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Dave

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Everything posted by Dave

  1. Seems like if it's a regular thing that everyone's GPS shows short of mileage and vertical that they'd look into it. But what do I know? Wishing you all the best back home.
  2. Dave

    That Went Well

    I've penciled in New Hampshire (Bristol). It's the right weekend and just close enough to drive if we decide to make it a road trip. A small race (<200), but scenic, around a lake. Hilly.
  3. Dave

    That Went Well

    Two things I can think of why Monday's tempo went better than awful. The last few years I've needed a couple of days after donating blood to feel back to normal. So I had plans for an easy run instead of Monday's normal tempo. I hydrated more than normal, and it was only 65 degrees again. June has been pretty good that way around here so far. The week before I struggled to average 8:15's for 4 miles. This time it was a smooth 8:04. Tuesday was not bad, either, although there were stomach issues. Fortunately, I ran Kate's Loop again, which passes in front of a friend's house (Kate is their daughter, who's one of the kids in my Sunday School class) and the mom is a stay-at-home, so I knew someone was likely to be there and let me in. Worst case I could have made it to the park, but that would have added mileage to my day and I wasn't really feeling the extra distance. Interval Wednesday I went against my just vow to stay off of the track and went to the track. Since it hadn't rained for a couple of days I thought I'd try the shortcut through the woods. Bad idea. It was really messy and before I could get to the school grounds I had to balance across some fallen trees to stay out of several yards of standing water. There was a deer at the edge of the woods, watching me the whole time. She even stayed around for the workout. School is out for the summer and a crew was out installing new astroturf on the football field. But lanes 4-6 were open, so I used them for the 10 x 400s I was doing. These went OK. Not as fast as 2014, but I'm older now, right? The first 6 were all between 1:48-1:50, #7 was 1:53 and my left hammy started to tickle a tiny bit. So I switched directions, hoping that would take care of it, and it did. The last three were 1:43-1:43-1:42. Getting home was sufficiently difficult that I knew I'd done it about right. When I run this much it's harder to avoid repeating routes, so I've taken to running on different sides of the road and calling it different. Thursday and Friday were out and backs on Seven Mile Road to Hillcrest Street. 8:51/mile on Thursday and 8:40 on Friday. It was dark and blustery on Thursday in addition to being the day after intervals. Saturday I did 8, with 4 at GMP in the middle. I want to spend some quality miles at GMP this summer. I think I've missed that the past few marathons. It was a good day for it, nice and cool (65o) in the morning. I'd like to be about 8:20-30 for these. 8:17, 8:11, 8:23, 8:16. Too fast, and the legs let me know. I don't want to feel quite so beat at the end of the long run. More control. Anyhow, 39 miles for the week, exactly to plan. Quality runs were just about where I hoped they'd be. A very good Week 2. After the run Saturday I helped T-Rex with some homework, watched the final episode of "Good Omens", then did some work on her car. She'd been to the dealer earlier in the week for her (second) airbag recall notice and they did their "courtesy" 99 point (or whatever) inspection, recommending $1,000 worth of work be done on this 2001 Civic with 140K miles on it. I re-checked the things on their list, through out a couple that were obviously no needed, and spent $50 at O'Reilly's to get some new spark plugs and drive belts. Then we switched the plugs and looked for an small oil leak. The belts will have to wait until next weekend. Then dinner at Red Robin. I love the Banzai Burger. For Fathers Day I slept in until 7:00. Since I'd gone to bed early as well, I scored almost 9-1/2 hours of sleep. Nine and a half! Home made pizza, with a new, winner of a crust recipe, and apple pie (of course) for dessert. For gifts, they gave me a new grass trimmer (the old one died in smoke and flames two weeks ago) and a pair of Balega sox. What else does a Dad need? I got ties. Another 40 mile week coming up.
  4. Dave

    Who doesn't love a week off?

    Plenty of people, I'm sure. It takes all kinds to make a world. Relationships are funny things. Sometimes you do things that you wouldn't normally do. Call it compromise. Flexibility. Love. Weakness. With a late spring marathon for 2019, it made so much sense to me that plans for my other marathon this year would involve something in November or even early December. I keep a spreadsheet with several options for different times of the year. I look at it when it's time to pick one. Mrs. Dave's plans are all in her head, so we usually have several discussions about what won't mess up something more important while I settle on a target. I know, "What could be more important than my next marathon?" I don't get it myself, but there are a lot of things in this world I don't understand. Anyway, there are races from September (way too early) to November I was looking at. I was thinking late October or November. That was going to give me a week or two off, then a few weeks to get my running legs back under me, then I'd start my 18 week training plan. Mrs. Dave had a better idea, which turned out to be early or mid October. The first weekend, in fact. There went my time off. Marathon training started last week on Monday. I had one week off. I'm OK with it. After so much time off last year, and a modest training cycle leading up to Vermont, I was sort of itching to see if the knee (and everything else) would hold up. Week 1 was a success. The more ambitious schedule has me back to Tempo Mondays and Interval Wednesdays, with easy (tired) miles on the other days. It worked before, so we'll see if I can recapture the magic for another serious attempt at Boston. Oh yeah, the race. I'm still concentrating on the New England states, just in case I move west again before I finish. This time's it's going to be the 27th Annual NH Marathon in the bustling metropolis of Bristol (pop. 3,054) on Saturday, October 5. There were 158 entries last year. The winner ran 2:49. The winner of my new 60-69 AG ran 4:06. Not super excited about the elevation in the first half, but if I can survive that I should be set for a good strong negative split. It's worth a try. Entry is only $70. So, first week of training went fairly well. Finished all the miles anyway. Monday's tempo was in the 8:15 range. 4 miles, 6 total. Wednesday's intervals (Global Running Day!) were 3 x 1200 @ 7:15. It was 82o so not very comfortable. But the pace was certainly good, so I'll take that as a win. The other days were all 8:45-9:00, feeling tired from the speedwork, just like it's supposed to. 37 miles total, exactly to plan. Yesterday Mrs. Dave and I donated blood. That will likely have an effect on today's tempo. This may turn out to just be an easy (slow) run. At least temps are only in the 60's, so I don't have to battle the elements as well. So it begins.
  5. Dave

    Updates that couldn't wait!

    Not to mention two weeks out is the perfect time for a perfect workout. I love this one, btw. I want to steal this (not at that pace, of course) for my fall race.
  6. I have plenty of pictures in my head now. What an OSOM day. And not a word about MJ, either. That has to feel pretty great all by itself.
  7. Dave

    Summertime, and the Runnin's Easy

    Sub-six sounds fun to me, but my groin muscles have decided they don't like the track anymore. I was going to take a little break from marathons, but Mrs. Dave picked my next one and training started last Monday. I'm tired already.
  8. Dave

    May Recap

    80 miles with bronchitis! I've read a couple of Bill Bryson books, from his time in England. Pretty funny stuff.
  9. Dave

    What's going on?

    Cliff is the man!
  10. Dave

    2019 Vermont City Marathon RR

    I’m 100% ok with the slow second half all things considered. A friend asked me this morning if all marathons were this interesting. 🤪
  11. Dave

    2019 Vermont City Marathon RR

    Remember that the little cold I had the week before last? Well I guess that took more out of me than I thought it did. I still had a little bit of a cough, I still had some stuffiness in my nose, but I felt OK. Anyway, I have a whole list of things it didn't quite go right in Vermont and I'll go through those for whatever they’re worth. Call it making excuses if you will, but when you have a decent training build up you sort of expect to do fairly well on race day. When that doesn't happen there should be a reason why. And in fact I think I have a few reasons excuses. Excuse number one. The weather. Leading up to the race - as is mandatory for runners – I was stalking my weather app pretty religiously several times a day and it looked like it was going to be amazing on the 26th, with temps in the 50s and low 60s, a light breeze, some cloud cover or a lot of cloud cover. Not bad for a spring marathon. Except that all changed a couple of days before the race. Suddenly, it was lows in the 60s, highs in the upper 70s, chance of thunderstorms in the morning and sun by late morning. Lots and lots of sun. I don't know anybody who likes running marathons when it's in the upper 70s with lots of sun. And it turned out that Sunday was exactly as forecasted. Excuse number two. Sub-optimal training. Yeah, I know in my last post I talked about how I had missed a few days here and there, a couple of long runs with the wedding and the funeral, but that I thought overall things had gone fairly well. And they did. In reality, though, that was more positive self talk than truth. I had one high mileage week that went really well, but the other high mileage weeks that I had planned turned out to be average or even below average. You can't fake marathon training. Excuse number three. Ankle injury! I suppose this one gives me license to actually call it a reason as opposed to an excuse. This was completely not my fault. I'm not even sure how it happened. But I'll get to that during the race recap, when I talk about the later miles and what the storm did to a very small part of the course. Excuse number four. Race day logistics. I think everybody knows how cheap I am. This shows up often in the lodging accommodations that I make for race weekends. On this particular weekend, I was at first shocked at the hotel prices in Burlington, VT. After I began looking and seeing what I considered outrageous rates, I was reminded that Burlington is on the shores of Lake Champlain and therefore sort of a tourist destination for many in upstate New York. I also remembered that race weekend was also Memorial Day weekend. And apparently Burlington – and the local hotels – is really popular on Memorial Day weekend. Ever resourceful, I looked for hotels in nearby towns, thinking I could find a much better deal. When I found a Fairfield Inn in Plattsburgh, NY, only 20 miles from Burlington, I jumped all over it. When we arrived at the hotel, and I talked to the desk clerk about getting to Burlington, she said, “Well, you can take the ferry or you can drive around the Lake.” Wait. What? Lake Champlain is a big lake, if you haven’t checked the map. It was not 30 minutes to get to Burlington like I had assumed when the Marriott app said it was 20.9 miles from the hotel. I was an hour and a half ferry ride or an hour and a half drive around the lake. After driving 10 hours from Detroit on Friday, we’d be driving three more hours (round trip) on Saturday, plus driving over the marathon route. The hotel was nice enough to give us a late checkout, and even said they’d extend it later if my race wasn’t going well. Excuse number five. A 45 minute late start. I suppose this should actually be part of Excuse number one, since the delay was for a mandatory starting line evacuation fifteen minutes before the start time, due to a fast-moving thunderstorm. For a while it looked like it was going to miss us completely to the south, but just as the cell hit the New York side of the lake, a big blob of rain peeled off and headed straight for us. Just as we were walking up to the start area, they were announcing the delay. We sat under the awnings of a convenience store across the street, watched a little lightning, heard a little thunder, and tried to stay mostly dry until we were given the all clear. On the plus side, the delay gave me a second chance to use the POP. Finished up with five minutes to spare and had zero issues in the race. After so many Code Abbys on training runs this spring, that was huge. I was also inside during the national anthem, so I was able to stay sitting down. Mrs. Dave was not a fan of the wait. Now, mind you, I’m not complaining. There has been little to no whining at the Schultz house about my monster positive split and 4 hour plus finish time. Sure, I wrote about BQ’ing again. But, seriously, it’s a spring marathon and I’ve learned many times that spring marathons and I don’t get along that well. I like my marathons cold. 30-40o cold. And, hey, since Rehoboth in 2017 I haven’t been able to run one at all, so getting to the starting line healthy and happy – even if I was a little low on mileage – was the real prize. I was already a winner. Flat Dave was ready. Vermont City is billed as a marathon and relay. You can run the marathon, or you can be part of a relay team, with options for two to five runners. If you want to run the half, you have to buddy up. In the past, I’ve sort of hated the relay runners, but I’ve changed my tune on this. Despite having runners passing me from time to time throughout the 26.2 miles, it was nice having lots of folks around the whole way. It also kept the spectators more involved since there was a near constant stream of racers coming by. Normally, by mile 14, it starts to get sort of lonely out there. I’m also a fan of their race course, even though it’s a tough one. It takes you out on three loops and an out-and-back section, all of which pass by the starting area, so your family and friends can see you multiple times without having to navigate street closures and unknown traffic patterns in an unfamiliar city. #1 is a 5K loop through some of the old city neighborhoods. Lots of trees and cool old houses. After that is a 10K out-and-back away from town on a winding parkway. There are three bridges that cross over the road, all with people on them, cheering. Section #3 is another 10K, this time a long loop through a more industrial area, a couple of nice newer neighborhoods to the half way point, and then some parks and rail trails back to downtown. Finally, there’s a ten mile loop that does a couple of pretty active neighborhoods and another park before the last four along a bike path next to the lake. It’s a net 100 foot drop from start to finish, with two ugly hills (each over 100’ in ½ mile) in Miles 9 and 16. The expo is medium sized. Plenty of vendors and sponsor booths. And free pizza for lunch! OK, so let’s race. Mile 1. 9:22. I was running a marathon! I started behind the 4:00 pace group. Figuring for a 9:00+ start. The first mile actually climbed 120 feet, but it didn’t feel that steep. I was fresh, I was happy, it was still cool, I was running as slow as my normal warm up pace. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not so crazy that I missed seeing Mrs. Dave and T-Rex. Big waves because I was running a marathon! I followed the flow, trying not to get anxious and weave past anybody. Mile 2. 8:40. Downhill to Mile 2, but those streets were pretty close quarters and often enough there was a truck or a car that hadn’t been cleared despite the signage that there was no parking that day, forcing us to bunch up to get past. Not as bad as Philly. Mile 3. 8:38. I passed the 4:00 pace group at about two and a half. This mile was kind of fun. There’s a pedestrian mall through the center of town and we ran through it twice. The first time was here in Mile 3, people sitting on both sides, separated from the course by a strip of caution tape, eating breakfast and cheering for us. Mile 4. 8:12. My cheering section was there, right on cue. Starting the out and back section was a steep drop (130’ in ½ mile), and then gentle rolling the rest of the way out. Here we saw the lead wheelchair racers coming back. The roadway tilted dramatically on the curves, which was sort of annoying, but since it wasn’t for long and it alternated from left to right, it wasn’t too bad. Pretty section. Mile 5. 8:28. Out here I was just trying to find a solid rhythm, something I could hold onto for the rest of the first half, then see what I could do in the second. This is where the marathon leaders passed us. About ten guys and then the first woman. Always fun to watch people running fast. Mile 6. 8:28. Same. The 3:45 pace group passed me coming back and I checked the time. I was just about two minutes behind them. Almost exactly where I’d hoped I would be by 10K. Mile 7. 8:23. The turnaround was just after the 10K point. I went wide and took it easy. Sweaty. It was humid. If the sun would stay behind the clouds, it wouldn’t be terrible. Mile 8. 8:32. Solid. Would have been nice to have someone to pace with, but you play the hand you’re dealt. Mile 9. 8:59. What goes down must come up. 130’ in a half mile to get back up to town level. Took it easy and it didn’t hurt. I was just about on pace according to my plan, and Mrs. Dave had gotten the tracking update that had my predicted finish at 3:45. What she said was, “You’re going SO FAST!” Mile 10. 8:18. This was the last time I’d be “going so fast.” This mile drops 120 feet in ¾ of a mile. I went with the slope and eased into the next section. A half mile later I was climbing again. Only 100 feet over the next mile, so there was that. Mile 11. 8:55. And then the sun came out. The sun was not my friend that day. It was only a mile and a half on this one section, but it was a straight mile and a half, oriented north-south (we were running south) with the morning sun nearly directly overhead. And that big bright yellow ball of fire might as well have been Kryptonite and I was Superman. I tried to stay positive, hoping that maybe the clouds would come back or that once I got to the top of the next hill I could recover. Or was I just fooling myself? Mile 12. 8:54. Made it to the top of the hill and kept the foot off the gas. Another mile to the half and then we’d see. At least the sun was behind me and would be for most of the next 10 miles. There was intermittent shade along the streets, too. Hopeful. Mile 13. 8:42. This was a nice area with plenty of trees as we wound through the neighborhood. BTW, if you don’t like lots of turns in your marathon (Sara, I’m looking at you), Vermont City is not for you. I counted 54 significant turns – not during the race obviously – ten just in Mile 13. Mile 14. 9:13. There was water right after the half mats and I took a quick walk break, gathering myself for the next nine miles. I passed the half in 1:54, still well on track for my 3:50 C goal. I had in my mind that if I could make it to Mile 22 where the final stretch on the bike path would be easy (haha!). Psychologically, this meant I only had nine miles to survive instead of 13. Mile 15. 9:00. And it almost worked. We spent the next mile on a bike path, near the lake and through a couple of park areas, mostly sheltered by more trees. Surely at this easy pace I could make it to the end. Mile 16. 11:15. Except I apparently forgot about the hill in the first half of Mile 16. It’s on Battery Street, the main thoroughfare between downtown and the lakefront parks. The locals call it Battery Hill. It’s almost exactly a half mile from top to bottom (or in this case, bottom to top). 94 feet. Mrs. Dave and T-Rex were there for me, and I stopped for a few seconds to shed my SPIbelt (now empty), and let them know that the next ten miles were going to be ugly. They were 100% positive. Easy when you aren’t the one dying of heat stroke at Mile 16, I guess. As I headed up the hill I felt my watch buzz, then realized that – like almost always – I’d forgotten to turn off the auto-pause. Oh well, the race was chip timed. Someone would have my accurate time. Not that it was going to be anything to brag about. I asked a guy about half way up the hill if he was responsible for putting that hill there. Not sure he understood what I was asking. Mile 17. 10:32. 17 was one of the few straight miles. Rolling terrain. I started switching my watch to see my heart rate, walking until it dropped back down to 130, then running again. It never got crazy high – close to 180 just once – but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Something to keep my mind occupied anyway. Mile 18. 9:34. 70 feet of down over this one. Half way through we started a couple of weird loops into and through some neighborhoods. The locals were OSOM. Beginning at the first corner, they had water, oranges, and ICE POPS! The sun had been out pretty much since about mile 14 and it was starting to bake. The yellow signs were out. I was soaked head to toe. Nothing I’ve even eaten in my whole life was as cold and refreshing. I had sucked down about two thirds of it (grape), when – BAM! – my ice pop popped out of its plastic wrap and dropped to the ground. I almost cried. Mile 19. 10:16. Out of the neighborhood and then into a park. I was grabbing ice pops every chance I got, which was pretty often. But not often enough. My seat on the struggle bus was secure. Mile 20. 14:47. Passing the Mile 19 flag, we exited a parking lot at the corner of the park into some woods. Remember that thunderstorm from before the start? Just inside those woods, the rain and the several runners ahead of us had turned the path into a black quagmire (I’ve always wanted to use the word “quagmire” in a bloop). Four feet wide, trees close on either side, caution tape designed to keep runners on the path. Except the path was more of a tough mudder obstacle. Most of us went to the left, but it was still rough and slow going. Single file, walking slow for the 50 yards until we spilled out into the next neighborhood on the other side. Such an adventure. I must have stepped wrong on something somewhere in there, because as soon as I started running again, I felt a serious pain in the front of my ankle. WTH? I stooped down and loosened the laces on my shoe, but it was to no effect. I hobbled and limped for several feet, then tried to run again. Nope. Now what do I do? Like always, one foot in front of the other. I loosened the shoe some more. Kept walking, testing a few jogging steps, walking some more. When I told the girls it was going to be ugly, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind. More ice pops, lots of walking, some guy with a garden hose. I tried to turn off the auto-pause, since I had nothing else to concentrate on, but couldn’t remember how to do it while I was running. Pretty sure there’s a way. Finally gave up after 2-3 lap resets. This was my Mile 20, and the first half of 21. Mile 21. 12:22. I stopped as I exited the neighborhood and asked a volunteer to borrow her phone so I could text Mrs. Dave to let her know how things were (weren’t) progressing, and suggested she call the hotel. I expected those last 5 miles to take a long, long time. Funny, though, as soon as I handed the phone back and started off again, the pain was gone. Like, really completely gone. Pinched nerve? Whatever, I wasn’t going to complain. At that point I could go back to worrying about the heat and my aching legs. That was also when the yellow signs that they’d been displaying at the water tables were replaced with red ones. Sweet. Mile 22. 11:43. There was one steep little drop, to a sharp left, then another left onto the bike path for the last four miles. I flew down it pretty fast, figuring I had nothing to lose. If I can believe Garmin, my pace down the hill was 7:15. Of course, it was only a couple hundred yards, so it didn’t do me much good either in the grand scheme of things. Mile 23. 10:33. My memory of the elevation for these last four miles was that it was mostly downhill. I expected to gain at least a little boost. It felt like it was uphill the whole way. And the path (and the trees lining it) was just wide enough that the sun had plenty of room to beat down on me. And there were no more ice pops. Mile 24-26. 12:22, 11:35, 11:07. Things were sort of blurry through here. I remember the lake being close by and wondering what 50 degree water would feel like. There was a girl and a guy swapping places with me and I’d catch snippets of conversation. She was from NYC but going to school there. He was local. This was her first marathon. Last .2. 2:08(8:31). This actually was downhill and I tried to come in at least looking strong. Mrs. Dave was trying to get a picture of me, but there were two people right in front of me, so I slowed down enough for the photo op, then sped past them and found the finish line. Not my best marathon. Not my worst. Official time – 4:19:42. A 25 minute positive split. But a finish is a finish. I’ll get another one under four hours some nice, cool, fall morning. Next came the painful walk back up Battery Hill. The same hill. That’s where we were parked. Then the 90 minute drive back to Plattsburgh, a slow shower, and – since T-Rex had work on Monday afternoon – we were on the road home. Yep. I ran a marathon, showered and started driving. Actually, Mrs. Dave was driving. Since we were close to Montreal and I’ve never been to Montreal, it seemed a great idea if we took a little detour north (maybe 30 minutes’ worth) through Quebec. Pcubed has an office there and I thought it would be fun to take a pic of it to show my peeps at work. Except when we got to Montreal, our view was completely blocked by a new bridge being built across the St. Lawrence River. This is the best view I had. And with the related construction detour and an accident on the freeway, my little half hour excursion turned into two hours. We got as far as Toronto and had to call it. Stayed the night there and drove the rest of the way Monday morning. Oh yeah, I drove for a few hours Sunday afternoon and when we stopped at the hotel in Toronto my ankle – the one that caused Mile 20 to be 15 minutes long – was painful and swollen. Guess it was a real thing, despite Miles 21-26 being pain free. It’s better today, finally, but I had to give it a regimen of ibuprofen and ice for a couple of days. Race photos were free to download thanks to a local race sponsor, Kenney Drugs. These four didn’t look too bad, and the finish line photo may be the best race pic I’ve ever taken. Hey, folks, I’ve run another marathon. Most of last year I spent wondering if that would ever happen again. Knee pain. Physical therapy. More PT. Surgery. Recovery. More PT. A painfully slow comeback through the late summer. Next up, #20. Exactly when or where I haven’t decided yet. Due to finances, I may try to stay close to home. Air Force is in Ohio. I still need Ohio. It’s also in September and I don’t know if I want to be ready for a marathon in September. I’d basically need to start training tomorrow. Nope. Maryland, Iowa and Tennessee are the next three closest states.
  12. Dave

    What's going on?

    I've seen that in some lately as well. None of mine, thank goodness. I'll see what I can find out.
  13. EYE-bittson? How in the world does that happen? Even a little sick messes up my races by a lot. Hope you recover fully before Grandma's.
  14. 5ks are no joke. Fast start, fast middle, fast finish. Well done!
  15. Started feeling a thing in the back of my through on Friday. By Sunday I was coughing pretty hard and didn't sleep much that night. Monday was a little better and I'm about 100% today. Missed running Monday and Tuesday. That's a little scary the week before a marathon. As for the rest of last week, it was just about right, considering that I was about to be sick with a little spring cold on the weekend. Three 8 milers (Wed, Thur, Fri), all about 8:45 pace. Tired on Wednesday, of course. Thursday better and Friday not as much. Saturday was the last double digit run of the season. Since I haven't been able to do a long pace run this time, I decided to throw 8 miles at GMP-ish into this and see how things went. The fact that the cold was coming on made me a bit nervous. But, it wasn't bad. 8:04, 8:10, 8:20, 8:09, 8:23, 8:05, 8:11, 8:13. Not metronome pacing perfection, but all below what I plan to run on Sunday. It was mid-50s and a mild breeze, which - if I can believe the weather forecast for Burlington - will be almost exactly the same at race time. Bib #2971 if you want to stalk me.
  16. Dave

    It's nice to be here again.

    Not quite time to get nostalgic yet, but with the taper begun, it is time to put a cap on this training plan for marathon #19. So, how'd it go? I'm not really a Type A guy, so the whole "push yourself to the limit every time" isn't my problem. But I do like to run. I do like to watch the miles pile up. I do like going faster and farther. I'm a little gun shy from that meniscus disaster from last year. I worked that into things this winter/spring. Not that my training plan was necessarily light, although I did cut out the weekly interval sessions, leaving me with just one speed workout per week. I also convinced myself that I didn't need to run when the weather was bad. Feeling guilty about that, most of the time I ran stairs at the house when I couldn't get outside. That actually turned out to be a good idea, and I noticed some extra pop in the old bones when I made it back to the streets regularly. Faster easy run pace = faster race pace, provided the tempo runs followed suit. Lost several miles in the early build up weeks, but once my "official" plan started (12 weeks), I was generally pretty close to where I wanted to be. No sickness, although there was one day I missed a couple of weeks ago due to a shingles shot reaction. We'll see how this plan works on race day. It has less weeks and therefore less overall mileage than my best marathons, but each week has had its challenges and the longer tempos have been successful, so I'm reasonably confident. The Vermont City Marathon (Burlington, VT) has a decent elevation profile if I'm smart about how I attack the course. Easy does it up the starting hill and the two big ones at miles 8 and 16. It's a 100 foot net drop start to finish, including almost all down the last ten. Thanks, ocrunnergirl for the pace band. I'm going to modify it some, taking cues from my Marshall plan - slower start, goal pace 7-20, finish strong - and keep my fingers crossed for a cool, cloudy, windless morning on the 26th. Last long run on Saturday - 16. I missed one of these with the wedding, and an 18 miler with the funeral, so I wanted to have a good run. I wasn't able to get in a long goal pace run. That was disappointing. Thought about going for it this week, but it's kind of close to the race. Also, this was the end of my 60 mile week, so I was a little tired and didn't want to be stupid. Maybe a fast finish if I was feeling it by then. The course for the day was a fun one. Across the Power Road footbridge, up the hill to and through Heritage Park, then back on Halsted. The loop left me a little short, so I added some on the north end to a street called Howard Road. It had an interesting twist to it, making me curious what kind of neighborhood would be there. Anyway, lots of climbing in the middle miles, then mostly down on the back end. Sort of a Vermont City simulation? It'll be fun. Bright and sunny for the first few miles, then there was cloud cover the rest of the way, making conditions absolutely perfect. No deer sightings through the park this morning. Just a couple of old Asian guys walking. The trail out the back side of the park wasn't very clear, so I made a couple of wrong turns and had to back track. Howard Road turned out to be dirt, with just a few really, really nice houses all tucked away from the road in the trees. If not for the traffic noise from the freeway that was only a hundred or so yards to the north, it was almost like running through the country. Then I saw some construction signs. Then I saw some construction. On the bridge where I was going to cross over M-5. There's often a way for a pedestrian to get over a bridge that's closed to traffic, especially on a Saturday. Not today. The crew was there and the bridge was definitely closed. I even stopped and asked the foreman if there was any way to get over. Nope. So I had to re-route, which added two more hills and an extra mile to the run. No harm done. Last five miles - 8:40, 8:31, 8:19, 8:24, 8:23. Fast finish - check. I was still dragging some on Monday, and wasn't too sure about yesterday's tempo. But it went OK. Averaged 7:45 for 8 miles, just about where last week was. And doing it on tired legs was a bonus. Have the same planned for next Tuesday, but I think I'll cut it down by a couple miles unless I feel especially fresh by then. Right now I'm tired. New shoes this week, too.
  17. Dave

    It has been a while

    This mortality thing is for the birds, isn't it? It's inspiring to see you still kicking back at the universe. Nice to hear again from our old friend the Flying Tomato.
  18. There's NO SHADE! That must have been brutal. But you got to spent a day with Erin, so the weekend was a win.
  19. Dave

    Shirley Mae 5k

    25 is easy(-ish) since your overall fitness is very good. Better pacing, of course, would have saved you from the crapper feeling of mile 3. Can't (and probably shouldn't) comment on your pelvis. But, take that AG win anyway you can.
  20. Dave

    Wednesdays are the Worst!

    I'm also due for the MMR boost, but insurance has decided not to cover it like other vaccinations, so I'm waiting to hit my deductible for the year first.
  21. Dave

    Wednesdays are the Worst!

    Sunday is my rest day, so Mondays are the best. 12 yesterday and 10 today. Looking forward to only 6 tomorrow!
  22. Dave

    Wednesdays are the Worst!

    At least, I feel the worst on Wednesdays lately. Since Tempo Tuesday is my only real tough workout each week, I've noticed that I really feel it the next day. To make things doubly interesting, I've also inserted a long-ish weekday run on Wednesday, so, tired for a long run. Last Wednesday was just OK. But what really kicked me in the gut was the shingles shot. Mrs. Dave and I are the age where we need to get a pair of vaccines for it. The first one (back in February) wasn't bad, but this time she had a fever the next day and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. That was on top of the Wednesday post-tempo hangover, so those 11 miles were a real struggle. On Thursday I laid on the couch after work and watched two movies - Small Soldiers, and something else equally bad that I can't even remember. But I was in absolutely no shape for a run of any kind. By Friday I was back to normal, though, and thought about stretching the miles to make up for it. Then I remember what a bad idea it is to try to make up miles, so I just went the 8 I had planned. They were pretty great - most of them at or near 8:00 mm. Not easy pace, but felt strong. Saturday's long was another debate about catching up for the 16 I'd missed the week before (did 10 after FIL's funeral), but discretion won again. 11 was the plan this week, and it also went pretty well. A little too fast at the end and a little too slow at the end. This was after seeing Endgame. I'm not happy with Marvel right now. No spoilers, but I disagree with what happened to ... nevermind. A careful, easy 6 on Monday, setting up for the longest tempo of this training cycle. 8 miles with a miles w/u and c/d, 10 total. I've been starting most of these too fast and dragging my tail on the second half. My solution was to run this as a cut-down, or a progression. Really careful at the start and as fast as possible at the end. In my head, the plan was to split it up into two miles segments, with a pair at 8:15, a pair at 8:00, then 7:45, and whatever was left for the last two. It ended up being an almost perfect progression. 8:12, 8:11, 7:58, 7:53, 7:48, 7:39, 7:36, 7:27. It was hard to hold back those first few - 8+ felt SO SLOW! - but glad I did. Those last two were tough. Then I mowed the lawn because with all the rain we had in April it was pretty out of hand. Really green but extra long. Anyway, it looked like that was the only time I'd be able to get to it and with more rain coming it was only going to get worse. Finished just before it got dark. This is the last big week. 60 miles. Looks like I'm going to make it.
  23. Haven't had this much excitement around here for awhile. No doubt the stroller training was the difference.
  24. Dave

    When Ya Know

    You and Mrs. Dave can talk hearts sometime. I'll be in the dessert line.
  25. Dave

    Novo Nordisk NJ marathon RR

    There's a time for everything. Get through grad school and then you'll be able to focus on 4:30. This was a great effort, and certainly a great trip (sorry, couldn't resist). Meeting Loopsters is always a highlight.
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