I call them quirks, maybe you call them something else; habits, superstitions, or ‘must dos’ before or during a run. I’m not sure if all runners have quirks or things that must be the same all the time, but I know I have some. So I thought I would share by thinking out loud and see if you share any of them or others of your own?
1. Puting my shoes in the same place after running
This is a quirk I have developed in the last month or two. I rotate between a used pair of shoes and a new pair of shoes to try and extend the life of my new ones. I write the date I ‘retired’ the used shoes on the bottom now, but I didn’t always do that. My quirk is that when I take my new shoes off, I must untie them, loosen the laces and sit them by the back door. My used shoes must be placed at the exact opposite end of the kitchen. I think I started doing this so I could remember which ones are which, before I started dating them on the bottom, then it just became something I have to do.
2. The way I put my socks on
This one I have been doing since I was young. One day I was watching an episode of Mr. Rodger’s and he was teaching kids how to put their shoes on. He remarked he said he always started with his left foot. Since that day I always put on my left sock and my left shoe first. When I grabbed my socks I look at them at pick out which one is going on each foot, not that they are different just another quirk.
3. The direction I run
When I run in an area or loop I am familiar with I always run the same way. I know advice from the experts is to switch it up so it doesn’t get boring but I like consistency. Just last night while doing speed work, my friend asked if we should change the direction we were running on the track, I opted for no.
4. When my shorts get tied
My shorts aren’t falling off before I tie them, no need to worry about that. I tie my shorts right before I start running, I do this to keep any extra pressure off of my stomach. I don’t tie them really tight but I like to make sure everything is snug and just the way I like it prior to and during the run.
5. My watch latch must be in the same hole
This is annoying even to me and I don’t always get it right. I don’t like my Garmin 220 to tight or to loose. There is one hole that allows my Garmin to rotate freely, but not all the way around my wrist. I can just give it a little twist and I can see the screen. If it is to tight I feel like I am constricted, to loose and it feels like it will fall off. I don’t always get it right and sometimes I have to make adjustments during the run. I have thought about counting the holes or marking the right one…
6. Race day attire
Prior to discovering Lululemon I ran in the same shorts for nearly 13 years. Don’t worry I washed them and I had several pairs, they were my Air Force PT shorts. When I transitioned to new running gear, some of that need to wear the same thing stayed with me. On race day, I like to wear the same gear, weather permitting, for each race during the season. No real reason behind it other than I know I’m comfortable racing in that gear and that helps to ease my mind; one less thing to worry about.
7. Diet leading up to a race
Maybe this isn’t a quirk, but I’m including it anyway it is something I do. I don’t know why I picked the time frame I did, I don’t think there is any science behind it. For a 5k race, I won’t have any alcohol a day or two before the race. For a half marathon, I won’t have any alcohol 2 weeks prior. Finally for a marathon, no alcohol for a month prior. Not that I drink a lot, but I want to make sure my body is in the best shape it can be for race day. I like to think of the body as a machine and you have to give it the proper fuel!
8. Tying my shoes
I’m thinking this one might be the most common shared by runners or I could be totally wrong. I have to make sure my laces aren’t to tight and not to loose. That’s not the quirk. The quirk is when I retie one shoe I have to retie the other to make sure the pressure is the same. Just the other day I was out on a run and within a 1/4 mile I probably retied my shoes 4 times. There was a rock in one I couldn’t get out, finally I found it in my sock. Having the lace pressure correct and even is a must.
9. Pre-race arrival time
This is another quirk that harkens back to my military days. ‘If you’re not early you’re late!’ I have to be everywhere early, I think this annoys some of my friends. It is a habit (quirk) I can’t break. Normally I am 15 minutes early to everything, come race day I like to be 30 minutes early or even more. I want to make sure I have time to get comfortable, take any last minute fluids, get rid of any last minute fluids. I’ve had the experience of being the last person to cross the start line and had to jump over the deflating arch. I was in the Bahamas for the marathon and in the porta-potty when the race started. Always being early is a must for me, if I’m not my nerves start to get jittery and that is not good before a race.
I think that is all of my quirks, hopefully you don’t think I’m crazy or have OCD, cause I don’t! Wait isn’t that something a crazy or OCD person would say…no of course not! Anyway…
Sometimes when I am out enjoying a run, or trying to enjoy a run, some things irritate me. I thought I would compile a list and see if you feel the same way?
1. Not smiling or waving back
When I run and see another runner or biker I usually wave, smile, or nod my head to them. Just a sort of ‘Hey I know we are both suffering out here, keep up the good work!’ Baltimore is called Charm City, I’ve heard we were given that nickname as a joke and sometimes I think that is the true. Other runners and bikers rarely respond. When I tell people this, they say well maybe they didn’t see you, um, they were looking right at me. What happened to just being friendly when you are out and about. Maybe I’m expecting to much?
2. Retractable dog leashes
This is probably my biggest pet peeve, literally! (see what I did there) You may have read in my last blog about when I ran into a retractable dog leash I could not see. That was not the first time I’ve had issues with people and retractable dog leashes. What I mean by retractable is those leashes that allow the dog to go anywhere from 10-50 ft from the owner and then retracts when the dog walks back. When running the waterfront people allow their dogs to walk on one side and they walk on the other, they basically create a gate across the entire path. One day, in my neighborhood, I had a person acknowledge I was coming and then he let his dog run up to me on a retractable leash. We had quite the exchange of words after I almost tripped over his dog. If you are going to use a leash like that, why use one at all? You have no control over the dog; it is a safety hazard for other people and for the dog.
3. People oblivious to surroundings
I’m sure we have all run into these types of people, hopefully not literally! (maybe I should write a blog on puns) These are the people who somehow passed second grade but don’t know their right from left, or left from right (subtle pun)! Whenever I’m running up behind someone if the path is tight I will call out ‘passing on your left’. This causes people to freak out, and go every direction but to the right. I’ve actually had more problems with these people while riding my bike; unfortunately a few have gotten more acquainted with me and my bike then they would have liked. Not on purpose they just zigged when they should have zagged and didn’t leave me enough time to react. I digress, how about those people who are walking towards you or just standing in the middle of the path staring at shiny things! Just this week, when I was running a person was walking towards me and I motioned which side I would pass on, last minute he changes his mind. I avoided running into him, but I fell and scuffed up my hands; nothing severe. Let’s not forget the little kids who’s parents don’t keep an eye on them, parents don’t let your children wander to far away from you in crowded areas, that should be obvious.
4. People who yell things
Women I get it, ‘cat-calling’ is not appropriate! Men experience this too! Probably not the same way. I experience it more in my own neighborhood than anywhere else. On more then one occasion, okay probably weekly, I will be out running and someone has something snarky to say. Usually it is some snide remark, sometimes I can’t understand them because they are slurring their words so much. In those cases I will give them a ‘special’ wave and keep on running. Only on a few occasions have I actually stopped when something was said to me, come to think of it the only time I have is when running by the bus stop. Bus People, ugh!!!! I’m not categorizing all people who ride the bus, I do from time to time. Heck the people who say things may not even be riding the bus, they might just be hanging out at the bus stop. People, ugh!!! Anyway, I’m not one to just let things go without a response if I feel one is warranted, sometimes you have to stop and let people know what they said is not appropriate. I’m usually not so kind in my phrasing or tone.
You wouldn’t really think this is a problem when running, but if you run in an area with restaurants or businesses you probably know what I mean. People who congregate in one area and puff away on their cigs, that’s what all the cool kids call them; I think. It creates this plume of smoke that billows from the area like the exhaust stacks from a factory. I usually pull my shirt up over my nose or cover my nose with my hands.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway before July 30th, you could win a Nike+Sportband!
What are your running (pet) peeves? How do you deal with them?
Traveling for two weeks really threw off my training plan, especially when I was hanging out with my friends. This week I really want to focus on staying on track and maybe throwing in a few extra miles.
Don’t forget to register for my giveaway on July 30th!
Monday: 5 Miles (Pace 8:59)
One thing that was nice about being out of Baltimore the past two weeks was the lower humidity. Today the humidity was up near 45% and the temp climbed to 93 degrees. The weather report said the heat index was between 103-105. In the interest of my health and wellness, I decided to focus on hydrating throughout the day and run in the evening after the sun started to go down. I convinced one of my running friends to join me and she convinced her brother to come as well. I say convinced because I think she was leaning towards running on the treadmill rather than outside. We met at her house ran down to the promenade on Boston St. through Fells Point and back. The air was thick and the sweat was pouring off of us. Our pace was a bit slower than we normally run, but we got the miles in. Sometimes you need to adjust for the weather and make sure you are safe when you run!
Tuesday: 7 Miles (Pace 8:11)
My plan today was to run with Tin Roof Runners, they usually run between 3-5 miles, but I needed to run a bit further to stay on track with my training plan. Though I did add a few extra miles yesterday. I decided to take an Uber to run club and get out early and run a few miles before running with the group. I had the Uber drop me off in Highlandtown about 2 miles away and I ran to Tin Roof in Power Plant Live. It was a good warm up before running with the group. The weather was humid as usual and I think that kept people from coming out to run club, but a few people showed. We ran a loop through Fells Point, Canton, Patterson Park, and back to Power Plant Live. It was a good run and nice to be running in my hometown after 2 weeks away!
Wednesday: 5 Miles (8:04)
I decided to bike to run club tonight, it is about 6 miles each way, a nice warm up before hitting the streets. I added a few more miles today, even though it is still early in my training and it probably won’t matter, I feel like I need to make up the miles I missed last week. I ran with City Sports Run Club tonight! That is where I started running about 2.5 years ago; a TomTom rep was there and raffeling off a TomTom Runner Cardio. To enter the raffle you had to demo the watch. The rep who I have known for a while now, joked that I could wear my Garmin 220 on one arm and then TomTom on the other. I opted to just run with the TomTom. It was a little bit bigger, and only had one button on the wristband, it also had a heart rate monitor built in. Overall I liked the Runner Cardio, but I’ll stick with my Garmin. Had I won the watch I may have been swayed! One of the reps I didn’t know also ran with us, he only ran a 1/4 mile with us and then stopped. We ran around the city through the Harbor, Locust Point, Fed Hill, and back. After the run, when we got back to the store he informed us he had a heart attack about 3 weeks ago. I was amazing he was even able to run that much, the body is an amazing thing!
Thursday: 1 Mile (8:16)
Due to some other committments I had to run in the late afternoon today, probably the hottest part of the day, though it wasn’t as hot as it has been the last few days. I was sore from earlier in the week and hitting the links earlier in the week. I decided to switch my tempo run today and do it Friday with November Project. I got my new shoes in the mail, and decided a short run would be a good start to breaking them in. I ordered Brooks Glycerin 12’s Ombre collection. I’ve ran in Brooks for the last 2 years, same shoe, same color, either orange or the ombre (blue/orange). When I find something I like I stick with it! After adjusting the laces the way I like I took a loop around the neighborhood and kept the run streak alive!
Friday: 4.7 Miles (Pace 8:09)
Well I didn’t get to run with Sarah and FKBT when I was in Providence so I figured I would go to November Project this week and run with Sarah and hear about her half marathon. I decided to work in some cross training again and rode my bike to NP, it was about 4 miles each way. This week I was suppose to do 5 X 800 intervals, but I decided that hills would be just as good. The training plan does say you can swap workouts if the race course is hilly and Baltimore is a hilly course, especially the second half. NP always runs hills on Friday and it just so happens the hill they run is about 800 meters, so it worked out perfectly. I still tried to sprint when I could but the hill is a 5% incline and by the 3rd one I was feeling it. On the second ascent I could see a person walking dogs near the top of the hill but I didn’t see a leash so I assumed they were off leash. You know what they say about assuming. As I turned the corner at the top of the hill I felt something pull hard across my stomach, it was one of those retractable leashes. I’m not sure who I pulled more the dog or the owner. He immediately started apologizing. I decided not to respond at all, because what I would have said would not have been nice. I pushed the leash over my head and went on my way. The 5th hill I was struggling but I still gave it my all, when I finished I was thinking about trying to run that little extra to get to 5 miles but my legs were spent and I still needed to ride my bike home. You can always count on a good workout with November Project!
Saturday: 7 Miles (Pace 8:14)
Seven Miles on tired legs, tired from the hills the day before and just in general tired. Today marked 9 months of my run streak, I’ve ran everyday for 9 months, it is even a little hard for me to believe. When I started out I wasn’t sure how long I could keep the streak up, so far I’m really happy with how it is going! These 7 miles were suppose to be at race pace, but I just wanted to get them in; when I started I wasn’t even sure I if I had 7 miles in my legs today. Furthermore 8:14 might be my race pace, though I’m hoping it will be slightly faster, only time will tell. I ran the peninsula around my house, the evening air was warm but tolerable. I had a negative split on each half and I picked up the pace the last 2 miles, the last mile was actually my fastest at 7:56, which made me happy. I felt much better after I got the miles in, funny how it always works out that way. I’m not looking forward to the 10 miles tomorrow. I see now why the training plan has the day of rest between hills and the next two days of running…oops.
Sunday: 10 Miles (Pace 8:54)
I tried something I’ve never done on a training run before; a point to point run. I decided to run in the city, so I took an Uber to the Korean War Memorial and went from there, not really knowing where I would end up. I decided to run along the waterfront for a while, when I got to the harbor I ran up Pratt St. From there I looped both stadiums and headed towards Ft. McHenry, I made another detour ran around a park, not really sure of the name and then looped the Under Armor factory and that made 10 miles. I was pretty happy with my pace, I was trying to run slower which is sometimes hard for me when I run by myself. I was trying to focus on just logging the miles instead of the speed. Yesterday I was dreading running, today I enjoyed each mile and the scenery. It got me thinking does it matter where you run? I think it does, I enjoy running more in the city than I do my own neighborhood. I think it is because of the people, scenery, and other runners in the city. Another week of training in the books!
I’m just Thinking Out Loud here…What’s up with races that have odd and unusual mileage? I’m not talking about a 5k, 13.1, 26.2, 50k, or even 100k though they are ‘odd’ mileages. I’m talking about the races that aren’t that common as in a 6k, 10 miler, 12 miler, and the most recent I have seen a 6 miler. Let’s start out with a race I do like and have ran three times but got me thinking about this entire issue…
I like to be able to run a distance I am familiar with and have the opportunity to PR if I have a bad day. A few months back I ran the Baltimore 10-miler and had an ‘off’ day. Before the race I was probably over confident that I was going to get a PR, because my training was going really well. It wasn’t in the cards though, I missed my PR time I had set the year before by close to 2 minutes. It was very disappointing. As soon as I got back to the car I started looking for another 10 mile race. If I remember correctly I think I found one and it was a few hours away from me. Waiting a full year to try and PR at that distance again really irked me, but I’ve resigned myself to that and will just have to wait.
There is a local 6k race, the Dundalk Heritage 6k, held on the 4th of July. It is a pretty awesome course that goes along the route of the 4th of July Parade. 4th of July is Dundalk’s second season, the other is Christmas. But I digress, I didn’t run the 6k this year because I had committed to other things that morning but I’m not sure I would have ran in it anyway. My training schedule called for a 6 mile run that day, 6k is well short of that so I would have had to add on miles. A race like this doesn’t really fit into a training plan and it isn’t a race distance you see to often.
Coming up in September is the Charles Street 12, a mostly downhill 12 mile course in Baltimore City. In past years I have steered clear of this race because it was held in August, traditionally the hottest month in Baltimore. This year I am going to run it to gauge where I am at in training. My plan calls for a half marathon that weekend, but this is close and I’ll run a little before or after to make up the mileage. Again here is a race distance that only happens once a year, so I better hope to have a great day and not have any unexpected ‘stops’ or issues on the course.
Finally the Baltimore 6-miler, which is a new race this year, is the distance I am least adversed to. While it is an odd race distance, I think it is much easier to work it into a training plan and adjust the rest of the week if you need to. Though it did strike me as odd when I saw the advertisement, why not make it a 10k race? It is another .2 miles and a much more common race distance.
Is this just a pet peeve of mine? What do you think of odd distance races? Does knowing you will have to wait along time to try and PR again deter you from running certain distances? When you are training for one race will you run others?
Don’t forget about my free giveaway, coming up on July 30th!
I felt great about Week 4 and the miles I got in, I thought they were quality and though I moved the days around a bit, I was able to get in all my miles plus some. So far I am really happy with the training plan and the variation in schedule that it has.
Monday: 3.1 Miles (Pace 8:11)
Another travel day, off to Providence. I wasn’t sure what the plan was for the evening, it was between dinner with friends or co-workers an no one could decide what to do. Knowing that a decision wouldn’t be made till late I figured it was best to run before I got on the plane. I hadn’t packed but I’ve moved half way around the world and packed in 2 hours so I knew I had enough time to run around the neighborhood. The weather was already warming up at 1000 hrs. when I ran and like a typical Baltimore day the humidity was high. I was happy to only have to run 3 miles today, I was a bit tired from Week 4 even though it felt good, plus I had run less than 12 hours before. After the 3 miles I packed for the week and I was off to the airport!
Tuesday: 3 Miles (Pace 8:37)
Seven miles was not in the cards today. I had been in meetings from 0800 to 2000 hrs. I was worn out after 12 hours of meetings. I had thought about trying to get in 7 miles but my stomach was a bit full after having dinner, plus I didn’t start running until close to 2045. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get in 7 miles and knew I would have to make it up Wednesday. It was an enjoyable run along the canal in Providence and it reminded me of running in Baltimore, just a bit cleaner and less crowded. Normally WaterFire is only held every other Saturday in the summer, but for some reason they had a special showing tonight and they were starting just as a finished my run. I showered quickly and then went over to walk around the river and listen to music before calling it a night. Three miles and WaterFire was a good way to end a long day!
Wednesday: 7 Miles (Pace 8:32)
Well I had to do 7 miles today since I didn’t yesterday. Our meetings ended earlier, at 1730, but when we went outside the sky looked ominous. I checked the radar and clearly a storm was moving in from the south. I wanted to run before dinner but I didn’t want to get soaked. A few of my co-workers wanted to get dinner so I decided to go, thinking that after dinner the rain would have passed. It is restaurant week in Providence so we went to the Capital Grill. I ordered brussels sprouts (my favorite) and mashed potatoes. Pretty much the only things I could eat on the menu. I was less than impressed, the brussels sprouts weren’t seasoned very well and were soft instead of crunchy, the mashed potatoes were okay. All through dinner I kept looking out the window but the rain never came. It was still overcast when we finished dinner around 2000 hours, but it didn’t look like it was going to rain. I quickly changed and hit the pavement. In the nearly six years I’ve been coming to Providence I have never ran the hill that leads up to Brown University, it looks like a beast! I decided today would be the day. About a mile into my run mother nature had it in for me and the sky opened up, it started raining pretty hard. I rounded the corner and stared up the hill towards Brown. I glanced down at my Garmin 220, I wanted to know how long the hill was, in my mind it was miles long. Surprisingly it was only .2 of a mile but the elevation climb was 111 ft. with an average incline of 13-16%. Once I was at the top I was relieved and winded, but I had made it. I looped the University property twice and ran back down the hill. Going down was almost as hard, I needed to lean way back and slow my pace. Not only because of how steep the hill was but because of the rain. I was happy to get back down without falling. I looped around the canal and back towards the hotel, finally in mile 6 the rain let up but the wind picked up. Mother Nature made sure she made me pay for not running the 7 miles on Tuesday. Even though I was soaked it was a good run and my legs felt great!
Thursday: 1.1 Mile (Pace 8:08)
After running in the rain last night I wanted to give my legs a rest before doing a tempo run and let me shoes dry out, but today was a travel day from Providence, back to Baltimore, then on to Deep Creek Lake. I was going from a work trip to a weekend with my friends. Time was not going to allow me to rest my legs before a run, nor did I have time for a tempo run. I hit the snooze once and reset my alarm once before I woke up. I had to be ready for meetings at 0745, I finally walked out of the hotel lobby at 0700 to run. The morning air was unusually cool even for Providence. I did a quick mile around the city and it was off to meetings. I figured I would try to make miles up later this week, but I also felt a cold coming on.
Friday: 1.1 Mile (Pace 8:11)
After a plane ride, shuttle trip, and a cab ride I arrived in Deep Creek at 0030 hrs. My friends had arrived earlier in the day, I spent some time catching up with them and went to bed around 0300. The next morning, we went white water rafting at Wisp Ski Resort. It was a blast! The plan was to get lunch and go out on the lake next. My friends had towed a pontoon boat from home. So much for making up some miles, my week was really getting derailed by other activites. The area around the cabin where we were staying was a bit hilly but not hilly enough to make up for low mileage. The run streak stayed alive!
Saturday: 4 Miles (Pace 10:36)
Long run was the plan today but by now you have probably guessed the training plan was out the window this week. Today we planned to play disc golf and went out on the lake again. Right after breakfast my best friend asked me if I wanted to run. I figured it would be better to get the run in before the day really started. We ran a slower pace than I normally do but it was good to run with him and chat about the last couple of weeks since I have been traveling.
Sunday: 1 Mile (Pace 7:58)
Today we had to pack up, load the boat, and drove back to Baltimore which is about a 3.5 hour drive. On the way we made a 2-hour pit stop at the casino and ate lunch. We got back to Baltimore around 1830 hrs, we still needed to put the boat back in the water, tie it up, and drop everyone off. After a long day of traveling and not feeling the best the past few days (I think I have a slight cold) I didn’t feel up to a long run, it was a quick mile around the neighborhood.
Well Week 3 didn’t go exactly as planned. The weekend was a lot busier then I thought it was going to be and I missed my longer run 😦 Don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway on July 30th!
Monday: 4.4 Miles (Pace 8:00)
I ran with a great group Charlotte Running Company! They really made me feel welcome, which was great since before I went to the run, I wasn’t sure I wanted to run. The course was was full of hills, so much so I’m going to consider that my hill workout for the week! The run was very scenic and I met some great people during the run. I was really glad to be in Charlotte and really happy I came to the run club.
Tuesday: 7.2 Miles (Pace 8:00)
After Monday’s run I was excited to get out and run with another new run group, but unfortunately I was let down. The group I ran with 5 on the Booty didn’t match up to the great running experience I had the night before. I ran to the group, which was about a 2 mile warm up and then a 5 mile loop with the group. The course was pretty flat and even though it was very warm the humidity wasn’t nearly as bad as it is most of the time in Baltimore. I was glad to get in a longer run!
Wednesday: 3.1 Miles (Pace 7:58)
Unfortunately, due to work commitments I wasn’t able to run with another group in Charlotte today. I actually ran during a break in the middle of the day when the sun was high and the heat was cranked up! Though it is hot in the south the humidity doesn’t compare to home. I ran a loop around the city that I am familiar with and passed by several well-known landmarks; Epicenter, Time Warner Arena, NASCAR Hall of Fame, BB&T bank, and Bank of America stadium. It was a nice run around the city and reminded me why I like visiting Charlotte so much.
Thursday: 2.25 Miles (Pace 8:11)
Well I said Monday would count as my hill workout, but as I looked at the training schedule I felt like I would be going off track if I didn’t do hills again today. I did 4×400 hill repeats. I found a hill with a good incline not far from the hotel. It was suppose to climb close to 100 degrees today, fortunately I was able to get my run in earlier in the day but it was still in the 80’s. After two repeats I took my tank top off and set if by a light pole. I had seen people do it earlier in the week and no one stole it, so I figured I would be okay. The last repeat was grueling but I finished it, picked up my tank top and ran another quarter mile to cool down. I’m glad I decided to do hills again.
Friday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:35)
I landed in Baltimore around 1830 went to dinner with some friends and since the training plan has today as a rest day I only needed to do a mile to keep the streak alive! I decided to run a mile loop around my neighborhood, after running in Charlotte all week it was sort of depressing to be back home and running through Dundalk. No worries though, next week I will be in Providence! I really do enjoy running other places!
Saturday: 15.1 Miles (Pace 8:59)
So I changed up the training plan again today; today was supposed to be a 6 mile run at race pace, but two of my friends were planning on a long run so I decided to join them. I like running with people, it makes the run go by more quickly and you are suffering together! 😉 We started early, 0730, it was overcast and not to humid, we usually loop Ft. McHenry, but they don’t open till 0900 so we ran around the city a little while before heading that direction. It worked out perfectly we arrived at the Fort just after 0900 and we were at 9 miles, so we could loop the Fort and head back and we would be at 15. By this time time the sun had started to come out and heat things up, but it was better than our last run together when it started pouring down rain. In the last three miles the sun was brutal around the harbor promenade, but we kept our pace and finished strong. Our run was a good start to our Saturday and we were all glad to get it out of the way!
Sunday: 4 Miles (Pace 7:45)
Since I switched up my long run and did it yesterday and I made up some miles I missed last week earlier this week, I still wanted to make sure I did all my miles for this week so I ran 4. Wow, did that make sense? I wanted to run at a bit of a faster pace since my longer runs are slower. I ran each mile with a negative split and actually think I could have been a bit faster but I had a pretty large lunch and my stomach was a little upset so I didn’t want to push to hard. The evening air felt nice, over the heat I had been running in this week. When I finished my legs felt strong and I knew I had a good week of training!
Tour de Charlotte Running continues! After running with Charlotte Running Company on Monday, I decided I definately wanted to try out some more run clubs in Charlotte. I must say though if you are in Charlotte and looking for a great group of people Charlotte Running Company is it!
Okay, enough with that, that was another blog! I wasn’t sure I would be able to run with a group but the schedule was flexible for the evening and I was able to! I decided since I needed to run, some extra miles I would run to the meeting spot. It was a litte over 2 miles and made for a good warm up.
The run group calls themselves ‘5 on the Booty’ I have no idea why, it has nothing to do with where they meet. The meet at a bar called Hickory Tavern, perhaps it is because they run a 5 mile loop but I don’t know where the ‘booty’ comes from. When I got there, some people were already there. I noticed one woman from the night before, she was the only one I recognized we talked briefly. Then the person I assume was the run group coordinator asked if anyone was new and not familiar with the route. I spoke up and said I was new. I was the only one…
Instead of him introducing himself he asked my pace, I told him I would probably run around 8:15-8:30. He said okay I’ll run around that pace you can follow me, then he went back to talk to people he knew. I was a little put off by this, but I assumed he didn’t mean to be rude. Everyone seemed to know each other so I sort of felt out of place. After what seemed like an hour, it was really only 10 mins the same person announced we would be starting the run. We walked down to a running/biking path and some of the guys took their shirts off and put them behind the bushes. I thought this was something you wouldn’t see in Baltimore, the shirts wouldn’t be there when we get back, haha. One of the things that is great about the south!
The run started and the guy who said he was going to run around the pace I wanted to, put headphones in. I don’t run with music anymore, I think you can listen to your body more closely without it and adjust, if necessary. I thought to myself, well this is great, I’m not going to have anyone to talk to. That’s fine I don’t need to talk when I run, but that is sort of why I like to run with people. I decided to run a bit faster with a group of 5 that was out front, they were probably running around a 7 min pace and I didn’t want to run that fast, so I fell into the ‘lone’ zone. Just running by myself, trying to keep the leaders in sight so I knew where to turn.
During the run someone ran up along side me and then decided to pass me, all the sudden I felt like I was in a race, ugh! I stayed about three paces behind him and when his pace slowed I took over again and didn’t let him pass again, but I did have to keep turning around and pointing to ask which way to turn, haha. At the end of the 5 mile loop I had done 7 miles at an 8 min pace. The person I was ‘racing’ finished a little behind me. He came up and introduced himself, his name was Fry (sp?). He said I was a good runner, so I felt like I proved myself, though I wasn’t exactly trying to do that. We waiting for everyone to finish and I tried talking to a few people but they seemed more interested in mingling with who they already knew. I also found it interesting that people who finsihed about 2 mins behind me said they ran a 7:48 pace, not sure how that happens, anyway I’m being petty now.
I still enjoyed the run, it was very scenic and much more flat then the night before. Before I left I did say bye to Fry and he asked if I was joining them for a beer but I declined, I didn’t really feel welcomed like I had the night before.
One thing I did take away from tonight is to make sure new people feel welcome when they come to a new run club. I hope I do that back in Baltimore when someone comes to group I’ve been running with for a while. As I mentioned in a previous blog I am an introvert, but I do try to make people feel welcome the best I can.
I still don’t know why the group is called 5 on the Booty or who that person was who asked my pace…
Wow, after a taxing week last week, I was happy to be going to Charlotte, NC for work this week. I had been looking into different run groups in the area, but I wasn’t sure I was up for running with new people. Late on Monday afternoon I decided I would run with the Charlotte Running Company after finding them on Meetup. It looked like they have a good showing, so I figured why not. After a short nap, I hopped in an Uber and took the short ride to the run group.
I got to the Charlotte Running Company at about 1820. As soon as I walked in I was greated by, David, the run club coordinator. He was very friendly, went over the route, gave me paper directions, and advice to not start out to fast, it is a hilly course. I tucked that info in the back of my mind and then talked with some of the other runners there.
Just before we started, the other run club coordinator came up and introduced himself as Linwood. He was very welcoming and we quickly talked about running, before it was time to start. At 1835 we went out back behind the store to start the run. David had told me, the first half mile is downhill and then the rolling hills start. He wasn’t kidding, the route was like waves on the ocean up and down, repeat! It was a good course though! It was hot, close to 98 degrees. I stayed near the front of the pack most of the route, at mile 3 there was a water stop and I stopped with another guy I was running with, Matt, to get a drink of water. Then we were off again, I chatted with Matt the rest of the way. Total the route was 4.44 miles of rolling hills, I finished with an even 8 min pace. A little faster then I wanted but I was feeling strong and the welcoming runners pushed me through the run.
After the run many of the runners stood out back of the store chatting and waiting for everyone to finish. Linwood came over and asked me what I thought of the course, I thought it was great and told him the group has a lot of good runners! I finished at the back of the lead pack; you could tell everyone was there to make themselves better runners and enjoy the social aspect as well. After about 15 mins, David came out and and told everyone there was beer inside, so of course we started to file into the store. Runners love a cold beer after a run! I was surprised to see a bar set up, first run store I’ve been to that has that! Linwood told me that Brooks had sponsored the bar for the runners, how awesome is that!
I talked to some more of the runners and they invited me out with them. I love Southern hospitality, I really wanted to accept but it had been a long day and I wanted to get some rest and I need to do some work, so I declined. Some of the runners run on Tuesday so I may see them again, they also invited me to runs on Wednesday and Thursday, I have work events but maybe I can squeeze in a run with them. It would be great to run with them again.
Charlotte Running Company really knows how to welcome a new runner. Thanks for a great run!
Week 2 of training is in the books and it was a good one. Ran in everything from the humidity to the pouring down rain!
Monday: 3 Miles (Pace 8:16)
Today, I was pretty worn out and did not feel like running, but for the streak and my training I did. The weather was warm, in the 80’s, not nearly as hot as it was last week thank goodness! I ran in my neighborhood, there were quite a few people out and they are beginning to set up for the Heritage Fair this weekend. That is a tradition in these parts! They say in Dundalk we have two seasons Christmas and 4th of July. Normally the end of my loop is a slight decline, I decided to change the route a bit and end on a slight incline. I ran negative splits each mile. During my daily runs I haven’t been trying to set a blistering pace, especially as I’m increasing my mileage. After my run I stopped at Subway and order a 6 inch veggie sub and walked home in the cool of the evening. At the start I didn’t feel like running but afterwards, I felt refreshed and energized as I do most times!
Tuesday: 6 Miles (Pace 8:37)
It was overcast when I started running today and was hoping to get my run in before the rain came. In mile 2 of my run, the sun came out for a little while, but then in mile 5 the sky opened up and there was a brief shower. By the time I finished my run the rain had passed. Even though it was overcast, it was still humid and muggy. When the breeze picked up it felt nice and kept me somewhat cool during the run, but even before the rain came I was soaked with sweat. My legs felt strong but tired if that makes any sense. I had even splits during the run, I wasn’t trying to do any speed work and just wanted to stay consistent.
Wednesday: 1.2 Miles (Pace 8:21)
I went off the plan again today, I was extremely dehydrated and not feeling well all day. I felt like a reset was needed. I waited till the evening air came so it would be a little cooler when I ran. I took the pace easy and was actually surprised I had any fluid to sweat out. I was just glad to keep the streak alive, earlier in the day I thought I may be calling it over.
Thursday: 3 Miles (Pace 8:04)
Today was the fist time since running cross-country in high school that I actually did a speed workout. Before the run I was sort of nervous. I programmed my Garmin 220 for interval training; today I would be doing 4 x 800s. I put off the run earlier in the day and it was close to 21:30 when I started (military habit with the time, 9:30 for civilian types ;)). I started with a non-timed quarter mile warm up before the intervals. I was bummed I couldn’t see how fast I was running the intervals until the workout was over. The training plan says to run faster than marathon pace so I was running what I felt was reasonably hard. After each 800, I took a quarter mile break, I ran very easy and tried to focus on getting my breath under control. After the third interval I wasn’t sure I had another one in me, I focused on deep breathing and took off for the final 800. I was happy to finish and for the cool down! I was really happy to see my 800 times, surprised actually!
Each 400 break was around 2:30. My overall 800 pace was 3:18, I’m pretty happy with that for my first speed workout in almost 15 years. My 800 pace was much faster than even my 5k pace, I’m actually thinking maybe I should run a 5k soon to see where I am at. I haven’t ran an ‘official’ one since December when I PR’d at the beginning of the streak. Tonight was a good run, and a nice surprise!
Friday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:46)
This morning when I got out of bed my legs and feet were throbbing in pain. I should have stretched before bed, lesson learned. My big toe on my right foot was really sore as well, the intervals really kicked my butt! I spent the morning catching up on some work and writing the blog about becoming a race director. My best friend called and convinced me to go out on the boat for a few hours, even though I knew I should have ran, I decided to go the weather was perfect for it. It wasn’t a long trip, I told a local business owner and friend that I would work his snowball stand at the Heritage Fair. I’ve been helping out the last 3 years at Stouten’s Snowball stand, best snowballs around! On the boat my quads really started to tighten up, so much I thought I had pulled something, after massaging them for a bit, I was feeling better. We headed back in after only an hour and a half, I had to go work the snowball stand. I spent the next 6 hours on my feet, when I finished up it was late, after 10. I did not feel like running. I changed and hit the pavement, my legs felt like lead blocks. My feet clunked as the hit the ground, not my normal quite stride. I couldn’t get into a good groove so I just clunked along for a mile, to keep the streak alive. I’m not looking forward to the 6 I have to do tomorrow, oh and another 6 hour shift at the snowball stand.
Saturday: 6 Miles (Pace 8:00 )
Today was a busy day, lots to do on the 4th of July. Even with a nap I didn’t feel like running but knew I had to, I didn’t want to run late again, especially with more miles to do. I went back and forth between wearing my sweat gutr or a hat, since it was raining on and off most of the day. I opted for the hat. Starting out I was hoping for an 8 min pace, but during the run I thought I was feel strong and thought I might be able to squeeze in under that. At the end I was right at 8 mins. About half way through the run, I saw something that really bothered me and got me thinking for a while, it was the Confederate flag. It got me thinking so much I actually wrote a brief blog about it. The run was overcast with light rain on and off. I felt good through the run, but was glad to be finished I had so much more to do today!
Sunday: 1 Mile (Pace 8:49)
Well today I really went off the training plan, I was supposed to do 8 miles and when I woke up I had every intention of doing so, then the day started. During breakfast I started receiving emails regarding a situation in the community which I needed to address, throughout the day I tried and stay out in front of it. I don’t want to go into to much detail but it was distracting. Next week I am traveling for work, so I needed to get a haircut, cut the grass, do laundry, and a few other things. I also had to work the final shift 6-hour shift at the snowball stand. After standing for over 18 hours in the last 3-days I just didn’t have 8 miles in me and I didn’t get home till close to 2230. The days events and dealing with a variety of things left me feeling deflated, though I think I could have ran more than a mile, I still had some emails I needed to send and that was bothering me on the run, so I kept it to 1 mile. Hopefully, I can make those miles up, and it is still early in the training cycle.