Warrior Wednesday – Sick Edition

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I couldn’t stand sitting around the house another day, avoiding my workout plans so I decided to risk it and go for a run.  My sinus and throat issues were a little better, but probably not good enough to be running in 42 degree weather.  It is certainly a good thing that I started my run before Susan got off of work because she would have definitely done her best to veto this decision.

It felt good to get back on the pavement, even if I wasn’t in optimum health.  This was my first run outside since the Move It Memphis 10K on February 16 and it was good to run unassisted from a treadmill again.  I ran my usual neighborhood course with one small exception, I incorporated a loop to my friend’s house to check his mail, pump the water off of his pool cover, and make sure no squatters had moved in overnight.  This is the house of my buddy that got married over the weekend and it is the least I could do to help out.  My run went very well, and I was able to complete 4.51 miles at a 9:25 pace.  My coughing was very subdued during the run, but picked up quite a bit during my stretching period.  After the run, I decided to tackle one of my Warrior Dash circuits since I hadn’t done one in awhile.  I completed the following circuit:

  • Pushups
  • Jump Rope
  • Squats
  • V-Sits
  • Lunges
  • Supermans
  • Chair Dips
  • Stair Run
  • Glute Bridges
  • Bicycle

I was drained after the workout and might of pushed it a little too much, but I am glad that I gave it a shot.  My sinus and throat issues really flared up after the circuit.  I am telling myself that the workout is helping me get rid of the infection, so lets hope that I am right.  A third sick day from work will be relaxing in one sense, but would be very time consuming to recover from once I got back to the office.  But, since I work in one of the biggest cesspools in Memphis, I am certainly not going to push it too much.  We shall see in the morning.

Half Marathon #2

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I’m still sick so I didn’t get to workout yesterday.  Actually, my symptoms have gotten a little worse and I decided to take another day off of work today.  Now I’m waiting on the repairman to come repair the heating unit in the house and taking a break from studying fractions for the GRE, so I decided to do my writeup on my second half marathon.

My second half marathon was the St. Jude Half Marathon here in Memphis on December 1, 2012.  After my previous half marathon (the 2011 St. Jude Half), I was little burnt out on running and I really didn’t do much of it for a couple of months, so I decided to signup for the half to help avoid falling completely off the horse.  I imagine that I will run this half marathon most years because the date is very convenient for training, the weather is normally fairly comfortable, and is for a fantastic cause.  Any event that raises money for St. Jude is worthwhile to me.   Plus, the expo is top-notch with lots of vendors and is very well-organized.

As I was approaching the home stretch

As I was approaching the home stretch

The race day was warmer this year than last, but still wasn’t too uncomfortable.  It was 55 degrees when the race started and was 73 degrees by the time I crossed the finish line.  That would be perfect weather in normal circumstances, but the day before at the expo, the weather was nearly 15 degrees cooler and 73 in December feels a little warmer than 73 in the spring.

The course does an excellent job of incorporating some of Memphis’ greatest attractions and despite some hills over the last few miles, the terrain is not too terrible.  The course starts by the FedEx Forum, snakes through the arts district, goes along side the Mississippi River, on Beale, through the heart of downtown, through the campus of St. Jude (everyone’s favorite part), down to Overton Park and back, past Sun Studios, and finishing in the outfield of Autozone Park.   There are plenty of aid stations along the way and several spectators cheering you on throughout the course.  There is also lots of live entertainment, and when you run through St. Jude, most of the patients are there, cheering you on your way.  It is a fantastic feeling and a great reminder of why we are running.  I have not run the full marathon yet (this was my goal for this year but decided to try the Walt Disney World Marathon the following month) but from what I have seen and heard, the second 13.1 is very boring.  Virtually no spectators, more hills, and lots less Memphis landmarks along the way.  Of course, I’m certain most marathon spectators lose their steam by the time hour four hits, so this probably isn’t only a St. Jude Marathon issue.

I had originally hoped to improve upon my time from last year’s event, and my early training had me in perfect position to do this, but my wedding, bachelor party, and honeymoon was a greater time investment than I anticipated, so I did very little running in the month on October.  I still felt prepared for the race and was confident that I would not embarrass myself when race day came about.

Tech shirt & my bib

Tech shirt & my bib

The only real problem I have with this race is the  amount of people who don’t honor the corral times.  I have noticed with some of my other registrations that you have to prove your ability to run a race in a certain time or be relegated to the final coral.  I know that I am not going to be competing for the cash prize, or even placing in my age group, but it would be nice to not to have to avoid walkers in the first mile!  And when I say walkers, I mean dozens of them before the first half mile has even come.  It took me to mile seven this year to get free of the congestion of walkers this year.  I admire the people for getting out there, but it takes quite about of energy to pass these people and weave in and out of the crowds for that long.  I find that my annoyance with these people gets me out of my race strategy and I have an even harder time maintaining my pace.  Oh well, there isn’t much I can do about this issue, it is just something that I will have to deal with each year.  Maybe I’ll jump up a coral or two and see what happens.

2012 Medal > 2011 Medal

2012 Medal > 2011 Medal

The swag this year was improved over last year in every area.  All racers were given a tech short whereas in year’s past only the full marathon runners were given a tech shirt.  I overheard several people applauding this decision this year and despite the warmer temperatures, I saw numerous people wearing their shirts during the race.  All racers were given a small workout bag again this year to carry your items in at the expo as well as on race day.  Since Susan comes with me, I don’t get much use out of this, but probably will for these out-of-town races that I am planning for this year.  I got lots of samples at the expo, including finding my correct size for my Yurbuds.  This year’s medal was also far superior to last year’s.  It is slightly bigger, has more weight to it, and the icon in the middle is a spinner!  Also, the ribbon on which the medal is hung looks leaps and bounds better for 2012.

I ran, what I felt was about as good of a race as to be expected.  It had been warmer than the last couple of weeks, I missed a month of training, and I had no real taper time.  With all that said, I completed the course in a time of 2:21:54!  That was good for roughly a 10:54 pace, not a personal record, but I was still very happy with my time, all things considered.  On a positive note, I felt much better post race than the previous year and was not burnt out at all.  This is what solidified my idea of a race each month of 2013 and why I wanted to try some new half marathon course.

Course: A: Great course, the inclusion of several Memphis landmarks and the St. Jude campus more than makes up for the two long stretches of nothing from St. Jude to Overton Park and back.

Swag: A-: Better than last year.  The race shirt this was a tech shirt and the medal was a much improved design.

Experience: A+: Simply seeing all of the St. Jude patients and knowing where your money is going, especially when you are a St. Jude Hero, makes the day more than worthwhile and am very happy the my first two half marathon experiences were here.  It is also why the race sells out very quickly every year.  In 2011, I signed up in July and was one of the last runners to get in.  In 2012, I signed up on the first day, and the race was already over half full.

Overall: A: I love this race and want to do my best to keep it on my schedule every year.

Hiatus Over

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It has been far too long since I have posted on here and sadly, I have not worked out much during this hiatus either.  I was a best men in my best friend’s wedding this weekend and the combination of rehearsals, dinners, and hangovers, I was unable to get in my miles for nearly a four day span.  And of course, once my duties were over, I got a sinus infection.  Everyone endures a stretch of obstacles that keeps them from running, but in the future I just need to do a better job of juggling my runs and life events.  So here is a recap of the last five days.

Thursday: I had to go home straight after work to take care of Beau since the wife had to work late.  It was a stormy day, so I was unable to got for a run, but I did complete a TRX workout.  It was the first one on a little over a week and I focused on one of their total body workouts.  I made sure to incorporate chest, arms, back, abs, and legs.  On a side note, I did finally get a frame for one of my Valentine’s Day gifts from the wife.  It is quite difficult to find a frame for a 12 x 15 print, especially when the print is actually 12.5 x 15.5.

One of the greatest  moments in Braves postseason history

One of the greatest moments in Braves postseason history

 

Friday: I didn’t get a chance to run due to the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen were needed to help put out tables, chairs, and such before being told what we needed to do on the big day.  Filets, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, wedge salad, and cheesecake from Flemings, so I could have found a much worst way to spend a Friday evening.

Saturday:  It was the big day and that meant fifteen hours devoted to the event due to lunch, pictures, the wedding, the reception, and the after party at Brookhaven.  The last item is what got me in trouble with the wife as well as inhibited my ability to run ten miles the following morning/day.  But the day was a lot of fun and it was great to be a part of my friend’s big day.

Talking to the parents of one of my friends, Susan and I decided that I should go ahead and try to run in the Oak Barrel 13.1 in Lynchburg, TN.  There are only 100 slots left for a last ditch registration scramble in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I can get registered for this race when this registration free-for-all opens up.

Sunday:  I was hungover for most of the day and by the time I was starting to feel better, it was time for trivia semifinals.  So no run on Sunday.  Our team, Rum Ham, was able to move on to the finals in eighteenth place despite having a bad night.  And I must say, the carrot of $20,000 in cash and prizes is not worth two semifinals (one in an overbooked bar and one in West Memphis) as well as finals in Tunica, MS.  Our team got second place over all two years ago, and actually had a realistic shot of winning that year, so I guess we feel that we are going to win prior t o every round of trivia.

Monday:  Going a little over four days without run is unacceptable, so even though it wasn’t the greatest idea, I went to the gym for a quick run despite my sinus and throat infections.   I ran 3.33 miles at an even 9:00 pace.  Not too bad for someone that couldn’t breathe.  I decided to not to push it too far with a followup circuit .

Today: I had to go to the doctor today for my sinus/throat infection and since it is cold and rainy here in Memphis today, there is a good chance that I will not be able to go for a run today, but I am hoping to do one of my Warrior Dash circuits.  If I can breathe a little easier this evening, I might try to do both.

Back In The Saddle

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After my impromptu rest day yesterday, I made sure to get in a run today.  The temperature never rose above thirty-seven here in Memphis today, so I decided to utilize the gym and the readily available treadmills for my run.  I ran four miles at a 9:34 pace.  I felt great after the run, and definitely could have pushed it a little harder, but I was pleased with the outcome regardless.  I followed the run with a couple of sets of diamond pushups and crunches.  This was all after logging 1,464 stairs while at work today.  I was going to do some TRX or  Warrior Dash circuit, but I was pressed for time and I wanted to make sure that I got my miles in first.  I may try to use the stairs for the rest of the week and see how that goes.

The Four Bridges Half Marathon I’m running in October posts lots of useful information and motivational items on their Facebook page.   They shared the following quote yesterday and I meant to include it in my previous post, but I forgot:

There are plenty of obstacles in your path.  Don’t allow yourself to become one of them. – Ralph Marston

That sums up marathon training fairly well, I do believe.  And I think it applies to my last two days very appropriately as well.  My gym has quotes posted all over the facility and I may have to suggest that they include this one.

After getting back on my workout track earlier, I’m now catching up on my DVR.  First up was the second best show currently on TV, Justified, and I’m now watching The Americans.  Tonight’s episode is tackling the attempted assignation of Ronald Reagan, which made for a very intriguing episode.  Each week, the show gets a little stronger, which gives me high hopes for The Americans comparing favorably to the other highly lauded FX shows.

And one last note, tonight was a goodnight for Memphis basketball.  The Grizzlies beat Rudy Gay and his new team, the Toronto Raptors 88-82, in large part because Gay played his usual selfish and turnover prone fourth quarter.  Toronto is not a good team, but when you part ways with a player, it is always good for morale of a fanbase to perceive that the right move was made.  The Memphis Tigers won for the seventeenth straight time this evening after dispatching the Houston Cougars 81-74.  Chris Crawford finished just one assist short of joining Penny Hardaway and Antonio Anderson as the only Tigers with a triple-double.  Of course Penny had two and is regarded by many as the greatest Tiger of all time and Anderson was in the senior class with the most wins in NCAA history and a Final Four appearance (both vacated because of Derick Rose’s bogus SAT), so including Crawford with that duo may have been a little dubious.

A Little Bit of Everything

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Yesterday I did not workout.  I didn’t run nor do my TRX workout, I instead went to an early dinner with the wife and played trivia at our local watering hole, Brookhaven Pub.  Our team, Rum Ham, plays there weekly and, not to brag (because who would brag about something like this?), but we routinely win first place there.  We are currently in the city and region wide finals for bar trivia.  Yes, I am a dork, and yes, this is a real thing.  The payoff is a huge cash pool to the top finishers and free bar tabs at your local spots.  It passes the time.  But, since I skipped my workout, I am “punishing” myself by taking the stairs.  My office is on the eighth floor and the courtroom I work in is in the basement, so there will be plenty of stairs for me today.  Actually, it will be 244 stairs per a one way trip, with a minimum of six trips today.  Add in transporting files up and down from court, and it is a decent way to stay active today.

I ran in a virtual 5K a couple of weeks back called the Chilly Cheeks 5K, hosted by fellow blogger http://bigandysrunning.wordpress.com/ as a fundraiser for a run he is doing.  I finished in a PR 5K time of 26:30, but I guess that comes with an asterisk since it was on a treadmill and not a fully sanctioned event.  But, I’ll take it, none the less.

Yep, there is a bare ass on my wall.

Yep, there is a bare ass on my wall.

I got an email from one of my upcoming races stating that the race date has been rescheduled.  This is the second reschedule for the Run For Your Lives race in Tennessee.  The original date was March 30, which was very convenient for me because I will be closer to Nashville that weekend for Easter, but there was a scheduling conflict on that date apparently and it was pushed back two weeks.  And now today, the date has been moved to November 9, due to another scheduling conflict.  It kind of pissed me off.  I could understand one reschedule, but not two.  Also, the original price structure was set up to reward people for signing up early with lower registration fees.  I signed up on Cyber Monday along with a friend after the first reschedule, the prices lowered and a rebate was not offered to any of the early registrants.  I didn’t get my refund and simply register again for the race race last time, because it was honestly just $5, but I probably should have.  I am tempted to just get my refund and go about my business due to the schedule turmoil.  If they cannot get the schedule right, what else are they going to mess up?  Also, with the wife’s family being season ticket holders for the Ole Miss Rebels, if I decide to still run the race, I will be putting her out a little bit.  What also irks me about the reschedule is that I wanted to run the Oak Barrel 13.1 on April 6, but couldn’t because three races in a row was a little ambitious, and now that I can, registration is closed.  There will be a brief opening of the last 100 spots, but that happens during the Germantown Half Marathon.  We shall see.  At least now I will not have back to back weeks of obstacle races and I won’t be late to my friend’s wedding on the 13th.

I will post about today’s workout later this evening or in the morning.

Two Posts In One!

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I meant to write the first half of this entry yesterday, but I got busy and never got to my computer to do so.  I made Sunday a rest day since I enjoyed my friend Will’s last weekend of bachelorhood a little too much the previous night.  Since it was going to be an easy day, Susan and I decided to take Beau to Overton Bark, the newest dog park in Memphis.  This was the first time that we had taken Beau to a park, so we had some apprehension.  He does great with parents’ golden doodles, but numerous stranger dogs was a little worrisome.  But, I am happy to report that our worries about Beau at the park were unfounded.  Beau loved running with the other dogs and had a grand ole time.  I brought a tennis ball for him to fetch, but he was more concerned with keeping up with the other dogs in the park.  However, no matter how much running he did, if he lost sight of Susan and I, he would sprint back to the last place he saw us to make sure we were still around.  We stayed at the park for about forty-five minutes and when we got back in the car, Beau was quite tired.  After the dog park, we took Beau to Hollywood Feed, a local pet store near the house.  We got him a couple of new chew toys and a Kong toy that gives him treats as he plays with it.  It may be his favorite toy of all time!

First trip to the dog park

First trip to the dog park

After the dog park and pet store, we headed home where Susan and I finally decided to arrange our collage wall.  She finds numerous ideas on Pinterest and decides we need to do them at our house.  I will admit, she has found some good ideas, but they are not always the easiest things to complete.  The collage wall was not physically demanding, but lining up all of the frames and maintaining proper boarders was quite tedious.  It took me a little longer than I had hoped, but we were very pleased with the end results.  We are repainting over her spring break, so I wanted to get the wall done so any mishaps would be concealed in the near future.

An afternoon of hard work

An afternoon of hard work

Today, I got back to my workout routine.  It was a cold and rainy evening in Memphis, so I headed to the gym after work.  I was drained from a long day at the office, but I knew I had to get back to my routine.  I ran 3.26 miles on the treadmill at a 9:51 pace.  A little slower than my recent runs, but I felt good.  After the run, I did another Warrior Dash circuit.  I did my usual :30/:30 split for two circuits with a minute rest time between the two circuits.  Today’s circuit consisted of the following exercises:

  • Body Weight Squat
  • DB Incline Bench
  • DB Upright Row
  • Glute Bridges
  • Wipers
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Supermans
  • Bicep Curl
  • Reverse Crunch/Knee to Chest

Today’s workout went well and I am confident that I will be properly prepared for my upcoming races.

Move It Memphis 10K

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I ran the Move It Memphis 10K, which was my first 10K, so by default, I set a personal record!  The race was hosted by the Greater Memphis Chamber, and was organized by Start 2 Finish Event Management, a company that organizes several races in the area.  Leading up to today, I knew it was going to be cold, and Mother Nature did not disappoint.  Today was the coldest race that I have run to date, checking in at 34 degrees at race start and 34 degrees again when I crossed the finish line.  In fact, as I finished the race, it began to snow!  Of course, it wasn’t Superstorm Nemo level, but it was still snow.

The race claims to be the only race that starts and ends on Beale St, which is a good selling point, I’m sure.  The lobby of the FedEx Forum was open before and after the race, so all of us runners weren’t huddled in the cold all morning and were afforded access to indoor bathrooms.  And, unlike the St Jude Marathon, you were not in the bathroom line for thirty plus minutes.  There was also free parking at the Forum’s parking garage, so that was another major perk.  I got to the race about an hour early because I was worried about getting into the parking garage and I did not want to find a my own parking spot.  I hung out in the lobby until about ten minutes before the race start, so when I headed to the starting corral, I was shuffled towards the back.  There were over 2,000 registered participants for the race, but a little less than half of that actually showed up for the race.  And thank goodness, because the starting corral was quite congested and it took several minutes to get clear of the slower runners after the start of the race.

The course was basically a loop through downtown and was very scenic.  We ran down the trolley line on Main Street, past the bars of Beale St, past the Loraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum, and through one of the most high-end neighborhoods in Memphis.  The running surfaces varied from pavement to brick to cobblestone to concrete pedestrian paths.  Water and Gatorade was made available after each mile, which is also a huge plus.

My only real complaint about the race is that they said they were using chip timing, but ended up using gun timing instead.  I wasn’t going to  compete for any money today, but it is annoying that my “official race time” doesn’t take in account that I was towards the back of the corral.  The chips were on the back of our bibs, but I guess there was a malfunction with the system.  I knew that I ran well today, and even though I usually go with the official race time, I am probably going to use my Nike+ time instead.  It is only about a minute difference in the two items, so it isn’t that big of a deal.  My gun time was 58:07, which was about a 9:22 per mile pace.  Nike+ had my run at 56:46 for a pace of 9:07.  Both are ahead of my one hour goal, so I am pleased with the results.

Race shirt, bib, & medal

Race shirt, bib, & medal

I talked about the shirt yesterday, but being a cotton blend, Dri-Balance shirt makes it better than your typical shirt.  I did not wear it during the race today, because I normally don’t wear the race shirt on race day.  I guess it is like in PCU when Droz tells Gutter ‘”What’s this? You’re wearing the shirt of the band you’re going to see? Don’t be that guy.”  I guess I like to be a little easier to pick out of the masses.  I really like the design of the medal, even if it is on the small side.  Of course, once I placed it on my display, it looked good.  It is narrow, but is still the same height as most of my medals, so that is good.  The only thing in the goodie bag at packet pickup besides the shirt was literature from the sponsors and a sample of deodorant.  I guess the organizers didn’t want participants to be overly malodorous at the race finish.  Central BBQ was one of the sponsors, so they provided BBQ and their homemade chips as a part of the post race snacks.  We were some cheese and jalapenos away from BBQ nachos!  There was also the standard beer, bottled water, apples, and oranges, but no oddly, no bananas.

Overall: A-: Many positives, only one negative is great, especially for a shorter race and it was quite affordable.

Course: A: honestly, one of the better courses that I have run.

Swag: B+: good shirt & medal, but little else (I know, I know, this isn’t a marathon).

Bottom line, I would definitely do this race again next year.