It should not have counted

I had 7x800 on Tuesday. Tomorrow is 8 miles.

The intervals should not have counted, for as slow as I ran. They were 8:19 mile pace average for seven 800s. How slow is that? I did 5 800s at 7:17 pace back in early July. I can hardly declare them intervals at that rate.

But I did 'em. Despite.

My back is tight. Right knee is sore; etc. So do you care? No.

I look forward to tomorrow's eight miles. Let's see how far away from the house I can get before I realize I am just dead.

This weekend is 17. Boy, am I ready.



Sometimes you just have to do it

I woke up after a lousy night's sleep - I'll spare the details - realizing I had to go run 15 miles if I could. I dressed, ate and packed my cooler. I had reservations. Was I still sick? My nose was running. Was I still wiped out? Sure felt like it. I went out the door anyway.

I walked to the end of the street and plopped the cooler into the bushes and started to jog on down the road. Before a mile had passed I was thinking hard about the next bathroom opportunity. Park Avenue? Three miles away. Down by the lake off Pennsylvania? Maybe they're still renovating. Renovating? There's a new house going up on Spring!! Just yards away. Let's just say that was a welcome relief.

At Lake Chelton I drew on some Gatorade set up on the curb. In the pre-dawn darkness I saw a figure jogging ahead. I followed. I was gaining on him ever so slowly. When I caught up I could sense he was running long, judging by all the supplies hanging off his waist, the soaked shirt and shorts and running cap. I, of course, was shirtless and carrying nothing but a small bag of Clif Shots in my pocket.

I asked the stranger whether he was training for a marathon and the answer was Milwaukee so the next five miles turned out to be a pleasant diversion from the usual Sunday morning events. He was going the same direction we all do but not up Park Avenue. I stuck with Ryan in lieu of my regular group since we were having such a pleasant conversation.

At the "4 mile water stop" we waited for my regular crowd who had seen us ahead of them at the junction of a 1-mile loop entrance and the next leg of the course. We all indulged in Charline's refreshment cooler and Ryan went on ahead so I could go with the pals.

Two new runners had shown up. A guy from Philly and a young lady from Boston who just moved here. If Marty didn't scare her off on the last two miles alone, then Chris and Dave will have succeeded in encouraging her to come back again next week.

For the next six miles Charline, Dave and Chris kept me company. For awhile I set a rigorous pace then fell behind them for a spell towards the end. We stopped for Zippfizz and water near my house then Gatorade and water where I'd been two hours earlier on Lake Chelton.

Back at Park Avenue I said adieu to everybody and ran the last two miles home.

I was surprised by my stamina. My cold was only a factor at the very beginning. I felt strong and fit to the end. Granted there were some live-with-it walk breaks but I couldn't complain. This turned out much better than I expected. And that's why you just have to go out and do it sometimes just to get over what had been lousy before.


All systems NO

We shut it down on Tuesday.

After last Sunday's death march School Opened on Monday. On site at 6 a.m. at the new high school to coordinate full blown live media coverage and classroom visits. 11 a.m. visit by the governor to a rags-to-success elementary school followed by second governor stop at our poster child high school for a few classroom tours and pep rally. No lunch. Late day. Wiped out.

Tuesday called for 5x1200s. 15 laps. In lap 7 it was apparent I was not in peak health. I walked it in and went back to bed. At 12:30 I woke up and did not feel so hot. I stayed home all day. I have a summer cold. Rest is vital.

Wednesday I went back to work, feeling better. If I'd gone home at 5 I'd have been OK. I stayed until 6:30 and felt like my eyes would not work in any way other than looking straight ahead. I went to bed at 8:30 both Wednesday and Thursday nights to catch up on rest and downed some benadryl to dry up. That got me to today and the cold is still with me.

I skipped my run on Thursday and have 15 miles booked for tomorrow. If I baby it today, I'll try tomorrow.

For you pool minders, I have made progress. The water is an "appealing" color of green now. Still dense but not so slimy looking. Maybe by Thanksgiving it will be clear and swimmable. More toxic remedies to come.


Bataan had little on Orlando today

I had my own little death march today. It started out innocently enough. I had a nice breakfast; loaded up some Clif Shots; packed a cooler for later and headed out to the Celebration of Running 3.0. I took the high traffic sunny route over, leaving the alternate shady route for my return.

It was right on three miles over to Loch Haven Park. It being themed a 70s party, I was not surprised to see Elvis there, a half dozen mullet heads, tie dye shirts, knee length athletic socks, Pink Floyd shirts, flowered dresses, flared pants, etc. Nobody looked stoned though.

I was sweaty and drank some water trying not to bump into anybody dry. I stood around for 15 minutes for the race to start talking to a national sportscaster pal. We lined up in the 8:30 pace area. A former NBA exec showed up incognito and looked like he would be lazy-ing it through the race. Instead of running with me, the sportscaster laid back with the exec, based on their finish time of 30:00.

I went out loose and warm. I kept fairly even splits throughout and never felt tired.

1 - 8:33, 2 - 8:27, 3 - 8:39. FINAL - 25:40

Nothing to go crazy over except it was a PR for 3.0. How often does one run 3.0? Not since Florida high school cross country was 3.0 in 2002. They go 5K now. So I PRed by 21 seconds from November 2000.

Then I stood around and admired people, costumes and had some more water. After awhile I set off to run home. I took the more circuitous route through a shady neighborhood. It was 3.3 miles and I bobbed along at a cool down pace of 10:38. I might have walked a time or two too.

Once home I chugged down some Zippfizz, a Cliff shot and some water. I had 14 miles to cover today and I was only up to 9.3. I set out to follow my five mile route which, at 9:30 a.m., was mighty hot, despite the shady neighborhoods. I walked a lot and ran my end-of-marathon kind of trot. It was good practice. (heh)

My pace for the final 4.7 miles? 13:15. It was brutal; and it's over. Next week includes five 1200s, five miles and 15 next weekend. With the start of school and the usual high jinx I should be a whipped old man by this time next week.

Stay tuned for more whining and wallowing.


Last summer weekend

School starts Monday. Bleh.

It's the usual hot but unseasonably dry weekend here in F-L-A. There are no easy runs in this weather.

Tuesday I did 10x400s at about 7:45 pace avg. Give me cool weather and I'll knock ten seconds off that.

Thursday I squeezed in five at a less-than-tempo pace before work. I was supposed to push it but I am not so worried about speed right now. Stamina has my attention.

The base miles of 10 long ones on Sunday are ramping up as I train for NYC. Last week was the last rollback to 10 until the Sunday before the race.

Tomorrow is the Celebration of Running 3.0 Mile race. An annual tradition of Track Shack, they are cutting it back from a 5K to 3.0M in celebration of their 30th anniversary. They limited the field to 1977 (the year they opened) and included dry-fit shirts as gift bag souvenir. Very nice. No orgy of sponsor logos either.

I will run to the race to warm up (3M), run the race (3M) and then go for eight more miles on the way home to get my 14 long run in. Somebody send the SAG cart to Park Avenue about 9:30 tomorrow. I may need it.

P.S. The pool is still green. I can't kill the algae but I think I know why. I have been under dosing the water. I had guessed its capacity years ago and was way off. It's 25,000 gallons; not 17,000. DOH!! Tomorrow it gets a lethal dose of Copper Algaecide.


Record heat yesterday

We set a new heat record yesterday: 98 degrees. I poured algicide in the still-green pool then pulled weeds while in the 96.5 degree shade.

Today it was 79 when I got out of bed at 620 to be downtown at 7 for the Sunday run. I had rolled over at 545 and could very well have stayed in the sack for more sleep but ... you know ... you gotta do what you gotta do. I was cussin' to myself that this marathon training is a pain in the a*s.

There was a crowd of eight this morning. Good for a hot August morning. It seems some of the previous regulars have splintered off to different groups suitable for whatever they've got going on. No more Mary. Jane. Cathy. Twins. Tim. Seth.

I did 1o today in 1:42. There was some strolling along with the running. It was a 10:13 pace which is better than last Sunday's 11:33 pace over 14 miles. I was a little stronger but definitely behind the training curve. The mojo better kick in sometime soon or it's gonna be heck hereforward.


Busy week

Last week blew by. It started slowly but Wed-Fri were 14 hour days. I am grateful it is a rollback week of running. I skipped Thursday's run (3 miles) and slept in this morning to try recovering lost sleep. I expect it will be helpful when I go out for ten tomorrow.


Things get done ..

I bought my airline tickets to:
  • NYC Marathon - Nov 4

  • Army-Navy Game, Baltimore - Dec 1
I made my reservations with:
  • Brother's family in NJ

  • Lord Baltimore Radisson
I paid the price for admission and now have at least two personal indulgences to fulfill this year.

Speaking of indulgences, I came home for lunch yesterday and realized I had no late afternoon appointments or deadlines and there would be slim to no chance of afternoon thunderstorms. With that in mind I packed a bag, went back to work and, at 4:45 slipped into the men's room to change.

By 5 p.m. I was on my way to Cocoa Beach. By 6:30 I was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. It was at least 10 degrees warmer than Rhode Island but was still refreshing; just not quite as much.

This morning I went over to do 3x1600 repeats. After last week's debacle I was only hopeful as opposed to confident. I did the first two at around 8:05 pace and slowed down considerably on the fourth. I stopped at 1200 meters. To give myself the satisfaction of getting it done and improving my speed I did 4x100 at :22 each to finish.



I survived the run but it involved a lot of walking. It was high 70s to low 80s from 7:00-9:41:35 this morning. Chris was back after four weeks of injury. We ran slowly together to catch up on the weeks we've not seen each other. Gratefully, he walked whenever I walked. I attribute my day to all the yard work Friday and yesterday.

What is new for me is that my weight has dropped like a rock. I've beem flirting around 160 for two months now and as soon as I got home from vacation, the meals got smaller, the drinks stopped flowing, work kicked in and the heat boiled all the fluids into the atmosphere. I came in this morning from the run barely making it to 152.8 lbs. I lost 4.2 pounds on the morning run and that was after downign copious amounts of Zipfizz, Gatorade and water along the route.

I am heading for a nap now. I could use more shuteye too. I read that in Runners World. Yeah, I need more sleep.


Bank on it

I posted practically every other day while on vacation so I do not feel guilty for going the whole week without an update. I figure I had some in the bank. Since we last posted ....

Last weekend was another beauty on the beach in RI. Susie showed up mid-afternoon Saturday. There was an adults only bathing suit optional party at the beach that evening. If I had known less I might have expected something pretty sensational. But I knew better. It was basically all the seniors from the colony who have nothing less than grown up kids. After the sun went down and with the breeze nobody went in the water with or without suits.

The Auld Guard came together as the young guard for the occasion and tried to be unsociable just like we were in the 60s but the old folks drew us into the party and we actually had a good time. What does that say about us?

Susie wiggled out of a run Sunday morning claiming first exhaustion, then church as her reason to skip. I went out for about four miles, then packed and headed to the airport in Providence.

The 6:30 flight left at 10 p.m. and we were home at 12:45, in bed at 0-2-hundred. The "stress" of the flight delays set me off on just the wrong track for the first day of work. The rest of the week was a case of catch up on work, sleep and home chores.

The pool was green. The lawn needed a cut. The dogs had expressed their displeasure with us leaving for 17 days. So there was much to clean up.

I ran on Wednesday at the track. The plan called for 6x800 and I was bound and determined to git 'er dun. No mas at three. The humidity and heat took some adjusting to after being away as long as I was.

Thursday I went out again and polished off a vigorous seven miles at tempo pace (9:10) and felt strong throughout and all day long. By Friday I had acclimated to the weather, work and house with three late afternoon hours laboring in the yard. That afforded me a weekend that could be somewhat leisurely.

Tomorrow Runner Susan and I will be doing our 13 miles together but in different time zones. We're on the same plan for the same race. We will get serious about this pretty soon here, I know. Maybe tomorrow.