Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wednesday Thursday Fun


Wednesday morning I was stressing over how I was going to get my roof repaired before the rain comes on Thursday. I called my Insurance agent where my daughter works by the way, and turned in a claim. About an hour later a claims rep calls me and says that someone else in claims would be calling me within the next two days. So I asked them what I was supposed to do till then? They said I could pay someone to do temporary repairs. Ok, thats fine but I didn't know any roofers. So I call my agents office back and they give me a name. I called the guy and he answered right away and said he could come look at it this afternoon probably around 2ish. He said if it wasn't too bad he might be able to fix it then too. This was somewhat of a relief as I knew he could at least do something to get me through the rain.

I had to drive over to West Little Rock to take care of some business items and was almost back to Cabot when he called saying he was fixing to turn on my street. I told him I'd be there in 5 minutes. When I got there he had already climbed the roof and told me he could fix it for $125. I didn't know anyone would even climb the roof that cheap. On top of that he fixed a couple old leaks I had on some vent pipes. All this took probably a little over an hour. When I asked him how much again he gave me the amount and said you can just mail me a check. What? Someone that trusts people too? I told him no, I'll pay you right now and I did. Very nice man. I called my agent back and told them to cancel my claim and told them how much I appreciated their referral with this roofer. So, at least that problem was solved.

Other work issues continued the rest of the afternoon so by 5:30pm I was still working. Annette asked me if I was going to run with them but I said I probably wouldn't. At that time I just wanted to chill. After getting home and taking about a 30 minute break I was ready to do my workout.

I decided to try something different and do the plannned Tuesday night clinic workout on the treadmill. I had never really done specific speed work on the treadmill so this would be a first.
I started out with a 1 mile warm up run. Before I was .3 into the run I thought about quitting as my left foot was hurting. I think it may be a combo of plantar faciaitis/achilles. The good thing was I didn't quit and after I warmed up the pain went away. The first mile ended up being a slow 12:23.

I was doing the Intermediate workout so next up was a 1x800 @LT pace with a 3 min. rest. My lactate pace is suppose to be about a 9:36 pace. I ended up doing the 800 in 9:00 flat. Its kind of hard to figure out pacing on a treadmill as everything is set in MPH and not pace. I had a pretty close idea but the real time/distance would tell the story.

Next up was 2x1000 with 3 min. rests at LT pace. Well, I figured these wrong in my head and ended up running 2x1125. First one was 9:04 pace, a little fast. The second one was 9:51, real close. I knew I was running pretty fast but I really had no way to know what my pace was on the treadmill until after I got finished and figured it all up.

Still not done, I had 2x400 at interval pace. My interval pace figured to be 8:56. Much faster than LT. Somehow the first one was way too slow, 10:40 pace. Not sure what happened here unless I missed stopping my watch or something. The second one was better with a 9:12 pace. I finished with a .5 mile cool down @11:12. This gave me a total of 4 miles with a 10:08 average pace.

After looking at my splits I was pretty happy. My speed was coming back. My heart rate was coming down. I might be able to run again after all if the old age pains would just go away. No pains from the right leg that had the stress fracture. I was happy. My run accomplished something even if it was on the treadmill.

Thursday Night:
The weather kept me in tonight. Rain, sleet, cold. Not the best running weather especially when its dark. Annette decided to not even run tonight. She didn't need to. She had done 8 miles last night. I was determined to get at least 3 tonight so I opted for the dreadmill again. I really didn't have a plan, other than I wanted 3.1 miles and I wanted it to be fast. So my plan was for a 5k tempo run.

I started with about a 5 minute warm up walk then went into a slow run. Again, my foot started hurting. This time I stopped the run and walked a little more. Then I started up again and started cranking up the speed. One thing about a treadmill, when it gets boring it is so boring. Nothing on tv. No good music going. How could I run 3.1 miles like that?? Well I couldn't. I had to break it down. I think thats the only way I can get through the treadmill. I think I ran half a mile then walked about 30 seconds then really cranked up the speed. When I hit the first mile I hit the lap counter on my garmin. I have my 305 set up as a stop watch/heart rate monitor for the treadmill. Wish it would tell me pace.

Second mile I'd run fast then slow down some. My legs were pretty tired from last nights speedwork. At times running fast seemed to be easier then running slow. To make things harder, it gets pretty hot upstairs where my treadmill is so its like running in the summer. I have a fan going but after a mile thats almost not enough. Mentally I was struggling to get this workout done. Last night was so much easier. I think doing intervals is the only hope for the treadmill. I finally got the 5k done. The forst couple miles were decent times, the third one I just struggled through. Not that I couldn't do it, it was just boring and not fun.

Here are my splits:
total miles - 3.1
time - 32:50
Avg. Pace - 10:35
1- 10:14
2- 10:11
3- 10:57

Much improvement in my times this week from last week so maybe I am almost back.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Disaster Tuesday

Well almost anyway. If your an Insurance company you may think so. On Tuesday we had 60mph plus winds blow into the area dropping temperatures 20 degrees in about an hour. The Cabot area along with many others sustained a lot of wind damage. My house was one of the lucky ones. I did have a few shingles get blown off but that was about it. There were many houses less than a block from me that had about half their shingles blown off their roofs. I thought our shop building was going to get blown away about 3pm. The winds were so fierce and so sustaining the the building was actually moving. The drop ceiling in the office was knocked all out of place. Luckily it all calmed down by dark.

Our Tuesday night running clinic got canceled due to the high winds plus there was a lot of people without power. I had an Emergency Vehicle driving class at the fire department so I went to that. I stopped by Station 3 and picked up Engine 64 and drove over to Station 1 knowing that we would probably be going out on something. Sure enough, about an hour into the class we had downed power lines with a tree on fire. Myself and one of the other Captains took the call with E64. It was somewhat surreal when we pulled in to this trailer park on Maddox Rd and there were no lights. Then all these people started coming out with flashlights or just appearing out of the dark. Pretty strange and considering where we were, there were a few strange people too. We saw the tree but it really wasn't on fire. The power line had rubbed against it and it did have a burnt spot but it went out. When the wind would come up the power line would rub it again and then it would start back burning a little. We waited around for a little while in the warmth of our truck, knowing that it might be a while before the power company got there. There was several trees down but the line was really not endangering anything or anyone so we went back in service. On the ride back to the station we saw two power company trucks headed that way. Those guys had a really long night. I finished the class, had to refuel the engine, help fix the station heater and then it was home for bed. I think I finally got to bed about 11:30pm. We were very lucky as we didn't get a call after that. I guess all the damage was done and over.

One of our firemen is an engineer at the Air Base and he said they had over $1.2 million in damage. He watched the roof on a airplane hanger peel apart. This could have been much worse I suppose. The last major storms we had was when Hurricane Rita pushed northward and spawned a bunch of small tornadoes in our area one Saturday a couple years ago. I think I ran 9 fire calls that day within about a 5 hour period of time. I have countless other disasters/fires I could talk about but there is not enough room or time to write about them all here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Windy Monday Night

I did the Monday night run with Annette and the girls in the Blooming Ridge subdivision. They have been running here for a couple months now and Monday night they should have called it windy ridge. We had some pretty high winds to deal with and yes, there are hills here and many of them. You go up one and down another. We basically loop around the neighborhood in the dark but it is well lit. This is a great training route.

Yesterday afternoon I went to Academy Sports to get me another pair of Brooks Adrenalin 7's but wouldn't you know it, they were out of my size. Ever since I was injured I have had it in my head that the Saucony Hurricane 9's that I have wore some were not the right shoe for me. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. Irregardless, I have it in my head that they are causing me injury. Since they were out of the Adrenalin 7's, I decided to try something different. I tried on a pair of Asics Kayano Gel 13's which Annette has had good luck with and a pair of Nike Air Structure Triax 10+. I have a pair of Ascis GT2120's but they have always seemed to hurt my left heal. Something about the heel cup. Well, the Kayano 13's were about the same way. The Nike's felt great and had better cushioning. The Kayano 13's were almost twice as much as the Nike's so I decided to try a pair and see how they would do. I figured if nothing else I would have a nice pair of shoes to kick around in.

The Nike's actually felt really good on the run last night. They seemed to have more forefoot cushion than some. They seemed to keep my feet at a better angle than the Hurricane's do. If they don't work out I will be back to the old standby Brooks. The aggravating thing on shoes is the fact that about the time you like one, they change it and go to a new model.

More on the run:
When I got to Michele's house to start our run I was joined with Annette, Brenda, Kelly, Heather and Michele. The first thing we noticed was the temps were warmer than we had been used to but the wind was terrible! There must have been a 16-25 mph wind blowing directly from the south which made it feel much cooler than the 58 degrees that it was.

We crossed over into Blooming Ridge and all we could feel was a direct head wind. We commented that this was wind like the Rivertrail 15K had last year. We were running but it almost felt like we were standing still. After a couple hills we turned left and got out of the wind. Then it got hot. It was hot and cold all night depending on which direction we ran. I struggled a little bit but stayed with the group. When I hit 3.1 miles I decided that I was taking a walk break. Especially since this was the first time in forever that I had done 5k non stop. The girls kept going. So I would sprint to catch up, then slow or walk again. I only wanted about 4 miles anyway so I knew I didn't have far to go. Kelly was on fire last night pacing the group and looking very strong. The last 1/2 mile I ended up running very hard and fast to catch up. I looked at my garmin later and It showed me at about a 5:58 pace. Just wish I could hold that longer but I can't. Overall I was pretty happy with the run. Especially considering the hills and the wind we had to fight. We all hate wind and most hate hills so running what you hate makes you stronger.

Here are my splits from last night:
Total miles - 4.11
Avg. pace - 10:33
1- 10:49
560 calories burnt
Avg HR 166

Tonight is speed work at the track. I am looking forward to it though the weather is calling for 25 MPH winds. Could make for an interesting run. Afterwards I have to attend an emergency vehicle driving class at the FD. This is a boring class that I have done probably 13 times but it is a requirement to have at least once a year. Add another certificate to my collection!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hard Sunday Bike Ride

I met the Cruisers biking group at the regular 1:30pm Sunday ride. We were all hoping for a nice warm sunny day but mother nature never came through with it. It was about 38 degrees but sunny at ride time. This gave me a chance to try out my new Pearl Izumi Insular Tour Jacket that Annette had gotten me for my birthday. I was probably over dressed. I have on my CWX tights with some Nike jogging pants over them with triathlon shorts under all that for seat padding. On top I had a wicking t-shirt with a long sleeve moisture wicking fleece biking shirt then my Tour jacket. I had bought a balaclava face mask at Academy Sports week before last so I wore that to keep my head, ears and neck warm along with my helmet. I dug through my motorcycle stuff and found some riding gloves that were perfect for biking so I was set. The only thing that might get cold was my feet. I need some of those booties that you put over your shoes.

David is more or less our bike leader/director so he called the route. Bethlehem Rd. Loop they called it. I knew the only way to get there was out 321 so I knew we were in for hills. I had run out on Bethlehem during the summer. Several of us would meet at 6am, bike 1 hour on Hwy 31 then run for an hour. A brick is what they call it. I wanted 20-30 miles so this should be a good route.

Most of the bike rides like some of the runs always has a fast group, middle group and a slower group. Lisa and Cindy were there and I knew they were fast but I have ridden many times with them so I followed them starting out. We had a pretty good pace going which was rolling hills and mostly downhill all the way to Hwy 31. We stopped at the water department building at 31 and Bethlehem for a quick break and to let the others catch up. The lead group which consisted of about 4 riders was riding much harder than I really wanted to. At this point I was averaging almost 18 mph. When we headed down Bethlehem the group seemed to split up quite a bit. The lead group encountered a couple of riders on horses who didn't really like bikes I guess. The man was on a mule and it almost bucked him off when the first bike got to him. He wasn't too happy but we had just as much right on the road as anyone else.

The lead group seemed to take off and I couldn't hang with them. Lisa and Cindy had fallen back. I caught up to David and rode with him for a few then he started dropping. I kept pushing. I was pretty warm and wishing I hadn't worn quite as many clothes. After another probably 6 miles or so everyone stopped to regroup.

We started the turn back at this point. I was thinking about the hills on 321 already. They are much harder going back then coming this way. The lead group kept gaining speed and I couldn't come close to catching them. David, Lisa and Cindy were behind me. So I rode alone, fighting the wind, rough pavement and the uncomfortable feeling of being over dressed. We turned right back on to 31 for a mile or so then left back on 321. It was pretty much uphill now for a ways. Some of these hills just wear you down but I beat all of them. My thighs were burning many times. I figured the lead group might stop but they kept going. I guess they wanted to get this over with. I did stop one more time on 321 to eat some crackers and let the others catch up. Cindy and Lisa came by and I didn't see David so I waited. It wasn't long and he topped the hill so I knew he was ok so I took off. Nothing but up and down hills from here. The ups were hard, the downs were fast and nice. The last hill we always call Heart Break Hill and it was. I ended up dropping all the way down to my lowest gear to get over this animal. I was thinking to myself that its easier to run up this hill than it is to bike up it. By the time I got to the top my legs were done. I think I had used almost everything they had to make that last hill. Luckily the Church was just half a mile downhill from there.

All in all this was a great ride and with the pace I was trying to keep, it was very hard. Wind and hills are the bikers enemy as are rough roads. We had a little of all of these today. Now if I can just find some extra energy to run a couple miles my week will be complete.

Here is the final stats from todays ride:
Total Miles - 26.6
Time - 1:40:54
Avg. Speed - 15.8 Mph
Max speed - 26.2
1455 Calories
Temp at start time - 38 degrees
Temp at finish - 48 degrees

Saturday 7+

After having icy conditions Friday in the area I wasn't sure how Saturday's run would be. I had went out on a car accident at 3:30am so that messed my sleep up. Annette was running with Cheryl at 6am but I opted to run with a later group at 7:45am. Why everyone has to start so early I don't know. Some just want to get it done and over. In the summer you start early to beat the heat. I haven't figured out all the reasoning behind the early starts in the winter other than people having other obligations they need to get to.

The late group decided to do what we call the Mt Tabor loop. It's about 7 miles around and that was exactly what I needed. It was a cold 30 degrees when we started with little or no wind. Somehow I ended up leading the group down Hwy 89 towards Mt Tabor. It wasn't too far down the road when I found the first icy patch on the road. This made the run a little hazardous. We actually moved over to the grass on some of this section as we sure didn't want anyone falling down on Hwy 89.

After we turned on Mt Tabor I started slowing down. About 1/4 mile down the road we encounted another icy patch where the road crossed a small creek. These were pretty tricky and if you ran across them you were probably going to fall or slide. I think one of the ladies at the back of the group did fall on one of these but luckily she wasn't hurt.

After about my second water break I fell to the rear of the main group. There was still a couple ladies behind me a pretty good ways. It just seems I cannot hold any kind of good pace anymore. In October and November it would have been nothing for me to be maintaining a 10:20 pace on this run. Now I was hovering around 11:20. What gives?? I did have a little foot pain on my left heel which I always have but I also was starting to get some pains in my left knee. My right leg that had the stress fracture felt great. So this kind of messed with my head a lot. Was it the shoes?? I keep thinking the shoes are messing me up. But that really should not be the case. I was running in Saucony Pro Grid Hurricane 9's that were almost brand new. These are super cushioned and made for over-pronators. The leg doctor had given me inserts to use while my leg was healing so I thought maybe these were causing the twinges in my knee. I had actually taken them out for this run just to see how it would feel. Maybe its just old age. Maybe I should just bike.

The run continued. Mt Tabor has some nice rolling hills and I ran up every one of them. We turned on Hickory and more rolling hills. I just ran an easy pace but It really wasn't that easy. Maybe it's the extra 4 pounds of holiday weight. I need to lose this and get back to my marathon weight goal of 170 but I have never had the best eating habits. It's much easier in the summer for me.

After I turned on Dogwood I heard someone running up behind me and it was Bailey. She had gotten to the school late and had run about a 9:00 pace trying to catch up to us. I could see the two lead groups slightly ahead of us. Bailey said she was having some knee issues so she ran the rest of the way in with me. It was nice having someone to talk to and finish out the miles. Hwy 321 has some huge hills on it with the last one we all nicknamed "Heart Break Hill". Well, let me tell you we ran every hill on 321 and conquered Heart Break Hill with no problems. I may have lost speed but my hill climbing ability is still there if not better. It's just hard to not be where I was 3 months ago.

Afterwards a bunch of the runners went to "The Diner" which is a new restaurant in Cabot for breakfast. This seems to be a tradition on some runs and the Cruisers try to eat at different places in town, not that we have many choices at all. I will have to say the food at The Diner was good but their service was somewhat lacking. They were packed with people and the cashier didn't even know how to collect money on two tickets together. They are a new business only being open a couple weeks so things should get better hopefully.

Here are my splits from Saturdays run. I am not happy with them but they are what they are.
Total miles - 7.6
Time - 1:28:10
Avg. Pace - 11:36
1034 calories

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Spirit of the Marathon

Showing tonight only at a theater near you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday Night Hills

Tuesday night was our running clinic and our workout called for hill repeats. These are always good workouts as Magness Creek has some pretty good hills on the south side. Coach Dennis had me doing sort of an in between workout. He didn't want me doing the full hill like the advanced group but I was pretty much doing the intermediate plus. I started with a 1.5 mile warm up run and then it was to Overlook Drive. My workout called for 8-10 repeats but I actually did 11. I probably could have done more but I needed to be conservative with the healed up leg. It was a very cool night with temps hovering just above freezing and there was a slight mist in the air. This is a hard workout but is well worth it. I ended up with a total of 4 miles for the night. Luckily today my legs were really not that sore. My left foot had the nagging pain that I always have in the outside part of my heel so I took tonight as a rest night. Here are my splits from Tuesday night:

Total miles - 4.01
Time - 45:08
Avg. Pace - 11:16
1- 10:18
2- 11:44
3- 11:42
4- 11:18

Thursday night we are going to the movies to see Spirit of the Marathon. We are meeting several of the Cruisers for dinner before hand. That will be one movie theater packed with nothing but runners I bet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Birthday Run

Well today was my birthday. Yes, I am 29. (I wish) I had originally planned on riding with the group on a 50 mile bike ride today but the weather and work changed that. I was taking a vacation day today but ended up having to work on some audits so that blew that. The bike ride wouldn't have been too much fun anyway, it was about 30 degrees with a 24 degree wind chill at ride time. There was 4 riders that rode though. All I can say is they are animals! You have to be truly dedicated or training for a major event to brave the cold like today on a bike.

Annette and Brenda talked me in to having a birthday run with them. I only needed about 2 miles and Annette talked me into 3 so I said ok, i'd go. I'm glad I did. We ran the Blooming Ridge subdivision where Annette runs almost every Monday and Wednesday night. The route is well lit and very little traffic. But there is one catch. There is a bunch of hills. These are not big hills, but the kind that creep up on you. The girls claimed that they wanted to run a slow, easy pace but I knew better than that with these two. I figured they would run off and leave me but I hung with them and they were running slower than normal. I could tell I was still trying to get my conditioning back to where it was but I was able to run every hill. We ran a solid 2 miles before we took a quick walk break. About 3 hills later I was walking a little but I'd speed up to catch the girls. It felt pretty good but I was working harder than normal. This easy run for the girls was probably a tempo run for me. I'll be glad when my conditioning comes back. Here are my times, not bad I guess for my second week back running.

Total run - 3.5 miles - 36:32
Avg. Pace - 10:26
1- 10:12
2- 10:39
3- 10:30
.5- 10:22

The workout for tomorrow night's clinic is hill repeats. I hope my legs feel up to it!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saturday's Run

Saturday was my longest run for the new year and longest since Tulsa in November. I met the Cruisers at the school as usual at 7am. There was a pretty large group, probably 12-15+ and it was about 27 degrees. We also had a pretty good north wind blowing right at us. Annette was running with Cheryl, Michelle and the Little Rock Marathon group doing 16 in the hills.

I started out good, running with the pack for probably a tenth of a mile or so but they quickly left me in the dust. For some reason the group runs always start out super fast. I looked down and I was doing about a 10 minute mile and getting left for last. Oh well, I was recovering from an injury. Andrea and Kelly were suppose to run with me but they stayed in the pack. It wasn't long before Kelly dropped back and started running with me. I never saw Andrea again as she stayed with the fast group. It was nice of Kelly to slow down and run with me as I knew she could run much faster. I used to be faster but I guess the time off took its toll. I still had some endurance as we ran non stop for probably 2.2 miles or more before having a walk break. The majority of the group was doing 11-16 miles but I only needed to do 6 or 7. We ran into Rock and Kirsten when we turned off of Hwy 38. They were looking to hook up with the other group so we directed them on the direction they were traveling. Kelly ran the whole way with me and it was very much appreciated.

All in all I had a decent run I guess. We ended up with 6.1 miles. I was much slower than my normal 6 miles but I guess thats just the price you pay for an injury. I know it will get better the more I run. Coach Dennis has cautioned me not to do too much too soon so today is another rest day. I will still end up with right at 15 miles for the week so thats a good start. I'll be trying to add a little more each week.

Here were my slow splits:
6.1 miles - 1:11:04 - 11:39 average pace
1- 10:15
2- 11:31
3- 12:02
4- 12:00
5- 12:22
6- 11:48
.1- 11:02
164 average HR - 840 calories

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Plan - Hills Are My Friend

I have started my new running plan. Not a lot different than my Tulsa training was other than I am going to work more on leg strength. Hills are my friend now. I plan on running all the hills I can find. My friend Gary trains constantly on hills and he has done some remarkable things with his running. I will slowly be ramping my miles up with this week being my first full week back to running. I hope to end up with about 15 miles this week if all works out. Now if I could just be better on my nutrition I'd be headed in the right direction. With the holidays and all the non-running, I have gained about 3 or 4 pounds from my Tulsa Marathon weight. This should come off as I get more miles in. If I could only run away from Larry's Pizza more!!

Last night I did about 40 minutes of weight/core training including legs. Then hopped on the treadmill for 2 mile hill repeats. I have to say, intervals or hill repeats on the treadmill makes the time go by quicker and is not quite as boring. I would do 2 minutes flat, then do 1 minute at 2.5, then another minute at 3.5-4.0 incline. This may not be much for some out there but just coming back from an injury this made for a good little workout. I had the speed set for about an 11 minute pace and never changed it. This will probably be my treadmill workout when I use it and I'll be increasing the incline and speed each time The legs feel great today, though I can tell I worked the muscles good.

Saturday's plan is 6-7 miles with the group in Cabot. Most of the runners will be doing much longer so I may have 3 or 4 miles by myself. It's suppose to be about 20 degrees at 7am run time tomorrow so it should make for a challenging run. There are some good hills on the route I will be running and I am looking forward to whipping them suckers. There is one that I know of thats almost a mile long gradual climb. Hill's are my friend and training partner now. I just have to be careful not to do too much too soon so thats why I am keeping the miles low.

Happy running!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I went back to the Sports doc yesterday. They took another x-ray of my leg. The doctor told me I was healed and could start doing whatever I wanted, just build the miles back up slowly. He was somewhat surprised that I hadn't run more than I had but then again thats what helped the healing process. I asked him if speed work and hills were ok and he said do it. So off we go!

Last night I went to the running clinic. I was somewhat lost as to which workout to do. I felt like a beginner again, I had been an intermediate before fixing to move to advanced. The intermediates were suppose to do a 1-1.5 mile warm up run with 4 strides then a 16 minute tempo run. Afterwards 4 more strides then the cool down run back to the parking lot. The advanced group was doing a 22 minute tempo with a 2 mile warm up.

I was going to talk to Dennis after we got our warm up done to decide what exactly I should do. After almost 8 weeks of non-running, the warm up run was almost like a tempo run for me. I ended up getting 2 miles in with the strides with about a 10:30 average pace. Pretty fast really for a warm up but it was cold!

After talking to Coach Dennis, he suggested that I do a 10 minute tempo run instead of the 16 at a slower pace than my normal tempo pace. He suggested I not even look at my pace, just run based on my breathing. That was exactly what I had planned in my head other than I wanted at least a 10 minute pace. I figured I could do that. There was no way I could do 16 minutes at my old 9:30 pace.

I was right, the 10 minute pace was dead on and I ended up with 1 mile in exactly 10 minutes. I have to thank Brenda and Cindy who were running up behind me with about 200 meters left in my run. When I heard them I turned the speed on just to see if they could catch me. Of course they did but they were commenting that I must have been running really fast as they had to really push to pass me. They gave me a little extra push which I needed. Plus that help boost my confidence that I can get back to where I was. Based on my heart rate and breathing this was my tempo/LT pace. I had lost at least 30 seconds or more in speed during my off time but I'll get it back.

After 4 more strides then a .6 cool down run with about a 10:50 pace I was done. I ended up with 4.06 miles for the night, my second longest run in 8 weeks.

I'll have to say Annette is getting really fast. She ran with Andrea last night and she did the advanced workout. Think she was running somewhere in the very low 9's so I have my work cut out for me now. First goal will be to get my base back up so I can start building for the Little Rock 1/2 Marathon in March and the Nashville Country Music Marathon in April. I have not made a 100% commitment to run the full there yet but I'm sure I will. Coach Dennis advised me to build the miles slowly not to have a big increase from one week to the next. Well, it's probably going to happen this first week anyway. I hope to do about a 6-7 mile long run this weekend. I really should only do 6, my training program calls for 8 and one of the planned routes Saturday is 7 so you can see what I'll be doing. It won't be fast though, probably many walk breaks. Its good to be able to at least do it again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Trying to get back to Running

Yesterday I went down to the River Trail and did my longest run in almost two months. This was a test run to see how the leg was feeling before I go back to the doc on Tuesday. I ended up with 4.5 miles and a very slow overall pace of 11:42. It seems I have lost some endurance though my legs felt good and really strong. I purposely did not try to run fast, but I could tell by my heart rate that I had lost some of my training. I did power up every hill with no problem. I just seemed to tire quicker than normal but that all relates back to how hard the heart is pumping. Others have told me that it won't take long at all to get back to where I was.

It was a beautiful day but very cool on the River Trail. Temps at my 8:15am start were about 33 degrees but I quickly warmed up.

The River Trail is beautiful this time of year

There were lots of people out running and a few biking. The Little Rock Marathon Training Group was out in full force. Annette and Cheryl were running with them. There was also quite a few Cruisers doing their own thing. Most were doing 10-16 miles so I started late so I could finish up when they did.

This was me, warmed up after about 2.5 miles

The plan was that after everyones run we would all meet up at the Boulavard Bread Company down at the River Market for breakfast. There probably ended up being 8 or 9 total that showed up. We sat around ate and drank coffee till almost noon.

This was Cheryl showing Annette how to set up a different screen on her Garmin

It was nice to get back to running even though I felt a lot like I was starting over again. The good thing was I only had the normal soreness and should get a full release from the doc. We shall see.

Saturday afternoon and night all I did was run fire calls from about 3pm till 9pm. It seemed like every time I'd get back home from one I'd have to go out on another. We had one call where an individual was burning in his yard and set a tree on fire. First time out we put about 600 gallons of water on it. But that wasn't enough, after the wind started blowing we had to go back out there again. This time we put probably another 1000 gallons on it. The tree needed to be cut down but that really wasn't our job. We did get it out and didn't have to go back in the middle of the night thank goodness. On top of that I think we had two or three other small grass fires from people burning.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Ok, I've been slacking on posting and slacking on working out. I can tell it too. I think I have gained 2-3 pounds which sucks. I have actually been really busy with work and fire department stuff and sometimes it's just hard to get motivated, especially with an injury. But I have snuck a few easy runs in. I had Doctors orders to run a little this week anyway. I go back next Tuesday and hope for a full release so I can start back on my Marathon training.

Sunday night I got a nice run in at the track. I met Annette's sister Tracy there as she wanted to run some too. The first mile I did on the track, non-stop before she got there. I was slow but wasn't tired. After Tracy got there I asked her what she wanted to do and we decided that we would try a one miler non-stop for her. We did a warm up walk lap and then started our run. Pretty much it was at my marathon pace or slower. Tracy did great, and completed her mile without stopping. She actually beat her previous timed mile in the clinic and had a time of around 11:30. It's always nice to help new runners break a record. We went on and did another mile and she did fartleks while I just ran slow. We also did a couple laps around the turf just to show her how the turf felt and the different muscles it works. I ended up with a total of 3.42 miles for the night, giving me more miles in the first week of January than the whole month of December.

The leg actually felt great, but I didn't want to push any distance or speed work till after my doctors appointment. I now have full range of motion back in the leg and it is starting to feel strong again. The downside is, I feel like a new runner and seem very slow. I really didn't expect this much of a slowdown but then again I really haven't put it to the full test yet.

Last night I did a quick run on the treadmill. 2.2 miles at a fairly fast pace. .2 of that was walking for a warm up/cool down. I hate even using the pace on my treadmill because it is always slower than what it is outside. I think the effort on the treadmill may be more because there is not much air movement.

I really need to get back on the bike trainer some too but I have just lacked motivation this week. Maybe I will gain some big inspiration in the next few days. After my doctors appointment I hope to have some motivation and a plan for the upcoming Little Rock 1/2 Marathon and Nashville Marathon. Nashville will be 15 weeks out next week so its a perfect time to get started again. I really don't know what I can do different in training that I did training for Tulsa other than quit if I think I'm hurt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Veteran Removes Illegal Mexican Flag

First, I'm not racist, but if your going to fly the flag, do it right. People have gave their lives for this so respect it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Updating my Blog

Wow it's Sunday and I am behind on updating my blog. So here's an update:


Thursday Night Running Clinic
Since Tuesday was a holiday this week we had the running clinic on Thursday night. Coach Dennis decided to return to the Cabot High School track which I always like. I decided to go and try running a couple miles to see how things felt.

After I got there I did a brisk walk around the track for a warm up and then we had a group meeting to discuss the workout for the night. I told Coach Dennis that I would be in the beginner group. If it wasn't for injuries I would have probably been running with the advanced group. After giving the advanced and intermediate their workout it was time for the beginners. Well, myself and Annette's sister Tracy were the only ones left. Dennis advised Tracy to do some 200's and 400's with walk breaks in between. When he got done explaining that whole workout I asked him what he thought I should do. He said NO speedwork. But that I should just run and see how things felt. I told him I planned to run a couple slow miles just to see how things were feeling and to get my muscles back used to running. I think I did one lap running and when I got back around to Dennis he stopped me for a minute. He made a suggestion that I might want to run on the astro turf instead of the track. He said that he remembered when he coached with Nike that when they had athletes coming back from an injury they would often have them run on the football field rather than the track since it was a softer surface. So thats what I did.

The laps went by pretty quick though I was running slow. A few laps later I stopped and talked to Dennis again. He told me that running on the turf would also help strengthen the smaller muscles in my lower legs and feet. I guess all the squishiness worked muscles you normally would not work on the road.

I kept it up, it was not hard even though the temperature was about 28 degrees. I was dressed just right for the run. My heart rate seemed a little higher than normal so I figured that was just the loss of conditioning. I ended up with a final of 2.94 miles. I don't remember the exact average pace but it was slow because I took some walk breaks and stopped a few times to talk. It was nice to get out and run with everyone again.

The next day I noticed that I was sore in places I had never been sore in before. My butt was sore! My leg actually felt fine. No soreness or pain at all. My old nagging left foot achillies was more sore than anything. I emailed Dennis later and told him about how my recovery from this run was and told him about my new sore spots. He explained that it was because of running on the grass. You do work some different muscles and thats why my butt was sore. If you want a tight butt, running on the turf is the way to go!

Not much to report on running other than I jumped on the treadmill and did 1.2 miles with 1 mile of solid running. No pain no hurts. My plan is to start back doing just these short 1-3 miles runs. I go back to the doctor on the 15th and the way things feel now I am hoping for a full release back to running. I know it will require a build up but I still feel pretty strong. Coach Dennis has said many times that my muscles will come back stronger than ever so we shall see.

FD Stuff
It seems like we have been really busy at the fire department this week. The extreme cold brought on lots of fires. Saturday morning started shortly before 5am with an auto accident call. This one ended up being a rolled over abandoned vehicle. It looked like whoever wrecked it kicked the back glass out and took off. Most likely they were drinking and didn't want to get caught. We see a lot of this. I can't count the number of times we have rolled up on upside down vehicles in the middle of the road to find no one inside or around. Usually we do find lots of beer bottles/cans in the vehicles.

I am on a committee to spec out and purchase a new fire truck and Saturday afternoon we had a meeting to go over the specs. Let me tell you, there is a lot of planning that goes into building a fire truck. From chassis manufacture, engine sizes, all the way down to hose connections. It's very complicated. And spending between $195,000 and $225,000 of the tax payers money we have to make sure we get the most we can for the dollar. We did get our preliminary specs completed and bids will be going out to manufactures next Friday. We pretty well have it narrowed down to 4 possible builders, Smeal, Rosenbauer, Pierce and David's Fire Equipment. All of these companies will offer us local or semi-local service. David's Fire is located in Cabot and one of our Captains is the one that builds the trucks. We would love for them to get the job but since they are very small, they may not be able to compete with the big guys on chassis prices. We will know more in about 30 days or less.

Saturday Night
Another MVA Saturday night contributed to alcohol. Luckily no one was seriously injured. The driver of the van sustained a broken leg and the other driver staggered away in a police car unhurt. You can figure the story behind that. I think I finally got home about midnight.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Cold & Fires

First off, the past two days have been very cold here. Wednesday night had to be the coldest night of the year with lows down in the lower teens. With the very low temperatures the fire danger increases as people do crazy things to keep warm. We actually had two structure fires Wednesday night and Thursday morning both somewhat related to the cold.

Wednesday Night
The first fire the home owner was very lucky. They actually had a chimney fire. They called 911 shortly after 9pm and advised that they thought the fire was out but wanted the FD to come out and check it. Lucky for them they made that call. When our first units arrived they advised nothing showing and a couple minutes later canceled all other units. Since it was about a 10 mile drive by fire truck from my station I was still in standby mode since we had two stations closer anyway. About 30 seconds later the Incident Commander who was our chief came back on the radio and asked to have all units including our Mutual Aid (two other fire Dpts) paged out. I thought oh crap, something has flared up and now the whole house is on fire.

I had about a 3 minute response to Station 3 and shortly thereafter we had a 3 man crew on Engine 64 and a driver on Tanker 2. I was the Engineer(Driver) on E64 and had Bobby as Captain so we sped away thinking all the time oh crap, this is not going to be good. It was 19 degrees at that point. As we were en route the Chief advised that they thought the fire was out and canceled our mutual aid. He asked that our unit come on in and provide salvage and overhaul manpower.

We went inside and found out that the flue on the chimney which was a metal pipe had actually vented the fire out one of the joints and had started catching one of the studs on fire in the attic. Luckily, since the home owner had called 911, one of our Lieutenants went up in the attic to make sure there was no hidden fire and once he did, he found a spot smoking on a stud. He had a water extinguisher with the inside crew so he just quickly squirted some water on it and the fire was out. Another 5 minutes and the whole attic of this house would have been on fire and we would have had a much worse outcome.

In order to check for any other hidden fires, we had to take out probably a 6 foot by 6 foot section of sheet rock then clean out all the insulation around the flue pipes. Let me tell you, as firefighters we can tear some stuff up quick if needed to get to hidden fire. Since fire fighting is a total team effort, you never know what you may end up doing. So I was stuck holding the trash can while one of the guys shoveled out insulation from up above me. I can tell you, thats some nasty dusty stuff. We used our thermal imaging camera to check for any hidden heat or fires also. After we were all satisfied there was no fire, we swept and cleaned the floor of the debris. Lucky for this home owner all they will have to do is replace some sheet rock and insulation. Speaking of insulation, the blown insulation tends to hold fire so it had to be cleaned out totally in the burn area. We were pretty happy that we didn't have to pull a hose line or spray any water from the pump especially with the temps. The strange thing about this fire is that about 8 years ago we fought a fire in the same house. The house didn't burn down twice so thats a good thing!

Thursday Morning
I did not make this fire as I had to be at work. This one was not good. A single mother and her three small kids were asleep in her mobile home when she awoke to the smell of smoke. She quickly got up and got her kids to safety before the whole trailer went up in flames. They had no gas heat and were relying on a space heater in one room to keep warm. It was later found that her 4 year old decided to play with matches while the others were asleep and when he lit the match, he dropped it on the couch which immediately went up in flames. There were no smoke detectors so it was a stroke of luck that they got out alive. The trailer was a total loss and so was all of their belongings. This young mother of three is actually one of our probationary fire fighters. There has already been a bunch of donations of clothes and money from area fire departments so they will be well taken care of. This was one of those cases where things could have been much much worse. Clothes and belongings can be replaced, lives cannot.

This is the time of year when people become careless, not cleaning their fire places, using unconventional methods to stay warm, etc. Candles are the biggest cause of fires that I have seen and some people think they can keep warm by burning these. If you have young children, keep matches and lighters hid and away from their reach. Not smoking helps eliminate this pretty quick. Be careful out there and think.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

18 & .8 to start 2008

Since it has now become tradition to get a run in on New Years Day, I decided that since I was injured I'd add a little more biking to the mix. Since it was 2008 I wanted miles with 8 in it. It was too cold and windy to ride the bike outside so I set it back up on the trainer and took off for what I planned to be 8 miles. By the time I got to 8, I had just warmed up good so I figured why not make it 18. I had another 30 minutes or so to kill and I needed the workout. In about an hours time I had 18 done.

Then it was off to the run portion. Since I was still injured I couldn't run much but a little was ok so I opted for .8 on the treadmill. After 18 hard miles on the bike trainer, .8 was just fine. The good thing is, the leg felt great. So I guess you cold say I started '08 with a brick workout.

I looked back in my log for last New Years Day and I saw another tradition that I hope doesn't continue. I was injured last year too! I had IT band problems last winter. Annette, Kim and I still did a 3.1 mile run around our neighborhood though it was very slow for me. I think it took me about 35 minutes. I did miss getting to run with everyone this New Years. All I can say is that if I keep getting the bike training in that I am now, everyone better look out come spring time!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

10,000 miles in '07

On an earlier post ( I had mentioned that Charlie W. was about to hit the 10,000 mile mark biking for 2007. Well, as of last night he did it and was at 10,016 miles for the year. At that time he was ranked 97th in the country in mileage for the year. He also beat his 2006 mark by 3.5 miles. He said he was pretty much behind all year and in November logged 1113 miles and December 1009 to hit his goal. The amazing thing is that Charlie is pretty much your average guy, he works a regular day job. Is not a spring chicken like me nor extremely athletic in looks. However, in my mind anyone that can do this is an "athlete". He just proved that if you want to do something bad enough you can do it. This was a pretty big undertaking in my book and he did it. Very inspiring for those of us that can't make it out the door sometimes.

Here is a photo of Charlie nearing the 10,000 mile mark. Thats the bike he rides and thats pretty much the gear he rides in. So whats your goals for 2008?