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Clearwater Halfathon

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Location:

St. Petersburg,FL,

Member Since:

Dec 30, 2014

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

  • 5k - 3/8/14 - Armadillo Run - 15:58
  • 10k - 2/7/15 - BDR, Safety Harbor - 33:17
  • 15k - 2/21/15 - Gasparilla - 51:05
  • 1/2 - 12/14/14 - Holiday Halfathon - 1:13:31
  • Marathon - 10/04/15 - Twin Cities - 2:38:46

Short-Term Running Goals:

2016 Races

Clearwater Halfathon - Jan 11
Donna Hicken Marathon - Feb 14
Gasparilla 15k - Feb 20
Florida Beach Halfathon - Mar 6
??? Chicago Marathon ???

Long-Term Running Goals:

Find balance. Run with my girls. Break 15 in the 5k.

Personal:

Born in 1973 in Southern California.

Ran in high school for Arcadia. They have a famous cross-country team now. In my day, we were famous for dodging our coach during runs.

Over the next 15 years I ran very little, but life was awesome. I lived mostly in Northern California, where I met my wife. We moved back to her native state of Florida in 2005, where I gradually started running more seriously.

 

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
243.903.0028.100.00275.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.000.0015.00

Functional running today.

AM: 3 miles, 2 with Elise on her bike, and 1 with Anna.

PM: 12 miles. Drove to Publix, parked, ran around. Came home, dropped car off at mechanic. Ran home.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
1.000.000.000.001.00

1 mile. Mostly because I was too busy, but a little because I was too lazy.

We spent the day at car dealerships. Allison and I agreed to hold off car shopping until the New Year. I assumed that meant February or March, but I was wrong.

We got a minivan. Previously, we each had a Civic- I fear a minivan is another rung down the ladder of cool. We've somehow made it work up to now with our carpool, but that would have ben impossible next year.

One dealership had a 2005 Civic on display with over 425,000 miles. I'm at 127k on mine and fully intend to see 250.

 

Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

AM: 18 miles with the group, averaged 7:36. I felt out of shape but enjoyed the run much more than usual today, in large part because we got a cool front through.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.000.000.000.0018.00

AM: 10 miles.

PM: 8 miles at lunch with Quint.

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.004.000.0016.00

AM: 6 miles, very slow.

PM: 10 miles at track. 4 x 1 mile with 400 recovery. Quint paced me through some of it. 5:49, 5:48, 5:45, 5:25. It's a start. Better effort and focus, even if the result doesn't show it yet.

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

AM: 6 slow miles.

PM: 8 miles, not feeling like The Blob out for a slither, for a change.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

AM: 6 miles.

PM: 8 miles at lunch with Quint.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.001.001.000.0017.00

AM: 10.5 miles. Met Christina and Mike G at the pool. I planned to warmup with them, then run my own tempo. Their goal was ~6:30. By the end of warmup, I knew I wasn't good for a whole lot more than that, so we started out together, first three miles were 6:40, 6:29, 6:27. Mike and I dropped the pace for 2 more miles: 6:10, 6:02. Part of me thought I should have pushed harder this morning, but my intuition told me to be patient. There will be plenty of time for harder running once I have a better foundation.

PM: 6.5 miles at lunch with Quint.

 

Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

AM: 8 miles, then went with the family to botanical gardens & Heritage Village in Seminole. I'd taken the girls there a couple years ago, they appreciated it more this time. Then Indian buffet- the girls can eat a meal's worth of naan.

Planned to get them out for run biking this afternoon but we have a thunderstorm.

 

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
18.002.000.000.0020.00

AM: 17 miles, avg 6:50. Probably the best long run in the last couple months, but it didn't come easy. I planned 18, but my right calf started freaking out around 16.5. Nothing serious.

PM: 2 miles with Elise on her bike, 1 with Anna.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
14.000.000.000.0014.00

AM: 6 miles.

PM: 8 miles at lunch.

After running in the humidity all summer, there is a time each year, usually in November, when a couple of cool weeks leads to some great runs and workouts.

I felt that out there today (in January)! In my case, I'm not rounding into top form, which can't help but feel like an opportunity missed.

I am glad to be running in cool weather and not hurt for the first time in awhile.

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.003.000.0014.00

AM: 6 miles.

PM: 8 miles at track. Descending ladder with Quint, Anthony and Lee. Nothing amazing, but a little progress.

Workout: 1200, 800, 400, 200, EACH WITH 200 REST, 2 SETS WITH 400 REST BETWEEN THE SETS.

Splits:
4:20.2, 2:50.5, 1:18.5, :34.3
4:07.8, 2:42.3, 1:13.4, :32.9

Chilly night, upbeat crowd at track. Something that seems so Floridian: two of the best races in Pinellas County are happening this weekend. At one point the race directors locked horns and now make it an annual tradition to schedule their events on top of each other. Plenty of racing options for runners this weekend, anyhow.

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Just plain lazy.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Lazy, part 2. Also, we have our company Holiday Party tonight. It's a little late this year, but two years ago it was held in May.

For bedtime reading, I've been tackling The Hobbit with my seven year old . This is kind of a big deal, since we spent the first 5 or 6 years of her life reading indestructible cardboard books about colors, shapes and dogs.

Assuming anyone who cares has already read the book... we are near the end when Bilbo confronts Smaug. Elise was sure Bilbo would somehow defeat the dragon, which is what the narrative structure leads you to expect. The story is told in 3rd person, almost entirely following Bilbo around.

Tolkien's way of handling the dragon is kind of quirky, though. After his second conversation with Bilbo, Smaug flies off in a rage, torches the secret entrance the dwarves & hobbit found, then flies off (to Laketown it turns out). Bilbo and the dwarves are left hiding in the mountain for a couple days wondering where the dragon went. They eventually loot the treasure and walk out the front gate.

In the next chapter, the narrator basically says: "Well, I bet you wanted to know what happened to the dragon, right? Here goes...."

It's a neat chapter and beautifully written, but the fact that Smaug meets his demise far from Bilbo and the dwarves, and then the jump back in time to tell the story, add up to a pretty jarring resolution of one of the major questions in the book.

It stuck out because as an adult reading it, I kind of just plowed over those issues and followed the plot and didn't think much of it. But my daughter was kind of scandalized.

Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 miles at lunch with Quint. The best part of the run was when he climbed a fence like Spiderman to avoid a huge puddle in the middle of the bike path, thought he was clear, then jumped in the middle of it.

No run this morning. Woke up to a drizzle that turned into a downpour as a storm moved in from the gulf. Not that I would have run anyway, having been out late at the company dinner party.

We had a good last year, so they took us to an expensive restaurant and ordered a ridiculous amount of food and drink. On one hand it was fun, but I found it impossible to tune out the sheer excess. It reminds me of being a kid at Christmas, and of course I loved the toys, but I also felt a lot of shame when I saw all the presents, and knew the situation of kids elsewhere in the world.

Maybe it's just the weather, but it seems that the default human condition is to take care of yourself and your family, then maybe your immediate social circles. People seem to fall into three categories in this regard. The first group doesn't care about the massive inequality that exists, and if anything enjoys explaining why others are less fortunate. The second group is just as bad, people like me, who don't like the way the world is but don't translate their feelings into actions. Then there's a minority who volunteer their time, money, or choose careers like teaching or social work where you forego lavish dinners and higher salaries in exchange for directly helping other people.

At some point I want to move into the third category. I already regret living most of my life too selfishly thus far.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
3.000.000.000.003.00

1 mile with Anna on her bike, 2 with Elise.

I think that's it for the day. I'm going to run the Clearwater 1/2 tomorrow. Plenty of reasons not to: we're heading to Orlando for a wedding after lunch, and won't be home until 10 or 11. It's a tough course with 4 serious bridge crossings. And it's going to be raining. For some reason, when I add that all up it makes me want to go.

I'm not going to bring a watch- just run however I feel tomorrow morning, maybe with a friend, maybe just watching the race unfold. If I caught lightning in a bottle I might be able to run 1:18, but I doubt I have the willpower to put myself through the grinder to run 5 minutes over my PR.

I was sad to read about Ryan Hall's retirement yesterday, but it did seem inevitable. You could argue he received a disproportionate amount of attention vs. other American runners, although some of it was due to his unique ability to inspire others. He could be frustrating to cheer for with his flakiness, but I'm from CA and can relate to flakehood firsthand. It was easy to believe he'd hit his homerun and win a major marathon. I think all his fans and detractors were hoping that would happen.

 

Comments(3)
Race: Clearwater Halfathon (13.109 Miles) 01:22:06, Place overall: 6, Place in age division: 1
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
1.900.0013.100.0015.00

About 9pm Saturday night, the race director sent out the message that due to projected heavy rain, lightning and wind, Sunday's races would be moved back an hour, with more delay possible. Around 2am a massive storm rolled through, shaking the house, lightning. It was blown out by 3, and I expected we'd have good conditions in the morning. It rained a bit more on the drive up to Clearwater, but by the time I showed up the clouds were starting to clear.

My goal was to run a steady effort. I didn't bring a watch, and the race director had made it known that the mile markers wouldn't be in place. He was worried they could turn into dangerous projectiles in the case of high winds.

As we lined up, he asked everyone to listen carefully to an announcement. He got straight to the point- the accompanying marathon and 50k were being cancelled since that part of the course was submerged. A couple people booed, and he was clearly stung. "Really?? People are booing me?" he asked. "Just one person!" someone near me shouted. The wind was really starting to pick up, giving the moment a chaotic and exciting feeling.

We started out with a quick half mile through downtown Clearwater, then turned onto the ramp of the bridge. It's a 75 foot climb that is normally pretty easy at the start of the race, but this time it was directly into the wind. The gusts were from 30-40 mph - I've never run into wind so strong. I picked out a 6'3" guy ahead of me and drafted off him mericlessly. He didn't seem too pleased, but I could tell scruples would be of no use today.

At the top of the bridge, I moved up and drafted where I could on the way down. At this point the course runs a couple miles on a short causeway to Clearwater Beach, a little strip of land jutting out into the gulf. I fell into place behind a guy going about my speed, and suggested we take turns breaking the wind. He was amenable, and we took turns leading out to the Sand Key, which is roughly perpendicular to the last bridge. The Sand Key Bridge is about the same height, but this time the wind was behind us and I went up it like a rocket. On the way down, I was a little worried about face-planting into the pavement.

The next section of the course is a bummer - you get routed into the parking lot for Sand Key and pick up about a mile running the perimeter. Two other guys caught up, and we now had a nice little pack. Wind wasn't much of an issue at this point, and we got a nice clip going. One of the guys looked strong and I worried he might pull away, but I resolved to stay with him as long as I could. Exiting the parking lot, the furthest point of the course lies ahead - running toward the tip of Clearwater Beach. It's a long stretch through a canyon of high-rise condos. The wind occasionally smacked us around, but for the most part it was at our backs.

Our pack fell apart on this stretch, and the one who stayed with me was a young guy I hadn't really noticed before. He had a strange shuffling gait, and his arms were swinging around a lot. He stuck directly behind me and kicked my heel at least a dozen times over the next few miles. It wasn't all his fault - at times a gust would blast us head-on, and my speed would drop dramatically. I didn't mind him drafting, and felt pretty steady. I was grateful for the company.

At the end of Condo Canyonland, we turned around and were now returning into the terrible wind. We had about a two mile slog back to the base of the Sand Key Bridge, grim and slow. But it was nothing compared to climbing that bridge. The wind that had sent me down like a rocket slowed my pace to a near walk. I have no information, but if I was running faster than 10 minute pace up that bridge I would be shocked. I somehow dropped the kid behind me, temporarily. I was going so slow I have to guess that he did actually walk.

Then it was back through the touristy section of Clearwater Beach, slowly turning out of the wind. The kid reappeared, and was starting to lose my good graces. He was doing a fair bit of unintelligble muttering during the race. It may have been my imagination, but it sounded like he was saying: "Not yet...not yet...wait til later..." Sand particles from the beach were flying at us, so I ran with my head turned to keep it out of my eyes. My companion passed me and ran into a section of the road submerged in water. He sent huge splashes over both of us - I had a vague sense it might be an intimidation tactic, but he also seemed a little off - who knows. Whatever the case, I had spent most of the run in the yellow, running steady and keeping my last gear in reserve. Now we turned on the approach to the Clearwater Bridge, with the wind fully at our backs with about two miles to go. I started running hard, and with the massive tailwind it had to be sub 5:20 pace. My friend disappeared and I didn't see him again.

As I got to the base of the Clearwater Bridge, I started getting a side stitch, probably from running too hard, but it stayed in the background. My friend Sean was coming back to me, but I didn't have enough runway to catch him. Going up the bridge in this direction was easy, and halfway down there is a corkscrew pedestrian path you get routed down. Then it's a short hop to the finish line, where my wife and daughters were waiting for me. My girls charged me in the finish area, which never gets old.

I had lost all sense of time out there, but I figured my finish time was going to be 1:25-1:27. I was pleasantly surprised to finish in 1:22:06. That time would not normally qualify as a pleasant surprise, but given the way everything has shaken out lately, and the day's conditions, I was happy with it.

I knew I had run on a day that would go down in the local running community's lore. The stories I heard from friends were hilarious - the sheer absurdity of the conditions made this feel more like some survival exercise than a road race. I guess I can see the appeal of the crazy trail ultras my sister does better now. This is one of my favorite races ever.

Comments(7)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 miles with Quint at lunch.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.003.000.0012.00

AM: 4 miles.

PM: 8 miles at track, Florida cold  (low 50s).

Workout was: 1 X 1 MILE, 400 REST, 1 X 1200, 400 REST, 800 WITH 200 REST 800 WITH 400     REST, 2 X 400 WITH 200 REST

I raced Sean on the 1200 and first 800 and ran out of gas after that.

Splits: 5:31.3 / 3:58.0 / 2:32.6, 2:43.8 / 1:15.6, 1:15.8

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

I should have run today, and if I was in serious training mode I would have found time, but it was a mess. Everything broke down - cars, carpool, couldn't break out for lunch and left Quint hanging. I find I feel better about my job when I am exhausted from running too much.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 miles at lunch with Quintmeister.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
0.000.000.000.000.00

Nope.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
2.000.000.000.002.00

I broke away for 2 miles today, only because I felt gross.

Otherwise, I spent most of my free time this weekend coding. I haven't really gone on a tear like this since my 20s, but I have an idea I'm kind of inspired with.

A perhaps more honest take would be to say I'm channeling OCD into programming because I can't find any spark in running right now.

 

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
13.000.000.000.0013.00

Wasn't sure I'd make it out, but I woke up and wanted to see the gang.

I'm glad I did - mid 40s but not too windy and about half the run under 6:30. Everyone running fast and feeling good.

 

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

8 miles at lunch, beautiful running weather.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

No much running this week. I got a headcold, but normally I'd just run through that.

I had a good week, even with little running. I've been working like mad on an idea, but since this isn't Fast Software Blog I don't want to belabor it. But it does feel good to be enthusiastic.

I met Quint after work and we had a good time catching up. I do want to get back to training, but I'm just trying to figure out how to incorporate running. I don't have the guts to train at a high level right now, but running casually is not that easy either.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

AM: 4 miles, running with no purpose, felt good.

PM: 3 miles, 2 with Elise, 1 with Anna on their bikes.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.004.000.0015.00

AM: 15 miles. Very strong group this morning. I didn't have any particular plan. After 5 miles, Jim got us started on 3x2 miles @ 6:30 pace, which we hit pretty cleanly. Couple minutes recovery, then a few of us got rolling and ran the second set in 6:01, 5:53. Lately that would have felt like a struggle, but I was surprisingly comfortable today. A lot of that had to do with having Anthony, Mike M & Mike G to roll along with.

On the final 2 mile repeat we ran 5:56, 5:33. I didn't look at my watch and just kind of went with it. It felt pretty good.

I know a lot of it had to do with good runners to pace with, and being fresh from running so little lately. And finally tolerable weather. But it did get me thinking about how some friends have suggested I might run better if I ran fewer miles.

The idea of getting better results with less work sounds great. I'm still dubious but it is fun to entertain at least. Last week was way too slack, I will try for 70 this week, which seems like a reasonable number all around.

Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
243.903.0028.100.00275.00
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