Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Trick stuff

OK, I admit it. I'm a gear nut. And I love "trick" stuff. Not as much as Jenny, but more than most. So when Jenny managed to get me one of the new Nike/iPod set ups I flipped.

It's a little "pod" that goes in a special Nike shoe that communicates to your Nano through a little "deal" that clips to the bottom. It tells you how far, how fast, you're running etc, THROUGH your iPod earphones. So, you're running along and a voice says "One Mile completed". Towards the end it tells you "Half mile to go".

And all the time your own music is playing.

Then there's the "power song" button if you need to be fired up.

It is TRICK. And I'm not a guy who likes to run with music. But, it sure made today's run go by fast.


ORN: 5 miles, R10/W1, 58 minutes

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

Long run, longer day

Today was "LSD" day. Long, slow, distance! I'm out of sequence a little. It's been three weeks since my last long run. But, sometimes it works like that.

I had to do 12, but I opted for 13.1, just to get it all in. So, I'm at the half-marathon distance already and it's only July.

There's no big secret to the long runs. They're long. And they're slow. I headed south on the lakefront path and had to run all they way down to Grant Park, past the Buckingham Fountain, and back.

From now on, I'll start by heading north for a few miles so that I don't end up having to run to Indiana to get in the miles. All though, to be honest, the southside lakefront path is almost more beautiful than our "northside" path.

I used a R4/W2 pattern for the first 12 miles and then just walked the last mile as a cool down. Considering that I did 4 last Friday, 8 on Saturday, and now 12 plus 1 today, I'm feeling pretty good about where my training is going.

THEN: I ended up biking to the Nike training run and WALKING another two miles!


ORN: 13 miles, Run 4/Walk 2 plus 1 mile walk. 12 miles, 2hours, 48 minutes. Total, 3 hours, 15 minutes.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Plug Nickel Run

After I put the title of this Blog up, I wondered how many people are old enough to even know what a "plug nickel" is. I'll bet not many. In the OLD days the electric outlet boxes had "plugs" that were about the size of a nickel. When they were building a house they would knock out the "plugs" and folks would pick them up. So, a "plug" nickel was worthless. End of history lesson.

The POINT was that I wouldn't have given you a "PLUG NICKEL" for my being able to get through an 8 mile run today. We got home late last night and when the alarm went off at 4:45 AM it was all I could do to get out of bed.

But, it was one of those beautiful summer mornings that we get in Chicago. Cool, dry, puffy clouds. And I was running with the Chicago Endurance Sports training program. Most of the participants are getting ready for the CDC so it was important for me to be there.

It must be the power of the group. I had a GREAT run. We got to the turn around and I couldn't believe we were half-way through. Just goes to show you, you NEVER know.


ORN: 8 miles, R4/W2 at LSD [long, slow, distance] pace

Friday, July 21, 2006

Picture Perfect

Jenny and I had gone off to a friend's house in Princeton, Illinois to work on the new book. We work best when we can get away from the city and find some peace and quiet.

Today's run was along a winding, undulating country road. It's been a long time since I've run "out in the country" like that, past horses and corn fields. There was a light drizzle, not enough to even get you wet but enough to keep you cool. It was just about perfect.

I was doing a R10/W1 "stamina" run. I find that if I do at least 2 "longer" run interval workouts per week that the 5/1 PMP runs and 4/2 long runs feel MUCH better.

Today was the kind of day that makes me glad that I'm a runner.


ORN: 50 minutes, Run 10, walk 1.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Run, Ride, Run, Rest

July 17, 2006

I went out for a short run with the Nike Run Hit Remix training group tonight. It was about 165 degrees out, so we took it VERY easy doing R3/W2.

ORN: 3 miles

July 18, 2006

Finally got a chance to get in some "saddle" time on my city bike. Not really a designed workout, but riding around the city dodging cars and buses will get your heart rate up.

ORN: 45 minutes of biking

July 19, 2006

Today was another PMP [planned marathon pace] run. Since I'm shooting for a 5 hour finish my PMP pace is 11:30. It was HOT again today and I didn't quite make the pace, but I was close enough to be satisfied.

ORN: 5 miles, R5/W1, 57 minutes.

July 20, 2006


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Too hot to trot

I tried to get out and run today, but between playing with the twins and generally horsing around it was late before I got out the door.

AND it was HOT.

I ran for about 20 minutes and then just had to give it up and walk home.


ORN: 50 minutes, 20 @ R4/W2, 30 just walking.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Music to my ears

I don't even know where to start. There's NO running content in this, so you can move on if that's all you're interested in. But, there's a look into my life for those that stay.

From June 1971 to August 1976 I was a member the THE U.S. Army Band [Pershing's Own] in Washington DC. It is the Army's premier band and was then - and now - a very difficult job to get. And in 1971, given the other options if you were drafted - and I would have been - getting into that band was an enormous accomplishment. I just didn't know it at the time.

I was young, and foolish, and headstrong. Not the ideal character traits of the soldier-musician. I enjoyed some of the experience and squandered some, but mostly I just did my time and got out. 9 years after I got out my playing career ended with an injury. For the next 22 years my trombone sat in it's case. Unopened. Until in December of 2005 the current Leader and Commanding Officer - and fellow Millikin University graduate - invited me to join in the reunion.

There are about 300 reasons why that was a bad idea, not the least of which was that I hadn't played in 22 years. But, as you know if you've been following along, I got the horn out, had it reconditioned a bit, and started practicing. I played a couple of duets on the cruise.

But nothing could have prepared me for sitting in MY seat at the first rehearsal. After all those years - 30 since I has last performed with the Band - I was there again. And MOST importantly, sitting behind me and to my left, playing principle trumpet, was my son Terry. For the first time - EVER - we were rehearsing and performing together.

I won't bother with the details except to say that they chose to do a trombone section feature, which put me IN FRONT of that band for only the second time in my life. To say that I was feeling like I had been tranported to another world would be an understatement. I could see the crowd. I could hear my son playing SO well. And I was able to be present for the gift of that moment.

Simply put: my life will never be the same.


ORN: 0

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Picking up speed

It rained off and on all day today. I knew I needed to get in the run, but was hoping that I could do it without getting soaked to the skin. Late in the day it was still cloudy, but the rain had pretty much stopped. Which meant it was muggy!

This was the short, daily run - and - I was trying to keep the pace up best I could. It's not exactly interval training, but by doing R5/W1 it's almost like doing half-mile repeats with a one minute recovery.

It all went fine. I've got some fatigue in my lateral quads. Coach Jenny isn't sure what it is, and I'm not either. It's not a pain, just fatigue. It may be from trying to run just a little faster - or - it may be from doing longer intervals. I'll take tomorrow off and see how it feels on Thursday.

This feels a lot like training. That's the good news and the bad news.


ORN: 4 miles, 50 minutes; R5/W1 with 5 minute warm up and cool down.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Music to my ears

I have never been in favor of using headsets while running. In fact, we have specifically prohibited people from wearing them in our races. Not that we really policed it very well, but, as a matter of policy we didn't want people bopping along to ACDC or the Eagles, or whomever they might want to listen to.

All that is changing with the iPod generation. In fact, there are runners who have NEVER run without an iPod. And, in case you haven't heard, Nike has now got a shoe with a device in the sole that communicates your pace and distance THROUGH your iPod. IN FACT, there's a button you can push to get your "power song" in case you are feeling a little down.

I've tried running a few times with a headset and radio, but it always seemed like I was stuck in traffic.

Today, I tried running with my iPod [of course I have one. I have two. An "original" and a "Nano] with a set of Sony "ear buds", those little headset deals that actually go inside your ear. The ones that came with the iPod wouldn't stay in my ears, but these little jewels stuck and stayed put.

I selected "shuffle songs" so that I wouldn't know what was coming next and I just started running. And, I must tell you, I enjoyed it. I was doing a R10/W1 interval and I could listen to a couple of tunes during the run sequence. It made the time fly by.

I won't use the iPod for every run, but, I understand why people use them, and like them.

The times they are a changin'


ORN: 5 miles, 60 minutes, R10/W1

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Race Weekend

Life has a funny way of going in circles. Kinda like a NASCAR race. I've been a big NASCAR fan since I was a kid. The names don't mean much to people these days, but Fireball Roberts, Fred Lorensen, and Buddy Baker were a part of my life.

So was Richard Petty, and then his son, Kyle. My own son, Terry, and I often looked at them as the stock car version of us.

This weekend David, Jenny, and I met with Kyle and Patty Petty about a race that we will be producing for them at the Victory Junction Camp. It will be a Half Marathon and 4.5K Victory Lap. The event will benefit the camp. We are just there to provide the race management. You can read all about it at: Victory Junction Run

We also got to hang out with the drivers, and in the garages, and in the pits all weekend. I was like a kid at Christmas.

I hope you'll join us in Randleman, NC in December. It was be a one-of-a-kind event.


ORN: Sat/Sun, July 8/9: 0

Friday, July 07, 2006

Running with Friends

My business partner is in town this weekend for the NASCAR race, and meetings with Kyle and Patty Petty. I'll have more on that tomorrow or Sunday. We got up early and got in a nice 4 mile run on the lakefront.

I usually run alone during the week. It was nice to be able to chat and run at the same time.


ORN: 4 miles: 45 minutes, 5/1

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A solid run

I had to get in my run early today. Not my favorite thing to do, but there was no other way. It just amazes me how many of you get up and run in the MORNING!

The lakefront path was busy with runners and bicylclist - and bladers and baby carriages, etc. It was kind of fun to be a part of the "morning" crew.

My "daily" run is stretching from 4 miles to 5 so I took an extended loop. This one takes me down to the North Avenue beach. I was using a run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute interval and tried to keep my pace "solid". Not really a "tempo" run, but not not the long run pace either.

It felt fine. Better than fine. The day off yesterday was the right decision.


ORN: 5 miles, 54 minutes, R10/W1

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A day off

Sometimes, there's no better training that taking a day's rest. Today is that day.

After the tough 12 miler on Monday and the 4 mile up-tempo walk on Tuesday, my legs can use some time to recover.

This is going to be a busy weekend. Our big SECRET race will be announced on Friday and I'll be pretty occupied all weekend long with race-related activities. It will mean sneaking in some morning runs.

Wish me luck. I'm NOT a morning runner!


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Trophy Sniffing

It's funny how traditions get started.

Last July 4th, Jenny, my mom and dad, and I participated in the "4 on the 4th" race in Elmhurst, IL. It was the first year of the event, it was a small but well run race, and my mom AND dad won their age groups.

My dad - to be fair - only walked 2 of the 4 miles, but the organizers gave him the medal anyway.

This year we were all back for my folks to defend their titles. My task was to try to stay with my mom. And my dad was bound and determined to walk ALL 4 miles.

It all worked out great. My mom and I came in in just a little over an hour and 4 minutes and my dad - all by himself for most of the time - finished up in 1 hour and 25 minutes are EARNED his 1st place medal.


ORN: 4 miles, 1:04:20, walking.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Getting it in

There's no big mystery about training for a marathon. You've got to get in the miles. You got to do the long runs - one way or another. You've got to be consistent. You've got to be determined. And sometimes, you've just got to be stubborn.

Today, I was just stubborn.

My legs were still VERY stiff from the 21 hours of sitting on "Fat Albert" [the name of my motorcycle] It was hot and muggy in Chicago, but none of that matters when you're training.

The plan was to run 12 miles using a run 4 minute, walk 2 minute plan. I wasn't as concerned about pace as I was just doing the distance. And, as it turned out, that's just as well.

The first 10 went about according to plan. Then things got ugly in a hurry. I ended up walking the last mile or so just because my legs wouldn't do anything else. It happens.

But I got in the distance.


ORN: 12 miles, 2:56, R4/W2 [walked last mile]

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Saddle Sore 1000

July 2, 2006
Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that motorcycles have been a life long passion. I am crazy about anything and everything to do with motorcylces. I like to look at them. I like to talk about them. But mostly, I like to RIDE them.

Anyone who has known Jenny for any length of time knows that SHE loves adventure racing. 3 Eco-Challenges, other expedition length races, and lots of 1, 2, and 3 day races. And about a year ago, Jenny discovered motorcycling. See where this is headed?

She read about an event called the Saddle Sore 1000. The rules are pretty simple. You pick a 1000 mile route, get someone to witness your start, get receipts from your gas stops, and get someone to witness your finish. Oh, and you have to ride the 1000 miles in less than 24 hours.

All this explains how it was that at 4:00 AM on July 1 a waiter at Nookies was signing a witness form and Jenny and I - each riding our own BMW R1150R - were headed out to ride around Lake Michigan. And ride we did. For the next 21 hours we were rolling: hammering up I-75, sifting our way through traffic on Route 2 in the U.P. and dodging thunderstorms and tornados in Wisconsin.

And we made it. We might have gotten in under 20 hours if we hadn't had to hide under a bridge for an hour. But finishing was more than enough. In nearly 40 years of motorcycling, this was the single biggest day of riding - EVER. And it was fantastic.


ORN: July 1, 2: 0