Indy 500 OneAmerica Mini Marathon

I’m really late getting this out–I’ve got to do better but the time just seems to fly. We departed Nashville in a blaze of heat but by Monday morning the weather was getting a little chilly in Evansville. The winds were really blowing too. Somer and I went out on a short run and the wind along with the stiffness from Saturday’s half marathon turned an easy run into a not so easy run. We kept the pace down and ran only about 2.5 miles. Since we were going to run another half marathon none of us wanted to push it during the week. The weather got a little colder every day. I drove to Versailles, KY for a couple of days to visit my mother and sister. I didn’t do any running but I did go for a little walk on Wednesday morning before heading back to Evansville. Kentucky horse country is so beautiful so I had to take a few photos along the way.

I would have like to have gone on a run while I was there but there are so many hills around my sisters house that I felt like I should take it easy and just go out and walk to stretch my legs and get some fresh springtime air.

After my walk it was time to get cleaned up, go out for a little lunch and then hit the road back to Evansville. It was good to see Mom and sis again but the stay was short. Oh yeah, I got to have chicken noodles with mashed potatoes too. Yeah, if you’re not from a small section of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky you probably think eating two starches is crazy. This stuff is good! It’s carbo loading to the max for sure.

Thursday and Friday in Evansville was even colder than the first few days. I wasn’t prepared for the chilly weather and the forecast for Indianapolis on race day was looking pretty bleack as well. They were calling for temps in the low 40’s and rain all morning. The percentage of chance of rain seemed to change every hour but it wasn’t looking good when I got up on Friday.

But wait, it gets worse. I guess due to the chilly temps my muscles and tendons really tightened during the night on Thursday. When I got up I had pain and tenderness in my right Achilles’ tendon. As the day went on, it only got worse. After the three plus hour drive to Indianapolis things seemed to tighten even more. I managed to move enough to get through packet pickup and dinner but it was painful. I spent the rest of the evening soaking my heel in hot water followed by massage, stretching and ice. I also took a double dose of Aleve. 

We were up early on Saturday morning and the pain and tightness in my right Achilles was even worse. At this point I wasn’t even sure I could make it a mile. I ate a light breakfast and swallowed a couple more Aleve. Our motel was close to the OneAmerica Mini Marathon start line so we didn’t have to get up quite so early and it was a short walk to our starting queue. Just before heading out I tried doing a little run up and down the hall of the motel. It felt better running than it did walking that’s for sure but it hurt! The temperature was in the low 40’s and we had a light drizzle which continued at our 8 a.m. start time. The forecast was for continued rain all morning.

I had to change my foot strike to avoid some of the pain but by the time we hit the two mile mark my Achilles was feeling like it was loosening up. I was so focused on finding a way to continue that at first I didn’t notice the rain cleared out. By mile four, the sun was starting to shine! For this Georgia boy it was still chilly so I kept my top layer on as well as my glove but by mile five the gloves came off.

Brian and Somer ran together and I was on my own. Somer wanted to use run/walk intervals so we pretty much took turns passing each other. I didn’t know it until after mile four that Brian had to stop for a potty break and I lost sight of them for quite a while. I wasn’t really sure what was going on. I entered the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at approximately the 5.5 mile mark. 


   

 

If separated, we agreed to meet up after turn four heading toward the main straightaway. I’m not sure how long I waited. Maybe two minutes before they caught up. Right away we had to get some photos together and then head to the row of bricks to indicate the start/finish line.

     

I don’t know how much time we spent taking photos on the main straightaway. I’m guessing 5-8 minutes. After kissing the row of bricks it was time to finish out the next five miles. As we left the track you could still thousands just making their way to the famous raceway. The first mile or two after leaving the track the course was a little tight and crowded. My right foot was feeling fine but I wasn’t going to push my luck. One thing about the Mini Marathon course is it’s very flat. It seemed weird to never be able to see very far ahead of you. I only recall one very small hill. Can’t remember where but I think it was around mile eleven. A very short hil and really didn’t take much extra effort.

The last mile is pretty exciting. The crowds are larger and the shouts of encouragement seem to be much louder. Brian Somer and I stayed pretty close to each other during the last five miles. Once we got within site of the the finish we got together so we would finish at the same time.


Our official chip time was 2:53:19. Considering how my Achilles felt at the start of the race I’m just happy about just finishing. Once we got to the finish and received our medals. I joked to Brian and Somer, “Where’s ESPN so I can annouce my retirement from half marathons?” I was only half joking because I really was thinking my half marathons days were over. But after a few days of rest and some time to think about how much fun the course is, I went ahead and signed up to run the Indy Mini Marathon again next year!

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon

We did it. Two half marathons in seven days! It wasn’t always pretty–especially the half in Nashville where the temps were unseasonably warm. That was a difficult day. It started out warm and only got hotter as the run progressed. The half marathon in Indianapolis was the exact opposite–chilly and sorta damp. Indy could have been awful but the weather reports were wrong about the rain. Thankfully!

Things got started on April 28th; the day before the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon. My wife and I flew from Augusta, Georgia to Nashville where we met up with my daughter Somer, and my son-in-law Brian. The three of us ran this event last year so it helped we sorta knew the ropes going into this one. My training and Somer’s training leading up to Nashville hadn’t gone as we hoped. Last year our goal was to run in under 2 hours, 30 minutes. If not for a necessary potty stop we would have made it. This year, our expectations were lower. I was going to be happy with anything under 3 hours. Brian on the other hand had higher expectations so instead of us running together this year he was going to run on his own. Because of the heat the race start time was moved up by 30 minutes. The temperature at start time was around 75 degrees and only got warmer very quickly. I didn’t think to find out the temp at the finish but I’m pretty sure it was around 85 degrees or warmer. Brian finished with an approximate time of 2:08. Somer and I on the otherhand walked more than we ran on the last five miles and finished around 3:14.

None of us had the finish we expected because of the heat. I still think it was a success though because this year I entered as a St. Jude Hero to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. My goal was to raise $2620 which comes out to $200 per mile. I had over fifty donors from fourteen states help me not only reach my goal but to exceed it. In all, I was able to raise $2665 for the St. Jude kids! Thanks so much to everyone who helped me help St Jude.

After the race we found some shade around the Nissan Stadium and enjoyed our chocolate milk and ice cold Mich Ultras and did some stretching. Unlike last year we are staying an extra night so there wasn’t a big rush to get back to the motel to check out. Once we got back to the motel we were ready for a shower and something to eat! We wanted to try Hattie B’s hot chicken but the line seemed like a mile long out the door and by then it was at least 90 degree’s out. So we settled on a Tex-mex place called Chuy’s. Service was great and the food tasted pretty good too. The rest of the day/evening we just relaxed and hung out together then got up early on Sunday to see my wife off since she was flying back home and we got in the car to head to Evansville. My next post will be about the Indy 500 OneAmerica Mini Marathon. Hope to have that one posted before the end of the week.

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.