Post Race Blues

Sometimes there is a funny thing that happens when you set a long term goal, devote yourself to it and achieve it. After the initial elation you find that you lack the direction that the goal granted you. The next day when you wake there is no longer a carrot hanging in front of you and you feel like you’re drifting. I know because I’ve been experiencing this, I think I’ll call it the Post-Race Blues.

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Almost Here

Oak signI’m too keyed up.  For the last several months it seems that everything I’ve done has been pointing towards one moment and it’s finally almost here. The Oak Barrel Half Marathon and its huge climb dubbed Whiskey Hill have taken on a mythical quality in my life. My friends, coworkers and family have been immersed in elevation charts and shoes and strategies and gadgets for four months now.

Since December I have been increasing my monthly mileage, from 40 some miles then to 121 Continue reading Almost Here

The Pennington Pavement Pounders

We were a strange group to say the least. The only things we had in common were we wanted to be in better shape, at some point in our life we had lived in one of the most rural areas of Virginia and we all sort of knew someone else that was here. Oh, and we were explaining to the nice police officers what we were all doing in a bank parking lot on a Sunday afternoon. It was week three of our accidental group.

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Getting Ready

The last 2 weeks have been hectic and incredible at the same time. In that time at work the Spring race at Bristol has come and gone as well as multiple PALS and CPR classes and away from work I have seen The Johnson City Symphony for the first time (wow, they are really, really good). And then there is the running…

With the help and support of my great friends and the inspiration from Lilyan Continue reading Getting Ready

What a Day

Today started off ordinary enough but turned into one of those days when everything just fell into place perfectly. In exactly 21 days I have my first half marathon coming up and I had yet to make that run that was just a little farther than the race will be. Late last year I had, on a completely flat track in Leeman Fields, ran exactly 13.1 miles one time but I barely made it and by the end I was almost crawling. Last weekend I had attempted to again do 13.1 miles but it just wasn’t to be and at 11.4 miles I cramped so bad I had to call it a day.

Yesterday I promised Lilyan, my almost 5 year old coach, that I would give her a long run today. I was meeting my running group, The PPP ( Pennington Pavement Pounders), at the same flat course I had ran the last 13.1 on but I decided to go a little early to start on my own. I started off going way too fast, a pace I could not hope to keep for a 5 K let alone any longer and after a brisk 1/2 mile I finally settled down. Then I Continue reading What a Day

Double Run Day

Today I did a first for me. Although in the past I have done an individual run and a group run on the same day, today I did another kind of double, I ran twice in the same day with others. Both runs were nearly identical distances and both were great in completely different ways.

A coworker who had recently started running again on a treadmill asked if we could run together after work. It was his first outside run in several months and Continue reading Double Run Day

The New Coach

As of now, I have my first running coach. There is a site called I Run 4 thatwhistle matches runners and others with coaches from around the world and they recently connected me with Lilyan. I am still trying to figure out exactly what her coaching style is but I’m pretty sure that she is going to be nothing like my old football coaches. There probably won’t be the pushing of the sled and running until you puke like Wolfe or the red faced yelling followed by patting you on the back of Williams. I think this new coach will lead more by inspiration.

Lilyan was born at 24 weeks and weighed only 1 pound 7 ounces. Her parents Continue reading The New Coach

Finding the Wall

Today I found yet another place that seemed to be uphill in every direction, Camp Tom Howard Road along South Holston Lake to Little Oak Camp Ground. It is full of steep climbs and drops and it kicked my butt! I was feeling good on the run out despite the climbs and really thought I had it. I felt the wall around 8 miles but kept pushing, at 9.4 miles I hit it and around mile 10 the wall decided to jump up and down on me. I recovered enough to finish at a limping jog but this route humbled me. I ended up running for 10 of the 11 miles, walking for 1 mile and yes when the wall came down on me I puked once. There was 3,168 feet of climbing which means exactly .6 miles of vertical climb and decent! I think I will have to try this place again in a week or so and see if I can get the better of it. I know this is only going to make me stronger with the Oak Barrel Half Marathon fast approaching.