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Monday, March 30, 2015

Bright Sunny 80's Weather!

Lots of bright sun and 80 plus degree weather over the past week. Got 45K of running in last week with three days of intensity built in. Everything is blooming. Been watering, trimming, and poisoning weeds over the last two days. It always seems silly to me....I water, fertilize, and then am constantly trimming stuff back. Allergies are making me, Deb, and mugsy sneeze all day. Deb is improving and able to eat a bit more regularly of late. Made her a few fish and chicken meals, including a monster vat of homemade chicken soup that she has been working on for three days. Hoping she continues to improve so I can head out to see Billybob and the kids plus my new grandson in late may/early june. Gotta clear it with Joe so he can keep an eye on my bride....
Watched the scientology documentary last night on HBO. Craziest damn shit you could possibly imagine. Must be why Tom Cruise always has that madman's smile....
Sent my boy a box of 25 t-shirts or so from cleaning out and packing winter cloths and pulling all of my summer stuff out. Race T-shirts from about 30 years and 5 or 6 different places. Told him he can wear them, or use them for rags when he is working on his car or motorcycle. Also sent Vitali this small 7" acer one laptop that I bought a couple months before visiting Billybob and Kwon when Billy was going thru chemo.....Kwon then bought me a nice Ipad for my birthday a few months later, and I never much used that laptop again. It has windows XP, but terry said that is what he worked on when he was on the help desk all those years ago in Kansas City, and he can fix/do anything in it, so he will get it all refreshed for Vitali. Can't wait to meet my new grandson.....

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hey, You're A Runner Aren't You......!

Three times this week someone has come up to me and asked....."hey, you're a runner aren't you?". The one guy was while waiting in line at walgreens to pick up a script for Deb. He asked about my altra shoes and converting to zero drop footwear. The second was at the Ihop......guy wanted to know how much I still run at my old ass looking age. The third was at the gym....lady wanted to know if my indians tattoo was some college cross country logo....odd. As I am just about two weeks away from starting my 40th year of running, still seems funny to me that people can tell so easily.....
Had three good runs so far this week. Tuesday I ran 10K, with 8K easy and then 2K at around 8K race pace. Wednesday I ran 8K easy. Thursday I ran another 8K, with 4 repeats of 3 minutes with 2 minute recoveries at around 3K race pace. Gotta push myself some weeks to get that intensity in. Hit the gym monday and today, and will try and finish the week with a long run with a fast finish, and an easy recovery run. We shall see.....
On facebook they do this thing called throwback thursday.....people post all kinds of interesting pictures from their past or from their families past. So today, even though it is friday, I thought I would post a picture of me and my bud billybob from around 25 years ago. We were warming up in fairport for their annual 4th of July weekend 5 mile race. Was a fun day. Billybob is struggling again with breathing issues and is getting a cat scan next week. I am planning to get to him in late may or early june. I have wanted to for the last two years, buy my bride has just struggled thru so may medical problems of her own, haven't felt comfortable leaving her for a few weeks. Hoping I will be able to now......

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beautiful Race Day In Las Cruces!

This is my photo from the 10K from two weeks ago. They finally got put up today.
Today I headed to Las Cruces for the tumbleweed run for mesilla elementary school. Once I got to the registration table and got my number, I asked if I needed to write my name on it and age, and the gal said "no, it is just so we know who is on the course". It was at that moment I realized it was going to be a fun run with no awards. Weather was 58 degrees and sunny at the start. I thought that since it was not going to be a race with age groups, that I would try and experiment. The first mile was a gradual down hill, so I thought I would try and blast it and go under an eight minute mile. I did, and it worked, but then it made for more of a struggle for the last two miles. I did come thru the chute at a 5:31 per kilometer pace, so it was around a 27 minute time, so my experiment didn't change much. The garmin said it was 5.06 kilometers, so well laid out and an accurate distance. Course marshals and police did a nice job also. Followed that up with a trip to barnes and knobles at NMSU for a sandwich and coffee, and then over to Toucan for some gourmet groceries. Got home around 12:30 or so.....
Been texting and talking to my lifelong best bud Ernie today. His mother is probably pretty close to her end time and I appreciate how difficult this is for him. She was a 2nd mother to me also. We used to come home after high school to Ernie's house and eat cookies while Olga started cooking onions for whatever was being created for dinner....always had onions.....
I was the 2nd oldest in the 10K two weeks ago, and when the guy won the 70 plus age group, I photo bombed him. Great guy....still fairly fast (faster than I will be then!) and he found it amusing.....oddly enough, most other people find me less amusing......

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dang Sore This Week!

Did not recover very well this week from last saturday's race. I think it was trying to blast downhill on those last two kilometers to get in around the time I was hoping for that just did me in. On the sunday after the race I ran an easy 8K. Was really sore. On monday I hit the gym, and when I went to do leg presses, the sticks were just broken. Tuesday I wanted to do a long run, but was still sore and settled for an easy 11 kilometers instead. Thursday I finally felt that my legs were partially under me. I did another 8 kilometers with 4 kilometers in the middle with alternating 20 second sprints and 40 second recoveries. Friday was another gym day, and saturday, instead of racing, I ran another 8 kilometers with 4 three minute intervals at around 2 mile race pace with two minute recoveries. Today I will try again to do a long run. I signed up for a 5K in old mesilla next saturday which will be flat. See if I can improve on the same course I ran a 5K on around a month earlier. Weather looks good for the week...finally in the 70's for the next seven days or so. Need to get back to running shirtless! Joe, AD, Chris and I watched the final regular season game of the aggies on saturday night. They won ugly. They finished the season 12-1, but now have to head to the orleans in vegas for the WAC tournament to see if they can get to the big tournament for the 4th season in a row. They will sure have to play better in the tourney than they did in the 2nd half of last nights game if they are gonna make it. It was a sold out game and good fun!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tough Hilly 10K!

Based on my last couple 5K races, I had anticipated running this 10K in the 57-58 minute range. That is what my running calculator said I should be able to do. Now this race is in an area north east of Las Cruces metro, and as I wound my way to the venue, I noticed all these orange cones in the road, and quickly became aware of how hilly everything around me was. When I was warming up and looking around, I knew this was going to be all hills, and not short easy ones, but long steep ones. The weather at the start was 43 degrees, but it was a full sun day. I knew that to hit my time goal, I had to run around 5:50 per kilometer pace or better, so I kept my eyes on the garmin. The first mile and a half was straight up hill, and I surprised myself by being able to comfortably hold 5:55 pace. The next mile was kind of rolling, but not particularly steep. Then, on a side street, we had a really steep climb. By the top, we were at 6K on the garmin, but my pace had slowed to 5:59. We then did a long downhill, but turned for a one mile loop that took me right back on that same side street up the same damn hill. By 8K I started asking myself why I chose the 10K vs the 5K. The last two kilometers were thankfully all down hill into a flat quarter mile turn thru the finishing chute. I made up a lot of time on that downhill and finished in 57:48 or 5:46 per kilometer. I was extremely happy with my time on such a difficult course and it was good enough for 2nd in the 60 to not dead age group. I am super sore in my lower back and knees, and am betting I will be damn sore over the next few days. 10K is definitely the longest race distance I want to run anymore. Felt like I was out there forever. Has me rethinking that mountainous 10K next saturday. There are no age groups so I could run it slower, but I may hold off for a 5K race the following weekend.......

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Intensity Vs. Duration For An Old Athlete!

One of the things that you learn from your running as you approach 40 years, is that every age is different. I was reading this book over the last week, and it teaches you some things that you didn't want to learn, along with some things you do. Your 60's are the decade with the greatest performance loss of all of your decades, with an average 31% decline in performance over those ten years. You can't combat this with higher mileage or running more days, but only by including more intensity into your running.....more short intervals, more tempo work, and especially short and long hill work. You need to include this in at least two of your runs per week. Since I live in pancake village,the hills will have to occur on treadmills. Anyway, one of the things that I had really not thought about that was covered extensively in the book was the relationship of intensity vs. duration when you are running the same race distances at substantially slower paces. In my 30's when I ran over 60 5K's in the 17:45 to 18:20 range, I could run them with absolute abandon due to their short duration. Running a 5K now in the 26-28 minute range, I can't run like that, because the event just lasts too long. I would probably need to find a 3K race in order to duplicate that intensity. Similarly, in my 30's, I covered around 25 10K's in the 37-38 minute range. When I now run them in 57-58 minutes, I clearly can tell that I am holding the intensity back and running them like the 15K's and 10 milers I also did in my 30's. Your brain can calculate how hard you can run in anticipation of how long you will be running.....it is an incredible computer, especially when it has almost 40 years of data that allows it to use your breathing intensity and muscle contractions to redline in relation to expected duration. So if I was running against 30's Tom, the only way I could match his intensity is bye running for the same duration....old Tom would just be way the hell further down the road.....
Bride is home and doing dandy. She has surely had a rough three years. I sure hope, that in similar fashion to my last 10 months, she gets a good period of health and comfort over the rest of this year....

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Two Upcoming 10K's!

Last year, my dwarf peach tree produced only 5 good edible peaches. Two years ago, it produced around 50. Kind of like my melon seasons....you just never know. Now depending on weather and wind, I will hopefully get at least an average of the previous two years crops. The picture above is of some of the first flowers forming on the tree......
With my bride suffering from her current maladies, it has been difficult getting all of my workouts in, but I have managed to reasonably keep up. Last sunday, the day after my 5K race, I struggled thru 13 kilometers in an hour and a half to insure a long run two weeks before my first of two 10K's. On tuesday I ran 8K, 5K easy and 3K at around current 5 mile race pace. On thursday I ran a brisk 10K at around 30 seconds per kilometer slower than expected 10K race pace. Yesterday I ran 11K, 9K easy and 2K at the same exact pace as tuesday. Today I will do an easy 8K. Tomorrow I will head back into las cruces after a workout at the gym, and check on my bride. So, all in all, I think I am ready for back to back 10K's. Having a good base over the last 10 months without any injuries has made me feel stronger than at any time in the last three years. The first 10K is a road race in Las Cruces over undulating terrain. Hoping to run somewhere between 57 and 58 minutes. The second 10K is a trail race on narrow paths where there are no age group awards, and the course climbs over a thousand feet up, and then a thousand feet down. Hoping just to get in a good workout, and finish somewhere around an hour.
Still getting some conflicting information about Deb's condition, and she still doesn't seem that much improved for having spent 11 days in two hospitals. When I called her this morning, she said there still isn't any kind of exact time line for when she may be released. They are taking her off intravenous fluids, and she was eating lightly this morning. The only thing I know for sure, is that once she is home and has a chance to get stabilized for a week or so, we need to look at getting her a colonoscopy. No fun there, but something that has to happen......