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.

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...