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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Temp run - On the Road of Silence

The following is the result of my MP3 player dying on me at mile 5 of a 10 mile tempo run. I was basically trying to hold a sub 8 pace for 8 miles in the cold rain.

On the Road of Silence

Strong and quick
Yet reserved
Like Sandburg’s Fog
I creep up
On the first couple of miles
On cat’s feet.

Then I’m in a groove
Rhythmic, music playing
Feet keeping time
Like Carlos Santana…
Miles three and four

Suddenly and without warning
Like February 3, 1959
The music dies
And my ambition
On the sidelines in a cast
Ponders it’s mortality

Recalling a Frost poem
I chose the less traveled path
Instead of giving up
Miles five, six, and seven
My footsteps
Trod the leaves to black

The last two miles
Just running now
Don’t look at the pace
Pride and pain collide
Is it a mortal struggle?
Or a lover’s embrace

Cool down mile
Verse erupts from my head
Like n’er it pours from my pen
And these few lines
The only ones captured
Until I’m on the road
Of silence again

Catching up


21 miles. Average 10 mpm. the last 2 were awful like 11s.

I don't think I took enough gels (4)

Wednesday: 3.5 @ 9mpm

Friday, January 23, 2009


When it comes to running, I think sometimes, that our toughest adversary is inside our heads… specifically the preconceived ideas we have about how many miles we can run… how fast we can run a certain distance…

The training week

not much to report on.... just a quock circuit on Monday... the aforementioned 2 miler on Tuesday... a big fat (much needed I think) goosegg on Wednesday.

I did complete my assigned tempo run on thursday... Turned down a lunch invite from my boss and co-worker.

Sliped out and blasted through 8.41 miles. Did a mile warm-up (9:51) then

7:44, 7:48, 7:59...

the third mile into the wind was a killer... cold... and it felt as if the hand of God was holding me back.... added to the fact that it was along the railroad tracks.

7:58, 7:48 (tailwind), 7:13

obviously the 7:13 was a miscalcualtion by Mr Garmin

8:00 for thelast mile... and I was killing myself on the last mile.... I think the last 2 were both flaky but... overall they were about the right distance.

felt pretty good for the entire run and stayed pretty relaxed.

Did the double bridges loop downtown today... we averaged around 10:30 mpm despite all the elevation changes. solid run.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My day in court

Here I sit in the assembly room...

I thought I had lost my oh so important juror badge... One of my fellow jurors.... Who happens. to be named Cowart as well, helped me find it... It was tangled up around the back of my collar...

My socks are wet... As is the aforementioned collar.... My feet are still tingling....

What happened you might ask…

Perhaps you have read the Grisham book "Runnaway Jury".... Well let me tell you how I became a runnaway juror....

Duval County Florida prides itself on the efficiency of it's court system... Especially when it comes to jury selection... To that end they have completely planned out the day of prospective jurors...

Jurors start their day by parking in one of the parking lots at the Gator Bowl... From there they are to be wisked away to the courthouse downtown to begin their day in the spotlight...

I arrived on time... I had planned to take my bacpack and laptop in with me... When I saw all of the other jurors standing around empty handed.... I decided to leave all of my stuff in the car... Well except a Grisham novel and this Blackberry (of course).

I stood for a couple of minutes at the shuttle stop... It was kinda cold.... I remembered the hot cup of coffe I left back in my car and decided to o back for a gulp or 2...

Just as I started sippin'.... The "exclusive ground transportation" (juror bus) arrived... Not wanting to be late... I sat my coffe down and hurried on the bus...

There were a lot of somber and solomn faces getting on the bus.... - thought I'd try to lihten the mood... So I asked the bus driver if this was the bus to the Maic Kingdom.... She laughed and told me to sit down....

On the way to the courthouse this question started running through my mind.... Did I lock my car? My laptop was in there as well as all the other junk I carry around in my backpack...

For the next hour and a half the doubts and questions keep coming back... A t 0942 the baliff calls for a 28 minute recess.

As I walked outside I contimplated my options... My car is at least a mile away.... Could - make it there and back? Should I just chance it and hope I locked the doors or that nobody breaks in.... They had us park in a pretty remote spot... Not in the best neighborhood...

So I started walking... A block or so.... Then I jogged a half block.... Then walked a few steps... A quick glance at my watch showed 19 minutes to go... I started to run in ernest....

It was then I saw the shuttle Bus… heading in the other direction… I thought a bit about whether or not it would come into play later. I hoped it would.

I knew the route… and have run many times in the area… in fact I was retracing much of the last 1.5 miles of the Jacksonville Marine Corps ½ Marathon… a race I’ve done three times. After I’d gotten about halfway I was committed… there was no way that I was going to run like an idiot halfway down the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville and *still* not know if my car was locked or not.

By this point I was pretty well warmed up and ticking along at about a 9 minute mile pace…. In my Air Clark Kents… i.e. wingtips

I never even got to my car… as soon as I got close enough for the keyless system to pick up and I heard the tiny, but reassuring, horn beep I turned around and headed back to the courthouse.

A quick look at my watch showed that I had roughly 11 minutes to cover the 1.5 or so miles back to the courthouse… Just as I was coming to grips with the idea that I was either going to be late, or doing my speedwork a couple of days early this week… I saw the bus heading in my direction. I immediately turned right back around and ran back to the bus stop.

The bus lady gave me a funny look… then said “I think you must have a twin”

I said, “No ma’am… this is my second trip.”

The rest of the experience was entirely uneventful… I was dismissed without ever having my name called. This is, however, the longest message I’ve ever typed on a blackberry. My sweaty socks are dry and my feet are no longer tingling… but my palms are sweaty and my hands are cramping from typing for over an hour on my Blackberry.

That said, I’m going to count this as my workout for the day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

"We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters."

- Robert Edward Lee, 1807 - 1870

My run yesterday was good... bad… and ugly

17 mi in 2:45


Started with Kara... ran the first 1.5 miles with her.

Mile 1 - 11:24
Mile 2 - 10:04

Ran the next 5 backwards from Kara on the same loop... I tried something different each time we passed to make her laugh.... she only laughed once... at my ballet moves.

Mile 3 - 8:46
Mile 4 - 8:43
Mile 5 - 8:57
Mile 6 - 8:39
Mile 7 - 8:35

I did not really hold anything back during the backwards loops... just trying to run 4 loops to Kara's 3.

We slowed for Gel/water after we linked back up

Mile 8: 10:40

I stopped to tie my shoe during the next mile and chased Kara for most of it. She had a really good day yesterday (10 @ 10:30)

Mile 9 - 9:12 (due to the auto pause feature of my Garmin)

Kara stopped at 10 and during her last mile or so she cranked it up.... I started feeling puny.

Miles 10 & 11 ~9:40

At the house (somewhere during this time) I stopped a minute to swap shirts and get a drink


At this point I'm on my own and free to run my own pace.... Hard to get going again....

Mile 12 - 9:53

Picked it up on Mile 13 for a 9:07 but my entire left leg is starting to burn... I can feel that I'm running like a crab and dragging my left leg...

Mile 14 is a 9:31 and I'm seriously contemplating going straight home so as not to injure myself further I actually come to a complete stop and start to head home... but.... Masey and Kendall were at one of their friends house on the back side of the loop and I wanted to see/talk to them again....


Mile 15 I'm just trying to keep it together.... arguing with myself about finishing the loop or cutting straight for home.

Mile 16 I know that I'm cooked and fooked.... it's a 10:43.... I turned for home.

Mile 17 is just getting home.... it took 11:36 and I would have walked but... I did not... why? Because I wanted to write 17 in my training log instead of 16.x... silly I know but.... that's what I did....

Today I feel okay but... a little worried.

Maybe my hamstring problems are caused by the bike... We rode for 1.5 hours on Saturday.. I think my seat might be too high...

Or... maybe it's just that I'm tired and over-trained... it's the 19th and I have already run 104 miles this month.

I think that I'm just going to take it really easy until Thursday and see how that works out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tempo Thursday

I had butterflies today… for a workout… not a race… a workout…. One I would complete alone.

I’ve not done a tempo run in a month…. On Thursdays I alternate between intervals and tempo… I cut the last tempo run I had scheduled short because it was New Years Eve…

My training schedule called for 9 miles… with 7 @ 7:52.. that’s a long way to run fast… not insanely intense… just not sure that I was up to it today…

Every time I glanced at my training schedule… affixed to the wall of my office right above my phone… I got a rush of adrenalin… was I ready for the pain?

It was in the low 50s today so I started out in a long sleeve shirt… I was pretty cold during the warm-up mile.

After the warm-up mile I amped the speed up to where it should be and just tried to hold it there…

1st mile: 7:52… I tried not to think about running 6 more… just run

2nd mile: 7:55 still trying to just stay in the groove

3rd mile: 7:58 – most of this mile is on the sand/gravel road next to the railroad tracks… nice and peaceful but the footing and rocks makes the pace harder to hold.

4th mile 7:52 I made the turn onto the second loop… and immediately relaxed. I stopped trying to hold something back and just ran.

5th mile 7:51: Tom Jones came on my Ipod singing “It’s not Unusual” and well… it is a little unusual that the tempo for this song is *perfect* for running a 7:45 pace… I reckon that I’m unusual for putting Tom Jones on there in the 1st place….

6th mile 7:56: the last .3 next to the railroad tracks

7th mile 7:54: really starting to tire… had a hard time picking up my feet to clear rocks on the trail… had to work really hard to bring it in under 8.

I only cooled down for a half mile… I had a conference call to prepare for.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Quick run note

7 miles in the cold (50F) rain today. I spent the first mile clenching my fists... thinking that I was freezing to death... by mile 3 I'd forgotten that it was cold or raining... I was just running... total time was ~61 minutes

Monday, January 12, 2009


Yesterday was my first schedule 20 miler in preparation for the 26.2 with Donna Marathon.

Just in time… my new Garmin 301 arrived… the same footprint as my old 201 but with I hoped better algorithms… and a heart rate monitor…

Saturday had been a day off… the only exercise I got on Saturday was pushups…. I had, however, managed to injure myself… I pulled a muscle in my neck… it’s pretty strange really… the muscle runs from my jaw down to my collarbone… just a minor irritation really.

Sunday was supposed to be cooler and cloudy with a good chance of rain…. Well… as Meatloaf said… “Two out of three ain’t bad” it was cloudy… it did rain a little but the temps were in the 70s.

Miles 1 &2: just nice and easy with Kara @ an 11:15 pace.

Once we got to Hidden Lake… I decided to run the loops there backwards from the direction Kara went in… I ended up running the next 2.75 miles at a 9:10 pace… from there we ran together… 4 miles at a ~10:45 pace.

My neck/jaw started to hurt pretty badly during that time… and I realized that I had no thermotabs either….

I dropped Kara off at home and set out to run 13 miles alone.

I ran inside and grabbed a baggie with Advil and thermotabs

Basically held a 9:20 pace for the last 13.. never really felt too uncomfortable even ran a sub 9 mile 19… just for kicks…

I did much better with the refueling than I did last week. I drank 1.5 liters of water, had 8 thermotabs and ate 5 gels. Felt strong the whole way.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Thursday is the assigned day for speedwork.

Today's workout was simple.... 7 mi with miles 2, 4, and 6 at a 7 minute mile pace....

Much more easily typed than run.

in the absence of my Garmin, I have been using to measure distance. nice for longer runs or steady pace running but not so good for speedwork.

After a warmup mile of 9:24 (often measured mile with Garmin) Mile 2 was a 6:34...

Mile 4 was 7:34!!! and mile 4 was 7:24... I dunno... they all felt about the same...

New Garmin 301 will be on my front porch when I get home tomorrow...

2009 Goals

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749 - 1832

As for 2009:

15 December 2009 - sub 3:20 at the Jax Marathon. That's my BQ time... 7:40 mpm pace

Interim goals to enjoy getting there:


Current 197 (down 21 lbs since May 2008)

-Cut wine intake by 50%
-get back to logging intake on
-quit splurging on food before and after big workouts/races

185 by June and 180 by 15 Dec

Swim - enough to finish all triathlon swims

Bike - do a couple of century rides. Ride at least 3x per week

Run - Keep up the 130 mile months

2009 races on my radar:

26.2 with Donna Marathon 15 Feb (registered)
Jetty-2-Jetty ultra-marathon 35 miles (28 Feb 2009) might be a silly idea but....
Gate River Run 15k
Run for the pies (go Sub 20 and get a pie)
BFAS Sprint Tri series May-June-July
Florida Challenge 1/2 IM (27 Sep 2009)

I have some time goals:

5k sub 20:00 (Sub 6:30s)
10k 42:00
Half Marathon sub 1:35
Half IM sub 5:45

But... all that said... I could have just written one word.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Drop dead legs

I’ve started the year off well so far….

On New Year’s day, however, I thought I had effed it up before it even got started…

I was in the yard kicking a soccer ball around with my daughter and I twisted my knee… it hurt a good bit for the rest of the day on Thursday and was still giving me worries on Friday morning….

I decided to try and run on it Friday afternoon. Well… 6 miles later I decided that whatever is wrong with it is aggravated by lateral movement and seems unaffected by forward motion….

We rode 25 miles on Sunday… did the Otis Rd to the Baldwin trail and back up 121 loop. Good to get out on the road in January.

Yesterday was a day that I’ve had circled on the calendar for a few weeks… 18 miles was the goal. The knee was still a little achy but I decided to let it ride and see what happened.

I ran the first loop (5.7 miles) with Kara… mostly in the 1030 to 1100 mpm range… it was hot tho… must have been over 80F when we started.

On the second loop, I cranked the speed up to ~9:08 and held that for 6 miles… nice and easy. IPod had a bunch of 80s stuff on it… seems like every other song was VanHalen. I had a nice endorphin rush around mile 10.

On the last lap I started to tire… pace slipped to ~9:25 but still felt okay. The funny thing was that I got a second endorphin rush during the 16th mile(Unchained and Panama by VH on the iPod)… followed a ½ mile later by that all too familiar lightheadedness of a nice bonk…

I ended up with about 17.5 miles… tired and happy. Knee is still a little sore but I think I’ll live.