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.