Category Archives: Marathon Training

Mugged at Dew Point

If you’ve continued your usual run schedule the past couple weeks then you know that the heat and humidity have been brutal just about everywhere in the the good ol’ US of A. To try and beat the heat I’ve woken at 3:20am the past three weeks for all of my mid-week runs to try and get my miles at the coolest time of day. Still, at 4am when I start my run the heat and humidity has been just slightly better and it seems that all I’m doing is removing the sun from the equation. While this is a huge help my experience this morning was that of 84 degrees and 85% humidity which is brutal and performance stopping to say the least.

To battle the heat, hydration and recovery are key points to remember. Perhaps a good place to start is to figure out your sweat rate and to figure out how much water you should drink per day so you know the numbers. I am big on knowing your numbers and as I’ve said before, numbers don’t lie. The numbers cut through the emotion, the mental, the physical and the crap! Being armed with your numbers is a great first step toward maximizing your potential.

First up is you daily water intake. Check out the Human Water Requirement Calculator to see how much H2O you should take in per day. My number surprised me. Just be honest with yourself when using the calculator so you’re as accurate as possible. Also, I don’t count sugary drinks or even diet soda toward my intake number. That’s a personal choice and a good way to make myself decide/opt for water instead of a soda or juice. Knowing how much you should drink daily will ensure that you are hydrated throughout the day and ready for your next training session!

Next up is your sweat rate. This will tell you how much you should drink during exercise to stay hydrated. According to Active.com, “An average person sweats between 0.8 to 1.4 liters (roughly 27.4 to 47.3 oz.) per hour during exercise.” The best way to calculate your sweat rate is to weigh yourself sans clothing right before you workout then go workout for an hour without taking in any fluids and ideally without using the restroom during this time. After an hour of exercise weigh yourself again without clothes. The change in weight is the amount of fluids you lost due to exercise. If you are down two pounds then you lost 32oz

Be specific for the type of exercise you do when calculating sweat rate. If you a want a sweat rate for running then you should run for an hour. You SHOULD NOT lift weights for an hour and then expect that sweat rate to be the same for when you go for a run. You’ll sweat more on a run than you will lifting weights in the air conditioned gym.

Speaking of AC, please pay attention to your environment when calculating sweat rate! If you decide to calculate your sweat rate on the treadmill in your air conditioned gym with the two TM fans blowing on you then know that you will sweat more outside on a hot day. Basically, just pay attention to the temperature, humidity and dew point in relationship to human comfort.

Finally, if you are becoming more active and losing weight like me then be sure to recalculate your sweat rate on a regular basis as your body will become more efficient at regulating heat and your performance will increase too so you’ll want to make sure you are drinking enough, but also not over-hydrating…not a big issue in the recent 100+ temps, but still something to consider so you aren’t trying to run with a lot of extra fluid sloshing around in your stomach. Stay hydrated and stay safe on those hot runs!

Happy Training!

Brian

Carmel Marathon Recap

Happy Belated Earth Day!  Odd way to start a running blog post I know, but the Saturday of the Carmel Marathon was Earth Day after all.  I realized this when I saw my finishers medal on Saturday, but I digress.

To say this was a standard marathon run would be far from reality. First, I decided to do this marathon at about 7:00pm the Thursday before the race. Second, not only was this race impromptu I hadn’t really been training for it.  I had done several longer runs with a good friend of mine who had the sense to actually train for this 26.2 mile adventure, but otherwise I had been focused on trying for a PR on May 5th at the Indianapolis Mini Marathon.  As fate would have it I tweaked my knee a couple weeks ago doing some core work which made speed a problem for me.  It turned out to be more of a bother than a true injury.

…don’t worry, I had my knee checked by an NP and my chiropractor independently.  Both came to the same conclusion independently that I had just tweaked it a little and that there was no ligament or meniscus damage. They both told me to take it easy for a week by cutting my mileage volume and to return to full activity as I saw fit. As I returned to full activity I realized that speed was an issue, but distance wasn’t so I decided “what the hey!” and registered for the marathon. I had done all the long runs with my friend so I felt the distance was in reach. One caveat is that my PR goal for the Mini Marathon is on hold for now.

So back to the marathon recap!

The Weather:

I ran the Carmel half marathon last year for the inaugural event when it was scheduled in June. That race was super hot and my performance suffered as I came in 20-30 minutes behind what I expected from my 02:05:00+ performance at the Indy Mini Marathon in May.

This year was chillier with temperatures in the low to mid 40s for most of the race and a 14mph wind that chilled you when running into it. The weather was predicted to break and get a little sunnier with temperatures in the low 50s.  This never happened so the entire race was in the 40s and overcast.

I'm cold. Do I look cold? Because I am...

The Run:

I started out with my friend and quickly had to slow as my left shin was super tight. I told my friend to go it alone and I dropped back. Somewhere around mile 5 a lady approached and remarked that I was not Lou Mongello.  Lou is the founder of the WDW Radio Running Team and the online podcast phenomena by the same name (sans running).  I was wearing my WDW Radio Running Team shirt for the race. It’s pretty cool when someone so far from Disney recognizes the shirt and the efforts of the team toward the Dream Team Project and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Eventually I saw and started running with the 5-hour pace group. The group was small and the pacer, Marie, was very talkative!  She had 100s of stories it seemed and had herself run a couple hundred marathons.  She didn’t count ultra marathons in that number though because she liked to know the straight count on those as well.  She’s training to run the Comrades Ultra Marathon and Badwater. Besides being a marathon maniac, she was also  a little insane…I liked her immediately!  🙂

A little over halfway to the finish!

I stayed with this group until mile 15, but then dropped back with another runner.  We made a valiant effort to keep the 5-hour pacer in sight, but it wasn’t to be.  Still, I knew there was a 5:30:00 pacer somewhere behind us so I didn’t worry.  My new running partner and I took on a run/walk regimen for the remainder of the race and kept on motivating each other.  Thanks Lisa!

The Finish:

It wasn’t long and the miles ahead became less than the miles behind us. Soon after we were running through the Carmel Art & Design district headed for the finish line. On the final stretch I kicked it into gear for a sprint to the finish.

I'm the blue dot about in the center.

I finished up by doing a few high (or medium rather) fives as I went into the finisher’s chute. All my friends had waited for me to finish. Luckily I didn’t make them wait too long….well, except Dave.  He finished in a little over 4 hours!  He’s a machine!

A few low to medium fives as I run into the finisher's chute.

All in all it was a good day. I PR’d by 09:41, met a lot of cool people, and added another marathon to the list.  There’s only one other marathon road race in the local Indy area that I haven’t run, the Indianapolis Marathon, but I’ll have to wait until next year to run that one as I already am running a trail marathon on that same day this year near West Lafayette, IN.

Happy Training!

Brian

Visiting Mecca

Ok so yes, my training has been a bit lackadaisical the last few weeks and yes, I had to Google how to spell lackadaisical correctly but both of these facts are neither here nor there to the subject of visiting mecca.

If you are ever in a training slump and if you happen to be a long distance runner then I have the cure for the common training woes. Visit running mecca. That’s right. Go to Boston, MA and try not to run. My experience there? In a word, phenomenal! Why you ask? Wait…why are you asking why? You said a minute ago that you are a runner.  Never mind I will explain. Wait again, there’s too much.  I will sum it up.  Have you heard of a little road race called the Boston Marathon?  Hardly anyone goes, but a few people seem to like it (SARCASM).

Here’s the gist. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. It is one of five World Marathon Majors. Also, there is this little issue of needing to qualify for this race. To do so here’s what I would need to do in the future (too slow right now) at an official Boston Qualifying race (another marathon, FYI).

Effective 2013, for my age group and gender I would need to be able to run 26.2 miles in 3:10:00 (3 hours & 10 minutes flat). If I hit 03:10:01…..I need not apply because I can’t.

Regardless, running where the elites “stretch their legs” is inspiring and I’ve hit the gym nearly every day since last week when I stopped by Boston for a quick out and back where I got lost and of course found “Heart Break Hill” in the process.  Lucky me!

Hopefully this post finds your training right on track and going strong for the upcoming season.

Happy Training!

Brian

Recovering from being Goofy

I’ve blogged before about how I feel that rest & recovery are just as important as the actual training sessions we do to prepare ourselves for any event. I’ve read about and witnessed too many fellow athletes who have pushed and pushed only to overtrain themselves to an injury when a simple day off could have prevented the “medically mandated and mandatory downtime”.

So with this in mind I want to share the methods I used during the Goofy Challenge Weekend to feel well rested and ready for the next event even after three back-to-back race days equaling 42.4 miles.

Nutrition

I want to talk about nutrition in two ways, the WHAT and the WHEN.

What: Protein & Carbs

A combination of protein and carbs is best for helping muscles, tendons, ligaments and the body as a whole recover from an intense session of training. My personal opinion is that the protein is most important, but that the carbs help increase the recovery of damaged systems. It’s fairly common knowledge that an exercise session does some amount of damage to muscles and that when recovery is allowed the muscles repair to a “bigger, stronger, faster” state.

From previous blogs you know that I am an EAS guy or a Pacific Health Labs guy. I like EAS because I can tolerate and even enjoy their ready-to-eat shakes as well as their powdered products. I would dare to say that EAS has the best tasting products I’ve ever had in the nearly 20 years that I’ve been drinking protein shakes. Every exercise session (cardio, race, weights, spin, run, etc) is followed by protein intake and many times carbs too.

When: Before, During & After

Before:

First let’s discuss carb loading. If you read a lot like I do then you know by now that the pre-race night spaghetti dinner is completely NOT needed except for the camaraderie of it all which IS important on the mental side of things. By all means go have fun chatting with fellow participants and make those connections with fellow athletes! Just don’t stuff yourself with too much pasta.

However, if you want to carb load then just sip on some Gatorade or Powerade throughout the day 24-48 hours in advance of your race or endurance event. To clarify, on the Thursday and Friday before a race I sip on Gatorade throughout the day and have a couple meals with a serving or two of carbs. This amount of carbohydrate is all that is needed to “top off the tank” before an event. Next, choose a combination of carbs and protein for your pre-race meal (breakfast usually) and stick with this for every event.  For me, I eat a peanut butter crunch cliff bar and drink some gatorade or water along with a half cup of coffee 60-90 minutes before a race.  That’s it…no big secret. This was my exact breakfast before each event of Goofy Weekend.

Finally, I do use gels and my product of choice is Accel Gels by Pacific Health Labs due to the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Taking in a small amount of protein along with carbohydrate has been shown to reduce exercise induced muscle damage which is an inhibitor of performance and endurance in long distance events. This also helps reduce recovery time as there is less damage to recover from after an event.  Make sense? I pop a gel 15 minutes before my race to get a good kick start. I did this before each race on Goofy Weekend except the 5K…no need due to the shorter distance, but could have if I wanted.

During:

Not much to type here that I didn’t just type in that last paragraph. I use gels, Gataorade, Powerade, Accelerade, etc during a race or other endurance event. I used them during the Goofy Challenge as well.

One other thing I used during the full marathon was chocolate covered espresso beans. Sounds odd I know, but a handful of chocolate covered espresso beans will give you quite the mental and physical kick when you need it the most. If you want to try this be sure to see how these wonderful little magic beans interact with your digestive system BEFORE race day. In fact, I would test them several times on a long run (15-20 miles) before employing them for an event. I had my wife carry them and hand them to me around mile 11 of the course from the sidelines. Talk about a rush of mental clarity!

Finally, I did ingest a single salt packet during the marathon on Sunday (like you get from any take-out restaurant) to make sure my sodium levels were replenished in the Florida heat and humidity.

After:

Post race nutrition is many times overlooked by recreational athletes. They accept the bag of chips, cookies and bananas that the volunteers are handing out on the way to get their picture taken and call it a day. What you should be doing is realizing that as soon as you cross the finish line a stop watch starts on a window of opportunity for maximizing recovery for damaged muscles.

30-60 minutes is the window. If I have a “cheer squad” with me that day then I’ll have them carry an EAS shake to hand me as soon as I finish with my picture (Hey, I still get the pic, but I’m just thinking about the nutrition!).  If I am solo that day then I will stash an EAS shake in my gear bag at the bag check and be sure to grab it as soon as I finish. Combine the EAS shake with the free banana (or other easy carb) at the finish line and you have a combination that gets you on your way to a speedy post race recovery. You could also stash or have someone carry any other type of protein shake/recovery drink besides EAS…I just like that brand personally and EAS uses whey protein which absorbs into the body faster than other types of protein.

R.I.C.E

R.I.C.E.? Isn’t that an acronym used in first aid?  Yep! It’s also the best means by which to recover from extended exercise in my humble opinion. Though I rearrange the letters to I.C.E.R. which is slightly more difficult to remember and is only technically a real word. What is an “Icer” anyway? Sometimes a football coach is an “Icer” when they call a timeout before the opposing team’s field goal attempt. According to Webster’s dictionary an Icer has to do with baking or covering food with ice…so yeah…captain tangent…..apologies…Webster’s pushing it I think.

Ice:

Or ice bath rather. WHAT?!!? Yes, you read right. I will swear on a stack of runner’s world magazines that “taking the plunge” will do more for post-race recovery than…well…I don’t know, but it really really helps! An ice bath reduces inflammation BIG TIME and almost immediately. I take a 20 minute ice bath as soon as I can after finishing a race. I did this right after the half and full marathon on Saturday and Sunday. It made a big difference for me.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Grab a stop watch or wear a watch.
  2. Draw a bath with cold water only. Fill the tub enough to cover your legs completely.
  3. Throw in a bag of ice from the corner grocery OR just dump the entire ice container from the freezer in there.
  4. Get in for 20 minutes.

That’s it. Take a deep breath and take the plunge. I did this every Saturday after every long run for almost a year when I first started running and I truly believe it helped me recover from those long runs.

Compression:

There are many products on the market for compression including a simple ACE bandage from the drug store. I go a little more high tech with mine and use Zoots compression gear. I’ll admit they are a bit expensive, but they are designed for triathletes and are at the top of the list for quality.

The story behind compression gear is that it forces lactic acid and other waste products out of the lower limbs for a faster recovery. As an example compression socks are used in hospitals post surgery for the same reason. A good product will have enough pressure to even raise your heart rate a bit as it will need to work harder in order to force blood flow into the lower leg. If you happen to have any cardiac or blood pressure issues it would be advisable to check with your doctor before using these products for recovery.

As soon as I dried off from the ice bath I put on my Zoots compression socks for the remainder of the evening. I even slept in them the night of the marathon.

Elevation:

For ninety minutes to two hours I elevated my legs with a pillow after each Goofy event. This is just a common knowledge practice. Use gravity to help return blood to the heart and help to remove waste from the legs. I also (as much as possible) tried to sleep with my legs elevated…at least I started off sleeping that way.

Rest:

This goes right along with the elevation piece. Notice I didn’t go walk around the parks Saturday night…I rested.  Yeah, it killed me to do so for the second straight year…I need more park time that doesn’t include stopping for Biofreeze! 🙂

So anyway, I rested after the half on Saturday and then had a nice early dinner, caught a sit down show (Cirque du Soleil) then went to bed shortly after 9:00pm. On Sunday I did all the previous and then took a short nap before heading to EPCOT in the afternoon.

On a rest side note I also took it easy on Friday before the half marathon and I went to bed early. Rest isn’t always about recovery.

Finally, after I completed the Goofy I have taken it easy for a week afterwards in regards to running and training in general. I was planning on getting back to the gym a week ago, but have been sidelined by a nasty rhino virus after my own mandatory week of recovery so I ended up with two weeks of inactivity (rest) before initiating training for my next race. I’m back in the gym this coming week though and ready to start training for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. I’m hoping for a PR this year!

So that’s it. I feel that I have a good recovery regimen for endurance events. That being said I am always looking for something to add so I can recover better or faster.

Happy Training!

Brian

Dealing with “the voices” of Doubt

So there are only a few days left until the big event. You’ve trained relentlessly (at times) for your [insert your race distance here] and you are ready to go!!  ….but now come the voices of doubt.  You know them all too well and they can strike at any time including both before and during a race. You’ve even heard them before while training. The voices are fueled by self doubt, lack of confidence, good old fashioned worry, and a host of other things that may or may not be real except when those voices start whispering. They are silent at times but are always sitting there on your shoulder right or left (right for me).  They can get down right nasty at times too!  I think mine drinks.

The voices say all sorts of things about a plethora of subjects…they include your previous training, how you’re feeling right now, “Is your knee feeling ok?” “Did you taper too soon?…not soon enough?” “Is that sneeze from the pepper on the potatoes or are you getting sick? You don’t have time to get sick!”  “Did you hydrate enough?  You should drink another glass of water just in case…dang you have to pee again?…fourth time this hour.” “Did you do enough speed work?” “What if there are hills??  Indiana is flat!…you didn’t train for hills!!” “What if you come in last?” “Was that 20 miler long enough for the longest long run?” ” What if the “lagin wagon” catches you??” “How can THAT GUY have passed you?? …you’re half his size?!?” “Should you use the GU now or wait until the time dictated on the package?? You could use one now, right?!?” “Will 10 GUs be enough for the full-marathon?” “Should you wear your iPod on the right or left?” “Do your shoes have too many miles on them for this event?…not enough miles??”  “Will you have enough time to stop for pictures AND maintain the minimum pace? You have to pee yet again???  You shouldn’t have had that 6th glass of water.”

I realized some time ago that the voices never go away…they just get a tad bit quieter over time.  I’ve also compiled tips for combating these infernal conveyors of bad tidings.

I call it “My Ten Tips for Combating the Infernal Conveyors of Bad Tidings.” Catchy title right?

  • Train regularly. Have a plan and stick to it!
    • The plan should be written down…in pencil. If you can’t get your scheduled 5 miler in then do a 1 miler…
  • Keep track of your numbers so you can celebrate every victory no matter how small.
    • Weight, speed, distance, time, heart rate, eating breakfast every day…whatever you want to track!
  • Plan your training to be a part of your life not a temporary substitute for it.
    • My day includes training. Doesn’t feel right without it!
  • Practice smiling while you train. <– This one small act may be the most important.
    • Do this especially when you’re having a rough go of it during a training session.
    • I always smile any time I run over 10 miles…can’t help it.
  • Tell people about what you’ve got planned.
    • It’s amazing what you can do when you’re accountable to others.
  • Positive self-talk.
    • This is an actual technique used by professional athletes. Tell yourself how awesome you are…try it now.  Feels good doesn’t it!?!?
  • Visualize your Win.
    • This is another technique used by professional athletes. See yourself crossing the finish line.
  • Have multiple goals for an event.
    • A PR is nice, but won’t happen every time. Enjoyment CAN and SHOULD be a goal. Consistency can be another. If you run a half or 5K at the same speed two years in a row then you’ve maintained a good level of fitness so congrats!!
  • Have a planned routine for race day.  I call it my “pre-game”.  Stick to it!
    • I even bring my own cereal with me to overnight events so as to have my pre-game breakfast
  • Relax.
    • There are 20,000 other runners who are also in no danger of winning the race. We all get the same medal and nearly every one of those 20K will say, “congrats” when they see it hanging around your neck. I will. You do the same!

Bonus Tip!

This one is a little strange. At some point the voices will come calling…they always do. My advice is to have a reply ready. Mental preparedness goes a long way to putting a muzzle on self doubt.

Examples:

The Voices: “It’s too cold out here.”  The reply: “Better get running to warm up then.”

The Voices: “The knee is feeling stiff today.”  The reply: “I’ll take a little longer warm up and it’ll loosen up. Give it time.”

The Voices: “You’re not ready for this race.” The reply: “I’ve trained for this day. Worst case, I just cross the finish line and I’m OK with that.”

The Voices: “You need another 10-miler before the race next week.” The reply: “It’s taper time now so I’m sticking to the plan. Better to be over rested than over trained.”

I hope these tips help you when the voices just won’t do the right thing and shut-up.  😉

Happy Training!

Brian

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

-Marianne Williamson

Goofy (Dopey) Packing!!

The time has come to make the packing list for the 2012 Disney World Marathon Weekend!  This year is a bit different for me since I’m packing for not one, NOT two, but THREE RACES!  I must be well…..Dopey!

The List:

  • Running Waivers x2 – I can print them at the Expo, but why have an extra step…I want my BIBs NOW!
  • Running Shoes x 2 –  A single pair may not be dry by the time the marathon rolls around at 3am after completing the half the previous day!
  • Running Socks x 3 pair – I use Under Armour Socks
  • WDW Radio Running Team Shirts x3 – Gotta Represent!
  • WDW Radio Running Team Bandanas x 3 – Still Representing!
  • Under Armour Cold Gear – 2 tops & 2 bottoms – It’s usually in the mid-30s on the morning of the races and one year there was freezing rain…
  • Combos Snacks – Pizza or Cheddar Cheese Flavor (I just like ’em)
  • Running shorts x 3 – A little extra warmth and wind resistance…down there.
  • Gels – I use Pacific Labs Accel Gels since they have a little protein to improve endurance
  • Body Glide – A must for multiple races!
  • EAS Shakes x3 – For recovery…of which there is very little between these races so nutrition is extra important!
  • iPod – Gotta make sure I can shuffle everyday
  • iPod arm case – I’m not carrying it for 42.4 miles…it’ll get heavy!
  • yurBuds – Gotta have these or I can’t use my iPod…small ear lobes
  • Knee braces x2 – What? I’m not superman….it’s 42.4 miles!!
  • Extra safety pins for pinning on the bibs (I need 8 total)
  • Bio Freeze – Good to have Saturday….praying there’s some left Sunday…
  • Ibuprofen – For Monday….and the rest of the week too.
  • More ibuprofen….
  • BlackBerry – For updating Facebook & Twitter along the course as well as camera purposes
  • Large Trash Bags x 3 – For extra warmth – Hefty Hefty Heeefty!
  • Fuel Belt – To carry gels and such
  • Sport watch or GPS device – If you so desire!

Ok, if I sat here longer I could probably think of other things to add to the list but these are my minimums for MY trip.

Hope to see some of you down there at Disney either running beside me or cheering me on as I run by!

Happy Training!

Brian

Tapering for the Dopey Challenge

It’s that time in my training to start the tapering process and I couldn’t be happier.  The Monumental Marathon in early November did something to my left knee so I’ve been babying it ever since. I actually started last week (1 week early) due to the knee.  I finished up my last long run of 20 miles a couple weekends ago and then ran the Jingle Bell Run last weekend.

Today I ran my first 4 miles with zero pain, twinges or other knee maladies! Woo!  Still I have a short 10-12 miler this weekend and I’m hoping between my rehab efforts and my knee brace I will get thru just fine. I also switched back to an older pair of shoes I had that seemed to help a bit.

In other news I am working out in the mornings again for a few weeks and have even done a couple two-a-day workouts to get a little more weight lifting and easy cardio in for the holiday season.  My wife and my mother are both excellent cooks so I have to burn some extra calories somewhere!  🙂 Christmas is the time to go ahead and have that slice of pumpkin pie or a few more slices of turkey…just run an extra mile or two to make up for the splurge!

My next post will be all about packing for the trip down to Disney World.  I’ll need a bit of equipment to get thru 42.4 miles!

Happy Training!

Brian

Jingle Bell Run 2011

Before I go into my race day description of the Jingle Bell Run (JBR) in Indianapolis I want to tell you a bit about the organization I ran for this past weekend. The Arthritis Foundation puts on the JBR and is a non-profit that supports research for all types of arthritis of which there are many. I run this event and take part in other Arthritis Foundation events since I have family who suffer from arthritis every day and because it is a very misunderstood chronic disease that afflicts not only senior citizens, but also children and people of all ages. Arthritis is not just something you get when you get older!

And back to the race!  The day started out chilly as usual, but even colder than last year’s JBR as it was a brisk 19 degrees at the start.  I waited as long as I could inside before venturing out to the start line.  The event starts and finishes at Conseco Fieldhouse where the Indianapolis NBA team plays. The race started at 9:00am and nearly 2000 runners surged ahead for a quick run around downtown Indianapolis. After 2-3 blocks we came upon our first turn and came directly into a construction zone.  The city is doing a lot of construction in preparation for Super Bowl 2012 and we got to run through the “progress” for that event. The pack of runners narrowed into one lane forcing everyone to slow and even some to walk…I was a tad unhappy at this since we all hope for a PR for any event whenever we can get it.

A few blocks later the road opened back up and we were off at top speed once again. The course takes runners through the Mass Ave shopping district to cut over to Meridian Street, back up to the City Circle where we made our final cut back over to Pennsylvania Street for the big finish in front of Conseco.

I wish I could say the day ended with a PR, but my 00:27:24.7 this year will have to do. Last year my time was 00:27:04.8 so just a little faster.  I would loved to have seen what my time would have been without the construction zone delay, but I’ll keep this post positive and not go down that track of discussion. Still, missing a PR by less than 20 seconds is a tad disappointing.

This is my last race of 2011 and it was a good one for a good cause.  My next three races all happen in one weekend next month when I travel South to tackle the Goofy Challenge (+5K on Friday) at Walt Disney World!

A Goofy Weekend

Last weekend I set out with a good friend of mine to do a little specific training for the Goofy Challenge in January. I met up with my friend Dennis on Saturday morning before the sun was up and we ran a mildly windy 7 miles.  The run was good and we finished strong in the last quarter mile.  We did our run out in the country near corn fields and farmers completing their harvest for the fall season.

Sunday we met up again, but this time the distance to hit was 17 miles!  The run was good albeit the wind did not cooperate. On our way out the wind was blowing, but not too hard.  As we started into our 8th mile with the wind behind us all of a sudden it picked up big time!  As we turned around the 15-20 mile/hour wind was quite a challenge so we slowed the pace considerably walking at times until we rounded the corner for the final stretch.

Total time was 3.5 hours for the 17 miles.  I used two Accel Gels on the run and a good amount of water.  Now it’s time to taper a little until the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 5th.  Let’s hope the weather cooperates this year!  It was ~25 degrees last year on the day of the monumental marathon.  See my previous post!

19.2 Miles

Today I ran a whopping 19.2 miles toward my Goofy Challenge training. I did a 5 mile walk yesterday to mimic a “Goofy Weekend Experience”.  It felt good to do some distance, but I was dragging those last 6 miles.  One thing I still need to work on is pacing.  My Garmin is helping a lot, but I still find myself speeding up too soon in the overall distance.  And I could have used another Accel Gel today too.

I’m thinking of trying to add some Accel powder to my drinking water [camel bak] initially since that’s what I’m used to on my shorter runs.  The constant sport drink seems to do my system better than the Gel “dump” every 45 minutes.

I hope all your runs went well this weekend that you enjoyed the cooler temps!

Happy Training!

Brian