Monday, July 21, 2008

Pocahontas Training (2008)

Monday: AM 50minutes in Watoga State Forrest(Hilly Run), the biggest State Forrest in WV. Nice paved road with some a dirt road at the top of the hill /PM 45minutes one Scenic Highway(rolling hilly) I ran this run on a section that sits at 4500 feet looking around the Williams River lookout point.

Tuesday 20minutes up, 6 Mile Tempo(31:54/5:19 Average), 30minutes down. Solid Tempo felt alittle flat on second half probably due to the 22mile long run on Sunday. Ran on Greenbrier River Trail in the Marlinton area on the paved 3mile stretch. (spilt 5:22, 5:17, 5:15, 5:19, 5:17, 5:21)

Wednesday: 77minutes on Pocahontas High School Road/Track. Hilly winding road, probably not a good pick but one bad run out of 2 weeks of training in the county isn't too bad. Ran last 20 plus minutes on the PHS Track.

Thursday: 1:33.30 for 14miles Easy Run on GRT Beard to Renick. Started right on a mile marker in Beard and ran 14miles into Renick so was able to get exact total time, didn't check too many spilts but run was a easy 6:40 average for the 14miles. I love this Trail!!!

Friday: 30minutes up, 8 Mile Marathon-Pace Tempo (43:51/5:28average), 28minutes down on Greenbrier River Trail. Felt really smooth and a lot better than Tuesdays harder paced tempo. I got out too quick on this workout, I only needed to run 5;30 average but then feel asleep on the 5th mile which was on a very loose gravel/cinder section around Buckeye which was one of the only tough running section of the GRT I have ran. (Spilts 5:21, 5:27, 5:25, 5:32, 5:39, 5:20, 5:32, 5:31) 16miles plus for the total workout.

Saturday: 70minutes on GRT Burnside to around the Beard area and back. Easy run which felt great for the body. Ran this section to pick up around 4plus miles that I hadn't ran yet of the trail. It leaves me the final 21.5 miles of the GRT Renick to Caldwell for tomorrow long run and last run in the countty before heading home.

Sunday: 20miles in 2:10.25 (6:32 average) on GRT Renick to Caldwell. Solid long run which I slightly picked up the pace every 5 miles (34:20, 32:35, 32:00, 31:30). Could have continued at this pace for 30plus miles so the effort wasn't nothing special but the confidence from the run is huge.

97miles on 8runs in 7 days. Was a great 2 week vacation and the running was wonderful. I only wish I could continue to train in Pocahontas County for the rest of my 10 week build into Akron Marathon. I ran every single mile of the Greenbrier River Trail in our 2 week stay, might be the best place I have ever ran! Got in a total of 135 miles on the GRT and 186 miles while in Pocahontas County.

*During our stay so far this experience has just felt right the entire time. This feels like a area I would be very happy living at for the rest of my life. The fresh-clean Mountain air, the cool summer breeze on a 70degree day, the beautiful views of Mountains, rivers, rolling hills, etc and the excellent running. State of mind here is so relaxed and time doesn't seem to matter. It doesn't hurt we have been without TV now for close to 2 weeks but that is another little thing that makes you step back and enjoy life the way God intended you too.

I really feel that this is the type of life that God intended for us on this earth, the way life is way slower and more enjoyable here makes you appreciate things so much more. I don't think this county would be for everyone but for us I could see us hopefully soon in this area maybe a little closer to Elkins for job purposes in the very near future.

On my 22mile run from Marlinton to Cass on Sunday I just felt so close to God as I ran on the Greenbrier River Trail with river and mountains on my sides and smooth trail in front. You can just get lost in a run, even at 22miles I felt like it was over in a flash and it had me wanting so much more. Spiritually I have grown so much during this stay, being away from the stress that busier life brings without even knowing. I really hope still to one day coach college XC and Track and have thought a lot this week of how nice something at D&E would be in Elkins. With Elkins being only a 35minute drive from Showshoe area you could live half way between and enjoy the best of both worlds by living in a wonderful county while also attaining a goal of coaching college XC. I will continue to pray about the future and I know God will lead us to where he intends us to be!

Monday: 77minutes on Greenbrier River Trail (GRT) from Marlinton Depot south. Jumped a lot of deer and crossed 3 bridges while entire run had beautiful river views!

****Today was Marian and my 1-year Anniversity. We were married on 7-7-07 and this past year has been the greatest of my life. I'm so thankful to have met Marian and know every year will get better and better! I LOVE YOU MARIAN VERY MUCH!!!!!!!*****

Tuesday: 85minutes with Strides. Started run on GRT before cutting off roughly one mile into the run onto a old logging road that now is a gated Forrest dirt road. From 10minutes into the run until turning around at 42minutes this run had a steady to steep climb(32minutes of climbing)! The run was completely tree covered and had some switchbacks the entire way. Added in the Wyatt Trail section on the way back down for a very nice run.

Wednesday: AM 22minutes up, 4xMile on GRT with 2min Rec (4:54, 4:58, 5:02, 4:59), 20min down. Workout was Cruise Intervals so ran them smooth, surprised to run this quick right now. Rather would have ran around 5:00-5:05 still, will bring them into a even more comfortable range next time. / PM 48minutes(maybe 6miles) on Two Lick Trail in Pocahontas Recreation Area. HARD running single track mountain run, not what we wanted but as we explore this can happen. Over 1,000 feet of climbing!

Thursday: 77minutes on GRT from Buckeye to Seven Hole Run Road. Once again a beautiful run that at one point had Mountain Trees/Rock on one side and huge opening to see the River flowing on the other. Very Scenic run, and the crazy thing was the Bear sighting that I blogged about earlier this week.

Friday: 55minutes with Strides on the GRT (Seebert to Burnside) Every Part of this trail has a different thing then from the section the day before, but one common is the beauty that makes your mind get lost while in the run. Today saw deer crossing the river as well as '"lots" of little rabbits hopping around. One the way back ran within 20 yards of you doe's with there little fawns on the trail, it was great!

Saturday 22up, Oceana Hertiage 5k (15:58, 1st Place $250), 23min down. Woke up at 4:30 for coffee and to hit the rode for a 2hour drive into Oceana, WV for race #2 of a 4 race money series. Plan was to tempo at around only 5:10 pace, but for some reason when the gun went off I shot off the line like it was a "all-out" 5k PR attempt. I hit the marked 1/2 mile at 2:21 and was 4:47 at the mile, I was around 7:33-4 at the halfway turn and decided against trying to come back faster and attempting to break 15 especially with a big day planned Sunday, so I basically shut it down and jogged it in for some reason. Not really upset I just should have ran the last half at pre-planned race pace of 5:10 instead of coasting it in. Felt like I wasted a workout. Good thing is money bonus for breaking Course records at next years races!

I'm 2 for 2 on series wins, and Marian took a solid 2nd place for addition $150 to our winning. I have been pushing her hard and 5k wise she really needs a rest to run fast, but we both agree that isn't the goal, so we will continue to push the limits of her training!

Sunday: 22miles in 2:31 (1st 10-70:03, 2nd 10-67:43(2:17.46 @20), last 2 13:10)Long Run from Marlinton Water Tank(mile post 57) to mile post 79 in Cass. Great long run, planned to run around 7minute pace for as long as I felt smooth and had no tightness, pace felt super easy and could have continued to really cut down for another 4.2 miles and finished off a easy Marathon Length Long Run. This route was by far the most scenic like Ramell had told me, hardly any development along the way. At one point I told myself it's just Me, the Mountain, the Trail and the River so lets enjoy this thing! Rab through Sharp's tunnel which is about 500 feet long and curves so the middle of the tunnel you see nothing, a little scary, kept thinking hope no bear is sleeping in

89miles on 8 runs in 7 days. Easy week mileage wise. Ran GRT mile post 42(Burnside) to 79(Cass) lots of those miles were covered twice with out and backs and workouts. So I only have mile 42 down to 3(Caldwell) left to go. Probably so we can explore other areas will hit up miles 22-42 on my next long run Sunday and leave miles 3 through 22 for another trip this way.

Coming week: Need to watch foot, have a bruise on it from walking around barefoot too much. I have super sensitive feet that get shoe-lace bruised and stone bruises all the time and sometimes they can crept up and take me out when everything else running wise is going great.

More Recap: Also last week we explore some hiking in Beartown State Park and Droop Mountain. We went to Marians moms side of the family reunion in Little Beaver State Park after the Saturday 5k. Sunday after running to Cass we explored Snowshoe and let me say it is BEAUTIFUL up there, it is like another world. I recommend people to check out this wild and wonderful county and go up to Showshoe for what feels like another world. It has been a Blast of a first week here, were set on getting out of Huntington into a area like this as soon as possible. Living is so much more peaceful and stress free and the sights and air is just out of this world. I feel like we our right now finally living in the "Real West Virginia!!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Old Race Recaps......

Summer Motion 10k..Well workout wise got in a very solid run but effort wise it felt pretty tough. Truly based off effort it felt like low 31's which would have been faster than the Tempo pace I needed so looking back I probably ran too hard for the conditions. 98% humidity and a thickness in the air that made this one of the toughest workouts I have done. To think on a cool day just a week earlier I cruised slightly slower Marathon Pace for 7miles like I could run all day. Bottom line this workout makes me a lot stronger and I feel good afterwards!

Check out for the results and Pictures. Pat also did video interviews with Marian and me afterwards that were pretty neat.

We also got Awesome coverage from the Huntington Herald Dispatch and Ashland Newspaper. The HD article might be one of my favorites all-time for the meaning that article has for Marian and I. Please Check both out below:

Herald Dispatch(Great story and Pics)

Ashland Newspaper(Great Story and Huge Front page Pic that's not online yet)

TriStateRacer Video Link

Crew Cummunity 5K Recap
*So much for dead legs, well actually they felt more dead this morning waking up and warming up then they had the previous 2 days. So in my head I was like "oh-no" will I even run mid 15:30s which even in Marathon building training I should usually handle when trying to run "hard" and not just showing up for some extra money. Anyways I warmed up with Pat Riley for a easy 25minutes before coming back for a few quick strides that didn't feel so quick.

The conditions turned out to be pretty good surprisely, I was expecting very hot/humid running so took my air-vented(with cuts) singlet for the race and it really wasn't needed on a 65degree and sunny morning. I have been helping David Bias with training the past 4 weeks since he ran 15:44 on this same course at the Bun Run. So I knew he was fit and in a 105mile planned week with dead legs I figured it was his race to take, I just wanted a faster paced workout. To my surprise I felt pretty good at the start and through the 2miles(9:55) I was "cruising" the effort there was no doubt about it. So knowing how effortless today was turning out to be I decided to throw down 3 very hard minutes and then just hold to the finish. I ended up covering the last mile in 4:40 before cruising in the last .1 and maybe giving back a few seconds which now I would like back. But I ended up with a 15:08 bettering my best time ever on that course from 2 years ago(15:17). I have ran this course many times and with the exception of the Bun Run 4 weeks ago when I bombed a 16:02 I have always been under 16's. I think this 15:08 is the 3rd fastest time ever on the course behind Eric Putnam(14:50?) and Casey Batey(14:55?). Bias hung on for a BIG ROAD PR OF 15:32! Picked up a nice big $100 cash but hey it provides some extra coffee trips to

Here is race results:

The Cincinnati Reds hold a 5k every summer in which the winner gets to throw out the 1st pitch at one of their home games. I had known about this race for a few year's as my uncle had always told me I should go give it a try. My whole family has always been huge Reds fans, we made trips to games every summer. Some of those early trips growing up are still very clear to me. Like I remember being at a game when Eric Davis(my hero at the time) hit a grand slam or watching Rob Dibble warm up right in front of us in the bullpen so many more great memories.

So as for the Reds 5k this summer it finally worked out where Marian and I were able to make the trip. We left the night before and stayed in a nice little town right outside Cincy. The next morning the race was a lot of fun and I was able to easily win in 15:15 on a somewhat slow course beating a 24:40 8k runner from University of Cincinnati. I basically ran way back for 2 miles and with a mile to go surged up the 300m long hill to hit the last mile in 4:46 and was able to cruise the last .1 which included running around the warning track. Marian and I went to the Zoo after the race which was a blast and capped off a great weekend.
A week later I got to go back and throw out the 1st pitch at the Reds/Angels game. A lot of Friends and family made the trip to watch the 1st pitch so it made for a good time. They showed video of my finish on the scoreboard which was funny because I must of pumped my fist during that last .1 about 100 times.

Walking out to throw out 1st Pitch at Reds Game

Marian's long lost twin!

*As for the Richmond Netelos 8k it went Great. It gave me exactly the feedback I wanted at this point and showed me I'm well on my way to sub 1:06 half in 10 weeks. The whole weekend was a blast with 12,000 runners in Richmond for the Marathon/8k races. There was roughly 6,000plus in the 8k alone. Last year the fastest 8k in the country was ran by a Kenyan at this race so it has the reputation of being a fast race with some of the best showing up to run it.

I was pumped for the race had even took 2 easy days before it to better recover and prepare to run a fast one. Race morning everything went pretty smoothly as my uncle and me hung ut in the Marriot Lobby right by the start line. My warmup of 20minutes felt pretty snappy and my legs felt to have a bounce. I was able to jump into the front of the pack behind the Kenyans elite start about 5minutes before the start which during a 30 degree morning(good for running bad for standing) worked out great. The first mile I ran with John Hinton who is one the top Master 1500/Miler in the country. Close to the Mile marker I asked him his goal and he said only 25:20's which jump started me into picking up my pace. I caught a group of 5 runners at the Mile in 5:03. The next pack was already well up on us at this point and I went straight to the lead of this pack and said to the guys lets go catch that pack. No one would help me lead during that 2nd mile and could feel that the pace wasn't very fast so I took off and left the group right before the 2mile which I hit in 5:02. Even though I was slow at this point I felt like I was jogging and wasteing a great day to test my limits so I picked up the effort to where I felt I was racing. I hit the 3rd and 4th miles(19:50s at 4miles) in 4;55's but still felt like it was a tempo run on ritter park. So there was a short incline to start the 5th mile and I decided I was going all out the last mile to really hit a time I would be happy with. So I just kept pushing and pushing that last mile, I pushed so hard I went through the line at full speed and could have kept going for another 1-2miles at a still fast pace. I hit the last mile in 4:36 to finish 12 overall...something I was very pumped up for being such a huge/fast race. My huge PR time was 24:34!!

*Happy with the result. Things have been clicking the last 2 years with improvement but this last 13 weeks things are just really going well. I think getting into a training program that is perfect for me and the lost of some major weight have been big keys!

*BTW my uncle that I was coaching to his debut Marathon at Richmond blasted through are goal and ran 2:56 at the age of 46!! Congrats David...I was more pumped for him then myself the whole rest of the day. We had a great weekend.

*8k Race Results

*Marshall University Marathon, Huntington WV. I called up the race director to see if I could get comp entry into the race to use it as a long tempo workout. Tom who has always been really good to me was more than glad to help me out. So I ran this race as a long tempo and long run, I logged 3miles of warmup and 3miles of cooldown to give me close to 20miles of running.

The event was really nice, very well organized. The Marshall XC team was working the intersections the first 3miles which was cool and the crowd support was crazy especially at the 3mile/9mile marks. So many "Go Jason's" on that course it was very much appreciated. Not many times you can go do a workout and have people cheering you on like that.

Anyways the workout went great. Was alone(how I like it) just cruising through my tempo the entire time. My plan was keeping it at 5:20pace(ultimate Marathon goal pace) and it went by so easily. I ended up hitting 1:09.28 which is a 5:18 pace. My fitness is a lot better than I thought. Especially with the long stuff, it's just want my body is made to run the best at. My spilts were all solid with alittle pickup the last 5k. I hit 5miles in 26:26 and 10miles in 52:54!! I then ran the last 5k in roughly 5:11-12pace to finish strong. Defintely jacked up with the run!

**I wasn't hitting my splits on the last 5k just knew what the total time was for what I thought was 3.1. I knew I was picking the pace up so when I figured out I was 5:11-12 miles I was happy but felt like I was running a lot harder. Well Tom alerted me later that the half course is actually 13.2, they do this so that they can use the same finish line for all the races without confusion. But makes more sense now, so I probably was running 5:03-5:05 pace the last 5k and total time would have been closer breaking 1:09. Not a bad day for 10miles at Tempo effort before starting to run hard!

*Here is race story(mainly on the Marathon winner) and a Pic fromt he start.

I plan over the next year to do quite a few looking back blogs to detail some of the past important times of my life. Today I want to look back not to long ago to the 2006 Chicago Marathon from last October 22nd. It was my 1st attempt at the Marathon distance my buildup for the race went close to perfect up til the last 4-6 weeks when some nagging injuries cut into some of my prime weeks for training. I lost out on some of the volume I would have perferred to have got in but my quality of workouts was able to stay strong. Some keys points were 2x5miles with 10min job recovery where I ran close to 26min flat on both tempo's, I had good leadup Longer Tempos like 8miles/10miles @ 5:20pace, I had one super long run of 2:35 minutes where I ran steady throughout the run so probably covered close to 24miles. The big thing I would have changed(other than the nagging injuries) would be a lot more Longer runs of 20plus miles and add in Marathon Pace Tempos in the 12-15mile range.

As for the race, it was a very cold windy/rainy day. Weather was one thing I knew i couldn't control and it was rough conditions for my debut. I went out slow and at about the 3mile mark started to pick it up and run. Started clicking off miles in the 5:20-5:25 range after the slow start. I hit the half at 1:12 feeling as though I was going to negative spilt and atleast get close to the 2:22 standard. Around 15miles I made my first major mistake and that was I broke from the gorup I had ran with the previous 12miles and picked up the pace hard, the huge problem with this was I made this move at a strech that was into the wind. I worked solo for the next 3miles and the wind/effort had a huge effect on me. At this point I was feeling the effects of another mistake, not taking in enough fluids/gels. At around mile 19 after a horrible last mile what was left of the group I left earlier came up on me and passed me. I tryed hard to hang with them for the next 1.5-2miles but at mile 21 I was cramping bad. The cramps(probably from not enough fluids) came on hard and fast. At that point even with falling off my fast pace the past 3miles, I was still on a 2:25 finishing time pace. But it was not to be I struggled in bigtime. I probably saw 100plus runners past me in that last 5.2miles of slogging(my term for slow jogging). I limped home while above my goal with a time of 2:31. The bright side is on a day like that with the conditions the way they were and the way I ran the furst 21miles it was defintely still an success. I finished 150th overall out of over 40,000 runners, like I said earlier though at one point was probably in the top 50 which in the largest/best mararthon in the world would have been HUGE! I'm now training hard waiting awhile for that next try at the Marathon and trust me I plan to nail it big when I do attempt it again!

Here is an email sent and forwarded to me from Mark Cruz who was coached by Coach Small at the University of South Carolina. Carlos as we call him was a huge help to me with great tips(start super slow) and a huge help to my dad as Cruz who is from Chicago lead him around the race to see me at 4-5 different spots:

Click on the link below and watch the interview ...about 2min into the interview they will start showing race finishers...look for Jason as he crosses the line in 2:31:30 or so.
Pyles ran those conditions (18pmh winds and 35-40 degrees) a 2:31 is more like a 2:28 effort. He went out in 1:12 and s/d have came back in 1:14-1:16 but ... I think it is reasonable to say one would lose about 2-4min on the second half. When I ran 2:32 , I ran splits of 1:14 / 1:18.

Point is Jay u got a 2:26 in you and if I were u i would set that as my goal for 2007. I know it seems far off but u could probably get down to a 2:22 by the 2012 Trials. Just something to think about ... rest easy.


*Great day to be a runner out on the roads today in Point Pleasant! Today was a special day as they held the first "Leah's Race 5k" in memory of Leah Hickman who was killed last year in Huntington. This race was started and coordinated by my uncle David that started planning 2 months ago with the goal of getting 50 runner/walkers and rising $1,000. Well for a first year event in a town not known for having races I think you could say this was a HUGE success as there was 215 registered and 156 finishers and the event raised $7,000 plus dollars to more then fund the scholarship in her name at Marshall.
*As for the actually race, I went in at first thinking this would be a good faster paced workout. But then when I got there I saw Matt Boyles(Former NAIA All-American and sub 15minute 5Ker) who is currently the assistant coach at nearby University of Rio Grande. The temperature at the start was a very cold 17 degrees which effects fast running but when you warm up right you can cut down on the effects somewhat and I think I did a really good job with that. Right after a very inspirational prayer by Matt Boyles we were off with the start of the gun. I was on the right side of the road looking to go out steady and ease into things with hopes of a really fast finish. But on the other side of the road Matt shot out really quick, I quickly surged hard or I would have been left early. The course had a short loop with a short quick incline that brought you back to Main Street for what was then a out and back section. The first loop seemed like we were rolling but it felt smooth, by the time we were on Main Street and running towards the 1st mile Matt held the lead on me as I hit the split in 4:53 which felt sort of good but sort of tough since I have only did 2-3 base type workouts the past few weeks. The 2nd mile was definitely the slowest as we both sort of settled into the race and talked a little bit to each other at that point and hit the split together in 9:55(5:01) but shortly after he made another move into the lead which he held most of Main Street. I was starting to hurt at this point mainly from not being use to faster paced running in quite a while and was just hanging on. The thing that helped me the most was all the people we passed that were yelling for us. With maybe 500m to go I made a push to pass him with a hard surge that I held into the final turn and heard that I had 20 meters on him from my dad, I split a 4:52 3rd mile and then cruised/coasted on burning legs for the last .1 with a 31 for a official total time of 15:20. Matt came in a few ticks back at 15:23. We both accomplished race wise what was a very encouraging result for this time of the year. This was a result that without him there to race would have just been me there running hard but nothing this in this range, so the day was running wise a huge success as well.
*Marian had a nice rust-buster in the middle of what has already been some very good base building weeks as she ran 18:25 pushing herself hard so we could get a gauge to where she was at the time was good enough for a 6th place finish overall, I also had Ty Duling come run the race as the end of a hard week of training workout in prep for his attack at sub 16:45 in 2 weeks at his peak race and he came out strong with a 17:22 and solid 3rd place finish. So them like many other people I talked to came out with very solid days. I think for the most part everyone liked the course my uncle put together especially knowing it was a well wheeled/marked course makes runners very happy in first year events!
*Training wise I'm a head of where I would have thought I was, but like I said in last weeks training blog something clicked mentally last Friday in a tempo run at Johnstown Road that I haven't had happen in a while. The hunger is really strong to run very fast this spring, and to be 15:20 today on a 17degree day where I have only Tempo's, Strides, Hilly Runs under my belt the past 2 weeks makes me know that previous build that didn't result in a Marathon that I wanted while result in something way bigger come March-April-May if I keep my training smart and hit my cycles healthy.
*I have made this blog very long now for what turned out to just be a really good fitness test 5k but I really can't explain how much fun the day was not only getting to push the body hard in a race but getting to talk to so many caring, good people! As most probably don't know due to the fact I never talk about it I lost a sister while I was in high school to a car accident so today not only had a great purpose to honor Leah as we raced it also was a way inside myself to enjoy the day and honor my own sister, the day carried over to a early-thanksgiving dinner at my parents house since we will be gone next week which just seemed to top the whole day off as a great day!


*I have received many more emails and messages today wishing me good luck. All these nice messages are actually making me finally feel "nervous", but I know everyone that writes me is wishing me well no matter how the race unfolds!

But one of the emails was from Pat Riley who created and runs the website TriStateRacer.Com. He has built an awesome website that is "Your One-Stop Site for All Things Racing in the Tri-State" His site has really brought a lot of attention back into road racing and getting people active in the tri-state area. You can see how races in this area are growing and how people are really talking about "TriStateRacer" as the place where they are getting all their information! Pat also is getting ready for his first Marathon on Novmeber 2nd at the Marshall Marathon in Huntington and he is going to be ready to roll.

Here is a interview/article he wrote up from some questions he asked me about in his email to me and put up today on his site: