Friday, January 3, 2014

The Calm Between the Storms

So I recently ran a marathon. It was really really hard. Training for the marathon was also really really hard. It took a ton of time away from everything else in my life. The Wife often commented that I only did 4 things: run, sleep, eat and go to work. So my blog sat vacant while I pushed myself to train and run the marathon. I plan on writing up my thoughts on the marathon in the next week or so.

Now I am at the end of my "rest time" after the marathon. My coaches from my running group, Running Fit 501, said I should take a 3 weeks off, and I did.  Then I was sick, and then it was Christmas, etc. So this time truly has been the calm between the storms. My running group picks back up on January 22nd, and we will be running outside! In Michigan! In January!

So I should be back to writing as I get back into running. I also will have a 2014 goals post up soon as well.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year 2014. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Novi Memorial Day Run 10K - Review

Date: 05/27/2013
Route:  Novi Memorial Day 10K
Distance: 6.2 miles
Total Time: 1:07:22
Pace 10:52/Mile
Temp: 60 and Partly Sunny

First race of the year! I decided to start this year with a low key local run. Usually I start with the Corktown Races, but because I started my season so late this year, I pushed back to this 10k to kick of the year. I was quite nervous heading over to the race, as it had been over 7 months since my last race.

Check in was nice and simple, just a table with some volunteers. Unfortunately, the race shirt was not a shirt at all, but a tank top. I don't really mesh well with tank tops, being the massive individual that I am. I end up looking not to pretty, plus who wants to end up looking like this guy:

One of the neatest parts of this event was the elite mile. In order to even be able to ruin this you had to submit an entry under 6 minutes for men and 7 minutes for women. They ran this before they even let the 10K runners go out. It is amazing to see real athletes sprinting, you can tell that some of them were literally born for this. The guy who won ran the mile in 4:12. We were chatting afterwards, and he said the best he ever ran was a 4:04 in college. This inspired me to do some research. This guy, just a local runner from the Detroit area, would have been the world record holder in the mile in 1942. To me that is insane. It is an amazing example of how far we have come in the science of nutrition, training and equipment. Of course, then the mile winner trotted up to the front of the 10k start, and ended up running a 6:30 pace for the 10k AFTER running that mile.

As I mentioned before, I was nervous, and it turned out that this was a pretty small race. In small races, I tend to get lonely, because most of the runners are ahead of me. I definitely run better when there are people around me. my goal was modest, the run under 12 minutes a mile. First race in 7 months for a 270 lb person here people, what did you expect. We took off and it was a slight uphill for about the first half mile. I settled into a pace that was a bit faster then I wanted, but felt good. 

The course was basically a neighborhood course, winding through the exurb that is Novi. If you even want a run that shows off the late nineties and early aughts obsession with McMansions, this is the run for you.  While it was mostly peaceful, we did have to dodge a few errant cars trying to make there way out of their subdivisions. 

I settled in with a group of three others for the first two miles, ticking off those at way under goal pace. I decided to bridle it back in mile three, hoping to save something for the last mile. My splits were good, I even got a negative split out of mile 4. Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

The last mile was a nice straight away with a slightly downhill tilt, so that was nice. I ended up finishing up under 11 per mile, 10:52 to be exact. It was only after downloading the run to my Garmin software that I realized that I was only off my best ever 10k, the Martian last year, by 14 seconds a mile. I am actually quite pleased. 

Overall, i would recommend this run to anyone in the northwest burbs. Good organization, a relatively small field and a pretty good course make this run a winner. It is going on the schedule for next year.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Running for Your Life

Date: 05/16/13
Route:  Ann Arbor Rd
Distance: 2.5 miles
Pace: 10:48/mile

So I decided to go out for a quick jaunt around the neighborhood, and for fun, completely changed up my route from normal. I decided to head through a neighborhood and out to the main road by my house, Ann Arbor Rd. Then I decided to loop back. along the way, I ran out of sidewalk. Here is the map of the part of my run that is hilarious:

If nothing else, this proves how accurate GPS watches are. See that part of my run where I shift from running next to Ann Arbor Rd, to running on Ann Arbor Rd? That's because I was running on the 4" gutter next to the road, in the dark, on a 5 lane road. Yeah, that was really really really not fun. I sprinted. My time in that section of the run went from 10:11/mile down to a low of 6:58/mile as I powered through the area under the railroad bridge. I did not even look behind me, I just sprinted through. 

Nothing will quite get the adrenaline going then minivans wizzing by right next to you at 45 miles an hour. Needless to say, this route will never be run again.

Have you ever had a route that turned into a disaster?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Runner Bling

I am not a fan of  runners decking out their cars like they are some personal extension of their medal rack. This is kind of what I am talking about:

Just a Couple.....

You know what I am talking about....they inevitably start with the 13.1 in a circle. Then comes the 26.2. Apparently then comes all the odd distances plus snarky stickers about runners ability to go for a long time. Throw in some race specific stickers and you are looking at a fancy looking Honda Accord.

So I was driving home from work the other day and saw the antithesis of runner bling:

This made me literally laugh out loud. It is the cultural response to the overwhelming ability of runners to brag about how awesome they are. Whoever threw this on his Explorer...I salute you!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Date: 5/7/13

Route:   Quick neighborhood 2.25 Miler
Distance: 2.25 Miles
Pace: 10:19/mile

Now that I have been back running for a little while, coming up on three weeks now, it is time to start varying my workouts a little bit. I am a big proponent of throwing some "speed" work into your routine. When I say speed work, I am talking about putting half or quarter miles into your workout that are a bump up in pace. I am not talking about going to the track and running 100m sprints.

During this run, I made sure to have an increased pace during the second half of mile 1, as well as the last .25.  I know that the last .25 was run at a 9:13 pace, which is pretty fast for a guy like me. Again, these are not really meant to be sprints, more to push yourself for a short period of time in the middle of a longer run.

What is your opinion on speed work?

Do you like sprints or increased pace within a run?