Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Heat of the Moment

WOW, is it HOT.

I'm in Phoenix where it was 102 degrees at 5PM when I went out for a run. HOLY COW is it HOT.

We're running in long-sleeved shirts in Chicago. This is NUTS. I had to back down too 3 and 2's and just take it VERY slow.

ORN: 2 miles, 28 minutes, R3/W2

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lance's voice and a decision

OK, now THIS was cool. This was very, VERY cool.

I was feeling pretty down about the events - or NON events - of the past weekend. The plan was to go out and just run at a pace that would put it all behind me. Not far. 5K. But far enough to get away.

I was wearing my Nike/iPod unit and as I finished Lance Armstrong's voice came on to tell me that I had run a 5K PR. The fastest 5K I've run with the Nike/iPod. VERY COOL.

And, I've decided that I am NOT running the Chicago Marathon. No excuses. I'm just not. I've run 4 marathons in the past 12 months. That's plenty.

ORN: 3.1 miles, 36 minutes, R5/W1

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I think this may be the first time that I have not "answered the bell", so to speak. Today I was supposed to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon. I had everything ready to go. Chip on the shoe. Number pinned on the shirt. Ready.

And I never even walked out the door.

The events of the past few weeks have left me just exhausted physically and emotionally. I ran the half marathon LAST weekend at Disneyland because - well - I wanted the medal. Today, though, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't face the start line, the people, the distance, or myself.

It's a first.

ORN: 0

Friday, September 22, 2006

The water's edge

It's Friday, this must be Toronto!

This is the time of year where I'm on the road so much it's hard to remember what time zone I'm on. This weekend I'm up in Toronto for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon [and half marathon] It's a great race. A fun way to travel to an "international" event without having to learn a new language.

Toronto reminds me a lot of Chicago, with a great lakefront path downtown. Only problem is that the water is in the wrong direction. At home, the water is always EAST. I think that the water is south here.

Anyway, got in an easy 35 minutes just to stay loose. I'm hoping to be able to get through the half on Sunday.

ORN: 36 minutes, R4/W1

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In between halves

I ran the Disneyland Half Marathon last Sunday. I'm running the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon THIS Sunday. So this week is all about being in between.

Not much to do, really, except try to stay loose. I took two days off to get a little spring back in my legs. Today I ran 5K at what I hope is my race-pace for next Sunday. It wasn't great, but I got through it.

ORN: 3.1 miles, 38 minutes, R5/W1

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hitting the Road on our Anniversary

I read an interesting review of a book - can't remember the name or author - but is was about having a passion for things. And about how - if you're lucky - you can make an honest living at your passion. You may not get wealthy [ trust me!] but you'll have a good time.

The other point was that one should have competing passions, to keep things in balance. Motorcycle's WAS - for a long time - the only real passion. Music was a job. Running was for fitness. Motorcycling was the passion.

Over time, running and bringing the 'penguin" message to the greater running community became the passion and motorcycling sort of faded. It never really left. I just didn't have the time.

Well, I'm making time to find the time. This weekend, AFTER having spoken on Friday and Saturday and running the 1/2 marathon on Sunday, Jenny and I rented HARLEYS and went riding. And I mean RIDING!

The guy who rented us the bikes told us of a nice 40 mile ride that we could take. Yeah, right. We put over 300 miles on the bikes riding up the coast, into the hills, and back down US101.

As many years as I've been biking I've never spent a day on a Harley. It was - well - interesting. I understand the Harley mystique. Only one thing on the planet is a Harley and that's a Harley. I had a Road King. Jenny had the Heritage Soft Tail.

And since it was our anniversary weekend, it made it all the more special.

So here's to passion. And to competing passions. And to finding the balance.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Disneyland Half Marathon

Short version: For a first-time race, they got a lot of things right. As a race owner/operator I'm aware of how hard it is to get every right and how easy it is for things to go wrong. The producers of the event should feel very good about how it went.

I planned to run between 3 hours and 3:15. I finished in EXACTLY 3 hours. YES, I even sprinted at the end to get in UNDER 3:01. I was able to do a negative split [running the 2nd half faster than the first half] and felt good at the end.

LONG VERSION: This was our first "public" appearance since Jenny's dad passed away AND we had our dog put down. We were both a little nervous about having to be "on" again. Jenny did great at her clinics and I was - frankly - glad to be back out there doing my show.

My training has not been ideal of late, although I've got a great base. I've run 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 16 mile long runs. But the past few weeks have been a disaster. I knew that the only hope I had was to go out VERY slowly and be patient until I had at least 8 miles in.

Race morning was nearly perfect. I wore a long-sleeved technical shirt [from the Walt Disney World Marathon] but could easily have worn a short-sleeved shirt. The start was pretty crowded - I was in the first corral - but there were no major problems.

The course wandered through the Disneyland theme parks, around Anaheim, through the Angel's ball park, and back into Downtown Disney. There was plenty of music and entertainment on the course, the Disney characters were out, and the other "cast members" were there in full force.

It got hot as the morning wore on. Not brutal, but for some who have run Disneyworld - where it's often so cold you can barely move - the heat caught them by surprise.

There were plenty of water and powered stations, and they were - for the most part - well supplied and well staffed.

And the medal is FANTASTIC!

So, all in all, a great race. I'm sure that they won't have any problems selling this out year after year.

ORN: 13.1 miles, 3:00:58 [rounded down to 3 hours!] R4/W2


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Happy Days

This weekend is the inaugural Disneyland Half Marathon. Jenny and I are here to 1] present clinics and 2] GET THE MEDAL.

We took a short run yesterday just to loosen up. DisneyLAND is much different than DisneyWORLD. There's not really a great place to run, but at least here the MickeyCops are yelling at you to get off the streets.

My family visited Disneyland in 1958 [YES! I know how long ago that was] It seemed much bigger to me then.

ORN: 3.25 miles, R4/W1 with Jenny. SLOW run for her. TEMPO run for me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Finding my way

My son's and family's new house is close to the W&OD trail. For those of you not famliar with it, it's about an 80 mile "rails to trails" conversion that starts in Arlington, VA and goes all the way to Purcellville, VA. I've run and biked on a lot of it and it's fantastic.

I managed to find the trail today, but I went a pretty round-a-bout way. I'm sure I could get there quicker if I could just figure it out. And, there must be a way to get there without QUITE so many hills.

Managed to get in 4, but just barely. I'm running the Disneyworld Half Marathon on Sunday so need to save something!

ORN: 4 miles, 60 minutes [I TOLD you it was HILLY] R5/W1 for 30 min. R3/W2 for 30 minuntes.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The hills are alive

WOW, am I a flatlander.

I'm visiting my son, his wife, the twins, and the new baby in Vienna, Virginia [Washington suburb]. They've just moved into this house and today was my first run from here.

One word. HILLY!!

I was trying to find the W & OD trail, and think I got close. What I did find was - well - HILLS!

One thing for sure. I don't run enough hills. I intended to go 5 miles and only got in 3 plus.

ORN: 3.25 miles. 5 minute warm up, 40 minute run @ R5/W1, 5 minute cool down.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Farewell, B-man

Yesterday we had to put our 16 year-old dog down. He was a poodle-mix, 9 pounds, and about the best dog-buddie you could ask for.

He did it all. He herded us on hikes. He rode "shot gun" in a back pack on bicycle rides. He was even "assistant crew" when Jenny did a solo 24 hour adventure race.

He also sat patiently while we wrote two books together.

In his later days he went blind, and deaf, but he continued to be a joy. In the end, I suppose, he just got old.

He will be missed.


ORN: 0

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Boys of Summer

There's a great Don Henley tune: "The Boys of Summer". One line in particular always hits me: "AFTER the boys of summer have gone".

Well, the boys of summer are about gone.

Running today the beaches were nearly empty even on a beautiful, sunny day. It's after Labor Day. School has started. Vacations are over. And the running feels better than ever.

I'm in a real dilemma. My running has been very consistent [except for that one week], I've enjoyed running more, I'm having more fun - BUT - my long runs have been terrible. AWFUL.

What to do about the marathon? I don't really have the will to line up and slug it out. I'll run the new Disneyland Half next weekend and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half marathon the week after. I may even run the Rock and Roll Half in San Jose. But, I just DON'T want to run the full.

ORN: 5 miles, 58 minutes, R5/W1 [run 5 minutes, walk one minute, and repeat]

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Running for Peace

ORN: September 5, 2006, 45 minutes, R3/W2

On the morning of my father-in-law's wake, Jenny's brother, his wife, and I went for a run together. They're just getting started and wanted to get the feel of a REAL "penguin" run.

As is so often the case, though, the running wasn't nearly as important as the conversation that we were able to have. Even in the sadness, running helped.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dancing feet

I resisted listening to music while a ran for a LONG time. Short or long, I liked to hear the rhythm of my breathing and heart rate. And don't misunderstand, I still do.

But today I noticed that my pace and stride actually changed with the music. I'm still experiementing with the "perfect" pace song, but it's fun to let my feet follow the rhythm in my head.

ORN: 5K, 37 minutes, R5/W1

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Better Than Nothing

Well, I got out there. And was - without question - a better than nothing run.

The longer I've been a runner the less separation there is between the "running" me and the "non-running" me. It used to be that they were pretty separate. No matter what was going on, I could run.

But the emotion of the past few weeks - happy and sad - have taken it out of me.

Better than nothing. No more, no less.

ORN: 5K, 37 minutes, R5/W1

[R= minutes run. W = minutes walked]


Still no running. I'm hoping to get out later today.

And, as some have pointed out, there was a typo in the previous BLOG. It was NOT my wife and son that had the baby. It was my son and HIS wife. And to PROVE it, here is my SON and HIS son.