Saturday, January 27, 2018

Back to business, Winter Flight 8k and training

 It's time to get back to racing and serious training again with the next race in the Running Journal Grand Prix coming up tomorrow 1-28-18 in Salisbury NC, This is the only event in NC and has been on the circuit for awhile.

 I do have a little bit of a history with this race. It was formerly a 10 miler and I ran it in 1986 in a time of 68:48. I wish I could miraculously run that same pace for half the distance this year! In 1987 in was changed to the current 8k distance and I ran a 32:51 that year. I wouldn't return until 1999 when I ran it as my first race back after tearing up my knee the previous October playing soccer. My time of 41:47 although much slower was not a bad effort under the circumstances. I hope to be somewhere in the middle of that time range with a goal of 37:30. It's a rolling course so I'll have to have a great race to do that.

 Not to sound negative but I expect I may lose my small lead in the series because I know there are going to be several fast seniors competing. I just hope to collect as many points as possible and keep grinding away in the remaining events.

 As I noted in my last training update , things didn't go all that great after the marathon and my mileage has been down but for the last couple of weeks I;ve been running some strong workouts and I'm hoping that with fresh legs I'll race well and after the race I plan to get serious again with the training. It's time to get my weekly mileage back up to about normal and prepare for the next big events to close out the series and also get that Boston Qualifier.

 Stay tuned for results and a report.

Sunday, January 21, 2018


  I was just past the first half mile of my morning run along the country roads that make up my home course. Open fields all around as I climbed the steady grade in the light of dawn and then directly ahead the lifegiving golden orb broke on the horizon. Unintentional but it seems my timing was perfect to be in that spot at precisely that moment. To be honest I had really wanted to run later with the forecast for Spring like weather but my schedule allowed that this morning start at 34F was my only choice. I am glad it turned out to be so.
  As I ran on I began to think of the meaning of the dawn of a new day. As each new day comes yesterday is now but a memory. Good or bad it is done and nothing anyone can ever change that. This momen  is truly all that matters. For me in this moment it was just the next breath, the next step. I had no real plan going into the run other than to cover 10 miles if things went well.  And so I ran on with no expectations.
  Life is like that. We can't change the past nor can we predict the future but we can embrace the moment. And I accepted that and was happy in just the movement, nearly hypnotized by the rhythm of my footsteps, each inhale, each exhale.
  In the end it was a good run, a satisfying run. About as fast as I normally run without trying to push the pace. 10 miles in 1:29:13. Tomorrow is not guaranteed but if it comes for me I hope I can accept it for what it brings.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

training, yoga, snow and rambling update 1-18-18

 So how is the new year going so far?

 I'm snowed in at the moment,with about 6 inches  on the ground and with the temperature at 14F  its solid ice right now but I hoped to get out for a few miles with the screwed shoes later.

 The running hasn't been hitting on much so far this year. Right now as of the 18th I've only put 28 miles in the log. Partly due to being a wimp about the below normal temperatures this year and partly due to  extra work and a big part due to just lacking motivation which I think is related to just being worn down after Rocket City last month. I'm taking a positive attitude toward this and looking at it as nice recovery period. I know from the 40 years of experience that when the time comes for a big push the body will respond. The great thing about this is I haven't missed a chunk of time due to injury and I haven't shut it completely down. In the past couple of weeks although the mileage is down I have had some good quality workouts.

 I also had my 2nd yogaversary on the 8th. Yep, two years ago when Laura finally got me into yoga and as most of you know its a huge part of my life now with Bikram Hot yoga at least 4 days a week , sometimes 5 or 6 and for over a year now I've been doing the yin yoga 5 or 6 days a week. I've recently added one or two vinyasa classes in the mix but missed all of last week with that.  Its amazing and sometimes exciting to see and feel the changes in my body, doing things I never thought possible. And I'm  excited to know there is so much more to come but more importantly how it improves my quality of life outside the studio.

 I had fallen off with the body weight fitness stuff for about 3 months when I had a shoulder strain but had worked myself back up to near normal levels again until last week when I hyper-extended my right elbow. I can still do my yoga and most other things but pullups and dips put too much pressure on it right now. Hopefully that will be resolved soon. Gotta keep those muscles !

 So that's about it. I'm ready to start ramping up the mileage now to prepare for a great Spring of racing. Just one race coming up on the 28th this month. More on that later.

Monday, January 01, 2018


 And just like that the fog has lifted and I can see clearly what my goals are for the next 16 months.

Of course this came to me in the middle of my 9 mile run on Saturday. The plans I had considered for the remainder of the Winter and Spring just weren't making much sense and beyond July I was clueless but now I know exactly what I want and I can go about planning the training and other events that will help in achieving these goals. I began to do a little research Saturday night and again Sunday and this morning I was ready to discuss it all with the #1 fan and inspirational advisor. She thinks its a great plan !

 Goal #1 really hasn't changed and that is to try my best to win the Senior Grandmaster division in the 40th Running Journal Grand Prix which started in August and continues until Memorial Day .  What has changed is some plans I had in between which would have left me without the time and energy to focus on each race in the series which would mean I couldn't be in top form and I really have to be to compete against some really strong runners I expect to face. So the marathon which I didn't mention to anyone but the #1 fan is off the table for Feb. now. I just don't have time to properly prepare and it would have taken away from my prep for March's big half marathon in Memphis. I also made a firm decision not to try and race Myrtle Beach the week before the Memphis race so I can be at 100%. It would be silly to waste the time , effort and money just to wear myself down before the big race which I have a shot at winning and gives 25 bonus points !

  The next Big change is no Ultras in April. Nope Ultraman is not coming back for awhile . Still some wiggle room in the Fall plans so maybe a 50k if I can find one that meets the criteria and can be a boost for the ultimate goal but we're getting a little ahead  here.

 So no ultras in April but I am planning on a marathon. Right now I'm 99% sure it will be the Toledo Marathon on 4-22. That will give me plenty of time to sensibly build up my mileage and some recovery time after Memphis and then about 6 weeks to prepare for the last race in the GP , the Cotton Row Run 10k on May 28th. And of course the reason for the marathon is to get a Boston Qualifier ! I looked at several races in a couple of weeks span  from the end of March and end of April and Toledo seems the perfect fit. A relatively flat and fast course, good weather probability and at 1,500 runners about the perfect size field.  Great reviews for the event and the timing is about perfect to squeeze it in with my other plans.

 Which brings us to the ultimate goal in case you haven't figured it out.  Be in the best shape possible for a strong race at Boston in 2019 ! I'll detail that story much more in the future but for now lets just go with I really should have a sub 4 at Boston and I would really like to get in the 3:40 to 3:45 neighborhood. At least. After the end of May and the Grand
Prix I'll have over 10 months to focus my training and racing on being in the best possible marathon shape I can be. Now I'm excited !!!