Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Closing Out the Year

The Last Week of the Year
First off, Christmas was a blast! I got up and met some guys from church at 5:30, and we ran 10 miles along the Creek Turnpike and Riverside. They are a great bunch of guys, and I would run with them more if I wasn't already committed to the RunnersWorld group. During the run, Mark quoted the first 20 verses of Luke 2, which he had memorized - a perfect passage for Christmas morning.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
{Luke 2:8-14 KJV}

At 11:00 I ran with the RunnersWorld group. Vicky, Brian, Jeff, and I did about four miles or so, and the rest of the group did around three miles. It was a nice easy run.

Since then I have run twice. On Saturday we did a nine mile run just after the storm blew through. Temperatures dropped from about 70 to about 40 during the run, and my hands froze. I was running with Fred, Rusty, Bill, and Larry most of the way, but in the last couple of miles Fred just blasted off! I tried keeping up, but ended up lagging behind a bit. It was a good run.

I knew I was already starting on a cold before than Saturday run, but it hit me kind of hard on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday I felt good enough to run again, and I got in just under six miles at an 8:30 pace, and it felt pretty easy. That was the last run of this year. Next run probably will be New Years Day on the hilly roads of Ozawkie, KS.

Training Miles
My running log says I did 1734.6 miles in 2008. That is over my goal of 1600. It would have been more, except I cut back on my running in October due to quadriceps issues and in December due to knee issues. I am ready to come back strong in January. My longest training run was 52.6 miles, which I did with Ken. Kathy also ran with us, but she wimped out at mile 33 because she was still weak from the flu.

Racing
As far as racing in 2008, I think my highlight was pacing Kathy for 40 miles in the Mother Road 100. I ran two marathons this year - OKC in 3:59:06 and Rt 66 in 3:57:10 (new PR!). I PRed in the Tulsa Run 15k by about three minutes with a 1:10:19. I also PRed twice in the 5k in 2008. The first was Race Into the New Year in 23:32, and the second was Day Ohn Day in 22:27.

Sickness/Injury
In late February/early March I came down with bronchitis, which took me out of the six hour snake run and also slowed me down in training for a while. Then I did really well until sometime in September when I strained my quadriceps while running hills and started having issues with my right hip and knee. It made me cut my training in about half for about six weeks. I recovered in time to pace Kathy and to do the Rt 66 marathon, but I can't help but think it hurt my time some. Then just before Thanksgiving I did something to tweak my left knee. I again cut way back on my running. It is still a bit sore, but it is getting better, and I think I will be back to normal real soon.

Looking to the Future
I am still hoping to qualify for Boston in the fall or next winter. That's really my only running goal for the year. To accomplish that goal I hope to increase my mileage to 1800 or so for the year. I also am thinking I may add some medium long runs during the week, something like 8 to 12 mile runs on Monday or Tuesday mornings. I may also start riding my bike a little more to cross train. I will try to keep my long runs at a slower pace, at least at the beginning of the run. And I will resist the temptation to run hills too fast.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Since tomorrow is Christmas, I suppose I should say something about that, and not just talk about running. Christmas really is one of my favorite holidays. Two of my daughters have recently started going to Fellowship Bible Church, and we are going to their candlelight service tonight. Afterward, we will come back home and open gifts and sing Christmas carols. I like Christmas carols. One of my favorite is Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. The whole idea of the everlasting Lord veiling himself in human flesh and dwelling with us to bring light and life and to reconcile us to him is truly amazing!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see:
hail, the incarnate Deity,
pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Three of my daughters are working tomorrow - two at hospitals, and one at the Laura Dester shelter. It is important work, but I will miss them on Christmas. Maybe Marilyn and Sarah and I will visit them during the day. I also have plans to get a run in during the day. I haven't decided yet, but I have at least two options. One is to run 10 miles with a group of guys from church at 5:30 in the morning. The other is to run with a group from RunnersWorld at 11:00. Maybe I will do both.

Since last week's blog post I have had three pretty good runs. Thursday was the Marvellite Run with the Tulsa Running Club. I had a lot of fun. Here is a picture of Patty and me. I'm the one with the Rudolph nose. If you saw it, you would even say it glowed - it blinked, actually. Then on Saturday, the RunnersWorld group did an eight mile run. Supposed to be slower than marathon pace, but we were trying to keep up with Hailey. Had we known that she was going to turn back early, maybe we would have let her go on ahead. Ended up running something like an 8:15 pace, and I think the pace was faster on the way back - thanks to Larry. Aaron did much better this week and ran really strong at the end.

Yesterday I ran four miles at noon. It apparently had rained earlier because the streets were damp, and it was really windy. Almost nobody was out on the streets in and around downtown. I had a good run. My left knee, which has been bothering me quite a bit lately, felt much better during this run. I ran what felt like an easy pace, and it turned out to be just under 8:30 per mile.

On Saturday the 29th, the RunnersWorld advanced marathon training group will be doing a 9 mile route. I hope to keep the pace at around 9 minutes per mile or perhaps a little slower.

By the way, in case some of you in the advanced group are wondering why we are doing 9 miles when the schedule says 8, here is the reason. We are pondering a change in the schedule that will give a three week taper instead of the two week taper that is in the current schedule. If we implement the change, this is what our long runs will be:

27-Dec: 9 miles
3-Jan: 10 miles
10-Jan: 12 miles
17-Jan: 10 miles
24-Jan: 14 miles
31-Jan: 9 miles
7-Feb: 16 miles
14-Feb: 10 miles
21-Feb: 18 miles
28-Feb: 11 miles
7-Mar: 20 miles
14-Mar: 11 miles
21-Mar: 22 miles
28-Mar: 12 miles
4-Apr: 24 miles
11-Apr: 12 miles
18-Apr: 8 miles

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good Day For An Interval Workout

I haven't run since Saturday. I would say I'm definitely over any addiction to running. But today I brought my running stuff to work. I chickened out, though. Actually, I had decided when I left home that if it was above freezing at noon, I would run. Otherwise, I would be cautious and avoid slipping on ice. I've had some issues lately in and around my left knee, so I didn't want to risk tweaking it somehow and injuring it worse.

Partway through lunch, I decided I wanted to do something active today, so I headed for the stairs. I walked down to the ground floor, and the plan was to do three sets of walking up to the sixteenth floor and then back down.

First trip up was in 3 minutes and 9 seconds. That's 12.6 seconds per flight. Not running, but a good steady walk up stairs. Three minutes flat to get back down to ground level. Second trip up was in 2 minutes and 47 seconds. That's about 11.1 seconds per flight. At that point I was sorta starting to get sweaty, and since I was still in street clothes, I decided to stop. Knee felt fine, though.

Tonight my workout probably will be on the stationary bike, and then tomorrow will be the Marvellite run.

Inspiring Race - Girls Footlocker 5k Finish


Visit Flotrack.org For More Videos

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A New Marathon Training Season Begins

Wow! What a turnout of people we had today for our first official training run for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I met a lot of people today, and I can't even begin to remember their names. I ran most of our seven miles with Jarred, Kurt, and Aaron. This was my first time to run with any of them. My usual running buddies, which includes Larry and two Bills and a few others, did a twelve mile route, so I sorta missed them, although I did see them back at the store.

We started at RunnersWorld, headed north on Peoria to 34th, west to Cincinnati, north to 31st, west to Riverside, and then north on the trail to 15th. Then we turned around and went back to the store following the same route. It was a very windy day. I think there were sustained winds of 20 mph, but there were times that the gusts felt like they were well over 30 mph It was tough running against that wind on the way back to the store. Everyone did really well on the run. Aaron had some side stitches, so we slowed and walked a bit while Jarred and Kurt ran ahead. Next time, maybe we will try to slow down the pace from the start just a bit. Average pace for the run, including the walking was right at 9 minutes per mile. Not bad considering the windy conditions.

Here is some information I got from Cool Running about stitches.

The Stitch

Description:
We've all had this one, a sudden sharp pain in the side of the upper abdomen at the base of the ribs. The side stitch typically strikes when you're really pushing yourself and fades quickly when you slow down or stop. The stitch is particularly common for new runners still adjusting to the rigors of running.

Likely causes:
The pain is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, the muscle that controls your breathing. There are a number of possible reasons for this. If your breathing isn't controlled and disciplined, the diaphragm may be complaining. If you are running too soon after eating, your heavy stomach may literally be tugging at the ligaments connected to the diaphragm. Or you may simply be running too fast for your body's breathing machinery to keep up.

Remedy:
A stitch will usually go away quickly after just slowing down or stopping. If you're in a race or you just don't want to stop, however, you can often make it go away by bringing your breathing into careful control. Concentrate on belly breathing, pushing your belly out when you breathe in and relaxing it as you breathe out. Take deep breaths on the intake, and exhale suddenly, even noisily. To get the diaphragm to contract in rhythm with your steps, try to inhale and exhale as you land on your left foot. Strange but true, this can help prevent spasms by encouraging the diaphragm to bounce along in sync with your stride.

If the pain is just too much and you have to stop, try bending over and raising your knee on the stitch side while pressing your fingers deep into the painful area and tightening your stomach muscles. Or just walk while belly breathing.

Oh, I guess I should mention my daughter, Sarah. For a while I wasn't sure if I would make it to Saturday's run because Friday night I was in the ER with Sarah. She was playing basketball trying to save the ball from going out of bounds, and she ran into the concrete block wall, striking it with her head and shoulder. She had difficulty breathing and a lot of pain in her back, and we ended up calling 911. The Broken Arrow fire department sent an ambulance, and they strapped her on a backboard and transported her to Southcrest Hospital. It turns out that she does not have any spinal injury or any broken bones, although the x-ray guy said that breaks are sometimes hard to see in ribs, so she may have a couple of broken ribs. If not, they are definitely bruised. It will be a week or two before Sarah is back playing basketball In the meantime, Sarah is enjoying the pain medication and muscle relaxers. I am thankful the injury was not any worse than it is. Here are a couple of pictures of Sarah being carted out of the gym.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Week Runs

Tuesday I got up early and ran seven miles along the hilly Creek Turnpike trail averaging about 8:30 per mile. At noon I went out to run an easy three from downtown to Veteran's Park and back. While I was at the park, I did pull ups and push ups and wore myself out. On the way back I took it really slow. My left knee was hurting a lot, and I walked quite a bit.

My knee stayed sore even for walking for most of the rest of the week, so I didn't run again until Saturday morning, when we ran as a group on Turkey Mountain. I showed up early and did five miles or so at a pretty fast pace before the group arrived. My knee only hurt a little bit, beginning about a mile or two into the run. I then did about another five and a half miles with the group, taking in the red and yellow trails. Again, it was at a pretty fast pace for most of the way, and I was pretty tired at the end. Then I waited for Paula to complete her loop and we did another six along the paved trail at a more relaxed pace. Total for Saturday was 17 miles. Total for the week was 27. Total weight gained during the week was five pounds, not counting the pie and cookies I had today.

My legs are a little sore today, but my knee is good.

Thanksgiving was good. Marilyn's brother came into town with his family, and her Aunt Ruthie also came. We also had company over on Wednesday. On Wednesday we had turkey lasagna; turkey and ham plus all the fixins on Thanksgiving; leftover turkey on Friday; leftover turkey lasagna on Saturday; Polish sausage for lunch today (starting to run low on leftovers). Pumpkin, pecan, and cherry pies all days, plus brownies, various cookies,and chocolate candy. Gooey and cheesecakey pastries for breakfast on all days. Then, last night Becky brings home a huge Boomer Sooner cookie. Yummy, but this has to stop!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Eight Things

8 shows I love to watch
1. Criminal Minds
2. ER
3. The Office
4. Fox News (but I don't really like Hannity)
5. Local News
6. Lou Dobbs
7. Anderson Cooper
8. Dirty Jobs

8 places I love to eat
1. Home
2. Ted's Cafe Escondito, but not the night before a long run!
3. Texas Road House
4. Abuellos
5. Subway
6. Taco Bueno
7. Mazzios
8. Mimis
9. Freddies

8 things I did yesterday
1. Went to church
2. Patrolled the parking lot at church
3. Counted the offering
4. Ate at Mazzios
5. Put together a shelf for the bathroom at home
6. Went back to church
7. Went to Home Depot
8. Fixed a shelf in the church nursery

8 things I look forward to
1. Going to bed
2. Running, especially with the running group
3. Church
4. Going home and seeing my family
5. Watching my daughter play basketball
6. Listening to my kids tell me how their day went
7. Pay day
8. Heaven

8 things I love about fall
1. cool air
2. colorful leaves
3. hot chocolate
4. bugs are gone
5. home made soup
6. Thanksgiving
7. marathon season
8. playing catch with the football

8 things on my wish list
1. For my kids to have happy, successful lives
2. that my kids will continue to love God and serve him all of their lives
3. harsher punishment for parole violators
4. peace on earth
5. health for me and my family
6. for a marriage that is even happier tomorrow than it is today
7. to qualify for the Boston Marathon
8. to complete a 100 mile race

Friday, November 21, 2008

Post Marathon Reflections About My Running Buddies

Well, I've finally had a chance to talk to most of the people about how they felt about the Route 66 Marathon. It seems that most people had a really good time and are looking forward to many more marathons. Most of them aren't keeping blogs, so I will post my comments about them here. First listed is most of the subgroup I have been running with for the past few months. Well, I haven't really been running much with Duston and Andy; they are too fast!
  • Duston Lansford had a very fine first marathon, finishing in 3:29:31. He is pretty well recovered and ready to roll for the next one.
  • Andy Karlin was not far behind with an impressive 3:45:34. I ran with him on Thursday, and his Achilles tendon is a little sore, but I'm sure he will be back to regular training soon.
  • I was happy with my 3:57:10, although I was hoping for closer to a 3:45. I am feeling good and just about ready to start some more serious training.
  • Rusty Stecker went out fast, but slowed to finish in 3:59:25. He was happy to finish under 4 hours, and next year he will try to improve on his time.
  • Larry Davied did much better than he expected, finishing just over four hours with a 4:00:25. He was very pleased with how he performed.
  • Bill Major started out this training season not even thinking about running the marathon. He finished his first marathon in 4:10:39 and is elated!
  • Jana Headrick was hoping to come in close to four hours, but it wasn't her day. She finished in 4:23:25, which was a big disappointment to her. She is a great runner, and I am sure with some persistence she can break that four hour barrier soon.
  • Bill Litton was also a little disappointed in his time. He was aiming for close to four hours, but slowed to a 4:24:54. He thinks part of his problem is not hydrating enough. So, he learned something from this marathon, and he is bound to do even better in the next one.
  • Chad Stites was also disappointed. He kind of ran out of gas around mile 18 and he is not sure why. Still, he finished in 4:25:13, which is not a bad time at all. Chad is a quick runner, and I think with another season of laying down a good solid mileage base he will come close to or even break the four hour mark.
  • Kendal was happy with setting a new PR by about five minutes. He finished in 4:53:01. He is a quick runner and is capable of a much faster time. Like Chad, if he gets another season of good solid mileage, I expect to see that time drop considerably.
Team Bean all did great in their first marathon. I am so proud of all of them. They are also excited about running more marathons and even venturing into the ultramarathon distances. Jason is already signed up for a 50k in December. The sad news is that kidney bean a.k.a. Erin is having problems with her knee. Hopefully with some rest the pain will go away and not affect her running. I am looking for her back running with us again. They have blogs, so I will let them tell their own stories.

The Runner Girl Power duo also did well in their first marathon and are ready for another dose.

Kathy Fleig had a good race, finishing in 4:13:56. If you look at her time in terms of age and gender grading (62.17%), she was our fastest runner, other than Lisa Butler, who is just blazing fast! Just for reference, Duston's age and gender grading was 59.62 percent. Woohoo Kathy! Kathy will soon be in another age group, which will bring her Boston qualifying standard up to 4:05:59. I will be keeping an eye on her times. I'm sure she can make it. Patty Powell, who regularly trains with Kathy also ran another good race, finishing in 4:50:06.

Special recognition needs to go to Larry Long, who finished third in his age group and got a new PR of 4:27:19. Woohoo Larry!

Also, we had two runners who ran in the Mountain Home Marathon on Saturday. It was their first marathon, and they did great on that brutal hilly course. Becky Scott finished first in her age group with a time of 4:41:27, and Janet Burgess finished second in her age group with a time of 4:41:29. Not bad for a first marathon!

Roman ran in the San Antonio Marathon, but is having some problems with his Achilles tendon. He will be laying off the running for a few weeks, while he goes to the physical therapist and waits for his healing to come. Too bad, because he was really looking forward to the Sunmart 50k.

The half marathoners all had a great time. Simone is happy to stay at that distance, and that is great. It looks like Daryl and Robb are setting their sights on the full marathon, though, after their thoroughly enjoyable half. Also, Stefanie is training for the full marathon in Houston, which is in January.

Sorry if I missed anybody.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A New Marathon PR

Well, it wasn't pretty, but I did get a new PR in the marathon. I wasn't sure how I would do. My goal at the beginning of the training season was 3:45, but I had problems with my quadricep, which seriously affected my training for at least a month, and last week I did a 40 mile run with Kathy, and I was still probably a little tired from that. Still, I thought I would go for it. I thought I would stay close to the 3:40 pace group and probably fade a bit after mile 20 or so. But, it was worse than that. I was right on pace for 3:40 until somewhere around mile 17 (average pace to this point was about 8:24), and then things started to fall apart for me. I guess I hit the wall. I really pushed hard the 18th and 19th miles, but couldn't get the pace below 9 minutes. Then I started to run a few minutes and walk about a minute, run a few minutes, walk a minute. I thought, "Oh, if only I can keep the pace at 10 minutes, I can still get close to 3:50." But by that time my body was pretty well spent, and it was all I could do to keep an 11 minute pace. My splits from the race are listed at the bottom of this blog entry.

I was glad to finally get the downhill on 15th Street. I coasted for under 10 minutes in that mile, which included some walking on Boston. The last half mile I hit pretty hard, and my legs - calves hamstrings, and quads - were cramping pretty badly. I forced myself to ignore the cramping, and I held on to finish strong. It really helped to have Lisa and her family cheering me on at 18th and Boston.

When I crossed the finish line, I was exhausted and weaving around. A couple of volunteers asked if I needed to go to the medical tent. I regained my composure and said no thanks. After I picked up my medal and shirt I started to walk over to Lisa, and it was really weird. I started to cry. I wasn't in pain, or sad, or particularly happy, but I was so exhausted that I couldn't control my emotions. By the time I got to Lisa, though, I had pretty much recovered, though.

From our seats on Boston, we were able to cheer most of the runners from our training group. That was a lot of fun!

By the way, not only did I set a new PR of 3:57:10 in the marathon, which betters my PR by a little over a minute, but my 1/2 marathon split of 1:50:05 is six minutes faster than my 1/2 marathon PR. Woohoo!

Even though the race didn't go exactly as planned, I was satisfied with the results. And even though the last eight miles were quite agonizing, I still enjoyed the race and will definitely do another marathon. I am having second thoughts about my goal of trying to qualify for Boston in a year.

Splits
1 - 8:23
2 - 8:18
3 - 8:28
4 - 8:22
5 - 8:32
6 - 8:36
7 - 8:24
8 - 8:20
9 - 8:18
10 - 8:06
11 - 8:13
12 - 8:26
13 - 8:27
14 - 8:24
15 - 8:24
16 - 8:26
17 - 8:42
18 - 9:07
19 - 9:16
20 - 10:25
21 - 9:56
22 - 10:13
23 - 11:27
24 - 10:59
25 - 11:16
26 - 9:45
26.2 - 1:53

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally Tapering

They say you should taper for two or three weeks before a marathon. So, two weeks ago I had a 22 mile long run almost at marathon race pace, and then this past weekend after I did about five miles Saturday morning, I ran with Kathy on Saturday night for 40 miles. Not your usual taper, but we'll see how it works.

Tuesday I ran a 4 mile tempo run averaging just under 8 minutes per mile. Here are my 1/2 mile splits:
4:29, 3:42, 4:03, 4:05, 3:48, 3:39, 3:46, 4:15

I guess Wednesday I started my taper. I didn't run at all on Wednesday.

Thursday I ran four easy un-timed miles. Then I ate pizza and cupcakes with my friends at RunnersWorld!

Friday I took off of work. In the morning I picked up body parts from two different cars in a salvage yard to repair my daughter's wrecked car, a 1993 Saturn that already looked like a wreck before she wrecked it. In the afternoon I picked up my bib and chip for the marathon. In the afternoon I started to put the car back together.

Saturday morning I will pick up the hood for the car from a different car in a different salvage yard, then stop at RunnersWorld to pick up some shot blocks and sport beans that I forgot to get on Thursday. Then I will go home, and hopefully I will be able to get everything to fit on the car in the afternoon. The car is going to look interesting. It used to have two colors of body panels, but I doubling that to four colors. I'm thinking of getting a paintbrush and some Rustoleum and painting it all one color.

Sunday is race day, and I am going to have fun!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hoover Dominates

For a couple of weeks there was talk of a smack down. Ken, the trail zombie, was predicting a win against Coach Kathy in a hundred miler - the Mother Road 100, part 2. I like Ken. He was actually the first person I met and talked to in the Tulsa Running Club. It was December of 2005 at the Marvelite run. After the run we had pizza, and I asked Ken if I could sit down and eat next to him. We got to talking, and I found out Ken had run a hundred mile race. I thought that was pretty amazing. My longest run at the time was four or five miles. I left that running club event thinking Ken was the nicest guy - very friendly and encouraging. I didn't see Ken again for probably six months - sometime after I started running with RunnersWorld. But since then, I have grown to appreciate Ken more and more and to value our friendship. But there is a point where you have to lay friendship aside. No way was I going to let him beat Kathy. It just wasn't going to happen.

I first heard of the Mother Road 100, part 2 when Kathy suggested I enter. But, when I asked my wife what she thought about it, she made it clear in no uncertain terms that she did not at all approve of me running a 100 mile race, but she didn't have a problem with me pacing someone or helping at an aid station. So, I told Kathy and Brian and Ken that I would be glad to pace for whoever needed me. I was really hoping Kathy would ask me, but I sorta figured she would have people beating down the doors wanting to pace for her.

As it turned out, Kathy only had three pacers lined up, Glenn, Roman, and me. Then Glenn got sick and had to back out. And then my wife's uncle died and I had to be at a funeral parlor in St. Louis at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. So, it was decided that I would pace first. I would go as far as the TATUR aid station, and if Kathy made it there by 1 a.m., I would go on to Geary with her.

At 5:15 p.m. Roman and Candice dropped me off at mile 38 to start running with Kathy. She had been in immense pain because of a pinched nerve that was affecting her shoulder, but other than that she looked okay. The early miles were pretty uneventful. About 7 p.m., Kathy had to take her first potty break. As she squatted by the road, I gazed up in the heavens and looked at stars. I said, "Oh, look. There is Cassiopeia!" Kathy shot back, "You mean, there's Kathy o pee a!" That sort of started an evening of silliness and singing and loads and loads of fun! I was having such a good time, that the time just seemed to fly by.

A couple of aid stations were at the end of little out-and-back spurs off the main road. When we got to those, we saw Ken and his pacers, and we were slowly gaining on him. I think it was about mile sixty that Kathy and I finally overtook Ken. As we approached, I remember I was singing, "every day it's a gettin' closer, going faster than a roller coaster..."

One of the things that sort of tickled me happened at the TATUR aid station at about mile 72. Kathy and I had been talking about various things, but one subject was the idea of being kind to and saying encouraging things to our spouses. Kathy is always so encouraging to us runners, and I try to be encouraging too, but when we get home, sometimes it is easy to take our mates for granted, and for some reason the encouraging words stop. So, I am going to try to be more encouraging to my wife, and I think Kathy is going to work on that with Brian. Anyway, the thing that tickled me was that when we got to the TATUR aid station Brian and Kathy hugged and kissed each other like they were newlyweds! I thought that was cool! I know it energized Kathy for the next stretch of road.

We arrived at the TATUR aid station at about 12:50 and were out of there before 1 a.m. That meant that I had time to do the next leg to Geary, which was about mile 78. So, after 40 delightful miles (and 9 hours), I finally turned Kathy over to Ed sometime around 2:15, somewhat saddened by the fact that I couldn't be there to the end, but confident that I was leaving Kathy in capable hands. Ed eventually handed her off to Roman, and he took her in to the finish line. Kathy finished in 22:48:26, which is a PR by at least and hour and a half. Also, she was the second place woman. And she totally dominated Ken in this race! Woohoo!!!

I really have to thank the rest of the team. Roman and Candice did a superb job of crewing, and on top of that Roman finished by pacing Kathy to the finish. I haven't heard how Ed's leg of the race went, but I expect that with his personality, he must have really energized Kathy. Also, thanks go to Bobby and Susan and Dana. Although they were not really crewing for Kathy, they were a great encouragement.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

On to Better Races

Well, the Presidential race is over. Here is an interesting news story about Obama supporters. I guess the same could be said of any of the people obsessed with all the political races, regardless of which candidate they were supporting.

But, there are better races to think about. I am looking forward to pacing Kathy during part of her Mother Road 100 mile race. Unfortunately, I can't run the last legs of the race with her, but before I hand her over to another pacer, I will impart to her my super TATUR proton energy power, and she will finish strong! There has been some smack talk between her and Ken, and it's hard to predict a winner, but I'm glad I'm on Kathy's team.

I am also really looking forward to the Route 66 marathon. After last week's 22 mile run, I have confidence I can set a new PR this year. If for some reason I don't set a new PR, though, I am still going to have a lot of fun! I can't wait to see all the RunnersWorld team finishing strong!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tagged By Candice

Candice tagged me. I am supposed to post my sixth picture from my sixth folder of my "My Pictures" folder. I don't have six folders. I have 2, and then a few pictures in the "My Pictures" folder. Of course, on our network drive, we have bunches of folders with pictures of substations, but I don't think I'll post any of those. The one I thought about posting was just a boring picture of a circuit breaker.

So, I decided to post the sixth picture in the "My Pictures" folder. I got it off of Trail Zombie's blog after our 52.6 mile run a couple of months ago. It shows me about 15 miles into the run lying dead on the sidewalk with Kathy picking my pocket. Shame on you, Kathy! But it is an appropriate picture. Next Saturday I will have the privilege of pacing her for part of her 100 mile race.

Just so you know I'm not cheating, picture five is Kathy checking my pulse, Picture four is the running group in Little Rock. Picture three is of the fairies at last year's Tulsa Run. Picture two is a photo of Dan Nunley. And picture one is a drawing by Betty Martin. Picture seven is a revision of picture six that I was going to post a couple of weeks after our hilly run - the one on which I wore the thumbs down for Coach Kathy T-shirt. I'll go ahead and post that too. Maybe I can win the popularity contest!


I will tag my daughter, Katie, and Erin.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Last Long Run - Sort Of

Another week with not too much running because I've been babying my right leg. About 4 on Monday and 5 on Thursday. But then today, Saturday, we did our last long training run for the Rt 66 Marathon. The good news is that my leg didn't hurt at all on today's run other than some tightness in my hamstrings (and the fatigue and soreness that comes with all long runs).

I started out thinking I would run something like 9:30 pace, but somehow I got started at sub 9 minute pace, and soon, with Rusty beside me, settled into a sub 8:30 pace. We kept saying to ourselves that we were going to slow down, and that we would pay for it if we didn't, but we kept going at that pace. We even had an 8:07 and an 8:02 - way faster than marathon pace. Sure enough, it caught up with us at about mile 17. That last mile on the grass on Riverside we slowed considerably. We also walked a little on the hills. But we finished the 22 mile run in 3hrs 17 minutes, which is just under 9 minute pace.

In the actual marathon, we will not run any of those fast miles, and hopefully we will have more left for the hills. Also, I need to drink more early in the run. We passed a few water stops without drinking, and that was a bad idea. I had some calf cramping coming down the hill on 15th Street, and I think drinking more would have helped with that.

Next Saturday's run will be much shorter - just 6 miles for the beginner marathoners and 8 for the intermediates. I will probably run just the 6, or maybe I won't run at all. Coach Kathy and Ken won't be there because they will be starting another 100 miel race at 9 am that morning. Around midnight, I plan to start running with Kathy for the last part of her race - probably around 30 miles or so. Glenn and Roman will also be running with her for part of the race. I am really excited about it. For some reason I am looking forward to that even more than the marathon. It will thrill me to see Kathy get a new PR and to finish another 100 miler.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tulsa Run

I didn't get much running in this week, because I'm still dealing with some pain in my right leg. And then I started having a sharp pain in my lower back Thursday evening. As of Friday, I wasn't even sure if I would run the race. So, Friday night I took some muscle relaxer before going to bed, and I felt good enough this morning to run in the Tulsa Run 15k.

I showed up early because my daughter, Becky, and her friend, Molly, were doing the 5k. They had a good time. It was Becky's first race ever, and I think it may have been Molly's first too.

At the start I lined up just behind the elites. Brian had me put on a yellow vest, and my job, along with several other people, was to keep the regular runners from crowding the elites. Just before the start, we removed our vests, and then the gun sounded, and we were off. Kendal was with me at the start, and his plan was to follow me, but I think I took off too fast for him. My goal had been 70 minutes, but I figured with all the leg trouble I have had lately, that I would be happy with 72 minutes, or even just beating last year's time of 73 minutes. Here are my splits, with some running commentary:

2k: 8:31 - this is an average of 4:15 per k, which is faster than my goal, but not bad considering that it was mostly downhill.
3k: 5:02 (13:33 total) - this was an uphill portion, so 5:02 wasn't bad.
4k: 4:35 (18:08 total) - this split also was uphill - along Utica.
5k: 4:39 (22:47 total) - this was mostly downhill. I was thinking about my quads, and made sure I wasn't going too fast down the hill by Woodward Park. I was only 20 seconds slower than my 5k PR at this point.
6k: 4:28 (27:15 total) - still downhill on this portion. The 6k mark was right at Vetern's Park, where we start our Saturday morning runs. I felt good.
7k: 4:44 (31:59 total) - mostly flat. My knee was starting to feel funny, and I had some tightness in my right leg, but I told myself that I wasn't going to use that as an excuse to slow down, so I kept the pace strong.
8k: 4:48 (36:47 total) - flat. During this portion I was starting to slow just a bit and was passed by a woman who seemed to be laboring with her breathing quite a bit more than me. I thought to myself that I can keep going fast. I'm not breathing that hard. So, I kept the pace pretty steady.
9k: 4:48 (41:35 total) - flat. I was looking forward to hitting the turnaround.
10k: 4:51 (46:26 total) - flat. This is the section where we hit the turnaround on Riverside.
11k: 4:44 (51:10 total) - flat.
12k: 4:53 (56:03 total) - flat. In this portion I took a drink of water at an aid station. I tried to drink while I was running, and it went down the wrong pipe. For about 500 meters I slowed down and was coughing. I felt terrible and almost decided to stop and walk.
13k: 4:58 (1:01:01 total) - flat. I ran this portion a little slow, partly because I was recovering from my coughing fit, and partially because I knew the hill was coming up. Still, I'm happy that I kept the pace I did.
14k: 5:08 (1:06:09 total) - uphill. I felt pretty good going up the hill. I didn't kill myself, but I did increase the effort a bit.
15k: 4:10 (1:10:19 total) - pretty flat. I picked up the pace and thought I was going to hit the finish line at 3rd Street, but I actually had another block to go. It was hard, but I kept up my pace and finished strong. I PRed by almost three minutes!

I was very happy with the race. At the end Becky and Molly were cheering me on. That felt good! Then, I got a super massage from the OU physical therapy students. I have gotten massages at the end of races before, but they never seemed to do much for me. This massage was great. The guy and two girls seemed to know what they were doing. I volunteered to be a subject for their classes during the week, but they are near the end of the semester, so I was turned down.

32 out of 233 in my age group
356 out of 3362 overall

View Interactive Map on MapMyRun.com

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday

Had a good run this morning with the group. We did a hilly run through the center of the universe, past Cain's Ballroom and the Brady Theater, past the BOK Arena, to Tulsa's oldest house, back south to the pedestrian bridge, and back to Veteran's Park - a total of 10.4 miles. I ran with Kendal pretty much the whole way, with a good size group not far behind. We stopped at several water stops to wait for the group to regather, and during those times I stopped my watch, but here are my mile splits:

Mile 1: 9:32
Mile 2: 8:11
Mile 3: 8:01
Mile 4: 8:00
Mile 5: 8:18
Mile 6: 8:04
Mile 7: 7:46
Mile 8: 7:47
Mile 9: 7:47
Mile 10: 7:32

I spent the whole afternoon with my daughter, Sarah, at TU. She wants to be an athletic trainer, and TU was having athletic trainer day to aquaint prospective students with their program. Among other things, we got to see the trainers tape up the football players, help them stretch, and adjust their equipment before tonight's game. Then we watched part of the game. We didn't stay for the whole thing because I am tired and had to get home and prepare a Sunday school lesson, and Sarah wanted to go to a praise and worship service tonight at church.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mostly Cross Training This Week

My right leg has continued to bother me a little this week, so I have cut back on my running some and done some cross training. Monday I went to the YMCA and swam 500 yards and then lifted weights. I was there with my wife, and I was expecting her to come up from the pool and get me in 30 minutes or so. In the meantime, I lifted some weights and ran a lap, lifted weights and ran a lap, etc. After about an hour and a half of that, and I couldn't lift anything anymore, and my wife still hadn't come up to get me, I stopped and found Marilyn downstairs sitting at a table waiting for me. I was worn out, but I felt so pumped up after that workout that I thought for sure I must look something like Arnold Schwartzenegger, but I looked in the mirror, and it wasn't so. More like Mr. Ethiopia!

Tuesday I barely made it out of bed; I was so sore. Wednesday I had planned to swim again at the Y, but I still couldn't move my arms. But I did an hour - 16.2 miles - on a stationary bike that evening during the presidential debate. Thursday afternoon I went bowling with a group from work. My arms were still sore, and I took 1200 mg of ibuprofen before I headed to the bowling alley. Bowled the worst I have ever bowled since about 4th grade, but I did win a prize for the lowest score by a male. Finally by Friday I could move my arms again, so I went to the YMCA again and swam 500 yards, but was much slower than Monday. Afterward Brian and I lifted some weights, but I don't think I overdid it this time.

My running this week, besides the laps at the Y, consisted of about 4 miles easy on Tuesday, during which my right leg hurt quite a bit, and a 6 mile tempo run on Thursday, which felt pretty good; averaged about 7:40 pace for that run.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to Back 20 Milers

Yep, I did 20 milers two days in a row. Okay, they weren't both running. Friday afternoon I rode my bike along the 20 mile route that our RunnersWorld marathon training group ran on Saturday. I loaded up my pockets with sidewalk chalk and marked every mile according to my bike odometer. By the way, the love notes to Stephanie were courtesy of Brenda, who I met on the trail during my ride. I took the ride really slow and kept it in a low gear, so the ride served to kind of loosen up the muscles in my legs.

Saturday, I had a great time running with the group. The first few miles were a little tough because my right leg was a little bit tight, and my gait didn't feel normal. I had thought about dropping at Turkey Mountain, but it felt okay at that point. I hung with Jana for pretty much the whole run, and our objective was to keep it at 4 hour marathon pace, which we did pretty well. I think she will be able to finish the marathon pretty close to four hours.

Larry and Bill also kept up a similar pace, and I predict a close to four hour time for them. I suggested the world record plus two hours for a goal, which is what my goal was last year, only this year the world record is just a little bit faster. It is now 2:03:59. Gina faded a little at around mile 16, but I still predict a sub 4:30 for her. Rusty was going strong the whole way, and a 3:30 for the marathon wouldn't surprise me.

It seemed like everyone did really well, except for Chad, who had some knee pain and dropped at around mile 17. Hopefully it is nothing serious. Of course, everyone was tired, but what do you expect! They had just finished running 20 miles. For most of them it was a new threshold achieved. That is what the training is all about - getting tired, but combating that tiredness so that we can achieve new heights.

By the way, here are my mile splits (I did stop the watch for drink and restroom breaks. Too bad they don't do that in the race!):

Miles 1 and 2, run slower to warm up: 10:01, 9:43
Miles 3 thru 5: 9:09, 9:20, 9:04
Mile 6, which includes the up hill at Turkey Mountain: 9:31
Mile 7, down 71st Street: 8:24
Miles 8 thru 13: 8:53, 9:04, 8:52, 9:03, 9:15, 8:52
Miles 14 and 15: 8:37, 8:20 (I was trying to get closer to my marathon pace, so I ran ahead of Jana for these two miles.)
Mile 16: 9:37 (This included a short stop to talk to Keri, who was out walking her dogs. By the way she is pregnant and won't be running for a while. Jana and the rest of the lead group caught up and passed me.)
Mile 17: 8:52
Miles 18 and 19: 8:41, 8:13 (Those two miles I was trying to catch up with the group after I had waited around for Chad at RunnersWorld.)
Mile 20: 9:59 (I caught up with Jana and ran an easy mile to finish up the run.)

A big thanks go to Susan and Candice for giving everyone support along the way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm Sick and My Hip Hurts

Saturday afternoon my throat started getting sore. After a day or so my nose started to run, and I developed a cough. And I'm tired. So, I'm not running much this week. I definitely won't be at RunnersWorld for the group run Thursday, but I hope to be ready for our twenty mile long run on Saturday.

Monday morning I went to the YMCA and swam 800 yards, even though I was already feeling the effects of the cold. I felt pretty worn out after the swim. My plan was to swim two or three mornings a week, but I think I will put that off until I am feeling better.

The cold symptoms are not my only concerns, though. Monday at noon I ran about four miles at an easy pace, and Tuesday I ran five miles at a fairly easy pace. On both of those runs my right leg hurt quite a bit - quads, hams, groin, and hip. The hip is what bothers me the most - mentally, that is. I kept thinking "this hip pain feels really familiar." It felt just that way for the week or so before I dislocated my hip in a cross country race my senior year of high school. So, no running for me at least until Saturday, and that will be slow. I've even started having second thoughts about signing up for the Tulsa Run.

In the meantime I have been trying to do self massage on my quads, hams, IT band, inner thigh, and the side of the hip. I've been meaning to order one of those quad rollers, but since I don't have one, I rolled on top of a basketball (tennis ball for the side of the hip). Boy was that painful! But, I think it may have helped some. I will try it again tonight.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Light Mileage Week

My running miles for last week was only 26.9. Sounds low for me, but I did do a hilly 35 mile bike ride on Monday. Also, three of the runs were pretty fast runs, pretty close to 8 minute pace.

Saturday I wasn't sure how much i would run - at least eleven, but maybe more. I started off with the fast guys, but they took off a bit faster than I wanted and sort of left me on 15th headed up to Utica. I finished the first loop of roughly five miles at about an eight and half minute pace. We regrouped and headed out for the next part of the hilly course, which we (or at least I) did at a bit faster pace, perhaps around eight minutes per mile. I had to do a pit stop at QT on the way back and was determined to catch up with the group by Veteran's Park, so I was really flying the last couple of miles, perhaps 7:30 pace or maybe even faster. I almost caught them, but not quite. Then the next mile I had gas pains again and sprinted to the restroom at the pedestrian bridge - a little under 7:30 pace for that mile. (Note to myself - Do not eat at Ted's Cafe Escondito on Friday night anymore.) Then the last mile was a more relaxed 8:30. Overall the pace was just over 8 minutes. Those last few miles wore me out, and I decided to not do any more after that; just eleven for me. It was a good workout, and I really enjoyed the run with friends.

Enjoyed church today. One of the songs we sang was "Above All," by Michael W. Smith. Here he is singing it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Baby Food

I ran across a good deal on baby food the other day. They were practically giving away the stuff, so I bought a couple of cases. I plan on giving one case to Lindsay and the other to Candice after she has her baby. Here is a picture of one of the jars.

RunnersWorld Tulsa Team

Although running is very much an individual sport, it helps to have others encouraging you. One of the reasons I started running with the RunnersWorld group is for the encouragement I received from others in the group right from the start. It was people like Coach Kathy, who is always so willing to help the newbies, to give words of encouragement, and to run with you, even slowing her pace to a walk, although she is capable of much more. Or like Dana Asher, who was always there at the end of the run giving encouragement - and snacks and Diet Coke. And I could go on and on. I really appreciate so many people on the RunnersWorld team who have been good to me. Here are some qualities that I see over and over in my teammates.

My Teammates...
  • Make newcomers feel welcome.
  • Cheer for each other at races.
  • Encourage each other during workouts.
  • Are willing to adjust their pace during group runs so they can help each other.
  • Are as excited about teammate's victories as they are about their own.
  • Are friends, showing concern for each other.
  • Accept Coach Kathy's advice and decisions - even if it means running a hilly route.
  • Keep a positive attitude - even when things don't go well.
Okay, now for an update on my running so far this week. After the 35 mile HILLY bike ride, my legs mostly felt good, but my right quad has been sore up high and toward the lateral side. Tuesday I didn't get back into town in time to run, but I did get to visit Lindsay and Ahmad in the hospital. I even got to hold their new baby, Aiden. Wednesday at noon I ran a six mile tempo run, and my quad hurt all the way. Probably should have taken it easy on that run. Thursday at noon I ran four easy miles, the last two with Joe Hartl. My quad still hurt quite a bit, and this time I listened to my body.

My plan for Thursday evening before my quad was hurting was to do a semi-long (8+ miles) marathon pace run, but I decided I was going to only do six slow miles. So, I start off with Chad and Larry. First mile 8:11 - nope, that's not slow. Second (not quite a) mile 7:57 - nope, that's not slow. Third mile 8:18 - nope, that's not slow. At that point I stopped to get a drink and Larry and Chad went on without drinking. Chris then showed up and I started running back with him. Mile four 8:41, that's better! In the fifth (not quite a) mile, my quad felt better and I pushed the pace to 7:48. At the light I waited for Chris and Deanna, and we started the last mile together. At about 49th and Cincinnati I decided to push the pace again and finished with 6:52 for that last mile. Avg pace for the six miles was just under 8 minutes. No, it wasn't slow, but I feel okay today. However, I was really tired last night. I couldn't tell you who won the VP debate - I fell asleep as I was watching it.

Today is an off day from running. I can't wait for tomorrow's run, though.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Hilly Bike Ride

Carlos and I did 35 miles biking on the roads around Mountain Home, Arkansas. Original plan was to do 40 miles, but we got started too late and didn't want to be caught out in the dark. The Garmin tells us we did 3052 feet of ascent and averaged a little over 15 miles per hour. My maximum speed was 48.5 miles per hour. I started the ride with sort of tired legs, and I was sort of dreading the hills, but I did okay - much better than I expected. It is now just a couple of hours since we finished the ride. My legs are a little tired, but not too bad. They actually feel the best that they have since that hilly run that Coach Kathy sent us on nine days ago.

I now have added the map and elevation profile, which were downloaded from Carlos' Garmin.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Finished the Eighteen Miler

Well, we finished our eighteen miler this morning. It seems like most people did pretty well - much better than the sixteen miler. I heard that Bobby had a rough day, though. But that's the way it goes. Sometimes you have good runs, and sometimes you don't.

On Wednesday I posted some tips for the eighteen miler. I guess I should give an update on how I did following the tips. You know, practice what you preach.
  • Run slowly.... a minute or even two minutes per mile slower than your expected marathon pace. My planned marathon pace is 8:20 - 8:30. I ran about a 10 minute pace for most of the run, although I slowed down the last lap to keep with my running partner for the day. PASSED.
  • Start off slowly and keep a steady pace or pick up your pace toward the end. If you are feeling really good, you can even speed up to your expected marathon pace in the last few miles. That will give you confidence. It is much better than dying and having to slow down at the end of a run. I actually slowed down the last lap, but that was because my training partner was struggling to keep pace. After we finished, I did an extra 4 miles at a quicker pace. Part if it was with Rusty, so you know it was quick. PASSED.
  • Use gels or some other form of carb replacement during the run. Also drink during the run. I had watermelon Sport Beans, strawberry Shot Blocks, and blueberry roctane Gu. Every couple of miles I would eat a shot block or a sport bean or two, and I had the gu with about four miles to go. I felt like I had plenty of energy considering that I haven't slept well the last couple of nights. I definitely didn't drink enough during the run. My weight was down by six pounds after the run. HALF CREDIT.
  • Eat well the day or two before the run - like you plan to do before the marathon. Nope, I didn't eat that well - double cheeseburger & fries for lunch, cheeseburger, potato salad, baked beans, and chips for supper. FAILED.
  • Get plenty of rest the night or two before the long run. I got about seven hours sleep - spread out over two nights. FAILED MISERABLY.
  • Drink plenty of fluids the day or two before the long run, and drink during and after the run too. PASSED.
After the run I went to my friend's and scraped and painted the outside of his house until about 5 or so. Boy was I pooped at the end of the day!

After that I went to see Fireproof with my wife and three of my daughters. It was sold out at Riverwalk and Cinemark, but we were able to get in at Starworld. The movie is about Caleb and Catherine, whose marriage is on the verge of a breakup. Caleb's father helps him to work through some of those problems by giving him a "love dare" book. The book challenges Caleb to show love to his wife in various ways over a forty day period. About halfway through the book Caleb is ready to give up because Catherine does not respond to any of his acts of love. He asks his father how anyone can keep loving when he is continually rejected. It is at that point that Caleb realizes he had been rejecting God over and over and over again, and he comes to faith in Christ. It was a very good movie. It had just the right mix of funny parts and sad parts, and at times the movie brought me to tears. I recommend it to all.

Here is the log of my running and biking for the last five weeks. I probably won't run again until October. I plan on doing a hilly 40 mile bike ride on Monday, and I may not even be able to run for a while after that.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chewing Gum

Last year at the Turkey & Taturs race, I met a runner who chewed gum during the whole 50k. She said it really gave her the energy to make it through the race. I never have tried chewing gum while I was running, but who knows, maybe it could help. After seeing the government health warning about chewing gum, though, I think I will stick with other forms of energy replacement such as gels, etc.

Saturday I will have one gu, one pack of sport beans, and one pack of shot blocks with me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eighteen Miler is Coming Up

I've seen a few blogs in which runners are saying that they are fearing the upcoming eighteen miler. That fear is driven by how bad the conditions were for the sixteen miler - something like 200 percent humidity. The eighteen miler will be tough, but probably not as bad as the sixteen.

Here are a few tips for this next long run:
  1. Run slowly. Your pace should be at the very minimum at least 30 seconds slower than expected marathon pace. Most coaches recommend a minute or even two minutes per mile slower than your expected marathon pace.
  2. Start off slowly and keep a steady pace or pick up your pace toward the end. If you are feeling really good, you can even speed up to your expected marathon pace in the last few miles. That will give you confidence. It is much better than dying and having to slow down at the end of a run.
  3. Use gels or some other form of carb replacement during the run. Also drink during the run.
  4. Eat well the day or two before the run - like you plan to do before the marathon.
  5. Get plenty of rest the night or two before the long run.
  6. Drink plenty of fluids the day or two before the long run, and drink during and after the run too.
Your legs will get very tired, and you will experience not just physical fatigue, but also mental fatigue. You may have to say encouraging things to yourself or your running partners to keep going. You may want to quit, but don't. It's important to remember at this stage of training that getting tired is really what the training is all about. Your improvement comes from training beyond the point of being tired so that your body adapts to the training, and you will succeed in your marathon.My legs are tired right now, but there will be no excuses for staying in bed on Saturday. Look forward to the great day we will have for running.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ask Me How Far I CLIMBED Today


You all know that I just adore Kathy, and she used to be my favorite coach, but there comes a time when the truth has to come out. I have been blamed for coming up with hilly routes, but two weeks ago Kathy sent us on the hilly route from hell, and today she even topped that. And she was so ashamed of herself that she tried to blame Roman for picking the route. Not to mention that last week she somehow managed to have us run in something like 200 percent humidity for our long run. I would never do that to you guys.

Here was the route: North on Boston to 15th, 15th to Utica (quite a hill), Utica to 21st (still hilly), 21st to Yorktown (a little downhill), Yorktown to Forest Blvd (some downhill, but a big uphill climb), Forest to Lewis (uphill again), across Lewis onto 28th and to Columbia (just some little rolling hills, almost flat compared to the rest of the route), and then back along the same route. I have included a graph of the elevation of the almost eight mile route.

Here's how we did on the run. I ran most of the way with Rusty and Andy, with other runners not too far behind. Made it to 19th & Utica, the 2 mile point in 18 minutes flat. We got to the turnaround (3.8 miles) in 33:08. Finished the hilly route with a time of 1:01:45, with the last two miles at about a 7:15 pace (of course it was downhill). Avg pace out was 8:43, avg pace return was 7:32, avg pace overall was 8:07. Afterwards I did about two and a half with Janna at 8:30 pace and then another two with Jenny at about 9:30 pace. It was a great cool down run.

It was good to see how strong everyone was going up those hills, and I really had a blast running the route. I guess Kathy still is my favorite coach after all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yesterday's Run

My plan for Thursday evening was to run 9 miles at Boston marathon qualifying pace. For me that is about 8:14 per mile. Here are my mile splits:
1 - 9:23 (warm up)
2 - 7:56 (not quite a mile)
3 - 8:14
4 - 8:10
5 - 8:14
6 - 8:16
7 - 8:05
8 - 8:03 (not quite a mile)
9 - 7:17 (fast finish)
I think I did pretty well on judging my pace; I was just a little slow on mile 6 and a little fast on mile 7, but the rest were about right. I was happy with the run. I don't think I'm quite ready to keep that pace for the whole marathon, but I am confident that eventually I will be there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Thursday

The graph in this post is the elevation profile from the bike ride I did around Mountain Home a week and a half ago. Carlos finally downloaded the data from his Garmin today. Pretty hilly, huh?

Monday evening I ran about five miles, maybe a little less, on Turkey Mountain with my daughter Becky, her friend Molly, and Titan the dog. It was a fun run. It was Molly's and Titan's first time on Turkey Mountain.

I got up early Tuesday morning and did the old house run from Veteran's Park - 6 miles at just under 8 minute pace. The weather was a nice 50 degrees. I even wore a long sleeve shirt. At noon I ran an easy four miles.

Wednesday I ran an easy 3 miles with some push ups and pull ups thrown in.

Today is Thursday. At noon I expect to run four easy miles, and in the evening I plan to run maybe up to nine miles at marathon pace, but it sort of depends on what I feel like.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday

In my last post, I said I was looking forward to the 16 mile run in the rain on Saturday. No such luck. It was 75 degrees and 97 percent humidity. In general, no matter how tired I am or how little sleep I have gotten, I don't have too much trouble getting out of bed for the run. In fact, I usually show up before everybody else and get in a few miles. Saturday was not usual, though. It was all I could do to drag myself out. Sure, my legs were tired, but I just dreaded getting out into that humidity.

I was with the lead runners until about four and a half miles into the run. We had been doing somewhere between a nine and nine and a half minute pace, but that was starting to wear on me, and the lead group went on when I stopped to get a long drink. Already my clothes were dripping wet, like I had just climbed out of a swimming pool. I almost turned back at the six mile marker, thinking that I didn't really need the miles because I planned on running 25k on Sunday. But I kept on and did the full 16. We did maintain close to a 9 minute pace while we were running, but we had several long stops at aid stations. Everybody was thirsty on Saturday. Kathy told me that Roman filled up the water jug at the store four times.

I was glad when the run was over. As I laid down on the sidewalk, I moved my arms and legs, trying to make sweat angels. Too bad there was no snow on the ground. That would have felt great.

It seems like most of the people had difficulty with the run even though they slowed down their pace. It was all due to the humidity. The next long run should be much better. I know I keep saying that, but one of these days I will be right.

The weather was pretty good for the Turkey and Tatur race on Sunday. I did not run the race, but I did run (actually more of a walk) part of the course picking up course markings after the race was over. Congratulations to everyone who completed their first trail race.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday Update

On Wednesday morning I went to Veteran's Park and was going to run the same route we did on Saturday, but I got up a little late and only had time to do about 7.3 miles. Then I did about 4 miles at noon.

Thursday morning I went to Veteran's Park again and was going to do the 4 mile hilly loop through Woodward Park and around Swan Lake twice. But, again I got a late start, and I was feeling so sluggish that I lopped off a mile on the second loop, so I only ended up with about 7 miles. Thursday evening I ran with the RunnersWorld group. Humidity was at about 110%. Ran with Larry Davied the whole way, but also ran with Lisa a bit and with Travis for the last 4 miles. We averaged about 8:30 not including water stops, but the last mile was run in 7:33. It felt good to stretch out my legs!

I will take the day off from running tomorrow. I will be spending the day at the Salvation Army on N. Cincinnati painting for the Day of Caring. I'm looking forward to the 16 mile run in the rain on Saturday. I sure hope it rains good!

I wish I could run the Turkey and Taturs race on Sunday. I had been training for it and believe I am ready, but it turns out I need to be at church. Too bad, because it should be a blast racing on the muddy trails in the rain. After church is out, I plan on running the course and picking up the ribbons that TZ has set out to mark the course.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hills?

I just love those exciting training routes that Coach Kathy comes up with! But after today, I would not call them hilly. As I am writing this, I am in the Ramada Inn in Mountain Home, Arkansas. This evening Carlos and I did a 29 mile bike ride on the roads around Mountain Home. There may have been one or two flat stretches, but most of it was hills. Not the little pansy hills we ran on Saturday morning, but real hills. The kind you wished you had a third chain ring for. I managed to keep my speed above 5 mph on all uphills, but it wasn't easy. Maximum speed recorded - and I was coasting, maybe even using my brakes a little - was 45.2 mph. Average speed 15.7. It was my first time on the bike since my flat tire in Springfield a couple of months ago. My legs, especially my quads, are really tired.

Running distance so far this week is zero. I probably won't run until Wednesday. I think I have my addiction beat!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reformed Addict

There were so many comments on my post "What a Week!" that said that I was addicted to running, that I actually went to a program for addicts on Friday night. It is a group called Reformers Unanimous, and it meets at Tulsa Bible Church every Friday night.

There are 10 principles for overcoming addictions, and I watched a video that talked about principle 3. It it something like, "it is easier to keep your heart clean than to clean it up once it is dirty."

So, I am on the road to recovery. On Thursday at noon I normally run about four miles. I took off running and saw a couple of gals from the office, Shirley and Cathy, out for a walk. So, instead of running, I walked a couple of miles with them and had a great time! Couple this with the fact that I only ran two miles on Tuesday evening, and it seems pretty sure that I am cured, or at least I have my addiction under control.

Thursday evening I had a good run, going eight miles at 8 minute pace. Took Friday off from running.

Saturday's run was also pretty fast. I ran just one mile before everyone showed up, then ran nine miles with the lead runners in the group right at or just under 8 minute pace. Glenn was setting the pace for us even after running a marathon last Sunday. Boy, he recovered fast! Then I did five more miles at a slower pace, the last three with fairly new runners, Debbie, Linda, Sue, and Ronit. The last couple of miles we got soaked with a cold rain. Mileage was only 15 for the day and just over 38 for the week. Doesn't sound like an addiction to me.

After the run, I was supposed to go scrape and paint a guy's house, but since it was rainy I went to a men's breakfast at church. Then after that the sun came out and I spent the rest of the day scraping. My right shoulder is very tired.

Oh, I almost forgot. I did not design Saturday's hilly course. You have to blame Coach Kathy for that. So how does that make her fare in the popularity contest?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gov. Sarah Palin: Midnight runs and caribou dinners

Coming Saturday Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual workout and fitness routine. Preview excerpt
By JEN MURPHY
August 29, 2008 8:26 p.m.

[sarah palin]
Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine


Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. "Running was a family affair," she says. "I didn't have much choice. Thankfully, I've never tired of it."

Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a "family thing." She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.

Workout

"Conventional running is my sanity," Gov. Palin says. Having recently given birth to her fifth child, the governor is trying to get back to her old workout routine. She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.

In the summer, when it's always light, she'll sometimes run as late as midnight. In the dead of winter, when it's dark, she sneaks in an afternoon run, or else grudgingly runs on the treadmill at home or at the gym in the evening. Gov. Palin keeps dumbbells at home, but she says most of her upper body strength comes from snowmobiling with her family. "It's the best upper body workout you could ever have," she says. "You're maneuvering through hundreds of pounds of powder." (Todd is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmobile race.)

[sarah palin]
Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine
Gov. Palin in Juneau, Alaska

Diet pitfall

"My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit," she says. "I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it's the most important meal of the day but I still haven't bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning."

Workout gear

"My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away sweat. But in reality I'm running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I've been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don't freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup."

While I'm working out

"I'm thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time."

Postworkout food

"Nothing. I just drink water."

Workout pitfall

"Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it's not because of circumstances but because I'm being less disciplined. Shame on me."


This article is from the online version of the Wall Street Journal. I think I could vote for this lady!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Enraptured With Her Love

Sometimes running can interfere with other areas of life. After last week's 88 miles, my wife feels a little neglected, and rightly so. So, I'm going to bow out of the Tuesday night runs for a while to spend more time with my darling wife. I would never think about being unfaithful to Marilyn, but that is not enough. I was thinking about Proverbs 5:18-19 the other day, which says in part, "rejoice with the wife of your youth...And always be enraptured with her love." I want my wife to know - to feel in her heart - that I am still enraptured with her love, and that the love of running has not diminished my love for her.

I'll still run with the group on Thursdays and Saturdays, and I will find ways to get my miles in, so I can't claim to be over my addiction yet. However, I did limit myself to 2 miles last night, so I deserve some credit. (Okay, I already had run four miles at noon, and I had a 6:30 meeting to go to. Still, I did stop at two; I probably could have gone three and still made the meeting with time to spare.)

I had a pretty nice run early this morning. I ran without a shirt, and the cool mist coming down on my body felt really good, except when the wind was blowing so hard that I felt like my chest was being sandblasted by rain drops. I did 7.4 miles at a 7:46 pace, which is faster than I have ever run that distance in my adult life. The first half of the run was relatively easy, because I was going with the wind, but the last few miles were tough. I felt good during the run, but my legs are tired now.

Tonight AWANA starts at our church. For the first time in years I won't be helping with the 5th and 6th grade boys. Instead, I will help in the nursery, where my wife will be working.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What a Week!

Started the week finishing a 52.6 mile training run on Sunday. Took off Monday & Tuesday from running. Did 5.2 miles at noon on Wednesday at a pretty fast pace, then 2 runs on Thursday at an easy pace - 3 and 5 miles. Took Friday off from running.

Saturday's run was really neat. I arrived at Veteran's Park just before 5 and saw Cindy, Carmie, Marv, and others just before they left on their 20 miler. Was really surprised to see Dave Anderson. Haven't seen him running for weeks or maybe months. Then I headed over to the other side of the park & started setting up. I put up the tent by myself and found that it is quite easy. All you have to do is get right in the middle, under the tent and push up on the support there. The thing just pops up like an umbrella. It was so much easier setting up than when we have had four people struggling on the corners.

Now, back to the running. Stacy showed up at 5:15 and we got in 3 miles before the group showed up. Then the group took off on a 7 mile loop, which included the first part of the Route 66 marathon course. I started out with the lead runners, mostly the usual guys, but Janna was there, which was a pleasant surprise. I was glad to see her running with us again. She was having problems with her hamstrings the whole run due to a strength workout on Wednesday that she still hadn't recovered from. I kind of dropped back from the leaders and ran with Janna and Kendal a ways until we got back to the park. Then I hung back to make sure everyone knew the route for the second half of the run. I ended up running toward the back of the pack with people I really haven't run much with.

I started running with Erin, the bunny slipper song writer and video producer. She and her husband Travis, who is Lisa's brother (Lisa is the one who kicked Erin's **** in the triathlon) have been married for 4 years and have not had any real arguments. As we passed Travis on the trail, I yelled, "hey Travis, look at this cute chick I picked up!" Then as we ran on, I said to Erin, "now you can have your first argument." I also ran some with the Bean Team, Kim, Deon, and Lisa (not the triathlete, the one getting married to Jason). Lisa and Jason are getting married tomorrow. I think she said her colors were pink and brown.

The coolest thing about that part of the run was when we saw a fox. I got off the trail, ran around behind it, thinking it would run from me toward the group, but when I got near, the fox turned to me and actually walked pretty close to me. Less than 10 feet. Then everybody came over and got a chance to be near the fox. I can't wait to see Ken's pictures. Most of the group then ran on, but it was hard to tear Jessie away. After some urging, Jessie finally began running with me. On the way back to the park, we ran across Paula, and she is probably going to kill me for mentioning this, but she had a little accident in her shorts early in the run due to intestinal distress and had to go home to change. So she still had quite a ways to go on her run. So, Paula, Jessie, and I completed the planned route. Then we did a loop around Zink Lake. After that, Jessie and I did a couple more miles because she desperately wanted to complete a 20 mile run. I would have been happy to stop before those two miles, but I felt like Jessie needed a cheerleader, so I finished the run with her. Way to go Jessie!

I'm glad that I didn't run the whole way with the leaders. We always have fun, but those guys are a bit more serious. The slower group seems to joke around a bit more, and I had a blast running with them for a change.

The distance for the day was 23 miles, and that makes 88.8 for the week. That is by far the most I have done in any week. And after getting up from my nap, I feel pretty good!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to Running

After taking Monday and Tuesday off, I was back at it Wednesday putting in 5 miles at about an 8 and a half minute pace. Then 3 easy miles at lunch on Thursday, stopping to do pull ups and push ups at Veteran's Park. Then another 5 easy miles (really they were kind of hard with the heat the way it was) with Stacy during our group run on Thursday.

Total so far for the week is 65, and I plan on doing at least 17 tomorrow, so it will be a big mileage week for me. Okay, Chrissy, maybe I am addicted! But you do have to give me some credit for taking three days off.

Stacy and I are starting at 5:15 tomorrow. If you want to get in a few early miles, come join us.

Here is an inspirational song for the day:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Danny

Tuesday I felt pretty good, good enough to run, but I got busy at lunch, and I took the evening off from running just to prove to my wife that I am not addicted. I did stop briefly at the group run just to say hi, and I had a good chat with my dear friend and coach Kathy while everybody else ran.

I left early, went home to eat, and then went with my wife to visit my friend, Danny Webb, who is in the hospital. He had surgery Monday to remove part of his left lung, because he had all sorts of tumors in there. It turns out, though, that the doctor did not remove anything. His lungs and chest cavity and bronchial tubes are full of something, probably some kind of infection, but the tests showed no cancer. He is receiving a broad spectrum antibiotic, but the doctors really have noo idea what they are dealing with. It is something they haven't seen anything quite like before. They took samples and are having them tested, but it may take up to six weeks to find out what he has. In the meantime, he could die.

Danny and his wife, Karen, are two of the sweetest people I know. They are self-sacrificing people, always serving others, helping with the youth at church, and always are encouraging others. They have seen their share of difficulties, but no matter what, whenever they are around I can sense the presence of the Lord. For the past several years my family has had the privilege of helping Danny and Karen provide Thanksiving dinner to a bunch of truckers that had no where else to go for Thanksgiving. That is the type of people they are, always serving others and serving the Lord.

Makes you wonder why something like this has happened. It doesn't seem right. It doesn't make sense, but I guess it is a result of living in a sin cursed world. It's weird. In the past three months I have gone to two funerals for people who died of lung cancer, plus Marvin's mom, Dolly, is in stage 4 of lung cancer, plus this new thing with Danny. Life is fragile, and we never know when it could end. I know that God is good and that he is in control, but sometimes his ways are just past finding out. Why does he order things the way he does? I can't say for sure in this case, but maybe it is to remind us of how weak we are, and how dependent we are on God, and to prod us into seeking him. I read in chapter 17 of Acts yesterday that God "has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."

In times of trouble I sometimes think of the words of the prophet Jeremiah who said in the midst of great national calamity,
this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
On the way to work this morning I was thinking about the following song by Matt Redman, which teaches us to bless the Lord in the good times and the bad.
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Monday, August 25, 2008

Double Marathon Training Run

I am not dead. I survived my first 50 mile training run. Well, not to brag or anything, but it was actually 52.6 miles. That's more than 2 marathons! We started with 17 runners, picked up a few along the way, and then dropped down to 2 that finished. We even picked up a couple of girls running down Peoria. As we were running along past a bar, this gal starts running beside me. Her name is Tracy, and she said she ran cross country at University of Minnesota, and is now the women's cross country and steeplechase coach at De Paul. She gave us her email address and invited us to visit if we are ever up in Chicago.

I had a great time running with my friends, and I really appreciate the aid stations that several people set out for us. They were so well stocked that I almost over hydrated myself (I only lost 3 lbs). I was surprised at how well I felt during the run. Before starting, I had in the back of my mind that I might bail out once we got to NSU (about 33 miles), but when we got there I felt great other than my feet being a little sore. So, I took my shoes off, stretched my feet out a bit, and even they felt okay! So, I was all for going on.

Coach Kathy isn't quite recovered from her bout with the flu, and she was feeling weak for a large part of the run, so she dropped at NSU, as did Roman and Johnny and the few runners who had run on ahead of us. It was a real disappointment to me that Kathy dropped out. I am planning on pacing her for part of her 100 miler in November, and I was looking forward to finishing this training run with her. And we were having such a good time singing songs, telling jokes, and carrying on. By the way, Kathy does a pretty good cartwheel. Roman's is not so good.

So, it was just Ken and me to finish out the last 20 miles. We passed Ed and Julie on the path with about 16 miles to go and then Mary Alice about a mile later. I was still feeling strong at that point, but I think it was with about 10 miles to go that I began to tire. It had been humid and foggy most of the night, but when the sun came out the temperature seemed to rise fast, and it was really draining. My body wanted to hunch over from fatigue, and I had to concentrate on keeping good posture. As we approached Harvard we were leaving the hills behind us, and I was kind of dreading the flats that would characterize most of the last 5 or 6 miles. There would be no uphills as an excuse to take a walk break!

We actually kept up a pretty good pace for those last miles, but we did take walk breaks. The hardest stretch was by the volleyball courts. It seemed like a long hot stretch with no shade, but we could see the 71st Street Bridge not far off, so that gave me hope. As we got to the bridge Ken's Garmin beeped. Fifty-one miles, and by experience Ken knew it was precisely 1.6 miles to go. I took off at about a 9 minute pace, but stopped after I had crossed the river. Ken and I both walked up that last steep hill going up to Turkey Mountain and then jogged in the last bit for a total of 52.6 miles Hooray!

I slept most of the afternoon, woke up in time to get ready for evening church and to shoot off an email to Kathy saying I am considering getting my legs amputated. She sent back an email offering to loan me her hacksaw. Fortunately my legs are feeling much better today. I will not need the hacksaw, and I will even run again soon.

Oh, and by the way, the next person to complain about hills on our Saturday morning runs has to run along the Creek Turnpike to NSU and back. :)

So you all soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tulsa's Oldest House - Within Tulsa's Oldest Park

I did two runs on Thursday, the first one a four miler at noon at an easy pace. Then in the evening I ran with Larry most of the way. I was going to make it an easy six mile run, but it was Larry that pushed the pace.. I stopped at the bathrooms with a mile and a half to go and let Larry go on ahead. He finished the route averaging close to an 8 minute pace. I think with my walking included that my pace averaged about 8:30.

Saturday I had a fun run with the RunnersWorld group. We did a hilly six mile loop that took us past Tulsa's oldest house still in existence, which now sits within Tulsa's oldest park - Owen Park. I'm sure Ken will have pictures up on the RW blog soon. I enjoyed the hilly run, taking it at a fairly relaxed pace for me, but when we were finished several runners told me I was fired. I tried paying people to say they liked the hills - while Kathy filmed them - but nobody seemed convincing. :)

Tonight I hope to complete a 50 mile training run with Kathy, Ken, Brian, and a few others. If you don't hear from me after this blog entry, it is because I died.

Here is a bit of trivia about Owen Park from the city of Tulsa website:

It could be said that Tulsa Parks began with a bang – literally. On January 23, 1904 at 4:15 p.m., a tremendous explosion rocked west Tulsa and was heard as far away as Claremore. The entire stock of nitroglycerine belonging to the Western Torpedo Company that was used for shooting oil wells was accidentally detonated shortly after a company employee named McDonald entered a wooden structure where the explosives were stored.

Owen Park postcardNeedless to say, Mr. McDonald did not survive the blast. The explosion created a large crater that eventually was used to create what became known as Owen Park Lake and years later was made much smaller and is now known as Owen Park Pond.

Although the City of Tulsa did not purchase Owen Park until 1909, the area was already being used for major citywide events. In September of 1906, a Labor Day celebration, complete with a parade that began in downtown Tulsa, speeches, games, and sports was held.

Thousands of people were reported to have come there to enjoy band concerts, food and fireworks each July 4th for several years prior to 1909. That year, the city bought the land from Chauncey and Owen Park in the FallMary Owen for $13,500 and Tulsa’s first park became a reality.

Owen Park was a natural beauty spot with its grove of beautiful oak trees and pure well water. Swimming in the lake was very popular from 1913 through the early 1920s.

There was a sand beach with lifeguards as well as a bath house to accommodate swimmers. The lake also was used for ice skating during the winter months.