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Friday, June 25, 2010

How often are you "ON"?

This past Tuesday I had the good fortune of running a mile repeat workout at McAlpine with Aaron Linz, Jay Holder and Ben Dyke. Aside from my 20 miler on Sunday, I felt like I was coming into this workout relatively fresh. When we arrived at the parking lot, I heard from Jay that Caitlin was under the weather (I was hoping to run with her). Therefore, I knew I was going to have my hands full trying to hang with the big boys.

Since it was Tuesday which is Miner's Run, I decided to get some extra warm up so I headed up towards PDS to meet some of the Miner's. I met up with Mike Beigay and Ben and that's when I talked Ben into running our workout (always recruiting). When we got to the parking lot, the 4 of us immediately ran to the 3rd mile of the famed Footlocker cross country course (lest I remind you how fortunate we all are to have this wonderful course in our back yard).

The workout: 5 X 1 mile with a 2:30 recovery followed by 2 X 400 meters.

As usual, before we started I got my mind ready. We all got to the line and Aaron said, "Let's go boys!" Immediately, Jay and Aaron went to the front, and Ben and I tucked in behind our fearless leaders. I stuck right behind them for the whole mile as we hit 5:37 (good start...1 down). As we approached the start of the 2nd mile I thought, "you stay with them!" We hit the 2nd mile in 5:27 as we were separated by inches. Upon completion of the 2nd mile, Paul Mainwaring was jogging when I looked him in the eyes and said...I'm on!" I did this because it is so rare for me during a workout or race to have it...today I did.

I knew I had more after the second mile so I was determined to stay with Jay and Aaron for the 3rd mile which I did as we hit 5:22. At this point, Ben said that he would sit out #4 and jump back in on #5. I still had more in the tank for #4 so I made a decision to not let Jay get away from me. Again, we finished separated by inches as we hit 5:16. One to go as I felt like I was going to have to go to the well. You can all guess what Jay and Aaron yelled at this point..."UNO MAS!"

We all got out well on #5, as we were together until the start of the minor hill. At this point, Jay and Aaron put 2 seconds on me which they held (and I maintained) until the finish as I hit 5:14. We finished up with 2 X 400 meters that we equated to glorified strides. 2 mile cool down to finish.

I felt compelled to write this article because it is so rare for me to feel really good/to be on on any given day. Specifically, it amounts to feeling good about once a month. The rest of the time it is a grind. This can mean heavy breathing, legs that want to go into the ground, big arm swings, etc.

My question is this: How often are you ON?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Vibe That is...The Charlotte Running Club!

The purpose of this blog entry is my attempt to pay homage to just some of the members that make up The Charlotte Running Club.

I was at a race last summer and as I was cooling down I overheard some guys talking about a tempo run that was going to take place the following Saturday at McMullen Greenway. As soon as I heard that I thought..."I'm there!" When I got there I couldn't believe what I saw...10 super fast runners! I was stoked! I recollect that the workout was an 8 miler and I finished last in about 47 minutes and I was happy about it. My only connection to this group was Ben Hovis (he and I had coached together 10 years ago at PDS, he is still there and I'm at CCDS). Other then Ben, I knew no one. Ben introduced me to a couple of the other runners.

After that first tempo run, somehow I hooked up with Jay Holder for a repeat 800 meter workout at the Dilworth Road loop. Another awesome workout was had. Jay is one of the original founders of the Charlotte Running Club (along with Caitlin Chrisman and Aaron Linz).

My initial meeting with Caitlin was in a highly aerobic state as we were battling the 3rd mile at Greekfest together (she smoked me!) and then my son met her at the Grand Prix banquet. Very cool...hopefully, I will make it to next Thursday's 6am run from Dowd to run with Caitlin and Co...

I can't remember when I first met Aaron and what struck me was how much energy he has (I thought I was into it!) We have had some classic workouts over the last year and it has been fun. One of Aaron's main objective with the club is to make everyone feel welcome and a contributor to it. Last week, Paul, Bor and I were fortunate enough to watch the opening Cup match between England and U.S.A. (something other than running...imagine that!)

A couple of months ago, my kids and I went to Rabecca Tomasson's house for her monthly pasta party and I got a chance to meet some of the club members there. The food and fellowship were phenominal...

Over the winter, some of us club members started the now infamous "Miner's run." This run is held every Tuesday morning @ 5:30am and leaves from the PDS parking lot and we run down into McAlpine usually for a 10-12 mile run (be careful: the pace has a tendency to progress). The cast of characters on this run may include (and certainly not limited to): Mike Beigay (runs a 5k with a baby jogger faster than most of us run solo), Paul Mainwaring (my current training partner and a great Brit), Ben Hovis, Megan (see below), Bill Shires (the top masters running in N.C.), Mo Campbell (2009 Thunder Road Marathon champ), Stan Austin, Aaron, Jay, Billy (who sets P.R.'s by the week), Mike Kahn, etc...

Let me go back over 2 years ago: the gun goes off to start the Elizabeth 8k and I settle in with the top female and an Aussie on a bike. Me, who talks to any and everyone (my wife calls me the mayor), asks the woman what her name is and she says, "Megan!", to which I respond, ("oh, Megan Hepp!" We proceed to run the next 4 and a half miles together until she decides to slam the hammer down on me! That night, my wife and I go to a wedding engagement/going away party and who do we walk in with...Megan and Ben (what will become) Hovis. Megan and I have had some wonderful long runs together and most recently last Sunday at Beatty Park. Megan finished 12th at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Marathon Trials. Good stuff...

If you peek over to the right hand column of my blog you can see what a running geek I really am (Love it!) A club member, Paul M. noticed all of the books that I had read and asked if he could borrow one (a book club was formed). If you ever read my Athleticore entries, you'll see that I sometimes run with the likes of Rhiannah, Miley, Marshall, and Co. Jay picked up on this and the "ipod" exchange was initiated! It certainly helps the solo runs fly by...

Over the winter there was about six inches of snow on the ground and I met up with some of the members out at McAlpine for a long run and a guy shows up on a mountain bike with his daughter (it was Mark Hadley of MPR fame and his daughter Alana (37plus minute 10 K @ 13). Mark is a very generous person with his knowledge of all things running and he is never hesitant to offer you advice. You can ask Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher what they think of Alana...wow!

Just recently, the Division 2 Track & Field Championships were held at JCS University and club member Meagan Nedlo (current GPx leader) finished with All American status for the "5 &10!"

Some of the other members that I have met/ran with over the last year include (so far): Chad and Danielle Crockford, Boriana Bakaltcheva, Billy Shue, Jordan Kinley (2009 Thunder Road Marathon champ), John Compton (standout for Wake/PDS), Dan and Val Matena, Alice Rogers, Brian McMahon, and plenty more.

When you show up at a Grand Prix race or any other race for that matter in Charlotte, there is electricity in the air because you see so many faces that you know and people that you train with and are getting ready to do battle with that it makes it so special.

The Charlotte Running Club is a group of semi-competitive, passionate runners who enjoy running and want everyone around them to experience to many benefits of this life long sport...thanks Charlotte Running Club!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quad City Runner...

Last night, my daughter and I ventured over to Myers Park High School to run the track series put on by the Charlotte Track & Triathlon Club. And what a night of running it was...

While my daughter was content to run the 100 meters and the 4X100 meters, I was a little more ambitious (crazy?) and ran the 1 mile, 400meters, 800meters and the 2 mile!

We got to the track at 5:40pm and I immediately started jogging to try and get the kinks out from my 2 hard weekend workouts. Did a 3 mile warm up and then put the flats on. I did another 2 miles of drills, strides, exercises, etc. and then watched my daughter run the 100 meters (very cool).

Paul Mainwaring came out, along with Jordan Kinley (he would pace Paul for the first 3 laps of the mile), Brian McMahon (to run the 8oom and the duece), Meagan (to watch), Pender (mile), Danielle and Chad (very nice couple and Chad would smoke me on each of our 3 meetings), and a few other characters...

The first event was the mile and when people asked me what I was hoping to run I would say sub 5:20 (secretly I was thinking inside of 5:05 and close to 5 flat, sub 70 sec. for the 400 meters, sub 2:30 for the 800 meters, and as close to 11 minutes for the 2 mile. Here are the results:

1 mile run: 5:04

400 meters: 64 sec.

800 meters: 2:25

2 mile: 11:01 (5:30, 5:31)

Pleased with the effort and determination to run 4 hard races, disappointed with Father Time!

I have to give a big thank you to the following people who let us blokes come out and run these races: My sponsor, Tim Rhodes, Tom Deming, Lana Torkildson, Al Pearman, and everyone else who helped out (we are very fortunate). All we have to do is put out!

A nice and easy 8 miler this morning with the ipod (Mathers, Snoop, Train, etc.) and tomorrow there will be another workout with: Aaron, Jay and Paul. We'll be getting after it at McAlpine and the workout will consist of 3 X 11 minutes...

Question: Today's blog title refers to what '90's hip hop/rap group?