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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

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

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
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

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

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)

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)

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

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

Wind: E at 3 mph
Humidity: 53%
course: COD Loop

The weights? Diet? Hydration? Does it matter?


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

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

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
"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
"...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
"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
"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)

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)

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)

Wind: W at 0 mph
Humidity: 80%
course: Illinois Prairie Path

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)
600m warmdown

total: 6.625 miles

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

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

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)

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

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

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)
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)

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

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)

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

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)

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)

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

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

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
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

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

total: 4.67 miles

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

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.
Run and walk.
Run = 5K, 10K. CARA certified.
Walk = 3K (about 1.86 miles)

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

DuPage PADS Support Center
703 West Liberty
Wheaton, IL 60187

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

Wind: SW at 1 mph
Humidity: 59%

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)

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

Wind: SW at 2 mph
Humidity: 53%

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

Wind: NE at 7 mph
Humidity: 64%

Wind: N at 5 mph
Humidity: 58%

Hot. Dripping, bright sun, hot.

Need to start these longer ones earlier.

Not much else to say.