Long time went too fast

What the heck happened this week? Every day was a late nighter at work, followed by a short sleep and scheduled runs. There was no time to tell you how much fun I was having.

The week's over. I've finished writing scripts, press releases, and newsletters; and edited so much OPW (other people's work) that I am just plain wrung out. Someday I hope to caddy or ghost write for Jeanne. That kind of hitch cannot be as nasty as this one is sometimes.

I did 3x1200 on Tuesday and my times were all over the place. 6:11, 5:46 and 6:13. I felt terribly slow and, indeed I was. On Thursday it was a 5-miler in a slight breeze. I made it around in 42:53.

At the conclusion of the Thursday run I had reached 5,001 lifetime miles. That does not count anything I did before I turned 45 ... or 35 ... or 25 for that matter. If I average 400 miles per pair of shoes, then I've gone through a dozen already.


NYC Marathon Training, T Minus 24 days

I am building up a base for when training "really" starts on July 17. I have to say, it's been hell. I added a little Saturday 4-miler yesterday which, with today's 10-miler, put me over 20 miles for a week for the first time since Atlanta in March.

I used to say, "it's never too hot for me," but that must have been coined when I was not running. Either I have not yet acclimated to the instant summer conditions of the last three weeks or I am getting so old and I can't take it anymore. It was 77F when we started this morning with the sun up and 100% humidity. The first four miles were okay, the second four a challenge and the last two a death march. If Cherline hadn't been with me I might have walked it in. She's doing the Florida Triathlon the same weekend as the NYC Marathon so we'll be doing some long runs together.

I saw a sneak preview of "A Mighty Heart" last week. Wrenching. Made me never want to go to Pakistan. Watched "Blood Diamond" on Netflix last night. Ghastly. Made me never want to go to Africa. I think Iceland is safe. I'll think about that.

I am going to Rhode Island in less than three weeks. Now THAT is something to get excited about.


Boring Week so far but ...

... it's never over until it's over.

I ran 7x400s on Tuesday averaging about 1:41 per repeat. Okay for the heat.

I feel like I need a massage. I am a little out of kilter in a number of places. I booked with a guy named Hank who used to go to the world renowned Sherlene when he needed work. So I am believing he will know my language when I start talking Sherlenese to him about my muscle needs.

This morning I legged out a single to deep short ... which is to say I went out for four miles of tempo running, covered in about 34 minutes. Okay for the heat.

Tomorrow is Friday. Hello weekend.


Fathers Day Weekend

It was a beautiful weekend. It finished on a strong upbeat.

I spent most of Saturday just kicking around, mulling in silence, strumming my six string, sitting on your mama's porch. Then I did something more useful and worked at getting the particles cleaned out of the pool. You know - less algae, more clear water. And I broke in my new Asics Kayanos just walking around in them.

Sunday I went for my Sunday morning run. Jack had a gaggle of out of towners. Indiana, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and a few newbies. None of the usual crowd which was unusual. I ran slowly with the group for the first five miles then was left on my own for the last five. It suited me. I needed some time to remember my marathon pacing, good form, regulated breathing, etc. It was another blisering hot and humid day. Summer has arrived.

I got back in touch with my feet and ankles. I decided the shoes I was wearing are done. It's been a happy 490 miles but I could tell the right shoe is worn low on the heel because I was rolling my foot which causes some outboard discomfort and ankle tenderness. No need for any of that.

Beach!!! Fathers Day continued with a dark chocolate protein shake, fried egg over english muffin with sausage and coffee; then a drive to Playalinda Beach for the day. It was my first beach day of the year which is so unusual for me. I am typically fried to a toasty brown by now but since I started having more pre-cancerous spots popping up to deal with, I decided I only have one body and I need to baby it a few thousand more miles.

Anyway the ocean breeze was coming off shore. The water was about 80F. The barrier beach was not too crowded. Lots of surfers were out there catching some nice rides. I had plenty of fluids and a cooler of sub, watermelon and cookies.

I read the paper and finally graduated to the final stage of analysis in figuring out how to solve any Sudoku puzzle you throw at me. It took awhile but I finally understand the steps to victory. No surprise it took a day of ocean sounds to set the stage for such a breakthrough.

Happy Fathers Day all you dads! ..... Oh yeah. My boys DID remember. My Army son called to tell me he loves me and my younger one bought me a card and some aloe moisturizer which came in very handy today.


Finding a tempo

It was actually cool this morning - around 70 - so I was a springing along like a rabbit first thing. Two of the nicer neighborhood wives were just starting their morning walk right outside my house at the same time. Somehow they gave me a little more motivation to start strong. I went four miles in almost 33 minutes which was most enjoyable. I was thinking as I was ran that I had a New York verve working. I practically scared one woman jogger out of her wits when I came up and passed her. That must be one of the hazards of wearing ear buds. You have no idea what's behind you.

I passed 500 miles for the year too. I hadn't ever reached that mark so soon and never before August 1.

In honor of somebody's birthday I reviewed my photo file to remember old times with her and celebrate. Let's see ... a blue turtleneck, sitting on a swing, standing on a sea wall, racing, doing a Bo Derek impression and a zillion other beach shots, chatting at Bluff Point, a calling card, long hair, short hair, feet up gazing at the pond, sitting on the bow of a boat; and so on. Happy birthday. I enjoyed the digital party.


PR. Then in.

I invoked good karma/mojo/luck last week by returning to my normal training routine. This on the heels of spotty efforts, no plan and a desire to slack for two months. Why? To win the lottery.

This morning I ran 4x800s and set a new record time of 3:37.07. Later in the day I received the official notification.

I won a place in the NYC Marathon for November 4 on my first try ... and so did Runner Susan. Yea! We will finally meet up, barring the unforeseen like a tornado taking out her and her new house in Texas or a hurricane washing me to the shores of the Canary Islands.

Now I will ramp up to the start of purposeful training for 18 weeks around the Fourth, right after the Watermelon 5K here in Humidity Like Lardtown.


Weird Things thanks to Neese

Neese tagged me about exposing my weirdness. I thought it was clearly obvious already (ask Jeanne) but I will take it down another level.

Six things...
1. I rotate the items in my wardrobe so that I am always pulling out to wear the items I wore the longest time ago. It keeps them from wearing out too fast ... or wearing out all at the same time.
2. This is new and scary. I am more familiar with the clothes and accessories in a Bloomingdales catalog than my wife. Hey, there are times when it's the only thing within reach and I read it before she does.
3. I am a geek about baseball; ever since I was really young and simulated games in our backyard using my stuffed animals as players. I memorized batting averages on baseball cards too.
4. I prefer to get lost while driving than ask for directions. It is the only way to discover the unknown.
5. I enjoy dental cleanings.
6. I would rather drop in on somebody unannounced than wait/call for an invitation. Isn't life one big dormitory?

Totally whipped

Until today long runs have been in acceptable weather conditions. Last week it was windy and reasonably cool after the tropical storm buzzed through. Today was brutal. It was 78F and humid on the way to Park Avenue.

I was fine until around the 7th mile and I just ran out of gas. Folks waited on me but I let them go on. I turned the 10 miler into an 8.5er plus a lot of walking. That wasn't all bad as I looked through hedges and over fences to see peoples' backyards. I took an alternate street and marvelled at the funky old style Florida homes that we just do not see enough of anymore. Somebody wrote in today's paper about how all the new houses in Winter Park are house hotels: three story monstrosities that are either Spanish, French or Tudor that look down into your own backyard.

There goes the neighborhoods.

I actually was happy for the obnoxious heat. I needed a day like today to adjust and prepare myself for the conditions that will continue for another three months; time that will be spent vacationing in Rhode Island and training for (hopefully) NYC Marathon.

What I wouldn't give for a nice 58 degree day right now.......

Pool time.


Finally back on track

This was the first week since the middle of March that I followed my normal training routine. Ahhhhhh. It does a body good.

I did track work Tuesday morning at the tail end of about 100 people attending their first Marathonfest track workout. Talking to a veteran in the group he predicted substantial attrition by this time next week. Wooseys. I clocked three 1200 meter repeats, one of which just happened to be the second fastest at that distance in my record book. I continue to amaze myself. Really.

Today I went out late. I wanted to do six miles of tempo running but dawdled around the computer to the point that I had to settle for four miles; but I did a hard tempo mile in the middle of it and ran strong down the stretch. I could tell I was at an elevated state of internal activity (ooh, there's a turn of phrase to coin).

I realize I am working 11-12 hour days on a regular basis. It is the American way, right? Somebody tell me differently. Not you Bex. I get home for a fix-your-own dinner, a little TV or blogging and then a pillow. Up to run or not, then off to work. Amazingly, I am not overly tired (until Friday some weeks).

I wish I could work like Susan. You know ... chase a Donkey around the house, redesign my blog header, go to butt camp, annoy my sister, plan the next Kenza event, shop on line, oversee the house building and moving .... WAIT; I do not want to move again. I'll stick to what I have.

I heard Fathers Day is coming. Somebody write my boys and remind them. Thanks.

Flag Day is coming too which means it's Susie's birthday; and, if memory serves, she's taking the plunge and getting married soon too ... at the ripe young age of XX. Best wishes Susie.

There you have it.

We live and learn.


Strong weekend

Foot. After I abused my foot last weekend by trying to roll out its pain I turned to bending my toes back, stretching my achilles and generally babying the foot. It's pretty good now. Good blood flow and no swelling in the midsole to complain about.

Training or not. I ran 9+ miles last Sunday and then skipped every day until the guilt overcame me on Friday when I went out for a less than 4 mile slow start to the month of June. For May I barely logged 50 miles. April was 70. March, with the Georgia Marathon on the 25th, was 102. February peaked at 130. So you can see I have been more not training than training lately.

Which is not to say. I can still lay down some good time and all. Today was the Sunday run. I started very slowly with Chris until the four mile water stop. That's when Kim showed up from behind us. Being the Florida Gator fan that she is we had to disect the "for the money" move of basketball head coach Billy Donovan from UF to the NBA Orlando Magic. Kim was not happy and it made her run faster and before you knew it she and I were way ahead of everybody.

Kim is a fasty to start with and I've always wanted to run with her for the challenge and the social aspects of a new acquaintance. Her usual running mate Mary is out with an injury so Kim runs with just about anybody now, just for the company.

While I had had designs on a slow poke pace for maybe six miles or maybe nine, I found myself running alongside Kim for the full 10. I knew we were hoofing it because we made it to the Episcopal church at mile 9.5 in time to see the processional lined up outside the front door. If I make it there by then I know I've been booking.

Swedish Bikini Team. Jack was in Italy the last two weekends. He's the senior member of the Sunday group and the unofficial leader and Web contact for the Orlando Runners Club. People from all over the world find their way there and he invites them to run with us on Sunday mornings. While he was away he deputized Chris, Dave and Ed to be the perfect hosts for anybody who showed up.

On Tuesday I sent Jack an e-mail from "Ingrid and Helga Svenson" thanking him for setting them up to run last Sunday with the guys. I made it clear in the e-mail that Ingrid and Helga were Swedish models from Stockholm who owned a bikini company; and that they hoped to meet Jack next time they were in town for a show.

Jack spent the rest of last week trying to track down Ingrid and Helga, googling them, their company, grilling Chris and Dave (who played along), all the while smelling something fishy but also thinking he missed a run for the ages.

Saturday I got an e-mail from Jack that pretty well summed up his final analysis:

Your contrived story and mail fraud have put you in dire jeopardy of the law. We know who you are, we know where you are and we are watching you.

The Sunday morning running group was in hysterics this morning as the story was shared and replayed with ribald Swedish accents.

Next week New York? I hope to hear from the NYC Marathon next week so I can finish plugging in my training plan for the big one. If I make it (with Susan and others) the plan kicks in the week of July 2.