Do not do it

How many times have you gone through the long training process (for a half or mary) and, towards the end, done something different from routine; something that causes or aggravates an injury? Huh? Come on. 'Fess up.

  • Do not decide to add strength machines at the same weight and reps as you did when you quit four months ago
  • Do not try to dance all funky to the beat of a West African drum line
  • Do not start climbing eight flights of stairs all of a sudden and call it hill work
Do not do these things for you will pay.

My left knee cap hurts. It hurt yesterday as I went out for the most grueling repeats on my training plan. By the time I jogged to the track in the nasty 69F humid conditions the knee stopped hurting. Just so I could do 6x1200. I struggled. I felt like quitting in the middle of the third repeat. It was hot.

I took of my shirt, it was so hot (calm down Jeanne). I kept going and psyched myself into making them come and go one lap at a time; passing the same discarded mouth guard at the 200m mark that some soccer player left on the track.

When I was done I was relieved. I have stopped doing all those "new" ideas but my knee still yacks at me when I ascend steps. Tomorrow I have hills to do so we shall see how I fare. In the meantime I guess I'll go vote one of the girls off the American Idol island.


it's getting hot

I do not PR on speedwork like I did last month. I feel more wrung out after long runs than I did last month. My post-run stretches are an exercise in pain tolerance before the eventual stretch happens. I guess long runs have a way of knocking the brashness out of you.

Today was a cut back weekend. Only 16. Next week I peak for the last time (22) before the race 3.25. It was warm out there. Mid 60s. Taxing.

The running group was in full force this morning. I cannot even remember who all was there. And since I gave my blog url to a number of them I better remember them. Shout outs to Dave and Charlene; Chris, Jane, Gary, Jack, Matt, Cathy, Bob and two others who made it 12 today.

The first mile was like the usual start up with lots of gabbing. I did a little of that but at the first mile mark I had a bout of wild hare and took off to the second mile mark at a brisk pace. From there it was back to running conversations with a variety of folks. I had a good sense of community with them, as they have become more habitual Sunday runners, as have I.

At the turn for six miles five of them left us but those who carried on made for the largest pack I can ever remember. Dave and Jane went an extra mile before u-turning. The five remaining stuck together. Today I packed enough vitamin water and cups to quench everybody's thirst at the 6.75 mile mark.

I can tell you (Rachel) that you'll know when it's the right time to down a Margarita Clif Blok. The salty taste just tastes like the only thing you could want.

Cathy, Charlene and Bob stepped out at the 10th mile which left me to run Chris home and add another four onto that. Net total time was a little slower than last time I did 16. It was 2:32, 6.5 minutes slower.

Etcetera. Then this afternoon turned into a clean up day. Clean up to the degree one cleans up for (a) a party, (b) selling the house or (c) having the in-laws come to stay. Actually, it's only Mrs. T's best high school buddy who lives in California coming in for the day (tomorrow). They both were hot babes at their Catholic school back in the day, dating the football co-captains and the like. Mrs. T rarely went to his games either. How'd she get away with that?


Hi ho Silver

Thursday I did 4.7 miles of hills; bumps by Georgia standards, I fear. I cut the run short when I heard the recycle collection truck heading towards the house. I had forgotten to take the containers out. I thought I made it but they took a new course through the neighborhood and I still have my empties and old papers.

Thursday afternoon I enjoyed the joy I had been waiting for - a massage from Sherlene. Two highlights: my right shoulder was so tight she had to use heat and pain to get it looking and working like the left shoulder. I had not realized it was so bad.

Second: she sold the business to one of her partners; is selling her condo; and is moving to North Dakota - by the end of April. She is converting an old high plains homestead into a bed and breakfast and, with one of her other partners, opening a massage place up there.

It is going to be a long drive to get a massage. Do you turn left or right at Montana?

The only silver lining is that if I can find a North Dakota marathon to run I will now have a place to stay and someone to get the kinks out after the race.

Bandit. This afternoon Outback Steakhouse held their annual 12K in downtown Orlando. I met up with Maddie and her family before the race and found we have college and former colleagues in common. Maddie has two cute children and a friendly hubby and dog.

I also saw at least a dozen running pals and acquaintances who I either ran with or talked to. After awhile I forgot the fact that I was there without a race number. You see, I ran bandit.

Forgive me but I really didn't take advantage of very much. A pre-race cup of water, a post race bottle of water, a banana and an orange slice. Send me a bill. I did not try and horn in on the Outback steak dinner and Fosters beer.

I did not even run the full race. I took off with some friends and bounced between them at various speeds so I could chat with them all. Then at the 3rd mile I veered off and headed back to the finish line. I ran about 35 minutes and got back just in time to see the winner cross in just under 40 minutes. Fast! especially in the 76 degree heat.

I cheered everybody in and enjoyed the afternoon.

Tomorrow I'll go 16 in a roll back long run. Next week is 22 again.


Who am I?

I hang my trousers on one rack in my closet. I pick the pair on the far right every morning and it dictates my attire for the day.

I have a stool in my closet. Under it I have one of three pairs of shoes I will wear to work. When I put them on I move one of the other pairs to under the stool for tomorrow and move the third pair up one spot. When I come home I take off the shoes and put them at the end of the line.

I hang my shirts on one rack. The shirts coming back from the laundry go in on the right. I pick the shirt to wear each day by browsing from left to right.

I have about 40 ties on 10 rods. The 10 ties on the inside of each rod comprise the selection of ties I will consider wearing for the day. When I come home I hang it to the outside and slide the others on the rod towards the middle.

My socks are lined up in one drawer and I load from one end and pick to wear from the other.

You might say I am an equal opportunity clothes wearer.

Who am I?


Ooch. Ouch. Ummm. Okay.

My sister blew into town last night to speak to a major defense contractor today. So we put her up and she took us out to dinner. Local college boy joined us and coyly explained a few of the secrets of college life. He managed to avoid speaking loud enough in my direction because he fears what I will do with any such knowledge. Little does he know that I know he had some trouble finding his way back to his dorm room recently and ended up lodging in a sorority house. Needless to say, I am waiting for just the right moment to cross examine him on the subject. Mercifully, I will do so when his mother is not around and more likely when his peers are. As Mrs. T says: I am a rascal.

Last night Mrs T took her "teddy bear" to bed to optimize the get-to-sleep experience. That involved putting the adorably cute male terrier under the covers next to her pillow within hugging distance. Knowing how he snarls when I try to evict him from bed I let him be when I went to bed. He had left me enough room that it was not a big issue.

On the other hand, when I rolled over their way about 2:45 I had way too much dog smell to contend with and I became agitated and very awake. After an hour of that I scooped his cute little butt up and put him in the chair where he belongs. It took another 30+ minutes for me to figure out how to go back to sleep.

When 6 a.m. came around I was supposed to get up and go run 12x400 in our version of icy cold (mid 40s with a wet wind making it feel much colder). Despite the urge to roll over I was not going to look bad to my sister.

I was creaky and stiff, just like I was after the 22 miles on Sunday. It took a mile warm up and two quarter laps to loosen up enough to be in the zone. No speed records seem to come after a looooong run. Ever notice that?
1:55-1:50-1:46-1:48-1:44-1:48-1:45-1:45-1:46-1:45-1:47-1:42. At least I finished fast.


Against myself

I overslept.

Rain swept through town. Sun was predicted but so were high winds in the 20 mph range. It was in the high 40s. I put away the tights and pulled on gloves and an ear warming band.

I had a bagel with my secret blueberry jam from Maine. Sadly, it is almost gone.

I drove to Park Avenue knowing what was ahead of me and that there was no one to do it with but myself. The Sunday bunch were already 30 minutes into their run.

The first half mile was nothing to be excited about. It was cold. I was stiff. My form stunk. I was not fired up. I implemented running Plan B.

I took the first turn and advantage of a tail wind to run the 11 mile course in reverse. That allowed me to cross paths with my usual Sunday crowd. Kim and Mary came by, asking how far I was going today. "22," I hollered.

Then I ran into Chris and Bob at their 7th mile and my 5th. I declined their invitation to turn and run with them. I was not inclined to recalculate my running route for the morning.

As it was, I ran 22 miles on my own in 3:27:44, a 9:07 pace, not counting the time wasted to eat Blox and drink water.That was just as fast as two weeks ago when I went 20.2 miles.

PIT ROW NOTES: My right calf had some tightness for awhile and restarting after water breaks was not easy. Plus I didn't use enough body glide today. Still I finished fast and set my mind on the late miles as being the last miles of the marathon.


Spring is here!!!!!!


Spring is here.

Forecast for tonight? Low of 32.


Tears and fears

My eyes teared up as soon as I started moving this morning. A firm breeze was blowing in my face and through my long sleeve shirt as I began my hill work. It was 43F and I was in a single layer shirt and shorts. Perhaps balmy conditions to many of you but a bit brisk for me.

After a half mile the core temp warmed up and only my hands were complaining. I spent time thinking about where my cotton gloves were hiding this morning and how much warmer they were.

My legs were good. I surmised that my post-run pool treatments had acclimated my legs to cold conditions. I was stiff but steady.

Three pairs of other runners were working the same hills I was today. Mind you; there are not many hill options in Central Florida and Thursday is hill day on most training plans.

I made it an easy run at a slower than tempo pace. I spent my other time concentrating on Sunday. It will be my first of two 22-mile longest training runs. After last week's sprint 16-miler I am debating how to approach this one. Should I go at race pace? or just log the miles slowly and save the race pacer for next time in two weeks?

I have decided to not run Gasparilla. It's forecast for 33, and feeling colder. Plus there is NO way that the race along Bayside is not going to offer up some hearty winds in one direction or another (it's an out and back 15K).

Sunday is not predicted to be much better but I can wait until it warms up a little before my long run.

I do not know why Jeanne thinks I sent her a Valentine?? ;)


Looky looky!

Thank you Susan for restoring my masthead.


hotter. slower.

Hotter. Slower.

That was the story today. Temp in the 60s and humid with an approaching storm made running something akin to running in the shallow end of a pool, relatively speaking.

My track workout was suitably slower than my 8x800s last week. I think the speedy 16 miles on Sunday took something out of me. I mean it was half mary race pace, practically, so I felt like I'd run a race all afternoon Sunday and most of Monday. Sore? Yes very, with a left quad and left achilles whispering to me. They were both nice enough to shut up this morning.

I had 4x1600s planned but chose to modify them to 2x1600, 1x1200, 1x800, 2x400 and 2x200. I kept a good pace on all of them, just seconds slower than my PR times. I tried not to kill it. I mean this is the beast week for miles in the training plan.

Heading to the 30s by the weekend down here. The Daytona 500 infield crowd will not be happy. The girls will not be lifting their shirts.


I should stick with running

... and stop screwing around with technology trinkets.

You will notice the absence of my signature masthead: me, or someone who looks like he could be me, running on the beach with the Watch Hill lighthouse in the background. I thought I could play with colors and add a few changes to the blog. Lo and behold, it required "updating the template" which I did and thereafter lost my personalized look. I tried to paste in the code Runner Susan gave me but it did not work like I could only hope. Screwed again.

P.S. My preferred laptop died again.

Running. Meanwhile I am running like a madman. Mad I am at technology. Fast I am at running. I did 16 miles this morning with just a handful of folks - Dave, Jane and Chris, with Seth joining in at mile 5. Without the usual array of slow pacers in the early miles we reached the 4 mile water stop two minutes faster than usual. That was 30 seconds a mile faster.

Jane and Dave turned off at mile 5 while Seth dropped in with me and Chris for the last 11. Seth pushed me to keep a hard pace which I sustained all the way to the end, zipping up hills to boot.

The 16 went down in 2:25:42 which is a remarkable 9:06 pace. If I keep this up I could be very happy in Atlanta six weeks from right now. Let us only hope.

When I came home I held my breath and jacked up my shorts as I stood in the chilly pool water for 15 minutes to promote muscle healing. At the same time, I was wishing for lifeboats to appear from Dallas to restore my blog dignity.


What an ordeal

Computer hell.
Ever since Thanksgiving I've been having issues with the ol' laptop. It started having config problems and operating system errors. I finally said to heck with it and backed up my files, reloaded the Microsoft XP ops system and MS Office suite. All my files were still there, thank goodness. All my bookmarks were gone.
Then my wireless adapter would not install. The network drivers were not loading. LinkSys talked me through that today.
Now I'm trying to move everything back onto the Acer laptop by copying over recent data I kept on my HP laptop, the one with the pitiful keyboard touch sensitivity.
I also switched to Mozilla Firefox. I also tried to upgrade my blogger account to the beta version. I created a new user account with a name that conflicted with critical data of my existing blog that got me chasing my tail in Blogger World. It's been a real experiment in patience and intuition.
And then when I went away for a little while for lunch, I came back and the black screen said "operating system not found."
Here we go again.

Since last time, I went out for five miles of hill work. Made it through at an 8:45 pace. I plan to go for a 16 miler on Sunday. The weather improved this weekend. We're back up to the 60s and 70s with sunshine. Just the way it is meant to be.

Next weekend I may dash on down to Tampa for the Gasparilla 15K, turn around and come home to run a double. I am supposed to go 22 miles next weekend so the 9.6 will not be enough. I'll plan on adding 12 more in the afternoon.

The Gasparilla two years ago was my first out of town race. It was my first race after joining the RBF world. I was really nervous. It was blustery cold with a harsh wind blowing off the water. But it was exciting. The crowd was big. The pre-race and post-race accommodations and foods were excellent. Even Dawn on the Run (the Pink Lady) was there - in the same hotel with me - but we never linked up. I ran the distance in 1:24:26 (9:04 pace). I know I could smoke that today.


Hope I'm not peaking yet

This is getting unreal. After going the 20+ miles Sunday I figured I'd be sore and slow today doing 8x800 repeats. It was 42F and I bundled up in tights, ear wrap and gloves. The wind was there to make it colder.

I started slow and gradually improved my splits. After the first two, they ranged from 3:40.5 to 3:43.8. Consistency is a good thing. I did not imagine I could keep that going throughout at what amounts to the best set of 800s since I started training. The 3:40 was a second best pace at the distance and two others were just off the top 3 list.

And I thought I was slacking today. Boy, am I amazing even myself.

I hope I am not peaking too soon.


That was easy

How could it be that I ran 20.2 miles this morning and I feel fine? That I did it at a 9:27 pace, faster than any long run this year? Could it be the margaritas? Could be.

I am of like mind with Bold that Cliff Bloks are it when it comes to on-road refueling! I cut them in half for easier and more precisely measured consumption. Today I was carrying strawberry which is fine but, for the later miles, I was carying margarita flavor with three times the sodium content.

I was not going to let cramps ruin my run which I attribute to my downfall in Miami last year.

Today was a double layer day. The temps were at 50F but the wind made it feel like 42. I never got sweaty in a long sleeve over my short sleeve.

The turn out of runners was the highest yet, this morning: 12! More ladies too! Five went 6 miles or so. Two went 9; and five of us covered the ten mile loop. Once we returned to Park Avenue I did a U-turn and ran the course in reverse, by myself, to get the 20 in.

Over the last three miles I forced myself to think of them as miles 23-26 just to get a sense of how I want to feel in seven weeks. At every hill I attacked them with vigor instead of fear. I plan to do some passing on the hills.

As always, I stretched afterwards. I can remember in prior run ups to big races I would be short on time and skip the stretching. I have been so clear of injury so far that I am sure it has a lot to do with it. That, and seeing Sherlene the massage therapist regularly. Bless her strong hands.

Culture Week. Maybe it’s the season. It seems like it was this time last year too. Mrs. T and I went and saw Lion King in mid-January. Last Wednesday it was King Lear at the Shakespeare Theatre. Last night it was the ballet with three numbers from the genius of George Balanchine.

The ballet won my top mark. It was stunning; and I fell in love with a tall sexy woman in one dance who could hold her body in the most difficult and challenging positions, with the help of her partner, and many times while up on point. It was amazing. I tried to imagine myself trying to do what they do and I am humbled by their athleticism and skill.

I’ll just keep on trucking on my two almost-flat feet. Mrs. T did not allow me to linger around the stage door. I mean …. all those fit hot women …. I just wanted to ask them if they wanted to go for a run this morning.


Still here

For those who saw national news of our weather calamaties here in Central Florida let me assure you I am fine. The storms and tornados blew through these parts between 430 and 630 this morning. I was up, in my running duds, watching internet weather and figuring I could get three miles in before work when the band of rain passed through.

Little did I know the severity of the storms. What? 14 deaths? I was oblivious. The mobile home parks caught the worst of it (as always). I think its a fact of nature that mobile homes are automatic targets for bad weather.

Because the media was riled up and thinking we might close schools, I had to skip the run when the phone started ringing at 550. By 645 it was a non-event in our county. Four neighboring counties were declared states of emergency. Lucky us.

Lucky me. I got my three miler in at 7pm and it sure felt good after a high stress week.

Don't forget to remind me to buy some bloks tomorrow.



First let me give thanks to the Florida weather gods that restored a bit of normal weather to us today. After four days of "cold" stuff we got back up to 80F today.

It was so cold here this week. How cold was it?I skipped running Tuesday and Wednesday. The former because I thought I had to be at a meeting over on the coast at 830. I skipped the sacred speed work. Go figure. The meeting started at 1000.

Wednesday was roll over and sleep day followed by an evening cultural excursion to the Shakespeare Theatre for an excellent rendition of King Lear. Being about an old man losing his mind, I could relate a little. On the other hand, I have a distaste for Shakespeare. It reminds me of high school English classes that I was invariably unprepared for, up in the freezer case of the Housatonic River valley.

So today I was faced with "What to run?" I opted to catch up on the speedwork and do the tempo tomorrow. If I survive that I'll run an easy 3-4 on Saturday and put down the 20 spot on Sunday. Remind me to stock up on Cliff Bloks.

The wind was blowing pretty good this morning and it was in the mid 50s. I watched the full moon set in the west and the sun rise in the east. I thought of Grove Dock.

I ran 12 x 400s with good steady times except for the first and 11th laps. Half lap recoveries in between allowed me to stay strong:
1:47, 1:40, 1:43, 1:42, 1:41, 1:42, 1:43, 1:44, 1:45, 1:43, 1:47 and 1:42.

I need reports from all northerners on Groundhog Day sitings!