Monday, November 27, 2006

Running in Shorts

It was 60 degrees in Chicago today. 60 DEGREES.

I could have taken the day off after running long on Sunday, but how do you skip a 60 degree day in November? You just can't. These are the days when you throw the training schedule out the window and just go for a run.

My 7-day mileage [you can't just look at weekly totals. Your body doesn't know what day it is and doesn't reset just because the calendar says it's a new week] is higher than it's been since early last October. I need to be careful not to overdo it.

This is race week for our event in Randleman with the Petty's and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. We are all very excited about the project. It's a great way to give back.

ORN: 3 miles, 33 minutes, 10/1 on the lakefront loop.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Trails

We ran today at the Waterfall Glen trail near the Argonne National Laboratory. The temperature was near 60 - unbelievable for November 26 in Chicago.

It's a crushed gravel multi-use trail, so there were runners, walkers, mountain bikers, and horses on the path. My plan was to try to run 7 miles, the most I'd run since Portland, the morning of the day I hurt my knee. I also planned to use a R4/W2 interval.

And I am VERY pleased to report that it worked. Somehow I even managed to maintain a sub-13 minute pace. This makes Miami or Disney Half Marathons [or BOTH] a possibility.

ORN: 7 miles, 1 hour, 29 minutes, R4/W2 for a 12:45 pace.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ride, Run, Eat, Ride, Run

I hope everyone is recovering from Thanksgivng. All in all this wasn't the blow-out eat-o-rama type of Thanksgiving, but I'm still feeling like I really wouldn't have to eat for about a week.

We were visiting Jenny's brother in St. Louis. His home is only about 1/2 mile from Forest Park, St. Louis' version of New York's Central Park. It's a fantastic place to run or walk so we took advantage of the great weather and got in a run in the park.

We also took the opportunity to get in what will probably be the last real motorcycle ride of the season.

This morning, we were back with Jenny's winter training program for a nice 5 mile run along the lakefront. It was a bonus morning, crisp and clear and almost warm. More like an early spring day than late November.

I'm trying to decide whether I'm going to run the Disney Half Marathon or the Miami Half. I'm pretty sure I can get my mileage up by then and I'm starting to feel the need to be training for something.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And I don't know why

I went out yesterday for a calm 5 mile run. I didn't have anything in mind other than seeing if I could run for an hour or so.

Funny, because before I hurt my knee I was up to running over 4 hours. But, that was then; this is now.

Anyway, I got out there [with the Garmin] and noticed that my pace was about 12:20 per mile using R5/W1. I played around to see if I could get that pace down closer to a 12 minute pace.

I ended up doing the 5 miles in 60 minutes are 50 seconds - or a 12:10 pace. AMAZING. I don't know why. I don't know how. And I don't care.

Jenny and I are off to St. Louis [the last motorcycle ride of the season] for Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a wonderful day.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

On the right path

November 21, 2006

I've been home for nearly a week now and feeling closer to normal. If you don't travel nearly every week it's probably hard to imagine having difficulty adjusting to the routine of being home. Sleeping 7 nights in a row in my own bed is a gift.

I've also had the chance to run on the lakefront path for a week. When you can run the same course, or at least on the same path, several days in a row you can begin to play with pace and distance. And that's just what I've done.

I've been using the Garmin on nearly every run lately. It's helped me stay honest with my pace. Now that I'm not really training for anything specific I've got a lot more flexibility. I can run more often, take more training risks, and have much more fun.

Part of that risk is running 4 days in a row. I did a "pyramid", starting with the one mile on the treadmill, 3 miles at a 12 minute pace, 4 miles at a 12 minute pace, and then 3 miles [using a R10/W1 interval] at a sub-11 minute pace. For me, a sub-11 minute pace qualifies as a tempo run. It's a push.

Then, a day off.

I'm eager to get out today and see how it goes. My plan is to go a little farther but use a R4/W2 interval. I haven't run more than 60 minutes since I hurt my knee. I think today will be the day.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Windy City

Got home late last night to WINTER. Wow.

No way to get out in the wind yesterday. I may try today, or may just check out the new treadmill.

Good to be home, though.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Long and Winding Road

As I was running today in rural/smalltown North Carolina I was reminded of someplace else I had run. I remembered the road and the buildings and the houses. I was trying to remember the exact time and place and it suddenly stuck me - it was Wheeling, West Virginia - on the FIRST night of this trip.

It seemed like years ago.

In the early years I spent weeks and months on the road. The first trip, in 1997, was on a motorcycle and lasted for 8 weeks. The next year I went out for 12 weeks in a Firebird. Then there was the Van, the Jeep, the cross-country ride with my son - lots and lots of days and nights on the road.

The schedule is too full now, usually, to have the time and luxury of being on the road. I suppose it's just as well. But there's a magic on the road, a reality of only being able to go so far, of having to stop for gas and food, of seeing what's different and what's the same.

This time of year is especially beautiful in the southeast. The leaves have turned but are still on the trees. Tomorrow I head north, towards home. I'll be glad to get there.

ORN: I've been very consistent about getting in my runs. They haven't been long - often the BTN [better than nothing] but I've been doing 3-4 miles, 5-6 days a week.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Loop d' Loop

This may explain what I've been up to. It's hard to find time for anything else when I have the chance to play with the grandkids. I'll try to get a photo of Baby Ray posted somewhere soon.

I was able to continue to get in my runs, just in an altered fashion. I have a much deeper appreciation for how difficult it is for young parents to train. Being around 3 children under 18 months is exhausting and time consuming.

But, it's well worth it. Hearing them yell "GAMPA" when they come down for breakfast puts everything in perspective.

ORN: 3.6 miles, 3 neighborhood loops, 5/1

Monday, November 06, 2006

NYC Marathon Weekend

Monday morning, November 6, 2006

What a great weekend in New York. We were working, but it was more like working "lite". We had responsibilites but also made time to relax and have some fun.

Thursday night started off with a fantastic dinner at Baldoria's [I think]. Jenny and I, along with NYC medical director Lewis Maharam and former marathon world-record holder Steve Jones had a great meal with wonderful conversation. Steve is one of the true champions in running. Dead honest but thoughtful. Any meal with him is a good one.

Friday and Saturday mornings I had a chance to run through Central Park. The photo above is from Saturday morning. Many of the runners, especially the international runners, will take there "Finish" photo the day before the race. Guess that way they know they'll look good.

Jenny and I also met with our editor at Rodale. The new book, "Running for Mortals" is about ready to be sent to the printer. We're VERY excited.

Friday night was the Runner's World "Heros of Running" dinner. Arkansas Govenor Mike Huckabee accepted an award and quoted the Penguin Credo as one of the things that helped get him started. A nice moment for me.

Race day Jenny and I helped Dr. Maharam as an extra set of eyes on the medical team. It's amazing what goes on backstage of an event with 37,000 people. The next time you see a medical volunteer; THANK them. They are there for you.

It all went well, from where we were. It's a great race. Lots of civic pride.

Back today to Northern Viginia and a couple of days with the grandkids before heading out to Nags Head for the weekend.


ORN: Friday, November 3rd: 4 miles on the west side of Central Park.
ORN: Saturday, November 4: 3 miles on the west side of Central Park.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

MCM, grandbabies, and more

November 1, 2006

I'm a little shocked to write NOVEMBER in the Blog. Seems to me that it was summer and we were on the cruise not too long ago. Now, Halloween is behind us, the time has changed, it's dark early, and winter feels right around the corner.

This past weekend was the Marine Corps Marathon. I've been at every MCM since 1994. I've been beaten by Oprah AND by Al Gore, not to mention tens of thousands of others. I didn't run it this year but Jenny and I spoke at the Marine's "Dining In" dinner and - of course - I was here with Team in Training.

Even though I wasn't running the marathon, I got out and did my longest run since I whacked my knee. 5 miles doesn't sound long to some, but for me it was another HUGE milestone in coming back to form. I can tell that I've lost some of my base, but the knee never acted up. For THAT I am grateful.

We're spending a few days with my son and his family before heading up to New York for the marathon. With 3 children all under 18 months every day is a circus. I'll try to get a photo or two posted soon.