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Thoughts by Astro. Powered by Blogger.

That time of Year

Yes, it is almost years end. And while I have many, many things to be thankful for, it was a year of ups and downs. Yea, I ran some hills, but I really am talking about the ups and downs of life. Ups and downs for me, for family and friends. It really was a tumultuous year.  While I won't bore you with every intricate detail of my year, I will list 20 - good and bad in some order that they are locked away in my mind.


  1. the Running Doc placed third in her age group, then had an appendectomy that night
  2. the Gangster went away to school and is kicking ass at her studies
  3. my son went to Kuwait, he'll be back in April 2011
  4. Randy lost weight improved his half PR by around 30 minutes
  5. the Running Doc kicked my ass at the L&C marathon and set a 27 minute PR
  6. the Hooker watched Missouri beat the Illini then threw up on 3 different interstates
  7. Karmen had a beautiful baby girl
  8. I got promoted at work, then worked more than ever
  9. I signed up for the Indy half and never went
  10. the Rogue, was just the Rogue on more than one occasion
  11. I tore my TV room down to the studs, it is still not finished
  12. some of the bloggers I follow had awesome years
  13. I had 2 girlfriends and lost them both
  14. I had the best 6 months of running in my life
  15. my family is all healthy
  16. my horse boarder still does not pay on time
  17. I survived a year living alone, it was lonely and nice
  18. I did not make my yearly running goal
  19. my friends and running buddies are all awesome
  20. there is always next year
There you have it. My life in 20 lines. Except for my lack of running at the end of the year, it was a good year.  I have some lofty goals for next year (I'll list them early next year) and will strive to them to bed.

I think 2011 will be a good year. I have signed up for the Indy mini. I will run it. Hotel is already booked. I am looking at at least one marathon and a couple of other halfs. Just haven't decided yet. And hopefully, i will blog more often. Of course, when I run, I blog. So run I must.

Read you soon friends.

- the beginning of the end

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Winter is here

Winter came to central Illinois late Friday night and all day Saturday. Of course a buddy and I decided that a night on the town was necessary despite the falling (6 inches) of snow. So out we went. The night was uneventful. That  is a good thing people.

I still haven't run a lick since the Lewis n Clark marathon in early October. I need to get the motivation pills out and start overdosing. Most of running buddies are still consistently putting rubber to ground. For them, yes, carry on.

Work  - gosh that should be WORK - I get working extra only to find I had so much to do at home. I am not complaining - I enjoy my little slice of heaven. 6 acres of pasture, outbuildings and a house 3 times the size I need, but it does require work. Doing it all alone takes time. So I found myself doing more at home and still no time for running. I also, noticed that by not working so much, more work was piling up. Not sure why this is. The work is not difficult.
It just needs done.
By anyone.

So, I get to work Tuesday night, probably Wednesday night and at least 6 hours Saturday night. Good thing I am single and everyone thinks I have no social life. No other obligations.

My tv room renovation is coming along slowly, but I truly am in no hurry. I will finish when I finish.

Has anyone out there used an incline trainer before? One of those treadmill things that can do 30% or more inclines. Do they work? Better than a tread climber? Kind of the same thing. Let me know please.

-the beginning of the end

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Kreg Tools

Kreg Tools makes awesome tools for helping the woodworker, remodeler or homeowner for woodworking projects. They make tools for pocket holes (hidden holes for screws to go into so they are not seen), tools for hassle free cutting of crown moulding and many more items.


I recently sent Kreg Tools an email hoping for an evaluation kit for some of their product. I hope they send me some to help my livingroom renovation along. My entertainment center requires pocket hole joinery (who wants to see screw holes in a piece of furniture) and their crown moulding cutting jig and third hand helper will make installing crown on a 9 foot ceiling a breeze.

Check back later to see how it goes.

As far as my running... well, that is a non-existent story.  I have NOT run since the Lewis and Clark marathon (where I got schooled by The Running Doc) and just last week I lost another toenail. Not sure that was related to that race almost 2 months ago or not. But yes, I need to run. I need to get out of my non-running, couch-sitting, potatoe chip eating funk.

But I really despise cold weather. Ok, maybe not, but I don't like running into a cold, northerly wind. And where I live, the wind is blowing against you no matter which directions you turn.
So I started looking for another treadmill. I have one. A good one. And it probably only has about 20 miles on it. But I do not use it. I should. But I think I want a treadmill promoted by Jillian Michaels (America's toughest trainer). Me and Jillian go way back. I can remember watching her infomercials from years back. If anyone can get me back on track, it is Jillian. A treadmill savings machine I have become. I already got $1.49 saved up. I am on my way.

So, if anyone wants to buy my NordicTrack C2250, let me know. You can hook up your cable to it and watch tv at the same time.

Goats - I have sold some of my goat meat now. The stew mea is all gone but I still have chops, ground, patty, ribs, roast and a briscuit (whatever that is). Chops, ground and patty are all going for $7 a pound. That 2 bucks cheaper than the local grocer.

-the beginning of the end (Life is good)



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Thankful

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Per Encyclopedia Britannica - Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism.

For most people I know, it is a time to bring extended families back together, to re-connect with family and friends, to talk and come together as a whole.

This year I want to acknowledge things I am thankful for (in no particular order) -
Thankful for my mommy
Thankful for my dad who did his best to teach right from wrong
Thankful for my health
Thankful for Tori who may not want to be daddy's little girl anymore, but always will be
Thankful for my son who has decided to fight for me to have Thanksgiving every year
Thankful for friends
Thankful for my job and the learning opportunities there
Thankful for my Hookers who have stood by me in decsions gone bad
Thankful for my openmindedness to accept others as they are
Thankful for new friends made better over the year past
Thankful for being accepted as I am
Thankful for those of you who have not tried to change me
Thankful for being strong enough to withstand those that did
Thankful for my running friends and their trail counsel
Thankful for being a left-handed, color-blind, diabetic, Lithuanian
Thankful for not being right-handed
Thankful for the years I have lived
Thankful for the years I have left
Thankful for you those that read this humble, sparsely written blog
Thankful for friends not yet made
Thankful for the blanket on my bed

But most of all I am thankful to be here, with all of you. Some electronically, some in person. Some close, some far. But all of us, here, now and in the future. Remember 'Cherish Yesterday, Dream Tomorrow, Live Today'.

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July is slow



I want to say first - Thank you to all the service people past and present who make me feel safe and free every day. 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY AMERICA

My running for July is nil. Zero. Nada. Zilch. I would like to say I had over 20 miles so far, after all it is a three day weekend. Events just conspired against me for running. 

Saturday, I was on call for work and missed my group long run. Why can't people remember their damn passwords? So after 3 hours in the office I came home and weeding my tomato garden. Not that when I started you could tell there were tomatoes in the grass. But now, since they are getting sun, I may have some red balls soon. 


It does look a lot better and took a few hours to do. Of course with my new look I do not have any protection on my neck any longer, so that is a little red and sore. Yes, running crew girls - that means I got a haircut. A drastic one. And you know how I loved my long hair. But so far everyone that has notice has liked it. I am  just not sure I do. 

On another note I am leaving for Florida (Ft.Myers area) on Thursday. I hope to get some running in down there and am going to dry a beach run. Running in the sand should be a good workout. I am going down for work (we have 7 offices there) to replace all their servers. Not sure how me time there will be but am trying to get Sunday to myself. Anybody wants to join I am at the Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower Shoppes. Come and join me for some fun in the sun. I need to get out of town for awhile and even though it is work, it will be good for my soul. I will miss my new favorite singer/songwriter writer's performance the following Wednesday, but I suppose the groupie action is to becoming.

With the new hairdo maybe the second half of the year can be better than the first half. The end of last year was fantastic. Here's to hoping for some semblance of that attitude and euphoria for the rest of the year. 

Tonight is my normally scheduled tempo run. It is an easy one. 6 miles total - 4 @ 9.28. Maybe I will add a little extra at the end or run on Tuesday (a non-run day). I need to get my rear in gear. 

Hint, hint....where are my girls chewing my a$$ out for not running this weekend? You know who you are. 

- the beginning of the end

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New Leaf

New Leaf - usually means a new attitude, a turn of events for the better. Let's see if I can equal that.

Running - Since my last post (12 days ago - not a new leaf there), I have stuck with my marathon training plan. I haven't always made the dictated times or stated distance but i have given  my best effort on each training run. My running has increased in mileage every week this month. My times have dropped each week. I am getting stronger and faster. For this I am proud and happy with myself.

New Leaf!


Work - Work has gotten better. My team has picked it up. We are working better together. We are getting tasks done and finding more work to do without it being handed to us. That is a good thing.

New Leaf!


Diet - I am slowly starting to eat a little better again. This is a plus. It keeps me healthy. It is flattening my belly. I am losing weight (mind you, I only want to lose about 7 lbs) but I am getting closer to what I want to be to be able to run better. I still lapse and have a pizza, but that is going to happen.


New Leaf!


Homestead - Thanks to a bunch of crappy bankers lending money on property only worth half of what it is listed at and bringing the economy to a crashing halt, the President has made it possible for me to get my mortgage rewrote by Fannie Mae. More than a 4 point drop in interest rates. It is awesome. Thank you silly bankers for allowing this to happen. You make my heart sing.

New Leaf!


Personally - I am great. Ok, maybe I shouldn't brag. But I got great friends. Real people even. People that actually talk to me with their mouths and vocal cords - not just electronically. I have great electronic friends as well. Of course this doesn't really count as a new leaf as they have always been here for me. I have met some new people. And I can't for sure guarantee they are great but they sure have started out on the right foot. They are great so far. I have also gotten reacquainted with some past friends as well. I am counting this as a

New Leaf!


What do you think?

-the beginning of the end

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Damn, I wish you....

You can google it.

Wednesday was track practice. How I am beginning to loathe track practice. I fully understand why it is good for me. I understand the need for it. But I really dislike how I feel for the next two hours afterwards. Tired, beyond belief, almost want to puke, ready to throw it all in. But then I get a little something to eat and I eventually feel better. Times like that is when I need a personal 'you did great texter buddy'. Usually the Running Doc is there to pat my back but... she's been busy packing. Though Coach Harley, Kelly and AM did cheer me on and clap. Feels good to have a cheering section. But also, a little electronic pat on the back feels good later. I'm just needy that way.

Mile repeats for track. My 4.30 schedule called for running them in 8.40. Piece of cake. I knew I could do it in close to 8 flat. So I ran, one lap - 1.51, lap 2 - 1.55, lap 3 - 1.54, what gives, but ok, lap 4 - 1.52 for an 7.33.95 mile (1600m). Fast. Too fast. Let's slow down a little on the next one.

Mile 2 - 7.34.99. Whew! Good thing I slowed down a little over a second. I felt much better. Yeah, right. The last one was going to be a bitch and it was - 7.47.37. And I just felt bad. Good thing there was not another one.

After cooling down, I needed something to eat. If I went home, I probably would have had a glass of Powerade and gone to bed. Off to The Clark Bar for some good food and a little live entertainment. A little one woman band. Played some Jewel, Norah Jones, Allanah Myles and self wrote numbers. She's good. She's aslo has some type of gadget that let's her record muliple back beats, tambourine and vocals and then loop it and play it over and over while she sings and strums the meat of the tune. It was kind of cool.

So a simple night, early night. Off to bed and back to Springfield for another day of class. It is starting to drag now, but only today and Friday and I am done with it.

On a brighter note, Saturday is th Warrior Dash race in Joilet. I am still looking for someone to go with and take some pictures and video for me. Any takers? Hint, hint, hint....

Tip of the hat to Sophie B. Hawkins

- the beginning of the end

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Trust me

I really am trustworthy. I am sure I have lied at some point in my life. At times probably on purpose as a little kid cause I was rotten as a little kid. But I try not too. Why go on about this? Because I forgot my Garmin on my first L&C training run. I was bummed. I almost went home to get it, I almost did not run.

But I did run.

I am happy I ran.

I have no idea of I ran the correct tempo for the middle 2 miles that was scheduled, but I am saying yes. Scheduled run was supposed to be 2 easy, 2 @ 9.13, 2 easy. I averaged a 9.37 pace for the entire 6 miles. I am pleased. Trust me - the time isn't made up.

Now why did I run so well? Not real sure. My day was spent in a training class (Microsoft stuff) and it was kind of mind numbing (tomorrow will be meatier and better). But, I fixed issues at work. Got disappointed in how some things were handled at work. Chatting a little and got some clarity in a few other issues.

I think that clarity put me in a state of mind I needed to be in to run well. I ran very relaxed, very easy. I replayed the day as I ran. I was more at peace than I have been in awhile. The partial clarity was good for me. Trust me - I am not fully clear, but more so.

Apparently, it poured here in CU after 4 pm. I was told 1.4 inches in a small town about 5 miles east of me. My rain gauge said 1.6 inches. I really am afraid to look in my basement. The Running doc my have her house sold, which will be a big weight off her and her hubby's shoulders as they prepare to move LATER this month. She has not gone yet. I was soundly chastised for writing her out of the state several days early. Trust me - she is still here.

I have a daughter-in-law today. Jake and Tiffany exchanged vows and got married today. I was saddened that I couldn't be there (it was just a courthouse marriage). They will have a proper ceremony later that I will be able to attend. Trust me - I wish them the best.

Tomorrow will be another training day. It should be a non-run day (you never know, I might venture out). It will be a pull-up day though. maybe some other type of core workout. But I am hoping for a day as good as today. Trust me - today was a good.

Trust me - I trust you.

- the beginning of the end

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Weekly Roundup

Running - a good week for me by number of days run, but not so much on total mileage. Next week is a big increase as my long, slow runs from now on will be 13 miles or more. It isn't so much about the time as it is the distance.

Most of my running compadres that I have come to know, respect and love are pretty much gone. I still have speedy AM and the Livesaver couple but that's it. Everyone else has flown to other parts to continue their successful lives. I will miss them but I do expect to stay in touch electronically through our respective blogs, FB, email and texting. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet.

In my personal running life - I am ready. I am willing to start this journey. I will complete this journey. Simply because I have nothing else to do. That is not a complaint (ok, maybe a little one) but it is just a simple fact. A fact that was forced on me, but a fact I am learning to accept and deal with.

Saturday was the great bonfire night with friends - old and new. Mother Nature tried to discourage us from playing with fire and getting together for good food, good drink and good conversation. My son showed up unexpectedly (a 10 hour drive from Ft. Bragg) and I was elated. I had no idea he was coming. It was great seeing him. He is becoming a man. A good man.

He will be married at the courthouse on Monday. I am not sure of when his new wife will be joining him at Ft. Bragg, but am sure it will be as soon as possible. I wish them all the happiness in the world and great success in their lives together.

I get training this week at work. Which roughly translates into a week of sluffing off. Most of the training will be review for me. It will be good winshield time for me driving back and forth. Lots of time to think and and sort out issues.

This week running I have a 6 mile tempo, mile repeats for track and a 13 mile slow run. All very doable. Plus my core and upper body workouts. I need to get this temple back in shape. Maybe a haircut too. I will let all of decide that. Vote in the comments.



Cut, leave, comb it, shave, dye.... I leave my fate in your capable hands.

Wednesday after track practice I will be at The Clark Bar. For those of you local, join me for some good, local singing/songwriting talent. Food isn't too bad either.

-the beginning of the end

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Wednesday Wacky



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Black n Decker Cordless Trimmer

Since I do all my own home repairs I follow a few bloggers that are much better at it than I. They usually have some pretty nice tips and every now and then  a giveaway.

HCI (Home Construction & Improvement) is one such site. They have had articles about all the new lead paint laws, to repairs, to new product reviews. The Black and Decker cordless trimmer is such a one. And a trimmer I could just with 6 acres of fenced ground.

Go visit them here - HCI Cordless Trimmer Giveaway

Maybe you'll find some useful tips for your next project.

-the beginning of the end

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Monday Run and Afterthoughts

or maybe afterthoughts and Monday run...

It's been a week since my last blog. And a few things have happened. Work finally approved Florida trip, but then kaboshed the orignal dates and length. I now leave a week later and am there for one week instead of two. Meaning I have to work the frackin weekend. What a drag. I will also missed the fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico (though that may be a good thing now with it flammable. Thx BP).

This weekend (Saturday) is the bonfire at the farm. Should be a good time with lots of friends. I invited all my FB friends though I expect most to not make it. I know at least one guitar will be here so maybe a little fireside music. Hope to see everyone there.

As you know I have entered the Lewis and Clark marathon and have started running again. Last Wednesday was an all out track workout. Short, but intense. 1200/800/400/200/100 It hurt the next day. And I am not even close to world record pace in the 100m. But they aren't twice as fast as me. :o)

I also started a pull/push up routine in the mornings. I installed a pull up bar in the closet and it works pretty well. I am able to do full pull ups, lying pull ups and angle (Australian) pull ups. Of course, I went to failure in each and now my arms are screaming at me as well. I am going to reduce the number of reps to a manageable number and increase by one a week. Hopefully, I will increase easily and not painfully.

Running is going. Not as quickly as I would like but it is going. Saturday I got 'lightninged out' of my run. It poured which would have been ok but those bright flashes of light in the sky scared me. I opted for eggs and pancakes with the Running Doc's family instead. We talked about running, about their upcoming move, her finding running friends down there, my issues (far too many to list) and her return to running. I do not remember if I mentioned it but two weeks ago the Running Doc had an emergency appendectomy. This was after running a 5 mile trail race. She raced at 8 am and was having surgery at 7 pm.

After the rain went away, I went down to the lake and boated with a few friends. It was nice to get away. Sunday was make it day for Saturday in the running department and it lasted about 8.6 miles. Not too bad.

Today, I went for a short 3.5 mile run after an accidental nap after work. Got home at 4.15 and next thing I knew it was 6.15. the run was nice until my left thigh started acting up again. It is not as bad as it was, I think it is healing. Wednesday is track workouts again so we will see how they go. The new TNT team should be out there. It will be great to be run with others again.

-the beginning of the end

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Pre-Training

This week and next is pre-training for me. It means I need to run to get ready for the boost in mileage I will be doing. My official training for the L&C starts the week of June 14. So I thought, what a 5 mile run at 4.30pm in 89 degree heat and 72% humidity (that I found out later). Crazy!!!

I was originally going to go 6. At 2.5 I turned around. I had already slowed my sweating down and was starting to cramp. I only had one glass of H2O today. It was a bad day at work and I had no one to sound off too. That really sucked as I needed a good ear.

But I finished. Ate a good dinner for a change. And am starting to feel a little better. Tomorrow is track practice.  I haven't decided between 1600 or 800m repeats. Or maybe I will run with the TNT team. Play it by ear and see what happens. My calves are talking to me a little bit. Better slug down some water before bed.

-the beginning of the end

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Dwindling Numbers... :-(

Today was the last run for the Gangsta at LOW for quite some time. She is moving south for a year for school. All of us will miss her. Our little running group is getting smaller every month. The running doc will be here til the end of June and then she is off to St. Louis to begin her career.

Looks like it will be me and the Lifesavers for the foreseeable future. It was a great group. It IS a great group of people and I am glad to have met them and to now count them as friends.

It is funny but last week, the running doc was telling me  how her and MM thought I might be... well, I don't know. She just said they "did not know about me". But that over time I won them over and they now consider me a friend. For that I am happy. Running doc, I really am harmless. Maybe a little strange, weird and overly emotional, but I truly am harmless.

The Gangsta was having muscle/tendon issues so her and I walked for our 6.6 mile jaunt. We chatted quite a bit about her move, school, her husband's work, upcoming marathons and finding new people to run with. She was worried that she will not find a group of people as awesome as us. I made me proud to be thought of that way.

And she is right. We have formed an awesome little running group. It will be hard going forward. Missing them during runs and at breakfast afterwards. Afterall, why run if you can't eat? Right Gangsta? But we will all go on. We will all make it through. Through this blog and their blogs, through Facebook and text messages. And most of us plan on doing the Lewis and Clark marathon in October. That will be a happy reunion for us.

So carry on my running friends. Run, run, run. But no matter how far you run, no matter how fast you run, no matter how often you run, I will be here. In this, my little corner of cyber space, waiting patiently for your updates, for your your prose, for your wit and your criticism, to hear of your running exploits and whatever else you choose to relinquish to your pages of history.

So, go forth and leave your indelible mark upon mankind. I will follow your footprints eagerly, awaiting each and every new, exciting adventure.

I thank you all for your wisdom and kind words, for your thoughts and opinions, for your understanding. As your coach, at one time or another, you have made me proud. As a person you have made me better. For that, I am thankful and humbled.

Go forth and run.

-the beginning of the end

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Lewis and Clark marathon

The first of many posts about L&C. This one is general information.
When - Oct. 3, 2010, 7.15am
Where - St. Charles, MO (start at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Riverport)
Who - Myself, gansta DC and running doc JG. Possibly Mr/Mrs Lifesaver for the half

Here is a short video of last year's race - race vid

Except for running over the river it is a flat course at mile 7.

And the last 13 miles is an out and back trail path that looks to be at least two cars wide. I think it will be a very beautiful course to run on. This will also give a marathon in one more state bringing my state total to 4.

Tomorrow (Saturday - for my followers in China and Australia) I will be running 12+ miles to start getting back into shape  back into the swing of things and on the road again. The gangsta and the doc are my new best motivators (read - ridin my @ss) to keep me running and on track. And I do not want to leave out the best motivator I have in my Hooker family to keep me going day to day as well as in my running life.

I was looking at some of the finishing times from last year and I think if the ones that were 49 actually moved into the next age group and the rest decide not to run, then I might be able to place third in my age group and get me a trophy like AM did last weekend. I know, that's asking a lot.

Looking over my schedule for the next 16 weeks and I will put in over 450 miles in this training. That is more than I have ever run in a year and I will do it in 4 months. I am starting to feel the lactic acid building up already.

On the homefront, I got the downstairs all de-junked - meaning all the crap has been taken to various friends house to be thrown away, the magazines are stacked for burning or recycling and the computer equipment is ready to be hauled away. I have to admit the rooms downstairs do look much better and livable. It took a lot of work but it is done.

I had to buy a new weedeater as I noticed mine has disappeared out of my garage. One more thing that got stolen from me. It was a nice one too - with a brush cutter and small tiller attachment (which would have come in handy last night instead of the 30 year old hoe I was using).

Memorial day weekend is upon us and I want to say thank you to all the women and men who are serving or have given their lives to make this great country I place I like to call home.

THANK YOU
-the beginning of the end

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The Oracle and 5 mile trail run

Saturday was the Second Wind Running Club's 5 Mile Buffalo Trace trail run at LOW. It started out as a fantastic morning but the fog cleared and the sun did its thing bringing in the humidity. It was wet. Not just the ground, but all 188 finishers. It was still a good run with friends.

I fell apart during the run (what's new). I ran 47:36.5, 14 seconds slower than last year. JG hung back with me for awhile, but I eventually convinced her to go on. Thank you JG for the time chatting. It helped for a bit. AM blistered the course to secure a 3rd place trophy in her age group. Next year I see her and JG battling for it as by then JG will move into that age group. The smack down is coming.

We all had a great breakfast at Panera and some wonderful conversation. Then it was back to the farm for me to wrap myself back into my cocoon. Back to some obscure safety.

Next Saturday will be the last group run for DA as she gets ready to move away for summer school. What's up with all these kids wanting all this education. LOL!!! It is awesome they are doing it. I'd go back if I could afford it.

Today (Sunday), I put up fence and shoveled a lot of sand for my Hookers. Got a little sun in the process. They now have their pool up if anyone wants to go down and enjoy it next weekend.

I almost have my front room cleaned up. I cannot believe how much of a hoarder I was. Why didn't anyone tell me? Just a little bit left and to go though the file cabinet. I wish now I had a before picture. It is a major difference. I have a stack of magazine almost 4 feet high to discard. And, yes, I read all of them at some time in the past.

Not much else is new, just awaiting word of my future. It isn't held in the palm of my hand any longer. I used to hold half my future in my hand and gladly shared the other half. That is no longer the case. I see my future, possibly depending on a near future decision/outcome/cosmic event, being entirely different than I did at the first of the year when it was bright and carefree. I hope what I see only partially comes true. All I can do is await the Oracle's advice. Here's to hoping she has pity on me.

It is a hot one here today (92 degrees). I am looking forward to cooler weather already. Or someone to rub ice on my temples. Takers? Thought not.

Til next time my reading and running friends.

-the beginning of the end

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Wizard Chess

I haven't been sleeping a lot lately and ran across this on a site I peruse every now and then (yes, it is a clean site). Anyways, I liked it and hope you will too. (click on pix for a larger, readable version)




- the beginning of the end

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4.30 schedule is up

The 4.30 training schedule is up and link in the same folder as the 4.15

Here is the link again.
4.30

On a work note is was very productive today. I got a lot of menial (no they were very important task bossman) done today. And it was a lonely day. My chat buddy has been feeling a little stressed and hasn't chatted much recently. Hopefully, they are at full strength tomorrow.

-the beginning of the end

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4.15 marathon training schedule

16 week schedule. For me this schedule starts the week of June 13. 16 weeks before the Lewis and Clark marathon on October 3.


This is a really tough schedule but I might be able to do it. I pasted it in here and it looked like crap (thank you Blogger). It is here and the link should be open to anyone. Let me know if any issues.

RI - in the schedule stands for recovery interval. Run easy for that distance or time to recovery in between intervals.

4.15 schedule

-the beginning of the end

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Training Schedules and Life

What do they have in common? Both are hard and hurtful. But I think the training schedule will be easier - much easier. I will put up 2 schedules in separate posts. One for a 4 hour marathon and one for a 4.15 hour marathon. If anyone wants one for a 4.30, let me know.

Life on the other hand is tough. Hard. Surprising. Hurtful. Unexpected. Disappointing. Maybe that will change in a few weeks. But my Florida trip has been approved, so that is still on. Anyone want to go?

- the beginning of the end

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As I Sit Here

I am wanting. - a: not being up to standards or expectations - b: lacking in ability or capacity

I had an invite to go run this morning at LOW with a few of my TNT girls. MM's last run at LOW as she is moving to LA next Thursday. And one of a handful of runs left for JG, as she is moving to St. Louis this summer. It was kind of a bittersweet run.

"I have dream, A song to sing, To help me cope, With anything, If you see the wonder, Of a fairy tale, You can take the future, Even if you fail."

We started out fast. Really fast. No one had a watch but we are all thinking under 9 minute pace for the first 2.4 miles. MM's knee was acting so up JG and I ran another 1.8 on our own. At a much more pedestrian pace. That's funny saying that here as we were talking about how the Olympians who were accused of running part of the Olympic marathon at a pedestrian 5.15 pace.

"Slipping through my fingers all the time."

I will miss those girls. They pushed me to be a better runner and possibly a better person. I learned a lot from them and hopefully, I was able to teach them a thing or two as well. I hope we keep in touch through FB or respective blogs. I will need them to push me, to chastise me, to encourage me to keep running. I kind of lack that motivation to keep going on my own though I truly want too.

"The gods may throw a dice, Their minds as cold as ice, And someone way down here, Loses someone dear."

My next race is a short 5 mile trail run for anyone that wants to come by and see just how exhausted, but elated, I am after running. It will be at LOW as well. We start on the far west side at the beginning of the trail-head.

"Gonna do my best, And it ain't no lie, If you put me to the test, If you let me try... Take a chance on me."

So, I got to keep moving and keep running. June 1 will be 16 weeks to the start of the Lewis and Clark marathon. I will be posting three different training schedules later all based on three different finishing times.

"And my destination, Makes it worth the while, Pushing through the darkness, Still another mile, I believe in angels, Something good in everything I see."


It is a race, a challenge, a workout to get in shape. To make this marathon the best one ever. I have high hopes of making it a successful one.

"And you make me talk, And you make me feel, And you make me show, What I'm trying to conceal, If I trust in you, Would you let me down?"


...as I sit here I am wanting

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Hip Hip Hooray!!!!

A few of my TNT team wanted to try and run a 6 minute mile after their half marathon race. Tonight was that pre-determined date. Unfortunately, Doctor JG could not make due to a scheduling conflict with Mr. JG. But AM made it out.

The track was busy with the high school athletes still training. We jogged a slow half, but over-achiever AM went another quarter. Then the thinking, the pondering, the should I really try this now occurred. AM wondering if she should try. She was tired. She was nervous. So it was decided to run a quarter at the necessary speed needed to complete a 6 minute mile. 104 seconds. 1 minute and 44 seconds. (DISCLAIMER - yes, a 6 minute and 59 second mile counts as a 6 minute mile. Similar to Boston qualifying)

Being the good coach I am, I ran with AM on her quarter pace lap. 1.36 lap. Great pace if she was shooting for close to a 6. But she was trying for any 6. More pondering, more thinking, more contemplation. And then it was decided to run an 800 (half mile) at pace and keep going if she felt good. Being the great coach I am, (noticing a trend here - what a great coach I am - hey, I just write it) I offered to run the first 800 with her. I fully expected to drop out.

So with a minimal wind on the first straightaway, we took off running into the wind, cam e around the back curve and headed home for the first lap. A very nice 1.40.04. 12 seconds under pace. Around the bottom curve and back into the wind (which now seemed to have picked up) and back down home for 1.45.86. Still under pace.

And being the fantastic coach I am, I ran the third lap with AM. I mentioned that I might fall behind and that she should continue on strong. We brought that lap home in 1.45.78. Still under pace. AM was doing great. And she kept going.

Fourth and final lap. Being the awesome coach I am, I followed. I pushed through the wind on the backstretch. Dogging her heels. Around the final curve and down the home stretch. She picked p the pace for the last 100. I pulled alongside to pace her, to push her - because I am a considerate coach. I picked it up and made her run. Run like the wind. That last lap was a 1.40.30. Under pace. That gave us a

6.51.98 mile

And before anyone goes off on a high school track being 400 meters per lap being the accurate coach that I am I started us at a point that required us to run beyond our start point by 30 feet 7 and 7/8 of an inch. We ran one mile.

Excellent job AM.

- the beginning of the end

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Statistics

I was reading my latest Marathon and Beyond book/magazine and there was the editorial by Rich Benyo. He pulled some interesting stats from various people. Through them I found out I am close to an average runner in times (slower, but close). I do not fall anywhere near the average income levels though (going to have to explain that to my boss).

2008 average men's finish time - 4.20.04
2009 average men's finish time - 4.13.36

2008 average women's finish time - 4.43.31
2009 average women's finish time - 4.41.26

Average men's age - 40.1
Average women's age - 36.4

Here's the average I really want to belong to -
Largest running group by income ($100,000 - $149,999) - 27.9 percent
Second largest group by income ($75,000 - $99,999) - 18.0 percent

45% percent of all runners make over 75 grand. No wonder a pair of shorts costs $50.

Five largest marathons by finishers -
1. ING New York City - 43,660
2. Bank of America Chicago - 33,701
3. Boston - 22,843
4. Marine Corps - 21,405
5. Honolulu - 20,323

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Illinois Marathon Recap

Well it is over. And all my people did well. One even ran a PR by almost 30 minutes. Seriously? Yes, he has been practicing hard and all that hard work has paid off. Way to go Randy. You were the best of the best.

Not to take away from from any other the efforts - everyone did well. I am proud of all of my people. They are all true athletes.

And I stand by my decision not to run. It was definitely the right decision. And due to that I ran tonight when I got home. I did not have to force myself. I left work, came home change and immediately went for a 5k. I started easy (or so I thought) and ran into the wind, turned south of a mile turned around and came home. It was hard on the way back.For some reason the cross wind seemed twice as hard. I had not meant to run hard just easy - 9.30 - 10 minute pace, but Greenie (my Gaermin) told me otherwise.

3.11 miles
26m 43s
8.36 pace

A new RunningFirst world record.

Thank you, thank you very much.

Now for a little sobering news. I had friends head to Nashville for the weekend. Remember Nashville? Rain. Flooding. Yes. From leaving downtown back to their hotel at I24 and Bell Road they got stopped in traffic. Thinking a wreck ahead Tony walks up and see water on the the road. Walking a hundred yards back to his car water is now coming up through the drain areas on the bridge they were on. About 90 seconds later water was coming in the closed car doors. They hoofed it 2miles back up the road in knee deep water with 3 kids. All are safe. Car is totaled. This video is where they were. About 50 yards behind the floating mobile home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XyRNt2Uur8&feature=player_embedded

On another note a few of my peeps have laid down a challenge, slapped me in the face with gloves, told me to man up - ok, it was just mentioned. But it does appear that the Lewis and Clark marathon will be the next marathon. I will train with them, though we will be miles apart. But GAME ON!!!! Gangsterettes Damaris and Joanna beware. I WILL train.

I have signed up.





On another note, I am laying down a small gauntlet to help us stay together and keep running - Buffalo Trace 5 mile trail run at Lake of the Woods.  I'll sign up for it soon. Let's stay together through our blogs and FB.

-the beginning of the end

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Dissappointment

This morning at 6 am was one of the hardest decisions I have made in my short life span. I listened to a great friend and advisor and did not go race. Thank you DJ. I should probably listen to you more. But sometimes I am not that smart.

I DID NOT RUN THE ILLINOIS MARATHON!!!!!!

It was hard, heart breaking and sad. But in the end, it is the right decision. I did not train enough. I coached my people well and they will do well today. I expect many of them to set personal records today. But it was not to be for me. I have barely run this year. If I had been signed up for the half - I would have run. But not the full. Not today. And the fault is all mine.

But the plan is to change that. Now to make the plan reality.

In no particular order - (all halfers)
JG - 2.01
AM - 1.51
RH - 2.40
DA - 2.35
MB - 2.05
PJ - 2.12
ML - 2.29

Congrats to all of you for your dedication to body, mind and soul. Have a great race.

-the beginning of the end

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Lunch time run

My first ever lunch time run was today at noon. Hence the title of this post. It was probably low 60s and just a little wind out of the east (which always seemed to be uphill).

I ran on concrete in some old shoes. I had a banana for breakfast at 7 am. But I ran anyway.

Why?

Because I am slower than the people I am coaching. And because I was in better shape 2 years ago.

So I mapped out a looping 5k around the area I work at. It was tough because the the walking path was very winding.


I made in 26.58 for the 5k. That is an 8.42 pace. I believe this is my faster time for a 5k.

I am pleased.

-the beginning of the end

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Fit Test

Since the Illinois marathon is less than 2 weeks away, I thought it best to start getting in shape. I did a simply fit test that simply killed me. I thought I would go run 5 miles afterwards - not sure I could run out of a burning house now.

A warm up , 8 exercises and a cool down. How tough could it be? Tough. I challenge all to try it. Of course, you will all beat me because I am an old out of shape man.

Warm up - 5 minutes total.

  • Jog in place - 60 seconds
  • Jumping jacks - 30 sec
  • Heisman jumps - 30 sec (jump left in a Heisman pose, then jump right in a Heisman pose)
  • Double step Heisman - 30 sec (as above except take two quick steps left, pose, 2 right pose)
  • Butt kicks - 30 sec
  • High knees - 30 sec
  • Mummy kicks - 30 sec (arm scissoring in front of you at shoulder level, kicking straight out)
  • Stretching - 60 sec (quads, hamstrings, hip flexors)
Each exercise last 60 seconds with a 60 second rest in between.
1. Switch Kicks - Simply kick each leg straight out in front of you bringing knees up to waist. Hold hands up by chin. Each leg counts as one.
2. Power Jacks - Start arms up over head, legs together. Jump like doing a jumping jack but come down in a squat and back up. 
3. Power Knees - slight lunge position to the side. Bring back knee up to belly button while meeting your hands.
4. Power Jumps - Slight squat position and power jump up bringing knees up to waist. 
5. Globe Jumps - Squat position, hands on floor. Jump up to the left, arms over head, come down touch floor and jump up and back, then right, the forward. That is one.
6. Suicide Jumps - Standing up, down to squat, legs back into a plank (push up), legs back between arms and power up in to a jump. One repetition.
7. Push Up Jacks - Get in push up position as you lower yourself, spread you legs wide. On the way up bring legs back together.
8. Low Plank Oblique - Start in a low plank and bring your left knee up to waist from the side, then repeat with the right.

Light stretching and deep breathing for your cool down

Absolutely tough routine for me. I am do to the fit test every two weeks to map my results. Maybe I will get a short jog in tonight, but probably not. And the true test - let's see how long this lasts. Can I even make it the two weeks for the second test?

My numbers right? Is that what you want? Ok. 70,31,55,30,6,13,11,23

I also want to put out kudos to two of our local TNT athletes that just ran Boston. Harley ran a 2.37 and Chris ran a 3.05. Both have qualified to run Boston again. Chris actually ran Boston faster than his qualifying time last year in the Illinois marathon. Congrats on an excellent race to both of you.

-the beginning of the end

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Since I work in a bank...

I ran across this in another blog (A Concord Carpenter) and thought it was interesting enough to repost.

BANK CRIME STATISTICS (BCS)
FEDERAL INSURED FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
JANUARY 1, 2009 – DECEMBER 31, 2009

I. VIOLATIONS OF THE FEDERAL BANK ROBBERY AND INCIDENTAL CRIMES STATUTE, TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 2113


Violations by Type of Institution

                             Robberies Burglaries Larcenies


Commercial Banks               5,316       85       13
Mutual Savings Banks              51        0        0
Savings and Loan Associations    106        1        0
Credit Unions                    470       14        6
Total                          5,943      100       19
Grand Total—All Violations: 6,062

see more here

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Wednesday run and the Weekend

Track was closed on Wednesday for much needed repairs. After getting together late our small (but fast) group started a short 3 mile run. Down, right,right, right, left, left, right, right, left, left, left to start. Pretty nice. I complained it was too fast, then JG did, then on the last mile the three ladies sped up. Then MM sped up for the last half meaning I had to catch up since I was timing everyone. Jeesh, Sometimes I do not think they remember that I a man (and therefore not as capable), a coach (and not a runner) and 17-20 years older.
Times for splits - 1) 9.40, 2) 9.29, 3) 8.56 and another 3/10 for 3.32 miles in 30.57 (9.20 pace).

But I perservered for them. Again. And slept better than a baby that night (I mean, who sleeps like a bay, don't they wake up every few hours wanting fed). I digress. It was a good run. By the time I got home (after stopping at the office to update some software), I was completely rested and dry.

In our 1000 mile challenge, I am not doing so well. I hope to someday pick up the slack and get after it.
Name           Distance
AllisonM      305.6
damarisAge  300
DDGuest     31.1 
johnsonht     1000
jpg05           210.7
RunningFirst 77.1    <-- ME

77 miles for 25% of the year. I got a lot of humping to do. But if I put my feet to the pavement, I can probably make it respectful.

I got a friend in China right now that saw a light, fire and sound show over a lake last night. Mentioned that it was pretty awesome. Can't wait to see the pictures. Maybe they will get emailed to me.

My birthday is Sunday. I expect to spend it alone. Hopefully, a few text messages to brighten the day. That's it for now.

-the beginning of the end

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A Coach's Sacrifice

A coach is a friend, a hard worker, a planner and a strategist. He will push you into and through your pain and congratulate you after you have come through it. He will yell at you, implore you to dig deeper. He will also (well at least the best coaches) will run with you. He will run into the wind for you while staring at a stopwatch to get your perfect splits. This requires extreme dexterity, commitment and a grave risk of injury to do so.

This I do for my people.

This is why I sacrifice. For you. My athletes.

JG came out and ran into a very brisk wind with the threat of the sky opening up at any minute. I ran with her. I pushed her. I encouraged her. And she performed. 3 x 1600m with decreasing splits due to my coaching ability. As DC likes to say JG is a 'gangsta'.

But seriously, JG ran great. 8.04, 7.54, 7.48. Great decreasing times. Job well done.

-the beginning of the end

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Saturday run

This mornings run at LOW was pretty good. I tried to keep up with JG and MM but it was no use. It was all I could do to stay close for the first 2.4 miles. Oh well, those who can't - coach. Right??

But I stuck for the 90 minute run and got 8 miles in. I feel pretty good except for a twinge on the inside of my right knee. Both calves are tired and my right calf bone is hurting. I hope it goes away soon.  but it was good getting out and seeing Coach Guest and PJ and RH/JH. The full marathon coming up in 4 weeks is going to be miserable if I decide to toe the line.

On another note, the new job is going fine. The weather is warming up slowly (possibly 70 by Wed) and the new baby goats are growing. But time to sell the other set of twins and get some cash for them. Think it is time for laundry and dishes and then veg on the coach.

Personally things are looking brighter than they did on Tuesday so hopefully no more sad commentary.

-the beginning of the end

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A better day

Monday night and Tuesday all the day were pretty piss poor as days go. Today was an eye-opener. I learned a lot and listened. Hopefully the weekend will continue this trend and I'll be walking on sunshine.

Enough about me. Wednesday was track practice with JG and MM out for 2 x 1600m. I don't have the times (left them with JG - check her blog here) but they had to be running 7.40s. MM on the last 400 killed and poured it on. As DC says 'gangsta'. Hope to see them Saturday for a short 90 minute run.

Alright, off to clean a horse stall and feed the goats. Life in the country. It is great.

-the beginning of the end

CORRECTION - 
Yes, it was 3 x 1600m 

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What a Day....

But, a heart full of sorrow
Paints a lonely tapestry 

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Corner Office and Track Practice

This will soon be MINE!!!! All mine.
Yes, I get to move into the corner office. I will have windows on two sides so all my adoring fans can come look at me.

Track practice was outdoors last night and it was beautiful. I had them run 5 sets of 2 minutes fast and then 2 minutes slow. Constant movement. JG was extremely awesome. She is becoming our star. Everyone else is looking up to her.

My Fighting Illini held off a great shooting team in Stoneybrook last night during first round NIT action. Now we get Kent State on Monday. It should be a good game.

-the beginning of the end

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New Job and Interview

I have been on the job for 2.5 days. There is a lot of work to do. I have to interview people and find someone to replace me. I know, tough job because of my vast knowledge, experience and awesome people skills. Hey, it's my blog, I can say what I want. Interviewed one potential candidate today. It went well, I think they could do well once brought up to speed from a server viewpoint. We'll see if they take it. They should.

On the other hand, I have a laundry list of items to complete by the end of July. This is a lot of work. Guess what, I'm just going to pass it off to others and have them do the work. LOL !!!

Tonight is track practice for TNT. One of my girls was complaining that she was sore after my last practice, but that it felt oh so good. I like hearing that I made people sore - means you are doing as I suggest. And not many do. Tonight is a run that can be as hard as you want it to be or as easy as you want it to be. Here's the set -

5 x (2 min fast then 2 min slow)
plus the normal warm up and cool down. That's it! 40 minutes of constant running. Push it and it will be a workout. Slack on it and I'm gonna yell at you.

-the beginning of the end

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New slant on blog

Instead of just blogging about running (which I do not do enough of) I will blog about anything my little heart desires. And my heart desires a lot. Some might be mundane like what I had to eat (some think my eating habits - not habits, but my choice of food combinations and preparations are gross), to shopping for new work pants (i had someone fondle my ass today through a large hole in the seat), to my goat raising, chickens, dog and horse I board, to woodworking projects (of which there are many started) to remodeling efforts (again, many started), to work, kids and yes, maybe even a little running.


I would really like all of you that do follow to please continue to follow. I hope I do not lose you.

Work - Today is Tuesday. It all ready seems that this week has dragged on forever. I accepted a new position at work (I am now THE Network Manager) which starts officially on Monday the 15th. This coincides with a new payroll week. So I have one more week of possible OT and then it is salary. Which sucks and doesn't suck. I am already starting in the new workload and passing work on to my co-worker that will soon have to answer to me. (evil laugh) Actually we get along great so it shouldn't be a big deal.

Goats - My big momma goats dropped twins Saturday while me and the daughter and her girlfriend were watching Alice drop into a rabbit hole. Both are doing well and you can see them here.

The weather has finally started to warm up here. 50 degrees with an overcast sky today, but the snow is almost entirely melted. now I see all the garbage I need to clean up. It'll wait.

I have reconnected with some old friends on FB and it has been great. I have learned a lot about some of them . Some things I suspected and some I did not. A friend of mine will be back from Australia Saturday evening and then she jets off to Pittsburgh on Monday. Sometimes, I think it must really be rough on her kids, but I have met them (one much more than the other) and they seem very well adjusted. They both are great people. A true testament to their mother.

I guess for now that will be it. I blog later and more often. Sometimes it might even be worth the read.

-the beginning of the end

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First outdoor run

Saturday - 7:30 am or so - 35 degrees - bright, sunny day. Perfect day for my first outdoor run. It was great. It was fantastic for the first mile. And then the M-S baseball team showed up and then - my inner running god (or maybe my inner 'I'm just as good as these kids are') spirit rose up from my toes and grabbed my balls and said "Go old man, just catch those kids, after all they're only baseball players."


So I sped up and caught about 25% of them. That took a lot out of me, but I continued on, albeit at a much slower pace, for 6 miles. My first run in forever. It felt good. My legs still feel pretty good. Maybe I should try this running thing again.

We had several alums show up this morning as well. It was great seeing everyone again. Hopefully, all of us will keep getting together.

Wednesday track practice was awesome as well. JG, MM,RH and CH were all there. JG and MM running 8 x 400m in around 1.40. Good job girls.

Farm news - I got two new baby goats this afternoon. Both are walking and taking momma teets very well. Pictures later.

-the beginning of the end

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From a friend

Below is from a friend, a guy I run with from time to time. A lot of that used to run together haven't been lately and what Randy has to say is good. Just thought I would pass this on...




Just a personal triumph.

I’ll call it “The Life Saver”

Well it all started with me deciding that today would be the day I would start the Fat Man Time Trials. I decided this with much thought as I pulled into the parking lot at Lake Of The Woods.

9.6 Miles was the goal with my intent to do the same in 1 Month to see if I could drop 1.5 minutes a mile. All of this of course within my Heart Rate Monitors approval.

Of course I am ahead of myself.

At 5:30 this morning as I lay in bed with my left calve pulsating and ready to respond to any sudden movement at any moment, I thought to myself, if my body was built a bit different I think I could be a decent runner. I mean a lot different, the taller, thinner, Gesell like physic that I know is in here somewhere.

I rolled out of bed tried to stretch those pesky calves along with a quick attempt at touching my toes and got dressed.

After quickly shrugging off any doubts and of course not looking in the mirror I jaunted out the door to my destiny.

I have spent two weeks watching the Olympics. If they could achieve their goals, I could to. After all mine is just 2:29:59 Half Marathon in Champaign. I really just want to get to the finish line so I can see my friend Harley finish his Full, I figure if he has a good day this is the time I would need, he’s a real runner. Never mind the leaders would have run twice as far as me. What a thrill it would be just to be that close to the Marathoners. My own personal little Gold Medal. I could be an Olympian. Cool . . what an achievement passing thru alongside and with the fast people it’s almost like I was right there with them. WOW . . . aanywho back to the story.

Well I started out slow and eased into a slower rhythm and finally found my pace somewhere in the real slow category. But I was feeling good. I f I kept my heart rate below 140 my calve would not cramp very hard, it was great.

Somewhere around Mile 5 I thought to myself, “why stop at 9.6 Miles let’s do 13.”

Somewhere around Mile 5.5 I thought to myself, “this is bullshit I need to lay down in that snow drift over there.”

I made it back to my truck at Mile 6.4 and had to call myself many horrible things, to which I am not proud of, to run back away from it and start my last leg. After all Saturday is so close to Sunday a person should not use this type of language.

At Mile 7.5 I was surprised at how good I felt, maybe I could do 13 today, I am such an overachiever.

At Mile 8- I was done. Done, Done, Done. . . . Done. . . . Done.

It was then I realized my truck was at Mile 9.6. What I sinking feeling that was. Instinctively I spun around to look behind me, I don’t know why I guess to see if I could hitch a ride. But there was nobody here but me. I was committed to this destiny of mine, by default.

As I walked a bit to get my wits back I spotted something in the distance on the ground. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it, 30’ away. I ran up to it and scooped it up. It was a Life Saver, no a real Life Saver still wrapped in plastic and everything, how cool was this. I have been by here twice already it was not here, I do not miss food on the course. It has to be a sign. Even after all of the bad language, a sign. I did not hesitate I plopped it in my mouth with the intent of it lasting to the end. Of course that is not my M.O. either so I quickly chewed it up before the next curve, 100’ away. It was goooood.

Mile 9.6 was there before I knew it.

I was done. But just for today.

There is always next week.

We could use some company out here on Saturdays at 8AM.

The Team seems to be amiss.

If not to Run or for the Team n Training spirit but at least to drop candy on the path.

All of which just may be a Life Saver.

Happy Training

Randy

PS: Wow, I just tried to get up after typing this and wonder does a normal person get this sore this fast or just us Olympians?


Thank you Randy. You have said we all are feeling.

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Wed track practice

MB crushed the insertion of my bice - forget it, something wrong with her shoulder and can't run til Saturday. So Miss Speedy was not there. But alum CH and RH (no relation) did come out. CH is there all the time running early with some U of I sprinters. RH came out for his first run in nearly 5 weeks. This damn weather is making everyone sick.

Workout was simply - run 2 min fast and then 2 min slow - repeat 5 times. It was a killer. Running 2 minutes fast is anywhere from 800 -1000m. I like throwing timed runs out there like this. No one thinks about the distance. Add in the mile warm up and cool down and it is a good workout.

It was back to the office after practice to work on some .NET Framework issues. Woo hoo. What a party life I live. I know, you are all jealous. 

Had some bad news earlier in the day that I won't bore you with here. Let's just say the news is looking slightly better after a 4.30 am talk. We'll see. One day at a time. Hey, does anyone remember that show? Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli) was sooo hot. One_Day_at_a_Time 

I digress. Ok, I do that a lot. tonight I will be throwing 20 bales of straw around - not necessarily for exercise, but because I need it for the stalls. And working a the office to find out why a server with 16gb of memory only thinks it has 4.

Another round of talks tonight and I'll see where I stand in the big picture of life. Hopefully i'll be standing somewhere warm.

I have a group of runners competing in a 1000 mile challenge this year and I have been slacking sorely. I hope to get my numbers up. But kudoes to AM and DA for 127 and 117 miles so far for the year. Of course overachiever HJ with almost 350, but we won;t count him in. He's like our sixth guy and a mentor all of us wannabe runners.

-the beginning of the end

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Training

Well once again the weather around here got the best of us for our group run on Saturday. Most spent 12 lonely miles on a treadmill. I spent the time cleaning house, picking up a friend at the airport and watching the green machine (MSU) lose the a very gritty Illinois team that probably played their best game of the year. Now I know Kalen Lucas was out, but a team usually rallies around injury and others step up - which Green did. Lucious wasn't quite as outstanding as he was in the first game against us, but proud the the Orange and blue for not folding at the end.

So Saturday night, watching the game with a friend and eating wings was great. This morning slightly different story. One of us has stomach problems and the other - let's just say other issues. Maybe we got some bad chicken. We both need it to pass as my Hooker's are having a Super Bowl party.

My team isn't in it this year (Steelers) so I told my Army son I would root for his Colts. Where/how he became a Colts fan is a mystery for CSI. 

So, since this is about training and I really haven't spoke about training yet... a little about avoiding it. Here goes for the week on what I hope to accomplish.

Core workout - I need to work the core. I bet most of us say that. So planks it is. 
     Straight plank, side plank, arm raised plank, leg raised plank, arm/leg raised plank

Running - 25 miles for the week. Saturday/Sunday long run of 10 -14 miles and 4 or 5 miles 4 days of the week. Then to start increasing weekly mileage to get up to 30 - 40 consistently. I am not a fast runner so running 6 miles several times a week is time consuming for me. I just hate to miss Smallville, 24 or Fringe. 

Upper body work - I am very week here. So this means pushups in the morning with the 100 pushup program (http://hundredpushups.com/), some pullups, and maybe some P90X - it is a grueling workout. 

Based on that I should be dropping some fat weight, adding some muscle weight and getting lean and defined. Let's see what happens Monday.

-the beginning of the end

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I Run

Yes, I ran. I ran yesterday.

I felt good during and after.
My lungs burned. I am still fighting a cough (that I think I got from Disney). My legs did not fall off. My heart did not burst from my chest. My lungs did not explode.
I just ran.

Wednesday was time for TNT track practice. I had one member show up (thank you MB) and I got to see and run with an alum for a little bit.

Team Illinois in the 1000 mile challenge (with Michigan and Arizona) is not going so well. As a team we have 254 miles with me barely over 30 miles for the year. But fear not, I will increase. The treadmill is now in the house and not 50 meters away in the man cave. Hopefully, I can get going. I want to congratulate AM with almost 90 for the year.

That's it for now, but look out I may start doing more blogging. I have got up on my private journal, now working on the public one.

the beginning of the end

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The last two days - 4 hours. Need I really say anything more?

Even my sweety let me watch both episodes at her house after feeding me salad and chicken. She makes sure I eat right.

So I worked late night tonight and did not run. I am hoping to rectify that and run a few miles in the morning and then I think it will be the Armory tomorrow night for track workouts.

Hoping to start P90X this weekend as well.

-the beginning of the end

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New Year and Disney Recap

OK, so I have been back from Disney for 5 days. I spent 5 glorious and cold and wet days in Orlando. What an awesome thing to get to do - be an on course coach for the Disney half and experience record breaking cold temperatures. Just sweet!!!!


Thursday 1/7 - arrival. 60's, shorts and tshirt weather. It was great.
Friday 1/8 - coaches meeting for a few hours and then free time. Not a lot done. Took a small jog around resort complex. Pasta party at 6 pm where we sat 17000 people for bowtie noodles and chicken.
Saturday 1/9 - up at 2.30AM to round up the troops and catch a bus to Epcot center at 3.00 AM. Then walk to bag check for 10 minutes. Through bag check and then almost a mile walk to the corrals and then wait, wait, wait. Started in the back to be with my slower runners in the last corral. We left the starting line approximately 6.40 am. I then spent 3 hours trolling the course for TNT runners. Offering encouragement, bewilderment and some wild singing. Back to hotel around 2 pm after making sure everyone was finished and waiting in the long line for buses.
Sunday 1/10 - Up at 2.30 AM again for meeting and bus ride to Epcot. Victory party celebration was at 6 pm at Hollywood Studios - OUTSIDE. Normally this would have been ok, but with the cold front, it was cold. We then got to play around Hollywood Studios until midnight for a fireworks show.
Monday 1/11 - TNT coach certification training by the great Jack Daniels. It was very interesting and rewarding.
Tuesday 1/12 - up at 3.30 AM for the shuttle to airport and flight back to Illinois.

Overall, it was a very good experience. It was a lot of work, but work I would gladly do again for TNT. All of our runners and walkers got through the event with no adverse issues. And I saw a few alum out on the course as well.

1000 mile Challenge ---------------
I and some other of my TNT alum have joined together to run 1000 miles plus this year. 1000 miles for each of us. So far we are doing pretty good as a group. Of course, every group always has one hotdog in it. I am not that hotdog.

Work is work. But new projects are beginning and old projects are ending. And other issues at work as well. Guess that is why they call it work and not play.

I recommend "Book of Eli" as a plus hit for the movies. it is understated in action, but moving nonetheless. A good story for these troubling times we live in.

Personal training for me is officially starting tomorrow. I am going to start P90X again. Basic core and and upper body workouts, plus lots of running. My treadmill is moving inside the house tomorrow for more boring runs. With the roadways not always in the best condition this will help me run more and faster. Treadmills are great for pacing - great for boredom.

I have goals of running a faster marathon - a much faster marathon. I have signed up for the Illinois marathon on May 1 and the Indy half marathon on May 8. I hope to run the Indy mini in under 2 hours this year (a 5 minute improvement).

-the beginning of the end-

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The New Year

2010 is officially a day and a half old. I have officially failed on one resolution already. But that's ok. It really is miserably cold here in the Midwest. Ok, so what do I want from 2010. A lot.


First my son is on his way to his first duty station at Ft. Bragg. I want him safe. Sure, it is selfish, but I want all our soldiers safe and back home. Do me a favor and say thank you to any soldier you see. They really do appreciate it.

To all my running peeps out there, I want you all to run and realize your goals. Many of you have posted goals and I would like those to be realized whether they be running oriented or not.

A good friend of mine wants world peace, so I could wish for that. Not confident of that one though.

For myself, I would like to become a runner. I consider myself a jogger. I am not consistent. I ran around 450 miles in 2009 - 8.5 miles a week. That's a jogger. But then how many miles do I have to run to be a runner? Good question. Most of my running was preparing for a race or running with the TNT team that I coached. I have accepted (invited myself) a challenge from another blogger (Ken) to gather a team of 5 average individuals to run 1000 miles each for the year. It is a big step up, but one I think I can do. I run 30 mile weeks and more when training. Building this kind of base might help me with another goal I have in mind.

Race goals -
5k - 21 - 22 minutes - will probably look for a July 4th run.
10k - 45 minutes - may be hard to find. Not really sure of many local 10ks around.
1/2 marathon - under 2 hours. PR is 2.04. Should be very doable.
marathon - 4.15 or better. This will be tough. PR is 4.52

I really think this can all happen. I have a great group of friends that I run with. They are supportive of my strange training regimen. They are the best running friends one could have. With their help and encouragement the goals can be achieved.

Running goals -
Weekly mileage needs to be more consistent. I really need to run every week. I have joined 1000 mile challenge for the year, that should help keep me motivated. 20 miles a week should not be that difficult. I really should be running 30 or more.

Job goals -
Get better at my job. Though I really am pretty good at it. There are some things I would like to see the company implement that would make things run smoother and be easier should a disaster ever happen. Otherwise, not much in that respect.

House goals -
Finish the storage room. Paint my daughter's room for when she visits. Insulate attic. Replace windows. Tuck point brick. Crown molding in kitchen. Strip painted trim and restain. I could go on and on. A few things at a time as money permits. I have the time.

Other goals -
Stay happy. I am pretty happy. I wish propane wasn't so expensive, but it only affects me 3.5 months out of the year. But they are expensive months. Continue life as it is with it always getting better and happier. I have great friends and met some great new friends. I re-met (is that a word) a friend (were we friends), maybe just an acquaintance. It has been great getting together and reacquainted again. Here's to more good time in 2010.

Disney goal -
I have been honored to be an on-course for TNT at the Disney half marathon. I hope I do well and Illinois proud. It will be a lot of work. But I am excited to be given this opportunity.

Blog goal -
To be a better blogger. Maybe that should be to be a more prolific blogger, more consistent. Let's work on that as well.

TNT kudos -
My TNT friends are awesome. I could not/would not have done what I have in my personal running or my coaching without you. Your success has helped me build mine. I can't wait to see what all of you do in 2010. Let's keep together and run. Even JG that is moving, keep in touch, your success at Detroit really made me feel happy and successful. I am proud of you for pulling through your injury, listening to me and showing me what you can do. You will only get better. and all of you can continue to make fun of me when things don't always go right. I will laugh with you. Remember, if we can't laugh at ourselves, laugh at Coach Mike.

Special kudos -
I could not have survived this year without some of my closest friends. They know who they are. Thank all of you for being there, for telling me like it is and turning me around at times to get me pointed back in the right direction. Sometimes I veer off course, sometimes I get totally turned around. Here's to a fantastic 2010 with all of you again.

Here's to you 2010. I welcome you with open arms. I expect this to be a great year.

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