Papa’s Peach Classic 5K Recap

Good evening again fellow runners! I have been in recovery mode this week from running in the Hotlanta Half Marathon this past Sunday. I ran 1 mile on Tuesday and Wednesday and 2 miles with a friend on Thursday.  By that time, the soreness in my thighs was gone.

Today, I was crazy enough to run in the Papa’s Peach Classic 5K in Musella GA. Musella is a small rural town about 45 minutes away from Warner Robins. I primarily went to support friends from my running group who signed up to run it. Last year, a little over 100 people signed up for the race.  This year, the number was 175.  A great turnout for a race that is 2 years old.

The course was 1.54 miles out and back.  The race director stated that the course was relatively flat.  While not as hilly as some of the other races I have been to, it did have a few hills.

A little after 8 the race began.  I ran at what I thought was a comfortable race pace.  Even though some parts of the course was shaded, it was humid.  Before I knew it, the turnaround point was in site.  One advantage I like about a front and back course is that I can cheer my fellow runners on the way back to the finish line.  I made sure that I cheered my Run For God friends and others.

The final half mile was up a (slight) hill.  After I reached the “peak” I saw the finish line and made a mad dash for it.  A little tired from pushing myself, I walked around a little bit then turned in my finishing card.  Then like I aways do, I turned around to run my friends back to the finish line.

While we were waiting for the final runners and the start of the awards ceremony, I met a couple that will be training for their first marathon this November which happens to be the same one I am running: Rock N Roll Savannah.  I had a chance to share some of my experiences with them.

Well here are the results of my race. My time was 24:30 (7:54 pace) and I placed 2nd out of 6 in my age group! Not my PB, however, it’s my fastest 5K time of the year. The person that took 1st was from out of state..lol. One of my friends from my running group got a PR AND took 1st in her age division (50-54) out of 9! I am very proud of her. She has a desire to get down to an 8-minute pace so I am going to try and encourage/motivate so she can achieve her goal.

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Well so much for “recovery week”. Think I am back to normal. I’ll be cross training tomorrow and rejoin my RFG friends for our Tuesday and Thursday group runs.  My next race will be the Firecracker 5K in Wrightsville on the 4th of July. Thanks for reading and happy running!

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I Got a New 5K PR! (And set the bar higher in the process)

Good Saturday afternoon to my fellow runners and readers! Hope you are having an awesome day! Well I did it again.  I set a new 5K personal record.  While I got a new PR, I also ended up setting the bar higher than expected for future 5K races.

This morning, I was suppose to run in the Disaster Run.  Originally scheduled for September 13th, it was rescheduled to today.  However, earlier in the week, I got an email stating that the run was cancelled and will be postponed to 2015.  So at the last minute, I decided to run in the Nehemiah Men’s Home 5K Road Race.  With all the marathon training I have been doing since July, I felt confident that I was going to bust my previous PR of 25:37 (7/18/2014).

The race course was flat in some areas with some rolling hills through some of the neighborhoods.  I didn’t pay attention to how fast I was going. Even though I started to cramp a little and breathing harder than I normally would, I felt like my normal 5K pace which is around 8:30 per mile range.  I was about to get water at the halfway point but ended up skipping it.  Even though I felt like I was out of energy, the finish line was in sight.  When I saw the time, I sprinted for the finish.

At the time of the writing, I do not know what my official race time is however when I crossed the finish line my time (according to the time and my Garmin) was 23:57!!  At an average pace of 7:41 per mile, I was able to shave 1 minute and 40 seconds off my previous PR.  The weather conditions was 64 degrees and 100% humidity.  As an added bonus, I placed 2nd in the 35-39 age group! This is the first local race that I have placed; the other races I have placed were at least 50-60 miles away.

To be honest, I am really shocked at what I accomplished today.  I wasn’t expecting such a huge improvement. I would have been happy with a 25 minute race time.  As I commented in another post, I didn’t realize until recently on how training for my first marathon would benefit me in other areas of running.  After I took my Air Force Fitness Assessment last Sunday, I joked around about running a 5K race at the same pace as my 1.5 mile run (7:35 per mile).  I wasn’t expecting to do that a week later!!

So as you can see, I really set the standard higher for my next 5K race.  When it comes to 5Ks, I am used to shaving seconds – not minutes! But I know if I continue to do what I am doing, I will have no problem PRing again!

Thanks for reading and have an awesome Columbus Day weekend!

Happy Running,

Troy

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RnR Savannah Marathon Training Week 14: 10/6/14 – 10/12/2014

Happy Columbus Day to my fellow runners and readers! I am very grateful that Columbus discovered the New World. His accomplishment has given me the day off today! As an added bonus, I am also able to take a rest day from my marathon training.  Here is a recap of last week’s marathon training:

Monday – Day 66

I had the Disaster Run scheduled for October 11th so I took the day off from work and kicked off week 14 with with my 14 mile long slow distance run.  It was a beautiful fall morning with the temperatures in the mid to upper 40’s.  Even though it was a long run, it wasn’t slow.  My average pace was 9:56 which is 51 seconds slower than my half marathon PR pace from 2 months ago! Not bad for a long distance training run.

On a sad note, I got an email in the afternoon that the Disaster Run that was rescheduled to this Saturday was CANCELLED.  It will not be happening to 2015.  I was very disappointed as I was really looking to this once in a lifetime event. With the delays and poor communication skills, this even was totally a “disaster”.  Oh well, at least the Zombie Run (which will be held at the same facility as the Disaster Run) is still going on as scheduled!

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Planned: Rest Day
Actual:  14 mile run (9:56 pace)

Tuesday 

I was still a little sore from my victorious Air Force Fitness Assessment so I decided to take the day off from training.

Planned: 5 mile run
Actual: Rest

Wednesday  – Day 67

5 mile fast tempo run.  I decided to postpone my 9 mile easy slow run to early Sunday morning when it will be cooler. My pace was 20 seconds slower than my 10K race pace PR.  I must be getting stronger considering the temperature was 90 degrees!

Planned: 9 mile run
Actual: 5 mile run (8:56 pace)

Thursday – Day 68

5 mile feel good run.  My only complaint was that it was HOT.  Where did the fall weather from 2 weeks ago fly off too?

Planned: 5 mile run
Actual: 5 mile run (9:27 pace)

Friday – Day 69

Did a 3 mile walk to cover my Week 14 cross training activity along the Wellston Trail, a popular walking/running trail in Warner Robins.

Planned: Rest Day
Actual: 3 mile walk 

Saturday

At the last minute, I decided to run in the Nehemiah Men’s Home 5K Road Race.  I ended up with a new 5K PR!!

Planned: 14 mile run
Actual: 5K race

Sunday

I had to force myself out of bed but I managed to squeeze in a 9 mile early morning Sunday slow run.  In the afternoon, my friend and I went to Lane Packing and got lost in a corn maze. It was a lot of fun and managed to find our way out in 21 minutes.  We didn’t even really need the map!

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Planned: Cross Training
Actual: 9 mile run (9:57 pace)

Planned miles for Week 11: 33
Actual miles for Week 11: 36

26 days to Rock n Roll Savannah! 

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a great week!

Happy running,

Troy

RnR Savannah Marathon Training Week 13: 9/29/2014 – 10/5/2014

Monday

Since I had to work the weekend of 10/4-10/5, I went ahead and got my 18 mile long slow distance run out of the way.

Planned: Rest Day
Actual:  18 mile run (11:19 pace)

Tuesday

4 mile fast tempo run for fast tempo Tuesday.  This was my 3rd “recovery run” the day after running a long slow distance run (15, 17, and 18 miles).  This run was the fastest out of all them! Later in the evening, I joined the Run For God class at Run Fit Sports for a shoe clinic.  After the clinic, I ran 2 miles with the 10K training group.  Following the run, I purchased a pair of orange Brooks Transcend.  I already had over 340 miles on my white/blue Transcend and wanted to get another pair to finish up my remaining training and the marathon.  NOTE: I now have 5 pairs of running shoes.  My 2 oldest pair are now retired and will be used for my next mud run/spartan race.

Planned: 4 mile run
Actual: 4 mile (9:08 pace) and 1.5 mile run (10:01 pace)

Wednesday  

9 mile early evening easy slow run in my new Brooks Transcend. Even though the temperature was in the low 80’s, it was bearable.

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Planned: 9 mile run
Actual: 9 mile run (9:47 pace)

Thursday 

Since I haven’t rested this week, I went ahead and took the day off from training.

Planned: 5 mile run
Actual: Rest Day

Friday

5 mile feel good run.  This was (at the time) my fastest 5 mile training run to date.  When I first started running 5 miles back in February, my average pace was 10:45-11:00.  I have noticed since I have been doing more 4-9 mile runs on a continual basis, my average pace comes down.

Planned: Rest Day
Actual: 5 mile run (9:03 pace) 

Saturday

After work, I walked 3 miles with a fellow c0-worker who will be retiring from the Unite States Air Force next month.

Planned: 18 mile run
Actual: 3 mile walk

Sunday

Today, I took my Air Force Physical Fitness Test.  I passed but also ended up surprising myself in the process!

Planned: Cross Training
Actual: 1.5 mile run

Planned miles for Week 11: 36
Actual miles for Week 11: 39.5

5 weeks to Rock n Roll Savannah! 

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Happy running,

Troy

30 Days to My First Marathon!

Hello to my fellow runners and readers! I am glad that the weekend is right around the corner.  And for me, it’s a three day weekend! Even though Christopher Columbus didn’t land anywhere near the present day United States (he explored the Caribbean), I will take a paid holiday from the Federal Government!

I can’t believe that I am a month away from running my first marathon: The Rock n Roll Marathon in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to running 26.2 miles on November 8th, I also signed up to run (or walk depending on how I feel) the following day.  It’s part of a “Running Festival”.  I will get a medal for the marathon on Saturday, a medal for Sunday and a medal for the entire weekend.  As the race day(s) are fast approaching, my excitement and anticipation grows.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would run 26.2 miles however I am ready to check off one of my running goals for 2014.

I started training the week of July 7th using the Hal Higdon Novice 1 training program.  To date, I have trained for 68 days and logged over 371 miles.  Even though I had to modify my training schedule to meet my work and personal schedule, I haven’t missed a training day yet.  There have been a few bumps in the road but I am determined to see this through!

As I reflect and look back at my marathon training I didn’t realize until now of how training for this marathon would benefit other areas in my running journey.  I have noticed that I am getting faster on my runs ranging from 5 miles to 14 miles.  When I ran 5 miles back in February, my average pace was 10:45-11:00 per mile.  Yesterday, I was able to run 5 miles at 8:56 per mile which is about 20 seconds slower than my 10K PR race pace.  This past Monday, I ran a 14 mile long slow distance run early in the morning when it was about 45 degrees.  While it was long run, it wasn’t slow. My average pace was 9:56 per mile which is 51 seconds slower than my half marathon PR from two months ago.   My first run longer than a half marathon (15 miles) pace a month ago was 11:09 per mile. Even though I have run faster in a 10K and half marathon prior and during my training, I consider what I have done thus far to be significant accomplishments.  I am sure most would agree with me that on race day that you tend to run faster than when you are training.  It may be the race environment, adrenalin, the goal to improve your race PR or a sense of competition.  Whatever the reason, I feel that I can set some new PRs in future races (5K, 10K, and half).  In addition to the improvements in my speed, I have seen an added benefit when it came to my recent Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment.

Next week (Week 15) will be the most crucial week for me.  I’ll have the longest mid-week run (10 miles) and the longest run of the training program on Saturday – 20 MILES!! I am glad that I am off on this day and I am hoping that the weather will be cool. I will not be focused on pace or getting it done within a certain time; my goal is to finish the distance.  Once Week 15 concludes, then I will be tapering (reducing) my mileage until race weekend.

As you know, I will continue to provide weekly updates on my progress especially my 20 miler next Saturday.  Till next time, happy running!

Troy

Finally Met Another One of My Fitness Goals!

Hello everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was pretty busy. I had reserve duty this past weekend and on Sunday, a very important test: The Air Force Fitness Assessment also known as the “PT Test”.

For those that are not familiar with the Air Force PT Test, it is broken into 4 components.  Waist Measurement (20%), Push-ups (10%), Sit-ups (10%) and a timed 1.5 mile run (60%) for a max total score of 100 points. Score 90 points and above and the member doesn’t have to take the test again for a year. Score 75 to 89 points and the test is taken every 6 months.  Below 75 is failing and have to take the re-test within 42 days (active duty) or 3 months (reserve). In order to pass the test, each member is required to meet a minimum standard in each component (varies by age group and gender).  If one (or more) of the minimum standards is not met, then the member fails the ENTIRE test even if a passing score is achieved.  The reason for this is to emphasize the importance in all components.  Years ago, there wasn’t a minimum component standard.  Under the old test rules, a member can score well on the waist measurement, do horrible on the push-ups/sit-ups, ace the run and end up passing the test.  As you can see, those days are long gone.  In recent years, the Air Force has taken a serious stance on fitness.  Fail 4 times in a 24 month period, and it’s possible for the member to be discharged.  It’s that serious and it’s one of the reasons why I decided to get serious over a year ago.

For the first time in my career, I was not nervous about the test but eager to take it.  I had it marked on my calendar to take the test during the October Unit Training Assembly (UTA – it’s the former term for our once a month drill) however I noticed on the unit calendar that I was not scheduled for PT testing.  The old me would have let it go and postpone it as long as I could but when I noticed the error, I made sure I was on the list to test this month.  I knew going in that I was ready.  The last time I took the test was last April where I scored 87.80 points.  Here is a breakdown on how I did:

  • Waist Measurement: 30 inches/20 points
  • Push-Ups: 47/9.10 points
  • Sit-Ups: 51/9.50 points
  • 1.5 Mile Run: 12:32/49.20

From the time I tested in April up to test day this past Sunday, I ran about 550 miles.  I did a little bit of strength training but not as much as I should have.  Another thing I did in preparation was I treated the test as a “race”.  The night before the race, I usually eat Chinese, Japanese, or Italian cuisine.  I ended up eating lasagna on Saturday night.  I normally do not eat before the race.  When I set a goal, I usually say I just want to do better than my last race PR, even it’s a few seconds.  I did the same thing for the test.  I could have set a goal of 90 points or above but I would have been happy if I scored 88 points.  (I know weird but that’s the way I think)!  Finally, I was considering turning on the virtual pacer on my Garmin but I decided at the last minute to keep it turned off.

Before I knew it, it wast test day.  The morning temperature was in the mid 40’s.  Even with the cooler temperatures, I dressed for the test the way I have been training all summer: shorts and a t-shirt.  After we all signed in, the test administrators began with our waist measurements.  Now I am small in stature and already knew I was going to pass this part.  20 points.  Second, we did our push-ups.  We have one minute to perform as many push-ups as possible.  I struggled towards the last 15 seconds but I managed to crank out 51 for 9.40 points.  Then, we performed our sit-ups. Again, we had one minute.  I struggled towards the end but I was able to perform 50 sit-ups for 9.40 points.  I passed 3 parts of the Fitness Assessment.  I am in pretty good shape.  Now came the most important part: the 1.5 mile run.  Even though I struggled a bit with the push-ups and sit-ups, I knew my strength was in running.

The run takes place at the outdoor fitness track.  Before, I use to hate running 6 times around the track but for some reason, it didn’t bother me this time around.  After we were formed and briefed behind the starting line, we began our run.  I didn’t think about my pace or pay attention to my watch.  I just ran. At first, I was in the middle of the pack but I ended picking up speed and was in the lead group.  Each time we completed a lap, the test administrators would yell out our time. I didn’t pay attention.  I just ran around the track without thinking about anything.  I could tell I was pushing myself because I was hurting slightly and it felt like I was slowing down.  Final lap.  As I was making the final turn, I literately SPRINTED to the finish line.  I crossed the finish line and started a cool down walk.  Was I finished already?  That does not seem right!

I got my test scores and here is the final results:

  • Waist Measurement: 30 inches/20 points
  • Push-Ups: 51/9.40 points
  • Sit-Ups: 50/9.10 points
  • 1.5 Mile Run: 11:23/53.70

TOTAL POINTS:  92.50!! 

Yes you read that correctly. I scored over 90 points!!  I shaved over a minute my overall run time from April.  My average pace was 7:35 per mile, which is the fasted I have recorded to date. This the also highest score I have in achieved in my Air Force career.  Since, I have scored over 90 points, I do not have to test again till OCTOBER 2015! Also, since I will be turning 40 next May, I will be in the 40-49 age group.  The scoring and standards are adjusted every 10 years.  For example, if I were to apply the same test results in the 40-49 age group, my score would be 97%!

I guess you can say I am still shocked of what I accomplished this past Sunday.  When I set the goals the way that I do, I end up surprising myself.  I remember when I didn’t “study” before my Fitness Assessment and ended up with disastrous results.  I could have been kicked out several years ago but was given a second chance.  I haven’t failed a PT test since January 2013.  When I tested in January 2013 and August 2013, I needed a pacer to help me pass.  I haven’t used a pacer this year and will not need one again.  I wouldn’t be surprised if someone asked me to pace them for an upcoming PT test.  I would consider it an honor to help someone as someone has helped me.

I am glad I made some lifestyle changes in August 2013.  It has benefited me personally and helped preserve my Air Force career.  I can now check off “Take my Air Force PT Test once a year” on my goals list. I feel confident that if I maintain what I am doing (which I plan too), I’ll be testing once a year till the day I retire from the Air Force! Thanks for reading and allowing me to share with you my latest accomplishment!

Till next time,
Troy 😉

Monthly Training Summary: September 2014

Running: 164 miles
Biking: 24 miles
Walking: 6 miles

September 2014 Highlights

  • Set a new record for distance for total miles run in a month.  Previous record was 150 miles in March 2014
  • I am over 80% (800 miles) into my goal of running 1000 miles this year
  • Completed over 66% of my marathon training
  • My running buddy turned 17 this month so to celebrate, I ran 17 miles for him on his birthday
  • Ran my longest distance run to date (18 miles)
  • The Run For God Fall 2014 5K/10K Challenge kicked off this month. As a graduate of the Fall 2013 5K Challenge and the Winter 2014 Half Marathon Challenge, my role is to help motivate, encourage, and share my experiences with the class

Looking forward to the month of October especially now that Fall and the cooler temperatures are here.  Thanks for reading and happy running!

Troy