Friday, September 30, 2005

Forced Rest

ORN: 0. travel day

After the playful run yesterday, I needed to take a break today. This is the HARDEST part of marathon training. I want to run the race TOMORROW and be done with it.


Waddle on,


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Holding Back

ORN: 50 min, 5 w/o, 40 @5/1, 5 c/d

Oh BOY. Do I have the taper madness going.

Supposed to be an easy run on my favorite loop. Early on I could feel myself starting to pick up the pace. My legs felt SO strong.

Ended up doing the loop about 5 minutes faster than normal. NOT A GOOD THING.

Got to regroup, hold back, and rest.

Waddle on, friends.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Riding in the Rain

ORN: 20 min X 2, city bike.

I'm not crazy about biking in the rain, but today there was no other option. I know I've got marathon fever because all I really want to do is go out and run the marathon!

I know that nothing good can happen in the next 11 days, but lots BAD can happen. I've got all the aches and stiffness that I remember having before other marathons. And I know that this is how it is supposed to be.

But, I don't like it. I'm ready. I'm as well prepared as I have ever been. I HATE the waiting part!

Waddle on,


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back on Bike

ORN: 30 min X 2, city bike

I had a meeting downtown, so it's a good excuse to get up early and ride in. Riding the city streets has it's own rewards and hazards. Dodging taxis, buses, pedestrians, and tourist makes for an interesting - and challenging - ride.

It's almost like interval training. I try to pedal pretty hard in between stops and maintain a speed close to the traffic. It's a good workout.

Waddle on,


Monday, September 26, 2005


ORN: 0

Still feeling very good about yesterday's race. I've done the inventory this morning and I'm pleased to report that nothing is banged, stratched, scraped, or bruised.

I've got the shorts, socks, and top figured out but am still debating between two pairs of shoes. I'll need to settle soon on which I'll wear.

Waddle on,


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Half Marathon

ORN: 13.1 miles, 5/1, 2:38:35

HOLY COW! Did I have a great day. I haven't been under 2:45 in a half marathon in years. I haven't been much in 3 hours in a LONG time, so this was a very pleasant surprise.

This was a "check up" run in advance of the marathon. I wanted to settle in to a comfortable pace and hold it. I came across the first 10K in under 36 minutes - not a good sign. So, I backed it off some and just rode it out.

The race - the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half Marathon - by the way, is a great event and certainly one that you should consider. Toronto is a wonderful international city. Unlike some international cities, the language and the money in Toronto is close enough to the US that is not a big problem.

Anyway, I am VERY pleased and feeling good about my preparations for Chicago.

Waddle on,


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Friendship Run

ORN: 3k, run/walk -ish

This morning was the Friendship Run, in advance of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. About 100 of us gathered at the Running Room store in Toronto's Commerce Court for a short run.

I spoke briefly and Running Room founder John Stanton gave the crowd some last minute tips.

I am not immune from "Taper Madness" and so I bought a fleece jacket. I already own about 20 fleece jackets, but somehow I just HAD to have this one. Hey, it was BLUE. I don't have a BLUE fleece jacket!!

Waddle on,


A little extra rest

ORN: 0

I got dressed to go run, shoes on, everything, and then thought better of it. I'm running the half-marathon on Sunday, I did an 18 mile walk/run on Monday, so I'll have over 30 miles this week with just those two sessions.

It's too close to the marathon to do anything stupid. So, I took a nap instead of running!!

Waddle on,


Thursday, September 22, 2005

In the air again

ORN: travel day, 0

It's that time of year. Every week means flying somewhere. Trying to keep a training program together is a nearly impossible task.

Having gotten in the 18 on Monday, and knowing that I'll be running a half-marathon on Sunday allows me to relax a little. This will still be a big week, and it's time to start tapering off.

I'm still fighting with a cold that won't let go. So far it has only stopped me from training one day, but I'll be glad when my head is clear.

Waddle on,


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Favorite Run

ORN: 50 min, 5/1 with 5 min w/u and 5 min c/d

I love this run. It's a loop that starts along the lakefront in Chicago, then doubles back past Diversey and Belmont harbors. I know from the long shadows that the harbors will be empty soon and the fall and winter season will be here.

But for now, all of us - the runners and bikers and boaters - are trying to squeeze in a few more days of summer. Knowing that it can't last makes in all the sweeter.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Getting Caught Up

Whew, it's been several days since I've been able to "blog". Sorry 'bout that. This time of year is insane.

ORN: 9/17/05, 8.2 miles, 5/1, 1:48

I was the last leg of a relay team at the new Rochester Marathon. It was a fantastic experience. There were 5 "Penguin" teams and everyone on EVERY leg ran together as a team. It was amazing.

ORN: 9/18/05, travel day, 0

ORN: 9/19/05, 17.75 miles, 2 run, 3 walk, 4:30 [15 min w/u, 15 min c/d]

I'm planning to walk/run - as opposed to run/walk - the Chicago marathon with a friend. Our goal is to come in at about 6 to 6:30. I've now done a 3, 3 1/2, 4, and two 4 1/2 hour long runs leading up to the marathon. It's been a long time since I felt this well prepared.

So, it's taper time now. All the training is in the barn. It's been a great training season, but a long one!

ORN: 9/20/05, recovery - pool

Not really swimming, just "playing" in the pool some, trying to stay loose

Waddle on,


Friday, September 16, 2005

Calling in Sick

ORN: Zero

The alarm went off at 5:30. Not gonna happen. It went off again at 6:30. NOPE. 7:00. Sorry, no.

All the travel has caught up with me and I've got a pretty good cold going. Right now it's just a head cold, but I don't want it to turn into anything more serious.

I'm doing 8 miles tomorrow as a part of a marathon relay, so, getting over this cold is the number one priority.


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Travel Day

ORN: Zero

This was a scheduled rest day. Right now, rest is as important as training.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Easy Bike

ORN: 40 minutes, city bike

My legs were feeling pretty beat up after yesterday's "brick". I'm begin very cautious, maybe more than necessary, but it's getting too close to take any risks. There won't be time to recover if I mess up now.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reverse Brick

ORN: 6 mile bike, 10K run [2/4], 6 mile bike. [30/1:24/30]

Tonight was the big Nike Run Hit Wonder in Chicago. About 15,000 runners, walkers, and listeners.

Jenny and I biked to the race from home, I walked/ran [2 minutes running, 4 minutes walking] and then we biked back. I had planned on doing the 5K, but bumped into someone and we ended up doing the 10K together.

It's nearly two weeks since I was on my bike, and I could tell. My legs felts GREAT! Now it's just a matter of planning for the last long run, and tapering to marathon day.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Do the math

ORN: 45 min, 4/1

OK, here's the deal. Friday, flew 12 hours. Saturday, ran on the treadmill. Sunday, flew 12 hours. Monday, drove 12 hours, then ran along the lakefront.

The point is that it is NEVER easy to get in the runs. The easiest thing to do is find one of the hundreds of reasons why you can't get out there on any given day. But, for most of us, we can.

The idea that a training schedule is nice and neat, like in the book, is a fantasy for most people. Training is mostly a matter of figuring out how to get in what you need when you can.

Waddle on, friends.


Sunday, September 11, 2005

Fly, fly again

ORN; zero

Another all day flight. My legs feel a little knackered from the "speed work" yesterday, so a day off won't hurt.

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Short but sweet

ORN: 3 miles/35 minutes, 4/1, treadmill

There wasn't going to be time for much today, so the key was to get in a high quality, low time, workout. For me, the treadmill is one of the best ways to do that.

I kept my running pace at 10:40 for the first two miles, then dropped it down to 10:20 for the third mile. I would NEVER run that kind of pace outdoors, or at least I don't think I would. So, if felt great to move my legs at that speed. FOR A LITTLE WHILE.

Waddle on, friends.


Friday, September 09, 2005


ORN: Zero. Travel day, 8 hours of flying.

There was no chance to get anything in today, and I knew that. But there's always something do to this close to the marathon.

1] physical inventory: Nothing hurt after the 18 mile run, a good sign. My back did "ache" a little towards the end of the run, but not so much that I needed to stop. This is a good sign.

2] equipment inventory: I'm pretty sure I've settled on the shoes I'm going to use. Pretty sure. I'll try a different pair for the 20 miler just to be sure. Obsessive? Um, YEAH! But I am sure of the socks, shorts and shirt!!

3] emotional inventory: I wish I felt better about going into the marathon. I've completed 40 of them, but that doesn't mean a thing. I'm still worried that I'll be able to complete THIS one.

Waddle on, friends.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Getting it done

ORN: 18 miles, 4:29; 12 miles 4/1, 6 miles 4/2, 4

I didn't expect to be able to get this in, but a window of opportunity opened up and I jumped through.

First decision was to do 4/1's even though I'd done all my other long runs at 4/2. The thinking was that I would get in a higher run percentage, and that was good. I'll let the math majors figure out the exact difference.

It went well up through 12 miles, then it became clear that I'd never finish at 4/1 so I switched. All in all a bonus long run. I'll do a 20 miler sometime next week [a 5 hour run/walk] and then take a shot at the marathon.

Waddle on, friends.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005


ORN: 45 min, 4/2, rolling hills

With the event getting so close, it's time to start focusing in on getting ready. Normally I wouldn't do two running days in a row. I would have biked today. But, with just a few weeks left to train I want to take advantage of every opportunity to get in quality training.

Hill running is really speed-work in disguise. You build stength, but more importantly you elevate your heart rate without much risk to your body.

My back seems to have gotten to a point of stability, but, I am taking NO chances. If something even LOOKS heavy, it's going to stay where it is until after the marathon.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tempo Run

ORN 9/6/05: 60 minutes, 9/1 at moderate pace.

I'm still on the road, so time is more of a consideration than usual. To get in a higher quality run in the same amount of time, I'll change the run/walk ratio. Shifting from 4/1 or 5/1 to 9/1 AND picking up the pace a little really alters the nature of the run.

All things considered, it went well. Not exactly lots of sping in my step, a "hang-over" from spending so much time on my feet over the weekend. But, I've got to stay on the schedule, as best I can.

This will be a very difficult week to train, so I'll be "playing" with the schedule more than usual.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, September 05, 2005

Filling in the Gap!

As I said at the start, this would be semi-daily at best, and quite irregular at times. I've been at an event which means having very little time for anything other than working. But, better than most event weekends, I've been able to say sort of on track.

ORN: Friday, 9/2/05: 60 minutes biking

I had a media interview EARLY in the morning, which forced me to get up and get out. Turned out to be a very good thing. I had my bike with me so I was able to ride to the interview and then get in a solid 60 minute "street" ride.

ORN: Saturday, 9/3/05: 30 minutes, 4/1 X 2

I was scheduled to meet with a group for a short "pre-race" run, so I got out early and got my own short run in, then came back, met with them, and did the same thing again.

ORN: Sunday, 9/4/05: hodge-podge of biking a little, standing too much, and walking A LOT!

Race day always means lots of standing, and today was no exception. I rode my bike to the start, and then across to the finish for a total of about 5 miles. I walked a total of 5 miles to and from various race related events.

I woke up with a calf cramp [Charlie Horse?] for the first time in about 40 years. Not sure why, but suspect I didn't go a very good job of drinking enough sports drink during the day.

Today is another travel day. My legs are trashed from the weekend anyway, so a rest day won't hurt.

Waddle on, friends.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

One Day at a Time

ORN 9/1/05, 60 min, 5/1

This theme is going to come up over and over. I need to keep building mileage. I need to keep getting in the daily runs and cross-training. I need to understand that my back is now contoling what I can and cannot do.

Today's run went well. Some stiffness at first - I think mostly from sitting in a car for two days - but it loosened up nicely. There was actually a few points where the running felt nearly fluid. But not always.

It's a gentle dance now. It's a matter of agreeing every day that I'll only do what I need to, but no more. My ego has got to take a back seat [no pun intended] to common sense.

Waddle on, friends.