Friday, June 22, 2012

Catch a Cannonball

Well, it's been a good run.  I started running at 14 and outside of a few detours have been running since then.  60,000+ miles on my feet and a couple good runs it is time to just run.  Oh, I won't run any less and I'll largely be the same guy everyone knows, but my desire to race is nil.  I've ran 100s of races from 100 yards to 100 miles.  Maybe my streak of 2-3 races a year the past 7 years or so was a sign, but I'm not seeing the reward.  Again, I'll do events, but I find myself not really desiring to plan for anything.  Perhaps this will be good for me.  I have the couple races I want to do every year and probably one bonus event. 

I feel great.  I don't run a lot in June - July usually, but the idea of just going out for a little hobby jogging sounds right.  If I want to do an event I'll set aside 6-8 weeks and run a bit more.  Sure, I'll occasionally air one out, but probably seldom.  The signs have been there, but I still wanted to run competitive.  I can't.  Time to get back to what drew me to the sport.  The freedom of movement.  Knowing that I simply ran today will be enough.  I don't want a schedule.  The great Jack Foster once said when asked what his training plan was that he ran from 3 - 15 miles a day.  Whatever he felt like.
That sounds good.

I miss coming over a rise on a golf course and seeing a 300 yard stretch of turf I could just blast.  I wouldn't always win, but you'd know I was there. 

I miss having the feeling when you could put the gas pedal down and you just kept feeding off it.

I miss running quarters in HS with the fast guys when coached asked me and they had to work through all 8 because I was coming.

I wish I could have just ran the 880 in HS and trained for it. Things don't always work out when there are no other distance runners.

I'm glad I saw a very remote chance to make the 100K team and I took it.  I still feel uncomfortable that a running bum like me made it, but I was proud as hell to finish that day with a USA jersey on.

I don't have any regrets.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I couldn't sleep at all last night

Now it seems reasonable to me that the biggest bang for the buck is aerobic training.  The more you train...yada yada yada...the better shape you get in.  The better shape you get in the faster aerobic miles follow.  Once you get close to this you pick a season or race and add other elements such as strength and speed.  That's what I started to understand in the late 70s, but it sure is a lot harder than it sounds.  Which means other decisions factor along the way or circumstances arise.  Some randomly and others self inflicted.

I have followed such plans both successfully and unsuccessfully.  The later ones are difficult to swallow because a lot of time and effort when into it.  What are self inflicted mistakes?

- Getting ahead of schedule
- Racing too much
- Running workouts too hard
- Not working hard enough
- Injecting too many random workouts
- Running other people's workouts and paces your not ready for
- Yada, yada, yada

Which leads me to ultra running.  I think many of us end up here because aerobic miles pretty much takes care of everything if you let it.  I like to occasionally run fast, but if you depend too much on this when not ready you compromise the aerobic training.  Not that they can't go hand in hand, it just seems we are apt to depend on the fast results they provide and skimp a bit on the longer sessions.  I am speaking as someone who is 50.  You start running fast and you just don't recover like your 30.  There are only 7 days in a week, so you may have to consider (if your a planner of schedules) a two week plan to get in the workouts you want and then repeating.  I have a tough time getting in 3-4 quality workouts a week, but I can probably handle 4-5 in a two week period.  The other stuff is good old fashiion hobby jogging at 8:30 - 10:00 miles.

This type of schedule also allows for a bit more flexibility compare to the rigid one week schedule.  I'm done now.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Take out the papers and the trash

One wonders what the purpose of many things could be.  Perhaps there is a dynamic beyond what the casual observer accepts.  More learning or less learning can be congruent.  Is it what takes place in the arena as Teddy Roosevelt states which matters?  The mainstream is powerful and packed with influence.  What about this road that is less travelled?  One has so much time to get there and then it is over.  Is it?

The reason running appeals to me is the many shapes and forms it demonstrates.  As a lifer, I have seen many of the pieces, but never will see them all.  It is highly unlikely a 500 mile odyssey, or a run across the States will happen.  Honestly, I am not sure the purpose of meeting time goals is relevant.  Is there more to running beyond the simple act of doing it?  It used to take a big goal for me to get in any arduous training.  Seasons come and go now-a-days and the simple act of lacing them up for another day has finally arrived.  It is like I am operating a prized possesion which is mine and I can do what I want with it.  I have never kept it shined up in the garage, or have I maintained it as well as most.  It's broken in and it putting the coals to it occasionally feels great.  Running through the woods for hours is no longer a duty as much as it is a desire.

Dream big.  Take stock in the accomplishments of others.  Get out there and see the world for yourselves as Paul Newman said in "Cool Hand Luke."  He also says, "Everyone keep feeding off of me!"  One sheer joy I enjoy is watching my little band of running friends dive in and dream beyond what I can fathom.  Their is much more doing than talking.  A selfless group of people who have made getting "out there" the norm.  The path each takes to get there is largely different except this act we all enjoy called running.

I'd be the first to admit I've wondered why people train, race, or go about managing things the way they do, but we all jump in and see what happens.  Old school, new school, no school, whatever; they are going into the arena.  It isn't over.  "It isn't over to I say it's over."  Perhaps Belushi was on to something.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hot Dog

Always hard to find a good one outside of your home town.  I don't eat near as many anymore because the quest has turned up few that are any good.  It is what it is. 

It has just been fantastic running weather in the AM.  For the life of me, I can't understand why more people aren't enthralled with the idea of winging across the terra firma.  Honest to Pete, I can't go out with friends without them introducing me as a "big runner."  You know how those conversations go, but it annoys me at times.  I'm much happier talking about what they do, or how bad the Twins suck this year.

Now I am a devoted Pirate fan, but if I had to pick an American League league favorite it is the Twins.  Growing up it was the Royals, but after the Brett years I soured.  Cheering for two basement dwellers wasn't condusive to a good ESPN morning.  Now the Twins suck, but the Pirates are playing over their heads this year early...again.

I might jack it up to 50 miles this week.  It's been good not doing the 3-5 hour efforts.  I'm not real happy anyway unless I'm running every day.  I'd rather not take the dog during the week, but after 5 years she loves it as much as me.  I don't run her too much because she gets in fantastic shape.  A cattle dog, she just acquires more energy, so 25-30 a week is her limit with me.  Then she gets in 10-15 a week on summer walks.  Too much running and she is on you constantly.

Yoga...what's up with that?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dreams of Summer

Well, I have spent the last month recovering and hobby jogging around Waukesha with Jamie and our dogs.  I feel pretty good, but was a bit tired.  Work picks up, tons of stuff I need to do around the house, Canadien night crawlers to get it.  Thinking on getting to 50-60 a week and running some shorter races over the summer.  Though I like ultras, I think I prefer running in general more and a little change would be nice.  I busted out my 6.1 loop this AM in 42:37, so I must be recovered.

I've been reading my friends notes on their 100 mile finishes/attempts.  There is no doubt I want to do another, but until I can overcome the I need to finish in a certain time mode...I'll just wait a bit.  It is a bear of a distance and running 14 minute miles isn't real appealing to me now.  I have finished one and dropped from one.  I really don't have a resume of any sort when it comes adding them up.  20 finishes of distances of 50 miles or greater and 11 of those are Ice Age 50 milers.

I'll be skipping Voyageur this year.  I ran it the past 2 years.  I enjoyed the time, but running in the middle of summer doesn'r appeal to me much.  Perhaps I can find a way to matriculate up to Glacial this year and do the 50 miler.