Closing in on 1,000 Miles

How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Challenge-Accepted
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One of my goals for 2014 was to reach 1,000 miles running for the year. That would equate to 83.33 miles per month. Through the first nine months of 2014, I only eclipsed that mark four times. Not exactly a strong attempt to making my goal. I have had some issues with the heat, sinus infections, apathy, and foot pain.  But these are just excuses, but it has left me where I am today.

Log 1,000 miles in 2014

Log 1,000 miles in 2014

Through the end of September, I had logged 698.11 miles, which left me 301.89 miles short of my goal.  The remaining miles means that I need to run 100.63 miles per month through the rest of the year to hit 1,000. This is a daunting task, for sure, especially without a full marathon training regiment.  It is, however, not even close to an impossible task.

How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Challenge-Accepted

I feel like I am up for the challenge.  I have four half marathons, two ten-mile races, and two 5K’s to finish the year.  My race schedule for the final three months has a total of 78.6 miles, so deducting this distance from my total needed, and I am looking at a shortage of 223.29 miles.  Spread that throughout the rest of the year, and it seems much more manageable.  Already for October, I am at 49.93 miles with a run pending for this evening. If the weather, and my body cooperate, I have a real shot at meeting and even surpassing this goal.

2014 Greenline Half Marathon Recap

Finisher's medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon
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Sunday morning was the 4th annual Greenline Half Marathon at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, TN. This marks my seventh half marathon of the year and twelfth lifetime half marathon.

Weather for the race was the odd combination of cool and humid.  63 degrees at the start and 67 degrees by the time I crossed the finish line are always welcomed, even when the humidity is 93%.  It also helps when it is cloudy.  Actually, I thought that it was going to rain during the event, so we had an entire spectrum of weather forecasts for this event.

One very cool feature of this event is that it is the first sustainable sporting event in Tennessee.  The race medals and shirts are made from recycled materials, and the goal of the event is to reduce the carbon footprint in Memphis/Shelby County.

Finisher's medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon

Finisher’s medal for the 2014 Greenline Half Marathon

Course: A: Even though the race is named after the Greenline, very little of the running actually came on the Greenline. The course was a nice combination of paved running trails and neighborhood streets. There were hills, and there were stretches of flat terrain. Crowding was a slight issue at the start, but quickly dissipated, which is why more of the event was not held on the actual Greenline.

Ummm, not quite...

Ummm, not quite…

Swag: C: The swag for the event was honestly lackluster. The medal has a nice design, but is smaller than most of my other race medals and the lack of a date on it coupled with pics of the medal from previous years makes me think that they ordered a ton of these a few years back, just changing the ribbon each year (which probably helps with then purpose of reducing the carbon footprint). I really like the shirt but it was advertised that the shirts run large, so order accordingly.  However, the opposite is true.  The shirts run small. Very small.  Like wetsuit small. This is very disappointing because I really like this shirt, and when I lose 50 pounds, I will be able to wear it! There were several people pissed about this mislead.  And that was all of the swag.  In previous years they handed out unique 13.1 stickers shaped like buffaloes, but I did not see one anywhere today.

Race swag for the Greenline Half Marathon

Race swag for the Greenline Half Marathon

Swag Update: According to the RD, the green buffalo 13.1 stickers are offered every two years, so they will be available during next year’s event.

Overall: C+: The event started off on the wrong foot for me. Packet pickup was from 12-4 pm on Saturday afternoon, and I was unable to make that, so I had to go extra early (6 am for an 8 am race) to the event to get my shirt and bib. Of course there were no signs or race personnel directing people to where we needed to go, so finding the proper place to go was a mile long treasure hunt in the darkness of the morning. I love Shelby Farms and the Greenline, but I was not impressed by this event.  Just tweaking the small things that were wrong would go a long way towards dramatically improving this event while not compromising the mission to reduce the carbon footprint in the community.

I really wanted to like this event more than I did. The lack of communication and flat-out misinformation about the shirts is very discouraging. At this point, I do not anticipate running in this event again.

Motivation Monday

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Very true

Very true

This was shared from the Route 66 Marathon Facebook page in a group I am a part of over on Facebook. I think it fits nicely with 99% of the runners out there, and certainly the vast majority of the readers of this blog as well as the author of this blog.  So next time someone asks you why you run or why you deserve a medal for finishing a half marathon in two and half hours, think about this. Have a great day!

MRTC Road Race Series 10 Miler #1

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Sunday was race number 7 in the MRTC Road Race Series. The race was the first 10 miler of the series and was held at Meeman-Shelby Forrest State Park.  The park is a well-kept secret in the Memphis community, partially because of the location.  The park is in a remote part of the county a good 45 minutes from my house.

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

When I arrived, it was still pitch black and cold.  A severe 180 from the first 6 races of the series.  I was not complaining about this. I think that this race is where people start dropping out of contention for the road warrior designation.  The race was noticeably smaller than the 10K 2 weeks ago, and I noticed on the results page that number of runners that have completed all 7 races has dwindled down into the 700’s.

This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

The course is billed as the prettiest in the entire series, and I would agree with that.  The entire race is on the service roads and trails in Shelby Forrest, with quite a bit of nature’s scenery. Most years the leaves are already changing for this race, but with the warm September that we had, the trees were still very green. The course is certainly hilly, with a very steep hill between miles 9 and 10.  It was so steep in fact that the trail was actually a switchback so we could make the climb.

At the end of the race, I was still feeling good, and I am certain that the cooler weather helped with that.  Also, since this was my first 10 mile race, it was an instant PR, which is always a great thing!  Sadly, this race, the last 10K, and the next 10 miler follow long days of watching and tailgating for football, which leads to less than ideal running prep.

I cannot wait until the next race since I know what to expect from the course and hills.  Maybe I can edge out my time from this past Sunday.

MRTC RRS 10K #2 Recap

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It has been several days since the second 10K in the MRTC Road Race Series, so I think I should go ahead and write-up my race recap.  There is nothing new that I can really add to this recap that was not covered in my recap for the first 10K.  Parking sucked, it was a crowded course at the start, and it was hot and humid (a theme for the series as a whole).

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

The 2014 MRTC RRS race shirt

I did not run quite as strong for this race as the previous one.  I finished roughly three minutes slower for this race.  This could be contributed to the up tick in humidity and my attending the Memphis football game the previous evening.  The football game may have involved a few adult beverages, and I certainly was not in prime running from at 7:00 am.

This is the timing chip for this year's event.

This is the timing chip for this year’s event.

The series is now 60% completed, therefore I qualify for the series finisher’s item and I am staring down that road warrior status.  Of course, I have only completed 28.6 of the 74.8 miles required to gain road warrior status, so there are still some miles to log!

“How Do I Know When My Shoes Are Worn Out?”

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bke161:

A question all of us runners have asked at least once!

Originally posted on Fleet Feet Sports:

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A frequent question we get around the store this time of year is, “How do I  know when my shoes are worn out?” Well, there are several ways to tell and keep track of when it’s time to freshen up your shoes.

1. Are they really flexible? If you can bend your shoes pretty easily, that means the cushioning is likely worn out.

2. Is the tread on the bottom worn? The cushioning and shock absorption in the mid-sole of the shoe will wear out before the durable sole of the shoe. If there’s extensive wear on the sole, you should consider replacing them.

3. Do you keep track of mileage? Most traditional running shoes last between 350-550 miles, depending on wear and tear and build of the runner. If you’re nearing the upper end of the recommended mileage, it’s probably time to invest in a new pair.

4. Having any…

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Health Update

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Last Thursday I completed my physical as mandated by my new health insurance.  This is going to be a yearly occurrence for me going forward, which is not a bad thing.  Back in high school football, physical meant something else, but we will not delve into that on here.  Last May, my employer was having health screenings at the office, so I was able to get accurate counts for the majority of my health statistics.  I will be using those numbers for comparative purposes today.

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

  • Total Cholesterol: May 2013 score was 125. September 2014  score is 149. The desirable and lowest listed range is 125-199.  An increase, but not too big of one.
  • HDL Cholesterol: This is the “good” cholesterol and your want a higher number.  May 2013 score: 41, September 2014 score: 57.  This is in the decreased risk factor interval.  This score shows improvement from my last testing, so I have that going for me.
  • Triglycerides: May 2013 score was 100.  September 2014 score was 57. Optimal is anything under 150, so I’m golden, and much improved over last testing.
  • LDL Cholesterol: May 2013 score was 64.  September 2014 score was 81.  Optimal is 55-99, and I am creeping to the top of that, so I will watch it a bit closer.
  • Non-HDL Cholesterol: May 2013 score was 84.  September 2014 score is 149.  Optimal is anything less than 130, so I have some work to do here.  I am still in the safe range, but I want/need to get back to the optimal range.
  • Total Cholesterol to HDL Cholesterol Ratio: May 2013 ratio was 3.1.  September 2014 ratio was 2.6.  Optimal is less than or equal to 3.5.
  • Glucose: May 2013 score was 100.  This is 1 point higher than optimal, but upon reading the literature, the 65-99 scale they used was for fasting glucose (only water for 8 hours prior to screening) and since I had just eaten, my target range was 70-119, which I was comfortably within.  September 2014 score was 86.  I did fast prior to this test, so it looks good to me.
  • Blood Pressure: May 2013 score was 124/84, and September 2014 score was 129/86 which are both just over the targeted levels. The doctor did not seem too alarmed about this yet.
  • BMI:  May 2013 score was 36.  September 2014 score was 35.5.  This places me firmly in the obese range.  I’m working on that.  You can read an alternative take on BMI here.
  • Weight: May 2013 weight was 246.5 pounds.  September 2014 weight was 248 pounds.  I am obese by any metric and hopefully I will get a little more diligent about shedding some pounds.
  • Other Notes: The September physical also produced a few other results that the health screening at work did not. Most of my results were in line with where they should be with one notable exception.  I presented with a Vitamin D deficiency and advised to start taking a supplement.  This was actually a subject at boot camp a few weeks back.  I assumed I was OK in this regard and did not take any action.  I guess I was wrong.

After both screenings I was advised that I need to get more exercise.  I tried to explain about my running schedule and boot camp, but when you are 50+ pounds over your recommended weight, no one listens to you.