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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Third of Three Days - 7.1 Miles

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide
7.1 miles run (9:31/mile) 1.0 miles walked (15:00/mile)

total: 8.1 miles
course: home treadmill

I'm sleepy. What does this have to do with a long run? No idea.

A good, long run, and the longest run since January. My legs are tired, as this, though slowly ran, was the third consecutive day.

I have been reading Hal Higdon's book, Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, hoping that I continue this running spell through April so as to begin marathon training. I say that a lot, don't I?

You saw my earlier post about what I listening to as I ran. It helped keep me accountable to the run and my mind off the clock. I strutted. I ran. I played air guitar. That helped me get it done.

Also, as you can see from the music below, I have included an intentional list of music to warm down to. These are laid-back songs, softer melodies, that help calm me as I walk. Admittedly, I have no figured out what works well, so your suggestions are coveted.
  • Childhood And Manhood Cinema Paradiso Ennio Morricone
  • Gabriel's Oboe The Mission Ennio Morricone
  • Satie: Le Piège De Méduse Satie: Complete Piano Works [Disc 3] Aldo Ciccolini
  • Morning from "Peer Gynt" Clásicos London Symphony Orchestra/Philip Gibson
  • Chopin: Etude #12 In C Minor, Op. 10/12, CT 25, "Revolutionary" `Pavel Egorov

I'm Not Dead Yet, So Please Hold the Funeral Music

Don't listen to Chopin Piano Sonata #2 In B Flat Minor, Op. 35, B 128, Funeral March while making running playlist. It is, as one might expect of the appropriately titled "Funeral March," not uplifting.

I was sorting through my iTunes music to pick something for today, and apparently clicked on the Chopin piece while looking for my warmdown music (see the picture, at the end). Nice music, but I need something perkier! I'm not dead yet.

What's not on here? Taylor Swift's Speak Now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pizza Pizza Thoughts Over 4.1 Miles

4.100 miles (8:57/mile)
0.903 miles walked (15:000/mile)

total: 5.003 miles
course: home treadmill

Running before dinner does a few things. 1) Burns off excess energy floating around in my blood; 2) Makes me hungry; 3) See #2.

Old Stone 4461 16-Inch Round Oven Pizza Stone
Old Stone Oven 4467
14-Inch by 16-Inch Baking Stone
So now, I am killing 20:00 while Rosati's Pizza preps my sausage pizza. My five miles or so of bipedular motion is going to disappear in a few slices. Or, at least the related calories will be returned. The cardio benefit remains.

What can I do? I am hungry. I like pizza. Simple enough equation resolved with a phone call, a credit card, and a buck off coupon from their website.

(Note the following in case you need some larnin': Matching Matching Pop With Sausage Pizza: Pepsi is the Best Choice)

Readers of today's Triblocal piece might be looking for this -- Daily Running Log (Excel 2007 - xlsx)

Speaking of food, ever try these things? Delicious! Pogácsa (Hungarian Scones or Biscuits). Easy, international, great with butter.

The Red Bandana: An Argument for Walking

The view down my street while on a walk.
Photo: Anthony Trendl
 Be sure to read the current column: Lost and Found: Subway's Jared Fogle and Us

I love running. I identify myself as a runner, read running magazines and websites, and love running culture. However, there is more than one way a biped like me can get fit: walking.

Why walk? Walking, for all intents and purposes, burns as many calories per mile as a 5:00 mile. That isn't perfectly accurate, but close enough for my point.

I am slowly finding my way into fitness. Still, to run faster, I need to drop fat. My left calf the other day, after a lovely seven mile run, reminded me to be smart. Too much, too soon left me with one aching calf muscle. I need to keep walking as part of my workout.

Is walking a workout? Not in the pure aerobic sense, but in that I walked, have I burned a few calories? You bet. 423 calories equals a portion of a favorite lunch (Sloppy Joes – three of them). That means, in practical terms, the buns, 100 calories each, made no impact other than whatever vitamins and minerals they may have. The meat? I'm not sure what it was worth, but, I ate 123 calories worth free of charge.

I walk often to finish off a run, or just a mile up and around the neighborhood. Saturday morning garage sales are a great excuse to tour the 'hood, and sneak in a little exercise. You can meet that good looking single executive who just moved in, or giggle at the things people bothered to buy on vacation (who needs a mug that says, "I've been to the Gene Leahy Mall in Omaha, Nebraska?")

Just as we all can nickel and dime ourselves into being overweight, we can also reverse the process. A mile here, a mile there, and the next thing you know, you have gone 30 miles, or, in more useful terms, lost one pound.

To be careful, of course, I must not pretend to be a dietician and suggest Sloppy Joes are good for you. Fitness is not merely losing weight by burning calories, carbs and so forth, but it is about a fully healthy, fit body.

Sloppy Joes (at least the way I make them) are loaded with fat, sugar, carbs, salt and probably other things that quickly fall into the "too much of a good thing" category. It is no great dietary decision that I wash them down with fresh lemonade. And before you pipe up to announce, "But lemons are a fruit!" let me tell you I compensate for whatever benefit lemon juice has with loads of sugar.

In my defense, I might have green beans with them, but that's like saying the cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae makes it good for me.

In other words, get out there walking, buy some kitschy, used, souvenirs, and enjoy the people in your neighborhood.

Running Song of the Week
Lipps, Inc. had a hit with this in 1980. In lacks depth and musical complexity. It makes no social statements, mad as a love song, few songs are weaker. And yet, it works. A catchy guitar riff, a repeating chorus will suck you into a good groove as you strut through around town, getting fit and getting funky.

Gotta make a move to a town that's right for me,
Town to get me movin'
Keep me groovin' with some
energy.

——————-
Writer Anthony Trendl loves BBQs, folk music and porches. He looks to running as he battles midlife and his mid-section. Find out more at http://anthonytrendl.com/The_Red_Bandana.html

For more about my running adventures, see A Runner’s Dilemma (workout details, videos and more): http://runnersdilemma.blogspot.com/

The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through the Joy of Running

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thinking About Carrots - 5 Miles

KONG Feather Top Carrot Catnip Toy, Cat Toy, Orange5.00 miles (44:45 - 8:57/mile)
0.501 miles (7:30/mile)

total: 5.501 miles
course: home treadmill
I was hungry before I ran. Maybe that helped me feel lighter? At any rate, it was a good run.

I thought about my old college friend Kipp Trummel, my age, trying to run a PR of sorts in a 5K this Saturday. He's setting 21:30 as his goal, five seconds ahead of my own middle-aged PR. Kipp doesn't need my time as carrot. He didn't know it when he decided his time, and he has enough drive to get it done. If his fitness is there, his will is strong enough.

What about your goals?

Note: Kipp ran a 21:33, 68 seconds ahead of his previous best. Well-done old man!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Game Hens the Prize After 3.0 Miles

3.00 miles (25:00 - 8:20/mile)
1.30 miles (15:00/mile)

total: 4.30 miles
course: home treadmill

A quick Sunday morning run. Skipped church, slept a little later. Guests coming for lunch (rotisserie game hens with herb butter), so I needed to be fresh, with a clean place and food prep done before they arrive. And, I would need to post the wonders of my little run here. 

Felt good, my stride was easy to be found, but I also remembered last Saturday's run. My calf hurt most of the week, so I rested. Let your body tell you what its limits are. I am hoping my body was OK with today's run.

In the NewsMy most recent Red Bandana column, based off an old post about walking, was promoted as a lead story in several Chicago suburbs' local editions. See http://triblocal.com/members/anthonytrendl

About GrillingMy love for grilling is not a hidden secret. My abilities are sheer backyard, but I love to stoke the fire whenever possible. A favorite cookbook for this is Steve Raichlen's How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Red Bandana: DeStressing Through a Long Saturday Run

(See my current article: The Red Bandana: An Argument for Walking)

Have you ever been where no one is? A mile in front of you, and a mile behind, there is no one? Just you, maybe a few starlings, and the wind?

Imagine a long week at work. The boss was getting down on you because she found a typo in your report. An accident on I-290 added an hour to your day's commute. A client was playing games with an invoice, and is over 30 days late. And someone stole your lunch from the company fridge. That was just Monday morning. Through the rest of the week, things just went from "Ugh," to "Argh!"

You have got the blues. You can feel it. Your neck is tight. Your legs feel stiff from sitting in a cubicle. You sense a kind of anger even when there is nothing to bother you. There's dinner tonight with neighbors, but a few laughs with good friends won't suffice. In fact, you've grown weary of people. But this is Friday. Tomorrow's Saturday.

On Saturday morning, the alarm buzzes when things are still dark. The sun peaks up. It is almost warm at 41° F. The cup of coffee was good and now it is time. You head to Herrick Lake in Warrenville, or to Springbrook Prairie in Naperville. The marathon was last week, and besides, they were training on the Illinois Prairie Path. Not today. The parking lot is empty.

You're laced up, wearing shorts, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and of course, a red bandana, you align yourself with what will be the next hour. The mile marker pole says '0' and someone scratched a line in the crushed white limestone. This is no race, however. No other runners are standing aside you, and you see none in any direction: not this way, not that. Just you and those starlings. Or are those robins? It doesn't matter.

An adventure is ahead. Things will hurt. A heel, a calf, a thigh. Or maybe, you will just be tired. The last three miles will be a struggle, especially with that long slope. Still, you remember what George Sheehan once said, "Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing." It will be worth it.

No starter's gun compels you to begin, you take the first step, and the next. It will be a mile before you find your rhythm. You aren't running to enjoy the first mile, but to soak in the following six. Those are why you are hear at the cusp of dawn. You know, away from work, away from people, this is your solace.

Running Song of the Week
On Broadway by George Benson, 1978

A man has a dream to play his guitar professionally. He has the skills, but it is a difficult road. Defiant, he will not be deterred or discouraged. Run today with this same passion, whether you are losing weight, or thinking about a marathon.

"They say that I won't last too long on Broadway
I'll catch a grey hound bus for home they all say
But they're dead wrong I know they are
'Cause I can play this here guitar
And I won't quit till I'm a star on Broadway."

——————-
Writer Anthony Trendl loves BBQs, folk music and porches. Recently divorced from his couch, he looks to running as he battles midlife and his mid-section. Find out more at http://anthonytrendl.com/The_Red_Bandana.html

For more about my running adventures, see A Runner’s Dilemma (workout details, videos and more): http://runnersdilemma.blogspot.com/

The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through the Joy of Running

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chicago Marathon 2010 Leaders Just Before Mile Three

Chicago Marathon 2010 Leaders Just Before Mile Three

My view of the leaders at the beginning of the race.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Slowly Hyperactive in 7.0 mile-run

Hyperactive!7.00 miles (64:36 - 9:13/mile)
0.50 miles (7:30 - 15:00/mile) 

total: 7.50
course: home treadmill

I mentioned here about the beauty and wonder of a long solo Saturday run in a prairie trail. I wrote that night with hopes of doing exactly that this morning. Didn't happen. A half hour after publishing the article I was asleep. I posted it at 5:46 pm, and by 6:15 Friday night, I was gone. Felt nauseous, headachy, with no particularly cause. And I slept. And slept.

At a few minutes after 8:00 am this morning, I woke up. Do the math -- I got some serious shut eye. No early morning run. Too much to do in the late morning.

So the day went on. Off to the outlet mall to pick up some clothes, and then, this afternoon's run. Would I feel better? Yes. Completely.

As my mileage for the day would be the highest since January, I needed to not get stupid about speed. Better I run longer and slower than faster and shorter.

The tune du jour? Thomas Dolby's Hyperactive!

Off now I am to my high school's 25th year reunion at a bar in Crestwood, IL. With the new clothes, a good night's rest, and a nice run, I might not feel as old as I am.

The Red Bandana: High School Students at Chicago Marathon and a 2011 Challenge

Below is last week's column. Read this week's article: The Red Bandana: DeStressing Through a Long Saturday Run

What is it with high schools and road races? A few weeks ago, I reported how the Glenbard South High School volleyball team was out to cheer on runners at a Wheaton 5K/10K. This time, it is West Chicago's Wheaton Academy. They are working the Chicago Marathon.

Wheaton Academy's Bill Bickhart, Department Chair for Health and Physical Education, says they have 60 students, teachers, parents and friends of the school coming out. For eight years, they have been gathering up the troops and heading downtown.

Look for the Wheaton Academy Warriors at the Mile Marker 3 just north of the Chicago River on LaSalle St. The first runners will pass there at around 15 minutes. See link to map below.

Is your high school involved in a road race? Drop me a line and let me know.

As I noted last week, I applaud each of you who are running the Chicago Marathon. You have endured a lot of training, aches and pains, and early mornings. You inspire me.

Jody Cantey of Wheaton, IL wants to qualify for the 2011 Boston Marathon. That's not her only reason. She says it's "great head and heart time out there; step after step after step after step." She finds something viscerally special in just going out for a run, as she is "reliving the child's unappreciated freedom." How often do we as adults get to go out and play?

The cost of a marathon does intimidate me. I admit it. Scares the daylights out of me. It isn't so much the 26.2 miles on race day, which is plenty long in its own right, but the training getting there. Talking about running is easy. I can do that all day long. Some 45,000 of you — all registered for the October 10 race, however, have gone from talking to doing. You looked intimidation in the face and ran all over it.

Karina Dulin in Florida looks at the cost beyond just the training. There's stuff she needs to buy. She claims will need at least three pairs of shoes as she trains. "My knees tend to start feeling the pavement when my shoes have about 200 miles on them and I usually run about 500 miles in one training cycle," explains Dulin. (She expounds on the cost here: http://homesweetcircus.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/the-cost-of-marathon-training/)

My excuses have worn thin with at least one reader. Joel Sanders of Champaign, IL, has challenged me: "Meet me at the start line of Chicago’s 2011 marathon and allow me buy you a beer at the finish. So you can either hold my gear during the race, or run it."

Well, Joel. I don't want to hold your gear. I'm thirsty, and I prefer trappist ales. See you next October. Should I get a t-shirt made, "Will Run for Beer"?

What about you? Do you have any running goals for the next year? Will you line up with Joel and I?

Running Song of the Week
Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets
Two and half minutes of 1950s rebellion. This early rock and roll hit served as the theme to the movie "American Graffiti" and the TV series "Happy Days."

Sing along now:
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight,
We're gonna rock, rock, rock, 'till broad daylight,
We're gonna rock around the clock tonight.

2010 Chicago Marathon map

Track a marathoner

For an insightful look at running and imbibing, see Joe Kita's Runner's World article "Beer and Running"

——————-
Writer Anthony Trendl loves BBQs, folk music and porches. Recently divorced from his couch, he looks to running as he battles midlife and his mid-section. Find out more at http://anthonytrendl.com/The_Red_Bandana.html

For more about my running adventures, see A Runner’s Dilemma (workout details, videos and more): http://runnersdilemma.blogspot.com/

The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through the Joy of Running

Monday, October 11, 2010

Calming Before the Storm - 4.0 Miles

4.00 miles (34:16 - 8:34/mile)
0.50 miles (7:30 - 15:00/mile)

total: 4.50 miles
course: home treadmill

The view pictured is just before the three mile marker in the October 10, 2010 Chicago Marathon. The runners are probably at 2.5 miles, and we are about to see the wheelchair races. This is the calm before the storm.

Over 38,000 runners started the race, and 36,000 finished. In all, 94.5% finished what they started, though some 7,000 never even started.

I'm impressed. Naturally, the real story is about all the runners and those like us watching.

But enough of that. I'll get into the race details more this week.

For now, for tonight, I ran 4.0 miles with blisters on each heel. Not from running, but from watching the marathon. Sounds crazy, but it is true. New shoes, new socks, neither broken in, were apparently not just so. It has made for a wobbly run.

My pace feels good. Time to add miles. I'll hold the speed; I'm not ready for more of that yet. Might even slow it back up to accommodate the mileage. 

So far, with a long walk in Chicago on Saturday, with a good run in the evening, and again, a lot of walking on 10-10-10 (no running), I've compiled 27.25 miles for six days, and, thusly, killed off a helping or two BBQ ribs. That's not even a pound's worth of calories, but it is all piled on.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Wanna Be The Sign Guy - 5.25 Comfortable Miles

Bank of America Chicago Marathon
10-10-10
5.25 miles run (44:40 - 8:30/mile) 
0.50 miles walk (7:50 - 15:00/mile)

6.00 miles walk earlier in the day 

total: 11.75 miles
course: Streets of Chicago, home treadmill

I want to be the guy in the sign tomorrow. I really do. Instead, I'll be carrying the togs of another runner who made, and stuck by, the decision to race. I don't get to be the guy in the sign because I did not do the job to get there.

Today, during a six mile walk around Chicago's Loop, I saw runners, I saw signs like you see here, and I smelled desire. Hundreds of people passed me who know the runner's dilemma. They understand what running is, and they followed through.

In the strictest sense, the Chicago walk was no workout, but calories were burned and so fitness is now six miles closer. Tonight's run, however, was a smooth, easy gallop, yet faster than I have run in a while.

Up early tomorrow to catch a ride with my marathoning friend. She's aiming for a sub-4 hour race -- she needs that to qualify for the 2011 Boston Marathon.

Did you catch my most recent Red Bandana column? High School Students at Chicago Marathon and a 2011 Challenge What's the challenge? Hint: It involves beer.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Red Bandana: Are You Running the Chicago Marathon?

The Chicago Marathon is coming. On Sunday, October 10, 2010, referred to by runners as 10-10-10, the streets of Chicago will be filled with a human river of athletes.

Many of you are running it, and I applaud you. Sometime next week, I will be driving on Butterfield Road, and will see white oval stickers on more cars than last week, proudly displaying “26.2.” Runners know what that means. It means you did it. You finished what you started.

They — we — know you started that race long before the gun went off. Diligently, you awoke before dawn, and tossed on your running togs and lumbered out onto moon-grayed streets.

26.2 miles is a long way. Last year, 33,703 people finished it, averaging 4:27:55, which comes out to 10:13/mile. If in 2009 you were perfectly average, you would have ran side-by-side with four others, nicking the finish line in 18,071-18,074th place.

(For last year’s Chicago Marathon results, see the Athlinks.com page for the race. Athlinks is a great place to find all your race results.)
Four and a half hours? Besides the obvious (a half night’s sleep on a weekend), how long is that? What else could you do during that time?
  • 9 episodes of the Simpsons television show (including commercials)
  • 18 trips to and from Ice Lolly Cafe in Glen Ellyn (Park Blvd. and Butterfield Rd.) to pick up a triple scoop of tiramisu gelato
  • 263.5 playings of the George of the Jungle theme (see below)
As funny as the Simpsons are, as tasty as gelato is, and as groovy as singing and swinging with George is, none of it will compare with that last second when you cross the finish line. The best way to spend 4:27:55 on a mid-October Sunday morning is to run a marathon.

There will be a moment before you collapse, throw up, or hug someone when, surrounded
by thousands of people, you know you are alone to enjoy this victory. You don’t care that the winner has taken a shower and is already drinking a lemonade. You are unconcerned that the blister on your left big toe really, really hurts. You give no notice to the cold or hot weather Chicago has been blessed with this morning. This is what the last 18 weeks of training were about. This moment made it all worth it.

You are running for a reason. I’m interested why. Why do this? Your sacrifice has a reason. Are you losing weight? Raising funds for a charity? Bragging rights or to settle a bet? Or is it just so you can look behind you at the finish line, with thousands more still finishing, gaze at the last few blocks of those 26.2 miles and say, “I did that.” (Tell me why in the comments section below or contact me privately, and maybe I will include you in an upcoming column.)

Each long run is an adventure, I believe. Each is filled with a myriad of little stories. Races intensify this experience. Add 33,000 people, all of those who supported each runner the last few months, those lining the roads cheering on runners, and the media hype, and the stories become endless.

I have never run one of these. Although I have run all kinds of 5Ks, 10Ks, a number of triathlons and countless training runs over 15 miles, I don’t qualify for a 26.2 sticker for my car. I have trained with marathoners, paced runners through half of the Chicago Marathon, and cheered on many others. I watched the gripping 1982 Boston Marathon finish, the famous “Duel in the Sun” with Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley (watch on YouTube).  And I have boldly chanted countless times, “This is the year,” but it has never been ”this year.” All talk.

If this is your tired mantra as well, let’s see what 2011 holds. Run consistently through this fall and winter, and we will be ready to train for an October marathon by May 1.

Running Playlist Song of the Week
George Of The Jungle by Stan Worth, Sheldon Altman
What? A 1960s cartoon theme song makes a good running song? You bet it does!  It is only 1:01 long, but it packs a strong beat, fun lyrics and an intoxicating melody.

Not familiar with this classic? George is a hapless but happy-go-lucky, vine swinging fellow who lives in a tree house in a jungle. His heart is as good as gold, but he lacks in his ability to land from the branches without hurting himself. Despite his troubles, he is a consummate athlete; George is as buff and fit as can be.

Come on now, sing with me:
George, George
George of the Jungle,
Strong as he can be.
(Ahhhhhhhh)

Watch out for that tree.
more running songs
——————-

Writer Anthony Trendl loves BBQs, folk music and porches. Recently divorced from his couch, he looks to running as he battles midlife and his mid-section. Find out more at anthonytrendl.com.

For more about my running adventures, see A Runner’s Dilemma (workout details, videos and more)

Click here to contact me.
The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through the Joy of Running

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lace Snapping My Calves - 5.0 Miles

5.0 miles run (52:00 - 8:54/mile)
0.50 miles walked (7:50 - 15:00/mile)

total: 5.50 miles
course: home treadmill

I'm eating ravioli. You don't care. Or do you? On its own, no. Why should you care what I have for a late evening snack? No good reason. So why bring it up?

Normally after a run, I'm not hungry. I don't know why. Maybe the blood vessels are so busy trying to keep me alive that my hunger muscles aren't interested in getting any action?

But now, hungry. I missed dinner, so I can see the correlation.

I'm getting the hang of my treadmill. The pulse thing doesn't work, unless, after four miles, I'm at 83 bpm. Wouldn't that be cool? I'm not that fit.

I felt good. Brand new ASICS GT-2150™ with Kayano® II Low Cut socks. Felt like I was on a cloud. New laces were snapping my calves.

(The book pictured above? It is free. If I only had a Kindle. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Skunks in 5.0 Mile Run

Clapton5.0 miles run (44:25 - 9:16/mile)
1.10 miles walked (15:00/mile)

total: 6.1 miles
course: home treadmill

My new treadmill counts carbs. I am not sure if I care about this. All machines I have run on count calories (I burned 701 this morning), but carbs? Do I care? Maybe one of you know more about this than I do.

It is a strange thing to run on my treadmill in the basement. Music is louder. I don't use headphones. I can't change the song unless I get off the machine (I use a little boom box). The light is strangely shadowed. I do get the indulgence of pointing the fan my way. But I am as alone as if I were running on the Prairie Path at 2:00 am, without the skunks, coons and bats.

Eric Clapton has nothing to do with today. I didn't run to any Claton tunes, or even think I might. He has a new album (Clapton on Amazon for $9.99), and fellow TribLocal writer Anne Kiplinger reviews it: Music Mom: Clapton is Back! -- check it out. I noticed it as I posted an article about the Chicago Marathon.

The Red Bandana: Walk, Absorb, Click

Trees in the afternoon.
read also: Are You Running the Chicago Marathon?

As autumn comes, take time to absorb the colors. Go beyond mere looking at the quad-colored leaves, the orange-purple sunsets and the delicious harvest moon. Absorb it all. Breathe deeply the brisk air, tasting the scent of evening BBQs, cut grass and apples that stayed behind after picking.

If you are walking, bring a camera. I usually have my cell phone with me, and snap pictures daily. Beauty happens everywhere. Some of it is in unpredictable but ordinary places, like the symmetry of fence posts protected by red-wing blackbirds or two smiling children reflected in the water as they stare down at fish in Herrick Lake.

Or, after a long run, while you are doing a recovery walk (mine are usually a mile when I have time), click away.

A great place for walking is the Morton Arboretum. If you are looking for pure nature views, be sure to frame your shot carefully to avoid their exhibit, Steelroots abstract root forms in the 22-acre conifer section. What makes interesting art seems misplaced in the otherwise gorgeous manicured, yet natural setting of the Arb. Despair not, faithful walker! There are 16 miles of walking trails, not counting off-trail excursions to examine the fall flowers or a spider that has made his home between two branches.  See their fall color calendar, or check out their Fall Color 5K Run October 3.

Hurrahing in Harvest
What will you see when wandering the woods? Gerard Manley Hopkins, a nineteenth century British poet, mused that it was a wistful time filled with curiosity and celebration. In his poem, “Hurrahing in Harvest”, he wrote:

Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?

Need Inspiration?“Rocky” was shown this week on television. You know the music. You know the triumphant run up the stairs at Philadelphia Museum of Art. And you know the final scene in which Rocky calls out, “Yo Adrian!” Before this, remember also Rocky running the lonely streets at dawn, punching slabs of meat in a freezer at meat-packing plant, and doing one-armed push-ups until he was exhausted. To achieve a goal, hard work must take place.

Get the movie. Watch it on a Friday night, and get into action Saturday morning.

Be Careful
The next few months are all about eating. Candy on October 31, Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey and my favorite, Columbus Day grilled chicken. What? You don’t celebrate Columbus Day with a rotisserie herb and butter chicken? I don’t think anyone else does either, but my point remains: this fall and winter are a challenge for those of us looking to drop a few pounds. If you want to arrive in March fitter than September, we will need to skip that third turkey leg, and, in return, hit the trails.

Running Playlist Song of the Week
Gonna Fly Now (Theme from “Rocky”) by Bill Conti
If I need to explain this song, then you have not seen the movie. It came out in 1976, and has been helping people get off the couch for the last 34 years. The lyrics are nice, but it is the music, full of bright brass energy, that has us making a fist, looking to box the shadows while no one is looking. Download this gem into your mp3 player, put on some sweats, and head to the Wheaton College track to run the bleachers.

Trying hard now
it’s so hard now
trying hard now
more running songs
——————-

Writer Anthony Trendl loves BBQs, folk music and porches. Recently divorced from his couch, he looks to running as he battles midlife and his mid-section. Find out more at anthonytrendl.com.

For more about my running adventures, see A Runner’s Dilemma (workout details, videos and more)

Click here to contact me.
The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through the Joy of Running