Archive for January 2009

Thursday Temp run – On the Road of Silence   Leave a comment

The following is the result of my MP3 player dying on me at mile 5 of a 10 mile tempo run. I was basically trying to hold a sub 8 pace for 8 miles in the cold rain.

On the Road of Silence

Strong and quick
Yet reserved
Like Sandburg’s Fog
I creep up
On the first couple of miles
On cat’s feet.

Then I’m in a groove
Rhythmic, music playing
Feet keeping time
Like Carlos Santana…
Miles three and four
Suddenly and without warning
Like February 3, 1959
The music dies
And my ambition
On the sidelines in a cast
Ponders it’s mortality

Recalling a Frost poem
I chose the less traveled path
Instead of giving up
Miles five, six, and seven
My footsteps
Trod the leaves to black

The last two miles
Just running now
Don’t look at the pace
Pride and pain collide
Is it a mortal struggle?
Or a lover’s embrace

Cool down mile
Verse erupts from my head
Like n’er it pours from my pen
And these few lines
The only ones captured
Until I’m on the road
Of silence again


Posted January 29, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

Catching up   Leave a comment


21 miles. Average 10 mpm. the last 2 were awful like 11s.

I don’t think I took enough gels (4)

Wednesday: 3.5 @ 9mpm

Posted January 29, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

thought   Leave a comment

When it comes to running, I think sometimes, that our toughest adversary is inside our heads… specifically the preconceived ideas we have about how many miles we can run… how fast we can run a certain distance…

Posted January 23, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

The training week   Leave a comment

not much to report on…. just a quock circuit on Monday… the aforementioned 2 miler on Tuesday… a big fat (much needed I think) goosegg on Wednesday.

I did complete my assigned tempo run on thursday… Turned down a lunch invite from my boss and co-worker.

Sliped out and blasted through 8.41 miles. Did a mile warm-up (9:51) then

7:44, 7:48, 7:59…

the third mile into the wind was a killer… cold… and it felt as if the hand of God was holding me back…. added to the fact that it was along the railroad tracks.

7:58, 7:48 (tailwind), 7:13

obviously the 7:13 was a miscalcualtion by Mr Garmin

8:00 for thelast mile… and I was killing myself on the last mile…. I think the last 2 were both flaky but… overall they were about the right distance.

felt pretty good for the entire run and stayed pretty relaxed.

Did the double bridges loop downtown today… we averaged around 10:30 mpm despite all the elevation changes. solid run.

My day in court   Leave a comment

Here I sit in the assembly room…

I thought I had lost my oh so important juror badge… One of my fellow jurors…. Who happens. to be named Cowart as well, helped me find it… It was tangled up around the back of my collar…

My socks are wet… As is the aforementioned collar…. My feet are still tingling….

What happened you might ask…

Perhaps you have read the Grisham book “Runnaway Jury”…. Well let me tell you how I became a runnaway juror….

Duval County Florida prides itself on the efficiency of it’s court system… Especially when it comes to jury selection… To that end they have completely planned out the day of prospective jurors…

Jurors start their day by parking in one of the parking lots at the Gator Bowl… From there they are to be wisked away to the courthouse downtown to begin their day in the spotlight…

I arrived on time… I had planned to take my bacpack and laptop in with me… When I saw all of the other jurors standing around empty handed…. I decided to leave all of my stuff in the car… Well except a Grisham novel and this Blackberry (of course).

I stood for a couple of minutes at the shuttle stop… It was kinda cold…. I remembered the hot cup of coffe I left back in my car and decided to o back for a gulp or 2…

Just as I started sippin’…. The “exclusive ground transportation” (juror bus) arrived… Not wanting to be late… I sat my coffe down and hurried on the bus…

There were a lot of somber and solomn faces getting on the bus…. – thought I’d try to lihten the mood… So I asked the bus driver if this was the bus to the Maic Kingdom…. She laughed and told me to sit down….

On the way to the courthouse this question started running through my mind…. Did I lock my car? My laptop was in there as well as all the other junk I carry around in my backpack…

For the next hour and a half the doubts and questions keep coming back… A t 0942 the baliff calls for a 28 minute recess.

As I walked outside I contimplated my options… My car is at least a mile away…. Could – make it there and back? Should I just chance it and hope I locked the doors or that nobody breaks in…. They had us park in a pretty remote spot… Not in the best neighborhood…

So I started walking… A block or so…. Then I jogged a half block…. Then walked a few steps… A quick glance at my watch showed 19 minutes to go… I started to run in ernest….

It was then I saw the shuttle Bus… heading in the other direction… I thought a bit about whether or not it would come into play later. I hoped it would.

I knew the route… and have run many times in the area… in fact I was retracing much of the last 1.5 miles of the Jacksonville Marine Corps ½ Marathon… a race I’ve done three times. After I’d gotten about halfway I was committed… there was no way that I was going to run like an idiot halfway down the Northbank of Downtown Jacksonville and *still* not know if my car was locked or not.

By this point I was pretty well warmed up and ticking along at about a 9 minute mile pace…. In my Air Clark Kents… i.e. wingtips

I never even got to my car… as soon as I got close enough for the keyless system to pick up and I heard the tiny, but reassuring, horn beep I turned around and headed back to the courthouse.

A quick look at my watch showed that I had roughly 11 minutes to cover the 1.5 or so miles back to the courthouse… Just as I was coming to grips with the idea that I was either going to be late, or doing my speedwork a couple of days early this week… I saw the bus heading in my direction. I immediately turned right back around and ran back to the bus stop.

The bus lady gave me a funny look… then said “I think you must have a twin”

I said, “No ma’am… this is my second trip.”

The rest of the experience was entirely uneventful… I was dismissed without ever having my name called. This is, however, the longest message I’ve ever typed on a blackberry. My sweaty socks are dry and my feet are no longer tingling… but my palms are sweaty and my hands are cramping from typing for over an hour on my Blackberry.

That said, I’m going to count this as my workout for the day.

Posted January 21, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly   Leave a comment

“We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters.”

– Robert Edward Lee, 1807 – 1870

My run yesterday was good… bad… and ugly

17 mi in 2:45


Started with Kara… ran the first 1.5 miles with her.

Mile 1 – 11:24
Mile 2 – 10:04

Ran the next 5 backwards from Kara on the same loop… I tried something different each time we passed to make her laugh…. she only laughed once… at my ballet moves.

Mile 3 – 8:46
Mile 4 – 8:43
Mile 5 – 8:57
Mile 6 – 8:39
Mile 7 – 8:35

I did not really hold anything back during the backwards loops… just trying to run 4 loops to Kara’s 3.

We slowed for Gel/water after we linked back up

Mile 8: 10:40

I stopped to tie my shoe during the next mile and chased Kara for most of it. She had a really good day yesterday (10 @ 10:30)

Mile 9 – 9:12 (due to the auto pause feature of my Garmin)

Kara stopped at 10 and during her last mile or so she cranked it up…. I started feeling puny.

Miles 10 & 11 ~9:40

At the house (somewhere during this time) I stopped a minute to swap shirts and get a drink


At this point I’m on my own and free to run my own pace…. Hard to get going again….

Mile 12 – 9:53

Picked it up on Mile 13 for a 9:07 but my entire left leg is starting to burn… I can feel that I’m running like a crab and dragging my left leg…

Mile 14 is a 9:31 and I’m seriously contemplating going straight home so as not to injure myself further I actually come to a complete stop and start to head home… but…. Masey and Kendall were at one of their friends house on the back side of the loop and I wanted to see/talk to them again….


Mile 15 I’m just trying to keep it together…. arguing with myself about finishing the loop or cutting straight for home.

Mile 16 I know that I’m cooked and fooked…. it’s a 10:43…. I turned for home.

Mile 17 is just getting home…. it took 11:36 and I would have walked but… I did not… why? Because I wanted to write 17 in my training log instead of 16.x… silly I know but…. that’s what I did….

Today I feel okay but… a little worried.

Maybe my hamstring problems are caused by the bike… We rode for 1.5 hours on Saturday.. I think my seat might be too high…

Or… maybe it’s just that I’m tired and over-trained… it’s the 19th and I have already run 104 miles this month.

I think that I’m just going to take it really easy until Thursday and see how that works out.

Posted January 19, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized

Tempo Thursday   Leave a comment

I had butterflies today… for a workout… not a race… a workout…. One I would complete alone.

I’ve not done a tempo run in a month…. On Thursdays I alternate between intervals and tempo… I cut the last tempo run I had scheduled short because it was New Years Eve…

My training schedule called for 9 miles… with 7 @ 7:52.. that’s a long way to run fast… not insanely intense… just not sure that I was up to it today…

Every time I glanced at my training schedule… affixed to the wall of my office right above my phone… I got a rush of adrenalin… was I ready for the pain?

It was in the low 50s today so I started out in a long sleeve shirt… I was pretty cold during the warm-up mile.

After the warm-up mile I amped the speed up to where it should be and just tried to hold it there…

1st mile: 7:52… I tried not to think about running 6 more… just run

2nd mile: 7:55 still trying to just stay in the groove

3rd mile: 7:58 – most of this mile is on the sand/gravel road next to the railroad tracks… nice and peaceful but the footing and rocks makes the pace harder to hold.

4th mile 7:52 I made the turn onto the second loop… and immediately relaxed. I stopped trying to hold something back and just ran.

5th mile 7:51: Tom Jones came on my Ipod singing “It’s not Unusual” and well… it is a little unusual that the tempo for this song is *perfect* for running a 7:45 pace… I reckon that I’m unusual for putting Tom Jones on there in the 1st place….

6th mile 7:56: the last .3 next to the railroad tracks

7th mile 7:54: really starting to tire… had a hard time picking up my feet to clear rocks on the trail… had to work really hard to bring it in under 8.

I only cooled down for a half mile… I had a conference call to prepare for.

Posted January 15, 2009 by cowartm in Uncategorized