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Everything posted by Dave

  1. VT 100 again already? Looks like you're having a solid summer.
  2. Dave

    It was Hell. Literally.

    Because that would cut down the miles on my training plan. Had a pretty good tempo yesterday in higher heat and humidity, which tells me what I really need is to work on hills - since New Hampshire is going to have plenty of those. I'll have at least one good long pace run between now and October for sure. Pretty much, especially in the first half. Kind of has me worried now.
  3. Dave

    It was Hell. Literally.

    When I laid out the plan for a fall marathon, I of course penciled in a Saturday for a half on the 17th of August, the end of week 10. Despite the fact that with an early October race, this would make it a half marathon in the middle of August. What kind of idiot runs a half marathon in August? This kind, of course. Then, to complicate matters, Big Mac and the new SIL planned a visit to the mitten state. Although he's a well-traveled young man, he's never been to Michigan. Why they thought the middle of August was a good time to do it, I haven't had a chance to ask yet, but whatever. They're coming. And they're coming next weekend. August 17. Since I couldn't move their date, I did the only thing a man who's been married for 37 years can. I moved my race. The week after turns out to be the only weekend we have to visit the granddaughters in Kentucky ... FOREVER, since they're moving to Texas next month! (Promotion for DS1, so yay for them, but Dallas is a long ways.) Move it another week? That would certainly be an option, but it so happens that the 40th annual Run Thru Hell was scheduled for August 10 this year. A week earlier than I'd prefer, but "only" ten miles. Seemed like a reasonable substitute to assess where training is about half way through. The Hell Creek Campground (next to Hell Creek Ranch, just outside of Hell, Michigan) is about an hour from the house, far enough from the city to make you wonder why you'd ever live around all those people. It's a nice drive, too. They announced about 500 runners between the 10 mile Run Thru Hell and the 4.8 mile "weinie run". I got up at 5:30 (my normal weekday alarm time), had a leisurely breakfast and collected my gear, forgetting nipple bandaids, and extra shirt and a towel. You'd think one day I'd make a list so I wouldn't forget things. But I always forget to do that. Arrived in Hell with 45 minutes to spare, walked over and got my bib. While I'd just looked up my number to be sure I wouldn't ask for the wrong one, I still switched the last two digits and asked for 368 instead of 386. So, small moment of panic when they couldn't find me. Took a little 2 mile warm up. My plan was to so a couple before the race and a few after, giving me a 15 mile total for the day. It's been a few years since I ran here and I'm always surprised by the hills. I determined to go slow and even walk if the effort became less than comfortable. I'd only missed three days of training with the pulled muscle, but almost three weeks of less than planned mileage and no speedwork made me wary. I was not where I'd hoped to be nine weeks in. And since this was my first week back at full training miles, my legs were feeling it already. Arrived back with just enough time to stop at the POPs. This would be my only chance, too, since they didn't have any on the course and requested the runners not to stink up the neighboring farmland. There were no clouds, but the temps were low enough to be encouraging at least. Lots of trees for most of the route as well. I didn't need to check the humidity. I could tell it was pretty high. Not as bad as most of the summer, but no joke after a few miles. I lined up in the middle of the pack, given my low expectations. 9:00 miles? I'd hope to average about that and maybe push it on the second half. That was what my brain said anyway. Turns out my legs had a different plan. The first two miles were in agreement with my head. Easy on the early first mile (9:05) and a half climb, then an smooth cruise down through mile 2 (8:18). Most of the runners around me were at or near the same pace, so I was happy to have chosen my starting spot wisely. Plenty of shade. I remember there was more sun in the second half, including a stretch with it in my face, so there was that to look forward to. Mile 3 was mostly flat, 8:38. 8:24 for mile 4, which had more drop than climb and would turn out to be my last good mile of the morning. Oops. Mile 5 starts out with a significant drop, but it's just a tease, because then it follows that up immediately with the steepest and longest climb of the race. 90 feet in about a third of a mile. I expected my legs to protest about here, but I wasn't quite ready for how loudly they'd be screaming. No worries, though. I'd just walk up the worst part of it and recover on the way down. Mile 5 - 9:24. Not bad. That sort of worked for the next mile, from 4-1/2 to 5-1/2. which happened to be a gift back from 90% of the previous climb, except then then next hill was right there and I was toast. I don't have to get all the way to the end of a run to tell things are going to be ugly, and I knew the second half of this one was going to be the kind that makes me wonder if I should just give up running altogether. I'm obviously no good at it anymore. Mile 6 was 9:14, and the last of the serious hills, but the damage was done and it was fatal. My race was over. My Garmin pace chart looks more like an EKG, with shorter and shorter high points. And the sun! Don't even get me started on the sun. In my face and it seemed there was no place to hide. What happened to the trees? I struggled through as best I could. Water at every stop. Down my throat and over my head. I'd forgotten my 5 mile gel until 6-1/2. Not that it would have done any good. Final 3 miles - 9:37, 10:42, 10:10, 10:18. Drank another gallon of water at the finish, choked down a couple of cookies, stumbled to my car for the Gatorade I'd brought with me. The race only had water, btw. Then went to check my official time. 1:33:50, just like I had on my watch. And - surprise - 5th in my AG. Normally this would not be a cause for celebration, and after this awful of a run, I didn't care a whole lot. But one thing this race does different than any others I can think of is pass out a boat load of hardware. No finishers medals, but 6 deep trophies for all age groups. So, I got a trophy. 🤣 Anyway, back home for a long nap and cutting the grass while I licked my wounds. As far as having an idea of where I am with training, I have a long, long way to go. And some serious thinking about my pacing plan for New Hampshire. Maybe I'll feel differently in a few more weeks then the summer starts to wind down, but today I'll admit I'm a little discouraged.
  4. Dave

    I bought a treadmill.

    And may there be peace on earth, good will towards all men.
  5. Dave

    I bought a treadmill.

    You can be absolutely sure. More than I can count. And more than I deserve.
  6. Dave

    I bought a treadmill.

    That's right. But it's not for me. Mrs. Dave has been doing C25K the last several weeks. She hates running. She hates exercise of any kind, truth be told. But she knows it's important, especially since she's been diagnosed with some early osteoporosis. And there's her weight that she struggles with. Having hit a long term plateau with her diet, she's out on the streets three days a week, because she's the queen of determination. No matter how she hates it, she's decided to do it. And since it's the middle of summer and we're pushing 90o almost every day, she's been thinking about snow and how she'll lose whatever gains she'll make now when the temps fall below 65o , which is where she draws the line at going outside. We met in the spring and were married by late summer (37 years at then end of this month), so I never had the chance to see her in winter until it was too late. Funny how things work out and you make accommodations for love. T-Rex and I were on our way to return our pop bottles/cans to the store on Saturday when we saw our neighbor was having a garage sale. I don't normally stop at garage sales, since I already have a garage, but with the previous paragraph on my mind there was a treadmill in the middle of the driveway, so I pulled over and had a look. It was a ProForm 600S in decent shape, and not all dusty like it had been sitting in the basement. D said she used it almost every day until she joined Planet Fitness. She'd gotten it for free from her next door neighbor a couple of years ago. The left side foot rail was broke, but that could be replaced or repaired easily enough. $150 OBO, so I offered $100. Since I only had $40 or so in my wallet (who carries cash?) she let us make our bottle run and then stop by the ATM. Then we waited for Mrs. Dave to get home with the CR-V to pick it up after work. Now it's sitting in the living room, waiting for her to decide where she wants to put it. I have no plans to run on this thing, but you never know I guess. In real running, I'm not trying anything very fast yet, but I'm ready for full mileage again this week. Just another little (all too familiar) hiccup along the way to another marathon. Last week went well, according to my recovery plan. Reduced miles on four of the six days, plus one extra on Saturday. Only 5 total short of the training schedule. Also gave up on the morning runs. Issues with the gastro-colic reflex every single run was just too much for me in the long term. I don't want to plan all my runs around bathrooms. Monday - 77o, cloudy with a stiff wind. 6 miles, up Gill to Nine Mile and back. No news to report. Tuesday - 84o and partly sunny. Cartwright Snake for 6 miles. First run despite the heat when I actually felt good again. Second half was at 8:30 pace. Wednesday - 78o and cloudy. Through the park and over to Halsted, then up to Birwood. Had planned on 6 again, but by the time I got to 3, it seemed easy enough to do the extra half out and make it 7. Dropped one of the return miles to 8:20 for no reason. Thursday - 83o and all sunny. This was a real summer run, the sort that made me try switching to morning runs. Although, it was really encouraging because after the first couple of miles, I got into a sweet groove. 8:34, 8:23, 8:24, 8:09 and 8:20. If I wasn't being careful, this run would have had me ready to get back on the speed wagon. Waiting one more week. Friday - 60o and sunny. Work had a social event on Friday. Normally, I don't do these things, but it was an assignment for a couple of interns to put this thing on and I was on their advisory team so felt like I needed to be there. Proud I was able to stay for two of the three hours. And I got a $25 Amazon card and free dinner. Knowing I'd be late getting home, and planning my long run for Saturday, I decided to go early on these 6 miles, which is how it was only 60o. 60 feels pretty OSOM after 83, I gotta say. Saturday - 66o and partly cloudy. 11 miles, around Silver Springs Road. Debated whether to bring the fuel belt. Decided not. Looked for a Hammer Gel for half way, but discovered I was out. When I turned the Home Depot corner there were three people on bikes, wearing pink pig ears and ribbons on their bikes. Guess it was the breast cancer 3 day walk weekend. A half mile later the mass of walkers began coming along the path. I gave them a cheer or two. Most of the responses were pretty unenthusiastic. Maybe it was still too early for them. The ones who said "hello" to my "good morning" seemed more excited to be there. Friendlier anyway. At mile 3 I stopped at a gas station since it was a morning run, and ... but it was fine. Long run. No hurry. Made my big loop through the sub, down to Hines Park. Stopped at the comfort station to splash some water and get a drink. Normally I make a stop on the watch instead of relying on auto-pause for something like that, but this time I let it go. Cost me 1:17 for mile 7. Whatever. Then I saw another cancer walk person. I guessed their route was going to be coming back along where I was running again. Sure enough, a couple of miles later, there they were. More awake, more spread out, but no friendlier. Finished up with three fast miles - 8:13, 8:16, 8:04. Then I bought a treadmill. For Mrs. Dave. Yesterday was another scorcher. 88o. At least there was a decent wind. Found a route with some shade to help. 8 miles per the plan and 8 miles done. And it looks like the heat's going to break a little bit for the next few days. That's nice. 52 miles this week, including the 10 mile Run Thru Hell on Saturday, and it's forecast to be a cool morning in the upper 50's. Should be fun.
  7. Black eye should have a pic, don't you think?
  8. I seem to remember someone giving me grief about running 400 repeats. Hm, who was that?
  9. Dave


    "Elin Hilderbrand, runs 2 hours a day"
  10. Dave


    Two hours a day?
  11. Dave

    Sorta scary.

    Thinking you may never run again is a frightful thing. I'd like to imagine I could be philosophical about it. Some day it will certainly happen to me. But I'm not ready for that day yet. I still have plans. One of those includes another marathon this year. Something else I'd like to imagine is that I can train hard and consistently the rest of the summer and do well when race day comes. So, the other day when I tweaked a groin muscle doing intervals, I got worried. I always get worried. Maybe that's why old men get grumpy. We're always losing our ability to do things we've always done before. That makes us worried about losing something else. Not a happy place. Anyway, I mentioned last week that I was going to nurse this along for a week or two and see if I could run through it, then decide this week if I needed to shut down completely for another couple of weeks to let it heal. Well, good news I think. I cut back to just doing easy four milers and it seems to have done the job. Two days off, then a tentative 4 on Saturday last at 10 and a half minute pace. It's hard to go a minute slower than your normal easy pace in my experience. Any faster than 10 I'd start to feel a little weak and wobbly down there, so I kept it at 10:30. Sunday is always a day of rest, then Monday another 4 at 10-ish. By Thursday, I was speeding up to 9 minutes again and adding another mile. Less and less issues with the pain. Ice, gentle stretching, rest. A little ibuprofen. The real test will be when I try to add some more speed into things, but that'll wait at least another week. The first thing is to get the miles back up. Starting Saturday with 8-10 of the 14 that were on the schedule, with the option to cut it to 6 if there was trouble. The only trouble was the weather. Big Mac and her hubs are coming for a visit next month and Mrs. Dave wanted to scout some locations for sight-seeing. Things to show the new SIL a flavor of Detroit and Michigan. This required an early day, so my run had to wait until afternoon. 80+ and humid (although not the worst we've seen). Not my favorite, of course. But this one was about getting out there and seeing how this sort of injury responded to the stress of a long run. I needed a route with some shade (always a challenge at 4 pm). Might have been a good idea to bring hydration, but I wasn't in the mood. Of course I had to stop once for Abby. That was at 2-1/2 miles at a gas station. Also drank some water there and dowsed my head under the tap. At 4-1/4 I was in downtown Farmington where there was a Haitian cultural thing happening. There was also a drinking fountain where I availed myself of some more H2O before heading back to the house. Stopped at the same gas station for another couple of swigs and again a mile later at the McDonald's. It all felt pretty slow. Hardly comfortable, but in those conditions, I'm looking at it as a 15-16 mile effort, even if the numbers don't show it. Adductor got a solid B as far as recovery goes, too. So, this week we continue the recovery with no speed but building up some miles to get back on schedule. There are 48 miles planned, but I'll be cutting most of the runs short by a mile or two. Next week should be at full training distance, if not speed. Maybe the week after for that. Mrs. Dave decided she wanted to see all the Mission: Impossible movies, so we've been cycling through those. Made it all the way to #5 last night. Good chase scenes.
  12. Dave

    Just when it was going so well.

    That's the weird part - I felt 100% in control, not pushing hard at all. And don't even get me started on having an old body...
  13. Dave

    Just when it was going so well.

    What's with all the 400-hate here? One stinking lap around the track. How hard can it be?
  14. Dave

    Just when it was going so well.

    Maybe. That would also get me out of the heat, wouldn't it?
  15. Tuesday - 7 easy miles, interrupted (of course) by a stop at Rotary Park for the bathroom. Wednesday - 12 x 400, total 9 miles. 400s are so easy. The first 4 were solid. Sub-7, all within 1 second of each other. Turned the corner at Seven and Middlebelt, started on rep #5, and just as I was passing the Discount Tire store my right adductor muscle said, "Nope!" I did not swear because I don't, but this would have been a appropriate occasion for it. I hobbled on it a little, tried a tentative stretch, but there was no doubt. Something down there had broken. So, I trotted slowly back the way I came. Since I was nearly halfway out when it happened, I still got 7 miles in. But the next two days I only thought about running. Instead I hoped for a quick recovery, took some ibuprofen and iced it. August and the first half of September are the important part of this schedule, so I'm not going to jeopardize those just to get miles in during July. Saturday - Tried a few miles to test things out. Went out prepared for a miracle 8-10 and with a full fuel belt. Also, with my phone in case of full disaster. Ended up in between the two, calling it good after 2 miles out and 2 more back. No big issues, so I gave myself a C for the day. More ice. Monday - Cancelled Tempo Monday, of course, and did another 4 slow miles. What I have to do now is decide whether running 10-minute miles for a while is better than completely resting. Will I be doing just enough damage that it prevents me from getting back to plan soon (or ever)? Or will stopping mean I start from scratch when I can go again, meaning I've wasted the last six weeks of training? The answer is likely that it depends on how hurt I really am. No way to tell without trying it. So I'll give the little runs a few days to a week. If it continues to improve (today was slightly better than Saturday), I'll keep going and add mileage back in slowly. Any signs it's stagnant or worse, I'm on the shelf. Bleh.
  16. Nice to see you talking about the weather and not your hamstring. Last couple of weeks here have been mighty nasty, too.
  17. I'm with Albani - ice cream truck!
  18. Dave

    May (yes, May) in Review

    May winner.
  19. Dave

    Summer Sucks.

    I dunno. No food after 3 pm? This is my only real problem with morning running.
  20. Dave

    Summer Sucks.

    Obviously, that comment came out of my @$$.🤩
  21. Dave

    Keep showing up

    I'm curious about those time-based training plans (but not enough to try one). I tend to sweat a lot in anything over 75o, so I'm never OK with summer weather. Maybe I should move to Scandinavia.
  22. Dave

    Summer Sucks.

    You're right of course. Thursdays are easy, too. Definitely easier than Friday, mostly because I'm recovering from Wednesday. Those Saturday pace runs don't always happen. They're on the schedule, though, but the day's conditions and the weeks wear determine if I do it. I measure every training cycle against my '14 Marshall Plan, which was pretty aggressive. I should be able to tell if I can really do that again in a few more weeks, once we get through the heat wave and I have more double digit runs. I am trying to let the paces fall wherever they may, unlike my last hard plan, where I pushed everything from week 1. If it works like Marshall, everything will get easier after week 10.
  23. Dave

    Summer Sucks.

    Assuming that New Hampshire 2019 is still the target, as of Saturday I am now officially 1/3 through training.Last week had some good days and a couple of bad ones. The summer is killing me this year. No doubt it's the same as always, I just can't remember from one year to the next how terrible running in humidity is. Then there's the fact that I'm old. And I hear everything gets harder as you get older. Since I've never actually done that, I suppose it's a matter of seeing up close what all those old guys told me back when I wasn't one of them. Got new shoes. Since the Cumulus 21 has been on the market, I've been able to upgrade to the 20 that's been half price directly from ASICS (and free shipping). I learned that there are also now regular models, LE models and MX models. I got the MX because I liked the color better (light gray) and it's also a couple of tenths of an ounce lighter than the other two. Couldn't find anything that explained what the real difference is between the three shoes other than available colors and that MX weight reduction. I'm liking the ride. This is my 19th pair of Cumuluses. Tuesday - A glorious, 61 degrees for my early AM run. Lately I've been having Code Abby problems, no matter how hard I try to be empty before I start. Once, twice, doesn't seem to make any difference. This run was a notable exception and it was just a great run, recovery from Monday's tempo. Wednesday - 4 x 1200s for Interval Wednesday. As it happened, Abby didn't stop by until near the end of rep 2, which also happened to be right next to a POP at some baseball fields, so I got to finish the rep at full speed and take a break when I wanted. I like intervals. Times for the 4 were: 5:39 (7:32), 5:29 (7:20), 5:36 (7:28), 5:27 (7:17). 65o. Thursday - This one was icky. 75o and nasty, soupy, humid. Sucked wind the whole way. This was actually supposed to be 10 miles, but I have an early meeting at work on Thursdays, so my new running in the morning plan has a little hitch on Thursday. I can get 6 in, but don't have the motivation to get up any earlier to do 4 more. So I switched Friday's run, which was 6. Good thing because 10 would have killed me. Friday - Ten miles, easy. Another 61o morning, and with a recovery day before it was a sweet one. Went off the planned route a couple of times, then had to do runner math, trying to get the mileage right by adding a couple of extra turns. Despite two episodes before leaving, Abby came along in mile 5 and we had to stop at the Kroger store. What a b!tc# she's being. Saturday - The best thing about this run was Abby didn't come. I drove a friend to the airport, which put me an hour or so behind schedule. Was up late the night before, helping T-Rex with a paper, so I wasn't 100%. Decided not to eat breakfast before, either, which was another mistake. Temp started at 69o, but the sun was out with my late start and it got warm pretty quickly. Was hoping for a relaxed but solid pace run, but by mile 5 (3rd pace mile) of 12, I called it. Stopped at a gas station for some water (probably should have worn the fuel belt and hydrated en route, too), and managed to struggle through another mile at something close to pace. The only thing that got me to run most of the mile after that was a guy who'd come out a side street and was following me. Couldn't let him pass me, so I kept moving with just a couple of breaks in the shady spots. Ended up with ten, with 4 of them at pace and one almost (8:22, 8:26, 8:28, 8:25, 8:45). I also think this being my highest mileage week (49) in a long time had something to do with my ticket on the struggle bus. Glad that week is over. Monday - This morning was 66o, but not as humid. I also implemented a new Abby-avoidance strategy, jogging out a half mile from the house, then back to stop at my own toilet. Almost worked, too. Instead of stopping at the Mobil station two miles out and breaking up my tempo, I was able to finish all 5 tempo miles and just had to struggle against making a mess for the last cool down. Good solid splits, too. 8:19, 8:17, 8:05, 8:04, and 7:54. Cutting back to 40 miles this week, then another build phase. Seven weeks to get through the rest of July and August, then hopefully the temps with fall and so will the times.
  24. Dave

    A Traditional 5K Performance

    That Mark guy is really annoying. BTW, I forget - do any of your rivals know you're racing them? I wonder sometimes about a trail marathon, too, so I'm curious if there is a consensus around whether they count as "real" marathons. Also, it seems to me that 21:23 is not bad at all, given your 2019 relaxed attitude. Good race.
  25. Dave

    Week Five Already.

    Tuesday - 75o and sauna-like, with the alternative of 95+ in the afternoon, so I accept. Seven miles @ 9:03. Wednesday - Intervals. This week I did a 1600 ladder (400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400) on the streets. With the morning runs I don't want to take the extra effort to go to the track. This keeps my warm up/cool down shorter since the two closest tracks are almost two miles away. Another soaker (not rain, just humid). Happy enough with the paces, though. 7:06 for the 400s, 7:09 & 7:12 for the 800s, 7:28 & 7:22 for the 1200s, and 7:21 for the 1600. Thursday - Six humid miles @ 9:03. Friday - Six miles @ 8:51, with 3-6 closer to 8:30. Guess that means I recovered on Thursday. Saturday - Didn't do any pace miles last Saturday since I felt like crap, I wanted to get some this week. Four of them in the middle of 8. 8:22, 8:26, 8:13, 7:58. The plan was to make them all even paced, but decided to let the last one go wherever. That turned out to be a bad idea because I was whipped for the last two after pushing it under 8:00 on number 4. Dope. Monday - Thought I was in heaven. The humidity dropped yesterday and it was under 60 degrees. Five tempo miles - 8:21, 8:21, 8:12, 8:10, 7:54. Felt amazing. Met with the dermatologist between the run and work. This was a second six month followup after having some basal cells removed last summer. Nothing to report, so I'm cleared for a year now.
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