Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week 4

This was my first 30+ mile week of the year. I actually had not planned on running that far, but some work stress led to an unscheduled 7.5 mile run on Friday. As a result I've almost logged my first 100 miles of the new year.
Today was an interesting and inspiring run. The plan called for 5 laps (2.5 miles per lap) on the trails out at Sachuest Point. It was cold and windy and started snowing while I was running. I felt slow and sluggish for the first 2 laps, but managed my modest average of 18 min. per lap (actually 18:01 and 17:55). I seemed a bit flat and attributed it to the extra run Friday (along with the drinking and dancing Friday night during a Mom and Dad night out). Then I started thinking about a story I was reading. It was the story of Ryan Shay. If you are not familiar with him, please follow this link: Ryan Shay. His work ethic was amazing, from what I've read. Almost as if he was cut from the same cloth as Steve Prefontaine (aka Pre). Ryan's is a difficult story because there seems to be no reason. And I couldn't help but think about his wife of 4 months, and think how unfair it was to both of them. No sooner do they find each other, then they are torn apart. I started thinking about how I would feel if I wasn't around to see Alexandra graduate from college (one of my "happy place" day dreams...).
As I was thinking about all of this I kept running. My perceived effort was constant, but the snow and wind had really picked up. As I glanced down at my watch following lap 3, it read 17:14. I had dropped my pace 41 seconds on the last lap, despite my face now going numb. I kept thinking about the story over and over, imagining I was now logging one of those legendary workouts. I truly was the only soul out running at this point of the day. As I finished lap 4 the watch read 16:49. I had dropped another 25 seconds in the worst weather of the day. It felt great.
I had dropped my pace on snow covered, windy and frozen trails from a slow of 7:12 per mile to 6:43 per mile.
I slowed to 17:35 (7:02) for the final lap. I'm now thinking about my build-up for Boston. I'm also thinking about what my place in distance running will be when I'm done. No, I won't be famous. I'm too slow for that. Rather, what will my legacy be in my eyes? I like the idea of being thought of as someone who is consistent and unyielding. I might not be the fastest, but I'll always put in the work and run tough. I try to live life the same way. I might not always get it right, but I'll always put in the effort and strive for perfection.

4 runs this week: 7.5, 4.5, 7.5, 12.5 miles.
Total: 32
Ytd: 89.55

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week 3: Not too much, running. A bit more family.

I've had a minor cold and mild bronchitis this week, so only two runs: A 5 miler on Thursday and a 10 miler today. The legs, naturally, felt rested but the fitness just seems so-so. A few consistent weeks will make a big difference.
The 10 miler was different than I have been doing. I did 4 x 2.5 mile loops out at Sachuest Point. I wore my new shoes, the "studded snow tires." I wasn't sure if I'd like them, but once I got running on the frozen crushed stones and dirt their value really showed. Not only were they warm (it was 10 degrees w/the wind chill today), but the traction was amazing. I felt so confident, even when I hit ice, that at times I was able to do some tempo as if it were warm and dry. The trail run got me thinking more and more about doing an ultra marathon as well (the Vermont 50 miler). I kept repeating the phrase, "Any idiot can run a marathon. It takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultra."
Hopefully my lungs will be better by Tuesday so I can put in a 30 mile week this week. That will get me back on track.
I've been spending some quality time with the kids as well. Today's big adventure was daddy making waffles from scratch using Alton Brown's basic recipe on While there was a bit of a learning curve using the just purchased waffle iron, by the end they were coming out pretty well. By the way, I picked waffles because they are one of Alexandra's favorite things, but I wanted a healthier alternative to Eggos. These used whole wheat and some oat flower. Mmmm...good. They stuck with me as well. I made extra so we'll have them during the week along with other healthy items that Alexandra seems to love; Yogurt and granola.

I'm now watching football, relaxing, and hoping that Dylan finally falls asleep for his nap!

2 runs this week: 5 miles, 10 miles.
Total: 15
Ytd: 57.55

**Check this out**
Look at my Jan. 21st mileage from 2006. Eerie.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How did I do that?

Ever have an injury and not know how you got it? Without drinking! Well I was sitting at my desk and felt pain in the toes of my left foot. I took the shoe and found the middle toe all black and blue. I think it's just a sprain because it is getting better. And no, I didn't do it running. Actually I haven't run since Sunday because I'm nursing a mild cold (yet another present from the children). I'll probably run again today. After all I did just buy my first pair of winter running shoes: ASICS GEL-Arctics.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dear vendor sales people,

I'm sorry if this hurts, but I don't want to cuddle with you. I don't want to be drinking buddies or go out for meals. I don't want to chit-chat on the telephone or exchange crappy e-mail jokes. Don't expect me to reciprocate the Christmas card or send a thank you for the "cookie tower." I don't pay you all that money to be your friend. I pay you so I don't have to.

PS: Stop calling.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week 2: A cameo by the watch

It's January 13th, so time isn't really that important. However, I really wanted to know how well I was running and to establish a baseline for the year. The course was my 10.8 mile loop. The time was 1:10:19, which is fast for this time of year. I'd love to think I'm going to improve on my normal winter improvement curve, but I think the reality is my improvement curve will be much flatter this winter because I'm already light and in fairly decent shape. One interesting note: Look at Jan. 14th of last year: I did not look at last year's log before planning this run. I'm such a creature of habit!

The watch is now going away until mid-February.

3 runs this week: 5 miles, 4.25 miles (indoor track), 10.8 miles.
Total: 20.05
Ytd: 42.55

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Keeping the PMA

That would be the Positive Mental Attitude. I'm being reminded firsthand that the worse things get the more positive you need to be. Don't get me wrong, things are not bad for me right now. However, following a healthy portion of "perspective", I can see despite another sleepless night at the beck and call of my sick daughter, life is good. The fact that she is being gabby and bossy is a clear indication she's feeling better.

As for the credit card bill... Well, it's just motivation to get my tax return done very early this year. "Come on finalized adoption deduction and 2nd child credit!"

I missed my run yesterday due to an unexpected service to my car. Part of me feels it's karmic payback for the excesses displayed by the purchase of our new TV and HD package, but hell I'm not apologizing! In 15 years I've never spent a work bonus check on myself for something like that. Just once I need to be "irresponsible." If we don't wish to be lemmings, we need to follow Eleanor Roosevelt's advice. In fact this one thing will probably scare me for quite a few days!

(PS: Have you seen "Ratatouille"? I love it.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Week 1...again

It's like deja vu all over again! Week 1, wow. I'll write more later but here's how the year has started.

4 runs: 5, 4.25, 5, 8.25
Total: 22.5
Ytd: 22.5