The Journey Of Ascent

My Path, His Call, Our Adventure

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 20 — May 20, 2017

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 20

Based on the information that was obtained from last week’s magic mile, Coach Chris Twiggs sent me some more data to use with my runs.  They used the magic mile to calculate what run/walk/run ratios I should be using for training.  As of now, my long run (conversational/warmup) ratio should be :60/:30, my half marathon rehearsal ratio should be 2:00/:30, marathon rehearsal ratio should be 1:30/:30, 10k rehearsal ratio should be 3:00/:30, and speed work should be 800s in 4:20 including a 20 second walk break half way through.  I honestly am loving all this extra data I’m getting through this customized training program.

Sunday, May 14 – GCT Day 6 – Today brought about a new to me workout.  Water Running.  It is meant to count as a running day for me, but doing it in the water takes away the impact of running on pavement.  Here’s the rundown of this workout.

5:00 warmup, :30/:30 x5, 1:00/1:00 x5, 1:00/:30 x5, 1:00/1:00 x5, and :30/:30 x5.

I was surprised at my fatigue level at the end of this 45 minute workout.  I was actually pretty tired and was walking a bit funny as I got out of the pool.

Monday, May 15 – GCT Day 7 – Race Rehearsal Run. 3.5 miles at a 10:01 pace. The run included a 10 minute warmup at long run pace, 15 minute run at anticipated race pace, and 10 minute cool down at long run pace.  I followed my run up with 42 minutes of strength training.

Tuesday, May 16 – GCT Day 8 – Cross Training Day. Heeding the advice of Coach Twiggs, since today was not a run day, I didn’t lift for my cross training.  Instead, I went to the gym and suffered through 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer.  I did a random hill workout on level 5 of the machine.  I hate ellipticals but I understand their value in providing a low impact cardio workout.  It’s all good, as I managed to read through a chunk of Ron Chernow’s Hamilton, which is the biography that inspired the broadway musical (which I’m still hoping to somehow snag tickets to when it hits the Kennedy Center later this year).

Wednesday, May 17 – GCT Day 9 – Drill Run Day.  I totaled 3.1 miles today during my run that included 10 minutes of warmup (:60/:30), 5 minutes of cadence drills, 5 minutes of acceleration gliders, and 10 minutes of cool down (:60/:30).  Once the kids were on the bus and headed to school, I was off to the Y where I did a 41 minute circuit training workout.  I’m still getting used to this lifting on running days thing.  I get the benefit, but it’s messing with my normal routine.  Ha!

Thursday, May 18 – GCT Day 10 – Easy cross training day on the program. This has become my day to take an hour long walk.  I walked 3.7 miles in 1:00:54 (16:29 pace).

Friday, May 19 – GCT Day 11 – ‘Rest Day’. Long run tomorrow. I put the rest day in quotation marks because today I had the opportunity to spend the day at one of my favorite places, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, with my friend Ben and his dad, Brian.  We had a great day, but I’m not sure spending 8 hours out in 93 degree heat was the best way to let my body rest prior to a long run.

One Picture, Three Rides
Shown here are Alpengeist (the tallest inverted coaster in the world), Le Scoot Log Flume, and in the background is InvadR which is Busch Gardens new wooden coaster.

Saturday, May 20 – GCT Day 12 – Long run day.  14 miles on the schedule using a 60/30 run/walk ratio. I overslept and didn’t start my run until 7:15 (can’t do that during the summer months). I felt great during most of the run. My program had instructed me to keep the pace about 1-2 minutes slower than anticipated race pace and I was clipping along somewhere around an 11:45 pace.  Then at mile 11.5 I absolutely hit the wall and ended up walking the rest of the way home. Consequently, I would finish the 14 miles with an 12:38 pace. The worst part of this run was that I started to get chills about a half mile from home and once I got home and got in the shower, I just about collapsed.  As irony would have it, as I sit typing at 1:15 in the afternoon, the temps have fallen into the low 60’s instead of the upper 70’s where they were as I ran this morning.  First of many marathon training lessons learned today, I guess.

2017 RACE SCHEDULE

March 18 – Shamrock 8k (Virginia Beach, VA) 42:35 (PR)

April 8 – Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon (Chesapeake, VA) 2:07:52 (PR)

May 6 – Breathe Easy 5k Run/Walk for Asthma Awareness (Virginia Beach, VA) 27:08

June 3 – Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon (Ridgecrest, NC)

October 28 – Anthem Wicked 10k (Virginia Beach, VA)

November 11 – Richmond Marathon (Richmond, VA)

WTD – 24.3

JANUARY – 141.60

FEBRUARY – 111.50

MARCH – 125.20

APRIL – 105.2

MAY MTD – 67.8

YTD – 551.3

CURRENT WEIGHT – 238.6

PRs

5k – 22:44 (Breathe Easy for Asthma 5k, Virginia Beach, 5/5/2016)

8k – 42:35 (Shamrock 8k, Virginia Beach, 3/18/2017)

10k – 52:42 (Chick fil a Run with the Cows, Newport News, 5/28/2016)

17.76k – 1:44:38 (Independence Day Classic, Charles City, 7/2/2016)

Half Marathon – 2:07:52 (Dismal Swamp Stomp, Chesapeake, 4/8/2017)

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 19 — May 13, 2017

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 19

I recently alluded to some news I had that would affect my training in the future.  I can now share that news with you.  Last month I was contacted by Kevin Gwin of The Extra Mile Podcast: Galloway Edition about being a ‘guinea pig.’  I was intrigued, so I asked what it was going to entail.  Here’s the deal.

You all know that I am running my first full marathon in November.  I have been given access to the Galloway Customized Training Program with coach Chris Twiggs.  For my part of the deal, I have agreed to follow the training program exactly as it is prescribed. The Extra Mile Podcast: Galloway Edition will follow my progress from start to finish and I will be a guest on several shows between now and the Richmond Marathon so that I can talk through the process with Coach Chris Twiggs and it will give the podcast listeners a glimpse into what this training program is all about.

On Monday of this week, I received a 15 question form to fill out and return to Chris Twiggs.  I did that and by Monday night I had my customized training schedule delivered to my inbox.  The schedule kicks in on Tuesday.  You will definitely see a change in my training, but I am excited to go through this process and give my honest evaluation as we go along for the next six months.

The one thing with me being on this training plan is that I am not sure that my 1,500 mile/year goal will happen.  Consequently, I am putting that goal on the side and am going to let the mileage play out however it does from going through this plan.

Enough about that for now.  Here’s the week’s breakdown.

Sunday, May 7 – Rest Day

Monday, May 8 – 6 miles at a 10:07 pace.  For some reason, I found myself fighting some muscle fatigue on this one, but I got it done.

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Not feeling it today, but glad to be done.

Tuesday, May 9 – Galloway Customized Training Plan Day 1 – Ironically, no run today.  It was a cross training day.  I went to the Y this afternoon and did 43 minutes of strength training. For the record, I hate planks!

Wednesday, May 10 – GCT Day 2 – 30 minute run.  Today’s workout called for a 10 minute warm up at my long run pace which for the moment involves a :50/:20 ratio. After that I did 5 minutes of cadence drills and another 5 minutes of acceleration gliders. After that I did another 10 minutes of cool down at my :50/:20 ratio pace.

I have to say that cadence drills and acceleration gliders are no joke.  As someone who has typically been running at least 4-5 miles per day, 5 days a week, I honestly didn’t expect today’s workout to even be that challenging.  When I walked in the door, the sweat was dripping and I could certainly tell that I had gotten some work done.

Thursday, May 11 – GCT Day 3. Today’s schedule called for light cross training.  Immediately, my mind said, ‘Woohoo!! Weights!!’ As crazy as it sounds, lifting is my favorite form of cross training.  Well, I continued to read the details of today’s workout and it specifically said that today was NOT a day for lifting.  I have learned that I will do my weight training on run days so as to not overtax the legs on days that are supposed to allow the legs to rest.  Three days in and I’m learning already!  As a result, I decided to take an hour long walk.  I can’t remember the last time I walked for an hour that wasn’t a ‘walk of shame’ on a long run that went south.  I enjoyed my time out there and got 3.4 miles in.

Friday, May 12 – GCT Day 4 – Rest Day

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Saturday, May 13 – GCT Day 5 – Magic Mile Workout #1. Today’s workout was a track workout (my first ever) that involved a 1 mile warmup at my long run pace, then a 1 mile run where I’m pushing pretty hard (not to the point of puking) and finally a 2 mile cool down back at long run pace.  Big picture is that it was 4 miles at an overall pace of 9:24. The important part of today’s run was that 2nd mile (my Magic Mile). I ran that mile in 7:27.7 which was much better than I expected.  Given my recent races, I was figuring it would be somewhere between 8-8:15 so I am very happy with that.

2017 RACE SCHEDULE

March 18 – Shamrock 8k (Virginia Beach, VA) 42:35 (PR)

April 8 – Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon (Chesapeake, VA) 2:07:52 (PR)

May 6 – Breathe Easy 5k Run/Walk for Asthma Awareness (Virginia Beach, VA) 27:08

June 3 – Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon (Ridgecrest, NC)

October 28 – Anthem Wicked 10k (Virginia Beach, VA)

November 11 – Richmond Marathon (Richmond, VA)

WTD – 16.5

JANUARY – 141.60

FEBRUARY – 111.50

MARCH – 125.20

APRIL – 105.2

MAY MTD – 43.5

YTD – 527.0

CURRENT WEIGHT – 238.2

PRs

5k – 22:44 (Breathe Easy for Asthma 5k, Virginia Beach, 5/5/2016)

8k – 42:35 (Shamrock 8k, Virginia Beach, 3/18/2017)

10k – 52:42 (Chick fil a Run with the Cows, Newport News, 5/28/2016)

17.76k – 1:44:38 (Independence Day Classic, Charles City, 7/2/2016)

Half Marathon – 2:07:52 (Dismal Swamp Stomp, Chesapeake, 4/8/2017)

Race Recap – 4th Annual Jerome Alston Memorial Foundation Breathe Easy for Asthma Awareness 5k Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run — May 6, 2017

Race Recap – 4th Annual Jerome Alston Memorial Foundation Breathe Easy for Asthma Awareness 5k Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run

This morning, I ran a race that is incredibly near and dear to my heart.  The Breathe Easy for Asthma Awareness 5k was the first race that I ran after moving to Virginia Beach. It’s the race where I set my 5k PR of 22:44. More importantly than either of those things, this race supports the Jerome Alston Memorial Foundation as they attempt to promote asthma awareness.  Both of my daughters have asthma and almost five years ago, asthma nearly claimed the life of my youngest daughter, Hannah.

This is the fourth year that this race has been run, and it’s the second time that I have run it.  It is at this point, a fairly small race, which honestly on the path around Mount Trashmore is probably a blessing.  Still, with a little bit more advertising, I think they could definitely have a much better turnout.  I will say that I did notice that this year seemed to be much more well organized than last year.

Packet pick up was only available the day of the race, so I arrived at the park about 45 minutes before race time to get my bib and allow myself time to put my shirt in the car as well as hang out with a few friends from my local running group prior to the race.

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My selected race attire. Superman shirt, UNC visor, Hoka One One shoes, DeFeet socks, and of course, my sQoosh band

There was also a mini ‘expo’ set up at one of the pavilions featuring several local health vendors.  I honestly didn’t take the time to check all of them out. I just opted to hang out and chat with my friends before the race.

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At 9:30, the Kids Fun Run which was probably the equivalent of a 100 yard dash went off.   They had 5 or 6 kids run it.  This was a new addition to the festivities.  The kids all received a finishers medal as well.

At 9:40, we lined up for the start.  I have to be honest here, the start was the most unorganized part of the event.  They had an inflatable arch to mark the start, but there wasn’t a formal announcement that we were starting.  We were kind of herded together and someone casually walked to the arch and blew an air horn. Like that, we were off.

*Short Rant – This is in no way the parents fault or the kids fault. This one is completely on the race organizers. There was a large group of 10-15 young kids that were running the race. I’m all for kids running races. I want my kids to start running when they are able to go 3.1 miles.  However, you can not let small children start at the front of the pack during a race.  This caused for a fairly congested start out of the chute as we ended up spending the first quarter mile or so weaving through this pack of kids.

Out of the chute, the course was congested to start. I weaved my way in and out of the start traffic and once I got into the clear I decided to settle into a comfortable pace and just ride it out and see what would happen.  I’m about 20 pounds heavier than I was when I ran this race last year and I haven’t been training for 5ks during my training.  I knew before the start that a PR wasn’t happening.  This was a training run.

I settled in and cruised through mile 1 in 8:09. They changed the water station this year.  Last year it was one station and it was at the turn around with water in paper cups which as all of you runners know, is normal.  This year that put the water station at the 1 mile mark going out so it would be at mile 2.1 coming back.  Even though I didn’t use it, I liked the thought of creating a 2nd water station for those that may need it, but this station was handing out full bottles of Aquafina.  Not ideal.

The 8:09 first mile, was one of the fastest miles I’ve run in a race for a while.  At Shamrock’s 8k, my fastest mile was in the 8:20’s.  I did give a little of this time back.  Mile 2 clocked in at 8:34. When I hit the turnaround, I was in 21st place overall (I counted the runners that passed me coming back). In the final half mile of the race, one runner overtook me. I would finish in 22nd overall.  Mile 3 was an 8:45 pace and I finished the final stretch in what boiled down to an 8:23 pace.

My GPS logged the race as 3.2 miles and I completed it in 27:08 which is an 8:29 pace.  It’s a far cry from my 22:44 PR, but today wasn’t about a PR.  I ran this race with two things in mind.  First, every run is getting me ready for my first full marathon in November. Secondly, when I felt myself struggling with my breathing, my mind raced back to a then 3 year old Hannah fighting for her life on a ventilator for 4 days.  My very short term discomfort from pushing a little bit, doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned with the trouble breathing that she has experienced.  I was thanking God as I ran for saving my baby’s life that day in October of 2012.  To be honest, I get emotional running this race. It means so much to me to be able to contribute to a cause that ultimately can benefit my two daughters as they battle asthma.

It was a very enjoyable morning. I love this cause and I will continue to run this race as long as they continue to run it.

Entry Fee – $30

Course – Paved Trail

Weather – 57 Degrees, Sunny and very breezy

Aid Stations – 1 (only water) you passed it twice during the out and back run

Post Race – Water, Gatorade, Bananas

Swag – T-Shirt and Finisher’s Medal

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 18 —

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 18

Whew! What a week.  So many things happening that I’m honestly surprised that I managed to log a solid 27 miles. Running has definitely become one of my favorite ways to decompress when life gets crazy and this week was one that got crazy in more ways than planned.  I am incredibly grateful for each mile that I logged today.  As of today, I am 6 months and 1 week away from the Richmond Marathon.  Time is flying.  I am doing everything that I can to treat every run (even races like this week’s 5k) as a training run and not worrying about chasing PRs or anything like that. I’m trying to keep the big picture in mind.

Sunday, April 30 – No run

Monday, May 1 – 5.2 miles at a 10:12 pace. Still struggling to find my pace again.  It will come though. Capped the morning off with 42 minutes of strength training at the Y.  After a couple of weeks away from the weights, this workout felt really good.

Tuesday, May 2 – I really wasn’t sure if I’d get out to run today, but after everything that transpired (Beth’s outpatient surgery in the morning and finding out that my dad was being taken to the ER following his first cyber knife radiation treatment while Beth was in pre-op) I really needed to try to get out there for a little bit in the evening.  I went out to Mount Trashmore and got in a nice 4.3 mile run at a 9:40 pace.  Running has become incredibly therapeutic for me and this was very much needed.

Wednesday, May 3 – Scheduled Day Off.  I am trying to get my mind back into the place where I honor my scheduled rest days.  I actually think that going out there just because I wanted to may have attributed to the little bit of burnout that I had been feeling.

Thursday, May 4 – After missing these early morning meet ups at Mount Trashmore for almost a month because I didn’t want to drag my butt out of bed, I finally got back out there with my friends and had a fantastic 6 mile run at a 9:23 pace. After the kids got off to school, I made it to the Y for a nice 43 minute weight lifting circuit.

Friday, May 5 – Early morning thunderstorms derailed the morning run.  Hopefully I can get out there this evening just to stretch the legs ahead of tomorrow’s Breathe Easy for Asthma 5k.  Update: After battling a pretty bad migraine for most of the day, I did manage to get out this evening and logged 5.2 miles at a 9:56 pace.

Saturday, May 6 – Race Day! I always enjoy race day.  However, with November’s marathon in sight already, I am trying to treat shorter races like today’s 5k as a training run.  Not even thinking about a PR.  It’s also slightly frustrating to lose my long run day to a race that covers only 3.1 miles.  Consequently, to compensate for losing a few miles, I woke up early this morning and logged 3.1 miles before the race using my anticipated marathon intervals of :50/:20. I realize that interval may change as I get deeper into the training, but its’ where I’m starting.  Those first 3.1 miles were logged at a slow 10:21 pace.

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Warm-up run using marathon intervals

Following this warm-up, it was off to Mount Trashmore for the Breathe Easy for Asthma Awareness 5k.  I ran this race very relaxed and didn’t even think of going after a PR.  I finished in 27:08 and in 22nd place overall.  It was great to enjoy this race with some friends from the Running Turtles. I will post a recap in the next day or so.

2017 RACE SCHEDULE

March 18 – Shamrock 8k (Virginia Beach, VA) 42:35 (PR)

April 8 – Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon (Chesapeake, VA) 2:07:52 (PR)

May 6 – Breathe Easy 5k Run/Walk for Asthma Awareness (Virginia Beach, VA) 27:08

June 3 – Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon (Ridgecrest, NC)

October 28 – Anthem Wicked 10k (Virginia Beach, VA)

November 11 – Richmond Marathon (Richmond, VA)

WTD – 27.0

JANUARY – 141.60

FEBRUARY – 111.50

MARCH – 125.20

APRIL – 105.2

MAY MTD – 27.0

YTD – 510.5

MILES TO GOAL OF 1,500 – 989.5

CURRENT WEIGHT – 242.2

PRs

5k – 22:44 (Breathe Easy for Asthma 5k, Virginia Beach, 5/5/2016)

8k – 42:35 (Shamrock 8k, Virginia Beach, 3/18/2017)

10k – 52:42 (Chick fil a Run with the Cows, Newport News, 5/28/2016)

17.76k – 1:44:38 (Independence Day Classic, Charles City, 7/2/2016)

Half Marathon – 2:07:52 (Dismal Swamp Stomp, Chesapeake, 4/8/2017)

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 17 — May 1, 2017

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 17

April didn’t finish the way I had hoped.  I was really pushing to try to make up for those 5 missed days a couple of weeks ago.  Possibly pushing too hard as my body said no more at the end of the week.  It’s all good.  Marathon training is not a sprint.  If I plan to finish the Richmond Marathon in November, I have to keep my body right.  Regardless, I still finished the month with over 100 miles so that’s certainly nothing to be upset about.

There is also some exciting training news coming down the road that I can’t wait to share with you guys.  However, until I have all the details, I will refrain from saying anything else, but it is a very cool opportunity.

Sunday, April 23 – Normally a rest day for me, but trying to make up for those 5 straight off days and still hit my monthly mileage goal.  I ran 5.2 miles in the rain and who knows, despite the mileage I logged last week, this rain run may have been the run to really get me out of my funk.  I enjoyed every minute of this one.

Monday, April 24 – The rain is still here although after the first mile or so I caught a break.  Logged another 5.2 today.  Pace was slower as I had a little bit of quad soreness.  Still feeling great though!

Tuesday, April 25 – Unplanned rest day today. After 2 days of running in moderate rain, it was pouring this morning. Afternoon obligations negated any possibility of a run later in the day.

Wednesday, April 26 – Scheduled rest day.  I tried to make myself get out of bed early and get a few miles in and it just wasn’t happening.  Listen to your body!

Thursday, April 27 – 6.1 miles at a moderate 10:13 pace.  I am trying to force myself to slow down a little bit as I am really trying to focus on November’s marathon despite the other races on the calendar before then.  Some days it’s easier than others.

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Friday, April 28 – A slow 5 miles today.  Got it done, nonetheless.

Saturday, April 29 – No run today.  Woke up early planning on a long run, and I was fighting a migraine and extreme fatigue.  Always listen to your body.

2017 RACE SCHEDULE

March 18 – Shamrock 8k (Virginia Beach, VA) 42:35 (PR)

April 8 – Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon (Chesapeake, VA) 2:07:52 (PR)

May 6 – Breathe Easy 5k Run/Walk for Asthma Awareness (Virginia Beach, VA)

June 3 – Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon (Ridgecrest, NC)

October 28 – Anthem Wicked 10k (Virginia Beach, VA)

November 11 – Richmond Marathon (Richmond, VA)

WTD – 21.5

JANUARY – 141.60

FEBRUARY – 111.50

MARCH – 125.20

APRIL MTD – 105.2

YTD – 483.5

MILES TO GOAL OF 1,500 – 1,021.5

CURRENT WEIGHT – 242

PRs

5k – 22:44 (Breathe Easy for Asthma 5k, Virginia Beach, 5/5/2016)

8k – 42:35 (Shamrock 8k, Virginia Beach, 3/18/2017)

10k – 52:42 (Chick fil a Run with the Cows, Newport News, 5/28/2016)

17.76k – 1:44:38 (Independence Day Classic, Charles City, 7/2/2016)

Half Marathon – 2:07:52 (Dismal Swamp Stomp, Chesapeake, 4/8/2017)

InvadR – Review — April 24, 2017

InvadR – Review

IMG_3814So, with today’s blog, I have decided to venture into completely uncharted territory and write a review of the new roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, InvadR.

I should probably start by saying that I am in no way an expert on roller coasters as my own personal coaster credits only tally up to 78 and of those 78, 12 are now defunct.  What is crazy is I would probably list 4 of those 12 defunct coasters (Drachen Fire, Big Bad Wolf, Texas Rattler, and Son of Beast) in my top 15 coasters ever ridden.  I hope to increase my coaster count within the next year as there are several coasters at Kings Dominion that I haven’t been on yet and that park is only an hour and a half away from us.

Despite not being an expert, I am probably somewhat of a coaster nerd.  I follow several coaster sites and podcasts and I try to stay up to date on what is being built and where (at least in the U.S.). When it comes to coasters, I know what I like and what I don’t like.  While this is not an expert review, this is my honest assessment of the newest addition to Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s already strong coaster lineup.

InvadR is a wooden coaster built by Great Coasters International (GCI).  It features a 74 foot drop and a top speed of 48mph. The ride also features 9 moments of airtime.

I’ll be very honest.  When the ride was first announced, I was excited.  GCI makes fantastic coasters (I had ridden 4 of theirs prior to InvadR) and a wooden coaster was definitely the one thing missing from the coaster lineup at BGW.  Then these stats came out along with an animated POV and I became underwhelmed very quickly, especially when Mystic Timbers at Kings Island was announced around the same time and appeared to be a much better ride at first glance.

Roller coaster statistics are just that.  They are numbers.  The true test of the coaster is the ride experience itself, so I took my family to BGW on spring break to get my first ride on InvadR.  I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.  For an admittedly smaller GCI coaster, this ride packed a decent punch. The airtime moments were amazing, the theming on the ride is great (although once the trees grow in a bit it will be even better), and for a brand new ride, I have to say that operations were surprisingly efficient.

What I really liked the most about this ride is the fact that it has a very high level of re-ridability.  It doesn’t beat you up so much that you don’t want to get back on it, but at the same time the ride itself is anything but boring.  I don’t know how to word any better than to say that it is a fun roller coaster.  Here are a few shots that I got that day.  I would have taken more, but the park was so crowded it was tough to get many really good shots.

Now, for a few tips on riding the coaster.  There are lockers just inside the entrance to the queue.  Use them.  If you manage to slip past the attendant directing people to use the lockers and find yourself at the loading station with loose articles, you will be sent back to the lockers.  There is no leaving items on the other side of the platform.  Also, the station is designed without very long queues for each row.  Basically, when you reach the top of the stairs, you’re in position to choose your row.  Because it’s a smaller station, even on a crowded day, the line for the front and back rows wasn’t longer than the other rows.  I personally recommend the front row on this one.

The repurposed trains from the now defunct Gwahzi at BGT are very comfortable.  I’m a pretty good size man, and I didn’t have any trouble getting into my seat.  The lap restraint isn’t too hard which on a ride with a good amount of airtime is very important.  If you aren’t sure that you can fit into the train, please try out the test seat before you get into the queue.

Having added another GCI coaster to my credit list, I’ll finish this post by ranking the 5 GCIs that I’ve ridden.

  1. Lightning Racer (HersheyPark)
  2. Gwahzi (Busch Gardens Tampa – no longer operating)
  3. InvadR (Busch Gardens Williamsburg)
  4. Wildcat (HersheyPark)
  5. Roar (Six Flags America)

*If you’d like to see some more theme park type entries in my blog, let me know and I’ll do a few of them as the opportunity presents itself.

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 16 — April 23, 2017

2017 Weekly Training Blog – Week 16

The funk I was in last week continued early into this week.  I finally forced myself to get out there again on Tuesday after 5 days off.  Despite the layoff, I had a successful week mileage wise even if my body still didn’t want to cooperate.  I logged a solid 32.9 miles on the week.  I did not make it to the gym, but plan on getting back on that horse next week.

Sunday, April 16 – No workout – Easter Sunday

Monday, April 17 – No workout – still in my funk

Tuesday, April 18 – 5.8 slow and painful miles at a 10:08 pace.  Finally breaking out of my funk, but paying for those 5 off days.

Wednesday, April 19 – The pace today improved a little bit and I got 6.1 miles in at a 9:55 pace.  It is definitely feeling good to get back into this groove.  Gonna make it a great week!

Thursday, April 20 – Woke up with a headache this morning.  Missed my early morning crew at Mount Trashmore, but still managed to squeeze in a quick 3.1 before work. Meant to run another 2-3 in the evening, but just couldn’t shake the headache.

Friday, April 21 – This run was tough.  My pace was terrible, but I am proud of the fact that instead of packing it in after 2-3 miles, I stayed the course to finish out 5.8 at a 10:31 pace.

Saturday, April 22 – Very ‘eventful’ long run today.  I forgot that as it gets warmer, long runs need to start earlier.  Getting out the door at 6:45 didn’t help.  Ended up breaking into 3 segments on this one and treated it as my first real marathon training run.  I’ve been told that marathon training is all about getting the miles in.  I ran 8.6 using a :50/:20 interval that I will possibly be using for the marathon in November. Then I walked 1.5 miles. I finished with a 2 mile run using 1:00/:30 intervals for a total of 12.1 miles.

2017 RACE SCHEDULE

March 18 – Shamrock 8k (Virginia Beach, VA) 42:35 (PR)

April 8 – Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon (Chesapeake, VA) 2:07:52 (PR)

May 6 – Breathe Easy 5k Run/Walk for Asthma Awareness (Virginia Beach, VA)

June 3 – Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon (Ridgecrest, NC)

October 28 – Anthem Wicked 10k (Virginia Beach, VA)

November 11 – Richmond Marathon (Richmond, VA)

WTD – 32.9

JANUARY – 141.60

FEBRUARY – 111.50

MARCH – 125.20

APRIL MTD – 83.70

YTD – 462.00

MILES TO GOAL OF 1,500 – 1,038.00

CURRENT WEIGHT – 232.4 (down 3.8)

PRs

5k – 22:44 (Breathe Easy for Asthma 5k, Virginia Beach, 5/5/2016)

8k – 42:35 (Shamrock 8k, Virginia Beach, 3/18/2017)

10k – 52:42 (Chick fil a Run with the Cows, Newport News, 5/28/2016)

17.76k – 1:44:38 (Independence Day Classic, Charles City, 7/2/2016)

Half Marathon – 2:07:52 (Dismal Swamp Stomp, Chesapeake, 4/8/2017)