Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Home Sweet Home

My body is in the central time zone, but I'm not sure where my brain is. I'm back from London, just in time to get ready to leave for Nashville.

The Flora-London marathon is - simply put - one of the world's GREAT events. And it is an event, make no mistake. There's some racing going on near the front, but for most of the 35,000 participants it's a chance to live out a life's dream.

In case you haven't heard, American Deena Kaster won the women's race in a new American record of 2:19:38. She just looked fantastic as she ran a rock-solid race with dead-even splits. She's amazing. The men's race came down to the finish line sprint with Felix Nemo getting there first.

I got to enjoy the VIP treatment, which is VERY nice. As you would expect from the English it was VERY civilized with a lovely breakfast and then covered grandstand seats at the finish. It would be easy to get spoiled.

But, I did manage to run 4 times so I'm feeling good about keeping up with my training plan.


ORN: Saturday, April 22: 60 minutes, 4/2. A nice slow, longer run along the Thames River.
ORN: Sunday, April 23: 0, marathon day
ORN: Monday, April 24: 50 minutes, 5/1; longer loop along the north and south sides of the Thames. I had an 8 1/2 hour flight later that day and I wanted to at least get moving.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Jolly Old England

I'm in London for the Flora-London Marathon. It's my 9th trip for the marathon, and it's beginning to seem like old home week. I'm not running it this year [I ran it 7 years in a row], but I am speaking 11 times at the Expo. Whew!

London is a great city and the marathon reflects that greatness. It just so happens that today is the Queen's 80th birthday, so there's a bit more celebration in the air than normal.

What distinuishes the London marathon is the number of charity runners, AND, how many charities there are. It is one of the greatest experiences ever running through the streets of London to what amounts to a 26.2 mile standing ovation.

I've been working, but have managed to squeeze in some running. Even if I don't have time for a FULL run, I get in what I can.


ORN: Wednesday: 0
ORN: Thursday: 40 minutes, 5/1, along the Thames River
ORN: Friday: 35 minutes, 5/1, along the Thames. [same route, just at a quicker pace]

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Birthdays and Beantown

Lots happening, but not much time to tell about it.

We spent Thursday and Friday with my son's [Terry] family celebrating the twins' [Hunter and Siena] 1st birthday. It was wonderful. Hard for all of us to believe it's been a year.

Yesterday and today I'm in Boston for the marathon expo. Boston is a special place, no question about it. The energy here is different than any other marathon.

Then it's home and off to London.

I've run 7 seven days in a row, which is VERY unusual for me. I'm going to take a day off and then see how I feel.


ORN: Thursday, 35 minutes, 4/1 with Terry and Jenny
ORN: Friday, 50 minutes along the GW Parkway, 5/1
ORN: Saturday, 40 minutes in the Boston Commons

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nothing Better to Do

I'm hitting the road for about two weeks soon. First to the twins 1st birthday, then to Boston, and then to London. It's a little like the holidays where you try to get as much done as you can "before I go".

Imagine my surprise when, yesterday, I realized I had done everything I wanted to do [no, not everything I NEEDED to do, but I'd done all I was GOING to do] and actually had some FREE time. Only one thing to do. GO RUN.

I headed out on a sunny day along my summer path taking it nice and easy. I had planned to go for 40 minutes, but stretched it out to 65 just because I could.

Life doesn't get much better than a day when you have nothing better to do than run. What a gift.


ORN: 65 minutes, lakefront [north] 4/1

PS: I got asked again about what the above means. ORN means "Obligatory Running Note" a throwback to the old Dead Runners Society listserve, lakefront means, well - running on the lakefront in Chicago, and 4/1 means the run/walk ratio that I used. In this case I ran 4 minutes and walked one and repeated for 65 minutes.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Summer Run

I know it's not really summer, but there's a run that I take DURING the summer that I took yesterday. When I'm home I always run along the lakefront. My "normal" run is south on the east side of Lake Shore Drive past Belmont Harbor to the Fullerton bridge and then come back north on the west side of Lake Shore Drive.

In the summer months when I want a run that's a bit longer I'll head north and loop around behind Belmont Harbor and run along the break water wall, past the golf course. It's too exposed and windy to run there during the winter months, but today it was great.

The lakefront path comes alive this time of year. Those of us who run year round have the path to ourselves for several months. Now, though, the path is becoming crowded with new runners and walkers, bicyclist, and dogs of every shape and size. It's a sure sign that the winter is over.

I'm still having some trouble shaking what feels like a cold - but probably isn't. So far I've been running through it [which may not be such a smart thing!].


ORN: Tuesday, April 11, 65 minutes, 5/1

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gone but not Forgotten

No, I haven't disappeared, but I have been away from the computer. I've been away in part by choice, and in part due to circumstances.

This past weekend I was in Minneapolis for a running conference. It was put on by a group of running physical therapist. It was a very interesting time for me. Learning from them, sharing my perspective, getting a chance for some quality "runner-to-runner" fellowship was great.

I only had about an hour between being dropped off and picked up, so I hit the exercise room for a QUICK run on the treadmill. I'm working hard at being consistent with my running. That would have been an easy day to miss.

I was able to sneak in a long motorcycle ride on Sunday. I guess the big difference between a "rider" and someone who likes motorcycles is that when the weather turns nice, a rider rides. I didn't spend any time cleaning and polishing. I just rode. But, I did get in a run first.

Yesterday we had to go out the the Fleet Feet store in Elmhurst and while walking to the running path we passed an old fashioned toy store. There, as if just WAITING for me, was two of the cutest ride-on cars JUST in time for the twins first birthday. But, again, I was able to get in a run.

Nice weather again today. I'll be heading out soon.


ORN: Friday: 25 minutes, treadmill, 1% grade.
ORN: Sunday: 45 minutes, 5/1 lakefront
ORN: Monday: 40 minutes, 4/1, Prairie Path

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Not quite there

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. That's a candy bar advertisement as I recall. Well, for a runner - or any athlete - sometimes you feel like it's there, sometimes you don't.

Today, I didn't.

I set off on the treadmill thinking that I would get in a relaxed 6 mile run. That almost immediately changed to thinking I would get in a relaxed 5 mile run. Then, I thought maybe a 4 mile run. It ended up being a 3 miler.

Then, I thought, well I'll just get in some weight training. A couple of adductors, a couple of abductors and I was done.

Then, I thought, well I'll just sit on the stationary bike for 20-30 minutes. 5 minutes later, I was finished.

So, I headed in for a steam and called it a day. It happens. I've had some good workouts this week, but I was really tired. And that's that.


ORN: 40 minutes, treadmill, 4/2

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

An Historical Day

If anyone had told me - a year ago - what today was going to include I would have said they were out of their minds. My life seemed headed in one direction - running - and the passions of my earlier life - music and motorcycles - were a part of my past, not future.

I spent 30 years as a trombone player. I went through school, the Army, and a career as a professional player. I gave it up in 1985 because an injury, and life, made it very difficult to continue to play.

I spent 40 years as a motorcyclist. I spent my first tax refund on a $200.00 1967 Honda 305 Scambler. I worked in the bike business for 10 years. I've owned over 50 motorcycles. A few years back I sold my last bike and figured that was that.

So, imagine my surprise yesterday when I practiced trombone in the morning and then rode a motorcycle to the gym to get in my run! I know we think life moves forward. But, these days, I am much more convinced that life really is a HUGE circle and that those things that are truly important have a way of finding their way back into our lives. Or we find a way back to them.


ORN: 4 miles, treadmill, 5/1

Lost Weekend

Not really a lost weekend, just that the days go by so quickly that it's impossible to keep up.

This past weekend was the LaSalle Bank Columbus Distance Classic and Commit to be Fit 5K in Columbus, Ohio. This is a John Bingham Racing event, meaning we promote and produce the race. It's a lot different than the events where I just show up and be "the Penguin". For our races I'm working every minute that I'm awake doing something.

But it's worth it. If you've been to a JBR event you know that they're pretty special. Anymore they're getting to be a mixture of running event and family reunion. Standing at the finish line it's amazing to me just how many people - of the 4,000 or so who were there - that I actually know! And I also know that MOST of them are there for the BIG, honkin' Penguin medal.

Last year the Columbus race was a near disaster. We had a freak spring snow storm which made for a dangerous and miserable day. This year race day was just about perfect for the participants. It was cool and overcast. It was a nail-biter for us, though, as people waited to see the weather forecast before they signed up. Over 1,000 people registered in the last week!

So, the weekend was mostly about making it possible for OTHER people to run and walk. But I did sneak in a few miles.


ORN: Thursday, March 30: 35 minutes, 3/2. I actually wasn't feeling all that well and just wanted to move some.
ORN: Friday, March 31: 50 minutes, 4/1. I ran part of the race course.
ORN: Monday, April 3: 60 minutes, 5/1 on the treadmill. 4 miles of run/walk, finished time by walking.