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Monday, November 22, 2010

Runnin' with the Shoe!

Billy Shue that is...

I had a blast on Saturday morning running the last 10 miles of the Thunder Road Marathon course with Billy as we were cruisin' 6 minute pace. Man it is nice when you actually feel good during an effort based run.

My goal for the 10 mile tempo run was anything under 60 minutes.
The actual was:59:55 feeling rather spritely (is that a word?)

Billy and I met up at Dowd (formally Central) Y on Saturday morning @ 7am and after some procrastinations, we were off for a 3 mile warm up to the 16 mile mark of the course (10 miles for Billy). What made this run even more special was the fact that there were so many runners out taking part in the second Thunder Road preview run.

The course took us on the other side of uptown through the Plaza-Midwood and North Davidson sections of Charlotte and then we finished up on 2nd. Having lived here for almost 16 years, I'm embarrassed to say that I was not familiar with the area. This was evident with the fact that I had to keep asking Billy when we should turn (I'm sure that he was getting annoyed, yet he would never let me know it since he is such a nice kid...hey, he is 20 years younger than me!)

So anyway, we're climbing up Hawthorne and I see Caitlin Chrisman and I had to give a big shout out since I was feeling so good! Good to see her...

No more workouts this week because I'll run Turkey Trot on Thursday and Footlocker on Saturday. Easy 7 milers the rest of the week.

A special shout out to the Charlotte Running Club for their great newsletter and the energy that they bring to the Charlotte Running Community!

Question: Why did Jimmy Carter "pawn" our athletes back in the Summer of '80?

Jay, you can't answer this!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First workout since NYC and noteable Richmond performances!

Since the New York City Marathon, I have strictly focused on 7 mile recovery runs with one longer run last Saturday with Billy Shue. Muscle cell trauma (soreness) is just about gone completely.

This morning I planned on running with the Miner Crue yet it would have been difficult to get back home in time to go with my son to the middle school for the Father's Coffee in the gym.

So last night I decided to run on the treadmill at work at dark thirty!

The goal: 10 miles in 60 minutes with a 1% grade
The result: 10 miles in 60 minutes with a 1% grade (as Mark Hadley would say...a callousing effort!) It was work and I noticed with my foot strike that I still land slightly with my heel with a braking motion. How counter productive this is! I wish that I could land on the balls of my feet with my feet under me.

I believe that this is how Alberto Salazar is trying to correct (change) Dathan Ritzenhein's gate. I am not saying that that is a bad thing. I hope that they find success with this approach. AlSal has always been a tinker with all things running (think DMSO!)

10 mile progression run with the Shoe on Saturday from Dowd...should be fun!


Paul Mainwaring- 2.35:11 running very even splits. The Captain and his coach were justifyably proud! Having trained with (run behind) Paul at least once a week over the last 6 months, I can tell you that he is driven, consistant and thoughtful. Outstanding result!

Jason Holder- 2.40:28 running with stomach discomfort. Jay went with higher mileage this cycle and posted some outstanding workouts over the last 3 months. He was ready...the new PR proved it!

Aaron Linz- 2.41:32 while grinding his way through the streets of Richmond! A new PR! While he is pleased with the effort, he knows that there is more in the tank (those are his words)...

Also...OBX Marathon:

Bill Shires- 2.41:33 running the first half in 1:18 and change having just completed his last marathon some 6 weeks ago! Amazing stuff from the 45 year old and an inspiration to me...

Congratulations guys!

Question: She hails from Marblehead, Mass., just ran her first marathon in 2:28 which was good for 2nd overall @ NYC. Who is she?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New York City Marathon Recap!

The Numbers:

90th: American Man (Made the leader board)
247th: Overall Place out of 44, 827 finishers
2nd: Finisher from North Carolina
2:48:17: Finish time
15th: Age Group Place

The Preparation:

I thoroughly enjoyed my training cycle for this race! It was so much fun to be able to A. train with all of the strong runners of the Charlotte Running Club on a weekly basis and B. to do 2 quality workouts a week with 2 or 3 recovery days in between each hard workout (I need that!)

The Goals:

1.) Break 2:50
2.) Take what the day gave me (you never know how you are going to feel)
3.) Get as close to 2:40 as possible
4.) Top 10 in my age group
*Grade: 80% (we will actually get a grade from the race report) We'll see what they say?

The Support:

- My wife and kids were at home in Charlotte tracking me on the computer and on the Blackberry to see how I was progressing and my wife could tell that it was a grind during the second half. She was there for all of my 2:30 marathons when I was in my late 20's and early 30's so even at 45 she still expects me to hit the half in 1:18!
My parents and siblings in Jersey get so into this race for me and their support is just awesome. From picking me up at the airport to taking me to the expo to driving me to the race start and all of the "breaking of bread" that we did was very memorable.
My best friend Gary who had me over to his estate after the race so we could watch his Cardinals against my Vikings (we won!) and enjoy all the pizza that we could! Very nice...and then to go on the computer to check the results and see that I made the USA leader board (albeit 90th American)

Friends- How sweet it is to receive so many e-mails with kind words from so many like minded peeps! Great stuff...

The Race:

So I'm hanging out at my corral at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island and I run into Michael Kahn and we had a blast chit chatting as we were waiting to make our way up onto the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for the start. We get up onto the bridge and after the obligatory runner introductions by Mary Wittenberg (the race director who is a very shrewd women...she managed to get Geb!) we were off!
The first mile is strait up the bridge and then down the other side. As I was climbing, the wind was so strong that it was blowing me to the side (I know that I'm only 160lbs. but come on!) Saw the clock and I was over 7 minutes...oops! From then on it was a grind.
I never really floated any of the miles away. I had to work for each one. I did what I could and eventually got to the 5 mile mark in just over 31 minutes.
One of my mini goals was to run each of the 5 miles in about 31 minutes so when I saw the clock I thought OK!
Kept running and never really ran with anyone on a consistent basis. Some guys would draft off of me for a bit and me off of them as well. Got to the 10 mile mark in 62 and change. I'll take that...
I wanted to make sure that when I got to the Brooklyn Bridge at 13 that I was running reasonably well (a couple of people passed me and I passed a couple of people)it was a wash...
Got to the half in exactly 1 hour and 21 minutes. What do we always do at the half? We double it! Well, you actually have to run the second half...imagine that!
Got to the 15 mile mark in 1:33 and change so still doing reasonably well considering that the whole race was a grind (it was very windy). Now at 15 I(we) have to climb up the Queensboro/59th Street Bridge which is a long way up and then I relatively steep way down (this is where I broke Haile and he dropped out...Ha!) I still have my sense of humor...
Anyway, as you're going down the bridge you have to brace yourself for Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" that will be pulsating through your veins once you pounce on First Ave! Boston fans...imagine Wellesley yet deeper and for 3 to 4 miles...Nuts!
So I get onto 1st Ave. (let me say that the energy on Forth Ave. all over Brooklyn was high octane!) and I immediately start hearing people yelling my first name and no, I did not have it on my bib! That was very neat...


This was a very big concern for me because at my last 2 NYC marathons I have gotten 2 massive stitches under my right rib cage at the 18/21 mile mark. I had my oatmeal at dark thirty and that was it along with water. Some my big question is...when am I going to take my Gu? I never eat anything in Charlotte before or during a race and never have a problem. I asked Megan Hovis and she said that she likes to take 1 Gu at mile 18. That was my plan.
So I pull it out at 18 and just hold it in my hand. I'm afraid to take it! These stitches are debilitating!...
Over the Willis Ave. Bridge and it was into the Bronx at the 20 mile mark. That is when I saw 2:06 and change (I was expecting 2:04?) Oh well, as I always say..."you run the first 10 miles with your head, the second 10 with your legs, and the last 10k with your heart!" At 20 and a half, I decide to start taking the Gu and I made it over the Madison Avenue Bridge at the 21 mile mark and that's when she returned for the 3rd time in 3 years. I immediately threw the rest of the packet to the side of the road and dug deep (no pun intended). I grinded the last 5 miles through Central Park and did what I could (passed some and got passed by others). I pride myself on consistency, durability, dedication and running a mature race...I was suffering!
Made it to the finish...


Mary Wittenberg and her staff of the New York Road Runners Club who organize the New York City Marathon deserve a gold medal for the job they do to make this day the success that it is. This was my 7th year running "New York" and it just gets better and better as it gets bigger and bigger. That bearded Jew from Romania (Fred Lebow) is looking down from up above and he is smiling (and probably shedding a few tears as well) for the chaos in the city that he started some 40 years ago...Enjoy!

Question: no question for today...enjoy the fact that you are able to run!

Thanks for reading...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last Stress Workout...4x5, 3x1

After my strong workout on Saturday, I followed that up with a 7 mile recovery run on Sunday and easy 7 milers on both Monday and Tuesday. This set me up nicely for this mornings workout...

It was 4 days out from the big one and I wanted to keep my metabolism up and keep the pop in my legs. So for this morning, embedded in a 7 mile run I ran 4 X 5 minutes with a 2 minute jog (stolen from Mark Hadley by way of Jay Holder). I followed that with 3 X 1 minute with a 1 minute jog (stolen from Bill Shires). I felt good.

For the rest of the week: 6 easy on both Thursday and Friday, and 4 easy on Saturday morning.

Itinerary for the weekend: Playoff game on Friday night, early run Saturday, shower, oatmeal, say goodbye to family, neighbor drives me to airport, brother picks me up in Newark, takes me to packet pickup (Jacob Javits Center), to parents and to spend the day with my huge, beautiful family (they all come into the city to watch), my brother drives me straight to the Verrazono/Narrows Bridge Sunday morning, chill until race start for me which is 9:40am (runner track me #1236), run strong for 26.2, sister drives me back to Jersey, enjoy rest of day with family (my wife is going to be planting pansies with her Blackberry, and having beeps go off every 5k), fly back on Monday morning, wrestling practice and parent meeting on Monday afternoon, we'll hope for the best...

For the New York City Marathon, there are 3 waves plus an elite womens start. The elite women go off at 9:10am (this race serves as the womens marathon national championship), 9:40am is the elite and sub elite mens start (me), and 2 more waves after that in 20 minute intervals. It is a little crazy because our staging area is at Fort Wadsworth, and then about a half hour before the start, the organizers herd us onto the bridge and that gets a little tight...

Thanks to all of the club members who have helped get me to this point. They include: Paul, Billy, Aaron, Caitlin, Jay, Megan, Mike, Ben, Jordan, Stan, Mo, BMac, Chris, Meagan, Bill. I appreciate it...

Question: What famous "sub" spokesperson will be running Sunday with 44, 000 other runners?

Monday, November 1, 2010

10 mile progression run...8 days out!

I've always done a 10 mile tempo/progression run the week before a marathon as a test to see where I am at.

This past Saturday I met up with Billy Shue who brought along Kent Morris and Michael Heafner to help out with the workout. The plan for me was to work my way into the run and hit 60 minutes or just over if I wasn't on. We met up at McMullen Greenway in South Charlotte and it was brisk. After a 2 mile warm up and some procrastinations (they call it stretching...ha!) we were off...

I thought we got out reasonably well, yet when I looked at my watch right at the one mile mark it showed 6:44 (dang), no worries...

We started progressing from there and I think the second mile was just under 6 minute pace.
The splits were as follows:

1 - 6:44
2 - 5:56 (12:40)
3 - 5:50 (18:30)
4 - 5:46 (24:16)
5 - 5:44 (30:00)
6 - 5:46 (35:46)
7 - 5:50 (41:36)
8 - 5:47 (47:23)
9 - 5:45 (53:08)
10 - 5:42 (58:50)

From the second mile on it was work, yet it never got harder than work! A good sign I think...

Billy and I worked really well together and here is how it went:

We're together at 1, Billy surges and puts 2 meters on us, I bridge the gap by 3, we run together to the turnaround at 5, we're still together at 6, I hear him laboring (I was as well, albeit not too bad), I get a gap on Billy, he catches me at 9, at 9.5 he throws in a surge, which I cover, with a quarter to go, he throws in another surge and finishes 3 seconds up!

Very nice to have Kent and Michael out there. Very cool to to see BMac at the 2 and 8 mile mark! I high fived 'em at the 8 mile mark. The second to last piece...

Had a nice workout with Jason G. Holder on Tuesday for 3 X 25 minutes w/a 5 minute jog...tough!

Since I am only doing 2 workouts/week and 5 easy/recovery days, I feel as though I am tapering each and every week. Therefore, I am really not tapering for my race on Sunday. I have really been focusing on my 2 key workouts for the week and keeping my mileage at about 65/week. We'll see how this prepares me for Sunday...

My next post will be somewhat of a prediction...

If you are runner tracking me, My bib # is 1236, and you can go to the NYRR website.

Question? What was Abebe Bikila's (my inspiration) bib # in 1964 in Tokyo?