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Showing posts from 2013

Running changes on the low horizon

It's fall, for sure. Walking out from work it was nearly dark, another week and it should be totally dark around 4:45 or so. Yucky.
     Weird that it's the same time of day as just 60 days ago and yet the mental challenge of getting out for an early or late run is so much tougher now. But as always, it's well worth it. We'll have different runs due to the weather and darkness, slower, more bundled up, more laundry to do! Yet, we continue on through the fall in preparation for a couple of very cold winter months.
     What keeps me going is the freshness of each and every day, the newness of a cold crisp morning with stars shining and creatures treading quietly through the woods where we run. It's a very different running-scape versus our warm weather months, some days the snow covered park is so strikingly beautiful if feels as if I've run to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada or the Big Sky lands of Montana.
     Although it's known as the off season…

Morning rain

One ear, uncovered, receives the echos that have filtered through...
the wet, colonial blue siding,
the window of double pane strength,
the lowly flowered curtain. 

Silent, miniature water bombs explode onto the cedar plank deck.
Pure h2o droplets splash into the still uncovered above ground pool.
Streams of liquid life pour off the roof and waterfall onto river rock.
My bedroom is alive with the vibrato of natures great gift of rain.

Can't think, must act without stopping to ponder the options.
Down the stairs, using the glow from my cell phone to light each step.
Labrador following, ready for food, cat clawing the table post, stretching herself awake.
I lumber to the mudroom after a pitstop, thankful for a fresh set of togs.

It's fall, and cold mornings are made even less pleasant by the late arrival of the sunrise.
As I finish getting ready, the light from a single room leaks into the now quiet kitchen.
I see by the clock more time has slipped by than I had planned.
I will trade back the …

To BQ, but not be at Boston.

13, 108...that's my Boston Qualifier marathon in seconds. Sure, it's spread out over 3 hours, 38 minutes and 28 seconds along a trail that was 26.2 miles long, but that's still a lot of seconds.
     Turns out that my first BQ was six seconds too many.
     It started out in 2008 at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I was in great shape, for me that is. Shooting for a finishing time of 3:35.59 or less, my recent 20 miler and a couple of tune up 5k's said this was a very doable time. Funny how so many things can crop up on race day.
     As the race was about to start I realized the guy that passed my at mile 18 in the 20 miler was standing a couple feet away. We talked about goals and I thought I could just pace behind him for a while and see how it goes. Feeling good, as most of us do at the start, I kept within 50 yards or so for the first mile. Bad move, I was a minute ahead of pace! Ugh, what was he doing running so fast? I backed off and as I tried to regro…

Running, easy as A B C...Not!

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After years, even decades, of running we always have the opportunity to learn what works best for our training. The tweaks of our body are matched only by the tweaks we must make to our workouts.
     Early in our running, especially if we are young, there is a wide margin of error for overzealous training and racing. Some are lucky enough to rage through and continue on with no ills, but most of us must manage the highs and lows of good days and bad, successful seasons or not, and years of injury free running that we hold dear to our hearts because we know they are so precious.
     I've been working hard to manage my training the last four years as I trained in earnest for a BQ. I really enjoy training, especially over the past few years with our group. It's not about the racing, it's about the ability to head out for a group run or a solo adventure feeling like I am ready and able. Injuries and setbacks of the past embed themselves in my ink pen as I sketch out train…

Benchmarks of the season

I struggle keeping my running log book up to date. My  buddy Dave has offered to review his and send me mileage for the past couple of months of our runs together. I have some runs listed in, thanks to the storage feature of my 305. And I did write in some others, well, a few...ok, two! Dang, why can't I just take 45 seconds to write down my run for the day when I get done?
     Without being able to look back and see exactly what we've done, it's hard to know where we are, or should be, in regards to fitness. Sure, we know of certain workouts we've done over the past few weeks, but being able to see the numbers enables us to know if we are slacking or overdoing it over a six to eight week period. Especially if we make notes on how we felt for the day versus just logging the mileage. Notations add weather, conditions, course, etc and make reading early workouts more enjoyable and help you recall the effort more vividly. "Great 6 miler today, felt good after …

Little jar full of match sticks

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Sometimes it's the little gains that make the most difference. The ones hidden from view and hardly mentioned. If I had two glass jars of wooden match sticks, one representing the big events in my life, the other a collection for each of the smaller events in my life, there's no question the second jar would be much fuller. Much the same as most anyone.
     If asked, it would be a tough decision on which jar would be the one to keep, if only one could be kept. In many instances, the big events won't happen without help from little events. The crescendo does not stand alone, it is given life in the prelude and carried away by the finale. But there are big events that happen right before our eyes, or across the country, that defy the odds and stand as a signal that life is random and we must always be paying attention.  So much can happen as we sit in our homes, insulated from life beyond our domain.
     I think I'll start a collection of wooden match sticks, in two j…

Marathon week!

Just a week away from the Lake Wobegon Marathon! We had hoped for a much milder spring for training, so to say the least J'net and I are a bit under trained.  We did get in a solid last month in, a good 20 miler and a few solid paced runs.
Race day we are shooting for a sub four hour finish, we'll just start out conservative and see how the race develops.
Should be fun!

Winter: It's not quite dead, yet!

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Shovel the sidewalk...a tounge on the flagpole parody.
     Please disregard my last posting...way too optimistic!      Today's 16 mile run with Dave was easy pace, but only 15' at the start, and a cool 18' by finish time. High's in the 30's for another week means more laundry to be done, more time to get ready and of course icy paths in the morning.      I still don't mind, it's such a blessing to be running nearly pain and injury free ( there's always something nagging, but right now things are ok ) that the cold and clothes are a  minor inconvenience. We've got a great area to run in, good friends to keep us motivated and a marathon on May 11 that reminds us "Hey, did you get a run in today?"      For those of you in warmer climes, enjoy the coolness of a 45' morning run and think of us here in Minnesota. We'll catch up later this year when you're running in 90' heat and we are striding along the trails on a 75' and …

Winter is Half Dead!

I have to admit, the last half of winter isn't really here yet, but on the other hand by the time mid-March arrives we are ready for tee shirts and shorts! Sure, we'll get some snow, but it will be in the 50's some days and the snow will melt quickly.
     On my calendar winter is half over, and it's the tough part that's over!
     Trails right now and for the next few weeks will be a constant variation; ice, snow, melt, slush, dry, water. We'll get it all but that's fine with me, it's a sign from Mother Nature that spring is on the way.
     Am I starting the celebration too early? I think not. Running the past week it was 12' and it felt good. That means I'm adjusted to the cold and anything over 20' will feel like spring. I'd have to carry a water bottle for the heat if it gets over 30' this weekend!
    I can dream. Soon enough the temps will be in the 40's every day and spring will be rooted in our yards, gardens and p…