Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Axemen

I've been thinning out all the crap I have accumulated and it is a bit of a job.  The sport card collection needs to go from about 120,000 to about 20,000.  I've given away about 10,000 to this point.  I have more magazines than I remember every having.  The wife alerted me to a bonus pile in the shed.  I peaked in and it has some cool stuff.  Back when Bill McChesney was the high school sensation, Walt Stack was Walt Stack, and Tom Fleming was not afraid of anyone.  They are all gone now.  Bill in 1992, Walt in 1995, and Tom in 2017.  All different as runners and all inspiring in many ways.

I've split with a bunch of running gear and shirts I had in boxes.  I had no idea were all my Al's run shirts had gone.  Goodwill has them all now.  Some stuff is hard to part with, but as any lifetime runner I have a 100 shirts easily.  Many never worn.  For whatever reason the old Wheeling Distance Classic 20k from the '90s is going to make the cut over many of the new long sleeve shirts one gets.  I wish races would give out socks.  Those I burn through.  I thought about going Bobby Orr this summer, but we shall see.  I still sport the floppy sock look Pete Maravich had in the day.  Not many runners my age pull their socks up all the way.  Heck, maybe they do.  I'm just finding out Pluto's not a planet any longer.

The week was not bad.  Slowly adding a couple more miles a week.

Mon = 8.5k easy
Tue = 8k easy
Wed = 8k w/ 10 x 1:00 w/ 1:00 jog
Thu = 11.6k easy at Menomonee Park with Dewey, Tim, Robert, and Tim Lammers
Fri = Off
Sat = 16.3k easy w/ Crawford
Sun = 13.1k at good effort.  Averaged 8:37 mle
Total = 65.5k

Have to start putting the fork down and cut way back on candy, ice cream, and pie.  I also have to seriously start considering at least one other type of aerobic workout and my hip/back let's me know it is there every day. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Man overboard

The idea that some type of Ingrid Kristiansen training model was going to be employed must have been a cruel joke on myself.  I could not lace my shoes up at this point and claim similarly to any functional training model.  Not even the famous HS plan from cross-country of go run around the lake a couple times and we will finish up with some sprints.  That at least did not wear us out.  It was more of a pond anyway.  Which brings me up to a larger point.  Either I never listened, or more than likely no one ever advised me on how to race.  We all just blew out to the front and hung as long as we could.  The last 75% of the race was carried out in deep agony and senseless thoughts of doing better the next time...repeatedly...for years.  Of course in college it was a different story.  You ran the same way, but it did not yield any front running.  I did lead through the mile in what was as I remember my last collegiate cc race, but that is another story.  My only regret was not continuing on as far as I could of which may have been another quarter mile or so.

So I’ve always been a bum as far as running goes.  It is and always has been a fun part of life I would never trade.  It has been an adventure and hopefully I will still find joy getting out for a race here and there.  Lately I have had typical movement issues that come along with age.  I can’t help looking at my dog blast out of the starting blocks after a squirrel only to peter out or blow up after what amounts to less than 10 seconds of fury.  It’s obvious as she nears her 13th birthday that the brain is still wired to will the body to damn near get the squirrel, but reality sets in one neighbor’s yard over that they are just toying with you.  They are playing chess while you are playing checkers.  The thrill is still there until it isn’t.  Making the transition for me is a known fact.  I just am not a guy to go to swim, bike, or ski.  I’m more walk, frisbee, softball, or fishing.

None-the-less, I am going to try and get a couple quicker workouts in a week.  Another run of 10 miles or so and the rest just easy runs.  Probably need to have the hip looked at, but as with most all other ailments I try and figure them out myself.  Not sure it even is the hip, but it seems to migrate the pain to my lower back.  I’ve tried every odd position I can think of to try and get a bead on the area to no avail.  Is there a position I can get to the trouble spot.  So far...no.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Put the hammer down!

I read about these older fellas running unbelievable times.  I also read more about older folks in the same boat as many of us...slow.  At 16 weeks out from Al’s 8k the week was a total of 50k run.  I got in 3 x 880y on t-mill at 3:20 and a 10k in 49:58 off the couch.  This week was 58.6k with a t-mill progression run up to 7.8mph that felt like hell and a 5k workout in 21:56.  I was somewhat pleased with the 5k which came the day after a 10.2 miler (easy).  I plugged that in the calculator and it says I should be able to blaze a 36:07 8k.  Sha-shadubby...shattered.  Don’t mind the maggots.  There is a lot of work to do.  I might be that guy now that sets big goals and everyone but me sees how fruitless it is.  You know the guy.  Ramble on how they want to break 3:00 one more time then run 3:23.  In this case run a 31:30 8k and do it in 33:57.  Not remotely sure why any of this matters, but I’m going out to the shed today to grab some old 70s running mags and see if these tea leaves tell me anything.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Which way to Munich

So Al's Run 8k is mid-September.  This is the other race I've been consistently running for a period of time.  I must say that the past 5 years I have run the Glacial 50k in early October, so that has become a staple.  Al's run is a classic and also a team event.  I run for Hillrunner.com and if anything really enjoy seeing the guys.  In reality, it is the only time I see them during the year.  After the run is the big picnic up at Ryan's crib.  Good times!  Like most years I figure I'll get in Zulu shape and storm the Bastille, but rarely do...or can.  Last year was a comical 34:26 finish which is barely under 7 minutes a mile.  Like most years I aim to improve upon that.  But by how much?  I figure it has to be a stretch goal so as penned earlier I pulled out 31:30 which is about 6:20 per mile.

Now that doesn't sound fast, but let me assure you it is for me.  The year I ran 31:55 in 2015 I was training for the Lakefront Marathon and finished in 3:06:15 using the Beck program.  I was in good shape.  Maybe not 8k shape, but solid shape.  Now I have to turn back the clock and consider training that is able to work the speed, be somewhat entertaining, and not be a whole heck of a lot of miles.

I've been around a long time and one thing I have never done over any period of time is run with the gas down (with a slight pull back) on many of my weekly runs.  I was always interested in Ingrid Kristiansen's training because of the simplicity.  I can't go into it here, but I would like to at least mirror the elements I remember.  There are other legends out there who's training seemed fascinating to me like Jim Spivey and Eddie Eyestone, but if anything they give you ideas on workouts.

Let me first say that if you follow along with what I'm going to be doing it won't resemble any of these because of the necessary rest days and complete lack of speed or miles.  My basic plan (sorry I don't know all the correct training language) is to run 30-40 minutes about 8 times a week and have two other runs during the week around 1:15 - 2:00 range.  The 30-40 minute runs will hopefully be something like this; 2 as speed/tempo work, 4 as just under tempo, and 2 however I feel.  The other 2 runs be one as longer hard effort and an easier longish run.  That's pretty much it.  Of course I'm going to have to work up to this and hope to eventually have one run be telephone pole pick-ups, another as 6 x 3:20, and the other as a tempo of 2 - 6 miles.  Sure I'll adjust when necessary, but that's life.  This is hard for me to communicate (or do even), but try and stay on the high aerobic side (mildly uncomfortable) as opposed to be anaerobic more than I like.

Let's see what happens.  I might change next week, but this is the plan for now.  At this point how many more aerobic runs can I do?  Here is last week:

Mon = Off
Tue = 8k in 45:48 (5:43) Eagan, MN
Wed = Off
Thu = 10.8k in 1:15:41 (7:00) Men. Park w/ Dewey and Tim
Fri = 6.4k in 39:00 (6:06) Home
Sat = 10.9k in 1:15:36 (6:56) Men. Park w/ Tim
Sun = 8k in 40:13 w/ 6k in 28:09 (4:41.5) Bugline. That's only 7:33 pace!
Total = 44.1k

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

The big dance of 2019 has came and went.  I can state that I did finish.  It was a great day to run and the event was as usual top notch.

- Dewey on crew again was great.  My brother Bryan and sister Brenda came out from PA to take the event in.  They had a great time and thanks to Dewey for making the whole day come together.
- I had a bad patch from 22 to 28, but did recover well enough to get through Duffin (30.5 miles) in 5:09.
- Ran up Star Mountain okay, but about 2 miles past that the bottom came out.  The last 10 miles was particularly difficult as the last 9.7 took me 2:37 to finish.  Sixteen plus minutes a mile is slow, especially since I ran the last 2 miles a 12 minute pace.
- The take away's are this; not enough weekly base miles, too much electrolyte (needed 50% water, not 0%) the first 35 miles, and I need to start walking more hills.
- I finished my 18th in 9:44:44.  That is my second slowest out there.  Too early to pontificate about 2020.

Al's Run 8k is 9/14.  I'll be 58 by then.  I've sorta decided to try and work on running faster for a change.  There is time to retool.  There is no science or feel behind the 31:30 shape I'd like to achieve, other than it is a high end goal.  That's right about 6:20 mile pace for 8k.  That would also work out to sub 20:00 pace for a 5k.  Not sure I can come close to cashing that check, but the idea of not shooting for under 6:30 pace seems hardly worth trying.  The training projector will have elements (in my mind) of Ingrid Kristiansen based training I read about years ago.  I have none of the info, just a compromised mind of what appealed to me years ago.  Obviously I can't train the way she did, but I can pursue the 3-4 things my mind retained that I liked...plus some really slow recovery running.

The thing that sticks in my mind from last year at Al's is that I went through the first mile which is largely downhill in 7:05.  I just couldn't crack up the oxygen, or get any flow going.  Old people need sub race pace work as well.  Yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fire at will

Finally I have an eleven day stretch of days off.  I’m going to try hard to overlook work email and calls.  Futuristically the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter.  The thought of not going to work in its present form rings loudly.  As in running, there comes a time when the dreams fade away.  Motoring around in a straight six is okay, but taking the world on in a 4 cylinder is tiresome.  In both realms, the prospect of pushing out to sea seems so right.

This is the last big weekend to get any miles in before Ice Age.  As much as I can’t wait to start the race the zeal to train is waning.  It’s 7:20am and I’m still typing this on my phone.  I want to run, but am pretty sure I’ll just trot around here for about 3 hours and maybe close to that tomorrow.  At noon tomorrow, the wife and I are driving to Florida.  Part of that effort is to consider permanent residence at some point.  We lived there in the past.  I thought we’d never go back, but it is a big state.  We’ve studied and visited Arizona, but we aren’t feeling that.

Honestly the plan in my head is to thin most everything out.  Toss all the crap out.  I’m not a minimalist at heart, but seeing what those ahead of me have stockpiled appears to be a burden.  You might not think you have much, but if you look around you do.  Same for running.  Get up and run an hour.  Done.  Maybe get a 2 hour effort in on the weekend with someone.  Personally I am doing fine.  We just want to start the process now.  Why?  Because too many people seem to wait until it appears just right.  That’s a tough target to hit.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

I don’t even have a garage

Not a lot to report.  Took Monday and Tuesday as zeroes.  Put 3 in at 7:19 pace on the mill Wednesday and a 10k easy with the boys Thursday.  Friday was another day off.  Saturday was 25.2k at a good clip (for me) that was half road and trail.  It was not fast, but I did feel the effort afterwards.  Sunday I banked 22.7k easy at Lapham.  Thirteen k of that with Ice Age legend Clement Grum.  Not many fellas walking the earth with a sub 6 hour on that course!  Thanks for the effort Clem.

A lower mileage week at about 41 miles, but some good hoofing in there.  I’ll get a good midweek tempo in and then a longer run on Friday.  Hopefully 25-30 miles down on the course.  I actually may skip going down as it is a minimum 1:40 driving round trip.  We are driving to Florida the next day for a badly needed full week+ get away.  Time to investigate the next chapter of life a bit.  We lived there before.  Might go back.  When you look outside now an snow is covering the ground again it gets old.  Florida has a ton of stuff I don’t personally endorse, but as warm weather states go it is not the worst.

I’ll spend the last 3 weeks sharpening up and resting.  I still like all this running, but I’m going to have to re-evaluate.  Honestly, I don’t have the same amount of juice any longer and other aspects of life (perceived) don’t seem to get easier.  Again, read anyone else’s blog who is 10 years on either side of me and it will say the same.  Hoping to drop out of the rat race in the next 2-3 years.