Sunday, March 14, 2010
I like the movie "Maverick" with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. In the movie Brett Maverick is playing cards with the notorious John Wesley Hardin. Hardin goes for his gun. Maverick does a lightning fast draw and points his gun at Hardin's nose, Annabelle, played by Jodie Foster, leans over to Hardin and asks, "You thought that was fast? I thought it was fast. Well was it?"
I just love that line!
Eleven months ago I started running. I had lost some weight and thought I might be able to run without putting too much strain on my body. I joined the "C25K - Running for Beginners!" SparkTeam. I faithfully adhered to the C25K program. I was surprised how well the program worked. I started adding mileage. I was a runner again!
I ran a lot.
In May 2009 I did my first timed 5K. My time was 29:54! I ran 5K in under 30 minutes by 6 whole seconds! I was really happy! I decided to set a totally unreasonable goal of running a 5K in under 24 minutes. I lost some more weight and got faster. In July 2009 I posted a 26:42. I was jazzed. I was under 27 minutes by 18 seconds! A week later I hurt myself on an 8 mile run over uneven terrain. I was diagnosed with Iliotibial band syndrome. I spent 6 weeks in physical therapy. I struggled to get back up to speed.
Two weeks ago I traveled to Phoenix on business. I took my running stuff and my Garmin 305. I went for a run after I arrived and really pushed it. I ran 5K in 24:36! Holy smokes! I am so close to my goal.
I rested a day. I found a great place to run - a nice flat dirt road along a canal. As I dressed for my run I saw myself in the mirror. I had those runner veins lacing my legs. I also had six pack abs! I kind of looked, well, like a runner!
I walked and jogged a little down to the canal to warm-up. When I got to the canal I saw that endless stretch of dirt. I took a big breath. I gritted my teeth. I hit the start button on my timer and launched myself down the road. The sun was warm. I was moving well. I glanced at my timer. My pace was 7:29. I knew that was a good pace. I was running smoothly. At 2.6 miles my timer read 19:40. All I had to do was cover the last ˝ mile in under 4:20 to finish below 24 minutes. I did the math in my head - 8:40 min/mile pace. I thought, “I can do that. A half mile is not far.” All of a sudden I could feel myself slowing down. “Oh no!” I hit the wall! I noticed there were telephone poles on the side of the road. I just tried to pick-off telephone poles. I told myself, “Run fast to the next pole”. I was out of gas. I felt like giving up. But I could make it to the next pole and the pole after that. I glanced at my timer - 3.07 miles. I told myself, “Keep running.” My legs felt like lead. The distance display seemed to be frozen. I heard the voice in my head, “Keep running.“ I was hurting. The distance display said 3.09 miles. “Keep running! Almost there.” I passed 3.1 miles. Just a bit more. Finally the display showed 3.11 miles! I hit the timer stop button. I slowed to a walk. Sweat stung my eyes. I blinked twice and wiped my eyes. The timer showed 23:12! OMG! I ran the last ˝ mile in 3 minutes and 32 seconds!
“I thought it was fast. Well was it?" Maybe.
Is 21 minutes flat possible? I don't really know. It’s worth a try. Then I will be fast.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I signed up for a 5K race on March 20th in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. I made the mistake of telling my son Ben about this race. He exclaimed, “Dad, I have friends that running that St. Paddy’s day race! You and I can run together!”
Oh, that is just peachy!
Ben is an ex-collegian runner. He is fast. Not just recreational runner fast - he is elite runner fast! Nearly every time I run with him I end-up injured! He is 29. He can jog a 5K in under 18 minutes. He is really fast when he kicks it in high gear!
My daughter Katie called me, “Hey dad, Ben told me you are running a 5K on the 20th. I will be home on spring break and will run the race with you!”
Oh, that is just peachy!
Katie has blazing speed. Her room is full of medals and ribbons she won in high school track and cross country. She has a state championship patch on her letter jacket.
I can hear my kids now, “Come on old man - pick it up.” My reply, “Hey, this is as fast as I go!” I am not particularly slow. I run too hard when I race anyway. I don’t need my kids goading me into running way faster than I should. I am happy about this family togetherness stuff. I just can’t get over a vague feeling that my kids are running the race just to tease me!
Oh, that is just peachy!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Chapter 1: Eating Too Much and Losing Weight
For the past 11 days I didn’t exercise much. I had too many aches and pains. I also ate exactly what I wanted. I drank beer and went out for barbecue. I ate brownies and cookies. I didn’t log a single entry into my SparkPeople nutrition tracker. I was bad! I also lost 3 pounds! I am still trying to figure that out!
Chapter 2: Running in Terrible Conditions
Yesterday I went running. I covered 3.75 miles in about 40 minutes. My training pace was 10:40 minutes/mile. I suppose I should be happy. The conditions sucked! The temperature was 14 degrees F. The running surface was snow-packed and icy. I did not have fun and was sucking wind pretty badly.
Chapter 3: Winter Sports
Like most people I have been watching the Olympics. Then it struck me -- why should I watch winter sports on the TV when I live in a Colorado winter wonderland. I can be on a Lift at Breckenridge in less than an hour. I thought I should go out and hit the slopes. Unfortunately, my wife put my ski boots in the shed, which is a black hole. I could only find one boot. The other boot is floating in outer space.
I wanted to do some Nordic skiing but I left my cross-country skiing skis at my brother’s house in Summit County. Two down, one to go!
I did have my snowshoes handy. My wife loves snowshoeing. I am not that excited about snowshoeing. I like speed and skiing is fast. Snowshoeing is not fast. At least I could find my snowshoes. I threw my snowshoes in my truck and called my Beagle.
As a local, I knew where to go to avoid other winter sports enthusiasts. I spent 2 hours snowshoeing at over 10,000 feet elevation in 10 degrees F. According to a SparkPeople, I burned over 1,600 calories. Another site dedicated to snowshoeing put the calories burned at 1466.
Here was my day. I actually had a really good time snowshoeing.
This is me in my cold weather garb. You would never guess that my ancestory is German, Dutch and Swedish.
I just pulled out of my driveway. This is the street where I live. Snow depth is about 8"
Anticipation of a great day.
Climbing up the trail - untracked paradise!
This is colder than it looks!
Mountain meadow. 10,000 feet elevation.
My tracks in the forest.
Lucas swimming in the snow.
Lunch time - Beef Jerky and a Nutrigrain Bar.
Fanny pack with food, water, Coke-a-Cola, first aid kit, matches, fire starting sticks, knife, compass, survival solar space blanket, parachute cord, and cell phone. However, the cell phone doesn't work here.
Lucas waiting for his lunch. He got a bit of Beef Jerky and a dog biscuit.
Deep in the woods. Very quiet!
Back at the truck and civilization!
Hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream (250 calories). A perfect ending!
I still want to find my other downhill ski boot. I also want to get my cross-country skis from my brother. However, snowshoeing will do for now.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
I went running today. I generally list a summary of my run in terms of distance, time and pace. I also list temperature, wind chill and humidity. I note the location and altitude. I keep track of my performance with my Garmin timer. Here is a less scientific summary of my run:
Time: Darn near dark
Location: Icy nightmare hell
Training Goal: Keep moving to keep my brain from freezing (unsuccessful)
Total Distance: One foot in front of the other until I collapse (not very far)
Ave Pace: Slow and slower than slow
Company: Alone (No one else is so stupid to run when birds refuse to fly)
Total Time: Eternity of pain
Weather conditions: Cold, damn cold
Elevation: Nosebleed zone
Post workout meal: Beer and chocolate chip cookies (Comfort food)
I forgot to tighten my right shoe lace before I started running. My foot was swimming inside my shoe. I didn't notice my shoe lace was loose until my frikin foot exploded!
You ask, "Hey Bruce, when did you start running?" I answer, “During the Nixon administration." You ask, "When did you learn to tie your own shoe laces?" I answer, "I will let you know if I ever do!"
Someday I may become a grown-up!
Monday, February 08, 2010
My training program called for a 5 mile run today. We had 9" of show accumulation and more snow is on the way. I decided to drive to the Platte Canyon High School track. First the track is the only place where I live that is flat. I also figured that the black surface of the track would have less snow. The conditions were challenging:
Date: Sunday, February 7th, 2010
Location: Platte Canyon High School Track
Total Distance: 5.3 miles
Total Time: 60 minutes
Timed Distance: 5K and 5 miles
5K Time: 30:12
5K Pace: 9:44 min/mile
5 Mile Time: 53:42
5 Mile Pace: 10:45 min/mile
Weather Condition: Cloudy, Temperature 18.1 °F, Feels Like 7.9°F, Wind 8.1 mph WNW, Humidity 98%, Cold with Blowing Snow
I enjoyed running in these conditions. I expected to wear a little trail on the track. The snow drifting over the track obliteration my footprints. I read this article on-line about running in the cold. The guy that wrote the article was giving advice on how to dress for cold weather. He said he went running in frigid conditions of 40 °F! What? 40 °F is a heat wave! I took some photos of some real cold.
Stadium and Track
98% humidity makes it foggy and really cold!
Nice and soft running surface
My footprints in the snow
Snow drift around my bag
The snow made it difficult to keep up a good pace. Overall, I had a good time and still made it back to see the Superbowl kick-off. I have some advice of my own about cold weather running:
(1) Keep moving or you will freeze;
(2) Wear fleece gloves so you can wipe your runny nose on a soft surface; (Ok - I know that is gross!);
(3) Bring a towel; and
(4) Hydrate before you leave home, but pee three times before you leave. (This one is obvious - think about it)
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