Ready for Nashville

Just five days until the Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon. I logged my last long training run this past weekend. I’m ready! I’m starting to get pretty excited too.

I’m starting the week trying to stay hydrated mostly. Concentrating on a more high protein, high fiber through Wednesday and then I’ll focus more on carb loading Thursday and Friday. I do have a short run planned for Wednesday and Thursday. Short runs at this stage are tempting to push the pace but I intend to make them nice easy pace runs and avoid the hills around my neighborhood.

The wifey and I will fly to Nashville on Friday instead of driving. Once we get through airport security in Augusta, GA things should be relatively stress free. The hardest part of the trip will be finding a healthy place to eat lunch. After lunch we’ll meet up with my daughter, son-in-law and the two grandkids at the motel. We’re hoping we can check-in early.

Brian, Somer and I will head over to packet pickup as soon as we can. Last year we were rushing a bit to get through packet pickup and get to dinner at an early time. We’re hoping to eat dinner a little earlier this year so there’s plenty of time to layout our gear and get a good nights sleep. I tried to get a reservation at an Italian restaurant near the motel but theyv’e been booked up for over a month now. Now we have to get somewhere early enough so we won’t have a terribly long wait. Eating a running friendly meal will be a challenge too. Since we’re flying instead of driving it’s pretty hard to supplement our food. Which reminds me I need to find a grocery store close to the motel.

Temperature for Nashville on Saturday is looking a little warm. There is a chance of rain but it looks like it shouldn’t interfere with the run. Last year we had about a 45 minute delay due to thunderstorms. Fingers crossed–no rain and hopefully a few degrees cooler than the forecast.

That’s it. I’ve done all I can do. Some parts will be easier this year because I’ve done it before. Other parts will be harder for exactly the same reason. Like remembering some of those not steep but very long hills. I had hoped to finish with a faster time this year but a few minor health issues forced me to cutback some of my training. That’s Ok. I’ll enjoy running with Brian and Somer and hanging out with 30,000+ runners for a few hours. All is good.

13 Days Until Nashville!

I know I haven’t posted in a while but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my butt. With work commitments, March Madness (NCAA Basketball), “The Masters” in town, Major League Baseball starting up it’s been hectic.

Thirteen days until the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon! I’m starting to get a little excited about heading to Nashville again. My training is going well. Ran 11 miles this morning and I plan to get a 12 mile run in next weekend. I’m running slower than I was at this time last year. Oh well, it’s not like I’m going to win in my age category. I’m out there for the fun of it. Yeah, for non-runners I’m sure that sounds crazy. If you’re reading this then you are probably a runner to so I know you get it.

Take the time to enjoy your surroundings.

Looking forward to hanging out with my daughter and her family. Brian & Somer are running with me in Nashville–just like last year. I don’t think any of us are where we were hoping we’d be at this time in our training. It’s been a little harder this year for sure. Can’t explain why really, it just is what it is I guess. I’m not sure if Brian will run with us this year or go on his own. As slow as I’m running this year, Somer may leave me in the dust too.

Help Me Help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Training up for Nashville isn’t the only thing I’m working towards. I’m raising money to support the outstanding work that the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does to help so many children and their families. My goal is to raise $200 for every mile I run. That’s $2620. I’m getting close but I’m still $665 short of my goal. Please help me reach my goal by visiting my Fundraising Site and making a donation:

http://heroes.stjude.org/rickhannon

That’s a wrap for now. Looking forward to Nashville and I’ll try to post once or twice before the run. In the meantime, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE support my fundraising campaign for St. Jude.

Sidebar: I live in the suburbs of Augusta, GA; the hometown of the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown so I have to give him some credit for the use of “Please, Please, Please”.

I’m outta here. Thanks for visiting.

??? Just looked at my blog stats at it appears my post in the works got posted two weeks ago and then I did the final edit today. HA! I told you I’ve been busy. I didn’t even notice I had auto post turned on.

 

 

Nashville & Indy Half: Week Five Training

My favorite run day is Monday’s. Mostly because I run outdoors and the route is pretty much the same every week. It’s a loop so sometimes I run in clockwise and other times I run it counter-clockwise. It really changes things up because the hills come at different distances and the slope and length changes. It’s been a month of Monday’s since my last Monday run. For now anyway, it seems I’ve gotten past my back issues. Just hoping it stays that way.

There was a light ran coming down on Monday morning. I has to be a really gully washer or thunderstorm to keep from going out on a run. I’ve really been concentrating on my run cadence lately. I’m getting pretty good at keeping it at 180 strides a minute. I catch myself losing concentration sometimes and my cadence will drop but even then I can keep it above 170. I started a little fast for my current fitness level and that’s probably because I was excited to get out there. After the first mile I settled in.

Wednesday was my treadmill workout. Overslept a little bit but woke up early enough to still squeeze it in before work. Same as Monday I concentrated on cadence. It’s easier to monitor on the treadmill because I have a clock right there. I wear my Fitbit so I still could on my outdoor runs but most of the time I’m running blind without contacts or glasses. Can’t read my watch without one of them.

Not much to say about the Thursday treadmill run. Did it. That’s about all I can say. Before I could go out on my long run on Saturday I had some paperwork I had to get done first. It took me much longer than I thought it would take but I got it done and started my run at about 10:20 a.m. My pace was really slow. Not sure why. I guess the wind might have been a factor but I really wasn’t feeling it until about the four mile mark.

Today I went to the gym to do some strength training. I haven’t done this in a year for sure. It went well but I’m betting I’ll be sore tomorrow morning.

Overall, it was a good week. I got all for run days in and about 90 minutes of strength training. I reviewed where I’m at today compared to where I was at this time last year and man what a difference. I’m fourteen pounds heavier than I was a year ago. My running pace is much slower as well. Probably because of the extra 14 pounds. Get rid of that and I think I’ll be in pretty good shape for Nashville. Easier said than done though. I do need to start watching what I stick in my mouth for the next 6-8 weeks. Even ten pounds gone would make things a lot easier.

Ok, that’s my report for this week. This is the best week I’ve had in a while and hopefully things will continue this way!

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Ran 3.93 miles.
Wednesday: 14 minute race pace/2 minute walk/12 minute race pace.
Thursday: 9 minute run/1.5 minutes fast+2 minute walk (x4)/9 minute run.
Saturday: Ran 7.11 miles.
Sunday: Strength training and stretching.

Approximately 14 miles for the week.

Nashville & Indy Half: Week Four Training

Only got in two runs for the week but I feel good about where I am today. My back issues kept me from running on Monday again but I ended the week without the nagging back problems I’ve had for the past three or four weeks.

I got my treadmill workout in on Wednesday and since I was off on Friday I decided to hold off on my Thursday treadmill work for then. Unfortunately, life got in the way. I had noticed my internet data usage had really gone up the past two weeks but I couldn’t figure out why. On Friday morning I discovered I had used 7 terabytes in February and was very close to using 1 terabyte in the first two days of March. Yes, terabytes, not gigabytes. That’s a lot of data! Early Friday morning I started disconnecting every internet aware device in my home to try and pinpoint the problem. Didn’t realize how many devices we had so it took awhile. After disconnecting everything but the desktop computer I was using to monitor my network I still couldn’t find the problem. I have a mobile hotspot so I connected my desktop computer to the hotspot and it didn’t take long to realize the desktop machine was the culprit. My hotspot used 2 gigabytes in less than 30 minutes. I looked at all my services and applications but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. The only thing left to do was to wipe the hard drive and reinstall everything. YUCK! I’m assuming I had some sort of peer-to-peer installed from somewhere. I really have no idea and I’m very careful about where I surf the net. I will remain a mystery I guess. So instead of running on Friday I was busy setting up my desktop computer again. Fun stuff! NOT.

Kim and I went to see Dwight Yoakum at the Bell Auditorium on Friday night so I got to bed much later than I would have preferred. Especially since Saturday is my long run day. It was a great show though and looked like a sellout crowd.

I got a late start on my Saturday run. I didn’t get started until after eleven and normally I would be finished before this. I tried to keep it slow and steady by breathing in from my nose and exhaling from my mouth for the most part. Didn’t always to that, but most of the time I did. The first four miles felt the hardest but after that I got my second wind and felt strong and really good. My fifth mile was actually my slowest mile split but it also had the most difficult hills. That mile felt like my best mile–regardless of the split time. The route I took on Saturday is one of my more difficult routes that I run. The first mile is the flattest but after that they are all pretty difficult. The distance this week was about a mile and half further and averaged about 11 seconds per mile faster than the previous week. Still running much slower than I would like but this is progress so I’m pretty happy about it.

The great thing about this week is I ended it without any back issues and it looks like I’ll get my Monday run in. Something I haven’t done in several weeks. (FYI: I’m writing this on Monday and yes, I got my run in.)

 

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Canceled run due to back.
Wednesday: 12 minute race pace/2 minute walk/12 minute race pace.
Saturday: 6.97 miles at a 12:48 minute mile pace.

Approximately 10 miles for the week.

Nashville & Indy Half: Week Three Training

Week three is over and I did decide to sit out of the Augusta University Half Marathon on Sunday. I really hated to to cancel but honestly, I wasn’t ready. I could have gone and I’m sure I would have finished but not in the way I would want to finish. I did go pick up my race packet and shirt. This was kind of a waste because for some reason their shirt orders got messed up and I had to take a medium shirt. I wear a extra large!

With my back issues I didn’t run on Monday. I felt like another day of rest was needed. By Wednesday I felt back to normal. I decided to put my training schedule on sync with the Nashville and Indy halfs. Training this week felt a little easier for sure.

The unusally warm weather really has the tree pollen in full force. On Friday the temperature hit 87 degrees. Even for Georgia that’s pretty warm. I’m glad I started taking Claritin for my allergies a few weeks ago. Once the tree pollen gets to the levels where they are now I have to use Flonase and Pataday as well. Even with all three it doesn’t always cut it.

The treadmill workouts on Wednesday and Thursday felt pretty good. I’m used to being on a treadmill again. Honestly, I think workouts on the treadmill will continue at least once a week from now on. On Saturday I was outdoors in a sleeveless shirt and shorts and ran a nice steady and slow pace. I’m glad I got out there early because it started warming up pretty quickly.

After my run on Saturday I decided to install an HDTV antenna in my attic. Bad idea! Well, it was great that I can get rid of three cable boxes now and have eight HDTV channels over the air but… when I got up on Sunday morning my back was feeling it. My lower back and left side of my hip was killing me. The standing on rafters at a weird angle and holding a flashlight under my arm really strained my back. This back issue is getting frustrating. Kim (my wife) spent about five minutes doing karate chops on my back and hip and it did help. Another tool I use and for some reason I’ve never mentioned is my “Thera Cane”. It’s a short walking cane looking device that has various nubs you can use to self massage your body. It works great let me tell you. I bought mine several years ago on Amazon I think. You can learn more about it at, http://www.theracane.com.

I did add crunches and leg raises to my workout routines this week. The back issues have me convinced I’ve neglected by core long enough. The crunches aren’t bad but I sure can feel the strain when I do the leg raise exercises. Ouch!

Even with the back issues I’m feeling pretty good about my training for Nashville. I don’t see any reason I won’t be ready. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to run at the pace I would like but its far enough away that I can’t really tell. Losing ten pounds should make a difference. I’m working on it.

Ok, that’s enough rambling for this week. Here’s the breakdown.

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Canceled run due to back.
Wednesday: 12 minute race pace/2 minute walk/12 minute race pace.
Thursday: 5 minute race pace/1 minutes faster & 2 minute walk (x6)/5 minute race pace.
Saturday: 5.49 miles at a 12:59 minute mile pace.

Approximately 11 miles for the week.

Nashville & Indy Half: Week Two Training

I finished this week’s training realizing I only had seven days until the Augusta University Half Marathon and I’m not ready. Maybe in three weeks I could be ready but more like four weeks. I could blame my cold and broncitis or my back issues, or my schedule but I won’t. I’m not ready because I didn’t focus enough.

My back problems continued this week as well. Seems to be muscle related and not joint thankfully. Even with the lower back pain I played eighteen holes of golf on Friday. It was painful at times and I had to swing with a much shorter and slower swing. Gauging distance was difficult because my usual yardage was way off. On the plus side I seemed to hit the fairway more often than usual. Might need to think about this when my playing picks up later this year. In the end, playing golf seemed to help my lower back. The spasm just below my left shoulder is still there on occasion but that doesn’t seem to affect my running or golf really. On Saturday my lower back seemed to be back to normal.

Saturday is my usual long run day but I decided to scrap it. By then it was starting to sink in that I’m not ready for the AU Half Marathon. I haven’t made a definite call but I think I’m going to bow out of the AU Half. It’s hard for me to make it official but I’m certainly leaning that way. The St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half and the Indy 500 Mini Marathon are more important to me and I don’t want to do something stupid to spoil it. I’m running with my daughter and son-in-law for both events and I would hate myself for missing either of them. I’ll decide by Friday.

Breakdown for the week:

Monday: Ran 3.94 miles at a 12:25 per mile pace.
Wednesday: 16 minute race pace/2 minute walk/16 minute race pace.
Thursday: 9 minute race pace/2 minutes faster & 2 minute walk (x4)/9 minute race pace
Friday: Eighteen holes of golf, mostly walking

Approximately 11 miles for the week.

Have you ever signed up for an event and then cancelled at the last moment? How did you feel about it?

 

Nashville & Indy Half: Week One Training

 

Phase One isn’t technically over but I’m at the twelve week mark to get ready for the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. I think it’s time to focus on Nashville and Indy the week after that. I have a little less than two weeks before the Augusta University Half Marathon. I’ll be honest here. I’m not ready. I won’t be ready. I’m pretty confident I’ll finish it but it will be far from easy. It’s a pretty challenging course which adds to the difficulty. I’ll accept whatever comes from it.

You may recall the end of the previous week I was suffering from muscle spasms in my upper back. I couldn’t get my regular Monday morning run in due to the same reason. It did get my speed work on the treadmill in on Wednesday but I stayed up too late to get my run in on Thursday. Since I missed my long run the week before I wanted to make sure I got that in so I skipped making up my Thursday run on Friday.

Saturday is my usual long run day. I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to get it in since I had a 9 a.m. meeting the same morning and a 1 p.m. meeting that afternoon. I try to keep my Saturday’s free but this week it just wasn’t happening.

img_2455 img_2457

The day started chilly but I had a beautiful full moon to start things out & I got to see the sun rise too!

I was hoping to get in at least nine miles but my pace was so slow I ran out of time. I did get in eight miles though. The temperature didn’t change much at all during my run–even after the sun came up. Don’t know what’s up with my pace the past few weeks. It’s not like I’m fast anyway but I’m slow even by my standards. I was cautious because my back is still  a bit touchy so maybe that’s why.

One thing for sure eight miles is far from the 13.1 I’m going to have to run in two weeks! Has this ever happened to you before? You know, signing up for a run fully expecting to be ready but life gets in the way and you just don’t get there. I plan to run nine plus this coming Saturday but that will be the last long run before the event. I ran this event last year but the 10K and it was one of my best runs ever. A little disappointed I’m not ready but only a little. I knew this would just be a practice run in preparation for Nashville and Indianapolis. I guess that’s why I didn’t really focus much on it. I’ll be glad when it’s over so I can really focus on those two events.

Ok, I’ve rambled enough. Here’s my not so impressive breakdown of last week.

Breakdown for the week:

Wednesday: 16 minute race pace/2 minute walk/16 minute race pace.
Saturday: 8 miles at snails pace of 14:04 minutes per mile. (BTW: Far from flat.)

Approximately 11 miles for the week. About the same as the previous week.