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I've missed you all

Hey all! I haven't posted here since December (gasp!) but I've been blogging. I like the changes that seem to have been made on the site! I thought that I could just post on my WordPress blog and be fine, but I miss comments and feedback from you all! I've been up to a lot and in case you don't follow Loopville on FB, here's gist of what's happened since December: My first and second trainings for the Denali team were a success and I made the team! Woohoo! I ran the North Face Endurance Challenge D.C. 50K with Abby! If you haven't read that blog, you HAVE to! I got some great pictures out of it too. I've joined a new gym and have been going consistently now for a couple weeks. Gotta get strong! The next Denali team training is Mt. Baker, in Washington by Mt. Rainier, the week of July 4th! We'd planned to climb Rainier but didn't get approved for a permit in time. Bummer. I'm running the Colfax HalfMarathon on Sunday with My Team Triumph - Rocky Mtn Chapter I've been reading a ton of running and adventure books lately! Scott Jurek's book, North, was outstanding! Denali's Howl - horrific but a good read Into Thin Air - also horrific but well written Denali's West Buttress - great tips on the route we plan to take Currently reading Charlie Engle's book, Running Man - I couldn't put it down last night I've ordered: Dean Karnazes's new book, The Road to Sparta The New Alpinism (plus training log) A Woman's Place Is at the Top Do you have any running/adventure book suggestions? That's about it for now. I promise I start posting here again. Have a great weekend and good luck if you're racing! Chris

NCAthlete

NCAthlete

 

Post Achilles Surgery Week ? – I Don’t Care Anymore :)

Hello! Today should be my “Friday” Thursday but now it’s just a regular Thursday since I’ll be working tomorrow. That’s ok. The office is quiet and I can get things done. I’ve decided that there’s no longer a need to keep rambling on about my formerly torn but now almost good as new Achilles. Running is feeling more and more natural to me. PT is mostly about strengthening and is basically a workout now, although I still deal with the painful process of breaking up scar tissue (OUCH). I’m not officially cleared yet (there’s going to be a party when I am), but I’m pretty comfortable. I’m still limited in my total mileage, but I’d be limiting myself anyway just to be safe. I’m really pretty pleased about where I am right now. I’ve been mixing it up with some slower runs and some faster ones. I did run my first sub 7 minute mile this week. The warm weather is an added challenge, but since I didn’t run all winter it’s been a smoother transition. I’m still a sweaty mess (as usual). I was happy that I was able to keep my HR out of Zone 5. I’m starting to monitor heart rate more, since it’s a good indication of my fitness and level of effort. NERD. My watch says 6:57, but the bubble says 6:55. Believe whoever you want. I have my first race this Saturday at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford! I have promised that I won’t go “all out” quite yet, but I can run it hard. I’m a competitive guy, but I’m going to be smart about this one. I won’t be leading the pack this time and I might not medal, but I’m going to LOVE it. I ran back to back days this week for the first time since the injury. Everything felt great! I can run 4 miles on Saturday (I’ll add on after the race) and then I start my last week of structured running on Monday. After that, I should be officially cleared and can do WHATEVER I WANT. I don’t miss these days one bit. Thanks again to everyone that’s ever read, liked or commented on my weekly updates related to this injury. I’m looking forward to posting about better things. For those of you dealing with problems of your own, stay positive. There are people out there (even some you might never meet) that will support you and encourage you, and you never know who you might be helping by setting an example and giving them hope.

RunEatRalph

RunEatRalph

 

Four Lap Harmony

It’s tough doing anything on a weeknight, and I usually avoid plans outside the Friday-Sunday window. So naturally, last week I had a retirement party on Monday and my long awaited mile race at the Track Club’s All-Comers meet on Tuesday. And something every other night last week, but those aren’t relevant to the story, so we’ll just stick to Monday and Tuesday for brevity’s sake if that’s alright with you. The Director who had been retired was, by everyone’s account, a really great guy. He was gregarious, had led a rich life full of great stories, drank a lot and always picked up the tab, and was also a runner. We were all sad to see him go, so the event dragged on well beyond the advertised 8pm ending time. We talked about his plans for the future and about the part-time gigs he’d find consulting until his kids were out of college. We also talked running, and how he hoped to check off all the races he’d always wanted to do but never had the time. We talked about my mile the next day and how an evening of pisco sours and cigars on an empty stomach probably wasn’t the best race preparation, and I proceeded to tell him the story of the kimchi cheesesteak and sour beer school of race prep and he wished me luck from beneath an arched eyebrow. And every time I finished a drink and looked at my watch and thought “now’s my chance”, he’d talk about how much it meant to him that we all showed up, and how it took some of the sting out of the whole situation. So we’d order another round and discuss The Curse of Lono and Capote and Kerouac and how sneaking out for a run at lunch is a valuable sanity preservation tool and by the time the bar closed it was just the two of us being thrown out, planning to meet up someday soon for a race.  I worked from home Tuesday, which meant I used the Outlook alerts for all my conference calls as alarms to wake me up from the micro-naps I was desperately using to supplement the 4 hours of sleep I’d gotten. We made it to the track on the Emory campus while the field events and sprints were taking place, which gave us plenty of time for a warm up jog and some spectating. We jogged around the infield and watched little kids run 100s, being chased and cheered on by their parents. We saw others try the pole vault and high jump. Some of the more stout folks tried their hand at the shot put. We chatted with runners and parents from all parts of the city and all walks of life. Some were on local high school or college teams looking for an extra workout. Others ran track in former lives and were dipping their toes back into the pool. Then there was the contingent who never had the chance to try track, and were taking advantage of the open meet to scratch old itches. Some were looking for a place to run free from the harassment and abuse suffered while running in their own neighborhoods. And of course there were a few just looking to escape emails and forced retirements. We had all come to the track looking for a safe space to spend a couple of hours, where nothing that existed beyond lane 8 mattered. We did our strides and stretches while watching the 200 heats, and from our vantage point the runners in the staggered starting blocks arching across the far curve looked like a perfect rainbow of humanity.  The Wife ran her heat first, so I got to cheer her on while my heat staged on the infield which helped burn off some of the nervous energy and residual pisco fumes. I haven’t really been nervous for a race in a long time, but racing on the track was going to be a new experience. I’d read so many accounts of elbows and spikes and sweat all flying in close quarters and the importance of knowing when to draft and when to pass and which lap should be the fastest and all that but had no idea how it worked in practice, especially amongst 20 amateurs. All of this and some Cassidy quotes were racing through my head as we toed the line right up until the starter gave the “runners set” command. Then, all I could think about was how hard it was not to false start as I waited for him to fire his pistol. But I didn’t, and when he did, I took off and headed to the front of the pack. Why I immediately ran to the front I have no idea, but I tucked tight into lane 1 for the first turn and tried to settle down into a sustainable pace while others jockeyed for position around me. By the middle of the back straight I had locked into what had felt like a strong pace and was behind 4 or 5 other runners. A group of 3 of us were pretty tightly bunched up and on the far turn began reeling in a guy who looked as though he based his early pace on what he had run at his small DIII college a decade and 25 pounds ago, and his pace was receding faster than his hairline. We passed him on the front straight, and I saw the clock tick 1:19, 1:20, 1:21 as I entered my second lap.  That was faster than I thought I could maintain, so I backed off a touch and decided to stay tucked in behind the small pack I was with for the second lap. I still felt strong at this point, legs mechanically pumping away and lungs still able to deliver plenty of that sweet sweet oxygen. At least, that’s how the back straight felt. By the time the clock came back into view again I could feel my chest stretching with each gasping breath like a carry-on you’re hell bent on getting two weeks worth of clothing into because the airline can kiss my ass with the damn baggage fees. I don’t recall the time on the clock and I didn’t remember to use the lap button, but I knew it was a few seconds slower than the first lap and I decided to try to start pushing on the third. The rest of my little pack began to falter so I swung out to pass, and was quickly joined by several chasers who followed my move. There were now only 2 runners ahead of me, but a tight phalanx breathing down my neck. Focusing on passing and picking up the pace had momentarily distracted me from the heat building in my legs, and as I passed the ringing bell I tried to keep the focus on the pace, not the pain.  I passed the second place runner as we entered the first turn and again hugged the railing. As we entered the back stretch the pack behind me broke and swung to pass me, and I went from visions of winning my heat to desperately trying to hang on. I had to fight the acid coursing through my aching muscles to keep the legs turning over and with each wheezing breath tasted blood in the back of my throat. I managed to repass 2 runners before the end of the straightaway and settled into what I guessed was the fourth or fifth spot, everything ahead of me was a hazy blur and I couldn’t be sure. As we entered the home stretch I thought I saw movement off my right shoulder and remembering John Landy, instead of turning to look I threw everything I had left into the furnace. The last 100 meters I could barely muster the strength to breathe, every bodily resource was thrown at the anaerobic fire. I held off my pursuer and crossed the line in an unofficial 5:48.40. Which since I don’t plan on logging any protests, should be official soon enough.  We all stumbled awkwardly onto the infield, exchanging fist bumps and nods and a few of the handshake / one-armed-side-hug combos, but no one had yet regained the capacity for verbal communication. The Wife and I soon left the stadium to do a short cool down through the neighborhood and flush out the legs as the mile heats continued. But the post race high was quickly dulled by the world outside. Cars ran stop signs and honked their horns as they angrily tore through crosswalks. Instead of waves and nods, the people we passed generally seemed annoyed they couldn’t walk 4 wide and had to share the sidewalk with us. A guy at the bus stop blew a cloud of cigarette smoke in our faces as we ran past. We got a couple of “run Forrest”s and The Wife got a few catcalls from the construction site on the corner. We even had to stop at red lights.  I made sure our cool down included one final lap of the stadium to remind myself there are still oases in this desert of civility. But the races had mostly concluded and the crowd had thinned. The stadium was now just another park, with people not picking up after their dogs and bikes being ridden on the track. I was distressed with how quickly the sanctuary had been overrun, and it wasn’t until I wasted the entire next day perusing photos and stories and shared history of the Loop that I again had hope. I found it again at the river with the Sunday long run crew. And I remembered that there’s nothing special about those places per se, the magic isn’t something inherent to the track or the river or a website. It’s something we bring to those places. No matter where we come from or how we got there or what we look like or which pronouns we prefer, we all share the same aches and pains, all do the same workouts, chafe in the same places, have a pile of neon laundry with an inhuman permafunk, and we all just want to run and be and turn down the volume on everything else for a bit. And maybe talk about shoes. You never know when that’s the last string helping someone keep the faith. So keep going to your track or your trail or your brewery runs. The rest of us need you.             
Also FUCK YEAH 5:48 bitches...
 

Gonzo Runner

Gonzo Runner

 

I don't even know what I'm doing anymore

Guys, I signed up to run three marathons in five weeks.  I'm not sure if it sounds better if I say three in three months but it doesn't change the timeline either way.  That actually sounds exactly like me.  Biting off more than I can chew. Then I started having anxiety about training for them.  What do I do?  How do I get enough mileage on my legs?  Should I drop them and just run a 50?  I mean, that's kind of what I want to be doing but I'm too afraid I'll break my running again.  But maybe I just want to run a 50 because I KNOW i can train for that and finish but I don't KNOW that I can train for a marathon and get fast(er). This still sounds like me, right? Then I decided that what I should do is use a 50 mile plan to train for these races because I'll get used to running a lot of miles, recovering, repeat.  What could go wrong?  Yep.  Seems like Liz Logic.  I'm committed to this course of action.  Then I volunteered to lead a pace group for my club's last training run before Brooklyn.  I'm not social and barely run with my club.  I legit have no idea why I did that. I also found a track club.  I'm planning on doing my speed work with them on Tuesdays.  I should start to plug in to my local scene more, right?  Which made me decide to start linking up with this other club that does tempo runs through the Lower East Side.  They are fast and pretty and I have no business running with them but I think I'm going to try.  It's like I don't even know who I am. Then my RB signed up for the speed series in Prospect Park that meets every other Wednesday in the summer.  This won't fit into my schedule this year but my club does Form Runs there every Wednesday night so I'm going to go to that and meet my RB after she's done racing.  Why am I joining all these strangers doing things?  

Keep Running Girl

Keep Running Girl

 

Nike Vaporfly 4% Review

The title "When you're desperate enough for a 2:45 that you'll pay $250 for a pair of shoes purported to make you 4% faster, even though you are highly skeptical..." was a bit too lengthy. The short version:  I'm not convinced these shoes will help you race faster, but I am also not convinced that they won't. The details:  Most runners have heard about the Nike Vaporfly 4% shoe by now.  I'm not going to include any details about the shoe's development, history, and supposed benefits, but you can read about those here, here, and here.  I'm going to write about my personal experience with the shoe, which I see as somewhat ironic because I work in a field where we always rely on research-based evidence above personal anecdotes.  But many people have asked what I think of them, so here is my opinion! I purchased the shoes at the beginning of January, mainly because my 2:47 at CIM had me salivating for more and I'd known a handful of people who'd smashed already fast marathon PRs wearing Vaporfys in 2017 fall marathons. Although the shoes arrived about 10 days before the Houston Marathon, I wasn't bold enough to run the marathon in shoes I hadn't worn on a long long run and in a shorter race, but as it turned out I'd have needed way more than 4% in Houston anyhow!  I tried them out on a 2 mile tempo shortly after Houston, mostly because I wanted to test them while they were still within the return window, and I while ran faster than I expected to that day, I felt like there were too many variables at play to really judge much (the main one being that I was rested, a rare commodity in marathon training, since I'd taken time off/easy after Houston). Since then I have raced four times in them, at the Big 12 12K, the Easter Sun Run 6.5 mile 10K, the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, and the Illinois Half Marathon.  I wore them for a 5 mile tempo run and a split tempo workout prior to racing in them, and later in a 20 mile workout to ensure that my feet felt okay in them for longer distances.  I've done all of my other workouts and long runs in my "typical" training shoes, which are Hoka Cliftons. What everyone wants to know first is do they make you faster?  Because we all want to run faster!  I even did the math before I purchased them...would a 4% increase get me from 2:47:14 to 2:45:00?  It turns out that mathematically I need a 1.5% improvement for about a 2:44:44 finishing time...sign me up for even half of the 4%!  So far, I don't think they actually make me any faster.  Whomp whomp!  The workouts I've done wearing them weren't any better than those I ran in my usual shoes.  I had one workout twice within a few weeks - 4 x 1 mile split tempos - so once I wore my Vaporflys and the other time I wore my Cliftons.  My splits for those two workouts were very close (neither were stellar), with the workout in the Vaporflys being a tad slower.  The workouts and long runs I've nailed have seemed more related to other factors, particularly the weather and feeling a bit more rested. But, do they reduce fatigue?  I think they reduce leg fatigue, which in a marathon could certainly translate into faster finishing times.  Since I've only raced distances up to half marathons in them, I can't yet speak to how they influence my marathon performance...ask me again mid-June!  I have noticed that I've recovered quickly after runs in them, but I also can't say for sure if that is the shoes or the fact that I've been running higher mileage recently.  Racing 13.1 is going to take more out of you when you're used to running 50 mpw than when you're used to running 70 mpw. How do they feel?  They feel much different than Hoka Cliftons and Saucony Kinvaras that I otherwise run in, which should come as no surprise because the heel to toe drops are very different, with my usual shoes being low drop and the Vaporflys having a high drop.  The Vaporflys feel stiff yet soft, and springly.  Their feel does make you think you'll be faster in them!  We all know that thinking is half the battle, so...  The first few times I ran in them my feet got slightly sore on the bottoms, I imagine because they are used to cushy Hokas, but since then I haven't had that issue again. I am planning to race Grandma's Marathon in them next month, so I'll further evaluate them afterwards.  When you're whittling down your times, every little factor helps, so I figure why not try.  It's the same reason I'll wear a sports bra that doesn't rub, socks that don't blister, and (if it's sunny) sunglasses that eliminate squinting - every little bit helps.  At the same time, you can find me focusing daily on the other big and little factors:  my training (first and foremost!), core work, strength work, foam rolling, sleep, nutrition, heat acclimation, etc.  Even if a shoe does help, it can only help so much, and putting in the daily work is far more important.  

SIbbetson

SIbbetson

Three weeks out

On the last check-in, I had just finished a streak of post-surgery mileage PRs, which meant I had a cutback week coming up. And the timing was perfect for that, because I was freaking tired. Basically all my runs during cutback week were for time and not mileage, because, again, TIRED.  I finally perked up when I met the BF for lunch at his favorite Korean place and I got beef. Ahhhhh. Red meat. Iron. <---- probs why I was so tired.  That Saturday was the annual Corporate Challenge 5K. Some of you are familiar with corporate challenges, no? It's a spring/summer event put on by some organization (here one of the county parks & rec departments) and all the businesses compete against each other for team points. I'm still not sure what the winner in each division wins - besides bragging rights - but with my employer, you can get an extra vacation day if you participate enough, so I signed up for 1 event and 2 spirit team events (hold signs and yell loudly) in order to get my free day. My 1 event was the 5K.  Going into Saturday morning, I knew I wasn't in 5K PR shape, but I figured I might as well test my fitness. This course is a monster. It's not rolling hills (my favorite), but rather a quarter mile slight downhill start, followed by a gradual 1.5 mile uphill, which is the worst. The. Worst. Total mind f*ck. Then you get one rolling downhill, followed by the rolling uphill before a mile gradual downhill "coast" to the finish.  I don't know why everyone thinks running downhill for a mile is easy. It's not!  Anyway, I found myself being passed by everyone and their co-worker for most of the race, because the start was a cluster and I just went in where I could. I think I started with the 24-minute 5K'ers. One day I'll be with them ... just not yet.  Splits: 10:06, 10:11, 8:55, total time 31:08 Polly had that I went 3.22 miles, but I basically ran the opposite of the tangents because of the crowd, so that's not surprising. That last mile, though? I am so impressed with myself and simultaneously annoyed that I had that much left in the tank. I basically ran that last mile with a guy with a neon yellow t-shirt - sometimes he would slip ahead of me, sometimes I would slip ahead of him, but it was one of those carrots that you refuse to let get out of your reach. By the end, it was rough, but I think I'm finally learning to embrace the pain of a 5K. Should be an exciting fall if I choose to focus on that distance.    Pulling just ahead of neon t-shirt guy. At the time, I thought maybe I had gotten a PR. No dice. If any week was going to really get messed up, it was bound to be this last week. I was traveling for work, getting back late Friday night and then heading to my parents' house to surprise my momma for Mother's Day. I was determined to get everything in though - and I did! All I had to do was move my runs up one day and skip my traditional Monday spin session. So Tuesday morning, I got in my 3 miler before I headed to the airport, did core work in my hotel room that night. Wednesday morning, I found a nice 5 mile route already mapped near my hotel ... got lost and ended up with nearly 6 (oops!) and got in another 5K Thursday morning with a colleague, after a quick strength/core session. Then, Friday morning, I found myself with enough time to do a yin yoga session before my flight home. Determined as ever, I got up early Saturday morning and did 10 miles solo.  That 10 miler? Yeah. I HAVE to tell you about it.  It was early. I was still travel-hungover from the night before. But I got up. Got my running clothes on. The threat of sprinkles was a tempting excuse to crawl back into bed and say, "meh". Actually, it wasn't that tempting. I just thought it would add to the drama.  Water. Nuun. Cheerios. Extra long podcast. Visor. Sunscreen.  And everyone thinks running is a "simple" sport. Also, yes, I'm high maintenance when it comes to long runs. At the very least, medium maintenance. 
Drive to favorite 4.22 mile loop spot. Check Instagram. Check Twitter. Realize there is no more stalling. Get out of car. Warm up. Fire up my favorite SURVIVOR podcast. Take off trotting. Think about SURVIVOR strategy. Feel a strong desire to watch the original Blood vs. Water season. Remember too late I was trying to figure out where the .8 mark was just in case the watch ran out of juice (which appeared to be dangerously low). Look at watch at 1.08 miles. Oops.  Waking up a little bit now. It's humid. Sweat is dripping everywhere. Feel that gross trickle between my boobs (ladies, you know what I mean). Wipe sweat from my eyebrows. Realize there is a 5k/10K race starting at 9. Thankful I managed to start running around 7:20 - I'll miss nearly all, if not completely all, of the foot traffic.  Finish the first lap. Desperately want to ditch my tank top and join the sports bra club, but don't, for reasons I can't even remember anymore. Drink a bunch of Nuun. I think I ate some Cheerios. <-- Seriously. Great fuel. Press on. Not really paying attention to my splits. Paying probably too much attention to SURVIVOR strategy. The podcast guest proposes a strategy of just winning everything, cuz then you can't get voted out and who can argue with the fact that you actually WON EVERYTHING? Consider this to be my strategy for when CBS inevitably casts me to see me become an emotional mess. Won't they be surprised when they write that million dollar check out to me?  It starts sprinkling around 5.5 miles. It's cool, refreshing and I wish it was just a tiny bit more steady. My wish comes in full force two miles later, when it becomes a full on rain. Whatever. I feel good, I feel faster than when I started, but now my tank is just drenched and clinging to my body. Yuck.  8.4 miles. I stop quickly at the car to ditch the phone and headphones so they don't get too wet. The race has started, but I'm running in the opposite direction of the runners. Get a surprised look from a course monitor when I don't get in my car, but shut the door and keep running.  The rain lets up half a mile later and I'm trying to do runner math to make sure I turn around at the right spot. I'm coming back and I realize I'm on the same path that the runners make, either for the final part of the 5K or to start the second loop of the 10K. A course monitor who is probably in junior high or high school looks worried when she sees me, but I give her a look that says "don't worry, i'm not that fast" and she thinks I'm a wierdo. Desperately want to be done now. Mile 10 beeps and I'm like, thank goodness. Another #psmPR Hobble to my car, stretch and head to get coffee. It's only then that I look at my cumulative time.  1:57:50. My last 10 mile on record was 2:11:52. My PR is 1:50:57. Had this been a race, who knows what I could have done.  Which makes me think I might have a chance at taking down that EIGHT YEAR OLD halfmarathon PR. Yes, yes, I think I just might ....  Do you listen to podcasts when you run? What would your SURVIVOR strategy be? Have you ever done a training run while a race was going on? Drag files here to attach, or choose files... Insert other media  Feature Photo Choose Single File... Or drag and drop your file here
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eliz83

eliz83

 

No title

Three months of no running, unless I count the 4 miles I did at the PT's suggestion. That left me sore for almost a week and didn't do my knee any favors. Or the three days I ran one mile each that didn't make me sore but also didn't help my knee. Still no word from the insurance company about approving the MRI. Blue Cross has been my employer's carrier since 1996, when the owner asked me to find the ten of us some health insurance. There have been assorted mistakes over the years, but nothing remotely as ridiculous as this. And I've had MRI's before with no issues. There should be a checkbox for "This guy's a runner and if we don't fix his knee soon there will be trouble." In the meantime... Talking with DS2 a couple of weeks ago and he thought he'd like a visit. Mrs. Dave had some commitments last weekend, and volunteered me to go alone. So after my appointment with the urologist Friday afternoon, I cruised down I-75 for two days in Louisville. We looked at his car a little, did some shopping, went to Infinity War and caught the Bats hosting the Mudhens. Speaking of the doctor, just like I expected, he doesn't like the sudden rise in my PSA numbers. They went up slowly over the last ten years, but the last two have jumped. This Friday he's going to biopsy it. Not happy, but I can't be upset, either because neither the PSA nor the biopsy have been shown very accurate at indicating cancer. Basically, I'm at an increased risk, but there's nothing that says it's anything more than weird test results. Insurance has no problem paying for this. In a way I'd like to be able to blame my inability to train well since 2014 on something like a chronic illness. Maybe it could be fixed and I can run fast again. Provided this knee can be repaired.

Dave

Dave

Run, Burpee, Repeat

I’m kind of an obsessive compulsive person...in case you haven’t noticed. 😂 I love, love, love watching the Olympics, the Tour De France and the CrossFit Games. These CrossFit Games athletes are amazing! The evil “genius “ behind the games workouts is Dave Castro. The idea is to throw all sorts of different events at the competitors to find “The Fittest on Earth.” These athletes lift weights, climb ropes, swim, bike and can run at 6:00 minute miles! It boggles my mind how these muscle bound athletes can move so fast! While being injured I’ve dabbled in some of the XF workouts. I’ve also made up my own insane “WODs.” Ie. Elliptical a mile, 20 goblet squats, 10 deadlifts, 15 weighted step ups. Repeat x infinity. I love the variety and it’s no secret that I LOVE Intervals! They are just the best! I found an offshoot of CrossFit called CrossFit Endurance. The plan is laid out in a book called Unbreakable Runner. I’m going to give it a try this summer and see how it works out. Thursday afternoon I was waiting for the book so I decided to create my own endurance WOD. It consisted of 1/4 mile sprints with 10 burpees or 20 squats alternating after each 1/4 mile. I thought 3 miles would be reasonable and decided on the privacy of the bike path. My friends and neighbors already think I’m a bit over the top so let’s not give them anymore to talk about... My leg was feeling pretty good after rolling my glute with a tennis ball. I warmed up with a 1/4 mile and then took off to see what I could do. I was happy/not happy with my paces. I used to be able to do mile repeats at 7:20, but this is the first time in forever that I’ve run anything in the 7:xxs. i slowed the last 2 1/4s down because my leg was getting tired. i was really pleased with run, burpee, run, squat, repeat. My heart rate was through the roof and I had to take a 15-30 seconds after each run to calm my breathing down. Friday there wasn’t one part of me that didn’t hurt. It was exhausting just sitting up! I might build an ab or 2 if I keep this up! Then it dawned on me that it was kind of dumb to do that workout 2 days before a 5k. #blondemoment. A friend of ours had breast cancer this past year. Atlantic City puts on a great 5k to benefit a BC charity. Thirty of us were signed up to run on the Zumba Warriors for Dawn team. (No, I don’t do Zumba.) Since I work Saturday I got special permission to leave for an hour or so to run the race. I dressed in my finest work clothes. 😂 My friend N’s DH picked me up from work to go to the race. Got some team pictures: The temperature was in the high 50s/low 60s and the wind was blowing out of the north. I lined up with these 2: I had no idea what kind of run I was going to have so I just “wung” it. I pushed from the beginning and just kept picking people off. I didn’t bother looking at my watch because it was what it was. It seemed like the 1st mile marker took FOREVER to show up. I was playing leap frog with a shorter, stockier dude. We came upon a girl who was breathing and grunting really loudly. I looked at her and thought wow, she’s really sweating! But then I realized that it was just the bottom of her shorts that were super wet. And then I saw the insides of her legs were super wet! Oh, hell no! She peed herself less than a mile into the race!!  Dropped her. Mile one: 8:10 I continued on and knew at the turned around we’d be heading back into the wind. My calves by now were screaming at me! “Hey! Remember us! Run, burpee, squat, repeat?? Ya, moron!” I saw my DH as I was heading back and then gave N’s DH a wave and a gasp.  Mile 2: 8:02 The 3rd mile was tough. I’m not going to lie. I was just trying to hold on for dear life. The wind was battering me. My lungs were seizing. I knew I was running in the top females but I couldn’t hold on. I took a mini walk. Gah! (Yes, top females because many walk, jog the race.) I regrouped and managed to pull myself back together and ran 8:41 for mile 3. Boo! With the finish line in sight I mustered as much kick as I could and finished with an 8:05 pace. (Nary a 7:xx to be found.) I was shocked that after a year of hardly any traditional race training or speedwork that I finished in the 25s. 25:49. Tickled f’n pink! N’s DH drove me back to work where I remained sweaty and happy until 6 pm. I stalked the race results and found I had won my AG. It pays to be old!   I’m really excited to start the CFE training plan. I’m planning on a summer of 5ks to see where my time goes now that I have a baseline. Other news!! I wasn’t going to run Vermont 100 on 100 this year but one of the runners dropped due to injury so I’m in! I’m so excited!! Oh yeah I’m running another 1/2 with my oldest son this weekend.    

ocrunnergirl

ocrunnergirl

Streaking

Ha ha, no I haven't started running naked. But I'm working out every day. I don't run enough to do a running streak. I think my longest running streak (this century) is 5 days. But I've been trying to work out almost every day; either a run, a bike ride, or a gym workout. Most of the time life interferes once in a while, or I just feel like skipping a day, so I average 5-6 days a week. So I went back and checked for my longest workout streak, and it was 11 days. And I thought I might as well just commit to streaking and maybe go the whole month of May. So starting April 30th I have not missed a day yet, which means I am up to 14 days now with tonight's run making 15. PR! (not counting my youth) Running is going well. My sore butt and hammy finally faded away and is now completely gone. It cost me four weeks of almost no mileage, but I needed that break anyway after the marathon. Now I have four decent weeks under my belt and I'm back to 4 days a week of running. Building up mileage and getting back in shape. I've been to the track a few times to work on speed, but otherwise running 6-8 miles. I will start up on long runs next week with 10 or so. Plenty of time to lay down base before ramping up to marathon training in a few months. I go to the gym once a week, or about every 5 days. There I do mainly upper body and core exercises, but also some leg stuff too. I do circuits through 12 different stations. Three sets, 8-10 reps, very little rest between, so my heart rate stays high and it is a good workout. The other days I do bike rides along the beach. 9-20 miles. I don't work too hard on these usually, but I keep a steady pace. It counts. I figure any exercise that makes me sweat for at least 30 minutes counts for the streak. This Saturday I'm doing a 5K on a fast course. Planning to run sub-7 pace, and see if I can get under 21:00 (6:46 pace). Fun. I've also decided to do the Long Beach Half on October 7th, in case anyone wants to come visit. Our guest rooms have opened up. Life is good.

BANGLE

BANGLE

 

Cinco 5k Mayo RR and other news

Has it really been a month since I’ve written? I posted in loopville on Monday promising to try to write a RR on my 5k in a few days. Does now still count as a few days?                 Sunday (May 6th) was the Cinco K Mayo 5k race. This race benefits several cancer related charities including Team in Training/Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so a lot of my teammates were there. I had a big goal for this race, I wanted to PR, and finish under 27 minutes. This was a very reasonable goal since my fastest 5k run happened during my PR half. (Although I’m not at point right now where I could match that half time.) I ran a 5k race PR in January the day after a 15 training run on a really cold day. So I felt confident. The weather was good, warm a little bit of a threat of rain but it only sprinkled after the race was over.                 We lined up and were off almost on time. This race is close to being an out and back. No huge hills but not flat. Janet paced John and I and I felt like the effort was at a good challenging level the whole way. I did fade more than I would have wanted on the last uphill, and at the end (which ended up costing me) but overall it was a very good race. No mile PR this time. Mile 1 -8:57. Mile 2 -8:52. Mile 3 – 8:07. Last .1 – 55 sec. Official finish time 26:50. A 5k race PR by 23 seconds I think over January. 17 seconds faster than my fastest 5k distance run. I checked the results for AG placement. 4th. But it didn’t tell me just how close it was. I looked on Monday and I missed 3 by 2 seconds! And second by less than a minute! (I was no where close to 1st) Apparently the lady who blew by me just before the finish was in my AG. I couldn’t have caught her. But I could have run a few seconds faster on one of the downhills. Oh well. I still did what I wanted to do.                 In other news – I’ve got my fall racing laid out I think. I’m signed up for the Vine to Wine Half in Greenville, IL. Third year for the race, and my third year running it. I like it because if you sign up when registration first opens it’s only $35. I can stay at my parents’ house and it’s a quick drive from there. All the swag of a bigger more expensive race. Medal, shirt plus a wine glass and a wine sample. This year there is a charm to put on the medal for people who have run it every year. Well supported on quiet rural roads. Hilly and because it’s in September it has been warm, so probably not a PR kind of race but I’ll do my best to train to be able to run a PR under ideal conditions at least and then who knows? Then I’m planning on running the FLATS trail half in Kirksville MO in October. I have a college friend who lives there who ran it last year, and who I can stay with. I haven’t signed up for this one yet because my budget is tight, and I just paid for my 3rd fall race – the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa Oklahoma. This race has been recommended to me by a couple friends who have run it. My friend in Kirksville, and my friend Margaret who has run a marathon in all 50 states, plus a few other countries, and is on her second round of the states. She’s on marathon #70 or so.                 I’ve got work to do to be ready for all that. Especially the trail race since that is something I haven’t done before. The Mickleson Trail marathon doesn’t count, despite what Athlinks says.                 The heat is on here in St. Louis. We skipped spring and went directly to summer. One or two lovely mornings in the 50s and that was it. I do not run well in heat, and today was my first long run in real heat for the season. I wore sunscreen, tried to stick to the shade where I could, hydrated and took in extra electrolytes, eased up on the pace…did all that I could, but I still got a post run headache. Hopefully I’ll get used to the heat and it’ll be easier to avoid that headache, but short of skipping or dramatically shortening my run I don’t think I could have avoided it today. After lunch I took a nap and felt better. I didn’t have a long run last week so I didn’t want to skip it this week. Even better if it cools down for a while.  

Orthotics question - need your collective wisdom

Formalities first: Hi, my name is geedee, and I... So I haven't been around this joint in a while - kinda hard when you're perpetually injured. But now I'm running (figuratively speaking) back to you for insights about custom orthotics. I've never had them before, so I don't quite know what to expect, or if what I'm experiencing is normal, or...? I just got my second pair for sesamoiditis. The first pair made the pain worse. The jury is still out on this one, but...I'm using them in my customary 4mm heel drop shoes, and I feel like the heels are sliding around on me. Probably because the orthotics are much higher in the heel and the shoes were not made for an elevated heel insert. Does this mean I need to buy new, higher drop, shoes just to accommodate the stupid inserts?  I don't want to make the investment till I know the orthotics are going to work, but I may not know if the orthotics are going to work until I have shoes that will work with them.  I'm getting the impression that foot doctors all think that foot problems can be solved with a high rigid arch support. And I'm finding that to be almost as painful as the sesamoid problem. I told the doc after the first pair how uncomfortable the arch was, and he promised this pair would be less rigid. Well, it is, but only marginally. It still feels like I have a large boulder in my shoes, in not quite the right place for my arches. Is this common, or should I be raising a ruckus? I've already raised several ruckuses  with this doc - mostly when it took seven weeks to get the first pair and then many more weeks to get a follow-up appointment.  

I also fail to understand why elevating my heel and arch would help offload stress off the sesamoid area (just behind the big toe on the underside of the foot.) I don't have an engineer's mind, but it seems to me that I would be putting MORE stress on that area by angling the foot downward?  There's more to the insert that than - there's sort of "cut-out" that's supposed to help with the offloading - and I think it does work - so why the heck do I need the unpleasant arch supports?

Your experiences and insights would be much appreciated!
 

Cinco de Mile RR

Short and sweet, both the race and the RR. I’ve never run a 1 mile “race” before and had no real desire until I learned that my coach would be the race director for an inaugural local one. The race date ended up, of course, on the same morning as DH’s first triathlon of the season. Luckily, I’m smarter than I look and was able to figure out a way to make it all happen. 5am: wake up! 530am: leave house. Stroller and Garmin for me… 1000 pieces of equipment for DH. Gosh, triathletes are high maintenance! 6am: Intended parking area for triathlon is NOT allowing traffic from the direction we arrive from, contrary to map on website. 6:01: Almost complete freakout by DH 6:02: Few illegal traffic maneuvers puts us in a prime spot. 6:03-6:45: Mill around while DH sets up transition area. Feel thankful that I am not getting in the gross, freezing cold (68 degree) water. Yeah, no. 7:11: DH’s wave starts! The swim is not exciting to watch because you can’t really see anything until they come back in. Spectator failure: I don’t see DH come out of the water. DS and I watch for awhile, about 10 minutes past when he should have come out but don’t see him. I planned on watching him start the bike then head over to my race…I feel slightly off about leaving when I don’t know for sure he came out of the water. Hmmm. I figure he swam faster than we anticipated and came out earlier than expected (which thankfully is what ended up happening but I wouldn’t know this for another hour!) 7:45: I stroller jog to my race which is convienently about 1.5 miles away from the triathlon start. Perfect! DS is 5 years old and about 45 lbs. Not perfect. It’s hard to find an easy pace. 8:05: Easiest bib pickup ever. Coach is at the registration table and hands me my stuff. There are 5 heats for the 1 mile race: Masters men, Masters womem, Open men, Open women, then Kids. I’m slightly nervous that I will be DFL in the Open women’s heat. The race is small, maybe 20-30 people per heat with  most of the racers being on race teams or track clubs. I have no idea what I’ll run. My “PR” is from during a 5K a few weeks earlier (7:50). The smart online calculators say in the 7:20-7:30? 8:15: Find out friends that were going to come…can’t. Slight panic as the dad was going to watch DS while I ran. 8:20: Coach finds a volunteer to keep an eye on DS. Crisis averted! 9am: Race! I am normally a solid pacer. Not today. The first half is really fast but as soon as it starts to suck, it’s over! Official time 7:13. Sweet PR! And I liked this a lot better than a 5K. Also, I finished in the lead of the “normal people” pack. There were maybe 4-5 women after me. 9:20: time for the main event—the kid’s mile! [side note: DS ran a mile race as part of a HM and 5K event last year but he jogged and walked with some friends. And the course was about 1.7 miles instead of 1 mile so not a memorable event for a 4 year old.] We’ve been practicing a bit in the previous few weeks, doing one mile with a mix of running and walking. I was hoping to just encourage him to try and run the whole thing. And he did! Coming in at 10:17. His medal is a piñata so he was pretty excited. I asked him later if he’d like to do it again sometime and he said “it was pretty long. Maybe next year when I’m 6”.   He's the little guy in the blue shirt on the right side. Just ignore that heel striking!
 

Memory Lane

First up: no running yet. I did a mile each for three days the week before last. Then I ended PT and called the doc about that MRI. Calling again today because they're supposed to be working on getting me in and it's been a week. Over the last few days it's gotten worse and worse. Wearing the compression sleeve today and that seems to help. Sure that means something, but I don't know what. Looks like I'll be cancelling plans for a fall marathon as well. Urology appointment is tomorrow. That will be the start of what is hopefully nothing interesting - just reaching the end of my insurance deductible for the year. Two: Going to spend the weekend with Connor in Louisville. He didn't mention anything specific, but he did ask me to come. Some days are still hard for him.   Yesterday was the anniversary of the founding of Loopville. I put an event on the calendar and asked people to share their Loopster memories. It ended up being mostly pic uploads of various Loopfests and Loopmeets over the past seven years. So much good feeling, friendships and more. So, for today, while I commiserate my current injury, I'll scroll through a few Loopster memories here. In the winter of 2009-2010, a Loopster named Pacheco came up with the term "Pikermi", arguing that the halfmarathon should have it's own name. Pikermi being a small town in Greece, roughly half way along the modern marathon route from Marathon to the Athens Olympic Stadium. Most Loopsters bought into it. At the time one of us owned a shop that did shirts, so he made some and we bought them. We never did get the term to gain widespread acceptance, and there are only a few of us old timers who still use it every once in a while. Seems sort of a shame.   Someone started a regular feature on the Loop we called "Friday at Work." Of course it's also a thing to do something creative with your old racing bibs. Since this is where I keep all of mine, it was easy to combine those two items into this. This must have been a casual Friday at work, as well, guessing from the shirt. Sadly, my newest desk has a very low wall and there's isn't enough room for all my bibs. I only have them back through the 2012 Salt Lake City Marathon. That's the red 898. Fun fact. A woman at that race had number 868, but she pinned it upside down, so all of her race pictures showed up under my name.   In 2013, we had a family trip planned to UT in late March. I hadn't decided on a spring marathon that year, but wondered if I could find one to include. As long as we were passing through several states, why not stop in one of them and run a marathon? Eventually, I found this tiny marathon (30 runners) in the tiny town of Reeds Spring in southwest Missouri. Reeds Spring is not too far south of Springfield. It is, in fact, very close to a place called Nixa. Just outside Nixa is the home of my favorite Loopster of all time, musictofeet. We had dinner with her and her cool husband the night before the race, She paced me through the first half and the last three miles of the race, and let me use their shower after, then lunch (and the most amazing apple pie after). How could she not be my favorite?       2014 was my year. The year of Marshall. The year of Hansons training. The year of my most serious attempt at this marathon thing. A summer of intense training, tons and tons of hard miles. It was also a good-sized Loopfest. The night before the group festivities, MinneDan and I started off the carbo-loading effort by grabbing a Little Caesar's and eating it in my room for dinner. We shared race strategy and my hopes for a fast run on Sunday. The Loop world knows how that all turned out.   What would Boston have been without Loopsters? I shudder to even think. I don't imagine there'd have been a Dave Boston without the Loop. The advice, encouragement, the near-mandatory positiveness of the community pushed, pulled (and sometimes dragged) me to that crazy day in Huntington, and as a result, Mrs. Dave and I found ourselves around a table full of Loopsters in Beantown, with the most amazing 26.2 miles awaiting me the next day.   I could do this all day week. Best get back to work, though. You guys are the best. And if I never run another step, I'll never forget or regret one minute of my time on the Loop, and your friendship is the best reward of all.

Dave

Dave

 

Past, Present, Future

It's been a blast looking at all the pictures on the Loop Anniversary page tonight.  Reminds me of so many friends and friendships and how lucky I am to have met so many incredible runner.  Several of you have become some of my closest friends.  Marshall 2013 was the launch for me to meet so many cool people. The above is from 2013 at the Marshall University Marathon event in Huntington WV.  I met Senior Runner for the first time and we quickly realized we're both crazy amateur horticulturists and naturalists and had plenty to talk about while the others ran.  We were both there as a cheering section due to injuries.   Fiona (Countess FiFi), me, Mike Cannon (Colonel Cupcake), and Emileigh Morrison.   Then I went to Shamrock in 2014 just 3 months later - I totally failed to bring a costume!  I'm not good at costume runs because odd clothing that rubs or flops or fits awkwardly is my demise when I run.  I was fortunate enough to be Chef Ed's sous chef for that event and got to cook with him in the kitchen for everyone.   That's the past but still the present with so many great people.   The present brings me few opportunities for Loopmeets because of my budget, my priorities, and the fact I loathe road races.  Unfortunately, trail races for Loopmeets are few and far between and even further of a drive from my house in northern Michigan. The future is never a given and as far as I can see ahead of me, I think my trail race in the fall will be my last long race over a halfmarathon distance for a good long time.  I won't say forever because you just never know.  I hope I get a chance to run with a few of you in the near future - the nostalgia makes the heart grow lonely for running friends.

TreeGirl

TreeGirl

 

Post Achilles Surgery Week 20 – I’m High as a Kite and I Just Might…

OK Loopsters, I wrote this late last week and once again I've slacked in sharing it with the Loop. Please forgive me. I hope you'll read it anyway. I have other posts since the last, but I don't want to unload them all at once. If you want to know more about weeks 17-19, look here. Happy Friday! Yes, I know it’s Thursday but it’s a Friday for me. I swear I’m not trying to rub it in everyone’s faces even though that’s EXACTLY what I seem to be doing. My bad. This week is my first official week where I get to run miles, as opposed to minutes. Tuesday was the first day of running miles since December 13th, I’ll always remember that date. At first, I wanted to run with people and kind of celebrate but then I decided that I just kind of wanted to be alone in the dark. Running has felt a little strange, but I think my form stayed pretty normal. My “baby calf” (that’s what I’ve named my weakened calf on the injured side) held up okay for the first mile but started to tire a little in the 2nd. My lungs haven’t felt the strain of distance running in quite sometime and that’s noticeable. None of that matters. I RAN 2 MILES. I really was that excited. I need to rewind a bit. On Saturday, there was a wedding! A great wedding at that. My friends Michael and Brooke (both runners) tied the knot and several of the running buddies were there to celebrate the day. I think we did a pretty great job of it. Runners are good, fun people. Robbie and I went Rocky IV.  My darling wife (a non-runner, soccer player type) did a pretty good job of putting up with us. I think she had a good time too. We even danced (horribly, me at least). These pictures capture us well, I think. Okay, back to the running stuff. So last week, I said that I hoped to run with friends and have some coffee. Well, I did. Missed this more than I can say. This was a great run. Even my non-runner (soon to be runner) work buddy Cody aka Lil Code showed up. 3 miles was the longest he’d ever run and he did GREAT. I really didn’t have any trouble getting 3 miles done and even picked it up to a about a 6:40/mile pace for the last quarter mile or so. I got that sweet, sweet runner’s high. My baby calf is a little sore now, but it’s nowhere near my repaired tendon and feels completely like muscle fatigue. I look at it as feeding that baby calf until it grows into a strong bull. I mustered up the energy to train at lunch time and do some strength training. I still need to get these glutes firing! Well, that’s it for this week. Soon enough, I won’t be titling my posts with post Achilles surgery anything. I’ll have to get more creative. Hope you all have a great weekend, whenever it may start.
 

Three Times This Week. An Anniversary.

At PT on Monday, Amanda and I decided I should try a short run. One mile. Hal's been in storage for almost three months, and for one mile I didn't bother anyway. So, it was one slow mile up and out of the neighborhood for a half, then back home. I'd like to say it was glorious, freeing, joyful. Not really. But, Louie was quiet. As I cooled off, he tightened up some and was sore for the rest of the night and the next day. Not terrible, though. Wednesday I decided to donate blood. The supervisor who screened me asked if I wanted to do double reds, but the nurse who was going to stick me demurred. I hadn't hydrated very much and my better vein (on the left arm) had some bruising from the PSA/A1c draw they did last week. So, just one regular pint. At home I did a round of my home PT exercises and ran another mile - SW to the subdivision entrance and back. Same as Monday, but less residual pain. In fact, it was a good afternoon/evening altogether until I went to bed. Our bed's a little higher and when I get in I normally lead with my left leg, knee bent, then lift myself the rest of the way up and in. Lately I've been careful to keep the knee straighter or sit and swing up instead. I forgot to do either that night and at the tightest point there was sharp pain. The one I've been having. By Thursday morning it was OK again, mostly. Overall, I'd say it's 90% better most of the time. Went to my last PT appointment and had a heart to heart with Amanda. Much as I love having her work that knee, we're just not seeing the full improvement I need to get back on the roads. One mile runs aren't what I'm after for my quality of life. As for PT, it's great and all, but the progress we've had is just as likely from not running. When I got home, I ran another mile and called the doc's office. The good news is that I probably don't need to see him again before they re-schedule the MRI. Should hear back today to confirm. Also have an appointment with the urologist next Friday. The one I'd seen before retired a few years ago so I'm seeing one of his partners. We were afraid it would take a few months to get in, but there was an opening. The more I read about PSA testing the less concerned I am about my slightly elevated number. It's a fairly common thing for a man "my age" to have a higher reading. Most of the time it's nothing, but better to check and be sure. I'll keep my fingers crossed anyway. And I'll run another mile tonight I guess.   Had a Facebook memory today - way down the list - reminding me that it was seven years ago that I registered for the Philadelphia Marathon, claiming my spot in LoopPhest 2011. I remember a few Loopsters had signed up in the previous couple of days and some excitement was starting to build. Sitting in work meetings all that day (my least favorite place to be), I was off the internet until late in the afternoon. When I did check in, I discovered a couple of dozen people had made official plans and the Loop was going crazy. I registered as soon as I got home. Five days later we created Loopville on Facebook. It was a wild time to be a Loopster. Those days are becoming a distant memory as most of the group has moved on with their lives. Most still run of course. Runners are runners. Some have gotten married, had babies, changed jobs, gotten divorced, had relatives and friends pass on ... Some have dropped away completely. I'm actually surprised at the number who still stay in touch (however infrequently) either here or in Loopville. Some remain very close with friends they made on the Loop. What they say about shared experiences, right?

Dave

Dave

 

April in review: Just keep showing up!

April 2018
Total mileage for the month:  306.8 (in comparison:  January - 207, February - 254, March - 298).  Wahoo, made it over 300!  This is my third time ever for that in a month, although last month was very close. March 26-April 1:  71.1 April 2-8: 70.3 April 9-15:  63.7 April 16-22:  71.9 April 23-29:  70.5 April 30-May 6: projected at 74, April 30 started the week with 14 (split 10 and 4) Races: April 14:  Rock the Parkway HalfMarathon in 1:22:42 (6:18 average) for 3rd overall female and a new single age Missouri state record for age 37.  Although this finishing time was 1:52 slower than my half PR of 1:20:50, the optimist in me felt like it rivaled my PR performance based on the weather (crazy headwind for the final 5.5ish miles) and course (over 500 ft of elevation gain), which was shocking (in a good way!) because my workouts haven't been as nearly strong as I was running last season plus I did not taper.  I also accomplished something I've been striving for for about a year, which was running the final mile of a half under 6:00.  My last mile was 5:52 (then 5:18 pace for the last 0.1), which I was so pumped about that I wasn't even upset that I got out-kicked for 2nd place (actually, kicking in trying for 2nd place is exactly what got me that fast of a final mile!). April 28:  Illinois HalfMarathon (race re-cap coming soon!) in 1:22:00 (6:15 average) for 1st in age group 35-39 and 11th overall female (this one had a stacked field!).  Like Rock the Parkway, this was no PR, but it was only 1:10 off and under the circumstances I was pumped about it.  The course was flat (215 ft elevation gain; felt like less), but it had too many turns and curvy running paths for my taste, and the wind was just as terrible as two weeks before.  Still waiting for Strava to add WAP (wind-adjusted pace)!  I raced this without a taper as well, and ran a nice negative split, including finishing with a 6:02 mile.  I also had a great time traveling to this race with my parents! Do I want to run a goal race half and nail a PR?  Yes; I am dying to try to break 1:20.  Do I want to run a marathon PR more?  Absolutely; that took priority when planning this season...and marathons are going to take priority for me until I either run one in 2:45:00 or reach January 2020 without doing so. Every time I run a 1:22 I have a double chin in my finishing photos Less of a double chin here because it was really 1:21:59.9, right? Workouts: April 4:  Medium long run of 11 miles, with 2 fast finish miles (6:32, 6:29).  I would have liked to run these at or under 6:15, but my legs said noooooo in regards to going any faster.  I had a big week March 26-April 1 (2 workouts, a race, and a long run), and I think I was feeling that plus my double and strength workout on April 3.  One thing I'm learning this training cycle is to not be too upset about less than ideal paces during higher mileage; if the effort is there on tired legs, the benefit is there and our bodies know effort, not pace.  I ran this one with Jessi, and always appreciate her pulling me along on the Wednesday double digits ones. April 8:  2 x 4 mile + 2 x 2 mile tempos within a 20.5 mile long run (3.5 warm up, 3.5 cool down, me over-achieving by a half mile on a 20 mile day).  My goal pace range for the 12 tempo miles was 6:03-6:26, which is a huge range with the lower end being far too ambitious for 12 miles worth of work.  I secretly hoped that I could average 6:17, ultimate goal marathon pace, but I hadn't run anything recently that made that a realistic goal.  I ended up averaging 6:18 for the 12 tempo miles!  My splits were:  6:25, 6:25, 6:21, 6:19 / 6:25, 6:16, 6:23, 6:15 / 6:17, 6:08 / 6:19, 6:04.  As with every split tempo I ever run and as evidenced by my splits, it was always hard to get re-started after the recovery jogs, and I would have rather just run the whole thing straight.  I practiced drinking and took a gel during the run (half of it after each 4 mile tempo) without any stopping, so that was a perk of the recovery jogs.  I wrote more about this workout here, because it was a Big Deal to me. April 10:  4 mile fartlek of 90'/90' (2 warm up, 2 cool down).  My leggies were tired for this one coming 2 days off of the big 20 mile workout.  I should have had an additional day between those two workouts, but since I'd had to push the long run workout back a day due to sleet and snow (!!!) I didn't.  I also had a double the day between the runs, so this workout was more about running hard on tired legs than anything.  I ended up with 9 pushes within the 4 miles, and my paces on them were 5:56, 5:59, 5:49, 5:59, 5:42, 6:10, 5:35, 5:53, 5:40.  I think the 6:10 one was up incline and the 5:35 one was down incline.  I always like to keep all of my fartlek pushes in the 5's, but I will blame the incline for the one that wasn't. April 17:  Flippin' Fartlek (2.2 warm up, 2.3 cool down for 10 miles total).  This one is pushes of 6', 5', 4', 3', 2', 1' with recoveries of 1', 2', 3', 4', 5'.  It's always an interesting workout, because early your recoveries are so short (especially the 1' between the 6' and 5' pushes) and then later they are so long (that 5' between the 2' and 1' pushes takes forever!), and I have complaints about both too short and too long recoveries, haha.  My push paces were:  5:59, 5:58, 5:57, 5:52, 5:47, 5:36 and I felt good about that - especially because the first 3 were almost like running sub-6:00 pace for 15 minutes straight (actually I think it was slightly harder than running it for 15 minutes straight because the recoveries disrupt my rhythm). April 24:  10 x 400 m. with 200 m recoveries (3 warm up, 1.6 cool down).  After I bombed this working last month, I wasn't particularly looking forward to heading back to the track, but the bar was also set very low on my season best 400 times!  I was hoping to average 1:25 or under, but couldn't pull that off (guess I didn't want to set the bar too high for next time!).  I was like clock-work on 1:27 though, with 8 of the repeats being 1:27, 1 being 1:25, and 1 at 1:28 - for 1:27 average.  The best I've averaged on this workout is 1:21, so this was grossly off that, but that was also on relatively fresh legs and with a guy friend pacing me.  I typically run slower on my workouts coming off weekend 20+ milers, and on my cool-down I realized that I'd run 55 miles in 4 days (4/21 - 21 miles, 4/22 - 8 miles, 4/23 - 14 miles, and 4/24 - 12 miles), so that may not have helped me.  I thought about how my friend Kris said that she never ran anything sub-6:00 in her training for CIM, and most of her tempos on marathon-training legs were in the 6:20s, but at CIM she averaged 6:13 pace for 26.2 miles!  With my marathon goals, running fast-ish on tired legs is better than running faster on fresh legs, for sure...but geez, why am I so slow at speed work this season?!  400s are so short that I never feel like I really get rolling.  I could definitely hold the same pace for 800s and 1600s (probably even 3200 - we will find out in May!), but I just can't go any faster.  I can finish halfmarathon races with 5:52-6:02 miles but I my 400 m. repeat pace is barely faster.  Oy. Doubles on April 3, 5, 9, 10, 17, 23, 24, and 30. Strides on April 5, 13, 27, and at least a few before all workouts and races.  Full body strength workouts on April 3, 8 (the afternoon of 20.5 mile workout!), 10, 14 (8 hours after racing a half), 17 (during a work conference call), 21 (immediately after a 21 miler), 24, and 29, and 5-10 minutes of core work nearly every day. When I first started lifting on my hardest running days I thought it was terrible, but I've gotten much more used to it.  The only one I bumped was April 28 after the Illinois Half, because after the race/20 mile morning, 5.5 hours in the car, and a 7:00 p.m. return home, it just wasn't going to happen.  I was going to skip that one altogether since I got no taper for or recovery from that race, but I ended up rallying to get it done on Sunday evening, while my family ate pizza nonetheless! Favorite workout:  Obviously it was the 20.5 miler with 12 miles of split tempo! Long Runs/Medium Long Runs: April 1:  16.2 miles (7:24).  This was 3 miles of uuuugh, followed by 13 miles of good!  It took some time to loosen up since I'd run the Easter Sun Run "10K" and 10.6 miles total the day before, and since the wind chill was 22 degrees.  I ran 5 miles solo then 11 miles with my friend Kim who lives near my parents.  Happy Easter - by His wounds we are healed! April 4:  11.3 miles (7:27), more details above in workouts. April 8:  20.5 miles with a workout (more details above and here - clearly this was the highlight of this month aside from the two races!), and I am not sure on the average pace for the entire run because I split off the warm up and cool down on my watch.  If you want to do the math it was 3.5 warm up (7:39), 13.5 miles that was 12 miles of split tempo and 1.5 miles of recovery jogs (6:28), 3.5 cool down (7:37).  I ran this solo and the weather was ideal, around 30* with light wind.  It sleeted and snowed enough to make the roads hazardous on April 7, so I ran this a day late, and then about 2 hours after I finished this run it sleeted/freezing rained, so I certainly hit the weather sweet spot. April 14:  18.3 miles total with the Rock the Parkway Half, 2.8 miles warm up, and 2.3 miles cool down. April 18:  11 miles (7:39) - holy wind tunnel!  I have no idea how Boston Marathoners ran 26.2 miles into crazy winds, and thinking about that made me feel bad for complaining about it, but I complained anyway. April 21:  21 miles (7:18).  Since I'd run a 20 mile workout two weeks prior, 20 miles didn't seem as intimating, but I was also pretty tired going into this run.  I never looked at my watch because the goal was just to get the mileage in, and I didn't want to get upset with myself if I was running 7:45 pace (I keep growing fonder and fonder of not looking at my watch this training cycle, which really is a switch after living and dying by it last cycle).  I ran a 15 mile loop with Daniel, Claudio, and Rebecca, and then I needed 5 more miles on my own to round off the 20 miles I had scheduled (I couldn't talk anyone else into running farther!).  For some reason I couldn't mentally bring myself to run a 2.5 mile out-and-back after they stopped, so I ran a 6 mile loop instead and ended up with 21 miles instead of 20.  I guess you know you're in the depths of marathon training when 6 miles seems easier than 5!  I finished the run feeling really, really good (definitely could have continued to 26.2).  After I finished this run, I drove the 5 minutes back to my house and did my 45 minute strength workout immediately, which I'd told myself I didn't have to do (immediately or at all that day), but I felt completely up for.  Although my long runs haven't been as fast as I was doing last cycle, I could have never done a full strength session after my 20+ mile runs or halfmarathon races last cycle, so I hope that counts for something! April 28:  20 miles total with the Illinois Half plus 3.1 warm-up and 3.8 cool-down.  Favorite long run:  I'm double dipping by selecting the same run as I selected as my favorite workout - April 8's 20.5 miler with a workout!  Apparently I am also seeing how many times I can refer to that run in this post, haha!  The halfmarathon race/long run combos were pretty sweet too, but I threw them out of contention since they were races.  I make the rules up as I go here.   Highlights/thoughts/randomness: Boston! My friend and coach's wife Kimi Reed placed 8th female in the Boston Marathon!  She was 16 seconds behind Shalane Flanagan and a place ahead of Edna Kiplagat (Edna ran 2:47:14...my exact time at CIM).  I was in awe!  Training through the terrible Missouri winter sure served her well.  I was so impressed with her performance in a field of professionals.  Times meant nothing in the horrible race day weather, and Kim gritted it out with the best marathoners in the world.   I loved that the second place female, behind Desi, was a non-professional full-time nurse.   Of course I loved that Desi won!  I love her secret to success:  Just keep showing up.   I loved that the 5th place woman didn't even start with the elite women, coming in with a 2:53 PR.  Simply amazing!   For the first time ever, I've got the itch to run Boston...  My first BQmarathon was in 2004, so I've had 14 years of having no desire to run it (call me crazy, I know, but I hate large cities and crowds).  I have a friend who got on the elite women's start 3 times with a 2:47 marathon PR, so that would eliminate the running in a crowd thing...I am pretty sure I want to run it at some point, but not sure when due to my 2:45:00 obsession preoccupation compulsion neurosis mania craze goal. My friend Jamie ran right on the OTQ standard at CIM in December: 2:45:02 gun time and 2:44:57 chip time.  USATF goes by gun time for the Trials, but they also note that they will accept appeals when it's close and chip time is under.  Finally Jamie found out that she got into the 2020 Trials - actually because I saw her on the list after randomly clicking a link to it that I saw on an article, because I was curious how many women had qualified.  She'd appealed but never heard anything back, but now she's on the official list!  Read more about it on her blog.  I was so happy for her, although I also sure wish she'd have received a much faster answer!  She has been training for Grandma's on the assumption that her CIM time would not be accepted...but I suppose she will just have to go get the A standard there!  Although, at this point the A vs. B standards seem to be a moot point since Atlanta was selected as the Trials host city and plans to pay expenses for all athletes who've qualified! Atlanta was selected to host the 2020 Marathon Trials!  I've never wanted to go to Atlanta until now.  The Trials will also be on Leap Day, 2/29/20 - how fun is that?! No days off again this month; I've run every day since 1/27/18. My Garmin glitched and was out of commission for a mere couple of hours, which sent me into much more of a panic than it should have!  I had to re-set it, and then after every run I did for awhile it told me I'd set new records, since all of my old data was erased (this was a non-issue because I'd uploaded it all; it's on my Garmin Connect account, just not the actual device).  I will say, it was a good boost to be told I was setting records every day for awhile. Since historically I've run un-rested halves in my training builds at about the same pace as my tapered-for full marathons at peak (see Bass Pro Half Marathon 2017 and Kansas City Half Marathon 2017; this also occurred at the Johnston's halfmarathon when I ran a 1:28 prior to a 2:58), and since I averaged 6:18 for my tempo miles in my recent workout 20 miler, after Rock the Parkway I told my husband that at the rate I'm going if Grandma's goes uber-well I will average 6:18 pace...which would be a 2:45:10.  It probably goes without saying that this would be extremely exciting, but of course I'd then agonize over those 10 seconds until the end of time.  If I were forced to pick a goal pace for Grandma's right now, though, I'd say 6:30ish.  But hopefully someday I can string my performances at Rock the Parkway and the Illinois HalfMarathon together (1:22:42 + 1:22:00 = OTQ!), and I think racing those halves with mileage on my legs was helpful towards that goal! Non-running life events: Easter - He has risen!  Pretty amazing that Jesus died to heal us, mind, body, and soul. It snowed on Saturday, April 7, after sleeting for awhile, so the roads were quite slippery and the wind chill was 8*!  I bumped my long run to Sunday since footing was bad, and ran Sunday's mileage on Saturday very slowly wearing screw shoes.  It snowed again on April 15, but not enough to stick.  I ran in a sports bra on April 30. Albani competed in the Awana Grand Prix after she and Jon dedicated a lot of time to making The Yellow Speeder a fast car. Albani was in a pirate-themed school musical. My parents spent the last weekend of the month with us.  After our Illinois trip, we spent Sunday at church, eating out, and hiking. Work continued to provide additional stress in my life this month.  If I hadn't worked late so many evenings, I'd definitely have written full posts about Boston and Atlanta hosting the 2020 Trials! Matching Easter dresses with my little! My mom loves the grandkids in rabbit ears We now have a year's supply of Easter candy (this was 1 of 4 hunts she did!) My sweet parents My sister's family More nieces & nephews + more egg hunting I love seeing my dad as a grandpa Cousin love It snowed twice in April, which is not normal for Missouri We love our winter weather library trips   The Yellow Speeder Pirates   My adorable pirate   I look about as tired as I was this evening! Race weight isn't everything! Church pose (Jon hated this photo of him so I had to crop us out to publish it) Hiking on our land out in the boonies I think we should host a trail race here!    
 

Well, it's Monday.

I may as well check in. No progress to report on the knee. Louie's a jerk. Last week I was due to re-take my blood work from January. There's a newer urgent care associated with my doc's hospital system just up the road, so that was nice. It's also sort of hidden by where they put it, making it not too busy most of the time. Like Wednesday afternoon when I went. The phlebotomist was ready for me before I finished filling out the paperwork. How often does that happen? She was really good, too. Didn't even feel the poke. One of the vials was messed up, so I had to sit with the needle in my arm while she had the receptionist (there was just the two of them there) get another from the cupboard. NBD. I walked out of the door five minutes after I walked in. Things went downhill from there. The last 5 years or so my cholesterol and blood sugar numbers have been either borderline bad or excellent, depending on where I was in training. Running lots of miles? I'm the healthiest 50-something on the planet. On a break due to injury or marathon recovery? Watch the diet, kiddo. Recap: The hamstring took me off the roads in December. I went crazy with holiday eats. Testing in mid-January (with just a couple of weeks of a few miles a day) showed my cholesterol not where it ought to be. Blood sugar? 6.2 on the A1c test. Very nearly diabetic. Not only did I get the low sugar, low fat lecture, this time I got, "We better look at these again in a few months." Then there's the PSA number (3.99). That's been sort of creeping up the last few years as well, and this time I was right at the edge between, "You're an old guy and old guys have higher PSA numbers," and, "A number like that is where we usually order a biopsy for prostate cancer." (anything over 4.0) Gulp. Anyway, I figured since I was starting to run again, despite the cold temps of January, that there'd be no problem. Just need to get a few miles behind me and things would drop back to where they belong. And I decided to go really nuts and cut out sugar. As much as I sweeted through December, I avoided the sweet stuff through February and March and April. My weight stayed steady at my non-training normal of 160-ish. I'd show that A1c who was boss. Friday night I checked the patient portal for the good news. Except it wasn't good news. Not good at all. A1c - 6.1   What the bloody hell? I nearly killed myself for three months, refusing anything that didn't taste like cardboard. Donuts, cake, ice cream, Snickers, Crunch 'n' Munch - ALL my favorite things. And I got one lousy tenth of a point. Granted, there was no running assistance, thanks to Louie. But, still. Downhill from there. PSA = 4.58. Saturday I shampoo-ed the carpets in the house and changed the electricals in the dining room to match the new paint. I did not run. I'm waiting on a call from the office, encouraging me to come in for a chat. In the meantime, Mrs. Dave is checking her sources for a good urologist. So, I'm kind of pissed off about this. Who gave my body permission to get old? Wasn't me. There are 32 marathons I still need to run and the clock is ticking.

Dave

Dave

 

Looking for the Heart of Saturday Morning

There was a time when I would look forward to the punishment of the long run on Saturday mornings the feeling of preparing Friday nights, getting up while most were sleeping in, the freedom to eat and drink Saturday night knowing that you just clocked 16 miles because you could. Those days are a distant memory to me, my last race was the Marshall Marathon in 2013….2013! Many of you from the old loop remember my post about how I got to that point and how I changed my life. While I am still able to keep the weight down, my blood pressure has become an issue again and to be honest bouts of depression. My work life is horrible and has been for some time, I am trying to make a change buy changing careers after working for the Government for 16 years is hard and hard to get an interview etc. I love my family, my kids are amazing and my wife is the best, but I am not happy and haven’t been, my wife thinks I am depressed and I probably am, I just go to bed, show up at work, go to some practice and go home and repeat every day. It is not healthy nor productive and is affecting me and the people around me. Last year I signed up for the Charlotte Marathon and on the second week of training I tore my calf muscle, which my Doctor said, was the worst he had seen. I could not run and actually had to use a cane for about 3 months…. so no marathon. Then work got crazy again and I settled into this dormant life yet again. I have ran twice this year. This isn’t a pity me post, this is not yet another I am going to “change” posts where I attempt a comeback. This isn’t a comeback, this is a rebirth. I was once an unhappy, fat, sedentary person who changed and become a marathoner. I am now a busy dad, husband, who has little ones who depend on me, this is no longer about fixing me, or making me better, this is about them and what I show them a person is capable of. I am 40 now and it’s a different ballgame, I don’t bounce back as quickly, schedules are tighter, life gets in the way, so I have to become the person who can handle all that and still train for a marathon, 26.2 miles is the cure to my illness, it will fix me…or break me but either way I will be different.   So here I go and try to awaken the ghosts of Saturday mornings and the feeling of completeness in my soul.   Thank you for listening, I promise to update here and be held accountable.
 

The psmPR Streak

When last I checked in, I was entering month 2 of 13.1 training. I set some big goals for myself for this month, and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised at how well I'm doing. Before I got MJ fixed, this is about the time of training where the wheels would fall off and everything would go to shit.  Loopsters, everything is far from shit.  Week 5 was a week where I didn't get my 4th run in, but got in an hour endurance spin session (whew!), 2 strength training sessions, and had two nice mid-week runs. Sunday's long run was post-poned because we had a freak snap of winter cold. Why run on Sunday in feels like 20 when Monday afternoon is going to be in the 50s? So instead I did another spin session, and tackled 7 miles Monday afternoon. That was also Patriot's Day, and while I couldn't watch Desi do something magical that day (thanks, NBC), the flotrack Twitter feed sufficed. Her achievement and my first 7 miler since surgery (post-surgery mileage PR, or psmPR) made it a great day for the Americans.  (srsly, does anyone know how to edit photo size in this platform or do you have to make things smaller in a photo editor & then upload)   Week 6 brought the 4th run in. the 4th run (although technically 3rd in the line up) was a nice, easy shake out after a 4 mile fartlek session the day before (surges of 9:59 pace for 4 minutes, with 2 minute jogs). Gosh I use parentheses a lot. Anyway, that shakeout run on Friday was followed up by something even bigger on Saturday. I went to an open casting call for SURVIVOR with the BF and a work friend.  I was going for the runner look.  Sunday was an afternoon long run, where I did 1 4.22 mile loop in a nearby park, stopped at my car for Nuun and part of a gluten free honey stinger waffle, and finished another 3.8 for 8 miles and another psmPR. I was pleasantly surprised to find my last two miles were my fastest, even though I felt like I was tiring. I also found that, while that waffle was delicious, I also nearly threw it up about 6.5 miles in. So maybe that will just be a post-race snack.  Week 7 was probably my favorite week yet. Instead of spinning, I took Monday off for some odd reason. Can't remember why now. Tuesday was a mobility and strength session, Wednesday I did a 30 minute spin instead of running (raining like mad), and Thursday was a 5 miler at "easy" pace but averaged 11:39 mm. It's only about 20 seconds faster than the bottom range of my calculated easy pace, but I feel like I'm pulling a lot of Bangles with my easy and long runs lately, AKA going a bit faster than I "should". But, it feels good and MJ is cooperating, so maybe my easy pace is just getting faster.  Saturday, there was a free 5k, so I moved Friday's run and did a nice jaunt with a co-worker. We chatted the entire time, enjoyed the beautiful weather and finished in 33:30, exactly 11 min pace. The last time that pace was conversational, I was doing coached speed sessions during marathon training. Someone's getting their fitness back. Finally, yesterday, I joined the LRS Sunday morning run group for my long run. I woke up late, made it to the store just as everyone was taking off, and was about 10 minutes behind by the time I finished my quick warm up. This was only an issue because there is a new leader for the group and they don't use nearly as many flags to mark turns, so I ended up choosing the wrong "straight" coming off a paved trail. I nearly had to look the map up on Facebook at mile 3 when I saw an aid station ... for mile 6. I literally just sighed. The plan was 9 miles and the idea of having an aid station at 3.3 miles instead of 4 just really messed with me. But, I sucked it up, ran to 4.5 on Polar Polly, turned around and ate my cheerios at 5.7 miles instead of 5. It was fine. The rest of the run went really well, I just enjoyed it, went at a pace that felt good and finished 9 in 1:47. My 7 miler two weeks earlier had been 1:28. Less than 20 minutes faster for 2 extra miles. <--- that means the world to me Appropriately used the 'beast mode' filter for this picture. If you didn't deduct from my 5 sentences about my long runs, I've been trying to find good mid-run fuel. I just can't handle gels or chews anymore. Too much sugary syrupyness for me. I tried making banana chews from Run Fast, Eat Slow and do not like the texture of them at all. So, I tried the Honey Stinger Waffle (nope!) and yesterday, Honey Nut Cheerios. Other than the need for a plastic baggie, they worked really well. I had about 2 handfuls before the run and a handful mid-run and felt great. The little cups of gatorade I had at each aid station helped, too, I think. How's your training going? Go to any open casting calls lately? What's your long run fuel?  

eliz83

eliz83

 

State of Fivestarks Union

I've been really quiet on Loopsters. A couple of things have kept me from coming around-- the fact that my injury continues to linger and the fact that someone questioned my injury if I could run several miles.  KRG popped into Muskrat2020 today to see how everyone was and I posted a ‘pictures’ reply. Hmmmm, seems I've been up to more than I thought. In January my friend C and I participated in Winter Warrior for the 3rd straight year. It was -7* on January 1st! It wouldn't stop snowing or being cold the whole month! One day I did a mile worth of high knees....in my jeans on a snow covered track. I went to the Eagles’ Super Bowl Parade. The smell of marijuana was everywhere!!   Because I'm optimistic I convinced my friends to run a marathon relay with me. Two weeks before race day (sometime in February) I realized there was no way I was going to be able to run 2 legs for a total of 13+ miles. I enlisted my eldest son to take one of my legs.   We....I had a blast! It was pouring rain with sideways wind and freezing!! The organizers changed the format to release the legs every 10 minutes because they didn’t want people to stand around and freeze. We did a quick shuffle of leg assignments. C ran legs 1 & 4, my son ran leg 2, N ran leg 3 and I ran leg 5. The wind was blowing so hard I had to take my hat off and stick it in my jacket before it ended up in the Connecticut Sound. I was pretty pleased with my splits in the wind and rain. I signed up for several 1/2 marathons after running Rehoboth because I thought I was on my way back. March was my 1st one. It was the Philadelphia Love Run. My friend C signed up also since it fit into her schedule. Race morning was cold so we donned our best racing apparel. A lady in the parking garage asked to take our picture!   Sadly along the course we saw a person having CPR performed. Crazy scary. I searched the inter webs the next day for more info. Couldn't find anything so I'm hoping he's okay. The race had some good climbs in it. I managed to run them well - a goal of mine after blowing up on the hills at the Philadelphia 1/2. I told C I would stay with her because my leg had really been feeling horrible. By the end of the race she was slowing and all I wanted to do was get to the finish and stop the pounding on my leg. The struggle was real. Lol. At this point I decided to have an MRI on my lower hamstring because I was in so much pain. Guess what. Not one thing wrong there. Doctor gave me another prescription for PT. I haven't done it because I really don't think there's anything else they can do. I already had 2 rounds of PT on it last fall. I do think when the PTs massage the scar tissue that makes a big difference. At $100/week I’m not ready to recommit. At this point I decided I’d try giving up everything but running. So I cut out all lifting and crossfitting. The 1st week was awesome! I managed 25 miles and even threw in some speed. The injury sight has a bit....lot of difficulty with speed, but look at the beauty of those 8s!! My calves decided there was too much speed and miles in that week so then I had to sit myself down again. Harrumph! For Christmas I got my kids and husband each a race with a training plan included! Awesome, right?! As each person was opening a gift they were warning each other "Don't open the small ones!!" Lol First up was the Drake Relay 1/2 in Des Moines, IO. My husband and I flew out this past Friday. It was so great to see my son. I haven’t been able to give him a hug since Christmas! He's doing really great in his job and had just received a promotion and raise that week! With work and only 10 months married he didn't exactly follow the training plan I gave him. My DH, DS and I ran together. I tried to talk to DH and DS but both were wearing headphones. Sigh. As flat as you think the Midwest is this course went up and down. I tried running the hills at a good pace while trying to stay with DH and DS. At the start: At the finish: I've got a whole new PW but a PB of 1/2s that I've run with my son!! That pretty much catches you up! One other piece of big news is that I tried riding my bike for the first time in 9 months. (Last time I tried I ended up practically in tears.) I managed 10 miles and no tears!! I'm going to try to slowly add that back in. That’s all for now! Stay tuned for more ridiculous races I’m not trained for!  
 

Home Away From Home Half

Seems like forever since I've posted something here.  We can blame Strava for that.  Work has been insanely busy as well, so that hasn't helped.  Still plugging away on the Baker's Dozen for 2018 (13 Half Marathons in 12 months).  For April my RB and I decided to run the Home Away From Home HalfMarathon which benefits the local Ronald McDonald House.  This has been the worst Spring ever so were both desperate for some better weather for this month's Baker's Dozen entry.  This Half was local and cheap.  Only $40.00, which is about 1/2 the typical cost of a HM.  No shirt, but who cares.  I must have 25+ HM shirts and don't need another.       The weather forecast was for sun and 40* at starting time and was expected to rise to 50* during the race.  Great racing weather for me.   The race started at a school in an outlying area just off a highway, so we were there in 30 minutes.  The wind was blowing lightly and that made the air feel chilly.  We sat in the car letting the sun keep us warm as we pinned on bibs and ate last minute carbs.  Soon it was time to pee one last time and then line up.  The RD gave us some last minute directions and then started the race.      The course was an out and back.  Nothing spectacular.  Nice views, but all hills.  If we weren't going up, we were going down.  Not even one flat stretch anywhere on the course.  We chatted with some other runners on the way out.  The weather was almost perfect and we both stripped off a layer around the halfway point.  Neither one of us is in racing shape yet so we never felt like pushing the pace.  We finished side by side at 1:58:02.  Bonus:  there was chocolate milk at the finish.        If this race taught me anything it taught me that I need to run more hills.  Hint taken.  I ran a hilly route Monday morning and Strava let me know that it was far from my fastest time on that route.  Again, hint taken.

Slow_Running

Slow_Running

 

Another of Dave's Great Western Adventures

I've been injured before, but this time I'm really feeling like I'm not running anymore. That can't be true. My heart won't accept that. But I can't shake the idea. I think it means that I just haven't had an injury that's taken me out this long in 12 years. So I'm paranoid now. After 3 weeks of PT, there was not much progress. Of course. Always takes 4 to see improvement from PT. Missed last week with the latest Great Western Adventure and dropped all my homework, with travel and taking care of getting T-Rex back to school. Walking around campus on Thursday and Friday really hurt, but Saturday was better and it's been pretty good since then. It seems like the PT makes my knee hurt. No idea what that means. Amanda and I are going to have a chat tomorrow when I go back. Time to see the doc again? Speaking of doc, this afternoon I go back for my 3 month follow up on my PSA and A1C tests. Back in January, they both came in on the high side. Doc is pretty conservative, so he didn't want to go all crazy with talk about diabetes and prostate cancer then, but thought we should check again and see where the numbers are going. Although I haven't been able to run since February, I have done much better with my diet (I miss sugar!). The day before I left last week the siding company called me and asked if we wanted to move ahead our job two weeks, to start the next day. OK. It was all done when I came back. Before: And after: The blue was a pretty bold choice, but we really like the way it turned out. We think we should change the color of the fence now, but don't know whether to match the siding, the shutters, or the trim. I was lousy at taking pictures of the Great Western Adventure, but it was a nice road trip for T-Rex and me. We got up really early on Tuesday and were rolling by 3:30 am. There was a light rain and across Michigan, it alternated between that, some dry spells and a decent band of snow as we neared Lake Michigan and the Indiana border. The good news was that leaving so early got us to Chicago around 6:00 am, before rush hour. And most of the construction we've seen on our previous few runs was complete. We made it all the way to Laramie that night at 9:30 after 20 hours. Once we passed Chicago the weather was great across Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.  As we got close to Wyoming, we hit some more rain, and then some snow and crazy northern plains wind, gusting 40-50 mph in our faces. A long day for sure, but it was like a good long run. Once you get into a rhythm, you can just keep going. The early part of Wednesday was a little dicey, with wind and ice on the road out of Laramie. Once the sun came out and things warmed up a tad, it was fine. At Rock Springs we turned north off the freeway and I was reminded why I love the west so much. Wide open spaces, snow-capped mountains in the distance, no traffic. There were a few cars from time to time. Every once in a while we slowed to go through a small town (populations ranging from a couple hundred to a couple thousand), and then it was like being a cowboy, except we were going 70 mph in a car and there was no horse pucky to step in. Then we were in the mountains. Just wow. The last 2 hours to Jackson we followed a pickup with a trailer, but it wasn't like the old days. He was going just about the speed I wanted, so I never felt the urge to pass more than a few times, and most of those were because I wanted a better view. Had lunch with my youngest brother in Jackson. He worked 20 years for the police department. On retiring (at 45), he was going to take a contract job in Boise, running their evidence locker. Rather than let him go, the Jackson PD offered him the same job with them, plus a sweet deal on state subsidized housing, so they stayed. A few months later, the chief called him into the office and offered him a job as lieutenant (#2 man in their force). Bump in pay, and with a 5 year commitment, he adds 10% to his pension when he retires again. Gold. From there we hopped over the pass into Idaho, drove by the house in Driggs (pop. 1,660) where the folks lived from 1980-98. Drove on through the next little town of Victor (pop. 2,055) and went to show T-Rex where her uncle Jim is buried. I may have mentioned this before. Jim was 21 when he was killed in the mountains nearby. He made a youthful mistake, riding his snowmobile into the state forest alone. He got into an area that he couldn't get out of on his own, and in his attempts to escape, hurt himself and wasn't able to make it before a snowstorm hit. He froze sometime that night. He was buried just outside Victor in a family plot, with a pretty sweet view. In the spirit of family history, we took another small detour to Felt (pop. not published because it's no longer incorporated). My dad was born in one of the homes there and his grandfather (my great) is buried on a bluff next to the river. I'd never seen it, so we meandered a bit until we found it. The cemetery hasn't been in use for a long time, but some of the stones have been maintained or replaced by relatives. Great granddad's marker is still there and in decent shape. It's the dark gray one, just to the left of the fence post about half way across. He's got a nice look at the Tetons as well. I doubt Mrs. Dave will let me get planted here when I go (too far to visit), but I think I could do a lot worse.         We stayed with my parents in Ammon (pop.15,252) for two nights until T-Rex could move into her apartment. We walked around campus, visited her classrooms to make sure she knew where they were. This is more for Mrs. Dave, but I think T-Rex liked showing me around. We also set up an appointment at the counseling center for her. We've learned that she's going to need more help than we can provide from here, and since there's no plans for a westward move, we're taking advantage of the school's support system. Spent a little while talking with one of my other brothers, who works on campus. Funny how was nomadic as we were growing up, with Dad in the Air Force, that I'm the only one who's not living in either Utah or Idaho. Met with another brother for lunch. He runs the local Ace Hardware store. Friday was move in day. Things went so much better this time. For one thing, she picked an apartment close to the door on the first level. I also made a little investment when I was out in December. Five big tubs, one transport trip from the storage area. Genius. We picked up her roommate at the airport in Idaho Falls and I dropped them off to spend the night in their new digs while I went back to the folks' house. Next day was grocery shopping. I was planning to take all the girls out for dinner that night, but they got an offer from some college guys and I figured they's have more fun with them, so I took them to lunch and then back to IF again. My original plan was to stay through Sunday, then take a bus to the Salt Lake City airport Monday morning. But with the girls pretty much done with me, I decided to spend the day in Utah with some friends. This change required a crazy 2:40 am (seriously) bus ride. The ride wasn't crazy, but getting there are 2:30 in the morning was. The other, later schedule would have had me getting to SLC at 5:00 pm. As far as I was concerned, it was totally worth it. These are really good friends. My flights on Monday were all on time. That's sort of crazy, too. So, other than not being able to run at all - I've been trying for years to run in Wyoming without success - it was a good trip. Fingers crossed that T-Rex can make it.

Dave

Dave

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