Macon Labor Day 10K 2017 Recap

Hello, everyone! Today, I am getting ready to head to Washington DC with my wife to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.  Our original plan was to take a Western Carribean cruise, however, our cruise was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.  My thoughts and prayers are with those that have or will be affected.

This past Monday, my friends and I ran in the 41st Macon Labor Day Road Race 10K. This is the 3rd time I ran in this race.  I ran the 5K in 2013 and again in 2014 (pacing a fellow runner).  This is the first time I have run the 10K.  I wanted to do something different for a change and it’s been over 2 years since I raced in a 10K.

Before the race, I knew going in that it was going to be a tough course.  The first 4 miles had 3 hills to climb.  I was confident I was going to do well because I always train on a variety of hills at least once a week.  From experience, a majority of the races I have participated in had some type of hill(s).

At 8:30 am, the race started.  I tried to take in slow and easy sometimes trying to stay behind other runners to pace myself.  About .30 miles in, was the first hill challenge.  An upward hill climb approximately .54 miles long.  I just ran up it at a comfortable pace and didn’t even think about it.  The next 1.5 miles was downhill and relatively easy.  Then came hill number 2 which measured another .50 miles.  This is where I started to pass multiple runners that were obviously struggling.  The last major hill was at mile 4.25 which measured about .32 miles.  For some strange reason, it seemed longer than that especially when I came to the “crest” just to find out I had a little more to go till I got to the top.  Again, because of my hill training, I was able to pass other runners with no issues.  Screenshot_20170904-101135.png

The rest of the course was relatively easy because it was all downhill which was nice.  I ran at what I thought was a comfortable pace. I never looked at my watch to see how fast I was going as I tend to do worse when I do look at my Garmin.

Soon, I was at Central City Park on the final stretch.  Spectators and runners lined up the street cheering the runners on as we approached the finish line.  Soon, I saw the finish line and I hit the gas and sprinted as fast as I could.  After crossing the finish line, I grabbed some water to rehydrate. Here is an awesome photo that my wife took:

FB_IMG_1504552336571.jpgMy wife soon located me to congratulate me then I turned around to head back on the course to run my friends back to the finish line.  It was a tradition I started recently to help motivate and encourage my friends.

After accompanying the final runner in our group to the finish line, I wanted to see how I did.  It took me a while to find my name but when I found it I was in shock.  My time was 51:54 – a new 10K PR!! My previous 10K PR was 52:17 from July 4, 2015.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just PR’d on the toughest 10K course to date.  When I run in the race, I usually do not have a specific goal.  I just run it.  If I happen to PR or even place in my age group, I consider those bonuses.  Other stats: I placed 90 out 312 overall and 8 out of 20 in my age group. Here is how my splits looked:

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One final fact: When I ran the 5K in 2013, my pace was 9:45 a mile. This year, I ran twice the distance at 8:22 a mile!

After the race, we had lunch and fellowship at a local sandwich shop.

I am very proud of what I accomplished, however, I am more proud of my running group. They mentioned that they were glad we run hills once a week because they were better prepared for this race.  One commented that she was able to overtake some runners herself.  One placed 3rd in her age group.  Regardless if they were fast, slow, or had to walk parts of it, they did it.

Well, that’s about it for now.  Time to start packing for my trip.  I plan on getting some training runs in while in the DC area and even considering running in a 5K race.  Enjoy the rest of your week and happy running!

Troy

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Area 13.1 Race Recap

Hello, fellow runners! I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Last night, I completed my 8th half marathon: Area 13.1 aka Alien Half.  This is the first half I ran in the evening.  The location of this race was in Roswell, GA (get the joke..lol) about a 2 hours drive from where I live.

I originally signed up for this race because it lined up perfectly with my marathon training plan.  Plans have changed since my last blog post.  There will be a half marathon called the Soldiers Empowerment Group Assisting Military Individuals (SEGAMI) that will be held on Veteran’s Day.  Some of my friends from my local running group have expressed interest in training for this race.  Instead of training for the Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon and lead the group training for the half at the same time, I decided to sacrifice my 3rd Marathon to focus on leading the group training for the half.  We officially kick off training in a little over a week and I am very excited and humbled to be part of their journey.  I am by no means a running expert but I can share my experiences that have made me successful in the past 4 years.

Yesterday was a LONG day.  I got up at 5 am to meet up with some friends for a 6 mile sunrise run.  The temperature was around 77 degrees and it was a beautiful morning for a run.  I am proud of one for my friends because this run was the longest distance she ran since her injury a couple of months ago.

I left home early afternoon to grab a bite to eat then head up to Roswell.  I left a little early because traffic in the Atlanta metro area is so unpredictable.  I managed to get to the race on time with plenty of time to spare.

The temperature at the start of the race was 90 degrees.  My goal was to complete the race regardless of the finish time.  In other words, this race was for FUN.  Wasn’t going to kill myself attempting to get a PR.

The race started a little after 7 pm.  The route was along the Chattahoochee River.  The course had a little bit of everything:  pavement, sidewalks, an elevated wooden path, and about 1 mile of dirt trails.  This was my second half that was in the country.

According to the race website, the course was relatively flat was one small hill at mile 7.  I don’t think so!

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They call that a small hill?? Are you kidding me?? That hill was a challenge.  I was joking around that the race organizers should have stated that Devil’s Tower from Close Encounter’s of the Third Kind was part of the course.  All kidding aside, this is a reason why I am a firm believer that hill training should be incorporated at least once a week.  I was able to conquer this “mountain” with no issues while I noticed other runners struggling or walking.

Around 8:30 pm, the sun set and it was dark.  Also, the number of runners started to thin out. Some parts of the route back to the finish line was lighted by street or portable generator lighting but it was dark for the most part.  I wore a headlamp that I purchased from Amazon but it wasn’t bright enough.  For the last 3-4 miles I tried to slow it down a bit because I didn’t want to end up tripping.  For some reason, the last 2-3 miles seemed like an eternity. But eventually, I made it to the finish line.  I survived the alien invasion and didn’t get abducted.  I received my finishers medal, a cold towel, and some Gatorade. I was very thirsty because I chugged it down in 40 seconds.

My official time was 2:03:18.  The only problem is that according to my Garmin, the course was 12.77 miles long.  If the course was around 13.1, my time would have been in the neighborhood of 2:06.  Regardless, my time was still faster than my first half marathon from April 2014 where my time was 2:08:53.  This is my 5th fastest half time. Overall I was the 186 person to finish out of 648 and placed 23 out of 51 in my age division.  Not bad for a “fun” half marathon.

Prior to the start of the race, my running friends were advising me to be careful, pace myself, and not overdo it.  I think I shocked them because to them my pace was still pretty quick for this distance.  Apparently, I do not know the definition of taking it easy..lol. I basically go with the flow and let my body determine the pace. My feet were hurting a little after the race but today I feel great.

After the race, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed back home.  I got in about 30 minutes after midnight. After being up for 20 hours, running a total of 18 miles, and being on the road for 4 hours, I was exhausted.  But it was all worth it.

Well, that’s about it.  Can’t wait till our half marathon training starts the last week of August. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Thanks for reading and happy running!

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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