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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Willie Nelson Joins My Campaign?

Willie Nelson apparently heard of my habit of wearing a red bandanna when I run, and has posed to show off his support of my efforts.

Why a bandanna? Why red? Complicated questions you ask, pilgrim. When I first began running as a wee tot, in my mid-teen years, it was the early 1980s. I read in Runner's World, I think, a story about someone wearing one, or maybe there was a picture of him (was it marathoner Ron Hill? Miler John Walker?). I let my hair grow longer. Image was where the action was, if speed was not available in my legs. I sweat from my forehead, so the practical side mattered as much as image.

Now, older, in the constant midst of the runner's dilemma, I wear something for necessity, and the red bandanna, I think, as an homage to memory, to the reminder of the rebellious fight against the conqueror worm.

See the related Time Magazine interview with Willie. And no, no. Willie has no idea what I'm doing, though I understand one of his staff is a very serious Ironman Triathlete. Hear Willie and Sheryl Crow sing "On the Road Again."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

500 Calories - 5.04 Miles

4.0 miles run
1.04 miles hard walk

total: 5.04 miles
course: COD Fitness lab treadmill

I'm wobbly, out of shape, breathless. My gut is returning, my pulse rate is higher and my stress levels have increased. My Florida trip did wonders as far as whatever sunny days are good for.

My pulse was high as 198. I decided when I saw that to drop it down a notch.

iPodded the run, still a strange experience for me. My 'running songs' play list is not long enough: only 43 songs. Nice, but I'm not excited about some of the choices, or they are not as good for a run as I expected.

Jeanine was there moderating the lab. She apparently had a car accident and hurt her knee. Seemingly, not a big deal, but now, she's wobbly too.

Unrelated - two colleagues are running the Miami Half Marathon, shooting for 1:45 (just under 8:01/mile). To Cori and Lisa: press on! Your commitment to this race has been an inspiration to me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Haile Gebrselassie Listens to Scatman

Scatman (ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop)In They’re Playing My Song. Time to Work Out, published in the New York Times, we learn Haile Gebrselassie has gained a musical edge. I had no idea what song they referred to, and checked it out. I like it.

So, Mr. Gebrselassie, you are fast, but now that I know your trick, you might see me shooting by. As soon as I can run one mile as fast as you run 26, I'll be on your tail.
Haile Gebrselassie, the Olympian from Ethiopia who has won the gold medal at 10,000 meters, often requested that the techno song “Scatman,” which has a B.P.M. of around 135, be played over the sound system during his races.
(for more running songs, see my growing running playlist of what works for me, and please comment with your songs)
Scatman (ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop)

Slowly I Stepped, Inch by Inch: Four Rockin' Miles

3.11 miles easy (under 9:00/mile)
0.89 miles even easier

Total: 4.0 miles
Course: Grainger treadmill

“Hold Your Head Up” sung by Argent caused me to smile a I ran for the first time with my iPod. Smiling because I thought of Coach Jim, calling across the Wheaton College football field as I turned the curve at the 100 meter mark. Another 400. Another. Another. Form waned as energy dwindled. “Look at the scoreboard.”

Holding good form when tired: an important discipline. Metaphor for life. Lose composure, and lose the race. Good form builds efficiency, which helps endurance and speed.

So now, the first time running in a couple of weeks. I decided ahead of time to stop at four miles, no matter how good I felt.

My left calf twitched during my warm down, confirming that longer isn't better.

Lee mentioned that our running club get together in March to run a 13.1 mile course he worked out. Having not run that far in a decade (much more, really, but a decade sounds like a long enough time), I am concerned I could not finish the distance. I will give it a go, and I last only 10 miles, so be it. I have two months to increase my miles.

In unrelated news, I am thoroughly impressed by Mr. Perngsa of Thailand.

Peng finishes marathon
Bangkok Post
RATCHABURI : Thailand's oldest runner, Peng Perngsa, 94, finished the Chom Bung mini-marathon in one hour, 20 minutes yesterday and vowed to run again in next year's event.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gebrselassie wins Dubai Marathon but misses new record

Dubai Marathon: 2:04:53. Pretty good, but no cigar. It is reasonable, though, in all respects, to consider Haile Gebrselassie the best long distance runner in history.

Why? It is his own record he missed.

His record: 2:04:26 (Berlin, 2007 - mentioned in an earlier post)

Haile Gebrselassie Misses World Marathon Best In Dubai But Runs 2:04:53
That's the second fastest 26.2-miler of all-time, behind only his own 2:04:26 from the Berlin Marathon in September. The Ethiopian earned $250,000 for his victory at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon Friday morning but missed a possible $1 million bonus for a new world record. He and his pacesetters set out on a scorching pace - 28:38 for 10k and 1:01:27 at the half marathon - but running alone, Gebrselassie drifted off that pace in the latter stages. But he's still got the two fastest marathon times in history; that's pretty darn impressive. Berhane Adere led a 1-2-3 Ethiopian sweep of the women's race in 2:22:42, also earning $250,000, as Bezunesh Bekele was second in a marathon debut of 2:23:09. World Cross Country titleist Lornah Kiplagat, now representing the Netherlands, dropped out at the midway mark with a calf problem. More

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Jim Spivey's Personal Bests

Jim Spivey's Personal Bests

Jim's the guy who coaches me in my weekly butt kicking. His credentials are pretty good, to say the least, don't you think? Seriously, he excelled at these distances, with PRs from 1986-1994, impressive on several levels.

(Distance, Performance, Place, Date)

1500 Meters
28 08 1988

One Mile
05 07 1986

2000 Meters (still standing American record)
15 09 1987

3000 Meters
01 08 1993

5000 Meters
30 08 1994


Friday, January 11, 2008

Marion Jones Caught on Film Stealing a Medal

Cheater Marion Jones was sentenced to prison today for six months. See Track star Marion Jones sentenced to 6 months.

She can be seen here, in the act of stealing an Olympic medal.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Sun Might Have Been in My Eyes: 3.5 Miles at Sunrise

3.5 miles (roughly 28:00)

Mostly Cloudy
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 93%
course: Coronado Springs resort, around Lago Durango

Here in sunny Florida, I hoped to round up a few long runs. So far, not so. Time, as well as environment, are fighting me. With a sales conference going on, finding two hours to run and warm down is like finding dirt in Disney World. It might be there, but I don't see it.

The environment is not weather. Beautiful, albeit a bit humid. The sun rose slowly into view as I lapped the 0.75 mile course. For a guy running on a treadmill the last couple months, this is perfect.

Sidewalks. The course is concrete. With knees that have known too much of the blonde stuff, I held back. 3.5 miles is not much, but one great run is not worth three mongths of not running. That, and the need to recover quickly enough to get into the respobilities of the morning. Today kicks things off, and I need to be fresh and on my game.

Maybe this evening I can get in another few miles.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Tiananmen Square: From Tanks Killing Students, to Marathoners Racing for Gold

Tiananmen Square (also spelled 'Tienanmen Square'), as most people recall, is where China mowed down protesters against communism. The Chinese government used tanks in 1989 to murder peaceful promoters of democracy.

What will happen during the marathon? I am concerned. The Chinese people have long wanted freedom, but are blocked from such freedom. With the world watching, I imagine the leaders of the freedom movement will look for an opportunity to speak.

With the marathon this year, there will need to be open doors to communications. Internet portals, fax machines, cell phones will be more freely available, and, by sheer force of need, not as monitored.

The marathon is not the only event, magnifying the possibilities from the Red Curtain to be broken. The window of opportunity is small, but not insignificant.

Olympic marathon to begin at Tiananmen Square: state media
BEIJING (AFP) - The marathon at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing will begin from central Tiananmen Square, one of China's most popular tourist spots, state media said Saturday.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Buying Shoes in a Garage

You see those on the left?

My track spikes. Still got 'em.

Nike, size 5.5. No idea what model they are. Bought them at Dick Pond's, back when he was hawking shoes out of his garage, circa 1983-1985.

There's little to tell. Dick was a legend in running shoes. He had them all, including my small size.

You might see only four spikes on these. Normally, they come with six, as far as I remember. They were light as a pastry, except, unlike the pastry, after wearing them, I was likely even lighter. A mere 107 lbs.

By the Numbers, Me, Myself (and I) Have Been Tested

Having recently joined the gym at my work, they tested in me in several areas. I've been lax in my Monday morning check ins, so this will be a kind of an update. I do not know what to make of it all, and know, out of context, there's only so much to know. What can be understood is in six months or whenever I get retested.

Age 41
Height 5’6”
Weight 135

Lower Body 8.5”

Aerobic Capacity
Resting Heart Rate 62
Max Heart Rate 179
Profile Heart Rate 111

Circumference Measurements
Chest 35 3/4”
Waist 33 1/2"
Hips 36 1/2”
Right Thigh 21 1/2”
Right Bicep Relaxed 9 3/4”
Right Bicep Flexed 10 1/2”

Percent Body Fat 19.6%

Hand Grip Right – 30
Hand Grip Left – 29.5”

Resting Blood Press 122/85

Predicted Max Oxygen Uptake (VO2) 46

Stuck Inside These Four Walls: Four Mile PR

1 mile wu (9:31)
3 miles (22:49 - 7:36/mile)
0.60 wd

total: 4.60 miles
course: Grainger treadmill

The math said it had to happen. Comparing my four mile time to my 5K time suggested I just had to try. Yesterday, I ran four in 32:42. Today, I decided, just for kicks, to beat my 32:24 record of October 8, 2007.

That is pretty much all there is to it. 32:20. And, once again, the first mile was a pedestrian 9:31. I think with a good warmup, brief rest, I can get a 29-something in. It will take better than 7:30 miles, but it also means something slower than what I can do for 3.1 miles. First is breaking 32:00.

Four miles seems to be a snug distance for my lunch hour. That, and a pulse lowering warmdown, and a shower, and my hour is up. I have been getting in early to allow a longer time, but I would prefer to keep everything tight. This will matter as my job gets busier later this month.

The next week, my work schedule will keep me hopping and I might not get in the quality workouts I need. My distance base is still hurting, and though I am getting in workouts, none have been especially long. My mileage the last two or three months overall has been weak, and I am again ramping up.

Miles By Month
May-07 -- 66.29
June-07 -- 96.80
July-07 -- 97.23
August-07 -- 102.85
September-07 -- 91.34
October-07 -- 73.86
November-07 -- 47.03
December-07 -- 66.81
January-08 -- 9.07

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Speed On, Pacing Through Four Miles

1 mile wu (9:31)
3 miles (7:43/mile)
0.47 miles wd

total: 4.47 miles
course: Grainger treadmill

Tell the tale of the treadmill is hard. What is distinctive? Mileage. Speed. People. Location. How I feel.

Speed, then, was today’s difference. My four miles, which included a warm-up mile, were in 32:42, just off of my 32:26 record. It is time to shut the door on 32:00.

Mile one was a careful 9:31. Last night, I was not well, and awoke tired and drained. I set my mind on four miles. Time was also at issue, as I want to return to my desk within one our. This includes leaving my desk, walking there, changing clothes, and finishing with a shower.

Got the job done, and felt better for it.

The treadmill I wanted was taken, so I lost time fiddling with the machine, trying to figure how to get it going. Tomorrow, I hope to be at it again.