Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Back to the Basics

Back to the Basics

What are the basics of a well rounded life that values wellness? Just like in so many story books (3 bears, 3 little pigs, 3 wishes from a genie, etc,...), the answer seems to fall back to 3 primary targets...consciousness, accountability and discipline. 

The building block of the universe. You might think its matter...I suggest you read up on quantum physics.

You are a part of the collective whether you like it or not. Find something or someone that matters and establish goals for improvement.

Some things matter. Be unyielding. A passing phase is fine for entertaining the trivialities of life, but there are no half asses in the winners circles.

Again with the 3's...A strong mind requires a strong body which requires a strong will which requires a strong mind, ..., ..., ...,the essence of it all is as the elders have often said..."You are what you eat." 

I am not a runner...

I am not a runner...

Its true. Running is a means to an end, but its not the only means. I'm a fitness enthusiast. I lived life as a somewhat large man for a decade or so, I found it to be unsatisfactory, and so now I take steps to ensure that I maintain certain levels of activity, health and fitness. I'm not doing it to extend my life, though statistically that is probable. I'm doing it to improve the quality of life that I live while I'm here on this earth for however long that may be.

Running for me has always been about the intense long duration calorie burns. I do love them, but they aren't needed to maintain any of my health and fitness goals. My base layer of wellness is nutrition, followed by flexibility, followed by strength, followed by low impact cardio (swimming, cycling, etc...) and lastly...high impact cardio such as running.

Hard competitive running the way I do it requires a solid base and the truth is my base is shit. I don't deserve to run. Over the past few years, since roughly 2012, I have been paying much less attention to nutrition, I seldom do any significant flexibility exercises and I only strength train to maintain a minimal standard of functionality whereas I should be working towards gains.

I'm going to regroup and get back to basics before I run again. My blowout at the 2016 Blue Ridge Half was unacceptable by any reasonable standards. Over the next several weeks I'm going to work on some defined standards that I will have to achieve before I make another go at competitive running. I'm going to start blogging more about the journey as well as the events. I'm going to spend time in the back of the pack with the walkers and get a feel for that end of the spectrum.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

2016 Blue Ridge Half Marathon

Blue Ridge Half Marathon

2010- time 1:49:27 (chip) 1:49:37 (gun), Pace 8:22/M, Place 58/450 overall, 10/30 in my age group, 51/216 among men
2011-time 1:37:19 (chip) 1:37:22 (gun), Pace 7:26/M, Place 10/368 overall, 1/36 in my age group, 9/176 among men
2012- time 1:35:29 (chip) 1:35:29 (gun), Pace 7:17/M, Place 8/515 overall, 2nd place Master, 7/231 among men
2013-time 1:41:53 (chip) 1:41:55 (gun), Pace 7:47/M, Place 48/798 overall, 3/42 in my age group, 41/357 among men
New/Certified Course
2014-time 1:44:51 (chip) 1:44:52 (gun), Pace 8:00/M, Place 25/752 overall, 3/51 in my age group, 22/330 among men
 2015-time: 1:45:29 (chip) 1:45:29 (gun), Pace 8:03/M, Place 23/840 overall, 1/54 in my age group, 19/355 among men
2016-time: 3:54:56 (chip) 3:54:56 (gun), Pace 17:55/M, Place 846/890 overall, 64/64 in my age group, 389/399 among men

Statistically, its bound to happen. Go out for a run, over do it, something becomes uncomfortable and walk back home. Its unfortunate when something like that happens during a race and even more so when its a race that has been the focus of a training cycle.

It must have happened during the 2nd mile...by mile 3 I found my pace falling back and I couldn't open up my stride at all. I ended up walking the course this year. No big deal...sure its a little disappointing to have to end the 5 yr streak of podium finishes at this event, but at least I stayed on course and crossed the finish line. The streak of finishing the Blue Ridge Half every year since its inception remains intact.

Its not like I really had anything to prove to myself at this event anyway. I already had a half marathon PR of 1:32:58 at the Martinsville Half Marathon just a few weeks prior, so I can't say the training cycle as a whole was unsuccessful,  plus I finished the race that was the focus of the training cycle. A bit slower than goal time, but as I've always said...

"In the world of endurance sports, just waking up and going the distance makes you a winner."

Garmin Stats: HERE  

2016 Mill Mtn Mayhem

Mill Mountain Mayhem

This was a solid run for me, but far slower than what recent stats would suggest I'm capable of. I was a few seconds slower than last year, even though last year I had ridden my bike nearly 20 miles to and from the race. My running stats suggest that I'm running in PR territory, so I can't logically explain why my finish time today was just mediocre.

At least I still managed a 3rd place Age Group award  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

2016 Montvale Park 10 Mile Trail Race

Montvale Park 10 Mile Trail Race

This was a very good race for me. I didn't find a podium spot, but I did finish in 1 hr 17 min 20 sec which is just 22 seconds shy of my 2012 PR for the course. 

In years past this race has been a guaranteed Top 10 finish even with a finish time in the 1 hr 22 min range. Looks like the demographic for trail running is changing. I'll just have to work a bit harder and get up to speed.

Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 Martinsville Half Marathon

Martinsville Half Marathon

What an amazing race. Never expected a half marathon PR, but was just in my zone from the start. Prior to race start I did a few short sprints across the parking lot and I felt really good. I should have known it was going to be epic, but I just kept everything contained and looked for a solid run.

I hardly looked at Garmin at all, maybe at the mile markers or maybe a bit more often than just that, but still my focus was on the burn. The first place chick spoke to me some as I was finishing up mile 3, then she pulled ahead. I caught back up to her at mile 5 and barreled on past her as I blazed through 3 downhill miles.

It was a fantastic race. I got passed by a guy during mile 11. I was weak. I needed the new blood to pull me forward. I didn't want the spot, I just wanted to somebody to follow.

It cost me the #1 Age Group spot. I didn't care. I had a PR at the 13.1 mile distance on a certified course. Today was a win in every way that conceivably counts. 

At this point the Blue Ridge Half Marathon is what matters. My focus, my training, my daily motivation is for Apr. 16.  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

2016 Explore Your Limits 5k

Explore Your Limits 5k
Brown = Hiked, Red = PR 
2010-time 24:27.87, pace: 8:09/M (est), Place 12/97 overall, 1/5 in my age group, 9/45 among men
2011-time 22:27.18, pace: 7:15/M, Place 3/169 overall, 1/9 in my age group, 3/77 among men
2012-time 22:06.82, pace: 7:08/M (est), Place 3/205 overall, 1/13 in my age group, 3/96 among men
2013-time: 1:14:41, pace 24:05/M, Place 199/199 overall, 9/9 in my age group, 76/76 among men
2014-time: 50:56, pace 16:25/M, Place 142/149 overall, 8/8 in my age group, 69/70 among men
 2015-time: 28:45, pace 9:13/M, Place 15/107 overall, 1/6 in my age group, 14/53 among men

As the first significant race stat to aggregate as a sign for how my training for the Blue Ridge Half Marathon is progressing, I have to say the finish time of 23:39 is alarming. This was my 7th consecutive year participating in the EYL5k, however having hiked it with my daughter in 2013 and 2014, then having the course become a 3.1 mile frigid snow obstacle in 2015, this was my first year being able to truely run the course since 2012.

2012 was my pinnacle year as a runner in the Blue Ridge Half as well as in the EYL5k and the RNUTs in general. I was well short of my 2012 PR this morning which is somewhat surprising given that my recent training has yielded several PR's and near PR's (Personal Records). My training has mostly been on treadmills and road courses though, so I guess my legs just weren't ready for the slightly different demands of trail running.

The second mile was, which is mostly trail, was the mile that was statistically weakest in comparison to years past, so that tells the story in so far as where my weakness lies.

Final Result:
 2016-time 23:39, pace: 7:38/M, Place 11/116 overall, 2/6 in my age group, 10/65 among men

Garmin Data: HERE 

Friday, March 4, 2016

2016 Y Resolve 5k

Y Resolve 5k

Small race. Woke up early and drove to Rocky Mount just to stretch the legs out in a competitive environment. Finished 2nd in the 10yr age group for 40-49 yr olds.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Frozen Toe 10k

Frozen Toe 10k

History: Legacy Runner
 Brown=Hike, Red=PR
2010-time 58:31.95, pace: 9:37/M (est), Place 47/90 overall, 7/7 in my age group, 44/72 among men
2011-time 47:30.40, pace: 7:43/M, Place 27/186 overall, 6/21 in my age group, 27/123 among men
2012-time 48:06.59, pace: 7:49/M, Place 24/217 overall, 4/21 in my age group, 24/142 among men
2013-time: 2:16:19, pace 22:10/M, Place 232/233 overall, 28/28 in my age group, 139/139 among men
2014-time: 51:16, pace 8:20/M, Place 47/243 overall, 6/25 in my age group, 39/130 among men
2015-time: 47:26, pace 7:43/M, Place 23/240 overall, 7/25 in my age group, 22/145 among men

2016- time 49:17, pace: 8:01/M (est), Place 46/244 overall, 6/19 in my age group, 42/140 among men
Just another in a string of good, solid runs. Running the Frozen Toe in under 50 minutes is a huge accomplishment and while I have yet to find a podium spot at this event it remains one of my favorites.