Run with the Jim Spivey Running Club My Mouth: All of It: One Man, One Place, All Said
Follow my page on Facebook: Tales, storytelling, fables:

Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Snow, Snow Everywhere in 4.55 Miles

4.55 miles
1.01 miles

total: 4.56 miles

course: Cardinal Fitness Glen Ellyn

On the left is one reason I go to a gym. This was the best all weekend as snow kept falling. How much now? Several inches? Six? I don't know. I do know that our homeowners association has not plowed our drive as per my understanding of the contract. One of us is wrong, and it might be me. Either way, snow is everywhere, but not on my treadmill.

Ran just a little longer than usual. Tomorrow is a day off. Yesterday, I foolishly (as I am apt to do), I upped the speed to 6:00/mile for the last quarter, and am sore to prove it.

Again, a few weights. Still too early to call it a habit, but so far, so good.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Fat Is Exiting the Building: 3.1 Easy Miles

3.1 miles
0.50 miles

total: 3.60 miles

course: Cardinal Fitness Glen Ellyn

A short, post-Christmas workout. I want to add another day to my routine without adding too many miles. Ideally, I'll run tomorrow morning before church, maybe 3-5-4.5 miles, with a few weights.

Today I did just three machines, but have started again doing sit-ups and push-ups at home.

I took a 'before' picture. The plan is to take a shirtless shot weekly. If there's no progress, I won't post them. No one wants to see flabby me. What I hope, of course, is to show a guy can lose 10-15 lbs and increase upper body strength. I don't know what to expect since weights are new to me, but, at least, fat will disappear of I stick with it. If I can figure it out, I'll put them into a video. My cousin's kid took a year of pictures his first year in college and it turned out pretty cool. Something like that.

Why? It will help keep me accountable to myself. By taking the picture, there will be an honest record of what I am, or am not, doing.

Top: Treadmill #6 just before I ran.
Bottom: Me, two miles into it. Take note of the red, puffy face. I hope to show off a leaner, fitter look come March.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Achin' Bacon on a Wednesday Night: 4.01 Miles Without a Tune To Tap To

4.01 miles run
1.00 miles walked

total: 4.01 miles
course: Cardinal Fitness Glen Ellyn

My bacon is achin'. Ran a comfortable four miles, but the ache is from a mix of new running and new weights. Same as last time, I think. No leg work yet. That will come after I get a little leg sludge cleaned out. Next month should be long enough.

Intend to hook up with a trainer to give me the once through on the machines. He'll hardly lay down a lifting plan, but I will get an idea of methods and a general strategy.

No iPod today. I didn't die. Had the iPod, but no headphones. Thought I might go down for the count, but I pulled it out well enough. Tried watching the little TV each treadmill has. I learned basketball and football works, but not talk shows. Too much reading. Too slow. Too much to think about. TV, it seems to me, works like music. Wrong pace is just wrong. If I'm not tapping the same tune, it throws everything off.

Besides, I caught some of the loudmouths on the political talk shows. The last thing I need is someone telling how bad the world is (I caught MSNBC and Fox News both yucking up 'Woe is all' blabbering, so don't dance self-righteously thinking your guy never does this.)

Above: evidence of a run. My ASICS, bandanna, a bag we got free somewhere.

Are you feeling groovy? Simon and Garfunkel are. Watch the video and smile.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Twisting (No Shouting) in 4.25 Miles

4.25 miles (38:00 - 8:56/mile)
1.00 miles warmdown walk

total: 5.25 miles
course: Cardinal GE

I ache today. This is good. Might be because of doing weights. I'm so new to weights that it is presumptuous to even say I'm doing them. I'm trying to stick with them this time. I have no races coming up soon and plenty of time. No excuses. Did some arm work and a stomach machine that has has me twisting.

The run was an even-steven 8:56/57 pace. Felt good, stuck to my plan to not add too many miles too quickly, but notch it forward just a tad.

Workouts like today have me itching to get back at it tomorrow. No can do. Or, rather, I can do, but shouldn't. Wednesday's the next delve into action.

Met a guy working at the desk at Cardinal Fitness who is heading to the Middle East after boot camp with the Marines. He is smart, friendly, and ready to face this major challenge. He expects to be a sniper. While I hope his skills are not necessary, I am glad this young man is stepping up. Terrorism cannot be looked at from afar and ignored just because it isn't yet on our soil. He is not naive; he knows what he is getting into. Never caught his name but he's got my support.

Let's Twist Again (video)
Chubby Checker (The Best of Chubby Checker: Cameo Parkway 1959-1963)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowbound? Snow Way! Bounding Inside, Sans Snow - 4.01 Miles

4.01 miles run
1.00 miles walk warmdown

total: 5.01 miles

course: Cardinal Fitness Glen Ellyn

I wanted to do between 4-5 miles. Legalistically, I made. More importantly, I felt OK. Did some weights too. I've never grabbed on to weights, but sorely need more strength.

In the photo, you don't see the snow. There was plenty of it. Running buddy Amanda M. chastised me to run instead outside. It is relatively warm, and a legitimate question.

Accountability. That's why. While I know treadmill running is not a 1:1 ratio to outside running, I can see my time and pace to the second and 1/100 at any moment. I can fool myself on the trail, or just get so discouraged. On a treadmill, I can remind myself how far is left. I need this while building miles. I prefer to enjoy what running buddy Liz Flowers calls "a beautiful zen run" in the quiet of a snowy trail.

Hopefully I get back there Monday. The rest of today is meant to clean, and to host a small dinner party (eight people in all).

Friday, December 18, 2009

What Can a Long Run Do? Character and a Tough Workout

I recently Tweeted "A long run shows a man's character. I've run hard on the track w/ Brad Webb. He has my vote for DuPage County Board"

It occurred to me it may not be obvious to non-runners why this is, or even what I mean.

Brad is around my speed. He is a bigger guy, once a good enough football player to try out for the Chicago Bears. He played in college for Iowa, and is probably useful if I need help moving a fridge. I'm 5'6" and maybe 135 pounds, and am not the guy to call even to move your microwave. If you call three other guys, maybe.

We've run many a 400 meter interval side-by-side on Wheaton College's track. I'm lighter on my feet, and he has power. The 400, when done in repetition, sort of evens out our strengths. Do 3x3 400s, added to a warmup and all, and who a man is shows up. I can't tell on the track what he believes about this or that, but, if he's a cussing man, I'll know. If he is persistent or easily discouraged, it will be obvious. How he handles frustration, pain, and competition is clear. Turn up the Illinois heat to 80 degrees, and exhaustion is felt. That's how training works.

Brad's got specific positions, and those, certainly, are never described in brief over 200-repeats, or a 400-600-800 ladder. There's the website for that. I won't try to push an analogy (or is a metaphor in this case?) that running can tell you all about a man. It can't.

The primary is February 2. I am not a Republican, and am not sure if to vote in the primary, I need to declare a party. I'll work that out. Just the same, I am confident of Brad Webb. This is not because he is a friend; there are friends in politics I will not vote for. It is because I have sweat it out on the track and seen him when he is real and honest, and a few times with his family, and heard of his reputation around town. I have been to his home, have seen how he treats his wife and kids. Always honorably. I don't care what party a man joins so long as he is a man of integrity. I see strengths and weaknesses in each party. What matters to me is deeper than the shallow explanations I read about detractors and supporters of either party. Brad has lived it out what a good man needs to live - honor, honesty, and integrity. This won't get him off the hook next spring when we next show up at the starting line on a Thursday night, but it will get him my vote.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Which Lock is Mine? Unlocking 3.86 Miles

3.86 miles run
1.00 miles hardwalk warmdown

total: 4.86 miles

course: Cardinal Fitness, Wheaton

A relaxed run. This Cardinal Fitness did not have the iPod plug-in. The treadmills were fine enough, but I like this feature.

Met Dan, an RV dealership owner after I thought his locker was mine. Same Masterlock. Why doesn't my combination work? Aha! Because it is not my Masterlock. Mine was a few to the left.

It was nice to be done with my run by 9:15 am. The day was in front of me without the gnaw to run, or the guilt because I made an excuse not to run. I had been sick for over a week, but the last two days were negotiable. I wimped out. Not today.

Legs are tired. Hopefully, again on Saturday.

The tune of the moment:
Mozart - Requiem - Confutatis - 7 - 05-12 218th anniversary of Mozart's death

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sandburg HS Boy Wins Footlocker XC Race

And not only did Lukas Verzbicas a sophomore kid from my neck of the woods (Sandburg High School, Orland Park, IL) blow out the competition (:15 ahead with a 15:08 50000 meters cross country, the girls race had a photo-finish. Megan Gothals of Rochester (Mich.) High won it is 17:07, with Chelsey Sveinsson of Dallas (Texas) Greenhill School finishing in second.

I ran regularly against Sandburg kids in my day. Then, they had two kids who could beat me. Lukas would have run circles around me, but I'd show him a race the first 800 meters. Until he dropped me dead on the field, that is.

As you read the story, you'll be reminded how gutting it out, no matter how much a lost cause the race seems, is sometimes worth it.

As for my own running exploits, they begin again tomorrow as I get over this week-long cold.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Trodding 3.11 Miles of Fat Burning Joy

3.11 miles run
1.30 miles warm down walk

total: 4.41 miles

course: Cardinal Fitness

A simple, easy run after (hear my sad mantra?) a long layoff. I was not entirely inactive, but I did not run. Long walks, packing/unpacking as I moved across town, and, and... and -- OK. That's all I did. Not much.

My pace was around 8:57. Nothing speedy about it. I was surprised I felt a little gassed at around 2.5 miles. Good to be out there (in there?) burning off winter fat.

A fun surprise was meeting a designer whose career has somewhat connected with mine. A post run conversation is always nice.