Thursday, August 31, 2006

Have you ever felt like . . .

There just isn't enough time in the day. The clock and the calendar actually do speed up as you get older. There is an inverse proportion to you body speed vs. actual clock speed. All good questions that I ponder more often than I like to admit. Maybe I'm not superman. Maybe I'm not invincible. Maybe . . . . I'm just (GASP) human.

I've been looking at the calendar thinking about my upcoming marathon. I really have not been pushing myself the way I did earlier this year. I know that this one will be like others . . . just a death march. But I will use it in my training and I'm already starting to get excited about Rocket City Marathon which is 10 weeks after Portland. That will give me time to get back in decent shape. I only have two more weeks (three weekends) until I start my taper. 20 miles this Saturday. 12-15 miles or a long bike rider next Saturday and then a 20-22 miler on the third weekend. Normally by now I'm able to say that the hay is in the barn. This time I feel like the hay hasn't even been cut yet. If you didn't grow up in the country the last two sentences were wasted on you. Sorry.

Tuesday night I ran about 6 miles. I went over to Susan's to try to get a little work done on her deck. Of course since it hasn't rained in here in 6 weeks, it started raining everytime I tried to get anything done. We got some trim painted and then gave up. So I took off on an adventure run while she took her oldest daughter, MA, to soccer practice. Susan lives in a nice part of town in some older neighborhoods. This B'ham is hilly so I was either running up hill (huff and puff) or downhill. I know the area and just used that male chromosome thingy for navigation and ended up with a decent 3 mile loop, according to my watch.

Just my meanderings for the day. I'm supposed to try to get some work done over there again this afternoon and will run the same loop that I discovered on Tuesday night. I might run it in reverse just to see the other side of the hills!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Too ashamed to post

Hey all. Yes . . . I have been too ashamed to post. At least until I got a decent run in. I had a pretty good run last night after mowing the lawn, edging and trimming shrubs. I waited long enough for it to cool off to 90 degrees. I did an untimed 6 miler. I ran the first couple of miles with Shelly, my neighbor who is starting to get serious about her half marathon coming up in Feb. After Shelly finished, I started picking up the pace a little and really tried to concentrate on constantly speeding up. A good run. I needed it after this weekend.

Let me preface talking about Saturday's run by telling you that I spent the whole day Friday out in the heat, playing golf. I thought I drank enough fluids while golfing. The operative word is THOUGHT. Can you see where this is going?

I woke up early Saturday and headed down to the Lakeshore trail. Susan and I had planned my 17.5 mile run down to the enth degree. I was going to run the first 7 1/2 miles (3- 2 1/2 mile segments) and then she would park on the end opposite of my truck. We would then run back to my truck, completing my 10th mile where I'd unload the bike and she would ride 5 miles while I ran and then we'd run my last 2 1/2 miles together back to her car. Pretty elaborate planning and we were really looking forward to it. However, the lack of adequate hydration from the day before raised its ugly head. I ran the first 7 1/2 miles exactly as I wanted . . . I held right at a 9 minute pace but I thought I might be in trouble when I started getting thirsty. Let me tell you something about me-I NEVER GET THIRSTY. Somewhere between 7 1/2 and 10 miles my body decided it would get rid of what last little bit of fluid was in it via MASSIVE amounts of sweat and salt. When I hit the 10 mile mark, my shoes were soaked and my legs and socks were white from the salt. I've always had a little salt around my face and ankles but this was ridiculus. I also slowed way down and started feeling blah. I turned to go back for another 2 1/2 miles but after about a mile, I called it quits. I cannot believe that I quit on a run. Normally my mind will push the body or vice versa but not this past Saturday. Both were weak and I was a wimpy, wussy, girlie-man. I started walking back to my truck, not feeling so good. Thank goodness Susan was there on her bike. She insisted that I just ride her bike back to my truck and she would run the opposite direction back to her car. She wanted to go with me to the truck to make sure I was okay but I would not let her. I managed to get to the truck, load the bike, drink about a quart of water and a quart of Gatorade. It took a couple of hours but I finally got to feeling better.

According to the books and the experts, I should stick to my schedule. That means that I need to run a 20 miler this coming Saturday morning. I will give it a go. However, I will not be out in the sun all day Friday AND I will be starting my run earlier to try to avoid the heat.

Incidentally, I think this coming weekend is the Tupelo marathon and half-marathon. Fellow blogger Shane is running in this. Be sure to stop by his site and wish him luck.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

5 at 5

Good morning. I'm at work and ready for another day. I got an early start this morning. I'm sure Phil will get a chuckle over this since he advocated running in the morning to avoid the heat. I have plans for the evening and being the A.R. type about my running schedule, I had to get my Thursday run in. So, I decided to do it this morning. Yep . . . the FAT MAN rolled out of be around 4:45 am. I am not a quick starter early in the morning. I consider myself a morning person . . . I enjoy getting up between 5 and 5:30, having my coffee, getting into the office early. However, it is different to roll out, lace 'em up, and start pounding them out. I digress. By 5:00 I was pounding them out. While running my first mile I ran into Chip (figuratively) while he was finishing up his run. He said he started at 4:30 and has been doing a lot of his summer running this early in the morning. People tell me I am crazy for running. Crazy is voluntarily getting out of bed between 4 and 4:30 to run! I was wanting to do 6 miles but I settled for 5. The old body just had to stop and take care of some business (don't ask).

BTW, I got my new shoes. Mizuno Wave Renegade 3. Two pair. Perfect fit. Is there any better feeling than to lace up a pair of new shoes that fit and going for a run? I can think of maybe one or two things that feel better but I had better not talk about those things here!

The thing tonight is a fund raiser for Ronald McDonald house here in Birmingham The event is a cocktail hour, dinner, and live auction all for a good cause. They auction things such as trips, dinners, a date with Deidre Downs (former Miss Alabama and Miss America) and many other fun things. Of course contributions are encouraged. I normally pay for laundry for a month but I may do something different this year. I'm taking Susan with me and we are going to enjoy playing dress up. I might even post a picture of us if you promise to behave!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A very good night!

Tonight's run went from a nice easy recovery run to a decent, let's push Jim a little bit run. I ran the first couple of miles of my run at a very easy pace. I thought I was going to get to skate by but "animal" met me at the end of his driveway halfway through my run. That meant that we were going to pick the pace up a little . . . whether we want to or not. I was averaging a 9 minute pace without "animal" but when we finished my 6 mile run, I had dropped my average down to 8:50s which means I ran almost 3 miles in the 8:40 range. It felt pretty good and I really was not that winded. It was a little warm . . . around 90 degrees but it was not unbearable. Thanks Marc for making me work!

I love my neighborhood. Not only did Marc "animal" join me for my run and make me work, we saw Shelley, Dom, Debi (Dom's wife), Dom's daughter, all out running. As the weather cools off more and more people will be coming out to run. Yes, Phil, my "hood" is a great running place. There are others . . . Chip, Dori, Patrick, Tommy and several others with whom I have not run. Bottom line to everyone out there-Find a running buddy. It doesn't matter if they are slower or faster. If they are slower, you can help them improve. If you are slower, they can help you improve. Even though running is an individual sport a team can make you stronger.

I spoke with one of the "anonymous" commenters on my blog. As some of you may know, they are my parents. I called them tonight to discuss my dad's upcoming birthday. Susan and I are going to take him out in a couple of weeks for dinner . . . we might even take my mother along as well. Just kidding mom! Anyway, I was telling them how boring my life really is. They were trying to convince me that their life is more boring. I asked what they were doing. Sounded pretty good to me. They were sitting in the tub, drinking wine, eating cashews, smoking cigars. I tip my hat to them. Much more exciting than a microwave dinner and writing about it!

Good night.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A rainy Monday

Hey all. Yes-a very southern, hickish salutation. Sorry about that for all my non-southern running friends.

All day today it was hot and sunny. They (whoever they are) kept saying that it was supposed to rain. Yeah right. Fat chance. I checked the radar while at work around 3:30 and guess what . . . . BIG STORMS moving my way. I skipped out of work about 10 minutes early so I could get home and cut the grass. I made it home, changed clothes, and got the grass cut. So far, so good. Plan is working. Lawnmower rinsed and chloroxed and laces up the running shoes . . . THUNDER. BIT THUNDER. LOTS OF LIGHTNING. 3 inches of rain in about 30 minues. Not to be detered, I used the time to lift weights and clean a bike and lube a chain. Thuderstorm stopped but it was still raining. Got to get my run in, so off I went. Sloshing, squishing, dripping and having fun. I didn't run with a watch but it felt like a decent run. 6 miles in the rain but it was fun and good quality time to think and sort. All in all a pretty good evening. I even got three loads of clothes done. It's all about time management.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another weekend gone

Is everyone ready for another week of work? Don't you hate the fact that you were not born into a rich family like the Kennedys or Rockefellows? Real folks like us have to work and if we're lucky, we might have time to enjoy what is left of our lives.

Today is Sunday . . . . I didn't run or bike. Today was a rest day. I was surprised how good I felt after yesterday's long run. I spent the better part of the day working on Susan's deck. The carpentry work is done and now we are doing all the other things . . . staining, screening, finishing up. The bottom line is that I stayed outside working in the heat all day and didn't bother me at all.

Yesterday, I did my 15 miler. As I said, I was a little nervous about it. I didn't run it very fast . . . I averaged 9:12 miles. Actually I ran the first 10 mile right at a 9:00 pace and then started slowing down. Of course the heat was going up so I think that may have a little to do with it. Susan met me down there after I had already done 5 miles. She ran 5 miles at here pace, so I only saw her for a couple of minutes as our paths crossed. I finished up 10 miles and got her bike out of the truck and then I took off to finish my run. She finished her 5 miles after I had already started on mile 11. She jumped on her bike and chased me down and caught me around 12 miles. She went on ahead and rode for 5 miles. As I was coming back to finish guess who was running towards me . . . Yep, she was an animal yesterday. She had run back and ran the last 1/2 mile or so with me. Good for her! She is working hard to get ready for Mercedes next February. I am working hard to get ready for Portland in 6 weeks! 18 miler next weekend!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday at last

Yep it's Friday. Finally. Don't misunderstand me . . . I like my job. It's just that sometimes I'm not really motivated. I'd rather be running, biking, golfing. Ever happen to you?

Had a very nice run late yesterday afternoon. I picked up Susan and we went to the Lakeshore Greenway. I planned a 54 minute run to Susan's 50 minute run. She wouldn't give me a 4 minute head start to make things even. She only gave me about 90 seconds. That means that I had to try to close a 2 1/2 minute gap. Couldn't do it-Susan was waiting on my when I finished just to rub it in.

Knowing the distances on the Greenway, I figure I ran about 6 1/2 miles. I also did it in about 53 minutes. I turned at 27 minutes and cut a full minute off my return trip. Not sure what my splits were but my average was somewhere around 8:10-8:15 miles. I felt really good turning it up on the return trip and probably could have run faster. Legs were tired this morning but feel better now at lunchtime. Yes, I am blogging at work. Shame on me!
I am both nervous and excited about 15 miler in the morning.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Need new shoes!

Hey all.

Yes. I need an excuse to spend more money. It's about time for new shoes. I've been in the same two pair for about 5 months. That includes all the training I did for Flying Pig marathon. Both pairs are nearing 400 miles and my knees and ankles are starting to feel it. I'll be ordering two new pair of Mizuno Wave Renegade 3 since Brooks managed to screw up their Beast which I used to love. However, they "improved" the shoe to where it does not fit me anymore.

I ran only 5 miles last night. I had plans for the evening and had to get showered and do a few things around the house. It's okay . . . since my legs are huring a little bit, it doesn't bother me too much to actually skip a mile or two.

I was planning on doing hill work Thursday but I may do some fartleks instead. Susan and I are talking about doing a run on Lakeshore trail like last week. It would be a good chance to run for an hour and do fartleks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Less than 7 weeks

I cannot believe that it is less than 7 weeks until my marathon. I am way too undertrained! This will be a suicide mission for sure. I am in better shape than when I have run other marathons. I am just thinking about how good a shape I was in for Flying Pig. Oh well . . . it will be a good training run

Tonight was a recovery run. I did an easy 6 miler. I had done about 1 1/2 miles when my friend Shelly came bebopping out of her house and wanted to join me. No problem. Shelly isn't super fast but she keeps a steady pace and it helps me to keep from running to hard on a recovery run. Shelly ran about 4 miles with me and quit. She and her husband Keith had to go to a softball game. They are an interesting couple. Keith is older . . . I think something like 10-12 years older than Shelly. He's about my age. They have two small ones both under three years old.

A nice easy run. Good company. Got to pick her brain about a few things. Can it get any better?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday night

Hey all,
I've been a bad boy and been too busy to update. My normal schedule is to run on Thursday and Saturday morning. Thursday afternoon was a rainy and stormy afternoon. Susan and I planned to do the same run we did on Wednesday night . . . nor running together, but starting and finishing at the same time. It was not to be. The longer we waited in the car for the rain to let, the harder it rained. Normally, I run in the rain. No problem. After all, it may be raining the day of the marathon and you have to be prepared. However, right when we were about to jump out of the car, lightning strick nearby. We bailed. End of story. I did not get a Thursday run in.

You won't believe what I did Friday night. I can't believe what I did Friday night! I have not done this since I was in high school. That is almost 30 years ago! I could not believe that it had been that long. Get your minds out of the gutter . . . it has nothing to do with the backseat of my car! Susan had her girls this weekend. Elizabeth, 6 and Mary Alice 9. refered to a E and MA. Anyway, normally we'd just do a movie or go bowling. But not tonight. 7 weeks from my marathon. What do we do? WE GO FREAKING ROLLERSKATING. Not complaining. I had fun. Actually skated about an hour and a half. Never fell. I did, however, almost do the splits. I think that is when I pulled my groin. OUCH. I survived it. But I still have a 12 miler to do in about 12 hours.

Saturday morning. 4:30 AM. It is thundering. It is lightning. It is raining. It's okay . . . it's 4:30. I don't need to be out there for another couple of hours.

6:00 . . . THUNDER. RAIN. Hmmmmm

6:30. . . . get out of bed and get ready to run. It's thundering. It's raining. I'm stretching my groin which is killing me. 7:00 . . . still raining and still hurting. I am having guests over tonight so I figure I'll use my time to start prepping. I am making dessert . . . strawberry pie. I am getting the steaks ready.

It is still raining.

7:45 . . . I am letting Kelsey out to do her business. It is still raining. Guess who is running by the house? Chip. I cannot believe it. He has seen me now. He yells at me "what are you waiting for?"

Thanks Chip.

While he is doing another loop, I am gingerly trotting back to meet him. My groin is killing me. I am crow-hopping. I can't even keep a good cadence. My day is shot. CRAP.

All of a sudden, I see Chip coming towards me. I tell him I'm wimpy. I'm a gimp. He says it's okay and let's get going. I hobble along for about a half mile. Groing hurting. Shoes going squish, squish in the rain. Not a good day for a long run.

Chip has been out for a couple of miles already so I know he's quitting before me. It rains for another hour. We are "girl talking" and having a good. Groin hurts but I think I can finish. We joke that we need the sun to come out and heat things up. Guess what . . . . at about mile 7, the sun comes out the temp shoots up at least 10 degrees. We also have the added bonus of STEAM COMING OFF THE PAVEMENT! Chip wraps up his 11 miles and I've done about 9. We've averaged an 8:30 pace. Not too bad for a couple of soaking wet puppies. One with a gimpy leg. After Chip leaves me, I hit cruise control and back off the pace a little bit. I finish. Not too strong. Not too wimpy. I finish. I am starting to wonder if I can get my 26 miles in 7 weeks. It is now a race to the race!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Only 52 days to go

Good morning or evening (depends on when you read this). Bottom line is . . . how ya doin? Howdy! Hey! Choose your colloquialism (Hmmmm, did I spell that correctly?). Got up this morning after a nice run last night and I've discovered that the world has gone one more step closer to crazy. I must preface what I am about to say . . . I am a southern boy. Some might say redneck, but technically that is not true. A redneck works outdoors. I believe in God, country, mother, love, puppies (kittens sometimes). WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THESE WHACKJOB MUSLIMS? Don't misunderstand me. I am not using a broad paintbrush. I understand not all muslims are whackjobs. But these radicals that want to destroy, kill, maim. SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN! I am sorry if I am stepping on toes. I have muslim friends here at my office. They desire the same things in life I want. But these others . . . . geez. I think that if you're involved with terrorist activity (or any other criminal activity) you should be summarilly executed. We have to get away from this mamby-pamby, limp wristed approach to handle criminals. It is like watching a parent in Wal-Mart trying to reason and beg with a brat child. SMACK 'em one . . . that's what is needed! Okay, I've vented about this morning's events in the UK. Afterall, this is a blog about running, not politics. Sorry.

I had a really good run last night. We had some thunderstorms roll through so that helpd to cool things off. I called Susan to see if she wanted to run and she was up for it. She needs it since she is training for the Mercedes half-marathon here in Birmingham. We went to the Lakeshore trail and started around 6:45. No, we don't have a nice big lake here in B'ham. To be honest, I am not exactly sure why the road or area is called Lakeshore. I think that there was a swamp there once, a hundred years ago. Anyway . . . the trail is a nice long, flat run with different parking areas which allows you pick and choose distances. I wanted to get in a hard run and I knew that Susan couldn't run my pace so I introduced her to a little game that me and my running buddies do sometime. We start at the same spot, run out a fixed amount of time, turn around and come back to the start point. This works out well when you have people of different speeds and abilities and it will definitely make you run a negative split since you are either chasing or being chased. We ran out 25 minutes and then turned around and came back to the car. This meant that Susan ran about 4 1/2 miles and best I could tell, I got in close to 6 miles. We never really did run "together" except for when I caught her about 100 yards from the car. Good for her that she really did run the second leg really hard. When I turned around, I kicked it up a notch, planning on catching her a lot sooner. However, the fear of being chased down made her run harder. A good workout for both of us.

Oh yeah . . . 52 days until Portland Marathon. I spoke to my BIL, Cary. He had had a bad sinus infection in June/July and has subsequently bailed on running the marathon with me. It's okay because I know that he is a good host and I will have a good time in Portland with his help.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Feeling better

Good evening to all!

Yes, I am feeling better. Late last week my GERD was acting up, the heat had me down, and I was full of self doubt. I have spent the last several days watching my diet, doubling up on my Nexium, and also taking my GI cocktail (Lidocaine, Gaviscon, and anti-spasm medicine). I think that I am on my way to recovering from my GERD!!! Yippeee. However, my back is still screwed up but who has time to worry about it when I only have eight weeks to marathon.

I worked on Susan's (running) deck Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We are just about done with all the repair work. We are now in the short rows . . . pressure wash, treat it, screen it, trim it, and voila. . . a refurbished screened in deck. I has been a project. What started off as a weekend project has turned into a summer of weekends project. I am not complaining . . . we've had fun doing it and I think I may have actually convinced Susan's girls that they DO NOT want to be carpenters. The more I worked on the deck, the more we found rot and repairs that needed to be done. The people who built owned the house before her had built the deck using untreated lumber. Enough said about that!

Saturday morning I got up and did a 10 miler. I ran about 4 miles with my buddy Chip . . . thanks Chip for making me work and punishing me for being such a slug this summer. We did some faster miles than I thought I would do but I survived it. Susan came over and ran 4 miles with me . . . a much nicer pace than running with Chip! A good run but it was still pretty warm. Next Saturday I am getting out of bed sooner. Did you hear me Chip? I don't want you giving me a hard time about not knowing what early is! a 12 to14 miler Saturday morning. This will let me know how hard I should expect to run my marathon.

Monday evening I ran a 6 miler. I know that Phil says to run in the mornings. However, I discovered that 90+ degrees isn't quite so bad at sunset. I started my run about 6:45. All in the shade. It was actually nice. I am going to try this for a week or two. I think I can deal with afternoon runs this way. I just need to eat a big lunch and eat a VERY SMALL dinner after my runs. The run tonight went well and I felt good. I didn't wear a watch but I could tell I was running a pretty good pace and I had gas left in the tank. I actually threw in a couple of surges. Now I am going to get in the floor with my dog and stretch my back!!!

Talk to ya'll later!

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Hi all . . . I have not fallen off the face of the earth . . . I have just been busy. As you know, I was at the beach last weekend. Actually, I was gone Thursday thru Sunday. Susan and her girls went and we had a good time. I did run one day and played on the bike (just joy riding). Basically, I did what most people do on a beach trip . . . I was a slug. Yes, the FAT MAN was chasing me and making up ground!

I ran 5 miles Monday. One word-HOT. Two words-AS BLAZES. I'm still running without a watch. No sense in it. There is no way to make any time when it is in the mid-90s with index near or over 100. I keep threatening to do my running in the early morning but right now I am doing it right after work which means I am pounding them out around 4:30 in the afternoon. Something has to give!

I ran 5 miles Tuesday afternoon. You guessed it-HOT. I don't think I have ever sweat as much as I have this summer. Normally on a long run I expect my socks to get soaked and my shoes to go "squish squish squish", but they shouldn't be doing it after 3 miles! Again, I know that some of you are running in hot weather also and I guess I may just be a girlie-man. More power to Phil running in AZ. I can't imagine running in true triple digit weather!

Wednesday afternoon I went with the guys for a bike ride. We started a little after 5:00 and temp was mid 90s with temps on the pavement well over 100. No idea what the heat index on the pavement could be . . . maybe 110? Anyway, we were going to do the normal Wed 35 miler. However, discretion got the better part of valor and three of us bailed out and only did 26, skipping the 9 mile add on loop. Glad we did . . . When I finished, I was light headed and miserable. I ended up averaging 17.1 mph which isn't bad but it took a lot out of me. It took me a couple of hours before I felt normal. First time in a long time that I drank so much water that I got sick at my stomach. I may have been 20-30 minutes from heat exhaustion. (Original) Jim and Lin bailed with me and they were not having a lot of fun either. Larry, Kerry, and Richard did the 9 mile add on loop. Larry told me this morning that they probably should have bailed . . . they almost got in trouble. Kerry stopped sweating and was getting chills and Larry admitted that he wasn't right the rest of the evening. We are all forutnate that we all managed to dodge a bullet.

I need some pep talk. My marathon is 8 1/2 weeks away and I don't feel like I am making any progress in my training. Somebody please tell me that the training in the heat is doing me some good and when I toe the line in Portland with the temp in the low 50s I should be fine. PLEASE tell me that I will do okay!!!