Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I am now a Marathon Runner! click here for my results.

This weekend seemed like it took 3 yrs to get here. The truth of the matter is I should already be a marathon runner, but my first attempt was cancelled due to a freak snow storm at Myrtle Beach.

This race was supposed to be for fun, I formed a Pilot Travel Centers Fittest Company Team. We have 62 individuals taking part in some form of the race. Some doing the 5k, a couple relay teams, a few 1/2 Marathoners and 2 Full Marathoners. My self and my brother-in-law (Matt Liggett). I ran the half last year in 1:43 and new the full here would be a bitch.

So yes, I was a little worried when the weather forecast on Sat. was calling for 80% chance of heavy thunderstorms and 30-40 mph sustained winds. The only thing that was positive was the temp. was 45 to start and 53 at the finish. So yes, I was pissed all over again that my first attempted had been cancelled. I just wanted to get this under my belt. Crossed off the bucket list you know put to rest.

This weekend was also special my brother-in-law who is the runner of the family drove down to run with me. I owe him for getting me into this long distance stuff. My in laws also came down for the week. On top of this my family hosted Sam from Operation Jack. Please visit his site and take a look at how you can make a difference. As you can see we had a full house and this was good because it occupied my mind.

I knew I wouldn't go out and set a real low time due to the course and it's hills. I did however want to give it a shot and thought a goal of 3:45 was feasible.

The morning of the event came fast, the three of us drove over to the start and we had very little time to get ready. Seemed like 15 mins, I am sure it was more like 30. I was able to hook up with a few other Pilot runners. It was good to see everyone seemed to show even with the forecast. Matt, David and I positioned ourselves in the second corral around the 7:30 pacer. I wanted to go out around 7:50 and Matt wanted 8:15. I knew he wouldn't let me get to far ahead and I wanted to push the first half. My first 5 miles were 7:50, 7:32, 7:48, 8:04, 7:46

At this point I was running with Dawson aka Phelps, he was doing the 1/2 and I knew at some point I would have to let him run away. I felt strong and my heart rate was never high. Miles 6-8 bring you across the Blvd and up the second big hill of the front half. We ran smooth at 7:50, 7:49 and 8:13 to climb out. At this point I was happy to have bagged some time sub 8:00 pace. At this time, a small man appeared on my shoulder, he started whispering in my ear you can run 20 @8:00 pace and 6 @9:00 for a solid 2:35ish finish. I believed him the next couple miles down third creek greenway were 7:50, 7:50, 7:49 then it happened a little rumbly in the tummy. Yes folks, the line at the start for the potty was too long and I had put something off too long . Lucky me, I was coming up to Tyson Park that had facilities. I will consider this a 2 min time penalty. I hit lap on my Garmin when entering, but of course forgot to lap when finished so I really do not have the true effect of this stop.

Looking back now this might have been where my mind switched off from 20mi in 2:40 to I better save my legs mode. The last couple miles for the front were 9:48 and 8:13. Now the 9:48 was a big climb that averages 4.5% grade.

I turned and headed out onto the back half and for the next 4 miles just tried to maintain a rhythm. 8:12, 8:25, 8:45, 8:38 legs felt ok not great. Nutrition was fine, just didn't have the ability to run 8:00 anymore. By this time, the hare, my brother-in-law had caught me and dropped me. As he ran off, another little man appeared on my other shoulder. He started to chant "you suck" "Just stop" "Walk a little, what's it matter now" "you suck" " you just got dropped" ! As you can see this little bastard was way different than the last man I spoke with. The next 4 miles were tough, you go through a section of town known as the Old City and past some pubs. Oh I wanted to pull in for a small snack and maybe a pint from the Crown and Goose but I couldn't. Then you climb out of the Old City back up to the Woman's Basketball Hall Of Fame. These were tough 8:51, 9:09 and mi 20 9:24. I had reached mi 20 in around 2:45ish.

At this point I moved away from posting a super time to ok I will be sub 4hr no issues. I crested the hill by the Hilton and headed over the Henley St bridge. I now refer to this bridge as, The bridge from hell! By the time I got across this Mother Fucker I was toast. I think being able to see a large section of what was ahead of me really screwed with my brain. My body and legs went into survival mode and I ran 9:26 and 9:45 through mi 22. It was nice to see some friends along the rode in Island Home subdivision. Thanks for the support.

Then my nightmare began. Rain and i do not mean a slight drizzle or even a steady rain, I talking buckets of cold hard rain with 30mph steady winds. Thank god I only had 3 miles to go because I was freezing and over running by this point. At one point I believe there was hail hitting me. Now understand, I am not afraid of a little cold. I have been training in it for the past 25 weeks. I just had never jumped into the river and then ran around in my underware for 32mins before. Yes peeps, my last 3 miles were a miserable 10:25, 11:44, 10,34 trust me, my mind wanted to be running 7:30 my legs just wouldn't perform.

I am happy, that evening Sam and I went out for Five Guys Burgers and Fries! Why, he informed me because that's how he rolls. let me tell you, the man rolls fast. He finished 5th in his Age group and 38th overall @3:20. It was a pleasure having him stay with us and the Orler family wishes him great luck and smooth flights for the remainder of his races.
Here is Sam waiting to place his order

It is official, Matt is faster than me, he finished in 3:48 - 6 mins faster. This is the second race Matt has beat me in this month. He posted a sub 20min 5k to beat my 20:39 in Orlando. I think it is time he gets a bike.

Speaking of Bikes, mine is loaded up in the truck because tonight I am going to get smashed by a group of guys riding the Foothills Parkway. It is a Tuesday night tradition to get out legs in shape for the hills around Knoxville. It is a 27 mi ride that goes out and back. the out portion is 3mi flat, 9 mi up hill @6%. We race to the top and then at the end we have a sprint finish. I am sure I will be smashed after tonight. Not only are my legs still tired from running, but I have not rode outside in a couple of months. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 12, 2010

Swimming Again!

Yes, it is that time again where I go 3 times a week to get my ass handed to me. Yes, I am swimming again. On the bright side, I already after two swims feel as confident as I did at the end of last season. I was very smart and worked hard in the off season to keep my weight off and also do swim specific weight training. Here is a picture of David "Phelps" Dawson going to practice. David's last event, he came out of the water in a 70.3 in 3rd place.

I am so lucky to have a great environment to train in. Above is a local legend Bill Lauer, last year he did 75/ 75's on his 75th birthday. I am not kidding and they were on serious intervals. He kicks my ass! He has impacted so many swimmers lives in Knoxville.

Take a look at this facility I get to swim at! The bottom right you can see our coach Ashley still on the deck teaching.

Here is the UT girls 2010 swim team, many of these girls qualified for Nationals this weekend.
I know, you are all wondering how I got that pic? I am not telling.
Now it is time to lube up the bike and start hitting the roads hard. Next Tuesday begins our weekly race to Look Rock. 9 mi climb @6% ave grade. A strong day we hold 12mph on the hill, my record is 55:03 from Coulters bridge to look rock.

One day maybe Heather could ride with us! That is so close to my first ever bicycle, my brother Mark built it up from three old bikes in 1975.

Alright, it is time for a break from all this blogging, thanks Phil for snapping this embarrassing pic of me.

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