Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grandfather Mountain Marathon

  Had a great trip up to Boone this year and had a lot of fun and got in a great workout.  I've been running very well recently and the idea of racing it and maybe going for a sub 4 had crossed my mind, but I decided to go ahead and stick with my original plan and run with Jenn. After dropping at mile 48 at Bighorn , I only took one rest day and then ran 50, 64 and 64 mile weeks leading up to the race and only took the Friday off before the race so it would not have been smart to race it anyway.

  Jenn had accompanied me down the mountain when I did my double back in 2010 and I had always hoped if she ever got around to actually running in the race that I wanted to share it with her. Two other of the Angels, Amy and Margo were also running it for their first times  and I was hoping that we could all stick close together for as long as possible. Lisa was back again too but Karla and Laura were not here this year.

 We lined up on the track on a nice cool morning, about 59F and were soon circling the track and out onto the roads. I had really expected Margo to be way ahead and pushing the pace but she was right in front of us as Jenn, Amy, Lisa and I were all together. Just past mile 2 we began the first climb and I could tell Amy was working too hard for the pace. I was a bit sad that by mile 4 she and Lisa were both dropping behind. I had hoped to stay together at least until mile 10 so we could get a picture at the traditional spot. After this year , all of the Angels have run the race with me at least once and had our pictures taken there but Amy will have to wait  until another time.

  Jenn was running well and we were having a great time and I was happy that Margo was able to run quite a bit with us. We did stop at mile 10 for the photo but with the fog once again there were no views of the mountain this year. Soon after we were on the parkway and enjoying the nice downhill to the halfway point. I was feeling great and the pace felt very easy to me. We passed the half in about 2:13 and then began the climbing again. Once we got to the mile 15ish aid station Margo began to pull head of us and not long after we lost sight of here.

  Just before 17 hill we caught up to my young cousin Andy Sicard who is a park ranger at Grandfather Mountain State Park. He used to run a lot but quit competing 7 or 8 years ago but decided he wanted to run the marathon for the first time.   Talked to him for a minute and introduced him to Jenn and then we were off again.

  Jenn continued to move along at a good pace as we hit hwy 221. I was still feeling great just enjoying getting in a great workout and sharing the miles with her. The weather was great this year. It was quite a bit humid but the temperature stayed in the mid 60's and there was a breeze most of those last  7 or 8 miles. We were on pace to run about 4:35 I guessed but by mile 22 Jenn began to walk a lot more on the hills that earlier we would have been running.

 Finally made it to the games and ran strong to the end finishing in 4:41:42. Despite  the easy pace and a lot of walking in the end, that was still my 2nd fastest time by 10 seconds 8 finishes ! That just shows how well my training has been going. We walked down to the finishers tent and I got a cup of gatorade and then headed back out on the course to go find Amy. I was really a bit surprised at how great I felt as I ran back looking for he. This would have been a great year for me to do the double. I was 15 minutes faster finishing the race, I felt a lot better and the weather was cool compared to the mid 80's in the afternoon of 2010.

   I was happy that I didn't have to go too far  to find Amy. She had about 3/4 mile to go when  I found her and she had a big smile when she saw me. Although she was hurting a bit from the effort, she ran strong all the way to the end  and I was happy to at least share the finish with her. Got to finish one of my favorite events twice with two different Angels in one day !

  Wonderful weekend with friends and the next day I had practically zero soreness, no more than a normal long run. I took off Sunday and right back to normal training on Monday. A very good sign that my training is on track for some big things to come ! Stay tuned !  

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Looking ahead to the remainder of 2013

 So, what 's coming up next you might ask ? Well a lot but not much really.

 I have Grandfather Mountain Marathon coming up on the 13th. I'm not planning to race it though. Just hoping to run as many miles of it as I can with some of the Angels and use it for a long training run. Amy, Jenn  and Margo will be running it for the first time and Lisa is coming back. I expect Laura will be there as always. It's too bad Karla isn't running this year or it might have been the first race with all of them at one time.


 I'm planning on running The Dog Days of Summer 5k on the 3rd for fun and to test the legs for speed again. Hope to do well but it will probably be warmer and muggier than the Whirli 5k I ran on June 1st and not as flat either. But, I will give it my best.


 Run for the Fallen Half Marathon at Seymour Johnson AFB. Flat fast course should e a good test of my fitness before the BQ attempt next month.


 This is the biggie. All the training this Summer is geared toward getting a BQ and if things go really well and the weather cooperates, maybe even a pr at The Wineglass Marathon in Corning NY on the 6th.  Karla and Lisa will be going on this trip too and Frank is running the half.

On the 20th I will be heading North once again to Pennsylvania for The Tussey Mountainback 50 miler. I hadn't planned on doing this but after failing to finish Bighorn, I need a qualifier for the Western States Lottery. I should be able to get it here if I just run smart.


 I'm going back to the OBX Marathon and plan to run it with Karla. How fast depends on a few things, mainly if she is up for going for a pr. She may already get it at Wineglass and be content to run easy. We'll see .

 I'll finish up the month with The Derby 50k. This will be my 10th and if things go well I would like to celebrate it with a 50k pr.


 No races but I may have something planned that I can let you in on later. It may involve a 50 mile pr attempt ;) .

 Oh, and there may be , ok there IS another biggie in the works but I don't intend to talk about it so don't ask if you don't already know. You will know soon enough.

 In the meantime, I am working out nearly every day , twice a day with core, body weight or yoga and I am trying to get my average mileage up from the 50ish that I have been running the past few years up to 60 miles per week at least. and I would like to get in as many 70 mile weeks as possible before Wineglass to give my self the best chance of going for a pr there and then again at Derby.

 Stay tuned !

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Mid year review 2013. How's it going ?

 So far this year I have had some great successes and unfortunately several failures but overall I am pretty happy with the way things are going.

 Got the year off to a great start at the "Running From An Angel" 50 miler at Lake Mead Nevada. Exceeded my own expectations and shattered my pr by over an hour with an 8:54:57 finish and 1st Grandmaster.

 Recovery went very well and I was right back into marathon training with Amy. We ran the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon together and I ran my 2nd fastest half in 7 years while pacing her to a huge pr in 1:43:29. A very proud and happy day for me to see her come so far since we met.

 In March it was time to go for the Boston qualifier at the Tobacco Road Marathon. Things didn't go as well as planned. We had hoped to run together but had to separate at mile 5. I missed the BQ but still ran a 3:52:50. Amy missed also but was still able to get a pr so progress was being made.

In April, I started off volunteering at the Umstead 100 again and had a great time and got in a lot of miles over the weekend Got to run for the first time with Amy's sister  Karen, paced John Adamoff for a lap and then  ran another lap with THE Marathon Princess. A week later it was time to test out my speed after all the months of marathon training. My first 5k in over two years at the Cary Road Race. I had a great day and ran a 21:24, my fastest in several years and won 1st Grandmaster !

 Finished up the month going for a 100 mile pr at a race which doesn't deserve to be mentioned here. I was running great on a perfect day weather wise but some personal issues and one stupid screwed up race made it easy to drop halfway even though I was well ahead of pr pace.

May brought the Nightmare on the Neuse 100 miler, my own creation to take out my frustration and go for the 100 mile pr. Even though it was only two weeks after the last attempt, I felt great and was running well but de-railed by the weather. After weeks of below average cool weather it decided to get up to 86 and humid and with no acclimation to the heat,  I couldn't maintain the pace needed so I shut it down at 50.

 In June I started off the month with a great run at the Whirli Run 5k in Wilson. On a flatter course than Cary, I was able to run a 20:48. The first time under 21 in almost 25 years ! First Grandmaster and 4th place overall out of 100 + . Then  it  was time to head West for a vacation and the Bighorn 100 miler. Not a pr course. Stunning beauty and a wonderful event but I made a critical mistake in planning and ended up getting myself in a jam with some bad hypothermia that ended my race at mile 48. Disappointing especially as well as I was running up to that point.

 So that's it for events so far.  Despite the dnf's I have really been enjoying this year so far. Lots of miles with my Angels, Amy, Karla, Jenn and Lisa and that is the best thing of all. I continue to run well and keep surprising myself at just how well at age 57. I am still doing all the body weight, core and yoga workouts nearly everyday and look and feel better than I have since my early 30's. And I am on pace right now to have my highest mileage year ever !

 Stay tuned !