Tuesday, April 29, 2008

something of substance

After yesterday's long dreadmill run, I still wanted to get something of substance (read: speedwork) in for the week. But I also wanted to not do too much, and to get it done early in the week to give the ole legs time to recover for Saturday. I didn't feel too bad, so I ran to the track and did 4 x 1600 in an average of 6:28. Not bad at all. But it was tough. Glad to have this under my belt.

Monday, April 28, 2008

20 on the mill

I was watching the Boston Marathon tape and running at the same pace... almost. This wasn't a bad one, with the last 10 at marathon pace. 2:24 altogether.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

simple steady solid speedwork

After Monday's really long run, I rested Tuesday, and then only did 2 easy 3-milers yesterday. So today it was back to hard running. I hit the track, and didn't do half bad. Mind you, these times are still slow, but the 'ole legs are still tired and sore, and at least things are going in the right direction. Yes, it was better than last week's speedwork by a bit.

It was the same 3 x (1600, 1200, 800) in the following times:

6:29, 4:52, 3:07, 6:31, 4:51, 3:06, 6:31, 4:48, 3:06

Monday, April 21, 2008


After 20 altogether on Saturday and 10 on the mill yesterday, I knew this would be tough. But I got out early and just did it. Not too awful - in fact, not bad at all. I was going to go to the rail trail, but ran loops from home instead. Here's how it wents:

11-Substation (93.5), 11-Sleepy Hollow and around school (98.5), 8-6East route with extra in Presidents (70.5)

Altogether I did the 30 in 4:23. That's 8:46 pace. Now I've got some confidence.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Morning Run and the Earth Day Trail Run

I did 14 on the towpath with Dave and Amy, hung out for a while and then drove down to Wilmot (sort of near Canton) and ran the 4.6 mile Earth Day Trail Run. The race was in the series, and I just decided to do it last-minute. Sally had to lend me $5 for my entry fee!

I was extremely slow on the rough trails, as expected. 8 minutes per mile. But I didn't care - it was fun. And nice weather. And I actually finished fairly well - 1st in my age group. Won a parsely plant beacuse of Earth Day).

In the evening we went to the N. Royalton CERT charity dinner - it was a fun to be with everyone - and won a night at the Airport Courtyard.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fire on the Track

Two days after the 24-mile effort on the mill I hit the track. It's only the second time this year, but I'd also done a wee bit of speedwork on the mill. So I knew it would be slow, but I wanted to get through it in one piece and have a steady strong effort.

And I did! I did the old 3 x (1600, 1200, 800) in slow but steady times. 6:37, 4:55, 3:10, 6:36, 4:54, 3:08, 6:33, 4:50, 3:03. Good progression. Now all I gotta do is get faster.

Saw a ring-neck pheasant at the bottom of our street on the way home.

24 on the Mill

I've done it before, but it's been a while. And my long runs haven't been all that long or strong lately either. But I signed up for the Green Jewel 50/100k the day prior, so I thought I'd better start training.

Coming two days after my effort at the 1/2 marathon, this wasn't that pretty. I managed mostly around 7.5 minute pace and tried not to hold on too too much. I would have liked to add some MP miles, but that wasn't to be. I finished in 3:04. Not that bad, everything considered..

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Philadelphia Half Marathon

I didn't have extremely high hopes or expectations going in; I mainly wanted a solid, steady effort. I wasn't looking forward to running in the cold (42F) rain though.

The rain turned out to be as miserable as I thought it'd be. And I did manage a mostly steady pace, with slightly positive splits. And I did manage a sub-7 pace for the overall time.

That's all the good news. The bad is that I didn't break 1:30; I did 1:31:40. Even though I hated the rain, I don't know hoh much faster (if at all) I could have been on a nice day.

One more piece of good news: I was 3rd in my age group and 20th overall.

Running after our Return from Europe

Since my running was, as predicted, not so great in Europe, I'd hoped to pick it up well once I was back. Although busy with work, I figured I'd have myself a good, strong week.

I figured wrong. I did manage an early-week 20 miler (11 outside and 9 on the mill) and also 5 x 1200 at the newly opened track, but that was it for quality. It didn't help that my weight was back above 160 after the trip. As bad as ever.

I did a very small mini-taper towards the end because of the upcoming New Philadelphia 1/2 on Sunday, April 13.

Running in Central Europe

I knew up front that our trip would not be the best for running. We’d be up early every day, and on the days that we were to travel, which was *at least* every other day, we’d have to have our packed bags outside our hotel room door by something like 7am. Not wanting to have to pack stinky, sweaty clothes in my suitcase with my still-decent clothes, this presented a real problem. Even so, I figured I would be able to get a few miles in at many of the locations.

This was one place where I didn’t think I’d have a chance to get out. We arrived late in the morning on March 23, and would have to be out of our room and ready to move on early the next morning. But I did find a way. After taking a long walk into town and catching a late lunch, we were pretty tired. Debbie decided to lay down for a short nap. Jet lagged and all, I went out for a late-afternoon jog. I was vaguely aware that there was a forest park nearby, and I actually found it and did a few miles of trail running. It was peaceful and quiet – quite a nice run. 5 miles in a slow 48 minutes. This would turn out to be one of the faster runs on the trip.

I got it in my head that I had to run to, and through, the Brandenburg Gate. Our hotel was located far away in old East Berlin. It didn’t look too complicated, but I took my map anyway. Berlin is a huge, modern city. The mix of architecture between the handful of old buildings that survived the war, the newer, starkly plain East German buildings and the brand new – since the fall of the wall, ultra-modern buildings make this a most interesting place to see. And to run through. I didn’t hit the gate until 5.5 miles in, and by that time I had to head right back. But I did make my goal. 11 miles in an hour, 42 minutes. Getting slower…

Another goal-oriented run. Another recurring theme – find someplace on a map, slowly run there, and then hurry back, getting slightly lost along the way several times. This time I wanted to find Warsaw’s Old Town. Warsaw had seen perhaps the most destruction of any large city during the war. So almost all of the old town is not really that old. Most has been rebuilt to look the way it used to. After finding Old Town about 2 miles away, I ran along the Vistula river. This was quite nice and peaceful. Got fairly lost on the way back because it was a different route than I’d taken out. Had to stop and consult my map several times. I was also dealing with several inches of snow that had fallen the night before. As a result, I only got 10 miles in for my 1 hour, 41 minutes. So now I am Really slow.

There was more exploration to be done here. I managed to find the Old Town Square, which is huge, and run through it. Then I found the river (the Vistula again) and ran along that for a while until I found a pretty good-sized park to run around. I think it was about 1.5 miles around, and I looped it two times. By the time I made it back I’d done 10 miles in one hour, 34 minutes.

I’d run here before. Many times. My usual route had been from the Marriott, around the Buda side of the Danube to the Margaret Island Bridge. By the time I made it over the bridge and onto the island, I’d have gotten nearly 3 miles in. Then I would run around the perimeter of the island. There is a tartan track that is gentle and soft – a runner’s paradise. It’s 3+ miles around and is marked every ½ kilometer. I’d do 2 loops and then head back to make it 12 miles in all.

This run would be different. We weren’t staying anywhere near the Marriott or even close to the city center. So I’d need to run an extra 2 miles just to get to my old starting point. I did manage to do this, get to the island, do two loops, and get back. 16 miles. It would by my longest, and fastest run. Being familiar with most of the route sure helped the speed. As I’d done in the past, I got down to tempo (sub-7) pace whilst on the island. In fact, I did this for most of each loop. Altogether, I did the 16 in 1 hour, 28 minutes. Margaret Island was as wonderful a running venue as ever.

For the first time I decided to try to run on a day we’d be traveling. This meant getting back extremely early so I could try to get my running clothes dried in time to pack them away. I ran the opposite direction to nearby Neplinget park. I did a couple loops around – it wasn’t bad at all. I was tired though, so this was a slow one: 5 miles in 52 minutes.

Debbie wasn’t thrilled with me using the hair dryer to dry out my smelly running clothes.

I was still tired, so this would be another slow one. And I would be moving on again this day, so I only got 4 miles in in about 40 minutes. I did find Stadt park – which translated means Statue Park. I found statues of Schubert, Strauss, and several other composers.

Today’s goal would be to find and run around a park that I’d run in last time I was here: Stroromovka. I would be extremely surprised if I spelled that correctly. So once again I went out with a goal and a map, and managed to actually get there without being too badly lost. I had to cross the Vltava river twice. As with the Brandenburg Gate, as soon as I reached the park, it was time to turn around and head back. Too bad there wasn’t much time to enjoy the park itself. But, as with many things, the joy is in the journey. Altogether I did 10 miles in 91 minutes. I don’t know the splits, but the return was much faster.

As I’d done in Budapest, I managed to get a second run in for Prague. This would be another early one. I found some hills and some quiet residential areas near the hotel. Some of the hills were fairly steep. So this one was 6 miles in 54 minutes.

After a night at the Hofbrauhaus, and an actual liter of beer, I still managed to get a run in. I found a small park near the hotel and just did several loops. It was about 1 ¼ miles around and I did the loop a few times. As with my other runs, it had been dark when I’d started, but was beginning to get lighter when I was finishing up. That made this run particularly interesting because I learned that I’d been passing a *huge* statue of a woman holding a wreath above her head, and I didn’t even know it! I didn’t see it at all until the last time or two that I went by. And I’d been within only a few feet of her! She seemed almost the size of the Statue of Liberty, although maybe that’s a stretch. I later learned that she is the symbol of Bavaria, and that this park is used for Octoberfest celebrations. I did 7 miles in 63 minutes.

So I got some miles in, but only about half of my usual total. And these were at a slow pace as well. At least I managed to run at least once in each city along the way. This hadn’t even been a goal, until maybe later on in the trip when I realized it was possible. All the runs were interesting and fun, but I suppose that if you pressed me, Budapest was best.

North Canton YMCA 4th of July 5-mile

Since I have participated in the Ohio Challenge Series many years, I've done this race many times, albeit many moons ago. It's a fun...