Thursday, March 31, 2011
I was scheduled for a 4 mile tempo run today. I did it, actually five miles, but not as I expected. I peeked outside and the weather was terrible. It was rainy, damp and extremely cold. I made the decision to go to the gym and hit the treadmill. I forgot it was senior citizens day. I love those people but they turn the heat up to about a hundred. I warmed up a mile and had already gone through a bottle of water. It was like running Badwater. I set the 'mill for 8 minute miles and struggled mightily for four miles. I finished in 34:14 cause I was dying in there.
Two things I accomplished today:
1. I got my run in and ran a decent 4 mile tempo run.
2. I am now certified to run in the desert. It couldn't possibly be hotter.
Run hard, stay hydrated and don't give up the ship.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Todays schedule called for strength training. I have a very spartan, but totally massive, weight gym in my basement. Yes of course, everything is situated around the Goddesses stuff but it WILL work you out.
Now I just wonder how sore I will be on tomorrows long run. I hope I can shake it off and get at least eight miles in. I enclosed some pics and my workout board and overall time. It felt great.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
It's time to Rock 'N Roll now! I've got nine weeks to the Ogden Half marathon in Wheeling, WV (my home town) and it's time to get serious. I went to the gym and hit the treadmill this am. I warmed up a mile and then ran 4 half mile repeats at 8.5 mile pace. A mile cool down and I had just a little over 4 miles total including the recoveries. No time to mess around anymore.
I included a picture of some of my gear spread out on my dining room floor. Maybe tomorrow I'll get a shot of all my shoes. That might be a nice thing for the group. What kind of gear do you use during your many runs? I'd be interested to see. Have a great day and power on.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Today was a scheduled day off. I didn't sleep in cause I was fresh and ready to run. But rests are scheduled for a reason. I did some sit-ups yesterday. All the push-up and sit-up challenges have inspired me. I've got to get back into some core work. Basically I've just run this year. But the racing season is right around the corner so it's time to get serious. Tomorrow after my intervals, I'm gonna pump some iron.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I woke up to 23* and 6* wind chill and thought maybe it's time to visit the gym for the first time in a long while. It's not that I was wimping out, hell I run with a headlamp in the dark at 6:00 am lot's of times. But today I just didn't feel like fighting another cold day. I ran 60 minutes on a relentless treadmill and covered 6.5 miles.
Two things I rediscovered at the gym (it's been weeks.)
#1. People want to talk to you at the gym. I'm there to work and people want to talk. I don't mind socializing before or after my workout, I always do, but when I start the belt I don't want bothered. I hope that doesn't sound mean but I'm training for a half marathon in May and I don't want to look like an ass out there. I got work to do. (I do love the old people on the 'mills walking 2 miles an hour. I really honestly do. They could be home soaking their dentures but they are here working out. They are the same older people who refuse to ride the damn scooters at the grocery store while all the fat people fight over them. God bless the ones who at least try.)
#2. A treadmill is the Terminator. If you set it on a 9 minute mile pace, the damn thing goes at 9 minute miles. On the roads I forget that I speed up when I feel good and slow down for a drink of water. The belt doesn't care. It really is great for pace work. It's damn boring! But it will work you with no conscience at all. It will hurt you and not care. I like that about the treadmill.
Ok, I've wasted enough of your time. Corey and crew are actually running races and improving humanity and I am yammering on about dentures and blabbermouths. I enjoyed myself today though. I hope you do too.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I ran a very easy 3 miles in 29:31 in anticipation of a hard ten mile effort tomorrow. It was very cold this morning at 6:00 am and still very dark of course. The temp was 21 degrees with a rather substantial wind chill. Since my fall (not a really a bad one but still) I'm a bit tentative to "open up" and fire off into the night with only a headlamp for illumination. And my mile I cover to get to the trail head is all broken sidewalk so I have to be tip toeing all the way. Enough excuses, I got up at 5:00 am and ran into the night while millions of people slept under warm covers. My friends reading this will smile because they know of what I speak. You all do the same and more.
To Corey and all my pals racing today, good luck! Our racing season hasn't started yet so I will keep track of our website and check in for results. I love race reports so please give 'em up! I can't wait to hear from you all. Y'all be careful out there.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Took a recovery day today. I slept 9 hours the night before last. Then took a nap yesterday afternoon that lasted from 5:00 pm until 9 or 10:00 pm. That is not normal. Then I went to bed and slept the whole night, right through the alarm, and got up at 6:30 am which made me miss my morning run. Something strange is happening. I also woke with a bad cold and a stuffy nose.
I really hope I'm just tired and not getting sick. When I run every other day, I feel great but that volume won't get me ready for a half marathon I don't think. When I run 5 or 6 days a week I start to grow increasingly tired. I need to eat better and push through this, Maybe more after work runs so I can catch up on sleep. We are gonna have to experiment here.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The "Goddess" decided that she wanted to buy me a grill. A monstrous, stainless behemoth that breathes fire and cooks steaks by remote control. I don't know why she decided to do this but I ran a quick 5 miler ( about 42 mins) and went shopping.
I don't cook on the Grill. If I did I would cook a burger and call it a day. The Goddess will have steaks, burgers, zucchini and squash roasting. Maybe add some olive oil covered green onions and fry up some green tomatoes and then toss some veggies on the side burner. I cook hockey pucks.
I love the "Goddess". Wonderful woman. But I'm already wondering (you know what I'm gonna say)... was that grill really for me?
Anyway, I ran a hell of a five miler. Just busted it. What a great day off!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Took a day off today. I woke up in a pool of sweat at 3:30 this morning and then suffered with bouts of chills followed by the sweats. I managed to fall back to sleep and then had horrible, scary nightmare type dreams until 6:00 am when I got up and was sick. Elevated heart rate, blah blah blah. I decided it might not be a day for a solo run in the dark. I drank strong coffee, mostly to make the dreams go away,
I'll see how I feel after work. If I can, I'll hit the gym and get my short little 3 in for the day. I hope you all feel well.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I ran 4 miles around Fork Ridge trail today in a blistering (for me) 33:54. But I figured out the combination. Even on my short runs I had been overdressing, carrying my I-Phone and taking walk breaks as I adjusted my i-pod or took pictures or fiddled with my water bottle. Today I did the "naked run." Before the Goddess reads this and starts gathering bail money I'll explain. I left everything home but my Ironman watch, I under dressed and I decided to run hard. When I got winded I shortened my stride, looked at the deer playing in the creek and and let myself relax for a little. But I kept running.
I found that I could float up hills, cruise down easy descents and, at times hammer the straights. It might have been my best run all year. There is something to be said about distractions on longer runs. I have lots of my friends that run every run with music and I will probably take my gear with me on my long weekend runs. But for now, I've learned a lesson. A run, at least a short one is to run. If I want to hear music, I'll go to a concert.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Even though today was a scheduled day off, I automatically woke up at 5:00 am. I realized that I didn't have to get up so I laid back and listened to a distant storm roll in.
My room was lit with faint lightening and the sound of thunder was like big waves pounding on the beach. I snuggled with pooch (he hates even small storms) and fell back to sleep. It's nice to have a guilt free day of rest. Have a nice Monday everyone.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I ran my scheduled 3 mile run this morning on the dark Fork Ridge Trail (area 51 with no sightings) in 24:34. I was trying for 8 minute splits but forgot how difficult that can be in the dark. When you can't see any mile markers or landmarks or, actually anything outside the cone of light that comes from your headlamp, your only choice is to run by feel. And I came within 34 seconds of being spot on for my pace.
It surprised me how short the run felt. This 3 miler is scheduled between a 7.5 mile run and my Sunday 10 miler. Today's three seemed like I ran to the store for bread and ran right back. I guess that's why you train so that the miles start to feel easy but it worked. The time felt very short.
Now for my sensory overload. I usually run with headphones. I listen to pod casts or audio books, and when I can smell the barn I switch to classic rock for the boost to get me home. Today, I turned everything off for the return trip. I concentrated on my breathing, my legs and how I felt. Before I was aware of the sky lighting up with the early morning sun, I was in front of my house fresh and relaxed. That was a bit of an eye opener. Maybe it's time to chill and remember what I'm out there for. Long before I raced..........I just raaaaaannnnnnnn.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Today is my scheduled rest day. For once I feel I need it. Maybe the bug I have been carrying will finally vacate my body. Yesterday, after my run I drank a few beers with the house "Goddess", cooked some shrimp creole and just chilled out. I love movies and I finally had time to see The Social Network. I like it but it wasn't as good as I thought it might be. A bit over-hyped by my co-workers.
Today I intend to rest which is hard for me and simply mend a little. But tomorrow comes. I hope I feel better and all of you are well.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
My body was telling me something yesterday. I ran my scheduled 7.5 miler today but it was tough sleddin'. I started out wearing a knit cap and a wind jacket. I had to dump the jacket under a tree at around two miles because I was burning up. My water belt felt like it weighed four hundred pounds and my hat was making sweat roll down my face into my eyes. So I took my hat off, tucked it into my belt and then took off. Then I started to freeze so I had to put the hat back on then the cramps in my stomach started. Sound like I got a bug to you? Enough whining for you? I'm done.
Now the good part. It was beautiful out today. The sun was so bright that I had to wear sunglasses. When I could get comfortable, I cruised along a beautiful creek road clipping off the miles over nice, dry roads. The same roads that I was tip toeing over glare ice less than a month ago. I ran past cows, had a few friendly dogs bark at me and smelled the lovely scent of fresh cow manure. I mean that. You have to be from the country to appreciate that but cow manure means spring time here in the hills. It was a beautiful run on a sunny gorgeous morning. There is no place on earth I would rather have been. Now if only my stomach would quit grumbling.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I ran my scheduled 4 miler today and two very strange things happened this morning. One much stranger than the other. I'll start with the semi-strange to normal one. My Weather-bug computer temp gage said it was 35* with no wind when I checked it out this morning. I dressed appropriately for that temperature and started out. It was like I was in Alaska. My breath was great blasts of white clouds as I ran through falling snow. SNOW! On a 35 degree morning. This, if you have been following the weatherman isn't really so strange. They haven't hit a temp right all season so why start now.
Now to the strange part. I reached the trail head to Fork Ridge trail and turned right down the long stretch passed the ballfields toward the main entrance when large trucks started pulling into the park in the early morning pitch dark. There had to be near thirty trucks, large box trucks. I know they saw me because as I ran past, the column stopped to let me pass by between them. I could see very clearly "Special Operations" written on the side of at least one truck. As I rounded the turn past the soccer field, they all lined up and shined their headlights at me! They watched me run by as I disappear into the dark morning and then they turned off their headlights and pulled out of the park and left! What the hell was THAT about!? What had I interrupted and I began to wonder...did maybe even one of them say, "Ah, let's just shoot the idiot and continue on with the exercise." It went through my head I have to admit. I broke the land speed record getting the hell out of there. I'm afraid to call anybody and ask what was going on. I may have to be snuffed.
Monday, March 14, 2011
It's quiet today. Monday is my scheduled Recovery Day. Hal Higdon says I have to rest. I've had three good hard days in a stretch so the rest makes sense. I covered 16 miles in three days here at the end of the week so I don't feel bad about sitting here typing my blog, drinking strong coffee and enjoying the silence.
I am totally convinced that I can cover the half marathon distance now, and I have 2.5 months to cover it quicker. I would love to break 2 hours for the race on Memorial Day weekend. I'm so looking forward to it now.
My water bottle has thawed out from yesterday and this week is supposed to be warm. I'm sitting here drinking strong coffee and enjoying the silence of the morning. All is right with my little world. Good morning to all my friends, have a nice day.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I ran an 8 mile run out 4th street Creek. (Middle Grave Creek.) on what I thought was a 32* day. From my front door to the steel bridge just past the church (Ruby's House) is just a hair over four miles and it makes the perfect turn-around. Beautiful country out that way and the water in the creek is much lower and under control. One strange thing I never had happen before though. My water bottle froze. I hit the bridge, turned around and grabbed my bottle and I couldn't get a drink. It was full of ice. I shook the hell out of it and the ice broke and I could drink OK then. That is a very strange thing to have to put up with. (My energy beans froze too, so chewy they could break teeth but my GU was perfect.)
I'm getting in good shape. I'm starting to cover ground faster on my long runs that I was before on my short ones. Also I've noticed that I feel much better at the 5 mile mark than I do at the 1 mile mark. It is a very good sign for me when it takes me that long to warm up. That means I'm ready to go long. I may not be fast....but I can last a long time. Take that as you may :).
Saturday, March 12, 2011
This had to be the most enjoyable 4 mile run I've taken all year. I left my front door in the dark wearing my headlamp. I could already see the sun starting to lighten the sky and I only needed the lamp for about the first mile. What a trip! I didn't so much run as glide around that small, paved path through the park, around the ball fields and soccer pitches. The best part.....it was a cool 33*, I was dressed perfectly for the weather and I had the morning to myself. Sure it was 6:00 am but still, people should come out to watch the sunrise sometimes.
I ran the bridges, picked up the pace on the flats and slowed heading north as I watched the sun come over the hill crest. What a way to start a morning. I think the beautiful distractions were so nice that I probably ran my best pace I have run all year. I'll never know though.....I didn't even time it. Some things you don't need to know.
Friday, March 11, 2011
I didn't run today because I listened to the weatherman yesterday. He claimed everything from Noah type floods to 5" of snow and more to fall and treacherous winds and ice. I, of course like everyone else, raided the supermarkets, stocked up on goods like I was never going to eat again and battened down the hatches. I went to bed hoping that my old roof would be able to stand the weight of the snow. To even schedule a run was impossible let alone DRIVE to the gym in an Antarctic style whiteout. I woke this morning to find the weather seasonable, dry (except for a little fluff on my car) and the roads completely passable for foot or car traffic.
I wish weathermen would shut up really. I think they are paid off by the grocery stores. Think about it. Commerce stops in the advent of a storm except for the grocery stores that eventually have empty shelves while customers hunker down in the homes, watching reruns of Two And A Half Men hoping to find Charlie's tipping point, and overeating to maintain their bulk in case the storm traps them and they are left living off their own body fat. Blah! A great day to run wasted.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I learned a valuable lesson today. I ran a good 5 miler instead a of a good 7 miler because of a miscalculation and a learning experience. I ate a Clif bar right before I went out the door for my run in a pouring ran. It was 45* but i figured that 45*, rain and dampness means chilly. Lesson #1: 45* and 100% humidity means watch what you wear. I had on a rain jacket, Under Amour cold gear and a knit cap. I was sweating and overheating in a mile. Lesson #2: A Clif Bar, although tasty, is mostly sugar and I could feel myself bonking after only a mile due to the sugar rush wearing off. I was feeling sick. I fired down a GU, hit the water bottle and started feeling better within minutes. Lesson #3: I wore my 22 oz. water bottle belt was was overkill and the weight of the bottle was too much for a fast five miler. Once I got the water in my stomach as nature intended and got the weight off my back, I started running like Ryan Hall.
I ended up with a great, fun, tear-ass run in the pouring rain. And I learned some good stuff which is the reason for training in the first place. You have to get in shape, no doubt, but you also have to learn what not to do in a race by learning what TO do in training. I ended up with a very good fun run which I cut short because I thought I might feel sicker if I continued. I wish I had gone on because I solved my problems on the run and would have been fine.
Final Lesson: Take what you learn and don't give up. Now that I had such a good time I can't wait to nail my 7 miler tomorrow. Happy trails.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Recovery Day. It is not often that the mind, body and soul are in complete agreement. The clock went off at 5:00 am as usual, and the "big three" were having a meeting. My mind said, "Not nearly enough sleep this week. You have a terrible need for sleep." My body said that the pounding cold rain (30*) whipping sideways outside was nothing that he wanted to venture in to. And my soul was the most persuasive of them all. For some reason, it could just not endure a run on the damn treadmill one more day.
I love to run and I keep telling myself that spring is coming. Outside days are coming. But today, it came one day too late so I decided to catch up on my sleep and make my entire physche happy. Not one part of me wanted to get out of my bed early, and choose between running in the dark and the cold rain, or go to the sweat box and "hamster it" on the treadmill again. So I protested the weather by laying in bed and now talking with you. I hope you don't mind.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I ran an easy 5k today. I had no choice but to run it easy because if I would have dared to "push" myself, well let's just say this post might venture into the "too much info" category. I need to point out that "The Goddess: decided this weekend was rent movies and eat Mexican weekend. (Unstoppable and 127 Hours are great movies.) I loved the movies, loved the food and I am now frightened to drive to work without the prior knowledge of where every rest stop and porta potty may be located.
Anyway, I ran very well when I was able to run (we took a few breaks don't ya know.) And I broke a good sweat and feel fine. Tomorrow is interval day and this MUST pass before I begin sprints. I'm sure I will be fine. And let's home tonight is cheese night or something.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Recovery Day. I was scheduled for a recovery day. I feel great though. I'm following the Hal Higdon training plan for the half marathon and he told me to stay in bed. What does Hal know really? He's trained a few people sure, (maybe more than I've met in my life) but I could have easily run today. Maybe though it would have affected my interval session in the morning. Maybe Hal is on to something after all.
I kind of like the Monday off routine. I'm tying to wrap my head around going back to work after the weekend. And I'm usually a little tired from all the rushing around trying to get all the weekend stuff done like watching movies, lying on the couch and drinking just a couple of beers with "The Princess." So I will admit, Monday as a recovery day actually rock. But it's back in the saddle tomorrow. Those intervals aren't gonna run themselves.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Yes I wussed out. I ran my five mile run on the "Hamster Wheel" at the gym. Maybe it was the sleet, the snow, the hail or the howling wind that made take refuge in the sweaty confines of the Woods Fitness Gym. Or just that I wussed out. I'm training for a May half marathon, not the Ididarod Sled Dog race! Did I mention that I feel like I..... no need to say it again.
For some reason it was incredibly boring today. I tried pod casts, audio books and finally switched to classic rock but I still felt like I was on that treadmill all damn morning. I was so bored all I could think of was how tired I was so I took way too many walking breaks out of sheer boredom. I fiddled with my I-Phone, drank water, toweled off and then would look at the treadmill computer board and the damn thing STILL didn't seem to register any progress.
My plan was an 8 miler out 4th street creek to the steel bridge and return. I should have braved the blizzard and just gone. I might have had more fun but then maybe they would have just found my frozen body along the road during the spring thaw. Anyway, nothing hurts this week so I guess maybe this was for the best. No...no.... I was a wuss.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I ran 3 miles today starting in the dark with my headlamp. I only needed it about halfway though. The sun started to shine through real quickly, not actually a sunrise yet, but easily light enough to turn off my lamp. It was 52* degrees this morning and not a drop of rain!! I can't believe I missed the rain. I looked at the weather map when I got home and it looks like all hell is about to break lose.
It's cool to run through town and then check out the GPS map on the Nike website. It makes a perfect line around the neighborhood showing every turn you took. I carry my I-Phone. I have thought about getting a Garmin watch, but I know some guys that carry a watch, a camera, an I-Pod and a cell phone for emergencies. My I-Phone is all that and light too. But for some reason, I still yearn for that Garmin. We'll see some day if it is even necessary. As of now, I'm happy with today.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Planned but not scheduled RECOVERY DAY. After yesterdays longer run in the cold, I had an idea that my right leg might flare up so I decided to factor in a recovery day based on two logical points. First, Friday has ALWAYS been my scheduled day off but I never took it. I only switched Friday's off day with Saturday because the gym was closed on Saturday morning before work and with the bad weather I couldn't count on a workout outside on ice on Saturdays. I'm able to get outside more now so I can stick with the original schedule.
Second, Brenda sleeps in due to her work schedule today and gets up early for work tomorrow. If we keep the same schedule it is easier to get some rest and not be disturbed by the other person getting out of bed and waking you too.
Actually I took Friday off because I thought I might be crippled from the pounding yesterday in my minimalist Nike Free shoes. (I saw an article in Runner's World showing Matthew McConahay running in Nike Free shoes. Makes me feel like a rock star with Tiger blood.) It didn't happen. Actually I work up early and fresh with no pain. That is a very good sign. This may be my first decent long run of the year followed by a day of no major pain. Tomorrow.....we run.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I ran 6.5 miles today and then weighed in at 171 lbs. I didn't have a set plan of how far to run. I decided to go out the door, head out 4th street creek and turn around when I was either too tired, too hurting or too thirsty to continue. It was thirst that turned me around in the end. It wasn't that bad but it was an out and back course and you never know where the point of no return is. I played it safe. I could have gone farther. It was the most enjoyable run of the year.
I didn't carry water, food or gel today. I went old school like I used to. I don't like carrying stuff. I get to paying more attention to the "stuff" than I do to how I feel and that defeats the fun of the run. But soon, as summer approaches (yea!!) I will have to get used to carrying water. I remember the old days suffering through a long hot run without water.
My leg didn't hurt even though I ran in my Nike free shoes. We'll see if it get worse later. I felt strong and the sun was shining although it was very cold. (8* "real feel" when I left home,) I feel, right now as I write this exactly how you SHOULD feel after a run. i can't wait for the next one.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I had to take a semi-emergency unscheduled Recovery Day. I didn't get much sleep last night due to leg cramps. They actually started as I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep. I woke up this morning at the proper time with my right leg throbbing again. It seems every good effort day is followed by a partial breakdown anymore. This is beginning to get worrisome.
This is my dilemma. When I was in my thirties, I ran hard! There were races where I thought to myself, I'm either going to PR this race or I'm going to pass out on the course and I always finished well. I could count on my body to respond. But now, at near sixty years old, if I put myself in that same position, my body screams for a day off. The worst part is I don't know what to do about this. I could train every day very easily, that would still be healthful, but you don't get in shape to race that way.
I am at a crossroads. Either I am a racer with goals and ambitions, or I am a recreational athlete who dabbles in the sport. I don't want to be a dabbler. My body wants to be a dabbler. But I have goals for the year of 2011, the year I turn 60. I'll hit it again hard tomorrow and I'll be fine. The question is.....what will Friday hold?
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I went to the gym and got my four miles in. Actually I ran about 4.29 miles according to my GPS app. I felt good and kept a good pace too. Of course I took some short walking breaks and had to make a bathroom pit stop but those things happen. The last time I tried to run on the treadmill was last Friday when I had to stop. My legs were so sore and tired that I had to give it up.
I count this as a successful day....for the time being. I feel fine now. I feel like I had a very good run. I got my miles in and I did it on sore legs still barking from the savage downhills of Sundays Grandview run. But it is later when I find out if it was completely successful. I could feel my right shin aching the whole time, just not bad. It will be later this afternoon when I find out if I'm OK. So for now, I am a runner again.