Friday, June 30, 2006


June 30, 2006

The difference between training and running, as I've said, is that EVERY training run has a purpose. The purpose of today's run was to see just how close I am to being able to maintain the pace I need for a 5 hour marathon. Hence, the PMP - "Planned Marathon Pace" run.

It's pretty simple: To run a 5 hour marathon you need to run an 11:27 pace. Using a run 5, walk 1 plan [R5/W1] you need to be running about a 10:30 pace when you're running and about a 16:00 pace when you walk. For me, that means paying attention.

So, today's PMP run was 4 miles in 45:31. That's about an 11:15 pace. So far so good. What this means is that I've got the foot speed and turnover necessary for a 5 hour marathon, but not the endurance. But, the endurance will come.

Overall a good test. I'm not over confident, but I'm about where I hoped I'd be.


ORN: 6/30/06: 4 miles PMP, 45:31, R5/R1

Pedal Power

June 29, 2004

My training day: Find the key to the storage closet, find my road cycle shoes, gingerly get MY bike out of the closet without scratching either of Jenny's TWO bikes, find the pump, pump the tires, go for ride.

Oh, and try to remember how to shift the fancy-schmancy road bike.

Once I got out and going it was fantastic. I really do like to ride, and I especially like to ride my road bike. The problem is that I don't ride it often enough to feel very confident.

But, when I'm home I need to get out and do something OTHER than running and walking so today was a good day.


ORN: 50 minutes, road bike.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Home Run

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Not the baseball type. I mean running from home. After weeks on the road, in the air, and on the sea it was good to get out on my lakefront path again.

Jenny decided to run with me. For my "marathon" training she is going to run her easy days with me. Those days will be MY tempo - faster paced runs. I know. A weaker man would feel funny. But Jenny is a great runner and it's nice of her to run with me.

We did about 5 miles [GPS didn't quite work] using a run 10/walk 1 interval. It was challenging, but I got through it. My legs still feel like they're on the boat.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I paid today for the hard run yesterday. Today was supposed to be "cross-training", so what I'm doing is trying to improve my walking pace. I went out for an hour using a run 4/walk 2 interval but really focused on the "walk" part of the training.

From the first running step I knew that my legs were wasted, but using 4/2 I was able to run a solid pace while I ran and MADE myself walk about as fast as I could. If I'm going to get under 5 hours [which - to be honest - is currently under discussion. I'm thinking that 5:30 may be a more honest goal] I'm going to have to walk much faster than I do now. The only way I know to improve is to train. So, I'm "training" to walk faster.


ORN: Tuesday, June 27, 2006: 5 miles, 55 minutes, 10/1 "tempo" run
ORN: Wednesday, June 28, 2006: 4.5 miles, 60 minutes, 4/2, recovery pace, fast walk

Monday, June 26, 2006


June 18-25: The Great Alaskan Maritime Marathon

It's hard to know where to start, so pull up a seat. This could take some time.

The "event" was the inaugural Great Alaskan Maritime Marathon. It was a stage race in which the participants completed a marathon during the week by running on the ship and in each port. It was "staged" off the ms Westerdam of the Holland America line and was the first "marathon" run off a cruise ship.

Sunday, June 18. Packet Pick up and cocktail party.

The participants received their race numbers, fleece vests, technical shirts, and instructions for the race. The structure was that they ran a 1 mile "prologue" time trial on the treadmill to establish their "base" pace. The winner would be the one who could come closest to maintaining that pace through the 26.2 miles. The "races" were a 2 mile predict-your-time deck run, a half marathon in Juneau, a 5 mile run in Sitka, and a 10K trail run in Ketchikan.

Monday, June 19. At Sea: Prologue time trial.

Running a mile on the treadmill proved to be one of the most challenging tasks of the week. We were on the open sea and the ship was "rocking and rolling" enough to make things interesting. Everyone got through it fine, including one woman who ran it in her ROBE because the airlines had lost her luggage and the ship hadn't return her laundry.

Tuesday, June 20. 2 mile Predict-Your-Time and the Hubbard Glacier

The ship was so big that it was only three times around the Promenade deck to the mile. The participants "predicted" how long it would take them and then ran without their watches.

Wednesday, June 21. Juneau 1/2 Marathon

We bused over the Douglass Island for the 1/2 marathon. The excitement level was REALLY high since it was the first "land" run in 3 days. The weather was perfect and the runners took off. As they were running IN to the harbor, a humpback whale was making it's way OUT. Imagine watching a whale while you are running. Not many races offer that.

The Alaskan Brewery supplied us with beer for the finish line and we all enjoyed a perfect day.

Thursday, June 22. Sitka 5 miler

The local runners met us at the dock and led us out on a 5 miler that included a run across the bridge and 2 loops inside of the totem park. It was rainy and cool and made for an "authentic" Alaskan run.

Friday, June 23. Ketchikan Trail 10K

We bused out to the Ward Lake area where the Ketchikan Running Club has set out an absolutely spectacular trail run. The participants weren't' allowed to use their watches or GPS units which meant "running how you feel for as long as you can". The scenery was stunning from start to finish.

Saturday, June 24. Victoria International Fun Run

Rob Reed of the Frontrunner's store in Victoria - and a bunch of his runners - met us at the dock and lead us on a run through Victoria, BC. We finished at the store and celebrated our week of running with pizza and beer.

It was a truly remarkable week. I got to run in Sitka and Victoria but spent most of the time as "race director". It was worth it. I can't remember a more satisfying week.


PS: A bonus was that Danny Robertson and I played trombone duets at the Victory Party. It was my first public performance in 21 years.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sailing, Sailing

What a week.

Full report to come. Internet access limited all week. GREAT time at sea.

All is well.

More Monday.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Don't know my own strength

If you're my age [57] the title of this Blog makes perfect sense. Every week Bullwinkel would try to pull a rabbit out of his hat only to have something large and ferocious jump out. His response was always: "Don't know my own strength"

I ran for 2 hours and 20 minutes today along the Coastal Trail in Anchorage. With all the flying and time changes and everything else I didn't have much hope of getting through it at all, let alone well. Imagine my surprise when 90 minutes into the run I just felt stronger and stronger. I finished with a flair feeling like I could have gone another hour.

Yesterday I had a chance to run in Bellingham, Washington with an old and very dear friend, Indro Neri. He is - without question - the brightest, most creative person I have ever known. I can usually hold my own in the creativity department, but around Indro I feel like an 8 year old. 24 hours with Indro gives me enough ideas to keep me busy for a year.


ORN June 16: 40 minutes, 4/2
ORN June 17: 2 hours, 20 minutes, 4/2. Best guess, about 10 miles.

PS: The photo is from a trail run that Jenny and I took here in Anchorage a few years ago. Turns out, I shouldn't have been that close to the moose.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Walk the Walk

There are going to be days like this.

Yesterday I did my 5 minute warm up and started to run. I had already decided that I was too tired to do the 10/1 that I had done the day before. My plan was to do a 4/2 pattern for 45 minutes or so. That was the plan.

Three running steps was all it took to convince me that running was OUT of the question. But, I felt too good to turn around and go home. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. I had to stay out. So, I walked.

More importantly, I TRAINED by walking. For me to get under 5 hours in Chicago I MUST get better/faster at walking. I need to train to walk. Yesterday was the day to do just that.

Today was a travel day. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get in a calm 5 mile trail run.


ORN: Tuesday, June 13; 60 minutes of brisk walking.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Training Affect

A couple of years ago one of the participants in Jenny's winter 1/2 marathon training program came up to me and said: "Hey, this training actually seems to work." She was able to run/walk farther, sometimes faster, and in general was seeing marked improvement.

What SHOCKED me was that the woman was a doctor! A doctor! And it had never occurred to her that her body would react well to cautious increases in mileage and speed.

On my timed run yesterday, along my favorite lakefront path, I noticed that I was going a lot farther than I did just a few weeks ago. I felt as silly as that doctor. I forgot that training WORKS.

So, I'm encouraged. I'm a little stiffer than I'd like to be but my "training" has been consistent and it seems to be paying off.


ORN: Monday, June 12; 44 minutes, 10/1 plus 5 min w/u and 5 c/d.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Rain and Rest

YIKES! When it rains it pours. And I mean POURS.

The Saturday training run was a wet and wild affair. I was helping with the 3/2 group and THANK GOODNESS it was a cut-back week and we only had to do 5 miles. This was the hardest rain I've run in since Athens in 2001. I actually ran in rain pants and a Marmot rain jacket. No running gear was going to work.

Sunday was clear and cool - almost cold. Perfect day to rest the weary legs and go explore the backroads of Wisconsin on a motorcycle. We've found a "biker" restaurant - a place with a HUGE parking lot that turns into a motorcycle show on Saturdays and Sundays - to eat and hang out. Great fun.

This is a strange week. Off to Seattle on Wednesday, Anchorage on Thursday, back to Seattle on Saturday, and then off on the cruise on Sunday!


ORN: Saturday, June 10: 5 miles, 3/2 in the POURING rain.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Week in Review

It's FRIDAY! And not a day too soon.

It seems like three weeks ago, but looking back, the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon was a huge success. Mike Reilly and I were working the microphones at the finish line and had a GREAT time. We actually "called" the men's race on the JumboTron. It was like doing play-by-play at a football game.

I did NOT want to get up and run on Monday, but, because I've switched from running to training I did. I got in my 8 miles [tracked with my Garmin, so I know I got in the distance] using a 4/2 run/walk interval.

Wednesday I tried doing my daily run using a 10/1 run/walk interval and I'm pleased to say that it worked very well. Stretching the run during the week seems to help with the long runs on the weekends.

Tuesday and Thursday were motorcycle days. No, it's not exactly cross-training, but sometimes you've just got to ride.

We're scrambling just a little trying to get ready for the Cruise. I can't wait!


ORN: Monday, June 5: 8 miles along San Diego Bay. I used 4/2 because my legs were so wasted from the weekend.
ORN: Wednesday, June 7: 44 minutes, 10/1 plus 5 minutes walking warm up.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rock 'n' Roll

There are some experiences that become watersheds - mile markers - in one's life. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon in San Diego is one of those experiences. I was here first, in 1998, as part of the Runner's World pace team. The column had only been in the magazine for 2 years, "the Penguin" phenomenon was just getting started, and I could never have predicted what would happen over the next 8 years.

In 1999 my son, Terry, and I rode Suzuki motorcycles from New York to San Diego and then ran the marathon. Other years have been just as significant for personal and professional reasons. But, all together, they have become the "Rock 'n' Roll" experience. It's always special.

This year is no exception - except - this year everything just feels right. I'm not sure why - there's nothing really all that different - but there is a calm and a peace about it that has been missing in other years. For that, I'm glad.


ORN: Friday, June 2: 45 minutes, 9/1
ORN: Satuday, June 3: 40 minutes, 9/1