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August 24, 2008

To do what I do

This week was the highest mileage week of my training for the Hamptons Marathon on September 27th. Nearly 50 miles was the goal for the week. A week that I certainly went into with plenty of apprehension.

My goal for the LSD that I ran today was 4 hours or 24 miles whichever came first. As I expected the 4 hours came first however I wasnít to far from 24. I ended the run at 23.2 miles and the time was 3:54:20. That would be just a shade under 10:30 pace.

For the week I am quite pleased and confident with my progress. I believe I have a very good shot at getting close to or even doing better than my PR of 4:37. At this point I am really looking forward to the marathon.

In addition to the run going so well it was also very scenic. I even thought of titling my entry as ďMutaul of Omahaís Wild KingdomĒ. Yesterdayís run there were 3 deer that bounded onto the trail I was running and than quickly disappeared into the woods. Today I saw two trophy bucks just off to the side of the trail I was running. Also today there were three wild turkey hens with their brood on the trail. Being a country boy I savored the sightings for the entire run and certainly shared what I saw with my family.

The marathon is 5 weeks away. This next week I will take it easy and keep things slow and simple. Than the following week I will get the mileage up again to near 40 miles one last time. That week will be followed but what is called taper time. Those last 3 weeks a runner winds down a bit and allows the body to recover. So for now itís going to be one week at a time and that will be doing my best to focus on sticking close to the schedule.

During my run today I listened to a song on my I pod that gives me inspiration. Itís a song by Alan Jackson and that is the reason for todayís title ďTo do what I doĒ. I relate it to my running. Itís basically about him going through rough times and becoming a singer. Itís near the end of the song that I change the lyrics a bit to fit into how I feel about my running. Here is my version:

So I hope the critics and skeptics alike
All came down to the finish line on this day
And theyíll see firsthand that I have survived
And what doesnít kill you makes you more alive
And I am one of the fortunate few
To do what I do

Thereís so much joy that running can bring
So I count my blessings when I step up to the line
Cause theyíre so many people who would give anything
To do what I do.

Have a wonderful week.

August 18, 2008

Calm before the storm

This last week went along with not much fanfare at all. The runs were pleasant. The runs were quite realxed, very calming.

I stepped the mileage back to just over 30 miles for the week. That should have allowed my body to recover from the prior couple of weeks that were a bit more difficult as I increased my mileage into the 40ís. Basically kept things simple.

Now this week will be a very big week for me. I will run my longest run since I ran Grandmas Marathon back in June. I hope to get a minimum of a 22 miles LSD run on Saturday or Sunday. I really would like to stretch that 24 if I feel like I can without much difficulty. If all goes well it will certainly make those nagging little concerns a whole lot less nagging.

Until next week, enjoy the days

August 10, 2008

Good Good Good Vibrations

Going into this week I felt I needed to have a good week to be able to build momentum and boost morale. I got exactly what I wanted. It was a very good week.

My midweek run was scheduled to be 9 miles. I felt so good when I got the 9miles I stretched it to 10. I gave the last mile everything I could. The mile split was 8:51 which for in my world is excellent. In my world 9:30 is a good split so a sub 9:00 is a feat I rarely have seen. Since have this little superstition thing that I like to end my runs to include the last tenths of the run I am training for I continued on to end the run at 10.2.

Today was a day that I looked forward to and to be honest there was some concern. The schedule called for a 20 mile run. When I did 18 awhile back I struggled to get to the 18. When I did I stopped. I wasnít sure if the run was going to be like my midweek run a few days back or the 18 miler a few weeks back. Happy to write that today was also very good.

My run pretty much went flawlessly through the entire run. I woke up on time. I wasnít rushed at all. The weather was pretty much perfect, just maybe a touch on the warm side. I didnít need to make any nature stops. I never once had the feeling of why the heck am I out here doing this.

The route I ran was probably the best training route I have ever done. The route had everything from easy to difficult stretches and everything in between. The first 5 miles was pretty much flat a few minor ups and downs. Just after mile 6 there was a fairly steep uphill and than a gradual incline before leveling off at which point I took a road that looped back to the top of the steep hill. Than it was down the steep hill. After that the next 4 miles were pretty much flat. The next 5 miles was ups and downs. I knew going in this was going to be the most difficult part of the route. There wasnít a level spot to be found over the 5 miles and there were more ups than downs. The final 2.5 miles was flat flat flat. I certainly enjoyed the route thatís for sure.

Finally I ran a very comfortable pace and was very pleased to see it was a bit better than 10:00 pace overall. At mile 15 was 2 Ĺ minutes ahead of a 10 minute pace and feeling very good. At mile 17 I knew I could get the run done under the 10:00 minute pace of 3:20 even if I backed done a bit. I chose to take a drink break at 17 and would do so again at miles 18 & 19. I made it 20 in good form. Than like the other day I slowed the pace down to cool down a bit and get to that .2 number. I never felt overly fatigued throughout the run.

So all in all it was a good good good week. Iíll step back just a bit on my long run at the end of the week. In two weeks Iíll try to extend out a bit farther by going for somewhere around 22 to 24 miles. Without a doubt mo is on my side.

Have a great week.

August 03, 2008

The beat goes on

This year my running just keeps going on and on. I have been preparing for events from the 1st of the year and will continue on until the end of September. Back in January I was preparing for what is called the Frozen Half Marathon in St. Paul, Mn. Shortly after that I prepared for Grandmas marathon in Duluth, MN. After a week layoff following Grandmas I began training for the Hamptons Marathon which is in New York on Long Island. After the Hamptons Marathon there will be a bit a layoff.

For the week training went just fine. This week was a step back week so I kept it simple and backed down on the miles a bit.

Rather than talk about my training I have something else this week. During the last week I supposedly became wiser because I aged a year. I received a gift that I want to share because it pretty much sums up why I do run as much as I do. The gift was from my daughter in law and I appreciate it very much. She added some words to a piece that she saw on the internet while looking for some running stuff for me.

I Run Because

I love not just the finish line but:
The trip along the way-it makes me feel free- Sometimes Iíve
got energy to burn and sometimes I need energy- Because
stopping would hurt so much more than a blister or broken
toenail- Because walking takes too long and I have things I
need to get done- My personal best is just that: mine-
Because itís a good kind of sore- Thereís no better way to
explore a city or enjoy the spring flowers, the fall leaves and
the winterís snow- ďI just felt like runninĒ- Because thereís
no drug like adrenaline- Because the pavement doesnít
complain when you pound it- Because I know Iím only
competing against myself- Because I have set goals and
will continue to work hard to accomplish them- Because
I know I can face whatever road lies ahead- Because I am
not satisfied with status quo- My true self shines through
when I run- Because I know I can and will- Because it
allows me to wind down- Because itís great exercise- Because
I feel a sense of pride when I finish- Because I have an
awesome support team- Because of Debbie, Andy, Denise,
Kara, Anand, Mira, Sean and Kyle- Because itís inspiring-
Because while others canít, I can

And Because Iíll never know how far I can go unless I try.
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Iíll be running, see you next week.