Currently I reside in the Twin Cities area however I grew up in Esko Minnesota. I will always be a country boy at heart.
I have run 8 marathons. Grandmas marathon 7 times and Hampton Bays Marathon which was on Long Island in New York. I ran my first marathon, Grandma's Marathon, in 1999, the 7th in 2009. In addition to the marathons I have run in several othe events from 5K's throguh 30K's. I enjoy running.
My quote for running events "I may not get my best time but it will be my best on that given day."
August 24, 2008: To do what I do
This week was the highest mileage week of my training for the Hamptons Marathon on September 27th. Nearly 50 miles was the goal for the week. A week that I certainly went into with plenty of apprehension.
My goal for the LSD that I ran today was 4 hours or 24 miles whichever came first. As I expected the 4 hours came first however I wasn’t to far from 24. I ended the run at 23.2 miles and the time was 3:54:20. That would be just a shade under 10:30 pace.
For the week I am quite pleased and confident with my progress. I believe I have a very good shot at getting close to or even doing better than my PR of 4:37. At this point I am really looking forward to the marathon.
In addition to the run going so well it was also very scenic. I even thought of titling my entry as “Mutaul of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”. Yesterday’s run there were 3 deer that bounded onto the trail I was running and than quickly disappeared into the woods. Today I saw two trophy bucks just off to the side of the trail I was running. Also today there were three wild turkey hens with their brood on the trail. Being a country boy I savored the sightings for the entire run and certainly shared what I saw with my family.
The marathon is 5 weeks away. This next week I will take it easy and keep things slow and simple. Than the following week I will get the mileage up again to near 40 miles one last time. That week will be followed but what is called taper time. Those last 3 weeks a runner winds down a bit and allows the body to recover. So for now it’s going to be one week at a time and that will be doing my best to focus on sticking close to the schedule.
During my run today I listened to a song on my I pod that gives me inspiration. It’s a song by Alan Jackson and that is the reason for today’s title “To do what I do”. I relate it to my running. It’s basically about him going through rough times and becoming a singer. It’s near the end of the song that I change the lyrics a bit to fit into how I feel about my running. Here is my version:
So I hope the critics and skeptics alike
All came down to the finish line this beautiful day
And they’ll see firsthand that I have survived
And what doesn’t kill you makes you more alive
And I am one of the fortunate few
To do what I do
There’s so much joy that running can bring
So I count my blessings when I step up to the line
Cause they’re so many people who would give anything
To do what I do.
Have a wonderful week.
August 18, 2008: Calm before the Storm
This last week went along with not much fanfare at all. The runs were pleasant. The runs were relaxed and worry free, very calming.
I stepped the mileage back to just over 30 miles for the week. That should have allowed my body to recover from the prior couple of weeks that were a bit more difficult as I increased my mileage into the 40’s. Basically kept things simple.
Now this week will be a very big week for me. I will run my longest run since I ran Grandmas Marathon back in June. I hope to get a minimum of a 22 miles LSD run on Saturday or Sunday. I really would like to stretch that 24 if I feel like I can without much difficulty. If all goes well it will certainly make those nagging little concerns a whole lot less nagging.
Until next week, enjoy the days
August 10, 2008: Good, Good...Good Vibrations
Going into this week I felt I needed to have a good week to be able to build momentum and boost morale. I got exactly what I wanted. It was a very good week.
My midweek run was scheduled to be 9 miles. I felt so good when I got to mile 9 I decided to stretche it to 10. I gave the last mile everything I could. The mile split was 8:51 which in my world is excellent. For me a 9:30 is a good split so a sub 9:00 is a feat that I have rarely seen. I have this little superstition thing that I like to end my runs to include the last tenths of the run I am training there fore my 9 mile turned into 10.2.
Today was a day that I looked forward to and to be honest there was some concern. The schedule called for a 20 mile run. When I did 18 awhile back I struggled. I wasn’t sure if the run was going to be like my midweek run a few days back or the 18 miler a few weeks back. Happy to write that today was even better than the midweek run.
My run pretty much went flawlessly through the entire run. I woke up on time. I wasn’t rushed at all. The weather was pretty much perfect, just maybe a touch on the warm side. I never once had the feeling of why the heck am I out here doing this.
The route I ran was probably the best one I have ever put together by using a map my run web site. When you amp out a route you're on roads never traveled you have to take it as it comes. The route had everything from easy and flat areas, as well as difficult stretches. The first 5 miles was pretty much flat just a few minor ups and downs. At mile 6 or so there was a fairly steep uphill and than a gradual incline before leveling off. A that point I took a road that looped back to the top of the steep hill. Than it was down the steep hill. The next 4 miles were pretty much flat. I knew going in tthe next 5 miles was going to be the most difficult part of the route as it up and down. There wasn’t a level spot to be found over those 5 miles. The final 2.5 miles was flat flat flat. I certainly enjoyed the route that’s for sure.
I ran a very comfortable pace and was very pleased to see it was a bit better than a 10:00 pace overall. At mile 15 I was 2 ½ minutes ahead of a 10 minute pace and feeling very good. At mile 17 I knew I would get the run done under a 10:00 minute pace of 3:20 including taking time to take extra drink breaks. I chose to take a drink break at 17 and would do so again at miles 18 & 19. I made completed 20 .2 in very good form. I never felt overly fatigued throughout the run.
So all in all it was a good good good week. I’ll step back just a bit on my long run at the end of the week. In two weeks I’ll try to extend out a bit farther by going for somewhere around 22 to 24 miles. Without a doubt mo is on my side.
Have a great week.
August 8, 2008: Feeling Good
A mid week update on my marathon training.
My mid week long run went very well last night. Over the years my pace has been pretty much between 9:50 to 10:10 on distances over 6 miles. Last night’s run of 10.2 ended up being 9:44 and that included, 3 gatorade breaks, 2 sprinkler breaks and 1 combo break. I had originally planned 9 miles but I was doing and feeling so well I added an extra mile. Because I felt so well I chose to push the last mile and see what I could do. According to garmin I ran the mile in 8:51. I was quite pleased with that and the whole run as well.
This weekend my planned LSD is 20 miles. I used the USTAF mapping site to plan the route in and around where I live. In my planning I use where my son and daughter reside so I can use their mailboxes for my aid stations. In the route I selected I have 3 miles that is on a bike trail through a park reserve that borders my city. I ran those 3 miles in my run last night so I could be familiar with it and make sure I knew where the turn was for my exit from the trail system. It was a bit more uphill than I remembered from when I biked it last summer. Although I should have known since my ext goes into a city park named High Point Park. So the run will be through city streets, through an area that has more of a country type feel, the bike trail and end up back in the city streets. All in all it should be a challenging run.
It sure helps the confidence level heading into a big LSD when the midweek run works out good. I am glad that I ran the bike trail because I will get to it at about mile 14 of my LSD run. Knowing what I am heading towards will help me quite a bit. I am looking forward to stretching out the miles.
Have a good weekend.
August 3, 2008: The beat goes on
This year my running just keeps going on and on. I have been preparing for events from the 1st of the year and will continue on until the end of September. Back in January I was preparing for what is called the Frozen Half Marathon in St. Paul, Mn. Shortly after that I prepared for Grandmas marathon in Duluth, MN. After a week layoff following Grandmas I began training for the Hamptons Marathon which is in New York on Long Island. After the Hamptons Marathon there will be a bit a layoff.
For the week training went just fine. This week was a step back week so I kept it simple and backed down on the miles a bit.
Rather than talk about my training I have something else this week. During the last week I supposedly became wiser because I aged a year. I received a gift that I want to share because it pretty much sums up why I do run as much as I do. The gift was from my daughter in law and I appreciate it very much. She added some words to a piece that she saw on the internet while looking for some running stuff for me.
I Run Because
I love not just the finish line but:
The trip along the way-it makes me feel free- Sometimes I’ve
got energy to burn and sometimes I need energy- Because
stopping would hurt so much more than a blister or broken
toenail- Because walking takes too long and I have things I
need to get done- My personal best is just that: mine-
Because it’s a good kind of sore- There’s no better way to
explore a city or enjoy the spring flowers, the fall leaves and
the winter’s snow- “I just felt like runnin”- Because there’s
no drug like adrenaline- Because the pavement doesn’t
complain when you pound it- Because I know I’m only
competing against myself- Because I have set goals and
will continue to work hard to accomplish them- Because
I know I can face whatever road lies ahead- Because I am
not satisfied with status quo- My true self shines through
when I run- Because I know I can and will- Because it
allows me to wind down- Because it’s great exercise- Because
I feel a sense of pride when I finish- Because I have an
awesome support team- Because of Debbie, Andy, Denise,
Kara, Anand, Mira, Sean and Kyle- Because it’s inspiring-
Because while others can’t, I can
And Because I’ll never know how far I can go unless I try.
I’ll be running, see you next week.