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November 27, 2008

2008 Outback Half Marathon - NEW PR!

2008 Outback Half Marathon

Didn't think I had the goods going into today's race. Perhaps I have more fitness than I thought, and coupled with great weather, had one of my best races in 3 years.

I'm especially happy about the negative splits. Started out in control, and slowly racheted up the effort. The only bump in the chart is a 6-seconf differential for mile 12 that was probably caused by a congested water station that services people going two different directions.

If we have weather like today for the Jacksonville Marathon, I might have a chance to drop another PR. My marathon PR is 4 years old, and it came in my first marathon. Based on today's time (1:34:38), the McMillan calculator projects a 3:19 marathon. That would drop my PR 18 minutes. I would be satisfied coming in under 3:30.

Great race. Great weather. Great time with family. Great food. Great day. I am very thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2008

Picking out gels for tomorrow morning. . .

Love me some Hammer Apple Cinnamon gel. But I also like the Espresso with caffeine. Choices!

November 25, 2008

Great gift idea for the cyclist in your family

Now you can ride your bicycle and educate drivers at the same time (Hat tip to Bryan @

November 24, 2008

Getting ready for Thursday

Great massage today by Jenny. She said my muscles were in much better shape this week than they were last week. I guess stretching does that for you. The massage wasn't nearly as painful this week either. I think some of that credit can go to the electric clippers.

Short track workout tomorrow to get the race pace down and the an easy run Wednesday. The weather is shaping up to be perfect Thursday morning. I don't think I have the goods for a PR, but should have a good showing.

The plan after Thursday's race is a 20-miler next Tuesday, the OUC Half in Orlando on December 6th (that one more at marathon race pace or maybe easier if I run with Pete), and then a couple of runs in the 15=17 mile range at race pace the second and third weeks of December. A taper the week before the marathon and then showtime!

November 20, 2008

Garmin Rocks Part II

I've mentioned it before, but Garmin customer service is some of the best in the business. And I'm not saying that because they took care of me again. They have developed a loyalty from me that will extend to any GPS device I ever need to buy.

My 305 battery is no longer holding a charge for more than 3 or 4 hours. Yesterday's zen run prompted today's call to Garmin. They issued me a RMA number to send it back for a battery replacement. I'm going to put up with the inconvenience until after the Jacksonville Marathon. Then I will be able to be without it for 2-3 weeks.

If there was a viable next step in the Forerunner family, I probably would go ahead and upgrade. I'm just not sold on the 405, and the 305 meets all of my needs. The GPS is super accurate, the heart rate functionality works great, and I love the cadence sensor on my bike. The only downside is the Training Center PC software Garmin provides. No worries though, I use/love SportTracks.

November 19, 2008

20-mile zen run this morning

I was having a hard time getting motivated for today's run to begin with. The temperature this morning was supposed to be in the high 20s. The prospect of heading out at 0500 to spend almost 3 hours in those conditions was not appealing. I soldiered on, took a hit of Hammer Gel out of a flask in the kitchen and walked out my front door.

Even if it's frigid outside (it was), I usually sit on my front steps to put on my shoes while waiting for my Garmin Forerunner 305
to lock in the satellites. This morning, the minute I turned it on, I got a low battery warning. I thought it would be no big deal, if it died on the run, at least I could get some pacing and heart rate data. Then the screen went blank. It wasn't low, it was dead.

Of course, the first thought was to go back in, crawl in bed and get another hour or two of warm sleep. But then I thought this would be a good mind over matter exercise. So I headed out on a 20-mile run with no way of knowing heart rate, pace, time elapsed, distance or anything.

The first 5 miles were fine. I did the Ortega River Run course so I could swing back by and down a gel and some water. From there I was going to run to St. Vincent's Hospital and back for another 5, grab a gel and water and then repeat the two loops again. As I was heading out for the second 5-mile loop, I decided that was going to be too boring, so I headed for downtown to do the bridge loops. I had a gel, so I stopped at the YMCA for water along the way. This loop added a little under 12. One more stop at the house for water and gel and then to Ortega Point for the last 3 miles.

Running without a watch was weird. I kept wanting to look at it, and when I stopped for water I would reach for my wrist as thought I was going to pause the watch. The GPS watch
is usually a helpful limiter to slow me down early on, and without it I know I was doing sub-race pace miles early on. The last few miles were a bit difficult.

I synched up the iPod and looked at the songs I listened to this morning. Based on that, I was able to calculate my run took about 2:43:00, including water breaks. Not bad, but faster than It should have been.

The run was a challenge from a pyschological standpoint. I am so accustomed to having access to data for even 3 mile runs. Going 20 without it was extremely tough, but a good test.

I am a little worried about the watch, because the battery hasn't been holding a charge as long as it formerly did. I need to call Garmin and see if it needs to be replaced.

November 17, 2008

I hope Wayne Ezell reads this

Murdoch to media: You dug yourself a huge hole

To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. '60 Minutes,' he said, was a professional organization with 'multiple layers of checks and balances.' By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as 'a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.' But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign.

"Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone," he continued. "A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let's be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves."

At a recent luncheon, I heard the Florida Times Union's former ombudsman Wayne Ezell speak about the way news reporting is changing. I also remember hearing him denigrate blogs as inferior sources of information. The real kicker was when talking to him one on one, he asked me what I thought about the recent changes. When I indicated I wasn't impressed, he essentially told me that I should get used to them. So much for reader feedback.

November 15, 2008

The Butler brick at Florida Field

The Butler brick at Florida Field

Go Gators!

Go Gators!

November 14, 2008

Next up in the federal bailout line: The DNC?

From Jacksonville's Financial News & Daily Record

There’s an interesting e-mail being sent to President-elect Barack Obama supporters. It’s from the Democratic National Committee and Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. According to Plouffe, the DNC spent a lot to get Obama elected and has incurred "considerable debt to secure victory for Barack and Joe." Now the party is trying to replenish the pot and for a minimum donation of $30 you can get a limited edition "2008 Victory" T-shirt.

November 13, 2008

Amazon has the Wii in stock

We were fortunate to grab the last Wii at Target last week. Apparently, Amazon now has them in stock in case you need to pick one up.

November 11, 2008

Bailout for Detroit?

A bailout for Detroit certainly sounds like a payback to the unions for helping elect Obama. How about tying it to union concessions? Or development of new environmentally-friendly cars?

Training update

Good 19-mile run this morning. The weather was awesome. Six weeks out from the marathon. Training for next week includes a long run of 20 miles next week and then a step-down week (with the Outback 1/2 Marathon on Thanksgiving Day). The first two weeks of December will be hard and focused on longer race pace runs and then a one week taper. I promised Pete I would run the OUC Half with him the first weekend in December. Not sure if that will be a race pace practice run, or a long tempo run.

I'm feeling a little fatigued, but strong. Need to do better on diet and hide the kid's Halloween candy.

November 4, 2008

Bye Bye Mr. Pumpkin

Mr. PumpkinMr. Pumpkin will be deflated tomorrow. I couldn't convince Karen that he should stick around through Thanksgiving.

Why tomorrow? Nothing to do with the election. Mr. Pumpkin will not be redistributed so all of America can share my pumpkin happiness. The reason is one of my favorite things is to come around the corner and head for home after a long run and see Mr. Pumpkin at the end of the street waiting for me. Tomorrow is an 18-mile run and I'll enjoy seeing his smiling face down the homestretch one last time in 2008.

UPDATE: Great 18-miler this morning. I ran down Dogwood straight for Mr. Pumpkin, ran up into the yard and patted him on the head for the last time in 2008. Maybe I can set Mr. Pumpkin up at the Jacksonville Marathon finish line? I'm a dork.

November 2, 2008

Urban and Tim looking down on the Dawgs

Urban and Tim looking down on the Dawgs