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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First Good Run On The Kill!

Had my first good run on the Kill today......it was 70 degrees with 40 percent humidity with a cool breeze off the river. Warmed up for 3 kilometers, then did 8 brisk repeats of the 460 foot ramp up to south street with recoveries being returning to the ramp base. Then I went easy for five minutes. After that I did a 2 kilometer tempo effort, and finally recovered until I reached 8 kilometers. I have also been sight seeing by taking many different northbound streets from the Kill back to the Webers. Tomorrow is an off day and I am going to make Zinfandel beef stew.....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

40 Years Running....

I happen to be in my 40th year of running. Now my running life has exceeded my work life, my sex life, my marital life(s), and everything else, except of course, just my life! My running life has only lasted this long due to the fact that I have run the last 15 years is desert sands in New Mexico and Nevada. I have been in Philly with Kwon and Billy since tuesday. On both wednesday and thursday, Billy and I walked two miles, then I walked about a mile and a half both ways going to and from the "sure kill" (schuykill), and then ran 8K and 10K on the trail those 2 days. All on cement and asphalt. Bye friday morning, my spine and knees were toast. I took friday off and tried to rest all the aches and pains. Today Billy walked me down to the the south street bridge as our walk for the day. Before he left,  he cranked out a quarter mile on the schuykill himself and got a good mesotheleoma lung burn in his one functioning lung. He is my one lung locomotive! Today, being saturday, was an absolute madhouse on the trail. There were racing bikes, 4 wheel 4 person rental bikes, segway scooter tours, people walking 4 abreast,  old people tourists weaving all over not understanding the stay right rule, etc. Since I plan to not run more than two days in a row here until I get home, I was thinking that next weekend, my last weekend here, I would  only run on the trail one of those weekend days, but then I realized that it is memorial day weekend, so I am screwed! I was in City Sports talking to running staff, and they said that there was only one other real possibility where I could run and enjoy dirt paths, but that was 6 miles away in a rough neighborhood. So my plan is to keep my runs 10K or less, and just try to run them with more intensity, allowing me to run a bit less mileage on this trip than the norm back home.
For you Terrible, the way we went down to the trail has been replaced bye this new kilometer ramp off of the south street bridge, down and  out into the river, and connecting with the trail where we picked it up bye crossing the rail tracks and going thru the black iron gates. When you get here, you will be able to go down either south street or walnut and connect to the trail and hike up to the art museum, etc.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

What Doesn't Kill You.......Sometimes Just Doesn't Kill You!

You know the old saying, "what doesn't kill you makes you strong", but it seems for me, at this advanced age, it simply doesn't kill you....not sure you get much in the way of a training effect from it! My plan this week, since I knew that I was only going to get 4 runs in, was to do two 12 kilometer runs with intensity, and two 8 kilometer recovery runs the day after for a total of 40 kilometers for the week. On tuesday, I did 12 kilometers with a 12 and 11 minute set of long intervals toward the end of the run at around 10K race pace. Hard workout, but didn't feel too sore or anything after, and then did 8 kilometers easy on wednesday. Thursday was Deb's scope day, so my plan was to really do a hard workout of friday, hit the gym on saturday, and then do an easy 8 kilometers on sunday and monday before heading off to Philly on tuesday. Friday was a low 80's day with lots of wind, but I got it in my head to try and complete 7 four minute intervals. I started somewhat conservatively, with the goal of making each interval faster than the one before. that worked for the first six, but the last one was closer to the first one as I was totally spent. Sore as all shit later in the day, and damn tired that day and today while trying to force out a good weight workout. So I recognized that I over reached on that workout. Although I need to include two days of intensity each week......sometimes short sprints, sometimes short intervals, tempo work and cruise intervals to try and keep the aging slowing process reasonable, I just have to be careful to try and keep the shorter stuff limited to around 12-15 minutes or so, and the longer stuff to 20-30 minutes. 28 minutes of hard shorter stuff turned out to be just too damned much! Makes too big a hole to recover from!
The cactus on top I bought in the spring. It was full green, but the placard on it said that once it started to get lots of sun, it would turn orange or red. Damned if that didn't come true!
This is the side yard between Joe's and our house.....all of our cacti are blooming at the same time. Gonna have to do some thinning out when I get back from Philly. Getting too damn big!
And finally, Dottie is not into cuddling. You can tell from the expression on her face she isn't interested in this. She got up and walked away shortly after he tried to nuzzle. That is eventually what she always does.....

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Competition!

When I line up at a race these days, I am competing with 4 groups of aged runners:
1) The old guys who are not there. They have either never chosen to run, never wanted to compete, have been competitive, but have had some injury(ies) that don't allow for running, or were told that they shouldn't run any more by some dumb ass doctor, and chose to believe that. I win instantly...
2) The old guys who run for fitness 3 or 4 times a week for a half hour or so. They appear at races and either run the same speed they always run at, or worse, decide to run fast without any sense of pace, and I virtually always pass them around 2 kilometers into a 5K or 10K as they start to fade. If you don't practice some speed work in training, you don't really have a sense of pace or the will to hold a hard pace and suffer. Racing hard takes suffering practice. I always beat these guys....
3) The old competitive runner who has run 30 years or more like me. I can usually out train them, and am willing to suffer in a race for my art to a much greater extent than they are....I usually beat them as well.
4) The new old competitive runner who has been running for less than 15 years. I can rarely beat them. They just have the fresh legs, the recovery ability, and the absence of orthopaedic problems that guys like me have. At the occasional race where one of them shows up and beats me, I will always talk to them after the award ceremony, and I always hear the same thing......"Oh, I started running three years ago or so, and have just been racing for a year or two"...
Had a good week of running again for a total of 45 kilometers with two days with good intensity. Will get in a shorter week this week, as I have to get Deb in to see a gastroenterologist on monday to get the kit and instructions, and then on thursday to get scoped from throat to toes. She is doing so so much better, but we just have to go thru this to insure there are no ongoing problems in her eating mechanisms.....
My good friend, great runner, and cross country coach Chris was over the other day and was talking about Bill Rodgers. He was saying that if he was that slow, he would not be running. I reminded him that I am still running, and am slower that rodgers is at age 67. He said that that is fine for me, but Bill has this legacy. I told him that when he is Bill's age, if he is still running, he will be running about a third the miles he is running now, and at least a 30+% slower pace. He just made a face. So many runners quit when they start to slow precipitously.I quit racing in my late 40's when I kept getting beaten by runners who I had beaten for 15 years. My ego just couldn't handle it. But I got the chance to move away and reinvent myself with little pressure because I was running with people who didn't know my history. Then I got to do it a 2nd time. Bill will never get to do that, and with a bit of edgy amusement, talks about the people who wear shirts at races that say "I beat Bill Rodgers". So, like me, he has to remember his PR's and think, did YOU ever run that fast?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Alignment!

A particularly rough week of running. On tuesday I did 11K with 8.25K easy and 2.75K at around 8K race pace. Wednesday was supposed to be an easy 8K, but with the wind, not so much. Thursday was also windy, and I did 8K with 6 bye 2 minutes intervals faster than 5K race pace. Saturday was 24 MPH winds, with gusts to 35. Got in 13K, knowing the forecast for sunday was pretty dismal. They got it right on sunday and it was 54 degrees, rain and hail, with winds at 28MPH with gusts to 45. Pushed myself thru another 8K. So a total of 48 kilometers for the week, or about a quarter mile or so short of 30 miles. Good effort coming off a hard race a week ago saturday, and a really windy week.
Now, I don't mind running in the wind because it is more effortful. That can be handled by reducing pace, shortening runs, altering speedwork, etc. What I hate about it, is that, even when running north and south with the wind coming from the side, it twists and turns your body all kinds of odd ways. 45+ wind gusts move me all over the place. that really plays havoc with my alignment.....my back rotates, feet and knees rotate, and it makes me sore afterwards from neck to feet. So, hopefully the windy season, which came late, will end soon, or I will just get to fly away from it in two weeks or so.......

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Difficulty Recovering!

Really struggling with recovering from last saturday evenings race. On sunday I tried to do a long run, but ended up struggling thru 8K. Monday I hit the gym. Tuesday I did 11 kilometers.....8.25 easy and then 2.75 at around 5 mile race pace. Wednesday I did 8K easy. Today I did 8K, with 6 two minute intervals at faster than 5K race pace. All of this was with sore back and knees, and a resting pulse rate that showed the difficulty I am having recovering from saturday. Tomorrow I will hit the gym again, and hopefully my runs on saturday and sunday will be less effortful and my joints will stop hurting and my resting heart rate will return to the normal range....
In the picture above before the start of saturdays race, you will see me on the far right almost like I am photo bombing the picture. The guy on the left who is pinning his number on in the red and blue with the ponytail and american indian features, was the only other old looking guy, and I passed him at around 2 kilometers, and never saw him again. He didn't finish within two minutes of me, when I left the finish area doing my warmdown, and headed down a dirt trail. So, that be that.....

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Twilight 5K!

Ran a 5K way up in the north west corner of Las Cruces at the base of a section of the Organ Mountains. It was on the Hawk Ridge Golf Club. The race was a benefit to the Mesilla animal guardians, and dogs were encouraged. The race was set for 5 P.M. (a long time before twilight!), and you could run on the cement cart path or on the grass at your own discretion. Everyone was given an expensive bib with a chip embedded on the back of the number. The winds were 20 plus mph swirling around the mountain from the north and west. They asked people to line up in 4 waves.....faster runners, recreational runners, dog runners, and walkers. Of course, folks never listen, and as there were as many dogs as people, I chose to line up with the first group, planning to go way to fast at the beginning so as not to be killed by a dog or dog leash. The start was directly north west right into the damn wind. It was also up hill. If you have never run on a hilly golf course, it is just constant sharp ups and downs. The entire first mile was uphill and into the wind, and just damn hard. I was in about 20th place out of about 200 folks. At almost exactly 2K, I passed the only person in the race who even looked to be over 50. Most of the next mile was wind aided and downhill. I was hoping for a nice circle around the back nine into the finish, but instead, we made a sharp turn and headed back uphill to the west. Last mile was misery. I had passed about 5 folks thru mile two, but these two young gals running together caught me on the last uphill and actually had the ability to sprint in ahead of me. I finished in 28:22. Not a great time, but acceptable for how hard a 5K it was. After jogging for a mile for a cooldown, I grabbed some water and a banana and watched lots of dogs drag their owners in. The awards were announced and I walked over, only to find that there were 4 award medals.....1st place male and female, and 1st place junior male and female. So, why they spent most of their race budget on chipped bibs and the use of an electronic mat timing system is beyond me. Stopped on the way home at Red Brick pizza for a flat bread sandwich and a draft beer, and then returned home. Will check back to see if they ever bother to post results on the race/golf course web site in the future just out of curiosity sake. Feel pretty sure I was the first guy in over 50.....
Crazy windy week. Had to re-stake the elder tree to keep it from blowing into Joe's yard. It is again the exact height needed to shade the master bedroom window, and I don't want it coming out of the ground again. All of the other yard plants are doing well, and I don't need to plant anything else if I can keep the rest alive....