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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

5.5 miles LSD 52:52 (9:36)

5.5 miles 52:52 (9:36)
400 wd

Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 84%
136.2 kbs
course: Springbrook Prairie

Wind: N at 7 mph
Humidity: 64%
133.0 lbs.

Starting slower, ay 9:22, I thought I might last 11 miles. I bowed out at 5.5. Heat, no wind. Might be a sign to switch back a few days to the Illinois Prairie Path, for a change in pace.

Am I tired because it is my third day in a row? I tracking my mileage in rolling weeks as well as Sunday to Saturday, and today completes 27.41 miles. That's a longer week for me. Also completes 97.23 miles for July.

Tomorrow is a day off, then the Spivey workout. The heat is looking serious, with 87-90 predicted when we run Thursday. Pizza afterwards.

Saw a toad on the road. Small, recently a tadpole. Sprinkled some water on it, thinking it might feel it refreshing.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Total Seconds to Minutes:Seconds - Chart for Track Workouts

Running 400s? 800s? Not sure what your pace is in seconds? Use this handy chart for developing your workout.

The number on the left is the total seconds. The corresponding number on the right is that time as it reads on a digital watch.

Total Sec



Total Sec


Total Sec

5.5 Miles LSD (50:24) On a Sunny Monday

5.5 Miles LSD (50:24)
400 wd

Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 62%
course: Springbrook

Wind: NE at 6 mph
Humidity: 47%

Mile 1 - 9:03
Mile 2 - 8:50
Mile 3 - 9:20
Mile 4 - ?
Mile 5 - 45:43
50:24 (9:09.8)

weight after run - 132.8 lbs

Late morning run. Started faster than usual, and felt good until around mile 3, where a long hill begins. Lost 3.2 lbs of water weight.

Overall, my effort was steady, though apparently my speed was not. I do not know what to attribute to the hill, and what falls under an unfocused effort, but a :30 difference is not what I am willing to settle for.

Bits of Trivia
  • This was the fastest so far I have run this loop, dropping 43 seconds.
  • I passed the 250 mile mark during this run, having now run 254.56 miles since May 3.

Gained Some, Lost Some

Monday Check-in

136.0 lbs. (up)
50 - Pulse (down)

The mystery continues - higher weight. My pulse is slightly lower, but isn't the 48 I had a couple of weeks ago.

Some of the weight can be attributed to dinner at Chili's Friday and the next night, at Uncle Bub's BBQ in Westmont (best BBQ around). Sunday I ate light. Also, my miles were lower this last week, meaning my capacity to burn things off easily wasn't there.

The pulse does seem to be higher immediately in the morning, then, an hour or two later, drops. Also, I had a rare Sunday run that I might still not have recovered from.

Yesterday, at a CVS, I tried the blood pressure machine. Pulse = 49, and blood pressure was 70/90.

I feel OK. Tired from yesterday, but overall, no complaints.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

5.5 Miles LSD - Bright Shining Sun

5.5 miles LSD 51:27 (9:21)
.5 wd

total: 6.0

Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 38%
course: Springbrook Prairie

Wind: N at 7 mph
Humidity: 43%

Felt good. Started slow, dropped off a little after mile 2, picked it up around mile 3.5. Never pushed, but worked harder at mile 4, and again at mile 4.5, and then, more at mile 5 through to the finish. Drank chocolate milk on my way home, stopping at a Walgreens - was thinking about chocolate milk most of the run.

Mile 1 - 9:18
Mile 2 - 9:19
Mile 2-4 - 19:53 (9:56/mile)
Mile 4-5.5 - 12:57 (8:38/mile)
Mile 4.5-5.5 - 7:48

Saturday, July 28, 2007

July 22 - July 28 in Review

Sunday, July 22, 2007 -- rest
Monday, July 23, 2007 -- 5.75 miles Springbrook - LSD
Tuesday, July 24, 2007 -- rest
Wednesday, July 25, 2007 -- 3.60 miles race
Thursday, July 26, 2007 -- 6.31 miles Spivey track workout
Friday, July 27, 2007 -- rest
Saturday, July 28, 2007 -- rest

Total: 15.66 miles

Summary: The week's mileage dropped heavily. A combination of life, a race and poor planning let this happen. Good race (any PR makes it good) that could have been better, so I consider the week well-spent.

Looking FWD: Need to up my miles decisively, and plan my workouts more intentionally.

This week: Like what I hoped last week (and didn't do) I am intending to get in a 25+-mile week. The possibility to run 30 exists. Tempo workout I think with Spivey and all this coming Saturday which will be fun.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Crash and Burn: A Personal Critical Look

Crash and burn. That's been my general plan for training and racing during this effort.

What's it mean?
In and of itself, the phrase means failure. It is slang from the 1970s regarding a massive plane or car crash. Not as I use it. Not here. It is working until the point of failure, or success. No middle ground. Whichever comes first. And one will come first. No mediocre effort.

I think of it as doing my best - giving all I've got, and if I succeed, great. If I don't succeed, I will have left no excuses.

I'm not jogging here. I'm running. I have goals. I have times to hit, or hope to hit. While my times will not win any trophies, even in my age group, the issue is no different.

I'm not naturally fast. In fact, in grade school track, in the seventh grade, I was the slowest miler. I ran the mile because that is where the coach lumped all of us without a real event. We had one kid who would run a 5:10, but otherwise, nothing.

Any speed I do have is the product of hard work. I did not realize in high school that this was the case, but it is true. Long miles, lots of races. It was a good time, but hard work just the same. When I finished a race, I would be exhausted.

Now, I'm older. I cannot draw on the same leg speed, but I can draw from the same gut.

No leftovers.
I don't like leftovers for dinner, and I don't like them when I am running.

How does this play out in a race?
Simple: figure out what my reasonable goal time is, then do what it takes to start at the time. This is not a conservative effort. All available resources go into this. I have no "start slowly and pick it up" plan. I have a "start fast and see if I can hold on" method.

What about during a workout?
This is difficult because part of the point of a workout is to strategically hold back, to run at a certain pace and effort to gain some benefit. Running at 100% speed isn't the answer. It means to run a workout hard, on pace, never flinching.

When I am feeling like slowing down, there are three reasons: something is hurt (twisted, pulled), I have no more gas no matter how hard I push (as experienced running up this beast of a hill), or, I am weak mentally. Mental weakness is not unique to me, but I will not tolerate it. I feel often that I would rather sip lemonade, but there is no victory in that.

I'm not running a lemonade stand. I'm running to win the prize. That prize is s a 20:00 5K (19:59, to be exact).

It does not mean running until or through an injury. I'm not getting paid for this. My livelihood is not found on the track. Even then, that might be foolish, but the question is not mine. I have knees to worry about, calves which remind me I'm not 20, a back that has not enjoyed moving books and furniture every time I live somewhere else.

Crash and burn. Running when I am tired. Running when I am thinking about lemonade. Running when I am not winning a medal. Running when I'm the last guy, exhausted, at practice. Running when I'm alone, and no one is watching. Running with the wind, against the wind. Running if the best I have in me is a 20:01, or 23:13. And, no excuses.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hard, Varied Workout, Solid All Around

2 mile wu
6x100 striders
2x800 (300)[400]
3x400 (200)[400]
2x600 (200)
600 wd

total: 6.3125

800s - 3:22, 3:30
400s - 1:33, 1:49, 1:43
600s - 2:32, 2:31

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: S at 9 mph
Humidity: 94%
course: Wheaton College track

Wind: S at 9 mph
Humidity: 84%

Felt solid throughout. Ran with John Grebe as my training partner. It just worked out he and I were at the same speed. Ran often with Paul, but he finished the workout earlier.

A positive - I held back. I felt like gunning it a few times, but, for the sake of completing the workout, I didn't. Too hard to start means a weak finish. A sign of better things to come.

With the humidity, and with a hard run yesterday, I wondered how things would go. Instead of a poor workout, it might have been my best yet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

5K PR - 23:13 - Viking Run

I'm in yellow. With around 250 meters to go, I try to find what gas is left in the tank. Those two people in front of me aren't even close to my dust by the time I swing around the turn. Well, one guy is. You can see him just behind me in the next picture. 23:13 (7:29/mile)

800 wu
Mile 1 -- 7:12
Mile 2 -- 7:38
Mile 3.1 -- 8:23 (7:37/mile)

total: 3.6 miles
click pics to see larger versions

Viking Sunset 5k
Decent race. I started more or less as intended - closer to the front, more aggressive pace. I would have preferred starting right on 7:25, but it was not to be. I am pleased I did not crash, but kept my pace steady after the first mile. In retrospect, I think I could have pushed harder during mile 2, and maybe could have realized my 23:00 goal.

The chute is just ahead. I'm taking over a few stragglers, though there is a guy in front of me you can't see that I just miss.Finish was on the track. I finished hard, but decided the summer is long. There was nothing to gain by dropping :05 from my time by sprinting, and a long week of aching. In full view, this was a strong workout, not an assault on time. Racing will come later.

My form was occasionally shaky, but I kept trying to reform, relax, and lift up my head. Recovery has been good too. Tomorrow is the Jim Spivey Running Club workout, and that will prove whether I have recovered or not.

A few steps later, I swoosh by my competition faster than the camera could capture. Notice the blur.

Bob V. was there, but missed his mark. He finished in 19:20. He started far too aggressively and gassed out. Bob's friend Mark M. finished with a 26:08 in only his second race.

My friends Craig and Kati (she took the third picture) were there, standing with my wife, cheering me on!

Congrats to Tim Henry of Wheaton. He won in 15:57.

Pizza, cookies, pop afterwards. Water and pop were warm. I'm a Rosati's Pizza guy, not Papa John's, so I was disappointed. Rosati's is closer to real Chicago thin crust. Papa John's is cheap college pizza, like Domino's.

I'm satisfied that I ran hard and well, and look forward to the next race.

The official stats (my watch started when I passed the starting line)

  • Finish 23:21.9

  • Place overall 222

  • Place gender 174

  • Place age group 21

  • Pace - mile 7:32.2

5K Pacing Chart 15:00-25:34.5 (5:00-8:15/mile)

Below is a pacing chart for the 5K, from 5:00/mile through 8:15/mile.

Follow me:

5:00 -- 15:30.0
5:01 -- 15:33.1
5:02 -- 15:36.2
5:03 -- 15:39.3
5:04 -- 15:42.4
5:05 -- 15:45.5
5:06 -- 15:48.6
5:07 -- 15:51.7
5:08 -- 15:54.8
5:09 -- 15:57.9
5:10 -- 16:01.0
5:11 -- 16:04.1
5:12 -- 16:07.2
5:13 -- 16:10.3
5:14 -- 16:13.4
5:15 -- 16:16.5
5:16 -- 16:19.6
5:17 -- 16:22.7
5:18 -- 16:25.8
5:19 -- 16:28.9
5:20 -- 16:32.0
5:21 -- 16:35.1
5:22 -- 16:38.2
5:23 -- 16:41.3
5:24 -- 16:44.4
5:25 -- 16:47.5
5:26 -- 16:50.6
5:27 -- 16:53.7
5:28 -- 16:56.8
5:29 -- 16:59.9
5:30 -- 17:03.0
5:31 -- 17:06.1
5:32 -- 17:09.2
5:33 -- 17:12.3
5:34 -- 17:15.4
5:35 -- 17:18.5
5:36 -- 17:21.6
5:37 -- 17:24.7
5:38 -- 17:27.8
5:39 -- 17:30.9
5:40 -- 17:34.0
5:41 -- 17:37.1
5:42 -- 17:40.2
5:43 -- 17:43.3
5:44 -- 17:46.4
5:45 -- 17:49.5
5:46 -- 17:52.6
5:47 -- 17:55.7
5:48 -- 17:58.8
5:49 -- 18:01.9
5:50 -- 18:05.0
5:51 -- 18:08.1
5:52 -- 18:11.2
5:53 -- 18:14.3
5:54 -- 18:17.4
5:55 -- 18:20.5
5:56 -- 18:23.6
5:57 -- 18:26.7
5:58 -- 18:29.8
5:59 -- 18:32.9
6:00 -- 18:36.0
6:01 -- 18:39.1
6:02 -- 18:42.2
6:03 -- 18:45.3
6:04 -- 18:48.4
6:05 -- 18:51.5
6:06 -- 18:54.6
6:07 -- 18:57.7
6:08 -- 19:00.8
6:09 -- 19:03.9
6:10 -- 19:07.0
6:11 -- 19:10.1
6:12 -- 19:13.2
6:13 -- 19:16.3
6:14 -- 19:19.4
6:15 -- 19:22.5
6:16 -- 19:25.6
6:17 -- 19:28.7
6:18 -- 19:31.8
6:19 -- 19:34.9
6:20 -- 19:38.0
6:21 -- 19:41.1
6:22 -- 19:44.2
6:23 -- 19:47.3
6:24 -- 19:50.4
6:25 -- 19:53.5
6:26 -- 19:56.6
6:27 -- 19:59.7
6:28 -- 20:02.8
6:29 -- 20:05.9

6:30 -- 20:09.0
6:31 -- 20:12.1
6:32 -- 20:15.2
6:33 -- 20:18.3
6:34 -- 20:21.4
6:35 -- 20:24.5
6:36 -- 20:27.6
6:37 -- 20:30.7
6:38 -- 20:33.8
6:39 -- 20:36.9
6:40 -- 20:40.0
6:41 -- 20:43.1
6:42 -- 20:46.2
6:43 -- 20:49.3
6:44 -- 20:52.4
6:45 -- 20:55.5
6:46 -- 20:58.6
6:47 -- 21:01.7
6:48 -- 21:04.8
6:49 -- 21:07.9
6:50 -- 21:11.0
6:51 -- 21:14.1
6:52 -- 21:17.2
6:53 -- 21:20.3
6:54 -- 21:23.4
6:55 -- 21:26.5
6:56 -- 21:29.6
6:57 -- 21:32.7
6:58 -- 21:35.8
6:59 -- 21:38.9
7:00 -- 21:42.0
7:01 -- 21:45.1
7:02 -- 21:48.2
7:03 -- 21:51.3
7:04 -- 21:54.4
7:05 -- 21:57.5
7:06 -- 22:00.6
7:07 -- 22:03.7
7:08 -- 22:06.8
7:09 -- 22:09.9
7:10 -- 22:13.0
7:11 -- 22:16.1
7:12 -- 22:19.2
7:13 -- 22:22.3
7:14 -- 22:25.4
7:15 -- 22:28.5
7:16 -- 22:31.6
7:17 -- 22:34.7
7:18 -- 22:37.8
7:19 -- 22:40.9
7:20 -- 22:44.0
7:21 -- 22:47.1
7:22 -- 22:50.2
7:23 -- 22:53.3
7:24 -- 22:56.4
7:25 -- 22:59.5
7:26 -- 23:02.6
7:27 -- 23:05.7
7:28 -- 23:08.8
7:29 -- 23:11.9

7:30 -- 23:15.0
7:31 -- 23:18.1
7:32 -- 23:21.2
7:33 -- 23:24.3
7:34 -- 23:27.4
7:35 -- 23:30.5
7:36 -- 23:33.6
7:37 -- 23:36.7
7:38 -- 23:39.8
7:39 -- 23:42.9
7:40 -- 23:46.0
7:41 -- 23:49.1
7:42 -- 23:52.2
7:43 -- 23:55.3
7:44 -- 23:58.4
7:45 -- 24:01.5
7:46 -- 24:04.6
7:47 -- 24:07.7
7:48 -- 24:10.8
7:49 -- 24:13.9
7:50 -- 24:17.0
7:51 -- 24:20.1
7:52 -- 24:23.2
7:53 -- 24:26.3
7:54 -- 24:29.4
7:55 -- 24:32.5
7:56 -- 24:35.6
7:57 -- 24:38.7
7:58 -- 24:41.8
7:59 -- 24:44.9

8:00 -- 24:48.0
8:01 -- 24:51.1
8:02 -- 24:54.2
8:03 -- 24:57.3
8:04 -- 25:00.4
8:05 -- 25:03.5
8:06 -- 25:06.6
8:07 -- 25:09.7
8:08 -- 25:12.8
8:09 -- 25:15.9
8:10 -- 25:19.0
8:11 -- 25:22.1
8:12 -- 25:25.2
8:13 -- 25:28.3
8:14 -- 25:31.4
8:15 -- 25:34.5

The Vikings Are Coming - 5K Race Tonight In Geneva

Tonight is a somewhat impromptu race. I've been lamenting my hard work has not turned into good 5K times, but the time trials I had been doing stopped. It occurred to me I am working out with a good effort, but haven't tested myself as often.

Bob V., my old running buddy, mentioned he will be hitting this one and taped on me to join him. His long-term goal is to break 18:30. He's close, but close is the same as "haven't done it." Maybe this will be the one for him.

My goal remains to break 20:00. That expectation is not for tonight. There is too much between where I am and there. However, my current time, as per the Cosley Run (see my progress on the top left), is 25:12, an 8:07 pace. I am confident I can break that.

My strategy for this evening is a combination of calibrated foolishness and conservative reality. Fellow running pilgrims, this is not a contradiction. The reality is simple: my best mile in the modern era is a 6:48. That means, beyond any doubt, I cannot run faster tonight than a 21:04.8. Having no delusion that this will happen, I am referring to Runner's World to help predict my time.

In the August 2007 edition of Runner's World, Ed Eyestone's article "Know Your Number" describes the four-second rule. For me, this means, I take my mile time, convert it into seconds, divide by four, add eight, multiply by 12.5. All of this means the formula thinks I can run a 22:44 5K (7:20/mile). The formula is not looking at weather, how much endurance I have.
The formula also thinks I could run a 3:33 marathon, for which I'm not sure I could even finish today. What it really means is the formula presumes I have done the prerequisite training for whatever distance. For the 5K, I think I have.

This still does not relieve me of figuring out what I should aim for. 23:00 seems reasonable, though this would mean I am knocking 2:12 from Cosley. To run a 23:00, I need to pump out 7:25 miles. (see what really happened: 5K PR - 23:13 - Viking Run).

So there it is. That will be my foolishness tonight. I will start at 7:25, keeping running hard until I must slow down, or the race is over. Whichever is first.

Unlike Cosley and the Freedom Four, I will start closer to the front. Last year's race had 504 finishers, so, by comparison, there will be less jostling and jockeying for position. The weatherman predicts a storm, and this could mean at best, it comes early and cools the air, and, at worst, creates a danger and they cancel the race.

Viking Sunset 5K Family Night
Wednesday July 25, 2007 - 7:00 p.m.
5K Course Course Map
The 5K course is USATF certified, starts at the Geneva HS Sports stadium and winds through a scenic Geneva residential neighborhood. All mile splits will be timed with race clocks, and a water station just past halfway. You will finish with a lap around the track in front of your friends and family in the Stadium bleachers. A $25.00 gift certificate will be awarded to any runner who sets a new age group record. See age group records below.

5K Awards
Awards will be presented to the overall male and female winners as well as instant age group awards in the following 15 age groups. 00-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 plus. Awards are 5 deep in the 0-14 and 15-19 age groups.

Geneva HS Sports Complex
1400 Gray Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Geneva, IL

Monday, July 23, 2007

5.5 miles LSD - Snakes and Monarchs Abound

5.5 miles LSD @ 52:51
400 wd

total: 5.75

Wind: E at 4 mph
Humidity: 81%
ourse: Springbrook Prairie

Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 50%

Ran easy. The sun took its tool in a shirtless run. A three-inch garter snake tried nipping my heel. Monarchs were all around, at least more than usual. In all, an uneventful run.

What Goes Down Must Go Up

Monday Check-in

135.4 lbs. (up)
53 - Pulse (up)

Newton had it backwards. True, whatever goes up must come down, but it doesn't stop there.

No idea why my pulse is up. I slept more than usual last night, and would think the extra rest would have relaxed me. Or, maybe it indicates I am coming down with something.

My weight is up, but for this, my explanation is reasonable. A new scale. Digital. More on this another time.

My calves feel a little tight, leftover from Saturday, I think. My right hamstring has an ache going on. Maybe that's from the hill. It is a new ache, and not severe.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 15 - July 21 in Review

Sunday, July 15, 2007 -- rest
Monday, July 16, 2007 -- 2.50 miles minor speed
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 -- 4.80 miles with Rich, et al. Easy.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 -- 6.00 miles Spivey track workout
Thursday, July 19, 2007 -- 5.75 miles Springbrook - LSD
Friday, July 20, 2007 -- rest
Saturday, July 21, 2007 -- 6.00 miles tempo/Spivey Club

Total: 25.05 miles

Summary: The week's mileage increased slightly. I'm averaging just over 22 miles a week, inching toward 30.

Looking FWD: My longer runs have been lazier than I want. I'm putting in the distance, but just sitting back. I need to push harder, if only 15 seconds faster a mile.

This week: Hoping to get in a 25+-mile week. The possibility to run 30 exists. Considering a race on Wednesday in Geneva. More on that if I decide to jump in. With the race, my schedule gets shaken up. Wednesday was intended to be rest day, but I want to race. That 25:12 has been sitting too long in my 5K progress list (see top left panel).

Walter Payton's Hill (twice) in Hearty Blackwell Workout

6.0 miles?
Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 90%
course: Blackwell

Wind: N at 9 mph
Humidity: 57%
The official workout (I did an adjusted version of it)
  • 13 m's wu (minutes warm-up, my code)
  • 18-28 m's tempo run, at DMP pace (Dave Martin pace)
  • 5 m's slow to the hill
  • 2-4 hills, but guessing 3x as it is Mt. Hoy (865' high - you can see the Sear's Tower 28 miles away)
  • 5 m's jog back to the trails
  • 3x1 m's f(1) fartlek back to where the cars are parked
  • a few m's warm-down
Jim brought together a few groups. His usual JSRC crowd, which today included Rudi, Lee, Frank, Jeff, John, Brian, Sue and myself. Rich rode in to say hello. Jim himself ran with us. First time since I have been running there. There was a group from the north side who I think he used to coach years back. And, a good bunch of high school kids, all very good. 25-30 in all.

Rudi brought bagels.

Hard saying how far I ran. I might need to adjust the distance. We started with roughly a mile warm up. Felt relaxed. I think I ran it at 7:45-8:00 pace. Describing the rest of the work is impossible, as it was a lot of little things.

While the Chicago Bears were doing the Superbowl Shuffle, Walter Payton was training tough. Anyone in Chicago knows well of a video of his workouts, including the famous hill he would arduously run up. Looked hard. It is hard. I ran it twice.

You see the picture above. We ran up the other side. The view from the top was tremendous.

My first time up the hill was 2:28, then in 2:22. I can do better, but, by the end, my legs were slogging. Jim started the second one just after me, but gracefully worked his way up past me, apparently not so tired. For a guy who is not competing, or training heavily, he still has something in the tank.

It was a good, unpressured run, not as bound by time.

As a run, it reminded me of my old Swallow Cliff runs. I miss those days.
According to The Chicago Area's 10 Best Trails

Blackwell Forest Preserve, Warrenville
Directions: I-88 to I-355 north to Rt. 56 (Butterfield Rd.) west. Go 8.5 miles to the west entrance on the right side of the road.
The Route: The first thing you might notice is the imposing Mt. Hoy towering above you--a retired landfill (sometimes the smell gives it away) and a popular location for hill training. Approximately 10 miles of crushed limestone and mowed grass trails loop around the 1,312-acre preserve. A link to the Illinois Prairie path can be found at the intersection of Winfield and Butterfield Rds.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

5.5 miles 52-ish - More calories burned

5.5 Miles
400 wd

total: 5.75 miles

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: N at 18 mph
Humidity: 62%
course: Springbrook Prairie

Wind: N at 10 mph
Humidity: 61%

My watch didn't start like I thought, so my timing is off. It doesn't matter. I went slow. Gatorade never tasted this good.

Did you know they make it in grape now? New to me. Tastes like grape Bubbleyum.

How to Set Excel to Establish When to Buy New Shoes

My question of the week was twofold:

How long before replacing shoes? And, how can I convince Excel to alert me that it is time to reorder? I forget to do things, so having a cheater helps.

I keep a lot of records in Excel. As it relates to this question, I have a spreadsheet with each day's mileage. Since buying my current shoes, I have run 215.40 miles.

Yesterday, Jim mentioned shoes are good for 350 miles. A rough figure, I'm sure, but as good as any, and, he's in the business to know. 350 it is.

350-215.40 = 134.60

I also know over the last four weeks, I have averaged 22.1525 miles a week.

134.60/22.1525 = 6.0760636497009366888613023360794 weeks before I blow a flat in my sneakers.

I'll say 6.1 weeks. It takes less typing.

The formula* is =(350-SUM(C:C))/22.1525

Copy that, paste it into a cell.

That is 350 miles minus the contents of column C (my total miles) divided by my weekly average. I'll change the average every few weeks, but it gets the gist of what I need to know. Around August 29, I need new shoes. I expect that to be a little earlier, but it gives me an idea when I should order.

To determine the amount of days, just change the formula to

To have it determine the actual date, the formula is
(Be sure to change the cell format to date or else you'll get something which looks like: 39324.5324)

E. Litvin sums it all up for the runner whose mileage is fairly constant. As mine is still increasing, this is less useful, but, for the runner who is a steady Eddie, who knows week to week he's running more or less the same, this would work great, and requires no variable babysitting.

You can use the formula below to calculate days automatically.


  • (350-SUM(C:C)) – calculates the miles remaining;
  • COUNT(C:C) – counts the number of entries in (C:C);
  • (SUM(C:C)/COUNT(C:C)) – calculates the average mileage for a day;


* A nod to those on the Reviewer's Discussion Board who helped me, particularly E. Litvin, Friederike Knabe, and C. McCallister.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tough Day to Be a Runner

2 mile wu
6x100 striders
1 mile (400) (7:47)
1200 (400) (5:45?)
1200 (400) (5:49?)
600 wd

total: 6.0 miles

Wind: SW at 14 mph
Humidity: 79%
course: Wheaton College track

Tough day at the races today. Humidity listed seems low, but that's what Google thinks. We knew when we hit the Prairie Path it would be hard. No wind in the tree tunnel.

Jim adjusted the workout for some of who were newer. I'm still on the new end of it all. Some of these guys have been training 20+ years. Originally, we were doing 4x1600. As you can see, that's not how it ended.

My pace was close to dead-on, and I tried to keep it steady. I feel good about that.

Rudi reminded me, as he was reminding Margaret, the need to replenish proteins and carbs right after a hard or long run. Growing up, I abided by the opposite idea, that to be disciplined meant learning to avoid the immediate indulgence.

Jim agreed, that after a run, our first job is to recover for the next run. He cited Seb Coe as having said something like, "There is a time to be always tired," implying that it is part of the training sequence. There is a time for everything under the sun, including being tired. I think I'm in that time.

I dream of the cool of autumn.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

4.8 miles - 42 minutes - running and walking

4.8 miles - 42:00 (8:45 mile)

total: 4.8 miles

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: S at 6 mph
Humidity: 71%
course: Illinois Prairie Path @ Glenbard West eastward

Ran with Rich, Lee and Kevin. Roughly 42 minutes. Nothing hard, but the humidity made us ease the pace.

Now, I'm hungry, thirsty. Grilled chicken in a Hungarian BBQ rub, with rice. Life is good.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Uninspired 2.5 miles

800 wu
800x2 (400) (3:19, 3:17)
800 wd

total: 2.5 miles

Wind: SW at 8 mph
Humidity: 64%
course: Wheaton College track

Felt uninspired. I'm not sure what hit me, but I went from being excited about running today, to not caring. Maybe I'll try again this afternoon for a 3-4 miler.

Down Doobie Down Down Down (Goes My Weight & Pulse)

Monday Check-in

134 lbs. (down 1 lb)
48 - Pulse (down 1 beat)

Feeling OK. Calves are feeling tight. Hopefully they feel fine after today's gallop. Need to work on general fitness issues: stretching, hydrating, warming up properly. These basics are what I ignore the most, but each is key to running well.

My weight has been fluctuating with hydration:sweating. I don't know what is the correct weight. I lose a few pounds in a run, but do not gain all back immediately. Mondays are probably more accurate as I rarely run on a Sunday and have had at least a full day's recovery. My weight has been at or just above 130, but has yet to break into the 129 realm.

Hard to say if I am making substantial progress. No single area has shone out as a success, especially time. If anything I can be well pleased with it is consistency in my workouts. This may be a moral victory only, but I have been getting out at least three times a week for around two months.

It occurred to me that I might plateau while the temperature is hot, and as I replace fat with muscle, with a major time drop in the fall when the temperature drops.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 8 - July 13 in Review

Sunday, July 8, 2007 -- 1.9 miles (walk)
Monday, July 9, 2007 -- rest
Tuesday, July 10, 2007 -- 4.5 miles
Wednesday, July 11, 2007 -- rest
Thursday, July 12, 2007 -- track workout, 6.25 miles
Friday, July 13, 2007 -- rest
Saturday, July 14, 2007 -- 5.8 miles

Total: 18.45 miles

Summary: The week's mileage decreased from running fewer days. A good workout with the Spivey club on Thursday was encouraging, but there's still a long way to go.

Looking FWD: Found a good new place to run today, and expect to head out there often to get in some hard 5.5 mile runs.

This week: Hoping to get in a 30-mile week, and to start my new Sunday and Wednesday off plan.

5.5 miles 51:07 - 620 calories

5.5 miles
.3 miles wd

total: 5.8 miles

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SW at 22 mph
Humidity: 50%
course: Springbrook Prairie

Springbrook Prairie at the 5.5 mile markerA new path for me, a 5.5 mile loop with a crushed gravel surface. Met Chris from New Zealand, and his wife Tammy. He's a triathlete, and she's training for the Lake Tahoe Marathon.

Ran most of my run with Bruno, a recent transplant from France, slightly behind me. He ran the loop twice, so my hat's tipped. He gave me tips where to turn. I hope I see him again.

My pace was around 9:17. Steady within 10 seconds either way. Felt good, discounting some minor aching in my calves.

I plan to be back there. Only two street crossings, markers every half mile. Mildly graduated hills, friendly runners. Less crowded that the Illinois Prairie Path. Looks like a good place for a runner looking to put in miles without risking 10 miles out and back. Instead, a 20-miler would be about for loops. Easy to bow at anytime.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lemonade, anyone? Decent, hard workout.

2 mile wu
6x100 striders

3 sets of 3x400 (200) [400]

Set One
average: 103.3

Set Two
average: 101.0

Set Three
average: 103.3

average overall: 102.6

600 wd

total: 6.25 miles

Wind: SW at 8 mph
Humidity: 53%
course: Wheaton College track

I hit my times. Basically, some 400s were meant to be hard, some easier. It is not as if I have found my pace, but I am finding were my pace isn't. John Grebe pointed out I start the first 400 or 800 too fast, run out of gas. That was evident last week, for sure. This week, not so much.

My faster 400s were at around 1:37, and my slower ones 1:44. (times adjusted for accuracy: 7-17-07) That needs to be tightened up, but finishing the workout well is progress in itself.

I'm thirsty. My left calf, right above the Achilles aches, and I had a cramp under my right rib in the back. Stretch more, drink more. Lemonade, anyone?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Four Miles - 34:47.55 - Hot & Sweaty As He Goes

4 Miles - 34:47.55
800 wd

total: 4.5 miles

Wind: S at 8 mph
Humidity: 91%
course: COD track

Nothing fancy. Just a calorie burning run. Each mile was close to pace, completing things faster than I started. Averaged around 8:41/mile.

It rained just as I was leaving for the Prairie Path for a six-miler, but the humidity and water left over caused me to switch to a four-mile run on the track. I could get in and get out.

Ran into Dana G., who works at the COD fitness lab, on the track. She's recovering from an ankle injury earned while playing tennis, and is working out on the track to strengthen it.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Same As It Ever Was (No Real Change)

Monday Check-in

135 lbs. (down 1 lb)
49 - Pulse (up 1 beat)

Feeling tired. My miles decreased.

My weight is down by a pound, but steady all around. I think I am generally losing fat, but converting it to muscle, hence the weight remains the same.

My resting pulse stayed essentially stable. It has, on other days, dropped to 47. I see this as a barometer of aerobic and cardiovascular fitness, and, as such, feel encouraged.

No aches or pains, though my right calf feels tired. I'm delaying this morning's run to the afternoon, to see how I feel.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

July 1 - July 7 in Review

Sunday, July 1, 2007 -- rest
Monday, July 2, 2007 -- 2.0 miles
Tuesday, July 3, 2007 -- rest
Wednesday, July 4, 2007 -- 4.75 miles (race)
Thursday, July 5, 2007 -- track workout, 4.81 miles
Friday, July 6, 2007 -- 4.38 miles
Saturday, July 7, 2007 -- 4.63 miles

Total: 20.56 miles

Summary: The week's mileage decreased largely due to the July 4 Freedom Four race coming at an awkward time in the schedule. I did not feel up to snuff all week, and probably needed the extra rest.

Looking FWD: I'm reducing my long runs, and looking to spread the one long run into two short, harder runs. In general, the goal is a five-day workout rotation, with Sundays and Wednesdays off. Weather, life and how I'm feeling might impede this, but that's the plan. Adding some hills is in there too, though I am not sure what's the best way to do this. My miles will slowly inch up again, but they'll be spread over more days, as opposed to one long one.

This week: I'm hoping to get in a hard run on Saturday, and at least one hill day. The area will the hill is has no mile markers, and so I'm not sure how to figure how to do the workout.

Four Miles on a Hot Track

100 m wu
4 Miles - 38:08.29
900 m wd

total: 4.625 miles

Wind: S at 7 mph
Humidity: 56%
course: COD track

Wind: S at 6 mph
Humidity: 51%

It felt hotter and more humid, as I suppose it must, only the lonely, tree barren track at the College of DuPage. Nothing blocks the sun, heat radiates from the track, and it is set into a hole of sorts. It was one of those runs that burn fat, and little more.

Friday, July 6, 2007

4 Miles - 35:49.80

4 Miles - 35:49.80
600 walk

total: 4.375

Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 78%
course: Illinois Prairie Path from zero marker north

Wind: N at 7 mph
Humidity: 71%

Mile 1 - 8:31
Mile 2 - 17:17 (8:46)
Mile 3 - 26:17 (9:00)
Mile 4- 35:49.80 (9:32)

Leftover tired from yesterday? Started too fast? Hot, humid, all that? All seem reasonable. At any rate, I burned 400+ calories.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My Get Up and Go Got Up and Went

2 mile wu
6x100 m striders
800 (400)
400 (400)
500 (300)
600 wd

total: 4.8125 miles

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: W at 10 mph
Humidity: 44%
course: Wheaton track

All my resolve earlier today seemed lost this afternoon. I did do the 800 in 3:13, a new record for this modern era, down from 3:26. The last 200 was to be part of a series of 250s, but I left the tracked gassed out. I don't feel bad about it, as it is simply reality. Fighting through it isn't the key to fitness.

John Grebe tried pacing me, a kind move.

Hydration? Tired from yesterday? Not enough sleep? Who knows. I was tired, that's all. I'll work on those other matters.

New Inspiration, But Without a Good Plan

Paw-Paw Lake, Coloma, MIYesterday's race, all 32 minutes and 57 seconds of slowness, frustrates me. Where was the 31:00? And, to look more carefully, where was some sub-30? Never happened, and was never even threatened at any point in the race.

I said yesterday I sucked wind. I did. Not one bone in my body, and, as is important in a race, not one muscle either, came to race. All excuses about slow starts and humidity aside, I should have picked up my pace when the chance allowed itself. Physically, I was not at my best, and, mentally, I dogged it.

I need more. This should not be this hard. I'm not that old or infirmed. I can run faster, or, at least, I think so. I have run faster, so there is at least that evidence. I'm fatter and older, and it has been many years since I trained in any way close to my effort now. But my progress now? Disappointing.

What can I do? Adding more miles aggressively would be foolish. I'm adding them as fast as I can, I think. More speedwork? No. Working on my base is key. As Jim has told us, speed will find its way. I know, in a sprint, I have something. I'm not sprinter, but, for my needs, I'm good there.

Fitness and fat. When I last ran fast, I was less fat, and I'm working on that. My fat will leave when it is ready, and every mile I run will help there. Fitness, which is more than just less fat, is my problem, and the one I can better manage.

I started, then, quit, sit-ups and push-ups. Never enjoyed them. I need to do them. And, I need to stretch more. A lot more. Daily. Never enjoyed that either, but I need that elasticity.
I need some hills. Since a health club is financially out of reach, hills can help, to a degree, get me some strength.
The Equestrian Estates have a nice big one -- a knoll -- off Naperville Road, in the midst of an open, semo-rustic field. A few gallops up and down could do wonders. It is an ankle breaker, and care should be taken, but, for my legs, it will be good.

Finally, and maybe most crucially, my miles need adjustment. Fewer long runs, more days running. Instead of one day running eight miles, and one day resting, I'll run both days, 4-5 miles apiece. I'll only do a longer run maybe twice monthly. With the shorter runs, I will run some harder, or pick things up mid-run.

About my miles.
I love long runs. The longer, the better. I have always regretted not running a marathon in my prime, with one reason being the training would be fun.

A favorite run from days gone by would be twice around Paw Paw Lake in southwestern Michigan, a 22-mile hop on old dirt and semi-paved roads. I'd run 11 miles, get back where I started, then, turn around, and find my way the other direction. I cannot explain why this gave me such a rush, but there it is.
My plan is vague, then: more sit-ups, push-ups, stretching, and days running, and fewer very long runs. A good plan?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Four Miles - 32:57.86 - Freedom Four Miler Fizzles

Freedom Four Glen Ellyn800 wu
4 Miles - 32:57.86 (my watch, not official)
400 wd

total: 4.75

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SW at 6 mph
Humidity: 100%
course: Freedom Four, Glen Ellyn

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: W at 9 mph
Humidity: 84%


I'm in yellow. That's my snazzy new JSRC singlet. It will fit better as I slim down.

I sucked wind. Slowly starting, never getting into a cadence that felt right, it turned out to be a non-race. There's nothing speed-wise I can take as a moral victory, but I can just add it as a good run. Not a race. Just a strong workout. Next time.

The race itself was not as well organized as the Cosley Race, with poor starting, no timing chips, too many tables to register. Food and water was hard to find. As these things go, there is room for improvement.

Dick Pond Shoes had the shoe van there, and people with race flyers were all over. The community showed up, either running or cheering us on.

The guy in the Superman suit (I"m not kidding) was there. He's a Glen Ellyn icon. I have never met him, but, like anyone who has lived here awhile, know of his legend.

We met our friends Kim and Brandt, who both ran. Brandt finished just in front me, though I never saw him. A good turnout from the JSRC was there, with Rudi, Steve, Mike, Rich, Margaret and Lynda all there. Lynda didn't run, but was there to show moral support.

  • Mile 1 - 8:11
    I started far back. Although it 'only' took 12 seconds to cross the starting line, the crowd before me shuffled. I never hit my stride.

  • Mile 2 - 16:26 (8:15)
    More crowds, though dispersed some. By this time, I realized I would not hit my goal.

  • Mile 3 - 24:50 (8:24)
    Hills were strong, and the heat started getting to me. Resigned to making it a good run, I settled into whatever pace I had.

  • Mile 4 - 32:57 (8:07)
    I picked it up a little, but never really pushed. A little kick at the end, but nothing serious, as the finishing shoot was confusing.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Calf Hurt, Quit Early

1 mile wu
600 (200)
200 (200)
200 (200)

total: 2 miles

Wind: S at 10 mph
Humidity: 43%
course: COD track

Right calf hurt when I ran on my toes - very tight. Football practice took over track. Quit early.

Heavier and Slower Isn't Always Bad

Monday Check-in

136 lbs. (up 1 lb)
48 - Pulse (down 3 beats)

Feeling OK. My miles increased.

My weight is up by a pound, but steady all around. Not significant enough to consider it an increase. I don't know what to attribute the weight consistency. I must be eating more, but I'm not sure where in my diet the extra calories are sneaking in. While weight loss is important to me, I also know fitness matters more than weight. If I'm trading fat for muscle, then I have no complaints. Weight loss will follow another good month of long runs. If I can average 25 miles a week for five weeks, I should be running enough to lose about four pounds. I dare not be aggressive in weight loss while piling on miles.

My resting pulse, though, has dropped a few beats. I'm guessing that's the product of some longer runs and a good night's rest.

No aches or pains. I may retain a second opinion on that after this afternoon's run, but, for now, I feel good.