Blogging is hard. Tough to justify blogging about myself, my workouts, and random stuff. So here goes a good compilation of the last week or so.
Last Saturday, Jan. 29th, I traveled up to Salisbury for the Winter Flight 8k in hopes of testing myself a little bit. It had been a while since I had raced an open running race and I was interested to see what type of shape I was in. Chris and Adrian made the drive with me and we all enjoyed some trash talk along the way (there AND back for those two). I got out to a fast start and was quickly all alone in 5th place by the first mile. I held there for the entirety of the race as Paul was a little more than a minute ahead of me at the finish and the 6th place guy was more than a minute and a half back. Lonely race, but exactly what I needed. Finished it in 28:04, a vast PR from my 32:37 I ran in 2005, my first year of serious running. Track workouts and speed work have been great so far with a 6 x 1000, 4 x 200 workout last Tuesday and some 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 minute fartleks on Thursday. A solid 18 mile run on Saturday and a good group ride from Bicycle Sport on Sunday sealed off the week. 58 miles of running last week combined with 14,000 meters in the pool, 55 miles on the bike, and some yoga and core thrown in. Last night was a ladder workout, 400, 800, 1200, 1600 x 2, 1200, 800, 400. Finished the second half of the ladder stronger than the first, the goal of the workout. More of a "plateau" workout as Murph coined it with the two miles at the top. It's a relatively short turnaround to Saturday's Cupids Cup, but just some easy running for the rest of the week and I am looking forward to a good 5k, my first open 5k in a couple of years. More racing is hopefully going to lead to a better result in Boston!
On the subject of the biking...my intentions from the beginning of the year has been to keep on the bike at least twice a week until the marathon is over, however I keep having bike issues!!! In Clearwater I was wrecked thanks to a pack of over-zealous drafters and ended up with a cracked triathlon bike. Last week as I was preparing to ride the rollers on a rainy Friday afternoon I noticed my road bike (well, I guess technically Kevin's road bike) had a sizable crack in the titanium downtube. I mean what the heck? My bike luck this year couldn't be much worse! Ilan hooked me up with a sweet loaner bike for the time being and hopefully I can continue to keep my miles up over these next couple of months to maintain some sort of biking shape for the transition to triathlon season.
Changing gears a little bit and moving into the college sports arena. Last Wednesday was National Signing Day for College Football, a day eagerly awaited by many in the south as a decisive day for the future of your respective team. Seeing as I went to Clemson and I grew up a Florida State die hard (thanks Mom and Dad), I watched as the letters of intent poured in for both schools. Clemson made a huge splash on signing day, picking up numerous highly rated recruits and turning an otherwise bleak football year into something to look forward to. According to many "experts", Florida State wrapped up the #1 class in the nation, and it seems they are headed back to the storied program we all watched in the 90's and early 00's. Clemson eked into the top 10 and left many scouts wondering how a 6-7 program can get such quality talent. With the recruiting classes for both schools, I think the ACC is going to start moving back into a quality conference and I wouldn't be surprised to see both schools battle pretty tough over the next decade. Although, as my Dad has always said, don't bet with your heart, but still, my bet is on Clemson!!!! Still the number one recruit in that nation yet to decide his college choice and it's between Clemson and South Carolina so that could greatly impact Clemson's ranking.
Another Clemson note...the basketball team was picked in the pre-season to be near the cellar in the ACC thanks to a new coach and the loss of Trevor Booker to the NBA. After last night's victory over Boston College, we moved to 6-4 in the ACC, the first time in Clemson history that a new coach has won more than 5 games in the ACC in their first year at Clemson. Pretty impressive given the new offense that Brad Brownell installed and the departure of a couple of players that didn't think they fit into his motion offense. The team is aggressive defensively and a couple of guys have stepped up and fit in well to the new offense. I admit I was a little pessimistic the way the beginning of the year started, but the development of the team and offense over the season has been impressive. Big game Saturday at home against a ranked UNC team could prove to be a solid victory on the road to hopefully the NCAA tournament!!!
This is getting mighty long, but one more thing to note sports related. The Lakers have been in preliminary discussion to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Nuggets. Adrian is a front runner and somehow this year became a Heat fan after they picked up Lebron and Chris Bosh in free agency. We have a running bet for a pair of Newton running shoes if the Heat win the title. Needless to say, if the Lakers get Carmelo he might as well concede and buy me a pair!!!!