Monday, October 14, 2013

2013 Middle Half Marathon 1:45 Pacer report

The weeks before the Middle Half I debated on what I was going to do on race morning. I hadn’t registered for the race. Most of the guys I run with were registered, and the two brothers that I was most competitive with were registered as well.

Brother number one was hindered by orders from his doctor on the pace he could run. Brother number two was capable of running better than my half marathon PR pace. I needed to run 18 miles because I’m in marathon training mode. What to do? Didn’t want to go out to fast with brother number two. Didn’t want to pull brother number one out past the pace he was supposed to run. I always go out to fast in my races and fade in the final miles. Didn't want to stand by and spectate.

Actually had that thought process in my mind finishing up my run on a Saturday before the race. Saw Miles running on the greenway and turned around and discussed the possibilities of being a pacer for the Middle Half. Boom problem solved. I got in the race and hopefully helped some folks reach their goals.

This was my third time to pace a half marathon at this pace. I was more worried this time about the first mile. My ankle and feet are really cranky/stiff and slow to loosen up. I practiced pace all week, but always took at least a mile at around 9:00/10:00 pace to get going. I ran the course the week before as part of a 18 miler and the last few miles didn't go as wanted. Really didn't think a mile or so of warmup was a good idea. It'd be awful ugly for the pacer to crash in the last couple of miles.

Should have known race day magic would make all of that go away. Standing in the corral before the start I was really nervous. Had the GPS watch and a timex watch, just in case. Carried a gel in case I needed it in the final miles. I printed out a band with the locations of water stops. The pace sign wasn't a concern, it's actually lighter than the water I usually carry on long runs.

I'm not much of a cheer leader kind of guy. I explained my job was to keep everyone from going out to fast. Try and think of the race in three sections. The first four miles up to Oakland Mansion should feel really easy. Holding back the pace. The next four miles would be more work to stay on pace up until mile eight. About the point where we would make the left turn on to Rutherford Boulevard. Mile eight is where you see where you where, evaluate start a push to maintain or surge. Mile 9 you get to see who is ahead of you and try to reel them in.

1 7:58
2 7:57
3 7:59
4 7:58
5 8:01
6 7:57
7 8:00
8 8:00
9 7:57
10 7:57
11 8:01
12 8:01
13 7:58

Saw my wife and son number one on the rail coming down the track to the finish. She had to shout or I wouldn't have seen them. Clock said 1:45:08 when I went under it. Official chip time 1:45:04.

My wife made the comment about where all of the people I was pacing. I don't know. Big group all of the way up through mile 8. I remember looking back a couple of times and thinking that I was like a roadblock with the big group that was behind me. But, typically in the half marathon mile 8 is where everyone starts stringing out. Everyone gets really quiet the rest of the way home as well. Some pushed ahead and went quicker, some must have started dropping off. Did have several people thank me afterwards for helping them set their goals. That makes it all worthwhile. Great day for a race. The Tate family continues to put on a premier race year over year.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Elevation profile corrected from RunningAhead
Elevation profile from Garmin
Tried out the elevation correction feature on RunningAhead's workout import feature. Looks really good, about the way I'd picture the actual hill versus the noise from the Garmin software. Hit the lap button at the start of each repeat to see how long the hill was, .18 of a mile or 289.68 meters. Surprised that I actually went sub 8:00 up the hill. I do my hill repeats at a moderate effort. These were a solo effort. BQ1 ran over with me, but did short hill repeats at the top where the hill is the steepest. I did the "long" side, from telephone pole to telephone pole. Thought they were about a quarter mile. Probably is from the bottom to the top. Even when we have a group doing hill repeats, everyone is running at different effort levels. I do prefer the long repeats to the shorter ones. Four was plenty for my first time back in a couple of years.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Won the lottery

Told the wife that and she said, wow, how much? No, not that lottery the Monkey lottery.* Her response, "big deal". Oh well. Glad to know that I got back in. This will be the 3rd for me. This time I'll actually train. Plan on running hill repeats tomorrow. Though I'll have to go back and see how much hill work I did in the past.

It's not like I didn't train at all the last two times. The monkey course is just a beast. Usually when I'm able to double the 11.2 at around a 7:30 pace, I know I'm in pretty good shape. It's been awhile. This time I'll be chasing that elusive 3:30 time again. Easy enough only a 8:00 mile pace. The soul crushing part for me is hitting mile 19 and climbing up nine mile hill. That's the part I have to prepare for. Trent's probably right, you can't train for the monkey.

*Believe this is the second year for the lottery to enter the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon, in Percy Warner Park, Nashville, TN. Roughly 300 spots.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Random running

No heat acclimation for me this year. In years past, the evening speed workouts in the 90's would help. Nothing this year, except the normal early morning run. The mid 70's and humidity just combine to kick my ass. Decided this morning's workout I'd just try and hang on behind the guys when they started their 50 minutes worth of tempo pace. After all they did decide to run it on one of our hillier courses. Usually its in the fall and we have a little bit more of a base.

Forgot to start the GPS until around mile 2+. Oops. Strangely the map shows the distance and route? Felt pretty good, but didn't do the 50 minutes worth, probably only 5 miles worth before the last hill sucked most of the life out of me. Did have to try and keep the youngster in sight because he didn't know the course. He missed the last turn but the course is still about the same going either direction for the last couple of miles home.

Saw a few things over the last several days where I just have to shake my head. Tights in the summer, ok you've got fat/flabby legs, but into the big box store with shorts over the top for a guy? Or wearing your race bib into the local big box store? Fuel belts for your 2 mile run / walk on the greenway? I really can't say much I'm wearing my calf sleeves as I type this, if I had to run to the store, I'd leave them on, but at least throw on a track suit to cover them up. Not that I give a shit what anyone thinks, but the better half is clearly bothered by some of my choices in clothing.

Done with the Jack Daniels workouts I've been doing for the last 8 weeks. Yesterday's Fenton Payne or last week's Smyrna 5k were to be the test of fitness after that buildup. Didn't sigh up for either on. Endurance is pretty decent. Leg speed is in the crapper. I doubt a 20:00 5k is even doable at this time. Should I be lucky enough to get into the Flying Monkey Marathon I'll continue down the marathon training path. Otherwise, I'm kinda in limbo. I'll keep the base going, but other than that. Who knows.

 Lot's of little niggles lately, but the pain in my big toe after an easy run had me baffled.

A little web search gave me this link.

"Big toe pain is classic myofascial pain where the muscles get knots in them that refer pain elsewhere. The knots are called trigger points and have to be broken up in order for the pain to subside which you can easily do on yourself with trigger point massage."

"The trigger point causing big toe pain is in the lower back of the calf. The trigger point will be incredibly painful so massage it as much as you can and the pain should subside"

It worked, really need to buy one of those books.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mild summer

Really enjoying the mild summer temperatures, the rain not so much. Usually by this time of the year my yard would be scorched and only need mowing every other weekend. This summer it's out of control after a week. Does make for some great wildflowers on the long run. Everything is super green.

Sunday's long run was the second day with temps in the low 60's. Incredible for summer time in Middle Tennessee. Even the humidity was down, or maybe it was the slight breeze. Either way, great morning for a 12 mile run. BQ1 picked the route to avoid hills, no real climbs just a few rolls. Really hard to hold back the pace on the run. Did run a mile at around old marathon pace, just to catch the fast guys in the last mile home. 7:04 pace and it felt really comfortable. Think that's the pace I'll target going forward for T pace.

Runs like sunday, really make me think a sub 3:00 is still possible. Long shot, definitely but still a realistic goal. Short term goal is to attempt the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey lottery. Still would like to run a 3:30 on that course. If that doesn't pan out, maybe another sub 3:00 attempt at Rocket City.

No track work in the week ahead. Just 2 workouts at T pace. Tuesday will be 4 x 1 mile at T pace with 3 minute recovery. Friday will be 40 minutes of  adjusted T pace, the same workout I did last Friday. The pace continues to come down. Two weeks ago it was at 7:11 pace, this past week 7:06 pace. The big difference in this Jack Daniels stuff versus McMillan is the length of the workout. Jack never really seems to go past about 40 minutes of work, McMillan went up to about 1 hour and 15 minutes worth, in 10 minute increments. I"m still stuck in the past, everyone else is doing Pfitz or Hanson or the other latest marathon plan of the week. Old dog, new tricks and all.

Also need to start increasing the distance of the long runs. The past couple of weeks have been 12 milers. No need for water at that distance or gels or even a Succeed cap with the low temps. Did a couple of 14 milers in June. I needed the water and succeed in the heat. I'd like to get up to about 15 miles without the need for water or succeed, if the temperatures cooperate.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time trial

Did a time trial this morning. Don't think I've ever done one in the past. Didn't really care to do one this time, but what the hell. Figured it would be a good check of the work in the last 6 weeks. Big plus would be someone to chase after. I had two rabbits in front to chase. The first youngster, no way in hell I could keep up with him. But, BQ2 damn sure thought I'd be able to hang with him, maybe even beat him.

It wasn't even close. I'd driven in on the road we would be doing the mile and a half time trail. Thought I'd be smart and pick out some land marks to break the distance up in to equal segments. My plan was to try and stay on his shoulder. That didn't last 20 yards. Next plan was to keep a manageable gap to try and close on the back stretch. That was an even bigger pipe dream. Ended up with a 9:57 for the distance and about 50 seconds behind BQ2. It wasn't even a race. Shit, I've run faster tempo runs than that. It equates out to a 47 VDOT. The same *&^%$ number I started with 6 weeks ago.

Thought I'd pretty much laid everything out there. Even wore the heart rate monitor to see what would happen. Strangely the numbers are almost exactly the same as the 5 mile worth of T pace work from last week. That was at an average pace of 7:12. Old age is taking its toll. Oh, I did decide short distances suck. I'm a marathon guy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Diggin' Jack

Jack workouts are coming around. Think this is week number 5 for the track workouts from the Jack plan. This mornings workout was 200 meters with a 200 meter recovery another 200 meters with 400 meter recovery and then 800 meters with a 400 meter recovery. Repeat 4 times.

Thought my fitness had improved enough to adjust my paces, but this workout confirmed I'm still not quite ready. The steady state runs are getting easier. The factor that really still impacts the workout is the temperature and humidity. No break from it this morning. 74 degrees and very humid. Paces came in where they should. Well except for the last 800 meters, my big toe was sore in the first 100 meters. Slowed the pace and completed the repeat. Hindsight probably dumb, but no harm.

Mileage has been in the mid 50's for the last eight weeks, with only a one week dip into the 40's when I took a couple of days off. Started another streak after that break. Still not committed to any attempt for a long term streak. Because, after all running streaks are stupid and selfish.

Really need to convince someone else to do these workouts so they can decipher some of the workouts. I've changed some of the steady state/T pace/whatever workouts to simplify the day. Last week it was 3 miles worth of work right around old marathon pace, just because I'd need to have the workout written out on paper to know what to do next. Plus it was hot. Kinda hard to pull off at 0' dark thirty in the morning before the sun is up.

I have started to take a Succeed cap before the track workout if the temps are above 70 degrees. This morning I also ate a banana. That's a first, usually it's only one cup of black coffee before every run. Only exception is on long runs. Anything over 12 miles and I'll eat a pop tart before the run. Stopped taking water on the long runs. Don't plan on doing any runs over 12 miles for a month or more any way. Seems to work well to teach the body it can do without water for the shorter distances. Not quite up to the daily 10 miles, but getting close.

Can't believe its July and I haven't even been on the bike yet. Gotta give that bike rider who shall remain unnamed credit for my distaste with cycling. Love to watch the Tour de France every year. Started looking for the channel on my tv almost 2 weeks ago. I'll guess it's only on one channel on a weekend wrap up show at some odd hour when no other "real" sporting events are being televised. Sad that one loser can leave such a disgust with the sport. Guess us Americans got spoiled with the daily live coverage and the nightly recaps in high definition. Can't blame the tv exec's, cycling was never enjoyed by the masses in America. Only got to a marketable level when the media made a promising rider into the all American dream. Really that's probably what lead to his downfall. Someone whispering in his ear for one more comeback. He should have just retired.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Run your own workout

Usually I'm pretty good about running my own workout. Lately, I've been tagging along chasing someone else on their workouts. It's had the desired results. My steady state runs have become quicker and farther. Time to add some speed to the equation.

I've determined my VDOT is 47. This gives me a idea where to try and run my workouts. What I failed to do is look up the actual schedule in Daniels book. This morning I attempted 9 x 400 meters at R pace. The bigger fail was trying to use the youngster's time instead of mine. I attempted 2 repeats at his pace and then just settled in behind and ran my own pace for the remaining repeats.

Still prefer to run on the track chasing or being chased than running solo. At least for this type of workout. Almost comforting having the known distance of the track in front of you versus the uncertainty of the remaining distance on the road.

Runbayou VDOT calculator (link on the left)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Can't imagine I'm the only runner who is impatient for the results of days past. Hard sometimes to trust the training process to bring us back to that level of fitness. Guess that's one of the benefits of keeping a running log. It's nice to go back to the beginning of a training cycle and see the progression.

I"ve started doing some steady state runs. This past week was the 3rd one in the last 3 weeks. The times have been discouraging. At least, until I put them in perspective to my last buildup. It really isn't a fair comparison to look at numbers from 4 years ago with a base and temperatures below 40 degrees for most every run. I've even used this data to convince myself that my last marathon PR really could have been a sub 3:00 on a little bit cooler day.

Strange foot issues for the first time. It's in the foot I broke, but that's not the issue. The 3rd and 4th metatarsals are really sore after most of my runs. It's almost like the work into a knot or something. It's usually gone by the end of the day. Just a different issue that I've never dealt with. I'll guess it's caused by walking around on my heel in that damn boot for 6 weeks. Perhaps the muscles and or tendons have atrophied? Probably aggravated by the arthritis in my big toe. (self diagnosis) According to the web, I should eat foods rich in amino acids. (meat, eggs and animal protein)

I am going to measure the widths of the different running shoes I'm wearing. At one point I was convinced a narrow toe box was causing my foot issue. That's probably not the case, as the issue is only with the right foot.

Oh and the silly running streak. Still going. Day 36.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

By the numbers

Not on pace this year to hit 2,000 miles.Only ran 1,845 miles last year. I've increased my daily run to 6 miles this week. By the time I get to 8 miles a day that should be enough to get me to 2,000 by the end of the year. That is if I can stay injury free. About 8 weeks into the latest comeback. Of course the only way to jump start the training is a streak. Today was day number 15 of the current streak. But of course running streaks are stupid. Goal this week is 40 miles. Only missed it this past week by a half mile or so.

Would really like to be in marathon shape by this fall. No interest in getting a qualifier to make the show at Boston in 2014. I'll probably enter the lottery for the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. The goal for that race would be a BQ qualifying time. (on a non-BQ course) Could have my arm twisted to make another fast marathon attempt at Rocket City, if any of the guys are training or have similar goals.

Probably skip the 10 miler at Bell Buckle. Never really have been in shape for that race. Hope to have enough of a base in the next couple of months to start some speed work. Maybe a fast mile or 5k at Smyrna in August.

First casualty of the running streak is the weight workouts. May try to do some kind of crossfit type of weight workouts to mix things up. Only downside to that is finding time.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

10 more weeks

Decided I'm at least 10 weeks away from being in halfway decent shape. At least the kind of shape to start thinking about speedwork and planning workouts. Right now, I'm just happy to be able to get out the door and slog for a few miles.

Started another streak, just to try and turbo kick my running. Also had a pretty decent run with Speedy this morning out at Spain Hill. The hills really worked in our favor and we negative split the run. I'll take my excitement anyway I can get it.

Yesterday we saw the Rutherford Relay folks running all around town. Still don't get the big deal about relays. (Yeah, it's great they're raising money for a good cause) Every runner I saw was all by themselves on some of the really shitty/busy roads in Murfreesboro. They even ran down the road by my house. The road they are in the middle of resurfacing. That had to be a fun section.

I will have to give the city credit for putting in a pump to keep the streets from flooding in our neighborhood. That really surprised me. But, it wouldn't even be needed if the planning commission actually did what they are supposed to do. Also, found out our quiet section of town will be getting a Lowes/Home Depot in addition to the 4th Walmart. (like we really need another one of those)

The start of this cycle I planned on tracking my heart rate to make a pretty graph. Done with the heart rate monitor. This mornings long run was the last time. It did confirm that I'm not training hard enough, but at this point in the cycle that's a good thing. Don't need to get injured by doing to much to soon. Infographics are where its at.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Middle of the road

Finally a decent run. First run getting up at 3:30 am to get out the door by 4:30 am. Pretty hard to get to excited running 5 miles in 45 minutes. The stiffness in my ankle has just about gone away. Breathing wasn't an issue, maybe the pollen is about done. This spring has been terrible for the allergies, probably because I'm not running very much.

Perhaps next week I'll try to run with the guys once or twice. The main road out of my subdivision is being worked on in both directions. Talk about a cluster fuck. The city is putting in a traffic light in one direction. That's good, its been needed for awhile. The boneheaded thing is resurfacing the entire road in the other direction at the same time they are making every corner wheel chair accessible. That's all well and good, but why make a corner accessible if there isn't a sidewalk leading to that corner? Even dumber is resurfacing the road which is due to be widened in the coming year.

Creepy headline of the day

 "Everyone in this sect was a professional," Ampuero said. "We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree. "

Weather for this weekends Country Music Marathon continue to improve. Temperatures will cooperate, the rain may not even be a factor. Spring marathons are such a crap shoot. My target marathon last weekend had good weather but the course had to be rerouted because of flooding. I've run a marathon on a flooded course where they didn't bother changing the course. It was an adventure by a shody/less than ethical race director in Texas. We have them here in Tennessee as well.

 "Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." Edward Stanley (1826-1893)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Unsung heros

Runners hug your loved ones. Runners weren't the target of the terrorist that bombed the finish of the Boston Marathon. It was the running community at large, the support cast, the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, grandparents, first responders and volunteers. It was the innocent ones. Everyone who knows a runner or supports one in their quest to get to Boston or any local race knows they are the one's waiting at the finish line.

Reality is a kick in the gut. That was my overwhelming feeling almost all day on Monday after I'd heard about the bombs. I worried about the runners I knew who were running, I worried about the spectators. I failed to think about how the loved ones, supporters, and other runners felt about the bombing. They must have been feeling what I had ten fold.

Some of the posts and remarks I've seen really make me wonder. Most non-runners get the Boston marathon. They're the one's who called, texted or posted on social media wondering about the runners and spectators. Some people still just don't get it. A bomb is the opposite of a marathon.

Traded some emails with my running buddies from Atlanta on Monday morning about the good old days when we were all chasing our Boston dreams. My Boston marathon has been run. But every Monday on Patriots day I'm usually stalking runners I know running the current years marathon. This was the 117th year of the Boston marathon.

Still like to wear my Boston marathon jacket to at least one race a year. Seeing someone in a Boston jacket was always one of those carrots that prodded me to get my qualifying time. I think it's only fitting that I return the favor along the sideline of the local marathon.
Dad at the Rocket City Marathon

Sunday, March 31, 2013

road block

Yesterdays run was stopped momentarily by a tree across the greenway. Nothing really unusual about that. I stopped to try and move it, but it was to big to move by myself. Interestingly it had been felled by a beaver. At least that's what I thought. The more I thought about it as I finished my run. I changed my mind. It must have been a muskrat. A beaver would have been smart enough to take the tree down so it would fall into the water, not across the greenway. It does mean the Stones River probably isn't quite as polluted as it has been the last several years.

Never did see the culprit, only signs of chewed upon trees.

Also saw a great blue heron standing in the creek waiting to catch a shiner. Probably the closest I've ever been to one of those birds. Only about 20 feet away. Pretty cool to have a greenway right in the middle of town with so much wildlife. Of course the sad part is driving the 2 miles to the greenway.

Only downside to the run. I'll call it a long run at 8 miles. A blister on my forefoot behind my big toe. New spot, because I'm still doing some kind of limp/compensation/flat foot strike with my right leg. May have also been the increased pace trying to catch a runner ahead of me for the 4 miles home. He must have finally slowed down when I did catch him. My pace didn't really ever pick up very much.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


She's a bitch or he's a bastard.

Looking through my log, 'cause that's what wannabe runners do. Entry below from 5 days before breaking my foot.

"still cold, still spitting rain. big group. supposed to be 3 miles at 5k pace plus a minute. fuck that. time for some marathon specific stuff. target 6:52 for the 3 miles. close enough, for the first attempt. finally a decent workout. hell, it took long enough. 14-15 weeks out. lots of time to build. plus did 4 x 30 second hill repeats off the hill on the square."
 Mile 4  6:53
 Mile 5
 Mile 6   6:53

Didn't need my Garmin. Just went by effort, didn't look at the watch, until I downloaded it. Didn't need a heart rate monitor. Great to run with the group. Everyone doing their own thing. Some leading, some chasing.

I miss it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

By the numbers

For this latest comeback, I've decided to try something a little bit different. I'm an accountant, I count. This time I'm going to try and make some kind of nifty little graph to show how much my average heart rate declines over time as my average pace decreases. Boring, but it gives me something to focus on instead of my pitiful times.

Most times I don't have any problem not looking at my Garmin as I'm running. This go around it's even easier. This is probably the slowest I've ever run. The average pace last week was slower than most of the 50k's I've done. Still, that gives a good couple of minutes to trim off the average pace. Plus, you can't expect much from 4 runs for a total on the week of 15 miles.

Managed to break a couple of the new runner rules with this first week back. From this link, "build slowly for 9 weeks to a 3 mile run". Oops, I ran almost 5 miles on Sunday. Plus loads of advice from the forum on Running Ahead. Don't consider myself a new runner, so I'm able to get away with some of these "rules". It was pretty dumb to run almost 5 miles on Saturday and then run 6 miles on Sunday for only my 3rd and 4th run back. The one thing I'm not dumb enough to do this go around, is a running streak.

This morning we got a dusting of snow. Actually it was still snowing when I went out for a 3 mile run. Running while it's snowing is a treat. Running in the dark in the snow, not so much. Only because the snow flakes were so tiny, the only way to even know it was snowing was the reflection from the streetlights. That just doesn't quite compare to the daylight and big fluffy flakes floating out of the sky.

Watched the Special Kids 15k race on saturday from a point on Old Nashville Highway about 3/4 of a mile from the finish. I ran over from the trail head at Haynes Lumber, about 2 miles away. Brought the cow bell along to encourage/annoy/motivate the runners. Fun to watch and helps to keep me motivated to get out and run. Guess, I'm the only one would have liked to see different color bibs for the 5k versus 15k. Especially as they share so much of the course. It would have been nice for the lead female to have a bike leading the way to move the walkers out of her way as she finished. (I'd volunteer to be that bike rider)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One slog at a time

Finally back running. It's only been 46 days. Wore the heart rate monitor to have a starting back bench mark. Average heart rate 145 bpm at an average pace of ....................drum roll......................10:56 per mile for a whooping 2.1 miles. Damn. Another long build up.

First day of spring is tomorrow. For some reason I thought it was today. Birds sure acted like it was spring, they were singing and chirping even before the sun was up. Tad chilly at 34 or so degrees. Glad to be back running. The bike trainer just doesn't cut it for me. Love riding the bike on the roads, but that hasn't really been much of a option the last couple of weeks.

Guessing I'll be ready to attempt a run with the fellas in a couple of weeks. Probably about the time they come back from Boston.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Marathon bike ride on the Stones River Greenway

Redo of the pond


Cool graffitti

Old steam tractor

Chapel where Paula and I were married.

Stiff wind, steps of the chapel

Chapel placard

Gas pump

Replica gas station

Another view

End of the greenway

End of the greenway, other direction

Stones River fork

After ride refreshment

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

spring fever

It's been six weeks since I broke my foot. Decided to stop wearing the boot on Saturday. Hopefully the doctor will agree, should I elect to go see him next week. Also went ahead and shaved, below before and after shots. I've been trying to grow my hair out, you know like Fabio or any of those long haired hippie looking dudes. Isn't working. Actually the hair on my face grows quicker than the hair on my head. Bleah.
Scary old man

Still riding the bike trainer. I hadn't been wearing my cycling shorts, only because I was only on the thing for 30 minutes. Forty minutes and it hurts my rear end. Maybe because, I'm just not use to being in the saddle. Went ahead and put on the shorts this morning for my forty minute ride to nowhere. It may have helped a little. I think the bigger issue is getting out of the saddle. Did about 3 minutes worth of 15 second out of the saddle jumps to change things up. That may be the thing that's missing to make this trainer stuff tolerable. I may be tempted to go ahead and ride outside in the dark instead of on the trainer to nowhere.

Brewed a batch of beer on Sunday with son number one. Went back to a malt extract kit instead of all grain. Only because we didn't want to drive into Nashville for ingredients and we wanted to see what the local brew/wine shop stocked. (Lets make wine) They are located off the square in a old house.

Son number two is really getting good with the skateboard. He's a better skater than all of the teenagers in our neighborhood.  We went back out to the local HS to get a video of him doing his thing. Attached is his edited version. Pretty amazing what these kids are capable of doing with computers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Getting closer

Two more weeks of the boot. Though I did get a pass for the bike trainer or elliptical. The doctor showed me the xray from today and from the day of the break for comparison. The broken ends are still in place with about a millimeter of overlap. They appear to be laying almost side by side. The bone is starting to fill in, but still has a ways to go. Also, looked at the healed stress reaction to the 3rd metatarsal, plus other prior injuries to this foot. Damn and I thought my left foot was the abused one.

Still haven't weighed myself, but I can tell in the last week or two that the belt has to be let out at least a notch. Plan to address the lack of physical activity over the last four weeks, this morning. Weights and the bike trainer.  A little bit of something has to be better than nothing at all. Plus, that should really help loosen up the ankle.

Surprised when the doctor said the ankle would take almost a year to heal. What the hell? Ligaments take longer to heal than bone breaks? I'm dumbfounded. Granted this has been the worst high ankle sprain I've ever experienced. It hurt worse than the break.

Looking at the picture above its easy to see how the bone broke. That must have been the point of impact. Still haven't figured out how I managed to land my foot so awkwardly on the sidewalk. Need to stay away from sidewalks when running or at least not follow so closely behind the fellas.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Random thoughts on Monday

Hard not to smile when the sun is shining. Sunday was a bright sunny day for the most part. The clouds did start rolling in late in the afternoon. Upper 40's and a pretty stiff wind at times. This wouldn't even have been an issue if I wasn't sitting on my ass. Took son number 2 to find some gaps and ledges to skate at the local high school. I sat in the chair and watched.

Saw the fast master at the track as we were headed to the other side of the school. Stopped and chatted for a bit. I haven't talked to him since I broke my foot. (he was sick at the half marathon last week and didn't hang around) He was coaching a young middle school kid. Pretty cool to see him at work. About the way I pictured him as a coach.

Wouldn't have thought I'd miss driving as much as I did. Car pooling has its advantages. It sure would help to ease traffic if more people did carpool. My unscientific four week study showed probably less than 3% of the cars with more than two occupants. Happy to drive myself to work today, with the sun shining.

Hope to ditch this boot tomorrow. That will be the fourth week wearing this thing. I even followed most of the doctors orders. That would pretty much be a first. Anyone who runs with me regularly knows my opinion of the field of medicine.

I've contented myself the last several weeks lurking on the running message boards and following blogs. 'Tis the season for spring marathons. The fellas are about eight weeks out from Boston. Need to go see how some others did this weekend and still others will be running next weekend. Perhaps when the fellas are recovering from Boston, I'll be able to start running with them again.

Wouldn't consider myself an optimist, more of a realist. Hate to have people blow sunshine up my ass. Life isn't all rainbows and unicorns. But, a little bit sunshine sure does a body good.

Sometimes even songs with sunshine can be depressing, if you let them. John Prine's, Donald and Lydia, chorus "like sunshine feeding daisies". 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


What to do if you can't run a race? Go watch. Saturday BQ2 and his brother picked me up at the local grocery store, because the wife sold me out to the doc and I'm still not supposed to drive. Gorgeous day for a race. Cool morning, warming to maybe low 50's by noon. Picture post card sky, brilliant blues with occasional clouds for effect.

The race was the Frostbite half marathon at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. They changed the course this year so the runners wouldn't be running down highway 231 with the traffic in the last miles. The new course was entirely within the state park, some of the same rolling hills and basically an out and back figure eight. The great thing about the state park series race is the entry fee. Six bucks gets you a long sleeve technical shirt, a great course, chip timed and age group awards. Unique to the state park series races are the grand masters and senior masters awards. BQ1 talked with Tomas and the premise of the races is to break even. Hadn't realized they've been going for 30 years.

Surprised when we arrived that we had to park out by the swimming pool, a little over 3/10 of a mile away. Seemed like a mile to me. Worked out well, we were right at the one mile mark. In the past I've been able to park on the same stretch of road as the finish. This is also were the packet pickup, awards and finish line grub is located. I've only raced here twice, BQ1 had a streak going of 5 races. Kinda strange for us both to be spectating.

Nothing better to humble, than to spend time with someone who has just had open heart surgery. Amazed that after only two weeks, BQ1 was out and in great spirits. I had to really be careful to try and not whine or be my typical grouchy self. We positioned ourselves just past the one mile mark at the top of a little rise. There was a slight bend in the road and from our vantage point we could watch the runners on the way out. On the way back, they would be at mile 12.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Still not running

Not ready to retire, yet.
It's only been 18 days. Usually by now I'm able to at least walk around the block or ride the trainer. Not this time. Sure, I can take off this effin' boot, but don't really want to risk flexing the foot and not have the bone set in my foot. Plus, I'm still having to get up early so I can carpool in to work, instead of driving myself. Arghhhhhhhhhhh.

The weight gain from not doing any kind of workout isn't really happening. I'm purposely eating like a bird and limiting the beer. Can't say for certain a number of pounds, haven't jumped on the scale. Just know the pudge hasn't showed up yet around the belly. Maybe I'll start lifting again.

The grumpyness/grouchy level isn't as high this time around. Perhaps I've mellowed out in my old age. At least I don't think so, the wife and kids would probably disagree.

Sure glad to be living here in the south. It'll be in the 40-50's for highs for the next week. Typical weather for this time of year. As much as I like to see the occasional snow, sure wouldn't want any part of the snow slamming the North. We got our token snow fall last weekend. It was pretty watching it fall, but it only lasted a couple of hours. Biggest regret was not being able to run in it. Try explaining that to someone who doesn't run.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thought I was a runner

Sidelined yet again. This time it's a fractured 5th metatarsal. Typical training run with the guys. Cold morning, probably overdressed, double layer for everything. In hindsight, this kept my knee from getting skinned up more. I was running behind the fast guys on the *&^%$ sidewalk. B was behind me. I stepped wrong on one of the driveway inlets. I hit the ground pretty hard. Ripped the palm side of the first glove layer. Rolled completely over on the outside of my right ankle. Got up to see if I could run it off. Wasn't going to happen. Hated to ruin the guys workout, so I told them to go on and I'd walk to my son's apartment. (luckily it was only about a block or so up the road)

Really helpful to have a wife who works for a Orthopedic Doctors group. We arrived around 7:30 am and I was out the door by 8:30. That has to be the quickest doctors' visit ever for me. Most time consuming part of the visit was filling out all of the paperwork. They took me straight to x-ray. Pretty short wait to get the x-ray's and then back out to one of the examination rooms. Finally got a sympathetic doctor who ran in college. That was a pleasant surprise. I'll be wearing a boot for 4-6 weeks. No surgery, doctor will try letting it heal as it lies, with the broken pieces overlapping. Stronger joint ? and no need to go back and remove a plate. 

Can't ride a bike. At least not for a week or so. The doctor did ok swimming. Perhaps I'll give pool running a try this go around, if I'm uncomfortable riding the bike on the trainer. I've ridden a bike trainer with other injuries. Also broke my running streak today, it was only 33 days this time around.

This isn't the first time to be sidelined with a injury. Ankle sprains. One of the reasons I don't run on the golf course any more is because I seem to sprain my ankle easily. I've done almost exact same thing on my other ankle. I stepped in a hole pacing a friend at CMM several years ago. It was the inside ankle sprained and a fractured 5th metatarsal on the left foot in 2002.

Supposedly I'm a grumpy old man. Who'd have guessed? Even worse when I'm hurt. Paula was worried I'd be rude/grumpy/mean to her co-workers. I thought I was pretty civil. I'll be worse in the coming weeks after not running. Hopefully, I don't take it out to much on those around me. I'll just kick the dog instead. What really pisses me off is the snide remarks about my "healthy lifestyle". I'd like to think most are just ribbing me in jest, but sometimes I wonder.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter craptastic

Another day, another run in the rain. Think it's been 4-5 days straight of rain runs. Yesterdays was the worst. Only because of lack of preparation on my part. One particular spot went unlubed and it was painfully obvious within the first 2 miles. The combination of a steady rain, a shirt that must have been made of sandpaper and the up and down motion of said shirt removed half of my nipples. Or so it seemed.

Today was much better. Harder rain, but temperatures in the sixties. Isn't it supposed to be winter? But, I wisely chose a singlet with a better tech material. Plus, it stuck to my chest when it was soaked, so it didn't ride up and down with each foot strike. And, I lubed every potential rub spot generously. 

Today's workout was 10 by 100 meters at 3k pace, with equal recovery. Luckily someone left the gate unlocked at the high school track. These are getting easier, especially since these were solo and I wasn't trying to keep up with the fast guys. Cool thing about this workout is that it's not really work, more of a shakeout/wake up the dead legs kind of thing. Makes the following days hard workout easier? At least able to get onto pace easier anyway.

Can't complain about the weather this winter. We're a little less than a third of the way into the winter. January and February are typically the coldest months of the year. We'll probably pay dearly for the mild fall and early winter in the coming months.

Oh yeah and that former Tour de France bike rider. What's his name? is going to be on Oprah. Whoopity shit. Won't be watching, won't watch the comeback, won't be interested in whatever angle he's trying to con/scam/be forgiven for, pffffffffffftt.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Good week

Finished the week with 68 miles. Mostly because of the 20 miles from the 7th Fat Ass. Wanted to go the distance, but my ankle didn't. We had 28 starters and 8 going the distance. Very pleased with the turnout, especially considering the rain and my non-commitment to even have it this year. I didn't take any pictures, camera issues. There are some pictures out in social media land. (I'm not tech savy enough to link)

Long run this week was supposed to be 17 miles. BQ2 mapped out one of our bike routes, nice rolling hills. It was a great change of pace. Pretty happy with my 8:23 average pace. Still not quite where I need to be, but at least I'm able to hang longer with the fast guys. Also helped that I carried water and took a gel at 8 miles. Almost warm enough to wear shorts. Legs were almost to warm with tights, but glad to have them when the wind was in my face.

Didn't wear my calf sleeves during the long run, nor afterwards. Instead I tried my T.E.D. stockings, the full length ones, from toe to crotch. This was the first time I've used them. I wore them for 2-3 hours, under my pajama bottoms, lounging around. I think the purpose was accomplished, they aided in recovery from the long run. I'll be using them again after my long runs.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Tallied up the miles I've run for 2012. Actually biked more than I ran. Bike miles 1,865 versus 1,845 running. Time for a little change up. Only reason I'd been on the bike so much was because of an injury. Pretty much from April until August was all bike. Eased back into running in July.

Best way for me to get in the miles is a running streak. Always though they were pretty dumb. I've had mixed success with the streaks, the longest being 232 days. I'm on day 13 this morning. Pretty easy to let the streak end, because its 24 degrees and I'll be running solo. Think I"ll change this streak up a little and only call it a streak if I run 6 miles or more. (or just leave it at 4 miles) One mile isn't worth walking out the door, and I'm not about to drive somewhere to jump on a treadmill. (though I may have to get used to that idea)

Weak link for me appears to be the metatarsals. I've got to figure how to make them endure. Barefoot running probably, but no thank you. Maybe drills, but shit I sprained my ankle doing them. Gotta come up with something.