Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Afterhalf

Now that the half marathon is staring me in the face like a bright red burning sun, I increasingly find my thoughts turning more and more to the proverbial "what next" question. How like me. Never a dull moment. Always thinking ahead. Yup. That's me.

At first I had considered integrating my tri-training into my 52 week running plan. Then, doing my marathon early. After perusing, it became quickly apparent that there are no marathons within spitting distance at that time of the year. Why is that, I wonder? Don't people LIKE to run marathons during the summer ;-) Run training is going to go on hold after the half, only to pick back up in late summer as I get ready for the Olympic tri.

That leaves me with tri-training only. The problem here is that I'm a little ahead of most of the training plans I've seen. I mean, come on! I'm already making two plus hour runs. I bike for an hour with no problem. My swimming is OK, slightly above rudimentary, but still ahead of what the basic 9 week sprint training program calls for, and I'm not stopping.

Between now and March 26th, I need to have my plan in place for My First Tri. This will require much thought and consideration on my part, or maybe I should just get professional help. Prozac anyone?

Finish strong,


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lunch with the Twin Wonders

What is more important? A late afternoon ride with BAGS? Or a quiet afternoon in the bleachers with Dee Dee, watching #1 son beat the stew out of the visiting JV soccer team? If your answer was the latter, then you are correct!! This time of year presents even more challenges for getting in my training. Unfortunately, watching Jimmy's game did nothing for the ole cycling log book. It has 6 oh so lonely and pitiful miles in it this month. For shame, for shame... I also realized that while running Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday sounds like a great idea, it just ain't going to happen. I'm just gonna have to do my weekday runs on Tuesday and Thursday and then do my long run on Saturday OR Sunday, depending on how long it is. If I run on Saturday, I will ride Sunday. BAGS misses me.

After satisfactorily settling all of these critical issues, I was left wondering. Exactly what was I going to do about today's run. Matthew has soccer practice at 5:30. Jimmy has practice after school until 5:30. I work until 4ish. What were the options:

1. Run in the early morning.
2. Run at lunch.
3. Run after work.
4. Run at soccer practice.
5. Run at home in the late late night hours.

I had to get up this morning and stuff the crock pot with dinner. #1 was out. #2 was an interesting possibility. I could run after work, that would be easy. I could go for 45 minutes or so and pick Jimmy up in plenty of time, then on to Matthew. If I waited to pick up Jimmy then run at Matthew's soccer practice, I would be pressed for time. #5 just hasn't been appealing lately.

Around 10:30, I went downstairs to get chummy with the security guard who helped me get into the gym. The gym is very nice with lockers, showers, treadmills, ellipticals, you name it. I decided right then and there that a lunch run was on. Around noon, I ran to the car, grabbed my bag, changed, strapped on the twin wonders and headed out to the street. Did I mention its a beautiful day today in Atlanta. The sun is shining, and it is seventy degrees again!! Woo hoo!

It took me about eight tenths of a mile to reach the river park. There were some minor hills between here and yonder, but once I reached the park, it was as flat as a pancake. I ran at a nice leisurely 10:20 pace and finished up my run in about 33:40 seconds for 3.4 miles. I really enjoyed running along the river in the sunshine, and there was a quite a few other folks out too.

Now, as I sit at my desk, pondering the meaning of life, I must remind myself to bring additional supplies for the shower on Thursday. Dinner will be ready. The run is in! What ever will I do with all this time? Oh, that's right! I have to build a maze for a gold fish! Silly me... I could (have gotten) get to really like this... Thanks, Juls!!

Finish strong!


ORN: 3.4 miles, 33:40, normal pace, 10 minute miles, R5/W1

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stark Reality

You guys that have been with me for a while know that I like to set realistic and challenging goals. On some of them, I have triumphed. On others, I have come close but failed, only to kick ass the second time around. Overall, I have been very, very pleased with each individual result, and I'm certainly pleased with where my life is taking me these days. Indeed.

I can't help but dream of a sub-2 hour half marathon. I have been dreaming of that since I signed up for it. However, as Darrel said, you have to have appropriate goals at each level, A, B, and C, and which one you go for depends on how you feel that day, how you feel during the race, and circumstances beyond our control. As Shannon said, the ultimate goal of the race is to have fun, and the Dr. Phil side of my mind is telling me that all I really need to do is finish.

With that said, the original time of 2:10:00 is a very realistic challenging time. The pace calculator says I should come in around 2:07:00, but I'm guessing closer to 2:05:00. If I'm not feeling well, or if things go wrong, then 2:20:00 will be OK too, and who knows, just maybe I'll feel special and come in closer to 2:00:00. I just have to remember that lil sister is running with me and she has a half Ironman the week after in sunny California.

My 13.5 mile run went well today. All body parts are checking in A.O.K. That last mile was tough. I met up with Dee Dee about a half mile away from the house as she was on her way back from her 11 miler. Here are the splits:

1. 11.24
2. 11:55
3. 11:39
4. 11:30
5. 11:47
6. 10:25
7. 9:45
8. 10:59
9. 11:05
10. 11:05
11. 11:07
12. 10:31
13. 12:11

First Half Split: 1:13:54
Second Half Split: 1:12:24

I set my quick workout for a half marathon at 11:40 pace, which is exactly two minutes over my race pace of 9:40, but I couldn't hold it. I came in at an average pace of 11:05 and beat my virtual partner by a half mile. Cest la vie! I finished up the last .4 miles without the benefit of the Garmin since it quit at the end of the workout. Live and learn.

Now my thoughts turn east. My dear friend Neese is running an 8K this morning, and this avid blogger is uber curious as to how she did....

Finish strong!


ORN: 13.5 miles, 2:31:00 (HM 2:26:40), endurance pace, 11:05 miles, R9/W1

Friday, February 23, 2007

A Little Secret

The truth is I want to run the half in less than two hours. There I said it. The problem is that I don't believe that I can. No. That's NOT true. I believe that I can. I'm AFRAID that I cannot. Doing the half in under two hours would require me to almost match my PR for two 10Ks, and I'm just not sure that I can sustain that pace for 13.1 miles. I found another Atlantan's running blog and she said that the route had "rolling hills". I guess flat is too much to ask for :-)

What on earth makes me think I can do it in less than two? I dunno. There's this feeling I get when I'm running. Usually it occurs between miles three and five of my shorter runs. During my longer runs it comes between miles seven and nine. I feel like I am flying. My legs are moving of their on volition. My body and my mind is just along for the ride. Maybe that's the runner's high. I dunno. I prefer it that away. I accept things I don't understand, and in this case, I take advantage of it. Running a sub-2 hours would require me to sustain a 9:09 mile pace for 13.1 miles. LOL. A guy can dream big, can’t he?

Welcome back glorious sunshine and warm temperatures! I know that seventy is too much to ask for this time of year, but thank you, thank you, thank you. I volunteered to watch the restaurant last night so Dee Dee could go watch Jimmy's soccer game on the Northeast side of town. I raced home after getting off work at 4 PM so I could get my run in. I set the workout on the Garmin for a 33 minute 5K. I pretty much ran even splits and averaged right around 10:30 miles. I beat my virtual partner by about 50 feet. Just what my tired body needed.

The Foothills Running Club is doing the ING Half Marathon course on March 10th. I'm trying to meet up with them to do the run. Won't that be fun? I have 15 miles on tap that day. It should work out perfectly for me. They are running this weekend at a local park that has a 1 mile trail loop. I need to do 13 tomorrow and running around a loop 13 times just doesn't sound all that grand. I'm hoping to meet up with them next weekend, if not this one.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


ORN: 3.1 miles, 32:30, normal pace, 10:30 miles, R5/W1

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Quality over Quantity

My post yesterday left me kind of wondering. Exactly what am I trying to accomplish by being in the pool. Its all good, mind you, but what exactly am I trying to do? Jodi says "Get in the pool now!" Wes gets in the pool. Winging it, however, is not my way.

Yesterday, I got on the internet and looked up some triathlon training programs. I paid special attention to the swimming. One of the things I noticed was that the time between laps was very important. Where as I had been going for "more distance" instead of "more endurance", I decided to cut my rest time down to something more reasonable and swim fewer laps. My target distance for my tri is 400 meters, and that is what I should be striving for right now. If I can do more, fine, but I want to do 400 meters comfortably.

I made my way up to the gym after stopping at Walmarts. They really do have towels for four dollars. I had seen them, on occasion, while visiting for other things, and it didn't take me long to find one that fit the bill nicely. The temperature in the pool area was a cool 78*. I started out with 2x50 warm ups. I rested for 2 minutes, then I did 12x50 freestyle with 15 seconds of rests between laps. I finished with another 2x50 cool down for a total of 800 meters. My goal is to both swim longer and take shorter breaks between sets. I need to remember on my longer swims to pace myself, just like my long runs. Slow down. Go longer. My goal next week will be 1x400 and 4x50. We'll see.

Exchanged a few text messages yesterday with little sister. It went something like this:

Kelly: Mom tells me you are looking svelte!

Me: Yea. I've lost 26 pounds or so and am hovering in the 195-200 lb. range right now.

Kelly: That is so cool. We've booked our hotel rooms. We'll be in Thursday and Friday for meetings.

Me: Cool. You had better start training. The race is one month away.

Kelly: I will. I've been sick.

Me: You better! I want to come in under 2:10.

Kelly: What? You told me 2:20! Sandbagger!! I ran a 2:05 in LA and a 2:15 in San Francisco with all the hills. I'll be fine.

Me: That was before I ran a 10K in 57 last weekend. I'm OK with 2:20

The gauntlet has been thrown. Goal pace for the Half IM:

Kick-Ass Time: 02:10 (9:54 miles)
I'm Happy Time: 02:20 (10:40 miles)

Let it be written. Let it be done.


OSN: 800 meters, ~25 minutes, 2x50 warm up, 12x50 internvals, 2x50 cool down

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Shift is On

My poor house is in desperate need of an overhaul. The basement and garage have accumulated three years worth of crap. This has been an on going process since the restaurant opened. Stuff we would rather not deal with were unceremoniously dumped in the basement or the garage. I have had enough. I had planned to block out this weekend for the grand garage/basement cleaning extravaganza. Then my assignor called, and how could I say no. Now, I have a 2+ hour long run to get in this weekend. I have to work at the restaurant Saturday night. Sunday night I have to referee for four hours with Jimmy. That leaves the rest of the time for cleaning the basement. Argghhh! I hope I'm full of boundless energy this weekend.

Based on the fact that I will be reffing on Sundays until May, I have decided to do the grand shift and move my running days to Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I just don't think I can get in my long runs and then ref the same day. I may move them back after the half marathon. We'll see how it goes.

For the past two days, I have done nada. Zippo. Haven't lifted a finger. I didn't even get my wet towel and bathing suit out of the trunk so I could swim today. Nor, did I bring a fresh set of anything. Too freakin bad. I'm going to stop by Walmart on the way to the gym and buy a four dollar towel, and the wet bathing suit is going for a dip in the warm shower before it comes into contact with the sensitive parts of my body. Tally-ho!!

I don't think I'm going to try to do more than 1000 meters today. As a matter of fact, I think 800 to 1000 is going to be just about right. I would like to try to do 400 straight again, but I'm not sure if that is a good idea or not. I guess, since I'm not officially training for my tri yet, that I'll just wing it.

Finish strong!


ORN: Lazy, lazy, lazy

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The joys of being involved in youth soccer. I hear through the grapevine that honor and dignity are in short supply all over the country, but it makes one wonder. Tournaments are a great venue for the kids. They get good competition, and often, the competition comes from out of state. This makes for an exciting weekend for the kids, and that's what it's all about. Is it not? The kids. As a referee who officiated in 7 games this weekend. I got to see it all. The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

The Good

It's Saturday afternoon. 3 PM. I left the tournament and made my way to the South fields of my children's club. Three weeks ago I had signed up for two Region Three Premier League (R3PL) matches. The tournament came second cause I hadn't even planned on participating. The temperatures were in the balmy thirties, and the forecast called for sleet and snow that night in North Georgia.

Two young U-14 year old girls teams made their way onto the field for their first R3PL game of their careers. From the moment I blew the first whistle, you could just tell that the game was going to be a good one. The girls were evenly matched. The coaches were very professional. It was good soccer. As would be expected, they started off with a series of quick fouls, on both teams, but then they settled into a rhythm one would expect from teams of this caliber. After a hard fought match, the final whistle blew. One team went home vanquished, the other the victor. Both teams were better for the effort. Several parents offered me their congratulations on a well run match.

Fast forward to Sunday, 3:30 PM. The weather was freezing. Again, it was in the thirties, but we were dealing with brisk 20-30 MPH wind gusts. Two young teams of 12 year old girls (U-13) take the field for the finals of the tournament. Both teams had shown exceptional skill and fortitude to make it through to the finals of the tournament. It was quickly apparent, after the start of the game, that these girls didn't even need referees. They played through the little fouls. They did not complain. The parents and coaches were exceptional. I might as well have been a bump on a log. Except I moved. This was the best game of the weekend.

The Bad

The game before the finals I did a U-15 girls game. The teams were very evenly matched. This wasn't a top flight team, but the girls demonstrated a lot of skill in their play. Being bigger, and a little less skilled meant that there was a lot of collisions and contact. A few of the players went down. There was a lot more blowing of the whistle. During the game, I had to change a call from a kick just outside the box to a PK. My linesman insisted that the foul was in the box. We are team, the linesman and I. PK awarded. We moved on. Halfway through the second half, the out of town team decides that I am favoring the local team. The comments start rolling in, including personal ones. Some of the parents from the same team (out of town) get into a shoving match. A man pushes a woman and calls her an asshole. The out of town team ends up losing 2-1. After the game, a parent comes up and asks me for my name. I guess I should be scared now.

The Ugly

Rewind to 8 AM Sunday morning. It is so blistering cold with the wind blowing. The weather web site says it is 24 degrees with a wind chill of 13. I get to the field of my first game five minutes before the start. I call captains and immediately get the game started. Less than five minutes into the game the coach from one of the Atlanta clubs is already on me. This is a division 4 or 5 team at best, and the visiting team from Augusta is division 1 or 2. They play with skill. The local team does not. They like to play the man, not the ball. I have to yellow card two 12 year olds. I have not carded any 12 year olds before. While issuing the second card, I have to toss one of the coaches from the Atlanta club. I should have tossed them all, but I showed restraint. The parents from the local club were a disgrace to soccer and their club. If I thought it would do any good, I would file a complaint against them with the state. I may still do that. Some of the things they said no person with any dignity would let escape their lips.


That's how my weekend went. The Ugly game is one of those that really wants to make me quit. Its The Good, that birdie putt, that game winning basket, that keeps me coming back for more. After my games Saturday night, I was as sore as if I had just run ten miles. I thought for sure by now that I would be in better shape than that. The truth is, I am. Running the soccer field is just a different type of exercise than running for distance. I had muscles complaining that I had not heard from in a while, including both Achilles tendons and my upper thighs.

With that in mind, I will probably not run again until Thursday. I have 13 miles on tap this weekend, and I want to make sure I am ready. I think, instead, I will substitute cycling and swimming in this week. Rumor has it the temps are headed for the 60's.

Have a great week, y'all.


ORN: Lot's of soccer

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Stepping Out

Let the games begin. The first tournament that I am reffing starts today. This morning. It's 18 degrees. Oh joy. I feel like the Michelin Tire Man I'm so wrapped up in layers. Matthew and Dee Dee have just left for another park. Unfortunately our schedules did not coincide for this tournament. I won't get to see him play. Not all is lost, however. I did get to see ALL of his games last weekend, and he did awesome.

Since I am a week ahead of schedule, and this weekend's run calls for a 1 mile time test, I'm baggin it. I have eight games to referee, and I'm sure I will get in my required three miles. I have already given much thought to balance this soccer season. I have told my assignor that I plan to do just the adult games on Sunday nights, and if he has anything special he needs my help with for the kids (14 and under), then he can call me. Focus, focus, focus. It's all about the half marathon and the tri that follows.

Have a great weekend,


ORN: Rest

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Benefits of Negative Splits

I just wrote a rather lengthy post on the benefits of negative splits over at Team HM Express. I won't regurgitate that here, but if you are interested, go on over and take a look at it. Learning new stuff is a blast!

Settled into the pool yesterday. Did 3x50 warm ups, 10x100 repeats, first half on 30 seconds rest, second half on one minute rest, 3x50 cool down. I'm getting there. I really think the swimming (breathing) helped me on my recent 10K.


OCN: 1300 meters, ~35 minutes, 3x50, 10x100, 3x50, 2 minute laps

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you and your significant other a very special day together.

You are my heart, my hope, my help,
The passion that is me,
The whole of which I am a part,
My peace, my ecstasy.

You are my future, present, past,
My ship, my sail, my ocean,
The wind that brings me home again,
The home for every motion.

You live within me, yet I am
Without you all alone.
With you I am full of light;
Without you I am stone.

Is this foolish? Yes, perhaps,
But also it is true.
I think of life as something I
Can spend with only you.

Ah, my love! Love longs for such
Sweet celebrants as this!
Love is a burden and a joy,
Slavery and bliss.

This day of love come love with me,
Come sing with me my song.
Come be my Valentine, and I
Will love you my life long, my love,
Will love you my life long.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I am a (better) 10Ker

I find a couple of things interesting about this particular picture, besides the fact that I need a hair cut. First off, my running form seems pretty sharp, if I do say so myself. I think that comes from my years in the military. With that said, efficient form does mean efficient energy utilization. Another thing I find interesting is that when I run, my knees almost knock together. My feet are almost directly under my center of gravity. It almost looks like I'm running at an angle. I wonder if thats good or bad? Blaine? Finally, what's up with that bulge? LOL. I thought I was looking a bit slimmer than that! I do look sexy in those tights though, don't ya think?

Matthew went with me on my four mile run tonight. I promised him if he made it all the way up Mount Doom, I would sing his praises on my blog. He DNFed. Too bad. My times were good though. Here are my splits:

1. 11:14
2. 10:45
3. 10:08
4. 10:14

I would consider mile 4 still a negative split, since I have to go up both Mount Doom and Ass-Kicker on the way back. Yea. I'll take that.

Oh, and I beat that guy next to me to the finish, although the dude in the back ground running on his heels motored past me just in time at the finish.


ORN: 4 miles, 42 minutes, normal pace, 10:35 miles, R5/W1

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chattahoochee Challenge 10K

At the end of my some what reckless run Thursday, I was a bit concerned that my legs just weren't ready for this race. I took the day off, Friday, from everything, in order to give my muscles time to heal and relax. For the most part, it was a good idea and worked out well.

Dee Dee and I arrived in Roswell, GA at 7 AM in the morning. We had been getting emails all week that parking at the Nature Center would be full by 6:45 AM. Alternate parking was at a river park, 1.2 miles away, or the Roswell Mill. The later would require a bus ride to and from the Nature Center. I opted for the park. I figured that 1.2 miles would be a nice walk/warm up for the race. The fact that it was 27 degrees didn't make Dee Dee all that happy, but she persevered.

We walked along the river as light was beginning to break. Geese and ducks were sleeping out on the river in sequestered areas, and the local rowing team was putting their boat into the river as we walked by. We arrived at the Nature Center right on time and found our way to the gym. We stood in line to get our number, after which we hung out there trying to keep warm and oggling all the rest of the runners.

About ten minutes before race time we made our way down to the starting area. As more and more people came down from the gym, Dee Dee and I joked that we were middle packers now rather than back of the packers. I allowed my Garmin to synch up with the satellites. I set a quick workout for 10K and one hour. I was ready. I massaged the ITB bands on both sides of my legs and rolled my ankles to loosen them up. Dee Dee and I joked with some of the other runners. There was another one of THOSE guys at the front of the pack, in nothing but shorts and running shoes. Brrrrrr.

As the gun went off to start the race, I pressed start on my HR monitor. As I crossed over the start line, I pressed start on the Garmin. My goal for this race was to come in under one hour. I also wanted to start off smooth and pace myself. As I ran up the only gentle hill on the way out, I settled into a comfortable nine minute mile pace. Most of the first miles of my races are right around 9 minutes. Today, I wanted to sustain that pace. Sure enough, as I crossed the first mile marker, and Mr. Timer Guy called out 9:06. I was expecting that.

But then something unexpected happened. I wasn't tired. I wasn't breathing uncomfortably. I was breathing hard, but I could take it. Ms. Timer Lady called out 8:52 for my second mile. Cool. A negative split. Did I mention I luv running on flat courses! As I neared mile three, the leading runners were on their way back. Mr. No Shirt Guy was chasing someone a few seconds in front of him. I went up a teensy hill at the intersection with Roswell Road and made my U-turn to head back towards the nature center. As I went past Mr. Timer Guy #3, he called out 8:51. Whoa! Another negative split, and within spitting distance of my PR for a 5K. How cool as that?

Around this time, I began trying to decide exactly when I was going to take my first walk break. The truth is, I really wanted to get on here and tell everyone that I ran the entire thing. This motivated me, but it just wasn't going to happen. Past mile 4: 9:01. Up the hill past the nature center. Other runners were finishing up their race as I headed past the finish line for the final 1.5 miles. As I passed mile marker 5 (9:03), I came to the final hill, and a very minor one at that. I struggled up it, made it to the turn around, and then headed for the finish.

Somewhere between 5 and 6 (9:28), I took a walk break. I was tired. I had never run this far straight through before. I needed to breath. My nose had been bothering me for three miles, and it really is hard to breath when you have to gag. I took a short 40 second break and then started running again. I had about three quarters of a mile left at that point. I wanted to finish strong, so I took one more brief walk break before the finish line came in sight. As I crossed the finish line, I was pleased to see the official race time as 57:04, and my Garmin reported my time as 56:12, an improvement of more than 3:30 over my previous 10K.

Dee Dee came in at 1:17:00, a nine(!) minute improvement over her previous 10K. She was so proud of herself, and rightly so. She did an awesome job. When she was finished, she asked me if I had seen the guy running barefoot? I told her no, but I had heard of people doing that before. We picked up our goody bag. Got something to eat and drink, then headed back to the car. We needed to get to Matthew's soccer game. No rest for the weary!

So, Mr. Virtual Partner. I have only one thing to say. In your face! I know you will be back. I know you will be faster, but I will be ready! Until we meet again...


OOPS: Just realized 27:40 IS a PR for my 5K distance. Shucks!

ORN: 6.21 miles, 56:12, race pace, 9:02 miles, walk as needed

Friday, February 09, 2007

My bad!!

Tapering down for the big race on Saturday. Muscles are recovering nicely from the long run Sunday, and the li'l bit longer swim Wednesday. Made it home in time to have three whole minutes to change into my running gear. Yahoo! Gave Dee Dee a kiss. Then off with Matthew to the soccer fields for YAP (yet another practice).

It's official now. I luv running on the fields. Just gotta be careful not to twist an ankle or something. Today I wanted to try out the Workout/Virtual Partner feature of the Garmin. I thought that I would be conservative and set it for a 5K at 11 minute miles (34 minutes). Yup. That's what I did.

I, ummm, beat my virtual partner by .15 miles. My bad!! So much for being conservative.

That, my friends, is the way that I am going to deal with the 10K on Saturday. I am going to set my virtual partner up for a 10K in one hour. Then I am going to kick his butt :-) or die. I haven't decided.

Finish strong!


ORN: 3.1 miles, 32 minutes, normal pace, 10:19 miles, R5/W1

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Two Fifty and a Half

Yay! for me!! Going to the gym on Wednesday afternoon worked perfectly for me. We'll have to see how it goes in the upcoming months, with soccer practice and all starting back up. I managed to do 250 meters straight through. I wanted to do four, but my throat was acting up and I had to stand up in the pool. After doing this twice, I gave up on my 400M ambitions and settled for the two-fifty.

In the process, I think I drank about half the pool. I definitely want to learn more about how to swim "properly". I'm thinking I will work my way up to 2000M sessions, doing 100M intervals. Then, I'll start working on my endurance. Not sure really how exactly to do that, but I'm sure some kind soul has already explained it in a book or on a web site.

This is that's on the ING Georgia Marathon web site:

Only 44 days 17h 54m 08s until the 2007 ING Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon.

Uh, hmmmm. Hee, hee, hee.

Finish strong!


OSN: 1400 meters, 44 minutes, 2x100 breast stroke, 1x250 freestyle, 8x100 fresstyle, 3x50 breast stroke

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It Just Don't Matter

These are the words that I had to tell myself this morning. A friend of mine, Juls, has a good way of saying it too from an entirely different perspective.

What else is there?

As I sat at my desk this morning, I was pondering the purpose of this evenings run. I was wondering how I could top my previous Tuesday runs. As I reviewed my week, the long run, the Tuesday and Thursday run, and the race this weekend, the words came into my mind unbidden. This run just doesn't matter. Making it to the 10K rested, recovered, and unhurt is all that does matter.

My new job is going well so far. I got to work Monday morning 10 minutes before the second new contractor arrived. Not only did I get the only computer, but I got my pick of nice comfy cubby holes. I got a very nice window seat overlooking the very busy I-285 interstate which loops around Atlanta. As an additional reward for my efforts, I got to see three wrecks, one of which was an auto-flambe! In truth, the environment is wonderful. I actually feel like I have some privacy. It is nice and quiet, and everything is going well.

I left work today at 4 PM. I was home by 4:50 PM, which was nice. I was changed and headed to soccer practice by 5 PM. It took 20 minutes to get to the fields, and I had a parent meeting at 6 PM. A 5K with the garmin, around the park, on flat grassy ground, was just what the doctor ordered. Ahhhhhhhh.

Peace out,


BTW: Failed to mention that my new job is 200 yards from the Chattahoochee River Park with a six mile trail, and there's showers in the gym beneath the building! The wheels are already turning....

ORN: 3.1 miles, 34 minutes, recovery pace, 11:09 miles, R3/W1
Splits: 11:37, 11:23, 10:35, 00:56

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Good Morning, Sunshine!!

Yea, I don't know where my Mom got that from, but she used to always say that to me as a child. For the record, I did not like being called Sunshine when I was so sleepy headed in the morning. Dee Dee and I got up before 8 AM for the first (non-race) time in recent memory. Manchester United was playing at 11 AM again this morning, and with the Super Bowl tonight, we just had to get our run in this morning, and that is what we did.

Yesterday we did a little bit of shopping. It was apparent to me, that having one Camelbak between two people was just not going to work. We went to Dick's Sporting Goods and bought Dee Dee a Genie (Camelbak). The Genie is more like a back pack then a belt, and it suited Dee Dee just fine. It has big pockets, a place for phones and pens, and it holds 35 oz of fluid. Very nice. I got a Nike (Canary Yellow) super light weight running jacket. We picked up some sports beans and electrolyte powders for our run.

After the alarm went off at 7:30, I think we made it out of bed by eight. We spent about thirty minutes getting dressed, mixing our drinks, and otherwise getting ready. We both wore our running tights and three layers on top, including our light weight impermeable jackets. It was around 27 degrees when we left the house this morning.

The run itself went fine. I took my 8.25 mile route and tacked on a 2 mile out and back. This added one more big hill to my route, but once I breached the hill, the running was fairly level. Once I got back to the departure point on the out and back portion, I noticed that my left knee was feeling a little sore, and my right hammy was twinging with every step. I made a conscious effort not to stress either, and they held up fine for the rest of the run. I ate the beans between miles 4 and 10, and I thought they were OK, and the electrolyte drink suited me just fine.

The long slope of Mount Doom was conquered without a walk break, but I was grateful when the old Garmin beeped at me for a walk break at the bottom of Ass-Kicker. Yes!! I was also very grateful that the 12 miles ended three streets from my home. I walked and slow jogged the rest of the way in. After a hot shower and breakfast, I was feeling pretty good. Sore, but good.

Dee Dee got in her 10 mile run today with her Genie Camelbak and it went really well. She did 10 miles faster then she did the 9 miler two weeks ago. I passed her on the way back about 2 miles from the house, and she was motoring along. Great job, Baby!

Easy week coming up for me prior to the 10K this weekend. The 10K fits into Dee Dee's schedule perfectly. I'm supposed to do another 1 mile test, but I think I'm a week ahead of schedule, so I'll be able to put that off until the following week.

OK my friends! Thanks for tuning in. My new job starts tomorrow. Let's rock and roll....


ORN: 12 miles, 2:20:00, endurance pace, 11:42 miles, R7/W1

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Well Chilied Machine

I, for one, will never, ever, take for granted, those spousal units that decide that it is their life's calling to stay at home and take care of the kids and their significant other. Not that this was a problem before, mind you. Just that after being Mr. Mom to the kids for so long now, and staying home these past two weeks, my attitude is just, well, healthier.

I spent all day yesterday cleaning, vacuuming, picking the oldest son up for school, keeping the youngest son entertained as he was out of school for a weather day. I made a big ole pot of Beer Chili for dinner with a frying pan full of cornbread with corn, jalepenos, and cheddar cheese for a side. By the time I got that mess cleaned up (I'm a notoriously messy cook), it was already 9 PM and I was wondering where my day went. I didn't even feel like running at all. A bit unusual don't ya think? Certainly the two pieces of cornbread and two bowls of chili with more jalapenos was not helping.

A few weeks ago, I bought the book, "Triathlon Training in Four Hours A Week". One of the suggestions is to try your exercise for five minutes, and if you don't like it, then get off. With that in mind, I got on the treadmill and selected a pre-packaged program. Boy was that a mistake. The first six minutes of every program is walking. To make a long story short, I adjusted the speed for the entire program, got in 2.5 miles in 35 minutes for a whopping 14 minute mile pace, and then got off in a very unhappy frame of mind. There. It's over now.

I've been tagged by Bob. He wants to know six weird things about me. Just so you know, Bob. Getting tagged by you is almost as euphoric as when I got tagged by Neese. Almost, but not quite. A close second shall we say.

1. I have a full moon birth mark on my back by my lower left hip. It's not low enough where I have to show my arse to someone to see it, which is too bad, cause I would really like to moon a few people showing them my birth mark.

2. I tend to run on auto pilot a lot. My mind is somewhere else while my body is doing something constructive. This is why when I'm several miles down the road I can't remember if I closed the garage door and/or locked up the house, so I turn around. I do this a lot.

3. I eat ketchup on my scrambled eggs. I hear this is a northern thing, so I'm blaming it on my grandmother who originated from Milwaukee.

4. I like to eat the whole peanut, husk and all. Good source of vitamins and essential nutrients.

5. I am a miniature wargaming enthusiast. My favorite genre is the Napoleonic Era, but I am also partial to the American Civil War.

6. I am a neat freak, to a minor extent, I guess. No one else in my family seems to be, so I basically run around the house in a minor tizzy if it is all cluttered up.

That was fun. Not! I'm coming for you, Bob! LOL. The big 12 is on my agenda this Sunday. Woo hoo! I'm thinking 2.5 hours should be about right. Now, I'm off to sign up for that 10K on the 10th.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


ORN: 2.5 miles, 35 minutes, 14 minute pace, mostly run, Yuk!