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March 30, 2008

Week 6: Spring is in the Air

Week 6 was a week in which getting my runs in was tough. Many different factors were involved. There were work items, things I wanted to do to help family and I also began teaching a gun safety class on Wednesday nights. On top of that the company I work for had an event on Saturday that I was responsible for organizing. However I did manage to get enough runs in to make it just over 30 miles for the week.

Spring has sprung that is for sure. The robins are all over the place now. Geese and ducks are flying everywhere and finding some open water in a few places too. There are all kinds for critters hustling about. The latter offers up a few obstacles in the form of road kill. Next up will be the awful smell of stuff blooming all over the place.

The sounds of spring in the forms of the birds chirping, ducks quacking and geese honking could not have come at a better time. You see my I-pod went caput on Saturday. My thinking is the battery inside is toast. That being the case today’s run a long slow distance (LSD) run was going to be silent. Thanks to the birds, ducks and geese it wasn’t so silent.

It’s on to week 6 and what a week it will be. Coming up at the end of the week will be an event that I have entered. It is a 25K race which translate to about 15.5 miles. The course is a rolling hills course which should provide a formidable challenge. A challenge that will give me an indication as to how my training is going . This week will let me know where my physical capability is at to this point.

Till then, get out there and run with me.

March 24, 2008

New York New York

I think over 20 years ago or so my sister-in-law and brother-in-law moved their family to New York. Somewhere on Long Island. In all that time I have never visited. I think Deb has a couple of times. It just didn’t have the appeal that the Northwoods or the mountains of Colorado had. That was up until a few weeks ago.

I was in the reading room the other day looking through a recent issue of Runners World Magazine. The article I was reading was a Top 10 of marathons that had recently been started. A marathon in Hampton caught my eye. The article referred to it as a scenic run and only 1500 runners. Now that is quaint. That article put Long Island on the list of possibilities to visit this year.

The marathon was not quite enough to make me jump on the going to NY. It needed just a bit more appeal. Actually it took an appeal from me to get NY to the top of the list. I made an appeal to a very nice young man who happened to marry my very nice niece. You see David ran a marathon last year and had expressed a desire to run one with me sometime. I figured let’s give it a shot. David said he would join me and Patti might just do the half also. That’s enough for me to say let’s go for it.

Two marathons in one year might just confirm that I am nuts for those that thought I wasn’t. Actually it might just be the start of bigger and better things for me as I work on running farther and farther in the future.

So look out Islanders the Midwest boy is coming to town. Please be gentle he might be a bit scared.

March 23, 2008

Week 5 Survivor

Yesterday’s long slow distance run was definitely a challenge and I survived. Even though there was a pretty good headwind for about half the run I don’t think the weather wasn’t too much of a factor. It was the distance. The little voice that normally comes out on my LSD was certainly speaking to me. I was listening too. However, I dismissed stopping at 12.2 and even 13.2. I will admit I cut out the .2 but I managed to hit 14 as my schedule called for.

So week 4 is in the books. I am happy with my runs this week. I did only get in 4 runs due to not wanting to do the LSD on Easter. I added a few miles to my short runs and came up just a half mile short of the planned mileage for the week. The three mid week runs went extremely smooth and for the most part (10 of 14) yesterday’s LSD went quite well too. Total miles for the week, 31.5.

Four down makes fourteen more to go. Bring it on.

March 16, 2008

Week 4 Steady as she goes

Week 4 highlight would have to be I managed to get 5 run days in this week. This was the first week that weather allowed me to get in 5 days. That’s a good thing.

Another good thing in regards to weather is that it warmed up a bit this week. Two runs were done with the temperature above 40 degrees. The warm temps allowed me to run without a whole lot layers. In fact I ran without 4 pounds of under layers. Couldn’t quite get to shorts and short sleeves but those days will be here soon enough.

All the runs this week were pretty good runs except today’s. I started today’s run by running the first two miles below a 9:30 pace. That pretty much spelt disaster for alter on. When I hit mile 5 and began a long uphill stretch I was feeling a bit exhausted. From that point I used a run/walk routine to get me the 8.2 that I planned for the day. I have this fancy gadget that shows me my pace but it doesn’t help if you check it as you go. Lesson learned. For the most part my average pace per mile on all the runs were well within my expectations and overall I am feeling just fine physically.

I managed to get in the 30 mile goal this week. My runs from now on will be 30 miles or better each week. So as I said it is steady as she goes. Week 5 will conclude with 14 miles.

Till next week enjoy the outside. Get out there and run, walk, bike or sit in the yard whatever it takes to get out there.

March 09, 2008

Week 3: A difference a day makes

More often than not a run in which I struggle tremendously is generally followed up by a very good run. That is what happened this week. I expect there will be more over the many weeks to follow.

My run on Saturday was run with protests from just about every body part involved. My feet, my shins, my knees, my thighs and my arms all seemed to be quite heavy on Saturday. It kind of felt like I was wearing one of those blankets they cover you with at the dentist’s office when you have x-rays. Probably the slowest pace 6.2 miles I have ever done. MY fast split for a mile was 10:38. Despite that I felt pleased with myself because I did what I planned. I overcame those little demons telling me to turn around and go home.

Than today I run with such ease. I ran 12.2 miles in complete comfort. My split from mile 11 to 12 was 9:49. That’s 49 seconds faster than yesterday’s slowest pace. At yesterday’s pace 12.2 miles would have taken me 2:16 and change for 12.2. Today I did it in 2:06. Some of my splits that included drinking and taking a carbo shot were faster than yesterday’s splits. The dramatic difference that occurs every now and than is a complete mystery to me.

Overall I am quite satisfied with week 3. I increased my mileage for another week. I manage just about 31 miles this week. I ran three 6.2 mile runs and the 12.2 mile LSD today. It is rally great to end the week on a very good high.

Next week is a step back week in my program. However I am a bit behind in my total miles to this point so I am shooting to keep the mileage the same this week.

I look forward to getting it done.

March 02, 2008

Week 2: Two down

The second week of training for the most part went well. I determined the Mizuno shoes that I purchased would not work and returned those. I chose to give a pair of Asics Kayano’s a try. I think the Asics should be just fine after dreadmill testing them and road testing them. I upped my mileage for the week. However came up a bit short on total mileage due to today’s weather.

I started the week by giving the Mizuno’s another dreadmill test. This was an 8.2 mile treadmill run on Tuesday. There were a few issues during the run but I was still thinking they might be okay. Once I took them off, there was a serious pain issue with my right arch. We are talking 8.9 on the 10 point scale. Quite clear the shoes had to go back.

On Wednesday I took the day off to spend sometime with my favorite boys. The grandsons. We went on a field trip to the running store. Sean was excited to see there was a pair of green running shoes. Green is his favorite color. Sorry I digressed. I told the sales guy about the Mizuno’s and he said well let’s see what else I got. In looking at the shoes on clearance, I told him I was trying to save a few bucks, he found the Asics I mentioned. I tried them on and than run for about 30 seconds on the treadmill there in the store. Everything felt fine. The boys and I headed back out for lunch and home.

On Wednesday evening I went for a six miler on my old Saucony’s.

Friday was the test day for the Asics. To the health club I went. All those dreadmills staring at me and saying oh you again. I ran 4.2 while wearing the Asics and no problems. Took the shoes off and no aches, happy feet are here again. Oh yeah Happy days are too. Life was good. Saturday the new Asics and I did a very fine 10.2 miles on old Highway 210 in North Central Minnesota.

It was a nice lonely run along a rural highway. I would try to get glimpses of people who drove by me. Can only imagine what there thoughts were. I’m sure some were “what the heck is that nut doing out here running in the middle of nowhere”. While others might of thought “only a diehard would be out here this time of year”. I would have to say they were both right. Yes I would agree that I am a little nuts to run as a hobby and yes one has to be a bit of a diehard to run during a MN winter. In any case the lone runner made it. Hi Ho Asics Away.

Week 2 has come and gone.