Monday, November 26, 2007

Back in the Saddle...Again

I finally took more than 2 days off. Last Monday through Friday were my days of rest and recuperation. My legs loved every non-running minute of it.

Saturday was a treadmill (7 miles) and elliptical (2 miles) day. Sunday was spent driving my youngest son back home. Today...another boring treadmill day of 6 miles. The St. Jude Marathon is this weekend, so I will do a short run outside tomorrow nights and then rest the remainder of the week.

Forecast for Saturday is looking great (so far). Only a 20% chance of rain, with a low of 48 and high of 59...perfect running weather! I was worried about running in cold weather when the previous forecast predicted 35 degrees in the morning...with rain!

The Expo is Thursday and Friday night. I plan on attending the Thursday night expo to get in on the good deals and free-bies while they last!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Swamp Stomper Training Run #1

Today's run was on the Swamp Stomper course in Shelby Forrest. Ten people started the run and seven completed the entire training run of slightly over 10 miles. This was my first time running in Shelby Forrest and I enjoyed the change of scenery. The course was very hilly with quite a few steep climbs and decents. Footing was slippery at times in my VFF's, so I will wear running shoes next time to see if it's any better/faster.

There will be more training runs on this course in prep for the race on 1/20/08. If anyone wishes to join us, watch the forums at Run The Trails for info.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Time Off

I have decided to take at least a week off. My feet hurt, my toes hurt, my legs hurt. I no longer have the drive to run (and enjoy it). Hopefully, a little time off will remedy this.

The St. Jude Marathon is coming up in two weeks, so I can't take off too much. We have a group run on the Swamp Stomper course this Sunday which I plan on attending. Other than that, no more running until after Thanksgiving. Then a couple of long runs to prep for the marathon, followed by a week of tapering.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Today's run was fairly miserable. I felt very sluggish and my feet seem to weigh a few pounds extra. Each step was a chore and each mile seemed endless. Darkness fell quickly during the last two miles, so I was glad to skip the yellow loop. Next time, I will be sure to pack my head lamp! I think that I should take tomorrow off.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today's Run

I did not have the desire to run yesterday, so I was lazy and ate too much. This morning, I did not have the desire to run, but I knew that I would have to force myself. My original plan was 2 complete loops at Stanky Creek, but that sounded like a really crappy idea at 0900 this morning. OK. Change of plans. One loop at Stanky and then hit the treadmill at the gym with my lovely wife. Sounds better.

Once at Stanky Creek, I opted to add the Outhouse loop for an extra mile. I am glad that I did this! I have never run the Outhouse loop prior to today and really enjoyed the change of scenery.

Two hours and 9.11 miles later, I removed my VFF's to find an nasty blister on the ball of my left foot. The combination of the VFF's and my new stride seem to be placing undue stress on the balls of my feet. I am hoping this will improve with time.

Another 6 miles at the gym (2 stationary bike, 2 treadmill, 2 elliptical) brings my weekly total to 35 miles. Three days off this week has killed my mileage, but my body needed it.

While running, I took oodles of photos. You can view there here:

Thursday, November 8, 2007


If you recall, I kicked a small stump around mile 4 of 8 last night at Stanky Creek. By bedtime, my pinky toe turned black and blue. By this morning, it had swollen enough to make my shoes feel too tight.

It is tender upon touch, but no pain. All the other toes feel fine. I am working the late shift today, so I had time to hit the treadmill at the gym. The toe(s) did not bother me and I was able to get in a good 9 miles. I have no problem walking on it either. Tonight, I will have it x-rayed to check for fracture. I am quite sure that it is just bruised, but who can refuse a free x-ray?!

EDIT: X-Rays were negative for fracture(s).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Stank

The first semi-long run post marathon is in the books. With the weather crisp, I thought a run through the woods would be more enjoyable than the blacktop. I was hoping the trees would stop any wind and keep me somewhat warmer. Stanky Creek was calling my name.

I started into the wood line a little before 4pm and came out 1 hour and 45 minutes later feeling vibrant and refreshed. Around mile 5, I remembered the recent time change...especially since it was getting dark in the woods...and fast. By mile 7, I could barely make out the trail in front of me. Since I wore my VFF's, I was afraid of kicking a stump or stepping wrong on a stick. But, my legs felt great and I was not winded, so I flew through the woods with what I thought was a very quick pace.

The VFF's are very light, making it much easier for a quicker leg turnover. They also force me to correct my landing on the balls of my feet, instead of a heelstrike. This required me to pay close attention to where my foot was landing and also made sure that I did not overstride. They VFF's protect my feet from getting cut, but I can still feel everything I may step on...whether painful or not. At mile 4, I kicked a small stump in the trail with the outside three toes on my right foot. I cursed my bad luck and thought I had broken at least a toe, if not completely ripped them off! Of course, all was well and I continued running once I verified that I still had five digits on that foot.

All in all, it was a very good run and I felt as if I could run a lot longer without any problems. I think the stride change and new footstrike help propel me forward with less restriction as my old style. I just have to remember this when running in shoes!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Recovery Run

I really didn't want to, but I forced myself to do a 4 mile recovery run at Stanky Creek. I wore my VFF's and kicked alot of stumps and roots. It was a painful 4 miles for my feet, but the rest of me felt great!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Midsouth Marathon

My first marathon is now history. My official time was 5 hours, 37 minutes, and 31 seconds. This includes the bonus mile that I ran due to being misguided off course by a state trooper. Luckily for me, another trooper picked me up and drove me back to where I went off course. I was somewhat dejected but chalked it up to being my mistake and kept running. I eventually caught and passed a few people that I had passed much earlier before my free bonus mile. Without the added luxury of an extra mile, my time is 5:14:52 (12 min pace). It may have been even faster had I not been so dejected for being off-course. Since I ran over 27 miles, does this make it an ultra-marathon?!

It was a great race and due to the small amount of participants, very personal for each of us. The aid stations were at every mile and the volunteers did an excellent job making sure we stayed fed and hydrated. I brought a few goodies along, but didn't really need them because the aid stations had all of it and more. All of the volunteers were very friendly and thanked us for coming to their race. Hopefully all the racers did as I and thanked the volunteers profusely!

It was cold at the start (40 degrees) and warmed up to 68 by the finish. My sweat rate was light due to it being cool, but I was sure to drink (and eat) as much as I could. I had no GI issues, but had alot of trips to the port-a-potty to pee. My feet were not an issue, save for one blister. My knees were sore, which I attribute to pounding the black top (trails are so much more user friendly!). I took two Alleve before the race, but should have carried another dose for later in the race (pain in knees and groin/hips).

One big mistake that I made was trying to outrun people that were passing me. A group of four women (the only one I knew was Jan Show) almost passed me on a downhill section at mile 9. Since my male ego could not allow this to happen, I stepped on the gas on the uphill section to distance myself. Of course, this action was pointless and detrimental to my waning stamina. They were smart enough to walk/jog the big uphills and increase their pace on the downs. By the turnaround at mile 13, they had all passed me and would increase their distance ahead of me the remainder of the race by 30-40 minutes.

The following is from my Garmin, which had me finishing at 5:14:52 (using the bonus mile):

5 miles at 53:07 (11 min pace)
10 miles at 1:46:22 (11 min pace)
13 miles at 2:22:01 (11 min pace)
16 miles at 3:00:08 (11:25 pace)
19 miles at 3:38:46 (11:52 pace)
22 miles at 4:18:54 (12:10 pace)
24 miles at 4:43:27 (12:10 pace)

I was doing great up until the turnaround and then the wheels started to wobble. Next race, I will force myself to start even slower than a 11 min pace.

Sidenote: running in rural Arkansas was beautiful (scenery) and disgusting (roadkill). The leaves were changing colors making for a wonderful backdrop. Every now and then, I could smell rotten roadkill and a few, unfortunately, were skunks!

For me, this was a gut-check for the upcoming St. Jude Marathon. I didn't want to push it, but wanted to get the feel for 26.2 miles on the hard pavement. I made many mistakes and will (hopefully) learn from them and not repeat them on December 1st! It would be great to finish in under 5 hours, which is possible for me.

Mistakes made & lessons learned:
  • Once again, my pace was too much to sustain the entire race (not too bad, but...).
  • I need to run my race and not try to compete with others.
  • Walk or jog the hills...don't attempt to keep pace on the hills.
  • Carry Alleve/Tylenol/etc.
  • Try to stay off sloping section of the road. When possible, I ran on the center strip of the highway. When traffic didn't allow this, I tried to run the white stripe on the outside.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I was supposed to taper my running this week, but I couldn't keep off the road/trails.

Monday - 5 miles
Tuesday - 4.5 miles
Wednesday - 2.7 miles

I will need to force myself not to run the next two days. I need to mow the grass anyway!

Yesterday's run was at Stanky Creek on the Yellow loop in my Five Fingers. This was my first technical trail (I don't consider the Tour as technical) in VFF's. All in all, I felt very light and nimble and had no problems with all the roots, rocks, hills, and switchbacks. My pace averaged slightly over 12 min/mile which is OK for this trail (for me anyway). I did have a small blister form on the outside ball of my right foot. The blister was not that painful and I initially planned on running the blue loop also, but I did not want to create more problems before this weekend's marathon.

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2008

Back to TOP