Friday, January 27, 2006

Maui 2006

This will be a bit different from the usual tirades. Yes, this will be a special tirade... It will be different in that it won't just be a day-by-day account of our 2006 Hawaii trip. The reason? The trip itself was different this time. We didn't spend a lot of time or trouble to get there. We didn't spend a lot of money whilst there - at least no more than we had to. We didn't do a whole lot, but we did do some things. And finally, we only went to one island, instead of the usual two, and sometimes more.

The trip to and from was as nice and easy as a trip to Hawaii can be - we only stopped once in Houston, then came directly to Maui. Same going back.

We stayed at the Renaissance Wailea. It's a wonderful resort hotel, with all the amenities you can imagine. Unfortunately, it's slightly dated, and there are rumors that it will be turned into condos. This would be a sad development since we'd surely return some day. The Renaissance upgraded us to an oceanview room where we could hear the singing from the place’s restaurant as well as the drums of the local luau. They also gave us some free ice cream, and unlimited coffee and soft drink refills.

Not that we'd ever pay for such a thing as staying at this fancy schmancy joint. Those Marriott Rewards Points take some time to accumulate, but they sure pay off well. I should also mention here that the air, as usual, was based on NW frequent flyer miles. So our costs were mostly the rental car and meals.

Speaking of keeping the costs down, we did something for the first time. We attended a timeshare presentation. It was at the old Maui Marriott in Kaanapali, a place where we’ve stayed in the past when it was a normal hotel, and it was actually a very informative and interesting ninety minutes. Not that we would ever, ever seriously consider such a thing... but we got $150 in gift certificates to be spent on meals at our hotel out of the deal.

There was one other costly item. It really wasn’t that bad – fifty bucks each, and well worth it. It was Warren and Annabelle's Magic Show, back in West Maui/Lahaina again. Debbie and I don’t get out for these kinds of things much, but this was highly recommended. And with good reason - what a great show! Warren's magical skills are unsurpassed (how did he do some of those things?), and he was extremely funny as well. I, in turn, will now strongly recommend this show to anyone coming to Maui.

As usual, we ate well. It didn’t take too much to use our $150 credit, but the food at the Renaissance’s Palm Court dinner buffet was great. The famous onion rings at the resort’s lunch place, the Maui Onion were also yummy, but they did me in. Maybe it’s because one serving was about 8 pounds. Other joints we haunted:

A Saigon Café: Thai/Vietnamese place frequented by locals. Very good food and lots of local color.
Prince Court: In the Maui Prince Hotel, this was our fanciest, most expensive, and generally best meal. The $28 Entertainment Book discount was like a pebble off Mount Everest. But it sure tasted good.
Aloha Mixed Plate: Another place frequented by the locals. With authentic Hawaiian food. It included a lot of food found at the typical luau, but without the entertainment and high prices.
South Shore Tiki Lounge: Another local place, but more of a bar, with food as an afterthought. Food is never an afterthought to Debbie or I. They had a singer who was very good however.
Bada Bing: Very good Italian food. Entertainment Coupon helped here too.
Bamboo Grill: Yet another local joint. I loved the Thai food, but Debbie didn’t think the place was very clean, and didn’t enjoy the experience. Maybe it was because the chef came out to have a smoke in his best dirty white t-shirt.

Other food stuff: Not a whole lot of other restaurants for 11 days there. We had a fridge in our room, so we had milk and cereal as well as lots of fruit for breakfast, and lunchmeat/cheese sandwiches and chips for lunches. The chips and the bakery were not the best ideas.

Two of our three most exciting activities were whale watching and hiking. In the past, we’ve paid good money to go on whale-watching boats. This time we could watch the whales right from the shore. And they were very close by. We could even see them from our lanai. It was pretty amazing stuff. Some would slap their tails on the water multiple times. We even saw complete breaches, which I thought were rare: on different occasions, Debbie and I both saw the whales jump completely out of the water. What a sight!

The other activity that I’m willing to discuss is the hiking. Debbie and I walked every day. There is a 1.5 mile (each way) walkway along the ocean to connect all the resort hotels in Wailea. If we did nothing else, we did that walk. It also made for great people and whale watching. But the big hikes were really big. We did three:

1) Lahaina Pali trail. It heads up the west Maui mountains and back. We could've gone to the other end, but then would've had to arrange for transportation back. It was 5.75 miles, but the 1600 elevation climb over rocky terrain was extremely tough. And coming back down in the afternoon heat wasn't any easier. Took 2 1/2 hours to get up there and 1 hour 50 minutes to come back down. But what views! It wore us out, but what a hike!
2) Waile'e Ridge Trail. It was almost as difficult as the Lahaina Pali Trail, but we didn't have to contend with as many rocks, and there was a bit more shade. This one was also on West Maui, but on the cooler/wetter part. The views were unsurpassed the whole way. The valley below was unbelievable. We hiked the 4.75 mile, 1500 foot elevation climb in about 4 hours. Once again, coming down the steep hills was almost as challenging as going up.
3) Pipiwai Trail. This was our third and last Major Hike, and it was a very nice one. About 4 miles round trip, and about 600 to 800 feet up, it was easier than the others. At the end of the trail was Waikomo Falls, which cascaded hundreds of feet down. There were other falls and many pools as well. It was another beautiful place here in paradise. The hike took about 4 hours. Probably the hardest part about this one, however, was the drive to and from it. Located at Oheo Gulch near Hana, the driving round trip was over five hours. But, as I like to say, the joy is in the journey.

Other slightly less exciting activities included driving around the larger east end of the island twice. You wouldn't think that a simple drive around an island (well, most of it) would be such an adventure. But the "Road to Hana" is justifiably one of the most famous drives in the world. The beauty of the many waterfalls and ocean and mountain vistas did not disappoint. We had lunch in Hana (there really isn't all that much there - it's the journey that's important) and then drove on to Oheo Gulch. This was formerly known as the Seven Sacred Pools – until someone figured out that there’s not seven pools, and they’re not sacred. We kept going around the south end of the island, thereby violating our rental agreement because the road is rough and somewhat scary. Now we're worried that the rental car police will come after us. The south end is spectacular in it's own way, but much dryer. All in all it took us 9 hours to drive the 100 to 150 miles that first time. Debbie was ill afterwards. It must have been the stressful hike the day before combined with the rough road on the trip. The second round trip was counter-clockwise, and we didn’t stop hardly at all, except for the Pipiwai Trail.

One day we drove to upcountry Maui and walked through the Kula Botanical Gardens, and also stopped at Sunrise Market and Protea Farm. That was a nice, easy day.

We did some exploring in the areas south of the Renaissance - Makena, Big Beach, Le Perouse Bay, etc. This is the area that I run to almost every morning. And speaking of running, I did a lot there, especially on that deserted road down through the lava flow to the dead end that feels like the end of the world. It was exciting, mostly because it was extremely dark. Dark enough to be hit by a bicyclist coming down a hill at me. That happened there last time, but this time I had my headlamp for protection and vision.

I also did a bit of snorkeling and swam in the cool ocean after each day’s run.

The rest was active relaxation. Reading, watching the waves, watching the sunsets, etc, etc. That was the best part.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My Runs on Maui - Jan 24 to Feb 3, 2006

01-24
Starting out from the Renaissaince Wailea, the same joint that Rita and George have been known to frequent, I headed south into the early morning darkness. After a couple miles I finally went by the last of the big resorts in the Wailea/Makena area. That's when the darkness really enveloped me. It's happened before - the time I was hit by a bicyclist coming fast down a hill, when neither of us saw the other. But this time I was wearing a bright headlamp around my waist. It made a huge difference, and I wound up collision-free, but the darkness was scary nonetheless.

I began hearing them rustling in the bushes in the sides of the road. Every now and then, one or two would make more of a fuss and fly away. These were "Rita's Chickens" - the ones that accompanied her on her run in these parts. They may have accompanied me, too, except they were spooked by me going by in the dark. Not that I wasn't spooked myself, you know...

It got even spookier as I reached the end of the road, because there is *nothing* around. Nothing.

I made it out in an hour, 13 minutes, and back (the cocks were beginning to crow now, because it was getting slightly light) in an hour, 11 minutes. I figure it was about 8 miles each way. I'll do it again - maybe more than once.

01-25
Tired legs - tired everything today. I just slogged around Kihei (and back on the busy highway) for an hour 55 minutes. I'll call it 13.

01-26
14 on the hotel dreadmill (1%) due to the pouring rain. Pretty good going though - I managed 11 miles at MP (75:22). Not too much holding on. 98.5 minutes total.

01-27
I did the run to the end of the road again today. This time it was even more interesting - I saw the Southern Cross and two shooting stars. It was even darker than last time due to the new moon. But those stars sure were bright.

More chickens rustling in the dark again. And something else too - a night hawk or owl flew along with me for a while. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a chicken.

Anyway, I ran better this time, probably because I knew a bit better where I was going. 72.5 minutes out, and a semi-swift 69 minutes back.

Being a Software Engineering Metrics Consultant has at least one major drawback. I just *have* to measure everything. This meant driving the course I'd been running... Running with the assumption that it was at least 8 miles each way. It turns outh that these slow 16 milers I'd been doing are instead *extremely* slow 15 milers. Oh well - at least they are extremely slow 15 milers in Hawaii.

I should say that the course is very hilly. And I've already mentioned the darkness, which is still a problem despite my light. I've now run a few other places here in Makena, Wailea and Kihei, but this course remains the most challenging, exciting and fun. I'll keep at it.

I did do the course again on Sunday, and Tuesday. Could knowing the distance make me run faster? Splits for Sunday were 69.5 and 66.5 (1:16), and Tuesday they were 69.5 and 64.5 for a 1:14 (woo-hoo). One of the exciting things about the course are the stars. I mentioned the Southern Cross - I've been seeing that fairly regularly, as well as shooting stars. Great - except it's tough to keep my eyes on the dark road.

And I've noticed that as I hit the buffet some evenings, my light - that I have strapped around my waist above my navel, has begun pointing up. I call this the big belly syndrome.

One Monday, 1-30, I did 15 miles in 2:14, but not on the usual course - I just explored new roads aroung Kihei and Wailea.

01-31
This time it was the usual course again. And I done good - at least incrementally so. Splits were 69.5, 64.5 for a 2:14 - the best yet. Another enjoyable and adventurous trip.

02-01
I didn't have much time (we were to drive to the other side of the island), but I wanted to get another 15 in, so I stuck to the mill. Fairly good - with the first 13-mile MP in quite some time. I did begin holding on too much for mile 12, but then mile 13 was hands free again. Altogether 15 in 1:45, with the MP in 90 flat.

02-02
Last time for the 15-miler to the end of the road. At least for this trip. Just as enjoyable as the other ones, and the fastest yet. Splits were 67.5, 63.5 for a 2:11. Saw the southern cross again.

At least each of my five runs on the course got faster. I enjoyed them all. I think my fitness level has improved since the vacation began. I may squeeze in one more easy run.

02-03

Just 5 easy, slow miles around Wailea in 46 minutes. Lotso hills.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Today's Running - 2006-01-22

What a great run today. It was cold (about 27) and frosty, but a wonderful day for a run. I got to Hinckley Lake early enough to do 12 before the rest of the Dead Runners showed up. And they were a most excellent 12 miles. The 3-mile splits were: 24, 22, 20.5, 20.5. So I can call the entire 6 miles for laps 3 and 4 a tempo run. First 6-mile tempo in a long long time. I felt good, and although the hills were tough, I did good too.

Things slowed down when the gang arrived, because we hit the trails. Mostly about a 9.5 minute pace, although some seemed faster. Lots of hills out there today, too.

Debbie met all of us at DoubleSides for breakfast afterwards.

Here's Rita's take:

Dear neodeads,
Dan Horvath, Dan Fox, listgod Bob Hart, Tom Bieniosek,
George and I met at Hinckley this morning for our hour-or-so run.
Dan H ran 12 miles before the rest of us arrived. We stood
for a bit waiting for the 8:30 am start time as the men
exchanged kidney-stone horror stories. We were all
thinking of Charlie Kirchner this weekend.

Almost everyone ran in shorts today.

This morning's encounter was greatly enhanced by the
company of Tom Bieniosek's older daughter Genevieve
and her boyfriend Bren, both visiting from Maryland.
They are very fit young people who tackled the hills
of Hinckley with aplomb.

The course seemed hillier than ever to me today! We ran from
the lot maybe a little faster than usual? Dan H seemed
not a bit tired, in spite of his 12-mile warm-up. Drat.
We departed the paved path at the crest of the first hill
in favor of the frozen trails.

A downed log across the trail inspired us to consider
cross-training in the form of power lifting. Listgod Bob
declined, saying that the only thing that would move
if he tried to lift the log would be the disks in his spine.
For the supple among us (including George and Bren and
maybe Dan Fox, but certainly not I), the log provided the
chance to practice hurdling technique.

From there we split into groups going different directions. I
went with the group that set out for the Buckeye Trail, which
seems to go only uphill from that point. After the largest,
longest, I-had-to-walk-a-bit hill, we descended slightly and
eventually reached a road (I don't know which one) that
intersects State Rd, so we returned to the pavement. Dan
Fox remarked that the decision to run on the paved surface
and the ensuing damage to his legs will certainly shorten (by
minutes!) his lifetime running career. On the plus side,
the rolling ups and downs of the roads provided a clear
preview for Dan Horvath of what running on Maui will be like.

Bob Hart and I charged down one of the longer descents,
reminiscent of the early days of the neodeads.
Back then, Joe J, Charlie, Tom, Bob, Mike George, and
any other of those guys overly burdened with testosterone
would plunge down the hill from Carriage Trail to the towpath,
with utter disregard for downed logs, ruts, rocks, and rough
surface. Yikes! I always held back, avoiding what could
be truly breakneck speed on the rough trail.

Today on the smooth pavement I was much braver. I need
to practice my downhills for Boston anyway, so I kept up
with Bob. Dr Tom and the two Dans stayed behind us a bit,
but they all passed us easily on the ascents.

En route back to the parking lot, we encountered Bren running
solo. He turned to follow us, and soon afterwards we met
Genevieve running solo. She turned and was swept up in
our wake as well. We reached the lot after this tough (for
me) run that lasted a mere 58 minutes and measured
5.93 miles on my Forerunner.

All together again, we used Bob Hart's tripod and George's
camera for a group photo (next email) before we got too chilled.
Girl Scout Trefoil cookies were served, and the running gods
were toasted with hot dark-roasted coffee---with the customary
neodead additive---by those who brought their freaking coffee mugs.

Debbie Horvath joined us afterwards, breakfast for nine at
DoubleSides. Dan Fox got the Boca burger; perhaps he should
have got two in order to build strength for Rocky Racoon in 2 weeks.
We talked for a long time about digging wells, gmail,
the early days of the World Wide Web and Mosaic and bitnet,
strange dialects and inflections in the American English language,
upcoming neodead race agendas, lost Boston t-shirts, and
a town called Athol. So many conversational threads
escaped me but these are a few.

After the encounter, George and I entered I-71 northbound just
before what looked like a coyote bounded across the ramp in
front of us. Dan Fox, I assume you saw it too?

No plans for next week yet.

Debbie Got Home and Yesterday's Run

I ran with Dave, Debbie and Amy in the cold cold wind and rain today. The temp dropped about 15 degrees in minutes. I didn't need much mileage, so I cut the misery short. Call it 8 miles. Hardly worth the trip to BVH.

I picked Debbie up from CAK. She had a fun couple days in Florida, but is happy to be home.

I looked at treadmills with Dave yesterday afternoon.

Now the final packing and other preparation for Hawaii.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Today's Runs and Shortest Workout Ever Exchange

I blaized a new trail today. Something I've been wanting to try, but never quite did: a combination of my two 11-mile routes. Substation, Hamilton, Abbeyville (all the way to East Law), then East Law back to Metzger, and up to 303, then Myrtle, Hartneck, thru new subs, back on Hick Ridge, Manitaulin and back. I'm calling it 16, since GMAPS Pedometer still can't get through the new subs.

I thoroughly enjoyed it! The nice weather (50!) and early start helped. I may try to get out again.

Time: 2:17:30. Most miles were in the 8:30-8:40 range.

I'm on Zicam. Just felt the slightest hint of a cold yesterday, and thought I'd better hit the Z. I feel better now, but I'll stay on it for another day or so.

I got out at noon for a second run. It was still nice - low 50s and cloudy. I didn't want to drive anywhere at noon, so I just did the President's route - 3 miles at tempo pace (20:35). I felt great!

Here's an exchange between me and Rita regarding treadmills.





Well I just *have* to chime in on this one. Rita, I thoroughly enjoyed your
post. I must say that I felt the same way about treadmills the first few
times I rode them. Even now, after a thousand or two mill miles, I cannot
say that I enjoy a treadmill run in the same sense that I enjoy any
particular outdoor run. And even now, I couldn't possibly run even one mile
on the mill without watching a tv to pass the time.

I can't handle indoor tracks because of the constant turning, not to mention
dodging the dreaded walkers. I suppose if they were 8 laps per mile or
better, I wouldn't mind them so much. For my speedwork, I do enjoy the
challenge of outdoor tracks.

Back to dreadmills. There was a lively debate on the big list several years
ago. I had gotten past the initial boredom stage, and understood their value
as a training tool, but I had decided that they took the joy out of running.
I therefore swore off them for a year. Laurel Park took the opposite side,
arguing that they: 1) were great training tools (which I didn't dispute) and
2) could indeed provide running enjoyment and fulfillment (which I did
dispute with great vigor).

Now I have my own mill, with which I have a love-hate relationship. As long
as there's something on the tube, I can go quite a long way on it. After a
sort-of-planned very slow month in December (when the mill was in dry-dock),
I set it up in January and things turned around. Combined with the milder
weather, that mill has given my running quite a jump-start. I can even do
speedwork again. (Most of my mill runs turn into speedwork sessions, since I
still can't wait to get off the dang thing.) When the weather's decent
outside, I'll stay off the mill. But it's great to have it as an option for
the bad weather days. I need all the training help I can get.

See you all Sunday. Outside.

Dan





----- Original Message -----
From: "Rita L. Cognion"
To:
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:33 AM
Subject: shortest workout ever


> OK, maybe it was not the "shortest workout ever," but it
> was a lot shorter than I'd intended. I'm just not accustomed
> to running indoors.
>
> Facing an icy path and no YakTrax yesterday, I decided
> almost on the spur-of-the-moment to buy the last half
> of a one-month membership to Omni Fitness Center in
> Middleburg Hts. I drove the 3 miles to the facility, then slipped
> on the ice a little as I walked across the lot to enter the building,
> and I felt glad that I was about to escape the uncertain footing
> for awhile.
> Only $28 gets me an indoor running environment, with no ice,
> no need for screw-shoes, no YakTrax, until 31 January.
> I can run in shorts every day here!
>
> As soon as they took my photo for the ID, I went to the
> locker room, put on my shorts and running shoes, and
> headed for the treadmill. My aspirations were big;
> I expected to knock out 6 miles or so. Dan Horvath does
> this all the time, right? No problem.
>
> Oh, I was so wrong. Big problem! Time just drags on the
> treadmill!
> There was a TV, but i couldn't bear to look at it, some talk
> show crap or something, so instead I stared at a nail-hole on the
> wall in front of me, just above eye level. I hoped to attain some
> zen-like peace and flow in my running. And I ran endlessly it
> seemed, and frigging slowly too! The meter on the treadmill
> revealed that I had not even gone one mile yet after almost
> 10 minutes. What hell is this?!
> I upped the speed of the treadmill (why do their gauges and
> meters have no units or dimensions? Very poor practice!
> For example, what speed is "6"?) and I started making deals
> with myself. "Just hang in there for 4 miles, that will be
> enough for today. After all, it's a new surface, etc etc."
> Then after 12 or so minutes, which took an eternity to
> pass, I told myself: "OK, just do 20 minutes, whatever
> distance that is. You're halfway there! You don't need to
> run any longer than that for your first time on this odd surface."
> Then at 20:17, and some fraction over two miles (!) I
> abandoned the thing, with the bright idea to head upstairs
> to the indoor track.
>
> Twelve laps make one mile on the outside lane. At least there
> are units I can understand. Laps. Miles. And unfortunately, eons.
> The story did not change. After 1/4 mile, I realized that it takes a
> very long time to accumulate enough laps to make one mile. The track
> is better than the treadmill, but it was still torture to make those
> rounds. Hamster in a wheel. I did something like 1.25 miles
> and called it a day.
>
> The added insult is that while running on the track, one can see
> out the top-floor windows, and the outdoors looked unbelievably
> friendly from that viewpoint. I was dying to be out there!
>
> What do people do with their minds when they run indoors?
>
> After my miniature workout, 2 miles here, one mile there, I kicked
> myself into the shower, thinking I'd just wasted 28 bucks.
> But then as I walked to my car in the parking lot, I slipped on the
> ice again, and I remembered the reason I joined and promised to
> give it another shot...the next time it's unbearable outside.
>
> On the bright side, the 2-wk membership buys me a back-up
> plan until my replacement YakTrax arrives. But what torture.
>
> I'll see you folks outdoors.
> -----Rita

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Florida and Today's Run

Debbie is flying with Mom to Florida today. Debbie will be back on Saturday. Hope they have a good trip. I'll be taking them to the CAK airport.

I just did a mile on the mill this morning. Maybe more later.

Florida and Today's Run

Debbie is flying with Mom to Florida today. Debbie will be back on Saturday. Hope they have a good trip. I'll be taking them to the CAK airport.

I just did a mile on the mill this morning. Maybe more later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-18

I have a love/hate relationship with my treadmill. I was just starting to think that I really do love it after all I put it through, and it stopped on me as I started my 20th mile out of 20. No idea why it stopped, it just did. Perhaps it was the heat, or it just got tired. I started it back up and it stopped again, but then it did ok after I cleaned it and let it cool down more.

So I did get my 20 in. It was about the same as last Saturday's run, with a 4-mile tempo during miles 16-19. Still some holding on for the last couple miles. 2:30:30.

5MI splits: 39, 38.5, 37.5, 35.5
Tempo - Miles 16-19 in 27:36

My weight is going the wrong way. I'm back up to 160 and I don't know why.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-17

11 miles in Broadview Heights. I started with a 1/2 hour alone, where I did 3 times up Boston hill. Then I hooked up with Amy and we did another hour together. No Dave.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-16

Only 2 on the mill. I was pretty tired from the last couple days. Broke out the new adiddas ozweego trail shoes, which I'll take to Hawaii for hiking. They seem good for running though.

Two Cars in the Garage

We managed this over the weekend. Of course the basement's a mess. That'll continue to be the case until Debbie finishes the workroom walls and floor.

Had czarnina at Kathy and Mike's on Saturday. Yesterday we had them over for rotisserie chicken.

Debbie and Kathy are doing the weight watchers point thing.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Today's Runs - 2006-01-15

I started with 6 on the treadmill, including some 1/4 mile hill repeats at 6% elevation. Then I drove to Peninsula to run 6 extremely slow miles with Rita, George and Bob Hart on the icy towpath. Here is Rita's account of that run:

Bob Hart and Dan Horvath and George and I enjoyed
an icy run this morning on the towpath, heading south
from Lock 29. The thermometer in the car read 23F when
we pulled into the parking lot, so I debated with myself on
wearing long pants or shorts. The decision to wear shorts
was clinched when my husband said that to do so would
be insane. The coldest part of me turned out to be my hands.

The most eventful part of the run for me was the failure of
the YakTrax on my left foot. One of the metal springs broke
in half, so it doesn't stay on my shoe anymore. I had trouble
keeping it on my shoe last week also, but I didn't realize till
today that it had failed.

After our somewhat uneasy hour-long run on the icy path, we
had hot coffee and Bailey's and Pecan Sandies quickly in the
parking lot. No group photo, even though Bob Hart brought his
tripod, because we were freezing then and wanted to get to the
heated restrooms to change clothes. But George had run only
4 miles, and he says he took some photos of me and Bob and
Dan H returning to the parking lot at the end of our hour.

Breakfast was at Panera in Hudson afterwards, where we
decided we'd like to go to DoubleSides again.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-14

After 60F yesterday, I awoke to a snowstorm today. Driving towards Broadview Heights to run with Amy and Dave, I made it a mile into the storm before turning back. It was a real blizzard.

Onto the mill I went. Been a while since I did a 20 on it. But 20 it was. And not too bad either. After a hard shutdown due to a 1-2 minute electrical outage in the early miles. I got into a rhythm. My 5-mile splits were: 40, 38, 38, 35.5 for a total time of 2:31. Miles 16-19 made up a 4-mile tempo in 27:32.

I'd call this a great run except that there was some holding on. I've held much worse on other occasions, but I've gotta watch myself.

Afterwards I tried the old cold bath trick for the first time in a couple months. At Tahoe they were saying 15 minutes was the amount of time we should be in the cold water, so that's what I'd been doing. Today, besides the cold, my muscles seemed to be in pain from the position and from the cold water. I couldn't make it past about 2 minutes.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Track

I made it to the track today for the first time in a couple months. And it was a great workout!

After the warmup, I did a 3-mile tempo run that felt *very* easy. Then I did 4 x 1200, all just under 5 minutes. The whole thing felt nice, and I actually had to hold back a bit. I wasn't exhausted afterwards. The nice (38F) weather and nice sunrise helped too.

The tempo was in 20:27, and the 1200s were at an average of 4:54.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Basement Progress

A few days ago we moved the desks to the new office (wasn't easy). I've been moving tons of other stuff down as well. Debbie is finishing the doors and moulding. We're also finishing off the work room. Lots going on.

158

Ain't I a skinnie minnie? Lost 4 lbs since Christmas - maybe a couple more.

I only ran 2 miles on the mill today. Was still tuckered out from yesterday's lack of sleep, run, walk around Hinckley Lake and work in the basement.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-10

Dave was out of commission with the baby and all, but I drove to BVH and ran with Amy and Debbie F. anyway. Decent run throught the old hood. 11 miles in 90 minutes.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Today's Runs - 2006-01-09

Another decent 11-mile run. In fact, it was very similar to last Thursday's run over the same course. Same overall time, but a slower start and a faster middle - same overall time - 87.5 minutes. It was warm (mid-40s) but felt cool due to the strong winds.

Since I was so frustrated at the slow start, and the miserable failure for my attempt at a tempo run, I stepped on the mill and did another 3 miles in 20:26. There. Now I have my tempo run.

Weight is going the right direction. Today I was down to 160, waivering on 159.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-08 - and Maui Discussions

I did my 2 laps around Hinckley Lake in 47.5 minutes, and then the rest of the gang (Rita, George, Bob, Tom, Greg, Dan) showed up. Dan, Greg and I did the trails for about another 6 in 55 minutes. Nice icy morning. Nice hills. Nice scenery. Nice run.

Afterwards Debbie joined us at DoubleSides. Not bad food and decent prices. We talked a lot about Maui - including Rita's job interview there and ours and their trips. With that and reading the book, Maui Revealed, I'm excited about going. It'll help that I've got work the prior week.

Here is Rita's perspective for the day:

Dear neodeads,
It was a fun and well-attended encounter this morning.
Thanks to Dan Horvath of the Fuchsia Sporthills for
organizing it.

George and I pulled into the lot to find Greg Dykes and
Bob Hart waiting there. Dan H was already on the
road/trail, where he had run for an hour before meeting
the rest of us. Dan Fox arrived in his immaculate big
white truck and we departed. The parking lot was a
bit slippery, so I put on my YakTrax for their first outing
this winter. Several of us wore shorts.

As we started down the trail, Dr. Tom drove past in his
car, so we looped back to the lot to meet him. He wore
shorts also.

Our larger group broke into smaller clusters as we ran.
I ran with Dr. Tom for most of the run. George and
Bob were with us for the first loop, and they seemed
to enjoy their discussion of witchcraft. The Dans
must have pressed on ahead. I don't know which
group had Greg Dykes in it.

Running with Tom, I eventually realized our groups had
spread out so much that we could neither hear nor
see any of the others. I hoped Tom knew where we
were going. I'd been relying on Dan Horvath for directions.
Tom said he knew where we were, and his word was
good, so eventually we got back to the parking lot.
We ran for about an hour. Two loops I guess.
I was completely disoriented, just keeping pace
with Tom, who seemed to know our orientation
at all times. Thank heavens, if I'd been alone, I'd
probably still be out there, circling blindly somewhere.
All I need to know is which way is north and where the
lake is, and I'm good, but both bearing points were lost
on me today, and I felt lost. But I saw blue blazes so
I know i was on the Buckeye Trail for awhile.

Back at the lot, the people who brought their
freaking mugs :) enjoyed hot coffee with Bailey's.
We toasted the running gods and took some photos
(one in the next email.)
We ate the World's Hardest Butter Cookies, made
by yours truly at around 11 pm last night, and some
much more palatable Fig Newtons provided by
Greg Dykes.

Tom left us to drive to Pittsburgh, and the rest of us
reconvened at DoubleSides, where Debbie Horvath joined
us in a cozy U-shaped booth. [We talked about hawaii
a lot.] Boca Burger is the first burger listed on the
lunch menu, winning Dan Fox's praise. Oatmeal listed
on the menu pleased me. It's not Ari's---George and I
paid $11 for two breakfasts---but it's a bit more civilized
and not as smoky. I can't say much for the coffee,
but that's true at Ari's also.

We talked about ultras (go figure) and running with dogs.
We noted how lucky Greg Dykes is that he can just
pick up his chihuahua and carry him when the little
dog gets too tired to run anymore. This is after about
1/4 mile, Greg said. We talked about Bob Hart's next
home, wherever it will be. We pondered the whereabouts
of Joe Novicky, who has fallen silent on the list lately,
and discussed which fall marathons might be nice for
Bob Hart and Dan Fox. When asked, Dan Horvath gave
us his stats from the Tahoe Triple, but he reported only
his finishing time each day, and not the itemization
of how many miles he had run on each different pair
of shoes, and not what the average pace per shoe was.
Maybe he'll go home and tally that for us.

I'm beat now; so are you if you're still reading.
Next I'll send you an email with the photo attached.

Happy Orthodox Xmas and happy new year.
Hey, Joe N, keep in touch.
----Rita

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-07

I ran long today with Dave, Amy and Brian. The rest of them didn't go so far, but I wanted enough to call it 20. We ran in Broadview Heights and surrounding areas - Dave needed to stay close to home.

Not too bad. Some of it seemed to be at a really good pace, but the last few into the cold wind were slower. I did a few more after that, that were slower still. I'll call it 20 in 2:45.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Today's Run - 2006-01-05

Not a great run, but a pretty darn good one. Best ever on this course, but that's not saying all that much since I've only been running it recently. And I wanted to break 7 mpm for a tempo run for the stretch on Sleepy Hollow but only did the 3 in 21:53. So yeah, I'll take it.

Glad to be still (mostly) improving.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Today's Run and Baby G

Did 2 on the dreadmill today. Nothing big. A bit tougher than expected though.

Baby G was born yesterday. Mario is 6 lbs and 20 inches. All the G's are doing fine.

Going to see Mom today. Got her travel to Florida all set, so we gotta get her ready now.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

What Got Into Me?

Today I did my Substation 11-mile run in near-record time: 87 minutes. Even when I was in good shape I rarely did better. Today's run included another tempo run (in 19:40) as well. The last 4 (in 34 minutes) were a bit of a struggle, but this was a very good one. Don't know how that happened.

After some weights, I did another 2 on the dreadmill. Maybe it's the dreadmill that got me out of my doldrums.

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Years Eve and Day

During New Year's Eve Day, Kathy gave me a buzz haircut. Debbie had been afraid to tackle it, but Kathy had confidence. 1/4 on the sides, and 3/8 on top. I love it! And so does everyone else. No more combing hair over the top of my head. No more worrying about my hair being mussed up. And it actually looks good. I don't look any more bald than before. I love it.

Went to Kathy and Mike's for their annual party. Stayed till about 1:30. Dave and Carol stayed at our place that night.

On New Year's Day morning I went to run with Dave, then on to Solon to pick Mom up and bring her back. Besides all of us, Kathy, Mike, Jessy, Mike and Laura came for dinner of roast pork.

Today (Jan 2) we're taking the decorations down. Debbie's tummy is hurting.

Yesterday's and Today's Runs - 2006-01-02

Yesterday I did about 10 easy with Dave on the parkway in 87 minutes.

Today I hit the mill for a tempo run once again. About the same as the other day - 7 in 50.5 minutes with the 3-mile tempo in 20:23. Still 0% elevation. Still no holding on.

The first 2 of today's miles were in the Nike Frees. 1st time in them for a long time, and these were only the 2nd and 3rd running miles in them. Wasn't bad at all.

Still doing weights too.

3263 in 2005

The highlight for 2005 was undoubtedly the Tahoe Triple. I'm pretty durn proud of that. My other racing was mediocre at best. The 3:12 at Huntington wasn't bad, but I had been after 3:10. Boston (3:32) was really bad, and Cleveland (3:18) was somewhat of a disappointment as well.

The only other race where I did just about as expected was the River Run 1/2. I was hoping for 1:28 and I got it. A few other shorter races weren't bad, but none were really good either.

The mileage (3,263) and average pace (8.15) were about as expected.

I guess the key is weight. I sort of lost sight of this throughout most of the year - especially towards the end. I need to keep it in the equation.

A (Nearly) Midsummer Night's Run

It's a couple days past Midsummer, and our runner is generally recovered from his Midsummer Night's Run . It is, however, most def...