Monday, March 31, 2008
Today, per my training plan, I did a soft five mile recovery run at lunch, with a few hills but nothing challenging. I never felt loose or comfortable, but I do feel better now for having run. The plan calls for speed work tomorrow, and a group from the club will meet at the local high school track. Will I make it? Ask me late tomorrow afternoon. I intended to wait until the last possible minute to see if I feel up to it. I know that I could use a few more speed sessions before Boston, but I cannot ignore that fact that my injuries have followed speed and racing days.
More excitement...our SERC team singlets have been ordered. All of the members of the Boston team will be wearing them. Yesterday, I saw a sample and they look good. The SERC logo will look very sharp on these shirts. As soon as I receive mine, I will post a photo.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Despite all of that, I thought I had done a bit more than 10 miles by the time I joined the 8:00 AM group at the Solon Square plaza, but apparently I had misread the display on my Garmin. Sooooooo, when I got back to the plaza after our group 12, I found I had only done 20 miles. Further, my Achilles was telling me it could do one more mile, not four more. My Achilles and I negotiated, and we decided to split the difference, so I did two and a half more miles for 22.5 total. Of course, my part of the agreement with my Achilles was that I would keep him iced for the rest of the day. I've kept my word. (I am icing him now.)
I needed something to take my mind off the physical pain, and by coincidence I happened to have an equivalent mental anguish waiting for me. I spent the next four hours working on our federal, state, and local income tax returns. I finished all by 3:00 PM, just in time for a great lasagna dinner, followed by Boston Cream pie, all prepared from scratch by Sue. (Go Sue!) She invited the neighbors over, we ate, then watched some of the NCAA action.
It was a painful weekend, but I got lots of good work done.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I decided at the last minute to join the group at Lock 29 this morning. It was a strange run. We started with about a dozen in the group, running north along the trail. When we got to Red Lock, Steve turned and started up Highland Road, but Mark wanted to keep going to follow the Buckeye Trail. Half the group went with Steve, the other half with Mark. I stayed with Mark's group mostly because I was talking with Paul, and he stayed with Mark. (Paul had done nine miles earlier in the morning, and wasn't feeling too good.) When Mark's group turned to run up the carriage trail, Paul said he wasn't up to it, and I stayed with him as we continued on the tow path toward the Brecksville station. We turned there, and headed back, and were joined by Tom and Carson, who had also split from Mark's group after we did. In the end, Paul and I did about 14 miles together.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
A noteworthy milestone, with five days left in March, I am at 204 miles for the month, my first month over 200 miles. Not much for the ultra runners among us, but a lot of miles for me. I am feeling better than ever that I will come in at 3:15 in Boston. I am much better prepared than I was for Columbus in November, and I managed a 3:19 there.
In a follow-up to my post about the Plain Dealer report Zachary Lewis, and his quest for a personal record in Cleveland this year, he replied to my e-mail and said he would consider joining SERC. From the tone, I suspect he is not all that keen to do so, but he didn't want to offend us. He did thank me for the invitation, and for my explanation of how running with the club has helped so much, and therefore he was thinking of including a discussion of running clubs in a future article. Of course, I offered our cooperation. Favorable mention of SERC in the local press would be nice.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The following article from the New York Times seemed worth sharing.
Smart Eating at Work
Marissa Lippert, a registered dietician, has put together a shopping list, including some of her favorite brands, for the foods she has recommended.
Here’s her list:
Top 10 all-around picks, in no specific order, to stash at your desk or in your office fridge
1. Raw, unsalted nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, pecans)
2. Kashi TLC granola bars, Gnu Flavor & Fiber bars, Lara bars (or check out youbars.com and create your own)
3. Low-Fat Laughing Cow Cheese, Coach Farm Goat Cheese or organic part-skim string cheese
4. Fage 0% Greek Yogurt or Stoneyfield Farms Low-Fat Organic Yogurt
5. Wasa, Finn Crisp, Kavli or Dr. Kracker wholegrain crackers
6. Organic peanut, almond or cashew butter (any organic/natural brand will do, or get the freshly ground stuff at your local Whole Foods Market or health food store or through FreshDirect.com)
7. McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal or Arrowhead Mills Organic Original Instant Oatmeal
8. Kashi GoLean or Heart to Heart Cereal; Uncle Sam’s Cereal; Bear Naked Granola (watch portions!)
9. Sweet Riot Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs (for the occasional afternoon chocolate craving)
10. Good Health Half-Naked Popcorn or Gleny’s Soy Crisps (1.3oz – small bag)
- Fresh fruit: I keep a bowl at my desk with apples, bananas, etc.
- Cliff bars: I buy these by the case and always have some at my desk, in my PC bag, in my gym bag, and in the car.
- Quaker Oats or other non-instant varieties of oats: You can 'cook' the oats by putting about five heaping teaspoons in a coffee mug, then adding hot water from the coffee brewer, then covering and waiting for about five minutes.
- Raisins (add them to the oatmeal if you like)
- As suggested above, yogurt, but I also keep whole flax seed at my desk, and mix about 1 teaspoon into each container of yogurt.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I ran with Kam, Mark, Marc, and Wayne for about five miles, always good for some laughs. They exchanged shots at each other most of the way. Kam and Mark were razzing Wayne, asking how he was managing to keep up with them. Mark asked Wayne at what point he was going to flip the 'Off' switch and drop off the pace. Then he said something about Wayne should be running with his buddy Bill. Apparently, Mark has not noticed that Wayne is 57 years old and still running strong with men 25 years younger. I don't blame Mark for being hard on Wayne, because Wayne dishes it out as well as anyone. Also, just like Mark, when I was younger I didn't understand the kind of toughness required to keep running competitively after fifty. Now I know. Someday he will , too.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
A breaking story from the Duchossois Blog News Team:
This just in. The
I was curious when I received my bib#, so I checked the results of past years to see who had worn that number and how they fared. I could only find the last two years available on line, and the individuals and times cited above are from those results. Among my goals for the race, I have added being best runner to wear #8252, ever (or at least in the last three years.)
I thought I would do one of my usual routes around work, then shower and drive home. but instead I decided to run home from work. I've never tried this before, but I had been thinking about it. I didn't know how bad the weather had turned; the last time I was outside was 6:00 AM and it was looking like a nice day. I did have a rain shell, but no gloves or hat, and only shorts.
When I started, it was a bit messy, rain and sleet, but that very soon changed to snow... and sleet. I managed to keep my socks dry for about two miles, after which both shoes were filled with ice water. My hands went from cold, to very cold, to painfully cold, to 'I have no feelings in my hands' cold. By the time I got home (about 11 miles), I couldn't get my fingers to work, so Sue was nice enough to untie my shoes. As I slowly warmed, I began to feel nauseous,... not sure why. That lasted for about an hour or so, but it was still better to be warm and nauseous than frozen.
Good news: If my left calf was hurting, I couldn't tell.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Begin training now, and you'll be in the running for summer-fall marathons
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Plain Dealer Reporter
Our own Zachary Lewis starts readers on a training regimen for the Cleveland Marathon's races.
Three hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds. That's how long I have to run this year's Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.
It may sound like an arbitrary number, but it isn't. As a 31-year-old man, I have to limbo beneath that bar to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the most prestigious and storied footrace in the country.
Right now, I have no intention of entering Boston, even if I qualify. Then again, who knows? And as any serious runner will attest, simply earning the right to lace up is itself a milestone.
Happily, I'm on my way. At my last marathon, in Columbus last October, I finished in three hours and 35 minutes, and since then I've been working hard to improve by running shorter, faster races and devoting equal time to cycling, lifting and swimming.
The first significant test came this month, at a 30K (18.6-mile) race in Avon Lake. Although lately I've been running at a 6:30 pace for long periods, on that chilly morning I slipped back to 7:17.
As it happens, though, that's exactly the pace I need to keep in Cleveland to qualify for Boston. Down to the second.
Now it's a matter of holding or topping that speed an additional 7.6 miles. Those are the hardest miles, of course, the territory past the proverbial "wall," but at least I've been there before and know what to expect.
Which brings me to my point. Plenty of you haven't been there before and are trying to get there, and we want to help you. We want to help you cross that life-changing, 26.2-mile threshold or complete that also-momentous 10K (6.2 miles).
To both ends, we'll be posting fresh, timely tips in this space every Tuesday from now until race day, Sunday, May 18, beginning with this:
If you're new to running or haven't run in awhile, it's probably too late to start preparing for a marathon safely. Most marathon-training schedules demand the ability to run 13 to 15 miles comfortably by this point, and trying to cram can lead to injury.
The good news is, with nine weeks left until the race, you're right on schedule to tackle a 10K. Start this week by logging a few hours in the pool or on the bike and working your way up to a two- or three-mile run at a steady pace.
Don't lose heart, aspiring marathoners. Late starters still have several marathon options this summer and fall, including the Buckeye Trail, Akron, Towpath and Columbus races.
Here's another friendly word of advice. If you can't remember the last time you bought running shoes, it's time to go shopping. Running a long race in worn-out or brand-new shoes is never a good idea. Trust me, I've done both.
You know my goal. Now let's help you reach yours. See you here next week and at the starting line.
Here's my e-mail to Zachary
I've enjoyed your articles in the Plain Dealer, and I was particularly interested in you article today, "Begin training now, and you'll be in the running for summer-fall marathons". You are making great progress. Your should be really proud of your 7:17 pace at the Catch A Leprechaun 30k. And at 31, your best times are still ahead of you...for many years to come.
I want to encourage you in your goal of qualifying for Boston. To that end, I also want to extend an invitation to you to join Cleveland SouthEast Runners Club (SERC). We are a vibrant local running club with runners of all levels.
Last August, I joined SERC and began running with the group on Saturdays and Sundays. I, too, had the goal of qualifying for Boston. With help, advice, and support of the SERC runners, I qualified in Columbus last October and I will be in Hopkinton on April 21st. We would love to have you join our club, and I am sure that you would find, as I did, that running and training with the support of the group is more productive, rewarding, and fun, then going it alone. Let me know if you have an interest, but regardless, I hope you do make it to Boston.
Actually, the pain was minimal. One day of rest and lots of ice seems to have helped. The training plan specified speed work today, but I overruled the plan. I knew if I was going to run at all, it would be slow. I did six hilly, slow miles, and did not feel too bad. I iced it, on and off, for the rest of the afternoon, and at least the pain was no worse that yesterday.So, in conclusion, not running yesterday made me feel like this...
Running today made me feel like this...
Monday, March 17, 2008
Looks like a beautiful day for a run. The sun is shining now. Can I reschedule this injury for another time?
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I've got my left leg up on my desk as I type this, with an ice pack wrapped around my upper calf. I have pain about 3 inches below my knee, on the outside. I'll be moving it to the lower part of the same leg soon, where the pain is about 3 inches above my ankle, on the inside. I've identified the pain locations high-lighted in yellow in the illustration. Both places have been giving me some pain recently, but after the race yesterday, and the extra miles after, my leg was achy. This morning, I was out running at 6:45, trying to get an extra eight in before the group run at 8:00, but my pace was so slow I managed only 6.5 miles. The pain was worrying me, and after running and talking with Elaine for a while, I took her advice, listened to the pain, and broke off the run for a total of 13.3 miles. Very disappointing since I needed to do 20, but I am planning to try for a make up long run mid-week if my leg can handle it.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I was undecided about running this one, as I need to get more miles in before Boston which is only 5 weeks away, and this is only a five miler. Then Mark e-mailed and invited anyone who wanted to join him, to run the race route before the race, then run the race, then tag another 7 or so after, totaling 17 or 18 miles. I needed another race, plus this would add the extra miles, so it was an easy decision. It turned out to be the right decision. It was a good day, and I managed a PR of 32:19, which is a 6:28 pace.
Thanks Elizabeth, for cheering us on and taking photos like this one. Great vantage point with the flats in the background.
A group of us (Kam, Steve, Dave, and Marc, and Mark) went to Mark's office after, got a quick tour of AdCom (quite impressive), and got some breakfast/lunch at Shay's on 40th and St. Clair. While we ate, Kam and Mark explained to the rest of us why we are so slow. ;-)