Common sense

If you don't run 26 miles among your training runs how do you know you can run 26 miles in a marathon?

Pretty simple question. So why do so many training plans top out at 20? I am making adjustments and adding 25% more miles to my long run schedule after having this discussion with Jeff Galloway yesterday. We met up for a "fun run" just up the street from me here where the marthonfest-ers assemble for their Saturday excursions.

Galloway was in town and led the troops on a 1.3 mile fun run that involved jogging for 30 seconds then walking for a minute. The whole running part was underwhelming but it led quickly back to the parking lot where Q&A was the real payoff.

Long runner. This morning I was fired up to go 15 miles. I wasn't really fit for it since I had probably the most wringing week in years and I kept waking up overnight. Nevertheless, I labored on in the 75-85 degree Florida humidity and got it done.

Too close for comfort. After my run I went down to Planet Smoothie for a Mr. Mongo Chocolate smoothie. There was a long line and lots of people with numbers written on their legs. I suspected I was in the vicinity of THOSE OTHER people. Sure enough, I wandered down the street to see the awards ceremony going on for a sprint triathlon in Baldwin Park.

I didn't see anybody I know but a young lady saw me and asked how we might know each other. She knew we had met before. Turns out we worked in the same building recently and for the same company seven years ago.

She had done her first tri and was pretty pleased with herself. I mentioned my aversion to swimming and she said that part was easy. I felt that feeling of being double-dared to do something. The voice in my head sounded a lot like Jeanne.

I quickly walked to my car and drove home.


Making adjustments

It's amazing but I am not sure what "it" is. A month ago I could barely slog around the town on a long run without Galloway-ing it every mile or two. The summer heat was at full throttle. I took a long run weekend off the week before last.

So this past Sunday I went out and did 13 miles without any fuss and at a respectable pace, just over 10s; without loitering around the water stops waiting for a ride to come along. I was brief in my respites. I was anxious to get back on the road and go.

Yesterday the track was busy and I went over to do 8x400s. I think I set a new PR on my second repeat thanks to two girls who were also doing repeats. They were a little ahead of me and then slowed down to a jog across their finish line (not mine) so when I went past in my third hundred meters I had to look good, right? I kicked it all the way to a 1:35 400. I love hormonal inspiration.

Commerce. I was the kindly recipient of an email offering me to sample some running gear. I agreed and soon received a box with two sets of insoles in my size. I better get the products right here ... Sof Sole's Athlete Performance Insole (MSRP $19.99) and Adapt Performance Footbed (MSRP $29.99).

Being new to the concept of using an off-the-wall-hook insole took some mental model breaking on my part. At first I thought I should just slip them into my shoes. Which I did. How stupid. Of course! I have to take the old insole out. Doh!

I put the Athlete insoles into my oldest pair of still serviceable Asics (Evolutions). I went for an easy four mile jaunt and found that they fit in the shoe well. No problems with too little here and too much there. The cushioning was a dramatic improvement over the original 480 mile-worn insoles. No kidding? I appreciated that. My only concern that I will have to check again is that I had a sense of increased heat or hot-spotting under my feet towards the end. It could have been that they don't breathe quite like standard shoe insoles because they're a petroleum product. The gel heel and forefoot "protection" were comfortable without making my run too loose. Further testing awaits.

The Adapt requires some oven cooking and foot-forming action. I believe I must notify the fire marshall before attempting that but stay tuned.

Travel. My big plans to see Jeanne and Susie in Washington next weekend seem to have fizzled. They apparently have lives that have them somewhere else on the planet. As I told them: I'll just sulk in my room.


June un-swooning

I have turned it around. I ran like I was supposed to this week. That slippery slope of skipping one, then two runs did not last.

I did some 1600s on Tuesday, a :30 second per mile decreasing pace 6-miler on Thursday. That was hard. Friday I jogged four miles.

Tomorrow I will be asked for a note from my keeper for the unexcused absence last Sunday. I'll have to outrun them.



For the first time since the Army-Navy Game (December 2), I skipped a long run this weekend. Before that it had been last May 2007 that I didn't run something near or more than 10 miles.

It felt great.

I went to a Tampa Rays-Florida Marlins baseball game in St. Petersburg Saturday night and I didn't get home until midnight. Then I stayed up watching a stupid movie until 2:30 a.m. I am a strong believer in having adequate rest before attempting strenuous efforts like long runs in 80 degree sauna heat.

The Rays won, 4-1 in a good game. The stadium was full up as it was Hispanic Heritage Day or something like that. The stadium PA announcer spoke Spanish all night so I missed out on the free condo giveaways and whatever else he was talking about. Thank goodness the scoreboard was thorough in its game details.


Time has come today

Those are lyrics from the one 60s hit I wish had aired on the PBS oldies concert the other night. Okay graybeards: who knows the band's name?

I have been really busy and negligent. School's out but not for me. Big event at the end of the month. Other stuff happening. Some good. Some pretty bad.

Running carries on in its own inimitable way. I run long, then short, then fast, then on hills. Long runs are sometime easy and sometimes damn near impossible. I am covering over 20 miles/week and Chicago training hasn't even really begun.

The summer swelter has kicked in down in Florida. When you open your car door now, standing too close to the opening, you acquire a nice crisp skin treatment from the canned heat. I predict a few hurricanes will visit in the next three months. No earthquakes.

Happy birthday and anniversary to Susie in Virginia.


I was memed

21stCM tagged me. I can handle it. I just don't spread it; besides the rules seem too complicated.

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
In June of 1998 I did not run; so it was extraordinary for about 20 yards then abruptly ended.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
My best was running through Central Park to set a PR time in last November's NYC Marathon. I was channelling Ryan Hall who I'd watched win the Olympic Trials the day before. I was gliding (at slow motion speed by comparison) past all the slower runners right through to the finish. My best mile time was my last mile.
The worst would be Disney's Race for the Taste 10K. It was hot. I went out too fast. I died before I finished. The on-course refreshments featured blocks of cheese and chocolate. Just what I want when all hot and bothered - something dry and all wrong. That's when I decided Disney had no clue abour running events.

3. Why do you run?
It's what I can do best by myself or with friends. It takes the edge off hard days at work. It allows Mrs. T to sleep late on Sundays. Marathons give me a reason to travel. Mrs. T likes that too although she doesn't run for anything short of a 95%-off sale.

4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
Best - listen to your body. It will tell you whether you are running near empty; or easy enough to turn it up.
Worst - all advice is worth something. I can't remember anything horrible.

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
I love chick flicks. Have you see Sex and the City yet?