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.

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...