Thursday, January 28, 2010

203 Days to Go Starting line = Finish Line

Sometimes I wish I could fast forward.  I wish I could just jump ahead right now to August 20th, with all the training having been done, all the hard work poured in, ready to toe the line and hit the course.

Of course if I did that, I would miss out on a lot.  I would miss out on the joys of a basic little two miler on the treadmill.  I would miss out on all the late night strategy discussions with my coach aka teh wifey.  I would miss out on long runs in the mountains of Colorado while our family camps.  I would miss out on all the races we have planned, and the trips to go run (and you know visit family and have vacation.)  I would miss out on that sweet satisfaction of stopping, after a long run; of that "I'm done with my run" feeling that I love so much.  I would miss out on that pre-race flurry of craziness and insanity that I know will set in the days, hours, and minutes before the race.  (Did I ever tell you about my midnight shopping spree the night before the marathon where I bought three separate rain-proof jackets at three different stores?  And later returned all but one...)  This is the fun of the journey.  The journey to get to the starting line.  I can't wait to break the tape, but I'm gonna try and enjoy getting there too.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

207 Days to go - Winter Series II Race report aka Celebrating your Successes!

So I ran a race yesterday.  Thanks to the kindness of a church friend, I got to join teh wifey and another friend on the second leg of the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series.  Teh wifey was signed up for the whole thing, but due to our flu from a few weeks ago she missed the first race.  The Long series (does anyone really bother with the short series? hee hee) :)  increases from six, eight, and ten miles and then finishes with a 20k race.

I was going into this eight miler as a training run, and a chance to run in a race with teh wifey which doesn't happen to often.  Overall I felt pretty good, talked to a nice guy for about ten minutes (while running!), and pushed it hard enough throughout to make a goal time, which in this case was under 90 minutes, (finished in 1:29:28.)

Now this, as we know whenever we are talking about my running times, is not fast.  In fact for this race it is very slow.  In fact it is so slow that of 254 male and female runners I finished 243rd out of 254.  (I beat three guys total.)  Now how can I rectify the two facts that, 1. I in my own relative perspective met my goal time, and yet 2. finished in the lowest 4% of runners and in the last 11 runners AND the winner finished in half the time I did and and and and...

Here's how I do it.

There are, by my own rough scientific approximation, 500,000 people who live in Colorado Springs.  Yesterday I ran faster thant 499,757 of them.  The four hundred or so who ran the "short" race all would have been disqualified for the eight mile race since they didn't cover the distance.  The other people who had nice runs in the Springs (you fast people know who you are) weren't on the right course so you are disqualified. That means on January 23rd, for the greater Colorado Springs area,  I finished in the top 99.99514th percentile of all runners for the eight mile winter series race.  That might be a little bit of silly warped logic, but it all points to one thought.  Celebrate your successes!  Even if you're like me (ok we know you're faster than that) and barely finish before they close the finish line, but you have a good run, and make your goal? Celebrate!  Too often I find myself discounting things, or rationalizing away any good things that are accomplished because I let "others" define the parameters of my success.  Well, not today.  Today we celebrate!  Quaff a Mountain Dew, let loose a hearty battle cry to the sky, cheer on Fulham FC,  then run three more miles the next day.  :)

What successes have you missed out on celebrating?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

210 Days to Go - Piling on

The treadmill is here.  I've run on it.  I've already decided that the best thing about having a treadmill in your house, is that if you wait until your kids are in bed, there is no dress code.  Absolutely none.  Teh wifey might chuckle at me running in my undergarments and dress socks, and it might make you throw up in your mouth just a little, but I can still do it.  Just because.  Ok enough nausea.  p.s. there will be no pics of that...yes, you're welcome.

Hey how does running this sound?  50k shouldn't be too bad, right?  Just a nice long training run in the park.  And its close to the house.  Rock on.

Sheesh, all these races, and you would think that I actually like running...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

219 Days to Go - I'm not ready for my closeup.

My apologies to all.  The treadmill pics will have to wait.  This is due to the fact that the idiots/sales professionals at the store, have decided it is reasonable to wait a week to ship the thing out.  My post-flu, cough-plagued lungs are full of hate.

On another strange note, in a series of strange notes.  I am now a TV/running star.  Or at least I will be on February 1st when I make my nationwide debut.  Yeah settle back, here comes another one of these strange things that Ace talks about, that really aren't that strange when you find out what it actually is, but I blather on about them anyway.

So a while back, I gave in to the incessant calls from a TV producer who shoots pieces for a short news magazine piece  The program (usually about two minutes long) is one where they give advice to parents/family types on how to live a better life/be a better parent/not go insane and give in to the murderous thoughts you have towards your children.  Apparently the other topic they are adding is how to become an uber runner type like me.  Well sort of.  The topic in our little "episode" is something like taking time for yourself.  You know so you can retain some of your parental sanity that left the moment your first child was born.  So there are lots of shots of teh wifey (who looks amazing! says amazing things! and is generally amazing!  (for some reason they included her speaking a whole lot more than me?  go figure!?)) and myself (yeah opening shot of me I have a massive wedgie, thanks camera guy!) doing things together and with the kids and then some shots of us doing things alone.   AND THERE ARE SHOTS OF ME RUNNING!

Yes I am now a professional TV running celebrity.  I'm sure millions across the land will be inspired by the wondrous images of me, plodding down the street in front of my house, looking like I'm about to keel over and die from physical exertion.  A new nation-wide running obsession is clearly about to begin.  There is a shot of me running with teh wifey where it looks like she is smiling and enjoying the whole running thing (true) and I look like I've recently given in to a death wish, hauled myself off the couch for the first time in six months and decided to commit ritual suicide using running shoes (only a little true.)  Either that or I look amazing.

I'm not exactly sure if I always look like I'm in severe pain while I run, or the camera guy just managed to catch that magical moment.  Either way, on February 1st TV sets across the land will be able to decide for themselves.  Either way I expect the royalty checks to come pouring in.  Probably about the same time the treadmill gets here....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

221 Days to go - Hitting the Off Switch

Right. I need an edumahcation.  Apparently on my new training plan there are these things called "off days."  I have no idea what this means.  I ran two miles yesterday on an assortment of treadmills at a store, (that sales guy was getting annoyed!)  and then was told that on "off days" you're NOT supposed to run!  Whats the deal with that?  Not running seems like a very strange part of a "training plan", it will take some getting used to.  I'm not sure I like it.  :)

I also pulled the trigger on a treadmill.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate buying things?  I think I'm turning into "grumpy old miser/man."  /cueDanaCarveyimpersonation  My buyer's regret hits even before I walk into the store.  I actually don't mind running on treadmills, and we needed one so that teh wifey can run while I am travelling for work.  That being said, buying a treadmill seems a lot like buying a mattress or a used car.  Thankfully the salesperson didn't start pulling the obnoxious sales pickup lines, or I would have had to kick him to the curb.  Literally and forcefully.  One frustrating aspect is, you're buying something that is destined to get ground into dust, its only a matter of time until it breaks.  You're just hoping that it lasts long enough to justify spending ridiculous amounts of money on it.    Then there is the whole Jekyll/Hyde routine of the salesperson that starts the second you say you will buy something.  Up to that point they love you, would do anything for you, are massaging your bunions while you run.  Then you say you'll buy something and give them your money and it changes to, "OK Thanks bye now.  Buh Bye.  See ya.  So long."  /cueDavidSpade impersonation.  Its a little unsettling.

Nevertheless we now own a treadmill.  It isn't at our house yet, but we own it.  And I plan to spend a few "off days" breaking it into bits...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

222 Days to go - Selling out to the Man

So a while back I did something impetuous. No not sign up for a 100 mile trail ultramarathon, that is perfectly logical and thought out. No I signed up to be in the Brooks sponsored runner program. Now the idea of me, guy who hates running, stinks at running, and oh by the way owns absolutely no Brooks products, becoming a sponsored runner is pretty ri-DONK-ulous. But on a whim I filled out the web form a few months ago. I guess I thought, well, I like filling out useless web forms, why not this one? Anyway, a while back I got a contract in the mail, filled it out, and now I'm in the Brooks ID program. Weird. Mostly I just like the laugh I get when I've told people I signed a running contract with Brooks. Its kind of good for a laugh. Also good for a laugh is going over to the Brooks ID program website and reading the bios of the other people in the program. Seriously. Someone is gonna get fired. If ever something slipped through the cracks, and it is a hard to imagine thought indeed of me slipping through anything, it was me getting into the program. However! I will be thoroughly enjoying it. I can't probably do that great a job of promoting Brooks products cause I am absolutely a NON-SELLER, and I've only started using their stuff, but I do like the general idea of ID = Inspire Daily. If someone starts a running steak, HOLY COW AWESOME GO CHECK IT OUT! then that is cool. (p.s. Don't get a stress fracture ok? oh dang!) I like stealing, receiving, and regurgitating any inspiration I can get! (BTW a big Atta boy at Mr. Just finished a year of streaking! and 1460 miles to boot!) Anyway, there is the punchline to the joke, me being a professional runner. (Professional = getting some minor item of some vaguely monetary value, yeah I like to stretch :)

It is also a sign of the apocalypse.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

223 Days to go

Well the goal has changed, the focus has changed, the practice has changed.

I'm no longer streak running for now.

It was a little bit easier to make that decision since I've had the flu for the last week (though I did run a few days with fever), but I think I knew I needed to do that. I'm satisfied with running every day for two years except for the three week back injury "break". That's not too bad for me. I made my original goal of making it an entire year, and though I was lazy and still haven't sent in my application for the US running streak association, I can still get on the "Retired Streak" list.

Now we're looking at a different goal. And that goal is on August 20th, 2010. I don't think running every day really helps me toward that goal, so that is the basic reason for the change.

Teh wifey aka the crew chief aka the fast runner of the family aka the coach has been working up a training plan. I think it will basically consist of a "base" phase of about sixteen weeks to build up mileage. The second phase will be a "strength" phase of about twelve weeks to maintain mileage and build up the overall body strength with some hills and such, and then a three to four week taper. I'm not going to get up to huge weekly mileage totals, mostly because I don't know that my body can take it. I'm thinking the max will be 80/week, which is just ridiculous saying out loud. Thats the general thinking about the training plan right now. There might be some marathon "training runs" or some longer runs in the hills to get used to doing what I will have to do to make it.

There, more boring goals/training/running/no more streaking talk.

p.s. Try Running you have haunted my sickness-induced dreams with visions of Billy Ray Cyrus chasing me....thanks a lot...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 26-38 Leadville or Bust

So you may notice the garish addition to the header image. I had previously threatened to do something utterly stupid, and I have now taken the first steps. I signed up to run the Leadville 100 on August 21st-22nd, 2010.

Now I have done some stupid things in my life. Hyperlinks would not do justice to the list. However plunking down $250 to run a race of sheer torture and impossibility may jump to near the top of the list. That being said it is done. And now it is time to draw up the training plan.

I should point out that the current home page has a picture of last year's winner, Timmy Parr on the front, he finished in seventeen hours and change. The cutoff time is thirty hours at the finish, with cutoff times at each aid station. Then there is the climbing and descending 15,600 feet, with elevations ranging between 9,200 and 12,620 feet and an overall finish rate of under 50%. Other than that, I'm thinking this thing should be fairly easy. :)

Teh wifey has signed on to be the crew chief, and a few brave souls have volunteered to pace me for a while, should I even make it to the start line that is.

The overall plan right now is to do a training run marathon in Fargo in May. A fifty miler in June on trails and then the August debacle. I think this may mean I might have to run more than one mile at a time.

The streak is alive, but my support for it is waning. I'm open to sacrificing a 2nd streak goal to the needs of trying to make it 100 miles. We shall see. With the flu currently ravaging my family, the temptation to take a break may become more prominent.

There it is. My return from hiatus, and the BHAG for 2010. Looks like many of you are throwing out some big goals as well and I look forward to reading them. I also look forward to visions of gummy bears, and drinking Mountain Dew at aid stations.... Happy New Year!

Done anything stupid lately?

Streak run info, now on dailymile.