Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Heat of the Moment

If you want to know what's keeping me busy, there's your answer. I'm out visiting my son and his family, including the three grandkids.

I'd forgotten how HOT and humid it can be in Northern Virginia in the summer. Yesterday I set out to run 5 miles, decided at 2 miles I'd turn around and only do 4, then decided a mile later that walking was the only choice I had. It was well over 90 degrees and I'm just not ready for that.

Today I knew better and only planned to run 4 miles. Turns out that a storm was coming in and for the time I was running the temperature actually dropped. The rain was in the area but not where I was - at least not until later. When the skies finally opened up it was pretty exciting.

I'm trying to keep better track of my mileage to avoid kidding myself either way. Based on the 7 day run - I did 8 on Friday, 4 on Sunday, 4 yesterday and 4 today. That puts me right at 20. I don't know that I'll get to 30 again this week. And, I'm not sure what we're running on Saturday [might be 10] so I'll need to be careful.

Friday, June 22, 2007

8 is enough

Greetings from Anchorage, Alaska. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Alaska. Not sure why, really. I've just always enjoyed my time here and throughout Alaska.

Today I had the time to get in a long run. Part of that is because of the time change - 3 hours from Chicago. So, 6 AM felt like 9 AM. Walking out of the room at 9AM here seemed late.

Because the marathon is tomorrow, and I'll be working all day, I had to get in a second "long run" this week. It's not the best idea, and not one that I recommend unless you HAVE to, but sometimes I have no choice. I did 7 last Saturday and needed to do 8 this week.

Using the "7 day rule", that is, your body doesn't know to reset itself when a new week starts, I'd run 5 times and just over 30 miles in the past "week". That's a big week for me, especially now.

My feet started to get heavy at about 6 miles. I just took my time and got in the distance.

ORN: 8 miles; run 3/walk 2. 2 hours.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Long and the Short of it

This past Saturday I was home again and had a chance to run with the Chicago Endurance Sports team. As I said, most of them are training for either the Chicago Marathon or the Distance Classic, so they are beginning to increase there long runs. Saturday, the group I was running with was schedule to go 7 miles.

I hadn't run 7 miles since last October. The last long run I had done was the same day I had the incident with the car. So, I was a little nervous lining up. It doesn't matter that I've done 45 marathons. When it's time to start going long, we're all rookies.

The bigger question was whether to go out with the Run 5/Walk 1 group or the Run 3/Walk 2 group. I went with the 5/1's last weekend when they ran 5 miles and it was fine, except my back hurt a bit. I opted for the safer choice and went with the 3/2's. They are actually my favorite group every season because they are almost always brand new to running and training and every long run is a personal best.

It took us about an hour and 40 minutes, but I got through it. It wasn't glamorous, but it's done.

Sunday I backed it up with a 5K run using a 5/1 sequence and today I did a 4 1/2 mile trail run using 4/2. The danger right now is that I'm feeling good. It's tempting to think I can go back to a normal training plan, but that would be a big mistake. I'll bicycle tomorrow and do an easy run on Wednesday.

It's time to be smart, not ambitious.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Noise Polution

And now for something completely different.

I ran in the 100 acre woods yesterday [OK, it's actually the Willow Springs Woods, but I like the sound of 100 acre woods] and the cicada were SO loud that I couldn't hear my watch beeping. There were times that it was so loud that it was painful.

The plan was to run for an hour or so in the woods to get a feel for the whole cicada phenomenon. I was expecting to hear something, but I wasn't prepared for THAT kind of noise. And that's just what it was. Noise.

I don't have any idea what the cicada are DOING, but whatever it is they make a lot of noise doing it. One managed to land on my shoe and planned, I guess, to go for a bit of a ride. I carefully took it off my shoe and sent it back to doing cicada business.

The crazy part is that as LOUD as they are for the most part you can't see them. There are the odd cicada that have apparently done all they need to do and have gone on to their great reward, leaving the empty hulk behind. But the thousand of others remain unseen. It's wild.

The run was great, except for the distration of the cicadas. Distration meaning that I wanted to spend all of my time looking for cicadas. I got in an honest 4 miles at R4/W2 in just under an hour. The trails are hilly, which is what I'm after. No pressure, just a solid run.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Group Therapy

Some of you that have been following the Blog know that this has been an tough 7 or 8 months. I was training for the Chicago Marathon last fall when I slipped and really banged up my knee. About the time I was getting over that I fell and hurt my back and ended up in the emergency room.

I've been able to run some, walk mostly, since March. And I've been doing all of my running alone.

Yesterday I ran with the Chicago Endurance Sports training group. Most of the participants are getting ready for my race, the Chicago Distance Classic, and/or the Chicago marathon. This was a cut-back week for them so they were "only" running 5 miles.

Jenny asked me to pace the 5/1 run/walk group. I haven't run/walked 5/1 since last fall, so I was a bit concerned. I was worried that my back would tighten up and I'd have to walk.

There's no overestimating the power of the group. I got in there, got talking it up with folks, listened to their stories, told a few of my stories, and just had a great time.

Before I knew it we were nearly finished. My back was sore, but not awful. It was a big emotional hurdle for me to get over.

A big thanks to everyone who helped pull me through.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Rock and Roll weekend

This is a great event. It was the 10th running of the marathon, my 10th time to be a part of the fun.

It's impossible not to engage in a little nostalgia at big milestones like this. In 1998 I was here as a part of the Runner's World pace team. The column had only been in the magazine for 2 years, I had no books published, and barely understood what I was supposed to be doing.

In 1999 my son, Terry, and I rode Suzuki motorcycles from New York City to San Diego and then ran the marathon. The 12 days on the rode together was a time that I will never forget.

2000 was my first official appearance with Team in Training.

I bumped into several old friends over the weekend, some of whom were "original" members of the Penguin Brigade. A lot has changed since 1998. There are more people in my life, but there are also people who are gone from my life. It's hard to think that there is a balance between those who have come and those that have gone, but I suppose there is.

What I know for sure is that no one could have predicted in 1998 that I would be where I am today. It's been one heck of a ride.