Saturday, December 31, 2005

One Last Longish Run

ORN: 7 miles, 3/2, 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Well, that's it. That last real run before I line up for the half marathon on Saturday. It want fine. 7 miles right now doesn't even seem worth doing. I guess that's good.

This "Goofy" challenge, and getting prepared, has been a very interesting experience. And, as of now, not very satisfying. I've run and walked LOTS of miles but find myself enjoying the training less every day.

Again, I think this is normal, but that doesn't make it easy.

Next weekend can't get here soon enough.


Friday, December 30, 2005

Another Extra Rest Day

ORN: 0

I am READY for this to be over I really am. I'd like to line up right now and run them both on the same day.

This is taper madness in it's full glory. I'm tired, grumpy, and did I mention TIRED? But, it's part of the process. This one just seems longer and more pronounced. But, it will be 4 marathons and 2 half marathons in 4 months. NOT my normal fall/winter schedule.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Holiday Runs

I'm just catching up. Been on the road, visiting family. Over the river and through the woods!!

Saturday, December 24
ORN: 2 hours, 4/2

This was the last long run before "Goofy". It was amazing to run for two hours and not feel like I even gotten started. The weather was cool and drizzly, but for Chicago in December it wasn't bad.

Sunday, December 25: Christmas.
ORN: 0, lots of EATING!

Monday, December 26:
ORN: 0, travel day

Tuesday, December 27:
ORN: 60 minutes, 5/1

The game plan is pretty straightforward at this point. Don't do ANYTHING stupid. I feel like I could at least line up and take a shot at the Goofy right now. Nothing good is going to happen with the training. But, there are plenty of ways to screw it up.

After 60 minutes I don't feel loosened up, let alone warmed up. It's nerve wracking, but a good sign.

Wednesday, December 28:
ORN: 45 minutes, 4/1

Same as yesterday, just stay loose. The path is a little on the hilly side, which is good. And, just like yeserday, I didn't even begin to feel warmed up by the end of the run.

Thursday, December 29:
ORN: 0

Friday, December 23, 2005

A gift run

ORN: 70 minutes, 4/2, OUTSIDE!

The weather broke, and I took advantage of it. The temperatures SOARED into the 40's today so I got to run outside. We are very fortunate here in Chicago that the City's Park Department plows the lakefront path so quickly and so well. I was able to do my normal "north path" run without any problems.

Well, except at this point I don't even start to loosen up in 70 minutes, which is a good thing. The run itself didn't feel very good, but that's mostly because I'm recovering and tapering all at the same time.

With a little MORE luck I'll get in my long-ish run tomorrow in decent weather.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Setting it up

ORN: 0

Today's "training" was rest. On Friday I'll do a 70 minute session and back that up with a 2 hour session on Saturday. The idea is to run one day, then get up and run farther the next. Goofy style.

I'm still having trouble with the taper. I can't seem to get a handle on my appetite, and all the holiday goodies aren't helping!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cross Training

ORN: 20 minutes, stationary bike, light weight workout

Have I mentioned that this, the taper, is my LEAST favorite part of training and racing? My routine gets upset, my appetite goes bonkers, and I have a hard time keeping my head together.

I sat on a stationary bike for 20 minutes spinning and keeping my heart rate up just a little bit. After that I went through the weight machine circuit. All I was trying to do was stretch on the machines. Now is not the time to make big changes in my training.

I wish Disney was this weekend!!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Easy Does It

ORN: 4 miles, 3/2, 56 minutes

This was a "planned half marathon pace" workout, on the treadmill. The goal was to get into the rhythm of the 3/2 ratio [as I did for the first 13 miles in Honolulu] and see how easy I could make it feel.

I worked on trying to be as "silent" as possible with my foot fall. The person next to me was landing full force with every step. I wanted to say something, but chose to keep my mouth shut.

She was also doing a "straight run" program, which, all things considered didn't make any sense to me. At her pace she would have done MUCH better to mix in some walking. She's an injury waiting to happen.

That REALLY bothers me because so many MORE people could enjoy running if they just used some common sense.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Keeping things loose

ORN: 4 miles, 45 minutes, 5/1

Back inside today. I'll try to make sure to run at least once a week outdoors between now and Disney, but I will get a lot of quality training on the treadmill.

The goal is to stay fresh and loose. I'll do shorter intervals at a somewhat quicker pace to make sure my foot turnover is working.

My appetite has gone bonkers for some reason. I can't seem to get enough to eat. I'll have to be careful to monitor my eating for the next few weeks or I'l line up for the Goofy Challenge carrying more weight than I want.


Full Tilt Rest Day

ORN: 0

The last Sunday that I had off was in August. AUGUST! So I took today OFF. And I mean OFF. Just football games and popcorn!


Saturday, December 17, 2005

First COLD run

ORN: 7 miles, 1 hour, 35 minutes, 3/2

OH MY!! Last weekend in Honolulu it was 85 degrees. THIS weekend in Chicago it was 9 degrees, with a windchill of 0. ZERO!

Because I've been traveling so much, this was my first REAL winter run. And it takes a little while to remember how to dress and how to handle the extreme cold.

This was a 2 layers on the bottom, 3 layers and a shell on top kind of day. It turns out that I could have gotten away with one less layer on top because I wore a pretty heavy Mountain Hardwear windblock fleece.

I've got an old Brooks top with a hood and "mitten" hands that I just LOVE as a base layer. It's about 6 years old but I can't find anything else that works as well.

As hoped for, the 7 miles felt EASY today. A great sign.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Taper or Bust

ORN: 0

This is the most difficult time for me. I feel ready, or as ready as I'm going to be. Whatever my base is now, that's what it's going to be coming Disney weekend.

I've talked to some other folks getting ready, and I'm thinking that THEY are going to have a tough time!!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Running in Place

ORN [Obligatory Running Note] 4 miles, 48 minutes, 4/1

It did NOT feel good at first. I walked a full quarter of a mile before I even thought about running. I tried easing into the run and that helped.

I hadn't run a step since Sunday, so a little stiffness would have been expected. What I didn't expect was how strongly my HEAD didn't want to run.

On days like today I try to talk myself into just going for 20 minutes or so and see how I feel. I was on the treadmill, so, I found a funny television show to watch and the next thing I know I had run for 30 minutes. At that point I was feeling better and just kept going.

But, I would have stopped at 20 minutes if I REALLY didn't want to run.

Nothing seems hurt. Nothing even feels all that tight. Good news!!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

An extra day

ORN: 0

Not sure whether it's from the flying or the running, but, my left hip is acting up a little bit. I've chased this problem around in the past - including over a year with doctors - and nothing was ever really diagnosed.

Best guess was a sciatica kind of problem, usually caused by too much sitting.

So, just to be sure I'll take today off and try to get in a gentle run tomorrow. This is the "taper" anyway. A little LESS is better than a little MORE!


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Long Flight Home

ORN: 0

Anyway you slice it, flying 8 hours overnight is a long time to be sitting.

The good news is that I'm not experiencing any DOMS symptoms. [Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness] It's not usual for some aches and pains to show up a couple of days after the event.

I'm hopeful that I can try to do some walking/running tomorrow if I can catch up on my sleep.


The Honlulu Marathon is unique in that it is the only event that I know of that is nearly evenly divided between two running cultures. Of the nearly 28,000 participants in this year's race, about 18,000 are Japanese.

It's a very interesting experience to be running inside of another running culture. I don't know much about the Japanese running culture although I suspect MANY of them are Penguins whether they know it or not. There is almost universal joy in the Japanese participants. That's not to say that it isn't difficult, or that many aren't struggling, but there does seem to be a transcendant feeling of accomplishment that doesn't seem to be associated with a finishing time.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Physical Inventory

ORN: 0

At a clinic once the panel was asked what to do the week after a marathon. Most of us gave the standard "take it easy, but move" answer. Everyone except former marathon world-record holder Steve Jones. His answer was to go out the day after and run a hard ten-miler to see what you hurt!

Well, I'm not going to do THAT! I will get out and walk some to keep my legs from locking up. So far everything feels fine.

As important as the physical preparations are, it's AS important to do an equipment inventory. I've made the decisions about shoes, socks, shorts, a long and short-sleeve shirt, jacket, and hat. Right or wrong, I know what I'm going to use. They've worked in training and I trust that they will work on race day.

So let the taper begin!!


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Staying the Course

ORN: 3/2, 2/3, walk.

Let's see if I can explain. This was a training run for the Goofy Challenge. I'd done a half marathon last weekend and I wanted to see what affect - if any - that would have. So the plan was to use this as my last long training run. Since I'm here with Team in Training I knew I'd have to be "on the course" all day, so I wanted to get some bang for my buck

I wanted to get through the "half" feeling as though I hadn't really gotten started. The idea being that for Disney I'll need to be able to run the half on Saturday and walk off the course feeling strong. I'm pleased to say that the first half went exactly as planned. I felt great, even with the heat and humidity.

What did I learn? I'm feeling pretty confident about getting through the half marathon at Disney with little or no damage. I'm still trying to decide on the best ratio. I'm leaning toward staying with the 3/2 that has worked so well the past two weekends. I think that will leave me with enough in my legs to get up at take a shot at the marathon on Sunday.

Make no mistake, I'm scared to death. Well, OK, that might be a bit dramatic. But I am PLENTY nervous. I think I've prepared well, but there's just no telling. For now, I'll start the taper, rest up, get strong, and be ready to take my shot.

Waddle on,


Saturday, December 10, 2005

The day before

ORN: 0

It won't really be a 0, since I have to do so much walking today, but it won't be a formal run.

My biggest concern, and it is a HUGE concern, is what I'm going to do about the sports drink. At races with Gatorade I usually do nothing BUT the sports drink. That won't work here. I do NOT want to carry fluid with me, but I wish now I had brought my Camel Back.

I'll get some salt packets from McDonald's and carry them. I've got a couple of Power Bars, which I'll bring, AND I'll bring money. I know that there are gas stations along the course. I'll probably just stop and buy Gatorade.

In case you can't tell, I'm nervous. I know because I wanted to buy a cheap pair of sunglasses yesterday. I wear prescription glasses. I don't know what I thought I would do with the cheap sunglasses, but I was READY to buy.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Not all bad

ORN: 55 min, 3/2

OK, I guess I should stop complaining about Honolulu. There's 6 or more inches of snow on the ground at home, so getting to run - outside - ain't all bad.

I just wanted to see where my legs were at after the flight. Things are "right", but they're close enough. I'll have to do a fair amount of walking in the couple of days and that should help.

My current thinking is to 3/2 until about mile 16 or so [depending on how I feel] then switch to 2/3 for a while, and finally walk that last few miles. But, it's going to be HOT, so I may walk sooner.

They are serving Amino Value on the course. After LAST weekend's fiasco with a new sports drink, I think I'll skip it. I may have to try to get some salt packets from somewhere.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Long flight

ORN: 0

I flew from Chicago to Honolulu today. That's over 8 hours in the plane, not to mention all the airport and taxi time. I did get out and walk for 30 minutes or so when I got to the hotel, but no training today.

It's hard to complain, since there's over 6 inches of snow on the ground at home!!

The biggest problem, of course, is the 4 hour time difference. At least it's in the right direction since the race starts at 5 AM Honolulu time.

My sciatica is REALLY tweaked after sitting on the plane for that long. I'll get out tomorrow and run/walk for an hour or so to see if I can get it to loosen up.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Short but sweet

ORN: 3 miles, 5/1, 36 minutes

I retreated to the treadmill today. The goal was just to get a little blood back into my legs and see how they felt after the half marathon and two days of rest.

For some reason it's easier for me to "pick up the pace" on a treadmill. Maybe it's because when I'm outside I LIKE being outside and don't want to hurry - I don't know - but whatever the case I set the treadmill speed at a 10:42 mile and just hung on.

Everything went well. I knew I wasn't going to go far so pushing the pace some made sense.

Still not sure what I'm going to do on Sunday at the Honolulu Marathon. I'll have to be out on the course all day anyway, so I'm thinking I may run/walk as much as I can and then walk the rest.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stiff, but not sore

ORN: 0

Woke up this morning REALLY stiff. We flew home from Tucson today, so I was hoping to get something in, but it didn't work out.

I'm having a little pain in my left hip. Usually this is from too much flying, and that's my guess. So, I'll take an extra day of rest and try to run/walk tomorrow.


Monday, December 05, 2005

The morning after

ORN: 0, rest and recovery

The most important thing for today is to do a quick inventory and see if anything is banged up, bruised, or broken. I am VERY happy to report that my body took the downhill pounding pretty well, and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong, anywhere. That's the VERY good news.

To be honest, I wasn't feeling much like running a marathon this morning. I'm still not sure how THAT is going to work. But for now, it's all good.

I'l try to get out tommorrow for a little bit and see how it goes.

Waddle on,


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Tucson Half Marathon

ORN: 13.1 miles, 2:56:07, 3/2

What a day. We loaded up in the car and headed up the road to the start. It was COLD. Nope. It was VERY cold. We had our event manager here drive us to the start so we could sit in the car until pretty near the race start time. THAT was a blessing. Most folks got bussed up and dropped off. YIKES.

The plan was pretty simple. Run 3, walk 2, and finish in around 3 hours. And the plan worked, but not without a fairly major glitch.

Pop quiz: what's the NUMBER 1 rule in long distance running??? Never try ANYTHING new on race day. I'm a believer. I've brought shoes I trust, socks I trust, shorts, shirt, even HAT that I trust. So far, so good.

At the first fluid stop, the volunteers are yelling "WATER" and "GATORADE". They were in the same cups, which should have been a sign [Gatorade, which we serve at the JBR races, requires you to serve it in Gatorade cups]. So, I took a big swig of what I thought was Gatorade. Next stop. Same deal. WATER, GATORADE, same cups.

Well, it wasn't Gatorade. It was some local sports drink which I had NEVER tried. BAD BAD BAD idea. Some ingredient in the sports drink just didn't agree with my bladder and I spent the next 10 miles having to stop NEARLY every mile. So, what should have been a pleasant enough run down the side of the road turn into an off-road, into the desert dash through bushes and cacti. NOT pleasant.

I should have known better. I should have read the race information better [or, at all]. I should have ASKED! But I didn't, and I have no one to blame but myself.

Other than that it was a really fun day. I ran with a couple of good friends on a beautiful day along the Santa Catalina mountains. This was the longest I've run since MCM and I'm pleased that it went as well as it did.

Now... do I think I could get up tomorrow and run a marathon like I'll have to at Disney??? We'll see.

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Loosening Up

ORN: 30 min, 3/2

The only goal today was to move some and try to shake off the "airplane" legs. I'm concerned about the half marathon tomorrow, but the plan is to stick with a 3/2 ratio and see how it goes.

It doesn't matter - at least it doesn't for me - how many half or full marathons I've done, I still get worked up and nervous. Maybe there are people who say it's "only" a half marathon - and mean it - but NOT me. 13.1 miles is a long way.

So, I'll do my best not to chew anyone's head off today!!


Friday, December 02, 2005

Travel Day

ORN: 0

This was a planned rest day. I'd run three days in a row, and that's usually about my limit.

The half marathon is Sunday, so tomorrow will be a short 30 minute warm-up at race pace and interval [3/2]


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Fleet Feet

ORN: Treadmill; 6 quarter mile repeats, at 10 minute pace, 5 min w/u and c/d

OK, this may take some explanation. Everyone - EVERYONE - can benefit from speedwork. I don't do very much of it, but I should. Speedwork - on the track or treadmill - is the only way to maintain your efficiency and foot turnover.

I didn't want to run much today because I'm going to run/walk a half marathon on Sunday as training for Goofy. So, I decided to start my winter workout schedule of once a week treadmill track sessions. It's pretty simple really: warm up, run 1/4 of a mile at an elevated pace, walk an equal amount of time as a rest interval, and then repeat.

At a 10 minute pace - which is SPEED work for me - it takes 2:30 to run a quarter, so I'd run 2:30, walk SLOWLY for 2:30, and repeat 6 times.

It felt GREAT. There's something honest about banging out "quarters". I'm going to commit to doing some kind of speed sessions every week all winter long.

Waddle on, friends.