Friday, November 30, 2007

Bears, deer, moose--When it's not snowing out, we have to watch for these fellows on the trails. Or so I've been far, after 11 months of running here, the only real danger has been an aggressive bird protecting its nest...

Injury healing...

Today I went 8 miles, starting at 9:00, cruising at 7:45 for 4 miles, then hitting 6:55 for mile 7 with a mile cool down.
It's too cold outside, but my back and hammie thank me for avoiding slippery surfaces.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

While training there's plenty of time to think. My routine is as such: I turn on the TV, without sound, and watch sports highlights. Close captioning doesn't do it. It's 30 seconds too late, unreadable and incomplete. So I put on music through the stereo. Then, I'll open the window and turn on the fan and run. I first posted this when the blog was new, but I feel compelled to reassert my opinion on the ED commercial.

OK, here's a truly annoying commercial to see over and over. A fortysomething couple picks up their parents to see a play. Then the car doesn't start. So the son says to the parents, "you go without us" martyr-like in tone. After this poor elderly couple catches a cab the car starts right up. Sonny says, "how did you know which wires to disconnect?" to his wife. Clearly they are headed for the master bedroom.

So...what's the message here? I think it goes as follows: Cialis: while you might be too old to get it up on your own, you're never too old to lie to your parents for some uninterrupted hanky-panky...nice. Makes me proud to be a son.

But here's the thing--performance anxiety. I mean, if Sonny had troubles before, what now? Where I in his position 20 minutes later, here's what I'd be thinking:

This better be good. This HAS to be good. I just ditched my trusting parents onto a cab driven by god knows who, blew a good couple of hundred on unused theater tickets, took a pill that's not covered in my plan and costs a fortune, and have a limited time window to do the deed with my wife of 25 years--the one who used to get the old libido smoking with curlers in her hair! Focus!!! Think!!! Concentrate!!!...On the treadmill, I do some uphill work each time the ad runs--it's less painful than watching. Those lap lights make it just like being on a coliseum track, right?

Treadmill thoughts

Well, it treadmill time. Seven degrees and snow-covered outside. So why not run some speedplay on the tread? I'm still in some pain with the butt muscles but I can run some. I ordered Pfitzinger's book on line; it seems to have worked so well for my younger running collegues--we'll see. I'm base running 40-55 mpw now with a speed session or two to get back the speed. I'm looking forward to next season.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

DongA and JoogAng Marathons in Seoul

The marathon on the left was in November. I'm the non-Korean.

On the right, is a crossing of the Han River during the 32-degree DongA marathon two years ago. The water stops had ice! Still, it's my PR marathon. I love the cool!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sub 3:00 in 2008?

I've often felt I was deprived of 2.5 years training and running when I taught in Korea. From 7/2004 until 1/2007 I was in an environment not conducive to training. I did OK my first year, getting a 18:32, 39:16, 1:28:57, and 3:12:26 all in Korea. But, I expected faster when I was finished with the 2003 season before I went overseas.

2003 was my first serious year of training and, at 55 mpw I ran a 18:25, 30:06-5 miler; 38:02 10K, 1:26 1/2 Mar and a 2:08 30K as well as a 3:13 Marathon. And I was still improving!
Now, it's 2007 and I've done nothing but a 18:30 5K, and a 3:28 marathon in the last 2 years. Mostly, due to lack of races and injuries this year.

I was in shape to run a strong marathon last month, but decided to skip it and train through until next season rather than risk injury.

We have a treadmill here now and I'm feeling good about my chances to attain some real improvement. Long runs are boring, but tempo runs and VO2 max are soooooo convienient!
Today, for example, I ran 2 miles warm up, 2.5 miles at 6:27 pace, a 1 mile cool down outside, then a 5 mile run this PM at 7:30-8:00. This is training like back in 2003-04 in Minnesota. Even though it's only Nov., it's already sub 32f here. So having a tread might really be advantageous.
I'm now 48 years old and don't have many years of good training left(maybe). So, as I said in 2004, the assault on 3-hours is on!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Inspiring runners

Have I inspired others to run? A good question asked on the RW forum:

By example, I think the numbers are high: my father, mother and a couple of friends and lots of my childhood friends jogged or ran for at least a short while. It would be nice to think I had something to do with that! I've been running since 1971, starting at 11. So other kids would join me as I ran around Lake Calabasas near LA.

As a teacher and coach, students would often see me and tell me they'd like to join me at some time. Sometimes they followed through with it. I never pushed anyone into running, though.

As a marathoner, I'm not sure. Lots of people asked how much weight I lost, I'd tell them, but to my knowledge, no one has run a full marathon inspired by my example.

But I really feel that we all help others get into it simply by being seen running. To me, the sight of another runner anywhere is a sign of hope and grace. Think of how many kids and adults see you on a run. As a kid, I remember asking my mom what those people were doing. She explained that it was healthy. It inspired me, that's for certain.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Looking for a race

Living in a northern town isn't easy for a runner. It's cold in the fall, rather than in the winter. In the winter, everything is either bitterly cold and windy, or snowy. Often, it can still be bitterly cold, windy, icy and dark. In the spring and summer the running outdoors improves, but there is nowhere to race.

Timmins, ON., is 8 hours north of any of the US borders. Also it's 8 hours from any major Canadian city. So running in races is difficult. There are two annually here in Timmins: a half-marathon in August, and a 5K in October. For each there are attractive 1st prizes: money and/or gold. that's why a world class Kenyon who won the Twin Cities Marathon in 2004, came up here this year to run a slow, part-trail course in the Golden Trails Half Marathon in a nifty 1:05.

But what if you want to run something other than a marathon? Do you drive 8 hours for a 10K?(one way)...

I'm getting into good shape after my back injury of the spring and want to race before the freeze locks us in. But I guess I'll have to do some time trials here until next year.
So, until next year, my 19:07 5K(1st in Age) and an out of shape 1:35 on the trail half will be my only official marks. But look out for next year--the tread is complementing training nicely.