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Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cool Running, Warming Up

2.0 miles

total: 2.0 miles

around 30°F
course: random park run

A brief run, relaxed pace, a long warmup. No calf issues. Long stretches of my right hopefully reduced the impact.

Get inspired by the 007 theme.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just When I Thought, I Thought Again

Just when I hoped to jump back on the running bandwagon, I got sick. A cold. Nasty. That was after a spate of headaches that were the result of under hydrating.

I'm on the better side of it, but the road back to fitness will not be pleasant.

I think I will see the light beginning after Thanksgiving. I'll join a gym on Wednesday, but won't stat logging miles until the following Monday.

For those of you who follow these things, I joined the Facebook generation. Anthony Trendl.

In the meanwhile, consider adding this to the running mix on your iPod. I used to run to it back in the day.

Hyperactive by Thomas Dolby

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weighing in On Some Heavier Matters

Monday Check-in

133.8 lbs. (up)
58 - Pulse (up)

Status
Been sometime since I updated this. Been too long since I ran. Weight and pulse are both up. Nothing unexpected after roughly a month of inactivity. Suprising, though, is the amount of both. Three-five pounds and ten beats? It could be, now, I am sitting at a desk, unable to relax the same way I could at home.

Nothing is sore today, and a light run tonight is in order.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Three (and then some) Warm-up Miles

3.12 miles - 35:05.37 (11:15/mile)

weather: cool, modest wind.

Easy, barely broke a sweat run on the paths of Herrick Lake.

Autumn in full bloom, all colors came out to say hello.

Another run tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Start: Bang: Roll -- Slow, Safe Restart into Running

1.81 miles (21:54). Walk-run

Weather: 54 degrees

Run: 0.54 miles
Walk 0.30 miles
Run: 0.51 miles
Walk 0.45 miles (or thereabouts)

Held back the run, walked hard and steady.

Saturday I go at it again, a little longer. I'll try three miles easy.

Where's the Dilemma: A Month Without Running

I ache. I have not run. My soul begs -- No. No. My soul longs for God. My soul doesn't need to run. The rest of me, though, does, like a tongue needs taste, like the lungs require air.

My mind, my body, my heart, though -- begs to run.

My hair is short, but what is there needs wind. The slow wind which pushed it backed is missing.

My legs, laden now with stress, no longer as taut as in September, are crying for swift movement.

My thoughts are filled with things that need expunging. My mind wants to sigh.

My heart beats in a steady pattern. It rests well, but too long.

I need to run.

Why haven't I run?

At first, injury, more or less. No twisted ankle or anything obvious. Instead, my right calf tightened up in the middle of several different nights causing horrible pain. Hard like a rock used to smash corn into meal, my calf grew itself together. I'm not the first runner to endure this.

Water? Bananas? Overtraining? Does it matter?

I rested.

Work, then, at my new job, has its own toll. The job is great, but busy. Excuses? Could be. No longer.

Tonight is what would be my butt kicking with the Jim Spivey Running Club. I will not be there. Not tonight.

I'll run alone. Slow. Walking, probably, unashamed. But I'll run. What choice do I have?

Such is the dilemma of the runner: He must run, no matter what shape or situation he is in. The dilemma is finding a resolution despite being older, fatter, slower than when running was graceful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jim Spivey Speaks at Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Jim Spivey, my coach, speaking at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting at Wheaton Academy. Over 160 student athletes participated in the event.

It is just a small part of a much longer piece, shot at a distance, so you will need to turn it up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Piranhas, Chipmunks and Deer (oh my!)


0.64 miles (est) - 5:58 (9:17/mile)
7.74 miles - 1:11:53 (9:17/mile)

total: 8.38 miles

63°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 95%
course: Herrick Lake

I was late getting out the door. My ability to work my GPS is suspect. Then, I got lost. A deer jumped out from nowhere. A friendly chipmunk said hello every time I looped past his hole. A squirrel with human issues fired obscenities at me from his tree. Mosquitoes tore at my legs like piranhas.

A beautiful run. Slow on purpose. I needed this.

Haile Gebrselassie Runs 2:03:59 Marathon

Call me a Haile Gebrselassie fan. It's easy to be one. He's 35, when many elite runners are past their prime. Not him. He sets a world record in the marathon. Berlin Marathon. Again.

4:43 per mile. I'm pretty proud of having run a 4:44 -- once. This is unimaginable.

That's something to think about as I get ready to run long, albeit almost twice as slow.

I had a little survey on the left. Might be still up. A few of you (not me, I voted yes) were naysayers. Tsk, tsk.

Gebrselassie breaks marathon world record
By GEIR MOULSON

BERLIN (AP) — Haile Gebrselassie broke his own marathon world record on Sunday, becoming the first runner to finish under 2 hours, 4 minutes.

The Ethiopian clocked 2:03:59 to win his third straight Berlin Marathon, beating the mark of 2:04:26 he set last year over the same flat course. He also became the first runner to win the race three times.

more

Saturday, September 27, 2008

PR in Long Race (or Not?) (Tailgate Trot 5K Race)

Official results

.5 mile warm up
3x50 meters striders
3.17 miles race (21:43 - 6:51/mile, 21:14 5K pace)

total: 3.76375 miles

prerace - 7:12
55°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 100%

expected at race time
58°F
Current:Mostly Sunny
Wind: N at 2 mph
Humidity: 80%

Did I PR at the Tailgate Trot 5K Race 5K in Downers Grove, IL?

I saw two maps. One, just now, claiming a precise 5K as per the USATF. The other, at race time, also with USATF letterhead, that the race was 3.17 miles. The difference? A PR or not.

Either way, a decent race despite a rough night. Never pushed. Started slow, with a 7:01 mile. No one near me for the last 1200 meters, which would have helped. Second in the 40-44 age category. Nice red ribbon.

Mile 1 - 7:01
Mile 2 - 6:38 (?)
Mile 3 - 6:53 - 7:20 (?)

Met Mike Barret, a 58 year old runner who ran a 20:02, and, more importantly, has read this blog. Good guy. Low mileage, with roughly 20 miles per week. Last year, he took second overall in the Run for the Mind, just as I did this year.

Also met Karl, the guy I met at the St Mary's of Gostyn run. He's running again tomorrow in Plainfield.

Time to nap.

The Sun Also Rises: Thinking About the Race Before the Birds Awake

Darkness hangs around a heavy fog, joined like two hangmen waiting. Birds, too wet to chirp, consider with hope that today will be like yesterday. Birds don't know the sun always rises.

Today's race, Tailgate Trot 5K Race, starts at 8:00 am. I am expecting a small race, with mostly local runners, with no more than 200 runners. Although last week's race had a similar count, I don't expect to be as close to the front.

I'm up too early. Sleepless night, Five hours of sleep.

I adjusted all my goal times as I added a new race for November 1. If I generally improve each race, I will be happy. The day my times stop improving will my last PR. I am not there yet. The sun which sets also rises.

I have never read Earnest Hemingway's famous book. I should. My academic focus was American literature, and he is among the Americanist, right there with Poe, Twain, Sandburg, Steinbeck. He's from here, or, rather, around 15 miles east of here.

Racing. I'm drinking powdered cappuccino. Think gas station here, not Starbucks. Toffee flavored. It'll do. I'll be more awake, and all systems should be firing.

Under 22:00 is my general goal, but I will shoot for a 21:30. 6:56 pace. I will try to start at 6:50, if I can, hold to 7:00 for mile two, then charge through a 6:58 for the final 1.1.

The sun rises at 6:45 am. Race time weather is predicted to be Mostly Sunny, 58°F, with a huge 80% humidity. Mostly sunny is far better than all the way sunny. I prefer not to wear my sunglasses when I race.

Meanwhile, Haile Gebrselassie races the Berlin Marathon tomorrow. He broke the world record last year, missed the Beijing Olympics, and should be poised for a serious try at the WR again.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bugs Dug As Run's Fun Done

1.29+ miles - 11:21 (8:48/mile)
10x100 (.52/mile - 836.9 meters) e3obu (every third one a build-up)

total: 1.81+

71°F
Current:Clear
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 47%
course: neighborhood half mile loop

Not quite the prerace run I expected. 11:30 should have been 25:00. I tried running my neighborhood loop, dodged cars, mosquitoes, neighbors, all of which jumped into my planning. Not that neighbors are a bad thing. We need neighbors more than we let on.

My watch acted funky, or, rather, I missed the correct button. 1.29 is probably closer to 1.60. One mile was a 7:32.

So I sit here, drained of blood from a TB test I took yesterday (no blood really taken, but it hurts), drained of blood donated to the Anopheles Family Blood Drive, sweating without having run hard.

My legs are tired. Lack of steady training. Harder 100s. Ten, with the build-ups.

More than last week's race. I am a little more tired, a little better prepared? Look here tomorrow after the race to find out how it all worked out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lonely Night on a Strange, Bloody Track

1400 meters warmup (15:36)
6x100 striders
2x200 f (100)[400]
1x800 change of pace -- 3:06 (93, 93)
f first 200
g next 200
f next 200
g last 200
jog 3:30 vf (550 meters)
5x150 f (50)
4x100
600 meters warmdown

total: 3.90625 miles

82°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: SW at 0 mph
Humidity: 50%
course: COD track

Just ran the math of my run... light workout all said (by mile count, not effort)- 3.90625 miles. I ran it all pretty tightly, done from start to finish under 60 minutes. Was surprised there was not much recovery listed.

2x200 -- ran too fast for first one, and adjusted 39, 44.

800 = 3:06 with even splits per 400. :47 my first 200. No idea about other times.

Felt very wiped by the time the 150s came around, but tried to hold pace. Hard to run those alone. Very hard.

How alone was I was suspect. Three guys -- two huge twins, and one thinner guy, were filming. One had fake blood covering his head and face. The two big guys raced each other for 50 meters, and the thin guy recorded it.

Lonely Days, Lonely Nights Bee Gees

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunrise? No, Sunset! 5.12 Miles At Dusk

5.12 miles - 42:34 (8:19/mile)

total: 5.12 miles

81°F
Current:Clear
Wind: E at 0 mph
Humidity: 47%
course: Briarcliff Loop

finish
78°F
Current:Clear
Wind: NE at 0 mph
Humidity: 51%

Where did the heat come from? Isn't summer over?

I'll miss the swelter come February, but tonight, I drip.

My 4.3 mile route has grown short. Jim's training method is based somewhat on time, and tonight was 40-50 minutes. Happily, I am fast enough to presume my time will be quicker. The trouble then, is adding a mile or two.

Google told me if I add a certain road, a mile will be added exactly. Not true. 5.3 miles is really 5.12 miles. I squeezed that in just under 43:00. Another half mile would be preferred - I want to run closer to 45-48 minutes.

The run itself felt fine, even in the heat. I never pushed it, but relaxed in a stunning sunset. Soon, though, as I start my new job, I'll be looking at sunrises when I run.

Third and 5000 - Three 5K Races Left

Three races left. More? Maybe, but this should get me through the next month.

Actual races may change, depending on my schedule, but a few are in the queue to get nicked off in quick succession. How quick? A PR each race. No, no. I'm not calling my shots, ala Babe Ruth. Just wishful thinking.

My increased pace is largely based on better weather. Certainly, if I don't pull off my September 27 goal, my October 4 race goal is in question.

Good weather, good courses, and training well these next weeks open the door. I have to run aggressively, but wisely for each. No margin for error.

The "Jack" race will be on a hilly course.

In other words, I have no idea how I'll do. Gotta have a goal, though.

Ideally, I'll find something for early November too.

One step at a time.

Goals
Sept 27: Tailgate Trot 5K Race 5K, 21:10 - 6:50/mile
Oct 4: Scarecrow Shuffle 5K, 20:45 - 6:42/mile
Oct 19: This Run's for Jack 5K, 20:30 - 6:37/mile

Monday, September 22, 2008

Low Standards Are My Way

Monday Check-in

128.8 lbs. (down)
48 - Pulse (down)

Status
Strange week of running. A solid Thursday workout, decent race on Saturday, a nice easy run yesterday, but not many highlights beyond that for several weeks.

A bright spot? My weight seems to be tinkering down a bit here and there this month. A little up, a little down. Today is down further than it has been.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not Quite 7 on 9-21-2008

6.77 miles - 58:59 (8:42/mile)
0.50 warmdown

total: 7.27 miles

78°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: NW at 0 mph
Humidity: 56%
course: Butterfield Loop

finish
75°F
Current:Clear
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 59%

Hotter than expected, and saved from a storm the Weather Channel scheduled, the run was particularly steamy. Thankfully, Jim had today set as 'vf' - very fresh. No pressure, I just toddled along as felt right. My pace varied, but I didn't care.

So ends an busy week.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Run for the Mind: 5K Results - Smoked

0.25 mile warmup (slow jog from my car to the registration table)
3.1 mile race

total: 3.35 miles

At 8:06 am (race time is 9:00 am)
59°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SE at 0 mph
Humidity: 100%

Predicted for 9:00 am
67°F
Feels Like 67°F
Chance Precip 10%
Dew 59°F
Point Humid. 75%
Partly Cloudy
Wind From W 4 mph

Official time -- 21:57.6 That's no surprise.

The surprise? First place male (yet I was in third). 215 runners in all. They gave me a little trophy. It was embarrassing. Actual first place ran bandit. No number, not counted. Next actual first place was a woman (I got chicked).

So, there I was. In third, yet first. I thought the last became first?

Mile 1 - 6:51
Mile 2 - 13:36 (6:45)
Mile 3 (3.1) - 21:57.6 (7:36/mile)

I didn't think I slowed that much, nor picked it up after the first -- making my second mile suspect (does USATF certification mean the total distance is correct, or the individual splits as well?). I ran entirely alone after 1.5 miles, with few people on the sidelines.

Still, going into the race late -- I went to the wrong place and no warm up, tired from Thursday, I think I did OK. It was very humid on this grass and crushed stone course, with mild hills, lots of tight turns, and, for the 5K runners, a sharp hairpin turn.

Good buddy Bob Vishanoff took out most of the 10K crowd, getting third in a spectacular finish.

You can see a video of my finish, with a few pictures.


Run for the Mind: 5K Forthcoming

A change of plans. My race list is inaccurate, as I found a good buddy is running a different race.

Today will be the Run for the Mind. Still a 5K, but this time, on a trail course. Hardly real trail running, but it will no doubt will slow me down.

Also slowing me down will be sluggish legs. I blew off yesterday's workout for no other reason than I let the day escape. I had time. The weather was nice. I just was caught up in other things, and lost track of time.

Today's plan requires that I go out slow. I am not expecting a PR.

1 - 7:00
2 - 7:00
3 to the finish, whatever's left.

It will be a small crowd, and as such, there will be few running around my speed. A few will be much faster, and a large group a minute slower. With this, managing my pace is probably going to be a solo thing. No help from my comrades of the struggle.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pain, Like an Elixir of Encouragement, Tells Me Good Things

3200 m warmup
6x100 striders
2000 m - 8:23 (400)
1600 m - 6:46 (400)
1000 m - 4:02 (400)
400 m - :82 (400)
600 m warmdown

total: 6.875 miles

73°F
Current:Clear
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 56%
course: Wheaton College track

Jim sent out a little note to the JSRC group with our workout a few days ahead of time. The distances were no big deal. They add up to a 5K, not counting recovery times. The hard part was the ranges of time. Each runner, based on their level, had different times to hit. I hit mine pretty close. My mile was a second slow, and my 400 was eight seconds fast.

Poor, or short workouts took their toll. So did a difficult night of sleep (just three hours) the night before. How much? Hard to say, but I felt the pain of pressing the runs in my core. Being winded, out of gas is not unusual, but the pain is. It was not a cramp. Just pain.

Pain is never good, but good can come from it. I need to find my limit apart from cramps and other controllables. This pain was the kind which comes from finding that limit in a workout. This same pain I need to find in a race context, knowing all I've got is right there on the road.

Unrelated, but good news.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Unexpectedly Down-and-Out (But Expecting To Up-and-Out Tomorrow)

Monday Check-in

129.8 lbs. (down)
49 - Pulse (down)

Status
A little lower in both categories, and sick all around.

Salisbury Steak is my solace this afternoon, stuffed head. A leftover from running in the rain, or just the autumntime hayfever blues?

Today's a no training day, so I can afford to be sick. Eating is no thrill, and maybe I will lose another few ounces as a result. I need to eat, then a nap may be in order. The taste is strong enough the break through my existential misery.

All said, I've had better days, but I've had worse.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

High-stepping Through High Water: 4.29 in Murky Day

4.29 miles - 33:45 (7:52/mile)
0.50 warmdown

total: 4.79 miles

61°F
Current:Rain
Wind: W at 4 mph
Humidity: 87%
course: COD Loop

finish
59°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: SW at 0 mph
Humidity: 90%

High-stepped through Lambert, at Foxcroft Lake, thanks to flooding. Humidity high, overcast everywhere, but what we have is nothing like much of the area. Real flooding, electricity out. Our place is fine, just damp.

Back at it Tuesday.

2008 Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon Results & Video

Just got back - raining like crazy. Some friends ran this, and we went along to cheer them on.

Several videos in a playlist. Results.



2008 Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon Results & Video

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Four Visions of Rain: 5.69 Miles

5.69 miles - 53:45 (9:26/mile)

total: 5.69 miles

course: Butterfield Loop

Rain. I got wet.

See three visions of rain below, as seen from my porch. The fourth view cannot be shown. I wore that rain on my face, on my shirt -- the water filled my shoes, soaked my socks. That's the rain I ran in.

The summer is ending. Tonight, the water was warm, but the next time, it may be very cold. That rain intimidates me, but I have no choice. Or, at least, not a choice I want to make.





Thursday, September 11, 2008

Four Hundred Three Times Three Times (Really)

3200 warmup
6x100 striders
3x3x400 (200)[400]
600 warmdown

total: 6.25 miles

74°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SW at 7 mph
Humidity: 71%
course: Wheaton College track

A solid, albeit somewhat too fast, workout. Felt sluggish, then easier as I went along. No explanation for that. Held back when for the first 400 of the third set, could have broken 80 seconds finally, but I was already ahead of myself.

1:39, 1:43, 1:32
1:39, 1:25, 1:37
1:22, 1:30, 1:27

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is It 4:28 Yet? Another Run, Another Day

4.28 miles - 33:17 (7:47)

total: 4.28 miles

68°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SE at 0 mph
Humidity: 52%
course: COD Loop

finish
66°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SE at 0 mph
Humidity: 57%

Just another day, another run. Two accidents on Butterfield resulted in a long wait at Park, wanting to cross.

My GPS tells me 4.28 miles today. Why not the 4.30 from last week? No idea. I must have cut the tangents closer than usual.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Winter Comes With Miles Foreboding

Monday Check-in

130.4 lbs. (up)
50 - Pulse (up)

Status
Weight and pulse steady, slightly up. A bigger question is fitness.

Though (and perhaps because) mileage has wavered greatly, my workouts have been good. Friday's quickened pace, and Sunday's easy eight miles both felt right. Missing are miles. I do not want a break if it means overall, my times do not improve. My progress has been slowly built, but can be lost in a blink.

While I have stated goals in my race list on the left, I know that getting under 20:45 is not likely. A long winter of cold miles is ahead: running early in the morning; my body gathered tightly in turtlenecks, cotton gloves, hats and rain; eyes watering, feet slipping -- this is what stands between me and next March and running hard toward sub-20.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Negative Splits in a Positive Run: 8.08 in 68:15

8.08 miles - 68:15.44 (8:27/mile)

splits
4.04 miles - 35:05 (out) (8:41/mile)
4.04 miles - 33:10.44 (back) (8:13/mile)

55°F
Current:Clear
Wind: W at 0 mph
Humidity: 99%
course: Illinois Prairie Path - south from zero marker

finish
58°F
Current:Clear
Wind: W at 0 mph
Humidity: 100%

Easy Sunday morning run along the IPP, using my new, snazzy GPS watch. Still getting the kinks out, but I like the feature that shows me my per mile split (any split I want, but I set it at a mile). Also, learned the mile markers, at least the ones going south, from 0-4, are correct.

Ran with JRSC runner Jody Cantey, whose studying up for a half marathon next weekend. She was at ease the entire way, and should have no trouble.

Saw Frank and Paul, separately, and John Grebe near the finish.

Negative splits are encouraging, though we never pushed, nor intended to push.

Now, with a vanilla bean Gu in my system, I'm fresh, but ripe. Need to shower and head off to church.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

PADS 5K and 10K - Brief Recap with Pictures

Mike Demerrit brought out a good representation of the Jim Spivey Running Club. Frank, Lee, Rudi, Rich, Paul, Margaret, Steve, and Kevin were all there, as was I, to help raise funds for PADS.

Kevin and Frank smiling just before we got into action.

Had a fun post-race conversation with Mike's wife Valerie, who says she actually reads my blog.

I spent my time at a corner with Steve Hess and Nick, a policeman, who did the official traffic directly. I did little more than clap and cheer, but I was enthusiastic.

No real hitches outside of an overly grumpy business owner, convinced he was losing customers, and a few drives unhappy they had to go another way. Wheaton's downtown traffic is complicated, so I felt their frustration, but little could be done about it.

I missed pictures of some colorful dressers, a few race walkers and the overall race scene.

Mike directs us to what we'll be doing and where.

Entirely unrelated are two new YouTube videos I have posted:

Laptop Blogging Blues - A poem I perform with images of my garage about the struggles of blogging with borrowed WiFi.

You Gotta Shake What Your Momma Gave You - Just a silly video of a baboon dancing at Brookfield Zoo lazy weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

4xMile Mid-Day Track Intervals

PADS Run (western suburbs of Chicago)
I am volunteering. Join me. Show up at 6 am.
2800 meter warm up
6x100 striders
2x2xmile (300)[400] - (7:03, 6:32, 7:19, 6:51 - total: 27:45)
600 warmdown

total: 6.125 miles

62°F
Wind: W at 3 mph
Humidity: 81%
course: Wheaton College track

Rain waylaid yesterday's practice, so we hit the track this afternoon. Sparse crowd. Just Matt F, Margaret and myself, at that speed, in that order.

The gist was to run slower, faster, slower faster. My times were supposed to be 7:48 and 7:17, which turned out not to be reality. The 7:03 felt easy, with a first lap in 93, then slowed down purposely. The 6:32 took a lot out of me, even though I think I had a few seconds better in me. My third mile was slow, filled with fatigue, but I lived. Still OK within the structure of the workout.

My last lap was in 97 seconds, encouraging as I was tired. My middle two laps weren't much, but I'll take the good that I can.
Compare to a similar workout last October. Then, I ran 1:06 slower:
Mile 1 -- 7:10
Mile 2 -- 7:14
Mile 3 -- 7:14
Mile 4 -- 7:13
total: 28:51

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain: Mile Repeats Wait a Day

Rain is pouring, cancelling practice, rescheduling it for tomorrow at 11:30.

Mile repeats are the plan. I'm supposed to hit 7:48, 7:17, 7:48, and "?" I'm not sure what Jim means by this, but I'll know better when I get there. All out? Struggle to a 7:17?

In the meanwhile, I'll eat Chinese food, watch the John McCain speech, and see if he is the guy I will vote for.

Rhythm of the Rain - The Cascades

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Faster & Slower - 32:38 - Course PR

4.30 miles 32:38 (7:35/mile)
0.50 warmdown

total: 4.80 miles

68°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: N at 9 mph
Humidity: 71%
course: COD Loop

It's so groovy now, sort of. PRs all over. Tonight, for the big lap around the yard, I knocked off around a minute. My pace is the same, though. Doggone GPS told me so. That 0.12 miles not run told me.

The "sort of" has to do with the big drop in mileage the last two weeks. I don't know how much -- my thumb drive might be broken (big stress there), but the loss in training will make a difference later on.

I gotta feel good, though, about a minute drop. Even if the distance is different, the route remains the same, so the course PR is completely valid.

Felt good the entire run, relaxed throughout. Another cool night, and if I focus on running a steady pace, another minute could be eliminated.

Thursday night will be mile repeats, so I am curious how I bounce back. Tonight's run was after Friday was off, Saturday was a race (but low mileage), Sunday was a slow, short run, then Monday and Tuesday off.

"Let's Get Together" by the Youngbloods ("It's so groovy now")

Cancelled: Park Ridge Charity Classic Race 5K (Sept 27)

Quite bummed I am, as I learned that a race that serves as a personal best factory has been cancelled.

The Park Ridge Charity Classic Race has a great there and back course, though the hairpin turn halfway can be rough. Somehow, the times still rock. I ran 22:00 last year, and was hoping to hit a 20:30 this year. Streets are rougher now, though, as construction in Park Ridge, and throughout the course, hinders the race.

I just spoke with race director David Loomos, who said things will be up and running next year (pun intended). He e-mailed everyone who signed up online, but that left another 250 people like myself who signed up in person in the dark.

Send David an e-mail, and get on the mailing list.

Contact
David Loomos
847-845-5806
dave@pickwicktheatre.org

Sunday, August 31, 2008

4.42 Miles (More or Less?)

4.42 miles - 37:40 (8:31/mile)
0.50 warmdown

total: 4.92 miles

84°F
Current:Clear
Wind: S at 4 mph
Humidity: 41%
course: COD Loop

I was given a very cool gift: a Garmin GPS watch - the Forerunner 201. This changes everything. Take my usual route, 4.42 miles. The watch thinks it is 4.3 miles. More testing needed to see if I am satisfied with that. Obviously, this morphs all of my distances.

More on the watch as I figure out how to use it.

Otherwise, a hot run, ran slowly to recoop from the previous day's race. My 8-miler was squashed by jus' bein' tah'r'd.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

5K PR 21:35.5 - St. Mary of Gostyn's - Attacked by Dog

0.5 warmup
3.1 mile race
0.25 warmdown

total: 3.85 miles

51°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SW at 0 mph
Humidity: 94%

21:35.5 - 18th overall
3rd in age group (40-44)
6:58 pace.

mile 1 - 6:45
mile 2 - 7:05 (13:50)
last 1.1 - 7:03

I started too fast (wanted 7:00, 7:00, then finish @ 6:45). My focus was better than any other race so far, but room for improvement was evident. I had slept poorly. The night before I was sick (indigestion), and so missed my pre-race-day workout.

Things were looking good the last mile, but a huge dog attacked me at around the 2.5 mile mark. No contact -- the owner grabbed him at the last instant, but I came to a dead stop. How did this impact me? No idea. No one passed me.

Knocked off :25 from last year's 22:00, and :67 from this year's 22:42. Got a red ribbon for my efforts. Mostly flat, very mild inclines. The start bottlenecked from kids dashing out the first 400, and things settled quickly. All volunteers were a nice lot, very kind.

Met Liz Flowers and her friend Carl. Liz keeps a blog focused on her tri experiences. Tri-ing Like a Girl - Extreme Liz. We laughed about inexperienced runners not taking advantage of tangents. Geometry 101. We agreed too, that races are extremely social events, a good thing for runners.

A PR is good any day, but this day, my 42nd birthday, it was welcome, especially after a PR-less summer. I do not think the season is over for me, though. September 27: has the Park Ridge Charity Race 5K. Unsure what my goal should be, but the way I felt today plus better weather, no dogs, and another month of training, and something well under 21:00 seems possible.

Spent the rest of the day walking around Brookfield Zoo, and will sleep tonight like a 42 year-old baby.

Last year's birthday run: Running Hard at 41 Years Old

Tomorrow is a long run. Depending on the weather, and time of day, 8-12 miles.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Racing St. Mary of Gostyn 5k 2008: Tomorrow

St. Mary of Gostyn 5k 2008

Presuming the course is flat (and I have no idea), I want even splits. I want a PR. A lot of things are working together: overall good workout, better mileage base, good weather predicted.

What's my goal? With my crummy outing at the Viking Sunset 5K, I have no check on where I am now. My last good race was July 4, but that was a hillier four miler. A good race it was, but it provided little reference for tomorrow.

So what'll it be? Huh? Huh? The race will defined by how fast I run mile 1, and how I feel when I get there. Go out too fast, and I'm sunk. No juice left. Go out too slow, and either I can never switch into a speedier mode, or, I finish the other 2.1 well, but wonder what I could have done with a good mile 1. With no useful reference, it is all risk.

The weather is will be between 56°F and 85°F. Early in the morning, things should be cool. Under 70°F will make it the coolest race I will have run this year. This is good.

Game plan?
Time: 21:25

Mile 1 -- 7:00
Mile 2 -- 7:00
Mile 3 -- 6:45 (until finish)

That's pretty safe, and has room for adjusting. If I feel great after mile 1, so be it. I'm still in the mix to run a PR (under 22:00), and, ready to tear things up if I'm in the zone. Mile 2 is the arbiter of mile 3, and the liaison to reality. A 7:00 pace start also means if I'm miserable, I will not be so out of it that the race is shot entirely. I should still be able to push out a 22:30, finishing the remaining 2.1 miles in 7:22.

So, potential range: 21:10-22:30.

We'll see. All of this is just blog talk. Reality comes with the finish.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

400 PR During An 800 PR?

3200 meters warmup
6x100
4x150 f (50)[400]
3x200 gfgf (100)[5 m's]
800 m (1st lap f, 2nd lap g -- 94, 82)
jog 4m's vf
2 x150 f (50)
500 wd

tota: 5.0 miles

79°F
Current:Haze
Wind: SE at 2 mph
Humidity: 71%

course: Wheaton College track

I felt shaky during the warmup, running 8:45 out and 8:30 back with Dave Christensen. I mentioned to him that sometimes, it gets frustrating -- who will show up? Good Tony or Bad Tony? Both made the trip tonight. As I slogged through the warmup, I wondered if this would be as last night. My 40:00 run was shot -- ran 41 seconds, felt entirely out of it, and went home.

With a race Saturday, tonight's workout was adjusted slightly. My 800 was scheduled as a mile, and my 2 x150 was originally 3 x200.

All felt at ease, even the 800s. My PR for the 800, set on a treadmill, is 2:50, but my outdoor 800 maybe around 2:58. I need to sleuth that out, looking through my blog to see. Still, no matter what, I feel good about the 2:56 because at no point was I straining, and finished with a 400 PR. It had been :83, but I knicked a second off. What if I ran a little harder for the first 400? There was a :12 difference. There was supposed to be maybe :05 between the first and second. I think a 2:50 was possible, maybe even 2:47.

All speculation. What matters now is Saturday's race. Resting well, hydrating thoroughly, eating intelligently, and racing the race.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dimes Are Shiny On All But The Darkest Night

6.52439752 miles - 54:45 (8:23/mile). New route.

total: 6.52439752 miles

71°F
Current:Clear
Wind: NW at 3 mph
Humidity: 60%
course: COD Loop

Jim scheduled me for 50 minutes tonight, at a fresh pace. Since my 4.42 route has turned into roughly 35 minutes, I needed to add 15 minutes. I have a 6.94 mile route, but, that's too far. All this means there's a new variation on my COD loop.

The weather is growing cooler, though not less humid. I will take it.

All was relaxed and comfortable, and, almost a PR for the distance. Had I been less tentative with knowing where to turn, I think it would have been. The next time out maybe.

Found a dime shining up on Taft Avenue. Even though dusk had mostly disappeared into night, there it shone up from the dusty street, alone. What else could I do? I tucked the dime in my shorts and ran on.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ageless? Hardly. Dead? Not Yet.

Monday Check-in

130.2 lbs. (down)
48 - Pulse (up)

Status
From age to age, God is still the same. Me, no, no. 42 is coming on strong, and I'm not the same.

With Saturday's long bike ride (34 miles), my legs are tired. My calves are tight, and my left hamstring aches. What impact the bike has on running fitness I have no idea. I do know last night's 4.2 miler was a tough one.

My mileage dropped as low as 18.1 miles, the first 7-day period I have been under 20 miles since July 4. The good news is, compared to last August, I am far ahead of the game. That is not counting the bike ride. There was no riding in 2007.

Weight remains steady although slightly lower, pulse slid up a spot or two.

Overall, I believe I am continuing to get fitter. Last Thursday's track workout had a few bright areas, my weight is slowly edging down, aerobically I am stronger. I need a race to find out, but am rethinking the wisdom of racing this weekend. I need a long run. Can't reasonably do both. Waffling here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Drained, But Ran Anyway

4.2 miles - 36:35 (8:42/mile)

74°F
Current:Clear
Wind: N at 1 mph
Humidity: 59%
course: COD Inner Loop

Legs are tired from yesterday's 34 mile Sparta to Wilton and back ride. Thankfully, Jim scheduled this to be 'very fresh,' and I applied accordinly.

New route, based on my basic route, but shorter. Had a long drive back home after a late night in Wisconsin, riding, then watching the Olympic Marathon.

A day off tomorrow, and back at it Tuesday, looking forward to a race next weekend. Hopefully I have a better showing than the last time out.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Short Stuff: Little Bits of Little Bits

2800 meters warm up
6x100 striders
3-4 x 200 f (100)[400]
1x400 f (400)
3x250 gfg (150)[400]
1x500 f (400) - 2:00
1200 meters laps in and outs (slower on curves, quicker on straights) - 5:21
jog 3-4 m's vf
3x200 f+ (stand :30) (:39, :38, :38)
600 meters warmdown

total: 6.28125 miles

78°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SE at 1 mph
Humidity: 67%
course: Wheaton College track

Strange workout. I felt tired for most of it, but at the end, for the final group of 200s, found them easy, running with the front group.

Brad Webb had us over to his beautiful home afterward for a BBQ. Most everyone made it. We watched the Olympics in style, in his home theater Rich Flansburg celebrated his birthday, adding to a very good day.

Friday is a day, driving to Wisconsin, and Saturday we ride the Elroy-Sparta Trail.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sloppy, Slow, Sluggish: Rough Going on the Road

4.42 miles - 3 miles fresh, the rest struggling

total: 4.42

80°F
Current:Clear
Wind: E at 3 mph
Humidity: 53%
course: COD Loop

The weights? Diet? Hydration? Does it matter?

Ouch.

Tomorrow's another day. Lots of shorter intervals.

As I type, Usain Bolt's 200 m is replayed. 19.30. Wow. I want to see him do a 400 and even an 800. Wow.

College of DuPage Track - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage Track - Glen Ellyn, IL

This is a broken down, worn out track. Ripples on the surface are on the back stretch, and at the start of the 100 meters. I took these around 1 pm, August 20, 2008, while walking with my friend, David Dane. I have run here often.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dashing Through The Snow(y Clouds)

4.42 miles fresh - 34:09 (7:43/mile)
0.50 miles warming down (8:36/mile)
0.50 miles hard walk

total: 5.42 miles

75°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: NW at 6 mph
Humidity: 72%
course: COD Loop

finish
73°F
Current:Clear
Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 77%

Beautiful sunset, white puffy clouds. Very decent gallop. The usual route, except with a two-tiered warmdown: easy half mile followed by a walk that stretched my legs.

I felt the impact of the weights. My shoulders ache mildly. Not too bad, though had I gone longer, things may have tightened up. Real results are a long, long way off. A few dumbbell lifts can't do much.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Best Olympian Ever? Phelps, Lewis, Spitz or Nurmi?

Who is the best Olympian ever? See the survey on the left.

My vote is not the obvious Michael Phelps. Great? You bet. Greatest? No. I say Paavo Nurmi, the Finnish runner who achieved gold medals is such varied distances as 1500 meters to the 10,000 meters. He would have competed in the marathon had it not been for stringent financial rules (he was ruled a professional in an era that looked more seriously at money than Phelps' million dollar empire era).

Carl Lewis based his skill on sheer leg speed. He had lots of it, but it is a very different thing than excelling in a middle distance event and a long distance one. Add to this the sheer physical endurance of performing in the needed preliminary heats and finals, and Lewis becomes behind Nurmi.

It is not uncommon for a runner to be very good at both, but to win at both is entirely different. Lewis was a one-trick pony.

Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps are similar to Lewis in that they had a core skill. Amazing? Impressive? Wow. Totally, but, no Paavo Nurmi.

Give Phelps his due, but don't forget Nurmi.

Paavo Nurmi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paavo_Nurmi
"Nurmi won a total of nine gold and three silver medals in the 12 events in which he competed at the Olympic Games from 1920 to 1928."
Olympic Games
Gold 1920 Antwerp 10000 m
Gold 1920 Antwerp 8000 m cross country
Gold 1920 Antwerp 8000 m cross country team
Gold 1924 Paris 1500 m
Gold 1924 Paris 5000 m
Gold 1924 Paris 5000 m cross country
Gold 1924 Paris 5000 m cross country team
Gold 1924 Paris 3000 m team
Gold 1928 Amsterdam 10000 m
Silver 1920 Antwerp 5000 m
Silver 1928 Amsterdam 5000 m
Silver 1928 Amsterdam 3000 m steeplechase


Carl Lewis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Lewis
"...retired American track and field athlete who won 10 Olympic medals including 9 golds, and 10 World Championships medals, of which 8 were golds"
Olympic Games
Gold 1984 Los Angeles 100 m
Gold 1984 Los Angeles 200 m
Gold 1984 Los Angeles 4x100 m relay
Gold 1984 Los Angeles Long jump
Gold 1988 Seoul 100 m
Gold 1988 Seoul Long jump
Gold 1992 Barcelona 4x100 m relay
Gold 1992 Barcelona Long jump
Gold 1996 Atlanta Long jump
Silver 1988 Seoul 200 m


Mark Spitz
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Spitz
"best known for winning seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement surpassed only when Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympics. Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic gold medals, one silver, and one bronze; five Pan American golds; 31 National U.S. Amateur Athletic Union titles; and eight U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. During those years, he set 33 world records. He was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972."
Olympic Games
Gold 1972 Munich 100 m butterfly
Gold 1972 Munich 100 m freestyle
Gold 1972 Munich 200 m butterfly
Gold 1972 Munich 200 m freestyle
Gold 1972 Munich 4x100 m freestyle relay
Gold 1972 Munich 4x100 m medley relay
Gold 1972 Munich 4x200 m freestyle relay
Gold 1968 Mexico City 4x100 m freestyle relay
Gold 1968 Mexico City 4x200 m freestyle relay
Silver 1968 Mexico City 100 m butterfly
Bronze 1968 Mexico City 100 m freestyle


Michael Phelps
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Phelps
"14-time Olympic gold medalist (the most by any Olympian), who currently holds seven world records in swimming."
Olympic Games
Gold 2004 Athens 100 m butterfly
Gold 2004 Athens 200 m butterfly
Gold 2004 Athens 200 m individual medley
Gold 2004 Athens 400 m individual medley
Gold 2004 Athens 4 x 200 m freestyle relay
Gold 2004 Athens 4 x 100 m medley relay
Gold 2008 Beijing 200 m freestyle
Gold 2008 Beijing 100 m butterfly
Gold 2008 Beijing 200 m butterfly
Gold 2008 Beijing 200 m individual medley
Gold 2008 Beijing 400 m individual medley
Gold 2008 Beijing 4 x 100 m freestyle relay
Gold 2008 Beijing 4 x 200 m freestyle relay
Gold 2008 Beijing 4 x 100 m medley relay
Bronze 2004 Athens 200 m freestyle
Bronze 2004 Athens 4 x 100 m freestyle relay

In a City With Small Shoulders

Monday Check-in

131.2 lbs. (up)
46 - Pulse (down)

Status
Good week overall, discounting yesterday morning's miserable outing. Weight remains steady, pulse slid down a spot.

Carl Sandburg said Chicago is a city of big shoulders. Not mine. My shoulders are small, and after lifting a dumbbell a few times, I am aching this morning, I'll hold off the temptation to lift today, and ease into it. My -- hmm, I'm not sure what the muscles are called -- the one that connect my pecs to my soulders -- hurt.

Any improvement will help my speed, and there's no good that can come from rushing into this.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Brave New Thing: Joining the Strongman Program

There is no strongman program. Not for me. I'm Almost 5'6". Around 130 lbs. No muscle to speak of, and what there is has little heavy lifting strength.

That's why I bought some weights. Just dumbbells. See below.

Biceps. Shoulders. Pecs (and I'm not talking about that wonderful city in southwestern Hungary - see T-Shirt White " Pecs " Hungary City).

This is a good thing. Hopefully a starter kit, then off to buy a full range of weights set up in my garage. In the meanwhile, this dumbbell set can be arranged with 3 lb and 5 lb weights, with 20 lbs on either side.

A few months of this, along with the situps and pushups I have been doing, and hopefully, some noticeable difference will be evident.



2006 IronMan Pro Strongman and Bench Press

Pre-church Run Nothing to Raise Hands Over

2.0 miles - 17:19 (8:34/mile)

64°F
Current:Clear
Wind: W at 0 mph
Humidity: 89%
course: COD track

Ugly run. The game plan was four miles fresh, or, I was guessing around 7:45-8:15/mile. Maybe faster. Nope.

Mile 1 - 8:26
Mile 2 - 8:53

Residual tiredness from yesterday's run is my best guess. I hit eight miles at a decent clip.

Time for church.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Who Are You? Faster Than Dirt.

Whatever you might be, you are a pretty quick bunch.

29 of you answered my survey on the left. 28. I'm one of the votes.

The question?

My 5K PR is...

sub-15:00 2 (6%)

15:00-17:00 4 (13%)

17:00-18:00 2 (6%)

18:00-19:00 3 (10%)

19:00-20:00 2 (6%)

20:00-22:00 8 (27%)

22:00-25:00 3 (10%)

25:00-30:00 3 (10%)

30:00-35:00 2 (6%

Four At Nine Will Get You Eight in Negative Splits - Workout Course PR

8.0 miles - 66:51 (8:21/mile)
33:46 out (8:26/mile)
33:05 back (8:16/mile)

65°F
Current:Clear
Wind: W at 0 mph
Humidity: 80%
course: Illinois Prairie Path

finish
73°F
Current:Clear
Wind: W at 0 mph
Humidity: 59%

First mile = 8:16, and I worried that I spent it all. While completing mile four, I felt a stitch, and thought maybe this was confirming it all. Not so. Not so. Not only was my pace fine, but it picked up on the way home.

Part of the reason for the good run might be yesterday's day off. Or, cooler air. I hit the trail around 9:00. Or later. What matters is that I wish was earlier. Weather was OK, but at 7:00 was perfect.

Add to all of this a new 31-day mileage total top, 139.37 (31.47 miles/week).

Trivia: You spent more time reading this post than Jamaica's Usain Bolt took to run 100 meters getting the gold medal: 9.69 seconds. Well done Mr. Bolt!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Survival of the Soon-to-be Fitter

3200m warmup
6x100 striders
1000 (300)
400 (400) (1:39)
1000 (300)
400 [600] (1:38)
200 (50) (:38)
200 (50) (:37?)
200 (50) (:37)
200 (50) (:40)
800
600m warmdown

total: 6.625 miles

76°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: 13 mph / 20 km/h / 5.7 m/s from the NE
Humidity: 52%
course: Wheaton College track

Survived well enough. Several good workouts in a row.

I'm not sure of my 1000 times.

The 200s were run in a cycle: 200 m on the track at a decent clip, then 50m across the grass, then onto the next 200. The 250m cycle had to be complete within a certain time.

The 800 was also different: curves were jogged, straights harder. Fartlek.

That's it for now. I'm have Olympics to watch.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Curly the Caterpillar Didn't Run on a Foggy Night

4.42 miles - 33:33 (7:35/mile)
0.50 miles warmdown

total: 4.92 miles

68.5°F
Current: Mostly Cloudy
Wind: 0 mph
Humidity: 100%
course: COD Loop

finish
67.6°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: 0 mph
Humidity: 100%

While Cary Grant looked desperately for Pinky's lost caterpillar, Curly, in the 1944 classic Once Upon a Time, I took a long lap around the College of DuPage. My usual route.

Happily, it was cooler. No less humid, but I'll take it. A course PR by 11 seconds, and I felt as ease throughout. I could have worked it harder and dropped another 10-20 seconds, but that can wait. Steady pace from start to finish, but I felt the lack of a warmup.

Tomorrow is the JSRC workout, so I'll find out how I recover.

TV Schedule for Track & Field in Beijing

There are six day time (DT) broadcasts for Track and Field. They will be time delayed at least 1-5 hours.

(1) 11am-noon Fri-Aug 15 – Men’s 100m (1st round).
(2) 4 pm-6 pm Sat-Aug 16 – Unspecified T&F qualifying events.
(3) 2 pm-6 pm Sun-Aug 17 – Men’s 10,000m finals.
(4) 11am-1pm Mon-Aug 18 – Unspecified T&F qualifying events.
(5) 11am-1pm Tues-Aug 19 – Unspecified T&F qualifying events.
(6) 11am-1pm Thurs-Aug 21 – Men’s Decathlon, day 1.

There are seven late night (12:30am–2:00am) broadcasts for T&F:

(1) Fri-Aug 15 – Women’s 10,000m finals.
(2) Sat-Aug 16 – Women’s 800m semifinals
(3) Sun-Aug 17 – Men’s hammer finals. Women’s triple jump and steeple finals.
(4) Mon-Aug 18 – Women’s 800m and discus finals.
(5) Tue- Aug 19 – Men’s high jump and discus finals.
(6) Wed-Aug 20 – Women’s hammer and 20km walk finals. (20km walk is on CNBC)
(7) Sat-Aug 23 – Men’s javelin finals. Perhaps women’s high jump finals if not shown in prime time.

(DT=Day Time, PT=Prime Time, LN=Late Night)

FRIDAY, AUG. 15 – DAY 7
DT) 11:00am – noon
Men’s 100m (1st round)
PT) 8:00pm – midnight
Men's 100m Butterfly & 50m Freestyle finals (LIVE)
Women's 200m Backstroke & 800m Freestyle finals (LIVE)
Men's 100m competition (2nd round)
Men's Shot Put finals
Men’s Beach Volleyball (LIVE)
Men's Volleyball – USA vs. China
Women's 50m Swimming Freestyle semifinal (LIVE)
LN) 12:30am – 2:00am
Women's 10,000m finals
Women's 3m Springboard Diving qualification round

SATURDAY, AUG. 16 – DAY 8
DT) 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Track & Field – unspecified qualifying events
Women's Springboard 3m Diving semifinals
PT) 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Men's 4x100m Medley Relay & 1500m Freestyle finals (LIVE)
Women's 50m Freestyle & 4x100m Medley Relay finals (LIVE)
PT) 9:30pm – midnight
Women's Marathon (LIVE)
Women's 100m Competition (1st & 2nd rounds)
Men's 100m finals
Women's Heptathlon & Shotput finals
LN) 12:30am – 2:00am
Women's Beach Volleyball – USA quarterfinals match
Women's 800m semifinals

SUNDAY, AUG. 17 – DAY 9
DT) 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Men’s 10,000m finals (This was originally scheduled for broadcast after midnight)
Rowing–Eights finals
Badminton, table tennis, beach volleyball and more.
PT) 7:00pm – midnight
Men's Floor & Pommel Horse finals
Women's Floor & Vault finals
Women's Triathlon finals
Women's 100m finals
Women's 3m Springboard Diving finals
LN) 12:30am – 2:00am
Men’s Hammer Throw finals
Women's Triple Jump finals
Women’s Steeplechase finals (Was originally scheduled for primetime)
Men's Beach Volleyball quarterfinals

MONDAY, AUG. 18 – DAY 10
DT) 11:00am – 1:00pm
Men's Volleyball – USA vs. Japan (LIVE)
Men's Beach Volleyball
Track & Field – unspecified events
Men's Springboard 3m Diving Competition
PT) 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Women’s Trampoline finals
Men's Rings & Vault
Women's Uneven Bars
Men's 400m Hurdles finals
Men’s Long Jump finals
Women’s Pole Vault finals
PT) 9:00pm – midnight
Women’s Beach Volleyball semifinals (LIVE)
Gymnastics
Trampoline
Men’s Steeplechase finals (Might be shown 8-9pm or 12:30-2am.)
LN) 12:30am – 2:00am
Men’s 3m Springboard semifinals
Women’s 800m finals
Women’s Discus finals
Women’s Beach Volleyball semifinals (LIVE)

TUESDAY, AUG. 19 – DAY 11
DT) 11:00am – 1:00pm
Women's Volleyball quarter finals (LIVE)
Track & Field – unspecified qualifying events
Men’s Trampoline final
Women's Water Polo semifinals
PT) 8:00 p.m. – Midnight
Men’s Parallel and High Bars finals
Women’s Balance Beam finals
Women's 400m finals
Women’s 100m Hurdles finals
Men's 1500m finals
Men’s 3m Springboard finals
Men’s BMX Cycling quarter finals (LIVE)
LN) 12:30am – 2:00am
BMX Cycling quarter finals (Live)
Men’s Beach Volleyball semis
Men’s High Jump finals
Men’s Discus finals

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 20 – DAY 12
PT) 8:00pm – 9:00pm only
Gymnastics Exhibition Routines
Men's 200m finals
Women's 400m Hurdles finals
LN) 12:30am – 2:00am
Women’s Volleyball semifinals (LIVE)
Women’s 10m Platform Diving semifinals
Women’s Hammer finals
Women’s 20km walk finals (on CNBC 12-2am)

THURSDAY, AUG. 21 – DAY 13
DT) 11:00am – 1:00pm
Women’s Water Polo finals
Equestrian Individual Jumping finals
Rhythmic Gymnastics qualification rounds
Men’s Decathlon Day 1 (and much more?)
PT) 8:00pm – 10pm
Men’s 110mh finals
Men’s 400m final
Women’s 200m final
Men’s Triple Jump final
Women’s Diving finals
PT) 10:00pm – midnight
Women’s 10m Platform Diving Final
Men's Triple Jump
Women’s Javelin Throw
Men’s Beach Volleyball finals (LIVE)

FRIDAY, AUG. 22 – DAY 14
PT) 8:00pm – Midnight
Men’s 10m Platform Diving semifinals (LIVE)
Men's 4x100m Relay finals
Men’s Pole Vault finals
Women's 4x100m Relay finals
Women’s Long Jump finals
Women’s 5000m finals
Men’s Decathlon finals

SATURDAY, AUG. 23 – DAY 15
PT) 7:30pm – Midnight
Men's Track & Field – Marathon (LIVE)
Men's 800m finals
Men’s 5000m finals? (Not specified on NBC’s schedule if this will be shown before or after midnight, or if at all.)
Men’s 4x400 Relay finals
Women’s 4x400 Relay finals
Women's 1500m finals? (Not specified on NBC’s schedule if this will be shown before or after midnight, or if at all.)
Women’s High Jump finals? (Not specified on NBC’s schedule if this will be shown before or after midnight, or if at all.)
LN) 12:30am – 5:00am
Men’s Basketball finals (LIVE)
Men’s Table Tennis finals
Men’s Mountain Biking finals
Men’s Javelin Throw Finals

SUNDAY, AUG. 24 – DAY 16
PT) 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Men's Volleyball finals? (USA Today’s schedule lists this, but NBC’s doesn’t. I doubt events will be shown Sunday.)
Closing Ceremony

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hot Stuff Found Along a Lonely Highway

4.42 miles - 34:09 (7:43/mile)

77°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SSE 2 mph
Humidity: 52%
course: COD Loop

Hot stuff. Not me. The weather. Butterfield Road shouted at me today.

I don't buy this 77° bit. Felt hotter. No matter. A decent run. Lower right calf twinged a time or two. Need to watch if that's a serious thing.

Found a guy's Macy card, and his Best Buy card. Lost the Best Buy card, but called Macy's to let them know.

Off now to shower, then grab some Chinese food while watching the Olympic opening ceremonies on a friend's TIVO.

Monday, August 11, 2008

John Stephen Akhwari: Heroic Runner

John Stephen Akhwari

Sometime when I was young, maybe in the mid-1970s, I saw this video. Few stories have inspired me as much -- both as a runner, and as a person. He ran the marathon for Tanzania in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Famously, he explained why, though battered, bleeding, and broken, he finished a grueling race in last place, "My country did not send me 5000 miles to start the race. They sent me 5000 miles to finish the race."

Busting Ghosts and Not Losing Weight

Monday Check-in

131.0 lbs. (up)
49 - Pulse (up)

Status
A strong week of running, culiminating yesterday in a comfortable eight-mile run and 37.65 miles accumulated. A couple course PRs makes all look promising. Still, it ain't progress unless there's progress. Since my goal is singular: break 20:00 for a 5K, then getting closer to that in a race is the only progress that counts. Still, the evidence is favorable. I need a race to find out.

My weight is more or less the same, but not drastically down as I expected. I weighed in very low a few days last week, but, today, my official weight day, I am above. I hope all those sit-ups are adding muscle weight. The scale was not as friendly as it had been.

Just for fun:

Ghost Busters (look for all the cameos at the end)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This Way and That: Sunday Morning Running

8 miles - 71:42 (8:58/mile)

total: 8 miles

60°F
Current:Clear
Wind: NW at 2 mph
Humidity: 79%
course: Illinois Prairie Path south from zero

That's the weather a little later. I left in a hurry to meet Jody at the zero marker for an easy gallop to the four mile marker and back, forgetting to grab the temp.

Stayed close to 8:45-9:00 most of the way. Mild (very mild) hills. Flat, really. Conversational pace throughout. Slightly slower on the way back. Most importantly, all was relaxed, and completed before church. As my schedule may change significantly soon, I need to get in morning runs, and this was a good start.

My best time for eight miles is 69:32 - 8:41/mile. I have no doubt we could have run faster than this, but the goal was "very fresh," coach Jim Spivey's term for pretty easy warm-up pace. It does not mean, "All out, fast as you can, record time."

Mile/Pace (I don't remember the others)
1 - 8:44
2 - 8:57
Halfway - 35:36 (8:54)

This completes a 7-day mileage high of 37.65, and a 31-day mileage high of 132.25.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm Gonna Be Sore: Hills and Remembering

13 minutes warmup
tempo run - 9:00 out and back
jog to the hill
2 hills
3x1 minutes (1) on the path back to the cars

total: around 6.5 miles

56°F
Current:Clear
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 94%
course: Blackwell Forest Preserve

Today was all about the hill. A warmup, 18:00 of a tempo run, and a neat little mountain goat jog, then the Hill.

Last night's run was good, but not a lot of hours have passed since then. Maybe under 12. I ran decently this morning, but my legs remember what they just did. I came home, I watched the ending of the opening ceremonies to the Olympics, and went to sleep. Back at it at 7:30 am, and there we were.

A good group came out, including a few young runners, two from Wheaton Academy, one from West Chicago High School.

My 31-day mile count it at a new high. It has been creeping up, and now is at 130.87. Tomorrow's run should bring it up another mile or two.

I'm thinking that this year might not be my year to break 20:00. My races have not shown the kind of improvement I think I should see. I still think I will drop my 22:00 PR a minute, maybe more, but to drop it two minutes, when my year's best is 22:42, seems unlikely. This year might be about preparing for next year. Will I try? Of course. Will I leave it all on the race course? You bet. Will I break 20:00. Maybe not.

Meanwhile, USA and Japan are neck-and-neck in women's volleyball. I don't understand how all this is scored, other than hitting the ball out of bounds or letting hit the ground in bounds. Tragedy underscores it all though, as a Chinese man killed the father-in-law of US Olympic volleyball coach.

Unrelated: Bernie Mac died.

2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Video

2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony Video

The video is not great, but all I could find. A runner dashes across a scroll cascading open around the birdnest stadium. My salute to the guy running on air, high above all. I'm not one for heights, and can only imagine my panic.

Amazing. Sadly, the 40 billion spent on this display of freedom is not indicative of China's freedom.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Springing at the Springbrook Prairie - 43:18 - Course PR

5.5 miles - 43:18 (7:52/mile)
1.0 mile warmdown

total: 6.5 miles

weather? no idea
not especially hot or humid

It feels appropriate to have a great evening run on the same eve of the Olympics. The opening ceremonies are on now -- Sergei Bubka, the great Ukrainian pole vaulter just walked by all dressed in blue.

I felt great from the start, and held close to just under 8:00/mile the entire way, working a little harder on the hills, and relaxed all the while.

Tomorrow, at 7:30 am, the JSRC will be hitting Blackwell Forest Preserves, and hopefully, I'll be able to keep up. Night, then morning. All will feel swift, but will my workout be also swift?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Me, Stella Artois, and the Post Run Lager

Stella Artois3200 meters
6x100
5x200 f (100)[400]
3x400 (200) gfg [500] 1:28, 1:41, 1:29
2x400 (200) gf [400] 1:24, 1:40
3x200 f (100) (3:40)
600 meters warm down

total: 6.5625 miles

80°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: W at 4 mph
Humidity: 42%
course: Wheaton College track

Coach Jim was out of town today, so we had to fend for ourselves. He left us a workout.

A concern I had was how I'd feel after yesterday's run. I had a listless, "I don't wanna run" attitude, but knew I should. The runs I least want to do are the ones I skipped last year, and the oners I dare not miss this year.

My intended marks were for the 400: 1:30, 1:38-1:42, 1:30, then 1:30 and 1:38-1:42. I was close. Too fast for the faster ones.

Now, I'm sipping a cold Stella Artois, a drink well-earned.

A good crowd made it out. Paul, Rudy, Margaret, Matt, Rich, Lee, Jody, Frank., Brad and others.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's the Heat, Not the Humidity, Stupid: Running Hard, Running in the Thick

4.42 miles - 33:44 (7:38/mile) - course PR
4x100

total: 4.67 miles

76°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: S at 2 mph
Humidity: 64%

finish
75°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SW at 1 mph
Humidity: 66%
Course: COD Loop

Ripped out a sturdy time tonight. The heat had dropped from last night though not so much the humidity. The two together are beastly, but it is better that one is reduced.

First 2.5 miles = 7:16/mile, and I slowed once again. I realized a few reasons are involved, not just the uphill and heat/humidity impact. In the beginning, my run is on the road, and requires less attention to cars. At the finish, I'm dealing with cars, stoplights, and gravel.

My stride felt loose, and my arm swing strong. Maybe the push-ups and sit-ups are paying off. Too early to make a difference.

Tomorrow's JSRC workout will be a collection of 200s and 400s. That will be tough, and Friday has 40:00 fresh (decent pace, but not all out, less than race pace).

Good Cause, Good Effect: 2008 PADS Run

Mike 'Goatboy' DeMeritt, a fellow Jim Spivey Running Club member, has taken on the noble task of helping coordinate volunteers for the 2008 PADS Run/Walk (details below). As such, he sent out a mass e-mail asking for help. I'm hoping I can help.

One way is by asking you western Chicago area runners to get involved, either as a runner or volunteer. If neither, just give some money. Simple as that. This is a fundraising race. See the PADS site donation page, and drop in a few bucks.

Road races are always pulled off successfully because of hearty volunteers, from the person shooting a starting gun to timers, to people stuffing t-shirts into goodie bags to those wonderful people manning (and womanning?) water tables.

Wanna volunteer? Call Jen Williams: 630.682.3846 x242

My experience with PADS has been helping at a church where men and women without a home of their own slept and had meals in the cold Chicago winter months. Winter starts early and ends late here in the Midwest, and unlike the City of Chicago, we have no centralized homeless mission, at least not in Glen Ellyn/Wheaton. Instead, area churches volunteer people and church space, as well as cooking facilities, to provide a safe, warm sleeping space, with dinner and breakfast. That's not all PADS does, though. There are other kinds of housing and support.

For many years while living in Bloomington, IL I helped at the Home Sweet Home Ministries. My main task involved leading a weekly Bible study in the county jail, but also helping ex-offenders once released. Some become homeless, and need a place like PADS. Ex-offenders are exactly that -- they did what they did, paid their dues, and now, are trying to get back on their feet.
What
Run and walk.
Run = 5K, 10K. CARA certified.
Walk = 3K (about 1.86 miles)

When
Saturday, September 6th
Starting time 8:00 A.M.

Where
DuPage PADS Support Center
703 West Liberty
Wheaton, IL 60187

Why
This event supports DuPage PADS, a non-profit agency committed to end and prevent homelessness in DuPage County by providing safe and hospitable housing solutions, support, and advocacy for men, women, and children who are homeless.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Slaying the Dragon of Humidity: 4.92 Miles at Sunset

Painting by Gustave Moreau depicting Saint George slaying the dragon4.92 miles - 39:41 (8:04/mile) [first 4.42 miles - 35:46 (8:06/mile)]
0.5 mile warmdown

total: 5.42 miles

84°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SW at 1 mph
Humidity: 59%

finish
84°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SW at 1 mph
Humidity: 59%

Not bad for a hot night. The sun eagerly called it a day as I made my big lap around COD.

The storms last night (see pics on my friend Catherine's site) took out a number of trees and brush, and realigned some lawn furniture, but all is more or less intact. We are blessed -- those in my complex got together, hunkered in a corridor while the sky flooded with a murky green mist, and got to know each other better.

Throw in a major storm, complete with Wrigley Field emptying tornado warnings, and still, there is plenty of water in humidity form. Of all that changed, the humidity remains high. I ran with this reality check.

Truth be told, my first 2.5 miles were pretty quick, maybe too fast, at 7:38/mile. I hoped to hold on, but it was not to be. I never crashed or bonked, but I slowed. Keeping close to 8:00.mile is good, particularly with the hills after the 2.5 mile mark. This heat/humidity thing is very much my nemesis; an average run on a hot day slays the failures I have endured.

My miles are back into a steady state again, averaging 26-27 miles/week for the last two weeks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

7.8 Pounds, 5.6% Lost (Half Pound Per Month)

Just tracked my weight. I have it recorded here, but not all at once, just post by post, and not consistently.

7.8 lbs in all, though slowly, slowly lost, just over 5.6%. I expect the pace to quicken. My miles are up a lot by comparison.

For the very numerically curious:
  • 0.017318681318681318681318681318681 lbs per day
  • 0.12123076923076923076923076923077 lbs per week
  • 0.53687912087912087912087912087912 lbs per 31-day month
  • 6.3213186813186813186813186813187 lbs per year

Aug 4, 2008 — 130.2
Jun 30, 2008 — 132.6
Jun 23, 2008 — 132.4
Jun 16, 2008 — 131.8
Jun 9, 2008 — 134.0
Jun 2, 2008 — 133.2
May 26, 2008 — 135.3
Jan 4, 2008 — 135.0
Sep 17, 2007 — 133.2
Sep 10, 2007 — 133.2
Aug 20, 2007 — 137.0
Aug 13, 2007 — 134.6
Aug 6, 2007 — 135.6
Jul 30, 2007 — 136.0
Jul 23, 2007 — 135.4
Jul 16, 2007 — 134.0
Jul 9, 2007 — 135.0
Jul 2, 2007 — 136.0
Jun 25, 2007 — 135.0
Jun 18, 2007 — 135.0
Jun 11, 2007 — 135.0
Jun 4, 2007 — 135.0
May 28, 2007 — 137.0
May 21, 2007 — 138.0
May 7, 2007 — 138.0
Aug 4, 2008 — 130.2
Jun 30, 2008 — 132.6
Jun 23, 2008 — 132.4
Jun 16, 2008 — 131.8
Jun 9, 2008 — 134.0
Jun 2, 2008 — 133.2
May 26, 2008 — 135.3
Jan 4, 2008 — 135.0
Sep 17, 2007 — 133.2
Sep 10, 2007 — 133.2
Aug 20, 2007 — 137.0
Aug 13, 2007 — 134.6
Aug 6, 2007 — 135.6
Jul 30, 2007 — 136.0
Jul 23, 2007 — 135.4
Jul 16, 2007 — 134.0
Jul 9, 2007 — 135.0
Jul 2, 2007 — 136.0
Jun 25, 2007 — 135.0
Jun 18, 2007 — 135.0
Jun 11, 2007 — 135.0
Jun 4, 2007 — 135.0
May 28, 2007 — 137.0
May 21, 2007 — 138.0
May 7, 2007 — 138.0

Hovering Like a Falling Leaf

Monday Check-in

130.2 lbs. (down)
47 - Pulse (down)

Status
Rain is thundering down this Monday morning. It is a welcome rest day, and, hopefully, the rain will drain some of the humidity away for tomorrow. Strange to see darkness at 7:41. I have power, but it is the kind of storm which can zap the lines. The thunder is very close.

July had more miles than other months, finishing at 124.99. My previous high was 102.85 in August 2007. I averaged 28.22 miles/week, also a high, also beating last August's 23.23 average. Hopefully, this will pay dividends in races. This month looks to be around the same.

My pulse has generally stayed the same, but my weight is hovering slowly downward. It is like a leaf falling on a gusty day. Eventually, it will go lower, but a blow of the wind temporarlily takes it back up. Do the right thing, and right things will result. If the right thing is lower weight, great. If I regain lost weight as musles, trading, then, muscle for fat, that is good too. God is a better physiologist than I am, so I'll concede His call on this.

I have started sit-ups and push-ups again. Push-ups, mostly, and can see minor definition. I regret how inconsistent I am.

With last week's race being such a bomb, I'm not sure what to think. Am I stuck in the 22-23 range? I don't think so, but I am also racing a calendar as well as a clock. Each year, it will be harder. Others have broken 20:00, but this hardly guarantees I will. I might be laying a good foundation to do my best, but my best might never be sub-20.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Batman, Catwoman and 4.42 Miles in 37:13

4.42 miles - 37:13 (8:25/mile)
0.50 miles

total: 4.92 miles

84°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SW at 2 mph
Humidity: 53%

finish
82°F
Current:Clear
Wind: E at 0 mph
Humidity: 59%

Batman had nothing to do with today's run, except that I'm watching the old 1960s TV show with Adam West. It is the episode that has Catwoman convincing Batman to join forces with her.

Back to my run. Just another run around the big yard.

Last weekend, it was a long bike ride. Pics here: The Long and Not Winding Road: Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail

Given there's not much going on here, try this for something entertaining. It is the Batman opening credits with the theme music.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

In the Heat of the Day: These Runs Drip Away

6.94 miles -- 67:56 (9:47)

total: 6.94 miles

75°F
Current:Clear
Wind: NE at 7 mph
Humidity: 64%

finish
76°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 58%

Hot. Dripping, bright sun, hot.

Need to start these longer ones earlier.

Not much else to say.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Recovery, but Not Recovered

3200 meters warmup
6x100 striders
1000 f (300)
600 f (300)
400 f+ (200)
3x200 fgf (100)[600]
800 f (300)
400 f (200)
3x200 f (50)
600 meters warmdown

total: 7.3125 miles

74°F
Current:Clear
Wind: S at 3 mph
Humidity: 89%
course: Wheaton College track

Tonight was a recovery workout, but still difficult. It was a good night to focus on form.

I held well to pace, running with Matt Jewell. He's speeding up greatly the last few months and imagine this time next year he'll be reporting much quicker times in his races.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Missed the Mark: 23:06.26

Me on the way to the Viking Sunset 5K, trying to look tough
Viking Sunset Race Results

1 mile warm up
4x100 striders
3.1 mile race - 23:06 (official)
400 meters warm down

total: 4.6 miles

At 5:25 pm
88°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: NW at 15 mph
Humidity: 51%

predicted
7pm Sunny
84°F
52%
From WNW 12 mph

weight 131.

7:10
7:20
7:49 (final 1.1 miles)
23:06.26 (7:27.1)
finish: 179th
gender: 137
age group: 20

That's all. Not good. I stuck as well as I could to plan, and choked.

My kick was strong, though not long. I planned to suck it up for the last 800 m, gradually working it up, but the tank was dry. I did have something the last 200 m, especially the last 75 m, and caught several people.

Good? No. Why not? Passing people is good. Right. Being passed by a guy the last 5 m is bad. I passed everyone in front of me that I could, but a guy shot up to me, then snuck by with a few steps to go. I relaxed just before the chute instead of finishing the race. When I realized he was there, it was too late. He had momentum and I couldn't get my leg turnover up. This boils me. I should have beaten him.

picture: Me on the way to the Viking Sunset 5K, trying to look tough

see last year's race report: 5K PR - 23:13 - Viking Run

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Easy Does It, Or, So I Hope: Prerace Relaxing Jog

2.3 miles -- 20:08 (8:45/mile)
6x100 meters striders

total: 2.675 miles

81°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: S at 1 mph
Humidity: 71%
course: neighborhood half mile loop

finish
80°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: SW at 2 mph
Humidity: 73%

Easy 20 minutes getting ready for tomorrow. The night was exceptionally humid, and there's every reason to think tomorrow's race time will be similar.

Race plan: 7:10 mile to start, hold steady for mile two, then see what's left. I need a 6:58 pace for the last 1.1 miles to get my PR, but that, I think, is less up to me, or more dependent on the weather.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Strong Running, Much Confidence

3200 meter warmup
6x100 striders
3x200 f (100)[400] 3:38
1x800 g (400) 3:18
3x200 f (100)[400] 3:44
1x800 g (400) 3:07
3x200 f (100) 3:39
600 meter warmdown

total: 6.25 miles

81°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: NW at 0 mph
Humidity: 42%
course: Wheaton College track

My times for the 800s were supposed to be 3:16-3:22 and I was concerned about hitting them. After the first, in 3:18, toe-to-toe with Dave Christensen.

A good workout. I ran strong, but never all out. It is my last hard workout before Wednesday night's race. It has me feeling confident that something in the mid-21s is very possible, even if it means dropping over a minute from this year's 5K.

Trivia: Yesterday and today each finish 37.48 miles for the previous seven days.

New on Jim's site, Workout of the Week, from his days as an elite miler. His workouts are not extraordinary as far as what he did. The difference was speed, but that's something God gave him. At some point, there's no amount of hard work that will achieve those times without someone divinely intervening.

No relevance to this song, except that I am listening as I write:

Billy Preston - Will It Go Round In Circles

Racing My Brain: Running a Week Before the Gun

A 7:05 mile pace will get my a smidgen under 22:00, and a new PR. It will also keep my starting pace at something manageable. If I hit it square-on, I'll see a 21:57.5.

Factors: I'm getting in better aerobic shape. Better, I think, than anytime last year. I'm more disciplined about pace. Heat: 87° is predicted. If true, going out gonzo the first mile would drain every corpuscle of usefulness.

If I start at that 7:05, and I have a great race, the best I think I can do is a 21:15. The worst? I think 22:30.

A decent race will get me under 22:00. A 21:30 (7:05 + 2.1 miles x 6:52) could be in the cards. The hard part will be starting slow.

Other goals (be aggressive)
  1. A strong second mile.
  2. A racing mentality: can I pick off the next guy?
  3. Work the hills
  4. Pick up at 19:00: no matter how far I have run, I need to surge gradually. I should have less than a half mile to go.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sunny at Dusk: Workout Course PR

4.42 miles fresh -- 33:50 (7:39/mile)
0.50 warmdown

total: 4.92 miles

76°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: N at 3 mph
Humidity: 35%
course: COD Loop

finish
73°F
Current:Clear
Wind: NE at 1 mph
Humidity: 40%

Finally, some semblance of weather that has no resemblance to an Amazon rain forest. That is, discounting the abundant presence of mosquitos.

Ran a little later, hence, 'dusk', and encouraging it was, this run. It felt right to move well. It felt sunny.

Each stage had good times for each corner. 1:52 at Lambert and 22nd. 9:45 (1.3 miles) at Lambert and Butterfield. 15:07 (?) at the Lutheran church. 18:48 at Butterfield and 53 (2.5 miles). 23:40 (?) at 53 and Glen Valley (3.1 miles). 27:34 (?) at Glen Valley and Park (3.6 miles). 29:09 at Park and 22nd (3.8 miles). All summing up to a nice 7:39 pace.

The first few pieces of the route are downhill, through 2.5 miles, to Butterfield and 53, when a slow incline carries through for the next 1.1 miles, to Glen Valley and Park. A sharp, but brief incline, then an equally brief downhill takes me to Park and 22nd, finishing with a long uphill slope all the way to my place.

Come on, George, take it home:

Here Comes the Sun, George Harrison

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What a Day ('s Rest Can Make)

5.47 miles fresh - 46:37 (8:31/mile)

total: 5.47 miles

74°F
Current:Clear
Wind: NE at 3 mph
Humidity: 64%
course: Butterfield Loop

finish
71°F
Current:Cloudy
Wind: NE at 1 mph
Humidity: 68%

What a difference a day makes - tonight felt easy, as if everything was downhill. The humidity never seemed to factor, thanks to a cool 74°F air (and dropping).

While an 8:31 pace is hardly blowing out all speed records, it is nicely following up a many-miled week. Through tonight, the previous seven days add up to 36.98 miles.

On my mind, then, is what happens when weather and humidity are good? Hopefully, such convergence can be found next Wednesday evening for the Viking Sunset race. I'm still at a loss what time I should try for. Thursday's workout has me slated for a bunch of 1x800s and 3x200s, with the 800s at 3:16-3:22. This should give me an idea.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flies, Heat and 4.42 Miles

4.42 miles easy -- 41:23 (9:21/mile)
0.50 miles warmdown

total: 4.92 miles

86°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: W at 2 mph
Humidity: 59%
course: COD Loop

finish
83°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: S at 3 mph
Humidity: 65%

Another steamy one, and I don't mean page 347 in a Harlequin Romance. Initially, running the complete 4.92 was the plan, but I stepped out onto my black tar driveway and realized it would be a tough run. Took it out slow, and never picked it up. Yesterday's long run is still in my legs, limiting how much oomph was in the tank. Added a slow hakf mile warmdown just to clean out my legs and burn a couple of extra calories.

All the heat, tired legs and a few bugs didn't discourage me. I count it as a decent workout. In fact, those are the reasons it was good. I ran well all week, especially compared to the week before.

Bugs, you ask. Yes. Flying things. Bees, mosquitos, odd dragonflies, and a confused bird. A few nasty looking flies hovered around too. None decided to chomp, thankfully.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Longest Run Yet - 11 Easy Miles

11 miles easy -- 1:45:59 (9:38/mile)
53:16, 52:43

total: 11 miles

75°F
Current:Mostly Cloudy
Wind: N at 2 mph
Humidity: 86%
course: Springbrook Prairie

Finish
78°F
Current:Clear
Wind: SW at 0 mph
Humidity: 73%

Saturday morning
Pouring rain since the middle of the night means my 9:00 time to run is delayed. Almost 9:30 now, with no signs of stopping. WWND? What would Noah do?

Thinking about my next race, I will aim for around a 21:45, just under 7:01/mile pace. Looking at my log, I am trying to find evidence to support this. I am not sure I see it.

My overall training and fitness is better, though I am not sure how to compare my times last year to this year. Too many variables. By last year, I mean the two weeks preceding my September 22, 2007 22:00 5K PR. Then, I regularly was running quicker single miles than now. To believe I can run 3x7:01 is hard. This year, though, I have more miles and as such, a better aerobic base. Part of what limited me last year was inconsistent training and a poor base. How will this add up? I don't know.

I do have October 4 of last year a similar workout as last Thursday: 4xmile 7:10, 7:14, 7:14, 7:13. Thursday, I ran 3xmile 7:16, 7:10, 7:13. That's encouraging, especially as I held back this week in order to stay within the range Jim gave me (7:10-7:25), plus the heat. I also see October 8 I ran four miles in 32:24, and this year, June 22, I ran 30:42 (7:40).

Weather will be a factor, as always. Evenings in the Chicagoland area can be cool, but can just as easily be dreadfully hot and humid. The race is 11 days out, and too far off for a reasonable prediction. It is also completely out of my control.

The goal has not changed: 20:00. As it will not happen July 30, I need to look at whatever my race result is as a stepping stone. If I run 25:00, and somehow, that was the best way to get me to sub-20 this summer, so be it. It comes back to trusting my coach.

Saturday evening
Rain subsided. Great run. Longest run in years. All felt good. My pace range probably from about 9:00 to 10:00, but there are hills to endure.

My time was better than my 8.5 mile run at Springbrook last month (or was it May?).

Now, a few hours later, my legs are tired but feel pretty good. My overall energy seems OK too. Tomorrow morning is where the truth will be, however.