Monday, December 16, 2013

I kicked the blankets on the floor

So I am pretty confident I will sign up for a 100 mile this year. Most likely it will be Kettle as it is local and a bunch of friends are doing it. I have not quite settled for the "just finish" or "run w/ a friend" deal yet. I mean I want to say that and probably need to, but as that famous line says, "Forget it's Chinatown." The thought of doing some great big circle training run from home sounds interesting. Take cash. Buy drinks along the way. Blow down a couple hot dogs at Speedway. Go real 4-5 mph pace. Be out there for hours. I'm going to dig into that. I'll have to find cool people to do it with. Someone who can take a two minute story and drag it out for 30 minutes with multiple side bars. I have a few friends in this league. It might be fun to investigate. It would be a combo of parks, trails, streets, etc. Make it one giant adventure with a few surprise elements. No...nothing with cheese in it, that's too obvious and besides Grabowski went the cheese route and I couldn't even listen to the story.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

54 40' or fight

Well...time to stop whining and lace the shoes back up. I guess it is common to hope for a full recovery before resuming training, but that isn't happening. Angela invited me to the Funk road group run for Saturday and I went out. Hoping to get in an hour I almost got to 2 hours. Knee was a bit tender afterwards and I assumed I would shack up for a few days. Skip that I went out for a 1:15 jaunt today and made it happen. The dang ball game is on and it's time to go long. Mallach mentioned "the stick" worked for Brian's IT so I grabbed a scrub brush handle out of the garage and made that "my stick." It did seem to have a positive affect and I think I will work the spot over again tonight. Deb said something that just rang true. "I encourage people to try and get outside everyday and put in some type of activity." The biggest problem with being a one trick pony is just that. When sidelined one does not fill the idle time with anything else. I believe I am ready to do that if for nothing else because I weighed in a 185.5 this morning. Starting to resemble Gary Coleman. Not sure that's true, but it is the first name that popped into my head and I'm too lazy to go back and think of something more apropo. I am reticent to continue rambling on about my training, or what should work best for me. The decision has been made to get out every day and put in some good old fashion miles. Just ramble through neighborhoods, run up snow covered hills, and meet up with friends who basically discovered the true meaning of Christmas before I did. Not sure why I always end up running more in the Winter, but perhaps it is because the adventure meter is high. When I was a little kid, my brother and I waited for hours at Gram's just to have someone bluster in out of the cold windy outdoors just to spin us the deer update. Uncle Jim this, Cousin Sherry that, Pink Ferd this. They were in the ball game. Ultra running isn't kind of like that it is exactly like that. That is the reason why some of you have heard me state the following when by standers asked what we are doing. "Can't you see we got the damn ball game on here."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

...but the British kept a comin'

Glad to report I ran a half hour today with Dean and Andrea. First time out in 20 days. I cut it off there just to see how things feel tomorrow. My friends recommended that perhaps I should consider stretching or core training. Stretching just seems dumb, but the core thing might be something I need. I'm already twisted steel, but a little weight loss would be bodacious. Perhaps carrying less of me around would be better. So I did a few push-ups and sit-ups. I did the plank routine and a range of motion exercises for my knees. I then saw the wife's 8 pound dumb bells and did 3 easy routines. All this was super low reps because I hate being too sore the next day. I don't have a plan, but if I did it would be to do a little more everyday and also add other exercises. I am in workout Limbo. At one moment in time you have world shaker thoughts and at the other extreme you realize you just lucky to move around. If you have never been to workout Limbo this is where all your old workout buddies from HS and College have come to rest. When it just doesn't seem worth it any longer. You slowly start to conclude that the masses who now own the endurance sports have it right. I am slowly getting sucked into average...and eventually there is not a thing I will want to do about it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pick up the pieces

T'was not long after the mini manifesto when I become incapable of running. Not sure exactly what the issue is, so let's just call it an overuse injury. It has been 11 days and I am starting to think in about another 11 days I may be able to start back up. It's funny, but when you cannot run you certainly do not feel like writing or being a part of running. Perhaps this was a reminder I only am allowed one run per day. We lost Grandma a week ago, so it was back to PA. I caught up with a lot of family. I have also stopped chewing tobacco and after 24 days have lost the physical addiction. Running twice a day and the increased posting was a result of filling time. It is like losing a friend.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Carpet Ride

The past few years I have accepted the fact I am older and the best foot forward is a steady diet of 50 mile weeks and 8 weeks at 55-65 before Ice Age. That actually looks pretty darn smart and I am glad I am me. I will run around and pontificate on how bright I am and all that matters is enjoying running for what it is and I really don't care to race anymore. This is largely true and I have tried to slide into the "live for another day" mantra, but this is hogwash. I don't want to go away quitely. I also don't want to do speedwork and stuff so I won't. Deep down...I'm not dead yet. Not even mortally wounded. So there is no plan other than attempt to run more miles and pile it on. Training plans come down to two main choices for me. The one when you are real smart. You lay out the weekly limits/workouts and embody rest. You know...all the stuff one wants to hear about absorbing the training, having something for the key workouts, blah-blah-imokyourok-blah-blah. I'm thinking more along the lines of take your vitamins and say your prayers because we have the ball game on up here. Grab your coat and get your hat because the bus is leaving. Charlie don't surf. Get out and plan and no pace requirements. Plan on being tired a lot. "Man Dehart looks he okay?" Pack a lunch.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Don't get off the boat

It takes more times than you think for this to sink in. There is a special place in the life of a runner when it is just that...running. Sure you can devise running schemes and plan big races, but when you get down to the marrow of it...those times when it just comes at you, you jump on. I can't take over someone else's body and run the crap out of it, so I am going to have to tool this model around. Every once in a while I'll feel banged up "out there" (a cold dark windy place we must all face in winter)that's really the only limitation because I think the body will let you pile on the miles as long as most of them are aerobic and you allow repair time. This will be my third week of about 10 runs a week and I am starting to come around. I almost look forward to running again just so I can pile up the miles in the log book. There are a few pains. Some odd and some because...well I run off the road so cars don't run me over, but I feel I'm getting stronger. I'm too old for all this fast pace, tempo, interval, fartlek stuff. For what ultra runners do I have to believe mileage is the best bet. Pile it up, get to a level you can hold mileage, and then gradually run those miles faster as your fitness increases. I'm not really worried about some other old coot trying to out sprint me. I'd rather grind his bones to to bake my bread so I don't have to worry about that. Of course all this would mean something if I ever raced, but thanks for reading anyway.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coffee is for closers

Pewaukee Lake from the Park 'n Ride is about 13.5 miles round trip.  I made one wrong move and it ended up around 14 miles.  I was in command most of the way, but will admit about half way around the wind was wicked in the 19F weather.  A 2:08:50 total run.  The 3 miles I can measure at the very end were 8:58, 8:47, and 8:33.  The front end is all open road for 2 miles, but manageable with very little traffic at 5 AM.  It isn't a bad run, but not much in the dark.  I will admit it seemed to go faster than a typical out and back.  A decent repertoire of hills along the way made it a run worthy of garnering a name in my log book.  Here by know as Pewaukee Lake...all in a perfectly legal and binding sense.

I planned on a PM run, but will skip this and return to my 6.3 in the AM.  The dog (Cookie) will benefit as she goes longer tomorrow.  I will be traveling to Lacrosse tomorrow and will do a PM run over there.  I have a decent route alongside 90 which is an out and back. 

I was ahead of schedule today and did not get to grease a Cousins Double Cheese Steak.  I did a Quizno's which was acceptable.  I generally go this route when traveling because if I get into a Diner I am all over the open face meatloaf and all the cool stuff that comes with it.  Don't forget the coconut cream pie Braaaaah.

Side note.  My daughter is on the HS bowling team.  There are 10 on the team.  I asked for her to give me the best three and the worst three.  She refused to do it.  Said she did not know.  Is it just me or am I the only one who has a built in ranking system for everything?  There is no governor, it just happens.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Big Boy

A good sandwich.  They still have one up in Marquette.  I usually grab two with the skinny fries and a chocolate malt.

177 pounds.  167 sounds better, but I'll have to X out the hot fudge and mashed tatters.

AM 6.3 miles (9:09 pace), PM 4.1 (9:21).  It feels faster than that.  Clock don't lie.

I will be going to bed soon.  Snail Lake vs. Dehart.  Complete domination is eminent.  The Lake has no idea I am beginning at the Park 'n Ride.  Lunch for tomorrow has already been decided.  Double Cheese Steak from Cousins.  Probably the one in Oshkosh.  I'm a regular there.  I'll crush a couple big bowls of corn flakes to hold me over.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Two Times

I have been shopping for a 100 miler.  Up in the mountains somewhere.  No time table, but in the next couple years.  The purpose is to just do it and soak it all in.  Go out with a few friends and squeeze a bit more out of that weekend than most of the free world.  Problem for now is they post times, or results for those things and I happen to glance at them.  Can't we all just get along? hard could Kettle be?  "Look at the bones Man!!"

Been running the dog in the evening.  So how fair is this?  You get to run in the dark twice a day.

Andrea showed me a cool North Face rain jacket.  I'm thinking of a splurge.  This is in light of Bero texting me this week questioning if the man he saw by 94 in the yellow K-Mart poncho was me.  It made me question how he could have possibly assumed it was me. 

Starting to get geared up for my Pewaukee Lake solo Wednesday morning.  It is cool hearing the train rumble through Pewaukee in the AM.  My next morning project is finding someone who lives like 10-20 miles away and making arrangements to meet halfway.  We just high five and turn around and head home with extreme vengeance.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Speed of lightning

I guess I have overlooked the obvious for years.  The whole enchilada for your basic first time 50 mile participant is wrapped in the long run.  People used to ask me, "What pace do you think I should run the marathon at?"  Of course I have no idea.  The way I trained for the marathon was knowing exactly what pace I could run the whole way.  That's what I trained to do.  Any advice I give for the noob 50 mile participant from now on is work the long run.

It's all in there.  Everything you need to know is in there as long as you get to 4-6 hours about 3 times.  Of course working up to that will bring lessons, but some things are out there much farther.  One tends to forget once they have gained the experience.  Let's face it, there is nothing worse than chaffing or blistering.  It can get out of hand.  You have to toughen yourself up and know where your problem spots are.

Any food advice you get is just that.  No one fuels the same, reacts the same, or places the same importance on it.  I was taught you have to take 200-250 calories per hour.  That does not work for me.  When I start thinking too much about eating...then I usually eat too much and fill bloated.  Same with drinking.  What has worked for me is I do not drink or eat anything until the first aid station at 5 miles.  From there I grab a little food at each station or grab a bar/gel from my wife to gnaw on occasionally.  The faster you go the harder it seems to get the fuel right.

Just keep in mind.  There is a buffet every 3-4 miles so why you would want to dress and pack like Inspector Gadget I have no idea.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Trader Vic's

Been enjoying running in the Pewaukee Lake area.  Did you know the lake is actually named Snail Lake?  Had no clue...good thing we have Wikipedia.  Though a portion of it can be run on the Lake Country Rec Trail, to get around it you have to run on the road.  Be willing to get all the way off. 

I did not get all the way around today, but I have learned it is not as far around as I thought.  It also appears to be a favorite of bikers and runners in the decent weather months.  There are a few hills which makes it nice.  I am considering making this my Wednesday morning adventure run.  Get up around 4 AM and make it happen.  Be something to do.  Maybe every other week.  Keep me humble.

Running has been going good.  I am attempting to not ramp up too quick.  I did 12 today and really wanted to go further, but I cut bait.  It really seemed to go by fast in the daylight hours.  I've been dogging it, but who cares?  I just enjoy being able to move around at this point.

One thing about moving is I found a cache of old T&F News.  Probably 2-3 years worth.  I am about half way through the '80 Olympic Trials Marathon article.  The back of the one guys shirt said, "The road to Moscow ends here."  There was also some debate about how 6 walkers from the USSR broke the world 50k mark (The record was like 3:44!).  One guy commented it was like seeing who could whisper the loudest.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Virgo Power

I received an email Saturday that Zach had run the Chicago 50 mile in 5:12 which is like the 9th best by an American...ever.  Congrats to Zach.  Last night I looked up to see how my friend Angela did in the T-Bunk 200 miler.  I about fell over when I saw she ran it in 57 hours for 2nd overall.  There was no question she was going to finish.  Both marks are well beyond my comprehension and I had to ask myself...which is more impressive?  I won't go into any Quick analysis because...well I'm not good at that, but it took me all of 30 seconds to select Angela's performance.  How the heck does anyone get their mind around doing something like this?  Craig set the standard here at 200 miles (then blew this away by doing 500 miles) and then created an event for others up to the challenge.  I am always amazed people rise to the occasion.  To me these are both worthy of "World Shaker" status.

I spent the weekend traveling to Ohio to watch the Horizon League Cross-Country Championships.  My friend's son was running as a Freshman for UWM and finished 14th overall to earn 2nd team all conference honors.  He did well and it was fun watching young harriers grind it out.  It brought back good memories.

It is November now.  I start to run a lot more as the conditions cool off.  No pressure, just jog around everyday and try and not get run over.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Muscle Shoals

I was reading an old Track & Field News from '79 which had an article on Henry Rono.  Henry had set 4 world records in '78 (3,000, steeple, 5,000 and 10,000) and was voted T&F athlete of the year.  Henry mentioned he had been running 12 miles in the AM at 6:00 pace.  I only bring this up because I was thinking of working up to 1:10 running time in the AM at 6:20 pace (ha-ha just seeing if your paying attention), or more like 8-9 pace.  Heck, Henry was doing 1:12 running time, now think about that a huge investment time? 

Of course the trick is adding more evening runs and being lucid enough to want to run on the weekends.  I have not figured that out.  And who cares really if it is only 50-60 minutes in the AM, either way it is solid running.  I think about running more in the evening, but I am no Rono or even Grubby at this point.  I am an old beat up runner from Laurel HS still just trying to rub a few sticks together to get a little fire going.  Not to mention you have to get to bed by 8:30 every night.

It is fun to think about.  Every few years I always talk to someone who wants to weave the magic again.  I think this is a common trait amongst endurance athletes.  If you can pull it all together for 6 months or so you can really wind the top up.  It is as they say...a pretty groovy place to be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pink Fluorescent

When I lay my head on the pillow at night it is common to begin thinking about training.  Probably because I just set the alarm clock to get up and run.  Now most of the training I ponder is for Ice Age which is no surprise.  I know what I have to do running wise, but thoughts of streamlining the time of not moving forward have entered my head.  I can't waste a lot of time if I want to break 8 hours again.  What can I do to just never stop?  Preventative measures are required such as fueling, hydrating and electrolytes, but proper clothing, lubing and calls of nature take time as well.  You have to have a good crew person to help as well and I have one in Donna.  I tell her at each aid station what to prepare for at the next one.

There must be other stuff, but again all this stuff is fleshed out during the long training runs.  I try and keep it really simple and last year was the first year I took zero calls of nature.  Nada, zip, zil which I had not thought possible.  I did not hydrate much prior and I always have a few cups of coffee.  This is how I run everyday and I figured why try and drink extra before Ice Age?  I think there is something to people over hydrating prior to running a long event.  Get out on the run for 30-45 minutes and then start your regiment.  I hate the feeling of being too full early in the event.  It can be a difficult balance. 

The past few years I also have not really warmed up so to speak.  I used to and now I think I want to be ready to roll right from the start.  By the time I get going many of the people I know are way out ahead and I have to hope the balance comes together.  Any one who runs knows this is a crap shoot.  I'm going to spend some time this year on the long runs doing exactly what I want to do at Ice Age.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Silver wings upon his chest

I did not start training pre-season in HS until my junior year of track.  One big reason I did was I was tired of racing in pain most of the way.  I learned you still raced in pain, but it was farther out and because I was in much better shape you could manage it better.  This is so true for the ultras.  The more you touch the earth the farther you can go.  Same for the pain management.  You just know a reprieve will come.  Not so much when vastly under trained.

The though process for me and perhaps others is what is the minimum needed to achieve this?  You want to run well, but not quite go to the military basic training routine.  I can get there on an average of approximately 55 miles a week which are well distributed.  For me it doesn't matter if it is a weekly long run every week, or every 2-3 weeks just so I keep my mileage up.  In 2011 at Ice Age I ran an 8:03 on about 45 miles a week only running 4 days with 1 nice long run in there.  I just didn't have the oomph needed.  Sure the time was not far off the 7:55 and 7:56 I did the two following years, but I was freakin' hurting Bro.

Does 10 more miles a week make that much difference?  I think it does.  How much additional effort is needed to run those 10 more miles?  Depends I guess...and it is probably most valuable if you do those 10 extra miles in one shot.

The question this year is how much beyond 55 do I need to get in a better time zone?  At 52 it never gets easier, but is that 10 more miles or 20 more miles a week?  In the past I usually made the decision that a well planned 65 is just as good as anyone else's 70-80, but I concede now I am probably wrong.  First off when you face the daily rigors of life and are apt to join anyone on a run at the drop of the hat those plans go right out the window anyway.  I'm starting to think a semi unplanned regiment of 70-80 wins out. 

My last comment for this evening is have you ever noticed how hard it is to go from like 50 a week to 70 a week it is dastardly, but when you constantly are banging out 70-80 and jump to 90 or so seems easier?  Just sayin'.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Made the grade

Most people have the assumption I enjoy running.  Half the time I'm doing it I am not really enjoying it at all.  I don't get in touch with anything and I have no clue what runner's high is.  Unless that means waxing people.  Either way I am very glad I do it and it has been one of the best investments I have ever made.  I don't ponder anything, it is more of a focus on the task at hand.  When running with people it is enjoyable to talk smeesh, joke, and listen to the stories.  The older I get the more I enjoy putting in the kilometers with other folk.

Had a good 11.1 mile jaunt today.  Was able to bring the mail a tad the last five miles with the wind at my back.  I'm sure there will be a little pay back tomorrow, but I'll get out there with the Minooka crew and get it in.  Probably 10 easy tomorrow.

Lately I've been sleeping like a champion.  I've been vacuum packing about 8+ hours a night.  That's good dreaming territory and lately I have been dreaming of relatives who have been gone for awhile.  I kind of realize this in the dream, but don't at the same time.  I guess the brain needs to roam around a bit.  I am not a good runner in my dreams.  Typically I am under prepared or have a difficult time going as fast as I know I can.  I haven't flown on my own in some time now, but I always get a kick out of it when I can spontaneously achieve flight.  I wish people were amazed by me as much as they are then, but that's the life of

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pomp and Circumstance

I track my mileage...have logs back to the 70s.  They are helpful at times looking back to see what worked and what didn't.  Recently I noticed that when I use to just go and run everyday without a set distance in mind I ran particularly well.  I ran most days, but I wasn't beholden to a distance.  I'm thinking I have to get back to this.  Mainly because if I plan on 8 at the crack of nuts and don't want to do it I just won't run.  As I mentioned before running is primarily getting out the door.  In the crux of the whole thing what's the big deal if I run 4.7 one day and 9 the next?  I'm thinking the running everyday with a couple runs of 10-15 a week is probably adequate for now.  I could probably average out 50 regularly on that.  That's a good idea I just had.  From me to you man.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Built like a car

When one runs isn't it easier to move along with the least stuff possible?  The more I look at pictures of people running even the shortest of races they seem to be carrying all kinds of stuff.  It must be like going on vacation and packing two times what you need.  People seem to be wearing hundreds of dollars of special clothing, shoes, and aids for races of a half hour.   What gives? 

I don't like carrying anything if I don't have is just more to manage.  You carry too much stuff sometimes you feel obligated to use it, drink it, eat it, whatever.  Isn't the purpose of training is seeing what you require as a necessity?  Maybe all these aids help people think it will get them through the tough times.  Training gets you through the tough times.  Know where the water is, have a few electrolytes, and grab a bit of grub along the way.  You can go a long way on that...if you train for it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


It takes about 20 minutes of run time until you get the notion it was a solid idea.  This is how I look at it.  Regardless (Irregardless...I never saw the use of this word until I ran with a small posse of folks 25 years ago who preferred this must have been in their lexicon) if I know this the battle still persists in getting out the door.  For me the 20 minutes is huge, because most days if I get that far I can run 10 additional minutes and head back to the barn.  This is the crux of my whole training plan.

If I wish to start running more per week I have to trick myself into believing I can go an additional 10 minutes out (sometimes more) before turning.  I do a lot of out and backs during the week because for me when I get home it seems like the run is far greater than half over.  It doesn't make sense, but this works for me.

I take one day a week off now, but I would like to get back to 1-2 days off a month and ultimately add a few evening runs.  The motivation is I don't necessarily enjoy taking the dog much on these runs in the dark, but at the same time I am the main source of her regiment in the cooler conditions.  In the winter it would still be dark in the evening, but I could run the sidewalks in the neighborhood.

Weekends are a different story.  I rarely do 2 hours+ until January or February.  There tends to be more people training long on weekends at this point and I just hitch along and get the time in.  Every year seems a bit different for weekends, but essentially the heart of training for me is what I can get myself to do during the week.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hot Dogs 99 cents

Now...I stop when I see these words.  It has been a long struggle finding decent franks out in the Midwest in general.  I love the chili dogs back home and more importantly they are rather inexpensive.  Chili dogs don't work out here, so I stick with the mustard and onions...except when they want like $3 bucks for one.  The Chicago dog is good I will give you that, but it is more like a sandwich experience.

Now that it has cooled off I am back to shooting for 50 miles a week.  I am back to running in the mornings which just is the better choice.  I have a little 6.3 mile loop I do in the morning during the week and I'm going to try and stretch to 10 on Wednesdays when I can,  Monday is usually the day off.  Back to just enjoying running.  Never easy getting out the door, but once the first couple miles go by there is no other place I'd rather be.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Art Fleming and Steve Grilli

About everyday I try and remember a couple items I want to Google.  It is interesting to see what you remember compared to facts.  I commented to my wife that Alex Trebek must be at least 70 and sure enough he is 73.  For those interested he is slated to retire in 2016.  Of course I had to look up Fleming and after 10 minutes I had read more than I needed to know about Jeopardy.

As a Pirate fan it was good to see them win against Cincinnati, but I was unaware our closer Jason Grilli's Dad pitched in the Majors.  Steve Grilli toiled 4 years with the Tigers and Blue Jays.  From me to you man.

Now that Fall is here I am back training in earnest.  I will move from 35 a week back to 50-55.  Nothing planned other than the usual John Dick 50k in February as a training romp and then buckle down for Ice Age. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

1.  I count almost every flight of steps I travel on.
2.  My middle name is Blair after my Grandpa.
3.  I get between 1,000 - 1,500 miles per pair of shoes.
4.  I used to keep track of how much money I found per year.
5.  $35.00 was about the biggest year
6.  I sat beside Bill Rodgers at the Wheeling 20k awards banquet in 1978.
7.  I found a dead guy once.
8.  My nickname in college was Devo.
9.  I earned an MBA from Ft. Lauderdale College and finished first in my class w/ a 3.93.
10.  Several friends call me Herb or Duey.
11.  I won my first 2 mile race ever as a sophomore in HS.
12.  I won a Cleveland Indians trivia contest in HS at a sporting goods store worth $25.
13.  I played the game Defender for 17 consecutive hours in college on .25 cents before they closed.
14.  My brother and I tied for first in the mile in HS versus Union HS.
15.  I grew up trapping and loved it.
16.  I won the Frisbee championship at Slippery Rock as a senior in HS.
17.  I once missed 100 classes in a semester at college and passed.
18.  I ran my first marathon at Penn Relays in 1980.
19.  I am left handed as is my brother, but throw and bat right handed.
20.  I am from PA, my wife is from WI, and my kids were born in FL.
21.  Marc Woodcock has never beaten me in a race.
22.  I have registered under the name Wes Mantooth on several occasions.
23.  I have never ran a fast 10K.
24.  I sleep on my left side.
25.  My grandmother is 100 years old.
26.  My Dad taught me how to catch honey bees in bare hands without them stinging you.
27.  My Mom was voted most athletic in her senior class.
28.  My other grandma was Lula Bell.
29.  I have over 125,000 baseball cards.
30.  Keven Grabowski was a friend who used to have multiple records at UWRF.
31.  I once ran a road race and finished last to see what it was like.
32.  I once wore 27 t-shirts to HS.
33.  I ran my first 100 mile week in 1978.
34.  I went 2 years in college without combing my hair.
35.  I ran my fastest 8k in 27:03 at 42 years old.
36.  I don't read horiscopes or fortune cookies.
37.  I enjoy crossword puzzles.
38.  My first dogs name was Wimpy.
39.  My HS bus ran him over in his quest to bite the biggest tire.
40.  I have never worn a pair of boxers.
41.  My birthday is on 9-11.
42.  Sometimes Angela Barbara is 2 years older than me.
43.  My favorite baseball player of all-time was Roberto Clemente.
44.  I have been at the same company since 9-10-84.
45.  My parents, siblings, wife, and children all have spring birthdays.
46.  John Wayne is the greatest actor ever.
47.  My grandma's favorite president was Lyndon Johnson.
48.  I cannot roll my tongue into that cool oval thing.
49.  I once ran a year without missing a day.
50.  The girl I took to the senior prom was the state champ in the javelin and medaled in the 880.

Friday, May 31, 2013

I was drivin' that Model A

When I was a kid I could burn rubber.  I was a pipsqueak like Grubby.  I dominated in elementary school football.  Country schools have playgrounds about a quarter mile wide and we didn't have good knowledge of what was out of bounds was.  Give me the ball run a 100 yards left and turn up field.  I was Leroy Kelly in my head who had replaced Jim Brown.  A hard act to follow, but Leroy is in The could look it up.

In essence this is where it all began.  The distance didn't matter; I felt competitive at all distances.  I think I'd have been a good half miler, but we had guys there in high school.  Good guys not chumps.  It was kind of a raw deal because I had to train like a Manimal to get the occasional point or two at the big meets.  What I didn't understand at the time was the people I ran against had history.  They had programs.  Big trophies in the cases.  I had the run down to the Mill and back and do a few wind sprints.

Looking back I wouldn't have it any other way.  I had to figure stuff out myself.  Along the way I became a runner.  Just another guy trying to rub a few sticks together to get a little fire going.  A running bum.  I'd run thousands of miles for just one good day.  All stuff I've said before, but true. 

A couple days ago I went on a rare evening run at home.  I left the house in the dress soxs and white cotton T and a group of kids mocked me.  I ignored them.  I did look like a 50 some year old hobby jogger barely moving.  About a dozen miles later on the way back I was laying wood.  Close to home, close to 6:30 pace with white T in my hand.  Felt invincible.  Same kids looked at me and it just came out.  "It would take three of you just to tear my picture in half."  Not the most popular Dad in these parts.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

You know your semi-good looking

Never a big VH fan, but isn't it odd when you hear songs from when you were younger you kind of groove to them?  Yes even KC & The Sunshine Band.

Rocket Ronnie Bero and I did the 35 mile build-up run a week early.  I just wanted a day without rain and the trails were in excellent shape.  I was surprised how it just clicked by.  I'm tired, but we ran well.  Now I either have a week more to recover from this distance or sneak in another semi-long one next week if weather okay.  It was cool and I believe this helped us.  Plus I ate more than usual and it seemed to help.  I only drank about 110 ounces during the run.

Saw Craig, Kevin R., LaDonna, Mary, Brenda, Chris R., Joel, his brother Tim and one or two other hobby joggers out there.  There is nothing green out there and Ice Age is 4 weeks away.  Big difference from last year. 

Pork sandwiches never tasted so well.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Woke out of bed

It's quarter to 10 in the evening and I just lost my third straight game of Scrabble to the computer.  I wanted to get to bed earlier, but old habits die hard.  I get the coffee ready for tomorrow morning and crawl into bed to listen to the soothing voice of Bill O'Reilly.  I'm sure it is common in Waukesha County.  I say my prayers rather hurriedly because I want to start thinking about running.  I run training ideas past myself as if they were fresh ideas of my own.  The alarm goes off this Wednesday morning as 4:56 am and it takes me 10 minutes to drag myself out of bed.  I take my meds first thing, let the dog out, and pour my first of 2-3 cups of black joe.  I have ESPN on and catch up on the Lakers as if I have a choice.  During a commercial break I go online an check the current weather to see if the dog is able to go with me.  Down in the basement I grab what I need to wear for the day and start strapping it on.  I should probably wash this I say to myself, but it will have to wait for the weekend.  At 5:41 am I leave to run to Jamie's house where he and his border collie Rosie roll out just in time.  The hard part is complete, now I can concentrate on running.  We roll West on the Drumlin this day into the wind and say little as the big election is over.  Some days we rap, other days we just get it in.  It makes no difference to us...we are running bums...and the damn dogs are addicted.

I cheated the day.  Victory was mine.  The run is in the bank. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's only a model

If you wanted to train specifically for a marathon or half it seems there are plenty of on-line workouts broken down by month/week.  In ultras...not so much.  I enjoy looking at planned schedules for marathons a few years back and then tweaking them to fit me.  For ultras it mainly runs from how to finish one, discussion on what elements are best, to elite programs that are other wordly.  In other words we kind of have to figure it out on our own.  Which in my experience is pretty accurate.  I have done similar marathon schedules as others with very similar results.  This hasn't always been true in ultras.

You can run and talk with ten different people enough over a season who do ultras and no one seems to be doing the same thing outside of getting in long runs.  That's a big chunk of the pie, but is that it?  I just don't enjoy much over two hours anymore, so I only do 3-4 strategic runs of any length.  Primarily because I like running most other days as well and hate the waxed feeling I get for a few days after runs in the 3.5+ hour range.  I've tried about everything from making the long run the centerpiece of training to detailed strength/speed and the results have been surprisingly similar for trail ultras.  In otherwords, I'm still trying to figure out what works for me which makes it enjoyable, but also a mystery. 

Trail ultras are much different than road ultras.  I seem to get my head around roads much better than any trail.  Ice Age is so different because it is difficult to get into a flow.  The topography is always shifting, rising, turning, to the point you almost always want to have a little juice for what's coming up.  I've probably had 15 seperate conversations on how to run the first loop.  It makes sense to "bank" a little time and use the wide/good trail to your advantage.  I have went to the other side and I go out at training run pace, stay back, take care of myself and maintain that for the day.  Every year it is the same conversation with someone I don't know out there.  "What are you hoping to do."  "7:xx something."  What?!"  I'm hoping to break 9 hours."  What theory are they using?  Look, 10:30 pace is an 8:45.  That would be like me going out at 7:30 pace (6:15).  Why would I do that? 

I walk some at Ice Age, but I don't like walking.  People I respect very much have broken down walking to me.  I have done better recently and may walk more this year.  It seems like such a waste of time...but is it?  I need to try it out on some test runs this year and figure it out. 

I have collected a fair amount of point to point data in my head for time/hills, but realized this last week that there is still much to learn.  I hope to share some of this data as we get closer to Ice Age.