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Training and fund raising

Training is going good. I hit my scheduled runs last week except for the 8 miler on the weekend. instead I spent part of the day traipsing around Turkey Run State Park. With the hiking up and down and the new trail blazing (my hiking partner lost the trail) I think I completed a great workout.

This week I made the first scheduled run - a short tempo run. I did it on the treadmill to hit the pace exactly. It was easier than expected. Tomorrow I will be doing Yoga. Yes, Yoga. I am one of the most inflexible people I know. I figure it won't hurt and it counts as cross training. Wish me luck with downward facing dog and sun salutations.

Fund raising is close to being on schedule. I have 11% raised, but no slowing down. I need to average $500 per week. Please spread the word or donate yourself. Remember it is tax deductible and for a good cause.

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Goofy Challenge

I have signed up to participate in a TNT (Team in Training) event again. I have previously participated with them, mentored and coached. This involves raising money to help families afflicted with blood cancers. Money also goes to research.

Running a half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday may sound difficult, but it is nothing compared to what cancers patients do. Please help me raise money for a very worthwhile cause. You can donate on line here - http://pages.teamintraining.org/il/wdw12/mastrosky

Thank you Donate to LLS and Team in Training

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It's been a Looooooong time

I ran.
I blogged about it.
Nuff' said.

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Buffalo Trace 5 miler

May 21 was the annual Buffalo Trace 5 mile trail run. The last 2 years I have run this race in almost the same time. 47.36 in 2010 and 47.34 in 2009. I had hoped to at least run it in 47.30 this year. 


I was up early. The sky was gray and overcast with a bit of humidity. I drove out to catch up with the new fall TNT team. I met one of the new members and caught up with a few alumni as well. They would become my wonderful cheering crowd at 1.25 miles and 3.6. They were loud and boisterous and made me smile. 


But after a long, hilly, humid run I made it. And I completed it in a personal best. There is no official time yet posted, but my Garmin indicated a time just under 47 minutes. 


This just in - official results - my age group once again kicking ass with speedy times. 34.27 was the first 43 year old to cross, another 9 seconds later. But I DID PR. 


By 44 seconds. Not bad for all the walking I did. I should listen to all my running peeps and actually get out there and train. I might run this race well. I'll try for next year.


-the beginning of the end

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Perseverance

According to dictionary.com, Perseverance - –noun  --- steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

As you know I ran the Indy half marathon a few weeks ago. Some friends of mine ran it as well. After speaking with one of them, it became apparent to me of the effort he put put to finish that half marathon.

Let me describe this man-mountain to you - 6'4" and slightly overweight, around 260 lbs. I would guess. Strong as an ox in the upper body. Thick skulled, but slowly learning to accept that some think differently than he. He was a Marine, almost 30 years ago. He was in better shape, anaerobically. He claims his first marathon was around 3.34.

He hasn't run in a long time, let alone train. But he survived. He hobbled the last 3 miles to come in under 3 hours. He persevered.

Now he must do it again. This Rogue has signed up for the St. Jude's marathon in Memphis on December 3. His must train. He must persevere.

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Indy Half Recap and More

Last weekend was the Indy mini. I went and ran with 30618 of the best finishers I could find. It was cool but humid and a little sprinkle at the end. This is the one of the few races I have run multiple times. It is one I happen to enjoy running.
I went there with a friend (we'll call him Rogue) and promptly proceeded to the bar across the street The Wild Beaver Saloon A rustic, simple place with an interesting dress code for the female staff. Pants cut out from the waist band down to mid thigh only attached to the waist at the seams. With that look the ladies wore swimsuit bottoms, panties or what-not with fishnet and leather bras.  Not a bad place. Of course, we had a few beers and then off to Hard Rock for dinner. Not ready to call it a night, we went back to the Beaver for some carb-loading.

Beer does have carbs right? After 5 or 6 we walked across to the hotel for a good night's sleep. I know, convenient.

I got us to the start line early by the Rogue's standards, though the press releases said to be there by 6.45 for a 7.30 race start. We tried to find the hot Mexi-American in her designated corral to no avail. I think she started farther ahead than she was supposed too. 22 minutes after the start of the race we crossed the start line. Off we were, past the zoo (with an elephant watching us crazy two-legged creatures running without any predators in sight), through town and into Speedway and onto 2.5 miles of race track. Off the track and back into town across the river and into Victory Mile.

Just before the race track I caught up with the hot Mexi-American and her hot friend. I chatted with them awhile, congratulated both on their good pacing and then carried on my way.

I was feeling good.
No real pain.
No issues. It was a nice feeling to just jog along at a 10 min/mile pace. I walked the aid stations and quickly took off once my drink was done. I picked it up a little at then end and had plenty of gas left. I felt good.

A 2.13 and some change. Not bad for not running for 2 months. My friends all finished about where they wanted too. It was a good day for all.

The Rogue and I had a friend (Red) come to visit from Columbia and we had more drinks that night. We drank at the Beaver (Red had not been there), Jillians and watch the big fight and then down to the Slippery Noodle for a bands. Back to the hotel we went around 3.30am. Sunday morning came and back home we did drive.

It was a good weekend. i took the prescribed few days off from running and then started back into my routine  with some fast 400m repeats (1.36 - 1.47). There will not be a lot of hard running this month as I am trying to build base back again.

In 2 weeks is the Buffalo Trace 5 mile trail where the Running Doc ran during an appendicitis attack and Alison captured a third place age group trophy. I think I will run it again. It is a fun trail run. It won't be as much fun without the 2 of them, but still a nice run through the meadows, over streams and under the leafy canopy of trees. (Thoreau/Whitman have nothing on me). Then hopefully, I'll continue on for a longer run after that.

Sorry for the long winded post, but I felt like I had a lot on my chest. Here is to a good racing season to all of you. On that note, I just wanted to copy something here that I read on another type of blog I follow. I have no idea who wrote it or when. I know the blog I saw it on is not the original author. But here it is -

Take a step back. Fucking look at yourself. You are human. You are beautiful. You are so beautiful. And you can be anything. You can be everythingDon't hate everyone because someone broke your heart, Or because you parents split up, or your best friend betrayed you ,your father hit you, the kid down the street called you fat, ugly, stupid, worthlessDo not concern yourself with things you can not control. Cry when you need to , then let go when it's time. Don't hang onto painful memories because your too afraid to forget. Let go of things that are in the past. Forget things that aren't worth remembering. Stop taking things for granted. Stop taking life for granted. Live for something. Live for yourself. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Fall in love. Fall out of love.Do this over and over until you know what it really takes to love someone. Question things. Tell people how you really feel. Sleep under the stars. CreateImagineInspire. Share something wonderful. Meet new peopleMake someone's dayFollow your dreams. Live your life to its full potential. Just live dammitLet go of all the horrible things in your life and just f●●king live. And one day, when your old, look back with no regrets.


- the beginning of the end

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Indy mini

Indy mini is tomorrow. I carb loaded with a friend at the Wild Beaver Saloon earlier tonight. It was nice. It was dirty. But it was carbs. Tomorrow will be all to soon. I am not prepared, I am not ready, I am afraid. Very afraid.

I would love to PR but the fact that I have only run 4 times since the first of April precludes any chance of a personal best. Any chance at all. So, since I know two people here, maybe more, I might get lucky enough to hook up with them and just enjoy myself.

I expect them to run in the 2.30 - 2.45 range. Easily doable for me even without being in shape. But the eager beaver (hint to saloon above) I may go out way to fast. Let's see if I can rein in the excitement and just enjoy tomorrow.

Bib number is 18691.

Good luck to me.

- the beginning of the end

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Indy Half Marathon

The Indy mini is Saturday. Yours truly will be there. Since I gave up running (for Lent, for injury, for, oh just because) two months ago. Yes, Running Doc, I have only run 3 days in March, 0 in April and yesterday. It will be tough. A PR does not look to be practical (2.04.26 - 2009) this year.

2009 was also the year I beat my son as well. With him serving our country proudly and in the best shape of his life, I do not ever see me beating him again. Love ya, Jake.

But I am trying to get back into. I ran yesterday. Mile repeats at 7.40 pace. Extremely fast for me for not running for 2 months. I need to ease back into as I have been told by my best running friend. As she told me - Above all, consistency seems to be key for you. You have a tendency to go out hard for three weeks. Even while it's physically possible, you're physically capable of it, it's too hard on the body to jump in. The body's response is to shut down and preserve for a bit, and the inconsistency sets in. Start out easy this time!  I replied - Consistency is the bane of my existence along with determination, fortitude and drive. Some day I will find a way around these debilitating factors of mine. Until then I rely on you, Hookers and others to continue to remind of what might be if only I had a heart.

And the Running Doc is correct. Like usual. Guess she deserves that PhD she has. :) I do start out tough, hard. Like gangbusters only to eventually fall flat. Deflated like a popped balloon. Not sure what it really is. Maybe I have some inner psychosis that refuses to be successful and not allow myself to become happy and achieve the greatness that resides in me. Not that I am great, but we all have a greatness in us, the ability to achieve that which we don't think we can.

My training plan is pretty simple - run. Run 3 days a week and make them good, quality timed runs. To that end I have adopted training from the FIRST program or Run Less, Run Faster. The training programs they have are all the same, just the times are different. With that here is my plan -

Here's to running consistently

- the beginning of the end

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Diet

To diet or not to diet? 
Lose weight or maybe just to eat a little healthier. 

I started tracking my food intake this week. I shuffled from site to site looking at all the calorie counters, databases of foods, eating habit routines and electronic miles and miles of valuable information. I was so overwhelmed I felt like Neo in the The Matrix just visualizing streams of 1's and 0's. 


So I settled, like I have so many times in the past, settled on being underpaid and over worked. Settled on being average when I knew I could be better, settled on being quiet when I should have been vocal. 


It's not the website I settled on (I think TrainingPeaks is a great site) I just settled for the free account. But it still does a lot. So I started tracking my food intake (yes, beer is a food). It is amazing the calories I put in my belly. It is only Thursday after lunch and I already have 8100 cals. Trying to stick to 1500 a day gives me 2400 cals to spread over 3 1/2 days. 


Me hungry. It's just amazing that I eat how much I do. I still have some snack foods and a few sodas to add. Dieting must be really hard for those of you that do it.Your very own Sisyphean task
 So, I will continue to eat like I normally do for a week or two to give myself some basis point to start from. Then, maybe, like Sisyphus I can start rolling that rock uphill and change my bad eating habits. 

Now to figure out how to prepare meals for one.  

-the beginning of the end 

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Boston or my birthday

Tomorrow is Boston. Tomorrow is my birthday which is the bigger event? I mean Boston is 115 years old, whereas I will only be 48. Boston would consider me a kid, a youngster. And I consider Boston old. Really old. And a little senile in dropping their qualifying times by 5 minutes. But I should respect my elders.

April 18 is a big day for a lot of runners. Some of you are lucky to be running Boston. A lot of us will watch for incoming results. Will Shalane have her big day? Will Ryan?

I will be trying to steal glimpses of the race from the conference room of work. Not everyone there understands the magnitude of this event. Not many understood the magnitude of my birthday. But some did.

For them I am glad.

It has been a bad couple of weeks for me. Work and personal. Turning a year older has nothing to do with it. Get old or die. Do we really have any other choice. But spending a birthday alone is not what everyone wants to do. Not what I really wanted to do.

So friends, such good friends that I consider them family, made sure that I wasn't alone. Hooker started it Friday night. My Hoooker - where would I be without Hoookers. Elliott and Henley took Saturday night and fed me. Spent two nice nights shooting the shit (guys don't talk, girls do) and having a few brews. It was good times.

Today was different. Mommy was taking me to dinner at 5. Red Lobster. Mikey loves some seafood. Today started atypical with a hearty (yes, not healthy) breakfast of bacon and eggs. Finish laundry, read, look at all work that needs done in TV room still and ignore that work.

Plans to see a movie later and meeting Hooker to pick up some stuff. But instead I was treated to a surprise party in my honor. Burgers, brats, dogs, party favors and cake all just for me. I loved it. There were Hookers, Elliotts, Morses and a Henley.

What's a Henley, don't ask, just be thankful there is only one.

It was a great time. Because of these people (and others) I continue to survive. I don't just hang on, but I thrive and I live. I in an existence that is codependent on them, but it is a symbiotic relationship. One that benefits both parties, though I do believe that I get the most out of it.

These people are the stuff of legends. They are knights of my round table. The shoulders of Atlas that hold me up. They are my Eureka and Nostradamus foretold of their coming.

Because of them I am.

Thank you

- the beginning of the end

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Reminiscing

I was looking at my Running Ahead training log and it looked bleak, dismal, empty. I haven't run in a long time. I actually do not remember the last time. but I got to looking at my PR section and the Indy mini popped up. It is only a few weeks ahead. Below is what I wrote about the race afterwards, a race I was extremely happy with.

2009 Indy half marathon. Friday night Hooters with Jake and Tom. Order of boneless wings and 6 Killians and off to bed. At 12:30 am. Up 5 hours later and off to the start line with Jake. Explained the course to him and off we went together. For about 1/4 mile. Then I lost him.

My race went well. Same issues I always have at a start. Why am I doing this? How am I going to finish? This is going to hurt. But then I fell into a rhythm. I rhythm that I was comfortable with. A rhythm I thought I could hang onto.

I ran. I made it to the track - still filling good. But the track - that is such a long track. (if you didn't know the Indy half marathon runs miles 6 - 8.5 on the Indianapolis race track) - always looking at the same thing for 2.5 miles. Eventually I was off it and running back towards the finish area.

Mile 9 was a slow one - 10:01. Slow, not sure why. But then mile 10 came up - where I lost it last year. I came together and cranked out a 9:09. Only a 5k left and I was under the pace I wanted. I wanted 2:10, a 10 minute pace. I was about a 9:30 pace and hoping I could hang on the last 5k.

I wasn't hurting, I wasn't breathing hard, I wasn't overly tired. I actually felt good. I was getting past by people, but I was also passing people. I kept at my pace. I grabbed water and walk while I drank. Like every other water station before.

So I ran.

The closer I got, the happier and apparently faster. Crossing the river in the last mile became a race between me and knowing I had it whipped. I ran my last 5k in 28:42. My last mile was an 8:39. Sweet!!!!


It was  a great run for me. A fantastic one, not so much for my son, the cross-country high schooler that promised to kick his old man's ass. Somewhere in the last 3 miles I passed him and beat him. I lost him in the crowd and did not find him at the designated meeting spot. But then I did not expect to wait on him, he was supposed to be there waiting on me. Now that he has gone through Army basic training and continuing to workout I do  not think I will ever beat him in a race again. But that's ok.

So, I am reading this and trying to think back to my training. Was it better then than it has been this year. There wasn't an almost full month of non-running was there?
March 2009 - 52.6 miles
April 2009 - 45.2 miles
Not great but at least I was active. 26.2 of those miles were the Illinois marathon 3 weeks before the Indy mini. This year?
March 2011 - 16.3 miles (including a 5k PR)
April 2011 - 0 (but the month isn't over yet)

I know RunningDoc, you don't have to tell me, but you should anyway. And the rest of you as well. I deserved to be grounded. In my defense, well, what defense can I truly give. I have slacked, caved, gave in. I have become the Jack Black of the running world. Slacking, barely getting by. 

Work is work - always taking too much of my time.  Spring/summer is here and that means outdoors clean up. The house is still in a perpetual renovation mode - that I have actually done some work on recently. Helping friends out with their projects and just hanging out. Doing a lot of introspective contemplation (big words there Astro - now go look them up) and some reading. (Personal Record by Rachel Toor - book review coming later). 

I just need the proverbial kick in the ass, the pep talk to get me out, the you always have time to run for 30 minutes. The 'damn your belly is getting round' statement. And like my Hooker loves to say, 'Come on Sally, you can do it'.

But can I? I really have my doubts at time. Doubts about doing it, doubts about finding the time. Did I mention all the projects at the house I am in the middle of? And that spring is here with yard work - 6 acres of grass that grows and grows, a driveway to repair, goats, chickens, cat and a dog. A dog that has learned how to climb the fence and get out of his confinement. Yea, he does that now. 

Anyways, I am working on it. I am getting closer to getting out the door in the morning. Hopefully soon, hopefully tomorrow. 

- the beginning of the end 
 
 

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Penguin 5k

It was an awesomely hilly course. I had forgotten how hilly it was and as all runners know what goes down, must come up. And up and up and up. I started out the morning with a delicious Hostess apple pie. Yum Yum.


Anyways, I started about mid back and took off. 29 degrees and off we went. Uphill. Did I mention it was hilly? I passed people on the left and on the right. I side-stepped diagonally through throngs of people. It was into. Running. Mind adrift. Magical. Serene and peaceful. 


Mile 1 - 8.12 under pace by 18 seconds but it is earlier and some big downhills.
Mile 2 - 8.21 mostly flat and crowded. This part was single file with runners coming at you. Also an aid station. Still awesome time.
Mile 3 - 9.03 - ok, slower, I was tiring and the big uphill was here. then gently rolling to last downhill tenth
Mile 3.11 - 37.95 seconds. Blasted a 5.45 pace.  Felt good.
Total - 26.13.65 for an 8.26 pace. Right on. Can you say PR? I can


It was also the only post race party where chili-mac was served.


The rest of the weekend was a blur.  Cancer benefit in Villa Grove. I go to them, but they always down me just a little bit. Great people to chat with and....


Bonus!!! - I slow danced with a beautiful woman.


Had dinner with my mommy and possibly her new man on Sunday. Sunday night was some good jazz/bluegrass/ Scottish highland music and a classic rock band to listen to. Not all the same band, 2 different ones.


An ambulance just. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend and summer weather is just around the corner.

-the beginning of the end 

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Penguin in the Park

 

5K race this Saturday. I haven't run a 5k in years. I am hoping I am not too far behind that I get lost. I am looking forward to a short race. And getting the chance to listen to John Bingham afterwards is always a good thing.

Goal? You ask. Yes, there is one. Multiple goals actually. Speaking of goals, how are your goals? Are they progressing nicely throughout this first quarter of the year? Mine are off, but then I really hate the treadmill and cold weather. I am hoping that my running picks up with nicer weather starting to wind it's way slowly into central Illinois.

Oh, you wanted to know my goal time for the race. Why didn't you say so the first time? Did I tell you the story about my furnace? No, don't want to hear it. Fine....

Goal - 27.00 - Must have this time or better. Will feel bad and dejected with no one to hug me if I do not make it.

Goal -  26.21 - An 8.30 pace would be fantastic.  I wouldn't feel dejected, but I would still want the hug. After all I am just a man and hugs from women are awesome. 

Goal - 24.42 - 8 flat. Most likely impossible. I can run that fast but not for 3 miles, let alone for a 5k. And I still want the hug.

Click slightly to the right over there --> Penguin in the Park and register for the race. It is in Decatur, IL and they allow race day entry. 9am start time so I do not have to leave too terrible early in the morning. Come join me, come watch me start and then finish, then give me a hug. 

Hugs everyone 


So Monday  I ran a 5k at lunch. I bitched about the cold and now I think it might be too hot to run. The Running Doc is going to slap me for that statement. But it was miserable out there. Of course going from mid 40s to 70s in one day does not give time for much acclimation. So maybe I can do it again next time it is that warm. Tomorrow it goes back to mid 40s again for at least a week.


I also have to say that I ran the 5k severely fast for a man of my limited talents. No time, but it was squarely in the middle of what I want to run on Saturday.


Let's see what the weekend brings.

- the beginning of the end

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Vote and bring it to the University of Illinois. I want to meet Natalie Portman.

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Well....

A deep hole in my backward that supplies me with water.
Or
A sigh, a feeling of you really don't know.

I'm going with the first one. The weekend was great. I got no running in, but I got good company all weekend that I haven't had in awhile. I had my brain cleansed and a little bit of my soul as well. It was a good weekend. I did not get to meet SB but that is OK too.

I did not get a lot done on the kitchen or TV room project, but I got a lot of the next planning steps done. The next big kitchen project should be done by final four time.

The weather is starting to lighten up in central Illinois and soon my winter seasonal disorder should start to fade away. Still not sleeping well, but hopefully that ends soon.

Not much to day while I am at work. Maybe more later.

-the beginning of the end

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New....

Balance
Hydration
Radiance
Firmness

Keys words for life. No, apparently my butt dialed in an infomercial for beautiful, healthy skin. It appears to Joan Lunden that all ladies need a skin cream to counteract your hormonal aging that starting in your twenties. Quick, buy Murad Resurgence now!!!

In this respect I am glad I'm a man.

Channel change. Assaying. Me and Mrs. Jones. We got to be extra careful. I want to meet you at the same place, same time.... Sing it Billy Paul.

New books came into me from the mailman ( not sexist here, I have seen the dude and he is all man). Ok, that sounds creepy.

Machine of Death is a collection of short stories. Read the link. They also (editors) pissed off Glen Beck so there is another reason to buy and read it.

I also have Rachel Toor's "Personal Record". She is an ultra marathoner, senior writer for Running Times, has a pet rat (not code for husband), intelligent and gifted. A great writer.

A third came in as well but for the life of me, nay, for the life of a cockroach I simply cannot remember it at present. I'll get to it later. Also look for reviews of these books upcoming after I have finished them.

"only the beginning" by Chicago is on the tv music channel. It reminds me that this is only the beginning. Reminds me that all of us should sometimes remember this. Whatever maybe ailing you, troubling you, this is only the beginning. It will get better, I hope. I can't promise that. But I can hope for it. Let's be positive. It's only the beginning.

With that I am going to try and take my own advice. It is only the beginning. Things will get better. Warmer weather is coming. Running will get easier. I have a home that I love. I have awesomely great friends, both close and far. What more could I ask for?

Since I have meandered around for a few minutes typing this and you have dutifully followed it this far I shouldn't disappoint. You need another bit of randomness. Skins - an MTV production. Check it out. Why can't MTV go back to showing music videos? Cue Dire Straits...

- the beginning of the end

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Ugghhh!

Work. Need I say more?

Been a helluva long day. I know time does not slow down, but today it sure seemed like it. One of those days where not a lot got down but a lot really did. I did a lot of research and documentation and my team did a lot of configuration in VM land.


This is good. But damn am I tired. It is a non-run day. 
Nothing scheduled.
Nada. Zippo.


Friday is supposed to be a nice day. I think I will try to make my run another lunch run. It's only 6 miles, but if the wind isn't to bad I'll run the 7.5 mile layout from the office. It is pretty flat and not too car busy. 


Tomorrow is also payday. Woo hoo. Got bills to pay. 

I have been toying with an idea to run a marathon in April and it isn't the Illinois marathon. The weekend of this marathon I have a 20-22 mile schedule training run. I am just not sure about driving home after a marathon. A 6.5 hour drive. A drive made even longer by having to stop at every rest area to stretch my legs. A drive that may require loads of caffeine to stay awake.

Plus there is the day off work to drive there. The hotel, dinner, drinks, loneliness. Then there is the time zone change - it is an hour earlier. And did I mention the drive back. The long drive back.

Sounds like hell to me. Anyone want to be a designated driver? I'm willing to cover costs. I'm willing to meet someone most anywhere along the way that can drive me most of the way back. With some sleep afterwards I should be able to make it the rest of the way.

Anyone? Anyone?

-the beginning of the end

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Down in the Dumps

Well, I'm beat, I'm depressed, I'm no good, I'm worthless, I'm confused, I'm scared, I'm a loser. I'm sorry.

I really am sorry. I thought I conceeded, acknowledged, admitted, said it, blogged it, worte it. But I can find no where that I did. In my mind I did own up to it. Apparently my body betrayed my mind and did not do it. For that I hope that I can be forgiven. I hope that you can forgive me.

What did I do? Again? What haven't I done? But this time I betrayed someone. Did not give them their rightful repsect, praise, acknowledgemnt, congratsulation.

I did none of that and for that I should be chastised, flayed, flogged, beaten, whipped, spanked, punished, ignored, shunned, kicked out of society.

Will you forgive me Running Doc?
Yes, you are right. Was there any doubt? I did not mean to take anything from you. You won the challenge, the smack down, bragging rights. You out ran me a fe weeks ago.

But I really thought I had posted that as a comment on your site. Guess I was wrong. Again.

She ran 29.5 miles.
I ran 28.1 miles.

Here it is print. Indelible on servers somewhere. Forever here. I hope that all my fellow/fellowine (female fellows) can forgive me as well. Most importantly I hope Running Doc can forgive. Find it in her heart to understand that I am just a man. A lousy man.



On another note I ran 7.5 miles or so at lunch today. Really easy going out with a 15mph  wind at my back. Coming back was a bee-aatch. All I could do to hold a 10 minute pace into the wind. But it is done.

Now just a short 3 miler tonight and done running for the day.

- the beginning of the end

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February Recap

I have seen many other do this so I thought I would be a follower and give it a try. Hey, I can't lead all the time.

Miles Planned/Ran: 118 M / 60.8 M

Rest Days Planned/Taken: 14 / 20 - need to rest less

Highest Mileage Week: 28.1 M

Long Runs Planned/Ran: 4 / 2

Hill Workouts Planned/Ran: 0 / 0 - if I run from home I get hills or at LOW (2000ft of ascent in 16 m)

Pace Workouts Planned/Ran: 6 / 3

Xtraining Workouts Planned/Ran: 0 / 0 - need to start working out more

Most hardcore run:  16 m - My longest solo run to date

Race(s): Rock n Roll - St. Louis, Rock n Roll - Savannah, St.  Jude (maybe)

Current Wish-List: I've been thinking I may have to start carrying liquid




Current Excitement: upcoming marathons
Current Need: Airline tickets to Savannah

Current Triumph: Making it this far in life and bringing running back into my life

Current Bane of my Existence: frakin Winter.

Current Goal: To make it through the next few high mileage weeks in one piece!

Current Indulgence: I turned up the thermostat 2 degrees

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Marathon, marathon, wherefore art thou?

Well, which marathons should I run this year? With so many awesome ones to run it is a tough decision. I try to run them in different states. Not because I think I can do 50 states, but because.... well just maybe so why not. But it also gives my a chance to run in different parts of the good ole US of A.

A friend of mine is trying to get back into shape and running in general and he has decided on the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis. I agreed to run it with him. I was considering Country Music, but St. Jude is a good cause. That takes care of Tennessee.

I have a friend in St. Louis so I have been considering an inaugural marathon. Though Missouri was taken care of miserably last October (Lewis and Clark - which the Running Doc preformed admirably), I am thinking of a mulligan and doing it over. Rock n Roll bought out that marathon and is putting on an extravaganza in October.

I have another friend in Savannah where Rock n Roll is having another inaugural marathon as well. It just seems doing something the first time would be awesome. I have been to Georgia (never Savannah) and it is some pretty country. It should be an awesome run through some beautiful southern neighborhoods.

There is always the Illinois marathon here in town. I did run it the first year. I could always do it again as it is a local event. It is flat and fast (for the fast runners, not me). Brittany Spears, oh sorry. Got distracted.

A friend of mine is running the Martian half marathon April 2. I could always drive up there and do the full. I think I might be in shape to complete it without hurting myself (I have a scheduled 20-22 mile run the next day). But a 6.5 hour drive back doesn't seem real appealing (and the hotel - though the gas may cost more).

I also have a friend in Florida now and a few relatives. Though those would probably have to be towards the end of the year or early next year.

And to confuse and confound even a little more, Indiana and Iowa both have marathons that are close by as well.

So, I count 8 marathons. Not bad for a year. 4 more and I could be a Marathon Maniac - Gold level. Crazy talk there Sybil. You better watch the tongue of yours.

Noe to decide on which marathons. St. Jude is in. Who else wants to step up the the plate? This is going to hurt and require a lot of work on my part. Hell, a lot of work on my friends as well. They are the ones going to have to keep me motivated, keep me moving, keep on keeping me trucking. but I have faith in them. In person, by email, by blog, I rely on them more than they realize. Sounds like a helicopter at the airport again. They are the ones that make me a better runner and person. All of you take a bow.

Ok, it is decided. The marathons that are in (and maybe a secret one not listed below).
Rock n Roll - St. Louis
Rock n Roll - Savannah
St. Jude - Memphis

What a trip it could be. Now to save some money.

- the beginning of the end

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Week wrapup

Not a bad week in running world. Only 18miles but still ok. It was a cutback week. Next week has bigger mileage including the long run of 18 miles on Sunday.

Weather is starting to turn for the better here in central illinois. That makes it good for outdoor running. The new running club I have been meeting with one the weekends is one big club. Especially the half marathon group. Huge.

"once I get my hooks into a woman she never gets free"
"like ringworm?"
"if you like."

LOL!!! Watching "How to lose friends and alienate people". That scene was funny.

Back to blogging, sorry for the interuption. Oh shit, that was funny too.

Scheduled runs for the week -
M7/W10/F6/S18 = 41
my biggest ever in my life. WOW!!

Also, I noticed that I have crossed the 1000 mile plateau since using runnningahead.com. I crossed that on Saturday. It only took 3 years of my sometime running. Maybe the second 1000 won't take another 3 years.

Hopefully in the next few days I will have a hint at an unexpected idea that feel into my brain earlier today. As my friends would say - an idiocy of an idea. Maybe, not.

- the beginning of the end

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Wednesday Wonderings

I was up most of the night importing 28,000+ loans for work so pretty much felt like shit this morning.
Hence no morning run.
Therefore, feeling sorry for myself I had McD's.
That was bad.
Worked suck.
No communication again.
How to fix it?
Hell if I know.
Left work a whole 30 minutes early.
Really windy at home.
Extremely tired from no sleep.
Forced myself to plug in the treadmill.
Actually hopped on it.
Got back off and got water.
Turned on treadmill.
Ran 10k.
In 56.55.
Not bad.
Feel better now.
Still tired, but restful.
Eating pizza.
Then watching V.
And too bed.

- the beginning of the end

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The old gang (partially)

I got an email last night about some of the old gang getting together at Lake of the Woods. I wasn't decided. I wasn't decided when I woke up this morning. I also did not run my scheduled Friday run (5 miles). Work, personal just couldn't get out of the house to run. Sunday is my last scheduled run of the week (16 miles)

The end of the Challenge.

I got up, rolled over, got up again. I decided to see some of the old gang. I got there early figuring I run my 16 today and then hopefully use Sunday to make up my Friday run. I ran the trail out there. A 5 mile hilly grass course with several water crossings. The first one was nice.


The third one was hard.  But I did it. 16 miles on my own. I rock.

The gang was still at Hen House when I finished and I met them there. It was a good time and the chocolate milk was cold. Sweeeet!!!

The Running Doc completed her scheduled runs successfully this week. Let's see if she runs any extra on Sunday. I feel good this week. About my running.

Next week is a kick back one.
T6, T8, S12

- the beginning of the end

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Challenge - Day 3

Running Doc got her scheduled run in earlier today. I had a 9 mile EZ run scheduled for today that would have put me a few miles ahead of her. Let's go to Webster for the definition of easy.

Webster says - causing or involving little difficulty or discomfort. And to me that means a 10 to 10.30 pace. Unfortunately my body likes rebel against my brain. And brain is kind of a wimp and gives in. 


Warmup - 9.05.79 - too fast
Mile 2 - 8.39.05 - wtf!!!
Mile 3 - 9.30.35 - water break adds an extra 30 seconds, but I am pleased
Mile 4 - 8.51.68 - impressive
Mile 5 - 9.25.77 - getting dark - had to slow down to read street signs
Mile 6 - 8.57.22 - rebound for last mile


Total - 55.04/9.08 pace


I could have continued. I was tired but not beat. I made not have continued on a 9 minute pace. I was also a STUPID runner. It would have been very dark before I finished and I wore dark clothes. How dumb is that? So after 6 back in the parking lot at car the I grabbed water and called it quits. A hard 6 = an EZ 9. 


I am still happy. 


Challenge total - 6.1 + 6.0 = 12.1


Now I have to lay a disclaimer - the Challenge really isn't about who runs more (the Running Doc is likely to get out at 11pm just to grab an extra 5) but more about getting my lazy, slug-like ass off the couch. I actually have more miles scheduled for the week than she does, but I am far better at skipping runs or shortening them. Tonight's run.... but I am glad for the Challenge and super happy than the Running Doc has got my back  and keeping me going. 


- the beginning of the end


P.S. - Boo to the BAA that is lowering qualifying times for slow middle aged runners like me.

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Challenge - Day 1

I may need a clarification, but since I slogged through 4 -6 inches of mush and snow checking the fence around all pastures (dog getting out again), uphill and downhill, I am counting the 1.3 miles that the Garmin recorded. I then hopped on the 'dread for another 4.8 at 9.24 pace. Let me tell you - a 10 day layoff and I am beat. Right shin even hurts a little. Hoping it isn't a shin splint and feels fine in the morning.

No scheduled run for tomorrow but I will try to get in 3 anyway. I really need to make up some of the miles I missed from being lazy. I know that is a BAD thing to do and I tell all my fellow runners not to do it. But that is why I am going far or fast. My base mileage really needs to be higher than what it is.

Indy Mini - I signed up for it last year and I really would like to come within a few minutes of my PR. My awesome goal would be to break it, but we will see. I am looking forward to a perfect scenario come May 7. And there is bad news for that day already. Same day as the I80 Alpacafest. Oh well. There will be other alpaca shows.

Challenge Day 1 - 6.1 miles
Challenge Total  - 6.1 miles

- the beginning of the end

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Throw Down the Gauntlet

From Wikipedia - Gauntlet is a name for several different styles of glove, particularly those with an extended cuff covering part of the forearm. Gauntlets exist in many forms, ranging from flexible fabric and leather gloves, to mail and fully-articulated plate armour.

The gauntlet has been thrown by me or the Running Doc, not really sure who, to a one week challenge of running. Ok, maybe it wasn't exactly thrown, just placed out there ever so gently to get me back on my feet (read - off my ass) and out there to run again. It has been really hard for me. I might run for a week or two and then skip 10 days. Not really sure why, but it has been what it is. 

Anyways, RD decked me in the cheek with this heavy metal glove. She has a 28-29 mile week scheduled. I think I can do it. Beat her. 
Destroy her. 
Dominate her. 
Wait, this is friendly competition. No, it isn't even a competition. Just a fellow running friend kicking me in the proverbial internet ass to get moving again. So I accepted the challenge. 


It will be good for me and mother nature is attempting to give me nice weather for the challenge. (Note - try googling images of mother nature and find one that isn't somehow slightly seductive. This was the cleanest I could find on short notice.)








Now I am going to beg for one extra day. I want to say the week runs from Monday thru Sunday. Afterall, the challenge is starting tomorrow and my long run is scheduled for Sunday this week. Rd's is scheduled for Saturday. That should be fair. She can run Sunday as well. Below are are schedules (miles only):
RD - M5, W6, Th5, Sa12 - Total = 28
Me - M6, W9, F5, Su16 -   Total = 36 (the full 16 is going to be tough)

It is all for fun. Look for daily updates.

My Hooker took me to the basketball game today. It is a shame that the Illini can't seem to play two halves of basketball with the same intensity. First half was awesome. Both team s scrapping and playing hard and the Illini with a 5 point lead. The second half, they came out weak. Nowhere near the intensity. It hurts. 

Had pizza with the daughter unit on Saturday. That made 5 days last week with pizza in them. Might be a new record for me. And I did nothing bad (spoken bad) with my visit to the nuns on Saturday as well. I did learn a lot though. About Alpacas - not nuns. 

- the beginning of the end

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Sisters of Providence

Sisters? of Providence?
yes, saturday I and a good friend will be visiting the Sisters. not sisters from the same mother but religious Sisters. Sisters of god and sisters of the farm. they will show us, teach us and feed us. they are eco-friendly. i think it will be a very good time. can't wait to visit saint marys of the woods.

and i am thinking of making my small goat herd into a real farm. yep, going to register it as a corporation or llc. not sure which yet. any business people out there? of course i really don't expect to make money but hopefully enough to pay for their winter feed and some of the electric costs for heating their water. might even looking at getting one or two of these little crias.

cute little bugger isn't he/she. i have no idea. i'll see some of these on saturday as well. don't tell anyone but i have to cross into indiana to see them. not this little guy though - she/he is all illini. 

running has taken a step back this week but i hope to jump back on the wagon sunday for my 11 mile run. weekly runs are now 6 miles or more every training day. back into the heart of running and just in time for weather close to the 40s means running outside. it has been so long i hope i do not get lost. 

uh oh, just realized it is past my bedtime. see ya.

- the beginning of the end

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13 miler

I made the long run this week. 13 miles. A nice morning to run. Wasn't sunshiny like the weather girl said it would be, but above freezing. The first six were fairly easy and uneventful. Right on the 10 minute pace I dared to dream about the night before.

The next three were close to pace but the last three were difficult. Besides being almost hit - by a car and a not an angry woman. Yea, driver not paying any attention and trying to blow a stop sign to beat oncoming traffic. I have never been almost hit before.

The last three required walk breaks but I made it in a 10:15 pace. Well below my 11 minute I wanted. I also ended up having a bloody foot. Never has happened before. Damn stray, pointy toenail. Gonna have to get a pedi now.

Now the big question. Retotaling my mileage for the month brings me to 49.3 - short of the 50 I thought I would have from the last post. So, the does month end on the 31st or now that the last full week ofJanuary is over? That is my dIlemma.

Looking at next week's schedule I will be running 115 miles for the month. That's a lot for someone as amateurish as me. January should have been 80 miles but for some reason I took a whole week off. That was bad of me. But still I did almost good. February will be another month and hopefully I can be fully successful.

Yea me!!!

Yea to all my running friends that are staying in the swing of things and running as well. Here's to one foot in front of the other.

- the beginning of the end

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Close to month end

January is about to come to a close and it has been a pretty good month. 11 more to go. It is going to be a 50+ mile month. I would like to have hit 80 but for January I am happy. Most of these miles have been on my dread mill.

Speaking of - I ran 7 miles on it Wednesday. My longest run ever on the mill. Man it was tiring. But I did it. Then I went to log it and found out I wasn't even scheduled to run until the next day.

Tomorrow is the longest run of the month at 13. Can't wait. Trying to hold on for the long run in the winter months. So much easier to run in the spring, summer and fall.

Work is going better. Hired another minion to work for me. Now I have three. This should make my job easier and many, many less hours.

- the beginning of the end

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Thursday Treadmill


Treadmill, how I hate thee. Let me count the ways.
1. You're indoors
2. You make me sweat
3. You make me run at a steady rate
4. See 1 - 3

But I suppose the steady pace will be good for me. I am running on the treadmill right about the speed/pace I want to run my next marathon at. So, this should be good training therefore I suffer.

Been a good year in my running so far. Does it count that it has only been 13 days. I say, YES. 22.9 miles and the week isn't over yet. Saturday is the group long with, dare I say it? No, I shall leave them nameless until others come to realize I will fully be one of Them. But I do need the company on the long runs.

The pacers are great. Bonnie has run many, many marathons and is a great pacer. Mike has run a few and in terrific shape (a lot due to his profession) and both seem to be good people. But, in general, I have found that most runners are good people. They are all seem to be friendly and helpful. I like the camaraderie of the group.

I also miss the old group a lot. I will have to go to LOW on Saturdays I am not running with the other group to see them, if not run a little. The LOW group are fantastic, awesome, fun people to be with. I became a runner with them and I do miss them.

That's it for now. Going to read and relax for a while and fall asleep with the TV on again.

- the beginning of the end

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Slippery and Disappointment

Slip slidin' away
Slip slidin' away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away


Tip of the hat to Paul Simon.

That's what tonight's 5 mile run felt like. Living in the country and with a road that never saw a snow plow tonight, it was rough. I gave up after 2 miles up and down my half mile lane. So I came in, and put a miserable 2 miles on the treadmill.

And to top that off I though MTV might have some good videos. WTF??? MTV does not show videos anymore. '16 and Pregnant' - back to back. Where's my MTV? Oh, change the channel you say, yeah, dropped the remote and it went off the end of the tread. I'm a man. I suffered.

The run felt pretty good considering the slidin', the blowing snow, and then the dreadmill. But it is done and almost the distance. I know it is short, but I think the shoveling I did before the run has to count for something. So be it. Another 4 miles in the books for the run. Think I will also workout with Kendra tonight after this short blog. She if she can give me a proper workout.

Disappointment - 
I missed the showing of the Hood to Coast Relay movie. I missed the 'Spirit of the Marathon' last year and now this one missed as well.



Now to find it online or Netflix later to see. Damn it.


Work - 
I am driving back and forth to Bloomington every day this week for a security class. I am taking it to see if I want to go into the networking security field - maintaining baselines for servers and equipment, verifying proper procedures are taking place, looking at new ways to make my company's security tighter. it could be a helluva lot of work. From just the first 2 days, we are behind the curve. I knew this before the class, now I have just had it told to me. But, I have to admit that there have been a lot of changes in the last 9 months at work that have made us much, much better.


Jury is still out on whether I would like this new position or not. It is also not a guarantee that it would be given to me, just a consideration. I do like what I do now with my hands in most everything and getting them into more and more with each passing month. But..... job promotion and showing that I can and will..... mean a lot to the mucky-mucks. =;o)~


Other stuff - 
I helped a displaced co-runner, TNT teammate, friend with her running plan the week. Looks like she will bust it at the Martian half (which I may have to do someday - sounds like fun) and the Cleveland full. Of course, after her last full, I expect nothing worse than a 4.19 now. How's that for pressure Running Doc?


And you know it is just in fun. Any time you post is fine as long as you give it your all and don't follow my less-than-give-it-your-best footsteps.


Enough of this, I hear Kendra calling to me.


- the beginning of the end

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10 Miler FAIL


It wasn't quite that bad, but three months off and I wasn't ready for a 10 miler. It was 2 loops, one about 5.5 and one smaller about 4.5. I felt pretty good for the first 3.5 but knew going for the second loop wasn't wise. Next week is only a 9 miler so, it I did not feel too bad about dropping pot. I could run extra by the parking lot and not have to worry about have to walk back.


I made the loop with the group (I ran with the 10 - 10.30 group) and then ran around Centennial High School for a total of 7.11 miles. Legs do not hurt, but they are extremely tired. So for my first week back into running I got 12.36 miles in. I feel good about it.


Next week will be back to more. Scheduled runs of 5, 7 and 9 miles. I just got to get out there and do it.

I also need some running winter clothes. I found that I was overdressed on top. 3 lycra shirts and my wind breaker jacket was just to much at 3 miles in. Gloves do not cut it either. I need mittens. I kept pulling my fingers out of the finger parts. And my BEE U TEE FULL face needs some protection. It was cold. Though eventually the heat and steam escaping from my massive chest (it's my blog - can't I embellish?) warm up my face. I have to look for one of those ski mask things that cover your face and neck. Possibly full length tights as well, though my legs warmed up within a mile and a half. Overall, 5 degrees wasn't too terribly bad.

My supplied training scheduled is different. One week is 3 workouts, the next 4 and so forth. It will be interesting to see what the emails indicate on types of running.

I am happy. 

PS - Yes, Joanna, my marathon wannabe time was NOT by accident. Not in the least. What are running buddies for after all?

- the beginning of the end

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First Week Down

I have one week of running under my belt. And what a rough week it was. As I have been told by some of my peeps, it may have been too much. But I will carry on. I think my treadmill speed might be off. When I run the last half mile at 8 mph it just seems like that half mile ticks off the counter sooooooo sloooooow.

It can not be that I am out of shape, can it? Be gentle, you know I bruise easily.

Tomorrow is the first group run with Second Wind Running Club. A 10 miler. I am not sure if 'mean shirtless guy' will be there or not.

It should be an adventure tomorrow morning. I am tired from the running and aerobic workouts with Jillian and Kendra. I will see them next week and eventually I will kick their ass.

- the beginning of the end

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New Year, New You, New Me

Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. Hats off to Meatloaf.

If I get the third part of the above title trilogy right maybe meat will rewrite the song. Anyway, it has been a great year so far. I have run everyday but one. And on that day Miss Michaels kicked my ass during some aerobic exercise. Hopefully, friends, lovers, comrades, bloggers alike will keep on me to keep on truckin'. 

So far so good. I am looking forward to a lot this year. Including some serious running. Look for some of the following times to drop (predictions in ( )- 
1 mile -  6.52 (6.30)
5k      - 28.15 (24.48)
5 mile -  47.34 (44.59)
Half marathon - 2.04 (1.59)
Marathon - 4.52 (4.27)

It is going to be a lot of work, but my peeps will keep on my ass until I get it done. I failed the last of the year and they aren't about to let me fail this year. Are you peeps?

I am signed up for the Indy Mini and believe the Quad Cities Marathon may be on list for September. There is also the Rock n Roll half marathon in St. Louis as a close race to do. Kennekuk Road Runners also put on several good races throughout the year. And I will most likely run the 5 mile Buffalo Trace Trail run again. And who knows what else I may run.

Getting the TV room of the house in order – finally. It is ready for drywall mud, then primer, paint and wainscoting.  Think about green, dark green, but not totally convinced yet. Got awhile to think about colors, being color-blind I might seek help on that. 

Not much going on at the farm now that it is winter. Just staying warm and slowly working on things inside. This summer will bring lots. I got an ATV and snow thrower to fix. Maybe a boat. I plan on setting on an obstacle course to run through with fun things to do. Climb over obstacles, through heavy stones, pick logs, pull ups. Cool shit like that.

Here’s to a Good, New Year to you and to me.

-          The beginning of the end

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