Summer of Speed: Week 10

Monday: 5.1 miles @ 8:35
Ran the Monday morning loop with Britt, Alexis & Matt. My legs were pretty beat up from the miles last week.

Tuesday: 3 x 1k, 6 x 200m
Trying to do some mile-specific workout in July. The goal for the 1k repeats was 3:20-3:17 with 3:00 recoveries. I ran 3:19, 3:18, 3:17. Afterwards I put on the track spikes for the 200m repeats, but didn’t run any of them all out. Those were in 33, 32, 33, 31, 32, 30.

Wednesday: AM 7.6 @ 7:15, PM 4.1 @ 6:47
Both runs were with East Nasty. I ran the extra 2 before and after the AM run. The evening run was quicker and I didn’t add on.

Thursday: 5.8 @  8:15
Ran on the dirt trails with Christopher.

Friday: Firecracker 5000m in 16:56
img_2747
Unlike recent races, I ran an actual warmup for this one. My left calf was feeling pretty sore and my legs were stiff – I needed a warmup to get things loose. Standing at the start line I felt dread, but then the gun went off and it was a race.

The weather was perfect (for July 4th). I think I ran pretty even splits. I wish I could have run faster, but it is nice to have a legit sub-17 road PR in the books. I ended up taking 3rd overall and was awarded a couple of really cool etched glasses – definitely one of the coolest trophies I have ever received.

Saturday: off
I stayed up really late on celebrating Freedom. That resulted in my sleeping until almost 11am on Saturday. I could have forced an evening run, but I decided to give myself a break.

Sunday: 16 miles @ 7:18
This was my longest run since February (or maybe even January). I was unreasonably nervous about it, but it ended up being a pretty easy run. Matt and I ran a mix of dirt trails, greenways, and some ridiculous hill on the roads. Aside from Matt pushing the pace a couple of times*, I never really worried about being able to run the full 15 miles (which ended up being 16 miles).

Summary:  50 miles
I recovered from the previous week’s mileage surge, had a good track workout, and ran a new 5k PR on the roads. Next week I hope to push the mileage back up to around 70 so that I can continue to build a base for marathon training.

* I was the one guilty of pushing the pace. Matt said he didn’t want to read me blaming him on my blog, so I kinda had to.

Summer of Speed: week 9

This week was a little different. Last Sunday Zavier, Carter, Jacob, and Henry left for Michigan to visit their maternal grandmother. Erica, Cali, and Max flew to California to visit Erica’s family. This left me all alone in the house, so I figured I might as well run a lot.

Monday:  AM 6.0 miles at 8:05, PM 6.1 miles @ 7:41
Started the week with a run around downtown with Alexis – just like every other week. In the evening I ran a shortened route on the dirt trails of Shelby with Christopher.

Tuesday: AM 12 x 300m @ goal mile pace, PM kickball
I want to do some mile-specific stuff this Summer, so Dave has me do 12x300m targeting 52 seconds each w/ 90 seconds rest between them. I have never run 300s before and struggled a little with the pacing. Overall I hit more 51s than anything and only one rep was too slow.

Also, we are trying to work on my form a little. During the reps I was focused on keeping my hips forward (I tend to sit when I run). We also did a full set of drills after.

The reps were: 51, 49, 49, 51, 51, 53, 51, 52, 49, 51, 51, 49

Wednesday: AM 7.7 miles @ 7:23, PM 8.1 miles @ 8:10
The morning run was with East Nasty. I added on the extra 2 before and after the run. The evening run was on the dirt trails of Shelby with Lindsay, Emily, and Leah. It was nice to not run the same East Nasty route again, especially since it was so hot and muggy.

Thursday: AM 8 miles @ 7:54, PM 8.2 miles @ 7:05
Morning and evening runs were both on the dirt trails at Shelby. The morning run was with Christopher. For the evening run I threw on some headphones and ended up running a little progression run. I forced myself to back off the last mile since I wanted to make sure I was ready to go again in the morning.

Friday: AM 8.1 miles @ 7:45, PM 8.1 miles @ 7:26
The morning run was on the dirt trails of Shelby with Christopher. My legs were starting to feel pretty beat up.

I really wanted to go run the Fleet Feet Track Attack races Friday evening, but it just wasn’t a good fit for a week where I am trying to get in some decent mileage. So I ended up running at Vaughn’s Gap with Hunter, Jeannette, Drew, and a couple of other guys. We ran onto the trails and into Edwin Warner. It is hard for me to make it out to Percy Warner for runs, so this was a good thing to do while the family was out of town.

Saturday: Gay 5k in 18:23
I had no desire to run a fast 5k. The Summer of Speed is getting old and my legs were feeling the impact of the increased mileage (see what I did there?). I decided to run 18:30 pace with Dave and Lindsay.

Sunday: AM 11.2 miles @ 7:45
Greg, Lindsay,  Christopher, and I ran the dirt trails in Shelby and then Greg and I ran a few more (before Greg peeled off for some tempo miles).

Summary: 84 miles.
This was a good week. I ran doubles 4 days, had a good workout, ran a longish run, and ran a 5k (even it I phoned it in, it was still a decent effort). I thought I might be able to get a few more miles in, but I also didn’t want to push it and risk over-doing it.

Next week I will run 50 or 60 miles and hope to take the 5k a little more seriously. Then maybe I will start working the mileage and long runs back up.

Summer of Speed: Week 8 – halfway!

Monday: Yep, ran 5.2 miles with Alexis at 8:09 pace. My legs are starting to feel a little fatigue as I gradually increase mileage.

Tuesday: 4 x 1000m with Greg. He did 8x 1000m, but I was worried about doing a truly hard effort since this would be the 5th hard effort in 10 days. Plus we are running a 3k on Thursday so that will be 6 hard efforts in 12 days. Plus I have the Shoney’s 5k on Saturday, so that would be 7 hard efforts in two weeks.

After the workout we did some drills and exercises with a group. I DEFINITELY need to be doing more of this. The lunges hurt, my form on the drills needs work. I am glad Dave made us do these. Hopefully I can get to where I am consistently doing drills and exercises twice a week.

Wednesday: Double Nasty! In the morning I ran The Nasty at a 7:39 pace. In the evening I ran The Nasty at a 7:09 pace (and it was HOT and HUMID and MISERABLE). However, when we got to the top of Mt Nasty, there was Beth Meadows with water and popsicles–definitely a welcome treat. (If you would like someone to run with your dog in Nashville, Beth is your answer.  If you call her, tell her thanks for the popsicles.)

Glad to have 12 miles for the day, but that is a tough way to do it :)

Thursday: In the morning I ran 6 miles on the dirt trails of Shelby Park with Matt McCue (more on that later). It was cool to be able to show an out-of-towner my favorite hidden treasure in Nashville. At the end of the run just past Hidden Pond we say 10 deer hanging out in a field.

Andre passed me about 5 seconds after this picture was taken.
Looks like I am leading in the final stretch, but Andre had already finished :)

In the evening Greg and I went down to the Nashville Striders Summer Track series. We had decided to run the mile instead of the 3k. My new track spikes arrived just in time so I had to lace them up and race in them.

It was a fun race. At the start there was a little jockeying for position and I didn’t get out quick. However I quickly decided that the pace was a little too slow and found myself in the lead after 200m. I lead until just after halfway when Andre Hillsman glided past me and quickly gapped me by 15 meters (he ran a 4:29 earlier this year). I tried to pick it up with 400m to go and then again at 200m. I had a good race and ran a 4:48. That is another PR and 4 seconds faster than last week’s PR. I can go faster still.

Splits were: 76, 73, 72, 67. I think I closed the last 200m in 29 or 28. I sent the splits to Dave and he said “Just think how fast you can run if you wore your big boy pants for the first 600m.”  Touché Dave. Let’s try that.

Afterwards Matt joined Erica and I for dinner with the kids. We got to spend some time talking about the balance of training for my hobby, running my business, and being a good husband and father to my family. It was cool that he got to see what dinner is like with our big family.

Friday: Greg and I ran an “easy” 8 miles out and back on Davidson and the Greenway. I say easy, but we ended up averaging 6:48 pace. He is putting in some serious miles this Summer. I hope I can keep up with him this Fall when we start training for Indy.

Saturday: Shoney’s 5k (not really) in 15:40. It was hot and hilly, but I think I ran a pretty good race. Especially since I went into it hoping to run easy. The course was short, but it was a fun race.

Sunday: 8.9 miles on the dirt trails in Shelby. It was 90 degrees out when I ran, but the humidity was pretty low. I ended up averaging about 7:00 minute pace for this run, and it never felt like I was running hard at all. I tried to focus on my form on this run, specifically leaning forward at the ankles and trying to get my foot to land under my center of gravity. I have a lot of improvements to make to my form and I think focusing on it during easy runs is the way to go (plus drills).

Summary: Another week over 50 miles. Another mile PR on the track. Double Nasty. Drills. No rest days. Sounds like a winner to me!

Focus on One Week

Competitive training as a distance runner is a lot like running a business. Doing both at the same time has made me better at both (it also has made me appreciate sleep more). One of the things I have learned from marathon training is the importance of focusing on one week blocks.

Here is a typical training week:

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Easy run Track workout Double (AM & PM easy runs) Medium long run Easy run Long run Easy run

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Summer of Speed: Week 7

Monday: 5.0 @ 8:30 with Alexis – in the rain. It was one of those morning where I was grateful to know she would be there. We didn’t even have to text to confirm that the run was still on. Reliable!

Tuesday: Track workout at Rose Park with the group. 5 x (800m in 2:49, 30 secs rest, 400m in 72, 2 minutes rest). Greg and I clocking 80s on the track again. Dave jumped in to help with the last set as I was getting a little tired.

Splits for the 800s: 2:51, 2:49, 2:45, 2:49, 2:48
Splits for the 400s: 71, 72, 71, 72, 69

Before the workout we did some exercises and drills. It was VERY humbling. I used to be able to knock out ab exercises, pushups, and squats like nothing. Now, I got nothing. I couldn’t do crunches for a minute. I wobbled on 60 second planks. I couldn’t do a one-legged squat on my right leg. Luckily I was able to knock out the set of 30 pushups easily. I have some SERIOUS work to do and had no idea my strength had deteriorated so much.

Wednesday: 6.9 miles @ 7:24. Seth and I ran the extra two first and then ran Easy Nasty #11. I wasn’t able to make it to the evening run because I was celebrating St8mnt‘s 10 year anniversary with Erica and her coworkers. (The picnic was great and 10 years of successful business is quite an achievement. WTG!)

Thursday: 6 miles at 7:00. This was a nice solo run on the dirt trails in Shelby Park. Sometimes I really enjoy getting out there alone, throwing on some headphones and running a short progression run. Splits were: 7:38, 7:20, 7:01, 6:56, 6:38, 6:25. That isn’t really a workout, but it is a solid aerobic effort and definitely faster than my easy days.

Our nanny was able to work late and Erica had a meeting, so I went down to the Nashville Striders track meet at Rose Park. The plan was to race the mile if my legs weren’t too trashed. There ended up being a great turnout and there were 15 or so people in a <5:30 mile heat with several targeting sub-5. The pack got out fast and I quickly found myself bouncing around in the back of the pack. I slowly worked my way up to 3rd where I stayed. I ended up running a 4:52 (new PR) and felt like I could have definitely run harder. I am also really pleased with my splits: 76 (409m), 75, 73, 68.

Also, I ordered my first pair of track spikes. I am not sure how much I will use them, but I would have used them at MCDC last week if I had them in the closet. Not sure if I will use them in next week’s Striders 3k or not. Fleet Feet Nashville* is going to be putting on some Friday night races at Hillsboro’s track. I think I may try to jump in some of those too. Track racing is fun!

Friday: I ran 7 miles with Emily and Lindsay at around 8 minute pace. They got up rediculously early so they could do a 15 mile long run. I just joined them for the last part of that. My legs feel pretty beat up after 3 hard efforts in 6 days. I opted to spend the day in some Swiftwick 12″ compression socks to try and help them recover. Next week might be a good time for a massage.

Saturday: I ran the Fatherhood 5k on the trails out at Fontanel.  It was nice to change it up and do something a little different. With this being my 4th hard effort in 7 days (and 3rd race!), my plan was to keep it as controlled as possible while running for place. Joey (who ran a 15:24 last week at MCDC) was also running it, so I was running for 2nd place. :)

The course was well-marked and had course monitors throughout – a big improvement from what I hear it was like last year. It was definitely hilly and with the recent rains it was also very muddy and slippery. I was grateful that I was able to back off the pace a bit after the first mile.

It was pretty chilly Saturday morning, so unlike recent races I actually ran a warmup and a cool down. That gave me just under 7 miles total for the day.

Sunday: I went out to Shelby Bottoms and ran circles on the dirt trails to get over 12 miles at around 7:20 pace. This was my longest run in weeks. (months?) It was hot and I felt like I was moving really slowly. That run put me over 50 miles for the week.

Weekly Summary:

  1. 52.9 miles (highest since March)
  2. Solid track workout.
  3. Mile PR on the track.
  4. Trail 5k.
  5. Longest run in weeks.
  6. No rest days.

That was a damn good week.

 

Summer of Speed: Week 6

Monday: 5.2 @ 8:41. Nice easy run with Alexis to get the week started off right.

Tuesday: 20 x 200m on the track!
Dave calls this workout “Russian 200s.” Basically you run 200m repeats at mile pace with a 100m recovery. That a 200m recovery after the 4th on and run the 5th rep at goal mile pace (i.e. faster).

We did 4 sets of those. It was the first workout in a long time that I feel went really well. Our goal was to run 36.5 with the fast ones targeting 35.  I averaged 35.9 for the slow ones and 33.1 for the fast ones.

The workout going well wasn’t just about the times though. I felt like I ran relaxed and was able to stretch out my stride a little. This was a nice little confidence boost before this weekend’s 5000m at the Music City Distance Carnival (my first 5k on the track).

Set 1: 35.9, 35.7, 35.6, 35.6, 33.9
Set 2: 35.4, 36.8, 35.7, 36.4, 33.6
Set 3: 35.9, 35.7, 35.0, 36.6, 32.8
Set 4: 35.9, 36.4, 35.9, 37.0, 32.1

Wednesday: 9.1 miles @ 7:20. This was a patchwork run. First Seth Neumann and I ran the extra 2. Then we ran the East Nasty morning run. Afterwards a group of us ran the extra 2. As we finished Magut ran up so I ran a couple more with him. It was kinda fun to run with so many different groups in one morning.

Thursday: 9.27 miles in Shelby park @ 7:25.

Friday: 5.78 @ 7:08. Ran around the Belmont neighborhood with Greg, Ashley, and Lindsay.

Saturday: All dressed up for nothing. The Music City Distance Carnival got rained out. I should have done that easy run in the morning :-/

Sunday: Music City Distance Carnival 5000m in 16:54

When I saw the startlist for this race (slower heat of the open 5k) I knew there was a chance that it was going to be a battle up front between training partner Greg Kyle and myself. I didn’t know everyone in the race, but I knew that it was a possibility and that is exactly what ended up happening.

Going into the race I felt confident in my finishing speed (thanks to Tuesday’s 200m workout), but I didn’t feel like I have really great fitness right now (especially speed endurance). Every 5k I have raced in my Summer of Speed has had a fast first mile and then a progressive slowing until a strong finish. My primary goal was to not follow that same pattern – I wanted to go out slow. Initially I was thinking about an 82 second first lap, but I did some modeling in Excel and felt that I could run a solid PR even if the first 2 laps were in the 85 second range. The goal I gave myself was that I would make sure I didn’t lead the first lap and would ideally be at the back of the lead pack.

As I tried to visualize the race, one of the distinct possibilities would be that Greg would slowly pull away from me in a repeat of Tom King. Another scenario was that we would run together the whole way and I could hopefully muster a finishing kick to have the advantage. The reality was somewhere in the middle.

When the gun went off I found myself in 4th. A badass 10 year old took the lead. (none of my visualizations involved getting beat by a 10 year old, oh crap!) We went through the first 400m right at 80 seconds. This was considerably faster than I wanted, but hopefully everyone would calm down soon and we were just being taken out fast by a kid. When we went through the second 400m in 80 seconds I had to come to terms with the idea that this may just be the pace. Somewhere around the 3rd lap Greg took the lead. I was still in 4th and had to decide to go with him or start getting gapped. I chose to be aggressive and went.

Photos by Nisa Patel
Photos by Nisa Patel

Somewhere around lap 4 or 5 I took the lead. Part of me wanted to share the work. Part of me knew that Greg runs better in the lead. Part of me wanted to try to slow the pace down a little from the front. I led for a few laps and Greg tried to pass a couple of times but I picked it up on the turns so he would fall back into lane 1. With a little over a mile to go Greg took the lead back. At that point I knew I had to just try to hang on. I started to think about where the 3rd place runner was and whether or not they could catch me too. I wanted to look back to see where they were to know how hard I needed to run. I knew if I looked back I was running for 2nd place, so I made myself stay focused and look straight ahead.

At this point we were running a little slower (maybe 82 second laps?) The sun had come out and every time we hit the back stretch it felt like my temperature rose 5 degrees. With 3 laps to go I thought I was toast. I had a side stitch and was struggling to breathe well with a dry mouth. I was really wishing there was a water stop on the track. Still, I was hanging on.

When we hit the bell lap (how cool is that!!!) Greg picked it up. I desperately wanted to pick it up, but I just couldn’t match his move. We hit the back stretch and I knew I had lost. My plan had been to start kicking at 200m, but when I got there I just couldn’t do it. Greg had gapped me by what felt like 10-15 feet.

Then with 150m to go we passed Ted Towse who yelled something about a kick. FINALLY I found some guts and started to go. I was gaining on Greg and he knew it. We were both in a full out sprint. The question was whether or not there was enough race left for me to catch him. I pulled up on his shoulder and he found another gear. So did I.

Just a couple of old guys leaving it all on the track.
Just a couple of old guys leaving it all on the track.

We both ran a 16:54 and I basically out-leaned him by 0.19 seconds. That was an incredibly fun race.  Nisa even took a video of the finish.

We will be back on the track running 80s again on Tuesday. Hopefully Dave won’t have to yell at us to slow down.

Speaking of Dave, he did a hell of a job putting on the Music City Distance Carnival. While it was fun for Greg and I to race, that was nothing compared to the performances of the elite athletes who were out there showing how it is done. Nashville is lucky to have Dave putting on such a great track meet here.

Next up: Nashville Striders track series. I am going to run a track mile on Thursday night. Hoping for a new PR (4:54). Then Saturday I think I will race the Fatherhood 5k (trail). The Summer of Speed continues!

Summer of Speed: Week 5

Monday: (see last week, Hendersonville Classic 5k)

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday: I ran 9 miles in the morning with East Nasty. It was supposed to be 10 with the last 4 at marathon pace. My first MP mile was way too fast (5:50) and I couldn’t get out of the hole.

In the evening I ran another 6 with East Nasty. It has been a long time since I have had a 15 mile day.

Thursday: Ran about 6 miles on the Shelby Greenway with Liz, Ashley, and Greg. I took Charley (my dog) on the run and about killed him. He can race a 5k, but it is too hot for longer runs.

Friday: 8 miles on the dirt at Shelby. Ahhhh, home sweet home.

Saturday: Doughboy 5k, 2nd overall in 17:39. I had hoped to run a fast time, but didn’t get it done. The course was marked at every kilometer instead of every mile. I went through 1k in 3:18 (16:30 pace) – that was too fast. I faded from there but was able to hang on to 2nd place. One of these days I will learn to negative split a 5k.

That makes six 5k races in May.

Sunday: 9 miles around the Belmont / Gulch area with Lindsay. It was pretty muggy and miserable.

I Have a Secret

Secret-logo-2-150x150There is a new social network app thingy and I am finding it fascinating. It reminds me of Twitter. In the early days of Twitter (2007), no one had any real idea what the hell it was. It was this toy that was fun and poorly defined. There were plenty of debates about what Twitter was, why it was interesting, and how it should be used. No one really knew, but it was fun and interesting.

That is where I think this new app is now. I am having a ton of fun watching it and playing with it. I kinda don’t want to tell people about it or that I am using it because I don’t want to screw up the fun.

At the end if the day, I am a learner — I like to figure shit out. So while I am playing with this hot new app, I am also trying to figure out why it is fun and interesting and what that might mean about the future. It is in that vein that I submit my first hypothesis:

With each new form of social media (blogs, twitter, Facebook, Instagram) there was an early period where there were few enough sharers that you could quickly build up a rather large following. You could network with other early adopters and end up as some sort of expert or authority. It wasn’t long before you were the world’s foremost authority on whatever niche you accidentally carved out. Next thing you knew you were giving talks to some industry group about how and why they should be using this new thing. Then the marketers came and the whole thing started to get fucked up.

At least, that is how my generation did things. Our rebellion against traditional media created the world-is-flat culture of social media. The unintended consequence was that we all became media personalities and shared an increasing well-curated myth that we portrayed as real life. We called it our reputation. Klout measured it. We taught our kids how to censor themselves so that they too could build a strong reputation online.

Now the kids are rebelling.

They create social media accounts, build a reputation, and then the throw it away. We treat an online reputation as something valuable; they rebel against our concept of online reputation by (rightfully) treating it as temporary. They shut down their Facebook account and create a new one. They do this a few times and then may abandon Facebook all together. It is not just Facebook – they treat Twitter and Instagram are the same. As someone who markets to young people, their lack of buy-in is a real pain in the ass.

They need a new breed of social media tools.

Apps like snapchat remove the weight of reputation by making it private. Only, who actually believes in privacy these days? The next step is not reputation management through secrecy, it is the elimination of reputation all together, and that is called Secret.

Secret is a social network without identity. There is no reputation or personal brand to manage, and that brings a new kind of freedom to be yourself.

You should check it out. I am there, but you can’t friend me or follow me. There is no profile to link to (it is mobile only, and there aren’t profiles). You don’t even have to create a bio. The impermanence of “me” is what makes it special.

Update: The Next Web just posted somewhat similar thoughts about Secret.

Summer of Speed: Week 4

Monday: 5 miles with Alexis. Ahhhh, routine.

Tuesday: 7 x 800m @ Fort Negley
neg_10This was a good workout with Greg, Ashley, Lindsy, David, and Emily. There is a loop around Fort Negley Park that is almost exactly 800m (I think someone used a wheel and got 802m). Despite the accuracy of the distance, this is much harder than running 800s on the track. For starters, the first half is uphill. Also, there isn’t really a way to gauge how precise you are running since there aren’t markers every 100m. The first rep felt like we were flying, but ended up being right at the goal pace.

The goal was to run these in 2:40-2:41 and take 2 minutes jog recovery between reps. My splits were:
2:41, 2:37, 2:35, 2:41, 2:43, 2:43, 2:47

The 3rd rep in 2:35 was too hard for me. I backed off to run target pace after that, but had a hard time recovering. I kinda gave up on the last rep and definitely could have dug deeper and hit at least 2:43. I wonder if my legs were feeling a little dead from the 5k on Saturday.

Wednesday: 5 miles easy. The morning East Nasty runs are getting more people as daylight comes earlier. This was route #8, 4 more weeks until The Nasty :)

Thursday: 8 miles on the dirt trails at Shelby with Lindsay and Lee. I love this route, probably going to wear it out for a while.

Friday: off.  Not intentional, but not a horrible idea.

10349865_10101088144556383_7428101460596341436_n
Leah and I with the Ponder girls (they organized the race)

Saturday: Snowball Express 5k in 17:30

There were two races to choose from this week. I chose the Snowball Express b/c it is a Nashville Striders race and one of my Nashville Running Company teammates (Leah) was also running it. Like last week, I didn’t do any warmup other than walking around for a few minutes and then doing a couple of strides right before the start.

10296316_10101090449487283_3619389892344159604_o
Yay! A floating picture :)

When the gun went off I quickly found myself in the lead. After about .25 miles I checked my pace and realized I was running way too fast. I backed off a bit and about the half mile mark the 2nd place guy caught me. I held my pace and we ran together for a little while, but by the first turnaround at the first mile marker I had a few seconds on him.  The second turn around was about the halfway mark and I had increased my lead. By the third turnaround I knew it was in the bag and I just had to not screw up. It is really fun to lead a race from start to finish and now it has happened two races in a row.  NRC dominated with Leah and I both taking 1st place.

It is important to keep perspective though. Running races is fun and winning races is fun, but more and more these runs are put on by people who are passionate about something other than running. This race was put on by a high school student as a way to honor her father and support an organization that has made a difference in her life. I took a little time this afternoon to learn about Snowball Express and am really grateful that this program exists. Great job Samantha!

Sunday:  9 miles easy with Greg and Lindsay. This was my “long run” this week.

Monday: Hendersonville Classic 5k in 17:05

10382386_10154206527805187_2434211756935697882_o
I sure wish I could get that right foot aligned.

Again there were two races to choose from. I ran the Hendersonville Classic 10k last year and liked the course, so I decided to head up there again.

I found myself in a swarm of kids at the start. Sometimes that can be frustrating, but this time it was just fun. I love the enthusiasm and determination of kids in the first 100m of a 5k.  I ended up in 2nd place with no hope of catching the leader, but overall it was a good race. I suspect the course was a little short this year (my garmin read 3.03). That doesn’t really matter other than I would like to know what to count as my PR.

4 out of 16 weeks of my Summer of Speed are now complete. I have run five 5ks in that time. I suspect it will be close to 20 races before the end of this experiment and I am having a ton of fun doing it.

Summer of Speed

The Spring season didn’t go as I had hoped. Due to work/life stress I first canceled my plans to run the Boston Marathon, then I canceled my backup plan to run the Country Music Marathon, then I canceled my backup backup plan to run the Country Music Half-Marathon. Along the way I had a pretty bad 15k and DNFed at the Tom King half-marathon.

To top it off, I accidentally deleted my entire blog one day. Luckily, in running and technology, I have recovered. I am excited to get back at it and am hoping to run a solid Fall marathon, but it is too early to start training for that. So I am going to do something crazy…

I am running sixteen 5k races in 16 weeks. So far I have done three.

10275295_10152183480778881_5221687948339113952_oFirst I ran the Cinco de Mayo 5k to try and bust the rust off. I knew the mile markers were going to be off, but I started to get frustrated when it became obvious the 1st mile marker wasn’t even close.  I shouldn’t have let it bother me, but it did and I had a hard time racing hard as a result. I was worried that we missed a turn and I was going to be running a lot longer than 3.1 miles, so it was hard to keep pushing down on the gas. I ended up running 18:11 for 2nd overall male (because Karl took off for a second lap to run the 10k).

10308203_670945329608571_8147071736915514093_nThe next week I ran the Fiddlin’ Fish 5k in Franklin. It was a much more pleasant morning and I was able to run 16:55 for 3rd overall male (That would be a PR, but I think the course was short). About a mile into the race I heard a weird sound behind me. Unfortunately it was Ryan Chastain pushing a stroller past me like a stud.

This was a fun race. It was well-organized and the t-shirt is really cool (and a soft cotton to wear around town instead of yet another tech tee).

10296821_724021030954237_4531092056197217626_nLast weekend I ran the See Spot Run 5k with my dog Charley. A couple of years ago I ran a race with Charley and we took fastest dog, so I wanted to at least do that. After about 200 meters Charley and I were in the lead and we ended up staying there the entire race. The last half mile of the race required some extra coaxing and encouragement for Charley. He was starting to fade, but I didn’t want to let the guys behind us catch us. We ended up running 17:17 for 1st overall male and 1st overall dog.  It was a massive PR for Charley and a maybe-sorta PR for me (I need to run fast on a good certified course to have a well-defined PR, that 16:55 isn’t it).

I feel like I am starting to understand the 5k better and hope that I have continued improvement this Summer as I race myself into shape. It is only fair to note that Dave (my coach) thinks this is a terrible idea. He is probably right, but it is also a really fun idea.

This weekend I may actually double and run a race on Saturday as well as on Memorial Day. There are other weeks I may double as well since I would like to jump in some 1 mile races at that Nashville Striders track series in June. It is possible that I will end up running 20 or so races before the end of this 16 week stretch (which should end with the Tomato 5k).

Also:
NRC is opening a second location

Nashville Running Company is opening a second location in Belle Meade. As a fellow retailer and a member of the NRC race team, I am excited for Lee and the rest of the NRC team as they grow and expand.