Let me go ahead and get these thoughts down now before my busy week ahead. 

i just finished running the PNC 5K in 18:15. It was a nice tuneup for this upcoming marathon. I ran this one in my marathon kit in similar weather to what is forecasted for race weekend. So all seems well.

I have also been inadvertently hitting MP during some of my runs during this taper. That’s a good sign for me; it shows that my legs are feeling primed to go. 

So goals for this upcoming race - I have three: 

”A” Goal - Break 2:50

”B” Goal - Break 2:55

”C” Goal - Break 3:00

i would consider anything over 3:00 to be missing the mark. I think I have a decent shot at my “A” goal... maybe a 20-25% chance and a 75% chance at hitting my “B” goal.  

We will see how it goes. But I’m feeling pretty good about it!  

 📸 credit - Garry Wylie

📸 credit - Garry Wylie

In the past three weeks, I’ve run three consecutive 5K’s on three consecutive Saturday’s. These were prescheudled races that I kept on the calendar despite the fact that I’m actually shifting to marathon training and mileage building. I did keep 80+ miles per week during this period and my 5K results were - 18:53, 17:44, and 18:48.

I enjoyed the races, but I’m ready to get back to traditional Marathon training.

 

 

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Yesterday, I completed my sixth consecutive Peachtree Road Race 10k. My goal for the race was to run 37:30 or better. I completed the course in 38:24, missing my goal; nonetheless, I really enjoyed the run. The start time was 30 minutes earlier than normal, and the weather was far better than last year. I had a chance to see some familiar faces and run in one of the most iconic events in modern day road racing.

Now that this 10K is behind me, it's time to officially switch gears. To be sure, I still have a few more shorter distances races on my calendar; however, my attention will now 100% shift towards my fall marathon. I'll race these shorter events, but I will consider them as stepping stones to what I hope to be a breakthrough marathon performance in October.

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Last weekend I ran the Possom Trot 10K, finishing in 37:33, I was able to snag 5th overall, 1st in my age group, and a shiny new PR. This was my final big workout before the Peachtree Road Race. Given that I did not taper for this race, I’m hoping to improve on my time in a couple of weeks at Peachtree. My goal is sub-37. I didn’t do a full recap of this race since I’ve done a write up before when I ran it in 2016. See here for that race report. 

 

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It’s been a while. Just wanted to drop a quick note to mention a few somewhat recent thoughts:  

1. It’s been about a year since I transitioned to a vegetarian diet. Shortly thereafter, I took the next step and moved to a strictly plant-based diet. It was the best dietary decision of my life. As someone who used to get 2 colds per year and suffered from winter allergies/congestion, I find it unbelievable that I’ve gone a full year without so much as a sniffle. I’ve never felt better... I’m recovering quicker, racing faster, and staying injury-free for a longer stretch than ever in history.

2. I’ve been continuing to do 99.9% of my runs alone. However, last week I ran with the Ponce City Market Run crew for Global Running Day. I had a great time, and I had the opportunity to try out some amazing lululemon run gear! It felt good to run with a group, and it was a nice reminder of the best of what run groups offer.

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I’ve been doing a bit of traveling in the last month which has thrown my running schedule off. But I’ve been getting back to consistency. Today I ran a 4-Miler (2018 Singleton 4 Miler) in 23:55 (5:59 pace)... a solid effort considering the limited training I’m coming off. I finished 10th place (out of 827) and 3rd place AG. That’ll be some good points for my ATC Grand Prix efforts. 

The course was super hilly and featured several out and backs with sharp 180 degree turns. I’m curious to see what I can do on a more traditional course that required less Hill and braking to navigate turnarounds. Afterwards, I ran another few miles to cool down. 

three days back into it from my two-week vacation. I haven’t lost any speed, but I can tell that my recovery has taken a bit. I felt a bit tired this morning. When I was at peak fitness leading up to the Run Hard Columbia Marathon, I was running back to back 15+ milers in a 100 mile week with no problem. Today it was difficult to bounce back from a 7 miler on Saturday followed by a 15 miler yesterday. But I’m listening to my body; I have no doubt that the fitness will return quickly. 

Just a quick note to say that I’m still here :). For the last week, I’ve been in Mexico celebrating ten years of marriage with my wife. I’m writing this while sitting on a patio in Playa Del Carmen enjoying an inexplicably relaxing and cool breeze. This break has been so refreshing and rejuvenating for me. I’ve also done a fair bit of reading on veganism and minimalism... two areas of focus that I will continue to expand upon in my personal life. I am at peace in the moment; but when I return to the US, I plan to increasingly apply these concepts to my running. A few more days of break and then it’s back to my daily running - my daily peace.  

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Today’s run was in solitude. The wet ground added extra volume to my steps and allowed me to appreciate the consistent cadence that I have developed. The sound of my footfalls; the sound of me moving in perfect balance with my body. We often take for granted how God has blessed us to be able to maintain balance while moving on just two legs. It’s part of what makes us different; and as part of my quest to list out the things for which I am grateful, it was also the subject of much of my thought today.

Also, I am blessed to be surrounded by so many trees where I live. Even the track is surrounded on all sides by trees. Trees that look exceptionally vibrant in the muted sunlight of a rainy day. The green seemed so much brighter. My run felt good. My legs and heart were equally strong, and I have still yet to feel even the slightest bit of soreness from last week’s marathon... yet another blessing to be thankful for. Sunday long day. 

Many things on my mind during this morning's run. A few words/thoughts are lingering with me: balance, redemption, responsibility, and integrity. Cool quiet start on the track today as I ran eight miles with two at marathon pace. I'm trying to focus my thoughts and channel my will in advance of this next marathon in a couple of days; I'm also thinking about how I can apply those aforementioned words to my life - running and otherwise. 

Happy New Year! Stepping into the new year, I have a few run-related goals that I want to pursue. I'm letting these thoughts free stream from my mind because in the days leading up to 2018, I don't believe that I gave them much though; at least not much intentional thought. My wife asked me what my resolutions were for the new year - I didn't have any - I mean not in the traditional sense anyway. Truthfully I think I've always felt a disinterest in creating resolutions that are indexed to something as seemingly frivolous as a calendar date. You know, why put off to January first what you could do now. But on second thought - I will take this time to be intentional about some of my running related goals. I have others, but this is clearly not the forum to discuss those. So yea, back to running - (1) I want to complete the Atlanta Track Club Grand Prix and place within my age group; (2) I want to run another sub-3 hour marathon; (3) and I want to continue to contribute to running culture by leaving a legacy that outlives my days of putting feet to pavement; and lastly, (4) I want to speak less and do more. I took my first step towards the completion of these goals yesterday when I completed the first race of the Grand Prix Series. I finished the Resolution Run 5k in freezing temps in a respectable 19 minutes and 6 seconds, good enough for 18th place (out of 1,800 total participants). 

Running is my peace; it is my balance. In a world so full of uncertainty, there’s a certain sort of serenity that I feel when exercising total control over my body. God gave us so much power, and there is so much thought put into the design of our bodies. Perhaps we are truly born to run, and perhaps that is why I feel so close to my purpose when running.

This morning the stars were out in all of their glory. On quiet dark morning, glancing up at the sky often fills me with awe. Little old me - all alone on the track with only my thoughts and the sounds of my footfalls for company… it’s easy to lose track of the scale of the whole thing. And those moments when I confront the vastness of eternity, I’m humbled before God. And I’m happy to be in the moment. And I keep running…  now with the presence of God there to join my thoughts and the sounds of my footfalls.

I believe that the key to longevity in running is the ability to view your schedule through a wide-scoped lense; to view the entirety of your running career as an exercise of periodization. There’s a natural rhythm to the way I plan my schedule. Even as I’m planning out the ebb of the peak weak of my training cycle, I remain cognizant of the flow of the recovery or base-building segment to follow. Gains come with time, and time is the reward of the patient.  

I’m one week away for the start of my next training block. I’ve never felt better, and the enthusiasm with which I am approaching my next marathon will hopefully endure through the unforgiving winter months to come. There’s something special about winter training. The passing runners’ nod of acknowledgement takes on more gravity when the temperature is below freezing and the trails are void of the seasonal influx of fair-weather visitors. Winter on the trails is for a different sort of runner, and I am excited.