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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)

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

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, and Henry Rono's efforts to regain form. One thing that was new to Jeff was 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 (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
1600 (400) 7:21
1600 (400) 7:24
1600 7:26
600 warmdown

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.