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


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


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
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.


"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.