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Year End

This is the end of the year, end of a decade. A lot has happened this year - both good and bad. So here is my rundown in no particular order except for how my brain remembers it.

DC had an up and down year with ankle issues. She taught me how to be 'gangsta' and how to eat.
JG had an incredible 1st marathon and taught me how to be humble when receiving compliments and that dispite her injury still a great athlete.
I learned that PJ, JH and the other girls are just energizer bunnies. Always moving forward, laughing and having a good time no matter what the weather.
RH has made great strides in maintaining his heart rate and is always good a tall tale or two.
TNT went backwards and then forwards in how they deal with the lower portion of the state.
New friends joined the TNT fold. Some old friends dropped out.
My son made it through boot camp and AIT. Beware FT. Bragg. I am proud of him.
I learned that fireballs shooting out of your furnace are a bad thing. And no furnace makes a cold week in a farm on the hill.
I've learned that I can drink 10 beers the nite before a 5k and still PR.
I've learned that the TNT alums are friend you can count on - even if they make fun of my situations.
I've learned the a SQL cluster cannot exist without fibre.
I was stalked this this year.
I saw my daughter less than I saw my son and this makes me sad.
I learned about Christmas spirit and put up 2 trees.
I learned that good friends can have differences that may end their friendship. I hope not.
I was told that I could be a great runner. Not world-class, but better than average.
I think now I might actually believe him.
I set a PR in the half marathon by 12 minutes.
I set a PR in the full marathon by 3 minutes with cramps the last 8 miles.
I have a new friend who has taught me to smile again.
I lost 15 lbs and promptly put it back on.
I stayed healthy all year.
I was attacked by a rival gangs of bees.
I lost a goat - she died.
I have 4 pregnant goats.
I am not sad to see 2009 go.
I am ready for 2010.
I am ready to post more often.
I am ready to share again.


Thank you to all that have seen me through this year.

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Signed Up

yep, uh-huh, oh yeah.


I signed up for the Illinois marathon in early May and the Indy mini the following week. That's right, 39.3 race miles in 8 days. That a lot for me.

But before that I have the honor of being an on-course coach for TNT at the Disney half marathon. I really need to start piling on some running for that. It is only 5 weeks away. Time to get out of the old bad habits I have fallen into and get back into my running groove.

With this and the two races in the spring I hope to jump start my Boston fantasy again. I really have an imposing task - dropping almost 83 minutes (3.10/mile) from my marathon PR. Can it be done? Sure! Can I do it? That really is the question. I truly believe I can get in the 4 hour range. But dropping that last 30 minutes is going to be really hard.

I have the speed. The endurance and stamina is lacking. Only time and my dedication to it will tell. Hopefully, with some support and convincing my brain that I should really do this, I might be able to pull it off.

Serious training begins right after Disney. Until then, I am hoping to get back in the groove and start averaging 20 - 30 miles a week. Got to build my base up more, but that is a start.

the beginning of the end

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Winter Running Rules From Runner's World.com

Winter Running Rules From Runner's World.com


Cold-Weather Training
WINTER RULES
How to stick with training when it gets dark and chilly.
By Jeff Galloway


From the December 2008 issue of Runner's World


As the air chills, the roads get sloshy, and darkness intrudes on your morning and evening runs, you need to retool your routine. But with a little planning, you can maintain your workouts throughout the
cold-weather season.


MAP IT

Scout out well-lit, traffic-free routes near your home, office, and kids' activities. Find two or three alternatives near each place so that you have options for different conditions-and a little variety. Find a few indoor options, too. Many health clubs offer winter memberships, and some malls and arenas open their doors to runners after hours.


DO IT MIDDAY

If you can't find safe options for running in the dark, go out at lunch. At first you might feel sluggish exercising midday, but after two or three runs, you'll feel better. The break from your desk will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. Make sure to have a light snack one to two hours before your run.


HIT A HILL

Hills build leg and lung power. Find a moderately steep rise, or set the treadmill at a two- to four-percent incline. After a warmup, run up the hill for five to 10 seconds, then walk downhill. Next, run for 10 to 12 seconds, picking up the pace slightly, and take a one-minute walk break. For the last segment, run for 10 to 20 seconds. On each workout, add 15 to 30 seconds of running and a one-minute walk break. Be sure to cool down.


PICK IT UP

Speedwork can help you make the most out of your limited time. After a warmup, run for 20 seconds at a pace that's slightly faster than usual, then walk for 40 seconds. Do this twice more, picking up your pace slightly each workout.


Q+A

Q: Do I need to do a cooldown when it's cold outside?

A: Yes. A five to 10-minute cooldown gradually brings your body back to a resting state, which helps protect your heart and reduce muscle soreness. While you're running, blood is being pumped quickly between the leg muscles and the cardiovascular system. If you abruptly stop, the blood pools in the legs, which can put extra stress on the heart. For a cooldown, slow your running pace for five minutes, add walk breaks, then walk for five minutes.



Layer Up

How to dress smart

Wear several thin layers of clothing when it's cold out, so you can shed them as you warm up. Start with a base layer of a technical shirt that "wicks," or carries sweat away from your body. Your outer layer should be a jacket with a zipper that you can unzip to vent. Head out the door feeling slightly cool because you'll get warm in 10 to 15 minutes.

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Good lucks

First off I need to say good luck to a few people.


Detroit marathon - Good luck Joanna and Nick
Indianapolis half marathon - Good luck to Damaris, Delores and Meredith
Kansas City half marathon - Good luck Paula

I was lucky enough to get to know and run with all these great people at some time during the season. They are all fantastic people that will preform admirable this weekend. I can wait to check on their progress during their runs.

I hope to see all of you afterwards back at LOW.

Ok, now my makeup post. I have run 65.73 miles since my last post which is actually a GREAT monthly total for me. I ran some long runs with TNT runner Joanna (Detroit) and helped her keep going. I hope her first marathon is fantastic for her. I continued to run at the Wednesday night track practices for speed work.

I ran a 5k with a friend a few weeks ago. Well, I ran the first half mile with him and then left him to run on my own. I just floated, told everyone I passed "good job" and cruised in at just over 28 minutes. I felt great. It seemed to be just a perfect day.

I also want to congratulate my son for graduating Army boot camp. He is at his AIT now and doing well. He gets a little bored, now that he has free time, but is learning and still getting physically stronger. I may never beat him in a race again.

Anyway, I am coaching on Saturday's and trying to keep up with my running. It is tough.

the beginning of the end

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So long, sooo long

I haven't posted since August 27? Why didn't someone holler at me? They say the mind is the first thing to go. So what I have I been doing in all this time? Not a lot.


I have run a little over 10 miles. I have been doing a lot of work for my Hookers. Shouldn't they work for me? I got to be doing something wrong. Busy at the real job. Met a bunch of Wolfram Research people. Been eating a lot. Been sleeping alot.

Still coaching my group of TNT people. They are good. They run. Every week. I guess I may have to start running with them again. I did that tonight. Track practice. 5 setsof 1000m in 4.57.

Yea, right. I ran the first one in 4.26, #2 in 4.27, #3 in 4.26 (almost puking now) #4 in 4.52 and #5 in 4.56. The last two seemed almost pedestrian. But I was really happy with the first three. I just could not keep it up. I have the speed I need. Endurance/stamina - not sure where that is it.

I probably really need to get a lot more long runs in and medium runs in medium fast pace. Say 8.44 - 9.15 per mile.

JG's IT band is getting better. Happy for her there. AD's foot seems to be healing. I haven't heard about it hurting any. And Paul is still out due to knee issues. So half my team is healthy. But the other half is healing. They will persevere throughout and complete their events.

I promise to try and keep up better in the future.

the beginning of the end.

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I have to brag!!!!

Bragging comes second - so either read the rest or scroll to the bottom of post.


TNT Wednesday track practice was yesterday. On Wednesday. Today is Thursday. The day after Wednesday. Ok, now that I have taught you some of the weekdays and their generally accepted order, back to the post.

It was hot (80 degrees) and humid (69%). I'm not lying. Go to weather.com and use a zip code of 61801 and look it up. The track was busy.

Another track club
A group of young marines
A group of even younger high school kids
A group of older adults
A few individuals as well

The usually crowd was there for TNT. We decided on 3 x1200m with 2-3 minutes recovery rest. I and JG took off at our normal 8 minute pace and ran the first two 1200s aound 5.53 - 5.54. PJ and KS were slightly behind and both ran great. KS pushed his first two hard. PJ couldn't count laps and made the middle 1200 a 1600. She must have missed the lap counting day at school.

JG has been having a few IT band issues and it seems to be geting worse. I feel for her because she is training for a marathon in October and is really gunning for it. She has been pushing all of her runs hard. Makes me a little proud, I have to admit, knowing that I have had a little part in her training. I think I have pushed her at the track workouts and gave her some encouragement in her long runs.

Say it with me internet people - "Bad, bad IT band. Straighten your lame-ass muscle out and let her run free. Free like a kid with no worries."

Hope it feels better now JG.

So after track, I was bad. I did go for a beer. But now for the bragging part. I got an email at 4:21 am. When I saw that it was from Chicago, I thought, well at least they are telling all of us who is going. So I did not look at it. I got up, showered, dressed and ate. I had to know though - wait you have no idea what I am talking about.

This was the email telling us who is going to each of the 4 wonderful TNT marathon events for the winter season. We have -
St. Petersburg Half
Honolulu marathon
Disney half and full
RNR Phoenix half and full

Yes, this was that email. And to be quite honest there have been a lot of changes in the way TNT operates here in the Land of Lincoln. changes that a lot of us alums, coaches and mentors aren't quite happy or sure of. Myself included. There has been a lot of 'constructive' criticism ging on. But apparently they have taken it all as constructive.

This email at 4.21am told me that I had been chosen to be a traveling coach at one of the events.
Yes, I, Coach Mike, person of great rapport with all animals, wannabe marathoner has become a Chosen One.
I have been chosen to be the on-course coach for (drum roll please - ok, stop making that drumming noise in your head now) (you know you were - don't deny it) the Disney Half marathon.

But wait, if call right now in the next 10 minutes - I aslo get to stay an extra day and become a "certified TNT coach". Taught by none other than the great running Jack Daniels (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Daniels_(coach)). Not sure what certification gets me, but I bet it makes me better, which will be good for my TNT participants. The last training I went to in Chicago helped alot, I am sure this will help too.

So, now this means that I have to start training harder, more miles to accomadate this trip.

the beginning of the end

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LSD and coaching

Coached again and had 75% of my team from TNT show up. That made me feel awesome.


AD is still nursing a stress fracture on the side of her foot and took it pretty easy for her 6 mile run. SA showed up. She was actually in town for a change. Apparently her job sends her often but she has been a walker/runner for awhile and is doing fine. PW is doing good on his walk/jog routine to get in his time and mileage.

Everyone is looking good. I have high hopes for this group.

I only had 2 alum show up. Speedster AB, I mean AM, ran a 10k in 53minutes. Correct me if I am wrong butwasn't she complaining about being slow and not running for 3 or 4 months due to her wedding. If that is slow, I got to get her to do a marathon. I see a 3.30 in the girl.

JG came out for her 14 miler. Detroit in October will be her first marathon. I think Detroit needs warning. She is going to kick ass.

"Hey Detroit, look the frak out. JG is coming to town."

She is doing really well. I paced alongside her for company on last 6.5 miles or so. Humidityand an upset stomach got to her, but she gutted it all out. Of course, she called me out on my low calorie Gatorade. You know I just grab what is on the shelf and don't pay any attention. She did. She wanted CALORIES. She wanted ENERGY. Ok, ok, I'm sorry.

All in all it was a great TNT day. Again congrats to all and thanks for coming out.

So, in my news then, I got another 9 miles in and made it 15 for the week. Compared to 7.5 for the previous two weeks combined, I am calling that a good start back to running. I still havn't decided if I am going to race in October or not. I have had calls for both Indianapolis and Detroit. But don't know. Hotel prices scare me.

Hopefully next week will be bigger and better mileage. I am still doing my other workout as well. I have learned to new moves. I really hope this helps my inflexible flexibility and some core strenghtening.

the beginning of the end

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Day 1 of my other workout

I ran twice this week so far. Wednesday for TNT track practice. And Thursday a quick 2 miles in 85 degree heat.


Since I am coaching TNT now, I ran my intervals before them. It is really hot at 5pm. Scheduled run was 1000m, 2000m, 1000m, 1000m with 400m recovery. I was close to the scheduled time but slow on the last two 1000s.
Scheduled run
1000m @ 4.59, 2000m @ 10.19, 1000m @ 4.59, 1000m @ 4.59

Actual -
1000m @ 4.36 - way too fast
2000m @ 10.16 - right on the money - tired though
1000m @ 5.10 - tough, so tired
1000m @ 5.05 - hung but a little slow

made it. finished. hotter than hell

intervals - 3.15 miles @ 25.07.62 7.59 pace
total - 4.04 miles @ 40.40.04 10.05 pace

Now the alums that came out for practice, who ran the same intervals, were tough. They ran the same intervals and ran the last two 1000s in 4.35 and 4.36. Smokin'.

Thursday was supposed to be a 6 mile tempo. Once again I started out fast, so I changed the plan to a fast 2 mile run. I managed to hold an 8.36 pace on my gently rolling 2 mile home run.

Not bad. I might change my tempos to try and get and extra 1/4 mile or more at that pace each week. Not sure yet.

Thanks for reading my internet peeps. Bed now as I ave TNT coaching in the morning and then my own 14 mile run. Maybe a 2.30 or less.

the beginning of the head

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Track Practice

Tonight is track practice with TNT.

I am the coach.
I will work them hard.

Nah. Scared ya didn't I?

Probably be like mile repeats for time. I want to set a baseline for them to see where they are starting at. Then I will pull a baseline later to se their progression.

After they are done, I'll do my workout -
warm up
1000m @ 4.59, 2000m @ 10.19, 1000m @ 4.59, 1000m @ 4.59
cool down

The intervals will be sperated with a 400m recovery jog.

We'll see how it goes. I haven't run since last Wednesday but it felt great last week to run. I suppose when you only run once a week you are well rested for it.

the beginning of the end

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Back to Running


It has been 8 days since I have run. WOW!!! But I went and did my First interval training that I normally do on Tuesday. My left hamstring has been sore from over stretching (I helped my Hookers put flooring down in their house over the weekend).

But I gave it the ole college try. It was ok. Didn't really bother me until the last two sets but I gutted it out. Glad I did.

Scheduled run - 3 x (2 x 1200m @ 6.02) with 2 min RI in between and 4 min RI in between sets.
Fast on set 2 - not sure what happened and I always try to make the last set quicker as well. Overall, I feel good. My hammy is a little sore - knew it would be.

Tomorrow is an unscheduled x-training day. I have to pick up 25 bales of straw to start stocking up for winter for goat bedding.

Well back to the grind and thanks for reading.

the beginning of the end

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ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH

2.5 miles into run I have to quit. shin is killing me but I cannot risk injury. Have to see what tomorrow brings.


Tonite was my Tuesday run a day early as I can't make it tomorrow.
Scheduled run was tough -
1600m warmup
1600m @ 8.11
400m recovery
3200m @ 16.42
800m recovery
800m @ 3.57
400m recovery
800m @ 3.57
1600m cool down

That's a tough workout.

Of course, I did my warm up too fast. AGAIN!!! 8.50 warm up.

1600m in 8.01 close to the 8.11 but my last quarter was 1.54. Pretty fast quarter.

Started the 3200m and got about 300m in and shin and calf started killing me. SO I lumbered for another quarter but no better. Since i cannot risk injury (especially at my advanced age) I gave it up.

I'll push the pace at the TNT training on Wednesday.

the beginning of the end

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Thursday Tempo run

A nice tempo run this evening around 7:15 or so.

No the tempo wasn't a 7:15 pace.
Wouldn't that be awesome?
The time was 7:15 pm when I started.

Got going late since I had to work on a gate between the pastures again. Not sure how the horse will handle being separated from the goat. Last I saw, he was pacing up and down the pasture looking for his buddy. Apparently the goat has been butting the horse in the legs. Not sure if this is aggression or "come play,chase me".

Anyway, an hour of cross training on that tonight then off for my hilly tempo run. I get about 200 feet of ascent and descent over the 6 mile run. Most of it falls in about 1.5 miles that I get to run twice on the out and back.

6 miles - 2 easy, 3 @ 8.44 and 1 easy.

Mile 1 - 9.36.31 - better for a warm up, but think maybe a 9.45 - 10.00 is better
Mile 2 - 9.18.71 - basically done with the hills. what happened to easy
Mile 3 - 8.43.06 - can't get much closer to tempo pace
Mile 4 - 8.59.92 - slow, running out of gas
Mile 5 - 8.36.17 - all guts to get the tempo done
Mile 6 - 10.15.34 - more what the warm up should be

All in all a pretty good run. Tempo averaged 8.46 - so pretty close. Would have like to be on the under side but I'll take it. And a 6 mile average in 9.16. getting better.

Not sure what is on the schedule for the weekend besides hoping to see my daughter. She is so far ignoring my text.

Carry on my friends.
the beginning of the end

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Kid Rock

Not running related, but I saw Kid Rock last night. It was an awesome show. Lynryd Synryd opened for them. Box seats with waitress service for drinks was pretty cool too.


Back to running.
Sunday I ran a pretty good 12 miles with Mentor Joanna from TNT. She pushed it pretty hard. 2 hours for 12 miles means that both of us should be able to run a sub 2 hour half. Missed my First training interval Tuesday due to the concert last night.

Tuesday morning I actually felt bad that I was going to miss my Tue workout. That has never happened to me before. I have to say it was interesting. Maybe I am finally becoming a runner.

Today we drove back from St. Louis and I helped a friend wire the new bedrooms in his house so I did not make the TNT interval training tonight. Tempo run tomorrow though and I will do it. Maybe I'll hit the track Friday for my interval. Haven't decided. Do I really want to tire myself out before Saturday's long run? Hmmm

Running is getting easier and I do feel I am getting better again. Still haven't decided on a marathon to finish out the year yet. Indianapolis, Detroit are both options.

the beginning of the end

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Tuesday Intervals AGAIN

They are starting to get old. I know they help. I know they make me faster. But damn, I am tired. I suppose my eating habits are partly to blame. Not that I eat terribly bad (at least I don't think so), but I have a bad habit of skipping dinner. That is probably the killer, but I just haven't been terribly happy.

So today was supposed to be 6 x 800m @ 3.58 or better. Yea, right. I was tired. I had a TNT informational meeting at 6. So I left work 30 minutes earlier and hit the track. I cut my warm up in half (only a half mile). Still ran it at 9.20 pace - again too fast.

Then the 800s.
3.30.15 - 3.52.31 - 3.53.93 - 3.55.24

A 3.30 to start - 7 flat mile pace. Why do I do this? What the hell is wrong with me? I know better than to go out this fast. I really do. One doesn't feel too bad, but no way I can keep it up - yet. The last 3 sets awesome. Right as the prescribed training spelled out. Oh well.

Tomorrow is TNT training. That will be intervals as well. Thursday is 8 miles (6 @ 9.14) and Saturday or Sunday is a long run. It will be at least 8 miles, but I really need to get in some major distance soon. Minimum of 10 - 12 miles.

Tonight ws my informational meeting for TNT. I will start coaching the winter session for them. This group will be training for the new St. Petersburg (FL) 1/2, Honolulu full, Disney half/full and RNR Arizona 1/2. My TNT staff member might try to push me for being the travelling coach for Honolulu. That would be awesome, but it would be more awesome to actually run it. But I could always go back to run it.

Let's see how this week goes.

the beginning of the end

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Intervals are going Down

Or rather I did. I was scheduled to run 2 x 1200m @ 6.02 with 2 minute recovery, then 4 x 800m @ 3.58 with 2 minute recovery.


I went to the track and did my warmup mile. A little fast again - 9.15.15.
1st 1200m - 5.33.37 - way faster than a 6.02
2nd 1200m - 5.43.56 - not much better
1st 800m - 3.49.02 - good time, not too far from 3.58
2nd 800m - 3.48.82 - good again

I quit. I really did not feel good to start. Not that I was sick, achy or hurting. I ate a lot at lunch. My tummy was full. It didn't like be all jostled around that track. So, I quit instead of tossing my cookies. I was tired. Another sleepless night in C-U.

But am still happy I got done what I did get done. I will have to make it up and work really hard tomorrow night at the TNT track training.

beginning of the end

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Thursday Tempo run

Tonight was a tempo run after Coach Harley killed me at TNT practice last night. 6 miles - 2 easy, 3 @ 8.44 and 1 easy. Usually I do not know the meaning easy running my warmups and cool downs at regular running pace. I watched Greenie very carefully for the first 2 miles.


Warmup - just under 11 minute average - awesome - I went slow.

3 mile tempo @ 8.44
Mile 1 - 9.16.21 - hhhmmm?? I struggled, I had doubts and it shows
Mile 2 - 8.37.87 - I think I can, I think I can
Mile 3 - 8.35.26 - I really can. I eat lactic acid for a snack
tempo average - 8.49.44 - very close to scheduled run. awesome

Cool down - 10.22.09 - nice cool down pace

Overall, a 9.47.16 average for 6 miles.

That is a great run for me. Especially great considering it is the thrid day in a row running. The last 2 days of intervals were tough. I made it through and hopefully there will be no pain tomorrow.

That's it peeps.

the beginning of the end

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Purple Rain, purple rain

Yea, I know 80's. Went to TNT training at the track and cam e home and watch the last 30 minutes of Purple Rain. I miss the 80s. But Prince is/was a great musician, and yes, I liked his music and I saw him in concert.
Ok, now that I am done waxing over my past, back to running. I told the coach I was tired and not to kill me. Afterall, I am an alumni just showing up for moral support. I am not officially training for a TNT event. I go for moral support for the official trainers. I was tired from the mile repeats yesterday.

So he gives us 1200m repeats. Only 3 thank goodness. I warmed up. Not exceedingly fast, I am learning to slow down. 9.24 mile for a warmup. Still need to slow this down to 10 or 10.15, but I am getting better.

repeats -
1 - 5.02.98 - WTF??!! I am not a 6.45 miler. Repeat I am not a 6.45 miler. Slow down fo the next one.
2- 5.28.38 - ok, slower, but not anywhere near 6 minutes. Where it should be.
3 - 5.26.54 - I give up. What is wrong with my body. It doesn't listen to the brain anymore. The last 400 was 10 seconds faster than the first two. I am not trying to prove anything.

But damn was I pleased
and hurting
and severely out of breath
all that with 3 minutes rest in between the repeats.

I think my tempo run at 8:44 pace is really going to hurt tomorrow. But I wll give it a go. Note to self - the 2 easy miles that I have to run before the temp should be SLOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!! At least a 10.30 pace.

let me leave you with this link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8fjo9JYrjc

the beginning of the end

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Catch Up


Hi friends,

It has been a week. I haven't exactlyslacked off, but I have been remiss in writing to you. Maybe, not all of you have missed me, but I have missed you. The images I have of you, coming to my blog and eagerly anticipating what I might write here. Well, I will not try to disappoint.

I have run. I ran tonight. Intervals. Mile repeats. (why is the theme to "The Beverly Hillbillies" running through my mind?) Tonight I had 3 x 1 mile @ 8:11 or better with 1 minute recovery. To be honest, I usually cheat the recovery and give myself some extra time. Normally this would be about a 3 minute recovery. But tonight I thought I might try to be true. True to you and true to myself. I was close. About 1.5 minute recoveries. It was tough.


Last time (4 weeks ago) I went out fast and ran 7:47 for the first 2 repeats. I suffered on the third. This time I purposely looked at Greenie (my green Garmin) at every quarter beep. I slowed down or sped up as needed to try and stay right at 8 minute pace. As seen above, I was close. I kept my recoveries down as well. I am really happy with the workout.

I just might become like all of you and some day be a runner. I am trying.

Saturday I ran with some TNT alumni. Very slow conversational pace. 8 miles. But good. On the 25th I ran 3.68 miles. Really a hard (physically) run. Just wasn't feeling it. On the 23rd was intervals again. 5 x 1000m repeats in 4:59 with a large recovery. I made them all in time, but I was beat.

Tomorrow is TNT training (if I make it back from Indy in time), then Thursday is a tempo run of 2m easy, 3m @ 8:44, 1m easy. And a long run on Saturday. 18 miles is scheduled for that. I want to at least make 13. I really need to bite the bullet and get going. With Boston in the back of my mind I need to train.

And train hard.
Train some more.
Then train a little harder again.

It is going to be tough to drop 92 minutes of my marathon PR. But that is the goal. With a half in August and a full in October, I will have an idea if it is feasible. I have a few around me that say I can do it, but what do they really know. They will support me in the challenge, but it is up to me to make it happen.

More like it is up to my body. I'm not young anymore. I never ran in high school. I never seriously ran at all. Races from time to time, but no training, no running in between them. I have really set a daunting task.

A task that I will give a try until at least the end of the year. I have lost weight this year - almost 16 pounds. That I believe is due to a little better eating and more serious running. If I can drop another 10 pounds (175), I think that will be ideal to hit my goal and run faster longer.

On another note, there was a new baby goat at the farm again today. Another boy. That gives the farm, 4 boys (Valentino, Lucky, Thor and Rump Roast), 5 girls (Momma, Brownie, Lily, Lightning, Thunder). Recently Velvet left us due to bloat. Of course, the hens are doing well and laying more eggs than I can eat.

Consider yourselves now caught up.

the beginning of the end

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FIRST Interval workouts

DAMN ITS HOT!!!

And humid and hot.
It was 89 degrees with about 59% humidity when I started running and it 89 degrees and 59% humidity when I finished training.

I lost 5 pounds of water from sweating but I think I drank 10 pounds of water.

It was miserable, but there are worse things.
I ran the intervals under the scheduled time (barely) and then I walked the recovery interval.

No jogging, just walking.
Way to nasty to try and push anything.
I found a pretty flat loop that was about 980 meters around and about half of it in the shade. So I ran it and just a little farther until the Garmin beeped again.

Then brakes.
And walk.
And water.
Then another 10 seconds mentally preparing for the next interval.

But I made all 5 sets. I even took a 400m cool down.

Schedule –
5 x 1000m @ 4:59 with 400m recovery interval.

I made it.
Intervals were all below 4:59 and giving me a 24:33.54 5k or a 7:55/mi pace. With recoveries (and the way it has to be counted) 4.36 miles in 53:29.54 or a 12:17 pace.

I am still happy. It is still a good time.

the beginning of the end

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I want free shoes

Hurry up and go here to be entered for free shoes from OnlineShoes.com . Onlineshoes is using Steve (pour Steve - always being used) to give a $75 gift certificate away for shoes. So hurry up and get your juke box money (and a chance at some shoes).

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TNT training

Tonight was the TNT group midweek training. This is usually an interval run. And it was again. Due to the heat and humidity we ran timed intervals.


1600 warm up
2 minute run, 2 minute rest
8 minute run, 3 min
ute rest
8 minute run, 3 minute rest
2 minute run, 2 minute rest
800 cool down

Wasn't sure how I would do after running my hard interval on Tuesday, but did well.
7:43 pace on all runs, adding in warm up and cool down still paced at 8:27



I really ran faster than I planned because of the hard run yesterday. But when you get out there in group man-pride takes over and you give it your all. This will just make tomorrow's tempo runeven harder.

If I remember right tomorrow is 7 miles(5@ 9:14). If I run at home, half of it is uphill, if i go a mile north I have much flatter ground. Hmmm!!?? It is also going to be92 and humid so around 6 when I run it should be 85 and humid. Hmmm??!! Flat or hills??

Vote peeps!!!


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Interval workouts

Today was interval time for my ‘Boston will be my Bitch’ training. I am using the FIRST training schedule for this at a 4:15 marathon pace. It is fast. It is hard. I hope it works. I am still having issues with my long runs and I believe it is mostly mental.
Hush!!! I can hear what all of you are thinking.
Ok, ok, ok – I am not mental!!!

Today interval schedule -
1200m @ 6:02
1000m @ 4:59
800m @ 3:58
600m @ 2:57
400m @ 1:57
all with 200m recovery walk

Actual -




You’ll notice the 200m (0.13mi) are exactly 55 seconds. I had the Garmin set for miles on a meter track. That is probably ok. It is damn close. But when I stop it for the end of the set, it keeps counting distance as I walk the 200m recovery to the other end. It then starts the preset interval with 200m and lots of time already going. I think for track workouts I need to turn off the auto interval setting. I am going to try this tomorrow with the TNT interval workout tomorrow.
Now for a little bragging – take all the rest and recovery periods out and the intervals averaged out to a 7:21 mile pace with my last 400 at a 6:56 pace.
STUD!!!
Ok, respond and bring me back to the real world.

the beginning of the end

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Weekend Report

Well my training sucked. But the TNT group that I ran with did very well. I was supposed to do 15 miles or so at a 10:29 pace. BTW, what is it with with these weird paces that training programs want you to run? Why couldn't they say 10:30?

Anyway, I visited with friends on Friday night (my invitation was contingent on fixing a pc) and had a few brats and beers. Home in bed, fast asleep by 11. I did not feel bad in the morning, but my legs, chest, lungs all felt otherwise about 1.5 miles into my run.

It was humid. It was windy. It was humid. And I wasn't feeling it. I managed to barely squeeze out 8.5 miles when the group was at the meeting point (finsihed) and discussing breakfast options. That was all my mind needed. I called it a day.

Granted I did a little work around the farm that afternoon. But I miised. I am still feeling a little weak/tired this morning. Maybe vitamin supplements are needed. Maybe extra protein supplements. Maybe I should just quit whining and do it.

WWMFRBD? (what would my fellow running bloggers do)
What do you gals/guys think?

This week's scheduled runs are -
Tuesday - 1200m @ 6:02, 1000m @4:59, 800m @ 3:58, 600m @2:57, 400m @ 1:57 (all with 200M RI)
Wednesday - TNT track practice (I take this easy. I go to support TNT)
Thursday - 7 mile - 1 easy, 5 @ 9:14, 1 easy
Saturday - 17 miles @ 10:29

So there you have it

the beginning of the end

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Thursday Tempo Run

Week 2 of FIRST training and workout 2 – tempo running.
scheduled run – 1 mile easy, 5 miles @ 9:44, 1 mile easy
actual run – awesome, fantastic, sweet, tiring, phenomenal
warm up mile 9:57.08 - fast for a warm up, need to slow this down to about 10:30 or higher
Tempo miles -
1 - 10:04.45 – a little slow from fast warm uo
2 - 9:23.11 – fast, downhill mile
3 - 9:45.81 – uphill mile
4 - 9:16.74 – again downhill mile
5 - 9:24.94  - gutting out the last won
tempo average - 9:35.01 - quicker than scheduled, but felt pretty good
cool down mile 9:37.56 - obviously elated about tempos and just kept going
total time for the full 7.01 miles 9:38.44 - faster even than scheduled tempo
AWESOME!!!!

This is also the first time in RunningFirst history that 3 days of running in a row has every happpend.
Real running
Not running to the bathroom or running to get the last beer before your boys do
That is awesome for me. Of course you may not see 3 days in a row again, but if I keep going to TNT on Wednesday track it could happen again
But my running schedule is Tue, Thu and Sat
TNT trains as a group on Wed and Sat
Who knows – 3 days in a row could happen again and again

the beginning of the end

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TNT track practice

Tonight was TNT track practice.
Hot and humid
No breeze
Good people
Awesome – that’s all I need


Mile warmup as usual. As usual I run it fast. 8:30. Fast for me anyway.


Stretch


8 sets of 200m with 200m walk recovery. No rest. Keep moving.


Of course, alum Allyson (speedster) comes back to push the 200m pace. But we made a pact and took it kind of easy. Probably 40 – 45 seconds per 200. And then we blasted the last one. Even with all the walking involved we did 3.32 miles in 35 minutes. Not bad. Really good for me considering I did 4 x 800’s in 3:58 or less yesterday.


Tomorrow is another day of running. 7 miles with the middle 5 @ 9:44. If I keep this up I am sure to get in better shape. Boston is still looking viable.


the beginning of the end

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Get off yer ARSE and do it

That’s what I was told by Marlene and Ken when I complained about falling off the wagon. Of course the gf was her always ‘You can dooo iiitt’ (apologies to The Waterboy) attitude.

So I looked at the P90X training and my FIRST training and helping with TNT, I revamped my schedule. I am still running my3 days with the FIRST program, a second interval workout with the local TNT team and P90X. The P90X is a 7 day workout for 90 days, but I am probably stepping that back just a little to not wear myself out so much for my runs.

The first time I tried it, plometrics in the morning and running at night was just too much. I gots ta get in some shape first.

Tonight was a fairly simple routine but still hard (for me). It called for the normal warmup and cool down, but in between that they stuck some intervals.

Can you believe it?
WTF!!??
Who puts intervals in between a nice, easy, warmup and cool down?
Oh, yea! All us runners out there.
Intervals – 4 x 800m @ 3:58 pace with a 2 minute recovery interval

I thought I would be a stud and run them in my west pasture. It is hilly. It has foot high grass. It was rough as hell. It was tough. My dog gave up after one lap (400m) and went and lay down. I was so jealous.
So the other 3 were through the yard, out on the road, into a smooth grassy area and back on road. Still hilly. But a run I might continue. We all need hills.

Set1 – 3:53.57
Set2 – 3:49.93
Set3 – 3:44.88
Set4 – 3:48.45

Average – 3:49.21

I feel good. It was hard, but hey, if it was easy everyone would do it.

The beginning of the end

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Falling off the wagon

Help! I've fallen and I can't get up. 

I have fallen off the training wagon in the first week of making Boston my Bitch. I haven't run in 5 days. I haven't cross trained in 4 days. I haven't done shit.

Hopefully, Monday will be the start of my second new beginning. 

the beginning of the end

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Damn Goats

I was all set for my 6 mile run and I get a flustered and worried gf about one of our goats, Velvet. Her name, not mine. Anyway, after looking it up in our goat manual, it was decided the goat had bloat. 


Bloat is where the rumen (like a stomach) gets full of gas that the animal cannot pass. This gas continues to build pressure and puts pressure on the lungs and heart. If not treated death is a likely end. 

So off the the U of I large animal vet clinic. They stuck a tube down her throat - no release of gas. They stuck a bigger hose down - no release of gas. Back in goes the little hose and they put a mixture of water and drug down her throat that is supposed to less the gaseou bubbles and hopefully, make her fart or burp. Goats are naturally fartty and burpy unless bloat occurs. 

Velvet stays the night, gets an IV, we go home and get her kid (that's what ya call baby goats) to spend the night and nurse. She is in mild pain (they gave drugs) but still standing andnursable. 

Tomorrow morning will be my 6 mile run. 2 easy, 2 @8:44 and 2 easy. Shouldn't be that bad. 

the beginning of the end

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Yesterday's Daily Double

Yesterday evening I had my mile repeats to perform.

3 of them @ 8:11
Did I do them?
Of course.
Did I do them correctly?
Of course NOT!!!
Did I hit the 8:11 avaerage?
Yes, just under at 8:09

Mile 1 - 7:47.10
Mile 2 - 7:47.78
Can't ask for much more consistency than that.
Mile 3 - 8:34.43
Slow, because I walked twice, cussed myself out and started again. Might have... never mind. Might haves do not matter when you didn't do it.

Then it starting raining so I took a slow mile walk back to the car. I got thoroughly drenched, but enjoyed.

The gf had her women's training run as well and she finished in the top of her group again. Going to have to move her into the intermediate running group.

This morning I did P90X again. More cheating though. I have no dumbbells (why do they call them dumbbells?). GF had some 5 lbs things that I used, but far too light. So basically I went through the motions of the routine. I am going to buy some dumbbells for when this routine hits again next week. The morning routine worked on biceps and triceps. Both places I am sorely lacking.

No running tonight with TNT as I have the great VMWare user meeting. So junk food, soda and a bunch of tech people trying to bullshit each other about their data centers.

Thursday, I have a 6 mile run (2 easy, 2 @8:44, 2 easy) and Saturday 13 miles @10:14. Plus P90X every day.

the beginning of the end

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Half way done

This morning was the first half of my double routine.

P90X
Plyometrics
Killer
My resting probably means I made it through 65% of the routine
I am still tired and weak 2 hours after I finished the routine
My pecs are sore where they attached near the clavicle
Tonight I have mile repeats
Only 3 of them (thank you running gods)

Some of the routine consisted of squats, jump squats, heisman poses, jump shooting, baseball throwing, leapfrogs, etc. Most of it was fairly low impact but very high intensity. I'll get the workout listed at runningahead.com tonight.

I can very much see that if you do the routines you will get in shape. I am hoping to build some up body muscle but most importantly build core strength. A stronger core makes a stronger runner. I'll see the difference in 88 more days. I took measurements last night and will take them at 30, 60 and the final 90 day end of workout.

I feel like I am dieing.

the beginning of the end

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P90X

I own P90X. Yea, I blew the money on it. I have watched a few of the DVDs. Even the warmups are tough. 

But this is the Beginning ofthe End. 
Remember.
Oh, why is this the beginning of the end?
I am tired.
I hurt.
My painful right shoulder hurts.
My left arm hurts more trying to over compensate for the right.
But I did the best I could.

Here's a quick rundown - 
15 minute warmup, normal pushups, wide grip pullups, military pushups, reverse grip pullups, wide fly pushups, close grip pullups, decline pushups, heavy pants, diamond pushups, lawnmowers, dive bomber pushups, back flies. And then we did those 12 in a different order. 5 minute cooldown. If you want to see detail and descriptions - go here. My user is RunningFirst at runningahead.com. 

So, tomorrow will be a rough day. P90X - plyometrics and FIRST training of mile repeats. I am trying to decide which to do in the morning and which for the afternoon.

Let's see if I can continue this.

the beginning of the end

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Surprise!!!

On an unrelated note  - I broke 200 miles for the year this week. 203.7 total miles. Unless I really start running some serious miles (which if you read the previou post) I am not sure I will make the 1000 miles I wanted to run at the beginning of the year. But you never know.


That is only 113.85714285714285714285714285714 miles per month for the rest of the year. 
That is only 28.464285714285714285714285714286 miles per week for the rest of the year.
That is only 4.0663265306122448979591836734694 miles per day for the rest of the year.


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The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow is a new month.

Tomorrow is June.
Tomorrow is the Beginning.
Tomorrow is the Beginning of the End.
Tomorrow , I start my quest. 
My quest to qualify for Boston.

I am going to give it a shot. I am going to start training. Training for Boston.
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be run training. 
Wednesday will be TNT track practice. But I will not run these hard.
Monday, Friday and Sunday will be days of rest or cross training. Mostly upper body and core. (I am so weak there)

I am starting my training tomorrow. It is the training that men 65 - 69 would be doing for a 4:15 Boston marathon. Man - those are some fast, old, Boston men. 

Next week workouts are as follows -
Mon - xtrain
Tue - warmup, 3 x 1600m @ 8:11 w/ 1 min recovery, cool down
Wed - TNT track
Thu - 6 mile run: 2 easy, 2 @ 8:44, 2 easy
Fri - rest
Sat - 13 miles @ 10:14
Sun -rest

Pretty ambitious, but it will only get more ambitious as I progress towards Boston.

Now a word from our sponsor - I am training for Boston.

Ok, now a word about cross training. I am still not sure what this will comprise. I have been looking at P90X training. It is a lot of lunges, pushups, pullups, core routines. I have also read a lot about natural training. Remember when you were a kid and played. You just ran everywhere, jumped over (or ran through) puddles, climbed trees, jumped ramps on your bike. This is the kind of training I am looking at. 

I am lucky enough to live in the country and have a pasture that is exactly 1/4 mile around the perimeter. It is also a hily pasture. Myself and the Hook are looking at using it for cross trainng. There is a plan to setup "stations" around the pasture. Stations to work your muscles like you did as a kid.

There will be logs, sandbags, weights to lift or throw. There will be walls to climb, obstacles to jump, balancing acts and possibly more as the Hook devises them. This all to work your muscles in a more normal way. Like when you were a kid and didn't worry about being out of shape. 

Hopefully this will help build the body back to what it once was. Maybe even put me in Boston shape. 

Tomorrow begins now.

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Track Practice #1

Today was the first track practice for the summer TNT session. I was there with a few alums and 4 newbies. Us alums will break them in. I'll find out all their names eventually and what they are training for. I know there are a few halfers and a few fulls. One is training for the Nike women's marathon. 

Most of the halfers are walkers which is awesome. I have tried to walk with walkers and I cannot do it. I can't walk that fast. It hurts and gets me out of breath and I am sore the next day. Walkers are awesome.

The full runners are fast. It was all I could do to keep up. I will have to do extra work to keep up. 

Harley is once again coaching for the track sessions. I have worked out under him in the past and he can be a slave driver. A polite one but still tough. I hope I (and the others) survive. 

We will be back at LOW (Lake of the Woods) on Saturday. I believe they will be doing 6/4 respectively. I will do my 8 minimum. Maybe I should do the trail twice and run 10. Hmmm...

Anyways, practice was good for a beginning. I need to decide on my training. Will I continue with TNT or go out on my own/ Maybe a little of both. I have looked at the FIRST system a lot. I think it can help me tremendously. I am not ready to start with a 3:30 training regimen, but maybe a 4 or 4:15 can be done. 

The FIRST system would have me doing 3 days of running per week. That is the basics of the First system with a few days of cross training and a few days of rest. Here is the first week of training for a 4:15 marathon run.

Workout #1 - warmup, 3 x 1600m @ 8:11 with 1 minute recovery jog, cooldown
Workout #2 - 6 mile run:  2 miles easy ramping up to 2 miles @ 8:44/mile and cooling down for 2 miles
Workout #3 - 13 miles @ 10:14/mile

I can do workout 3 (Indy mini in 2:04 - 9:30 pace).
I am pretty sure I can do workout 2.
I am not sure I can handle the repeats in workout 1. The first one. Sure. The next two with only 1 minute rest. And jogging while I rest. Come on. 

Who jogs while they recover? Oh yeah, those damn fast runners at the front of the pack. And the workouts get tougher, but in theory, I should be getting stonger. 

So, what do you think? Go for it. I think I can do this. I will be disappointed if I can't. Maybe this is the place to start and not a a slower pace. Afterall, I ran Indy in 2:04. With no pain afterwards. With a quick recovery. With my last three miles of 9:10, 9:02 and 8:39. That is kicking some half marathon ass. 

Maybe this is the place to start. But I need cross training as well. I really need to do some core workouts. Not that at 46 I will ever have a 6 pack. But I do need the core work. It will make my runs easier and make me stronger. 

I picked up P90X. I have viewed a few of the DVDs. I got tired just from the warmup parts. I will give it a try. I have to get a pull up bar and a few dumbells or something for a few weights. 

So with that  - Boston will be my be-atch.

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Indy Half Marathon report

The Indy half marathon is over. It was awesome. Awesome weather and an awesome time.


Ok, I can't wait. I PRed. By 12 minutes. 2:04:26

I was simply hoping for a 2:10.  I rock!!!!

It was great. I was running and doing well mile after mile. I made it. And at the end the miles got faster. Finishing with an 8:39 mile. Best thing is no pain. Really. A little soreness, but none of that great, struggling to get up, aching legs. I have never felt like that after a 13 mile run. It was an awesome feeling.

Maybe I really am beginning to like this running stuff.

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Wednesday Track Workouts

Track workouts are back. Most of my summer team is being handed off to the Fall TNT coach next weekend. I am going to be so lonely. 


Wednesday will be a get together with somemembers of the spring team. I just plann on running 3 or 4 miles as maintenance for the indy half marathon. 

Nice and slow.

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First run since...

Saturday was my first run since the Illinois marathon. My legs feel fine. I am still tired, but starting to think that is vitamin and stress related. I had coaching duties for TNT so out to Lake of the Woods I went.


Got and and said hi to my one team member that showed and she was off on her walking way. About 15 minutes later, alumni Randy was coming up the trail so off I went with him - jogging and walking. 6.28 miles later and we were done. Legs were tired, but no pain. 

Now it is just maintenance running until the Indy half. 

2:05 here I come.

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After marathon healing

All healed.


Well maybe not. Legs just feel tired but walking is ok. Stairs are still an issue - why didI buy a 2 story farmhouse?

No track practice tonite. My summer team just doesn't get into my plyometrics, intervals or speedwork.

I might try running tonite. I might not.

WARNING! WARNING! Non running related info.
One of the Universities vet med classes is coming out to the farm tonite for a demostration on acupuncture for larger animals. They will be using one of my goats and a horse that one of the students board at my place. Should be pretty cool. I'll have pics and video later.
Non related running info over. Resume normally running reading.

Next event for me is the Indy half marathon in 3 weeks. Hope for a PR there as well. Last year 2:16:49. Cutting a good 8 minutes would be nice. I'll have to see how the legs feel.

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Pictures of some great people

The following are some pictures of TNT runners from the inaugural Illinois marathon. I have met some wonderful people through TNT and I am sure to meet more as I continue to caoch, mentor and participate in events. The people below are the kind that make this world go round. They are extraordinary in their caring and giving to others. They always there to lend a hand or to give helpful word. 

I am honored to have met you and run with you.

Congratulations to all!!!

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Hyponatremia

Apparently several runners frm the Illinois marathon complained of muscles cramps yesterday, including yours truly. And as most point out that this can occur because of dehydration. Though I doubted this and sugested HYPONATREMIA. Huh?


Well, thanks to our TNT head coach Maria, I knew what this was and suggested it as a cause.

(Disclaimer - I am not a doctor, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night - this is just my opinion)

Basically, hyponatremia is an indication of low salt (sodium) levels in your body. The brain cannot handle this and lethargy, disorientation, cramping may occur. Death if it is not treated. 

Per Mayo Clinic - Hyponatremia occurs when the sodium in your blood is diluted by excess water. Hyponatremia may result from medical conditions that impair excretion of water from your body, or by a significant increase in water consumption, such as by athletes competing in marathons and other high-endurance events.

Hyponatremia symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • Seizures
  • Decreased consciousness or coma
Now I know many of you probably already believe that I suffer from confusion or decreased consciousness, but I did get the muscle cramps like many others. One site mentioned that the muscle may tremor or ripple. That is what it felt like to me - you could feel the calf muscle move down my leg, like a ripple.

Since the aid stations were handing out bottles of water, many of us probably drank more than normally during our marathon. And with normal marathon sweating, out goes the salt.

Why bottles of water? Well, FEMA donated them as they were left over from some tragedy and due to expire in June of 2009. Yes, water bottle have expiration dates. 

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Illinois marathon

Is in the books. 

My attempt was great considering the calf tremors and pain the last 9 miles or so. My calves would just ripple and then pain would set in. It was weird. Never had anything like that happen before. But the pain was intense enough that I had to stop running and walk.

But I finished. I even PR'd by almost 4 miuntes. And I was only off my slow estimate time by 7 minutes. It was still good. 

Ate afterward with friends. Ally son put me in a hot tub type bathtub to soak and have the water jets soothe my aching muscles. Only half the jets worked, but they were the half on my side. She did leave me to sleep in the tub though. Hmmmh!!!

She took me to dinner later, let me drinks a few beers and back to the hotel for sleep. She was good.

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Inaugural Illinois Marathon

IS THIS WEEKEND.


right now weather is predicted to be 39 - 60 degrees (Fahrenheit to my Canadian bloggers)
well, that was the prediction at 6:30 this morning.
now it is - 

The field is full. I think they capped it at 1500 marathoners, 2500 halfers, but I really have no idea. 

Ok, I know what all of you want. You want to know my prediction times. Well, you gotta wait. They are coming. I am told patience is a virtue. Be virtuous. I have other items first.

First, and most importantly, I will be running with my TNT friends. Yes, I am a Team in Training alumni. I will be wearing my purple shirt. TNT is a wonderful group of people that raise funds to help battle blood cancers. When you see the purple, yell and scream. Let them know you appreciate what they have done.

Secondly, I have started a new blog to write about what might be becoming an obsession for me. Boston. Not the city, but the marathon. I am having fantasies about running it. Now, I could raise money and get in without running a qualified time. But isn't that cheating?

To qualify correctly, I need to run a 3:30 marathon. My PB is a 4:55 in Anchorage last June. Anchorage is a tough course. It is a hilly course. I think Saturday I will run faster. To check out this new blog go to Boston Will Be My Be-atch.

Alright, here is what you want. My prediction. 

First history - 
Air Force marathon - 2005 - 5:47:12
Chicago marathon - 2005 - 5:30:59
Mayor's marathon - 2008 - 4:55:05

2005, no training, I just kind of went for it. @008, I trained two days a week, but not very hard. This year my training was mostly two days a week. A really hard speed session and my long runs. 

Drumroll......

4:15 - 4:45
Yea, I 30 minute spread. Which means I 4:30 is what I am looking at. A 4:15 would really be awesome. Fantastic. Freakin. Boston here I come (after dropping another hour)
A 4:30 should be very doable.
A 4:45 - ok, disappointment would be on my face here. But it would still be a PR.

4:29:59 or better. 
See ya on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium.

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2 weeks away

The Illinois marathon is under 2 weeks away and I can't wait. It has been a long time coming.

Miles
intervals
tempos
400's
long runs
and The Wind.

Wind has been a constant companion these last three months of training. Lots of wind, fast wind and cold wind. But hopefully, that will make me a little stronger and a little better.

It is going to be 26.2 miles of champaign-Urbana, a place I have been around since the 5th grade. I haven't always lived here but I have been around. Knowing the route so well has me a little worried i might get bored. I mean, isn't that some of the allure of running a marathon. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the different locale?

Training has been great the last few weeks. 2 weeks ago I went 16.5 miles at 10:17 pace on average. I went out fast and it felt good. I just coldn't hang and the last 3 miles showed it on my quarter-mile pacing. But I ran a half faster than I ever had. Last Saturday was 10 miles - 5 out and 5 back - first half was into the wind but splits were amazing on the way back. Finished right a 10 minute pace.

So, I am ready. Let the days and hours count down to the start of the first Illinois marathon. Look next Friday or morning of for my goal time. I will post two of them. My goal time and my awesome, I am Craig Virgin time.

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Guess what???

yea, track practice again.

Wednesday night
at the Armory
200 meter track
sigh??

2 miles at a much faster pace
why? stupity.
But I held on to an 8:40 pace for 2 miles
not sure what else i ran because the TNT team showed up early
Armory was closing early due to high school track meet

i had the team run fartleks
so i ran with most everyone
pushed them
timed them
they hate me

now if i can put 24 more miles together at that pace i got a 3:47 marathon
not boston qualify but close
someday i will make boston my bitch

as the romans said - so  it was written, so it shall be done

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Beautiful day to run

Here in central Illinois it was a beautiful day to run. 

Winds were calm.
Temps in mid 60s
Humidity a little high
Great TNT runners
What more could I ask for? more energy in the legs maybe.

But overall, it was great. I ran good for the first leg with spring members (about 4.8m) next leg pretty good running with my team member (about 4.2m). Then ran a fast 1.2m with CH. He ran my pace but you know howyou always run harder when running a much faster partner (mile 11 at 9:42). And ran the last 4 miles off and on with another TNT member who is suffering from a quad problem. If you read this KS - GO TO THE DOCTOR!!!

Anyway, all in all 15.25 miles in 2hr 33min. My log says 2h43 but I am subtracting stopping time and doing coaching duties (water/gatorae/gels/beans) for my troops. That gives me a 10:02 pace. 

Which makes me right on target for 4:30 marathon. Not sure i could pull the last 11 miles off in just under 2 hours though. I was feeling it so bad I haad dry heaves towards the end. I think it was too many Powerade gel blasts and not enough fluid.

But I still have 32 days and 9 hours to go as I right this. Maybe 10 hours.Do those countdown widgets no that the clocks were moved up this weekend? 

Hey, RunnerSusan, if you are reading, can your sister answer that?

great run for me though. I was happy again.

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Truly a great story

 was just messing around at work and read this amazing story that was in the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of "Marathon and Beyond". If you have never read this magaizine/book, you should try it. It comes out 6 times a year and has really great stories and advice.


Anyway, it is by Dean Karnazes (yes, that Dean) and it starts as he finished the 50th of 50 marathons in 50 days. As he decides to run home - home is San Francisco - Dean is in New York City.

It is a story of wwhat running is, a story of ourselves, a story of finding oneself.

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Catch up - Bad blogger

I have been reading everyone blogs that I normally read and many, many others. Plus a bunch of running related sites. Plus working at work - I  know, what's up with that?


Anyway here is the rundown in bullet form
  • Last Friday night I went to Foellinger Auditorium at saw the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. It was awesome. Instead of just Mozart or Brahms played as wrote, they jazzed things up with a Celtic flair. And they played originals with dancer and singers. It was a good time for me and girlfriend.
  • Marathon training last Saturday was well worth the drive to Chicago. Did you know parking meters there are 25 cents for 7 minutes. Damn!. So I risked it and did not get caught. Training - awesome, given a physical therapist. She used me as the class dummy and I have to say I did well. If she put her hand on my ass one more time I was going to make her buy me pizza. Afterall, I easy, not cheap. It was/is a great training for TNT. My understanding is Illinois may be the only state to train their coaches. 
  • Sunday - supposed to be my makeup long run. Guess what? Yay, no run. Did work around the house a little. Did my favorite thing and looked at open houses in the area. Just makes me thankful I have the place I do when I see these little patches of grass and houses not much bigger than mine for 400k. 
  • Wednesday was track practice. I had a different team member show up and come out. That was an awesome thing. I ran 3.5 miles at tempo. Last 2 weeks I had run at a 9:18 pace. This time I was doe to a 9:06 pace for 3.5 miles. Time to up the distance to at least 4 and see how I do. I may try that on Saturday. Run the short out and back twice in a low 9 pace. 
  • Last night my boyz came by the man-cave to watch our Fightin Illini have a game well under control to only go cold the last 5 minutes and let the other team win. We really need a finisher on this team. No one wants to step up and be the man on this team. I can't wait for next year with the man-boys we got coming in.
  • This Saturday - long run, up to 18 miles. I really, really need to get a long run in. I haven't done one since my marathon last June. The spring team is doing 18, so I will run with them for 5 and then run with my team for their 5 and hopefully get another 5 in after them. That's the plan.
Ok, you are caught up and I am caught up in all your blogs. Even stevens. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Bwaahaaa!!!!

Oh yeah, one more thing. This has been weighing on me tremendously lately. I am not a fast runner. I am not a good runner. But I really want to run Boston. I thought about cheating and fund raisiing my way in. But how would that make me feel. I want to earn it. I want to know that I deserve to be there. It means running a 3:30 qualifier. It means run 8 minute miles. 

I can run an 8 mile. I might be able to run 2.2 of them back to back. But what about the other 24. That is the issue. I believe this is why I have pushed my track practice so hard. It is working. If I pull a 4:30 or better in April, it might be game on. 

I know some of you are planty fast enough but how about others that are slow like me (4:55 PR). Do any of you have an inkling to do Boston? To attempt the pinnacle of American marathoning if not top of the world? I know if I did qualify then the pressure I would put on myself to do well in the race itself would be huge. Am I fantasizing too much? Afterall, I will be 46 next month, I was never a high school or college runner. I am just Joe Average Couch Potatoe reaching for a dream.

But this dream is starting to take over, starting to be an obession.

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