Dedicated run

This morning's run was dedicated to TS who was a recent site visitor. I assumed parts of TS's name as an online alias recently while channeling a nostalgic recollection of the fine gray line.

I was greeted with, "There's AWOL," this morning. Thanks Jack. I missed you too.

The Orlando Runners Club Sunday bunch was huge today. Chris was trying to pad the numbers but it was a legitimate dozen. I expected as much on the Sunday before the OUC Half Marathon. Many in the group are already signed up or primed to do so.

A fast bunch featuring Ed, Jurgen, Chris, Lytle and another fellow (maybe another?) made quick work of the first four miles. I only stayed with them for two miles. My legs were very tired from a hard three mile pace run yesterday and the bi-annual pressure cleaning of the house. There's no shortage of washers to rent the afternoon of the Florida-Florida State game, by the way.

For miles 3 and 4 I ran with John L. who I had seen at the Turkey Trot on Thursday. He's still training hard for Disney and may do the OUC next week.

From the 4-mile water stop I paused to turn off my watch pace alert. That put me behind the group and in chase mode. I ran on my own until the Glenridge stop, shared some Zippfizz with John who was waiting with Ed and Jurgen. I resumed quickly with John and Jurgen as we tried to run down Ed who kept looking back for us.

By the time we reached Virginia Heights Jurgen had caught and passed Ed while John and I were on his heels. By the time we reached Rollins, Ed cranked it up and made short work of our effort to reel him in. John and I labored for an extra two miles to put twelve in the book.

Recapping. I finally completed a full week's training mileage for the first time since before Chicago. I also topped my previous annual mileage mark of 1,203 miles today (set last year). Plus I've got a whole month of running left to add to it.

Using Runner Rob's suggestion to age adjust my Turkey Trot time, it improved from 10th to 7th on my career list. Love that converter.


Turkey's soaring

I woke up with an attitude that it was not cold outside. It was 45F which is cold for us flatlander thinblooders. The sun was coming up and I had a race to run.

I put the top down on the A4 and toodled on down the empty byways of Orlando to Lake Eola with Coldplay rising up from the speakers. I parked at a middle school track and felt indominatable. There's no explanation why. I just felt that way.

I strolled down to the party/start area and picked up my number and looked around. The Turkey Trot is a running family reunion. I had 45 minutes of mixing and mingling before the start. Over 4,400 runners/walkers were registered to benefit Seniors First, an organization I will have to join soon, based on the perks they say they get.

With ten minutes until the gobble (no gun) I worked my way close to the front. This being my fourth of these "trots" I knew too many people took the trot part seriously. I wanted some open road.

I enjoyed the run. The finish couldn't come fast enough but I kept pushing. I was loose from a thorough massage by Julie the night before and I concentrated on elongating an easy stride and keeping shoulders relaxed.

The usual back-of-the-pack-starting youngsters flew by me all through the second and third miles, they being the former high school CC or track stars back for the holiday break. There were four people at the start I wanted to beat and I took out three of them. A gal in a NYC 07 marathon shirt beat me by a good 20 seconds.

My time was 24:43, second best of my trot runs and 10th best of my 41 5K races so, despite my increasing seniority, I still have some speed working despite being a lazy butt all last week. I drove home thinking about some more running today but the dogs needed a walk.

Happy Thanksgiving RBF and friends.


The streak is over

I couldn't bear it any longer.

I dressed to run this morning then changed into work clothes to make in time for a bowls selection committee meeting (Capital One and Champs).

At 5 p.m. I headed home and ignored all distractions and made it out on the roads before it turned dark and dropped six quick ones around the lake. I could sense I have been absent lately.

Now I'm ready for the Turkey Trot.


Complete and utter shutdown

I took Mrs. T to a play at the college last night, "They're Playing Our Song." It ran late. I watched a lot of it with my ears open and eyes shut, up in the balcony.

Yes, the mighty have fallen completely off the wagon. I did not even show up for the Sunday morning run today. That makes it a full seven day week since I ran last.

I substituted a brisk 2-1/4 mile walk with Mrs. T to have breakfast at #1 son's restaurant ... after sleeping in ... right past the 5:30 wake up, one-eye-balling the clock and rolling over; right past the 6:55 readjustment of the pillow and realization that the gang was forming up to run ... and through the 8:10 a.m. observation that they might be running right down the street from me at that moment.

Ah yes, I slept in 'til 8:45 and I think I am mighty pleased about it.

Breakfast was excellent. Service was personable. Then we stole the waiter's truck and went off to Home Depot for some plants.


State CC Championships

The Winter Park teams did well today. The Lady Wildcats had hopes of pulling off the sneaky upset to win States but finished second by six points to Bertram Trail HS in Jacksonville. They'll be back strong next year despite this morning's post-race tears.

The guys came in as underdogs, barely making States with a sixth place finish in regionals. In States they ran well and finished sixth, a huge surprise. Best of all they beat all the usual rival high schools from Central Florida to ward off the off-season razzing.

Oh and yes, I failed to run again. I will actually show up tomorrow looking to hear all about New York from Christy and only hope I can stay with her for a mile and get the low down.

Pigs. The Flying Pig came about because, last weekend, Mrs. T was minding the museum table at the Farmers Market when a former classmate pal and her hubby stopped by. They live in Cincy and were in town for who knows what. He runs the zoo up there. They offered to put us up in May if we came to run the race. Mrs. T booked this one. I just have to get ready for the hills.


Running on Empty. Empty on running.

If this were just a blog about my running, there would be no post to post. I haven't run since Sunday.
Monday I felt sick midday and went to bed early.
Tuesday I skipped to be sure I wasn't going to be sick.
Wednesday I felt fine but it was too damn cold out all of a sudden.
Thursday it was still cold and I was tired.
This morning I overslept until 8 a.m.
Maybe this weekend.
Tomorrow is the high school state cross country championships. I may catch a ride to that at 6:30 which will pre-empt running again.

Did I mention I am planning to Fly the Pig in Cincinnati this May?


My kind of running day

Saturday. I skipped that 5 mile race pace run yesterday because I wanted to take the day off. It was so nice, I can't even remember what I did. Oh yeah ... I lazied around the house until 11 then went to aid Mrs. T at the Farmers Market. She had a table promoting the museum to those who would do well to enhance their cultural repertoire (the erstwhile beautiful people). A few nibbles, she reports and certainly some good exposure.

My assistance came in the way of hauling all the goods back to the car after it was over. I then rewarded myself with a nice lunch at 310 Park, sitting at the bar (my preferred seat for dining) and watching a football game on the flat screen.

Movie reviews. Saturday night Mrs. T and I watched a great precursor of the James Bond movie series, "North by Northwest" with Clark Gable. It was really done well, especially the scriptwriting. It's like they really cared back then, what the spoken words sounded like.

"North by Northwest" was viewed on the heels of seeing the new Daniel Craig Bond flick. I expected better. The plot was uneven. I much preferred "Casino Royale."

As a nightcap, I watched one of those peculiar but riveting flicks, "American Beauty." It was as rich as I remember it the first time.

Back to running. So a cold snap blew through last night and by dawn it was 47F outside. I went down to Park Avenue to see the Orlando Runners Club. Jack and Ed were just coming in from a 2-mile warm up run. I was shocked. A double digit crowd assembled including Eric, a guest runner. He just did New York in 3:15 or so so I directed him down the street to fastie Kim B. who kept him moving just fine. Speaking of New York, Christy was a no-show after taking on too many shifts at work.

I dawdled waiting for my Garmin to sync with satellites while everyone else took off. I was a quarter mile behind when I finally started. I found the cool weather to be ideal for making up for that race pace 5-miler on Saturday. I found a high gear and caught up to the crowd right after the first mile. I ignored Jack's "show off" remark and blew right by them at an 8:30 pace.

Juergen is not one to let anyone pass him without taking a run to stay up there. He joined me for the next three miles waaaaaay ahead of everyone else. He tried to be conversational but I wasn't quite able. My breathing was highly regulated by the pace I was pushing and words came with difficulty.

We waited at the water stop for the strung out line of runners behind us. I had done the four at an 8:20 pace. I was stoked!

Jack shared Gatorade again; bless him. He asked if I'd received his email Saturday. (I didn't log in at all, so no). It turns out he'd sent a petition to all Orlando Runners Club Sunday runners to donate blankets for the Coalition for the Homeless; and also cut and paste my entire visible blog into the e-mail for all to see/read. I guess that makes me the bona fide Secretary of Blogging. (Oh Jack, I received five copies of your e-mail!)

I took off again, this time by myself. I caught up to a fellow going 15 today in training for his fifth Disney. I slowed down and enjoyed some conversation until the seven mile water stop. I had my Zip Fizz and was joined soon by Juergen, Ed and John. We headed out to finish the last three.

We picked up the pace again with Juergen charging hills as is his custom. I matched him this time but that man is a gazelle and could run with faster folks with no trouble. Ed asked to mentioned in today's blog. There. He had no new news from the Bridgeport bus company soap opera. So Ed - when's the Runners Club party?

John is a young attorney who's business crosses paths with school board business every now and then so we tread lightly into those waters. It was easier to talk about running and his prep for his first marathon, Disney in January. He was doing 15 too today so, given how fresh I felt, I kept running with him after the ten and put in another two before turning around.

Big tipper. I had breakfast at my son's place of work for the third Sunday in a row. He's getting better at it.

This afternoon I watched the Rollins Women Tars (15-0-4 on the season) win a 2nd round soccer match and advance to the Sweet 16. If they make it to the Final Four I'll be in Tampa the weekend they play there. Woo hoo. Road trip.


Back on the wagon

Okay, I am supposed to be in training but it just isn't happening like it would if I was marathon training. Why am I more loyal to marathon training than shorter distance training? Why would I be sure to run more miles for a mary and skip or cut short runs for a half mary?


What is with this work? Very demanding lately. It is the season. Budget slashing in Florida is the new blood sport. If only there were more tax exemptions we could just close schools and all go home school.

So this is about running. I pulled off the easy 5-miler again on Tuesday, like last week; and skipped Wednesday's tempo run, like last week. But today!!! I did the 6x 400s that Runner Susan didn't. I was supposed to do nine but had to hurry to work. They dropped nicely from 1:50 to 1:43 over the course of the effort.

I'll go again tomorrow and Saturday. I am sure I can manage that, then see the Sunday bunch again on Sunday. Gosh, I missed 'em all last weekend. I look forward to Sunday - and maybe some cooler temps again. It's up in the 80s now but heading to low 50s by Monday.


About what you'd expect

A not so disciplined run week:
  • Ran Tuesday before the election return marathon that night.
  • Skipped Wednesday's tempo run to recover sleep.
  • Blew off Thursday's easy run.
  • Thought about making something up on Friday but was too tired still. Just glad it was Friday.
  • Yesterday I was running errands and cooking. It did not include running. [NEWS FLASH: I was cooking because Mrs. T was off leading a museum tour to Sarasota and we had ten people coming over for dinner. Nobody died. Seafood lasagna was pretty good.]
So today was double dog race day.

With too little sleep, too much alcohol and a total disregard of the benefits of training, I went to run the Founders 10K and 5K this morning. To start, I forgot my watch. I decided I'd just race how I felt and check the mile clocks as necessary.

The drive was 24 miles and I arrived just in time. I hit the port-a-potties, checked my bag and got in the back of the starting queue. I ignored the pace mile signs and figured to hang back and start late, then navigate the crowd as it loosened up down road.

Horn blows. Crowd moves. I'm loitering to let them move out. Announcer says, "All 10K runners: you have 30 seconds to cross the starting mats before we start the race-walkers."

Drat. I run across the mats.

The lane was narrow. The slow pokes were wide. I weaved, jumped curbs and avoided ankle sprains and cross checking penalties. Over the course of six miles I passed a lot of people. That allowed many of them to read the back of my shirt, a gift from Peter in DC (DC Spinster). It said "Get used to this view," the taunt of the DC Runners Club 10K training team.

I ran about as best I could but it was not very pretty. 53:58; 8:41 pace. I mean, I ran a 15K at a 9 sec./mile slower pace in September. I thought I could go at an 8:15-8:20 pace. Conditions were excellent too.

It just wasn't my day.

Nevertheless, the bright spot is that I didn't pack it in and go home after the 10K. I stuck around and did the 5K as well. I got stiff between races so the first half mile of the 5k was all about loosening up. I allowed many more to read the back of my shirt. And this race? More like a warm down, coming in at 29:55.

I saw several peeps at the race. Only Seth among those mentioned anytime previously. Father Jack was there but I never saw him. It was a nice race. I PRed the 10K there in 2005. Good times. Good times.

Next up is the Turkey Trot, a/k/a the runners' family reunion. It seems every high school kid who runs cross country at college comes back for the holiday and runs this race. The times are incredible. There's also a high volume of non-athletes, out to justify their later-in-the-day indulgences. I'll go both ways on that one.


Christy's New York result

If I am right, our Christy ran her inaugural marathon race in New York in 4:32! Beat my best by 14 minutes/ Good for her.


Zoom zoom

With an extra hour's sleep I was raring to run this morning. The race team reverted back to its usual men-dominant crowd with only Wendy and one other gal among eight guys. In official business at the pre-run meeting, Jack clarified that he is now director of recruitment for the Sunday bunch, since he answers all the e-mails that come in to the Orlando Runners Club site. He also announced Chris is director of membership retention. With titles being tossed around Ed decided he wanted director of entertainment. He mentioned having a party at his place this fall for all of us. I figured since I write about us on the blog I would be the secretary of blogging.

From the get-go of running I was at the front and pushing hard with Seth, John and Juergen. The overcast skies and 60s temps were very conducive. John was new and prepping for his first marathon (Disney). I gave him my take on the virtues of starting in the last corral. Seth waxed on about how to enjoy the runs and not get all tangled up in breaking any records.

At the four mile fluid stop we waited for the rest of the pack and I was summarily scolded by Jack for my blog explanation of last week's violation of the No Walk Zone. Apparently Jack had composed a ribald comment but managed to lose it without posting so he gave the verbal version to all assembled. What to make of it all? Well we walked through the No Run Zone today if that gives any indication.

We stopped again at the 5-mile water cooler in front of Seth's house. It was at that point that Cherlene appeared, running with the big boys, a/k/a fasties. I hadn't seen her in months so I jumped in to visit with her and run the next two miles at an 8:30-9:00 pace which took my breath away but not my legs. I kept up.

Near my house we all stopped for fluids again and my starter pack caught up to us. I let the big boys and Cherlene go on and ran with Juergen, Chris, John and Ed for the rest of the 10-mile route. I caught up on Ed's latest shenanigans in the bus transport business. Chris proved to have gone to remedial geography class last week as he was correctly able to place Bridgeport in Connecticut, not New Jersey today.

Juergen, who had never run more than seven miles (maybe a little more) was on his first ten miler and he had plenty of gas to push a pace and finish fresh. It annoyed me that every little uphill was his time to do a sprint. I hope he surprised himself. I knew he could run more miles.

My time was 1:37, a nice 9:30 pace.

Exotic cars. After the run I changed into some clean clothes and walked up the avenue. There was the annual exotic car show going on today. I recall writing about it once before. I stopped in to the Briar Patch to have breakfast. No. 1 son is now a server there and learning the ropes of that glorious business. He switched from car sales and you can probably guess why. No. 2 son showed up too and we had breakfast and left a big tip.

Then #2 son gave me the seminal tour of the cars on the street. He is very familiar with the specialty car world - which I would call one of my weak "man" suits - and so now I am marginally more informed. Hopefully there is not a quiz.



Chicago bling

RunNona bling; and I was "scolded" (nicely) for leaving the race before the awards were given out.

Campaign bling, outside my office week before last

Genuine New York

It was genuinely chilly here this past week. I ran in the low 40s twice which was totally fine. Now we're back to the 70s but overcast.
Good luck to everyone running New York tomorrow, especially Christy.

I ran my 40th 5K this morning and finished just at 24:56, ranking 13th on my all time list. While that was cause for a genuine "eh" I looked up results on line to find I finished second in my age group. That's the first time I've ever placed third or better. Mind you, there were only 13 in my age group but, hey, everybody could have been there.

I think I have to go to the Track Shack to claim my prize. Bye.