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December 31, 2008

41-mile ride with the McLambs

Left from the neighborhood and did the Mandarin loop.  Tough headwind.  Thanks to the abundance of shrapnel on Jacksonville's roads, I had a flat courtesy of a nasty gash in my rear tire.  Overall enjoyable ride.  Now off to the bike shop for a new tire.

UPDATE:  Course map.

2009 List of Banished Words

Lake Superior State University :: Banished Words List :: Banished Words List for 2009

Hmmm. The word "change" isn't mentioned. We haven't heard that a bajillion times over the last 12 months, have we?

December 30, 2008

Useless marathon data

Odds and ends I left out of the race recap.

I took a Hammer Gel every 5 miles. The flavors for the day were Apple Cinnamon, Espresso and Tropical with caffeine (x2). I nursed a bottle of Grape G2 from 6.5 miles to the halfway point. All other water stations I took water, and water and Powerade at the later stops.

Mizuno provided the shoes and singlet (Go Juggernauts!), the RaceReady shorts were subsidized by Hammer Nutrition and socks were from City Cycle. My trusty Garmin 305 was providing the telemetry.

Here is the pace chart with heart rate data overlay:
2008 Jacksonville Marathon

Frequently played tunes on the iPod during training (but not the race!):
I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance (The Twelves Remix) -- Black Kids
Prophecy -- Remy Zero
Somebody Told Me -- The Killers
Real World -- Matchbox Twenty
The Remedy -- Abandoned Pools
Machinehead -- Bush
Summer Rain -- ATB
Take Me Home Tonight (Justin Kase Remix) -- Eddie Money
I should know -- Dirty Vegas
Seven Nation Army -- White Stripes
TMBG Man 2002 Remix -- They Might Be Giants
She Is -- The Fray
Run -- Snow Patrol
Going South -- The Wolfgang Press
Technologic -- Daft Punk
Rich Girls (RAC Mix) -- The Virgins

December 29, 2008

2008 Jacksonville Marathon

Going into marathon training this fall, I was wondering if all of the miles I put in on the bike this summer were going to help my running. They did.

I began training the week of September 22nd, with 13 weeks to get ready. I developed a schedule based on 3 weeks of build followed by stepdown weeks. In the beginning, I did ramp up the mileage fairly quickly, which is not the best, but I backed off on the cycling so I think it balanced out. My running regime was based on the Furman First program, with 3 key workouts (long, track and tempo) plus recovery runs and/or cross-training. I also started getting weekly massages in November. I was able to put in 4 runs of 18 miles or longer, including 2 twenty mile runs. A PR in the Outback Half on Thanksgiving and a strong run nine days later in a warm OUC Half boosted my confidence.

The week before the marathon I was extremely anxious. The weather forecast was not good and it looked like it was going to be hot and humid. I took in a lot of water during the week, so much my wife started making fun of my frequent trips to the restroom. Tapering is not easy because you have trained your body to expect a pattern of work-outs.

The morning of the race was somewhat cool, but it still was not optimal running conditions. The only hope I had was that the skies would be overcast to keep the sun off. I had mentally prepared myself the days leading to the race, envisioning running strong in the heat.

The beginning of the race was comfortable. The goal was to do even 8:00/mile splits. There was a group I was hanging with that was doing 7:50. I decided to remain with them, because I knew in my head that if I dropped back I would find myself pressing to catch them again. Plus, according to McMillan, I was capable of running 7:37 miles for a marathon. I decided that even with the heat, 13 seconds over projected pace would not destroy me. Somewhere along Mandarin Road, between miles 8 and 10, I dropped that group and started passing folks. Running miles 13 through 15 is a blast because of the crowd support. After 15, I was still passing folks. Through 18, my average was a 7:52/mile and on pace for a 3:26 marathon. Unfortunately, this is where the happy part of the race report ends.

Because of the heat and humidity, I was sweating quite a bit. However, for some reason my bladder filled up. I needed to go as soon as mile 6, but could never find a port-o-let that was empty or didn't have someone waiting. Finally, at mile 18 I had my chance. My body felt really good after the pit stop, but I think my legs locked up a bit. After making the turn onto Scott Mill, my body started slowing down. There is less shade on this part of the course, and there were no clouds, so it started to get really warm. At the water stops, I took in a lot of fluid because I knew my body needed it, but it made my stomach gurgly. By the time I got to the next stop, I would be in dire need of fluid again and would feel like I was overindulging. I wish I had a water bottle at this point to sip on.

I continued to slow down and was eventually walking through water stops after mile 21. I saw Rick Patterson at 23.5 and he told me to pour water over my head. That felt good and gave me a boost. I started doing the math in my head to determine what it would take to still finish under 3:30. Once I realized that wasn't happening, I started doing the math to beat my PR. I still had a chance. However, with each passing mile, that goal also became unattainable.

In the end, I finished in 3:39:29, two minutes off of my PR that I ran in my first marathon ever in 2004. The weather in 2004 was absolutely perfect. I consider this year's Jacksonville Marathon to be on par or better than the 2004 because of conditions.

In the past, after a bad marathon I would immediately start looking for another race to redeem myself, but in the end would decide that would be a bad idea. This year is different. I know I am in really good shape and I owe it to myself to find another marathon and hope for good conditions. After talking with numerous folks, I think I am going to do the Tallahassee Marathon February 1 to go for that PR. Traditionally, the weather is very cool for the race and it is a pretty fast track. Apparently, it is even flatter than Jacksonville.

My recovery has been very fast. I ran 3-4 miles 2 days after the race, then did a 30 mile bike ride last Friday. I ran 5 miles Saturday morning, and another 5 miles this morning. Jenny Lindley gave me a great massage this morning and I feel like I am back to pre-race form. I'm shooting for 15 miles this Saturday morning. That will be 4 weeks before the race. A couple more long runs during the first half of January and then a stepdown week followed by a taper week and I should be ready for that PR.

It may sound weird, but my body is now conditioned to expect marathon training every fall. It craves the long workouts. I enjoy the experience, spending time on the road and track with friends. I am also thankful to have the support of my wife and daughters to allow me to be selfish and take the time to do the training (although they are rarely awake when I leave for my runs).

December 21, 2008

My newest ornament

My newest ornament

These are never easy to come by. Took 3:39:00 to earn.

Race report after I take a nap. Or two.

December 20, 2008

Getting excited about adding another "ornament"

Getting excited about adding another "ornament"

December 17, 2008

Garmin Forerunner 305 screens customized for marathon

Changed the screens around a little for the race. I need to revisit this right after the race to determine how I liked the changes. Here is how I have them set-up:

Main Screen:

This screen is set-up for real-time data. Where am I in the race, what is my pace and HR?

Screen 2:
Current Lap
Lap Pace
Heart Rate

I thought this might be good to do a pace check during the race. Once in a smooth and steady pace, switch over to this screen and confirm the pace.

Screen 3:
Average Pace

Another screen to save me from doing math. Will check this one periodically during the first half to make sure I am not surging. I might switch to this screen late in the race as well when HR may be irrelevant and it's more a matter of running based on how I'm feeling.

These screens may change 10x before Sunday, but this is the current configuration.

December 16, 2008

Marathon Strategy 2008 for MMB

Continue to repeat:

I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.
I will run 8:00/mile pace and finish the first half in 1:45:00.

After the first half, depending on what is in the tank, anything goes. If it means I continue to run 8:00/miles, I'll break my PR by 7:30. If I can pick up the pace, gravy!

Of course, weather is the wildcard. However, even with warm weather, I think a sub-3:30 is possible.

December 13, 2008

Twitter = FAIL!

Twitter Status - Facebook app offline

The Facebook application is currently offline and we'll be working to bring it back.

UPDATE: Twitter > Facebook is working again. Yeah!

Ringing the bell with the girls

Ringing the bell with the girls

December 12, 2008

Bowling with the Brown Dogs

Bowling with the Brown Dogs

And the guys from Content Design Group.

Must. Stop. MP3. Addiction.

Right now, Amazon is giving a $5 MP3 credit when you spend more than $25 on selected items. Add on top of that the crazy deals they offer on albums, and it is hard to resist.

I also really like downloading MP3s from Amazon because they are in (gasp!) MP3 format and easier to manage. The Amazon Downloader software even loads them into iTunes. Crazy!

December 11, 2008

Jogger attacked on Northbank Riverwalk

Transient charged in knife attack of jogger on Jacksonville's Northbank Riverwalk
This does not surprise me at all. I have seen some shady folks hanging out under the Acosta and Fuller Warren bridges on my early morning long runs. Always be aware of your surroundings! I am glad this lady was able to get away with minor injuries.

December 9, 2008

Unconventional running events

Love this concept: Tweet Up & Run. Reminds me of this one. And of course the series of races I would like to bring to Jacksonville.

Of course, we do have the 8th Annual Christmas Hash Run coming up. Any interest on organizing some others?

December 8, 2008

Maggie at the hospital in her gown

Maggie at the hospital in her gown

She has some pre-op coloring to do.

December 6, 2008

2008 OUC Half Marathon

2008 OUC Half Marathon

No races as training runs for Marshall.

Tried to reign it in, and I did for the most part, but I still averaged 12 seconds per mile faster than plan. The first 5 miles I started at 7:20 and descended to 7:14. At that point I made a conscious effort to not be an idiot.

I pulled back and ran very consistent and smooth 7:23 splits for the rest of the race except for the 9th mile, which was a slow 7:29. Finishing time was 1:37:18.

It was warmer and more humid than the Outback, but for the most part conditions were very nice.

I don't think I destroyed the legs. Even though the competitive nature of racing made me run harder, I am glad I was able to shut it down and not run as hard as I could have.

So, 2 half marathon in 9 days with a 20-mile training run sandwiched in the middle. I am ready to start tapering and run a strong Jacksonville Marathon!

December 5, 2008

Muppet Christmas CD for less than a buck?

Gotta have it! ;-)

The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas

OUC Half Marathon tomorrow

OUC Half Marathon is tomorrow morning in Orlando. I need to keep reminding myself: TRAINING RUN, TRAINING RUN, TRAINING RUN.

I lowered my PR by 94 seconds last week in the Outback. There is no need to destroy the legs to try to lower the time. Anyway, it is unlikely conditions will be as good in Orlando as they were on Thanksgiving Day.

That means I should just focus on running 13.1 miles at my marathon pace and get comfortable with the effort. Save the legs for December 21 and the Jacksonville Marathon.

Always easier said than done.

December 1, 2008

Interesting news about the BFAST series

Just received an e-mail with this:

The 2009 Beaches Fine Arts Series Sprint Triathlons are scheduled for May 16, June 13 and July 11. Races 1 and 3 will have a new venue in Jax Beach and will cross the Butler and Beach Blvd bridges (race 2 will be at Mickler's).

Very interesting. I didn't do any of these races last year, and only one in 2007. A change of venue is a good reason to try the series again in 2009.