Run with the Jim Spivey Running Club My Mouth: All of It: One Man, One Place, All Said
Follow my page on Facebook: Tales, storytelling, fables:

Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Miles Finished

It will be some time before I wax poetically about running. Right now, I'm just tired.

I just finished my first outside five mile run a long while. No PRs were broken. No one swooned and thought, "Wow, that guy is fast." A dog looked at me funny and a guy mowing a lawn gave me a nod. It's all good.

30:03 out (12:01/mile)
29:00 back (11:36/mile)

The times are more for myself to give me a sense of how I'm progressing. The big news for me is that I ran the entire way. There are a couple killer hills that make me want to walk each time.

However, I felt pretty good 90% of the time. Unfortunately, that 10% remaining goes 5x slower, so it all feels strangely achy good bad tired upbeat.

Got it?

I also got out earlier than I had been despite only getting 6:30 of sleep. Getting out before breakfast, I believe, burns more calories.

The scale seems to be tilting in my favor, but it bounces around to much to declare any success yet. It is not going the wrong direction, so there's that. My goal is to lose 15 pounds and to have it gone by July 2018. I've only just begun (again).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Feeling Goodish

I climbed down a mountain on Saturday. Walked through a deep forest on Sunday. Today, I jogged.

The mountain is more of a mole hill, but no less a challenge.

The forest is within a suburb of Atlanta.

The jog was, is the same route as before, slightly faster.

3.6 miles.

43:35 - 12:06/mile

As a Monday update, I feel somewhat fitter but have little tangible proof. My weight hasn't really moved. My clothes fit the same. I do feel better.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Beating the Beast

I beat the RRR. The Ridge Road Route.

3.6 miles of up and down. Long slopes of agony. 90% humidity. 80 degrees.

A beast.

44:10 - 12:14/mile.

I'm not bragging. 12:14//mile is not brag-worthy. It, though, is a benchmark.

My legs are tired, sore, and stiff.

I'll live.

Pain, as they say, is weakness leaving the body.

Still aches. Pithy quotes don't change squat.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It Ain't Easy: Hills

The plan was to run 3.6 miles on my new there-and-back route. 1.8 mils each way.

My goal was simple: stay running, no matter how slow, the entire way. Hard?

Apparently. I made 1.25 miles. Walked. Jogged another 1.25 miles. And walked home. My pace was unexpectedly

Hills. Hills. Hills. Hills. Hills. Hills.


This route has a name. Ridge Road Route. It has beaten me twice and things don't look good the next time.

It is mostly uphill on the way out in a set of rising tiers. It is short but it does not forgive. I'm not in shape to flatten it.

My scale believes I lost 2.2 pounds over what was about 55 minutes walk/jogging. Since my goal is to lose 15 lbs, I think at this rate, I'll be done in two weeks. If only.

Below, Ringo Starr singing what has little to do with this post.

Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy (Official Video)

Even more unrelated, but such is the serendipitous nature of YouTube.

Ringo Starr Shows How to play Ticket to Ride, Come Together and Back off Boogaloo

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Feels Like the First Time

It wasn't pretty. I joined the 3.0 mile group and ran about 1.5 miles before having to walk. After the turnaround, I jogged/walked. I'll say I ran 2.0 miles total.

I will survive.

To be accurate, "I Will Survive," by Gloria Gaynor really has nothing to do with a good run. Or a bad one. It is a bitter song of a woman trying to hold on after a nasty relationship. My situation is just an out of shape guy running in conditions he's not used to.

Saw several deer within a few meters. And a bunny.

A few good things came from this:
* For that 1.5 miles, I ran about 9:00 pace. I had no idea.
* There were enough runners at whichever pace.
* I can't help but get better.

It is a well-run club. Water stops, water at the store, safe trails on the Suwanee Greenway, good people. There was even a guy passing out Popsicles. I didn't get in on that. Next time.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Rebooting Running (Again)

Once again. Once again. Once again...

I've said it before. I expect (but hope not) I'll say it again.

I've started again.

Walk. Run.

Only now, I'm near Atlanta. Moved.


Hills. Heat. Humidity.

I'm joining the running club at the local running shoe store, Big Peach Running. I'm not sure what I'm getting into but the people on Facebook seem nice enough. And they like pie. That's a plus.

The game plan? I don't have one. I bought new shoes. That's not exactly a plan, but it is a start. As I mentioned I joined a club. Sort of. I said I'd show up, though it has no such requirement.

I've run 3.11 miles extremely slowly. Just under 11:00/mile. Mostly, so far (as in the last two weeks), I've walked.

I'll need new courses. New tracks. New races. New, new, new.

Same old, same old?

This isn't a runner-friendly area. Road shoulders are small. Drivers are rude to runners.

There aren't as many running trails as in Chicagoland. The ones I've heard about are short. 9.5 miles. Short. Now, as it happens, that remains long to me. I hope that will change.

I head to the running club tomorrow, if I can get the rest of my schedule together.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Review: Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner

Worth Every Penny: Meb Knows His Stuff

As I was reading "Meb for Mortals," a non-runner friend saw it. "I don't know what a Meb is," she said. To runners, however, Meb Keflezighi is a household name. Why? Because he is winning in a sport we Americans haven't won very often. His credentials as a marathoner are long and deep. Even as he has turned 40, he is still among the best.

But why this book?

Meb finds that space between inspiring and informative.

It is unlike other distance running books. "Meb for Mortals" isn't filled with detailed workouts 18 or 20 weeks out from race day. Nor is it a long dissertation on the merits of a quality diet. And you won't find it going on and on about some philosophy of running. That said, there's a little of all that in here.

Ghostwritten by Scott Douglas, it is better than most other books on writing. Douglas is a senior content editor at Runner's World (same publisher as the book). The guy knows running and isn't just another hack.

Tony Dungy wrote the foreword. You can skip that. Dungy doesn't really say anything interesting or unique to his relationship to running or Meb. It feels sort of pasted on. But no worries, you are reading the book for the rest, not the foreword.

The chapters:
Think Like Meb
Run Like Meb
Train Like Meb
Race Like Meb
Eat Like Meb
Strengthen Like Meb
Stretch Like Meb
Cross-Train Like Meb
Recover Like Meb

Like the chapter titles imply, we get this from his point of view, from his personal experience as a runner. He's not (yet) a coach, nor does he necessarily have expertise in nutrition and so forth. But he wins. That means it is worth learning how one guy is getting it done.

Within each chapter, he relates the content to his own life. When discussing diet, he tells how much he weighed when, and what weight his physician told he should weigh.

Among the things you'll gain from this is a sense of his personal discipline. He stays on the game even when he's resting. By that I mean he takes seriously the process of making good choices. He doesn't take his success for granted. He reminds us of three simple keys in life:

Good goals
Hard Work

This shouldn't be the only running book you read. Bob Glover's The Competitive Runner's Handbook: The Bestselling Guide to Running 5Ks through Marathons  is a great one, as is Hal Higdon's Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide: Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons. There are too many others to name, but Meb's book is worth your money and time.

Anthony Trendl

Friday, August 8, 2014

Secretly (But Now You Know)

Running regularly, consistently has been a challenge since I rebooted several years ago. Any reader of this blog knows I've stop-started too often.

So I am starting again. 100+ people already know. Following the basic 100 Day Challenge successfully accomplished in early 2014, I decided to begin a 50-day version. Same thing, only shorter.

I needed company. So I asked a few friends to join me. And they asked a few friends. 111 people have started. A few dropped off, but 107 are still at it. I only know 20% or so.

Today is day 12. I'll workout tonight. Ran a treadmill 5K yesterday in 28:28 (9:10/mile) as part of my run.

The general plan is 30+ minutes a day. I'm trying to add five minutes each day, per week. That is, each day of Week 1 I'll try to do 30 minutes. And each day of week two, I'll do at least 35 minutes. My true goal is the 30 minutes, and hope to well-exceed it as time goes by.

So far, mostly so good, but I'm getting there. Gained a little weight, but I'm not concerned. My mileage is still low, as it the intensity. Some of my workouts are walk-runs. It will accumulate.

To all of you who struggle to keep at it, you can do it. So can I.

Join me on Facebook, whudja? 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing

Pray for Boston

As many of you know, I am a runner. I raced this weekend. I won my age group. I ran a 24:10 after starting too fast. That's what this blog is all about: running. Today's Boston Marathon bombings, though, are bigger than running. It could have just as easily been a football or basketball game, or a parade or shopping mall. It wasn't. It was, instead, at the one of the most famous races in the world.

Many runners dream of racing the Boston Marathon. I do. I watched it this morning as a fan, and preparing for a client call (an Olympic runner who might want help writing a speech).

The explosions that blew near the finish line are frightening -- leaving the door open for all kinds of rash speculation. I won't entertain any of that here. I am a runner, and like any distance runner, have known a lot of people who have raced the Boston Marathon. My first thoughts weren't about politics, but about my friends.

My friends are safe and I am thankful to God. That's why I'm saying we should pray.

  • Pray for those injured and their families. 
  • Pray for the businesses who are seeing material damage. 
  • Pray for the authorities to learn definitively what caused the explosion. 
  • Pray for our national leadership in both parties to be wise and careful. 
  • And if you do not believe in prayer, hope.

(originally in a different form posted here)

Monday, March 4, 2013

High Schooler Mary Cain Wins National Indoor Mile Title

May Mary Cain become who Mary Decker never became. Decker started with excellence, but injuries and other matters pulled her career to a halt.

Runner's World:
High Schooler Mary Cain Wins National Indoor Mile Title:
16-year-old defeats field of pros in tactical race.
By Peter Gambaccini
read here

 Fan of the mile race? See Bring Back the Mile on Facebook.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

50 Days of Working Out (and more) into the 100 Days Challenge

51 days are behind me in the John "The Penguin" Bingham - 100 Days Challenge.

I have not skipped a day.

I did weigh myself. I said I wouldn't. But I did. It looks like I have lost 7-8 pounds. I could stand losing 10-15 more pounds.

I have run 79.20 miles, and walked 74.65 miles. That equals 153.67 miles.

101.391 miles were within the last 31 days. That includes walking.

I'm still having "walk days," meaning I do not run on that day, but walk usually around 15:00/mile.

7.25 miles run yesterday (Day 51) in 62:09 (8:34/mile)

5K in 24:17 (7:53/mile)

All on a treadmill, so all times are adjusted when I run outside. See this chart to convert treadmill times to outside running.

Given the treadmill factor, I have no idea how fast I can really run, but I am pleased with my progress. It is cold here in Chicago, and running during daylight is logistically not possible. I am anxious to try.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Toughest Race Distance

A post on Runner's World's Facebook page asked, "What do you think is the toughest race distance?"

I said:
800 meters. Pure power isn't enough, nor is sheer, sleek endurance. The elite 800 meter runner must race for all 1:45, with a mind tough yet strategic, full of rage but also completely lucid. The body is subject to pain most of the way, but the runner must steer it hard just the same.

Arguments can be made for any distance, but what the 800 offers is different.

Look at Usain Bolt's races. There is no strategy. He is not genuinely competing. Is he fast? Obviously. But does he care, strategically, what his peers are doing? Only as far as mind games go. For the race, he positions himself in the blocks, waits for the gun, then runs until the race is over. He might see a runner next to him and push harder, but he should push hard anyway. If that other runner inspires him, it only means he wasn't going as tough as he could.

Moreover, so often Bolt slows at the end. He has not demonstrated the kind of focus an 800 meter racer must have.

What about the marathoner? Surely they run a difficult distance. Yes, they do. 26.2 miles is a long way, and, to train properly, the runner must be focused for months on end. However, watch the elites race. By the 10K mark, they are relaxed, in a good rhythm, just cranking out the miles. Granted, these are 4:45 miles, but, for the front runners, a pace they can handle. There is plenty of speed and strategy, but much of the race itself is just getting it done. They run step-in-step for much of the way, and might not "race" until after the 20-mile marker.

Tremendous athletes, to be sure, with incredible desire to run hard and long. They do not, however suffer throughout the distance, not the way an 800 meter runner must suffer.

A similar defense could be made on behalf of the elite 1500 meter runner. He must be fast, with strategy and a strong mind for almost twice the distance. And many race both 800 and 1500 meters. Seb Coe made an incredible career of this, as did Steve Ovett. But strategy matters more in the 1500. An 800 race balances both.

There is no taking away from what the elites endure and accomplish in any distance. The right genes + the the right training + the right mind + the right racing opportunities equals greatness, and whether a 100 meters or 26.2 miles, that's a lot to have.

Me? I was a mediocre 800 runner, with a personal best of 2:07, the slowest by far on a relay team of sub-2:00 runners.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The State of Fitness

It has been a strange road I have traveled as a runner. In shape, out of shape, in very good shape, on very poor shape. A lot of start-stop-starts.

I miss being in great shape.

As 2013 came forward, having dealt with some challenges that knocked me pretty hard, I decided to take a different approach. John "The Penguin" Bingham posted on Facebook his 100 Day Challenge. The gist, as I understand it, is to exercise 30 minutes a day for 100 days in a row. He defined what counted loosely, and offered that a person could break things into two halves of 15 minutes apiece. I decided to try this, unworried about workouts as a runner, and think entirely about mere exercise.

I started a day or two early, believing any good resolution starts the moment you realize its value. Officially, I am only counting from January 1, 2013. Day 100 will be April 10.

At first, I only walked, then mixed running and walking. My walking pace in at, or a little slower than, 15:00/mile. My running pace is usually 9-10:00/mile.

Today (Sunday, January 20) I was tired from previous days and so I just walked two miles. Since there are no rest days, I'll walk as many days as it takes to find fresh legs.

20 days -- one fifth of the challenge is complete. Harder days are ahead.

About all of this -- I am not weighing myself until April. I am not planning my workout, at least for now, taking each day as it comes, desiring only to complete 30 minutes.

While I am also not counting calories, I am trying not to eat until I'm full, and otherwise ignoring basic hunger if I have already eaten. And so on, about my diet. I'm eating a little less. Not much less.

100 days is a long time and know simply that if I eat less and am diligent about exercise, I will lose sometging by April.

I'm planning some races this spring. Maybe three or four 5ks. No expectations.

Friday, December 14, 2012

New Naperville Marathon to be qualifying race for Boston Marathon

New Naperville Marathon to be qualifying race for Boston Marathon - Chicago Sun-Times
"They’ll be running through the streets of West suburban Naperville.

The 2013 inaugural Naperville Marathon is scheduled for next fall on Nov. 10, and will be a qualifying race for the famous Boston Marathon. While Naperville enthusiasts have kicked around the idea for years, Kris Hartner, owner of the Naperville Running Company, said “somebody needed to come forward and take charge.”"

Read the entire article at the link above.
This is huge news as the Chicago Marathon fills quickly and area runners often travel far to qualify. For those of us in the immediate area (I'm in the next town over), it also means avoiding the trip to Chicago's Loop. That means a better night's rest, and less inconvenience on family and friends who want to watch.

Presumably, there will be fewer runners and thereby less race congestion, meaning a runner will be better able to run his intended pace. In massive races, everyone but the front runners is forced into a bottleneck, often chugging through the first few miles far slower than they should.

A marathon certainly is a long race, and maintaining quality throughout will be a challenge. The people sponsoring it are sharp folks, so they know what they are up.against. Hopefully corporate sponsors will come through.