Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Riding the clutch

Slowly getting used to the time continuum necessary for training and the mind of an ultra runner.  I know 50-60 miles a week appears paultry to serious runners, but it doesn't zip by at 6:45 - 7:15 per mile pace anymore.  I go more by time, so if it is 8 - 9 minutes a mile so be it.  Soon, I believe I will move my 60 minute runs up to 1:10 which has always been my bread and butter goal.  I think that should go by rather quickly in my head, but I guess we'll see once winter actually gets here.  The 1:10 sessions worked well in 2009 so I won't get greedy. 

I actually wasn't looking forward to getting back to morning runs, but it is nice to be done.  Like Clem said a week ago, "It's like your cheating."  Kind of.  I get home and can just not worry about it.  Of course it's nice knowing on this end someone is down the road waiting for you to show up.  Accountability can be a good thing.  When you get home in the winter your tired and they are making dinner.  The conditions are crap and it is pitch dark.  It is so easy to take a "recovery day."

Running daily eventually toughens you up.  I feel tired, but after moving around all day and a decent nights sleep your ready to do it all over again.  After several months our loop time has decreased by 2-3 minutes, though it doesn't seem we are running any faster.  That is the training effect.  Because it takes a while to get there it also doesn't disappear after 1-2 weeks of illness or injury.  I have a few small issues, but nothing serious at this point.  Most dents have been from mis-steps or slips.  Usually a couple miles loosens things up and you get back to work.

I am running all about I want to at this point.  Wouldn't mind approaching 70, but I need to stay somewhat conservative.  Not sure I can continue to "stay fresh" for the serious training needed in a couple months if I push the limit.  When the hard training comes it is just that.  Hard.  The odd part is, on the runs themselves I can get the work in.  It is the constant feeling of tiredness throughout the day which is difficult.  I want to get there in good enough shape that this is limited to only the weekends and an occasional week day. 

I've laid out my plan.  It is about 80% of past volume.  The strength/speed portion will be close to 95% volume at about 85% of past effort.  This could change a bit, but I don't expect I am capable of doing sub 6:00 miling too much and incorporating the long runs necessary for the sport.  I just don't recover like I used to.  The long runs are a big portion of the sport, so I don't want to drag through every one of them.  I also don't want to be fully rested.  This will be where the experience comes in.  Easy days will be required.  Hard training will be required.  Finding the proper mix is what makes this sport entertaining.  One thing I do know, the bigger the base the higher the peak.  There is a bit more room for adjusting.  When you are in a position you feel you absolutely have to do something due to lack of training...mistakes are made.  I've lived it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Moistened bint

I was looking at a couple ultra race calendars and I must say there are quite a few runs around.  What gets me is what some races charge for entry fees.  Seventy bucks for early entry into a 50k?  Are you kidding me?  Sixty bucks for a half marathon?  We are really fortunate around Wisconsin to have reasonably priced events.  There was a time would I'd enter the occasional short race for the sake of racing.  At $25.00 for Pete and Harry's 5k I'll pass.

It is good to see so many people running.  Most people know I run, so as most of you, I get the update on people's running friends and a local half marathon they are shooting for.  Of course everyone has a friend who is really fast.  What can you run a half in?  I don't really enjoy talking about running outside the inner circle.  I do however find myself interested in sports others participate in, especially if they are competitive.  I enjoy finding out their training philosophy and their perspective on competition.

The thing about talking about running with people who don't run, or worse, people who believe they know a lot about it is the evaluation process.  You can tell when people are trying to pin you down about your running so they can find something to one up you.  Inside I want to say something like, "Go get your band of merry men and lets run that 5k this weekend."  But I don't.  I'm not happy I feel that way, but I do like that the competitive juices are still there.  So, like most, I pretend my best days are behind me and I'm happy hobby jogging most days of the week.

Last week:

Mon = 7.0 w/ Jamie and dogs
Tue = 7.0 w/ Jamie and dogs
Wed = 9.2 w/ Jamie and his dog
Thu = 7.2 w/ Jamie and dogs
Fri = 17.4 w/ some of it w/ Christine and Robert
Sat = 8.2 w/ my dog
Sun = 5.0 w/ my dog

Week = 61.0

Feeling decent.  Not sure I'll do the whole 50k this coming Saturday.  I want to.  Just not sure I am capable of holding back as much as I want.  Also, I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.  It would certainly take something out of me for a week.  It will be a game day decision.  With nice weather it will be difficult not to take advantage and run the whole thing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winding out in low

It should not take any one long to discover my favorite race and event of "ALL-TIME" is the Ice Age 50 mile.  I ponder it everyday from about November to race day.  Primarily I'm always tweaking training thoughts on what I should be doing.  If anything it gets me out the door.  For whatever reason, my willingness to train changes as does my reason for being out there.  I like the years I get motivated to race.  Some years it just becomes more important.  I thought the urge would gradually fade away as I aged, but it just keeps coming back.  Sometimes you just want to be in the mix.

If your looking for info on hydration, eating, supplements, et cetera, I am not the guy for that.  You think I'd try and study this, but for the most part I seem to do okay taking something at every station, drinking regularly, and staying on top of my electrolytes every hour.  When I'm running out there, I just try and achieve a certain feel and wait for a hot spot the last 15-20 miles.  That is what my training is pointed at.

I don't feel over the hill, but myself and many of my contemporaries stuggle with doing too much, not knowing when to rest, or back off when an injury seems iminent.  This is reality.  I'm not going to be pounding out 80 mile weeks.  I just can't or won't do it on a regular basis.  It is really all about surviving the day and having something for tomorrow (Grabowski).  This fits my running style, habits, tradition, or whatever you want to call it.  I like to run everyday and feel like I made progress.  It just seems to make me mentally and physically stronger.  Sure I take days off, but more so now because it seems like the best decision.

When I tell you I have literally trained about everyway I can think of, I am not lying.  I tried a put it all in the long run last year philosophy, which was basically one weekly long run, 3 shorter runs, and 3 days off.  It didn't pan out for me.  So, I've been pouring through the training logs trying to mine out what may produce the best results.  This is what I've concluded.

1. Don't get too far ahead of yourself.  Keep it fresh.  Slowly increase the weekly miles.  Get used to running everyday.  The main training should take place starting at the end of February.  Get there in one piece.
2. Get some longer runs in, but don't become a slave to them.  Try and remember your running the next day.  Slowly get used to the idea that Wednesday should eventually be near 2 hours.  I don't need to be there right now...stay a bit hungry.
3. When you run the occasional 50k before the training begins in earnest, do it in a manner which mimics training and not throwing down the gauntlet.  Stuff like this will compromise your training for a couple weeks if your not careful.  Not to mention it will make Dave a dull boy.
4. Sometime in January it is okay to do some up tempo work (Grabowski language).  Maybe only 2-3 miles a couple times a week, but at a solid effort.  Just get used to the idea of legging it out a bit.
5. Maybe transition some of this to a weekly hill work like 4 x 2:30 up hospital hill.  Again, not like the old days of blasting them, but a real solid effort...the kind that fits me and usually by myself.
6. When it is 11-12 weeks out from Ice Age, have a set plan on what you expect to do over that time.  Write it down and execute.  You can't run everyone else's workouts.
7. Keep these things in mind concerning the schedule.
- I won't need a run of 3-5 hours every weekend.
- I have to maintain the mid week long run.
- Resist the urge to run twice a day just to get miles in the log book.
- When I do my two faster runs a week, don't worry that the run that day didn't cover a lot of distance.  Don't become a slave to the watch. 
- On the easy easy.  I don't have to prove to myself everyday I can run fast...and don't add in extra miles.
- The day after the long run, get used to the idea of running easy for 1:00 - 1:30.
- Race sparingly.
- Train at Nordic often and consider doing 1-2 of the long runs by myself.  I tend to get a better idea of what I can do rather than watching someone set the pace or go buck wild.  It gives you a better feel for your personal ebb and flow.  After all, at Ice Age you basically are left to your own thoughts, so get used to it.
- Lastly, don't be afraid of a little rest.  At some point in time your body needs to absorb the training.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

From North, South, East, and West

Good functionality the past two weeks.  Sore here and there, but when you go to the biggest dance of the year, you dance with the one who brung ya.

12/5 = 7.0 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/6 = 7.0 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/7 = 7.0 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/8 = OFF
12/9 = 6.3 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/10 = 19.4 w/ John Ejnik in 3:01, 9 degrees F at start
12/11 = 9.6 w/ Minooka crew

Week = 56.3

12/12 = 6.3 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/13 = 7.0 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/14 = 6.0 on TM and tweaked groin
12/15 = 6.5 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/16 = 7.1 w/ Jamie and dogs
12/17 = 9.1 w/ Joel at Funk Road
12/18 = 15.1 w/ Christine at Lapham (2 Crawford loops)

Week = 57.1

Nothing fancy.  Just good aerobic training.  Getting used to the idea of running everyday...which I prefer.  Want to work on getting the Wednesday run a bit longer.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's only a model

The one thing about running is you are sure to have experiences in life you wouldn't have had watching The Flintstones.  Some are planned for and others are not.  Here's a few of my memorable experiences.

- Double crossing of the Grand Canyon in 2009 with Andy, Barry, and Clem.  Farging A.

- Circa 1979 I was running down Devil's Elbow Road which has various twists and hills.  I had heard of a big buck in the area and I was about to meet him face to face.  Sunset, coming up a small rise to an open field to my left.  One tree was between us when I caught a glimpse.  Massive, perhaps 15 yards away.  I stopped and looked right at him.  He didn't move.  After about 20 seconds of eye balling each other he cantored off across the road in front of me.

- My first Boston Marathon in 2002.  A very patriotic year as it was the first race after 9/11.  I set my marathon PR there at 40 years old.

- Around 2004 I went on a typical marathon training run of 20 miles.  There was no plan, I wasn't rested...just go and get it in.  There is a spot at about 0.4 miles into the run I always check my watch.  I was through there about 25 seconds fast which seemed odd because I didn't feel like I was moving any faster.  It just felt easy.  One of those rare days you don't tire.  You just go faster and faster wondering when it will end.  It didn't and I logged a 2:08.  I have never had a training run before or since of that length that felt so easy. 

- One winter up here in Wisconsin I had a 32 mile training run planned for Saturday.  Looking at the weather that Wednesday I saw the weekend was going to be -35 degree F wind chill.  I got up at 2:30 AM the next morning in the middle of January and got it in.  I kept thinking what my old boss used to say.  "Don't let the bastard's grind you down." 

- 1983 on a trainig run with two other guys from the XC team early Saturday.  A truck comes by and runs us off the road.  Pleasant communications were exchanged and the truck headed back.  After a bit more communicating the truck turns around and tries to run us over.  It is now driving through people's yards and over whatever to get us.  Neighbors are wondering why a pick-up is blowing threw the lawn.  No one was hurt, but we did end up seeing the guy in court.

- Around 78' I ran the Wheeling, WV 20k and stuck around for the awards banquet mainly because they drew a slew of good runners.  Big banquet area and well attended.  Just when it started, with few seats left open a guy sits beside me.  It was Bill Rodgers.  I went back in 98' and saw Bill there again after the race.  I know enough about Bill that he says stuff like this to a lot of people, but he said, "We've met here before haven't we."  Good enough for me.  He beat me both times.

It's been fun.  I've found people's dogs and lost people's dogs.  I've had stuff thrown at me.  People have needed help fixing tires or directions.  I could feel a tool box with the tools I've found.  I already told the story of coming back with three boxes of cigars for my Dad.  The only thing which has not come to fruition is finding a bunch of cash.  Biggest haul was about a dollar.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Questions I've been asked?

What pace should I run in the marathon?  - I largely don't know, but if your shooting for time this is the one thing you try and figure out.  If there is time, go run a race of 10k to 13.1 and plug it in one of those fancy calculators. 

Have you ever carbo loaded?  - Yes, about a dozen times.  It has never done me a dis-service.  I also can't ever say it was what made my day.  I am more inclined not to do it now-a-days.

What trail shoes do you like?  - I don't run in trail shoes.  When I wanted to pop a good effort, I usually ran in light-weight trainers.

What kind of speed work do you do?  - I think it payed the best results when I followed a structured plan.  This usually consisted of a weekly tempo (hard) of 15 - 30 minutes and an interval workout on the track.  My best results came from 8 x 800m sessions (hard).  I used to like to turn and burn, but now I am more the 2m to 8k at a moderately hard pace.  If I was to add another element it would be 6 x 4:00 w/ 2:00 rest on the roads, or 8 x 2:00 w/ 1:30 rest at 5k race pace.

How do you taper?  - I go by the book, 75% 3 weeks out, 50% 2 weeks out, and 25% 1 week out for average weekly mileage.  Keep the intensity at shorter distances and shorten the long run.

When do you take days off?  - When I don't feel like running or am hurt.  I don't run that much anymore, but I have averaged 42 miles a week this year.  I am always in some kind of shape and getting up to 60 isn't a problem when the urge to race comes.

Do you run hills?  - Not as much as much as I should.  There is some gold to be mined in hills.  I want to get back to this.  Lots of value in a twice a week effort of 4 x 2:30 steep hill session as hard as you can handle.  Like to recover at top and do some cruising down as well when healthy.

How should I run 50 miles to achieve a good time?  - If you have been training earnestly, I would say it is best to go out at your normal training pace and let it come to you.  Meaning, when you feel real good resist the urge to go.  Take care of yourself, hydrate, fuel, take care of the intangibles.  After you get through the first bad patch usually somewhere midway, get your mojo back and look for a hot spot to run it in.  The simple act of passing people gets one fired up.

How can I get better? - Find time to run more mileage.  Another 15-20 a week is huge.  From that mileage, add another hour run, add another hour to your long run, and use the rest of it to establish a mid-week longer run of near 2 hours.  When you master this, move one of your weekly runs to a speed type session.

How do you fuel?  - I eat at least two hours before the event.  During the run I tend to eat more the first half and go to gel type products and Pepsi/Coke the last 15-20 miles.  I take 1-2 electrolyte pills an hour.  I sweat a lot, so I have to drink continually until I slosh and then I go to water.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

....But Mama

Training has been consistent.  Taking my time, not trying to get to carried away.  I easily could have ran 65 this week, but I made the decision to take Saturday off again and concentrate on a good Sunday effort.

Monday - 7.0 in 1:00 w/ Jamie and the dogs.
Tuesday - 7.1 in 1:00 w/ Jamie and the dogs.
Wednesday - 12.1 in 1:41 w/ Jamie and his dog.
Thursday - 8.0 in 1:12 at Nashotah w/ Joel's T-Day crew.
Friday - 7.2 in 1:00 w/ Jamie and the dogs.
Saturday - Off
Sunday - 13.6 in 1:50:10 (56:25, 53:45) Lapham Bunk loops w/ Bro. Grub.

Total = 55.0

Fitness wise I feel stronger than usual for this time of year.  Try an get to 60 next week.  My left leg
is a little tweaked from slipping going down hill.  Didn't notice until after run.  See how it operates
tomorrow AM.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mega Mind

I think I like trail ultras a lot because I loved cross-country.  It is even fun to watch the HS meets, but deep down one would like to jump in.  A buddy of mine and I have talked for years about having a CC season.  Plenty of open meets, (and you could throw in some shorter trail races) you could also run at Parkside in the open meet with the college kids.  Then there is the various USATF meets.  Might be a gas, or at least a nice change.

I've been running most of my life.  Why am I sore all the time?  I don't stretch at all.  Would that help some?  Not having a problem running...just achey quite a bit. 

I've noticed running early in the AM that people have little regard for stop signs.  I always run with the idea people can't see me.  I'm no match for a ton vehicle, no matter if I have the right-of-way.  The most dangerous place is in the neighborhoods.  People look for cars with lights when backing out.  Not you and the dog 10 feet away.  If there like me their saying, "What in the heck are they doing out here?"

After I say my prayers at night...I immediately think about running.  What if I did this, what races are coming up, how can I beat so-and-so?  The biggest thing is running training regiments through and through.  No wonder I train different every year.

I'm more convinced every year it's all about the weekly miles and not the girth of long runs one gets in.  Why tire yourself out every weekend as we are only hobby joggers in the overall picture.  I'm thinking one effort of 4 hours or so every three weeks.  Those get to be a grind week in and week out.  Plus I feel they compromise your ability to get in decent training the rest of the week.  I'm more of a run every day guy.  I'd like to get up to 10 runs a week.  This always seemed to make me stronger and with a decent taper before a race your bullet proof...or at least that's the hope.

I'd like to hit the track this spring for some bashing.  The dog cuts corners though...whatever it takes for the W I guess.  "Can I pet your dog?"  Beat it kid, she's a killer.                  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I admire your salt

In breaking down a training regiment you have to look at a bunch of factors.  I have never figured out how to run effectively on the trails and this is my goal over the winter.  First I have to establish what I call my three phases of weekly training:

Phase 1: Run every morning for about an hour Monday through Friday.  This is complete.
Phase 2: Run Tuesday through Thursday in the PM.  Have averaged about 1 workout so far.
Phase 3: Run 20 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday, or 30 miles over the weekend.  I'm at about 15.

Done correctly, one can get about 80 a week from this.  I have been hesitant to really pile up the mileage and figure I'll add 3-5 miles a week.  The goal is to establish all three phases by early January.  I'd maintain this another 6 weeks or so and then look to impart a few longer runs.  I'd incorporate one tempo run and some type of fast stuff the 12 weeks leading up to Ice Age.  I'd also like to make a stretch and get a 2 hour run in sometime mid week if possible.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Show Stopper

I watched, "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" this Sunday for the first time.  I guess I'm not as refined as the reviewers on AMC.  All I kept thinking was, "I'd burry you guys."
Favorite Movie: The Deer Hunter

I read something by Mitch Albom called Five People You'll Meet in Heaven.  It was enough for me to finish.  Mitch is a decent writer.
Favorite Book:  The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper

I raked leaves this weekend.  The whole family did.  We get a lot of leaves.  Lots of brown.
Favorite Color: Green

I like shoes that are inexpensive and have lots of size 13s to pick from.  Like more room now in the toe box then when younger.  Probably due to ultras.  I wear the shoe evenly, so I like something that doesn't destruct easy.  Usually wear heavy shoes.
Favorite Shoe: Adidas

I enjoy older rock and country.  I whip through the dial.  Finding older tunes you seldom hear, but remember as a kid always fire me up; like Hotrod Lincoln.
Favorite Song: El Paso by Marty Robbins

I watch less and less TV, though I am a SportsCenter junkie.  Old reruns are still classic and bring back memories of yesteryear.
Favorite Old Sitcom: Get Smart
Favorite Detective Show: The Rockford Files

The retro cars are cool.  When I lived in Florida you saw about every make of high end car made.  I'd never spend the money for a cool car, but they are fun to look at and see who's driving them.
Favorite Car:  Challenger

I do watch old movies based on who's in them.  We all have our fav's.  Clint, McQueen, Connery, etc.  I enjoy the actors my parents watched.
Favorite Actor: The Duke

Still play cards semi-frequently.  Spades was popular as was poker in college.  I had to learn a new game when I married a Wisconsinite.  Not always easy to find consensus though.
Favorite Card Game: Sheepshead

Been running since 76'.  Probably hit 55,000 miles or so.  I don't need motivation...I have always enjoyed the freedom of movement.
Favorite Distance: 50 miles
Favorite Runner: Gaston Roelants

Other favorites:
Baseball - Roberto Clemente
President - Lincoln
Board Game - Trivial Pursuit
Food - Hamburgers

Monday, November 7, 2011

Buck Wild

Ice Age

Most know this is my favorite race of the year.  I've prepared many differnet ways and ran it different ways.  It is a great race and has had outstanding direction and support since I ran my first one in 2000.  Now-a-days, I tend to run it like I did that first time, plus I throw in what I have learned and gauge it by feel. When I line up I try and stay relaxed and ease into the race.  I do a few test runs the month before to see what kind of fitness might be available.

The Blue Loop.  I used to hammer it, but I found it is a good time to just settle in and run it at training pace.  Nothing to special about that.  I typically see people who went out much too fast.  I see quite a few people around me who are wearing gas stations and wonder if that's all necessary to be in the top 10-15% of the field.  I try and take good care of myself early.  I have to watch I don't eat too much. 

To Highway 12.  Whoever was going to be ahead of me by now is.  I'll pick an occasional person off here and there as people start to reconsider their early starting pace.  From Duffin road until I exit the woods, I check to see how long it takes so I can gauge the time on the way back.  It gives me a feel of how I'm moving later on.  Coming out of the woods you can finally see people ahead and the first inkling of racing enters my head.  When I see people ahead, I don't have to think about closing the gap, it automatically happens.  Getting to 12 is a big lift as my wife usually starts crewing for me here.  I chug some hammer gel and drink and get ready for the next section.

12 to the turn.  I get a little pumped because now I count who is ahead of me coming back.  There are exceptions, but I typically start catching people here.  I try and get out of that turn as soon as possible because now I need to start finding a hot spot.

Turn to 12.  Seeing people on the way back.  Exchange hellos.  It is a fair amount of uphill so I try and not go buck wild.  I don't like to have my low spot here, so again it is just getting a feel.  At 12 is the last real load up for me.  Don't eat as much after this.

12 to Duffin road.  Through the prairie and into the woods.  Usually my lowest part of the race.  I run that hill at a decent clip because, I pass people, I want the people behind me to wonder what's going on, and it gets my mind and body to start thinking about racing.  I used to hate this section, but now because I know how long it should take I don't worry about it.  It is hard to see people in here, but usually a fair amount of people are just ahead.  I usually catch a few people in here.  At Duffin, I blow down my first load of Pepsi or mountain Dew and do an evaluation.

Duffin to Confusion Corner.  I do well through here.  If things are going well I start seeing more and more people.  It is not uncommon for me to see 3-4 people on the hill just before Confusion Corner.  Last year was the first year I saw zero.

Confusion Corner to Horseman's.  Game on!  I try and stretch it out.  Probably running my best if things are going well.  I just go by people and that is a huge boost.  You really have to watch lighting out too early.  Though fun to run past people, there is a lot of ground left to cover.

Horeseman's to Horseman's.  I time these sections as well.  I waste little time in aid stations.  Heck, I barely acknowledge people anymore because I am waxed.  Again I count how many ahead of me and how far.  This is a very difficult section for me, but it is for everyone.

Horseman's to Finish.  Hopefully I am racing.  Half the time it is survival, but even then my early easier pace has left me just a hair better than most.  There is always a hand full off people totally shot.  I feel for them.  They laid it out there and now all that's left is the survival shuffle.  Man I have been there.  That's one reason I run it the way I do now.  Every few years I'm doing my fastest running at this point.  But, I'm at the point in my Ice Age career that the fast guys are way ahead.  There is usually huge gaps of minutes between people.  Hard to go wicked buck wild when no one around.  Not that I want to, but it sounds good typing it.

Just under 8:04 last year.  I wasn't happy with the time, but I wasn't disappointed.  With this plan, I usually can run the last 35 miles without getting passed.  Maybe I need to notch it up a hair next year.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

To the mattresses

I have trained about every way I can think of.  I believe what has been most beneficial over the years was weekly miles.  The more mileage piled up the better the end result tended to be.  The easiest way to achieve the mileage was 9-10 runs a week.  After your body gets used to it, then the speed you run those runs tends to increase, but depending on the season doesn't really have to.  You have to build the big aerobic engine.  I don't care if your running 5ks or ultras the same principle applies.

I also think it's important not to drop this big engine into a body not ready for it.  In words, don't go from 30 a week to 60+ right away.  The body needs to adjust to the demands as well.  When you can get these two to synch together you have a good thing going.  This is the best way to get ready for any season.

For ultras, I don't think it is necessary to run 3-4 hours every week on this plan unless your doing races off 100k+.  If you like do it every other or even every three weeks, just so you keep your mileage up.  Shorter runs of an hour done quite a few times a week tend to be done at faster paces and your recovery is faster.  At 50, I just don't recover enough on 1:30 runs like I used to.  I tend to try and get to the point where I work up to 2 hours Saturday and Sunday.  The rest of the week the goal would be to do 7-8 runs of 50 minutes to 1:10.  At least that is what I would like to get near this winter, though I may stick to back-to-back 1:30s over the winter with an occasional long run. 

If you can come into February-March with this under your belt you can make the adjustments you need to have a successful season.   

Saturday, October 22, 2011

They're generation steam heat

The last few weeks I have been enjoying HS XC.  It has been a blast watching these kids lay it on the line and race.  You see the puff of white smoke and here they come.  I know a few kids and a few of the coaches which makes it a bit more fun.  I have been cheering for Waukesha South and today they took second at Sectionals so off to state they go.  I was so happy for them and the parents I know.  They should be strong next year as the top 6 runners are returning.  Good luck Blackshirts!

Before the girls race a boom box was blaring out The Ramones (Hey Ho, Let's Go!) and I have to tell you, I wasn't the only guy around 50 bopping my head.  There is one thing I learned all those years ago and it still holds water today; you have to have a wicked buck wild kick the last quarter.  I hear some people say, "He had too much left if he can do that."  Though this may be true in a few cases, I just think in HS XC this has to be part of the arsenal.  You have to be able to turn and burn.  The Omega gear you possess needs to come unfurled...blitzkrieg bop.  Though, in our day it was P-Funk, uncut the bomb.

Last night as I went to bed, I remembered my last dual meet in HS XC against Mohawk who was a local power.  The race was run on my home course and I so badly wanted to win.  In track I usually faired well in dual meets because teams spread the wealth over the distance races.  This race would be me versus their top 7 and they had a coach who knew he had to pack run me.  Basically, who ever was feeling good at the time would take turns pushing the pace in an effort to wear me down.  Before most meets, my Dad and I would discuss strategy.  Dad had a keen sense of my strengths.  He never missed races and had watched me for three years.  What he told me was simple, "These guys read the paper.  You've won 7-8 races.  Go out there on your course and run them into the ground." 

The day was pleasant.  Dad brought a good friend of the family to watch me for the first time.  Never think that just because you show up that kids don't notice...I did.  The race went off hot, but I expected that.  Guys would take off and I'd have to respond.  I waited, because my hot spot would come.  At half-way Murphy and Marvola shot out and I went with them.  When I caught them around the back pond it hit me that after the little rise there is a slight downhill grade for a couple hundred yards.  It was early, but that's where I took off.  I tore through the unsuspecting gaggle of geese and just kept churning.  With a half mile to go it was over and I breezed in with a comfortable win.  Though I was happy, I knew it would be my last meet in dual meet competition.  Turn out the lights the party is over.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fleeting Glimpse

Shoes:  Not picky.  Any shoe works for me just so it fits.  I do like to race in flats for short races and light weight trainers for road ultras.  I like to tuck the laces under the shoe strings.  This has worked really well in regard to not becoming untied.  I try an hit 1,000 miles a pair.

Racing:  Years ago was more concerned about racing for place than time.  Now it's all about finding the correct pace and holding it as long as the race takes.  Surprisingly this is easy to get my head around. 

Training:  Consistent day in day out training is best for me.  Sure, I'll take days off, but I seem to run best when out most days.  Would like to get a few more doubles in this year.  Still not convinced a lot of runs over 3 hours needed.  Sure, maybe a 4 and a 5 hour, but not every week.  A couple at most before each race.  If I can get 2 runs of 2 hours in a week over the winter I feel good and can run the other days. 

Key Races:  To race well, I have to zone in on the goal and stay with a plan.  Get the weekly miles in, maintain the strength runs, run a lot near race pace, and run 10% below race pace.  The trick is knowing when to rest and when to forge through.  I like shorter cycles because (12 weeks) anything longer is really a drag.  I like 9 weeks of hard training with a 3 week taper.  If I race then, I expect the times to be slower under load.  It makes no sense for me to do mini tapers.  I like to do trial runs to prepare for the event and gain confidence.

Mileage:  The more the better if you can handle it.  70-80 is a really good week for me.  I haven't done that kind of training for years.  Hard for me to race well in ultras at 40-50 a week.

Competition:  I always do better when someone I know is training for the same event or has like minded goals.  It tends to get me out the door when I don't want to train.

Motivation:  The fact that I can still run is motivation enough.  Dream big.  If I fail, the crew still loves me the same.  Both home and away.

Marathons:  For me, this is the ultimate test for a distance runner.  More closely related to a 10K than any ultra.  Endurance and speed and having the guts to race past 20 on fumes.  You literally have to crawl inside the brain the last three miles and operate the remaining moving parts from up there.  Everyone gets to figure this out on their own.

Other:  Try and keep things simple.  Always carry toilet paper.  Run in clean shorts.  Run into the wind out at first.  Look at the weather before running.  Run at least 30 minutes before bagging any runs.  Yield the right-of-way, vehicles weigh a lot more than you.  Decide how many days you can run hard or long a week and stick to it.  Plan your race schedule a year in advance if getting serious.  Get sleep.  Avoid bonus time when Lapham closes.  Learn to run harder down the hills rather than up.  Go nuts every so often.  Try some sort of speed training one season.  Run your training by someone you trust  for a big event just to get another look at it.  Dedicate 4-5 months to just base training.  Of course your tired, your training.  Don't always run other peoples workouts.  Nothing wrong with the occasional run hard to the barn at the end of workouts.  Fit in a fair amount of hobby jogging a week.  Always run down people you see out and about running.  Know where all the key toilets are in your metro area.  Running for time only instead of always the same routes eliminates boredom; just turning here and there is kind of fun.  Try fartlek running once a week for a nice change.  Tell someone you love them everyday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This song still brings it...though not a Sabbath fan growing up, it always gets max volume when on the radio.

I am back to a morning runner.  Fifty-five minutes before work with Jamie and his dog Rosie.  Of course I bring Cookie most days, so it is a regular party.  Good to be back running with Jamie.  I usually end up running well when I get some steady AM stuff in.  This way I keep up the volume and don't do any real long runs of more than 15 over the winter.

I feel like I should be running harder, but I just like the hobby jogging thing.  Kind of nice to pick your spots and try and run healthy...especially over the fall/winter which did not happen last year.  I'd like to get to 60 a week and then get up around 70.

Three races this year, which is about average for me.  Ice Age and Voyageur and then the Al's 8k.  Still a chance I'll go and do that marathon in December.  Not sure how everyone manages all those ultras every year.  My hip carriage would cease to operate functionally.

Plan on running hard stuff next year, so I am not real excited by trying to get fast at the end of the year.  I really have to pick my spots and I'd like to have an exceptional amount of base work in prior to. 

Good luck to all at Glacial this weekend.  I have a four day weekend, so outside of painting and fishing I am going to enjoy the time down.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Astral plane

How cool would it be to speak the French language?

Caught a couple Seinfeld episodes tonight.  Yada-yada-yada.

I get my hair cut at a barber shop.  It is old school in there.  Womanless.  They had
The Rockford Files playing on an 20 year old TV.  $9.50 in case your wondering.

My Dad's middle name was Leroy.

When we moved from PA to WI we brought the Tomcat we kept outside.  He had to move
inside because we live around a million houses and it's the rules.  I'd let him out occasionally
without much thought of it.  Apparently it was like Disney World to him because he was a
killing machine.  Came home one day after work and found about every type of animal/rodent
that inhabits the city strewn across the yard.  Rabbits cut in half, squirrels beat to a pulp, moles,
chipmunks, you name it in tatters.

I told the kids he had to live with someone else.

I've told this story.  Running real early through the neighborhood (a million homes) in Florida real early one morning.  There was a van parked on the curb to my left.  This weiner dog decided to be a hero that day and tried to stealth attack me in the dark.  He flew of the porch w/o making a noise, sprinted under the van and was just about ready to harsh my mellow.  He didn't count on two things.  I saw him and I'm a lefty.  Without breaking stride I timed my booting mechanism, set the Kentucky windage, and planted right underneath him.  He launched about 20 feet a$$ over tin cup.  He was fine, but he always watched me go by after that.  I don't blame him, if I was a dog I'd have the same mentality.  I wonder how he remembered it?

When my brother and I first had ten speed bikes they had a little odometer down by the wheel.  We rode 40 miles around the Church parking lot just to watch the miles turn.

My Mom claimed she was never beat by a boy in a foot race until she was in high school.

My Grandma is 98.  When we tell her that she says, "There is no way, I've seen people that old and their all wrinkly."

My daughter is her 30th great-grandchild.  I am the 10th oldest of 26 grand kids.  I wonder how many she has now?

My cousin Gail set the girl's high jump school record in 79'.  Her oldest daughter beat the record in 09'.  Her youngest daughter beat it this year.  How cool is that?

I once ate 63 chicken wings...we ran out.

They always say it's darkest before the dawn.  If this is true, then that's the best time to steal your neighbor's newspaper.

Friday, September 23, 2011


...and your cage isn't getting any bigger.

But maybe mine has, or should I say it would be nice to have a bigger cage.  If Quick wants a bigger cage then why can't I?  In that spirit, a conversation (briefly, but that's all it takes) recently with Brother Grub about running certain events has me contemplating something I thought I had put away for good. 

First, how I got to this idea was rather simple in nature.  A few days ago on a hobby jog it hit me that at Voyageur I was 41st out of what....just over a 100 finishers?  Then at Al's run 8k I was 41st out of 2,906 finishers.  Which to me is odd because I train for ultras and not short races.  I mean 8 - 10 minute miles in training is the norm.  What gives?

I told Brother Grub what about going to the Striders 24 - 12 - 6 hour event next September and attempting to hit 50 miles in 6 hours? would be a stretch, but if the Grubster was there and motivated it would be an honest reason to try and strap it on.  I love the track.  I like the idea you can continually monitor progress and take care of yourself.  Right this moment I feel I could do at least half that distance minimum.

Part of me wants to run fast struff again, but not necessarily waste it on a bunch of short races.  I also have a feel for what it takes having raced 5 road 100ks (not well most of the time) and what it may involve.  The trick isn't hard if it was 35-40 miles.  It's what happens the last 10-15 miles.

I'm so darned fired up about it I am subconsciously running numbers in my head without trying to think about it.  If you run 7:12 pace for 50 miles that is 6:00 flat.  I have a taste of this as I went through the 80k (49.7 miles) split in 5:58:04 at Ed Fitz in the 100k.  Sure that was 9 years ago and I am 50, but I still have this mentality I can run faster on hard surfaces.

But Dave, what about the training?  I know what it would take and honestly it seems easier training on the roads.  I ran 9 miles today and wound it out a little in 1:06.  A run on the trails like that for me is typically 1:20 - 1:30 which seems to take more out of me.  Once you beat yourself into road shape, training does not take that long.  A 2 hour run turns into 16 miles...done.  I'm more of a volume guy for this type of running with only a few key long runs sprinkled in, but they would be road maps to the event.  In otherwords, they would be trials on the track. 

On the flip side, if Grubby was there and I could convince him I was in shape to go out at 7:00(?) pace, surely one of us could make it.  I mean, I would want to know beforehand on a trial run I could make 35 miles at near that pace (considering it would be under training load and in the summer). 

The sad part is I believe this is doable.  The trick is still being fired up after Ice Age.  I'm seriously thinking about doing the Rocket City Marathon on December 10th.  I don't want to waste all my adrenaline stores on this race, but breaking three would be the goal...on the least amount of miles possible.  There is a reason behind this, but it would take too long to explain.  I'm sure Quick knows the answer already.

Maybe this is a pipe dream.  I'd run thousands of miles for one magic day.  Perhaps this to shall fade, but just when I thought I'd accepted my running lot in life that little 8k got me thinking again. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Breath deep

Well, my 10th Al's Run 8k is in the books.  Mission accomplished.  29:52.

The two weeks prior to the event I did no track work.  I figured why risk blowing something out.  I knew I would be close, but I have a good sense of pace so I went with what I thought course offered.  First mile has some downhill and I hit it in 5:47 which I knew I would give back on the hill in mile two.  Hit that in 12:01 and felt okay.  Tried to find stride and you dump down a little hill before mile three which went by in 17:57.  I hate mile four. I knew I had to push to have a chance.  I was hurting and who comes by...Ted Shue.  Four in 24:02 and I tried to not let Ted disappear.  I catch and pass him with a quarter mile to go and try to gap him to no avail.  Ted turns on the burners and roars by with 40 yards to go and I try and not let anyone else pull that.  Ted hits the finish in 29:51 for 40th overall and I 41st in 29:52.

I did pull 2nd in the age group with Jerry Husz winning the 50-54 in 26:03!  Wayne Lammers was the story of the day with an amazing 53:xx at 76 years old, easily winning the age group.  That's like a minute a mile faster than last year.

It was fun.  I did not enjoy the pain, which being an ultra runner I felt like I had snow boots on.  If I run next year, trust me there will be some faster training involved.  It was more fun than a 100 miler a looooooong stretch.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Predominantly natural

As I hit the age of 50 yesterday, it occured to me that yes, why the need to run 100 milers?  Yeah, I'll probably do another someday, but the element of trying to be competitive is gone.  When I think about it, I always liked to be quazi competitive in ultras.  The amount of effort required is rather tedious.  The "fun" factor isn't there.  I've completed a grand total of one 100 miler.  By comparison, I have done relatively few ultras compared to my running friends.  I think I have done 31 since 1999.

Ice Age 50m = 10 (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011)
WI FA 50K = 4 (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006)
John Dick 50k = 4 (2001, 2004, 2006, 2009)
National 100k = 3 (2001, 2002, 2004)
Voyageur 50m = 2 (2010, 2011)
Kettle 100m = 1 (2003)
Silver Comet 100k = 1 (2005)
World Cup 100k = 1 (2003)
JFK 50m = 1 (2000)
National 50k = 1 (1999)
Glacial 50k = 1 (1999)
Shelby Farms 50k = 1 (1999)
Bunk 50k = 1 (2010)

I also completed the Rim to Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon in 2009 which I'll count for #32.

Thinking of going back to the WI FA 50k, John Dick 50k, Ice Age 50m circuit, then run short distances in the summer.  Then the fall is open for a cooler ultra.  Perhaps Glacial as I haven't been there since 1999. 

I'm tired now, so I'll elaborate more later.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Narrow at the hip

The short race I have (8k) is three weeks from today.  By then I will have done 8-9 track workouts.  I decided against any interval work simply because I felt shorter 3200m and 5k efforts would have more bang for the buck.  I have put myself in position as coach, which means I need to look objectively at what I am trying to do.  I am recognizing as the runner I want constantly improvement to reinforce my confidence.  In speaking with Brother Grub (legendary mentor) it appears I have fell into a trap of sorts.

For the first workout of 3200m I wanted to see what 6:00 pace felt like, or even if I could approach it.  The result was good so it seemed a 5k trial was in order to have a sense of what racing was like and gain confidence.  I felt I achieved this.  On the next 3200m I tried to run by feel and discovered I am not at 6:00 cruise pace.  After 1200m I discovered I had to go to race mode to get to 5:58 at 1600m and then I just blasted home in that mode for a final 1600m of 5:49.  It was work, though I appeared to recover fine.

The plan was to run the next 5k better than the last one and this is my dilemma.  I don't think I'm rested enough to do this (that's fine, ran 10 yesterday) so I have to step in and tell myself a good tempo effort is in order.  Otherwise, I may start doubting.

Why is this?  What's to doubt?  On my second track effort I averaged 5:56 for a 5k, alone and unrested.  I need to build on what I have and work with it.  I'll do another 5k trial, but when I start cutting back and when it feels right.  I should be smart enough to figure this out, but you have to talk to other people sometimes to see the light.  I'm not 30 anymore.  Heck, I'm not 40 anymore.  I can use the 3200m efforts to simulate faster running and hopefully in this short period at least get to where the first half of the 8k can be done at cruising speed.  All I have right now is race mode to hit 6:00 or better.  I have to find a way to get to cruising speed, because right now I am not quite able to push from the start in pure race mode and break 30:00.  I don't have a lot of time, but I also am not going to do it in 1-2 workouts like the runner part of me wants to do.  The mind remembers too much from the past, while the body is missing a couple tools from the original set.

This short excursion back to the other side is fun, but it does remind me how hard it is to race well over short distances.  I would recommend everyone do the trip, but think hard about how long you pack for.  Going back to racing for time is a challenge.  You get nervous and anxious.  It takes you back a few years.  In all honesty, you want to beat people, but you have to do it for you and not someone else.  I guess that's what has made ultra running the better long term option for me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the good ship Venus

Trying to beam on.  Got in 1.5 hours Monday and same today.  Hit the track for my 3200m trial.  Tried not to look at watch and after 2-3 laps discovered I was lagging.  First 1600m in 5:58 and final one in 5:49 for a 11:47.  Heck, I'll take it.  Trying to run a bit under load.  Over at Mom-In-laws doing odd jobs and tweaked my back.  Takes forever to loosen up, but just move forward. 

- Killed a bat over there and she called the bat people.  I didn't realize I had to take a half dozen calls, retrieve the bat, drop it off and wait for their call.  Not for me, but she may have been exposed.  Told her it might have bitten her in her sleep.  That's pretty settling for an 80 year old. 

- Been hobby jogging in the morning at a park.  Why do people feel they need to race me occasionally?  Anyone else get this?  They stop in like a half mile.

- Went to outdoor festival in Waukesha with the wife and dog.  Twice I told people she's snippy, so don't pet her....she's moody.  Of course they didn't listen.  She dosen't always snip at people, but you just don't reach down at my dog's head when she's tired.

- Three months ago I had a dog charge me.  No big deal...but the owners typically say, "He won't bite you."  I said, "That's what the last 17 people said before I had to kick their dog in the face."  You don't really make friends that way.  I wasn't worried about the dog.  People get out in big parks and figure no else goes there so the leash law doesn't apply to me.  See it all the time in big parks...that have two dog parks in the park.

- On a positive note, I have found the people around here are pretty curtious when in comes to runners and bikers.  I give them the big wave and grin which they enjoy. 

I can't wait to get to work tomorrow!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Twin powers unite!

Well, I put in my first 5k on the track today.  Was hoping to hold 6:00 pace every 1600m.  Splits were 5:58, 5:57, 5:53 and :38 for last 200m for a 18:26 result.  I'd say the chances of breaking 30 at Al's is pretty solid.   Four weeks to go.

Boy, I don't read much in the way of books any more.  The last book I read was about 3 months ago.  It was a Mitch Albom book my wife had read.  Knew him from the Sports Reporters so I read it.  I think it was "The Five People You'll Meet in Heaven," but don't quote me on that.  I think I'm above average in just putzing around, so perhaps retirement will fit me.  I really don't watch much TV except for Sports center in the early AM over as much coffee as I can drink in 40 minutes.  It's 50/50 blend, so I have that going for me.

I love sandwiches.

My wife ordered a movie a while back called "Taken."  I actually enjoyed it.

I'm quazi planning to attend the College Baseball World Series next year in Lincoln.

The fastest guy I think that ever roamed the planet was Harvey Glance.

Michael Carter holds the HS record in the shot put.  His daughter Michelle hold the same HS record for girls.

One pill makes makes you larger (Fred) and one pill males you small (Barney).

Green is my favorite color and Lammers had a BOSS pair of green shoes on last week at Lapham Peak.

I love running on the track, but hate intervals.

I are an Alumni of Slippery Rock University 83'.

My favorite bumper sticker of all times was "If you don't like Hank Williams you can kiss my a$$."

The biggest ah-oh comment I heard was when my buddy challenged a crowd of mad people with, "Big guys in twos, little guys in bunches."

I lost interest in professional wrestling at about age 25-26. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Someone yelled

Out at Lapham Peak last night.  Another nice summer crowd.  I know the loop is only 6.7 miles, but I always get worked on the hills.  Last week I was cruising down them with Tony and this week I was barely hanging on to Brother Grub who was hobby jogging down them.  Adam and Katie spent their last time with us before moving to New Hampshire.  The good news is they bought pizza.  Adam is coming back for Ice Age, so that will be cool.

I really have no desire to run a 50k anymore.  Outside of John Dick which is a good winter trainer (I always peak at the weather before going out there) nothing motivates me to run one.  Yes, the spur of the moment local ones for fun I'll do, but racing one isn't one my list.  Since 100 milers aren't really on the list either I guess I'm primarily a 50 mile guy.  Seems like a fair test of running.

I really didn't fire up the grill much this summer.  We don't get really motivated to do supper around here much.  When the kids are out of school we lose the motivation to keep a schedule.  Heck, we are lucky to have everyone at home at the same time.  The Lapham supper is chips, fruit, and cookies.  Angela brought cherries last night the size of golf balls.

Having a tough time getting motivated to run this evening.  Think I'll wait to about 7 PM and go for an easy hour.  Try and get two easy runs in tomorrow and then hit the track Saturday for a 5000m time trial.  Thinking I'll try and hold 6:00 pace.  Mentally I start to coast the second mile, so I'll have to make a point to stay focused.  It will be hard...something I don't embrace much anymore.  I could compromise and do 6:10 - 6:15 and call it a good workout (which could happen), but with Al's on September 17th I probably am better served to try an uncut the bomb.

I'm not going up to Superior.  Not motivated to drive to PA and then come home and leave the next day to go to Northern MN.  There will be another time.  Plus the family does occasionally like me to be around.

I've never watched the movie Citizen Kane.  I'm going to have to do that.  Mallach stated he has watched Cool Hand Luke, "20 - 25 times."  Me too.  I love that movie.  Jeremiah Johnson is way up there as well.  I'm primarily a Sports Center guy...though the football coverage is a bit much.  Never a huge NBA fan, I must admit I enjoy this more highlight wise than football.  I never grew up around soccer, but will admit here publicly that I followed the US Women's team at the World Cup.  I get the feeling they lost to Japan simply because that was the only game I didn't get to watch.

Well, the new crossword for the day is waiting for me.  I'm not particularly good at them, but they are fun.  Robert Wehner is good at them.  I've noticed over the years some clues never change.  Famous Giant ball player.  Giant who roamed the Polo grounds.  OTT.  Thirty years of this stuff.  Other answers I see a lot are ARIA, ARA, ERRED, EEL, and OSS.  I get killed on new TV names or singers.  Now if they asked who was the hair stylist in the credits for Leave it to Beaver, everyone knows that is Florence Bush.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Head in shade

Seven on Monday...kinda waxed.  Ran 36 minutes this morning and went to the Carroll College track in the PM.  I did a 3200m trial, which I was hoping for 6:00 splits.  Was confident I could pull at least 6:10 pace, but really was seeing what happened.  First 1600m was 6:01 and I knew I had some gas, so I did the last 1600m in 5:50.  Pretty good sign that sub 30:00 at Al's is at least feasible.  There comes a point in races like these that two things develop.  I have to work on extending the length of the race I can cruise at 6:00 pace or better.  The last part is how far out can I go ballistic at.  Right now it's about 800 meters, but I need to get to about 2000 meters.  At some point in time you just throw down and right now I can't.  Hopefully, I can become sharpened enough to run the first 4 miles at 6:00 and launch from there.  In 2003 I was able to hold 5:30 pace through 4 (22:00 flat) and pull a 5:03 the last .97 miles. was only one workout of 3200 meters and already I'm speculating.  I'll do another track session on Saturday.  Maybe do 8000 meters and see how she goes.  I just run what feels right and look for a hot spot.

The hardest thing about getting older is how far you have to run before you feel okay.  If I was to decide if I felt like running by feel, then I'd be back to running 4 times a week.  I feel decent after the workout.  Loose, very little aches and pains, etc.  However, after a few hours or sleeping over night you get all beat-up.  It's like that old Gregory Peck line, "We've made other plans and they don't include you."

Did anyone watch the Secretariat Youtube piece on Belmont Stakes?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Clothed in crinoline

Finished the week with an easy 2:12 on trails.  Got in 60 miles for the week.  Felt pretty well, with the exception that it takes me a couple miles now-a-days to get the kinks out.  I'll shoot for similar results next week with a couple short fast runs.  I'd like to go for a sub 30:00 at the 8k on 9/17.  Seems like I should race a couple other short ones, but they get harder to find late in the season.

Soon Fall and Winter will be here.  I'll run John Dick 50k in early February and then get ready for Ice Age in May.  That seems so far from now.  I'm off tomorrow, so I'll play Mr. Handyman around home, get a couple runs in, and hopefully go fishing later in the day.

Running faster seems so much easier than training for ultras.  I mean, I seem to run more miles when running shorter distances.  The long runs just seem to wax me.  Getting faster doesn't seem to be the issue, it's that the racing is very painful.  I have not determined why running 50 miles seems more appealing than racing shorter distances.  I mean that is a big effort as well, but it must be the sense of accomplishment and the cool folks one meets.

My plan is to run a lot of shorter runs during the week and perhaps a total of 25 miles on the weekend.  If needed, I can lump the 25 in one run for the weekend to get ultra ready.  This seems to make me stronger and recovery is easier.  The bonus is more miles.  I don't struggle with the fact that 50 miles is a long way.  I've ran enough ultras to get past that.  I like to run, but at the same time running 10-11 times a week can become tedious.

I've been asked to take up Tennis.  The rest of the family plays, but I never have.  How hard could it be?  I'm afraid I'll snap in half.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Put your fingers down my throat

Ran 4.5 easy today.  I was bushed.  My 8:00 AM guys slept in.  High Schoolers...go figure.  No matter, I get to run with a legend tomorrow. Three time Ice Age winner and three time representative of Team USA in the World Cup...Clement Grum.  I actually got to know Clem from our epic battles at Al's Run in the early 00's.  We finished back to back out of 3,000 runners two years in a row.  I've been getting together with Clem (and Andy Klapperich) about every Sunday AM we cam make it since 2003.  The three of us completed a double crossing of the Grand Canyon in October, 2009.  Definately one of my top 5 running experiences.

I was out back watering the dog last night and looked up at the stars.  It reminded me of looking up back around 1997 when Halley's Comet was visible.  I think it was a group of 20+ people in California who believed a space ship was trailing the Comet and was on its way to picking them up.  I guess it was essential to castrate yourself and oh by-the-way you need to be dead to get aboard.  Now I don't understand how you come to this conclusion, but the thing that really puzzled me was you had to have a roll of quarters with you.  The thinking was you would need these for possible transportation beyond where you were going.  Don't you think you might have questioned this at least?  Spaceship - check.  Castration - check.  End life - check.  Bring quarters along - hold up braaaah. 

So I did sign-up for Al's Run 8k today.  I haven't raced anything shorter than a marathon since Al's Run in 2008.  It should be interesting.  Not sure about what's after.  I'm fairly content to just train/run, but turning 50 next month does invoke one to embrace a new age group. 

I heard my Pirates set the major league record to go from first place to 10 games out the fastest.  Less than 2 weeks.  I watched them lose to the Brewers today 1-0.  In the 9th the lead off guy gets a triple and they end up stranding him.  Bummer dude.

Thinking I'll take Monday off and go fishing in the AM.  I'll see if the boys want to go, but either way I'm out there. 

Looks like a big contingent going up to Superior.  At least 20 people, so that's a crowd.  That's my birthday weekend and I will also be home in PA that week.  Still not 100% I can make it to Superior to spectate/crew/help.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A gentle bossa nova

Ran 8 again today.  A flatter 4 mile out and back in 55:56 (29:15 / 26:41).  Running down to the high school tomorrow and running with a couple guys from the cross-country team.  Their official practice starts Monday. 

I am buzzing up a Hungry Man TV dinner right now.  Went with the looks real good on the picture.  Are they still called TV dinners?  That's what I call them.  I never remember having these as a kid.  I guess you get used to real food.  I bought some fruit slices for dessert, except these don't have any of the black ones which dominate.  No, I am not a single man at home.  My wife went to the state fair with a friend.  My son went to the state fair with his compadre.  My daughter went to George Webb's to eat because her buddy started there as a waitress.  This dinner claims I'm getting a pound of food.  A friend and I decided about 30 years ago that the potato was about the hardest food to screw up.  You could basically take a crap on it, clean it, and still eat it.  There aren't many foods you can pull that off with.

A couple weeks ago at Church they had donut holes out between services.  I picked one up for grins, flicked it 10 - 12 feet up and the air and caught it in my mouth and ate it.  The kids thought it was luck, but people in the know realize I went to college.  Every once in a while I pull off cool stuff like that.  I'd never show them quarters...though I have heard a couple guys...maybe even one lass claim they completely dominated at the craft.  I know I passed enough cash to buy a recliner.

I've been bringing up my supply of snuff from Illinois, "so I ain't got no beef against them Illinese".  It is a $1.80 a can cheaper than here.  Talk about taking it on the chin here in Wisconsin.  And Mallach, I know it's a double negative, but your not here to correct me now.  I just popped a rub in so the fruit slices can wait until tomorrow.  When I was a kid we used to call it a pinch, rub, bone, dip, chew etc.  But my all-time favorite was an "Earl."  The Andy Griffith show was a rerun favorite and the guy who did the music score was Earl Hagen.  We chewed Copenhagen so it was a natural fit.

If anyone knows anything about me it is that I ask people where they are from, grew-up, or went to HS/College.  I find it interesting and it helps me connect people.  Last week I had a guy call to ask if I needed assistance learning how to navigate a new job tracking program.  I said sure, but have to call you back.  I did and when the chick answered the phone she sounded like she was from Pittsburgh.  When he got on I asked if they were in Pittsburgh and he said yes.  "Where did you grow up I said."  He said New Castle which is a good hour+ plus from the Burg.  Sure enough, we went to the same little HS (Laurel).  He even ran cross-country.  He's going to check if the 2-mile relay record I help set in 78' still stands...which to my knowledge does because my buddy updates me monthly during track season.  I know...let it go.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Slowly blow your little mind

It was just getting real good last night and it had to end.  Talk about 24 hour runs...500 milers.  Different looks at it, non-agreement, personal experience, conjecture, mastering the time continuum, etc.  That's kind of when it's best.  Get a taste and leave room for later.  I think the looming Sawtooth race for some had us talking about being out there.  I knew I wasn't ready.  Craig had some real interesting comments that made me think.  Craig ran 22 blue loops at Nordic last year in 58 hours and change with a broken foot.  That's just over 200 miles.  Sometimes it's best to just listen.

At one time I thought I might like to venture once into that rhealm.  Perhaps it would be the last great adventure for me.  That's all I'm going to say about that for now.

I opted to do 8 miles this evening on a hilly road out and back.  Ran 30:51 out and returned in 27:54.  T'was a bit of work, but my decision to race Al's Run 8k on September 17th left me thinking I should start picking it up a bit.  I think today I decided I'll have my own little weekly race series.  Racing one's self into shape works pretty fairly even if my only competitor is the watch.

I looked up Ken Brett on Wikipedia recently to confirm what I though I remembered.  As a pitcher, he hit a home run in 4 consecutive starts as a pitcher.  That's impressive, but not as good as Rick Wise throwing a no-hitter and hitting 2 homers in the same game.  Believe both did it for Philly in the early 70s.

If you get the chance, go on youtube and watch part 2 of the Sports Century series on Secretariat.  It covers the Belmont Stakes race where he wins by 31 lengths.  Search - Secretariat Sports Century Belmont.  "Secretariat is a tremendous machine!"  It will fire you up.  Trust me on this, it is worth the view.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The brakes are good, the tires are fair

Ran 3.4 with Cookie this morning in an easy fashion.  I rocked the treadmill in the PM, but it does most of the running for you.  I mainly go because...I'm paying for it.

I crunched a few numbers and how does this look for a weekly program to work up to:

Mon = 5 AM, 5 PM
Tue = 5 AM, 5 PM
Wed = 5AM, 10 PM
Thu = 5 AM, 5 PM
Fri = 5 AM, 5 PM
Sat = 17 AM
Sun = 8 AM

That's 80 a week the easy way.  One could lump the weekend runs together for a 25 miler and take Sunday off for ultras.  Always easier with the No. 2 lead pencil than actually doing it.

In life, I've came to the conclusion people are going to be as happy as they want to be.  Like Strothers Martin said in Cool Hand Luke, "Some men, you just can't reach."  It's good to be an encourager, but don't as my old boss used to say, "let the bastards grind you down."  Why get bent out of shape concerning things you have little control off.  My Dad might have said it best.  "When I was in the Army, I knew two things were going to happen.  I was going to get a cup of coffee and I was going to get my ass chewed."  Sound wisdom.

Out on the road tomorrow making sales calls and seeing people.  Man I love these days.  Reminds me of Rocky and Bullwinkle.  "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat."  That about explains it.  Looking for opportunity, deciding if I'll bull rush people or use the swim move.  I enjoy talking to people.  "What's it look like out there."  "Where you from."  "I hear up on the Muscle Shoal their catchin' beaver big as bobcat."  Stuff like that.  Start thinking about lunch at 10 AM.  Listening to Classic Vinyl on XM radio.  Good times.  I have my list ready for tomorrow.  I have eleven things planned, my 10 +1 plan.  Stretch goals are good. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

With wicked Felina

Started running again today.  Took the dog out for 30 minutes in AM and managed another 38 minutes in the PM.  Started push-ups/sit-ups easily.  Not too shabby.  See how tomorrow goes with same routine.  Going to try some doubles again.  Good way to get mileage; if for nothing else than to watch the miles pile up in the log book.

I am going to see about going up to Superior and not running.  I will have to start making plans if that's going to happen.  Might be cool to watch people run and hopefully help out in the 100 somehow...anything than just stand around.

Back in about 78' I was running out in Harrisburg, PA because we where at the state fair.  A truck had lost a box (it was early AM) and the contents were broke upon.  Inside were boxes of cigars.  Imagen my Dad's delite when I came back with three unopened boxes.  He said, "You didn't see any peanuts did you."  Classic.

I miss my Dad.  He came to all the races and typically when they showed the winner in the newspaper crossing the finish line you'd see my Dad somewhere in there wearing his C&K Coal Company hat.  I still have that beaten up thing downstairs and wear it on occasion.

A hat collector from way back, my siblings and I made a point to ask for hats everywhere we went, much to the dismay of his wife.  It was a simple process.  If you told someone your Dad collected hats you almost always got one.  Of course he made up whoppers telling people how he secured them.  I got him a military ball hat from the Navy from McMurdo Station in the South Pole.  Real cool dark navy blue with the bold gold lettering.  He'd tell people he had a son down there testing at what temperature oil freezed in water.  I saw a CBS sports crew one time wearing hats with the same dark navy blue backing and and bold gold lettering which said CBS Sports.  I laid the line on him and he gave it to me.  My Dad loved that hat.  It was always like Christmas when I went to visit him because I brought a cache' of hats.

About every 17 years up there the locust would they do.  It's cyclical.  There pretty meaty.  My Dad got a kick out of watching his two full grow sons out on the back forty swinging wiffle ball bats for hours knocking them out of the park.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hats and Hooters

It's been nice not running.  However, I'm at the point that something is missing so I'll have to uncut the bomb.  T'would be nice to plan a fall ultra, but maybe I should train first.  I might have to get back to some push-up and sit-ups.  I found even a 100 each about everyday seems to do the trick.  Otherwise it feels like a seperate training element.

I received a far amount of comments about my poor shoe selection.  When Bunk starts offering advice I figure it's time to listen.  Going to check into these Adidizero (?) he recommended.  What the heck, it couldn't hurt.


- The largest haul of coons I ever had in one day of trapping was 3.  Not bad for 6 sets.  I used to set 9 to 12, but you have to check them everyday and you learn quality over quantity.  I learned a lot doing that as a kid.

- My Dad, Mom, Wife, Son, Daughter, Brother, and Sister all had/have spring birthdays.

- I've seen more Pittsburgh Pirate ball hats this year than ever.  We just kind of nod at each other and move on.

- I've never been to a regular season NBA game, but my son managed to get to 4 last year.

- I once ran (?) a 5k to intentionally get last.  I will never do that again.

- In the late 70s and early 80s we used to run the International Peace Race 25K in Youngstown, Ohio (very competitive Shorter, Rodgers, Myers, etc.) as long as we could at the front.  They had 3 TV stations we could get at home.  "Look at me! Look at me!"  My fastest 10M (57:30) and 20K (1:11:58)
came from those races.

- I got into Grad School only because the Dean was a Slippery Rock alumni.  I was on a 2 class probation until I proved I could get the grades.  I was the top graduate with a 3.93 QPA.  I had one B which was in Computer Science.  I still struggle a bit with computers.

- The smartest runner I ever knew was Paul Paikowski.  He only broke 18 in a 5k once (17:57) on a downhill course, but managed a 2:50 twice in the marathon.  Once at Lakefront and once at Boston.  I also saw him run a 50k at Ice Age in terrible conditions in 3:57 and did his first 50M there in 7:43.  He plays the guitar now, but I still talk to him about training.

- I do the laundry and grocery shopping at home, but rarely vaccum or mow the grass.

- Miller High Life in bottles has to be the best house beer for the money.  $9.99 for an 18 pack is unconscious.

As far as the title goes; we're going to break those out when Josie comes home.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Just like a pasta fagiole...

...It's Amore.

But not just after finishing Voyageur.  That comes a few days later.  I swore that was it for me, but I will be back.  Bunk told me you just get the urge to figure it out...which apparantly I figured it out worse than last year.  I'll be the first to admit I wasn't in great shape, but I was in good enough shape to be around 9:30, or so I thought.  Skipping the details, I ran less beat up this year, felt somewhat better and still ran 43 minutes slower.

I decided today everything is out.  No Sawtooth.  No Al's run.  Take it easy this month, use some vacation, fish for northern, do a couple home projects, and maybe trek out to the Mississippi River for some more fishing.  Maybe run 50 minutes a day and go longer on weekends if up to it.  Maybe do a late year ultra, I'm tired right now. 

I read other running blogs occasionally and I don't think too much about the science of the whole thing.  I understand it, but I only think about the running part when I'm running.  Sure, I think about what I want to do, but I don't do it so why bother.  I guess the only run I will continue to want to do well at is Ice Age.  Being 50 there next year means I have to learn to strap it on a bit differently.  I think a reasonable stretch goal is sub 7:30...there I said it for the 3 people who read this blog.

I also want to do a hundred sometime.  Not for time.  Just get in decent shape and go do one.  I'd also like to consider the Laurel Highlands race of 70.5 miles in PA soon.  That's in June and not far from back home.  Maybe Burning River or Oil Creek for a 100?  Close to back home, so some family might come out.  I still really enjoy running, but have figured I don't have the energy for racing very well often get that and that's okay.

Someone asked what I'd really like to do.  That's a good question because I don't know.  Honestly, Sawtooth intrigues me.  I'd also like to try a mountain 100 sometime...for fun.  I'd like to get back to 70 a week someday...this 40-50 doesn't quite cut it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pumpsie Green

I traded 500 baseball cards for a 62' Pumpsie Green, NY Mets back in the day.  It was cool, but he doesn't appear in my collection today any longer....hmmm.  I have about 125,000 cards, which I seldom look at anymore.  Occasionally someone will say something like, "My parents grew up by Ray Sadecki in Kansas City".  Next time I see them I'll bring them one of their cards.  I get stuff like, "Do you remember Wayne Granger".  Sure, who doesn't.  Which team do you want him from.  It's about the only way to get rid of commons now-a-days.  Thinking back, I told a Red Sox fan Pumpsie was the first black player for them.  It's now in his collection of 20 cards.  I think the last card I gave away was a Twins - Phil Roof card.  The one he's squating with that huge catchers mitt.  I have given away Aaron, Mays, and Clemente cards to younger kids, but I am a little more reluctant today.  They didn't print 2,000,000 copies by seven companies each back in the day.

Voyageur is Saturday.  I am looking forward to just jogging out and see what happens.  I just hope the power lines aren't as slick as last year.  Any decisions concerning Sawtooth/Superior will wait until my return.  I am in okay shape.  40-50 miles a week, some long runs, but a pile of heat training runs.  Caught some grief, but the best part is...I don't care.

I see Brother Grub was kind enough to document my running gear choices.  I would buy some of that stuff if I do another 100 miler.  I just go and buy stuff at a regular store because that's what I have always done.  I have had people not go on a run because they forgot Body Glide or a water bottle.  Are you serious.  Here's an empty Pepsi bottle and I have the cap...grow a set.  I've won two fuel belts, which I gave marathoners, go figure.  I like that stuff Kevin showed and I might buy that shoe wife's orders.

Brother Grub looks solid.  If he reads this, I would say stay the course and don't get greedy the last month.  Remember your mantra.  "Live for another day". 

Personally, I have to quit telling others in the greater running community what I want to do.  I all about committed to a team for Al's Run (claiming I could break 30 for an 8k) and now I'm not that interested.  I'm really into this run about 50 a week and do what I want mode.  Plus the Northern are hitting like a German Shepherd (had to look that spelling up, it didn't look right) on a rib roast.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Give me 40 acres...

and I'll turn this rig around.  Like this old trucker song, I have came to the conclusion I don't have enough space to get ready for Sawtooth.  I'd have to give up some things needed done around here and I wouldn't get to fish much.  Went out the first time Friday after work and caught a couple Buffalo fish which were a first.  I fish in the Fox River and was running the bottom with crawlers.  I wasn't exactly sure what they were, but with internet available on the cell phone was able to make the match.  I was thinking that's what they were and was glad I got an ID.  Soon I was after the Northerns and must say I am out of practice.  The first one sheared my freakin' tackle off at the bobber.  I never set the second one and my bait got mauled.  The third one I missed was either because my line is too old from last year, or I did a bad job tieing; which is possible because the mosquitos were brutal and I skipped having a leader which I normally employ.  It was fun to get out there either way.  The beaver who moved into my spot a couple years ago seems to have been washed out.  He must have moved on because he wasn't cussing at me this year.  If I got up on his stuff he let me know he was there.  The muskrats either moved or were hiding.  They generally come out after an hour, but didn't see them this year.

Three weeks from Voyageur.  Average training.  I might try and sneak in 50 this week and do a two week taper.  I need to get back to some solid heat training as the past week was weak for that.  I am going out real conservative this year...kinda like I do at Ice Age.

Back to fishing.  I grew up in Pennsylvania as a hunter and trapper.  Sure, I fished some, but it easily was replaced with baseball, frisbee, football, etc.  I am not a great fisherman.  I prefer to just figure stuff out myself.  Kind of like running.  I'll listen to people and perhaps goof around with their ideas, but I am best left to my on conclusions.  I'll stay on something a long time to see if it has any merit.  Lately, I have been working the bottom just because it has a different feel.  Bobber fishing in the river can be a hassle when the current is fairly strong.  Plus I can stay where I want longer.  The longer I'm in the water, I figure the better off I am and you can catch some cool stuff.  So far in my spot I have caught:

Blue Catfish
Blue Gills
Rock Bass
Largemouth Bass
White Bass

I have not caught a Muskie, Carp, or a Smallmouth yet...though they are in there.  There is probably
other stuff, so that's why the fascination with the bottom.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bullet Proof

You better be to finish the Sawtooth 100 and I am coming to terms that perhaps I am not.  Ran 27 with Brother Grub Monday and through 20 I was feelin' solid, but the last few miles waxed me.  I basically was useless the rest of the day.  BG is going back out tonite for night bonus miles, so he appears willing to become bullet proof to coin his words.

Yet, I haven't written it off.  I think I'll go for 13+ tomorrow and see how this goes.  One thing I came to realize is I can't really taper much for Voyageur if Sawtooth is looming.  My biggest hang-up is how does one move along for like 30+ hours?  I just can't get my head around this and I will have to if I line up on 9/9.

Of course I'm 50 on 9/11, so perhaps the Superior 50 is in order.  Perhaps this would give me a peak to the future.

I came to terms after my only 100 mile finish in 2003 that I am no 100 mile guy.  Fifty miles is a solid effort and I can handle pain fairly well, but I don't see how you get through Sawtooth without major life ponderings?  I want one of those jackets though.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I lied

Of course I did.  Make a statement like "run every day" and then miss two in a row.  I'm still working on this is "for fun" and "stay healthy" and "I don't race anymore."  I mean that's what I want to achieve, but string together 3 weeks of training and your all in.  If I'm honest with myself, I need to run when I can and when I'm banged up I need to rest.  Now it's my hip.  Back to reality.

Which leads me to something I have always considered.  What would be the perfect weekly training regiment for me, right now.  Not someone else and not 10 - 20 - 30 years ago.  The goal would be to get the most out of the least.  Since I don't race short anymore I'd bag speed work...which is nice.  The key would be being able to do it week in and week out.

18 - 10 - 5 - 8 - 13.1 - 8 - 0 = 62.1 (100K)
2:40 - 1:25 - 45 - 1:10 - 2:00 - 1:10 = 9:05

Why wouldn't 9 a day work for 63?  How sweet would that be?  Going on vacation soon, I will try and let you know.

Steve = Did you get hurt?  Sounds like a bunch of the Cheeseheads are going up for the Superior weekend.  I'm from PA originally and you need to live here like 25 years and catch a Muskie to be considered.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Get in in

I made the commitment to run about every day for a reason.  It's hard, but it gets one ready in so many ways.  I tried the rest up and have good runs for Ice Age this year.  Four runs a week and about 50 miles.  I did not run like I wanted to.  Maybe there were other circumstances at work, but an 8:04 wasn't what I expected.  I was trashed today, I really felt like a day off, but I headed out the door.  I'm glad I did, I made it work for 8 miles with all the heat training garb on.

Back in the day, I was tired all the time training.  I'd run 80 -100 miles a week with hard stuff twice a week.  It was cumbersome and a heck of a lot of work getting it in.  It always paid off.  When you age and you have other extenuating circumstances it is easy to take days off.  I just can't and still do what I want at events.  When I was a kid, I was always asked why I ran so much.  The simple reason was I didn't like hurting all the time racing.  I trained hard so it wouldn't hurt so much.  That's my reasoning now.  I don't have any asperations of racing, but if I can run fluidly for a long period of time things will work out.  Fifty miles is a long way.  Much of any success is just outlasting other people. 

One thing you learn is when your tired you always feel like your going slow.  It never feels better.  You can tell your getting in shape because even though it feels slow your cruising through check points faster.  I know I could break 18 for a 5k right now.  I still feel if I could hit the track and work at it I could still get near 17.  But, this sport is different.  I'd rather get my miles in and be tired and depend on a good taper.  I really want to hang back at Voyageur and see if I can have a little the last 10 - 15 miles.  When I look back at my logs, I always do better running tired in training all the time. 

I'm not young enough to recover as well as I like an the oral chemo I take daily for years seems to put the governer on me.  The good news is during the day I feel great and if I didn't run I wouldn't have as much energy.  Like I have said before, I'm just a running bum, trying to rub a few sticks together and get a little fire going.      

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting close

Just realized there is only about a moth left to train for Voyageur.  Going on vacation for 9 days soon, so I am going to have to try and set a daily goal of at least an hour in the morning.  Hopefully I can sneak in a couple 2 hour affairs.  Did quite a few long runs for Ice Age, so trusting I can sneak by with less of those, but have a larger weekly base.  The heat training seems to be working.  This is my first attempt at this manuver.  Plenty of things wiped me out there last year, but I think this may be one less thing I have to deal with so much.  I just want to stay fluid.  Know that I understand the course, I can sit back and let it come to me.

I am going to try and run every day for the next month.  Get 30+ on the weekend, sandwich a medium long run in the middle of the week, and plan to be at 65+ a week.  I can't do hills or speed without compromising the rest of the week, so just miles in the heat and rely on experience for this one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nice and easy

Put on the long bottoms, my Steeler tossel cap, and two long sleeve tops and headed out for an easy 14 on the Drumlin.  Was able to get water a couple times.  It only reached about 62 degrees, but I want to continue heat training for Voyageur.  Got 32 in over the weekend, so ended with 57.5 this week.  I'll take that.  Ice Age was 4 weeks ago and I have been at least 50 miles the past 3 weeks.  I believe I am starting to tolerate the heat better after close to three weeks of bundling up 3-4 times a week.  Didn't really need to when in was in the 90's.

I'd really like to get back to running about every day.  I seem to get stronger when I don't take a lot of days off.  I don't plan on running fast, I just want to get the miles in.  I'm always conjuring up schemes.  My new one is try and run 30+ over the weekend and get around an hour the other days.  Voyageur is generally hot, so that is what I will concentrate for the heat.  Not that I can run 10 minute miles at Voyageur the whole way, but I think that's where I will end up going out at.  Last year, I felt great at the half and took off.  Went from about 30th to top 10-12 and then proceeded to have an epic crash.  I think I split the race 4:21/5:37.  Thinking I can gain an hour on the second half if I stay controlled and don't race.  At least that's the plan.  Putting the number on tends to change things.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stepping out of the 70's

I'm not sure how much of a blogger I will be.  Not a lot of expectations.  I read a few blogs and on occasion felt I might want to pontificate on a few running items.  Most of what I have learned about running is from practicing it on myself.

I have had many experiences in my running life.  Still, there is much I would like to do.  Mainly I enjoy just getting out there and getting a few miles in.  I seem to always be training, but don't always have many goal races ahead.  Most who know me understand I run about three ultras a year.  Sort of gave up the other events.  The work to run fast wasn't that appealing anymore.  Still, I get fired up to train a bit and my next event is the Voyageur 50 mile on July 30th.  The course killed me last year, so this year I want to go back and do a bit better.

Been kicking around doing Superior Sawtooth 100 mile on September 9-10.  I will be 50 on 9/11 and this event really has been on my mind lately.  I will wait to after Voyageur to make a decision.  It looks out right nasty.  My goal would be just to finish.  I have completed one 100 miler, but not to sure I can stay on my feet for approximately 30 hours.

Training wise, I have been around 50 a week.  Did an easy 18 today and would like to get over 2 hours in tomorrow.  I'd like to juice up to about 65, but like most people it looks easy with the pen and paper.