2005 Recap

I finished the year with a routine 4-miler. I start the new year tomorrow with the longest run of my life. That kind of recaps the year for me. Routine and life changing.

The 2005 Categories:
New Running Pals: 7, Dianna, Billy J., Sarah, Tim, Chris, Mark, Jack
Mileage: 1,057
Highest Mileage Month: 167 December
Average Month: 88
Highest Mileage Week: 46 51st week
Average Week: 20.3
Lifetime: 3,513
Races run: 14, 7-5Ks, 1-5M, 2-10Ks, 1-12K, 1-15K, 1-20K, 1-HM
Race PRs set: 6, all but the 12K


Running with the Army

I am back on plan. I am eating well (Liar! You are not!) and running the schedule (minus the 13 miler I skipped) that I revised last week. Today I slept in too late to do my 90 minute run in the morning so came home after work (yes, I made it in finally; but have tomorrow off) to run with my older son. He's the former cross country star with all the military training but he hasn't run 9-10 miles at one time in years. Bless his kick-ass heart, he stayed with me the whole way.

I found myself running fast, sensing him wanting to rev it up. The 10 miles we did I would normally do at a 9:30 pace and we covered it at an 8:49 pace. Talk about a workout! That's the fastest pace I've done at a long distance since the half marathon on December 3 (8:26 pace). It tells me the sub 4-hour marathon is definitely achievable.

Now if I can just eat less chocolate and more fruit I'll be better fueled.


Playin' Hooky

Unlike so many of you, I did not go to work today. I played hooky. Being in education, that is the proper terminology although nobody knew I was missing because NOBODY ELSE is at work in the district office during the winter holidays. And I find that weird, having come from a non-education field. I mean, what 22,000 employee company do you know of that veritably shuts down for two weeks and barely answers the phone? Technically we are open but it's idiots like me who choose not to take annual leave through these quiet times. Maybe next year I'll take advantage of it better. I do plan to go to work tomorrow, unless I develop a "cough" again ;).

I skipped today because I got home so late from the All Academy Ball where the cadets and midshipmen from all the military academies come together for a holiday gathering in all their formal finest uniforms. Doting parents take a zillion pictures and retired military types strut around in their formal dress too. It's a scene. The program ran on forever as every student was introduced, toasts were given to all the branches and support services, etc. The food was great. The table company was excellent - mainly because two of the parenst are serious runners so I had lots to talk about - never mind the military boys and girls. The cadets and midshipmen were a curious bunch, ranging in age, experience and outlook. They are definitely not your traditional college student, given their purpose and training. The academies are a good thing for developing leaders.

Meanwhile I adjusted to my new schedule of running. I recovered yesterday and waited until late in the afternoon today to put in four miles. The schedule said three but I skipped 13 yesterday so I felt obliged. I have no more mid-week 13s to worry about although I continue tomorrow with a 90-minute run presumably with 10 minutes of hill work. Ha! Find me 10 minutes of hills here in Central Florida. Not likely. ... and not likely in Miami either so I'm not worried too much about that. What hills there are I run every day anyway.

I strapped on the heart monitor for the first time in a while. I wanted to see if all this marathon training might have lowered my at-rest HR. Well, sitting still I got it down to 55 but when I laid down, not having to hold my head up, it dropped all the way to 46. My previous low rate was 53. I ran the four miles in a pedestrian 35:48.1 with an avg. HR of 126. Not a lot of effort there. I peaked at only 141.

I am very excited about the weather forecast for this weekend: sunny skies and temps in the high 70s, maybe 80. I could be working on my tan for New Year's! That's something to look forward to. If you hurry and book now, you can be here with me.


Long, Injury Free and on Pace

I waited until 1030 to start my long run this morning which gave me lots of leisurly time to eat breakfast and psych up for the 3.25 hours of sunny running I had planned. I chose to do three laps around Lake Virginia so that I could stop at the house every time for refueling. I really didn't feel like running but I went out anyway knowing it would be a test, coming off the draining runs of last week.
I started out all creaky. Calves were baying, ankle was making some noise and heels were pinging me too. I ignored them all and got up to pace within two miles and felt better.
The first lap was 1:01:00 so I varied the route the next two times around so to add another 15 minutes. I hit the Gu every 45 minutes or shorter, depending on how much I took and had a total of 40 ounces of Gatorade between laps and afterwards. I came in at 3:16:00, right about my target. I didn't hit a wall although I was definitely tired. The pedometer said it was 20.5 miles which worked out to a 9:34 pace, right about what I want in training.
The shin didn't hurt. The calves didn't cramp. I felt good when all was said and done.
I stretched, took a hot shower, ate a Snicker's energy bar, a banana and more Gatorade and water before hopping (well, not hopping; more like staggering) into the car and drove out to have a massage. I thought it worth a test to see how a massage felt after 20 miles. It was excellent except for the severe cramps I developed while laying on the table. Lara just turned my foot a certain way and BAM I was curling up in a nasty twitch. It happened three times before she decided to go at it a little more strategically on my feet. She found a knot that took 10 minutes to work out on each foot and then I was relaxed. I was dehydrated so kept drinking water. She said the tendons in my calf were quivering like a hard rock guitar right after the cramp passed. Most amusing for her.
I hope your holiday week keeps looking good for everybody. 2006 is almost here.


Christmas Eve

Observations on my marathon training:
The miles are starting to take a toll.
I did five miles this evening in 46 minutes. I used to be able to do it in 45 or less. My weekly mileage hit a personal lifetime high of 46 today which was without a 3-mile run I skipped on Wednesday. The 13 on Tuesday was challenging. The 10 on Thursday was painful.
The pain in my left ankle is on the top front side of the bone and actually runs up my shin which is an early sign of shin splints (Jon! Help!). I soak my legs in the cold outdoor pool water after I run. I give the ankle/shin an ice massage twice a day.
I borrowed a "stick" from Track Shack to work out kinks in my calves before running. It is somewhat helpful. I stretch.
I have decided to be prudent and push my Sunday/Christmas Day long run to Monday, skip Tuesday's 13 miler and pick it up again Wednesday. I feel like I need to baby my legs along here. Speeding through the marathon is not my goal. Finishing in one piece is. I have to make it to Miami in one piece too.

I am enjoying my roll as cruise director for the Miami Marathon. Brent and Rae, Noames and four runners from Orlando are on my list of passengers to corral for a night-before carbo load and day-of-race meet-up and photo op. I am checking out Rosinella’s on Lincoln Road a couple of blocks from the beach in Miami Beach - a well regarded Italian place. Mmmm.


13 Tough Ones

Who ever heard of running a half marathon before work on a Tuesday? That's what I had to do this morning with eight of the miles on the track at tempo pace. 32 "glorious" monotonous laps. I guess it was better than a treadmill. There was a cyclist in Lane 1 throughout my running which helped me stay awake so not to get run over. I averaged about 9:04 miles in four 2-mile repeats.
On either side of the track workout I did two miles and three miles of marathon race pace (9:30). I took Gatorade and Gu to help me through but my left ankle and right calf got nasty on me. I am counting on the taper in three weeks to give me relief. That and a massage next week.
. . . . . . . . . .

In honor of my first anniversary on the RBF blog I bring you excerpts from many of my favorite people and what they were doing a year ago. I would not be here if not for Susie who has constantly enlightened me in the ways of the world she knows better than I.

Susie 12.19.04
I'm lying here balancing my laptop in my lap with a bag of frozen peas on my ankle/shin. Uh huh. Where the heck did this pain come from?
I'm trying to analyze this. This morning, there was a slight twinge when I woke up. Ok, think--yesterday I ran four miles on new ground...some hills...not too long, though. Did I stretch? No. Was I running faster? A little, to keep up with Jennifer. Hmmm. Then, because it was just a little twinge, I walked 4 miles with Nancy today. Now it really hurts. Both legs hurt!!

Dianna 12.18.04
Somewhere around mile 6 my knee started to get that familiar pain that occurs when I run without a brace. I grit my teeth and just kept going, promising myself that if it got really bad, I would walk and ask Michelle to come pick me up when she got back to her car. Fortunately, the pain lessened and became a dull ache, enough to be bearable. About a mile later it all but disappeared.

Lara 12.17.04
I started to imagine what I would do if I came across a bear (or it came across me) during one of my runs. From what I understand, the last thing you’re supposed to do if you meet a bear is run away - you can’t out run them, you can’t out climb them, and you probably can’t out swim them (well maybe Annalisa could). If I remember right (not something I’ve read up on recently) you firstly have to be sure you are not facing the bear directly but rather in a side standing position, and do not look the bear directly in the eye.

Bill 12.28.04
The upside is that I haven’t completely taken off from running, and I’ve swum basically once a week since I posted last. So progress hasn’t stopped, even though posting has.
In the new year, I’m planning on trying to race a little bit. Race being a relative term for paying money to run with people faster than I am. But my major goal is the Hartford Marathon in October, and the NYC Marathon if I get selected.

Jon 12.21.04
I ran my three stupid miles on the gerbil-o-matic tonight. 9:14 pace. Then I (FINALLY) did my upper body weight training. I think its been months since I did that. Oddly enough, things went ok and I didn’t have to drop the weights by much. Of course, tomorrow (or likely the next day) I will be paying with maximum pectoral pain. It always seems to hit me there. You’ll recognize me because I’ll be the one clutching my chest when I walk down the stairs.

Mia 12.20.04
I've been pleasantly surprised by the fact that I've NOT been unbearably sore today. In fact, except for a wee stiffness when I'm first getting up from inactivity, it's been a perfectly normal day. And with all that stretching, I think I'm in the best place I've ever been for a 4 mile recovery run tomorrow.There was an older guy in class, right behind me. And I mean seventies-ish. And he was farting the whole class, ....

Jeff 12.20.04
we headed out along the san diego river trail, heading toward the beach, the same trail that the oc marathon covered. we set out at a very comfortable 9:30 pace for the first 5 miles out and then dropped down to closer to 9 for the next 5 back. the last 5 miles were down around 8:30 - 8:45 and felt pretty good. my legs were getting tired by mile 13, but i could tell that i could have added another 3 at the end to make it to 18. that was a very re-assuring feeling. i think i'll go ahead with my planned 18 on christmas morning then.

Mark 12.20.04
Well, a lot has been going on lately but not a lot of running has been going on - nope, not much running at all.
I was pretty woozy all the way up to last Wednesday so Thursday’s spin class was a no-go since I’m pretty sure I’d have barfed. Instead I planned on a very light run but that didn’t happen due to a workshop going overschedule. Yup, that’s right - work got in the way of my running. Damn work.

David 12.22.04
I went out for a run in the perfect low 50s conditions. I was surprised to see so many other runners out at 600 because they're either earlier on the roads or running in numbers on running club weekend long runs. I was passed or caught up to no less than 4 other folks this morning and I could feel my race tempo kicking in. Fortunately for me it wasn't a race because I had very little to give and my left foot toes were hurting. I trace the cause of the pain back to walking around so much last night at the bowl game in town. Anyway, it was a sloppy 3 .2 mile jog.


That Was Easy - and the Envelope, please

A few interesting revelations came out today. I had today and three more long runs before my taper for the January 29 Miami Tropical Marathon. My schedule said go 17. My intention was to go 18. Then I remembered something that gave me great comfort. I listened to Jeff Galloway speak here a few years ago and got in a discussion with him about long run training. He said it's about the time spent running, not the distance. So in that I am aiming for a 4:00 marathon time I need to get up to that amount of time in training runs, no matter the distance. Hence, today I ran three hours and I'll add 15 minutes to the next three to be at 3:45 before I taper. That'll be close enough.
I ran 18.7 miles this morning in 64 degree overcast skies with a brief misting period. It was pretty darned nice except for the humidity. When I finished nothing hurt. Not the ankle, calf, knee or hip.
Which led to the revelation that fueling really really matters. I stashed Gatorade along the route and packed two Gus. I spread them out over the three hours and never felt dead tired or sore. That was very rewarding. It gave me a sense that "this" can be done.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Three are true. Two are false.
1. My dad is a priest. True - My dad is an Episcopalian priest which makes me a PK which I used liberally as my excuse for rebel behaviour in my youth; which is not to say my youth is over or that I am not still rebellious.
2. I immigrated with my family from Ireland. False - My dad immigrated from Wales at the age of 25.
3. I skipped fifth grade, with an IQ of 140. False - I skipped kindergarten, not fifth grade which always made me the baby of my class until high school when future actor Treat Williams was the only person younger than I was. The IQ still stands.
4. I can wiggle my ears. True - and, for some reason, I can wiggle the right one by itself but not the left.
5. I attended seminary in Berkeley, Calif. True - The Pacific School of Religion held my attention for one semester back in the early 70s. Actually the San Francisco Giants held my attention more and I chose a career in sports instead. Hey; sports is a religion, sort of. Look at us devoted runners.

Winter Break

The weather sucks. The most poignant comment anybody has written lately - that penetrated my head - is what Runner Susan wrote Friday, "Summer tan: Faded." You got that right. I haven't even seen the sun and this is Florida! Plus it's been rainy, dreary and way too much like Connecticut (plus 30 degrees). I kept an eye on Super Doppler 2 before I went out Saturday, to see if I could find a dry patch. Alas, it lasted about 5 minutes.I ran five miles in what was a steady drizzle. Managed 9:00 miles. I still have an issue with my left ankle. I am hopeful Sunday's 18 miler will not be complicated.

I went to watch Syriana Saturday afternoon. Good grief. I am sure there's a grain of reality in there about the corruption of power at the highest levels. Makes me want to crawl under a rock - or go run. I'll try B for now.

The "kid" I write about in my profile on the right comes home Sunday. He's been at West Point since June. He looks good in pictures. I just hope he'll allow me to drive my car once in awhile while he's home. The man will have some "appointments," you know.

Three are true. Two are false.
1. My dad is a priest. True - My dad is an Episcopalian priest which makes me a PK which I used liberally as my excuse for rebel behaviour in my youth; which is not to say my youth is over or that I am not still rebellious.
2. I immigrated with my family from Ireland. False - My dad immigrated from Wales at the age of 25.
3. I skipped fifth grade, with an IQ of 140.
4. I can wiggle my ears.
5. I attended seminary in Berkeley, Calif. True - The Pacific School of Religion held my attention for one semester back in the early 70s. Actually the San Francisco Giants held my attention more and I chose a career in sports instead. Hey; sports is a religion, sort of. Look at us devoted runners.


On Task for Miami

Thursday I went up to the track for a 4 x 1 mile workout. Last week I was all souped up and did my repeats at an 8:00/M pace. This week, with a niggling pain high on the inside of my left ankle, I only managed to do 8:30/M repeats. I thought I'd done well and was taken aback when I went to record my times and saw how I had blistered it last week. Hey, it's only training. I'll live with it.
. . . . . . . . .
And for those having to endure winter cloud cover let me tell you that the full moon is up there; which always reminds me of Grove Dock in the summertime.
. . . . . . . . .
Three are true. Two are false.
1. My dad is a priest. True - My dad is an Episcopalian priest which makes me a PK which I used liberally as my excuse for rebel behaviour in my youth; which is not to say my youth is over or that I am not still rebellious.
2. I immigrated with my family from Ireland. False - My dad immigrated from Wales at the age of 25.
3. I skipped fifth grade, with an IQ of 140.
4. I can wiggle my ears.
5. I attended seminary in Berkeley, Calif.


Where Were We

I ran Tuesday and Wednesday. Temps in the low 50s and mid 40s. 11 miles Tuesday and 3 today. I never knew how easy three miles could be until I'd done 17 and then 11 on the prior run days. I hardly broke a sweat. I thought back to a year ago and how a normal run was 3 miles, 4 miles was a push and 6 miles around the lake was a looong run. It's amazing what training can do for you.
I wrote a month or so ago how I was busting through my annual mileage goal of 600. Well I'm at 963 and should be past 1,000 by next Tuesday.

Now as for Mia's personal info request, I'll answer but not tag anybody because I'm not inclined to let the string fester. Five things about me (3 are true; I'll reveal truth later):

1. My dad is a priest.
2. I immigrated with my family from Ireland.
3. I skipped fifth grade, with an IQ of 140.
4. I can wiggle my ears.
5. I attended seminary in Berkeley, Calif.


17.1 Miles

Rain dripped off my visor as I pounded out 17.1 miles this morning. By myself. I survived.

I almost did not go because it started to drizzle and I calculated I could go later in the day when the forecast was for clearing. That sounded to me like the genesis of a poor excuse not to run at all. I HAD to go long today. It was vital after slacking a couple weeks. My mileage slipped from 42 miles the week of Thanksgiving to 31 including the half marathon and then just 27 last week.
I was dressed to go and fueled up. I sat at my laptop and plotted a double route run. The first lap was tight around the lake for six miles and then a scenic diversion route of 11.1 on the second lap, my usual Sunday run.
The first six miles were easy for me. I was thinking I'd try to keep it slow for the first 14 miles. I stole the idea out of January's Runners World to go slow, then lower the pace by 10 seconds each of the last three miles. I stopped at M6 for some Gatorade. At M10 I had half a pack of some tasty orange Gu and water. It may not have been enough fluid. From M12-14 I was cramping in my right calf a lot and showing poor form. Then the rain started coming down too. I told myself this was good; that I needed some adversity to prepare for the full marathon.
At M14 I stopped at a park, with a steady drizzle, and found somebody's cooler with an ample supply of Gatorade so I had a good 10 ounces with the rest of my Gu. It didn't take long for the glycogens to restock and keep me moving, cramp free. I covered the last three miles at an increased pace, although I didn't mark time to measure my splits.
As soon as I got home I grabbed a Gatorade, peeled off the wet shirt and everything else and jumped in the shower. I couldn't wait. My hands were so cold the water felt like it was burning them. I threw on some shorts and a t-shirt and got back into bed, under the covers with my knees elevated. I fell right to sleep for 30 minutes.
Stretching was easy except for my right calf and Achilles. Even my back felt good. I did concentrate on good running form many times out there today.
A PB&J sandwich with water and some yogurt revived me. I have to say it was a sneak peak at what 26.1 may feel like. I covered the 17.1 today in 2:43:38 which is a 9:34 pace (which included a couple stops). That's my goal pace. I was supposed to run slower than that today but didn't. Oh well.


Track Love

If it'd been 40 degrees cooler on Thursday we'd have at least a foot of snow on the ground. Today I stepped outside. The morning air was heavy with moisture. The temps had risen overnight. It was actually warm, around 70. No wind at first. I made everything start moving, slowly, jogging lightly, working out the creaks that consume my body at night. Was it going to be a good run? Hard to tell at first. I knew one thing: I was going to the track. Ah, the track. Marathon training does not favor the track very often. It's not so useful and difficult to remember when you're in the 3rd lap of the 11th mile; or was it the 7th lap of the 2-mile tempo repeat. See what I mean?

In the half mile between the front door and the eighth lane I could not get loose so I did a slow lap to see if I could be inspired. It started to work for me but I needed more. Strides. Four strides at gradual acceleration to maybe 80% all out. That got me loose. Now we can begin.

Mission: 4 x 1 mile repeats with one lap jogs between; repeats at whatever speed I could maintain. I took off. Felt fast. Concentrated on minimum hip movement. Mid foot landing with a push off. Planting the foot flat and not on its side. Efficiency. Relaxed shoulders. Straight wrists. Run upright and leaning forward. Glasses are sliding too much. Off after the first mile. Sweat is too profuse. Lose the shirt. Hey, this is like running on the beach, near naked. Good. Good.
First Mile - 7:47; 2nd - 7:58; 3rd - 8:01; and 4th - 7:56.
In the third I was dragging and counting down the laps to go until it was over. I thought of Jeff's tenacity and kept going back to "finish," "strong." In the last mile I had three laps complete and the watch said 6:03. I feared a second 8:00+ time and decided I had to do better. I worked my muscle memory to its limit with extra concentration and put down the last 400m in 1:53. That was very satisfying.

All day I could feel a tingling in my legs. They had been pushed and challenged. They had responded. My legs felt so happy. My legs love the track.


Bonk Day

I bonked today. I skipped the run because (a) it was raining, (b) I was sleeping, (c) I had an early meeting and (d) I stayed up too late watching my new favorite TV show, Runway, on Bravo. What a riot. It's a cross between Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, MTV's Real World and The Weakest Link. Show hostess is preggo Heidi who bids losers goodbye with some German brush off. I must say it is comical to see a pregnant woman being a hard ass heartless critic. And the designs were a curious mix of styles that even had my 17-year old son glued to the tube (Well. he did get the second most votes for Mr. Stylin' 2005 at school).

So tomorrow I'll run instead of rest. The skies have cleared and I will get more sleep tonight.


Return to Regulary Scheduled Running

Regular is the key word I guess; not that I wasn't yesterday before the run. So as to not confuse anyone with a popular topic on R. Susan's site, we'll move on now.

Today was to be a light run of three miles. I added an extra mile and did it as a tempo run. I was laying some tracks pretty well out there in 10K pace time. It went by so quickly.

What I think I spent more time on today was stretching. I have been experiencing increased pain in my lower back when I stand up straight, first thing in the morning and after my runs. I used to get away with minimal-to-no stretching before I ran (based on something I read somewhere that said it wasn't quite so vital). I always stretch afterwards. With all the miles I am doing now I thought it wise to stretch beforehand all the time. It seems to help so far although it pinches on my waking hours before work.

More strict attention to doing upper body work in the garage on Monday and Friday are important too. I just hope the unheated garage holds enough daytime warmth to get me through the winter months.

Here are some survey questions: Who has put up their Christmas tree (assuming you are going to put one up)? Is it real or fake? Who decorates it in your house? Who takes down the decorations?


Excuse me. I have to go.

In seven years of running I have never quite had the experience I did this morning. I was eager to do two laps around the lake for 12 miles including some 2-mile tempo pace repeats. I had done the warm up and the first two of three tempo segments when I found myself back at the head of my neighborhood ready to begin lap two. All of a sudden there wasn't a bathroom close enough for my comfort and the possible revulsion of my neighbors. I stopped immediately and walked in a tempo of a completely different variety back to the house where utter embarrassment was avoided. I felt absolutely great except for that undeniable need.
I am suspicous of the yogurt I ate for breakfast. What do you think?
I quit running at six miles, knowing I could do a bunch more. Maybe I'll add a few extra miles tomorrow.


Half Headline Report

So what did I do last week? I did no training. Why? Didn't feel like it. Couldn't fit it in. Okay. I did go for 20 minutes Thursday night in the hotel parking garage.
So what would you expect then from my half marathon effort? Maybe just a respectable training run time to support the marathon training plan? HA!
Well I PRed again. This is getting to be routine this year. What is bizarre is that I PRed by almost 12 minutes. Old PR 2:02.17. New PR 1:50.24. Unbelievable.
I'll write more later because I have to get to an Army-Navy Game viewing party.

P.S. The beer garden afterwards was well worth the effort. I believe I was among the few who closed it down.

. . . . . . .

Okay. Army's defense stunk today. Enough about that until Billy J. weighs in.

I wandered around the start area about 45 minutes prior to the race seeing many acquaintances and friends. In fact, before the day was done, I saw Jack, Chris, Tim, Mark and Brett from my Sunday running group. Lots of good socializing in the chilly morning air. I wore my Army warm up to stay toasty.
I jogged back to my car to strip down to what I'd race in. I chose just a long sleeve shirt which would have been better sleeveless by the end of the race. I jogged/walked back to the start and thought, with 4 minutes to go, I should go. The port-a-potties, amazingly, had short lines. In a minute I was in, and right after I came out and moseyed over to the back of the start area a horn went off. At first I thought it was wheelchairs but, no, it was the real deal.
I fell in and it took a minute to reach the timing mat.
The first mile around the iconic lake and fountain was slow and heavy with slow runner traffic. I didn't make any effort to weave or pass until it was clear for me. The second mile was a little looser and I passed a lot of people and acquaintances. As M2 approached there was a U.S. Marine out for a 13.1 mile rucksack run in full battle dress uniform and 35 pounds on his back. Hoo-ahh. In M3 I came up on Mark and Brett, the 30-something Marine Corp Marathoners I met last weekend. As I passed, Brett asked me why I wouldn't slow a little to chat like last Sunday. I thought of the Days of Thunder line and told him, "'Cuz we're racin'."
M1 9:26
M2 8:41
M3 8:41
So I picked up the pace and the fourth mile zoomed by. When I passed the unattended mile marker I said to my neighbor after looking at my watch, "That was a short mile or I'm going too fast." I go with B. Mile 5 was the second half of a long two mile boring road that crossed many an intersection with traffic backed up and few spectators. The FoxSports water stop was a highlight. I took three swigs of Gatorade at each of the water stops in the first half of the race. At M6 Bruce Springsteen was playing Born to Run out of the back of his convertible. I liked that. In fact Bruce reappeared to play a same song encore at Mile 9 too.
M4 8:16
M5 8:27
M6 8:22
As I reviewed my splits in the seventh mile I was thinking this was doing wonders for my overall time after the slow start. Mile 7 came up on me so quickly, I was questioning myself about what I had been doing for the last eight minutes because it was a blur. Nothing was really hurting although my left calf started to whisper. I had a Gu and then a voice behind me asked if I could feel it yet. Whatever "it" was I wasn't going to admit to anything. It was Mark who had just finished a 7:56 mile. I told him I'd just done an 8:20 mile and the guy I was passing said, "What are you doing way back here? I'm going to die if I'm running 8:20s." I told him I had a minute late start and he was good with that. I ran with Mark through Ms8&9, clocking fast paced miles. At the M9 waterstop where an enthusiastic law firm was playing it up like Margaritaville I slowed for more Gatorade. I kept up with Mark for 20 yards then stopped when it went up my nose. That was the last I saw of Mark. He cruised on.
M7 8:21
M8 8:12
M9 8:13
Starting at the M9 marker the roads turn to brick - old lumpy pavers - through an oak lined upscale neighborhood I used to live in 15 years ago. I remember starting to fade here last year. It must have been the one and only "hill," which was no trouble this year. I was still clicking away and passing people constantly. M11 was more of the same although there was a brass pep band out to play for us. They were good. M12 took us off the bricks finally and heading back downtown. My calves were starting to yack but I ignored them. The last full mile back around the lake and fountain was flat, paved and lined with people. I just kicked it in trying to not be passed myself by those Johnny Come Up On You Lasties. I sprinted the last stretch towards the finish line, tucking my shirt in and smiling for the cameras (so they'd see my number). I finished and grabbed a water, my medal and bent over briefly to catch my breath. Ta da. I'd PRed.
The rest was all about bananas, water, a dry shirt, beer, beer, beer, beer and lots of chatting with beer buddies. It was a beautiful sunny morning and I couldn't have felt any better.

Well now my calves could feel better but they have a hot bath in store for them tonight.
M10 8:14
M11 8:22
M12 8:17
M13 8:05
M .1 0:48
PR 1:50:24

Race Morning

Half Marathon today.
The water's on for my morning coffee. I'm dressed for arctic conditions. It's the coldest day in Florida this fall - 43. Stop laughing everybody. It's all relative.
The dogs are fed. I am fed. My bag is packed with all the essentials. Susie wished me good luck last night.
I had a weird dream again, of being very late to the race. Somehow I parked near downtown; but the start is uptown. I had to jog the length of the city to reach the start. They were taking up the timing mats when I arrived. I decided to bag the race. Strange.
So, since I do not really want to be late, I will grab the coffee and skeedaddle (sp?).