Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week in Review 5.26.13

If I had to sum up this week in one word it would be "Lazy".  Between a sore calf and bad weather I didn't put in many miles to speak of.
Monday was an off day.  Taking the red eye back from Portland I was pretty beat and was in bed before 8 to get some well needed rest.

Tuesday was pretty rainy in the afternoon so I decided to do my run on the elliptical rather than outside.  Difficulty was up which means the speeds were low.  2.6 mi
Wednesday I tried to get back at it and did 5 miles outside 54:38.  My calf was a bit sore but feeling better as the day went on.  That evening our softball game started late so even without any post-game beers I didn't get home until 11:30.  I guess I'll be sleeping in tomorrow.

Thursday, and I did sleep in and it was raining so I rested up for the long weekend.

Friday I tried to get 5 miles in after work, it was just a fine mist...until I got down to the track where the heavens opened up.  I decided that I needed to stay out but instead of doing all 5 I would just do some intervals for 30 minutes.  3.12 mi in 30 minutes

Saturday was raining so no running for me.  Like I said a lazy week.
Sunday was still a bit rainy in the morning so I had to put off my run until the afternoon. I did just a small run while I reloaded for next week to get myself back on a Saturday long run schedule.  2.6mi in 28 minutes

Miles run last week 13.3

Miles run this year 299.4
Miles left to 1K in 2013: 700.6 (22.60 miles per week over the next 31 weeks up 0.29 from last week)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week in Review 5.19.13

Rock n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon race week.  Trying to balance resting for the race on Sunday with keeping up with my sub 2 hour training.
Monday was a zero day.  I could barely stay awake all weekend I needed to take a break.

Tuesday Day 10 of the training plan called for a slow 5 miles then interval training of four 20 second fast intervals (95% effort) followed by 2 minutes of slow recovery.  Overall a fast run for me!  5.72 mi in 59:54 a 10:29 pace.
Wednesday I mixed it up a bit.  I was supposed to do 3 miles slow followed 8 miles on Thursday but I was traveling Thursday so I switched them around to allow for some more time tomorrow.  The plan called for 2 miles slow followed by 4 miles fast (a 8:50 to 9:10 pace).  Really?!?!  I didn't know how I was going to do this seeing as I might run ONE mile under 9 minutes but 4?  Then another 2 slow.  The only thing to do is head down to the track and give it a try, so I did...at 4:30 figuring that I would need extra time for the extra miles today.  I started with the two slow minutes averaging around a 10:30 pace and then kicked it into gear for the next 4 which I pulled off at a pace of 9:02, 9:09, 9:08 & 9:10.  I'm pretty impressed with my times if I say so myself.  I pulled down the cool down from 2 miles to just .2 to bring the total to 10K so that I could rest up for Sunday.  6.2mi in 1:00:02 a 9:41 pace.

Thursday, the 3 slow miles that I didn't do on Wednesday.  I had to get to work early so I could leave early and make my flight.  Off to Portland!  3.02mi in 32:30 a 10:45 pace

Friday and Saturday were rest days as we got ready for the half on Sunday and explored Portland, since this was our first time there.  We headed over to the expo on Saturday.  I 'll include my thoughts on the city, expo and all the voodoo donuts I ate in my race recap.  Speaking of which...
Sunday ,race day for the Rock n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon!  13.1mi in 2:25:30 a, 11:06 page.  I took my time, took a lot of pictures during the race and really enjoyed myself.  Race recap will be up early next week (I hope).

Miles run last week 28.1

Miles run this year 286.1
Miles left to 1K in 2013: 713.90 (22.31 miles per week over the next 32 weeks down 0.14 from last week)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week in review 5.12.13

Getting right back into is it’s another taper week before the Rock n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon.  I also started the Sub 2 hour Half marathon training program from run keeper, for the September 1st Half in Virginia Beach, so we’ll see how that goes.
Monday 5 miles slow according to the program.  Luckily I can do that. 5.01 mi in 53:43, a pace of 10:43

Tuesday I was lazy and took a zero day.

Wednesday was the second day of the training program,3 miles slow followed by interval training of 30 seconds fast and 2 minutes of recovery time which added another half mile or so.  I changed it up a bit and ran mile 2 of the slow miles as a fast mile to try and challenge myself a bit.  I added a slow jog back home to cool down.  Overall though I kept the pace under 10 minute miles!   4.05 mi in 40:05, a pace of 9:54
Thursday, I was a bit of a recovery day.  With the Bruins playoff game going into OT and softball the night before, the weather called for 100% of sleeping in.  0 miles in 0:00 minutes.  Bet you can’t guess that pace.

Friday was run 3 of the training plan which was supposed to be Thursday.  A lazy 5 miles, as the plan said.  Keep this run slow, there is no reason to push the pace.  5.04 mi in 54:21, a 10:47 pace.
Saturday, again the plan called for a slow and steady 5 miles.  No I swear it’s true!  The plan start to pick up after this week but I got a late start and was pretty beat, and I had 7 miles on the schedule for tomorrow along with all these excuses I was carrying around so 5K it was.  3.1 mi in 35:45, a slow 11:33 pace.

I normally don’t run on Sundays but I needed to run 3 days in a row to stay on plan and get my on/off days set to run next Sunday’s Rock n’ Roll half in Portland.  Today’s schedule called for “Steady” 7 miles between a 9:30-10:00 per mile pace.  I think the most miles I’ve run at an under 10 minute mile pace was 5 miles so this was going to be fun, but I did it with 2 minutes to spare!  Thanks spotty GPS coverage adding to my totals!  7 mi in 1:08:06 a 9:44 pace.
Miles run last week 25.2

Miles run this year 259.0
Miles left to 1K in 2013: 741.0 (22.45 miles per week over the next 33 weeks down 0.09 from last week)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Race Report: St. Jude's Country Music Half Marathon (4/27/13)

Let me start by saying that I’m a bit of a planner.  I don’t go as far as putting together itineraries when I go on vacation, but I like to have a plan so that I can see as much as I am able.  So back in December when Julie and I signed up for the St. Jude Country Music Half marathon I started to hatch a plan.  We booked out flight down to Nashville, TN early so that we would have some time to get in and relax.  I found a hotel with a suite so that there would be plenty of room for the four people in our group.  What can I say? I’m good at what I do.  Apparently I’m a better planner than say…United Airlines. 

Two weeks before we were set to fly down for the race I received an e-mail saying that our flight plans had been changed.  My 90 minute connection in Cleveland was now reduced…to 37 minutes!  The next flight wasn’t until 5:30, but undaunted I did what I do and planned.  The plane for the first flight was small so anything bigger than a backpack would need to be checked plane side and we would need to wait for it to come out before we could head to our connection, so we checked everything but our backpacks.  I moved our seats to the front of the plane to make sure we could get off and down the concourse as quick as possible.  As we boarded our first flight I checked my e-mail and all my planning didn’t mean a thing.  Our connection was delayed about an hour.
We arrived in Nashville and met up with Lauren and Lena to round out our immediate crew and headed over to the Homewood suites to shrug off our luggage and find some lunch.  The hotel staff directed us to a place called Puckett’s just a couple of blocks down on church.  Just short of noon but hungry due to the hour time difference we were greeted by the smell of BBQ about a block away.  Hungry or not we were waiting the 25 minutes to get seated.
Once we sat down we were greeted with some local micro brews and a daunting choice of food.  How can you pick between the Puckett burger (topped with pulled pork, slaw, beans and BBQ sauce), the Red Neck burrito (pulled pork, beans, BBQ sauce, slaw sour cream and guac) or Cajun fried chicken and waffles?  Alas that was my burden and ultimately the burger won out after our server implied that my manhood would be questioned by not selecting it.  It was every bit as good as advertised.
The Puckett Burger in all its glory
After lunch it was on to the expo.  Normally I don’t have much to say about the expo, they’re pretty standard, very crowded as people bring friends and family, but like much of this race weekend was a little different.  When we went to pick up our bibs we were also given Run Now bracelets to show our support for the Boston bombing victims.  They were available for purchase later on with all proceeds benefiting the one fund, but it was a nice touch providing them to all the participants.  In addition when we grabbed our swag bags we were also provided with a clear plastic bag to be used for the race day gear check for enhanced security.
Run Now Iniative started by Competitor Group and Brooks
As we moved through the crowds wearing my Boston Stands as One shirt I was asked about it and if it was for sale there.  We had a discussion with the owner of sports hooks, who I saw at the Boston Marathon expo and had recently updated their Boston Marathon hook to include the Boston Strong theme.  At the rock and roll booth I was interviewed about my experiences on Marathon Monday by someone putting together a study.  With the additions of the St. Jude heroes booth and the Run Now booth the expo had a real feel of togetherness.
New Medal Holder from Sport Hooks
Arriving back at our hotel we sorted through the booty gathered at the expo and planned the rest of the day.  Seeing as we’ve been in Nashville for a couple of hours and since we couldn’t stay out late the night before a race, it seemed like to the perfect time to head to the bar.  If you’ve never been to Nashville before, it’s a very convenient city for bar hopping.  There are three blocks at the end of Broadway which are just bar after bar, with a few shops selling cowboy hats and boots so you’re properly dressed.  We started at the first bar we came to, Legends. 

Legends is well known because some famous country start started here…maybe...I just made that up because if it’s not true I feel that would be a little bit of false advertising and that wouldn’t be very southerly of them.   Legends like many of the bars on Honky Tonk row it’s cramped, dark, has live music and inexplicitly no draft beer.  Every bar, except one, that we visited this weekend only had bottles or cans only.  Is there no one who can build a kegerator to fit in these old places?  Do they just like to use up as much glass and aluminum as they can?  Do you need something to throw at bad performers?  Just another question of the universe I guess, right up there with Stonehenge and who shot J.R.
The band at Legends played some original country music (I think, I don’t know a whole lot of country music) but for the most part they played covers of country songs I knew, and at one point a couple of Elvis songs as they were joined by an Elvis impersonator (who seemed a bit creepy to me).  The last trio of songs played before we left was ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, Zac Brown’s ‘Chicken Fried’ and something from Bonnie Rait, and here in lies a small problem.  Now I’m not big into country music, so I was concerned that going from bar to bar with all these hard core country bands would get old after a while.  Well I was right but for the wrong reasons, let me explain. 

After that treble we made our way a couple of doors down to The Stage (which keeping with the theme of honest naming, did in fact have a stage) to take in another band.  We lucked out and found some great seats upstairs and started in on round two right as the band started in on ‘Sweet Home Alabama’…followed by ‘Chicken Fried’…then ‘Something to Talk About’…by Bonnie Rait.  A slight twist at the end of that set…one point for originality.  In fact we heard the same songs over and over again so much I thought we were listening to the top 40 radio station of country cover bands!  I heard “Sweet Home Alabama’, so many times it’s still stuck in my head 2 weeks later.
Fun Fact:  ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ is the official song of what state?  That’s right, Tennessee!

The final bar on our mini tour of Nashville was Honkey Tonk Central where we met up with Brandon, the last member of our crew and one of his brothers.  Side note, before we met up with Brandon I told everyone that he wanted to be called “BJ” from now on.  Naturally he didn’t want to be called that, but when he was greeted with shouts of “Hey BJ” he didn’t bat an eye, although thinking back on it now he may have been plotting my accidental death.
Honkey Ton Central is three stories of live bands, cowboy hats (and boots) and more versions of SHA (I can’t keep typing the name of the song or it will take up too much room) than you can shake a stick at.  Here we grabbed a pre-race meal of beers, sandwiches and tatter tots (hey you have to carbo load) before it was back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep for the race in the morning.

Saturday morning broke with cloudy skies and the promise of rain, but it wasn’t here yet.  Everyone awoke at their various times and started their pre-race rituals to get ready for the 7AM race.  Myself I got up around quarter to five, grabbed a bagel with peanut butter and washed it down with some Gatorade.  Shortly after 6:15 we started our cool (mid 50’s and windy) walk to the starting line about a mile away.  Not far from the starting line the rain started, and it didn’t take long for it to become steady.  It was just about 6:45 so we ducked into a nearby to Hampton inn to use the restroom and get out of the rain until closer to 7AM start time. 

Ready for the race to start
Just before the start the race folks held a moment of silence for Boston and played ‘Sweet….Caroline' (had you going there for a minute).  As we made our way to our corral (I were a bit ambitious with our estimated finish time so it was number 7 for me), we ran into Brandon and his family who were doing the full marathon, waiting to Jump into a coral, so we joined them on the sidelines.  I eventually jumped into corral number 9.
Where it all begins
The start of the course was downhill towards Honkey Tonk Row on Broadway.  Looking at my watch I knew I was starting off way too fast and told Brandon so when I passed him around mile 2 since he jumped in a corral ahead of me, but I kept pressing, using the downhill to bank some time.  I knew that there was more uphill coming.  The course bottomed out around mile 3 then it was uphill until just shy of mile 9 where it would again be downhill both literally and figuratively.
Once off Broadway the course turned right and headed out towards Belmont University.  The wet weather kept everyone cool, but squeezed the course a bit on these narrower streets as the curbs held rivers a foot wide on each side.  Getting outside of the city meant fewer spectators until we got near the university, whose student body was making a good showing.  By mile 5 I was feeling good but kept myself from thinking of a PR as we had a long way to go.  By now it was really raining, but it was comfortable if you were running so I took off the compression sleeves I had used as arm warmers and wrung them out before I put them in my pocket.  Going forward from there I had to pull them out every mile to wring out the water they had collected.  The last thing I needed was them pulling down my shorts as a stunned group of spectators looked on.
Due to the wet weather and the wind, some of the bands couldn’t play and were replaced by people DJing, but they were official people playing at course sponsored set ups.  Then as we neared Belmont, there in the middle of his lawn was a college kid under a canopy DJing for the race.  He just did it on his own extension cord running over the wet grass back to his place, and as I passed his song of choice was “Can’t Touch This”.  So here just before mile 6 I had to make a choice.  Do I stop and pay homage to MC Hammer and do the hammer dance Dave Peters so expertly displayed at his brother’s wedding, certainly dashing any hopes of a PR or continue on and yell to him, asking him to spin “2 Legit 2 Quit” next.  Ultimately having a chance to get close to my PR, a time I haven’t even sniffed since I set it, drove me forward, singing at the top of my lungs.
Finally as we headed back to the city we hit mile 9.  As I said before, it’s all downhill from her, and by mile 10 I thought I had a PR in the bag with a split time of just over 1:45 all I needed to do was keep 11 minute miles up over the last 5K.  My watch had me in the low to mid 10’s for the next two miles, but by mile 12 I felt drained and my time was moving closer to the high 11’s.  My PR was slipping away but I could be proud of running such a good race just two weeks after Boston.  As I reached the final stretch (finally a finish line that’s DOWNHILL) I sprinted.  I ran a quarter mile at my top speed, showing off for the spectators that had gathered to cheer on the finishers.  Why yes I’ve been running this fast all 13.1 miles thanks for noticing.
Just after I finished I looked down at my watch and saw it click over 2:20.  I had just barely missed a PR but I gotten under 2:20 for just the second time.  I collected my medal and made my way down the secure area to get some Gatorade and a Mylar blanket.  Once I stopped running it got COLD!  I pulled the Ziploc containing my phone out to get my official time which had been texted to me.  2:20:01.  Really?!?!  I just missed it…or did I?  Once I got home I went to download my finisher certificate and was greeted with my official time…2:19:11.  I had a new PR!!!

A few minutes later I was joined by Lena and a torrential downpour and more wind.  The 20 minute walk back to the hotel was freezing.  My fingers were turning blue and concentrating on holding the blanket led me to step in a puddle that sent water halfway up my shin.  That walk home was the only bad part of the whole weekend.  Arriving back our hotel, the employees of the Homewood suites really made us feel welcome.  They were giving out towels as you came in and had a table full of water and fruit.  It was truly above and beyond what I had expected.
Playing the part of a drowned rat
A quick shower and I donned my new shirt proclaiming that I was crowned volley ball champion at the Top Gun Flight School.  This combined with my aviator sunglasses and the two naval aviators I was hanging out with completed the outfit.  I was ready to hit the town!

Negative Ghost Rider the pattern is full
After a little rest we made our way back down to Honkey Tonk row for some lunch at Rippy’s, the only bar that we visited that didn’t have live music, but the pile of nachos and pulled pork made up for it.  While we were sitting there something amazing happened.  It stopped raining, which meant one thing.  We could go to the Jimmy Buffett block party!
Once we had our fill of BBQ and heard SHA played we settled up our tab and headed over to Margaritaville.  That evening Nashville was hosting the first show of Jimmy’s ‘Songs from St. Somewhere” tour, and in celebration Margaritaville had taken over the block setting up a stage in the middle of the street for live music.  We grabbed a land shark and started our people watching.  There were the obligatory pirates, people with parrot hats, but the most eccentric costume goes to the man in full flamingo costume.  That’s a lot of pink for anyone! 
The band played a mix of covers focusing on Jimmy Buffett’s music, but not to worry they played SHA shortly after our arrival (thank goodness we didn’t have to wait).   Also making an appearance was creepy Elvis from the night before.  The only problem with the street party was 1) no bathrooms and 2) no seats, so we finished our beers and moved on.  We quickly stopped at the Hard Rock cafe to grab some souvenirs and made a left on second ave and tried to hit the Wild Horse Saloon where we found a cover charge waiting for us.  Every bar in the city is free and this place is charging at 5 in the afternoon?  Nope, we’re not going there.  Someone said “Hey that bar across the street has music”, which is how we ended up at the Buck Wild saloon.
Now I like to do karaoke, I can only do one song but I do it well.  (Most) of the folks at this bar were GOOD.  I mean real singers not the screeching you get most of the time.  The version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” was some great singing.  I tried to beg and borrow my way on to the stage to turn up the party but Julie was steadfast in no karaoke for me.  The saloon didn’t have much of a beer selection, and there was no food so we were on our way again before someone could bring SHA to the mic.

Come as you are
Next we made our way over to printers alley, (passing the Nashville Hooters which had a sign saying it proudly welcomed both wet runners and parrotheads for some wings), and over to Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar.  A small band was finishing up, but said they would be back in 15 and the full band at 8, about an hour away.  We grabbed a table near the stage and settled in for some good music.  While we waited we grabbed some dinner consisting of fried pickles and poutine, the Wheaties of dinners.  The mini band didn’t come, but closer to 8 the place started filling up and we were joined by Brandon, and just after 8 the full took the stage.  Now this was more my style, as if we were out in New Orleans rather than Nashville, so you know what song we’re not going to hear, right?  Wrong!  Even in a blues bar SHA made an appearance as a tricked out remix with ‘Nothing but a G thang’ and ‘the fresh prince’ theme song filling out the verses and only the original chorus remaining.  This was my favorite bar in Nashville.

SHA gansta style
The next morning we headed out to the airport after a nice southern breakfast buffet which included fried eggs and biscuits (where’s the gravy Homewood suites?).  Trying to keep our still wet clothes away from our dry stuff as much as possible, we ended up with some additional carry-ons in the form of our race swag bags.  This brought us to the attention of a contractor for competitor group.  She was in charge of the finish line and told us how she had stood in the rain for about 8 hours and loved every minute of it.  What’s more impressive is she told us of volunteers who stayed nearly the same amount of time even though they had only signed up for a four hour shift.  We all agreed that the volunteers on race day were amazing.  She also informed us that the race raised over 1 million dollars for St. Jude.  BBQ, beers, music, racing AND making a difference.  Now that’s a trip to remember.




Segment Pace

Overall Page

















 Overall: 8,737 out of 17,892 Division: 745 out of 1,056  Gender: 4,125 out of 6,512

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Week In Review 5.5.13

The week after a race is always a bit hard but I got right back on the horse…after taking Monday off of course.

Monday I was still pretty sore from hustling to set my PR in Nashville so I took an off day.

Tuesday was an early fast pace 5 mile training run down to the bar and back (too bad it wasn’t open).  Also my company had its first softball game resulting in some late night running and recovery at the Tavern on the Square.  I’m happy to report that I recorded the first RBI in Jenzabar Softball history but the team went down fighting 18-7.  5mi in 52:07, a pace of 10:26
Wednesday was a 5K, trying to get used to running back to back days and recovering from the late night of softball.  A 4:45 alarm was needed to get a run in and get into the office for my 8AM meeting.  Imagine how much I could run if I didn’t need to work for a living.  3.1 mi in 36:45, a pace of 11:52

Thursday, the third day I’ve run in a row, so that I would have an off day before my long run on Saturday.  Also another late night softball game which included less RBI (we lost 16-0) and less pre and post-game festivities. 5mi in 58:48, a pace of 11:45
Friday was an off day before my long run.

Saturday I had a nice long run along the Charles River.  I carried water with me so I didn’t have to return home, so headed down the hill and out towards Waltham.  I caught up with rout 20 and headed to moody street where I met up with the river way path that runs along the Charles.   I followed that back through Watertown to the Arsenal mall for a refill of my water bottle then out to Brighton where I turned and headed back the other side to Watertown square where I met up with Julie.  I ran with her the last mile or so before I walked up the hill back home (another 0.75mi).  13.2mi in 2:30:25, a 11:24 Pace.
Miles run last week 26.3

Miles run this year 233.8
Miles left to 1K in 2013: 766.2 (22.54 miles per week over the next 34 weeks down 0.1 from last week)