Wednesday, July 26, 2006

He's back . . . sort of

Okay . . . I took off Monday and Tuesday and felt like a slug. I tried to stay busy and get my mind off running but it was tough to do. Went by the chiropractor this afternoon on the way home and had a good session. He told me that I could do some light work but to stop if the pain flared up. I went home as fast as I could and laced 'em up. Back was sore but not hurting. I know that some folks can't differentiate between soreness and pain but I think I can. Anway, I thought I'd just do a couple of easy miles to get back into the swing of it. Nope. I did 5 miles. I know that isn't much but it was more than the couple I had planned and I felt pretty good during the whole thing. I know it sounds nuts but I felt like I lost so much by skipping Monday and Tuesday. You fellow runners out there know what I'm talking about. I am a little sore now but I think I'm going to be okay.

Less than 10 weeks to Portland Marathon. I've gotten my hotel room and airline tickets. I am now officially committed.

I will not be posting for a couple of days. I am heading to the beach first thing in the morning. Going to one of my favorite places . . . Seaside, FL . And to answer your question . . . yes, I am taking Susan (running, not biking) with me. She has not been to Seaside and we are looking forward to a nice relaxing four day weekend.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm going crazy

Yes . . . I am a runner and as such, if I miss more than one or two scheduled runs I go CRAZY. My back was still hurting this morning with some slight improvement during the day. However, I decided to err on the side of caution and lay off today. I am wanting to get in a couple of runs later this week, one of which should be 12-13 miles.

I noticed that my niece, Liz, is ridiculing her dad. Sounds like Cary is not planning on running the marathon in Portland with me, or at least he's not planning on making any time. C'mon Liz, tell me the truth . . . is he getting in much running? I don't want him to beat me, so I need to know how hard to train.

Chiropractor tomorrow. Another snap, crackle, and pop and I should be ready to go. Maybe a 6 or 7 miler tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Unwanted Monday

Hey all,
gee . . . what a stink I have caused with my little teaser!

Let me go ahead and announce it now-the BIG decision-I am doing long runs on Saturday instead of doing 50 and 60 mile bike rides. I am 10 weeks away from my marathon and I had to choose which I needed most. My schedule is crazy and I cannot get in 4 or 5 runs AND 2 bike rides a week . . . It is just too tough for me. I am committed to my marathons and I hope that I have not waited too long to make this decision. Some of you are relieved and some of you are saying "WHAT?".

As far as the Unwanted Monday title . . . isn't that a redundant statement? all Mondays are unwanted. That means another 4 days of work. YUCK. Yes, all capitals. YUCK.

Somehow during the weekend I managed to mess up my back (slightly). I went to the Chiropractor today and he said I should cool it for a couple of days. No problem considering the pain I'm feeling. I will gladly take a day or two off.

I ran for 1 hour and 50 minutes Saturday morning. I got a late start . . . not a smart boy. I finished up around 10:45 - 11:00. According to the thermometer it was in the low 90s. Not good weather for a long run. Susan joined me since she is starting to train for Mercedes Marathon here in town in Feb. and she ran for an hour. Then she jumped on her bike and rode 50 minutes while I ran. That is the first time in a long time that I actually got sick of running. I was thirsty but the water was just making my stomach cramp. Classic Catch 22. I will have to start my long runs earlier.

I am wondering if my brother-in-law, Cary, who lives in Portland is training okay. He is supposed to run with me Oct 1 . . . we'll have to see.

So, no run tonight. Might try tomorrow night. Hope all is well with everyone.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday night . . . Late

Well it is late for me. It is about 10:30 and Leno is coming on. I have just gotten in from dinner and a night of "girl talk" with several of my friends that I play golf with. Nope . . . no date tonight and that is okay. Tonight was a night to relax after a so-so round of golf. Played 18 holes and started off decently. I shot 44 on the front nine. Not spectacular but not bad considering I've only played once since May. Unfortunately, I was playing just good enough to make me think that I could play even better. You guessed it, I played miserabley on the back nine. Hows a 44-55 sound for a cool 99 sound? pretty sloppy golf. But the main thing is that I had FUN!

I ran 4 miles last night. Just a ho hum run in between thunderstorms. I know I am starting toget back on track when I consider a 4 miler ho-hum, junk miles. I got to thinking about the last couple of weeks and I have really been stepping it up a bit. Since last Saturday (two weeks from tomorrow) I have either run or biked everyday except for last Friday and today. Not great amounts of miles but good workouts, just the same. Tomorrow I am doing a 10 miler. I have checked the calendar and the marathon is quickly slipping on me. I only have 10 weeks from this coming Sunday. I am planning on a 10, a 12, a couple of 15s, a roll back to 10 and then go after 18, 20, 22, 12, marathon. Sounds simple enough but you guys know how tough it is.

BTW . . . . my mom is still curious about my decision. Isn't that just like a mother????
It is nothing earth shattering, mom. The decision is . . . should I tell her or make her wait?
I think she should wait a while longer. Not enough people have asked yet!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Good bike ride and a decision

Boy, did the day take some wild swings. I was up at 4:00 am . . . just one of those things. I did laundry and paid bills before going into the office! I went home at lunch to let my dog (Kelsey) out to do her business. Yes, though I have not mentioned it, I have a dog. Actually, not my idea . . . it was Mona's idea. So now I have a dog. Honestly though, I do like the little beast . . . she keeps me company and her bathroom manners are probably better than mine! BTW, she is a 13 pound Cairn Terrier and yes, she thinks she's an 80 lb. dog.

Anyway, it was HOT at lunch. Heat index at 106. I was really looking forward to the bike ride and thought about how hot it was going to be. By 3:00 it was storming. Bummer. Big bummer. Started getting calls at work from folks who were bailing on our Wed. ride. CRAP! My afternoon was falling apart. However, by 3:50 Larry M and I made the call to give it a go. We left the office at 4:00 and headed to our normal meeting place. Only "original Jim" was there. We decided to move the ride to a spot where we could make smaller loops just in case we got caught in a thunderstorm.

Guess what . . . no thunderstorms. What a great ride! We just sort of made it up on the roads we know and ended up doing a 35 miler. Since it was only three of us, and all men, we did pretty well. We averaged 18.1 mph! Also, I enjoyed the new aerobars . . . though the bike does handle squirrely with them. It will take me time to get used to them but I had a couple of good pulls in the 24-25 mph range.

I did make a very important decision tonight on the way back from the ride. Something about getting the blood flowing that gets a man to thinking deep thoughts. Are you wondering what it might be??? Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Tuesday evening. Laundry going, dinner eaten, posting my run. Does life get any better?

I got home after work and it was lightly sprinkling and thundering so I took about an hour and installed my new aerobars. It took some figuring and dry-fitting but I think I got them installed properly and in a position that I can live with. After I use them for a while, I'll be able to adjust them based on experience. I did run around the block just make sure that the bike won't fall apart. We're supposed to do 35 miles tomorrow night with a couple of good straight runs so I'll see how they work.

After monkeying with my bike, the rain stopped, the sun came out and I decided to get my run in. Why should I have done it while it was raining and cooler. Much more fun to do it with the sun out and the steam coming off the pavement. I was going to run an easy 4 miler as a recovery. After all, I biked 50+ miles Saturday, and ran Sunday and Monday. However, "Animal" (Marc) was standing in his driveway waiting on me. So off we went. I told him that I was running easy and he said "cool" and that he was tired too. You guessed it . . . we started chatting and running and before I knew it we were pounding out a pretty good pace. We ended up doing 5 miles and averaged around 8:25 miles. Not too bad for a hot, humid, steamy run. Starting to feel better about getting back in shape for my marathons.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Time to get to business

Good evening to all.

Monday night and I just got home from dinner. Fajitas and margaritas at Pablos. Met Susan over there after a last minute call. Definitely better than staying at home watching Dancing with the Stars or whatever bizarre show is on TV nowadays. I'll just stick to my DVDs of Ferris Buellers Day Off or Pulp Fiction or O Brother, Where Art Thou. I digress.

Another lovely hot day in B'ham. Of course most of you around the country are in the same boat so I don't expect any sympathy. It is hot everywhere. It might be God's warning to us. . . if you think it is hot now, just wait!

I went by Bike Link and picked up some aerobars for my bike. I'll be putting them on tomorrow after I run. Supposed to make me more efficient in my biking . . . we'll see.

I did a 6 miler this afternoon. Starte just before 5:00 and it was 97 degrees. Unbelievable. I am going to have to start running in the mornings if we don't get some relief! No watch, lots of water, slow, slow, slow. 28 oz of water on a six mile run. Unheard of. The bad thing is that I weighed before and after the run and I still lost weight, even after the 28 oz of water. All I can say is that I survived.

I was looking at my calendar and it is time to shut up or put up. Oct 1 is coming around soon and that is my next marathon. If I stick to my normal training this will let me run 2 runs over 20 miles before the marathon with a two week taper. Time to stop being such a girlie man and time to focus on the important stuff . . . like running my marathons!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sunday evening

It is 8:00 and all is quiet around here. As I posted earlier this morning, I had a gaggle of folks over for dinner. Actually, it is my family group . . . my church does the small group thing on Sunday nights and I volunteered my house for today. I stayed busy all day today cleaning house, doing laundry, getting the meal ready. I even took time out to go do a 4 mile run this afternoon.

Everything went well. We had a good bible lesson as we try to explore an indescribable God. Why do we want to put our human limitations on Him? I have to admit that I have been having more than usual problems dealing with Him the last few months. Thank goodness He is merciful!

Thanks again to all my friends who have been posting comments regarding me exploring a new life. Thanks for your comments regarding Susan. I am still plain old Jim. I am still here. And yes, there are changes in my life as there will always be changes in all our lives.

I also got a couple of phone calls today that were very helpful. Thank you Loretta and Memie.

All in all today was a pretty good day. I am starting to ramp up my training and I promise that all this mushy girl talk will be replaced by things like "long run", "hill workout", "fartlek". I know you can't wait! BTW . . . I am picking up a set of aerobars for my bike tomorrow!

I will be running the Mercedes half-marathon in Feb if I survive all my other antics. I will be running again to raise money for the Bell Center here in Birmingham and I will be posting more info about that later. I am planning on running with Susan who has already signed up to do the half. Maybe I can convince her to run the full marathon . . . Susan, are you listening????

Slept in late

I cannot believe that I slept until 7:30 this morning! The working in the yard and the bike ride yesterday seemed to suck all the caffeine and adrenaline out of my body. However, I have to admit that I did enjoy it. Unfortunately, I think the FAT MAN enjoyed it too. We cannot be making a habit of it.

Bike ride Saturday morning-
wheels rolling at 7:00 and the temperature was in the mid-80s. Roxanne was the ride leader and she did a very good job in putting together the ride. We normally have three or four routes we use to get 50 mile in. She took us on a couple of different roads and reversed direction on some that we normally ride. Leave it to a woman to be creative. If life were left up to men, we'd do the same thing everyday. Yes, you read me right . . . I am dissing men. And I'm one of them! The ride was a little slow but it was probably the heat. One of the guys, Richard, broke a spoke at about 40 miles so that took several minutes to repair. He told us to go ahead and finish but it was a good excuse for us to stop for water. I don't think that I have ever sweated like that on a bike. It was like I was running . . . . sweat running down my legs and arms. The temp when we finished was 93. Of course the asphalt on the road probably meant that we were riding in over 100 degree temperatures.

Gotta go for . . . get ready for church. And then I have 12-14 people coming over for dinner tonight. Talk about sweating!!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

TGIF . . . you know what it means!

Today has started off much better than the last couple of days. Yes, thank GOD it's Friday! Nothing like a full week of work to make you appreciate those short holiday weeks and vacation days. I think this is the first full week I've put in in almost a month. I just hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not an exterminator!

Thank you to everyone for your support. I am sorry that I did not trust my friends and family. And yes, as weird as it sounds, my blog readers are my friends as well. Amy, thanks for the words. AND IT WAS HOT. Maybe not as bad as Macon in July but what's a couple of degrees when you're near 100? Phil . . . you are a very astute man. I was blown away by your comments. You have read between every word in every line with such clarity it is scary. Are you a priest?!!!! Ashville (my mom and dad) . . . hope all is well at home and hope you're enjoying the birthday gifts I brought up Sunday. Thanks for your support as well. Enough mushy feely girl talk . . . this is about RUNNING, BIKING, and getting FAT!

Yes, I said FAT. The FATMAN that was chasing me has slightly closed the gap. I've gained about 5 pounds since Cincinnati marathon two months ago. I realize that I have to slam on the brakes and get the ship turned around. Now that I am concentrating on the fall marathon schedule, I should be able to keep him somewhat at bay.

I ran a 4 miler yesterday right after work. 97 degrees with heat index of 102. It was a very slow death march more than a run. I hate to run with a water bottle but I did yesterday. I would have waited for it cool off some but Susan and I were going over to some friend's house for a cookout and I needed to get some kind of miles in.

Let me ask you something disgusting. . . Am I the only person in the world who can stand in the shower and still be sweating??? Please, someone tell me that it is not just me!

50 mile bike ride tomorrow. I may have to throw a watermelon in the cooler for post ride snack!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tired legs and confessions

Good morning,
I must be doing something right. I woke up this morning with tired legs. That means that I am stressing my body. That means that I am heading towards improvements. Yippeee . . . isn't it fun to hurt???

I did a 35 mile bike ride last night. Our group was sort of light-we only had "original" Jim, Linn, Susan (biking Susan, not my running Susan), Kerry, and Dom "the dominator". It was HOT HOT HOT. My car thermometer was calling it 97. Several of the others said that their's was higher. I am certain the heat index was over 100. And this was at 4:30. Anyway, it was a slow go, maybe due to the heat. The group wasn't quite as perky as normal and we were a bunch of sweaty puppies. By mile 12, most of the group had decided to bail out and just do a 26 mile loop. I really felt that I needed the mileage. Susan also wanted the mileage. So the two of us decided to grind out the full ride. It was a nice ride but hot. That is the first time that I have had to stop and refill my water bottles. Normally, two 28 oz bottles will do me on the 36 mile ride. Susan and I both went through four 28 oz bottles. Did I mention it was hot? We finished up around 7ish and when I checked the temperature is was still showing 92. Did I mention it was hot? Needless to say, I slept hard last night.

The previous evening I did a quick 5 mile run in similar type heat. Still not running with a watch. I am just running a pace that my body will allow. It is indeed "dog days" around here.

On another note, I was not completely honest with some of you about my California trip. I have to admit that I am reluctant to discuss it because I don't want to hear the nay-sayers and put up with the grief that I know I'll get. You know how we boys are . . . we hate being teased. But I feel I need to come clean . . . I did have company on my California trip. I took Susan with me (running Susan, not biking Susan!). She had never been and I wanted the company so it seemed to be an obvious solution to both our dilemmas.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another week

Good evening to all,
It is Monday night and I'm actually taking time to sit down and post. I know . . . unusual for me. Phil has inspired me to start sharing again.

Saturday morning was beautiful morning. Nice and cool (for Alabama in July) with a little breeze. Our normal Saturday morning bike ride was relocated to a loop north of Birmingham. We had a 50 miler scheduled and 15 souls on board. It was a nice ride though a little hilly. Of course, my computer died so I was just guessing at pace. Unfortunately for my buddy Larry M, he did not eat a proper dinner the night before. And he knows better. After about 35 miles or so he was hurting and lagging so he decided to forego the last rest stop and take a shortcut back to the cars. The shortcut only cut a couple of miles off but it did take the remaining hillwork out. He took off on his while we were at the rest stop. NOT GOOD, NOT SAFE. I took off after him and rode in with him the rest of the way. I know that he really didn't want the attention but I think he appreciated having the company after we got going. Bottom line is that I did somewhere between 45 and 50 miles with the last 10 miles at a slightly slower pace.

Sunday was an interesting day. No work out but it was exhausting! I skipped church to go to church with Susan. And if that wasn't stressful enough, I took Susan to my parents house for lunch. It was my mom's birthday and I had to go see my momma. Needless to say, it was a draining day.

This afternoon was warm . . . low 90s. I got home from work and cut the grass-just to get a sweat worked up. Then I ran 6 miles. I am still running without my watch. I am just wanting to get miles in right now. I was working in the yard right before sundown and Shelley came running by. So I did the obvious thing . . . I jumped back out there and did another 1.2 mile loop with her. Total mileage for the day 7.2. To top that off, I only had a salad for dinner!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday at home

No Phil . . . the aliens did not program me to think that there was more to life than running. We just went out for the evening! If anything, they have convinced me that I need to get my lazy butt in gear and get ready for fall marathon season.

What am I doing home on a Friday night? It is Friday night and I stayed home and rented King Kong (latest version). Waste of money. Enough said about that. I really need to get a life. I didn't bike or run today. It was an off day. I am doing a 50-60 mile bike ride tomorrow morning. I am about to hit the hay and just thought I'd post since I've been bad and have not been posting recently.

Amy . . . it is good to be back. When are you going to decide to come to B'ham for Mercedes Marathon. The offer was good earlier this year and it is good for next year. You can even bring T with you.

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth

Good morning to all,
Contrary to rumor, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have just been busy. And it hasn't all been work either.

I was in California last week. Specifically, SF and Napa. A couple of days in SF and a couple of days in Napa. I did take running clothes with me but only ended up running one day. Do I feel guilty? Yes. Anything I can do about it? Nope. So I am not going to worry about it.

It has been so long since I've posted, I have sort of lost track of what I've been doing. The Saturday before my trip we did a 50 mile bike ride and averaged 17.3 mph. I ran for an hour last Thursday morning in St Helena (Napa). That was nice. It was cool and slightly overcast-at least compared to this armpit I live in called Alabama where the temperature and humidity compete to see which gets to 100 first. I ran once last weekend . . . nothing outstanding. I ran Tuesday (July 4) morning with Susan but it was hot and miserable. I ran 5 on Wednesday and 6 on Thursday. No spectacular runs. In fact, I am running without my watch.

Sorry for laying off so long. I'll try to do better . . . promise!