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Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Run of the Old Year - 5 Miles (and then some)

5.0 varied pace
0.33 wd

total: 5.33 miles

course: Grainger treadmill

5.0 miles, with a bit more. Just myself and a couple others in the workout room. Started at 8:57 pace, and picked it up to 8:34, and varied it after that. All said 5.0 miles in 44:03, slowing down to keep my pulse in check.

My lungs loved the run. Hot in the room, and I'll need to see if there's a fan I can point my way.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gray Concrete on a Winter's Day: 5.5 Miles

5.0 varied pace
0.5 wd

total: 5.5 miles

course: Grainger treadmill

Ran facing the gray concrete as the snow fell like frosted flakes dropping from the roof. My first run at work.

Uneventful. The room was sparsely populated as holidays and the big mitigated working out at work. My own run was experimental. How do I get in a good run, and still function at work, all within an hour or so?

The general plan was five miles or 45 minutes, whichever came first. I began with an easy 9:13 mile pace, as a warm up. Picked it up to 8:35, then 8:00, and varied it for the finish, as fast as 6:39 pace. The last 0.5 of a mile was a brisk jog/walk.

Saw my colleague Norman as he left, after he hit the weights. It was strange for me, given that I see senior citizens as the majority of those at COD.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It Was a Dark and a (Not So) Stormy Night

5 miles - 45 minutes, varied pace
total: 5 miles

course: roads of Wheaton
weather: 32 degrees

The Todds were there, Todd Busteed and Moxley (each quite speedy). Rudy, Mike, Lee, Paul, and Jeff who is coming a back injury unrelated to running. Jim stopped by to deliver Asics stuff. Got my new socks, and will report on them soon.

Lee, Jeff and myself ran together, doing occasional pick-ups for a few minutes. Margaret joined us briefly, until concurring with her hurting hip that running was a less than best idea.

Cool, but warm enough to sweat. I was not feeling on top of my game, but, as Lee so well reminded me, far better off than this time last year. After all, my serious running started May 3, 2007. A year has to pass.

Then, off to dine in a bar/restaurant in Glen Ellyn. Sherri, Lee's wife, and Meg, Paul's wife, and Margaret all joined us.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Fellow Runners

I won't be running today. Bigger things are at hand than my ever-present effort to break 20:00 for a 5K. A bigger race, and more important matters are my concern.

Tomorrow I will run, but today, I am celebrating the birth of my savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lovely Weather for a (Run) Together with You (Giddy-up, Let's Go)

2 mile wu (9:23/mile)
4 mile run (9:09/mile)
0.65 wd

total: 6.65 miles
course: COD treadmill

Weather was OK, but sloppy, thanks to melted snow. As much as I want to be outside, the Prairie Path might not make a good trail. One slip, and viola! A twisted ankle. No thanks.

However, inside, it was humid. I started with a 9:23 pace for two miles. I picked up a little at a time, even with a 150 meters or so at 5:00/mile pace, which, naturally, I couldn't handle.

Saw Richard Jarman on the way out, and chatted quickly of running on an indoor track. Talked with Dana G., the lab moderator, about her hopes to run a half marathon. A long way, but she is seriously considering it. Caught Bill Anderson too, on the way out, who explained he has a treadmill at home, but prefers to camaraderie of seeing friends at the lab.

Now, time to Christmas shop, eat some breakfast, and gear up for Margaret's (from the running club) party.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chasing the Giant Silver Snowflake (and Getting a Mile PR)

1.5 miles wu
1 mile hard (6:20)
2.7 wd

total: 5.2 miles
course: College of DuPage Fitness lab

How is a 6:20 would be so, so hard? Age 41 is part of the reason. Lackluster workouts for two months hardly helps either (last 60 days, ending yesterday, equals just 104 miles). Just the same, I take my hat off to myself (OK, few real runners are impressed, so I'll hold back the self-congratulations). Tonight, after a 1.5 mile warm up at 9:31 pace, I stopped, gathered my breath and minor calf stretch or two, and set the machine for 9.5 mph. It was slow getting up to speed, and near the end, I jacked it up to 10 mph. Balanced out to 9.47 mph/6:20. Dropped :02 from my August 28, 2007 PR of 6:22.

I'm encouraged since a month after my 6:22, I hit my current outside 5K PR of 22:00. I am not reading this as prophetic, that I am ready to a 22:00 next weekend if the weather were warm. I am reading this as I have generally maintained my summer speed gains. That, with Monday's 2:50 half mile is merely a good sign, that though I have not had the quantity or intensity as I did in July and August, God has decided not the set my gains off into the netherlands just yet.

While running the mile, dealing with pain with around 600 meters to go, I focused on the giant silver snowflake taped to the south window. My bandana is on, as you might expect, horizontally, helping level set my head. I don't bob like I did in high school, but I do go up and down. Some, I guess, is to be expected. I don't know how much is too much.

After the mile, I ran an easy 2.7 miles, then hit the weights.

Weighed in at 134.4 lbs. My weight is steady, which is OK now. I can attribute this to lifting weights and gaining strength through running, but also, my lower mileage. A few more miles a week should resolve this matter, and, I'll get those in as I can.

My pulse had shot up to 192 when I checked it immediately after my mile.

A salute to those losing weight through the discipline of a careful diet. Below is Dinah Soar's blog on her own challenge. Running is enjoyable for me, and an easy way to manage weight. Even if I only walk a few miles, I lose several hundred calories. Still, for those foregoing the exercise, losing weight can still be done. Don't look to me for tips about all that, or to Dinah for that matter. See your physician for real advice. However, check out her blog to learn the reality of the struggle, and be encouraged by the common effort.

Staying the Course (Diary of a Not So Mad Housewife)

Monday, December 17, 2007

800 PR in a Quick Treadmill Run

1 mile wu
0.5 mile hard (2:50)
3.0 miles wd

total: 4.5 miles
course: College of DuPage Fitness lab

Time was lacking, as traffic delayed my getting to the lab until 7:00, at which point I had to zip down my warmup pants and quickly hit the treadmill. With the lab closing at 8:00, I had to be hasty. I wanted to get some weights in, and this meant cutting back my intended 7.0 miles.

After a 9:31 mile, I stopped, let my pulse drop some, and set the machine at 10.8 mph. The goal: a 2:45 half mile. The reality, I could not handle the pace, and notched to end in a 2:50. Still, a PR in these modern times, and much fun. It is hard to believe I ever ran a 10K only slightly slower than that.

After entirely exhausting myself, I endured the languished tiring 3.0 miles warmdown. Along the way, though, was David, a former engineer at Lucent, and now, a HS teacher in Hyde Park, teaching (imagine this!), engineering. Good guy, and welcome company.

I did some weights, including the stomach muscles. Fat Tony has hardly left the building, and tightening my gut is part of the solution.

Now, the remnants of last night's Gino's East pizza is feeding my calorie needs.

Friday, December 14, 2007

So Cold, So Cold - 4 or 5 miles in the Tundra

4 or 5 miles

total: 4 or 5 miles

We met at Wheaton College. Snow and ice took away, so to speak, access to the Prairie Path and track. A jog around the neighborhoods, and that was that. Jim wasn't there since there was no coaching to be done.

Met Susan in the parking lot, and she ran along with us. An English and Music major - voice - at the college. Certainly spontanenous, and a great conversationalist.

Afterwards, Frank had us over for some pizza for some relaxing post-run hanging out. A fine time was had by all.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Brisk It Was, But Then I Ran - 8 Miles Going Nowhere

8.02 miles run
1.16 miles wd

total: 9.18 miles

Shuddered through the mighty brisk cold from the parking lot to the door, and hit the rolling, stationery sidewalk.

Once again, a fairly easy 6.3 mph/9:31 mile pace for a couple miles, then a little faster. Since the machine only goes to 60:00, I restarted it after four miles.

Minor pickups -- just :15-:20 quicker here and there, with a strong finish just under 6:30.

My goal was met: just throw down the miles. I need to add a stronger base, and this means more miles more days. How fast I went today did not matter. I wasn't feel great, and this made it a longer run than intended.

Saw Crystal who travels from LaGrange to meet class requirements, and a woman who lives as a snowbird.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Walkin' on Sunshine? Running Like the Wind?

6.5 miles graduating pace
0.66 miles wd, slow jog

total: 7.16 miles, 66:30
course: COD treadmill

"Just another day..." begins the old Paul McCartney song. Such it was tonight, and so it will be for so many more.

I started at a slow 9:31, and with each mile up to 5.0, sped the treadmill up 0.1 mph. At 5.0, I added 0.1 mph each 0.25 mile. At 6.0, I added speed aggressively, finishing at a 6:39/mile pace. At no time did I lose control of my form or pace. My pulse was at 180 before my warmdown began.

It felt great throughout.

Another day, though, it was not. We are under snow advisory here. Had I not lived as close as I do to COD, I might have skipped this evening. The temptation was certainly there. For most, that's the choice they made. I all but had the gym to myself, listening to Katrina and the Waves sing "Walkin' on Sunshine," on an 80s CD that repeated three times.

I'm starting to feel good.

Tonight, like last night, released the stress of a new work-a-day lifestyle. Snow and 294 made for angry enemies this evening, adding :45 to my commute home. My day was fine, if I don't count my security card troubles, but the commute is nerve-jangling. A good run kicks out some very happy and welcome endorphins, and I feel fine. Clears it all out like lemonade does heat in summer.

A quick meal of ravioli and hot dogs, though lacking nutrition as far as vitamins and minerals go, delivered some protein and carbs, ensuring a swift recovery. Already, it seems like I'm rested, just :51 minutes after finishing.

Met Ron tonight, filling in for Janine. He tells me he helped get the gym started, and is retired now. We didn't talk long, but I am thankful for his good work.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Six in Seven (Point One): Six Miles Run, 1.1 Hard Walked

6.0 miles 54:13 (28:33, 25:40)
1.1 wd (hard walk - 12:30-15:00/mile)

total: 7.1 miles
course: COD treadmill

Tonight was a calorie burner. Started with a relaxed gallop at 9:31, picked it up slowly at 3.0 miles until I was at 6:40/mile for the last few hundred meters.

Nothing complicated tonight. Just getting my miles back up, letting the blood flow. Key tonight was a focus on head form, trying to keep from bopping and bouncing. The window facing me has a giant snowflake which helped me have a horizon, so to speak. Keeping balanced, with good foot plant and arm movement, was no trouble at this unhurried pace.

All in all, it was an easy run from which I recovered quickly. The treadmill said I burned 707 calories, and that's 1/5 of a pound.

Hopefully tomorrow, I will run more or less the same. Being unable to run with the Spivey group Thursday affords me the flexibility to run a week of long runs. Friday will be a day off as usual.

Met Ken, a PR guy at COD, and later, Phoebe, a life coach, who both used the treadmill next to me. Unlike a Prairie Path run, this allows me to have running partners who would normally run a different pace.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Chug, Chug, Huff, Huff: Six Plugger Miles

6 miles LSD (9:31/mile)
0.69 slow jog, strong walk

total: 6.69 miles
course: COD treadmill

Rich Flansburg dropped me an e-mail about my recollection of what I considered an LSD workout. It wasn't the distance at issue, or even the speed. That's relative. What he called me on was the pick-ups at the end. He's right.

It's not the terming of LSD that matters, but he understood what I was trying to accomplish wasn't most effectively done that way. I'm still building base, and long slow miles, aka LSD, are a great way.

So, in relating this preamble to this morning's workout, I ran 'real' LSD. Six miles at 9:31, pleasantly paced by a high-end LifeFitness Treadmill. I was talking the entire way (wasn't that Arthur Lydiard's thing?). I finished with another small bit in a very quick walk/slow jog (13:15-15:00/mile).

Details about a mundane workout are hard to find. No hyperboles that would make George Sheehan proud can be found. It was six easy miles, staring out a window facing a parking lot. I barely got tired. My pulse remained under 170 and was mostly around 150-155. My weight dropped from 135.0 to 133.6 over the hour.

After all that, 25x each side @ 60 lbs on this twisting stomach machine they have.

By the way, if any of you know how I can get that treadmill to go longer than 60 minutes, drop me a note or post to this blog. Stopping and restarting it is going to be a pain, and my longer runs are getting close to an hour.

Who is Rich? See his website below to find out he's a top-notch marketing guy. Beyond that, he's a dynamite runner who has been with the Jim Spivey Running Club for many years, and a great encouragement to those of us newer to running and the club.

121 Marketing Resources, Inc.
http://www.121marketingresources.com/
1541 E. Harrison Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187
630-653-4422

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shiver Me Timbers, I'm Warmer Than I Expected

2752.7 wu
8x100 striders
400 (200) 1:38
400 (200) 1:46
400 [400] 1:41

800 (300) 3:38
600 (300) ?
400 (200) 1:38
800 (200) 3:38

200 (200) ;46
200 (100) ?
200 :43

600 wd

total: 6.657930108 miles (really, that exact)

32°F
Wind: SW at 8 mph
Humidity: 52%
course: Wheaton College track

finish
31°F
Wind: SW at 6 mph
Humidity: 59%

Jim played hooky, so we were left to our own. Actually, Jim had to do some work traveling, and left his plans with Rich.

I left work at 4:05, and traffic was terrible. Everyone has left for their warm-up by the time I arrived.

I put in 16:00 of time around the track when Paul arrived. This meant I would be, once again, lonely on the track. Steve showed up, but he's around Paul's speed. Still lonely as I circled the big red oval.

We did a couple extra striders so Steve could warm up a little with us, and then did as you see above. Finding my pace on a cold night, still aching from last night's weights was not easy. My times varied, and running alone hardly helped.

My calves ache, and my stomach and sides are tight. My arms are tired. Tomorrow is a happy rest day.

Nice was that the lights remained on. The ROTC kids had some activities, and needed the football field.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Night (Not So Much) to Remember

5.00 miles
0.75 wd

Total: 5.75 miles

Not much to tell. I ran.

With my workouts coming inconsistent these days, thanks to the cold and the new job calling my attention away, I need to get more out each run. Last night was sheer LSD.

A coworker smiled, not quite sure what LSD means, so here it is: LSD = long slow distance. It does not involve drugs, a famous road, or the Louisiana State Duck Company. Now you know.

Back to my workout: just five miles at around an 8:49 pace for four miles, then incremental pickups to finish in about a 6:49 pace. It was never difficult, but left my calves sore after.

I hit the weight machines for a once around at various arms, stomach and leg machines. I am easing into this slowly, but have made it part of my routine. I will do weights at least every other visit to the gym. Since I have no real background using weights, I expect great results. In high school and college, my jobs often had a physical element, like frequent lifting, but since then, nothing.

I doubt I will ever having any discernable bulk, but I do expect to have better tone all around, and to have more power when I hit the races this spring.

With my weekly butt kicking coming up, I am concerned how I will perform on the track. When JSRC runner Margaret was doing weights this summer, she came to the track sore and, I am guessing, slower. The payoff? A solid marathon performance in Philadelphia that qualified her for the Boston Marathon. Fearless leader Jim told us that it was OK to workout at less than top form, as it is about meeting goals. In Margaret’s case, mission accomplished. My mission is, as of yet, unaccomplished, and hard work is still before me.

Beyond the weights, I need to make more time to run. Three days a week is only getting me 17 or 18 miles in. I need to strengthen my base with more and longer runs. I am hovering at between 5-7 miles a workout. Adding a fourth run weekly is next to get me back into my summer mileage of 25-30 miles/week, and then, a fifth and sixth workout.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Up Yonder Hill? Not I!

5.95 miles
0.64 miles wd

total: 6.59 miles

Over hill? Over dale? Neither Hank Hill, nor Dale Gribble (cheap "King of the Hill" animated television reference) went running with me. I did crank up the incline to 3.0 for a while. Not sure how long. But, not a real hill.

I also zipped out 11.1 mph for around .20 of a mile. That's 5:24/mile pace. I can do better, but I started getting a side cramp. I'll try sometime soon to see what kind of 800 I have in me.

Met Wayne, a retired dean of students and coach of almost every sport. He was on the treadmill next to me, and we talked about his many grandkids. He and Dana, the COD lab moderator (is that the correct term?) chatted for quite some time about the holidays. Good guy - good perspective on life.

Saw Richard Jarman as well. I've never met him, but see him in the gym and on the road. Very solid runner in the 50-55 age group. He is right where I wish I was, slightly under 20:00.

Meeting Runners at Fry's Electronics

Cedar Valley Running AssociationWhile waiting an hour and a half in line to buy a laptop at Fry's Electronics, I had the good fortune to meet out of towners Candy and Jeff Mullen. Who knew that by standing around I'd meet people who prefer moving forward quickly?

Candy is the president of the Cedar Valley Running Association based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Their group is much bigger than the Jim Spivey Running Club, serving a wider range of functions. It sounds something like the Glen Ellyn Runners Club based out here.

From the CVRA site:
The Cedar Valley Running Association was founded in 1982 to promote a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle through the sport of running. If you are interested in improving your current level of fitness and meeting the best looking and most interesting people in the Cedar Valley area, come run with us!

The CVRA sanctions six races per year, organizes various group training runs, hosts social events, distributes a newsletter and has a board meeting each month.

Club membership is open to all interested parties including walkers, joggers and non-competitive runners regardless of age, sex or athletic ability. With the membership fee you will receive the monthly newsletter, discounts on area races, and discounts from local merchants. You will also help keep the CVRA up and running. Costs are $15 for an individual, $20 for a household, and $25 for charitable members. Renewal statements are issued the month before expiration. If you want to improve your current level of fitness and have some fun doing it, contact any CVRA officer for more information.
Jeff's actually an in-towner from Downer's Grove, but has long since moved to Iowa. Like myself, he was a decent high school runner (much better than me, to be fair), and went on to excel as a miler at Coe College.

And, like me, he was out a few years between running when he was younger, and getting back into serious and speedy bipedalur motion in his 40s. For Jeff, it was weight loss. 40 pounds of useless fat. He started with some short, slow 20:00 jogs at lunchtime, and worked his way back into race fitness. It was no overnight process, and I'll bet he'll tell you it was not easy, but, today, you'd never think he was overweight.

He's gotten back into it pretty well, cranking out 5Ks in the 18s (for the record, that's well over three minutes faster than my current 5K PR), but, we both lamented that the juice in our legs in our younger years just isn't there.

Funny, huh, that someone should run for Coe? No relation, Jeff says, to the great Sebastian Coe, Baron Coe, former world record holder of the mile and just about every other distance.

It was a long wait, and a great conversation. I invited them both to join me in my weekly butt kicking this Thursday, but they will be back in Iowa. Maybe next time.

We talked about LetsRun.com, and Henry Rono's efforts to regain form. One thing that was new to Jeff was Athlinks.com. You'll find me there; I'm a big fan of this simple tool. Jeff, if you're reading this, I think these are your results, though there are a few Jeff Mullens from Iowa.

Athlinks.comAbout Athlinks.com (from their FAQ page):

Athlinks is both the largest and most complete results database for endurance races on the planet, and a fully-featured social network built specifically for the endurance athlete community.

We add well over one million results to the database each month from several thousand endurance races including running (road races, track and field, cross country), triathlon (any multi-sport), swimming, cycling (TTs and crits), mountain biking and more.

Athlinks is not just another place to park your blog. The community features are deeply integrated with and built on top of your race results. Track and communicate with training partners, club and team members, favorite vendors and more.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Thankful Run 3.8 miles And More

3.8 miles
0.81 miles wd

total: 4.61 miles
course: COD treadmill

Treadmills are treadmills, and, as treadmills go, I'm told the one I usually use at the College of DuPage is a good one.

Started at 6.3 mph, cruised for a mile, then notched it to 6.4, and after two miles, creeped it up another notch each .25 miles, with a big crank up to 9.0 near the end.

Popped up the incline to 0.5 for a few virtual blocks. No idea what that means, other than 1.0 is harder than 0.5. Today was part recovery from the rescheduled Jim Spivey Running Club workout (usually Thursdays, this week was Tuesday), and part a longer warm up for the weight portion of my workout.

Added today a few weights. Arms and gut, mostly, with two leg machines which are harder than they look. The idea of each is to either squeeze my knees together or separate them. I'm very new to using weights, and am easing into it. If I stick to using them, I will see results, but know it is only if I press on beyond a few weeks.

I expect to ache tomorrow. I'll hit the treadmill again, without weights, for a longer, easier gallop.

As for thankfulness: where to begin? Given that this is a blog essentially about my running, that's a good place to start.
  • I am thankful I am running freely without injury, feeling better as I get fitter, seeing digital results improving (my speed, distance, resting pulse weight).
  • I am thankful I can run on a treadmill on chilly days, and with a good group of guys once a week.
  • I am thankful I have good shoes to protect my feet and body, clothes which are warm, and enough food not only to sustain me but also to provide fuel for the run.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good Hurtin' After Good Workout

2 mile wu
6x100 striders

800 (500) 3:15
200 (50)
200 (50)
200 [200]

800 (500) 3:22
200 (50)
200 (50)
200 [200]

800 (500) 3:16?
200 (50) :41
200 :40?
600 wd

total: 6.59375 miles

weather: 48, light rain
course: Wheaton College track

A good hurt. Some foolishness last night on the treadmill, piking the speed to something too fast, left me aching today. How would I survive? OK, and better than expected.

Lots of times flung around, and I remember most of them, but the details do not matter. What does matter is I hung in there, and ended strong. Somehow, it did not occur to me that after the last 800, I had a couple more 200s. For my last 800, I started in 1:40, and finished with :95 or :96. My final 200, I felt good, and at ease, running it step and step with Mike DeMeritt and Paul Cook. My races have not represented strong finishes, so I am pleased.

The times are in general very good for me, but even better in light of the cool weather and the missing of many workouts. Encouraging.

Now, the dire reality. Will it be my last workout with these guys? I start a job in Lake Forest with W.W. Grainger (Do you work there? Drop me a note, and we'll go for a run.). That's a long drive, and it will hit my Thursday nights hard. 5:30 is early to the long drive commuter.

Monday, November 19, 2007

5.05 Miles of No Particular Story

4.05 miles run
1.00 miles warmdown

total: 5.05 miles

course: COD treadmill

Started at 6.8 mph. At 1.0 miles, I went to 7.3 mph. At 2.0, I went to 7.8. At 2.5 miles, I increased it to 7.9, with .1 mph increase every .1 of a mile. The last .11 to get to 3.11, I increased it quickly, erratically, until I was as fast as 11.8 mph.

Finished running hard with 4.05 miles, then jogged very slow for one mile.

Statistic of interest: my pulse was as high as 192.

Thighs ache. Calves too. Add to the ache my stomach and sides (or, I guess, to be hip, I should call it my 'core'). I've been doing, once again, various exercises to tighten my midsection.

Met Elton, an Albanian student taking an aerobics class who was impressed with my weight loss story. That's ten pounds in 200 days. More impressed was he when I told the very true tale of this inspiring guy's loss of 60 lbs in one year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And a Kick in the Pants - First Time on Track in Three Weeks

3200 warmup
6x100
1600 (400) 7:21
1600 (400) 7:24
1600 7:26
600 warmdown

34°F
Wind: W at 6 mph
Humidity: 56%

course: Wheaton College track

Was my butt kicked? Thoroughly. Egregiously. 18 days of no running does a man no good. Not me. And, the last two days seemed to be on no help.

My first 400 was around 1:44. Too fast given my fitness. I was not exhausted. Aerobically, I felt OK. My thighs are complaining, however.

As too often is the case, I ran lonely. Fast guys were too fast, and some others were a bit behind me, not close enough for me to drop back. If you are a 20-23:00 5K runner, I'm looking for you. Come on out, give me some company.

Tomorrow is a day off. Saturday, I will run an easy three miles, do some weights (arms and torso only for now). Sunday? Undetermined. Any suggestions?

Barone's PizzaAfterwards, some of us went to...

Barone's Pizza
475 Pennsylvania Ave
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 858-0555

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tread on Me - 3.26 Miles

3.26 miles - overall pace, unknown.

My achy-breaky thighs. What was I thinking to take so much time off?

3.26 miles on the treadmill and not so fast. Thighs ache. Around 8:30-40/average. After warm up, alternated 400s from 6.8 mph (8:50/mile) to 8.5 mph (7:03/mile), with a gradual warmdown.

For a few foolish seconds, I shot it to 11.1 mph, which is around a 5:15 mile pace. Stupid, stupid.

And I wonder why my thighs ache?

Did some minor weights - need to learn how to use them. Hoping to add weights in general this winter. Gotta work keeping this beefcake buff bod of mine in proper form.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tired 2.26 Miles on a Treadmill

2.26 miles 20:00 (8:51/mile)

total: 2.26 miles

So tempted was I tonight to run with the guys meeting on Tuesday nights for their 6:15er. That's a few steps fewer than five miles. Maybe 4.8? Who knows? Tonight, I chose instead the treadmill. Good move too. Got tired quickly. Pulse hit 176. Aerobically felt fine.

I held back. With it as my first time running in over two weeks, I knew I could easily do too much, too soon. Tomorrow, I will do three or four. And Thursday? I will get my butt kicked.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Iceman Does Not Cometh - I Need to Getteth Off My Butteth

The iceman cometh? I suppose it is possible, but we have refrigerators and freezers now, all electrically powered.

Besides, isn't it passé, at best, to be caught using a cliché found in every high school newspaper that has a hockey team (despite that the editors have perhaps not even heard of Eugene O'Neill or his famously titled book)? Especially in a blog, albeit only semi-hip (if that)?

All I am trying to say is that it is getting cold, and, the combination of weather and personal concerns have mitigated my capacity to put in mileage the last week+. Any mileage. All mileage. I have done none. Look in the past few posts. Find the most recent one that shows a workout. Yes, that's the one. Six hearty miles back on October 25. Use your fingers: how many days has it been?

Where does this leave me? I do not know. Certainly, my body has chosen to repair anything it could, given the unexpected rest. It also stopped losing weight for me. Regarding aerobic matters, I can't say. It is not as if I have thousands of miles supporting a base ready for any adventure or snag in training.

There's no iceman. This one is on me. Today, the intention is to get on over to the College of DuPage's Fitness Lab, and sign up for three months. It will cost me around $100, and get me through to February 6, 2008. A second three month stint will swing me through May 6, and well into warmer days, not to mention my first year back into this completed.

I will still need to get some warm togs and gear up for some brisk and cold Chicago days. Nasty bits, those. I'm flipping accordingly through the ASICS catalog to see what spies my eye, and will be ordering up this and that to cover the necessary concerns.

But today, I need to run. Blathering on about plans is nice, but action is action.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ryan Shay Dies During Olympic Marathon Trials in NYC

NEW YORK - Ryan Shay died during the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials Saturday after collapsing about 5 1/2 miles into the race. He was 28.
Read the story (Yahoo). It will be all over, in Runner's World, the New York Times, everywhere, so look around. Hopefully, Yahoo will update theirs.

I did not know Ryan, nor ever met him. In fact, I know little about him. The tragedy is no less true. A man died while running. He had, more than most who read this blog, every reason to consider himself fit. Young, in a distance he has not only run before, but has succeeded in -- Shay could not know at mile 5.5, he would be taking his last breaths.

Running is a safe sport, and a great way to remain fit, but, for reasons that will surely be revealed once the doctors look into this, today was Ryan Shay's day.

He was long before the wall, and, given his achievements, perhaps barely winded. He started the race hoping to run well. And why not? This is a premiere event for elite American runners. Ryan Hall won it.

Runner's World will analyze the race, and comment soon on whether our guys going to Beijing have a chance at a medal. And runners across america will talk about during training runs the next few weeks. All medals, though, added together, are not worth one breath of life. They are nice, and Shay probably has more than his fair share of trophies in his short career.

I hope he enjoyed those last few miles. I hope he thought of his wife, Alicia. I hope he made peace with God.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Six Hearty Miles of Sheer Pleasure

6 miles 51:20
25:57 out, 25:23 back

wd 0.25 miles

total: 6.25 miles

55°F
Clear
Wind: NE at 17 mph
Humidity: 51%
course: Illinois Prairie Path southward from zero

After an especially challenging track workout, I hit the path for some easy recovery miles. David Dane joined me - he walked a quick two miles while I sauntered through six.

It was cool, but I was too warmly dressed. My bandana is as drenched as any hot summer's day. My socks were not fitting right, and I might have a blister on my right big toe on the inside. Not a pleasant feeling, bit not much on an issue until the final half mile.

All pleasure, though, not pressing nor relaxing. Just shooting through the miles as it felt fine.

Met a high school runner as he shot past me as I closed in on my first three miles. Randall. He's a 1:54 800 meter runner from Glenbard South. He's got a 4:39 indoor mile behind him as well, but he hasn't really run the distance for time, it seems. He's got his eyes on the Illinois high school 800 state meet, but knows last year's champ is coming back. If you read this Randall, drop me a line.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Butt Kicking? You Bet! 2 x 1600s and 1000s

2 mile wu
400 some more wu
6x100 striders
1600 7:04 (400)
1000 4:20 (400)
1600 7:08 (400)
1000 4:08 (200)
900 wd

total: 7.3125 miles

weather: not known exactly
48 degrees, windy on the back stretch
course: Wheaton College track

As expected, it was a tough workout. Especially tough as I have lost a little fitness due to not hitting the pavement. Excuses galore, some of which are pretty good ones, but, just the same, there was not an enormous amount of juice in the tank.

My times are faster than they appear. At least, that's what I prefer to think. Until the final 1000, I wore an oversized fleece jacket. Wind resistance. Viva le Resistance! The first three intervals were all run at close to the same per lap pace, around 1:44-1:46.

Jim reminded me to run not on my toes, per se, but to get them involved. I'm only partially sure I get this, as it isn't a sprint we are dealing with here, but the gist is to push off them more. I worked on this primarily on the last 1000, and have the aching calves to prove it.

To say it was cold is an understatement. So much so that while waiting for Jim, I popped in a slow 400 just to keep loose.

Joe Bean Field (Soccer) Wheaton College Illinois
While we ran, in the next field over, the Wheaton College Women's Soccer Team was stomping Carthage. The score was 5-1, finishing an excellent season for their conference schedule with a record of 7-0-0, and clinching the CCWI Championship. The men followed, but it was 0-0 in the first period when we left (note: Cathage slid passed them 1-0)

After the workout, several of us hit Shannon's Irish Pub. (There's nothing Irish about it except that they serve Guinness. I didn't see blood pudding on the menu.). A full quorum for a good times was there, and I met Suzanne Ryan and Todd Moxley, both CARA Runners of the Year last year. (Suzanne's on her way to attempt qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the marathon, and Todd's clearing out medals and other hardware in the masters division. And, don't let his masters status fool you - he's running 5Ks in the mid-15s. That would be a proud accomplishment for most runners. Suzanne's sister Jenna was there as well, and we talked up children's books. All solid people - we had a fine discussion (in the unlikely location of a bar, no less) about what matters in life. Suzanne, Jenna, and Todd all have it together.

Painters USA Paul and I chatted up the details of painting. Good guy, and encouraging to me. He owns Painters USA (800-999-8715). Seems one of his employees was Craig Penzato, owner of Harbinger Home Restoration (630.208.8308) and a good friend of mine, when Craig was just starting out.

Need residential or commercial painting? Give one of these guys a call, and tell them I sent you. I suppose if you choose either, maybe they'll buy me a burger for the free plug. Help me get my next meal, and give them a shout.

Where will I eat that burger? At Shannon's, of course!

Shannon's Irish Pub
428 N Main St
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 790-9080

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stress Relief, Preparing for Tomorrow

4.8 miles miles, no particular pace.

Stress abound, with the job hunt, and lots of personal life matters in tow, this run, for me, served as a good purging device.

Rich, Linda and Lee were all there. Lee, coming off a 3:59:30 marathon (qualifying for Boston by :29-point-something) last Sunday, was recovering better than expected.

The ramble was a quick one - around 46-48 minutes. Nothing speedy. In fact, we waddled slowly on the return trip. For me, with so few miles these last 10 days, I need to swing back into things carefully. My base is not so solid as should be as to be able to endure these sorts of blips.

Along the way, someone mentioned that my play-by-play of my job hunt was tiresome. A new topic was needed (not to mention that job). What then?

We wrote a few lines of a poem. Linda started, then Rich, me, then Lee, back to Linsa, each adding a words. All I recall is something about a shadow creeping under a street light.

Tomorrow, the JSRC workout -- normally on Thursdays, will be held. And a tough one at that. 2x1600 (400) 1000 (400). I hurt already just thinking about it.

I'm not used to running the 1000, but expect I'll foolishly run it like an 800, with more pain. I don't know how to adjust for that extra 200 meters. Just the same, that's the workout, with a total of 7.0 miles if it goes as expected.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

800s, Cramps and Lightening

2 mile wu (8:08 out, 8:01 back)
6x100 striders
800 (300) 3:13
800 (300) 3:24
800 [400] 3:20

800 (300) 3:23
800 3:16

600 meters wd

total: 6.0625 miles

78°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: S at 33 mph
Humidity: 39%
course: Wheaton College track

Don't let the wind speed fool you. It was gusty, as opposed to constant. That said, gusts make for a hard run. And, the quieter parts were not so quiet. It was windy. Luckily, most of it was steered off the track by small groves of trees around the perimeter.

No Chicago jokes.

Jim gave us the low-down on what to do if the lightening looked serious. It shot in the background, just close enough to keep an eye on.

It was an 800s night. I love 800s. Half endurance, half speed, half guts. Unfortunately, for me, something has to give to make it 100%. My times are above.

Had an odd cramp just below my ribs in the back, which caused me to bow out of the last 800. Looking back, I should have run it anyway, but I wasn't sure. Cramps at age 41 are not as easy to work through as at 17.

Why a cramp? I don't know. Suspect to me, though, is my fitness. I have not been putting the miles. Was that it, or the Cornish hen for lunch? Next time, I'll avoid heavy meats, sleep better, and put some miles behind me.

Two new people today -- I hope we welcomed them properly. Two friends of Margaret's, Kathy and Soni. Unlike my first track workout with the Spivey club, they are in shape and ready to run.

Trust fund created for children of man who died during Chicago Marathon

Chad Schieber
Chad Schieber, a police officer from Midland, Mich., died of a heart condition during The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. He is survived by his wife and three children, ages 6, 9, and 11. To support his children, you may mail a check to:

Schieber's Children Trust Fund
c/o Christian Celebration Center
6100 Swede Ave.
Midland, MI 48642

please see

Sarah Schieber (his widow)
http://www.sarahschieber.com

Christian Celebration Center (his place of worship
http://www.christiancelebrationcenter.com

Also, the press release prepared by the Schieber Family:
http://www.sarahschieber.com/chadschieber%20pressrelease.pdf

It says, "If there are any questions about the actual events of the race or questions about the family, please call Krystn Madrine at 814-574-3082."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Women's Half Marathon Record Broken - 1:06:25 by Lornah Kiplagat

How fast is a 1:06:25? Broken down, it is a pretty speedy time. How many of us would love to run one mile at the pace she ran 13.1?

The times below aren't where she was at each point, but extrapolated from her per mile pace, to give a picture we plebeians can relate to.

1 mile -- 5:04
3.1 miles (5K) -- 15:43
6.2 miles (10K) -- 31:26
26.2 miles (marathon) -- 2:12:50

From the looks of her PRs, many of which are also world records, it seems the marathon world record will be facing some heat from her when she next runs one seriously.

Kiplagat breaks world half-marathon record
Malaysia Star - Oct 15, 2007
UDINE (Italy): Lornah Kiplagat of Holland broke the world women’s half-marathon record on Sunday when she clocked 1’06:25 in a largely solo run at the world road running championships.
-------------------
From her site: http://www.lornah.com/lornah.htm

Lornah Kiplagat is the founder of the HATC, and is a celebrated World Class athlete. She was born in Kenya but since 1999 has lived in the Netherlands. In 2003 she was awarded Dutch citizenship.

Lornah is running Cross Country, Track, and Road Races of all distances up to the marathon event. Her best performances have proven to be on the roads. She is the only women to win Peachtree Road race and Falmouth Road race in the same year. This astonishing feat has been accomplished by Lornah for three consecutive years. Her catalog of wins and course records across the globe is one of the most envied in the sport of road racing.

Personal bests:
  • 5 K road: 14:47 (world record)
  • 10 K road: 30:32
  • 10 Mile: 50:54 (world record)
  • 20 K: 63:56 (world record)
  • ½ Marathon: 66:25 (world record)
  • Marathon: 2.22.22

Winner of:

  • 1997 &1998 LA Marathon
  • 1999 Amsterdam Marathon
  • 2002 Osaka Marathon
  • 2000, 2001, 2002 Peachtree Road race
  • 2000, 2001, 2002 Falmouth Road race
  • Egmond ½ Marathon
  • Dam tot Dam 10 Miles
  • Tilburg Ladies 10 K
  • New York City Mini Marathon
  • 5 times Glasgow 10 K

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

But I would (run) 500 miles - And I would (run) 500 more

4.5 Miles - 42 minutes

total: 4.5 Miles

course: Illinois Prairie Path eastward from Finley in Lombard, IL

Remember that old song by The Proclaimers? Sometime tonight I passed the 500 mile mark. It took 167 days to get here. I'm now at 503.64 miles.

It was a cool evening, and a full crew was there, including Joe, who has run with the guys before, before my time. Darkness drew us to try a new course, a slightly better lit part of the path. I felt good, and at the end, Lee and I galloped the last half mile at around 7:50 pace.

The ante is up. To run faster, I need to put in the next 500 in fewer than 167 days.

Da da lat da (Da da lat da)!

Everybody sing:
The Proclaimers
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) Lyrics

When I wake up yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you
When I go out yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who goes along with you

If I get drunk yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I heave yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's heaving next to you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door

When I'm working yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's working hard for you
And when the money comes in for the work I'll do
I'll pass almost every penny on to you

When I come home yeah I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow old well I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door

When I'm lonely yes I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man whose lonely without you
When I'm dreaming yes I know I'm gonna dream
Dream about the time when I'm with you.

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chicagoland Running Specialty Stores

Shopping for running clothing or shoes? Try these specialty shops. These are listed from closest to Glen Ellyn to farthest. I can personally recommend Glen Ellyn Running Company, Dick Pond, Naperville Running Company, the Competitive Foot, Fleet Feet and Running for Kicks.

Glen Ellyn Running
528 Duane St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
630-793-4786

Dick Pond Athletics
26 W. 321 St Charles Road
Carol Stream, IL 60188
630-665-3316

Dick Pond Athletics
2783 Maple
Lisle, IL 60532
630-357-6884

Dick Pond Athletics
124 N. York St.
Elmhurst, IL 60126
630-832-7685

Naperville Running Co.
20 West Jefferson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
630-357-1900

The Competitive Foot
814 Hillgrove
Western Springs, IL 60558
708-246-5520

Dick Pond Athletics
927 South Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL 60193
847-985-9720

Run Chicago
7239 W. Madison St.
Forest Park, IL 60130
708-771-7866

Dick Pond Athletics
303 North 2nd St. (Route 31)
St. Charles, IL 60174
630-587-0745

The Competitive Foot
102 N. Marion
Oak Park, IL 60301
708-524-0030

Running For Kicks
7158 W 127th Street
Palos Heights, IL 60463
708-448-9200

Fleet Feet Sports
4555 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
773-271-3338

Running Away
1634 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
773-395-2929

Dick Pond Athletics
2164 Randal Rd.
Carpentersville, IL 60110
847-783-0701

Dick Pond Athletics
203 W. Northwest Highway
Barrington, IL 60010
847-842-1753

Momentum
2001 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
773-525-7866

Fleet Feet Sports
210 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60610
312-587-3338

Dick Pond Athletics
16115 Weber Rd.
Crest Hill, IL 60435
815-588-0908

The Runners Edge
335 Ridge Road
Wilmette, IL 60091
847-853-8531

Murphys Fit
513 Dempster St
Evanston, IL 60201
847-869-4101

Running Depot
30-E North Williams St.
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
815-788-9755

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This One's For Jack - No PR, But a Decent Race

Tony wearing his This One's For Jack 5K t-shirtThis One's For Jack 5K road race - 22:39 (see official results)
.25 wu
4x75 striders
3.1 miles
.5 wd

total: 4.0375 miles

54°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: E at 6 mph
Humidity: 80%
course: This One's For Jack road race - streets of Glen Ellyn, IL

Mile 1 - 6:53 or 7:01
Mile 2 - 14:27 (7:34 or 7:21)
Mile 3 - unknown
Mile 3.1 Finish - 22:39.3 (official) - last 1.1 miles in 7:27 pace

Some disparity between the official clock and my friend Jeff Couch's watch. He says the official mile one clock was eight seconds fast. My finish time is off, as I missed turning off my watch as I entered the chute. I'll adjust this post when the results are in.

What plagued Chicago Marathon runners did not concern us. While they had high heat, and little water, we had a perfect temperature and rain. The rain, for me, only mattered in traction. The road was slippery, and, at one point, I almost wiped out. Who knows how the Glenbard West High school runners behind me must have laughed at my near splattering mid-road.

I started as intended, right on pace. I tried to hold, but the hills did me in. Near the end, I kicked pretty well, but too little, too late.

My goal was 22:00. I was 39 seconds off, but, still, feel I did well given the hills, and given the unusual speed of the Park Ridge Charity run, where PRs are expected. So much better than my first showing in Glen Ellyn, for the Fourth of July Freedom Four four-mile race (plopped out an 8:14 pace -- look out next year!), when the hills kicked me square on the keister.
---------------------------
10th in my age group (40-44), 41st overall (819 finishers)

10 Anthony Trendl Glen Ellyn IL 41 41 22:39.3 7:18/M
---------------------------

Not only did Jeff Couch run (finished in 20:49.0 - setting himself up nicely for a sub-20:00 PR next week), but Margaret was there, sitting in her warm, cozy, dry van, cheering us on. Mike DeMerritt volunteered for the Glen Ellyn Runners Club, passing out flyers at the finish chute. Nice to see them all.

Took in a free massage afterwards. My back and I have not gotten along well the last few years, so the opportunity was good.

To the race organizers: well done. So much better than the September 30 Morton Arboretum 5K disaster. Plenty of amenities, from enough port-a-johns to food, to water. Volunteers were everywhere, doing a great job doing everything from cheering us on, to getting our bags checked, to efficiently processing registration. When I got there, the parking guys were polite, and when I left, people said thanks for coming.

Next off, hopefully, is a 5K in Oak Park, named after Frank Lloyd Wright. Unsure what my goal will be, but a PR is the idea.

See: My earlier thoughts on This One's for Jack.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chicago Marathon: The Race That Never Ends

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon ended Sunday. In fact, it ended early. Too hot, not enough water, and what's a race director to do? It was 71 degrees when it started, but quickly rose to unbearable (as marathoning goes) temperatures. Cancelling must have been a difficult decision, but necessary.

Race director Carey Pinkowski says in a letter posted on the ChicagoMarathon.com site:


The record high temperatures and humidity at Sunday’s race made for a challenging day for marathoners. The conditions on Sunday presented me with the single most difficult decision I have ever made as race director. While that was a frustration to many, I stand behind the decision to end the race early– it was a necessary safety measure. However, I also recognize that because of the conditions and my decision, many of our runners did not have the experience they trained for and expected.
Also see the recent Chicago Tribune piece on the same matter:

The official Chicago Marathon response
Chicago Tribune
Five days after the 2007 Chicago Marathon course was shut down early because of excessive heat, runners received their first response from race director Carey Pinkowski.

Also see my post: Jim Spivey Comments on LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

Got an opinion? Post it here. And, see the poll on the top left, and vote like a true Chicagoan (early and often!)

Put Down the Cookie, Lace Up the Shoes and Hit the Road

Jack La Lanne This week, since I started my journey in May, I will pass the 500-mile mark in miles run, and, in theory, will have lost 15.5+ lbs. Not so, as my calorie intake has increased, as has my muscle mass. I've lost nine pounds, which is still wonderful.

140-9=131, though it flops around a couple pounds either direction.

Two tools you might find handy are below.

The first just asks you your weight and how far you went. The other is an article explaining the differences physiologically between walking and running. It relates this to calorie burning.

Exercise is a key part of sustained fitness, so those of you who are hoping running will help you look like a young Jack La Lanne might find them helpful. You won't even need to make those nasty looking vegetable drinks he now hawks on informercials (That's the Jack La Lanne Power Juicer to you non-TV folks).

Calorie Calculator at Runner's World.com
The calorie calculator at Runner's World tells you how many calories you burned on your run, based on distance run and your weight.
www.runnersworld.com/cda/caloriecalculator/0,7153,s6-238-306-313-0-0-0-0,00.html

How Many Calories Are You Really Burning?
If you think running and walking both torch the same number of calories per mile, you better put down that cookie.
www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-304-311-8402-0,00.html

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cool Running in the Land of Lincoln

2 mile wu

800 fresh (150)
800 fresh [400]

1200 fresh [400]

200 fresh (100)
200 speed up (100)
200 fresh (100)
200 speed up (100)

600 wd

total: 5.40625 miles

53°F
Cloudy
Wind: N at 14 mph
Humidity: 59%
course: Wheaton College track

My notation might be off, but that is the gist of tonight's workout. Despite the vicious heat the Chicago Marathon runners found last Sunday, today was cool. So cold, in fact, I realized it is time to get on with it and buy winter running gear. My old sweatshirt won't cut it, nor will my tights which no longer fit. Seems no one is wearing tights now anyway.

Left my watch at home, making the intervals strange.

Not much to say except that I felt good, yet tired. my mind wasn't in it. Hard to explain. As running 200s go, I'm not used to the distance, and so, not used to the pace. So much to learn, realizing how little I learned in the first place so many years ago.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jim Spivey Comments on LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

The tale of the 2007 Chicago Marathon broadens. While the media, and some runners claim water stations were unprepared for the heat with insufficient water, others claim that there was water, but not enough volunteers.

The fundamental questions are twofold: Should the marathon have been stopped, and will the controversy surrounding the marathon impact Chicago's chances at landing the 2016 Olympics.

What's my opinion? I don't know, especially as far as Olympic chances go. Jim Spivey, three-time Olympian (and coach of the Jim Spivey Running Club with which I am happily running) suggests that, for health reasons it both makes sense and has been done before, citing the Rotterdam Marathon. However, health always should trump public relations and financial gain.

CBS quotes Jim:
"There's people out there today, grumpy, [saying] I wanted to finish that race, but I think for health reasons for the city of Chicago it was the right decision," three-time Olympian Jim Spivey said the day after the race. "It's also not unprecedented because Rotterdam, this year, they cancelled their marathon as well. They were running it and halfway through they stopped it."
story: Three Questions Hanging Over Chicago Marathon

video (two minutes) http://cbs2chicago.com/video/?id=36228@wbbm.dayport.com

My basic thought: When health issues come into play, leaders of such major athletic events must make a hard decision, even if, in the process, it ticks off a lot of people and hinders a coveted Olympic bid. If, in the course of ending the marathon early, lives are saved, who dares criticize them?

Would I run the Chicago Marathon in 2008? Yes, if I'm in shape and ready to run the distance well. Carey Pinkowski has an excellent record of organizing a top-quality race. Next year will be no different. If I get to 23 miles, the heat is unusually high, and he calls the race, I'll be ticked, but alive.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

8 Miles (Fall is Coming Fast)

8 miles - 1:11:01 (8:52/mile)
.5 miles wd

total: 8.5 miles
course: Illinois Prairie Path zero southward

4 Miles out - 36:25
4 Miles back - 34:36
Welcome you wonderful bloggers
curious about my running adventures!
Can a 41 year-old out of shape guy transform himself from a 31-something 5K runner to a speedy sub-20:00 masters racer? Good question, and, so far, the jury is still out. As you might know, I am at 22:00 (race PR, not treadmill), not 20:00. I'm getting there, and it will take more days like today to get me there.

Today's workout had no time goals. Just wanted to get in a long run, and start getting used to longer runs. Endurance and extra body weight are still what are slowing me down in the short races, and the only way to resolve this, as far as I know, is hoofing out the distance.

I started with and 8:48 mile and finished with around an 8:05. In between, I went slower, then faster. I think miles 4-5 were around 9:25-9:30. When two guys passed me at mile 5, I tried to stick with them until mile 6. It woke me up, kicked me in the butt.

Leaves fell like new snow on the white path, cushioning my steps. Alone, I cared less about my watch, and more about the sound of the wind in the trees. It was a good run.

Tomorrow, I'll put in an easy 3-4 miles.

Monday, October 8, 2007

4 Quick Miles Amongst Cigarettes and Crickets

4 miles -- 32:24
.5 wd

total: 4.5 miles

86°F
Cloudy
Wind: SW at 16 mph
Humidity: 48%
course: Illinois Prairie Path southward from zero

Mile 1 - 8:00
Mile 2 - 7:58
Mile 3 - 8:13
Mile 4 - 8:13

A fiasco at the dry cleaners slow me getting to the trail. Got too dark for the six miles I intended. A little harder than my warmup, but holding back some, it went well. First two miles were intentionally harder, and the second were cruising back home.

A hard walk warm down for around eight minutes.

Crickets were in fine force, as were the junior high school kids sharing a cigarette. The usual suburban rebels without a life. The acrid scent of ladybugs wafted through the air, while on the ground, leaves covered the path.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

About Marion Jones: Nothing Good to Say About Cheating Olympian

What good is there to say about Marion Jones? Nothing. She's the liar and cheat who stole a small treasure of gold medals from track and field athletes by doping on steroids.

More deserving women, the honest ones who trained hard with sweat and pain, only to have Marion Jones run a drug-enhanced faster speed, are left with a strange reality.

Someone will get Jones' ill-gotten medals. Whomever was in second place, I suppose, then they'll pass their silver medal to the third place runner, and the fourth place runner will receive a bronze. All anti-climatic at this point.

What has been stolen is more than a medal. When, in 1984, I watched the Olympics, I thought how cool it would be to stand on a podium while my country's anthem played. I'd think as every athlete must think, "This is why it mattered." Well, I was far to slow to do more than dream, but Marion Jones, in the next generation of athletes was naturally fast enough for it to be plausible. She likely trained hard, and when the time came to do the right thing, or to be unethical, she made the wrong choice.

A gold medal is not silver.
Granted, any medal is a cool thing, but a gold medal has a special cache. It means on the day, the best in the world. Marion Jones got to hear my anthem, and her anthem -- we're both Americans here -- and wow! This feeling cannot be handed over like a medal. Nor can the loss of sponsor money. Nor whatever decisions needed to be made as a result.

Marion Jones made the East German and Russian women of the 1970s look like stand-up classy dames. She will live the rest of her life watching the Olympics realizing she threw away her integrity.

Interesting article on Marion Jones scandal includes the chart below.

MEDAL UPGRADE

By admitting to steroid use during competition at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Marion Jones could forfeit the gold medals she won in the 100 and 200 meters and 4x400 relay. (She also won bronze in the 4x100 and the long jump). Silver medalists who could now become gold:

100 meters: Katerina Thanou*, Greece

200 meters: Pauline Davis-Thompson, Bahamas

4x400 relay: Jamaica (Sandra Richards, Catherine Scott-Pomales, Deon Hemmings, Lorraine Graham)

*Thanou has a drug case pending from 2004.
Marion Jones drags others into selfish, steroid mess
New York Daily News

This is what I remember most about Marion Jones. It was August 2004, in Athens, and a bunch of young American women were favored to win the gold medal in the 4x100-meter Olympic relay.

Marion Jones pleads guilty to lying about steroid use Los Angeles Times

IOC expected to swiftly strip Jones of medals Reuters

Seattle Times - Houston Chronicle - Reuters Canada

all 2,250 news articles »

Friday, October 5, 2007

Six Long Miles

6 miles
.25 wd

total: 6.25 miles

83°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SE at 10 mph
Humidity: 63%
course: Illinois Prairie Path zero to south

First 3 miles - 27:02
Second 3 miles - 29:14

My first mile was what felt then as a very easy, relaxed 8:33. Each that followed was slower and slower. My last two miles were in around 9:45. Thursday's butt kicking with the JSRC must have been just that. I knew it was a hard track workout, but did not realize how sapped I would be the following day.

I had thought I would run 8-10 miles, but it was not to be. I'm debating whether Saturday should be a rest day or not. Friday finishes a 30-mile week, still high for me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Four Mile Repeats For 7.5 Mile Workout

2 mile wu
6x100 striders
4x1600 (400)
600 wd

total: 7.5 miles

course: Wheaton College track

A good workout for me tonight. My goal, initially, 7:15s, then, Jim adjusted it to 7:20. Not sure why, but I had a hard time adjusting on my end. My pace for the last three miles was pretty steady per 400, so I'm glad in that.

Mile 1 -- 7:10
Mile 2 -- 7:14
Mile 3 -- 7:14
Mile 4 -- 7:13

The workout was longer than usual, but I feel good. Grape Fierce Gatorade and a bag of Tostito's White Corn Chips are assisting in my recovery.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Course Replete With Road Hazards

6.28 miles LSD with some pickups
57:53 (8:59/mile)

total: 6.44 miles

77°F
Clear
Wind: SE at 9 mph
Humidity: 56%
course: Arboretum 6.44 mile loop

With winter coming, I thought getting my sea legs under me, so to speak, might help. Sea legs, in this context -- I really mean learning to watch my footing. On the track and Prairie Path, there is no footing issue. Here, on this route that follows along road shoulders, there are road hazards.

Besides dead animals (I saw two dead opossums, two or three coons, and at least six, maybe 10 squirrels), there is torn up road, newly lain grass, unexpected tired divots, and the occasional crazy driver.

I lost a minute or more stuck on an island on Butterfield, and at various stoplights. My timing was not good -- rush hour.

I intended to go as slow as I did. The constant hazards kept me busy, and, although I only went at it around 9:00/mile, it was tougher than that. Broke a tough sweat up and down some hills and ditches.

Might do this again, but at a safer time. It makes me miss the long, lonely farm roads just outside of Bloomington, IL.

Jim Spivey Running Club

I've mentioned in many posts that I am training on Thursdays on the track with a club, for my "weekly butt-kicking." Come run with us.
If interested, e-mail me, or post here, and I'll pass it on. Or, just show up at the track.

Jim Spivey Running Club (JSRC)
  • Chicago, IL
    Meets Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. for warm-up at the parking lot just east of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College (Chase and College Avenue) in Wheaton, Illinois. Track workout begins at 6:00 p.m.
  • Nashville, TN
    Meets Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. for warm-up at the Vanderbilt University track in Nashville, Tennessee.
    Track workout begins at 6:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $40/month (subject to change).
  • $15/night if going night-to-night (handy for busier schedules)
  • First two sessions free to try out the program.
  • Jim also offers daily, individual coaching plans based on ability and goals.
Benefits
  1. Coached by 3-time Olympian Jim Spivey (1500 meters: 1984, 1992; 5000 meters: 1996).
  2. Train with other serious runners who race in everything from 5Ks to Ironman Triathlons, from marathons to ultramarathons.
  3. All abilities (5K times range roughly from 18:00-25:00).
  4. Access to Asics products.
  5. Great camaraderie, fun, and respect for a good effort.
See my workouts described.

What I have gotten from it? As of this posting, I've dropped several minutes in my 5K time (see my progress on the top left), lost almost 10 lbs, and have made new friends who are as committed to running well as I am.
So, come on down! Say hi if you do -- I'm the short guy with the red bandana.

more on Jim's various training options: http://jimspivey.com/coaching.html

Monday, October 1, 2007

Frustrated With 2007 Morton Arboretum Fall Color 5K Run?

Frustrated with the mismanaged 2007 Morton Arboretum Annual Fall Color 5K Run and Walk? You know I am.

Send your gripes here:

Erin Cave-Rutili
Special Events Coordinator, Morton Arboretum
630-968-0074
Fax 630-719-2433
mortonarb.org
ECave-Rutili@mortonarb.org

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun Race, Poorly Planned Morton Arboretum Fall Color Race 5K

5K - 34:37 (official)
0.5 wd (est walk)

total: 3.6 miles

Aliz, Ildi, and myself ran side by side, dodging stroller runners, little kids, and runners who could not make up their mind whether they would walk or run. We, however, started with an 11:28, followed by around an 11:22, finishing in a strong 10:42 pace.

As their first 5K, they saw the downside. The Morton Arboretum Fall Color Race 5K did not plan for success. With 2,000 runners, they were unprepared for the bottlenecking of traffic, of runners at the start line, and long lines just for water. Better signage, more volunteers, and perhaps a dual start might help tremendously.

Essentially a massive community race, as opposed to one looking for hardcore racers, they achieved this in droves. I have not seen any official results, but I'll guess the top 10 men and women were decent, but not especially speedy.

Next year? It probably won't be on our radar. It was fun, but there are better organized races which will offer a happier experience.

Want to gripe to them directly (by all means, feel free to do it here). Here's their contact information.

What a day for racing, though! Beautiful weather here, and, internationally, in Berlin, the marathon record was shattered by Haile Gebrselassie (2:04:26 - by 29 seconds - 4:44.96 pace).

EDIT: Morton Arboretum Fall Color Race 5K race results. Looking through the results, there are glaring problems: too many unknown runners (including the top female runner), and our friend Ildi is entirely missing. This indicates gross errors than suggest all kinds of data errors. Our time is accurate, but think if the Morton Arboretum marketing department is planning a 2008 race, they should hire competent third party race experts.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Relaxed 5.5 Miles

5.5 miles run - 51:47
.75 miles wd

total: 6.25 miles

course: Springbrook Prairie

Easy run. Cool weather. Enjoyed the view. Sun was bright, but not harsh. Just a calorie burner, keeping loose after so few miles the last week and a half. I'm expecting it to take two weeks before it feels right again.

Tomorrow Aliz runs her first 5K. All systems are go. We picked up our race bags today at Dick Pond's in Lisle.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Random Off-Roading

33:15 on random running, hills and what-not

total: 3.75 miles

74°F
Clear
Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 33%
course: Danada Forest Preserve & Equestrian Center

A rambling run, harder than the 33:15 suggests, given the abundance of hills. Followed no course. Up and down the big hill several times. Calves and thighs ache some. Celebrated unwisely with chocolate cake and a chocolate shake from Oberweis.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9x400 - A Good Workout

3200 wu
600 6x100 striders

Three sets of 3x400
400 (200) Fresh
400 (200) Fresh
400 [400] Good

400 (200) Fresh
400 (200) Good
400 [400] Fresh

400 (200) Good
400 (200) Fresh
400 Fresh

600 wd

Total: 6.25 miles

76°F
Cloudy
Wind: W at 12 mph
Humidity: 32%
course: Wheaton College track

It was a solid, hard workout for me. The weather helped tremendously, as everyone ran hard and well. Good is a few seconds faster than fresh, and my 'goods' were 86, 84, 86. My 'freshes' were largely around 93-95, with a 101 (seconds) for the second interval, and a 97 or so for my last one.

Jim hasn't yet sent by the official numbers, so I might be in error.

Good here is not just the overall solidity of my workout, but dealing well after a week without working out much and sickness. My fastest recent 400 was, and still is, an 84, run last night, and August 28 alone at COD's track. To me, more important than the fastest times, are my slower ones. The 101 was just John Grebe and I trying not to kill ourselves, trying to remember how far we've got to go (seven more 400s still at that point).

By the end, I was pretty sapped of juice, but felt good.

Afterwards, Rich hosted an absolutely wonderful birthday party for Paul. There's not enough to say about Rich's kindness and generosity. Not sure what variety of steak he grilled up, but it was fine, fine fine. I'm a red meat and potatoes guy, and, there were baked potatoes too. Who could ask for anything more?

Delicious, with terrific company. Most everyone made it, and a fine time was had by all.

Why?
What I don't know, would love to know, but cannot know is why I ran better tonight? Was it kind weather just allowing what me to do what bad weather impeded me from doing -- something in me, just waiting for cooler temperatures?

Or was it that the sickness kicked me into rest mode, and allowed for otherwise needed recovery?

I'd like to believe this is evidence of better fitness, that all those lonely runs at Springbrook and elsewhere are paying off.

Why, ultimately, doesn't matter. October 14 I take another swing at a faster 5K. The course will be much tougher than the downhill Park Ridge Charity Run, but will also be a solid three weeks of getting into better shape.

No idea yet what will be a good strategy, though dropping to 21:30 is a reasonable goal. Because of the course's presumed difficulty, I'll start more conservatively, and see what happens. Maybe 6:50:55? A 6:55 pace will take me just a decimal below 21:30.

Edit: Times
93 101 87 93 86 92 86 96 98

No Fan of Active.com Found at the Runner's Dilemma

I can't say if Active.com will become the next TicketMaster, but, this online registration service has aspects of a scam. It seems that road racing is going this way, or whatever competitors exist, but it looks like a good gone bad.

Here's the process, at least in my case:

  1. Went to event website
  2. Clicked through various pages to get to the www.Active.com site
  3. Registered an account. This only connect me to Active.com (free)
  4. Registered for a 5K, which included the usual waivers and credit card info.
  5. At the last page, after I completed registering, I receive a "Thanks" page.
    Congratulations ANTHONY!

    Just click "YES" at the bottom of this page to claim your FREE gift from Active.com for registering online for the Morton Abroretum Fall Color 5K.

    To thank you for registering for the Morton Abroretum Fall Color 5K, Active.com would like to give you a FREE $20.00 GIFT... Two Free $5.00 discounts off your next two event registrations on Active.com and a Free $10.00 discount off your online registration on Active.com to next year's Morton Abroretum Fall Color 5K. Plus you'll also enjoy the money-saving benefits of ActiveAdvantage, our premium online athlete savings program! Save money every time you travel plus enjoy all this FREE for the next 3 months...
  6. Was I excited? Sure! Free is good, and I'm the guy who picks up pennies in the grocery store parking lot.
  7. Way at the bottom was a disclaimer, which, there, was in very tiny print, telling me I will be billed $50.04 a year, unless I click 'no thanks' which is a button at the bottom.

    OFFER DETAILS: By clicking "yes", you will receive your free gift and a 3-month membership to ActiveAdvantage, compliments of Active.com. If you are 100% satisfied during your trial, do nothing. All your member benefits will automatically continue for a full year for just $4.17 per month, billed annually to your credit/debit card used here for this offer and renewed each year upon expiration, at the then current fee. A money-back guarantee is our pledge to you! If you're ever dissatisfied during your trial offer, Or thereafter, simply call ActiveAdvantage at 877-228-4881,x2 to cancel your membership benefits. You will be issued a pro-rata refund of the annual fee.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4 Miles of No Great Mention

2 mile wu
1 mile hard
1 mile wd

total: 4 miles

70°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: NW at 5 mph
Humidity: 49%
course: COD track

finish
69°F
Clear
Wind: W at 5 mph
Humidity: 49%

Nice maintenance run on the track. I didn't have much time, and am still catching up after last week's sickness.

First two miles were at around 8:25 each. The third mile, after around a two minute stretch rest, was 6:38, with pretty steady splits. The fourth was in around 8:37.

My goal was what I did. Nothing complicated, as I have a track workout tomorrow, but something just to get me back into the swing of things.

Watch a couple of COD football players practice kicking. Impressive. One guy said he had a 46 yard field goal once in a game. Amazing!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cleansing 4.8 miles

4.8 miles
400m wd

total: 5.05 miles

76°F
Cloudy
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 71%
course: Illinois Prairie Path

Lee, Rich, Kevin, Linda. Rich and I briefly talked business-related things. Kevin and I discussed the troubles a divorce lawyer might incur. Lee and I chatted about the importance of avoiding bees and cougars while racing. Linda introduced us to her rental vehicle, a Nissan Versa.

The run accomplished what I hoped: to purge the crud I was feeling. Like a moving sweat tent, each mile took me further from stress, from whatever was aching inside and out. My day hasn't been bad, mind you, just not feeling 100%.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thinking About "This One's for Jack"

A 22:00 isn't so bad, is it? It is, after all, over three minutes faster than my first race this year. And, it is just :49 off of what I ran in 1999.

However, a 22:00 offers no laurel I really want. I want 20:00. I'll need another race before I accomplish that, and, probably several, at least. These 2:00 will be harder to drop than the previous 3:12.

Next competitive race I will be running is "This One's for Jack." It is a 5K in the rolling side streets of Glen Ellyn, IL, behind Glenbard West High School. It might be a similar course to the Freedom Four 4-Miler in which I had a less than braggable adventure.

Redemption time? I won't say. I will say my plan is the same. Start at 6:30-6:40, and hold on. Hopefully, I'll return 6:45s instead of 7:14s.

Factors impacting my result compared to the Park Ridge Charity Run --
  • Good: Cooler weather. Better health. A couple extra weeks of working out.
  • Bad: Hills. Potentially cold weather.
  • Best case scenario: 20:30 (6:35/mile pace, and I hold on throughout)
    Worst case scenario: 22:30 (7:14/mile pace. If I start too hard and choke.)
  • Summary expectation: 21:15-21:45.
"A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Nobody is going to win a 5,000 meter race after running an easy 2 miles. Not with me. If I lose forcing the pace all the way, well, at least I can live with myself."
- Steve Prefontaine

I'm not able to say I have forced any pace, nor punished myself yet in a 5K. My mind is still weak, and my body is only starting to respond when I look to call it into another gear. I am expecting this effort to be on the ready in the spring. I'm still in the process of getting 20+ years of kinks out.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

PR at the Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K (22:00.84)

Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K

Time: 22:00.84
Overall: 154
Sex Group Finish Place: 121
Age Group Finish Place: 23
Per Mile: 7:06

Mile 1 - 6:39
Miles 2-3.1 - 7:18-7:19?

Don't about my other miles, except that I must have averaged 7:18-7:19/mile.

Not a 21:00, but a PR just the same. Knocked :31 off my time. I crashed and burned, but did not meet my goal. My feelings are mixed. I had a PR, so that is good. A real one too, a full 31 seconds. Where I am disappointed is, like the Glen Ellyn St. Pet's Run, I choked in the second mile.

I started on my intended pace, looking to be 6:30-6:40. No complaints there. However, I felt horribly, unusually tired. Never saw the two mile mark. I made the turn-around at 12:00, but that was not a true halfway.

Picked it up near the end, with a brief 50 meter kick.

Race day, today, started with being late out the door, unable to find a bandana. Then, I missed the turn onto Touhy, and had a hard time getting there. Normally, my sense of direction is good, but this time, it led me astray. I had just 15-20 minutes to sign-up, warm-up, and stand at the line.

Last week, I ran twice - Tuesday, an LSD 4.8 miler, and Thursday, the JSRC track workout. Felt dragged all week. Should have run yesterday, but did not feel well, and life's tasks kept me busier than expected at the times I might have run.

Rudi was there, ran well, in the mid-18s. He told me, but I can't recall his time. Another Jim Spivey Running Club runner passed me at around the two mile mark, but I did not recognize him... just his blue singlet. Met a guy named Manual with whom I chatted old running stories with - he graduated from Thornwood a few years before me and new people my brother knew.

I haven't picked my next race yet. In the interim, I need to shake this one off, get back on the trails, and put in some miles. I don't know what I really need to do, but I think, althought I've been at this since May, there is still a fitess component slowing me down. Lose weight, do some LSD, some tempo work, and start thinking about how I'll handle the next few months.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quick Workout After Long Day and Three Hours of Sleep

1.25 mile wu
6x100 striders
3x200 (200)
6x100 striders
600 wd

total: 3.125 miles

course: Wheaton College track

After a late night, little sleep, poor eating, a long day in the Loop on a job interview, and a week with only one run (Tuesday), I wasn't much in the mood for running. In fact, I nodded off a few minutes, and had to rush out the door at 5:30, missing half the warm-up.

Jim adjusted my workout, as well as Rudi's and Brian's, for the sake of our races this weekend. I didn't time anything. The workout didn't lend itself, nor seemed to be able to benefit from timing.

Rudi's running the Park Ridge race as well. His best I've seen listed is 17:34, but he says he's done 16-something there. He's got the speed, and I can imagine in his younger years could tear up a course. He's just a few years older than me now, and has been recently hovering in the mid-18s.

Brian's in a triathlon at Purdue.

I'm quite dragged now, but that's a sleep thing more than a running thing. Long day tomorrow with an interview, and then a church activity Friday night. Saturday is sure to be fast, but my 'real' life might preclude the time I prefer.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chicken Wings Meeting Post-run Hunger

4.8 miles

total: 4.8 miles

87°F
Clear
Wind: S at 17 mph
Humidity: 41%
course: Illinois Prairie Path

My first run since Thursday, since suffering a not quite gone cold. I felt better than expected, though I'll know better tomorrow how well I recover.My appetite has returned (I'm munching my way through around a 1/2 lb of chicken wings picked up at Jewel as I write), which hopefully portends good things for the rest of the running week.

Lee, Rich, and Linda made the weekly gallop a fine ride. A little warm a little buggy, but, as Lee would say, "a fine time was had by all."

As time goes, I don't know. Around 42 minutes. Forgot to turn my watch off. It is 1:56:10 since we started.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sick as a Sick Dog

Monday Check-in

133.2 lbs. (same)
54 - Pulse (up)

Status

Feeling under the weather. A cold has dropped me from running for a few days. Hopefully, the rest is a good thing as far as shins, muscles and joints are concerned, but with a race coming Saturday, I am concerned. All out of my hands. I'm sick, and need to attend to the repair and restoration of whatever ails me.

Yesterday was spent at church, then a picnic, then a two-hour nap. That is not the 8.5 mile run I had planned, but God was unwilling to negotiate.

My weight and pulse are filtered through being sick, and so knowing what progress is being made is too hard to say.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Johnny Tazbir and The Boston Marathon

Who Is Johnny Tazbir?

I don't know. Never met him. What I do know is in 2006, he finished the Chicago Marathon in 3:20:58, making him the last guy in my age group to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He had as much as 1.9 seconds to spare.

Bib # 22099. When the throngs of runners plowed through the finish line, he was among the throng. No where close to the front, in 2,923rd place, but he qualified.

You are reading thinking, "That boy ain't right. He can't even break a 20 minute 5K. Now what's he gone on thinking about a marathon that fast? He ain't even gone an' run 10 miles, let alone 26. And there's a point two after that 26, you know."

Right.

Still, what Johnny Tazbir did would be cool. It took finishing in the top 3,000 to do it. It also took roughly a 7:40/mile pace over 26.2 miles. Yes, that includes the point two.

That means running a 23:46 5K around 8.45 times. I have run that speed or faster twice. Just twice.

He has an excellent name for my purposes. That's really it. I looked him up, and he's a serious runner, and member of the Calumet Region Striders.

Backing up this great effort, I learned through some Googling he did even better at Boston with a 3:18:07 this April. Tougher course, even. Way to go!

I'll try to keep up with Johnny if for no other reason he is doing what I'd like to be doing: sneaking under the bar to qualify for Boston.

Running a marathon, not to mention running one fast, is a long way off. I have yet to meet even my minimum goals. As an older runner, the rules have changed. Boston is just as long, and the qualifying time is more or less the same, but I have found that things aren't going as quickly as I'd like. I started slower, was in worse shape, and have not progressed to anywhere close to where I expected. Finding a 3:20:59.9 marathon in the tank will be much harder than the 20:00 5K. The necessary speed is probably in there, but there's a tremendous amount of training and focus required: Lots of miles which are injury-free.

What's a goal? Is it something I have done? No, no, no. That means nothing. It means setting a point to reach that is both attainable and aggressive. Goals are not meant to be randomly chosen, nor are expected to be hit serendipitously.

The definition is important. A wish is not a goal. Saying, "I wish I could run a 2:05 marathon," is true in itself, but there is no way it is going to happen. No planning, no amount of will power, no great coaching can get me there. I wish I could, sure, but it is as attainable by me as running a sub-4 mile.

How attainable is a 3:20 marathon for me? I really don't know. It is still in that vague, "That would be cool" category. It is right up there with the equally vague, "I'd love to run under 18:00 again for a 5K." It is more than a wish, though. Both could conceivably happen. Those times are both fast, but are not unattainable. Setting them as a goal, at this point, would be foolish, though. I have too much water to cross before getting to the point of planning either goal. I still have that 20:00 5K to run.

Right now, in front of me, is a guy named Johnny Tazbir from Indiana, a 20:00 5K, and a beautiful day for a long run. As Robert Frost once wrote, "I have miles to go before I sleep."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hard Fought Mile PR - 6:37 (In the Middle of a Workout)

2 mile wu
6x100 striders
3x200 (100)
400 (200) (1:30)
400 (400) (1:32?)
1 mile (400) (in and out mile)
3x400 (60 seconds) (1:41, 1:34, 1:28)
600 wd

total: 6.1875 miles

78°F
Clear
Wind: S at 10 mph
Humidity: 30%
course: Wheaton College track

In and out mile - 400 fresh, 400 hard, 400 fresh, 400 hard
? 400 (?)
3:16 800
4:58 1200 (1:42)
6:37 1600 (1:39)

Wasn't feeling great going into the workout, so, though my mile time is weaker than I might have hoped, I did well. My 400 times were good, better in the scope of a fairly hard workout.

Even though tonight was a struggle, I achieved an outsude mile PR, dropping 11 seconds from 6:48 to 6:37.

The final 400, ran in 1:28, in my fastest 400 on a Thursday night. Margaret stole my bandana so I had to get it back. Unsuccessful in that, I still ran a little harder. She is deceptively fast. Her stride does not seem like the turnover is there, but, just the same, she get the intervals done well. I think her mile was finished at around 6:25. Not just intervals either. She finished a half marathon this weekend in 1:41 (7:42 pace). Quite an encouragement. She believes in me as a runner more than I do, I think.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Easy Does It - Fun Evening Run

4.8 miles

total: 4.8 miles

70°F
Mostly Cloudy
Wind: W at 17 mph
Humidity: 39%
course: Illinois Prairie Path

It was an easy, restful run. Same eastward course out to Lombard, with a couple of breathers at streetlights, but on a much cooler day. The last time I ran with Lee and Rich, bugs were not kept at bay. Tonight, with temps close to 65, and a low humidity, kept us cool, comfortable, and away somehow from what bugs us.

Linda and Frank made it. Frank, coming back from Rome, told of his adventures. He hardly made it through them all, so I hope to hear more Thursday.

Lee and I made a little surge up a hill on the way back. It felt good to find a steady second gear. hit the clutch and popped briefly into third gear, with fourth still waiting for a good day.

Without my glasses, I saw no hill until the end.

Last night's 8.5 miles took their toll, and I still suffer its impact. I would like to think, and am choosing to believe, that those extra 3.0 miles did more than 3.0 miles worth, Because they were tacked on to 5.5, something beyond the accounting of miles is happening.

I need more endurance, and at 23 miles a week, I will not get it. I roughed out my run schedule for the rest of September, and it looks like I'll be notching it up to around 32-34 miles a week. This should help me attack a 5K rather than merely running it.

Might break 500 miles by September 30.