Thursday, September 30, 2010

3.68 miles in 34'50"

i wanted to make my last run before this saturday's meet up a good one. i walked to the school with my wife, left her there and started running. i just kept my feet moving without working too hard. the wind cooled me and i enjoyed just crusing around town waving at all the folks i know - charlie, will, mary, jerry, beccie. this run puts me over 90 miles this month, up from 61 last month and zero the month before that. i feel good about my progress. just a month until the race that got me started on this running kick.

near death experiences

i took it really easy this morning and it nearly killed me. not literally, of course, but inside i was dying for speed. it wasn't even that my legs felt great. they were tired and sore from last night's long run. i just didn't want to go slow. i did it anyway because i want my legs to feel wonderful saturday morning when i run in haviland.

so let me share with you the excitement of the day.

my gatorade tasted nasty. not sure what was up with that. the only thing i can figure is that i accidentally left it out all day yesterday and something grew in the nozzle or something. whatever it was it was not pleasant. i only took three swigs then quit.

semi trucks were one of the other stories of the day. with a brisk wind out of the north, i was pounded by the air they were pushing until i turned around and headed back. one truck in particular growled at me as it approached. it was a huge cattle hauler and it's low roar shouted out, "i'm going to knock you off the road with the blast of air i'm pushing. you silly bicycle rider. i own the road." it pretty much felt like that when his "storm" hit me, but i survived and even maintained my position on the road that rightfully belongs to me too.

finally, i was intrigued by a caterpillar of lights running along the railroad tracks running parallel to 160 just to the south. i first noticed it about nine and a half miles from home just before i turned around. i took note of it again when i caught up with it at the seven miles to go mark going back. it's unusual that i can catch up with something on the tracks and this things was terribly interesting, so i pushed just a little bit to get ahead of it and make sure i could ride the half mile south to the tracks before it got there. i wanted to know what this behemoth was. just for me, it stopped on a siding in argonia and i got a good look at it. i don't know what it's called, but i'm assuming it's some sort of moblie track maintainence machine. pretty impressive up close.

the only other moment of excitement came somewhere along the way back home. a bunch of cars were coming toward me from the west and a bunch of others caught up with me from behind. in the middle of this two-way streem of traffic a pick up driver decides to be friendly and honks at me just as he's passing me. scared the pee waddin out of me.

and that's my morning on the bike. (21.73 miles @ 14.8mph)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

6.92 miles in 1:10'03"

my wife came home from preparing for next week's kindergarten lessons and wanted to go running. we walked up toward the school and started our trek up and down the streets of argonia at the corner of allen and elm.

running south on elm, we ran past the city park, turned west for a block then ran back up past the school on high to beech. another block west and we were on main heading south to cherry.

from cherry we zigzagged our way to the furthest point south and west on the north side of town before turning back on our route and heading east to plum and garfield where we turned south and crossed the railroad tracks.

going south, we looped around boys and bryana then turned onto lucky lane which took us to the southern city limits. we went west a block on 20th avenue then turned north on main.

we ran on main until we recrossed the bnsf line and hit mill street. east on mill one block and north on high one block and my wife was done for the evening. we'd covered 3.12 miles in 35'24". that's 11'20" per mile average pace. her second fastest run average ever and we didn't stop once to walk.

i was feeling good, so i kept running and running and running eventually more than doubling the distance and running almost another 35'24". i quit two blocks from home at the corner of garfield and elm having covered 6.92 miles in 1:10'03". i still felt good and could have run further, but decided it was time to call it a night and get some rest. i'm pleased with my distance and nice slow and easy 10'07" per mile average pace. my pace for the 3.80 miles i ran alone was 9'07" per mile.

another easy run tomorrow and i'll be done until saturday morning in haviland with the dailymile crew there.

Obedience is love...

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. “But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
(1 John 2:1-6, NIV)

At least one of you has to be saying, “I thought you said a couple days ago that a believer can’t sin, but this passage says they can.” I remind you that I did not say they cannot sin. I said a true believer cannot consistently and knowingly continue in sin. Someone who is in fellowship with God cannot habitually walk in darkness. A Spirit-filled person will hate sin and seek to eliminate it from their lives. Their desire will be toward God-pleasing obedience rather than self-pleasing decadence.

That said, let me emphasize the really good news. If a believer sins, she has a defender before God’s throne. Jesus, the one we put our faith in, is our defender. He speaks to the Father on our behalf. And the Father, remembering the blood of his Son shed for sin and crediting his Son’s righteousness to the believer, has mercy.

Isn’t that amazing?! You believe on Jesus. You move from darkness to light. You confess your sin. You walk in the light and have fellowship with God. And because of what Jesus did on the cross, God has mercy on you. He forgives your sin. He cleanses you from all unrighteousness.

My friends, do you know this God who is rich in mercy? If you know him, you will obey his commands. You won’t do it out of a sense of duty. It won’t be a burden. You will joyfully do what’s right and avoid what’s wrong because of your great love for the one who bought you out of slavery. If you live in God and he lives in you, you will walk as Jesus did – in complete dependence upon God for power and in willing submission to God.

The man who says, “I know God,” but does not do what God commands, resists submission. His actions belie his claim. God is not Lord of his life. The truth is not in him. Those who know God obey him.

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statistically interesting ride

my headlight almost went out five miles from home. other than that my ride was actually pretty boring, so let me energize you with a few stats from this morning's westbound out and back...

four cars passed me. 25% of them honked at me in a friendly, "beep! beep! i see you and don't want to hit you" way. 50% were foreign models. 50% were domestic. 50% of the domestic vehicles were (or should I say was?) SUVs. 50% were big gas guzzling luxury cars. 100% of the cars passed me in the first six miles of my ride. 50% of them passed me between miles three and four. the other 50% passed between miles five and six. 50% were headed west. 50% were headed east. of the westbound cars 50% moved entirely into the eastbound lane to avoid me. the remaining 50% moved slightly onto the opposite side of the road.

one panel truck passed me in argonia a half mile from home. if i'd added him into the mix, i would have had to get out a calculator to do the percentages. 100% of the trucks that passed me were going west. that's all i'm saying. (15.93 miles @ 17.1mph)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I almost put it in...

Today during lunch, I grabbed a leftover chicken tender and began gnawing on it while I pulled out all the ingredients for a PBJ. Chomp! There's the peanut butter. Chew! There's the raspberry jam. Nosh! There's the bread.

By the time I had all the components of a good PBJ on the counter and a knife located to spread the P and J on the bread, I was down to about two bites of pre-processed chicken stuff. I took a bite and proceeded to untwist the twisty tie thing that holds the bread sack closed. While I did this I kept an eye on the last bite of fried goodness.

I pulled out two pieces of bread then spun the bread sack to close it. Next I took the twisty tie and nearly put it in my mouth. What!?!? Remember how I said I was eying the last bite of breaded bird? As I looked at it, I decided to eat the last bite, but it wasn't in my hand. Instead, in my grip was a yellow plastic covered wire. That's what I moved mouthward.

I'm thinking about starting a list of things I've almost put in my mouth, but that probably would get gross really quickly. So I won't.

When I was a kid, I'm told, I actually put a spider in my yapper. My mom saw me do it and bravely pulled the hapless creature out. I guess the arachnid goes on another list. Things that have been in my mouth, but not swallowed.

I have no sin...

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:8-10, NIV)

God’s at it again. He’s setting the record straight. He’s calling folks liars to their face. If you say you are without sin, you are a liar. If you claim you have not sinned, you are a liar.

When I read those words about a week ago, my mind immediately went to the claims of the founder of Christian Science. Mary Baker Eddy, while she was living, repeatedly denied the existence of sin and evil.

“Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place nor thing but is simply a belief, an illusion of material sense.” (Science and Health, p. 237)

“There never was a moment in which evil was real.” (No and Yes, p. 33)

“The belief of sin…is an unconscious error in the beginning.” (Science and Health, p. 81)

“There is no sin…Man is incapable of sin…” (Science and Health, Edition of 1917, p. 447-475)

Such statements are ridiculous in light of the teaching of the Bible and, I might add, in light of reality. There is no one who lives as if there is no such thing as evil in the world. A person sees real atrocities done to real people and rightly reacts with real revulsion. Real evils are done to you and you rightly react in real anger to the real injustice of real sin.

Sin is real. It is not the figment of human imagination. It is not just a belief or an unconscious error. It is destructive, harmful, hurtful, wrong in the real world. I know that from experience as does every other person on planet earth. I’ve seen the damage my sins have caused myself and others. You’ve experienced the pain when your neighbor has sinned against you.

When we hear God’s words given to us through Paul – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) – we nod our heads. That’s reality. We know it to be true. We laugh at the person who claims to be without sin. Ridiculous!

Now Mary Baker Eddy isn’t the only delusional liar out there. There are hundreds, thousands, dare I say millions or billions of people who rationalize away the real sin in their lives.

“As long as what I do doesn’t hurt anyone, what does it matter?”

“It’s not really adultery if my wife isn’t meeting my needs.”

“It may be wrong for you because that’s what you believe, but I don’t believe it’s wrong, so for me it’s okay.”

“It can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”

Nonsense! All of it! The illogical ramblings of mad men and liars.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, NIV)

“If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:10, NIV)

A believer in Jesus cannot continually walk in darkness and will not claim to be without sin. A person who has put his faith in Jesus will admit he’s sinned and be forgiven. He will be cleansed by a faithful and just God from all unrighteousness. Confession – admitting what you know to be true – brings freedom. Denial – trying desperately to hide what you know to be true – enslaves.

If you are a faker, God is offering you freedom today. Put your faith in Jesus. Confess your sin and let God purify you. Be free!

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What have you done?

"Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done."

-Isaiah 3:10-11, NIV

Let me pray about it...

I love when someone asks us to help out at church and instead of saying, "No," we say, "Let me pray about it." Really? I asked you to help me clean up tomorrow night after youth group, and you feel like that's something you need to run past the Savior of the world? He's going to give you the thumbs-up or thumbs-down on whether or not you can help me stack chairs for seven minutes?

-Stuff Christians Like, Jonathan Acuff, p. 60

3.10 miles in 26'53"

i should not have run as hard as i did today. i should have complied with the guidelines for those who have given blood. no strenuous exercise for 10 years. i felt okay for the first mile or so, but then i suddenly felt awful. i had to stop and walk.

after a block or so, i started running again. i ran for a little while and then i had to walk.

this pattern repeated itself several more times before the finish line. i had thought about running past the end of the 5K route clear back home, but when i hit the line i quit. i was done.

i hope i feel better tomorrow. i want a good hard run before a recovery run on thursday and a day off on friday. i want to be fresh for my run with marshall b and ryan k in haviland saturday morning.

less iron

i overslept (for me) a bit so didn't have as much time as i would have liked. when i looked at the temperature, i was pleased. it was much warmer this morning. yippee!

from the get go i was able to push it a bit harder today than yesterday since i gave blood and the weight of all the iron that pint of hemoglobin wasn't weighing me down. i sped out to milan road and flew back, then took in the extra distance out to where 10th avenue shoots off of 160 when 160 heads north. (11.58 miles @ 17.7mph)

Monday, September 27, 2010

3.10 miles in 34'16"

i gave blood this afternoon at 3:30, so i couldn't do anything terribly strenuous. rather than run by myself and risk running too hard, i grabbed my wife from work and went out with her. we mapped out a 5K and then ran the route we'd made.

our first mile was done in just over 10'00" pace. about a quarter mile after the mile mark, my wife suddenly had trouble breathing so we walked a little less than a block before starting up again.

we ran most of the rest of the way with only three (or was it four?) more walking breaks. we finished the 5K in less than 36 minutes. this is the first time i've run with her that she's been under 12'00" pace! she claimed i pushed her a bit, but i was just doing what she could do. i waited for her when she slowed and sped up only when it seemed she was. she's just getting better.

Light and darkness...

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:5-7, NIV)

A question: Can light and darkness occupy the same place at the same time? They can't, can they? Darkness ceases to exist where there is light.God is light. It follows then that darkness cannot be where God is. If God is in a believer's heart, darkness cannot be there too.A true believer cannot walk in darkness and enjoy it. Wrongdoing is not pleasurable any more. She hates sin and constantly seeks God's help in overcoming the immoral habits of her past.

So, what if you watch someone who claims to be a believer walk consistently and knowingly into sin? Maybe they're a gossip who is always spreading malicious lies about those they don't like. Maybe their words are constantly demeaning toward those in authority. Maybe they repeatedly drink to excess or sleep around or shoplift or lie to get their way.

What do you know about that person who claims to be in fellowship with God, but who walks in darkness? John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says that person is a liar. He does not live by the truth. He is not, in fact, in fellowship with God at all. He is not a believer.

How can John say such a thing? Isn't he being a bit harsh? Calling someone a liar is a bit extreme! Shouldn't he give everybody the benefit of the doubt? Maybe they're doing the best they can.

Maybe. If they're a new believer still trying to figure things out, I might buy that last bit. But I'm not buying it from the guy who has said he’s a Christian for years and still consistently and knowingly plunges into the same sin over and over and over again. A man or a woman with the Spirit of God in them cannot keep walking in darkness. A Holy Spirit filled person will each and every year look and act and speak and live more and more like Jesus. They will, with God's help, break free from their bondage to sin. Their habits, as they fellowship with God and walk in the light, will change from wrongdoing to right doing.

Some of you think I'm being unreasonable, a bit unrealistic. Don't we all struggle with sin? Yes! We all do. But I'm not talking about those who struggle with sin. I'm not talking about those who hate it when they fall into the same trap again. I'm talking about those who love sin and consistently and knowingly do what's wrong, those who don't really care that God prohibits. They're going to do what they want to do, God's rules be damned!

That is not the attitude of one whose heart has been transformed by grace. That's the heart of a liar who claims to walk in the light, but loves walking in darkness. Such a person has no fellowship with the one true God who is light and in whom there is no darkness at all.

If you are a faker, God wants to free you from your bondage to sin. Put your faith in Jesus. Let the Holy Spirit control you. Walk in the light. Resist temptation. Let the blood of Jesus purify you from all sin. The joy you'll find in the freedom that follows genuine faith is better by far than any pleasure you think you get from sin.

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Pulled over...

I was driving through Winfield on my way to a volleyball tournament in Burden last Saturday when I happened to spot some pretty red and blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror. I pulled into a business' parking lot and stopped. I knew I hadn't been speeding, so I wondered what I had done that had warrented this intrusion into my busy schedule.

The female officer in the car got out and approached my door. I rolled down the window and tried not to look like a felon on the lam. Not the easiest thing when you're not used to being confronted by the police. Smile, Mike. Be friendly.

I said, "Hello," in my calmest, I'm-not-a-crook voice. She responded with a question: "Did you know you had a headlight out?"

"No," I said with complete honesty. My tone was one of relief I'm sure.

"Can I see your driver's license and proof of insurance?" she asked.

I fished around in my wallet and came up with my license and State Farm I'm-legit card. I handed them over.

Miss I'm-Pulling-You-Over walked back to her car. I saw her talking on her radio asking dispatch to send the SWAT team to back her up. I would've turned my EMS radio on scan and listened in, but I wasn't in Sumner County, so her message to headquarters remained mysterious.

It wasn't long before my new friend got out of her car and walked up to my window again. "I'm issuing you a warning," she said. "It's not going to go on your record or be reported to insurance." Then she added, "I'm not going to cite someone for something they're going to get fixed." There was an ominous feel to that last phrase. "If you don't replace that lamp, I'm coming to get you and lock you up for 50 years," was implied. I thanked her for kindly holding me up and drove on to Burden.

I read the warning later that day. It was really a ticket that wasn't signed. It said that "Within the Corporate Limits of the Above Named City (that's Winfield), County (Cowley) and State (good old Kansas) I (it was implied) Did Then and There, Unlawfully and Willfully Operate a Motor Vehicle with a Headlight Out."

I'll admit to the unlawfully part, suppose, but that willfully they threw in was entirely unnecessary. I didn't mean to break the law. I didn't even know my van was one-eyed.

Ok. I'm thankful that I didn't get a ticket. The court costs alone would've been $70. That's more than a headlight would cost me. (No, I haven't got a new one yet.) Insane!

Conviction from God is kind of the same as a warning from the police. "What you're doing is wrong. Better correct it," he says.

"Thanks. I needed the reminder."

The best thing about God's warning - way better than the cops' - is that he helps fix the problem and he's already paid the price for the infraction. I - eventually - thank him every time he corrects me. He keeps me from getting deeper in sin and really messing my life up.

"Thanks for pulling me over."

after breakfast

i had a few minutes after breakfast to ride, so i headed out. it was still cold. in fact, it had dropped from 44 to 43 while i ate.

i had a bit more energy than earlier in the day, so i pedaled a bit harder. i rode once more to the top of drouhard hill and turned back toward town.

when i got back to town, i rode right past my turn off. i had time to ride a couple of miles east and make it back with time to spare before work. it was great to be out in the sunshine even if it was a bit cold when i started out. thankfully it warmed while i was riding. it was up to 45 when i got home. (13.62 miles @ 16.6mph)

A strange recommendation...

I like to tell people what I'm reading, so I post my book list on Visual Bookshelf on Facebook. (Nevermind that app boxes can't be added to your profile now, so no one knows what I've posted.)

Today, I added Jonathan Acuff's Stuff Christians Like and Ted Dekker's Immanuel's Veins to my "Reading Now" list. Both times Visual Bookshelf generated recommendations for "similar books" I might like. Both times the "similar" book they suggested was Loser/Queen by Jodi Lynn Anderson.
Here's the description of Ms. Anderson's book given to me on Visual Bookshelf:

Cammy Hall is what anyone would describe as a loser. She lives with her grandparents and has adopted their way of life… right down to the comfortable shoes and early bedtime. And can she help it that she actually likes to knit?

At school, her skills with knitting needles and some yarn go completely unappreciated: people like Bekka Bell reign while Cammy and her best friend, the fearless Danish exchange student Gerdi, watch from the sidelines. Cammy's used to being an outsider; after years of humiliating moments, her goal is simply to fly under the radar. Then she suddenly starts receiving mysterious text messages that lead her right to all the embarrassing secrets about the most popular kids in school. Cammy never expected to be able to climb up the high school food chain, and the agenda of the texter may be questionable—but how can she possibly give up the chance to be Queen?

What I'd like to know is how this book is similar in anyway to two completely different books. Stuff Christians Like is a compliation of sarcastic essays written about the crazy stuff people do in the name of Jesus and his Church. Immanuel's Veins is an eerie tale filled with bizarre people who bite people's lips. (I haven't read very far in either of them, maybe they'll both get to the nerdy, American teenager stuff sooner or later, but I have my doubts.)

So what's up with Visual Bookshelf's recommendation generator? I suspect the publisher of Loser/Queen said, "We'll give you loads of money if you constantly push our book." If I add The Count of Monte Cristo to my "Reading Now" list in a couple of weeks and get the same recommendation, swords will be crossed.

On not being fed...

I just started reading Jonathon Acuff's Stuff Christians Like (the book, not the blog) this morning and immediately stumbled upon this gem.

If you want to become a professional church grumbler, not just some amateur occasionally throwning rocks at the worship service, minister, or other attributes of the church, there's one key phrase you need to know:

"I'm not being fed."

This simple complaint - the teaching is lacking, the sermons are thin, the worship music is not uplifting enough, or a million other things that people find inadequate - is the official complaint of church grumblers the world over. If we could figure out a way to monetize it, we could permanently end world poverty. Forget cold fusion; if we could generate energy every time someone says this phrase, we'd be able to break our dependence on foreign oil in about four minutes.

It's such a perfect thing to say because it deflects any attention away from me, while at the same time creating false humility and making me seem spiritually mature and advanced. "It's not you, it's me. I just want to learn. I'm admitting that I am incomplete. I'm hungry for deep, real spiritual teaching. I'm humbly confessing that I'm not getting enough out of church. Please help me get the rich faith-building experiences that I so desperately need."

Just be careful who you say this to. Pastors are starting to get wily. When people tell my friend, "I'm not being fed," he replies, "I'm perfectly happy to spoon feed my one-year-old. But if I'm still spoon-feeding him when he's five, we've got a problem. Here's a fork. Feed yourself."
(p. 18)

The end of Hebrews 5 chastizes those who won't grow up.

"We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." (v. 11-14, NIV)

I hope this challenges you to get into God's word yourself. With the Holy Spirit's help it's not too late for you to start feeding yourself. You'll grow like crazy when you willingly go after God's truth yourself.
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shoe covers and gloves

fall has arrived. it's official. the thermometer announced it this morning. "44 degrees!" it shouted. "fall is here!" as if on cue, my nose got a bit stuffy and i coughed a bit in the middle of the night.

"44 degrees," i thought. "what do i wear?" i hadn't ridden at home in temps this low since april. it was in the 40s in early june when i rode in the mountains, but that hardly counts. so i had to hunt down a few things. i found my tights and jacket on the hanging rack inside my bathroom door. my shoe covers and fingered gloves were in the garage where i'd stored them away. i thought about pulling out my skull cap, but was pretty sure it would be too warm. i'm glad i nixed that idea. i was comfortable without it.

dressed properly, i left my driveway around 5:45. (i overslept.) before i was to the intersection of pine and vine, i heard a click, click, click coming from my front end. i stopped. checked the brakes. checked the sensor on my odometer. it was the sensor. i don't know how that thing moves on it's own when the bike's been sitting still all weekend, but it manages it.

i started again. the odometer wasn't reading now. i tried to adjust it. no dice. since i wasn't going to waste precious ride time fiddling with something so trivial as that, i took off to the west. i rode around the correction curves, over the river and up drouhard hill. at the base of the hill, i encountered a small patch of fog. pretty cool riding through it.

at the top of the hill, i turned and headed home. just before i crossed the river again, i noticed a large deer carcass in the east bound lane. i took note of it so i could call 911 when i got home. didn't want anyone to hit the bloated thing.

i rode on with the northwest breeze helping me along just a bit. i rounded the curves again and rode back into town. i turned onto pine and pulled up in my drive. the rest of the week the lows are supposed to be in the lower 50s. i hope they're right. i'm not ready to be really cold yet.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

overslept and out of time

i didn't get to bed until 1:00 this morning because of a long and involved ems incident, so when i woke up at 5:15 i didn't get out of bed. i rolled over and went back to sleep. the next thing i knew it was 6:00 and my alarm was blaring, "get up! get up! get up!" annoying thing. i haven't slept till the crazy thing sounded reverie for ages.

so i got up and got dressed. "time for ten miles," i thought.

i got on my bike and rocketed out of my driveway. i was going to try for new times on the two time trial challenges i'm part of.

two miles out, i was pretty sure i wasn't going to break any land speed records. i was cranking for all i was worth and i wasn't even breaking 20mph. still, i pressed on.

when i passed the 7.2-mile mark, i hit the lap button on my watch. 22'15". no new time on bernard's challenge. i was three or four minutes off my best.

i hit ten miles and stopped the lap again. 31'33". not quite enough to beat my sub-30 post a few week's back on steve's 10-mile time trial challenge.

i still feel good about my results. i ended at 19.0mph, so i can't complain. (10.31 miles @ 19.0mph)

Friday, September 24, 2010

riding and singing

today was recovery day. i didn't really pay attention to my speed at all. in fact, most of the time i was busy making up a song. i kept singing it over and over so i wouldn't forget the tune or the words. i was actually so preoccupied with the task that i rode right past my planned turn around.

when i got back home i opened up sound recorder and laid down some rough tracks. the song has nothing to do with exercise, so i probably won't post it here. you'll just have to check my youtube channel in a day or two if you want to watch it. it's about my friend dumb bunny. (18.18 miles @ 15.9mph)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

a windy apology

i had to apologize to yesterday this morning. i feel bad that i called it blustery. it was not windy at all. today is windy - 30mph sustained winds with gusts up to 40mph expected. forgive me, yesterday. i was so wrong. feels good to get that off my chest.

my confession behind me, let me tell you about this morning's ride. i woke up at 4:30 and rolled out of bed a few minutes later. i might have fallen asleep again if i hadn't, but who needs sleep? there are miles to ride. flawed logic, i know. but let it be.

i rolled down my driveway and up pine street around 4:45 and turned west onto the highway. that was the direction the wind was supposed to be opposing, but it didn't seem very hard to keep going so i turned around after a mile and headed east. turns out that was the smartest thing i did on my ride.

with my directional decision made, i put the hammer down. i pedaled with the same intensity that yeilded a 19.9mph ride last week. today it got me up to 16-18mph. it was probably 20 or 30 minutes before i got above 20mph. but i'm getting ahead of myself.

i rode into the wind up and over mock hill and bruce hill. i pushed down cemetery hill. you heard me right. i pushed down the hill. i started to climb the foothills of antichrist hill when it happened. i thought, "maybe i should turn south toward milan and see what the headwind feels like." every part of my body except my hands voted no! my hands steer the bike. stupid hands!

i turned south into the wind. my speed dropped immediately to 12-15mph. i grunted and groaned, straining at the pedals. i thought about turning around at the railroad tracks, but my hands overruled that notion. they held a semi-steady line as i bumped up and over the triple tracks and continued on toward main street, milan. they did not turn around there either, but forced me to the south edge of town where the asphalt runs out. only then did they allow retreat.

for a mile, the wind was my friend. i was a gale-powered rocket blasting through town, over the tracks and toward the highway. i hit 30mph on the flats.

then i turned east again and rode toward mayfield. on the way there i momentarily thought about turning into the wind again on chicaskia road. my hands liked the idea, but the rest of the body beat them into submission and the straight line prevailed.

at mayfield road, i turned south again. my loss of speed was greater this time. i was giving it my all and managing just 10-12mph into the angry blast. i crawled to the railroad tracks on the far side of mayfield and turned for another rocket ride. unfortunately, i was too worn out to power a rocket and had to settle for prop plane speeds.

when i reached the highway again, my westward return trip began. the wind wasn't helpful at all. it had dropped me down from 16.9mph to 16.4mph over the course of my outbound leg and it dropped me another tenth over the next several miles. i limped into town with a sustained average of 16.3mph.

did i stop? was i done? no. i kept going so as to cover 30+ miles. i rode a to blackstone and back and pulled into my driveway with 31.93 miles. i was beat.

i ate breakfast and then, much to the wind's dismay, went out for a few more miles. i rode out to milan road and back adding another 10+ miles to put me over 40 for the day and 100 for the week.

i returned home, showered and headed to work. it's lunch time now and it's even more blustery now than it was a few hours ago. should be interesting to watch junior high football tonight. some of the smaller guys are going to be toppled by the wind. can't wait! (42.24 miles @ 16.3mph)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

blessed sprinklers

i should've grabbed my mp3 player. the music would have kept me from thinking about the suffering. i could've lost myself in the melody, the harmonization, the lyrics, the rhythm. but, no, i decided to run with only the wind and the tap, tap, tap of my feet to keep me occupied.

so i thought about the suffering and nearly quit several times. i felt awful at around the one-mile mark. i felt weak three-quarters of a mile later. i was miserable at two miles.

then the sprinklers appeared. at first i thought it had to be a mirage. i ran toward it like a dying man in the desert. the heat burned my flesh. i reached the life-giving spray didn't disappear. it was real! bless the man who installed the sprinklers at the corner of boys and bryana! bless the man who decided to water his lawn this afternoon!

revived, i ran a bit harder on my way back into town. i kept counting the number of blocks left till i could quit. seven. six. five. four. three.

with two left i stopped my countdown and just ran. ran to pine and vine and collapsed. not really. i bent over for a bit, breathing hard, then straightened and started walking. i walked off the pain. i walked away the memory of the suffering. i walked till the sweat on my arms and legs dried, till the wind styled my hair for a night on the town.

and i got happy again. it always happens when i finish a running workout. i hate the pain, then love it. smiling, i walked back home.

Stop running away...

"Repentance is simply our change of mind, direction, and will to face our Lord and stop running away from Him." (Bible Study Fellowship notes on Isaiah 1, p. 4)

Everyone runs from God for awhile. We're born with a tendency to flee from our Maker. We don't like him and his rules. They run contrary to everything we think is fun.

Then some realize that they haven't got things quite straight. They come to understand that God's rules are for their good. They protect those who follow them from harm and keep them from hurting others.

Usually that's when a person comes to understand that they don't have the power to do a bit of good on their own. They suddenly know that they're incapable of being or doing right without help.

That's when a few get smart and stop running from God. They turn around and embrace him and his ways. They put their faith in Jesus his Son and their lives are changed. They want to do what's good and right and are actually able to do so. Why? Because God lives in them. They have a helper in their heart.

Do you have the helper in your heart? Or are you still running away? Change your mind. Stop running. Turn around and receive the mercy you've been fleeing.

To receive my once or twice weekly message via email, send a blank email to Past messages are available at

tricky wind

it must be either spring of fall - my guess is fall since october is next month - because the wind is cranking it up a notch. it was downright blustery this morning - not quite as much so as the day owl's treehouse was knocked over with piglet and pooh aboard, but close.

the wind wasn't exactly cooperative this morning either. it was kind of crafty and sly - not really southwest, but not exactly southeast. when i looked at the weatherlab before heading out it was mostly southwest, so i headed west.

as i left the driveway, i decided the best thing to do on a day like this was to spin a bit. i wasn't going to get much speed anyway. i rode to through danville and beyond - just a mile beyond, mind you - then turned and headed back home. that's when the trickiness of the wind came into play. sometimes it was helping. sometimes not. mostly not it seemed to me.

so i made it back. i suppose you figured that out. the wind is still blowing. will be all day i suppose. this is kansas in the fall - i think. (18.02 miles @ 16.5mph)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

4.77 miles in 45'02"

i've been toying with the idea of checking out some of the country roads around town for several days. i even mapped a few routes to see how far they were. today, i took the plunge and ran some country miles.

the run started out about the same as any other the begins at the school. run north. turn west. today i went west to the botkin elevator drive and then headed south along the western edge of argonia. i wended my way this way, then that until i found myself on 20th avenue headed east into unknown territory. now, when i say unknown, i only mean unknown as far as running is concerned. i've been down 20th dozens of times in a car or on my mountain bike, but never on foot.

my eastward journey ended about a mile out of town at eden road. i turned north there, keeping an eye on the house on the corner. from the deep recesses of my brain came a distant memory of a dog giving chase from that front porch. could've been my imagination, though. i sometimes remember dogs that aren't there. this pooch, real or conjured up, didn't show his fangs today. no barking or biting or chasing. i ran past the final drive headed north and breathed a sigh of relief. i will admit, however, that i looked over my should once or twice just to make sure. i had seen paw prints in the sand a few times on 20th.

eden took me over the railroad tracks and back to highway 160. from there, i headed west to pine street and then south to home. the trip had taken me a bit longer than it was supposed to, so i walked directly into the house and showered so i could get to work on time. unfortunately, my ADHD conspired against me on that one. i couldn't find my keys. i looked and looked. in the house. in the garage. in the car.

i finally grabbed my extra set of work keys and walked. then i remembered where they were. i'd dropped them in the console in the old van after i moved it to make it easier to mow last night. the girls had driven to school with them. i walked to the school, opened the door and there they were.

and so my day begins.

an inch off

about six miles into this ride, i started wondering if i hadn't set my cyclocomputer wrong. the mileage wasn't coming out right. i was hitting miles before i should be.

i know some of you think this is strange, but after nearly seven years of riding the same routes, i pretty much know how far i've ridden at just about any point in the trip.

i wasn't too worried when i was a few hundreths off at six miles, but my gut was telling me something was not quite right. by the end of the trip when i looked down and saw 16.19 miles i knew in my knower that something was definitely wrong.

i scribbled my numbers in my bike log and then pulled out the measuring tape again. i laid it down in the garage, rotated my tire to the right point and rolled forward one rotation: 82.5 inches. i did it again. same measurement. yesterday, somehow, i'd gotten 83.5 inches. i pulled my cyclocomputer off the bike and reset it to the correct measurement, then came in and figured the correct mileage using dailymile's route mapping.

i'm really glad i caught that right away. well, sort of glad. just think how fast i could've been and how many more miles i could have ridden in the same amount of time each day. (15.93 miles @ 17.2mph)

Monday, September 20, 2010

2.91 miles in 23'30"

i needed to get in a few extra miles tonight to meet my goal for the day, so off i went after work. i ran pretty hard most of the time. there were only a couple of times when i didn't feel all that great and slowed a bit. each time, though, i felt better and was able to pick up the pace again.

i made it back to my home intersection and then walked a few blocks to cool down. i ran into my wife walking home from work and got to talk with her as we sauntered down pine street. i feel refreshed now and ready to tackle this evening's honey-do list.

4.89 miles in 46'44"

since i met my cycling goal this morning, i decided to go for my running goal too. i started out from the school at the corner of allen and high, ran a block north to beech. i took beech a block west and then headed south out of town. i ran down argonia road to 30th avenue and then turned around.

running back north toward town, i crossed the river a second time and ran to 20th avenue where i turned east for half a block, then turned north onto lucky lane. lucky lane led to the circular bryana drive which took me back west to main street. crossing main quickly, i took willow another block to the west and then headed north on plum toward the railroad tracks.

a block and a half south of the tracks, the crossing guard started lowering, so i turned east on maple and took the jog over to main. i planned to turn again on oak if the train wasn't past, but it cleared the tracks just before i the turn and i continued north on main all the way to highway 160.

at the corner of main and 160, i turned east and ran to pine where i turned south. i picked up my pace a bit on the home stretch and ended my run at the corner of pine and vine.

when i checked my mileage, i was just a tenth of a mile short of my 5-mile goal for the day. i would have gone out and got that tenth, but i needed to get showered quickly to make it to work on time. maybe i'll run again this afternoon or maybe i'll sneak in a mile or so at noon. we'll see. for now, i'm off to work.

speeding blind

i apologize. i was going to give you the right to vote this morning. i was going to allow you to determine whether i would meet my cycling goal for the year or my running goal for the day. ride to 6030 miles or run to 61 miles was to be your choice. then i got on my bike and disenfranchised you. i couldn't help myself.

i took off this morning without my bike computer. after two and half years, the battery finally died. it was kind of weird to ride without a clue as to my speed. for the first few miles i kept looking down at the blank screen. i quit that eventually and just concentrated on riding well.

at seven miles out, i looked at my stopwatch - 23'26". not bad, i thought. maybe i can knock out the 28 miles i need to reach my goal.

at nine miles i was at 30'01". maybe. i was still up in the air. i needed to get back in time to fix breakfast. if i went past 6:30, i'd be pushing the limits of my family's patience.

at 12 miles out i was at 39'29". that's when i decided to go for it. i was riding around 20mph. i knew that from my time per mile. there are advantages to living in kansas. every new intersection is a mile from the last.

so turning back to the east, i put the hammer down and flew back to argonia. whizzing through town, i rocketed out to dixon road and turned back to the west again. then, just to make sure i got the miles i needed, i returned to main street, turned south and circled back home on garfield.

i stopped my watch at 1:29'17". that's all the info i had until i came inside. i mapped my ride and got my mileage: 28.09 miles. plug the numbers into dailymile's handy dandy calculator and you get an average of 18.9mph. awesome! goal accomplished on a really fun ride.

now, i've got time to run 5 miles later today and got get some batteries. (28.09 miles @ 18.9mph)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

passing 6000

after an all day volleyball tournament in dexter (our girls took second overall) and a spaghetti dinner at the united methodist church back in argonia, i decided i needed to do something active. i took a look at my bike log and decided the best thing to do was to get myself beyond the 6000 mile mark since i only needed 17.59 miles more.

the wind was out of the southwest for the first time in weeks, so i got to go out and challenge the newly resurfaced l'alpe d'anville. i must say, it was a bit smoother than it used to be. the only problem was the beating i took from the wind as i passed over it's summit. the swirling winds threatened to topple me.

other than that minor annoyance, the ride was a complete success. i rode. i passed the 6000 mile mark for the year. i returned happily. life is good. (19.92 miles @ 18.0mph)

1.80 miles in 13'33"

after my 16-mile ride, my legs were toasty and warm, ready to run. i walked the corner of pine and vine, then kicked it in. i ran north toward the schools at a fairly decent clip. i ran past the elementary and around past argonia mart before heading south. at that point, i decided i only had time to circle the north end of town, so i picked up the pace a bit and ran to the elevator, around past the old train depot and mill, a block south of the baptist church, over main street next to the tracks, past the recycling center and the storage units, along the west side of salter park and back to pine and vine.

i stopped my watch and looked at the time. i wasn't sure, but i thought that was the fastest i'd done this loop. i walked a bit to cool down, the headed into the house.

plugging in the numbers, i found that it was, in fact, my fastest northside loop. the best i'd done before was about a 8'13" pace. i've been feeling kind of sluggish recently, so it was nice to see the progress i've made.

noises in the night

i should've known this morning's ride was going to be interesting. it started with me unable to start my stopwatch correctly. i lit up the display light three times before i figured out i was pushing the wrong button.

i rode out to the highway and headed east. everything was going along fine when, around two and quarter miles out, i heard this strange noise coming from my front end. it sounded like something had gotten caught in the spokes and was scraping the forks with each rotation. i braked and turned my headlight onto the tire. i couldn't see anything, but the tire was squishier than it had been when i left, so i turned around and headed back home.

i pulled into the garage and pumped up the tire. at first i thought all was well, but as the pressure increased there was suddenly the sound as of a great wind. the same sound i'd heard on the highway only this time it was steady. i spun the tire and found the source: a hole clear through the tire. grrrr.

since i'd been thinking about changing out my rear tire anyway, i pulled rubber off both the front and rear rims and changed up the whole bike. i moved the still good rear tire to the front and put a brand new tire on the back.

with everything back in place and both tires inflated to 120psi, i took off again. i rode east then south to the railroad tracks in milan, then doubled back. i arrived home just as the girls were leaving for their volleyball tournament.

hope my next ride is a little less interesting. (16.22 miles @ 17.2mph)

Friday, September 17, 2010

2.22 miles in 18'51"

i had time for a short run before work this morning, so i walked my wife to school, checked out her new projector and smart board, then hit the streets of argonia.

i ran north on high, jogged over a block on beech, then headed south to cherry. on cherry i ran to the far western edge of town then ran south along the dirt. i turned back east on garfield and then took another turn south on osage. a block east on mill and i'm ready to run a few more blocks south on plum. at willow, i jog over to main and head back north. i ran all the way back up to allen and returned to my starting point at allen and high. at that point, i decided to run a few more blocks, so i turned south on high and ran a block south to cherry. a left turn on cherry pointed my feet and nose eastward for a final two blocks. i stopped at cherry and pine a little over a block from home.

i enjoyed this nice relaxed run after a hard ride earlier this morning. i felt good. my legs did everything i asked them to do. satisfied...that's what i am.

35 seconds

35 seconds. that's how much i missed my set-too-late-in-the-ride goal by. 35 seconds. it wasn't until mile 21 that i decided to go for a 20mph average. what if i'd decided at mile 14 or mile 18 instead? would i have made it? who knows...and at this point, who cares? i had a great ride. i just missed a random line in the sand. still...35 seconds. grrrr.

now that i've said all that, my from-the-beginning goal today was 25 miles. i wanted to make sure i was over 100 for the week so i didn't have to worry about getting a ton of distance in saturday. it's not likely i'll get a bunch of riding done this weekend since an all-day volleyball tournament is on the docket. all-day tourney in dexter, sixty-five miles away. it starts at 9:00, so i'm not likely to get anything done before i have to leave. the girls will probably have to catch the bus at 7:00...maybe earlier.

in the end, i'm happy with my performance today. yeah, i missed 20mph by 35 seconds, but that's okay. there are more important things in life. i won't die from missing that goal or any other. i'll just get out there and try again another day.

until then, God bless this day with joy and peace in huge quantities...for me AND for all of you! (28.00 miles @ 19.8mph)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

dark, straight, boring ride

there's a reason i don't map my rides, you know? i ride a straight road out, turn around and ride the same straight road back. the nearest curve going east is almost 14 miles away. going north it's nearly eight and there isn't a curve going south for as far as i've ever ridden. going west is the one exception. there's a pair of curves going toward the sunset. the first is just past one mile from home and the second somewhere between two and three miles from home. after that the road is ramrod straight for miles and miles.

so no map today and not much of a report. a recovery ride in the dark on a straight road does not an interesting story make. i rode slowly to chicaskia road. i rode slowly back. it was cool and breezy. the humidity was 99% when i left. it says it's 100% now. aren't you excited? (20.16 miles @ 15.7mph)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

4.07 miles in 36'31"

take a look at the elevation chart and tell me railroad hill isn't a real hill. see that bump? look closely. i climbed up and over it twice. do you see it?

my only goal this morning was to run far enough to put me over the 50-mile mark for the month. i'm unofficially aiming for 100 miles in september, so getting to the halfway point seemed like a good idea.

i walked to the school with my wife and then took off in an entirely different direction than usual. i wanted to mix things up a bit. no sense getting into a rut.

i headed east and ran out to the easternmost edge of town where a no-longer-teaching-here math teacher built a brand new house a few years back. that street turned north and brought me out onto the highway where i headed back west. when i got to the new housing development, i circled through it and then back south on argonia road. a little jog west from there brought me to the botkin elevator road. i ran past the scales and around the main elevators before turning east for a bit to catch osage south.

from there i ran south to garfield where i reconnected and finished off my usual longer route south to the edge of town and back up to the north.

my plan was to stop at the school when i got back to my starting point, but didn't. i ran the four extra blocks back home giving me just over four miles. i only needed three, so i was pretty happy.

lightning and roadkill

i went for a swim on my bike this morning. the air was thick enough to drink with the relative humidity hovering between 93% and 96%. ugh! that kind of moisture makes it hard to stay cool even when it's 65 degrees out. if it wasn't for the air movement from the wind, it would've been unbearable.

speaking of the wind, it was awful. i was buffeted by it all the way out and back. it was gusty and strong. later today, the sustained wind speeds are supposed to be over 20mph. i guess i can be glad i didn't have that to deal with.

i started out thinking i'd have time to ride 20 miles this morning since i woke up a little earlier than usual. i was up at 4:45 and on the road at 5:05. i rode at a moderate pace going east. the wind didn't let me maintain super high speeds. it resisted every effort i put in.

when i reached ten miles, i decided i had time for another mile or two before turning around. i rode past the highway department's sand and salt depository and to mayfield road where i turned back toward home.

on the way out, i had noticed some cloud to cloud lightning way off in the distance to the south and east. it wasn't close enough to worry about, so i kept riding. it wasn't until i turned back west that i noticed electrical activity in the clouds to the north and west. that made me a bit nervous. it may come as a shock to you, but i hate lightning.

besides the "new" lightning, i noticed another oddity on the way back. there was more roadkill on the north side of the road. more than once, i had to go out and around a bloated this or a flattened that. in a few cases the critter was still recognizable. most of the time your guess would've been as good as mine.

i rolled into my driveway at 6:28. my outbound journey had taken 44'49". i stopped the clock on the return trip at 37'02". oh what a difference fear of lightning and the push of the wind can make. (24.14 miles @ 17.6mph)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

3.81 miles in 32'32"

i backed off just a bit this morning to see if i could keep running longer than i did yesterday. i started out with basically the same route as yesterday, but when i started coming north i took turns away from home rather than toward home. my theory was that the farther i was from home the less likely i was to stop and walk.

whether that theory is valid or not, i didn't stop. i kept running and running. i even took an extra block north when i was three blocks from home. that extra block led me to the loop around the high school adding another tenth of a mile or so. i ran back and stopped only when i reached the corner of pine and vine.

i know half the battle in running is the mental struggle to make your body move when it's crying out to stop. today i won that battle. tomorrow i may not. that's the crazy thing about this sport. it's so hard to conquer.

4000 miles ahead

it's official. i am more than 4000 miles ahead of last year's mileage at this point in the year. my current total is 5893.89. last year on this same date, i was at 1877.88 miles. crazy! even crazier...that 4000 miles i'm ahead is more miles than i ended up with at the end of 2009.

in addition, i'm just over 100 miles away from reaching my updated mileage goal for the year. i started the year with a goal of riding 4020 miles, twice the year. when i reached that goal in june, i upped it to 6030 thinking i didn't want to burn myself out reaching for 8040. now i'm going to hit the 6030 mark before three quarters of the year is over. i'll have to update the goal again. i'm not going to do that, though, until i've met this goal. i'll celebrate with a bowl of ice cream and then keep rolling toward something higher.

why mention all this today? well, there's not much to report on my actual ride. it was a pretty dull recovery ride. the only excitement came when i realized five miles out that i hadn't turned on my taillight. that was a bit scary. the second minivan buzzing was what clued me in to the fact.

other than that, i rode out. i rode back. yippee. (16.09 miles @ 16.8mph

Monday, September 13, 2010

ride like the wind

had a little less than an hour between the end of work and the beginning of my ems shift to get in a ride. i ran home at 4:00, changed quickly and hit the road about ten after. with a strong south wind behind me, i was able to cover the .30 miles to the highway in no time flat.

once on the highway, i cranked up the effort and flew down the road until i got out from behind the tree cover. that's when the east part of the southeast wind hit me. i slowed some, but kept pressing on.

when i turned around just past highway 49 north, i was at 17.2mph. that was down from an earlier top speed of 18.4mph.

all the way back, i was cruising. i maintained over 20mph most of the time. it was a blast. up and down the hills i rolled, happy for the assist from the wind. before i hit argonia's city limits i was at 19.2mph. how's that for a gain?!

i sped around the corner and stood to keep up my speed against the wind. i toughed it out all the way into the garage. man, that was fun! (14.30 miles @ 19.2mph)

2.81 miles in 23'08"

i'm not sure why i quit when i did. i was feeling great this morning. i ran pretty hard and never suffered. ran the gravel on the westernmost edge by the grain elevator. ran the bryana drive-lucky lane loop. ran up and over railroad hill twice. i planned run an entire circuit around town and then i just stopped when i turned off main onto walnut. it was weird. i walked for nine or ten blocks to cool down and then i was done. hope that kind of thing doesn't become a habit. i've got to be able to maintain pace a lot longer than this to finish a 10K. oh, well. i need to shower and get to work. until next time!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

back in the day

back a few years ago i was a pretty good runner. i even made the (faked) cover of the runner magazine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

2.65 miles in 31'49"

after being on my feet linejudging volleyball matches for a few hours this afternoon, it was nice to get out and work out the kinks in my legs. i ran with my wife down to the chicaskia river and back. tons of people were out walking and running. it was beautiful. it was 77 degrees. warmer than this morning, but much less humid - 39% as compared 90%. i hardly even broke a sweat.

my wife has now finished up her nine-week c25k program. she's planning to start over next week and jog rather than walk between running spurts.

well, i'd better get to work. my wife has "honey do" jobs for me to finish before we have company tomorrow. our kids' grandparents are coming down for grandparents day and a missionary friend will be stopping in late in the afternoon.

4.44 miles in 40'53"

it was 65 degrees out when i started running. a brisk north wind made it feel even cooler. still i was sweating like a pig before i hit the highway. about a mile and a half into it, i lost the shirt. it was soaked. i got home and took a look at the weatherbug. 90% relative humidity. that would be why i was dripping like a leaky faucet.

my run was a good one. i ran, for the first time, a loop that i've done dozens of times on a bike. i don't know why i hadn't thought of trying this earlier. perhaps i wasn't confident enough until now to do something that took me outside town. i don't know. what i do know is that i'm doing this one again. it was fun running on the sand and dirt and gravel that cover 10th avenue, blackstone road and 20th avenue just outside of argonia's city limits. the dogs that i've encountered occasionally on these roads must've still been asleep...or maybe their more bikivores than runivores. they've pestered me and my wife on our bikes more than once.

i came back into town at just over a half hour running. i pushed into the north wind which had picked up a bit and made it up to walnut street where i turned toward pine and home. just before i got to elm, i passed a group of guys hanging out at a friend's house. they were watching me, so i picked up my pace even more. didn't want to let on that i was dying. i felt fine, so it was no big deal.

i ran around the corner and pushed it to the house. i stopped at the driveway and began my walking cool down. i'm pretty pleased with my distance and time. i know i can run faster than this, but today i was all about recovery. i loved the route and enjoyed the scenery. can't wait to do it again. maybe soon with my new dailymile friend, matt b -

riding and thinking

this morning i took it super easy. i rode just to keep my legs used to spinning. i didn't pay attention to my bike computer at all. i was lost in thought most of the time. i came up with a scheme that, if it works, will allow me to ride from enid, oklahoma, to ponca city, oklahoma, with fellow DMer, jeff l - - on monday, october 4. (he's riding across the USA.) hope i can pull it off. seriously, that's all there is to report. i rode. i thought. i finished. (14.29 miles @ 15.3mph)

Friday, September 10, 2010

2.03 miles in 17'38"

i was still reeling from my cycling this morning, so i took it pretty easy. i wanted to run farther, but i just stopped when i hit the corner of pine and vine. i probably could've kept going, but my "want to" was gone. i walked three or four blocks to cool down. that's all for today.

climbing ad nauseum

there's always a moment early in my ride when i know what i'm going to be able to do. usually it comes some time in the first mile or two. some times i know it from pedal stroke one. today, it took from home to kiser manufacturing and what i knew when i passed the wind-whipped flag at the plant was that i was going to have a fast day.

with that realization i increased my cadence and effort to a time trial frenzy. i wanted to do my best impression, which is to say a pretty poor imitation, of a cancellara race against the clock. "spin it to win it," they say. so i!

i was booking it down the highway, rolling up and over hills like they were nothing until i hit nine-mile hill. at the bottom of it, i felt fine. as i started to climb, i dug deep into my reserves knowing i'd be turning around at the top and bombing back down this same slope with less effort. i dug too deep. about three quarters of the way up the steepest section, i suddenly felt awful. i thought i was going to puke. i know that feeling from recent running workouts, so i backed off the accelerator. i didn't have any choice really. it was slow down or fall off the bike.

i somehow stayed upright and made it to the top and my turn around. i rolled back down the hill at a speed no where near the top speed i had imagined earlier. i had nothing in the tank. i climbed up black dog hill on the other side of the valley with the same lack of enthusiasm.

a couple of miles later, i think it was on the western slope of antichrist hill, i had drunk enough gatorade and rested my legs enough to push it a bit again. i ramped back up to 20mph and, with the help of a slight tailwind, kept it at that most of the way home. my speed dipped only slightly on cemetery hill and mock hill.

i spun past kiser's again, not feeling the same as when i first rolled by. i turned onto pine and cruised to the finish line. done. done in really. not sure how my run's going to go later on. i guess time will tell.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

all misty-eyed

two-faced hermine tried getting all misty-eyed on me this morning, trying to convince me that she didn't really mean anything by her threats yesterday. i ignored her crocodile tears and rode cautiously over the surface wet by them. i saw her intent. if she could not knock me out with gale force winds, she'd knock me over with an oil slick or a slippery white stripe. never trust a windstorm!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2.56 miles in 31'14"

my wife needed to run her second week-nine workout tonight, so we took a loop around town. we ran without mp3 players and kept track of our time with a stopwatch. we encountered one loose dog along the way, but it didn't bother us in the least. toward the end, i we took a two-block detour because i thought we needed a bit more distance to avoid returning to our starting point before 30 minutes were up. i was wrong. we ended up running a little beyond the time required. my wife's performance is pretty amazing. before june of this year she'd never really run any distance at all. now she's covering two and a half miles. at the end of october she'll run that 5K without breaking a sweat. i'm proud of her.

a windstorm scorned

what's a guy to do when predicted rain fails to fall? is he supposed to sit behind brick and mortar and wait for the downpour to begin? should he watch the dark clouds forming outside his window while the roads remain dry? conventional wisdom says yes. hang such wisdom. this boy's riding while he can.

when i got off work at 4:00 this afternoon, a quick glance at the radar showed the main body of tropical storm hermine to be halfway across the county, miles from argonia to the south and east. so i suited up and attacked the bully. i punched a hole through the gale she sent to stop me. she spit at me. i spit her eye! that was on the ride out.

i turned at osborn road, over eight miles from home, and laughed at the woman i'd scorned. her angry blast now gave me the power of ten men. i pedaled hard and my average speed climbed quickly. i gained almost three miles per hour in the end, missing the full third mile by only four tenths of a mile per hour.

three miles from argonia, the remnants of the too-late rain that missed me, flew from my tires. i got no wetter than i would have on a humid summer day. the spray cooled my body and allowed me to ride even faster.

my momma always said i shouldn't hit girls. good advice most of the time, but not when the girl's a windstorm one hundred timss the size of your home town. if that's the girl you face, knock her teeth out! (16.48 miles @ 19.2mph)

1.87 miles in 14'28"

the noon whistle blew and tropical storm hermine hadn't hit argonia yet, so i decided to get a quick run in before the rain started falling. i took off at a pretty quick pace and felt great the entire time. i ran down to the railroad tracks, around past the old mill and the old train depot, around the botkin elevators, to the highway. i ran along 160 to the high school and turned south toward home. i stopped the clock at under fifteen minutes, walked a block and then showered quickly so i could make it back to work on time. mission accomplished! mike vs. hermine...mike wins!

win a garmin!

want to win a garmin 310XT? visit dc rainmaker's blog to enter. wait! don't enter, that makes it harder for me to win. whatever. contest ends september 9th!

3.10 miles in 27'27"

i wasn't sure if i was going to get my run in this morning since i was on call with ems, but i found someone to cover for me for an hour so i was able to fit in a 5K before work. i took off from the school after dropping my wife off. i ran north across the highway and around the new housing development before connecting with argonia road and heading south.

through town i felt good. i kept a steady rhythm with skillet thumping in my ears. i ran all the way to the southern city limits and turned east one block before heading north again.

i ran the length of lucky lane and most of bryana drive before i had to stop. i'm not sure my strength is back up to where it was before the puking run. i walked back to main street and then started running again.

at mill street i turned east for a block and then took high street north heading back toward the school.

when i reached the school, i needed another short walking break so i took it easy from allen to beech before running out the last little bit across the highway, around the high school and back to allen and pine, two blocks from home.

i stopped my watch there and walked in for my cool down.

a race against the rain

that crazy tropical storm that's been hanging out in texas is supposed to make its way into kansas today. our area is under an areal flood watch until 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. that means lots and lots of rain falling on the same place over a long period of time.

with that to look forward to, i decided to get as many miles in this morning as i could. i can ride in the rain, but i'm not especially fond of rolling down the road in a torrential downpour.

i pedaled down my driveway and up pine street to the highway around 5:05. turning onto u.s. 160, i was met by a friendly easterly wind. i say that tongue in cheek. there is no such thing as an amicable headwind. i rode into it for ten miles, maintaining a moderate pace. i didn't want to push it hard, just wanted to keep going.

at chicaskia road, i spun around and headed back west. the wind-assisted return trip took a lot less time than the outbound trek, so i got back to town a bit earlier than expected.

rather than turn in, i rode past pine and continued on to blackstone before turning around to head home. that gave me almost three miles more than i thought i'd be able to get in and brought my weekly total to 57.85 miles. hopefully, i'll be able to sneak a few more miles in this afternoon or sometime tomorrow. if not, reaching 100 miles this week may be difficult with all the volleyball games i've got to attend. (22.95 miles @ 17.3mph)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

post-work speed fest

my school year office hours occasionally allow me to get a second ride in after work. today was one of those days. i got off work at 4:00 and suited up quickly. by 4:10 i was out on the highway pushing it into a strong headwind. my speed was in the 15-17mph range most of the time, but it dipped down below 14mph a few times.

i rode out seven miles then turned around to ride back. the ride back was a blast! the strong wind was not my ally. it pushed me up and over 20mph. most of my return trip was near or over 25mph. a few times i had short spurts over 30mph. all this with just a little effort. it was awesome!

i couldn't turn onto pine street when i got back because of cars ahead of me and behind me, so i rode up to main and turned south. i pushed it down argonia's main drag and turned onto walnut.

walnut is not a cyclist-friendly street. there are four- or five-inch wide gaps in the asphalt that beat your seat to death. i hit one such dip and my taillight went flying. i braked hard. i laid my bike at the side of the street and walked back to recover the detritus. the lens was in the middle of the street with one battery still in it. the base was nearer the edge. the other battery was a few feet away. i picked it all up, put it back together and snapped it back to the seatpost bracket before riding (a little more carefully) the rest of the way home. (14.76 miles @ 18.5mph)

Who would Jesus hate?

I got on Facebook to update my status and make sure the church's page was up to date, but forgot to look at the latter when I ran across the following status a friend had posted.

"The latest idiot in the news is a Florida preacher who wants to burn the Koran. Another is the idiot preacher Phelps who celebrates our soldiers’ deaths during their funerals. They are brothers in a dysfunctional family that includes Osama and the Taliban. This family needs to hold a reunion in the path of a lava flow."

I was shocked. I wondered, "Is it okay to express hatred toward those who express hatred? Is that what Jesus would do?"

Don't get me wrong. I disagree with Phelps' actions. I do not believe he is following the Spirit of God. I think burning the Koran is silly. It does nothing but incite anger. It solves nothing. It brings no one to Christ. Sadly, I also disapprove of my friend's lava flow wishes. His words may fit in nicely with the currently popular American "Christian" mindset, but calling for death to be meted out on those with whom we disagree doesn't match up with Jesus' way.

Jesus called us to love our enemies and pray for them. Pray for those who misrepresent Christ's ways. Pray for Fred Phelps and his deluded followers. Pray for this other guy in Florida. Pray for my friend and those who will fall into the trap of hating in Jesus' name because of what he's posted.

God help us all. We have forgotten how to love.

1.52 miles in 13'54"

my goal today: no puking. i walked my wife to work and then took off running. i didn't push the pace at any point and did not puke. one dog barked at me. two people waved. there's nothing more to report.

a no-puke ride

it was great to be back in the saddle again after a few days off. i had a bit of trouble clipping in at the beginning of the ride, but after that minor delay i was fine.

i rode at about 80% on the way out, just getting my legs used to spinning again. i didn't want to overdo anything today since i'd puked on my run yesterday. nothing like a little vomit to ruin an otherwise pleasant workout.

i reached my planned turn around and still felt good, so i upped my effort a bit and continued on. i ended up riding two miles beyond where i was "supposed" to head back.

when i flipped around, i enjoyed a fairly strong tailwind all the way home. with a little effort, i was able to stay over 20mph most of the time. i even maintained speed up the hills.

i turned onto pine a few minutes later than i usually do, but i made it home in time to get breakfast on the table before my family started whining. (20.14 miles @ 18.3mph)

Monday, September 6, 2010

6.28 miles in 58'24"

this morning i ran the same 10K route that my daughter and i ran saturday. i pushed the pace a bit and felt really good on the way out. i made it to prairie view in under thirty minutes from the base of camp quaker haven, so i was flying compared to saturday's easy jog.

i turned and headed back, still feeling pretty good. it wasn't until i came out from under the tree cover that i began to feel a little odd. i kept going though. i wanted to get a sub-60 minute 10K in.

i hit the base of the climb back up to CQH and increased my effort to make up for the slope of the hill. that, evidently, was a bad idea. about a quarter of the way up the hill, i started feeling nauseous. i kept running hard, trying to ignore my quesy gut. i passed the big rocks on the right and suddenly i knew i wasn't going to keep my stomach under control. i stepped to the side of the road and - how do i say this politely? - heaved. twice.

i stood still for a bit and then continued on. i ran up the hill and then down to the base of CQH again. i stopped my watch when i'd made my complete circuit.

believe it or not, i felt okay from that point on. i got a drink at the water fountain under the pavilion and then walked full circle around the grounds. the longer i walked the better my gut and my body felt.

so there you go. my first non-stop - okay, puking took a couple of seconds - 10K. i still have a bit of improvement to do before the skinny kid cries, "uncle!" but i'm on my way.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2.39 miles in 28'35"

after running 10K with my daughter, i grabbed a bite to eat and then went running with my wife. she needed to run twenty-eight minutes (after a five-minute walking warm up) to complete the last workout of the eighth week of her couch to 5K plan.

we walked up to the entrance of camp quaker and started walking down the hill while our warm up time passed. just before reaching the bottom of the hill, the podcast told her it was time to start running, so we jogged to the flats and then headed out into the meadows along the arkansas river.

since it was later in the morning, the temps had risen a bit and we got a bit warm as we ran. we hit the halfway point, but did not turn around. my wife did NOT want to run up the hill, so we kept going another four minutes to 91st before making our u-turn.

we ran back toward the camp and reached the end of the time needed just before a curve in the road. we decided to keep going to the curve so we'd be able to measure our distance on google maps without too much trouble. my wife took off at a sprint. i followed along. i didn't have an ounce of extra umph in me after running 6.28 miles earlier and then two plus. so she won! it was great!

from the corner, we walked back to the camp and then, finally, i hit the shower. figured i didn't need to be smelly for more than one meal.

when i finished cleaning up, i walked over and watched my daughters put the finishing touches on their sand castle. they ended up winning their age division. it was a pretty cool scale model of noah's ark.

i had a great morning. after lunch, my legs were sore so i went back to our cabin to rest for a bit. i ended up sleeping for a while. after my nap, i went out and walked 18 holes of disc golf with two of my daughters, my mother-in-law and a few friends. another good workout which left my legs barely able to function when i pulled back into my driveway tonight.

i'm hope to preach in the morning, then i'll head back to the camp for the rest of the weekend. have a great labor day!

6.28 miles in 1:05'24"

my daughter and i got out this morning for our planned 10K run from camp quaker haven where we're enjoying family camp to prairie view camp and back. we took it pretty easy the whole way there and back, running without stopping at all.

the run starts with a steep descent from the camp quaker haven entrance down to the river and then levels out a bit. there are a couple of small rises here and there along the way, but it's mostly flat.

we ran out to the gate at prairie view, touched it right at thirty minutes, turned around and ran back. the road had sections that were beautiful, shady, tree-lined. other sections meandered through wide open meadows. the mist lay over the meadows this morning and on the surface of the arkansas river. it was gorgeous.

when we got back to the hill, i climbed a bit faster than my daughter and ran around the heart of the camp and back to the entrance. she was just finishing as i came back up from near our cabin. she was pleased with her run. she'd finished it more than five minutes faster than her best time before. i finished it faster than i'd ever done it before too. pretty easy since i'd never done it.

we may try it again monday morning if we have time. we'll see.

Friday, September 3, 2010

1.12 miles in 7'53"

i decided on the spur of the moment to test myself in the mile over lunch break. i changed quickly and hit the street, group1crew in my ears once again.

hit the halfway point at 3'36" and kept pushing south. had to adjust my route just a bit because of a car in the way. same distance, just a zig zag that i hadn't planned on.

the last two blocks were awful, but i kept pressing on for the prize - a new PR. got it! my fastest mile before this was at 7'45" pace. new PR is 7'02"!

take that skinny kid!

3.83 miles in 31'27"

what a difference a day off makes in running! i took off from the school after dropping off my wife and never stopped again until i hit my driveway.

my goal for the morning was to run constantly for more than thirty minutes. i hadn't done more than twenty-six, so i wanted a new PR.

got it! i felt great the whole time. never really got tired. felt like i could've run another half hour without slowing down.

that'll have to wait for another day. i've got to work!

from lead to quicksilver

cold is relative. someone in saudi arabia might have thought yesterday's high of 84 was chilly. someone in siberia might think this morning's 51 was balmy. in a few months, i might agree with the siberian. today 51 was cold.

fingerless gloves are wonderful in the spring and summer. not so great in the fall and winter. the first thing i noticed as i rolled out of my driveway - besides the nasty bumpy street and the feeling of life in my legs - was the chill in my phlanges, those tiny bones that give my fingers structure. it was that dull ache, that slight stiffness, that slow burn. in the winter when it's really cold, those sensations are alarms set off to alert the brain to impending digit loss. on the first brisk morning of autumn, they're just a gentle reminder that warmth is not a cyclist's inalienable right. life, liberty and the warmth of extremities is not promised to all. not even in the land of the free and the brave.

the ride itself was a really pleasant one. the sky was as clear as crystal. a dark, dark blue with bright silver dots. i wish i could capture the starry skies of kansas on film for those of you who don't live here. beautiful! huge! no hills or trees to obstruct your 360 degree outdoor IMAX dome. wow! it was awesome this morning.

my legs were awesome too! yesterday's recovery ride turned them from lead to quicksilver. i had mercury's wings on my feet and helmet. i sped up hills (there are a few) and flew down them. beautiful! the way out was a breeze. the way back pure joy despite the coolness in the air! yippee! life is good! (16.04 miles @ 18.4mph)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

training fundamentals

1. have a plan.

you may be able to get pretty fit by winging it, but truly remarkable accomplishments, whether upgrading to cat 3 or scoring a belt buckle in the leadville 100, require careful execution of a training program.

2. be prepared to scrap the plan.

you're scheduled for 20 minutes of pyramid intervals, but your legs feel like you spent the last few days constructing a real pyramid. ppin today. hit it hard tomorrow instead. your plan should be etched in clay for molding to your needs, not in stone for beating yourself up.

3. ride at the edges.

Once a week, go so hard your eyes hurt. follow it with a ride so slow the snails yawn. the combination makes legs strong.

4. be true to yourself.

cyclists are pack animals. enjoy the camaraderie, but don't let your training goals get trashed by constant king-of-the-mountain contests, town-sign sprints or the all-hard, all-the-time mentality of the group. if you can't trust yourself to go easy when you need to, ride alone.

5. do what sucks.

you hate climbing because it's hard for you. you should climb - because it's hard for you.

6. think improvement.

do more than log miles. intervals, cadence rides and other specific workouts are designed to progressively challenge your body in different ways from week to week. give every ride a goal.

7. maintain the human machine.

the gym is your body shop. visit twice a week to strengthen your core and other stabilizing muscle groups. and don't forget to stretch. by keeping your supporting muscles strong and joints flexible you can avoid an achy back, tight hip flexors and other overuse pains that can weaken even the strongest cyclist.

8. train your brain.

your body can do more than you think. convince your brain through positive thinking and visualization. you'll be surprised at what you accomplish when you say you can.

9. eat.

fuel your workouts with the food you eat on race day. you'll ride faster in practice and digest better when it counts. experiment: there are dozens of energy concoctions for a reason. no one thing works for everyone.

10. enjoy the ride.

you already have a job. work hard at cycling, but never make it work.

-selene yeager, bicycling magazine

legs of lead

my legs were tired today. i could feel it when i got out of bed. lead! i didn't push it hard at all on my ride. not once did i stand. i didn't push it up the hill. i just looked around at what i could see in the still, calmness before dawn. i gazed at the stars. i spotted a skuck with its tail raised. i watched four cars go by. i rode lazy.

i rode out to highway 44, eight miles south of town, then turned around and came back. when i got back to town, i met up with two runner friends. they'd just finished their workout. since i was coming up behind them, i said, "good morning," to warn them of my presence. i didn't want to them to walk out in front of me. jean, the one who talked me into running the 5K in south haven last weekend, put her hand over her heart and said, "you scared me. i thought i was seeing the light." my headlights are pretty bright. keri, her partner, said, "we thought that was your blinking butt we saw earlier." i nearly fell off my seat laughing.

"rudolph the red butt rider;
had a very shiny butt..."

since it wasn't quite 6:30 when i got back to town, i rode up to highway 160 and west a couple of miles. i turned around then and rode home. pulling into the garage, my pedal caught one of my daughter's bikes and knocked it over. i nearly fell too. i had to catch myself on the car.

once my miles were logged, i headed inside for a shower. no running today. i wouldn't make it five blocks. i'll save my legs for the run my daughter wants to do with me over the weekend. i looked at it this morning. it's 10K with hills near the arkansas river. should be fun if i can get the lead out of my legs. (20.60 miles @ 16.1mph)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

life in the slow lane

i didn't have time to post my workout this morning because there was too much to do when i got back. i had breakfast to make, clean dishes to put away and dirty dishes to wash. then i went for a run and had just enough time to report briefly on it, take a shower and get to work.

so here's the scoop. i rode easy this morning. the wind was much calmer as expected after i taught it a lesson or two last night. i pedaled along with no trouble at all. hope janeen enjoyed the same lighter winds today.

i rode to the bottom of black dog hill, over the bridge and turned around at osborn. the ride back was about the same as the ride out. lots of bugs hitting me. sweat glistening in the glow of my headlight. legs getting the break they deserved.

i got back at 6:30. ain't life good! (16.59 miles @ 16.0mph)

a fresh look at recovery runs

it is widely assumed that the purpose of recovery runs - which we may define as relatively short, slow runs undertaken within 24 hours after a harder run - is to facilitate recovery from preceding hard training. you hear coaches talk about how recovery runs increase blood flow to the legs, clearing away lactic acid and so forth.

the truth is that lactic acid levels return to normal within an hour after even the most brutal workouts. nor does lactic acid cause muscle fatigue in the first place. nor is there any evidence that the sort of light activity that a recovery run entails promotes muscle tissue repair, glycogen replenishment or any other physiological response that is actually relevant to muscle recovery.

what is the real benefit of recovery runs?

in short, recovery runs do not enhance recovery. nevertheless, recovery runs are almost universally practiced by top runners. that wouldn't be the case if this type of workout weren't beneficial. so what is the real benefit of recovery runs? the real benefit of recovery runs is that they increase your fitness - perhaps almost as much as longer, faster runs do - by challenging you to run in a pre-fatigued state (i.e. a state of lingering fatigue from previous training.)

there is evidence that fitness adaptations occur not so much in proportion to how much time you spend exercising but rather in proportion to how much time you spend exercising beyond the point of initial fatigue in workouts. so-called key workouts (runs that are challenging in their pace or duration) boost fitness by taking your body well beyond the point of initial fatigue.

recovery workouts, on the other hand, are performed entirely in a fatigued state, and therefore also boost fitness despite being shorter and/or slower than key workouts.

evidence of the special benefit of pre-fatigued exercise comes from an interesting study out of the university of copenhagen, denmark. in this study, subjects exercised one leg once daily and the other leg twice every other day. the total amount of training was equal for both legs, but the leg that was trained twice every other day was forced to train in a pre-fatigued state in the afternoon (recovery) workouts, which occurred just hours after the morning workouts.

after several weeks of training in this split manner, the subjects engaged in an endurance test with both legs. the researchers found that the leg trained twice every other day increased its endurance 90 percent more than the other leg.

creating a setback to get ahead

additional research has shown that when athletes begin a workout with energy-depleted muscle fibers and lingering muscle damage from previous training, the brain alters the muscle recruitment patterns used to produce movement. essentially, the brain tries to avoid using the worn-out muscle fibers and instead involves fresher muscle fibers that are less worn out precisely because they are less preferred under normal conditions.

when your brain is forced out of its normal muscle recruitment patterns in this manner, it finds neuromuscular "shortcuts" that enable you to run more efficiently (using less energy at any given speed) in the future. pre-fatigued running is sort of like a flash flood that forces you to alter your normal morning commute route. the detour seems a setback at first, but in searching for an alternative way to reach the office, you might find a faster way--or at least a way that's faster under conditions that negatively affect your normal route.

tips for effective use of recovery runs

whenever you run again within 24 hours of completing a key workout (or any run that has left you severely fatigued or exhausted), the follow-up run should usually be a recovery run.

  • recovery runs are only necessary if you run four times a week or more.
  • if you run just three times per week, each run should be a "key workout" followed by a day off.
  • if you run four times a week, your first three runs should be key workouts and your fourth run only needs to be a recovery run if it is done the day after a key workout instead of the day after a rest day.
  • if you run five times a week, at least one run should be a recovery run.
  • if you run six or more times a week, at least two runs should be recovery runs.
  • there's seldom a need to insert two easy runs between hard runs, and it's seldom advisable to do two consecutive hard runs within 24 hours.
  • recovery runs are largely unnecessary during base training, when most of your workouts are moderate in both intensity and duration. When you begin doing formal high-intensity workouts and exhaustive long runs, it's time to begin doing recovery runs in roughly a 1:1 ratio with these key workouts.
  • there are no absolute rules governing the appropriate duration and pace of recovery runs.
  • a recovery run can be as long and fast as you want, provided it does not affect your performance in your next scheduled key workout.
  • in most cases, however, recovery runs cannot be particularly long or fast without sabotaging recovery from the previous key workout or sabotaging performance in your next one.

a little experimentation is needed to find the recovery run formula that works best for each individual runner.

don't be too proud to run very slowly in your recovery runs, as Kenya's runners are famous for doing. Even very slow running counts as pre-fatigued running practice that will yield improvements in your running economy, and running very slowly allows you to run longer without sabotaging your next key workout.

from - by matt fitzgerald