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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Four Laps Around the Treadmill (with a video involving an old gray mare and Beethoven

1.0 mile warmup
3.0 miles

total: 4.0 miles
course: COD treadmill

My warmup was unexpected. Nature called.

Four miles, ending around 9:45/mile, give or take.

All good? Not quite. Spoke with Jim today, who remarked four miles is too much at this time. Do two miles for now, he said. Sure, I'm surprised, but I'll go with it. Trust the coach.

When I asked him about total mileage, once I get going, he said 45 miles a week ought to be enough. Various theories exist regarding marathon training, and I'm personally in the long mileage camp, but, in turn, realize no injury and finishing is better than a fast first half marathon followed by limping through the next 13.1 miles. Jim reminded me I'm not 20.

Which is where the whole runner's dilemma starts. I'm not 20.

"The Old Grey Mare" Variations in the style of Beethoven

Thursday, January 22, 2009

High Pulse, Slow Pace: Cha-cha-chuggin' at COD

3.71 miles

total: 3.71 miles
course: COD treadmill

Joined COD's Fitness Lab (finally), ran an easy few miles. Pulse was high though my pace was slow. Out of shape? I knew that.

Saw Dana G, the friendlist lab person ever (OK, there are a few great ones there).

Empty room, just a few runners.

Spaghetti for dinner.

Babarino Singing (John Travolta)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No Winter Bluster Could Hold Me Back

3.0 miles - 31:22 (10:27/mile)

total: 3.0 miles

Current: Haze
Wind: S at 11 mph
Humidity: 78%
course: neighborhood half mile loop

Current: Cloudy
Wind: S at 10 mph
Humidity: 78%

weight prior: 138.6 lbs
weight after with gear: 145.6 lbs
weight after without gear: 136.4 lbs

Windchill. The story starts there. Midwesterners know the sub-zero temps we have had here, with yesterday at least as low as -23°F where I live, with windchills around -35°F. The temperature listed above is drastically warmer, but by no means toasty. Just because the difference is over 40°F hardly makes a cold thing warm. Still cold. Freezing cold.

That's the beginning. Before I could even get out the door, the cold factor was chilling my bones. Cold just thinking about it.

Warmed up inside, per the suggestion of Bill Bickhart, Wheaton Academy's very successful cross country coach, and himself a runner. He tells me he'll get to the school early, run a while in the gym to warm up before hitting the Illinois Prairie Path or the roads. All I did was dress about ten minutes before and hop around, walk fast. Not a real warm-up, but I am short a gym to take laps around.

As you'll see above, I wore a lot of gear. Some is official running stuff, but mostly, odd sweatshirts and the like.

My time varied, starting at around 10:05, and the next two around 10:40. I'm not certain. Most important is the distance. I shuffled through each mile, huffing and groaning. I will ache tomorrow. Each mile for the next three months, at least, will be as painful. That's OK. I can moan in agony for a long time, so long as I am healthy.

The wind blew snow like ashes strewn on the floor from a fireplace through the chimney. Tiny pieces hit my face, singeing me as they froze a spot of skin. My glasses, worn to protect my eyes as windbreakers, fogged up before the first turn. I kept my head low just to see.

In all, I warm surprisingly warm.

It could be worse. I could be a penguin. See the trailer to March of the Penguins.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Decided to Run a Marathon: Join My Exploits on Facebook

If you are running your first marathon, join me in my struggle in my Facebook "My First Marathon" group.

I thought I'd track my general progress there, and invite others to do likewise. I'll still publish my running exploits here, but that group will focus entire on the marathon.

I decided to run my first marathon. Where? I don't know. When? Maybe this fall (2009), but the real goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2010, and race Boston in 2011.

Can I do it? It will be close. I need to run under 3:21 (for my age group, according to Boston Marathon qualifying standards), and as of yet, I only have raced 5Ks. My best is 21:35, and should be a minute faster to correlate with a 3:21. Many miles, races and blisters are in front of me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Song About Running This Morning

For Grant, whose birthday it is, who is younger than me, thinking about my run today:

This old man, he ran two
He put on his running shoes
with a knick-knack, he is fast
Even with old bones
This old man - just call me Ton'

Two Miles (or 1.56?) of New Year's Resolve

2.0 miles 18:30 (9:15/mile)

total: 2.0 miles

Current: Cloudy
Wind: NE at 9 mph
Humidity: 59%
course: neighborhood loop

Four laps around. My GPS watch seems to be reading wrong, as it thinks I did 1.56 miles. Now, all other distances are in question.

Today's goal was just to get it done. I'm swamped with a t-shirt, sweatshirt and running jacket, plus tights and wind pants, as well gloves and hat. My form is close to a glorified shuffle, my stride is shorter than a dachshund's, and my arm movement equals that of a chair.

Got it done. Steady pace. It turned out a little faster than yesterday morning, but I expect my pace will jump as I find my running legs.

Legs ached a modest amount, even with just one mile. No great pain: just fat fighting back. I'm glad I am starting slow. My brain says, "Faster, farther," but this would only end in disaster.

Friday, January 2, 2009

One Slow Mile to Start the New Year

1.0 mile 9:30/mile

Current: Clear
Wind: W at 12 mph
Humidity: 72%
course: Neighboorhood half mile

One mile is not much, but it is one mile more than the last two-three months.

I had a goal today: run one lap. I ran two. I have a goal this year: run a lot. How often? That's not a question. Once I get back into it, and Jim is writing workouts for me again, it will be six days/week.

My goal was inspired by a few things.
  1. Received an e-mail that went to the entire JSRC mailing list. A few are running in a half-marathon. I'm in no position to say yes. I want to, but can't. Not yet.
  2. Saw my buddy Dave. I keep telling him the reason his weight loss has stagnated is because he doesn't exercise. I still believe that, but I need to practice what I preach.
  3. Was writing on a discussion board for writers to a guy with shin splint trouble. I have no shin splint trouble, not so long as I'm sitting on my duff. Similar issue as motivation #2.
  4. Stood on the scale last night at 138.2. lbs. That's not heavy in the grand scheme of things, but it is almost 10 lbs more than just a few months ago.
  5. And then -- there is that dogged 20:00 mark that flees as I get older. No idea if it is in my reach, but I still want to give it a go.

There it is.

What about you?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Don't Think I Have Quit

New year. Same goal. Back to getting my butt kicked as I get back into shape.

The plan? Start smart, careful, but aggressively. All about getting a base for now. No speedwork. No pick-ups. No track. Just slow miles. And pain.

Eye of the Tiger? See Jim Carrey as Rocky.