Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fisher's Big Wheel

I went for a run around 1pm today which is unusual for me.  It was nice to run in shorts and the sunshine.  I was out on the Ice Age up by Holy Hill and it was sloppy.  As much as I was enjoying the solitude I became disenchanted when I began hitting 13-14 minute miles due to the footing.  At one of the road sections I just beat it back around on the macadam.  It is remote back there as many of you know.  I just wound it out in low and enjoyed rural Washington County.

Just under 9 weeks to Ice Age and again I want to do well, but the will to do the extra stuff just is not there.  The biggest gain I can make is to drop from 180 to 170.  That's hard to do as I eat the same way I always do.  Seems every time you turn around I'm supposed to be minding something else.  I have zero problem running 60 a week, I just don't have the motivation to look after a sore knee, the PF creeping back,  a week back, and anything that even resembles 8 minute miles let alone 7's.  What am I talking about?  The fastest run I had this week was in Peru, IL on the roads when I blazed 9:30 pace for 9.1 miles.  I saw Beck writing about how retarded this whole exercise is and I can see his point.  I've tried not to ponder the steady decline and yes I should be happy I can still move forward.  Part of my wonderment is how I have fooled myself into believing that achieving 10 minute miles at Ice Age is solid as Sears. 

62.1 miles this week on 6 runs.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

I can mobilize 3 divisions in 48 hours

A couple weeks ago I learned that trying to run fast wears me out for a large part of the week.  Being wore out means less miles and runs that have no rear end in them.  I decided to give up (which is a common thing as I age) on this for now and just run easy.  No pressure, just see if you can rack up 60-70 miles a week on 6 runs.  The hope is as I thin out and get used to twinkle toeing around that perhaps I'll have a few runs that resemble running. 

It seems at an elevated weight I can still set a treadmill goal time and distance and hit it.  Just like I'm sure I could wallop a whiffle ball about as far as I could at 17 years old.  Problem is I am waxed for a few days.  Apparently the mental ability to finish the workout is still present.  The ability to jog around easy and relax for a couple days is not.  That's all I want to say about that.  Some of you have already processed this.

But, as usual I have no plans on running slow at Ice Age in 10 weeks.  I've dopamined myself into believing I'll stumble across a hot spot on that day and ride it in.  Much like Bullwinkle, "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!"  That's the plan.  The funny thing is most of my peers are at the same point, or are busting apart.  Ron Daws once said, "Who pulls a muscle at seven minute miles?"  I'm feeling pretty good at tens.

Last week 50.2 on 5 runs.
This week 59.0 on 6 runs.

I turned on the TV last week.  What motivates people to get mired in the garbage?  It was like bizzaro world from Seinfeld.  I guess living on 30 for 30 and M*A*S*H (Henry Blake era) reruns has left me lagging behind. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

What if

Recently someone brought up the question of how long does it take to do this running.  My basic answer was with changing, running, and travel about 10-15 hours a week.  That got me to thinking.  What if my wife was a kiter.  Not a real word, but someone who flew kites a lot.  Almost everyday she had to get out and hang some air.  Dark, windy, whatever it was necessary to maintain the edge and feed the drive.  The basement and part of random rooms would have pieces of kites, manuals, and kite clothes all over.  Several times a week the phone would start to make sounds as her buddies planned a mid week, or a blowout kite weekend.  She'd think nothing of dropping $80 bucks to enter events and openly ask for me to come join her.  Sure I'd go a few times and see what the draw was.  I'd listen to people I don't know ramble on about aerodynamics, how Terrance lost the kite rally of '01 when he had to power dump, and that fact that kiter's may be the best group of people ever.  Most of our extracurricular activities such as weddings, bar mitzvah's, and even vacations included these people.  When all the fall leaves needed raking over the weekend you are told Shandra suddenly needs you to run the picket fence kite drill with her for a big'll be back in 4-5 hours.  Then you learn what we should really do next year after I qualify is travel to Ketchum, Idaho for the 75th annual Spearhawk G-Force Nationals.  You'll freaking love it there and Barbie is bringing her family and dogs.  Her husband Gene (or Steve I don't remember) is coming along and he knows a ton about butterflies.  This is really cool that your wife does this.  I mean she could be hanging out at bars, so you are really lucky. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Corn King

I'm thinking I need to put a shorter race on the horizon so I have something to focus on.  It will get me to look at losing a bit of weight and conduct a few faster workouts.  I'm up near 179 which is about what I end up without any governance.  The days of unbridled hamburgers and hot dogs, along with cake and ice cream almost daily will need to subside. 

Maybe by next week I can report a mini race schedule.  I think I'll spend the week deciding how the training should play out.  It will be built around one primary long run a week.  That is how far I have thought it through this year.  Sure there will be 1-2 harder efforts a week, but I may eschew even a medium long run during the week.  Would like to have a few double days and keep the weekly mileage over 60. 

1/15 = AM, 5.0 (10:05) snowy roads
1/15 = PM, 5.5 (9:43) roads
1/16 = AM, 4.6 (10:56) snowy roads at 3am
1/17 = AM, 7.0 w/ 5.0 (7:37) progression on New Orleans t-mill
1/18 = PM, 7.1 (10:24) mostly road w/ Dewey and Tim
1/19 = AM, 4.3 (10:14) road
1/20 = AM, 13.5 (9:42) Fox loop+ on paved path w/ Dewey and Christine
1/21 = AM, 9.0 (9:43) Keesus+ on roads
Week = 56.0

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ode to the O & B

One of the greatest tools of the runner is the mighty out & back.  I'm and O & B guy from way back.  It's like you are getting away with something.  I mean a 6 miler should be like a day off.  You no sooner are getting warmed up and it's time to turn around and get back to the barn.  Then it's like you're done for the day.  I'm not sure why every 6 miler isn't an 8.  Perhaps because 6 miles takes an hour now-a-days.

It is also real useful when picking the direction you are heading into.  Take the bad stuff early on and get the reprieve on the way back.  It seems like common sense.  I'm the guy who plays a game with the climate control on the dash.  I only allow myself one button decision, or one turn up or down per mile.  The odometer has to hit the .0 for me to choose.  If I forget or am distracted tough luck.  Not sure of the purpose, but it makes me value my decision.  Just like which direction I head out first running.

As I travel for work I end up in a lot of new destinations.  What would life be like without the steady hand of the O & B?  Keep it simple and head for the side roads.  Again I say roads because all runners know that sidewalks in the winter are a cancer.  Many do not shovel.  Many do not look backing out the driveway.  Many have hidden ice like a glazed donut.  Many are real close to houses who let their dogs out at 5:30am and they try and play superhero.  They are just no match for experienced dog warriors such as myself.  It is all most embarrassing for the dog.  For whatever reason they feel obligated to get up in here on me.  It is just easier to be out on the road in these cases and have people flick their high beams at me to be assured I see them.  Sometimes it's the zero move over policy so they can send me a message that I need to be on the sidewalk.  What am I telling you all this for?  You live it.

1/8 = 4.6 (10:29) roads home
1/9 = 4.6 (9:50) t-mill in Superior
1/10 = 6.0 (10:19) roads in Superior
1/11 = 4.6 (9:38) roads in Green Bay in shorts for a bonus 46F morning
1/12 = 5.3 (10:13) roads home
1/13 = 10.3 (9:47) roads in The Sha w/ Christine
1/14 = 8.0 (10:06) roads and trail home
Week = 43.4

Saturday, January 6, 2018 friend can stick around

I recently penned that a goal of 3,000 miles seemed doable in 2018.  By January 2nd I already knew that was not realistic and I did not need any extra pressure to perform.  I do not think the word perform is wrong here.  It would take a massive performance and commitment to devote that much time to such a frivolous number.  Pardon me for losing my head for a second.

I have also learned and don't mind saying that I am becoming (or have already become) the slowest guy you are training with.  I want the handful of friends who read this to know I may cause you to run slower than you want if we get together.  I have no desire to move any faster than necessary, so please get out ahead of me.  The good news is most of the shared runs are just that...shared runs.  These are the highlight of my week away from work and into the world of conversation.  Conversation...remember those days?  Is it any wonder my closest friends are those I run with? 

I'm tired, but in a really good way.  The idea of getting out most days for 1-2 hours at pedestrian paces in winter conditions is awesome.  Being under motivated is not an issue.  Running in a comfortable relaxed pace with all these clothes on is a lot of extra work.  There is only so much energy allotted me in a given day and all of us met it out as we see fit.  Mine goes to work, running, and the social discourse required for relationships outside the first two time magnets.  Some of you may be thinking this attitude will pass on my part, but it will not.  For the past several years it has become apparent to me there is a trade off.  Run less + cross train + do healthy crap = faster times/running.  Not interested.  I'll do what I want which is essentially run most days and be happy that I still can.

This in no way means that when races come up I don't do the best I can.  Most races I enter are to essentially do that.  Since I am my own best friend I typically enjoy doing hard workouts myself.  They are my workouts.  No different than the books I choose to read, but I have to tell you up front that apart from that I am slow.  Here is the index to what I'm talking about:

Winter trails = 10 - 13 minute miles
Summer trails = 9 - 11 minute miles
Winter roads = 9:30 - 10:30 miles
Summer roads = 8:45 - 10 minute miles.

So if you reach out to me to do a run...thanks for including me.  It will be the highlight of my running week.  If you think by some reason I may want to thrash around a bit you are probably wrong.  I simply won't run less during the week to feel better.  I have not reached that stage yet.  Sure I'll run 30 seconds faster a mile faster a mile if that's the deal, but past that erodes my running enthusiasm for the days ahead. 

The disclaimer is this is not the present situation with any of my running friends.  The runs have been actually at pace perfect.  However, Ice Age looms just over 4 months away and if it appears I'm sand bagging I am not.  That's all I have for that day. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Kilgore Trout

Another year of running in the bank.  The whole enterprise has been much fun over the past four plus decades.  Anyone who has run with me has heard various renditions of runs ventured.  Some are races from eons ago, events that happened on the run, and more than likely my take on various running related topics.  When I look back it was a lot of fun running dual and even tri-meets in high school and college.  Does much of this go on anymore?  I seemed to be much more effective man to man than in bigger meets.  I was faster than I looked so if you hung around too long there was a good chance it would go down to an all out sprint finish.  In bigger events they were way out there so no chance of jumping anybody.  In college I was the guy at the end of the line at Ponderosa asking coach if I could bump up my meal if there was any extra cash left.  I guess the attitude came from my HS coach who stated, "We're not very good, but we're funny."  That we were.  We had guys so far back we had to send out search parties. 

I ran the numbers again for 2017 and it appears Dewey has won the wingman award for the 4th consecutive year by his recollection.  Here is the top ten list:

Dewey - 35
Tim - 33
Dean - 12
Christine - 11
Clement - 9
Andrea - 8
Sharon - 4
Steve HK - 4
Ron - 4
Andy - 3
Angela - 3

At the end of last week I determined I needed 52.5 miles this week to achieve 2,500 on the year.  Today's run of 8.5 miles sealed the deal.  Part of me wants to aim at 3,000 next year.  That is an additional 1.37 miles per day than this year.  If I average 8.25 miles per day the yield is 3,011.25.  Yes, this is what it has come down to.  I guess I'll aim at 60 miles a week.  The math looks easy if you run it like this 7 - 7 - 7 - 7 - 7 - 15 - 10.  I'll see what happens, but if I get serious about this it means the added aggravation of actually planning ahead and running when other stuff should be getting done.  I'm a running bum.  Getting out the door isn't a big issue most of the time.  Even when I'm waxed (which seems like a lot lately) I just have a couple more cups of coffee and solve the problem.  On another note it has been like -25F around here with the wind chill and there was no lack of getting up a posse to go running.  I was on Lets Run and people were....I'll leave it at that.  How hard is it to throw on an extra pair of sox, shorts, and another hat? 

2017 Race Recap:

4/1 Southshore Half Marathon - 1:30:02
5/6 Hartford Love > Hate 5k - 20:13
5/13 Ice Age 50 Mile - 9:13:01
6/25 Frebeka 5 Mile - 34:22
9/16 Al's Run 8k - 32:39
10/8 Glacial Trail 50k - 5:04:46
11/18 JFK 50 Mile - 8:27:27

It was a good year.  My right knee troubled me for 6-7 months.  I tweaked it out on the Ice Age trail in April.  It was never bad enough to stop running so I did not, though at times I had to hedge.  For the most part the pain vanished in early November.  I've always been lucky like that.  Tacos and pumpkin pie await me so have a good 2018.