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.

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...