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

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RnR Savannah Marathon Training Week 12: 9/22/2014 – 9/28/2014

NOTE:  One of the major challenges I have faced during my marathon training is shuffling around my training days to fit my work and personal schedule.  For the first time in 4 weeks, I was able to follow the original plan 😉 

Monday

Planned: Rest Day
Actual:  Rest Day

Tuesday

Kicked off Week 12 with a four mile fast tempo run right before work.  My run ended up being the fastest 4 mile run to date – race or training.  For comparison, I ran in the Jingle All the Way back in December 2013 and my time then was 36:40 (9:10 per mile). At night, I ran with the Run For God 10K training group. Started out in the front and when I was finished, worked my back and ran with the last group of runners.  Finished off by running with the 5K training group who was doing interval training.

Planned: 4 mile run
Actual: 4 mile (8:55 pace) and 1,5 mile run (10:33 pace)

Wednesday  

8 mile easy slow run in the early evening.  Thankful that the fall weather has finally arrived! After completing my 8 mile run, I ran an additional 2 miles for my running buddies mother.  I learned earlier in the day that she had to take a couple of days off from running due to a muscle discomfort.  My thoughts were if I can run for her son, I can run for her too!

Planned: 8 mile run
Actual: 8 mile run (9:39 pace) and 2 mile run (9:30 pace)

Thursday 

I knocked out a 5 mile feel good run before I met up with the Run For God group run.  I started at a slow pace however since I felt good, I picked up the pace a bit.  During the group run, I ran with the 10K training group and helped motivate and encourage the runners.

Planned: 4 mile run
Actual: 5 mile run (9:13 pace) and 2 mile run (11:34 pace)

Friday

Planned: Rest Day
Actual: Rest Day 

Saturday

Met up with the Run For God 5K/10K training group early in the morning and ran 3.5 miles with the 10K group.  After the group run, I continued for another 9 miles for a total of 12 miles. I finished up with 2 friends from the Run For God alumni.  I really appreciated the company because it made the long run more enjoyable!

Planned: 12 mile run
Actual: 12.5 mile run (10:48 pace)

Sunday

I had an 18 mile run scheduled for the next day, so I just did a nice early morning 3 mile walk on the Robins AFB fitness trail.

Planned: Cross Training
Actual: Cross Training (3 mile walk)

Planned miles for Week 11: 29
Actual miles for Week 11: 35

6 weeks to Rock n Roll Savannah! 

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

Happy running,

Troy

RnR Savannah Marathon Training Week 11: 9/15/2014 – 9/21/2014

Monday

Today was a very special day.  Hunter, my I Run 4 running buddy, turned 17 today.  To celebrate, I literally went the extra mile for him.

Planned: Rest Day
Actual:  17 mile run (13:25 pace)

Tuesday

The Fall 2014 Run for God 5 and 10K Challenge started today. Being a graduate of the Run for God 5K and Half Marathon Challenge, I was asked to help lead the 10K group runs.  Tonight’s workout consisted of a 1.5 mile fast tempo run.  It was kind of funny because after we were finished I said, “That’s it? I am used to running 3-8 miles!”  All kidding aside, it’s great to help motivate and encourage other runners.  After class, I went ahead and knocked out 4 fast tempo “recovery miles”.  Again, I surprised myself with a fast pace considering that I ran 17 miles the day prior.

Planned: 3 mile run
Actual: 1.5 mile run (8:55 pace) and 4 mile run (9:31 pace)

Wednesday  

I really wanted to run 8 miles but since I didn’t take a rest day on Monday, I went ahead took today off from training.  The last thing I want to do is be out of commission.

Planned: 8 mile run
Actual: Rest Day

Thursday 

I knocked out a 4 mile feel good run before I met up with the Run for God group run.  I started at a slow pace however since I felt good, I picked up the pace a bit.  During the group run, I ran with the instructor’s son who is training for the 10K race in December.  Also used the time to encourage and motivate other runners.

Planned: 4 mile run
Actual: 4 mile run (9:46 pace) and 2 mile run (10:34 pace)

Friday

Planned: Rest Day
Actual: Rest Day 

Saturday

In the morning, I met up with some friends to run (more like jog/walk) in the 2014 Macon Run or Dye Color Run.  It was suppose to be held in March of this year however it got delayed for scheduling conflicts.  I even ran the race in a tutu! Yes, I was that brave but the way I look at it, you have to enjoy life to the fullest.  I really didn’t get dyed much during the run however I got drenched during the color festival. Later on in the day, I did an 8 mile easy slow run on the base.

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Planned: Cross Training
Actual: 5K fun run (mileage was less) and 8 mile run (10:09 pace)

Sunday

Kicked off the last day of summer with an early morning 15 mile bike ride around Robins Air Force Base.  The weather was beautiful was a cool morning temperature of 60 degrees.  Great way to end week 11!

Planned miles for Week 11: 32
Actual miles for Week 11: 40 

7 weeks to Rock n Roll Savannah! 

Have a great week!

Troy

Instead of racing, I was pacing! (2014 Macon Labor Day Road Race)

Happy Labor Day! Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I can’t believe that it is already September! This year has flown by.  This morning, I ran in the 2014 Macon Labor Day Road Race 5K.  There was a 10K option available however since I ran a half marathon last Sunday, I went ahead and signed up for a 5K.  My original plan was to set a new 5K PR (below 25:34).  With all the running I have been doing since August 2013, I already knew that I could easily beat my 2013 race time.

When one of my Run For God friends (Jamie) found out that I was running in the race today, she asked me if I could pace her husband, Chuck.  Without hesitation, I accepted. My attitude was that I would rather help out a fellow runner achieve their goals than my own. She gave me a target goal of 9:30 to 10:00 minutes per mile.  I don’t know why but I should have asked her what was his last 5K race time was.

I arrived at the starting line about an hour before race time.  Soon, I met with up with Jamie and Chuck.  While we were waiting, we passed the time by taking pre-race photos and talking about random stuff.  Soon, two more people from our Run For God group joined us.  8 am rolled around and the race was about to start, so we gathered in the street.  For the 5K, there were over 1700 people (the 10K had over 300).  The race started so off we went.

Like I said before, I never paced anyone in a race before and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous.  We started at a comfortable pace of 9:15 per mile.  The hardest part was maneuvering around the other runners but at least we had the entire width of the street to run in.  1 mile done.  All of the sudden was a 70 foot hill climb.  For some runners, it was a struggle but my friend managed to run up it without stopping.  From there, it was downhill so that was a major plus. 2 miles done.  I could tell Chuck was getting tired but Crystal and I encouraged him to push on, that the finish line was almost in sight.  As we were approaching the finish line, Jamie was there to capture our photo line finish.  It was pretty awesome because we started together and finished together.

Chuck’s race time was 30:13. For being in the 50-54 age bracket, that is a pretty impressive time.  After the race, I learned that his last 5K time was 32:05 which he ran in June 2014.  The three of celebrated by getting cooled off by a fire truck then we proceeded to the finish line to cheer our other Run For God friends who also ran in the race.

Today was a very awesome day.  Even though I sacrificed a race today, I got more satisfaction by helping a friend achieve his goals.  Jamie was so excited and was about in tears of what her husband accomplished today.  He will be running a sub 30 5K in no time.  And I wouldn’t mind helping him again to get there.

Hope everyone has an awesome week and happy running!

Final Thought:  This doesn’t really mean anything but even with me pacing my friend, I still managed to beat my 2013 time by 5 seconds 😉

 

Thanks to Jamie for taking these pictures for us!

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25% of RnR Savannah Marathon Training Completed!

It has been 6 weeks since I started training for my first marathon and so far I have completed 25% of my training. I am using Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 training plan. One of my Run For God friends used it for her first and from what I have seen, it’s one of the most popular programs around. To date, I have ran 117 miles and biked 159 miles. I should be at 112 miles but I have been doing additional runs here and there.  Even though I had to rearrange my training days to fit my schedule, I haven’t missed a day yet.

Taking a page from my Run For God half marathon training, I have been trying to do a fast tempo run on Tues, easy slow on Wed, feel good on Thurs, long slow distance on Saturday then cross on Sun. I even slipped in the dreaded fast interval training one day. Monday and Friday are rest days. In 3 weeks, I will be running my 1st 15 mile run. So, far I feel pretty good and confident. When I start running distances farther than 13.1 miles, my focus will be on distance; I really don’t care what time I finish it in. And that will be my goal come November.

I have 12 more weeks before I run my first marathon.  I can’t wait to achieve another running milestone.  Happy running/training 😉

Troy

 

Summer Run For God 5K Challenge Graduation Dinner

Last night, I was invited to celebrate with the recent graduating Run For God 5K Challenge class.  Even though I have graduated from the Fall 2013 class, the instructor wanted me (and a few others to be part of it). She asked me to join because I was there on race day cheering everyone on at the graduation race. The race I am referring too was the Father’s Day Family 5K Run.  After completing the 12 week course, everyone runs in the 5K, and crossing the finish line symbolizes completing the course.  It doesn’t matter if the runner is the last one to finish because everyone is a winner.

Prior to the race, I was considering running in it and supporting the group by running with the slower runners and cheering them on.  However, I decided to do something different that I haven’t done before: I signed up as a volunteer.  I thought it would be good to experience the volunteer side of the race for once.  When I signed up, my primary request as to be on the race course so I can cheer everyone on as they ran by.  When I checked in on race day, I was assigned to the last water station about a mile from the finish line going up a hill.  We were a good location because they way the course was set up, the runners would pass us twice (the first time we were technically behind them but we could still see them).  At 8 am, the race started and about 5 minutes later a runner came around the corner.  That was fast. Soon, a flood of runners came and myself and another volunteer started to cheer everyone on.  I saw some the of the Run For God group and I was sure to cheer for them especially.  Eventually, the runners came back down the hill and turned up the hill to run the final mile.  While most refused to grab a water, we ensured to motivate and encourage the runners on their final stretch.  Some were discouraged about going back up the hill a second time but we yelled all sorts or motivation to keep them going.  The race was over and we returned to finish line where I congratulated the Run For God group.

After dinner, I was surprised to get a “Best Supporter” award for being one of the ones that help support Summer 5K class.  While the instructor didn’t have to do that, I am honored and humbled by the recognition.  The award makes a nice addition to my running wall.

I really enjoyed being a volunteer at the race and seeing what it’s like being on the other side.  Even though I enjoying running, I plan on signing up as a volunteer at another race again.  It is a worthwhile experience and if you haven’t volunteered to work a race yet, I encourage you to do so 😉

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My First Triathlon! (Run For God 2014)

Hello everyone!  I hope you have had a great week!  This morning, I have reached another milestone in my running career:  I completed my first triathlon! Allow me to share my experience with you.

When I completed my second half marathon this past April, some of my seasoned Run For God friends encouraged me to participate in the Run For God Triathlon.  At first, I was reluctant because there is one sport I despise: SWIMMING.  The last time I have been swimming is when I took a beginners swim class in my freshman year in high school (1989).  Since then, I have been in the pool but just for fun and not swimming laps.  I thought about it for a while and I was like sure why not?

Between April – July, I trained the best I could.  I didn’t start my marathon training till the second week of July so I made up my own running plan on the fly; I averaged about 20 miles a week.  In June, I went to Walmart and purchased a mountain bike for $139.  When I started riding, I noticed how tiring it was because the bike had all-terrain tires.  My average speed was about 10.5 mph.  I did some research and I discovered that I could put slick tires to gain some speed so I went to a local bike shop to transform my bike.  After that , I noticed a difference and was able to increase my speed with no difficulty.  I also incorporated brick workouts by riding my bike then going for a run after.  But the one part I didn’t work on was my swimming.  Part of it was the time/location to swim.  I could run/bike anytime I want but pools have limited locations and hours.For the time I did swim, I felt so discouraged because I haven’t swam in so long that it was tiring and I had a fear of drowning in the deep end.  I was also self conscious of myself and nervous in public because of my inability to swim.  I was so close to giving up by my Run For God friends encouraged me to do the best I can and that my strengths are in running and biking.   After 181 miles of running, 195 miles of biking, and very little time invested in swimming, the big day arrived. My primary goal: FINISH IT.  I didn’t care about my time of if I was to be the last person to cross the finish line, I just wanted to claim that I did it.

I arrived at the Dalton Parks and Recreation at 5:30 this morning.  I checked in and got my race packet.  I unloaded my bike/gear and got set up in the transition area.  I hooked up with the rest of the Run For God Warner Robins team, took a few photos and waited.  After the opening ceremonies and the National Anthem, the adults lined up at the pool ready to start.  This triathlon consisted of a 300 meter swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run.  Before the start of the swimming, they asked us to go by ability (fast up front, slow in the rear).  Well I knew where I was going to stand.  At 7 am, the race began.  Before I knew it, it was my turn to begin.  The volunteer told me to go so I jumped in and started to swim. I started to swim but when I started hitting where the pool was 5 feet deep, I started to have a panic attack.  Some of the swimmers encouraged me to hang in there.  To make a long story short, I spent time hanging on to the rope or walking the bottom but I tried to swim when I can.  I was tired and wore out.  But I kept going.  It seem like to take forever to get to the end of lap 6 but before I knew it I was finished, even though I was the last person out of the pool.  That’s okay because I overcame my greatest fear! I got out of the pool and headed to the transition area where I dried myself, changed shirts, and put my shoes and helmet on.  I unmounted my bike, walked it outside the transition area and started on my 12 mile bike ride.

The course was a 4 mile loop that we went around 3 times.  It was a mixture of flat and hills.  I was still recovering from the swim portion however I started to get into my groove.  Before I knew it, I started to pass people that finished their swim before I did.  I passed by my teammates, so we shouted words of encouragement to each other as we passed by. In addition, the volunteers and spectators that lined the course encouraged and motivated us along the way.  Like the swim, the bike ride seem to take forever but in no time, I completed 3 laps and headed back to transition.  I mounted my bike, took off my gloves/helmet, put on my running hat and headed to the run portion of the course.

The run portion didn’t seem that bad.  I maintained what I thought was a slow comfortable pace.  Again, the amount of encouragement and support on the course was phenomenal.  I was getting tired but I hung in there.  I kept running and didn’t stop to walk.  All of the sudden, the finish line was in sight.  With an extra burst of energy, I made a made dash for the finish.  Right before I crossed the finish line, I could hear some of my teammates that finished before I did cheering me on.  I crossed the finish line and got the Hope finishers medal.  I couldn’t believe it.  Despite my rocky start with the swimming: I FINISHED MY FIRST TRIATHLON!!!! 

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I found my friends and we celebrated our victory plus talked about our accomplishments.  We took some photos but the fun part was the ICE BATH.  We managed to step in and get the entire team in there (standing up) for a group photo.  Now when I got in, it was FREEZING COLD.  After the group photo, I was like – Well I if I can do a triathlon, I can sit in an ice bath.  So I got in it!! And it wasn’t that bad!!

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Here is a breakdown of my results:

  • 300 Meter Swim: 13:04
  • 12 Mile Bike Rude: 51:14 (Average Speed 14.1 mph) NOTE:  This was faster than when I was training! 
  • 2 Mile Run: 19:02 (9:31 Average Pace)
  • Total Time: 1:25:31

So I may have done bad in the swimming but I made it up where I was strongest at which was the biking and running.

I still can’t believe on what I accomplished today.  To date, this has been biggest challenge however I emerged victorious.  I thank my Run For God friends for their encouragement and motivation.  If it wasn’t for them, I would have quit a long time ago.  But most of all I give God the credit.  Phil 4;13 states I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST.   I wouldn’t have been able to do this with out HIM.  Also, I give credit to my running buddy Hunter.  Thinking about him and that he is not able to do what I do pushes me to go above and beyond.  I am blessed that I was able to secure an extra medal for him, because he deserves it for being my inspiration.

So, will I be doing a triathlon again?  Due to the awesome first time experience and the positive atmosphere, I will probably return to this one next year and do it again.  I am going to try and take some swimming classes to help me fine tune that area.   Now that I have my first triathlon under my belt, I can concentrate training for my first marathon this November.

Thanks for allowing me to share with you my first triathlon experience! Enjoy the rest of your weekend and happy running!

Troy

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