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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