Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holiday visits

The kids have been in, and it's been fun. Thursday Debbie made a good vegan dinner for Veronica and Barry. Friday, after Dan and Valerie's delayed arrival, we all went to Sweet Mango for dinner and then opened presents. Yesterday we all went to the Akron Art Museum for a look at the Norman Rockwell exhibit. I think we all enjoyed it, even to the extent of exceeding expectations. Last night Kathy, Jessy and Mike brought soup and we had a soup party.

Today everyone's going home. I've now dropped them off at the airport, and we'll be taking off ourselves for Florida.


That's for the year. Pretty good total, but I think it's my slowest year ever. And the racing wasn't great at all. All's well that ends well, and my last two were very good (Inland Trail Marathon in 3:14) and great (JFK50 in 8:27 or whatever). So I'll take it (the year) and hope for a better one in 2008.

My PF hasn't gotten worse, and it may be a bit better. I'm trying to not let it get any worse. I do plan to run a lot in Florida and in Hungary.

Today's 11 was solid, strong, and steady. 86.5 minutes on the new subs route. Not quite a tempo run for 2-4, but ok nonetheless.

Yesterday I did 11 with Dave on the muddy towpath.

My next run will be in Florida in 2008.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Recent Running

10 on the mill Sunday, and then 10 with Dave on the parkway (we met where the parkway crosses 82), and then 11 today at the same place. It's nice running there - we mostly use the bike path, and can head into some out-and-back places.

I'm still feeling the PF. Not bad, but I'm a bit concerned. Been sleeping with the boot, but I usually rip it off in the middle of the night.

Mom and Family

We were eating breakfast on the 23rd and Debbie noticed mom was having trouble eating. We realized that she couldn't use her right hand or arm. And her right eye was drooping. Debbie gave her a baby asperin and got her dressed and we drove her to Southwest General. She was doing much better by this time (the asperin really did the trick) but they had to do a cat scan, blood tests and an ekg. The diagnosis was a minor stroke. Quite a scare, but she seems fine now. Asperin every day now, and we've got to watch her in case of other strokes.

Party at Sandy and Nancy's last night. About like usual. Fun, big, loud, good food, crazy people. Mom had a great time, and Dave and Carol spent the night rather than drive home.

Today (Christmas), it's over to John and Jill's for more partying.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Today's Run and Other Stuff

I did 3 on the mill, and then 18 with Dave and Amy. We had to do the roads because the towpath and other trails were full of mud, ice, slush and snow. Even on the roads, we only managed a 9:45 pace. Don't know why these runs are so durn slow.

Debbie and I did the air for my Budapest trip. It was changed from Bucharest. That's good, but the bad part is leaving from Florida.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Do Believe This Dreadmill Running is Helping

I managed to get outside today, and I also managed to run long today (no more calls, just lotso work). It went well: 20 miles in 2 hours, 55 minutes. I would've liked for it to be faster, but at least it was steady.

I do believe that all that dreadmill running I've been doing (6 and 4 at MP yesterday, 7 at MP Sunday) is helping.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

recent running

lots of mill miles during the week. this is mostly because I started work at 5am and didn't have any other time. today I did 3 on the mill and then a short, slow 17 on the hills and trails with Dave in Brecksville res.

Dave, Jill, Amy and Brett are coming over this evening. We're in the middle of a snowstorm however.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

pizza and today's run

I made pizza for last night's get together with Iris, Mike, Linda and Bob. It turned out good, but of course I had too much. And of course we all had tons of laughs as well.

So today of course it took way too long for me to actually get going into my run. I managed 2 on the mill and then 9 outside, up towards north park, around ganyard and back. Not bad running - most miles were about 9 min, but the last few were much better - but too little of it before it started to get late.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

today's run and other stuff

other stuff first:

got a new printer and office chairs. also took mom out to sweet mango last night - really good food.

bin really really busy with work. hard to keep my head above water.

I'll call it 19 on the towpath with Dave and Amy today. We started from 2nd sole in the valley in order to hit their sale afterwards. The towpath was covered with about 3 inches of snow, so it was slow going. Gotta decide on this 50-miler next weekend.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

it's been cold, and i've been a wimp

so i've been running on the mill. 12 with 1-mile intervals today, 10 on Sunday. one of these day's i'll get tough again.

Saturday Dave, Amy and I hit the trails. I'm calling it 17 with them, combined with 3 on the mill, so a decent enough day.

the ole weight ain't so great. 158 last week (not bad) followed by 161 and then 162 (bad) today. but there's hope. maybe after a couple good days, it'll be better again.

Went to see "Aunt Ida" Sunday with Mom. Met up with Iris and Mike and their Moms. Everyone enjoyed the nostalgic Dick Feagler play.

Saturday we went to the Ohio Challenge Series awards banquet, complete with wine from the winery and subway sandwiches. I was third, after they took 1st out for grand master award. I got a $10 subway card, a $10 Raisin Rack card, and $5 for Shearers snacks. We spent all but the Subway card.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This week

I've been running, but not particularly well. I did the 20 on Tuesday, 13 on the mill yesterday (wasn't the greatest, but I did manage 2 x 3-mile tempos) and then 4 really bad mill miles today. Been busy with work. Maybe next week will be better.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Today's Running

I managed a half-way decent long run today. First I did 8 outside at just under 9-minute pace. It was getting too late to be out, so I did the rest on the mill. There I picked it up more and more until I did the last 4 at MP. All in all, not bad.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Recent Running

2 days in a row I managed 7 slow miles. Yesterday was going to be the good solid run. It did start out that way - I took off for my 15/16 mile route and after a 9 minute mile, I got the pace down to 8:30 or so. But after about 8 miles my pace began to slow as I started to labor more. Don't know what went wrong - I just got tired. I cut it short by heading back on 303 to make it 13. Disappointing.

I've also managed to feel a twinge of PF in my left foot over the last couple days. Scary.


It was wonderful to have the girls (and Barry) home. We had lots and lots of fun. Nothing new or spectacular. Some shopping, some games, lots of eating. But it was great.

Yesterday was the Krizak brunch. Lots of fun there too. Good to see everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Of course I was sore and tired for a couple days. The ride home was tough. I slept *really* good that Sunday night. And of course I took Sunday and Monday off of running. But then a funny thing happened. I was able to run again on Tuesday. Half-way decent, too. I did a 3 and a 2 mile loop in the morning, and then another 3 at lunch. About eight and a half pace, starting slower and ending faster. Today was even better: 10 in 80, including - get this - and actual 4-mile tempo run at the track. I wasn't able to run this well for the entire 2 weeks after Inland Trail. Things are going well.

My weight isn't. Not that I'm overly worried about it - it's just funny. Monday morning I felt dehydrated, so I thought my weight would be really low. It was 165!! 8 pounds higher than a couple days before JFK! Where did that come from? All I can figure is that it's the salt tabs. "Down" to 161 yesterday. I'm hoping to not be too bad off coming out of the holidays.

We've had mom here for a while now. It's like having a child around the house. Not bad, just something to always be aware of. She really likes the senior center, so we'll start taking her twice a week.

Valerie, Veronica and Barry are coming in today. Can't wait.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

JFK 50 Mile Run

The Joy is in the Journey.

It's been said in many ways about many different pursuits. And of course it applies to running... in spades. And it also applies to travel associated with running.

Brandon, Mike, Steve and I left for Hagerstown and had a pretty nice, smooth trip. Except for the snowstorm through a good part of PA. It was pretty bad when we stopped at the Flight 93 Memorial (not much there - an open field with a flag at the exact spot, some personal mementos posted on a board, and a tiny building with one volunteer to tell us all about it). And then it got worse at the higher elevations. This didn't seem to bode well for the next day's running of the JFK 50-Mile.

When we arrived at Hagerstown, things were much better - no snow and not quite so bitter cold. We checked in and drove to a couple parts of the course.

Now it was getting exciting. And of course I was getting nervous. Scared to death is probably a better way to put it. It's been 5 years since I'd run this far. And I had hardly trained for it. Trained for marathons, yes, but trained for ultras, no. Not at all.

JFK is as much a mecca for ultra runners as Boston is for marathoners. There were about 1,500 starters, and we all crammed into little Boonsboro High School before the start. Northeast Ohio was very well represented, and we bumped into several of the other Buckeyes. Even the long walk down from the high school to the start in the small town evoked thoughts of Boston.

The Joy is in the Journey. As soon as we started, the similarities to Boston ended. The first two plus miles are up, up, up. So much so that many of the smarter runners took to walking the steeper parts. Since the narrow Appalachian Trail was at the end of this road section, it was important for us to sort ourselves out before we started on it.

I had a good position going onto the AT, but this turned out to be a bad thing. I'm not a good trail runner, and that's being generous. The good, and even average, trail runners passed me by the hundreds, and this was tough for both them and me on this narrow, rocky trail. Did I mention that it's rocky? There are more rocks on this small section of trail than in the entire states of Ohio and Indiana combined. You can check my facts at

The AT was also steep. Extremely so - especially early on. The first three miles continued the climb that began on the roads. We hit a summit at that point, and the rest was a bit better. But I was doing a lot of walking. Not only on the steep sections, but also where the rocks, which were often covered by a deep layer of fallen leaves, were treacherous. Hundreds of runners continued to pass me. I eventually found some runnable parts and got into a bit of a slow rhythm. I ran some parts with Brandon, and others with Dan and Rita.

After about 14 miles on the AT, there was a steep descent leading down to the towpath. What a relief! The AT had been really beautiful. I'd like to return and hike some of these areas some day. But run? You gotta be kidding.

The towpath began at mile 16, and I had run, if you want to call it that, that first section in 3:08 or so. We would be on the towpath for just over 26 miles, and it occurred to me that I ought to be able to do those in about the same time as the previous 16. That, of course, might be conceivable if A) I'd been in good shape and B) I hadn't just completely trashed my legs on the AT. So yes, I had thoughts of at least running well in this section, but even that was in doubt; how much damage had I done to myself? If I continued at the pace I'd been going, I'd be in danger of not finishing at all.

It turned out that I *was* able to run again. And fairly well, too. My GPS told me I was doing my early towpath miles at 8 to 8:30 minute per mile pace, with a couple even faster than 8. I don't know how I was doing it, but I was doing it. And I was passing hundreds of those runners that had passed me. I ran a bit more with Dan and Rita, and some with Terry Hawk.

This towpath is not unlike the one I'm used to, except that it's a little softer, and many sections were covered with fallen leaves. Some said it was boring, but I didn't think so. There is the Potomac on the one side, the rocks, hills and cliffs on the other, and nice fall foliage all along.

I hit mile 25 in about 4:25, and I was still passing gobs of runners. It began to dawn on me that a PR was possible. I wasn't entirely sure, but I thought I'd done my other 50 in 8:30 or so. I'd run the distance a couple of other times as well, as part of the Mohican 100 and the Olander 24-hour run, but those were much slower still. The Chicago 50-miler had been five years ago, during an excellent year of running, and, being along the lakeshore, it was about as easy as a 50-mile run can be. JFK is coming at the end of a mediocre, at best, year of running, and the course was extremely tough. To beat 8:30, I'd need to do the second 25 miles in close to 4 hours for a big-time negative split. But I was running well, and my confidence was up.

Guess what happened next. Yes, I started to slow down a bit. I guess I was starting to tucker out. Now I was doing 8:30 to 9 minute miles. Some were slower than 9 minutes. I was also losing a lot of time at the aid stations. As with most ultras, they were well stocked with soup, GU, chips, pretzels, powerbars, coke, gatorade, pb&j sandwiches, etc. I would often stuff a bunch of pretzels into my mouth and then realize that I had absolutely no saliva with which to process them. So I'd take a big swig of water to mush them up. I'd usually take a GU too, and sometimes soup or an electrolyte tablet. So the miles where there was an aid station would take me 10 to 12 minutes instead of the usual 9 or so. Although slower now, I was still passing people. Just not so many. A few were keeping pace with me. And although slower now, I wasn't crashing completely; I was still holding my own.

According to my GPS, I finished the towpath 7 hours, 8 minutes after the start. And 4 hours and 1 minute since I began the 26-mile section. Not bad at all. The joy is in the journey. Yes, I really was enjoying myself.

The last 8 miles would be on asphalt roads. Immediately off the towpath I was met with an extremely steep hill. It felt strange to have to walk again, but I suppose I needed the break. After 5 plus minutes of this I could run again and eventually came to a sign that said 8 miles to go. Wait a minute. I thought it was 8 miles from the towpath, and my GPS now said 42.4 miles. Looks like I'd be getting a bit of extra mileage for my money today. A bonus! I was also met by some guy standing in the street in front of his house, yelling very bad words at passing runners and traffic. This was followed later on by a few locals holding signs that said things like, "JFK Runners Go Home - You're not welcome here on our roads". Strange.

Now I'd have to hoof it to get that sub-8:30. I'd have to average something like 9:30 or 9:40 per mile. And 9:20 to 9:30 pace was about what I was doing. Those early road miles were very hilly, so it was tough. Not to mention that all those previous miles had taken their toll. Could I do it?

In a word, yes. I kept that pace going all the way in, doing my last mile in a blistering 9:09. I finished in 8:28. It's been a long time since I've been so ecstatic with one of my runs, but this was ultra running as good as it gets.

I showered, ate, met up with my friends and other Ohioans, and then bussed back to the other school. A bunch of us went out to dinner, and of course everyone had a joy of the journey story to tell.

PS: I just peeked at my Chicago Lakeshore 50 results from 2002. 8:26. So JFK wasn't a PR. Or was it? JFK is OFFICIALLY 50.2 miles. So I hit 50 in 8:26 for sure. It's a tie. But JFK is still the better of the two - it's my best ultra of all time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Disappointing Runs

After being so happy with my run at Inland Trail, my running since then has been downright lousy. I suppose that's to be expected, but since I finished so well, I was hoping to at least hold my own - especially after a week or so.

So when last week's running was slow, I wasn't concerned. I did manage a speedwork session where I did 4 x 1-mile at about 6:53 pace - about a half minute slower than the previous week. I thought this was fine. But Saturday's 13 (after 3 on the mill) on the towpath were really bad news. I had hoped for 20+ that day. Likewise, Sunday's 8 were very slow.

Today would be my day - I was hoping for a solid tempo run as part of my early morning 11-miler. Didn't happen. I just couldn't get moving fast enough. I wound up with 10 in 79+, followed a couple hours later by 3 in 23.5.

It just seems like running at a decent pace is a real chore, and then I don't feel like putting in the distance.

None of this bodes well for JFK this Saturday.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Marathon Heaven

Ever have one of those marathons where everything goes right? Me neither. At least not for a long, long time. But today’s Inland Trail Marathon happened to be a real keeper.

If your idea of marathon nirvana includes tens of thousands of runners, big expos, large numbers of spectators, big city scenery and landmarks, balloons, Kenyans, warm weather (forgive me, I’m not quite over Chicago yet), etc., then the Inland Trail Marathon probably wouldn’t be up your alley. But it was up mine. Cool overcast weather, no hassles with registration or the start, something like 100 to 200 runners, plenty of water and Gatorade, a 12+ mile rails-to-trails asphalt trail through woods and rural parts of Loraine County, and, did I mention good weather? That’s my marathon heaven, and this was it.

Of course there had to be one missing ingredient: me being in shape. I kinda figured that I was in about 3:15 condition, but it had been a while since I’ve even run that well. Could I do that today under these perfect conditions?

Temperatures were in the upper 30s at the start. (It was 48F when I finished.) There was a slight headwind that would be with us for the first half of this out-and-back course. That headwind felt mighty cold for the first mile or two. But after that it felt great. I started off at a 7:30 pace, which I figured would get me close to my goal. All I would need to do is to pick it up just a bit for the last couple miles. Right. Not to mention that negative split marathons had always been a rarity for me, especially of late.

Although most of my early miles were in that 7:30 range, I hit the halfway turnaround a bit slower than I’d hoped, in 1:39. I would have to pick up the pace earlier than planned. So I did. I started doing 7:10 to 7:20 miles. Maybe I was helped by the tailwind, or maybe it was the energy gel that I was now taking every 3 miles or so. Note to self: beware of PowerGel Tangerine 2xcaffeine AND 4xsodium. It was among the most foul-tasting messes that I’ve ever put into my mouth. On the other hand, it may have helped.

There had been perhaps 30 people in front of me as of the half, but I was picking many of them off now. I hit the 20-mile mark right around 2:30. Would I be able to keep that pace up until the finish? Short answer: yes. My last 6 miles were 7:11, 7:12, 7:17, 7:07, 7:16, 7:01. It’s always nice when mile 26 is your fastest. In fact, there’s no feeling in the world like it. My time was 3:14:40 and I was 2nd in my age group. This would’ve been disappointing during some of my better years, but here in 2007, I’m thrilled with it. Marathon heaven.

Recent Running and Social Events

Bin tapering for the week, so the only run of any substance was an 11-miler that included 4 x 1600 at about 6:22. The rest were mostly pretty short.

Went to a charity reverse raffle with Debbie's family but mostly my cousins. It was fun to see everyone. I've volunteered to try to put another social occasion together.

We went to dinner at Olive Garden with Kathy, Mike and Jessy last night. This was after a hike at Happy Days.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today's Run and Florida Trip

I done good today - 11 miles including 4 x 1 mile @ 6:22 at the track. Very solid, but I'm not sure how many more I could've done.

We're arranging our trip to Florida - we'll stay on Marco Island. Sounds good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recent Running and other stuff

I think the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in an hour or so during my morning run. Caused me to put my gloves and headband in my shorts because heaven knows it wouldn't be *that* bad if my hands or ears got frostbite. I did manage to survive, and did 15 in about 2:09. Slow but steady. I'd had a lot of willpower problems, often on Sundays, but this one went ok.

Other running stuff: yesterday I only did 13+ on the towpath with Dave and Amy. Friday I did 8 on Substation, with a 6-mile tempo thrown in. Earlier in the week I had one decent dreadmill run, but mostly lousy running. Don't know if it was still more holdover from Chicago, or new from the half.

Speaking of the half, I earned $50 for my AG record award.

Friday we went to dinner and then a classical concert at BW. Lots of choral stuff, including some with Bob and Laura. Yesterday we watched a movie with Kathy and Mike,and today is Toni's baptim.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Today's Run and a Note to Dan

Another absolutely terrible run today. Once again, I was extremely tired and just could not move. I did 5 outside, and then 6 on the mill. At least those were a bit faster.

Here's a note I wrote to Dan Fox based on a question from him:

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Horvath []
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 5:14 PM
Subject: RE: marathon stuff


Nice goin!! You must've come in before it started getting warm. I think you probably had a decently cool start. I've always liked the Columbus thon.

Here's what you need to do to run Inland trail:

1) rest and recover
2) train hard
3) taper

Not so bad, but a bit tough to do in 2 weeks. Not impossible; just tough.

When I've done thons 2 weeks apart, I've run ok at the second one, but I don't think I've ever done it quite as fast as the first one - even when I've tried. But that's me. YMMV, of course, and I do know of folks who've made it happen.

Perhaps my problem is number 2. No, not that number 2 - I mean the one above. Maybe it's better if you skip it and just do 1 and 3.

As far as Mr. Wall goes, it sounds like you just met him. Dan, meet Mr. Wall. Mr. Wall, meet Dan. I think the best way to avoid Mr. Wall is to run some of your long runs progressively harder, such that you're running at marathon pace for the last 3 or so. That's what some of the elites do, and when I'm running well, that's what I do, and I think it helps.

In a small voice: About 10-20% of the time. But otherwise I think I've got about 0% chance of finishing strong. And there's *almost* no better feeling than finishing strong at a marathon.

Good luck and hope to see you there.


Dan Horvath

Subject: marathon stuff
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 14:04:09 -0400

Hi Dan,

Would you entertain a couple questions about training? The gist of this is that
I ran 3:37 in Columbus yesterday, which surprised me because I've been REAL
slow all year what with the ultra events. So for me this was the fastest marathon this year,
and about 3.5 mins. slower than my PR from '05. The idea that I could set a PR this year has
insidiously wormed it's way into my thinking!

The questions:

1. I passed through mile 24 at 3:12, and then blew up to the point of actually walking for a minute
or two a mile later. Do you have any idea what the heck happened? Was that "the Wall"? How do
you, yourself, train to finish strongly?

2. Do you think running the Inland Trail marathon on two weeks "rest" would be taking advantage
of whatever shape I'm in, or an exercise in futility because I would still be recovering from Columbus?

That's it. Any random thoughts would be welcome. Maybe I'll see ya in a couple weeks in Elyria.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Amy and Brett's and 8 in 80

We spent yesterday evening at Amy and Brett's for dinner, along with the Gajewski's. Nice time.

Been EXTREMELY hard at work lately, and those 5am calls are bad.

Just when I think that I cannot possibly run any slower, I do. Today I was soooo tired. It was extremely tough to just get out the door. I got nowhere near the 15 or so I wanted - I just did 8 tired miles in about 80 minutes. Bad bad bad. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stomp the Grapes

The weather was very good for a change; I had some hope for a really good run today. But NO - Instead I really stunk up the joint.

The race was the Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon in Navarre, Ohio. It’s called that because it starts and finishes at a winery. Parking was a problem for some of us – I had to park 1.67 miles away, according to the ole GPS. There were busses, but of course I wanted to warm up, and I wanted to run extra miles today anyway. My “warmup” totaled about 3 miles altogether. A possible factor in the outcome? Maybe.

The course is very hilly, mostly on country roads, but also through the village of Navarre and also with a few flatter miles on the towpath. I did quite well for the first 6, averaging about a 6:45 pace. I probably hit half-way in close to 44 minutes. If I could only keep this up and run even splits, I’d have a 1:28 or so. And that would be 2 minutes better than my last half, which was in the rain and high humility.

But a funny thing happened to me once I hit that towpath: I suddenly had to work real hard to keep that pace up. Real hard. Was it the dirt and crushed limestone surface? Or was there a grade? I now think it was a bit of both.

I struggled with some 6:5x miles, but was suddenly able to do a 6:28. But after that things went downhill fast.

Check that. It was actually uphill. Now I was doing 7+ minute miles. Mile 11, which I knew was going to be tough because it was all up, was a 7:39. The last couple were also uphill, and also slow. I simply had not realized how much down that first half of this generally out and back course had been. On top of the hills, there was a strong headwind for the second half.

My time? 1:31 flat. Maybe a few seconds below that for split time. My place? That part wasn’t so bad. I was 18th overall (and I have NO idea how many runners there were, but it seemed like 200-300). 1st in my AG was the first master, so they took him out. 2nd place had just turned 55, so he really wasn’t 2nd in my AG anymore. And that left me – 1st by default. Interesting award: a piece of slate from the roof of a 100+ year old chicken coop.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Recent Running

In spite of starting at 5am all week, I've been managing to get my running in:

3 Monday
11 Tuesday - 7 before work and 4 at lunch, all on the mill
11 Wednseday - 8 on the mill in the morning, 3 outside at lunch
11 today - all outside before work

Some of the mill running was decent - I did some tempo running Tuesday, and 6 x 1200 yesterday. Nothing earthshattering though. Hope I'm good to go for Saturday's Half.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-10-14

Maybe it was the clambake and lack of sleep. Maybe it was yesterday's 16. Maybe it was still recovering from Chicago. Maybe all of the above. But today's attempt at something of substance - either a solid long run or some speedwork went poorly.

The weather was great - about 40 and clear. But I started out at 9+ minute miles and never got untracked. Only the last couple were decent at all. I wound up with 14. Maybe now I won't take tomorrow off.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Clambake - and today's run

Yesterday I made pizza and cooked it at Kathy and Mike's. Today they're having a clambake and Dave and Carol will spend the night here.

Today I ran on the towpath with Dave and Amy, and a bit with Chris. We're still in recovery mode, so we went slow. Also, Amy is recovering from frostbite that she got from icing her heal (you've always got to explain this).

One other thing - we're going to central Europe next year!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Competing Marathons

I've been reading with interest the posts about the two Indy marathons being so close in time. This happened in Cleveland not once, but twice.

The Revco/CVS/Rite Aid Marathon (the original one) is in the spring. One time someone decided to have a "Greater Cleveland Marathon" a week later. Many loyal Cleveland Marathoners were upset by this competition, feeling that there aren't enough runners to hold competing events. I did both (of course) and thought they did a decent job on the new one. They definitely had a nice course. They had trouble getting sponsors for the GCM the second year and scratched the race at the last moment, having only a 10K instead. And that was the last year for that event. The new race did have an influence on the old one, however. The old race changed from their traditional out and back course to one much more like that of the GCM in order to provide more variety and generally better scenery, and to better show off the city.

Then came the Akron Marathon. They decided to hold that one the very same weekend as my beloved Towpath Marathon, which is only a few miles away. Once again, many were upset by the competition - out of 52 weekends, why did they pick the same one? I keep thinking they were trying to put the TPM out of commission. If that was the goal, it didn't work. For some reason, both of these races are doing well now (a couple years late), although they are now a week apart.

ORN: 10 on the mill this morning including 8 x 1200 @ 9mph. Then 3 outside at lunch outside. I have to keep breaking these things up because of my work schedule.

Dan Dan Horvath


Been reading lots about the marathon. Plenty of carnage and snafus.

I'm not doing too badly. Just sore and tired. 3 on Tuesday weren't bad, but yesterday's attempt at 11 went very poorly. I had to cut it short at 8, and even those last few were a real struggle. 2 more on the mill yesterday.

Today was a good day. I got up early for dreadmill speedwork, and it was one of my better sessions: 8 x 1200 @ about 5 minutes each. I've done faster, but at least these were steady, and I didn't hold on hardly at all.

I did 3 more at lunch in 25. Not bad, but I was pretty tired.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Chicago Marathon

Nancy Toby nancytoby@COMCAST.NET wrote:
> 88*F, heat index 91*F there right now...
> Did we have anyone running it? That would suck mightily.

I was there, and I managed to finish before they called it. But I did run much slower than I had intended. And yes, that heat did suck mightily.

Going into it knowing it could be record heat, I abandoned any hope of running fast, and instead adopted a "the heat is my friend" philosophy. In the first half, it really didn't feel all that bad. I was taking it easy, and I was mostly in shaded areas, thanks to the Chicago skyline. I hit that half-way point in 1:42 and change, and thought, ok, I've taken it easy; now is the time to pick it up.

Except there was one minor problem. That's also the point where the sun came up to the point of being more above than below the tops of the buildings, and it's where we runners were getting away from downtown anyway. With that sun, it felt like the temperatures skyrocketed. It had been a humid 75-77 at the start, and was probably well into the 80s now. Runners were making sudden changes in order to get to the side of the road where there would be even a bit of shade. I didn't have any problems getting water or gatorade, and I took plenty. And salt pills as well.

I managed to run slower and slower as that heat took its toll. Almost all of the runners around me were doing the same, and many were walking, dropping out, and getting first aid. I kept wondering how many would die today. Sounds like it's hopefully only one. I kept thinking about the volunteers and spectators being out in the heat as well.

The 8 minute miles turned into 8:30's and, for the last couple miles, 9's. I crossed the line in 3:35. Not a minute too soon. All I wanted to do afterwards was to GET IN THE SHADE. And of course there wasn't any to be found until long afterwards. I thought it was smart of the race organizers to get many extra tons of ice - I put the bag on my head, and held it up against other body parts.

ORN: I think I'll take a day off from running today.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hot Times in Chicago and Spirit of the Marathon

I'm here, and it's hot. Low tonight should be about 72, with lots of humidity. Going up to 86 tomorrow.

In case you've forgotten, I'm the guy who's performance becomes affected when temperatures get as hot as the upper 50's. When they're in the 80s, it's a bit tougher for me.

By some quirk, my family and I got to see an advance screening of the film "Spirit of the Marathon" last night. Someone just gave us the tickets, saying she had extras. Pretty good running movie. Good for first timers and non-runners who have no idea what we go through. I thought it showed us runners as a bit too much into ourselves, taking ourselves a bit too seriously. Still an ok film though.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Not my marathon time... yet. It's going to be hot, so I decided it will only be a training run and that I shouldn't taper so much for it and that I should therefore run something of substance today.

As such, I took off early and ran to the track and did 5 x 800 in 3:00, 2:59, 2:58, 2:58, 2:57. They didn't feel all that fast on this hot morning. Nice going.

Now it's time for the bus.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Off to Chicago

Leaving on a slow bus.. don't know when I'll be back again. Megabus that is. Got it all figured out. I think. Kathy will take us to the RTA stop, we'll take that to Tower City, then get on Megabus to Chicago. Then we'll taxi it to Val's. Sounds like a plan.

I think it will be hot and nasty in Chicago. Not planning to set the world on fire. It already is. I'm thinking about a 7:30 pace, but I'll see how the weather is.

I have actually been running better lately. Last Sunday I did the 'ole Substation 11 in 82.5 minutes - 2nd best ever. That included 5 @ MP.

Then on Monday I went over to Hinckley to do that hilly 6. I wanted to do at least 3 at sub-7 pace, and I did, but they weren't consecutive. Still not a bad run in 43.5 minutes, with splits of 23 and 20.5. Afterwards I did 5 more extremly slow miles in the area, with even more hills.

Wednesday I did 10 on the mill, including a 3-mile tempo. Not bad. Today I did 3 on the mill and then 3 on the Presidents streets at lunchtime. I've had 4am counts all week, so it's been a bit tough. Luckily not as tough as it would've been had I not been tapering.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Recent Running

Tuesday I had an early call so all I had time for was 10 on the mill, including 6 x 1200. Not the greatest, but at least it was something of substance.

Yesterday was to be my last long run before Chicago. I had hopes that it would be a good one. It wasn't. I started off just fine, with 8 to 8:15 miles. Near the first stop at 12, I started to slow down. After the stop (13), I really got slow. I headed to the track to try to salvage something. I could only manage to do a few sub-8 (as opposed to sub-7) miles before heading back home. Altogether 24 in 3:28. Not that bad, but not good, neither. Humility didn't help.

Today I ran 10 on the towpath with Amy and Dave. Slow going in the darkness and the dampness.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sippo Valley 10K

This was my 7th, and final race in the series. Or not. I can improve my standing by doing more - we'll see.

This one went almost exactly the same as the other 3 10Ks I've done this year. Slow. I couldn't seem to get going during the first half. After the turn around I did a bit better and I did manage to finish strong. Still nothing to write home about - 41:55 or so. 2nd in AG and 10th overall. (There was a tiny showing.) Splits were about 21:15 and 20:40. I suppose I'll take it.

Recent Running and the Fish Fry

Thursday I did 10 on the towpath with Dave and Amy, and yesterday (Sunday) I did 12 the same way. I didn't want to go too far because of today's 10K race.

After the yesterday's run Debbie, Kathy and Jessy came down and we all walked the Old Carriage Trail. Then we had lunch at Panera. Hard to imagine why anyone would go to McD's or Wendy's when Panera stuff is so good.

Meanwhile, Mike and Mikey were catching fish for our dinner. Debbie spent a lot of time filleting those little guys, and then she and Kathy fried them. Boy, were they good!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Once upon a time, running thirty miles was not such a big deal for me. I had determined that doing this "over-mileage" was the answer to hitting the wall at 20 miles during my marathons. During one of these no-big-deal training runs, I actually ran 30 miles at an average pace of 7:30 per mile.

Those days are gone, perhaps forever. Thirty *is* a big deal now. Now that I haven't done it in several years. I felt the need to do it, and to do it on roads, because I've got Chicago AND JFK to look forward to. And I need to somehow train in such a way as to maximize my performance at both. So I got it in my head that I was going to do 30 road miles early this morning.

I was out the door before four. It was cool - in the upper 50s - but not bad. The couple drivers that were out probably thought I was nuts. Little do they know.

I did my 11-mile Substation loop in 95 minutes. A bit on the slow side, but that was ok. I'd pick it up later. Yeah, right. After a quick pit stop at home, I went back out for another 11 - this time my "new subs" loop. I did fine for a while, but the last couple miles were slower. This time I did the 11 in 97 minutes.

During the ensuing quick pit stop - my second, I really felt like hanging it up. 22 was plenty, thank you. I started running again before I thought too much about it. By now it was about 7:15 and getting light. I did 4 miles across 303 at mostly a 9 minute pace.

For that last pit stop (my third) at 26 miles, the voices were *really* telling me to stop. But as before, I started running again before I thought too much about it. These 4 would be on the Presidential streets, and they were *good and slow*. About 9:40 pace. Nothing I could do about that - just get through them.

So I was done by about 8:30, having completed the 30 miles in 4:27 - an 8:54 pace. Now I'm a little sore and tired.

The salt pills help - I took one at the start, and one at each of the first two pit stops. On the other hand, I'm not sure they help all that much either.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's Speedwork

It was decently speedy, but it was work. Since it was so nice and cool (46F), I wanted this to be fast, but easy. Perhaps because of my running for the past two days, it just wasn't easy. I did 3 x (1600, 1200, 800) in times which were about what I'd expect: about 6:25 for the 1600s, 4:45 for the 1200s and 3:04 for the 800s.

The thing that bugs me the most is that I've gone exactly nowhere this year. I'm right about where I started once I began getting in shape. Maybe these long distance long runs are doing me some good though. We'll see.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Recent Running and Movie

The weather has finally started to break. What a relief to get back to cool, crisp mornings.

9 on the towpath Thursday with Amy and Dave. It sure was DARK at 5:30AM. Couldn't see nuthing! Caused some of the slowest starting in a long time - till we finally got used to it. By then we could see a bit anyway.

3 on the mill followed by 22 on the towpath and other trails with Amy and Dave yesterday. Slow going because of the trails. Another nice cool morning.

I was surprised that I wasn't too sore this morning. Still tired, but not so sore. Ibuprofen helped. I managed to get 11 fairly slow, very hilly miles in.

We went to see 3:10 to Yuma with Iris and Mike Friday. This was after dinner at Buca's, where we talked about vacationing next year.

Ate pizza with Kathy and Mike last night. Nice walk afterwards.

Got our weekly call from Veronica last night. She's doing especially well at work; just got a big raise and other good stuff. She just wishes she could have a house though.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

There was no moon...

But the sky was clear and the air was cool. So it was a run by starlight as I took off at 4:30. Orion was rising in all his glory. After all the warm, humid, hazy morning runs for the last few months, this clear, cool (50F), beautiful morning was a joy. I saw Venus rising during the last few miles. It was as bright as I've ever seen it. I almost thought I could see the disk. A gorgeous sunrise followed that, just as I was finishing up.

Since I awoke earlier than planned, I decided to run a bit more than I would have. The Abbeyville 16-mile course was just the ticket. OTOH, I haven't been running my long or medium-long courses such that they keep me away from water for long periods of time. From home, I'll do multiple loops, coming back home for pit stops. At the towpath I'm able to stop at the various rest areas. At the Lester Rail Trail, I keep returning to the car. This Abbeyville route, which I used to do, but haven't recently, would keep me away from any aid for the whole 16 miles. And the other question is: would my 'ole legs handle it? Even 3 days after Sunday's race and long run, they were still tired, with some tenderness in my left knee.

But it went well. Not great, but fairly well. Since this is the first time on this course since I've had the GPS, I was naturally interested in the actual distance. Of course it was short. .2 miles short. Oh well.

Most miles were in the 8:30 to 8:45 range, but 14 and 15 were slower. 16 was good again. I did 2:18. The old course would've been 2:16. Nice to have that under my belt.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vegas (in 20 Hours)

I spent 20 hours in Vegas to take my cfps exam, so it wasn't a happy coincidence anyway. (I think I may have done ok on the exam; only time will tell.) Even so, I have no desire to go back to sin city. Here's what I wrote as I was in the airport, about to head home:

Everything they say about Vegas is true. Based on the less than 24 hours I spent there, I can see it for all its cliché’s: that it’s a tribute to American excess. A Walt Disney World for adults. A metropolis in a desert where no city should exist. And so on. Mostly it seems to be a place designed to separate people from their money.

And I don’t need that. Someone please kick me hard if I ever say I want to go back there. There are plenty of other things to see in the world. Vegas remains low on my travel priority list. Check that. Make it lower – somewhere between Chad and Nigeria.

More Global Warming Debate With Dave

After he saw the running related global warming article, Dave wrote:

> >From: Dave Gajewski
> >To: "Dan Horvath"
> >CC:
> >Subject: Re: FW: Article Submission for Personal Record
> >Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 13:38:24 -0400
> >
> >Cleaning up old e-mails....I couldn't figure out how I missed the 'Dave'
> >reference in Dan's g-warming article so I went back and read it. Funny to
> >see the date - 8/13/ when my life blew up w/ baby Toni. I must
> >have given it my usual scan, to read in full later. Sorry the 2nd read
> >took nearly a month.
> >
> >I have a lot of thoughts on the environment, global warming and politics.
> >Most of them I mention on runs are incomplete statements when I'm oxygen
> >deprived. Some day I'll put them down in an organized manner, as Dan did
> >below.
> >
> >In the meantime my biggest grip about all the G-Warming talk, as Amy
> >eluded to on our last run, is the hypocrisy of the people who will claim
> >to fix all this stuff (in exchange for your vote) by making rules for you
> >and me not to break while they continue to indulge.
> >
> >Coincidentally I found this article on Al Gore:
> >
> >
> >If Al feels so strongly about the harm that SUV's, chicken and cows
> >produce, why doesn't give them up? Would he ride a bike and go vegan? Or
> >would he just raise the price of things for you and me to pay (in the form
> >of taxes) which the government would then have $$ in-hand to use at their
> >own discretion? He's got a lot more money than all of us to pay extra for
> >a nice juicy steak or gallon of gas. And dog-gone-it, that poor farmer in
> >Brazil trying to produce food and shelter for his family shouldn't be
> >allowed to cut down a tree in a rain forest in order to plant some crops
> >(says the guy in the mansion with the $10k/month electric bill). Al
> >should sleep well at night because he writes a b.s. check each year to
> >some imaginary fund that automajically 'offsets his carbon usage.'
> >
> >Environmental stuff shouldn't be a political issue. We all need to stop
> >pissing all over the world and hold each other accountable for doing so.
> >
> >Good article, Dan!
> >
> >
> >
> >Dave Gajewski
> >I/T Manager - Policy Admin Program Office
> >network# 625-9424
> >

And then I replied:

> From:
> To:
> Subject: Re: FW: Article Submission for Personal Record
> Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 07:43:34 -0400
> Hi Dave,
> I know what you mean by those oxygen-deprived deep thoughts on the run - I
> feel the same way.
> I honestly don't know whether Al Gore, or any given movie star, is a
> hypocrite or not. I don't spend time worrying about it, because as strongly
> as I feel about the planet, I myself still use my home's A/C, drive a
> non-hybrid car, take vacations, etc. If Al Gore were president, he'd
> probably be even more wasteful than he is now. If someone preaches global
> warming and eats meat (as in this article), does that make them a hypocrite?
> How about if they drive a car? Live in a house that's heated and cooled?
> Taken to it's logical conclusion, we should all kill ourselves in order to
> stop breathing out carbon dioxide.
> I think that for some people, the message itself has become too difficult to
> attack, so they're attacking the messangers. What I'm trying to say is that
> I don't think that hypocrisy should be the issue at all. The fact that it
> has become so, only seems to point out the fact that global warming *is*
> political.
> Now, if you want to get political, what about a god-fearing christian
> starting a war on nothing but a whim? A war in which hundreds of thousands
> have died? That's my definition of hypocrisy.
> Ooops. Sorry for the bashing. I'll stop now. Really.
> See you Saturday - Nice job at the Buckeye Half under tough conditions.
> Dan Horvath

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pretty-Good Expectations, and a Tale of Two Runs

Success is defined by our expectations. This is why, in spite of slower times and fewer age group awards, I’m considering this year to not be so bad. Yes, I’ve been managing those expectations better than ever. Not my training or weight or general running ability, mind you, but how I view those things.

For the River Run ½ Marathon, I thought that I was setting reasonable, achievable expectations when I set my goals as: I ought to be able to do sub-1:30, I should be able to do sub-1:29, and if things go really well, I might be able to do sub-1:28. There – that should be doable, no? After 42 and 41 minute 10K’s and that 67 flat 10-miler, I sure thought so.

That explains the expectations. And the two runs? Well, that’s easy. The logistics for the River Run are difficult at best. No race day registration or packet pickup. Either park at the start and take a shuttle bus back after the finish, or park a few miles from the finish and shuttle both to the start and from the finish back to your car. Having done this race a few times, I’ve learned that, believe it or not, the latter option is the better one. And that’s what I was going to do, until something hit me the morning of the race as I was about to drive up there. I could park at the start, and just run back after the finish! I wanted to get a long run in sometime, so why not do 26 today?

It was warm, rainy and humid at the start. I didn’t know there would be pace groups, but I found myself running with the 1:30 group for the first couple miles. This was a good thing: start conservatively. The race winds through the absolutely beautiful – even in the rain - Cleveland Metroparks. After a 3 or 4 miles, the rain tapered off, and it seemed to get a few degrees warmer. And even more humid. I told myself that I could handle this, as I pulled away from the pace group with some 6:40-ish miles.

In those middle miles, I passed a lot of people, and was mostly running alone. Mile 6 went by in something like 40:40, and I thought things were going quite well. This, of course, is when things started to not go quite so well. The 6:40-ish miles became 6:55-ish ones. That pace group, now much smaller, went by me at about mile 11. I tried mightily to keep them in sight. I hit mile 12 in 1:22:30, and knew that I just had to do those last 1.1 miles in 7:30 or better in order to salvage this run into something I could call decent. The best I could do was to cross the line in 1:30:0x, with my only hope that my chip time would be better.

Now my legs felt as dead as can be, and somehow, I had to run back to the start. Well, I didn’t really have to. I could still take the bus. I wrestled with myself as I was trying to take in some calories and liquids, knowing that the longer I stood around, the better chance I had of just getting on a bus. So without any further thought, I just started jogging back.

It would be 12 miles; I’d skip the extra 1-mile detour into Berea, but I would still be able to call it a 26-mile day because of my warmup. And those first two sure were difficult. There were other runners also doing a cool-down, but I was alone, for this direction, after the 11-mile aid station. And After stopping at those aid stations, I started running better again. Not good, just better. Maybe 8:40 miles instead of 9:00+ ones. It wasn’t long before I saw the last few slower runners coming towards me. I had tried to stay mostly off the road, out of everyone’s way. “Hey, you’re going the wrong way!” Oh – now they tell me. The volunteers were taking down the 10-mile aid station, and soon I had to share the road with traffic. I ran on the bike path at times, but moved to the road when I thought it was shorter. I certainly didn’t want to run MORE than 26 miles!

I made other stops for water and bathroom breaks, and also to look out at a scenic lookout near Berea. The last few miles were slower and slower: back to the 9:30-ish range. I had earlier picked up an (unopened) GU packet and now used it to get through that last mile. I made it back in something like 1:46.

Checking the results, I learned that I was 4th in my age group (story of the year for me), and that my chip time was 1:29 something. I guess I cut those expectations a bit too close this time.

Friday, September 07, 2007

today's run and physical

Had my physical today. No big deal - I didn't ask enough questions. We did discuss this shortness of breath. Could be the allergens in the air, air pollution, or exercise induced asthma. I've had it before and it went away, so I'm not worried.

Did 2 on the mill and then 3 outside. Not a great running day - guess I'm still tired from Wednesday's 26. I also need to rest up for Sunday's race.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Today's LONG Run

I did 20 really lousy miles outside. It was warm (71) and extremely humid, but that's not really the excuse. I just didn't do well. Got slower as it went on. 3:02.

Then I took a 3rd salt pill and got on the dreadmill. I had wanted to get 24++ in, and this time things went well - 6 additional miles in 42 minutes. 0% incline. Much better. Maybe the salt helped.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Alliance Rotary Castle 10K

Do I detect some improvement here? Maybe a marginal couple seconds. I've been doing my 10K's 2 minutes slower than last year; this one was 1:45 or so slower. Final time was 41:44 on a warm (low 70s) day. And those hills were really tough. So not great, but things are looking up a bit. As usual, I was 4th in my age group. Here are the splits:

6;28, 6:23, 7:07, 6:33, 6:57, 6:44, 1:28.

I hit a new high heart rate: 174. I'd thought that 173 was my max.

Went to Kathy and Mike's for a picnic yesterday. Also present were Dave and Carol (who stayed the night with us) and most of Mike's family. We stayed late by the fire. Heading to Iris and Mike's tonight.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Today's Long Run

I did 20 on the towpath and Old Carriage trail today with Dave, Amy and Chris. More than I wanted - got the race Monday. Hope to recover ok.

Nice running weather.

Took Succeed electrolyte pills for the first time. They may have helped.

I managed 1 (count them, one) mile at sub-7 mile pace near the end. It's a start.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Today's Run and Put in Bay

I did 3 on the presidents streets in 23. Felt like I was flying. Too bad I didn't have more time - maybe I coulda done something more.

Debbie and I and Dave and Carol went to Put in Bay for the day. The weather was perfect - low 70s, sunny and breezy. And the island wasn't crowded on a weekday. It was very very nice to finally see the place. The highlight was the Perry War/Peace Memorial - the history of the battle for lake Erie was fascinating.

But we also thoroghly enjoyed the beauty of the little island. We ate at a nice place right on the lake. Took a hop-on, hop-off tour around the island. Even the ferry ride was fun.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

long run today

There was the usual heat and humility today. Amy wasn't going to make it, so I got up early and hit the Lester Rail Trail for a long run instead of the intervals. It went well. One problem: I still can't get down to sub-7 pace at the end. I almost made it, and the last four were at least sub-8.

6-mile splits: 52.5, 50.5, 49.5, 46.5

total time: 3:19.

Not bad.

Monday, August 27, 2007

today's run - 2007-08-27 and some other stuff

First of all, I did 10 slow ones yesterday.

Today I did a yasso workout, and it went really well. Difficult, but well. The cool weather helped. I ran to the track, did the 10 x 800, with a few stops, and then ran home. Times were: 3:02, 3:03, 3:02, 3:02, 3:04, 3:04, 3:01, 3:02, 3:01, 3:01, for an average of 3:02. Woo hoo.

Debbie and I also went to the cat show with Amy, Brett, Kathy and Jessy. We then had dinner with the Zims. Yesterday was Deanna and Jack's 25th anniversary party. Good food and fun with the family.

Today Debbie and I drove to Mohican and did a hike there. Beautiful. The nice weather helped too. We ate lunch at a nice cafe in Loudenville.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

today's long run

I did 3 on the mill at tempo pace and then drove over to BVH to run with Amy and Dave. There we did 19 more in the heat/humidity. Not bad at all.

Going to the cat show today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good Speedwork Today

Wasn't quite as fast as last week's 6:23 average - but considering the oppressive humility, this week's average of 6:25 was not bad at all. Done it with Amy. Going to visit the Gajewskis tonight. Maybe Uncle Jim in the hospital tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Nike Attempt III and today's run

A while back I was looking through the Sunday Ads. My daughter, who lived in Connecticut, happend to be nearby. I laughed when I saw an ad at Kohls, Dicks, or somewhere for a running shoe called the Nike Attempt II. I explained to my daughter about how the running shoe companies make less expensive models for sale at large department and sporting goods stores. She laughed about the Nike Attempt II as well. It seemed to imply that this was the second attempt that Nike was making at this model. Or you could take it a different way. This would be you're second attempt at running in these shoes.

Now I just saw an ad for the Nike Attempt III. I suppose they still haven't got it right. Maybe they'll keep trying.

ORN: 11 dreadful dreadmill miles. It was raining, so I stayed indoors, and this shouldn't have been so bad. But it was. Maybe I'm still getting over Sunday's race.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Perfect 10-Miler

No, it wasn't all that perfect; that's just what they call the thing. It was, however, fine. Fine isn't as good as perfect, but it's pretty good.

This is the fourth year for this race, and I'd done all the others, so of course I had to keep going. Even though the cool autumn-like rain might have otherwise had me stay at home. My previous times were: 66:30, 67:30, 63:51!!! That last one reflects my good running year of 2006. I knew I wasn't in that kind of shape in 2007. My 10Ks had been about 2 minutes slower than those of 2006. So I expected this 10-miler to be 3-4 minutes slower. I just wanted to do under 70 minutes. A bonus would be to run every mile under 7 minutes.

The rain was fairly light, but felt really cold. That's a good thing. I had a rough time in that first mile. It was crowded, and I just couldn't get untracked. When my watch told me it went by in 7:05, I knew that particular goal was out the window. The next few were under 7 minutes, but not spectacular. But that was ok. I really wanted to do negative splits. That's assuming I had anything left. The 5-mile mark went by at about 33:50 or so.

The long gradual hill at mile 6 caused me to go over 7 minute pace once again, but then came the good part. Coming back down the hill produced my best split at 6:23, and the rest were good as well. My finish on the track was strong, and I crossed the line in 67:08.

That's about as good as I could've expected. No AG award - lots of fast guys there. At some point, I need to get myself up to the next level. That will involve getting my weight *down* to the next level.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Today's Stinker

I was dead tired yesterday, and couldn't run at all. I thought I'd be better today, but I didn't sleep well at all. So I was dead tired once again as I started running. And that showed. Tried to pick it up just a bit, but wound up with 9+ minute miles at the finish. I did 12 in 1:42:30. Much worse than it looks.

Mom's staying with us. Should be getting cable with HD and faster internet today. Picnic tomorrow at Mosquito with Dave and Carol, and Beth and Ed and Deanna and Jack and family.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

today's speedwork

I ran to the track and met Amy there. The 'ole legs were tired and sore, but I managed to do some speedwork with her. I did 2 x 1600 (6:39, 6:35) and then 2 x 800 (3:08, 3:06). Slower than yesterday's speedwork, but not bad. Circuitous route home for 13 miles total.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

today's speedwork

There was some trepidation - yesterday's tiredness and my big big belly. But it was much better than expected. 8 x 1600 in 6:23. Very very good running.

It's a girl - born on the 13th so I win.

Monday, August 13, 2007

today's run and travelling to races

I did 5 extremely slow miles today after yesterday's decent 22. Here's a note I sent to DRS about travelling to races.

Does anyone else on the list ever stop to wonder about the wisdom of traveling to races? I do. Not that it necessarily completely stops me from doing so. I still do some of it: I'm planning on Chicago and JFK this fall. OTOH, I've skipped some out of town races that friends were doing, just because of the expense.

There are plenty of good races of all sorts within an easy drive of my home. When I stop to think about it, there is no need whatsoever to travel anywhere for any kind of race. Some would probably say that by doing an out of town race you meet new people and get new scenery. My take is that the people are nice, but so are the ones nearby. And scenery is nice, but I really don't notice it during the races themselves.

It can be really funny to hear runners talk about their travels to races if you pretend you're a non-runner listening in. You would hear things like: "Are you doing Chicago this year?", "I did Las Vegas and the logistics were so bad that I'll never to that one again", "At Boston they had this dual start", and on and on and on. Just funny.

Don't get me wrong. I'm part of this community myself. It's just that I occasionally try to view it through the eyes of a non-runner. Maybe an anthropologist.

ORN: 5 EXTREMELY slow miles today. I just couldn't wake up. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

today's run - 2007-08-12

I started slowly, but somehow managed to get 22 in today. It's always tough after a 10K, but this was pretty decent. I did the 11-mile substation loop, then slowly made it over to the track, where I picked up the pace, but not down to MP, then I made my way home. Decent Decent.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Green Family Y Caribbean 10K

Last year I was so proud of my record of three sub-40 10K's. Of course I've been disappointed when it hasn't been happening again this year. It just couldn't be that those 5-7 extra pounds that I'm carrying around would have something to do with this. No, it must be some kind of negative divine intervention or something.

So at the Orrville 10K a month and a half ago, I did 42 minutes flat, whereas last year it was just under 40. And at today's Green Family Y Caribbean 10K, I did 41:38, whereas last year it was 39:38. 41:38 isn't all that bad, but it still hurts when I compare it to my recent past. I suppose it won't help to mention that my GPS (I know: they're not always all that accurate) showed it as 6.31 miles, now would it? Even if I did factor that in, I would've had to also do so for last year's time, because the course was exactly the same.

Also - last year I was 1st in my AG, and this year I was third. They gave me a hat for that. The race is called "Caribbean" because as a door prize last year they gave away a trip for two to the islands. Some 18-year old won it. This year, it was a trip to anywhere AirTran flies, which I don't think includes the Caribbean. Unless maybe Jack Sparrow hijacks the plane or something. I didn't win again this year anyway.

Now I've got the Perfect 10-miler to look forward to next Sunday. Last year I did a really fantastic 63:51 there; one of my best 10's anywhere. Think I'll do anything like that again?? (small voice: "don't bet on it")

Thursday, August 09, 2007

today's run - 2007-08-09

Another early morning run on the mill because of the early calls. This time 11 in 81.5 minutes, with a 5-mile MP run. More buckets of sweat. I may do another run later. Tough to get in 70 miles while taking two rest days a week.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

today's running - 2007-08-08

12 on the mill including 8 x 1600 in 6:28. Buckets of sweat.

Later on, 3 across 303 in 25 in oppressive heat/humility. More buckets of sweat.

And yesterday, 08-07:

What a good run today. It was oppressive - near 80, with terrible humility, but I did the 11-mile new subs route in 83 and a half minutes, including a 3-mile tempo.

I successfully fought off that cold with zicam. Even so, I was very tired all day yesterday. Better today.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Tale of Two Towpath Traversals

Yesterday I ran with Dave, Dena, and Amy on the towpath and on some other trails. It was nice, and not quite as hot a day. 2:39 for about 18.

Today I met up with Dena and Amy on the towpath once again. They only did about 5, but I managed to do 20, including an elusive, of late, end-of-run tempo. So I'm happy about this one, but now I feel like I may be getting a cold. Taking zicam.

Yesterday we had Dave and Carol, and Kathy, Mike and Jessy along with Mom for chicken on the grill.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Fair and DRS Posts

We went to the Medina County Fair with Mom today. It was nice, but hot! And the junk food was good and fatening as expected.

Here are a coupla DRS posts:

Fat Charlie the Archangel wrote:
A lady who was just over 40 was stating that her training hadn't changed,
but that her race times had slowed. John Barbour (I believe) answered her
by saying that she should do what she's probably been unwilling to do -


Mr. Jim Craig used to say "Jes mo' miles" - that for folks like us (yes, I'm
lumping myself in with Mr. Craig; I hope he doesn't mind, but we usually run
around the same times in the same races) - that for folks like us, the only
way to get faster is to run more miles.

some stuff removed...
Have any of you smart folks heard that we old folks should run LESS as we
get older? I've always sort of assumed that it was a Red Queen's Race - that
I'd have to keep running harder and harder to stay in the same place.

RW, RT, and all the other experts are always telling us how to run less, that we need to run less, that the older you are, the less you should run, that less is more, etc., etc. But there are a few contrarians out there. I think Coach George is one of them, and apparantly Mr. Jim Craig is too. I happen to mostly agree that it helps to run more, although there are other ways too.

It sure seems to me like I've been working harder to stay in the same place as I get older. I have increased my mileage some. I can't convince myself that I'd get better by running less. I just can't. And I don't subscribe to running publications in order for them to tell me how to run less. I want them to tell me how I can run more.

Also,,, I think we've hit on another recurring dead thread: improvement through higher volume. The prevailing concensus seemed to be that improvement can occur by adding more volume, up to about 70 miles per week, but it also helps to increase intensity as well. Once you reach 70 mpw, more volume in and of itself won't help you improve.

ORN: 10 slow, sweaty miles with Dave on the 'ole Broadview Heights/Brecksville/Richfield loop.

Dan Horvath


Coach George the Contrarian, as expected and as always, made a very good argument for hard work and against the less is more theory.

One area where I'm reluctantly starting to agree with the established experts, however, is that we runners need more rest as we age. Trying to rest more, while keeping the volume up, of course, creates a problem.

I've attacked this dilemma by trying to take an extra rest day per week, whilst running somewhat longer on the days that I do run. I've also mostly eliminated two-a-days. The result is that I've kept my weekly mileage about the same, but now usually have two days completely off per week. I don't think this has hurt me; at least not much.

In my best running years, my late 30s and early 40s, I averaged about 2,800 miles per year. My weekly mileage would fluctuate pretty wildly, from 80 to 90 some weeks, to 30-40 others. It was mostly in the 60-65 mpw range during my most intense training weeks. And I think I averaged just below 8mpm for all the miles, although that fluctuated wildly too. Now these last 5 years or so have been different: I've done about 3,200 miles per year, with less fluctuation week to week. I do still try to take an easier week once per month or so. So I'm typically averaging 5-10 more per week, week in and week out. And now I'm doing them slower: just over 8 mpm.

The results? 10-15 years back, I was doing 10K's around 38 minutes and marathons around 3 hours. Nowadays I'm often a minute or two slower in the 10K, and 10 or so minutes slower in the thon. Slower, but not toooo bad. Yet. This is not to say that I don't think I'll ever get back to my former levels. I'm a legend in my own mind. Seriously, there's a MUCH greater correlation between my weight and my race times than there is between my age and my times. Or even, I think, my training and my times.

I'm pretty sure that the increased mileage is helping and not hurting me. Am I working harder to just stay at the same level. Hmmm. Mebbe.

PORN: Today is one of my two off-days. I'll run long tomorrow, and again on Sunday. I only wish this miserable long hot summer would come to a crashing end.


Dan Horvath

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Today's Run - 08-02-07

Easy does it today - I did Dave's 10-mile loop with him in about 86 minutes. This heat makes it tough. Not to mention the last few runs.

Constant heat. 85-92 each and every day. Can't take much more of this.

Mom's coming to stay with us for a few days tonight.

Not gonna go on the cruise that Iris and Mike found because the price went up significantly. Looking into other cruises now, including some repositioning ones.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-08-01

Another pretty good run today. It was warm, but not too very humid. Maybe low 70s. I started slow, but wanted to get a tempo run in, so I headed over to the track. There I did 3 nice consecutive 6:40s for a 19:52 tempo. Decent pace back, and I finished the 10 in 77 minutes. Not bad at all.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Today's Speedwork - 07-31-07

Another great speedwork/interval session today. This is encouraging after Sunday's stinker. I did the 'ole 3 x (1600, 1200, 800) - something I haven't done in a long while.

The session was controlled, steady, consistent, and progressively faster. Just what I wanted, and better.

6:30, 4:51, 3:03, 6:28, 4:48, 3:02, 6:22, 4:41, 3:00

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tale of Two Death Marches

Yesterday wasn't really that bad - just slow in the middle and end, but I *was* tired. I did 16++ on the towpath and old carriage trail with Dave and Amy. It was hot and humid, and those last couple were tough. Afterwards I helped Dave in his basement, and then I was *really* tired.

Today I was still tired, but decided to do the Lester Rail Trail 24. I started slow, and seemed to be holding my own, in spite of the rising heat and humility. Then I bumped into "Dan", a guy I met there, and we did my 13-18 together - way too fast for me. Those last 6 (by myself) were a real death march. At least I got through this one. 6Mi Splits: 53.5, 51.5, 47, 57.5. Altogether the 24 were in 2:09and change.

Today is Nikki Zielinski's wedding.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Gichi Gummi

Debbie and I had always wanted to drive all the way around Lake Superior. Going around the world’s largest freshwater lake would have been a long way from where we lived in Farmington Hills, Michigan. But from our Ohio home it would really be a fur piece. Regardless of the starting point, we hadn’t thought about it for a long while. Then came the dueling weddings and all the hoopla. Then came the cleanup and then came the “what’re we gonna do now?” question.

So Saturday came the wedding (the last one – the Cleveland version), Sunday came the propovini breakfast, and Monday came the cleanup and the question. Surprisingly, the same answer came back to both of us independently: Circumnavigate Gichi Gumi. After a brief discussion Monday morning, and some last minute packing and putting up of garden produce, we did something we never, ever, ever do: started a several-day road trip on the spur of the moment. We always plan things out way in advance; this time we were impulsive and spontaneous.

Only made it as far as Mt. Pleasant, Michigan after 5 hours of driving Monday afternoon and evening. At the Mackinac Bridge we would need to decide whether to head clockwise or counter-clockwise around the lake. Debbie said clockwise would be better so that we could make all right hand turns. I couldn’t stop laughing. Not that she was wrong; it’s just that it’s a big lake.

Counter-clockwise it was. 50+ miles north of the bridge we crossed over the Sault Ste. Marie straights into Canada. Since the Soo is the eastern end Gichi Goomi, I had assumed that we’d start traveling west soon thereafter. But noooo. We continued north along the lakeshore for many, many more miles. This part of Canada is strikingly beautiful. The views of the lake are great, and there are hills that are nearly mountains everywhere. The best part is Lake Superior Provincial Park. In the park, Agawa bay and Agawa rock were great places to stop.

After 10 hours of driving, and stopping and walking and gawking along the way, we made it to the hamlet of Marathon and a no-tell mo-tell for the night.

I don’t know why, but I had always been fascinated with Thunder Bay, Ontario. Nothing particular, just the concept of it. A remote city on the north shore of Lake Superior. And that name! Well, it is remote. And the name is still cool. But nothing really special about the town itself. Some industry and a tiny bit of history. Did I mention remote?

The drive through Canada continued to be beautiful, even though there was a rare all-day fog. The 160 miles from the US border to Duluth were also pretty, but eventually not quite as nice as the Canadian shores. Duluth itself is a very nice town though. After being lost for a bit, we found the harbor-front, ate, had ice cream, and a very nice long walk.

The next day we drove the entire length, and then even the width, of the U.P. Then we went on to drive back to Mt. Pleasant for our last night. Start to finish, that amounted to 14 ½ hours in the car, but you’d have to subtract two hours or so for sightseeing. But that sightseeing was great. We visited Holland Lake to bring back camping memories – more for Debbie, but for me as well. We’ve seen it when it’s quite deserted, but there were 5-6 camping parties around. The worst part is the Off-Road Vehicles. They ruined the place for us, esthetically speaking. Other than that, the place looked about the same. Debbie says she won’t need to see it again. We’ll see.

Along the way, we stopped for Grandma T’s pasties. They were filling!

Munising was beautiful as always. Some day I’d like to see the Pictured Rocks. We never seem to have the time.

Our last stop before heading back down was Whitefish Point and Whitefish Bay. There we toured the lighthouse and the connected living quarters. The highlight there is the shipwreck museum. There they have the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald along with information and artifacts from several other area wrecks. Of course we’d been listening to The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, by Gordon Lightfoot over and over, and of course they played it there, over and over. Sidenote: in November, 1975 I was in Atlanta on a business trip, when a hurricane came up from the gulf and (the remnants) went over our heads, heading north. It didn’t rain much, but I was fascinated by the clouds. This was the same storm that wrecked the Edmund Fitzgerald.

We looked out onto Gichi Gummi one last time (there’s a nice beach there), and then headed back.

We made 2,200 miles total.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

Two Other Runs Whilst on the Trip

When we were in Duluth, I ran an extremely hilly 8 miles - slow going out and fast coming back.

We spent the last night back in Mt. Pleasant, so I had to hit the track once again this morning. I did the 20 x 400 10K workout for the first time this year. And, considering everything, it wasn't bad at all. I did the 400s in 90-94, and finished the whole 10K in 45 flat.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wedding, Trip and Recent Running - 2007-07-24

The wedding went great. I think everyone, including the bride and groom, were extremely happy. Nothing to complain about. Sunday's breakfast was real good too, but half the people didn't make it. We wound up with a ton of leftovers. On Monday came the question: what the heck do we do now? The answer, of course, was to circumnavigate Gichi Gumi. See the post on that.

Sunday I was sooo tired. I managed 6 miles at 10-minute pace, and that was it!

Monday was off - I couldn't run at all.

I didn't expect Tuesday to be great either, but it was! After driving well into the evening Monday night, I though it would be another disaster of a run. But I found the Central Michigan U. track, and did the Yasso: 10 x 800. This was even better than last time. 3:08, 3:07, 3:08, 3:06, 3:05, 3:05, 3:04, 3:04, 3:00, 2:55. Average was 3:04. 10 miles total.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

today's run - 2007-07-21

Big day today - the Cleveland version of Valerie and Dan's wedding.

I did 2 on the mill and then 18 on the towpath with Dave and Amy. So so pacing - tried and failed once again to do a tempo for last 3. Dave and I were talking too much.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Running Yesterday and Today

15 yesterday in the hood for 1:34 and 15 today on the towpath with Dave and Amy in 1:28. Both were EXTREMELY humid. Today's run included a failed attempt at a tempo run. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wedding, Party, Cedar Point, Running

The wedding went great. Nothing to complain about. The mariachi band was special. Oh and Dan got into Northwestern. That's really good news.

Monday we had a party for Barry. Sandy, the Zims, Dave and Carol and Dave and Jill all made it. We also gave small gifts to the other b-day people - Dave G. and Carol. It was a real nice gathering.

Today we went to Cedar Point. It rained the WHOLE TIME. Pretty durn miserable. We tried to make the best of it all, but it was pretty durn miserable. Did I mention the misery?

I've been suffering from a slight case of PF. It started after Friday morning's speed run, and I felt it all weekend. I think it was those shoes. Been fighting it with stretching and the boot.

Sunday I did 10 along the lakeshore again, this time to the north. Still nice, but south is better from Wacker. Slower than Saturday too. Today I didn't have much time, but still managed 4 x 1600 at the track, and then one more fast one on the way home. At the track: 6:29, 28, 28, 28, and then 6:39 for the run home. Not bad at all.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Wedding So Far, and Running

We're in Chicago for the wedding. Last night we went to dinner with Val and Dan, and Dan's parents and grandfather. Had a nice time. Their new furniture is great. Today's the big day. Debbie has it all planned out.

This morning's run along the lakeshore was wonderful. I ran along the Chicago river, and then south along the lake for 5.5 miles each way. Great sunrise. The run reminded me of the Chicago 50/50 run I did a few years back. It's also good to have all the other runners and support (gatorade, water, rest rooms) along the way.

Yesterday's run was even better. Got out early, before the drive out here and got over to the track where I did a Yasso workout: 10 x 800 in 3:06. Much better than expected. And it was really strong and consistent. Altogether I did 14 miles.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-07-12

Just 2 on the mill and then later on 2 out in the hood. Still losing weight - 156 now!

We leave tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Recent Running and other stuff

Debbie and Valerie have been very busy getting ready for the wedding. Friday we pick up Barry and Veronica and then head to Chicago.

I've been busy with work, so it's tough to get up early to run. But I did manage yesterday and today. Yesterday I got to the track but only had time for 4 x 1200 in a pretty good 4:44. 10 altogether. Felt good, even with the heat. Today I did 8 and felt good, until the humility got to me. It must've been 80 or more out. Supposed to cool down now after a wee bit of MUCH needed rain. I did 3 more on the mill later on.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Today's and Yesterday's Runs - 2007-07-08

Yesterday I did 3 on the mill and then 18 with Dave, Dena and Amy, almost all on the towpath. Since we stayed on the towpath, we managed to do a slightly better pace than when we hit the other trails. We averaged about 8:40 or so.

After the run Debbie and Nance came to meet me and we walked the Old Carriage Trail for another 6+.

Today, for the first time in a long time, I did back to back long runs. I somehow managed to do 20 on a very warm (70s) morning. I started to slow down a couple times, and almost quit, but I hit the track at 13.5, got some water, picked up the pace, and felt revived. 2:53. Really good going!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Yesterday's Run and Today's Race

I got up early yesterday and did 9 on the mill at a pretty durn good 7-minute pace before heading over to the towpath to do 10 with Dave and Amy. Not a bad day of running, even the towpath miles were slow.

Yesterday evening we parked half-way and walked to the Brunswick fireworks. They were really great.

Today was the North Canton Y 5-mile race. My 5-mile races have mostly been in the 32 to 33 minute range in recent years. This was in that range - the high side, but still ok. I averaged 6:35 to finish in 32:59. Good considering yesterday's 19, but the cool (70F) weather helped. 6th in AG in a large field. Steady pace.

Today we head to Robin's for her 4th party.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-07-01 and some other stuff

I was gonna do another long run today. Got out early like I planned, but the miles got slower and slower until I just had to quit after only 8. Very disappointing. Some redemption came later on however. Debbie and I took a still-early walk on the towpath and saw the bald eagles, among other wildlife. Then I went to the track and did 6 x 400 in 85.5. First quarters of the year, and not too bad.

Yesterday we went to see Robin play in Westlake. Jen had picked Mom up, so we saw them there as well. Today it's over to Kathy and Mikes for some ribs. Can't wait.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Running - 2007-06-30

Yesterday I did 4 EXTREMELY tired miles on the mill. Wasn't pretty at all.

Today I did a quick 3 and then headed over to the towpath to run with Dave, Amy and Dena. We tackled the Old Carriage Trail and went up to Brandywine falls, but of course most was on the towpath. The hills were slow - especially according to my Forerunner, but the towpath was decent. Altogether 17 (may have been way more) in 2:38. That makes 70 for the week.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-06-28

12 miles on the towpath today with Dave and Amy. It was pretty slow, but the weather was pretty oppressive. The humility was high!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

today's run and other stuff

Monday we had Mom over for a visit. I also took stuff to Ed and Beth for their charity garage sale. Not a whole lot else going on - this lack of work is still driving me crazy.

Yesterday's run on the mill was on extremely tired legs. I did 7, but had to hold on a whole lot. It wasn't pretty.

Today I drove to station rd., did some hills, and then met up with Amy to run on the towpath. It was a nice run even though the hot weather makes it tough. When Amy was done I did a few more, some at a faster pace. I managed one at sub-7 pace. Altogether I did 14 in 1:58.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Michigan, Paint Creek and Today's Run

It was really nice to visit Greg and Dot. Went to a nice Mexican place Friday and had a good hearty breakfast Saturday.

It was fantastic to see my old EDS friends at the wedding. Nice wedding too.

Saturday morning I met Carl Shubitowski for a run - here's the drs post:

Paint Creek Trail Mini-Encounter

Carl Shubitowski mentioned that he'd never met another Dead Runner in person and wondered if they really even existed outside of cyber space. Since I would be visiting his Michigan neck of the woods over the weekend, we arranged to meet for a run on the Paint Creek Trail.

We did, and I believe we had a nice run together. Saturday morning was very nice and cool, and the deerflies stayed home - I didn't see any, but I'm sure they were there, shivering on the side of the trail.

Carl and I ran from Lake Orion to Adams Rd. and back - probably a short 6 miles. Conversation ranged from our personal running histories to kids and jobs. I couldn't linger much because I had to get back to visiting the friends we were staying with.

Nice meeting you, Carl.

ORN: A really tough 8 x 1600 @ 6:36. A year ago this would've been an extremely easy workout at this pace, but today I'm considering it a major accomplishment that I got through it at all. I had to keep reminding myself that I love this stuff. I just haven't been doing as much speedwork as in previous years. Need to correct that.

Altogether this amounted to 13 miles in 99 minutes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

anniversary and today's run

It's 32 today. We went to Mapleside and then to Cold Stone. Maybe fireworks tonight. Really. Tomorrow we go to Michigan to visit Worleys and then to go to Jenny Watry's wedding in K-zoo.

I ran with Dave on his old loop today for the first time in a long time. I was extremely tired, so we did about a 9-minute pace. Slow but enjoyable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

eaten alive

This may be good or bad, depending on the context. It occurs to me, however, that it’s almost always better to be eaten alive than to be eaten dead. Even so, the context in the case I’m thinking of is still a bad thing, with deerflies being the eaters, and me being the eatee.

Prior to a run on the towpath while back, friend Amy offered her repellant to me, explaining that it wouldn’t harm synthetics. And of course synthetics are all we run in these days. That’s funny, I said, I didn’t know that regular repellant did harm synthetics. Her stuff worked; the bugs stayed away.

Prior to a run on the Lester Rail Trail a week or so ago, I sprayed myself with my regular repellant. The stuff worked; the bugs stayed away. And as far as I could tell, it didn’t harm the synthetic clothes I was wearing. But it did harm my almost new Garmin Forerunner 305 wrist-piece and HRM strap. I noticed after my run that both had a kind of shiny film. I tried to wipe them off, tried harder to wipe them off, tried with several chemicals to wipe them off. The HRM strap now has a permanent sheen to it, with some areas where it looks like the plastic is melted. The wrist-piece also looks like it has areas where the plastic has melted (and this was from the deet, not the other chemicals). And some of the indicator lettering has been almost entirely cleaned off. At least it still functions.

So now I’ve got to watch it with that repellant stuff. Deerflies, however, can drive me completely insane. They did so the other day. I got out early, sans repellant, with the thought that I could get my run completed before they awoke. Since it’s nearly solstice, the sky was beginning to get light as early as 5 to 5:30 am, and I was only a few miles into my 11-mile run at that point in time. And that’s when they hit. I was on my usual semi-rural country roads and they were all over me.

Picture this: a country road, a peaceful summer morning. Off in the distance, a long-distance runner approaches. He seems to fit in just right with the environment; he’s just part of the scene. As he comes closer, however, we notice that this runner is making some wild-looking gestures. As he comes closer still, we can see him waving his arms like a crazy man. He’s even hitting himself on the head.

That was me. That was I. That was the author of this post. I wound up with big welts all over my neck and upper back. The thing is, this was a miserable excuse for a run anyway. It was hot and muggy already, and for whatever reason, the ‘ole legs were not moving as they should’ve.

Today’s long run was much better. I felt better, ran better, and I got out even earlier to beat those doggone flies to the punch. By the time it was getting light, I was done on the country roads and well into the subdivision part of the run.

Altogether today: 20 in 2:37.5.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wedding, Tired Run and Dirt

Lily's wedding was really memorable. It was a unique event in rural western Virginia. The Bluegrass band, the barbeque, the scenery was all wonderful. We drove home Sunday via the scenic route through almost-heaven West Virginia.

I had done 4 on the hotel dreadmill before that trip. Yesterday I was going to run long, but got a slightly later than planned start, and wound up only doing 11. And that 11 was extremely poor. I was just plain tired from the 15 hours of driving the previous 2 days.

To make me more tired and sore, we got 10 yeards of sweet peat mulch yesterday. That's a lot of dirt. I'm taking a class, but after that I joined Debbie in distributing the dirt around the yard. This, on the hottest day of the year so far - mid-90s and humid.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Today's Tempo

The ole legs were tired and sore, and I sure started out slow, heading out to the track. Once I got there, however, the 4-mile tempo run went very well. Altogether 11 in 89.5 minutes. Legs *really* tired now.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Today I weighed in at 160. That's relatively good - I think it's a tie for my lowest point this year. Still 9 pounds more than my lowest point last year though. Realistically, I'd like to get down below 155 and stay there.

Good speedwork today: 7 x 1200 in (4:49, 4:48, 4:47, 4:47, 4:47, 4:45, 4:42) for an average of 4:46+. That's a definite improvement. Like the weight, however, I still have a long way to go. At least it's in the right direction.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Today's Run 2007-06-13

I did 2 on the mill, then 7 with Amy on the towpath, then 2 up and down the big hill. All this was a bit discouraging because it seemed like I was moving much faster than I actually was.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Yesterday and Today

This lack of work is driving me crazy.

As always, it was nice to see the family at Char's wedding. It wasn't too very lively however. Not as many young people and most left early. Now we're worried that this may happen at Valerie's wedding too.

Went to dinner with Dave and Jill yesterday. Nice time, but worries about some of our mutual friends.

I did 10 very slow miles up to north park yesterday.

Today I did the rail trail 24 in 3:17. It was MUCH better than last week. It helped that the temperature was 10 degrees lower and that I ran fewer miles Saturday and Sunday. But this was a good one nonetheless. Decent strong finish - last 3 were sub-8. 6-mi splits: 51:56, 49:28, 49, 47:18.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Orrville 10k

It was a nice day and I ran a good steady pace. Not fast, but steady. About 2 minutes slower than last year: 42:01. I'll take it though. Maybe I'm improving just a slight bit. Maybe..

I met up with Dave, Amy and Dena for coffee. Wedding tonight.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-06-07

I was so happy when my weight got down to 160 the other day. That's probably the lowest this year. But then yesterday and today it crept back up again. So I'm not going anywhere. But I gotta keep trying.

Did the 11-mile new subs route today at an 8:30 pace. Pretty steady going, with a decent finish. I wish I could do these things faster, but see the weight issue above.

Yesterday we took Mom to lunch and to get her new hearing aids.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Running Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I just managed 5 on the mill. Lucky to get that much in.

Today I felt pretty good, considering Monday's long one. Even so, I started very slow - 38 minutes for the 4 miles over to the track. The speedwork itself went fairly well: 7 x 1200, averaging 4:53. Slow compared to other times in my life. But it was tough, although at least consistent. Decent cooldown back home - <8's. Altogether 14 in 1:53.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Still More Recent Running and Funeral

Last Friday I did 3 on the mill in 22.5 minutes. Down to 161 pounds - the ww is working.

Saturday Dave and I skipped the possible WVa marathon and just ran long on the towpath, along with Amy. I did 4 on the mill ahead of time and then 16 on the old carriage trail and towpath @ a slow 9mpm pace. Afterwards we attended the funeral of Aunt Sue's mother. After that we (me and the ladies) went shopping for dresses.

Sunday I did a few around the hood at 9mpm pace, and then 2 on the mill after some weights.

Today I awoke early so I did my long run - the 24-mile Lester Rail Trail run. I had hoped to have each 6-mile segment get faster as I've done in the past. Not today. The 6-mile splits were: 52:03, 49:53, 48:40, 50:56 for a total of 3:21:30. Not that bad, and at least it was steady, but I don't know when I'm going to improve. And lose weight - I was back to 164 today.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Recent Running

I wanted to get some kind of speedwork in on Tuesday, even if it wasn't stellar. It wasn't, but at least I did get something in: 5 x 1200 in about 4:54. 9 altogether that day.

I took Wednesday off because I was dead tired. We had to get going early anyway - had to take Mom to the ear doctor.

For today's run I wanted to at least get down to 8 minute pace. I did, but only for the beginning and end of the 11-mile course. The overall time was 90. I was sweating buckets.

Gotta decide about the West Virginia Marathon today...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Recent Running

Yesterday I did 4 on the mill and then met up with George, Rob, Bob H., Tom B., Laura and company for a run at Rocky River. Good to see everyone. We did 6 there.

Today I was going to do 15-16, but as my legs were getting tired I changed it to the 11-mile Substation course. Although I had been slowing down, I managed to pick it back up for the last 2. Finished in 92.5 minutes. Not too bad.

After some chores, but before lunch, I got out again to do my 3-mile Presidents course. This was much better than expected - 22 minutes.

I'm still learning the nuances of this GPS thingie. Today I set lap on auto (so it takes a checkpoint every mile) and I ran a course for the second time (not sure I liked this)..

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Medina 4-mile, Diana and Allissa

It was pouring rain for parts of today's 4-mile race, but that didn't slow me down too much. Being so fat and out of shape did. I did it in 27:51. Probably a pw for a 4-miler, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Dave, Carol and Debbie and I went to the Pricess Diana exhibit at the Western Reverse Hysterical Society today. Then we went to Allissa's graduation party.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lies, Damn Lies, and GPS Data

This is also a subtitle of a section of an article about measurement, but I think it applies to what I'm about to say. I had considered using "Sex, Lies and GPS Data, without the Sex" as the subject, but I like the Mark Twain thing better.

I got my Forerunner 305 toy a few days ago, and now I've had a couple runs with it. I'm still in the process of figuring things out, but I've noticed a few things and have a few questions right off the bat.

For one thing, based on doing some of my standard courses with the device, everything is shorter than I thought. Even the courses that I measured on gmaps pedometer. Even the ones where I drove the course. This may be because I cut tangents when I run. Or it's because I'm losing the signal under trees and the device thinks I'm cutting tangents when I'm not. Regardless, I find it mildly upsetting to learn that my 6-mile course is really 5.85 miles, and that my 11-mile course is really 10.87 miles.

Here's something weird: I've checked the distance from my house to the end of the street several times. I've come up with .28, .30 and .31 miles. I can imagine that it all depends on EXACTLY where I started and where I crossed the street, etc. But when I measured it walking, I came up with .34 miles. Everything else seemed longer by walking than running as well. These are just preliminary findings, but has anyones else experienced this?

Another thought: This may be a silly question, but does arm movement have an effect on distance?

One other initial finding: after determining that at least some of my courses are shorter than I thought, I figured that running at the track would come up with distances much shorter than I've logged. This is for a couple of reasons: 1) running four laps in the inside lane is indeed less than a mile, and 2) with all the turning, the forerunner may lose some distance and determine tangents. But here, the distance measured was *long*. The first 4 laps showed up as 1.04 miles. Subsequent miles were also long. What's this all about?

The main thing I'm doing here initially though, is gathering data. This early analysis (especially when I map it out) is interesting, but I can do more later. This applies to the HRM data too. That's another story.

ORN: Just my 3-mile course today. This one actually did measure out very close to what I thought. This was my most decent run of the week, since the marathon. Now I've got a 4-mile race tomorrow.

Recent Running

I did 10 yesterday, but it wasn't easy. Still sore and tired. Got over to the track to get some slightly faster stuff in. 86 minutes. Not too terrible.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-05-23

I strapped the heart rate monitor on today and went out for my second GPS run. Once again, my course proved shorter than the GPS said, once again by the same amount - .13 Miles or so. This was for the 11-mile new subs route.

Once again, I ran slowly anyway - over 9 mpm pace. But it really wasn't all that bad. I'll come around. You'll see...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

First Run with GPS

Of course I learned that I hadn't been running as far or as fast as I thought. I did my 6-mile "east" course and learned that it's only 5.85 miles. I could only manage about 9 mpm today. This is going to be interesting as I continue to use it.

Cleveland Marathon

I ran ok for a while, but then I got tired and slowed down.

Many of you recognize my standard race report, which applies to about 60% of my races and 80% of my marathons. It did last Sunday. But what did you expect? Let's consider the excuses:

10) I have zero race experience for the year.
9) Cleveland was windy as usual, although it has been worse other years.
8) Temperatures were in the low 60s. Not bad, but I still would've liked 10 degrees less.
7) With all the traveling this year, training in general has not been where it should be.
6) With all the traveling this year, I haven't been able to do as many quality long runs as I wanted.
5) Since my last race (Columbus, last October), I've had several illnesses and at least one major injury.
4) I got home from Portugal only about 36 hours before the start.
3) With all the traveling this year, I have managed to put on a few pounds.
2) They've been more than a few pounds.
1) I'm old, bald, fat and ugly.

They had big numbers for this year's race: over 9,000 for the marathon, half and 10K. I think there were something like 2,800 marathoners. The start of the combined full and half didn't seem very crowded however. I didn't have any real plan, other than I wanted to run smoothly. To do under 8 minute pace would be nice. Negative split would be grand. So when I figured out that my first couple miles were at 7:30 pace, continuing at that pace seemed as good an idea as any.

It was nice talking with TJ Hawk and his buddies, as well as Mike George and his brother a good part of the first 11 miles or so. TJ mentioned that after the race he would clean up as much as possible and change in his car in order to get to church on time. I told him that God wouldn't mind the smell. TJ replied that he didn't think so either, but some of the people may mind. Paul Lane, running on TJ's other side, said that TJ may wind up with a pew all to himself.

The half marathoners peeled off, and things got lonelier as I headed east on Chester toward University Circle. The half-way point was 1:38 and change: still 7:30 pace. It was probably somewhere about the circle itself where I began to slow down. I wasn't watching each and every mile split like usual, but I figure those 7:30s slowly became 7:45s or so.

Even while slowing, I was still passing folks who were slowing more. I went by and talked a bit with Nancy Schubring, an old running acquaintance from Michigan. By the time I was heading back towards downtown on North Marginal (miles 19-24), I began slowing even more. Going up the short hill on West 3 was difficult for me - it felt like a mountain at that point.

So the wheels never came off completely, but there was a general slowing. The last mile was decent, and I finished in 3:22 and change.

This had been the 30th edition, and I'd been there for the 1st, 10th, 25th, and about seven others. This may have been my slowest. But now that I've got my 1st race of the year out of the way, they can only get better now. Right?

Hinckley is Back

Okay, okay. Hinckley never really left. But a lot of us did; we hadn't been meeting there for our Sunday morning runs for quite some tim...