Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday 9/20

I am feeling much better today. I did a “special” exercise this morning and it improved my life outlook tremendously. The exercise – I created a list of my greatest treasures. I am a wealthy man. For each treasure, I spent several minutes contemplating its meaning to me, and how life would be if that treasure were not mine. My list is simple – health, relationship with God, wife, daughter & son, running, my job which provides all of us with food & warmth & shelter, physical comforts that go beyond need and further even way far beyond my want. I could go into detail, but I will just echo the ancient words of that famous dude David – “my cup over flows.” My running has been going ok. Not tremendously great, but ok is fine with me. Early in the week, I still struggled in the dull drums. On Monday I signed up for a bench and run contest that’s scheduled for October 17th. I have rarely done free weight bench workouts. I think I’m in trouble. Since I am an old guy, my bench weight is set at 90% of my body weight. I hope this will be 165lbs at most. On Tuesday there was another middle school XC meet that canceled my track session. After a 24 minute warm-up, I did 2m on the tread mill, and could not keep with a steady tempo run. So I did 4 quarters at about 6:15 sandwiched between 7:30 pace quarters. I did 4x25 sets of push ups and 2x15 bench press of 95lbs before, during and after my runs. I wonder if I could do even one rep of 165lbs. Wednesday I did a spin class. On a scale of 1-10 I put about 8.5 effort into this class which is pretty good for me. I had sweat dripping from my brow by the first 10 minutes. In ½ hour, every stitch of cloths I had on was wet. I had planned a short recover run after the class, but lacked motivation, so I bagged it. During the first part of today’s run, I did the “special” exercise. My run was a loop on mostly bridle trails through North Chagrin park. – Here is a (guesstimated) map: I ran fairly hard and it felt good. About ½ way through the run, I went past the front of Squires Castle. This will forever be know in my mind as the “start of BR 100.” I abstained from ibuprofen today, which is unusual for a scheduled hard day. I limit my ibuprofen intake to 3x a week at most, so that my body won’t build a tolerance to it. Sometimes I run with pain. For a non ibuprofen day, the pain was minimal. There was a little tenderness on the bottom of my heels for the first 15 minutes, (plantar fasciitis), and then no pain for the remainder of the run. I have done this loop before, today was my fastest time. I feel happiness.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday 9/17

Last week my mood was low all week. I didn’t want to do the Tuesday tempo run. I almost didn’t. My typical Tuesday after work consists of a 14 minute warm up run from our Campus I fitness center to the nearby Mayfield HS track. Here is a map route When I got to the track, there was a middle school cross county meet in progress with the finish line on the track. My track session was CANCELED. I had limited time for my work out, but decided to spend a few minutes watching the kids run. It was a big meet and there were a lot of parents/grandparents. I knew NO ONE. Yet I used this time to enjoy watching the effort these kids put out. Almost all of them were really throwing themselves into the race. I was inspired to the point of encouraging some of the kids as they ran by – heck – I’ll admit it - I was yelling at the top of my lungs as though my kid was out there fighting off an opponent. With my mood improved, I jogged back to the fitness center, and en route I decided that I had at least 15 extra minutes. So I planned to do a 2m tempo on tread mill. I HATE tread mills. I was in the same funk on Thursday at lunch time when I had a 3x1200 interval scheduled. I just did not want to go. It took everything I had in me to get out of my work chair and go to the track. My first interval was dismal. Second a little better. I finally got into the groove with the last. And doing 4:20 was a huge boost to my mood. Yesterday I picked up new shoes from Vertical Runner. Buying new shoes always helps improve my mood. The next two weeks I will break them in, and then use them to complete Akron Marathon and Towpath Marathon. I have not yet registered for Towpath. I plan to do that this evening. My track sessions will be less intimidating the next two weeks, since I will be using them to set my marathon pace. I’d like to keep at least 7:30 for both races so I have my track pace set a little faster. I view these two marathon events as training/preparation for JFK 50.

Last Week - This Week

Last week 9/9 through 9/16 Sunday – Buckeye ½ Marathon – 1:35:57 Monday – 3m - Easy - North Chagrin Trails (NCT) Tuesday – 2 mile tempo. 3 mile warm up. tread mill – 12:57 Wednesday – 8m – Easy – NCT. Spin at lunch time. Thursday – 6m – Track – 3x1200 w/400 rest – 4:46;4:35 and 4:20. Friday – 10m - Easy NCT with Brandon Russell– Noon Boot Camp Saturday – 14m on Buckeye Trail with Brandon Russell. Week totals – 60 miles – 1 spin class – Friday Boot Camp. This week 9/17 through 9/23 – Akron M. Preparation Sunday – Rest Monday – Easy Tuesday – Track – 6m Tempo at 7:30 m/m pace Wednesday – Easy run – Spin Thursday – Track – 3m Tempo at 7:30 m/m pace Friday – Easy run - Spin – Boot Camp – Saturday – 8m Trails – Easy

Monday, September 10, 2007

Buckeye ½ Marathon

I was not mentally ready for this race. The rain didn’t help. I didn’t want to run. I got there early. As I was in the registration tent getting my number, I was bit at least 3 times by mosquitos. I waited in my truck – reading – for about 40 minutes. About 30 minutes prior to the race start I went out for a 10-15 minute warm up. I ran about ½ mile down the road to a remote trail-head for the towpath to use a bathroom that I knew would be deserted. During thr warm up I realized two things – I forgot to put body glide in ALL the places I need, and I had on an old pair of shoes that would be disaster in a 13 mile run. With just 5 minutes to spare, I was back at my truck, applied the BG to where I needed, and put on my race shoes. I got to the start with only a few minutes to socialize with some of the runners there – Steve Godale, Joe Salwan, and Vince Rucci. I asked Vince about his Colorado trail Marathon, and then it was time to run. Later I found out he did Punxatuny 50k on Saturday - in 4:04 – second place. Incredible running Vince, congratulations! The first 3 miles went well in just 21 minutes. I was passing a steady stream of runners. I felt a little tired but I thought the 7m/m pace was well within my limits. The next 5 mines were about 36 minutes – a little slower just over 7:10 pace per mile. And I was no longer passing anyone. Mile 9 has a few hills. And this is where the steady light rain changed into a heavy downpour. And it knocked the wind out of me. I was passed by 5 runners. Mile time was just over 8 minutes. The remaining 4 miles is on rolling hills, none of which are large, but enough to keep me just over 7:40 mile pace. The last of the hills was just before mile 13. I was passed by at least 10 more runners over the last 4 miles and 3 of those runners past me in the last ½ mile of the race. Not at all how I want to finish a race. Finish time – 1:35:54.

Last Week - This Week

Last week 9/2 through 9/8 Sunday - Rest Monday – 5miles(m) race – Labor of Love - 33:28 – 5m easy Tuesday – 10m - Easy – North Chagrin Trails (NCT) with my brother Dale Wednesday – 4m – Easy – NCT with Dave Nonno. Spin immediately after run. Thursday – 6m – Track – 3x1200 w/400 rest – 4:34;4:30 and 4:22. Friday – 6:00a.m. Spin – Noon Boot Camp – 6m – Easy Saturday – Rest Week totals – 38 miles – 2 spin class – Friday Boot Camp. This week 9/9 through 9/15 Sunday – Buckeye ½ Marathon Monday – Easy Tuesday – Track – 3m Tempo Wednesday – Easy run – Spin Thursday – Track – 3x1200 Friday – Spin – Boot Camp – Rest Saturday – 15m Trails – Easy

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Labor of Love 5 mile

I was planning to run this in about 32 minutes. I base that on the track session I did last Thursday – a 2 mile tempo run. I forgot to figure in the 20 mile training run I did on Saturday and the fact that Labor of Love is not a flat course. I was about a minute slower than planned. The day before the race I fantasized a 2.5 mile warm-up jog, followed by the 5 mile race and then another 2.5 cool down. I thought it would be nice to get a 10 mile into my running log. I doubted I would have the motivation complete that. Some things I like about this race – First, the benefit organization, Akron Pregnancy Services helps people in desperate need. Second, the sponsor organization, The Chapel in Akron puts on a great spread of food after the race. Church ladies know how to bake! I like the out and back type course because you get to see where you are in the field of runners and you can “check-in” with your friends as you pass each other opposite directions. Some things I don’t like about this race – The running surface is mainly cement, tough on the bones. This is a double loop of 2.5 miles NEAR the down town Akron area. There’s not much going on here, it is dull scenery. And there is a hairpin turn in the course that really slows you down. We do that twice. As I arrive to get my race number, I met Joe Salwan. First thing asks me, “want to do a 2.5 mile warm-up?” This fits my plan perfectly. I did a quick, passing hi and greeting with Mike Keller between warm-up run and pre-race potty stop. In the start area I met Greg Dykes. And I pointed out my wife, daughter and mother-in-law to Greg. The family came down to wait and wait and wait for me as I raced. Not too much fun for them, but there was a twist-up balloon guy that my daughter appreciated. I think she got a balloon puppy or something. It was a typical race for me. I started with about 60 people in front of me for the first ¼ mile. Then I moved through the crowd as they slowed down and my heart started to catch up on the demands of my legs and lungs. At 1.25 miles there is the first hairpin turn, I counted 39 runners in front of me. Over the next mile I passed 12 of them. At 2.5 miles we went through the starting area. Someone yelled out to me, “Mike – 2 miles down, just 98 more to go.” Someone was reminding me of the 100 mile run I did just 4 weeks ago, as though I needed reminding! I think this was Jim Chaney, but I’m not sure. I did not see him there, Mike Keller mentioned him in his blog entry and that’s why I deduce it to have been Jim. They have a 2 person relay race along with the 5 mile. Just past the exchange point, two young men pass me and I can tell they are fresh relay runners. Over the next 2.5 miles I catch and pass another 2 runners, so I think my final place was high 20’s. I’ll know for sure when the results are published. I believe there were at least 5 relay teams in front of me, so I know my place was low 20’s. I was fairly pleased with my 33:28 time, expecting faster, but knowing that my expectations were probably slightly unrealistic. After the run, I met Paul Organ, one of Joe’s friends. The three of us did another 2.5 mile cool down. During the cool down, I discovered Paul is also 47 and he finished the 5 mile race about 90 seconds in front of me. The remainder of the afternoon was spent touring Holmes County. We got some Amish baked cookies, cheese, fresh corn, squash, peppers, etc. Also we go to a winery near Sugarcreek called Breitenbach. This is the only place we can find currant wine. Home made currant wine is popular in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic. My wife’s family is from the town of Ivancice (pronounced e-von-chit-sa), and the official town seal/emblem of Ivancice is composed of three wine flasks. If you’ve never had currant wine, I suggest you give it a try.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yesterday - Double Workout

Yesterday was a double workout. I ran 20 miles on the Akron Road Runner Marathon course with the Vertical Runner training group. And I did two dance performances at he Cleveland Octoberfest in the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, Berea. There were at least 45 runners. We met at 6:30am in front of the Akron Aeros baseball stadium, the starting line for the marathon. I only knew maybe 6 of the runners there. Bill Bailey, Greg Dykes, Jamie Carr, Joe Salwan, Mike Keller and Don Holtzapple. This was my first long run since BR100, four weeks ago. I have done a couple of 50+ minute runs at slower pace. Yesterday we, (Greg, Jamie and I) ran a little better than 8:30 per mile. I took a couple of potty breaks and had to run catch up, which great interval training. Unintentional intervals, but it forced me to push harder than I wanted. I did struggle for the last mile and a half. Thanks Jamie and Greg for pulling me along. Our dance group, The Sokol Greater Cleveland Czech Folk Dancers performed at 2:30pm and again at 4:30 before a sparse gathering of Octoberfest revelers. We do six different dances for each performance. It was fun and we danced fairly well. We do mainly polkas and waltz style dances, that are self choreographed with authentic Czech folk music. My partners were Julie, Angela and Barb. At the end of the final dance, I throw my wife Judy up on my shoulder. She waves a small USA and Czech flag as the other dancers move in two circles around us.


My name is Mike. I have been married to Judy since May 1997. My wife and I have a daughter that we adopted from China in 2005. I have a son from a previous marriage, and he will graduate from high school in 2008. I intend to focus the posts here on running. I have a passion for long distance running. I will try to make an entry at least once a week. I plan to track my training and future running plans and also include race reports, and an occasional photo. Judy took this photo of me just a few hours after finishing Burning River 100.
Welcome to my blog!