Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tahoe Triple Tapering

Day 1 of the Tahoe Triple is a week from tomorrow. We leave this Friday. I'm packing all sorts of clothing, GU packets, 4 for a buck powerbars, bandaids, vaseline, etc. etc. Hope I'm not leaving anything out that I'll need.

I'm limiting myself to one 20-miler this week (yesterday), so it must be taper time. For most of the summer I averaged high seventies for weekly mileage, and included two or more long runs per week. I only ran about 67 miles last week, and after today's and Friday's 11-milers, I'll have fifty-some for this week. I feel like I'm as ready as I can possibly be. I think I can handle the distance, and probably the hills. The Tahoe altitude is the only unknown for me. It'll cause a slowdown; the only question is how much.

Someone asked about my goals. My initial reaction was: Goals? I need to have goals? What's up with that?? But then I thought about it and came up with some:

1) Start each run (this may be problematical for days 2 and 3.
2) Stay vertical for the three runs (also problematical - especially after reading about Helen Klein).
3) Actually cross the finish line each day (problematical, of course).
4) If I can accomplish goals 1-3, it would be nice to do each marathon in the 3:30 to 4:00 range. This is based on my measly training at sea level. If it's not to be, that's ok too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Today's Run - 2005-09-27

I really don't do this on purpose, but once again, I woke up early (3am) and decided to do an extra 10 before Dave emerged. I did, and it went well today. The cool weather helped. I did the first 10 in a PR tie of 77.5, and Dave and I went around the second time in 84.5. This turned out to be the best Tuesday 20 - doing this route - yet.

I'm feeling better now, and I think I'm running at least as well as ever this year. All systems are go for Tahoe.

This is definitely the last 20 before the triple. It's only a bit more than a week away. Yikes.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Yesterday's Run - 2005-09-25

Nice run with Rita and George on the trails at the Rocky River Nature Center. I wound up with about 12 very easy miles in about 1:48. Plenty of hills. Buckets of sweat.

Dinner with Family

Dave, Carol, Ed, Betsy, Mom and us went to dinner at Ruby Tuesday yesterday. Nice time. We planned our trip with Dave and Carol just a bit.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Yes, we're going again! Had Northwest Frequent Flyer Miles to burn, and burn we did. NWA is in Chapter 11, and although the FF's are safe for now, you never know. We booked it for January 23 to February 3, Cleveland to Houston to Maui, and return. We also booked the whole 12 days/11 nights at the Renaissance Wailea. It's weird not going to more than one island, but that's the plan.

My Cold, Debbie's Cold, and Today's Run - 2005-09-24

I'm almost 100% now. That Zicam is just fantastic. I got the cold on Tuesday, but wasn't really sure until Wednesday morning. I did start the Zicam on Tuesday though. Good thing. I did feel really lousy on Wednesday, and part of Thursday, but by Friday it was mostly gone. And today I was able to get back to my Tahoe Triple Training - a 20-miler with Dave and Andy in 2:35. Super.

Debbie got the cold from me, and she feels really lousy. She even has a fever of 100 or so. She's on the Zicam, so I hope she's better soon.

Powerbars @ Four for a Buck

It's true. I bought 12 of them for three bucks at a Great Freight Store. Only one problem: the expiration date was July 16, 2005.

I think it was the same person who questioned why they have expiration dates on sour cream, but someone was wondering about what could happen to Powerbars if they expired. I guess I'm about to find out. By the way, Great Freight is a bit like Big Lots - lots of odds and ends of stuff. Some at very good prices. My training partner Dave clued me in to the possibility that they may have my long sought after Powerbars, and he was right.

Long sought after because I haven't been able to find them recently. I wanted to pack some for my Tahoe Trip. I've looked at supermarkets, drug stores and Kmarts, and no Powerbars or Cliff Bars. What's up with that? There were plently of protein and balance-type bars to be had.

By the way, Great Freight had any flavor you would want, as long as you like Banana Nut.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Today's Run - 2005-09-22

I ought to be running at my best these days: two weeks and a day before Tahoe. But now I've got this dang cold. I didn't run at all yesterday, and only 3 today (president streets - 26 minutes). I sure hope this thing goes away quickly. Don't know if the Zicam off-brand stuff is working or not.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sunday, Tuesday, and Now

Sunday I did 24 - three eight-mile loops to the end of Substation and back. Pretty slow going. Didn't mind starting slow, but finishing slower (about 9-minute pace) was disconcerting.

Yesterday I woke early (about 3) and decided to get another long one in - this time in conjunction with Dave and the usual 10. I couldn't quite finish 10 before Dave came out, but close enough - I did 1 more after we were through. The problem was that, unlike last time I tried this, I was moving slower for that first loop. The 10 with Dave were pretty good though - 82.5 minutes.

I haven't had a cold in about 2 years, but I got one now. Fighting it with Zicam, and taking today off from running.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Runs Through 2005-09-17

Haven't had much time to post lately. Here's the latest on the running.

After Sunday's race I did a 12, two 15's and a 2 in Minneapolis. The 12 was slow, the first 15 was fast, but it was on the dreadmill (3 3-mile tempo runs) and the second 15 started ok, but ended slow.

Today I did 23 on the towpath with Dave and Brian. It was very humid, and we had a bit of rain, but it wasn't a bad run at all. Kinda typical.

It was good to see Amy today - first time in months - maybe since the wedding. We saw her on the towpath and then at Brueggers. Her friend Sherry was there too. We had a nice long conversation. She looks good, but is evidently still exercising a lot.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Today's Run and Y'Day's Trip - 2005-09-12

Ran 12 (in 98 minutes) along the Mississippi today. Short of the usual 15 because it began to rain, and I was out of it anyway. Hope for a better run tomorrow.

Yesterday's trip into MSP was ok. No big shakes.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Weekend Activities

We had Iris and Mike and Linda and Bob over for Friday pizza. Been a looong time since we laughed so hard. Iris' recollection of playing "Anne Frank" was hilarious.

Yesterday we had Kathy and Mike for rotisserie chicken. More laughs, a walk and then some dominoes.

We've made really good progress on the basement over the last few days. More than half done with the drywall.

River Run Half Marathon

It was about what I expected. Nice morning, weather-wise, but it's a good thing the start is early. The River Run is on a very pretty course through the Cleveland Metroparks. I ran a steady pace the whole way, with fairly even splits. As always, mile 10 was slow due to some hills, so I hit the 10-mile mark in 1:08:16. Thank goodness I had something left for that last 5K; I was able to pick it up and do them in 20 minutes flat to finish in 1:28:16. Not my best half ever, but I'll take it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Last Triple Before Tahoe

On Monday, September 5, I dropped Veronica and Barry at the Akron/Canton airport and then stopped at Hinckley Lake for long run number one of three. It's about three miles around the lake, and I did this 6 times:

25:31, 24:59, 23:59, 24:07, 20:58, 22:22 I'm pretty proud of that 20:58 - it's kinda unusual for me to achieve sub-sevenness these days. Overall time for the 18 was 2:22.

Tuesday and Wednesday I hit the Lester Rail Trail for 4-six mile loops each day. Here are the 6-mile splits:

Tue: 53:11, 51:00, 49:44, 47:30 for 3:22+
Wed: 51:14, 51:00, 49:32, 47:25 for 3:19

This weekend (either Erie Marathon or River Run Half) will be a good test.

Weekend Activities

We had a wonderful weekend with the kids in town. I already mentioned Friday night at Fat Fish Blue. Saturday we had a picnic at Hinckley Lake. Kathy and Jessey came along. Took a bit of a walk. Saturday night, after taking Dan back to the airport, we watched a movie - everyone was too tired to go the the Star Wars concert at Blossom. Sunday we went to the Renaissaince Fayre at Huntington Reservation. It was small, but we enjoyed a couple of the shows and the walk on the beach afterwards. Sunday night Veronica made pizza, and we watched yet another movie. Monday morning came all too soon - we had to take Valerie to Hopkins and Veronica and Barry to Akron/Canton for their trips home. Monday afternoon Debbie and I went to visit Mom. Dave came over too.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

fat fish blue and today's run

Val and Dan got in last night. We went right downtown to Fat Fish Blue to see Robin Stone. We ate a bit and enhoyed the show. Met two of her band members.

7 miles over to the HS school and back today. Some pickups. 55:30 or so. Had time to do more, but was just too tired to get moving.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I Squashed a Yellow-jacket in my Singlet Today

Doesn't quite have the impact of "I shot an elephant in my pajamas today", but it's the best I could come up with. First, the Yellow-jacket’s perspective.

It was a beautiful late-summer morning, and the sun was just beginning to rise. My sisters and I (all eighty-three of us) decided to get out of the nest early for our daily foraging. We knew of some luscious rotten apples laying on the ground not too far away.

Any foraging trip may have certain hazards. Crossing roads can be very dangerous because fast-moving machines can smash into us as we're flying by. Humans, large, disgusting creatures, sometimes swat at us (we just get out of the way and then buzz them a few times), but sometimes spray some terrible stuff at us to knock us down and kill us. Crossing over the Lester Rail Trail is usually not a hazard, because the humans moving on it are usually slow-moving and don't bother us. But today was different.

I was leading the group across the trail on our way to the apples. Suddenly I heard, "Gertrude, LOOK OUT!!". It was my sisters warning me, but it was too late. One of the slow-moving (certainly no faster than most) humans on the trail had come along and I somehow (don't ask me to explain it) got sucked between its skin and its garment. I was scared, confused, and a little angry. So I did what any self-respecting yellow-jacket would do: I lowered my stinger. In that split second, I managed to find a great spot. It was on a soft, damp furry area, just on the edge of a darker, hairless area that had a bump in the middle.

Then, and I realize that this is hard to believe, I felt strong pressure from the other side of the garment, and I was pulled away from the skin. I saw a huge, ugly face looking down at me. Gave me the willies, but I was too concerned about getting crushed. I managed to wiggle out to freedom. That was a close one. I somehow made it back to the nest, where my sisters took care of me. We're all vowing a jihad for revenge.

Now the human side:

The good thing about starting at eleven minutes a mile: When you ratchet down to nine or eight, it feels like you're flying. The bad part? By the time you ratchet your pace down, a whole lot of time has gone by.

Why so slow to start? Because it was extremely dark and scary out there on the Lester Rail Trail at 5:15 am. Good thing I didn't start any earlier. The plan was to do the 6-mile round trip four times, getting a bit faster with each one. And to hopefully do the last few miles at better than 7-minute pace.

After the first extremely slow loop, the sun began to rise and I started out again. About half-way, I felt a sudden stinging sensation on my chest, under my singlet. Not much pain for a half-second, then, EEEEEEEK!, did it hurt! I grabbed at my singlet and figured out that I had somehow acquired a yellow-jacket and somehow got it out of the singlet after only half-squashing it. Luckily I'm not allergic to those stings, but as it was, my breast swelled up a bit and continued to hurt. Hey - this may be the next big thing: a new "natural" method of breast enlargement.

I somehow managed to get through the other two and a half loops. Each one did get faster, but I never got anywhere near 7-minute pace. Gonna have to work on that.

Six-mile Splits:

58:49 (it was dark)
50:47 (big bad sting)
47:42 (finish in 3:27)

Kids Coming

They laughed at my agenda for the weekend, but here it is:

Proposed Agenda – Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 2

8:20pm – on way to airport – check in at Howard Johnson, get key
8:55pm – Val and Dan arrive at Cle-Hopkins (car required?)
9:30pm – Fat Fish Blue downtown to see Robin Stone live or home for home-made pizza?

Saturday, September 3

8:15am – breakfast if Val and Dan so desire
10:16am – Veronica & Barry arrive at Akron-Canton (leave home at 9:30am)
12:00pm – picnic lunch at Hinckley Lake
6:50pm – Dan leaves from Cle-Hopkins (leave home at 4:50)
8:00pm – Star Wars Spectacular at Blossom Music Center? (or Sunday?)

Sunday, September 4

8:30am – breakfast by Debbie
10:00am – Renaissance Festival, Geauga County Fair, Taste of Cleveland or Cleveland Air Show?

Monday, September 5

8:00am – Veronica and Barry leave from Akron-Canton (leave home at 6:00am)
8:50am – Val leaves from Cle-Hopkins (leave home at 6:50am)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Orion Rise

I wanted to repeat my "Out the Door Before Four" scenario, but it was actually about 6 minutes after by the time I actually hit the road. Same plan as usual: two eight-mile loops followed by a four. This time I was hoping to run each 4-mile segment a bit faster, and to do the last 4 in under 28 minutes.

During my first eight, I noticed Orion beginning to rise in the east, especially as I was headed south on dark dark Substation Road. During the second eight, it was even more beautiful. As usual, it was following the Pleides cluster, part of Taurus the Bull, which was now high in the sky. A bright object, probably Mars, was also near the Pleides. Far off in the east below Orion, and just starting to rise was Sirius and the thin crescent moon. Altogether it was a spectacular scene - the likes of which I haven't seen for months.

Other than dodging the early morning traffic, it was a good run. My four-mile splits were:


overall: 2:40:02

Didn't quite make my goal of sub-28 for those last 4 though. Gotta work on that.

Cleveland Marathon, 2018 Edition

It's raining as I park the car. Since I'm here an hour and fifteen minutes before the start, I'm not concerned. I can just sit i...