Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Travel Day

ORN 8/31/05, zero

On the road to VA Beach and the RnR Half Marathon.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Early Morning Ride

ORN 8/30/05, 50 minutes, road bike

Well, the theme is caution and today was no different. The position on the road bike is a bit more extreme and does tend to put a strain on my back if I'm not careful. I was.

There'll be no pushing big gears or trying to be Speed Racer. I need to keep my legs moving, build a little strength, and let it go.

I'm not good at being this careful!

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, August 29, 2005

Easy Does It

ORN 8/29/05, 50 min, 5/1

Still not really sure about the whole back thing. I'm pretty stiff, and - to be honest - a little scared of setting myself back. So, today's run - and most runs between now and the marathon - are going to be cautious. I've got a solid mileage base, plenty of time to get in an 18 and 20 miler, so I'm going to take everything else down a notch.

This is always a nerve wracking time for anyone preparing for a marathon. The weeks and WEEKS of preparation are behind you, the few weeks left are the hardest, and it just seems like every little thing can throw it all off. And then the TAPER begins!

Waddle on, friends.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Lending a Hand

ORN 8/28/05, city bike, 30 min, X 2

Today was the big triathlon in Chicago and I volunteered to help. I did some triathlons years ago, but it just took too much time to be awful at all three sports! But, I still enjoy them. Plus, I think it's important to give back when we can.

I rode to and from the race site, about 6 miles or so each way. Started out at about 4:15 AM, which was a kick. Riding along the lakefront in pitch darkness is a pretty spiritual place. The city is asleep, the lake was calm. Good stuff.

By the time we got to the race site, though, before 5 AM, there was already a buzz of participants getting their stuff ready in the transition area. Quite a contrast.

A good day, all around.

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Truly a Gift

ORN 8/27/05: 16 miles, 4/2, 3:52

If you had told me on Wednesday when I was in the emergency room unable to move that on SATURDAY I would be running 16 miles I would have said you were crazy. But it happened.

I dressed for the run, put a $20 bill in my pocket [for a taxi] and headed out with the intention of seeing how far I could go. I was lucky enough to have some friends for the first 10 miles, and that REALLY helped. One of the group running with me happens to be a doctor, so it was like having my own medical staff.

The truth is my back loosened up as I did the run/walk. Up to about 14 miles I was feeling about as good as ever. The last two, as my running form began to get worse, so did my back. GREAT lesson there for me on the importance of core strength.

So I've got an 18 and a 20 miler left before the marathon. My whole mindset has switched to just getting to the starting line healthy. There'll be no risk-taking of any kind in the next several weeks. Easy does it, as the saying goes.

Waddle on, friends.


Friday, August 26, 2005

A Bit of Biking

ORN 8/26/05; 30 min X 2, city bike

I am cautiously optimistic at this point. The pain is not gone, but it's pretty specific right now. Bicycling had actually made it feel better before the big BANG, so I thought I'd take a shot. I needed to go downtown, so I rode.

It went well. Still some lingering stiffness, but I'm going to take a shot at the 16 miler tomorrow. I may switch to 3/2 from 4/2 but still go the distance.

**NOTE** There's no way to respond to comments posted on the Blog. You can email me directly from the web site.

Waddle on, friends.


Thursday, August 25, 2005

Down and Out: amended

ORN 8/25/05, ZERO

Day three of the back problem. As the shots wore off yesterday it was pretty clear that this was not a short-term problem. This morning, the tightness is back full-steam, although the pain seems better.

I'm avoiding taking the Vicodin. I'm not eager to put that level of narcotic into my body. I'm hoping to manage the pain with Tylenol. I am using the muscle relaxer [valium!] because everything still feels pretty knotted up. Guess I'll be even more mellow than usual.

As much as I can I am drug and alcohol free. I don't want to run the risk of abusing the drugs, so for me I'm trying to use only the absolute minimums.

But, I am moving better and that's a plus.

Waddle on, friends.


PS: I went out and walked for 30 minutes. What a gift. Little by little.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Injured Reserve

ORN 8/24/05: zero

Oh my. Went to the Emergency Room for the back pain. It was pretty much locked up tight.

Doc said I've got a sprained back, gave me a couple of shots and some drugs and sent me home. No telling when I'll be able to get back to running. But, it will be a few days - AT LEAST.

Supposed to go 16 this weekend, that's in doubt. Still time - I hope - to recover and get back into training for the marathon. It's like I say, the hard part is getting to the starting line healthy. Once the gun goes off, there's nothing to worry about.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

My aching back

ORN 8/23/05 Zero

I've been having a little back pain for weeks, but today I was moving something and SNEEZED and ended up on the floor. The pain was debilitating.

Not sure what this will mean, but I'm off for today.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, August 22, 2005

Come Back Run

ORN 8/22/05, 60 minutes, 6/1

What a difference a day makes. Or a couple of days. Today's run was as good as Saturday's was bad. The temperature was about 15 degrees cooler, which makes ALL the difference in the world.

I used a 6/1 ratio in order to get more "run" time. It's one of the ways to keep adjusting your run/walk ratio but keeping your total time the same.

**NOTE** I appreciate the comments, thanks. But, because of the way the come to me I cannot respond to them.

**ANSWER** The question yesterday was how to go about adjusting your training schedule when life intervenes. The most important part of a marathon or half-marathon training program is the "long" runs. You've got to get them in, one way or the other. But, as important is to keep the sequence. You can't plug in TWO long runs in a single week, for example.

Waddle on, friends.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Riding in the Dark

ORN 8/21/05 60 minutes, city bike

Not to put too fine a point on the bicycling part, but there is a 3rd bike in the stable. This is my "daily" bike. It's what they used to call a cross-over, I think. Skinny tires but flat handlebars. It's what I use to get around most days. It's got lights, but no fenders [although, I'm thinking about fenders!!]

The only time I had to get out was in the evening, at about 7:30 PM. The weather was perfect, and it felt great to just get in an after-dinner ride. By the time I was headed home it was pretty dark, so the lights came in handy.

It was a nice change of pace. Riding in the dark is another childhood throwback.

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Running Ugly

ORN 8/20/05 10 miles, 4/2

Well, it happens. Today was supposed to be a 16 mile run, but the weather intervened. There was a big storm in the area so the morning run was cancelled.

That left me to run a 10 miler on my own in the middle of the afternoon. It was NOT pretty. In fact, it was UGLY. Probably the worst run I've had in 4 or 5 years. It was very hot and humid, I had gotten "up" at 4:30 AM for the 16 miler, and then didn't get to run it, and I think I just was emotionally let down.

But, it happens. You just gut out that kind of run. I slowed down [even more, for me] and focused on just moving forward. This was one of the few runs in my life that I can say I didn't enjoy.

Waddle on, friends.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Rest Day

ORN 8/19/05 Rest

Today is the scheduled rest day. Taking two days off in a row isn't a bad idea since I have the 16 miler tomorrow.

I'm hoping my legs feel better than they do today!!

Waddle on, friends.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Blowing in the Wind

ORN 8/18/05: Rest

This was an unscheduled rest day. There were severe tornados in the area and it just wasn't possible to get out.

After the week of hilly running and riding, it wasn't a bad idea to take the day off anyway.

Waddle on, friends.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Another hilly run

ORN 8/17/05: 60 minutes, 5/1

Sheesh! I would be a much better runner if I ran these hills all the time! It's actually pointed out a big gap in my training. I should probably be trying harder to find hills on a regular basis.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Getting in Gear

ORN 8/16/05: 50 minutes, road bike.

Holy COW is it hilly! I was hoping to get in some rolling hills but never expected to find myself having to stand up on the pedals. I also didn't expect to be wishing I had bought a road bike with triple front chain rings.

It's not a bad thing. Actually, the standing and pedaling is a pretty good way to build strength in my legs without pounding them like I would if I was running uphill. It's also a good way to get a serious cardi workout without a lot of impact.

I'm trying to be a little careful as the week goes on so that I'm ready for the 16 miler on Saturday.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, August 15, 2005

Over the Hill

ORN 8/15/06 5 min w/u, 50 min 5/1, 5 min cd

GREAT run. GREAT. I'm in a hilly area and it was fun to get a chance to go up and down a little bit. I was glad to be able to get in some modest hill training without killing myself.

Even though my goal marathon [Chicago] will be pancake flat, it's important to get in some hill training just to balance out my legs. I'm not ready for serious hill running, but a little rolling out-and-back was perfect.

Waddle on, friends.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Safety First

ORN 8/14/05: REST

The bigger the miles, the higher the risk. From here to race day is really a balancing act. Train as much as you can but not too much. Rest as much as you need to, but not too much.

Originally I had planned to do a recovery bike ride today, but thought better of it. I'll be doing a 16 mile run NEXT Saturday, so this is a transitional week between the two longest runs so far. All I have left is a 16, and 18, and a 20 and then the marathon. I want to get all I can from each of those long runs. They best way to do that is to be rested.

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Over the Hump

ORN 8/13/05: 14 miles, 4/2 [3:33]

The alarm went off at 4 AM. I was out the door at 5. Have I mentioned that I am NOT a morning runner? I'm not a morning PERSON. But, these are the sacrifices we make in marathon training.

The training group was running a cut-back, 8 mile run today. Since I am out of sequence because I ran the San Francisco half marathon two weeks ago, I needed to get in my 14 miler today. I ran the first 6 on my own and met up with them for the last 8 miles.

The lakefront path is pretty empty at 5 AM. By 5:30, though, the runners are starting to gather. By 6 AM the path is alive with training programs and by 7 AM the path is packed. It worked well. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the first hour or so and the company on the last hour or so.

I'm over the "half hump". The miles get bigger, the runs longer, but the marathon distance closer. So far, so good.

Waddle on, friends.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Change of Plans

ORN 8/13/05: 57 min, 5/1

OK, this is how it works. Yesterday I was going to run an 8 and 8 Friday and Saturday, for a total of 16 [just in case you can't do the math!!] But, the plan was changed to running a solid 14 on Saturday and 4 on Friday for a total of 18.

Coach Jenny [alias wife Jenny] rethought the plan, and since I am now scheduled for 16 NEXT Saturday she thought it was better to go ahead and run the 14 tomorrow.

Training programs are works in progress even when they are IN progress. Rigid flexibiliy. That's the key!

Waddle on, friends.


Thursday, August 11, 2005

Preparation Day

ORN 8/11/05: rest

Oh I HATED to rest today. The rain came early and the afternoon was cool and delightful. And I had to REST! I'm going to do back-to-back mid-distance runs tomorrow and Saturday and I needed to get my legs back to fresh.

I did go see "The March of the Penguins" movie, which was FANTASTIC. I'm more proud than ever to be a Penguin!

Waddle on, friends.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Where the rubber meets the road

ORN 8/10/05: 65 minutes, road bike; 35 "hard", 30 moderate

I love it when I have a good day. I especially love it when it comes along unexpectedly.

I got out on my LeMond for an easy ride along the lakefront. Jenny was going out at the same time so I "tagged along" for the first half-hour or so. What a great feeling to be sailing along the path.

Sadly, about 30 minutes in my legs decided that they had had enough so I watched Jenny pedal off into the distance and took a cool-down ride back.

It may be cross-training in the books, but bicycling is so much fun it's hard for me to think of it as training.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Back at it

ORN 8/9/05: 60 minutes, 4/2

Wow, did THAT feel good. OK, it didn't feel that good at the start, but as my legs loosened up some it felt better and better.

The "plan" is to stretch my daily runs out from 42-48 minutes to 60-75 minutes. There's an old racing myth that you can "race" 1/3 of your total weekly mileage and "run" 3 times your daily run. Since I KNOW that I won't be getting in any 75 mile weeks, I'm hoping to bump at least one of my daily runs to 90 plus minutes.

If I can do that and get in a long run of 20 miles [plus the 14,16, and 18 milers] before the marathon I'll feel pretty confident.

Waddle on, friends.



ORN 8/8/05: ZERO

Not a good thing. I had intentions of trying to run today, after having missed Saturday and Sunday, but it just didn't happen. I was just too exhausted from the weekend.

This is life getting in the way of a great plan. I know that I'm off the schedule now and will have to try to find a way to get back on and catch up.

I'm only a week out from the half-marathon, so I'm not too worried. But, I've got to get back on the schedule soon or I'll be a week behind in the long runs.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Race Weekend

ORN: 8/6 and 8/7/05: Zero

This weekend was the Chicago Distance Classic, an event put on by John Bingham Racing. Friday and Saturday were packet-pickup and course setup days. Sunday was race day.

It's hopeless to think I'm going to get any "training" done on a weekend like this. Spending 3 solid days standing, lifting, moving things, pushing, shoving, yelling, clapping, and congratulating is a kind of cross-training activity.

Waddle on, friends,


Friday, August 05, 2005

Transition Run

ORN 8/05/05: 48 minutes, 4/2

This is the last run of the recovery phase and the first run of the training phase. My legs are coming back nicely from San Francisco and there doesn't seem to me any lasting affects. This is all good.

It's now time to start focusing on the marathon distance. The longer, long runs and longer daily runs will start next week.

Waddle on, friends.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Eager Beaver

ORN: 50 minutes, mountain bike.

Again, a reminder, that mountain bike refers only to WHICH bike. In this case a Gary Fisher that I bought to train for an adventure race I did a few years back. It's actually a great bike, much better than I am capable of riding.

I'm trying to balance my need to recover with my eagerness to train. It's not easy. I want to make this a big mileage week, since I started with the half marathon on Sunday. But, I can't make it a big mileage week because I started with a half marathon on Sunday. See the problem?

Races are great training. But they aren't training, they're racing. No matter how much I try to tell myself that Sunday was just a training run, it wasn't. It was a race. The pace, the time, the people, the atmosphere was that of a RACE, not a training run. And I have to recover from races.

Waddle on, friends.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Recovery Run

ORN: 8/3/05: 58 min. 6 walk, 42 run/walk 4/2, 10 min walk.

No real training agenda today, just need to get back into the swing of it. My legs are still tired, but nothing's hurt which is a good sign.

I'm trying a new pair of Asics 2100's. This is a series of shoes that has worked very well for me in the past. I'm still looking for that perfect "marathon" shoe and sock. It's important to start making that decision now, not in October.

By Labor Day I will know what shoes, socks, shorts, and underwear I'm going to use. I'll have a choice of shirts [long and short-sleeved] but they will both be from the Running Room colection.

Waddle on, friends.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Day off

ORN: 8/2/05: REST

The fatigue in my legs just won't go away, so there's only one smart thing to do. REST. I'm surprised that my legs are still so tired, but I guess the hills took more out of me than I thought.

It also gives me an idea that I must have pushed harder than I thought I did, which, looking back means I had a REALLY good day.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Recovery Ride

ORN: 8/1/05: road bike, 60 minutes

The only goal today was to move my legs. I has a little lingering fatigue from the race yesterday. Not ever training on hills means that the San Francisco course took it's toll.

In general, I believe in active recovery. An easy bike is often the best thing.

Waddle on, friends.