Monday, April 30, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-04-30

My speedwork today was real work, coming after yesterday's 20. But it was a good one. It was warm (upper 50s) and there was a beautiful sunrise over Brunswick (yes, Brunswick) track as I managed 8 x 1200 in about 4:54. That's a good one.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Waylayed in Cincinnati and Limerick Pork

I had to spend a night in Cincinnati because of missed connections. This meant that I missed my morning run with Dave and Amy, but we met up at Brueggers later. Debbie gave Amy the quilt, and we expressed our simpathy for Puf who had been put to sleep. As a result, I had to do my long run Sunday, thinking of Limerick Pork. Read on:

Until I went to Ireland, I wasn't aware that there is an actual city called Limerick. I still had to chuckle a bit when I saw "Limerick Pork" on a dinner menu. I figured they meant that the recipe came from there or that's the way they prepare it there, or something. Even so, I still somehow pictured a pork chop spouting a dirty little five-line poem.
So during this morning's long run, I came up with this thought about Limerick Pork:

There once was a piglet in Limerick
Who thought: to escape would be mighty slick
He tried to run away
But the farmer held him at bay
And that's him on the dinner table; so much for that swine trick

orn: Besides thinking about Limerick Pork, I somehow ran 20 miles in decent fashion. I managed to generally get faster as I went on, with the last few being fastest of all. The only disappointment was not quite getting down to sub-7 minute pace for those last couple - it was more like 7:15 or so. Maybe next time.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Dan in Dublin

“I’m kind of tired. I was out celebrating my wife’s birthday until 4am. Boy was she mad when I got home!” That was just one of the stories from one of the drivers of the City “hop on, hop off” tour that I took here in Dublin. Another is, “My wife ran off with a policeman. Now whenever I hear a siren, I get worried. What if he’s bringing her back?” One more: “Here is the smallest pub in Dublin. It holds no more than 14 people, including the barman. It’s very safe, because you can’t fall down.” Yes, some of these drivers were pretty darn funny. One of them sang quite a bit. And quite well, too. I took this tour in order to see Dublin sort of on my own, but with a bit of guidance. Some of the memorable stops that I did were: Christchurch and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals, Phoenix Park (a very nice city park where a 10K race was just finishing), Trinity College and St. Stephens Green (a smaller, but still very nice city park).

The folks I work with are extremely friendly. It’s nice to work at a place where they like you. As usual, however, I’m out in the middle of nowhere, so I have to take a tram any time I do into town. But I’m managing ok. It’s a good thing that I took that tour when I arrived – most days all I see is what’s on the 400 or so meter walk from the hotel to the office. Except, of course, what I see on my daily runs.

Those daily runs have really been, to put it as an Irishman would, brilliant. No, I don’t mean the quality of the running; I mean the scenery and the sensory experience. From the suburb of Leopardstown, I head east on bike-paths and sidewalks along the not-too-busy road down (and I do mean down) to the sea. Even this part of the run is very pleasant. There are stonewalls, blossoming trees, flowering gardens, birds singing, and the village of Newtown.

Once I reach the sea, it gets even better. I turn south and run along the shore. There are more stonewalls and villages along the way, along with harbors and seawalls. I go through the village of Dun Laoghaire (pronounced dun leery, but you probably knew that), past Dalkey Castle and turn around at an abbey placed by God on the sea in the village of Dalkey. Heading back the way I came, I have to push it to get back up the hills, but I don’t mind; running doesn’t get much better.

I’d seen a lot of Dublin, and I’d certainly seen enough of Leopardstown, so for the weekend in between the workweeks, I made my way to the countryside in order to stay at the Marriott Johnstown House Enfield Hotel and Spa. Enfield is in County Meath, about 40 miles from Dublin. Might as well be 400. Friday evening, I got my laptop bag and two other small bags, walked 15 minutes to the tram, rode 30 minutes to Dublin city center, walked 30 minutes to Conolly Station, waited for and then took the train to Enfield (45 minutes), and finally walked 30 minutes from the village to the hotel. The things I do to earn Marriott points.

I thought my Ireland running couldn’t be much nicer than that run to the sea, but it’s really nice in County Meath as well. I ran to the village and then along a canal, where there was a path of variable quality – some mud, some rocks, some cow flops, some cows, some sheep, some crushed gravel, etc. But all of it very serene. The green Irish hills and pastures loom in the background. Trees line most parts of the canal. Maybe running did get a bit better.

So after nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes of slow trail running, I get back to the hotel and, for reasons that I can’t think of, went into the spa/gymnasium. There I saw a notice about the Spa’s annual triathlon. It was to take place that very same day. I somehow gathered that there were both individuals and teams, and then, of course, asked if there were any teams that needed a runner. Of course there was. Before I knew it, I was involved. Show up at half-past 11. “Oh yeah,” I said as an afterthought, “how far is this run?” 5.2 kilometers.

Could I go out and do it again after all that trail running? I figured I could probably make the distance. After breakfast and a cold bath to recover, I went back down to the spa. Do I owe any money? No. Who and where are my teammates? They’re around somewhere – don’t worry about them. Follow Liz to get started. But it’s only ten after 11. Doesn’t matter, we’re just starting everyone in groups of 3, and in this case, 2. You can go now.

So me and Jenny started running towards town, hoping to not get lost (the directions were pretty simple, and there was a biker on the course to help). I got ahead of Jenny and then saw the biker, who yelled some words of encouragement as I went by. He was escorting another runner in. Later on he caught up and rode along with me as I looped through town and began heading back to the hotel. He continued to encourage me, and at one point told me I was doing 10 miles per hour. I slowed a bit towards the finish because there’s a hill to overcome, not to mention strong winds. I finished strong with the biker almost alongside and with Liz and about two others cheering madly. Liz kissed me. You just don’t get this kind of running experience (at least by race officials) at home. My time was 20:26, a PR for 5.2 km. And better yet, by beating Jenny, I had “won” the third or so race of my life. The others were equally low-key. I wish I knew how I did in relation to the other runners. When will I know the official results? There will be a picnic in July where they will be announced. How did my team do? Who knows?
I thought that being in County Meath would bring me close enough to easily get to some historical and archeological sites. Close I was, but there was no easy way to get to any of them. I hired a taxi for 25 Euros each way, and went to Trim. Trim is a medieval village with a large historical castle. From the tour I learned that the castle was built in the 12th century. The keep is quite tall, but only partially intact. Same with the walls. From the top of the keep I could see all around the county, including the Hill of Tara, another famous site. Trim castle is where the movie Braveheart (which is about Scotland) was filmed.

One more thought - Limerick Pork:

Until I went to Ireland, I wasn't aware that there is an actual city called Limerick. I still had to chuckle a bit when I saw "Limerick Pork" on a dinner menu. I figured they meant that the recipe came from there or that's the way they prepare it there, or something. Even so, I still somehow pictured a pork chop spouting a dirty little five-line poem.

So during this morning's long run, I came up with this thought about Limerick Pork:

There once was a piglet in Limerick
Who thought: to escape would be mighty slick
He tried to run away
But the farmer held him at bay
And that's him on the dinner table; so much for that swine trick

Monday, April 16, 2007

Running in Dublin

04-16-07
For my first run in Dublin it was cool (about 50) and raining (mostly a light drizzle). This is usually a bad combination for me, but today I had a really nice run. The rain was actually refreshing, and I enjoyed running through Ireland. There are plenty of bike paths, but I didn't quite get to the sea as I wanted - maybe tomorrow. I'll call it 13 in 1:52.

04-17-07
After talking with some of my clients, I learned that I was indeed very close to the sea during yesterday's run - I just didn't know it. So I figured out how to go to get along the seaside road (about 2.5 miles) and then ran along the road for miles and miles. The sun was just beginning to come up. I went through Dun Lougri and past the Dalkey Castle, up to an abbey on the sea. It was really a beautiful run. It was tough coming back to the hotel with some challenging hills. I'm calling it 13 miles with splits of 56, 55 minutes.

04-18-07
I enjoyed yesterday's run so much, I did it again. This one was just as enjoyable, but a wee bit faster: splits were 54, 53 minutes. Not too bad because I didn't feel all that great. I do wish I could get down to below 8 minute pace though. I'll take it anyway.

04-20-07
Same route once again. This time was the fastest yet. The day off helped. My splits were 52.5 and 51.5, so I finally achieved 8 minute per mile pace. Woo hoo. It sure *felt* fast. And just as enjoyable as the other runs.

04-21-07
Here I'll take from my Dan in Dublin blog:
I thought my Ireland running couldn’t be much nicer than that run to the sea, but it’s really nice in County Meath as well. I ran to the village and then along a canal, where there was a path of variable quality – some mud, some rocks, some cow flops, some cows, some sheep, some crushed gravel, etc. But all of it very serene. The green Irish hills and pastures loom in the background. Trees line most parts of the canal. Maybe running did get a bit better.

So after nearly 2 hours and 40 minutes of slow trail running, I get back to the hotel and, for reasons that I can’t think of, went into the spa/gymnasium. There I saw a notice about the Spa’s annual triathlon. It was to take place that very same day. I somehow gathered that there were both individuals and teams, and then, of course, asked if there were any teams that needed a runner. Of course there was. Before I knew it, I was involved. Show up at half-past 11. “Oh yeah,” I said as an afterthought, “how far is this run?” 5.2 kilometers.

Could I go out and do it again after all that trail running? I figured I could probably make the distance. After breakfast and a cold bath to recover, I went back down to the spa. Do I owe any money? No. Who and where are my teammates? They’re around somewhere – don’t worry about them. Follow Liz to get started. But it’s only ten after 11. Doesn’t matter, we’re just starting everyone in groups of 3, and in this case, 2. You can go now.

So me and Jenny started running towards town, hoping to not get lost (the directions were pretty simple, and there was a biker on the course to help). I got ahead of Jenny and then saw the biker, who yelled some words of encouragement as I went by. He was escorting another runner in. Later on he caught up and rode along with me as I looped through town and began heading back to the hotel. He continued to encourage me, and at one point told me I was doing 10 miles per hour. I slowed a bit towards the finish because there’s a hill to overcome, not to mention strong winds. I finished strong with the biker almost alongside and with Liz and about two others cheering madly. Liz kissed me. You just don’t get this kind of running experience (at least by race officials) at home. My time was 20:26, a PR for 5.2 km. And better yet, by beating Jenny, I had “won” the third or so race of my life. The others were equally low-key. I wish I knew how I did in relation to the other runners. When will I know the official results? There will be a picnic in July where they will be announced. How did my team do? Who knows?

04-22-07
Another nice run in County Meath: 18 miles all on roads this time. But some along side the canal too. Narrow, winding roads with high hedge rows made it scary at times. I saw a fox crossing the road in front of me. Herons in the canal too. Another good one here in Ireland.

Afterwards, I did some weights and then it was back to Leopardstown. That means walk, ride train, walk, ride train, walk. I still had time to do some sightseeing that day, but I was so tired I just crashed for the whole afternoon.

04-23-07
Back in Leopardstown, I did the usual 13 once again. I took the camera, hoping for a nice sunrise. It stayed cloudy, but I had a good solid and enjoyable run. 1:43 - the fastest yet. I have a few more days - can I continue to improve these times?

04-24-07
After yesterday's good run, and after lots of miles in the last few, I was pretty worthless today. Too bad I couldn't have made it to the sea because it was a pretty morning. I did jog around Leopardstown a bit: over to the race track and then up to Sandyford and back for 6 total.

04-25-07
Today I felt revived after yesterday's easy one. I went out fast, and stayed strong the whole way. I did the usual Leopardstown to Dalkey run, this time fastest of all: 1:40:4x. There may even have been a tempo run in there somewhere.

It was another beautiful morning, with a few spits and spots of rain, but also a great sunrise.

Later in the day, I almost made it to another race:

Douglas Barry writes:
And to Dan who's in Dublin at the moment. Just up the
road from you at
Leopardstown is Three Rock Mountain (look to the west
and you'll see the
mountain with a mast on it). There's a short race on it
tomorrow (Wed 25th)
at 7.30. Go to www.imra.ie and you'll get the details.
Try it as I should be there too: my eldest son is
running in it.

I tried to catch Douglas a couple hours prior to the race to
ask if he could pick me up. He probably didn't check his email
before the end of the day, because I didn't hear from him. So
I thought I'd try to walk to the race. It appeared to be about
3 miles from my hotel. I can look out my window and see the
mountain. I made it about half-way and then I came to an
extremely narrow road without sidewalks where the traffic was
zooming by. There was no place to walk at all. So I turned
back. Oh well. I had already had my run for the day anyway.

I've probably got only got one more run here in Ireland before
heading home. I'll probably do the usual run to Dalkey and
back. Hard to beat that one.

04-26-07
I wanted to get 10 more in, and I wanted to run down to the sea for one last time on this trip. I was tired, slow and dizzy, but I was generally successful for these things. I got down to some paths right on the sea and went back and forth a bit. Then over to Blackrock and back.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Today's Long Run

I somehow managed to do 24 on the Lester Rail Trail this morning. It was a really good long run - each 6-mile segment got a bit faster. The only disappointment was not being able to get down to MP for the last 3 or 4. Maybe next time.

6-mile splits: 52, 50, 48, 47
overall time: 3:17
I'll take it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Updated DRS Bio

Here is the bio I submitted in 1996, updated for 2007. It was kind of fun to do it this way.

Name:
1996-Dan Horvath
2007-Dan Horvath

City/State:
1996-Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA
2007-Brunswick, Ohio, USA

Phone:
1996-(810) 474-5765
2007-(330) 558-0418

Birthday:
1996-May 2, 1953
2007-May 2, 1953 (seems a lot further away now)

Occupation (Title):
1996-Senior Systems Engineer
2007-Senior Software Metrics Consultant

Occupation (What I actually do):
1996-I’ll let you know when I find out.
2007-ditto

System:
1996-Gateway 2000 Pentium
2007-Toshiba Notebook

E-Mail Addresses:
1996-au507@detroit.freenet.org
2007-runhorvathrun@hotmail.com

Family Life:
1996-Got one! 1 (one) wife. 2 (two) teenage daughters. And you wonder why I run. Actually got into the habit of (very) early morning running when the kids were small so that I could spend time with them. Now that they don’t want to spend time with me, I’m still in the habit.
2007-My teenage daughters are now in their 20s with lives of their own – Veronica lives in Connecticut, and Valerie is in Chicago. So now it’s just me and my wife, of 32 years, Debbie. And I still do that early morning running.

Education:
1996-BS Computer Science, MS Information Systems.
2007-ditto

My Obsessions:
1996-Food, running, reading, music(classical), maybe a little wine & beer to go with the food. In that order.
2007-Almost the same. I still like the food, books and music, but I no longer drink alcohol.

My Ideal Running Program:
1996-Perpetually training/recovering from marathons and other races. I copied this from another runner’s bio but it does apply to me too. In miles, I’d say 70+ per week (that’s somewhere around 111 Km for you metric folks). Included would be 2 speed sessions per week, (9x1600m and 8x400m) along with a tempo run.
2007-Perhaps a little moderation would be in order here. Not much, mind you. I’d still like to be doing 70+ mpw. And I’d still like to get those speed sessions in, but maybe only 2 per week.

My Real Running Program:
1996-I am doing a lot of marathons (a record 5 this year) and other races. But my mileage has dropped to about 50-60 per week. Usually get in the 2 speed sessions, but it’s been a while since I did 9x1600. Talks about killer workouts.
2007-My mileage this year has been 60-70 mpw – a bit less than last year. I did more speed work last year, but I’m ramping up now. I’ve done a few 8 x 1600s lately and some tempo runs. Even so, most of this has been pretty durn slow. I need to pick it up.

Shoe of choice:
1996-I generally like anything ASICS puts out but my all time favorites would be among these: Avia Meridians (2063 or so), Adidas Response, Reebok Graphlite Road. Starting to like the ASICS Gel DS Trainer. In my next life I want to be a namer of running shoes.
2007-I still generally like ASICS shoes best. Although I’ve really liked some of the DS Trainers over the years, lately I’ve been running almost exclusively in the 2000 series models (I think it’s up to 2120 now). They work really well for me.

My Paces:
1996-They vary a lot. Overall, according to my Excel Training Log, I average about 7:40 per mile. I’m not even gonna try to translate that into min per Km.
2007-Wow. 7:40?? It’s telling that 1996 was the last year that I broke 3 hours. Now then: 2006 was a very good year for me, and according to my Access running log, I averaged 7.98 minutes per mile. So far in 2007 I’m averaging a relatively pedestrian 8.12. I vow that this will change. There is still a fair amount of variance.

Goal:
1996-3000 miles (4800 Km?) in 1997. That would be a record. Also: Continue to improve every year until I’m 60. I know: that’s a tough one. I’ve got 16.5 years to go before I can slack off. But I generally have continued to get better as I’ve aged. So far...........One more goal: to actually win a road race. Don’t care if there’s as few as 2 people running, I WANT TO WIN ONE!
2007-That was funny, for a couple reasons. I’ve had no trouble at all hitting 3000 miles for many of the years since. Improving every year? Until 60? What was I thinking? 1997 was the year I started to slow down. And no, I don’t think it’s because of the increased mileage. I mentioned that 2006 was a relatively good year, and I ran 3296 miles – a goodly amount. My goal for the last 10 years or so has been to get back to sub-3 hour land. Yes, I still think I can do it.

Other Fitness Stuff:
1996-Weightlifting a few times per week with light weights. Walking with my wife.
2007-Weightlifting a few times per week with light weights. Walking with Debbie.

Outdoor interests:
1996-Anything that doesn’t involve yardwork. Or swatting bugs. Nice beaches work fine for me. Non-insect infested forests are great too.
2007-I can’t say it better than I did 11 years ago.

Indoor interests:
1996-Reading, movies. I know... I’m dull.
2007-Reading and movies. I have a sort-of movie theater in the basement. Spend a lot of time with that.

How did you find out about the Dead Runners Society?
1996-From Dead Person friend Pat Mitchell.
2007-Haven’t heard from Pat in many years. I keep in touch with friends Rita Cognion and George Ziga, and also with a few other local (to NE Ohio) Deads.

I Could Be a Really Good Runner If:
1996-I could hold my #@%%# weight down.
2007-DITTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s about it.

Recent Happenings

Sounds like Debbie, Kathy and Jessey are having a good time in AZ. They're going to the grand canyon today.

I'm off for Ireland tomorrow. All packed.

Did 3 on the mill today. My 1/2 marathon scheduled for tomorrow was canceled. I'll do a long run instead.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Speedwork Success

Since I couldn't even complete my last try at speedwork at the track, I approached today's session with trepidation. It was 35 and very windy. I told myself that I love this.

And it worked. It was extremely slow by last year's standards, but I did get through it. I wanted to do all 8 1600s in less than 6:40, and that did indeed happen. Here's the rundown:

6:37, 6:38, 6:38, 6:35, 6:36, 6:33, 6:32, 6:30 for an average of 6:35.

I did 3 more at lunchtime. Even that wasn't too bad.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Recent Running

Yesterday I was sooo tired - all I could manage was 4 slow miles on the mill. And they weren't pretty at all.

Today was different. I got out early and got my new subs 11 route in. And I did well - 83 minutes - one of my 3 fastest times on the course. I did a 3-mile tempo on Sleepy Hollow, and finished the last 3 in less than 22 minutes. Really solid running.

I still felt ok, so I did 3 more at lunch in 23.

New running store in Medina.

Got my 1/2 marathon on Saturday.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Run

After yesterday's snowy 16, I managed to do 20 today. Not bad. I did 2 on the mill, then 8 outside (very slowly - 9 minute pace), and then 10 more on the mill. It was extremely bitter outside - I had planned to do it all out there, but couldn't get myself back out after a break. The mill was ok - it included 9 at MP.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-04-07

After 80F one day last week, it was freezing and snowing the next. And the next. And the next. Yesterday we got about 5-6 inches, and the Indians Home Opener was snowed out after 5 innings - one out short of a full game.

Those 5-6 inches were fun to run in - especially since it was new snow and it was on the towpath. As much as I enjoyed it, I probably would've given up if I wasn't meeting Dave after doing 4.5 myself. Altogether 16 in 2:30. Tons of fun. Beautiful scenery too. I love that place (station rd area).

Family (Kathy/Mike, Dave/Carol) coming for Easter tomorrow.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More on the Mill - 9 today

I had to get 9 in to get up to 50 for the week before Saturday's long run. I was extremely tired, so this was a tough one. Glad to get through it. At least I got some hills in, and my ankle continues to improve. I did the 9 in 71 minutes, including 10 1/4 mile 6% hills.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-04-04

I knew the temps would be falling, but it was still in the 50s. Just as I went out, however, the cold rain started. A *very* cold rain. I went right back in and down onto the mill. There I did 8 x 1600 @ 6:37 or so. Not too bad.

My left ankle has been in pain. I've had this before, but don't know the cause. It comes and goes. Today I tried the orthotic inserts and that helped a whole lot. I also have to remember to not tie my shoes too tight.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Today's Running - 2007-04-03

2 on the mill, and then 10 with Dave on his loop in 83 minutes. Not too bad, but I wish I wasn't so tired and sore all the time. Who knows - maybe I'll get out again today.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Today's Run - 2007-04-02

Yesterday wasn't the greatest running, but I had some high hopes for today's speedwork. It was a nice morning (55) and good to hit the track again after so many months. Thought I'd do 8x1600 in a conservative 6:40 - about what I'd done on the mill last time. Too bad my ole legs were still extremely tired and sore. I was shot after 4. I could only limp through 1 more for 5 total (average: 6:40) and 9 overall. I've got to do better than this. Much much better.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Recent Running

Yesterday I did 19 with Dave and Amy. Most was on the towpath, but we also went up to Brandywine Falls and back on the Old Carriage Trail. Nice trail running at a decent pace.

Today I couldn't run as much as I wanted - I was just too tired. I did 5 on the mill including 8 1/4 mile 6% hills, and then did the President 3 outside.

Linda, Bob, Iris and Mike came over for pizza and laughs last night. We played darts and dominos, watched basketball and talked.

It was dark in the park

It was dark in the park, Goes the snark remark. Today’s runner tried to be quick off the mark, But with the dark so stark, H...