Heavy Run

I went to the All Academy Military Ball last night with son T, his date H and Mrs. T. It was more fun than the first one we went to. We skipped it last year. Two years ago we found out about the ball just a week before the event and were lucky to get tickets. Worse, we had to sit with some Navy folks. Worst, T had the wrong uniform of the day.

This year, as a junior, all was planned far in advance ... well except the date. That came down to the wire as T waited on a long-time acquaintance (M) who was non-committal about attending. In the end we all had a great time with an enthusiastic H as his date. We were hoping he'd double-date with a former 3/7 CAV buddy but there were overriding issues. T was the oldest cadet there (and the only prior service academy student I saw) so he had the honor of cutting the Army cake after dinner. I took pics on his camera addressing the cake in samurai fashion with a sword.

Overdoing it. The downside to me attending was it ran late and I was not in bed until after 11 facing a 6 o'clock-ish start to my scheduled 18-miler. I wanted to start early and get it over soon. The forecast was for temps to top 80F and the less of that, the better.

The other downside is that I was having too good a time at the ball with several dehydrating adult beverages. As soon as someone reminded me I had a run in the morning I switched to water.

Run down. I headed out at 6:15 and used my Garmin to click off four miles from the house to downtown. I arrived just at 7:00 to join Jack, Chris and Charline. A small crowd today.

We were all laboring at slow paces with a variety of hindrances but were scooped up by Seth at the first mile. He pushed our pace and ran me down. Jack and Charline cut out to just do six. Seth, Chris and I soldiered on to finish the 10-mile loop. By the time we made it around and back downtown I was still moving but not very swiftly.

Heavy weight. I bid the two men adieu and started on my four mile return trek to the house. It was hotter. I was thirsty. Seth had run me down. I took 30-second walk breaks far too often in the last four miles. Nevertheless, I made it home in 3:07:44, a nasty 10:26 pace. It might have been even slower. The Garmin missed about four tenths of a mile somewhere. I suspect it beeped off when I bumped Chris one time.


Afterwards I stretched and took an ibuprofen. I have not been so sore in months. Everything from my hamstrings, abductors, adductors, back and feet were aching. I looked like one very old man limping around today. It was brutal. Then I weighed myself.

Two weeks ago, after running 17 miles in the heat with A and C, I weighed 155. Today after running further in as much heat I was four pounds heavier. That is an indication of how well I have managed to stuff food in my face over the last week. According to Garmin I ran off 2,200 calories today. I need to step away from the kitchen.

Final numbers: 1,208 miles in 2007 (101/wk). I had only targeted 1,000 for the year. Lifetime cume (since 1999): 5,653.

Blog posts: 153, exceeding 150 for the third straight year.


Christmas wrappings

I rose before the rest of the family to get my run in December 25 before the day's festivities bled my enthusiasm dry. It was a bit cool but okay for a singlet. I hobbled up to the track and lumbered through 12x400s at wide ranges of lap times, from 1:42 to 1:49.97. I saw a former dean from my college days walking laps 35 years later. Surprise.

The family stirred when I got home. The boys rifled through their traditionally packed-to-the-toes stockings that Mrs. T always fixes for them even after 20 years. Now it's full of toiletries, boxers, movie passes, chocolates and checks.

A breakfast quiche and mimosas got us started. I was happy right from the start to receive an external hard drive from son T. Sister A topped that with a Garmin! It's not as heavy as it looks. I went for a test drive run Wednesday morning to make sure it works. It works.

Everybody was pleased with their gifts and the day was topped by a splendid roast beef dinner with many fixin's including Yorkshire pudding. We had plenty of joy and glad tidings in our house.


Swedish Christmas presents

You may recall back in June I played a prank for the ages on our Sunday morning "leader," Jack. You can read it here (Swedish Bikini Team).

Okay. You read it?

Well Thursday I sent Jack an email at the Orlando Runners Club address signed by Helga and Ingrid alerting him to their return visit to Southeast United States for the holidays. They asked if he'd run with them Sunday morning. I received no reply.

I showed up a few minutes before Jack today and the first thing he said was, "I got your email," with a knowing look. Then he started grilling me about another "questionable" email he got from some Indian who invited him to come run with him 25 miles south of town. I avowed no knowledge of that one and ignored his comment about the Helga-Ingrid email.

Chris and Marty arrived as did Mary. Then, from 30 yards away, two attractive young blond women wearing black shorts and matching green tops came walking up. Jack perked up immediately and introduced himself and asked their names.



Jack's face was arrested with curiosity and then turned my way and then back at them and asked, "Okay. What's your real names?"

A and C couldn't keep a straight face and cracked up and confessed to being C and A from my run last weekend. The rest of them were laughing so hard, it was a slow start running.

But we did. I introduced A and C to the lush and gilded course that is our Winter Park route. Another guy, a former colonel in the Marines, the hubby of Kim who was also mentioned in that earlier post, showed up for the first time and needed a guide through the winding residential streets of our city. He and I ran a little faster than A and C but we all kept together by virtue of the scheduled drink breaks at miles 4 and 7.

I finished the 10 with the three of them and pushed on to do another three by myself to meet my training demands. It felt good out there in the lingering cool wet air after an overnight rain. We did the 10 at a 9:10 mile pace. I wound down the last three at 10:00 pace.


Movie Reviews

Charlie Wilson's War. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. I was thoroughly engaged in this one about the Afghan-Soviet war, but was disappointed that it ended so quickly (the movie, not the war). I wanted more but it was not delivered. I wondered if they ran out of money. Nevertheless the notion that that is how Congress works is startling. No wonder they rank so low on the government trust scale.

Kite Runner. Another great flick about Afghanistan. A stirring story and study of a life and culture far removed from the USA. It is good to see such works so to defuse the stereotypes we have of places that were barely on our radar 25 years ago.

I recommend them both.



The year is winding down so it's time to reflect on the numbers for running.

Miles so far: 1,166 (new record); Lifetime: 5,624.
Average per month: exactly 100
+/- to goal (1,000): 196 ahead (projected)
PRs: two marathon PRs but not nearly as good as I want. I will continue to learn to run those suckers and get down to something closer to four hours than five.
Other PRs: 200 meters, 800 meters, 1600 meters, and 3 miles.
Races: 11; two Wholes, a 10-miler, 8K, six 5Ks, and a 3-miler.

Plans for 2008: Two marathons (A1A and Chicago); a half and a handful of 5K-20Ks. Nothing new in my scopes but I'll consider anything so long as it fits into a plan.

Without a plan I do not run a disciplined life.

Thursday night I bopped around the Sunday 10 mile loop in the dark. I felt fast at a 9:25 pace.


Another lovely day in a runner's life

I slept in this morning so did not do repeats as scheduled. Instead I did them tonight when I got home. The difference? About 25 degrees; from 41 to 66.

I dropped 3x1600 in progressively faster times: 7:56, 7:51 and 7:46. I could have done more but I was hungry and done.

I also sang all the praises of you, my blogger friends, in an essay submittal to the A1A Fort Lauderdale Marathon, on why I like to run and especially look forward to running their race. Why would I do that? To win a pair of free tickets on JetBlue. Hey I won free entry into the A1A race while at the NYC Marathon expo. I am riding the free and lucky train until it stops.


What's happening?

Winter struck this morning. It was 38F outside when I went for the paper. It didn't top 60 all day. The heat kicked on too. Cry me a river.

On the flip side of the torrential front that brought the cold snap through Saturday night I ran 17 miles earlier that morning with my new running friends C. and A. who work in the district office. They are both working their way up to longer distance races. C has only done halfs while A did one marathon and swore she'd never do it again. We'll see.

Their plan was to only do 13. As I said, mine was 17, so I drove over and parked at the midpoint of the Cady Way trail which is 6.5 miles from end to end. I headed towards the trail head where the girls parked expecting to meet them at mile 1.5 or 2.0. C. was late so I got as far as the .75 marker before they appeared. Both were still fresh and running at a strong pace. I asked if they planned to do that all morning - in the 75F sweltering heat - because it was going to be a short run if that was the case (we started at 8 a.m.).

I slowed them down a little and we fell into a groove. The girls had music playing in their ear buds but with the heat I wasn't too worried about conversation. I did develop an interest in A's stories about running the "Bacon Strip" in Gainesville, FL, a renowned running route with elevations that resemble a strip of frying bacon. They're both training for a half marathon up there the week before my A1A Marathon.

When we got to my car at the mid-point I stripped off my shirt. It was that hot.

C. had arranged for another friend to leave two water bottles at the far end of the trail which we shared. Likewise, I shared some of my Clif Blok Shots which neither C nor A had ever tried before. This morning C came by my office and left me a whole new bag of Bloks to thank me. She had gone right out Saturday afternoon and bought a few bags; she liked them that much.

On the way back to the other head of the trail we stopped at every water fountain and again at my car where I served up some ice cold Gatorade. Notice how much of this report is about drinking? It was god-awful hot.

We sloshed along back where we met up at the .75 pole, the point I had figured I needed to reach before turning around to drag my carcass back to the car. C and A went on their way. I admit I did a lot of pathetic walking over the last three miles. I was ashamed. I blame the girls for going out too fast. Yeah, that's my story.

... but I enjoyed some new young running friends who may take me up on an offer to run the Sunday morning 10-mile Winter Park route sometime soon.


It's always like that

Whenever I get a massage I feel great until the first time I run. It seems as though all the taut muscles that were in perfect alignment to get me from one step to the next before the massage, get all loose and uncontrollable after the massage. It feels like I am running on stilts requiring much effort to center up and acquire good form again.

I ran for eight miles this morning in 1:19, a 9:44 pace. I expect more in the days ahead.

Santa came by the neighborhood tonight, complete with police and fire escort. All the little kids were out with their mommas. Dads were there with dogs on leashes in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other; I went out with our fox terrier to mix and mingle. I was a little alarmed when Santa called me out of the dark shadows by name. Who was that bearded man? He said something about being a bad boy and getting coal in my stocking.

Just my luck. Jeanne talked to Santa already.


Santa came early this year

I went out to do seven 800 repeats this morning and they were a lot of fun after the first one. That one was 3:54. The others averaged 3:41 and I was feeling groovy ... as in one that floated around the track like a runner. That spent feeling at the end was well worth it.

At work I finished a staff meeting and my cell phone rang. It was Santa!

Sherlene was in town for her daughter's wedding and was taking massage appointments for three weeks while back in Florida (she's currently a resident of one of those Dakota states up there near Canada). When word got out that she was doing massages she booked up faster than the runway seats at the Victoria's Secret show. I missed out and was feeling left out. Then somebody cancelled and I got to go in at 2 today for some hands-on therapy.


I must admit I have become more attuned to the pneumatic thumb pressure of Hank since last May. I found Sherlene did not beat me up like I have come to like; but she did remind me why she is so good. She gives a massage not to rub me all over but to find the tight knots and work them out; to eliminate all the crystalized crap that clings to my muscles.

I hadn't been to Hank since late October and here it was seven weeks later and my body was in pretty decent shape for having peaked in marathon training, run the race and ramped right back up to train for another one. There's something to be said for keeping a steady high level of fitness and training.

I see me slacking off in March after Ft. Lauderdale. My plan is to run Chicago next fall which will give me some down time in the spring to get all fat and lazy.


Kudos to all racers this weekend

Susie and David
Donald & Tyler

whoever else ....

I went out and ran 16.2 this morning and felt it. I skipped last weekend's 10 so was a little out of "the shape."

Got it done. Felt stiff. Stretched. Loafed all the rest of the day.

Made room reservations at the Riverside in Ft. Lauderdale for the A1A Marathon. Mmmmm.


Catching up

I know. I haven't written. I haven't commented. I threw a few A-N pics up and went about recuperating and recovering from the weekend away. On top of that there's been a busy week of evening activities.
Monday I ran at night because I skipped the long run in Baltimore.
Tuesday was a lecture at the college by a "heavy" (man!) philosopher from Serbia who's name I cannot spell much less pronounce. He was thought provoking.
Last night we had free tickets to see the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts flick about the covert war in Afghanistan back in the 80s. Pretty good flick but I wanted it to go longer.
Tonight I ran six miles at a brisk tempo pace (sub 9s) and caught up on a hundred emails.
Now I am here again.
We shall return to normal patterns again tomorrow (I hope).


Army-Navy 2007

Earl Weaver taught me some great bar tricks back in the 70s.
Jeanne taught me some great ed world tricks.
The Army mule gave Mrs. T all the spirit she needed for the big game.
T was happy to spend some time with Mom and Dad in the upper deck sunshine.
Army Strong.

Cadet porn 2007

What did you expect? Skin? It was 40 degrees out.