Monday, October 31, 2011

I Don't Give a Dime!

Note to self: A dime does not equal $305. I dropped a ten-centy under my car the other day. I couldn't find it, so I decided to back the car out. While I was in reverse, I was looking out my windshield for the dime instead of watching my mirrors to make sure they cleared the garage door. Sudden cracking sounds alerted me to the breaking of the driver's side mirror casing. I got the bill today. Duly noted.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

19.00 miles in 3:47:47

you'd think after a half marathon in the morning a runner would call it good for the day. not me! after our church's cajun dinner, a friend and i went out to pace another friend on his 100-mile run from haviland to wichita.

we found him and another pacer about the time another guy showed up, so he went from one pacer, the winner of today's half marathon, to four pacers.

when you're running with a guy who's running 100 miles, your job is to stay with him and keep him motivated. after running 31 miles during last year's 100-miler, i knew even a bad joke was appreciated if it broke the monotony. therefore, i told plenty!

my original plan was to run until around midnight and then go home, but i decided to run 19 to make this my highest mileage 24-hour period ever. with the half marathon earlier, the one mile warm up before that and the 19 tonight, i covered 33 miles on my feet between 7:30 saturday morning and 12:45 sunday morning.

i am tired, but it's a good tired! can't wait to hear about the final 40 miles of the 100-miler!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

13.10 miles in 1:54:

i don't like to eat less than two hours before a race, so i got up at 5:00 this morning so and ate a peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich. i kind of ate on the go while i made sure i had everything i needed for the race. i'd think of something, jump up and go get it. i was finished with my food before 6:00 despite all the interruptions, so i was good to go.

i woke my wife up around 6:00 and when she was ready, we drove up to the church to pick up the prize goodies our ladies were providing and to take on marc and nate who were traveling with us. with everything loaded up and everyone on board, we headed to haviland.

when we got there, we picked up our packets, pinned on our numbers and then went out for a warm up run. got done with that around 7:30 and waited around for the 8:00 start.

right at 8:00 the half marathon pack was lined up ready to go. we had prayer led by one of the women running and then adam "fired" the starter's pistol.

i ran the first couple of miles with ryan. and travis at a little under 8:00 pace. i felt good, but knew if i kept running with them, i was going to pay for it later, so i backed off my pace a little and settled in to what i thought would get me my 1:50 finish.

i made it to the 5K mark at 24:47 and continued on out into the country. about that time i got "chicked" by the second and third place overall female finishers. they were running strong and i let them go.

the cross country section was much nicer this year than last year. the grass was mowed and i could see where my foot was going to land, so it didn't slow me down any. i was glad for that. i came out onto the sand road doing well.

running north was awesome. i kept my pace under the 8:23 pace i needed for a 1:50 finish for most of the time. my pace climbed above that only on the small rolling hills. on the third or fourth rise, i hit a wall. i could not get my feet to move faster than 9:00 pace. ugh! it was irritating, but what could i do? you can only go as fast as your feet will carry you.

i hit the 10K mark at 51:20. i was really happy with that. my time for the 10K last year was 53:38. ha, ha! take that, skinny kid!

i got to the end of the northbound section and turned around. that's when i discovered that the wind which had been at my back for all that time had picked up. it was like smashing your face into a tree. it was awful! my pace dropped seriously and i was passed by a couple of runners. i kept plodding along and never stopped though i seriously considered it numerous times. "just a little walk," the voices said. i refused to give in.

when i got back to the turn which put me on the same stretch of road as the 10K runners, i found myself right behind a guy in a red and grey tech tee. he was holding his side like he had a cramp when i first saw him. he was only a little way ahead of me when he stopped to walk. i got close to him, but he started running again. we played that yo-yo game for most of the rest of the race. he finally ditched me in the last half mile or so.

last year when i hit the city limits of haviland, i found the energy to run harder. i had nothing this time. i did what i could. i ran up the little incline to the corner leading to the finish line and then pushed as much as i could. when i crossed the line, the clock read 1:54:32. i missed my goal, but still feel pretty good about my run. despite feeling awful, i still posted my second fastest half marathon time ever. i bested my march trail half's time by nearly ten minutes.

after the race, i walked a bit to cool down and then gathered the dailymilers for a quick photo. there were quite a few more than the six or so that participated last year. (i'll post the picture in a bit.)

they had some trouble with their tracking software, so i'm not sure about my age group finish or my place overall. i know one 40-49 year old was ahead of me and one was behind me, so unless the fourth guy who was registered was one of the others ahead of me, i finished second among the middle-agers! we'll have to wait till the results are posted to be sure on that.

so there you have it. i ran the best i could considering the conditions and i finished a few minutes slower than i wanted to. i'll get that 1:50 sometime. for now, i need to rest up. i'm helping pace my friend adam on his 100-mile run later on this evening. hope i can walk by then.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3.78 miles in 30:01

i'm helping a local organization put together a 5K, so today for my 30-minute tempo run, i scouted out the course i am creating. the plan is to take in as many of the town's christmas lights so main street and lemon park were required elements in the course i come up with.

i started at the alleyway next to the municipal building on third street and ran out to main and ran south all the way to santa fe on the far south side of town. turning east on santa fe, i made my way to lemon park and took a spin around the sidewalks trying to imagine all the bright christmas lights that will make seeing where i'm going much easier. when i got back to the park entrance i left and ran north up pine to ninth then turned east to run through sixth street park. on the far side of sixth street park, i took sixth street over to haskell, ran up the hill heading north on that street, then turned west on third street and ran to rochester. i turned north on rochester and took it to second where i headed west back to main street. a one-block jog south on main brought me back to third street and a half block later i hit my starting point. 3.2 miles! ugh! now i have to figure out how to get rid of a tenth of a mile.

after i finished scouting my route, i ran the few minutes more that i needed to finish up hal's prescribed 30-minute tempo run. i basically just ran a two or three-block loop and called it good.

this is my last workout before saturday's half. i'll just have to sleep in till 6:00 or 6:15 the next to mornings. don't know if i can handle such torture!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2.00 miles in 14:27

since i'm in taper mode for this saturday's race, i only had to run two miles this morning. before i went to bed, i decided to give it my all on these two miles to see what i could do. thankfully, when i woke up, my legs were in the mood for a little speed, so i hit the streets racing.

i did two laps around the lawrence, holly, larimer, manor loop that my wife discovered was almost exactly one mile. i ran my first mile in 7:09, the second in 7:18, giving me an average pace of 7:13.5 per mile. checking my blog, i found that this is the fastest i've ever done two miles. my fastest before this was 14:42. i'm pretty pumped about that.

tomorrow i run 30 minutes of tempo, then it's rest time. i can either rest or run easy on thursday. not sure what i'll do. friday is a rest day and saturday is race day! finally!

Monday, October 24, 2011

4.48 miles in 47:48

usually on monday morning my legs feel fresh and ready to go, but there was no "pop" in my legs today as i warmed up. they felt tight and grumpy as i headed to the track for speedwork. i didn't think i was going to make it to the end of this mile and was surprised that it ended up under 9:00 pace. glad my legs don't usually feel like this.

hal's plan for this week began with speedwork at the track - six 400m repeats to be exact. after a horrible warm up, i was sure this was going to be a miserable experience. it would take me two minutes to run a lap. ugh!

the actual versus the imagined was night and day different. i felt really good while i was running the sprints. i ran them in 1:27, 1:26, 1:26, 1:24, 1:29 and 1:30. these times were consistent with my times the last time i did 400m repeats. averaging this workout against september's gave me a 1.5 second improvement. yeah, i'm a numbers geek!

i was really tired between sprints, but somehow managed to pull each of these off without much trouble. it's interesting that i feel like i'm in high school again when i run a 400m dash. that was my race back in the day. my mind remembers how to do this. too bad my body can't still do the "quarter" in less than a minute. that'd be fun...until i keeled over.

i walked for a while after my final 400m sprint. i stopped and gasped for air, bent over with my hands on my knees for a bit, too. the exertion had done me in. after my heartrate was back down in the 120s, i ran back home slooooowly to cool down. i didn't even try to keep it sub-9:00 this time. i didn't care. i just wanted to get home without dying. i did. that is all.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

3.10 miles in 37:39

a few minutes after i got back from my 14-miler, my wife was ready to run the three miles hal prescribed for her. i could barely move when we were walking. running felt better. we ran our daughter's paper route so she'd know how many miles she walked daily and then did a spur north and back south to finish up the 5K. i immediately stretched and applied ice after we finished. i don't know why my hamstring has to be so hateful!

14.00 miles in 2:01:40

i got to sleep in this morning. it was awesome! when i finally rolled out of bed at 6:00, my legs were ready to go. i got ready quickly and hit the streets running. i ran north to the cemetery and then ran east across highway 61 and out into the dark countryside. i wanted to get a little running on sand in before next week's half marathon in haviland. nearly half of that course is on sand or dirt roads. today's two or three miles on that surface gave me no problems. hope that is true next week.

i hit highway 54 and ran along it until the turn off for the county lake. i ran down the hill to the turn and then turned west. i hit 10K at 52:12 and kept going. the one-hour mark passed just about the time i was climbing the nasty hill on lake road. that was about the time that i first saw a pace over 9:00. i just had to take the incline a little slower.

i made it over the top and ran down to highway 281 which i took into town. as soon as i crossed the bridge, i turned east and took a jaunt through lemon park. even though the surface was smooth and the terrain basically flat, i slowed again. my right hamstring was starting to whine and complain about its workload about this time. i did what i could to keep pushing, but there were many times that a glance at my garmin revealed a pace above 9:00. i gritted my teeth and kept on.

i left the park and started to slowly make my way back toward home. i ran through ninth street park and then ran back up and over the hill on sixth street to oak. i ran north on oak to 2nd and took 2nd east. from there the rest of the course is kind of a blur.

i hit the half marathon distance at 1:53:10! that means i only need to kill off 3:10 to meet my goal next saturday! woohoo! i kept running and hit 13.82 miles at the two-hour mark. i'd never been that close to 14 miles before, so i made my legs finish out the final .18 before i stopped. my half marathon time back in march was 2:04:15. i'm thankful to hal for the plan that's helped me and to God who gave me the will and the strength to accomplish what i've done. can't wait till race day to break that 1:50 barrier!

Friday, October 21, 2011

3.10 miles in 24:35

i felt like doing something new today, so i did a completely new route. i ran south across highway 54 and then ran around and around the blocks just south of it, covering every street in that small section of town. it's a fairly hilly (for kansas) section, so i got some work on climbing while keeping my heartrate under control. still, it wasn't a killer workout. i got in the three miles hal required and threw in a tenth for good measure.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

6.20 miles in 50:08

i did not want to get out of bed this morning. it was warm under the covers. i did not want to run. i just didn't feel like it. i did not want to be cold. it was 34 degrees out. i did not want frozen fingers. i forgot my gloves. i did not feel like running for an hour. i tried to do so anyway. i did not want to stop to pee. i had to. i did not want to brown my shorts. i stopped again. i did not want to be late for breakfast. i quit at 10K instead of getting a full 60 minutes in. i'll probably want to run tomorrow. it's a rest day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3.10 miles in 24:37
hal said, "give me three miles!" i said, "yes, sir! right away, sir!" and gave him an extra tenth of a mile to show my dedication...and to make it easy to track my fitness since i've done more 5K training runs than three-milers.

it was rather brisk this morning. the thermometer read 39 degrees with wind speeds in the teens! that gave me a sub-freezing wind chill! i chose to wear my new arm warmers in addition to the uniform pieces i wore yesterday. they were a great help.

i felt good throughout this run, staying under 8:00 pace except when running up hills. the most annoying part of the run, besides the near code brown at the end, was the problem i had with my heartrate monitor strap. for the first three or four minutes, i tried in vain to keep it wrapped around my chest. it was having none of that. it kept slipping down. i don't know how many times i pulled it up before i finally gave up and let it rest at my waist. i guess i'll have to cinch it up before tomorrow's tempo run.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Advertizing Alert!

Note to self: Be careful how you share your opinion about a product you love on social networks that don't allow advertizing! I got a warning today from one of my favorite sites after someone complained about a comment I added to their post that they thought smacked of spam. Oops! Apologies to all! Duly noted.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

13.47 miles in 2:00:02

i met up with gretchen this morning for a two-hour run. we started off right at 5:30 as planned and headed south to the other side of town. we meandered this way and that, staying mostly to the outside edges of town at first, then doubled back on ourselves and zigged and zagged back up to our meeting place.

at an hour, gretchen had had enough and peeled off. i continued on running the rest of my time north of 54. i ran out to pratt community college and covered several of the roads on campus before popping back out on 61 and running north to the cemetery road.

i passed the cemetery about the time i was supposed to pick up the pace. i didn't have much pick up, but i pushed it a little harder. i ran around my daughter's paper route, hoping to see her and wave, but never saw her. i covered every street. no paper girl! this concerned me a bit, but i continued to run.

after another run through the paper route with a slight diversion north, i came back around to home and right at two hours hit stop. i'm pretty pleased. i covered more than a half marathon in distance and felt pretty good the whole time. there was only one time that i felt a little nauseous and a few minutes when i thought my hamstrings might start cramping. the nausea passed and the cramps never formed.

two weeks till the run for missions. this morning put a little doubt in my mind about my new 1:50 goal, but i'm sticking with it. it'll get me up and out the door every morning from now until then.

Friday, October 14, 2011

5.00 miles in 40:04

forget two hours! that isn't enough of a challenge. my new half marathon goal is 1:50. there. i said it. i am shooting for something bigger than i could've imagined last august when i started running. mind you, i have a stupid, silly goal faster than 1:50, but i'm not throwing that one out to the public yet. you'll know it if i make it. you'll hear the shout clear up in chicago!

today's run was simply amazing to me. i was running along, all comfy like, so i looked at my garmin. i was running at 7:08 pace! what?! that's nuts! i backed off a bit knowing it had miles to go, but i was blown away. 7:08 should not feel easy! even slowing down, my first mile was 7:38. after that i settled into a rhythm that felt good and set the cruise.

when i turned onto country club road, i knew i was going to slow down a little climbing the hill. i also knew i didn't want to push too hard and risk a heart rate spike that would cause a blow out. i've done that plenty of times. ugh! so i maintained the same "feel" running up and over the hill that turns onto lake road. i hit the bottom on the other side of the hill at around half of the five miles hal demanded of me today, so i turned around and ran back up the steeper side of the hill and back into town down country club.

from there i took a zig zagging route back up to dillon's, ran through the store's parking lot to avoid the highway traffic which was just beginning to pick up a little and ran north on lawrence. by this time i could see a sub-8:00 finish if i worked just a teensy weensy bit harder. i tried my best and missed it. my average was only 8:01 when i stopped the garmin. i am such a failure...NOT!

i loved this run! it gave me back my confidence. i was concerned that i'd lost too much speed sitting out for two weeks in the middle of my training, but, if anything, i've gotten faster. that's why i'm setting my sights on a loftier goal. you, my dailymile friends, are going to hold me to it and push me on to stupid, silly fast!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

4.00 miles in 32:14

i had to do a real-life test of the shin splints, so i ran fairly hard today. wanted to test my endurance too. i was afraid sitting out for almost two weeks would slow me down. both tests came out better than i expected. the shin splints weren't painful at all. a twinge here and there and a little soreness, but no pain! the endurance was still hanging around too. i felt comfortable running at around 8:00 pace the whole time. i didn't slow down a lot later in the run. only time will tell, but i think i might be back to where i want to be by the end of the month. i'm thanking God for his healing and getting back at it now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There's a Fly in My...

Note to self: It is good to aspire to do great things. It is NOT good to aspirate a gnat or any other bug for that matter. I hate it when I'm riding down the street and an insect goes all suicidal on me. Couldn't they pick someone else's airway to end it all? Duly noted.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

3.10 miles in 26:01

as i said yesterday in a comment to someone, my shin splints are at the "just annoying" stage - not a lot of pain, just generalized soreness and tenderness to touch. after walking my daughter's paper route for her this morning and experiencing no problems, i decided to go out for a test run. i wanted to see if and when the pain started. i really didn't experience all that much pain, certainly nothing unbearable. there were twinges here and there, but not bad. i ran around town and hit the 5K mark just as i was passing the house again. not bad for an unplanned route! i walked to the refrigerator immediately after i walked in the door. i downed some gatorade and then put ice on my shin for 20 minutes. after some stretching and a shower, i'm feeling no worse than i did before. maybe i'll start running every other day this week and see how it goes. i've got three weeks until my half, so i don't want to risk reinjury by overdoing it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why are you afraid?

My heart races every time I think about the wolves that waited on my back porch, hungry for a bite of first grader. If I let my thoughts run wild, I can still see their eyes glowing red in the darkness. Their shadowy forms still lurk around the edges of my mind. They are for me the oldest representation of fear. Their presence on our stoop paralyzed me. I willed myself forward, but my legs would not budge.
These phantoms, as menacing as they seemed to my young heart, were not real. Their razor-sharp claws and saliva-dripping jaws did not exist. I saw them, but they weren’t there. The back steps of our house were, in reality, safe and secure behind a six-foot privacy fence. The light was always on when I walked home from church after sundown. I had nothing to fear at all. There was no danger.
Jesus’ disciples faced a similar fear one night. They were in a boat on the open sea when a terrible squall came up. The storm’s vigor threatened to sink their vessel. Despite years of experience fishing on this body of water, they were terrified.
“Teacher,” they shouted, shaking Jesus awake, “don’t you care if we drown?”
The Master, yawning and stretching, spoke to the furious gale. “Quiet! Be still!” The tempest stopped obediently. The surface of the deep was as smooth as glass. Their sails hung limp.
Jesus looked sleepily at his followers and asked simply, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The twelve were too stunned to answer. The weather meant nothing to this man. It was no threat to him. The wind was his servant, the water his slave.
“Why are you so afraid?”
The recession’s bad. My son’s disobedient. My friend’s addiction is killing him. Layoffs have been threatened. Milk costs $4.
“Quiet! Be still!”
Jesus is master over all that you fear. He cares about you. He knows your needs.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-33)
Do you still have no faith?”
Trust God with your life. Put him first and allow him to care for your needs. In reality, you have nothing to fear. He is master of much more than the wind and waves.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
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