Saturday, December 24, 2005

Another long run & merry Christmas

First, let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Today was a pretty busy day. I started off with a long run, then helped Mona around the house with cleaining, cooking, etc (family is coming here tomorrow). Then we went to the local mission to help serve dinner. I started out the day firing up the smoker and smoking a turkey breast and a boston butt . . . . they look good and smell good-only tomorrow will tell.

The long run. As we all know, it is very important. I've been continuously increasing my mileage each week and this week was a 15.6 miler. The total mileage for the week was somewhere in the neighborhood of 33 miles. No serious aches or pains. Maybe this year is the year I finally break through.

I was fortunate today in that my buddy Chip ran 10 miles with me. We ran fairly fast. Or at least faster than I had planned. But that's okay. We had fun, good conversation and the time went by quickly. I ran 15.6 in 2 hours, 21 minutes. This works out to a 9:02 pace. While running with Chip, we average more in the 8:50s. I slowed down the last 4 miles or so. However, after running too fast for almost 12 miles, I needed the break.

Chip also convinced me to sit in a tub of cold water after my run. Not sure if he's yanking my chain or not, but I did it. Sat in a tub of cold water for 10 minutes. It's supposed to help eliminate aches and pains. Personally, I'd rather take Tylenol than sit in cold water, but I'll try anything at least once!:) We'll see how I feel tomorrow to determine if I continue the cold water thing.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thursday Hills

I hope you haven't come here for any exciting news of earth shattering revelations. Basically, all I do is talk about my running. Recently it has been improving and the "FAT MAN" is falling further back!

Hills tonight.

1 1/2 miles warm-up
6 hill repeats (6 x 0.2 miles) worst hill was 1:37 and the best was 1:28.
1 1/2 miles cool down

A good workout. Legs tired but not sore.
Looking forward to Saturday's 15.6 miler.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A very good run

Boy howdy! What a run tonight. Tuesday night . . . as you know, this is the night I do AMP runs. However, it is turning more into tempo runs. Tonight ended up being a very good run. I ran 7.2 miles, just like the last two weeks. However, the last two weeks, I was running in the 61 minute range. Tonight I broke 60 minutes. 59:56 to be precise. That works out to a 8:19 pace. However, I ran a pretty good negative split with the first 3.6 mile was 31:10. The second 3.6 miles was done in 28:46 (8:00 pace).

I started off slowly and kept speeding up. My neighbor and running buddy, Chip, was out and we hooked up for my last 4 miles. He's recovering from the Rocket City marathon two weeks ago. I told Chip that I was wanting to push it a little bit. Boy, did he help. Thanks Chip! We also ran a couple of miles with "Animal" before he took off down the hill for his hill work. Thanks guys!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Surprising Run

Monday night. Nothing too exciting. Scheduled for a 5 mile recovery run. Legs were still a little stiff (I guess from the 14.4 miler). I started a little earlier than normal since we had a church thing this evening. Felt really sluggish and never really seemed to hit a good stride. I was really starting to get down on myself during the what I thought was a 5 mile SLOG. However, after I finished, I checked my overall time and was shocked to see I had run my "recovery" run at slightly less than 8:30 pace. This is normally faster than the FAT MAN runs his recovery runs. Maybe there is something to getting in shape, losing weight, and increased training!

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I slept like a rock last night. the long run yesterday took it out of me. It's sort of a satisfying feeling, isn't it?

You know what I'm talking about . . . you wake up at 7:00 am and don't even remember turning off the light next to the bed! What a great feeling.

Today was a recovery day. I biked 10 miles right before sundown and then worked out. I was a little stiff and had a few minor pains here and there, but all in all everything is fine.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Another Saturday Long Run

Whew. That's about all I can say about this morning long run. I did 14 1/2 miles this morning. I avetaged 9:14 pace. I really wanted to do a negative split . . . but I didn't. I wanted to run the last 3 miles in 8:30s . . . . but I didn't. However, I am not bummed by this.

I was stiff and sore from either the hill work on Thursday night or the 21 holes of golf I played Friday afternoon. The other thing that could have impacted my run the the late supper last night with our friends Jim and Karen and Randy and Martha. Or it could have been the fact that it was in the upper 30s with 10-15 mph winds out of the north. I don't mind cool weather. I don't mind the wind. However, when you put them together, I tend to let it bother me.

I am still running pretty well and I am still running my long runs faster than I should. I know that I should be running them 30-40 seconds slower than my race pace. Since I am planning to run a 4 hour marathon that means that I have to run 9:09 miles. That is the magic number that I am planning my training around.

Next week's long run is planned 15.6 miler. Nothing like a nice long run on Christmas eve!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hill run

If you've been following my training regiman, you know that Thursdays are now reserved for speed work, fartleks, hill runs and anything else that I can find to do to hurt myself. I am living proof that pain can be fun!

Another nice evening for a run. It was in the high 30s, no breeze. Ran in long sleeve performance shirt, shorts, coolmax gloves and earband.

1 1/2 mile warm up.
5 hill repeats (2/10 of a mile x 5)
1 1/2 mile cool down.

I have been running fartleks the last few weeks, so I started my hill running easy. I'll start picking up the speed and reps over the next few weeks. I will still throw in some Yasso 800s and fartleks on Thursdays. I am not sure what the most valuable of the three would be. If you have any advice, please let me know.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

marathon or bust

Hey all. I recovered from the chili run last night (see last night's posting about the chili). None of the boys were out, so I ran solo. It is tough to push yourself when you don't have help.

Tonight was my scheduled AMP run. Like last week, I thought I would bump it up a little and run somewhere below marathon pace but slower than 10k pace. I'm not sure if this is doing me any good in "feeling" my marathon pace, but I can tell running these a little bit harder are helping. I'll work on settling into my Anticipated Marathon Pace when I get my AMP runs up to 10 milers in a few weeks. My long term plan is to get at least six 10 mile AMP runs in and I'd really like to get more like eight to ten 10 milers in. We'll just see how it goes.

It was a good night for a run- high 40s, no breeze, full moon coming up over the mountain. Ran in coolmax tee shirt with coolmax gloves. Yes, I did have my shorts and shoes on!

I started off feeling tight, slow, sluggish. However, I was surprised when I turned the first mile in 8:40. I fell into a good, steady pace and was very comfortable the first half of the run. When I hit the halfway point I felt so good I decided to pick it up. It feels good knowing that there is always some left when you finish. I actually ran the last mile in 7:50. Pretty good for a fatboy like me. Here's the breakdown for tonight:

7.2 miles in 60:58
1st 3.6 miles @ 8:41 pace
2nd 3.6 miles @ 8:16 pace

Monday, December 12, 2005

better run faster

Normally I'm not a big fan of Mondays. However, today I was really wanting to get outside and get to running. That is until Mona's (she who must be obeyed) chili from last night hit me. Don't get me wrong, Mona is a very good cook and I love her chili. Unfortunately, I also enjoy hot and spicey too much. That is why I'm on two Nexium a day. I don't know if it was the beans, the jalapenos, or the added hot sauce that got me, but something did. Lesson learned, the chili is spicey enough.

Regardless of the stomach discomfort and strange sound emitting from my body, I did manage to get my 5 mile recovery run in tonight. After I got out there, all I could think was run faster! Have to get back to the house. I'm sure you can figure out why I was in such a rush.

No left over chili tonight! I have to do a 7 mile AMP run tomorrow night.

BTW, I did a 10 mile bike ride and worked out Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Saturdays are normally a long run for me. However, the program I have chosen to run allows me to take every 4th long run and bump it back to rest and recover. That being said, I did an easy 8.5 miler. Ran the first 7 miles at 9:10 pace and pushed the last 1.5 at a 8:05 pace. The 9:10 pace felt slow and the 8:05 pace felt pretty fast . . . somewhere between a 5k and 10k pace for the fat man. That was my rest and recovery day. Next Saturday-14.4 miles!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thursday . . . whew!

Long day today. I had to go to Vidalia, GA for work. I got up at 5:00 am so that I could get over to my friend's Larry, so we could carpool to the airport. Took the company jet down to Vidalia, had a couple of meetings, walked around in the rain, and came home. After leaving the airport, going by Larry's house, and getting home, it was about 5:45. I was planning on running hill repeats, but I was pretty tired. What to do?

No, I did not wussie out. Even though it was pouring down rain, mid 40's, & the FAT MAN was screaming "NO, NO, NO", I did manage to get out and do 4 miles of fartleks. I opted for the fartleks instead of the hill simply for safety reasons. It was rainy and foggy and the hill we run is totally dark. No street lights and people drive like madmen up and down that section of road. Sometimes you just have to be flexible enough to change your plans.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday night AMP run

Hi all . . . just sitting here watching a Charlie Brown Christmas having a glass of vino. You did notice that I was brave enought to say CHRISTMAS! I am not politically correct. If this offends you, tough. Go sit in the hall like the weird kid in elementary school.

Tonight was a good running night. I am starting my training in earnest and I was scheduled for AMP run. Basically, I run half the distance of my previous long run At Marathon Pace. Actually, I did it a little faster than marathon pace, but it felt good and comfortable.

7.2 miles in 61 minutes. This works out to 8:28 pace. Needless to say, I am very happy with this.

Of course I did have some help from my friends. Animal (Mark) ran with me for 2 1/2 miles before he took off down the hill for his hill repeats . . . . never saw him again the rest of the night. Chip ran with me for the last 3 miles or so. He's in his taper for this Saturday's Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL. Good luck, Chip! Dom ran with us for a 1/2 mile or so to cool off . . . he had finished his hillwork and was winding down. Dom ran a 5k in just a little over 20 minutes. Congrats to Dom. Thanks guys for putting peer pressure on me and helping me to do better than I would do by myself.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Recovery night

Nothing too exciting tonight. It was a chilly night: mid-high 30s at 5:00 pm with a windchill around 30. Temperature was dropping when I finished up. Did an easy solo 5 miler to recover from my Saturday long run and my Sunday bike ride/workout session. Quads were a little bit sore, but everything else felt fine.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Saturday's long run

Woke of Saturday feeling pretty good, but is was low to mid 40s and a blustery, cloudy day. But being the A.R. type (most runners are), I decided I'd go for my long run regardless. After all, it wasn't lightning, I have no injuries, no place to be . . . NO EXCUSE NOT TO RUN!

I bumped it up from the last couple of week's 12 milers. I decided to do 13.2, just to prove I could do a half if I had to do it right now (psychotic?).

Ran in shorts, coolmax teeshirt, coolmax gloves. Once I warmed up, it was perfect. Anyway . . . I battled to make myself slow down. The first couple of miles went pretty fast so I had to throw out an anchor. I ran the first 10.5 miles at a 9:25 pace. Then I decided to pick it up for the last 2.8 miles just to get in the idea of pushing it after being out there. I was surprised to find that I had plenty of gas in the tank and averaged an 8:43 pace. I really believe that if I had held the 9:25 pace, I probably could have run 15 or 16 miles.

I don't want to get too over-confident and I sure don't need an injury. It is usually around this time in training that I end up with bursitis or some other ailment. Of course I am lighter on my feet now than I have been in years.

Before the run I weighed in at 180.
AFTER the run I weighed in at 177!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just another Thursday night

Yep . . . nothing too exciting. Went out for a 5 miler with every intention of running hard. You guessed it . . . the mind wanders, started thinking about things like work (yuck) and decorating for Christmas (sort of like work). Ended up just being a routine slog through 5 miles. I did pick it up some when Mark the "Animal" started running with me. I also saw Dom doing his tempo runs. He did double back after he was finished and ran a mile with Mark and me. Thanks guys for helping get through what could have been a bad evening of running.

I do need to tell you about my running peers in the neighborhood. Great guys: Mark, whom my wife and I have nicknamed ANIMAL since he's constantly running, biking, or lifting weights. Dom is another one of those disgusting natural athletes. He downplays it, but he's a greyhound. His first love is biking, but he's fast on his feet. Another one of the guys I run with is Chip. He wasn't out tonight which I thought was curious since he is doing Rocket City marathon next weekend. Chip is a good athlete . . . he ran track for the Cincinatti Bearcats. I sort of feel like the ugly duckling around these guys since I am slower. However, they are not running snobs and are always ready to go for a run. It works out good if they are running slow or recovery runs . . . I can keep up then:)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

No run tonight

Wednesday night is my off night from running. During the non-winter months, I try to get in a 15-20 mile bike ride. However, since it is dark by the time I'm ready to get outside, I've taken the bike to the trainer. At least I don't have to worry about traffic or some redneck throwing a bottle at me.

30 minutes on the trainer and workout.

I've been studying my old training logs from previous marathons. After comparing to some of the programs that are out there now I've come to the realization that things have changed from 10-15 years ago. I am now in search of the marathon training plan that I can work. I've seen everything from Furman's FIRST 3 day a week program to the hard core Hal Higdon's and company 5 and 6 day training regimens.

Here's my plan. Please comment and help me tweak it. Remember that I have run marathons before, but not recently. I've been keeping a base of 16 mile/week minimum and have been consistently increasing my mileage over the last several months-I am hitting between 25 and 30 miles/week. My long run up to now is 12 miles (twice) with a third twelve miler planned for this coming Saturday.

Saturday mornings-Long runs. I like to try to run negative splits and 3/1 (3/4 of the distance about 1 minute per mile slower than race pace and the last 1/4 of the distance at or slightly faster than race pace).

Sunday-Bike and workout

Monday evening-easy run 4-6 miles slightly slower than planned marathon pace.

Tuesday evening (I'm changing from speedwork on Tuesday)-AMP runs. 1/2 the distance of Saturdays run At Marathon Pace. Occassionally pickup the last couple of miles to 10k pace.

Wednesday evening-Bike and workout

Thursday evening-some type of speedwork. I try to vary this. Yasso 800s, fartleks, 1 mile tempo runs. I'm always open for suggestions!

Friday - REST

Please give me your feedback and let me know how this compares to what you may have done in the past.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Good night for running

An excellent night for a run! Got started just after sundown and the temperature was dropping pretty quickly. It was in the mid 40s when I started with almost no breeze . . . PERFECT running weather. The temperature when I finished was 40, so the temp dropped 4 or 5 degrees during my run. You know how you sometimes catch everything just right and have a super run? That was tonight.

1 mile warmup (about 9 minute pace)
4 miles of fartleks (3 pickups/3 recoveries per mile. Each mile averaged around 8:15)
1 mile cooldown (about 8:45 pace)

Not much for you speed demons out there, but decent for the fat man!

Monday, November 28, 2005

I hate the treadmill

yep . . . . can't stand the machine. Have one downstairs where it's dry and warm and it sits in front of a TV. My wife uses it when the weather is bad. Not me! I'm a HE MAN! That explains why I ran tonight in the pouring rain, lightning, and tornado warnings. At least it wasn't cold.

Truthfully, the weather had slacked up enough for me to dart out the door and get started. Since it is Monday, I was doing an easy run (sans watch) as recovery from Saturday's 12 miler. I was planning on an easy 5 or 6 miler. No such luck . . . after I got 2 miles out the lightning started back up. Since I live in a hilly area with lots of trees, I figured I better turn around and head to the house. By the time I hit 3 miles, it was a toad strangler. It was raining so hard, my Tikka Plus headlight couldn't be seen, even on bright.

I made it home safely. Wet, but safe. Only got in 4 miles, but will make it up tomorrow night. Planning on a 6 miler tomorrow night and throw in my Tuesday night fartleks.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I survived Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone out there had a great holiday. Mine turned out fine. Spent the holiday with my wife's family. Got a chance to see her older brother Cary and his family since they flew in from Porland. Their kids are well behaved and as close to normal as teenagers can be these days. Also saw my wife's younger brother Glenn and his two boys from Huntsville. Needless to say, there was a lot of noise and eating Thursday and Friday.

Got back home to Birmingham this afternoon. After unpacking and unwinding for a little while, I decided that I needed to go for my previously planned long run. Wasn't sure if I could pull it off, considering all the turkey, dressing, gumbo, wine and other miscellaneous things that I happened to get in front of my face during the last two days. SOOOO, I strapped 'em on and took off for a 12 miler. I was afraid that I might spew . . . or worse, just collapse into a ditch, to be found a year from now when the locals decide to clean their yards. However, after the first mile of discomfort, things sort of smoothed out. I completed the 12 miles. Not as fast as last Saturday, but I was surprised to discover that I managed to average a 9:18 pace!

woo hoo . . . . I survived turkey day, didn't gain any weight (go figure that one out), and managed to stick to my running schedule!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hate holidays! Everyone finds an excuse to EAT, EAT, EAT! The fat man chasing me loves to eat too. The Weight Watcher training tells me utilize the three bite rule . . . the fat man says to take REALLY BIG BITES. But I digress.

Ran a nice 6 miler this morning in Tupelo, MS. At the mother-in-laws' house for turkey day. I was a little stiff to start off since I played 27 holes of golf yesterday. I didn't play too well, but the up side is that I needed to clean some of the old balls out of my bag :) There is a nice 1.5 mile loop in her neighborhood . . . no hills like home. It was very pleasant, around 45 degrees and sunny. Beautiful morning to run. I hope it makes up for the self-indulgence that will be taking place later today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

speedwork . . . sort of

Tuesdays I try to do somekind of speedwork. Actually, I prefer fartleks. And no, it is not a dirty word. I do try to do Yasso 800's about once a month but I don't live near a track and my neighborhood is hilly so I don't really do anything too structured on a regular basis. I prefer fartleks and pickups. Anyway, I warm up for a mile and run 3 miles doing 3-4 fartleks per mile and then 1 mile to cooldown.

Everyone says you have to do speedwork and hillwork to be successful in improving your times. I never really did much in my other marathon training, but I want to PR (and break 4 hours) in Flying Pig next May. We'll see how it goes!

Nov. 22-First blogging day

I have finally decided to try this "blogging" thing. I've always found it helps to motivate me to journal my running. I have now decided to share that information with you. Maybe something I say can help or perhaps you can see an error I'm making in my training and will drop me a line @

Last night I ran an easy 5 miler. I usually run easy on Mondays after a Saturday long run and a Sunday bike ride. BTW, I ran 12 miles Saturday @ 9:02 pace. I know that is slow to some of you, but it's better than sitting on the sofa, drinking beer . . . or is it? :)

I am planning on running the half-marathon at the Mercedes Marathon here in Birmingham on Feb. 12. I am running as a Partner in Training for a local charity-The Bell Center. Check out my page for the fund raising.