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March 31, 2007

Gators are back in the Championship Game

Gators are back in the Championship Game

Revenge didn't work for UCLA. Does Ohio State think it will work for them?

March 26, 2007

Breakthrough swim sessions

Friday's 20x100 on the 2:00 did a lot for my confidence. Today's 3800 yards was a breakthrough in terms of distance. My longest swim so far this year had been 2700 yards. Today's swim workout was:

2x(300 swim, 200 kick, 100 drill)
2x1000 pull
5x100 kick
100 swim

Even though I was using a pull buoy, the two 1000 yard sets were very helpful in terms of establishing a rhythmn.

March 23, 2007

The legs are race ready

The person who cuts my hair let me borrow an old pair of clippers to take a hack at the winter growth. She asked that I clean off the blood before returning. Glad to report there was no need.

And boy was I feeling fast in the water today! It's so funny how that makes a difference psychologically. Now I'm looking to be fast in tomorrow's group ride. This will be the first time this year I've done the complete short loop with the group. With the nice weather, I bet the pace will be brisk. On the rivet!

Discombobulated training week

Sometimes my business travel can screw up a training week. I still get it done, just not in typical fashion because of the added dynamics of being on the road. This week, traveling to Madison, WI definitely got my out of rhythmn, but I should end up with everything I wanted to do accomplished. That being said, I need to do the 50-mile group ride on Saturday and do a one hour bike drill session on Sunday afternoon.

Here is my training for the week so far:
M - 2000 yard swim, 45 minutes on the spin bike
T - 45 minutes on the spin bike doing intervals
W - Did not go to the gym so I could be home when the girls woke up. They were asleep when I came home Tuesday night.
R - Swim 2800 yards. Track session with Mike. Lots of stretching between 400s. Total distance around 3 miles.
F - Swim 2000 yards. Done as 20x100 on the 2:00. For me, this was huge.

Total volume for the week will be around 8 hours. Up to 9 next week and 10 the following week. Then back down to 8 hours before my last big push of high volume before the race.

March 19, 2007

Liberal college town tour

Pete was in Ann Arbor, MI over the weekend visiting our good friend Bud and taking in the local liberal flavor. Apparently he saw more than one "Impeach Bush" yard sign. This week, I'm in another bastion of liberal thought, Madison, WI. I'm looking forward to reading the opinion page of the local paper. At this rate, we need to organize a trip to Berkeley, CA or Cambridge, MA. Perhaps I'll pick up a "NPR mind in a Fox News world" bumper sticker for a couple of my training buddies.

On a non-political note, the mood here is very somber after the UW Badgers early exit from the NCAA tournament at the hands of Lon Kruger's UNLV Running Rebels. I'll never forget driving to Miami early one Sunday in 1994 so I could watch the Kruger-coached Gators defeat Boston College in an Elite Eight match-up for the right to go to the Final Four.

UPDATE: Bumper sticker sightings:
Doing my part to piss off the Religious Right
The last time we mixed religion and politics, people were burned at the stake.

These two stickers were among the 10 or so plastered to the back of a car I was behind on the way to a client. What is the friendly new PC name for atheists? Non-theist? Actually, they also had pentagram stickers on the car as well, so I guess that makes them some sort of Wiccan. They means they aren't necessarily atheists, oops, non-theists, but I can surely guarantee they aren't good 'ol fundamentalist Christians.

March 18, 2007

Florida 74, Purdue 67

I just told Karen to add Sweet Sixteen donuts to the grocery list!

March 14, 2007

Would global warming make hell freeze over?

If so, I am now a believer. The New York Times published an article yesterday critical of Al Gore and his Inconvenient Truth.

Bjorn Lomborg, a statistician and political scientist referenced in the article, has written a book that I want to read about global warming. According to Michael Crichton:

No one should miss Bjørn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist." The author, a Danish statistician and former Greenpeace activist, set out to disprove the views of the late Julian Simon, who claimed that environmental fears were baseless and that the world was actually improving. To Mr. Lomborg's surprise, he found that Simon was mostly right. Mr. Lomborg's text is calm and devastating to established dogma.

Personally, I don't like the scaremongering tactics either. Seems to be used solely for attention and political lucre (and financial profits by those in the EU who are gaming the carbon trade). I think the significant downgrade recently of the threat of rising ocean levels by the UN, while not frequently mentioned, deflates the Chicken Little argument. Should we be good stewards of the Earth and the environment? Sure. But let's be rationale about it.

UPDATE: Cox and Forkum weigh in on the issue.

March 13, 2007

Six degrees of MetaMarshall

Mike and Lori McLamb like to talk about the six degrees of MetaMarshall. I think it is just a result of being born and raised in a big small city like Jacksonville. It is kind of funny how some of the connections work out sometimes. Like today when I went in to get physical therapy . . . finally.

I was referred to a local LMT by Rick Patterson, area representative for Mizuno. Rick said Jenny Lindley is a great therapist and the folks at First Choice do a terrific job. When I went in to Jenny's office, I noticed a picture on the wall of her and Bill Rodgers finishing the River Run. She said it was from last year's race and it wasn't a very good race for her. At this point I'm on the table and can't see the picture real well, but I told her to look over Bill's right shoulder and she should be able to see me. Sure enough, there I was. I told her it was nice of her to have a picture of me on the wall, and I called her out for saying it wasn't a good race. I PR'ed last year and she finished ahead of me by 20 seconds. Turns out, Jenny has run sub-60 RRs in the past. But wait, this isn't the really weird part of the six degrees.

When I got home, I told Karen about my visit, and showed her the picture from Jenny's office. Jenny made a copy of it for me. Karen immediately recognized Jenny. Turns out, when Karen had her accident 12 years ago and had PT after her surgery it was none other than Jenny Lindley who did the massage therapy. I called Jenny and asked her if she had ever worked on someone who had broken their SI joint by being hit by a golf cart driven by a 5-year-old. Jenny said "You mean Karen?!?"

Too freakin' weird.

March 12, 2007

Good news, bad news

The good news is the Gators are the overall number one seed in the NCAA tournament. The bad news is bracketologist Joe Lunardi, who picked the Gators to be a #2 seed before the brackets were announced, is now saying they are going to win it all.

Here's my final four and champion, before we wrap it up: Florida, Kansas, Georgetown, and Texas A&M, with Florida over Georgetown for the title.

There's the jinx. Couldn't he just leave well enough alone and pick Ohio State, Texas or North Carolina? Sheesh!

March 11, 2007

2007 River Run: It was ugly

Greetings from the hurt cellar. Actually, I am no longer in the hurt cellar, but I spent 70 minutes there yesterday. Seventy freakin' minutes. Two minutes and 54 seconds longer than last year. It was bad. It was ugly. It was no fun.

The morning was uneventful. Mike and Lori picked up Pete and me around 7:15. Once at the race Pete and I headed over to the Team Gate hospitality area, got ready, checked our bags and used the potty. It was around 8:15 at that point and I wanted to get to the start area before they dropped the rope to let everyone move up. Slight problem at this point. . . I didn't do any kind of warm-up. Not sure if that matters. Met up with Erin and Josh in the starting area. The gun sounded and off we go.




Erin and I passed the first mile marker with a 7:12 split. Pretty good. The goal was 7:10, right on target. However, I didn't feel good, but attributed that to the lack of warm-up. The second split was 7:13. Still felt like there was no need to panic, but I still didn't feel comfortable. Maybe it was just the exertion from the Main Street Bridge. Unfortunately, Mile 3 wasn't any better, clocking in at 7:19. At this point, we were back in the neighborhoods of San Marco and I was hoping the shade would help speedup the pace. Last year it was warm and humid, but we had cloud cover to prevent the sun from beating down on us. No cloud cover this year, and even the tree cover of San Marco could help. The split for mile 4 was 7:30. This race was going downhill in a big way. Somewhere in the fifth mile, I started to feel a little better. Maybe it was a short-lived adrenaline rush. Then Bill Rodgers passed me before we turned off of Belote onto Atlantic. He didn't pass me last year until the downslope of the Hart Bridge. Icontemplated taking a gel at mile 5, but held off until mile 6. It didn't help much. The slowdown continued through the neighborhoods of St. Nicholas. Erin and I stayed together until mile 7. Not sure if she picked up the pace or maintained her pace and I slowed down even more. Running up the bridge was as tough as always. The weird thing is usually the wind is really blowing on top of the bridge. This year, it seemed very still. A stiff breeze would have been welcomed to help cool things off. Running down thebridge allowed me to clock my fastest split since mile 3. The last three tenths took 12 seconds longer this year. Doesn't seem like much, but from a pace perspective that amounts to 40 seconds over a mile. Sheesh! I was crawling to the finish.








Trying to look back and analyze the difference between 2006 and 2007 is difficult. It was hot, but I took water at every station. Unbelievably, my hip really didn't bother me. It just seemed like I didn't have it in the tank. Looking back at the training log, I'm only 29 miles behind last year. Not sure if I did more long runs last year, but endurance shouldn't be a factor based on the additional cycling mileage I've logged this year. The chart to the left shows the aggregate loss of time during the course ofthe race. A little over a minute for the first 5k, a little under a minute for the second 5k, and then another minute for the last 5k. Maybe I just chalk it up to a bad race day.

Hats off to Erin (Liger!) for smoking me in the last 2 miles. However, I think we can both agree that our performances were well below our expectations. Jay missed his goal of 60 minutes by 77 seconds. Mike McLamb was two minutes off of his goal and Pete was several minutes off of his goal. James was actually 9 seconds below his goal, but he's a sick puppy and actually likes the weather we had yesterday. Josh was about 4 minutes behind his expectations and John Womack was 81 secondsslower than his goal.

Meb won his 6th River Run title, but couldn't catch Deena Kastor for the equalizer bonus. The elite women started 5 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack and she finished 80 seconds ahead of Meb. She missed breaking her American record by 4 seconds.

As for me, it is now time to back off running for a couple of weeks to see if I can get the hip to heal. I will ramp up the cycling volume and ease back into the running after a couple of weeks. I might even go see a doctor or a therapist.

UPDATE: Google Earth file

UPDATE 2: HR data.
Race - River Run 3-10-2007, Heart rate - Distance

March 10, 2007

River Run race day!

Excited and nervous. Seems like this race, because of it's size, gets the heart going more than the smaller races.

March 8, 2007

River Run Pasta Dinner

MMB and Meb KeflezighiKaren and I went to the Team Gate pre-race pasta dinner tonight at the River Club. We sat down at one of the tables and the guy next to me asked if I was one of the invited runners. Heh! I guess I should be happy that I could be mistaken for an elite.

John Gaughan from Channel 4 said that there are 3 weather patterns they are looking at. One is dry, one has a few sprinkles, and the third has 2 inches of rain. Thankfully, John and George Winterling are leaning towards the drier model. He said it should be around 58 degrees at race start and be in the mid-60s by 10 am. Another incentive to finish quickly.

Meb Keflezighi was the keynote speaker. He talked about the River Run and how important it has been in his career. He mentioned that his success in the River Run figured in to his decision to run the Olympic marathon. He finished second in that race, and then finished second in the New York City Marathon 70 days later. Talk about showing the world that American running is on the rise! After dinner, for good luck in the race on Saturday, he let me touch the silver medal. That was the first Olympic medal I think I've ever seen in person and it was gorgeous. I wished him a good race and he told me good luck in my race as well. And then he said "I really mean it, I hope you have a great race." Look out Liger!

Seems like yesterday

I was reviewing some old training logs looking for River Run splits and found something funny in the 2004 file. I started swimming in June of that year to prepare for my first sprint triathlon. I had never done any swimming for fitness, and certainly never swum laps. The first week I told myself I was going to get in the pool everyday to ramp up the training. I remember the first day in the pool was a nightmare, I didn't even use goggles. Well, I was in the pool 5 days that week and racked up a total of . . . 1400 yards. Haha.

March 7, 2007

Tapping into the winning Gator karma

For Christmas, Karen ordered me a Tri-Gator racing set. I just found out that the uniforms are set to arrive March 23rd. Sweet! I have always enjoyed seeing the Tri-Gator uniforms at the races, and although my college days are long behind me, it's pretty neat I can join in on the fun.

Go Gators!

March 6, 2007


I heard that the newly modified Daylight Savings Time schedule would cause problems and was being considered a mini-Y2K. I just found out that my Treo needs to be updated because of the new schedule. Technology always seems to have a 'gotcha' moment.

Do not try this at home, or the Y for that matter

I saw this in the current issue of Runners World and thought it was pretty nifty.

Who says the treadmill is boring? Not the members of OK Go, whose music video "Here It Goes Again" features the foursome dancing across treadmills set at two miles per hour... After eight days and 20 takes, the three-minute-long video was perfected, and the musicians felt as sore as marathoners.

Fun run with two past champs

Marshall and Emily run with Bill Rodgers and Todd WilliamsEmily and I participated in the fun run last night with Bill Rodgers and Todd Williams. So, when you think about it, the folks in the picture to the right have 6 River Run titles, the American record for the 15k (42:22), 4 Boston Marathon wins, 4 New York City marathon wins, 3 Olympic appearances and a 2nd place in the 30-39 age group at the 2004 Spring Jubilee 5K. Pretty impressive stuff, eh?

UPDATE: I found Todd Williams' splits for his American record 15k on his website:
1 mile - 4:23
2 mile - 8:46 (4:23)
3 mile - 13:15 (4:29)
4 mile - 17:46 (4:31)
5 mile - 22:24 (4:38)
6 mile - 27:04 (4:40)
7 mile - 31:50 (4:46)
8 mile - 36:21 (4:31)
9 mile - 40:58 (4:37)
15k - 42:22 (1:24, 4:40/mi pace)

His splits were slowing until he hit the Hart Bridge and he dropped 15 seconds from the previous split going up that beast.

March 4, 2007

River Run week!

Race - Retro River Run 3-3-2007River Run week got off to a fun start last night with the Retro Ruver Run 5k. Tube socks and afros everywhere. The race started on Coastline Drive and meandered through dowtown, then over the Main Street Bridge, back over the Acosta Bridge and finishing on Hogan Street. I didn’t start my watch until we turned left on Market. The track on the map is very wobbly because James and I started near the back of over 2,000 runners and had to zig-zag considerably. He was pushing Maddy in the jogging stroller, so ft was easier for me to weave through traffic.

I decided to pick up the pace on Hogan just before Monroe. I had a blast looking at all of the great costumes and catching up with friends. On the bridges, I would run as hard as I could until I reached a wall of runners. I would slow down until there was a break and pick up the pace again. I ran pretty hard down the Acosta.

Other things to look forward to include a fun run with Bill Rogers and Todd Williams on Monday evening at Epping Forest. The Pasta Dinner at the River Club is on Thursday night. Meb Keflezighi, Bill Rodgers, Hal Higdon, Todd Williams, and other running luminaries will be there. The Expo and packet pick-up are on Thursday and Friday and the big race in on Saturday.

This will be my 7th River Run, and 5th consecutive. I also ran the race in 1986 and 1987. I remember the finish of the 1987 race being less than spectacular. Along the race course, a group had set up an unofficial water station. But instead of water, they served that super sweet citrus concoction known as Sunny Delight. It was a warm day, I was running hard and undertrained. As I crossed the finish line, I puked Sunny Delight all over the street. Nice memory, eh? Maybe that's why I went on a 16-year hiatus from the race.

March 2, 2007

Lunchtime swim

Was able to eventually jump in the pool today despite the foul weather.

3x400 warm-up (400 kick, 400 pull, 400 swim)
4x(5x50) (5x50 1:05, 5x50 1:00, 5x50 :55, 5x50 1:10).
4x100 (100 easy, 50 easy/50 hard, 50 easy/50 hard, 100 hard)

I wanted to up the volume a bit. I've been doing 2000 yards per workout. I added an extra 600 today. Baby steps.

No swim this morning

Woke up at 5:30 to go swim. Saw flashes of light and heard thunder. No swimming for me this morning. Grrrrr.

March 1, 2007

Joe Reger's Sufferfest

Joe and a bunch of his peeps in Atlanta put together a cycling Sufferfest in an effort to kickstart early season cycling training.

Here are the recaps:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

A total of 360 miles in 4 days. Very impressive.

Comparing February 2007 with February 2006

Running mileage looks similar, despite the hip issues. Swim volume is 35% greater and bike volume is 30% greater. Need to do more work in the pool, really get those numbers up. Bike volume should continue to trend up.
















Last hard track workout before the River Run

2-22-2007, 5x800On the rivet one last time at the Lee track with Jay, John and Mike. Jay and John ran 10 x 400 at mile pace. Mike and I opted for some longer intervals so we did 2 x 1000 a little slower than 5k pace, 2 x 800 at 5k pace and 3 x 400 at mile pace.

Like Tuesday, it was a bit muggy out there. The hip was a bit sore in the 1-mile warm-up, but didn't feel terribly bad during the intervals. Looking at the chart, the recovery period between the first and second 1000 was about 25 seconds shorter than the recovery period between the second 1000 and the first 800. As a result, my heart rate only dropped to around 140 before it was time to go again. It didn't really affect performance, because the second 1000 was 2 seconds faster than the first. Recovery between thesecond 800 and the first 400 was a full 1:30, which allowed my heart rate to recover to almost 120, but then recoveries between the first and second 400 and the second and third 400s were 1:14 and 1:21 respectively, so you can see the dips trend up.

I think doing the workouts with the shorter recovery periods are good for teaching the body to push through the lactic buildup and acclimate itself to staying in the anaerobic zone. However, I don't think shorter recoveries are beneficial for all track workouts, but perhaps just those right before a big race when you are sharpening up for peak performance.