathoner....

A good friend of mine sent the below screenshot to me and asked me to help a friend…

Not knowing much about this runner's "palmares" so to speak…  my advice follows.

From: Chris
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 9:24 AM
Subject: Fwd to Cowart?

Allison (below) is a good friend of mine – do you know (or would you forward to Michael) of any good and reputable online resources for first-time marathoners?

From: Michael
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2012 4:36 PM
To: 'Chris
Subject: RE: Fwd to Cowart?

Good questions…

Firstly Marathon racing – there really are no shortcuts.  There are staples
1.     Long run is absolutely essential.  Impossible to replace.  Time on your feet.  Practicing hydration and nutrition etc.    more on that in the article link below.  But  pace is important.   long run = easy pace if you race every long run your body never has a chance to recover.

;      2.      Easy runs…  much like the long run important for slowly building up strength/stamina.
&     3.      Up-tempo – speedwork.    You will need tempo and intervals normally once a week. Yassos are both a test and a training tool or a specific interval workout.

Good articles:

pace calculator:

heck yeah I looked up your River Run time from earlier in the year…

based on your time here are your stats:

And your paces:

I would guess that you are running harder on your long/easy days than you should be….  Especially in the heat…  it is a big factor.

For example: I'm a 3:36 marathoner training for Jax Marathon in December and I will be back at Ironhorse again in February.  Today I ran 8 miles easy at a 10:40 pace.

I have checked out the MM training plan… it looks like a good training plan…  but maybe not for you.

If you are past week 2 you are killing yourself unnecessarily.

This is the disclaimer from the site:

This hybrid training program is designed for individuals that have already run a marathon, and perhaps even a 50K.

I'm not sure if you have done marathons/ultras in the past….  But if this is to be your 1st marathon…  take the buildup slowly.  And if Ironhorse will be your first ultra prepare (and train) to walk and/or  walk/run (ain't no shame in it) J

Weight training packing on muscle is complete and utter BS J

Remember…  patience grasshopper!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August Totals

I know…  a bit late to the dance.

Run: 121 miles
Bike: 546 miles
Strength/core: 455 minutes