Friday, March 31

An easy 20 minutes

So my alarm clock this morning was set for 7. But I woke up before 6.

I was a little groggy but I couldn't bring myself to go back to sleep. So I went downstairs and got the paper and I just caught the desire to go to the Y and get in a quick workout.

I told myself 20 minutes, only 20 minutes. It had to be an easy day because tomorrow I've got the big run planned for 18 miles.

It was a good quick workout. But tomorrow is another mountain.

Interesting asides:

On the way to the Y, I saw a car with a bumper sticker that read: "Actions speak louder than bumper stickers."

Listening to my I-pod while working out, I heard Bob Marley's song "No woman, no cry." I remembered what I found out not so long ago. The message of the song isn't the drunk anthem, if it wasn't for women, I wouldn't be crying. No. That's not what Bob is saying. It's more, No woman, don't you cry. And that's a much more uplifting message.

At least, that's what I and I say.

Thursday, March 30

30 K

So the plan for this weekend is to do 18 miles. Or as they say in those countries that use the metric system - 30K.

I'm going into this weekend's run with two days of rest. I'd intended to get up and go over to the Y today for a quick 3-mile run on the treadmill. But I never could get my contacts to feel right as I was putting them in.

So I wore my glasses all day. Not running left me a little lethragic all day. But my legs also ached a little bit and I don't completely understand that. Except for maybe I just needed the rest.

Oh, what a day. I left work around 7:30. Not so bad, all things considered. But right now I'm exhausted and feel like it's time to go to sleep.

Wednesday, March 29

Fighting women's cancers

My friend Rebecca is raising money to fight women's cancers.

Rebecca's currently getting her Ph.D. in poetry or literature or something like that at UC Irvine.

As Rebecca started her grad school career, her best friend Margret Lavine was fighting ovarian cancer. Margret died on Sept. 13 2002.

For the last few years, Rebecca has participated in the Revlon Run/Walk for Women as a way to honor her friend's memory.

Obviously, I think it's an awesome endeavor and you should support Rebecca. (Also, my mom was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago and I know she's lucky to be a survivor.)

Rebecca's goal this year is to raise $2,000. You can click here to donate money to fight women's cancers.

Tuesday, March 28

Nothing like the smell

Nothing like the smell of bread baking in the morning.

My quick four mile run this morning took me by a wonderbread factory. It was a direction my feet hadn't taken me in a while and a route I'd never run before. I saw some interesting mosaics on a wall beside the road.

The best thing of course is that the run felt pretty good even despite their being a few more hills than I might have planned for. It was a good quick fun run.

Monday, March 27

On dating and marriage

This has to be one of the most depressing newspaper columns I've read in a long time.

The headline reads "Marriage is for white people." But the ultimate conclusion is marriage doesn't have to be for anybody.

The author starts off writing about how she was a bit sad that she wasn't married. But at the end of the article she decides she can do "pretty good" by herself.

That deflating conclusion can be summed up with this questionshe cites: "Why should well-salaried women marry?"

Why indeed?

And add to that the cofusion of relationships. One woman the author talked to said, "it's hard to know "what normal looks like" when it comes to courtship, marriage and parenthood."

If a woman thinks it's hard to know what normal looks like, what is a man like myself supposed to think.

The thing about training for a marathon. It's pretty much my own private adventure. It's the goal that I'm trying to conquer pretty much.

So I'm not even thinking about asking anyone out. That doesn't mean I don't sometimes think about dating. Just because I'm OK with being alone when I run, it doesn't mean I'm not lonely, if not when I'm on the road than at every other moment.

But if I were dating, how would I manage? It's always strange when a girl says that all I want to do is make out. Me? But then if I don't make some type of move, then I lose again.

It's so crazy. When I was younger, skinny and wearing thick-glasses, girls only joked about going out with me. Now, I'm older and more confident - it would be hard not to be more confident - but I'm still incredibly confused about relationships.

Anyway, why think about it too much, eh? I have a goal to run 26.2 miles in South Bend on June 3. No relationship can make that any easier. I've got to take every step on my own. I'll try the dating scene again when the race is finished.

Quote of the Day

Regular readers know that I've been regularly posting statements from a book of Lou Holtz quotations. Well, I thought recently, I bet Lou's written a book. I ought to check it out from the library.

Today at lunch I got his book "Winning Every Day." I love this one paragraph I just read:

I wanted a particular attitude to permeate our 1998 squad. What I envisioned was probably best summed up by a poster I had seen that depicted a buzzard sitting on a tree limb while saying,"Patience, my ass. I'm going to kill somebody."

Ten hours

Last night was the first night that I got 10 hours of sleep in I don't know how long. I feel a bit refreshed, but I'm not running today. I believe I need at least one more day off and then I'll do something tomorrow.

Sometimes I wonder how much of exhaustion is physical and how much is mental. Anyway, I'll hopefully give my mind a rest today as well as my body.

Sunday, March 26

10K dreams

So, I was thinking about the 10K I didn't run this weekend and how much I'd like to do one.

I had a goal of running a 10K in under an hour this year. I know I ran the 10K in Little Rock that fast, but there was no 10K split. There was a 6.8 mile split. I reached that point at 1:04:09. (In Memphis, there was a 6.2 split. My time: 1:05:57)
Interestingly enough, that's faster than I finished the 10K I did last November. My time was 1:05:27. And that was only my second 10K ever and the first one where I ran the whole way.

Anyhow, I did some internet searching and found the results for that first 10K I did six years ago. My time was 1:09:20.

I hadn't trained particularly well for the race and wound up walking for a portion of it and then sprinting to the finish line. But that was a sad deal since it just showed how poorly I'd prepared.

Anyways, I'm thinking about returning to Wichita this year. The race is Saturday, May 13. There is still that goal of finishing a 10K in under an hour. But that doesn't interest me as much as it used to. I don't have any doubt that I should be able to do that. I do wonder though if I could take 20 minutes off my time from 2000. That's a little bit more in line with a mystical quest.

We'll see how my running goes between now and then. I think possibly I could do it.

More thoughts on rest

So, I've been wondering how much I really rest my body when I don't run. In the course of a normal day, say, I walk to work and that involves a pretty good hill.

Or I walk up and down the spiral staircase in my three-level apartment. And I think the spiral staircase is more of a workout than regular stairs.

Hmm. Food for thought, I guess.


It's a good thing I looked at home much running I've been doing and planned to rest today.

I'm sure I could go run a few miles, but my legs are tired. Heck, my eyes are tired.

I woke up around an hour or so before I'd set my alarm clock to go off. I've got a nice skylight in my apartment, but sometimes I have a little trouble sleeping after the sun has risen. I may need to invest in a blindfold or something to help keep it dark a little longer if I keep going to sleep later than I want.

I'm really not even so much a morning person, but I guess all this marathon training and early rising for running has got my body programmed to get up at a certain point.

Saturday, March 25

Tired legs, body, mind... tired everything

I'm glad I went running today. After a few miles, my legs loosened up and I was feeling pretty good. Not perfect, but pretty good. I could run that was a great feeling.

But I had to go into work today and a couple of times I got up to stretch my legs and think about what I was doing without staring at the computer screen. I realized at that point exactly how I feel. Tired. Exhausted. Beat.

Sitting at my desk, my legs just felt very very tired. Everything felt tired actually. I left work at 9 p.m. tonight. Granted I didn't get into the office until around 3:30 or so, but it was a long day to cap off a long week and I'm most likely going into the office tomorrow to try to smooth out some rough edges on my last piece of work.

When I got home tonight, I went and had sushi. Some times the sushi is great. Sometimes the sushi is just OK. This was an OK night.

Anyhow, I've decided that besides walking to work/church, I'm not working out on Sunday or Monday. I need some rest.

It looks like my desire not to overtrain hasn't exactly panned out at this point.

Keeping Going

I realize this may post backwards for people who don't read every single post. You may want to read up starting with this post to get a better sense of how I'm feeling.

Anyhow, it's Saturday afternoon. I ran about six miles or so, maybe a little less, but I ran for 65 minutes. My kness bothered me a little bit but not too much. I stopped once but mostly kept going.

Maybe I just didn't rest long enough after the 15 mile run. Rest will be important this week as I want to be in good shape to go 18 more than anything else. But if I can't go 18, I've got wiggle room built into my schedule.

I hope your running is going well.

Woke up this morning

I woke up this morning feeling OK. But I didn't do the 10K in Willard.

I took my little brother from Big Brothers Big Sisters out there for the KidsK. A one K run - 6/10 of a mile.
He finished in a little over 2 minutes. A long way to go, you might say, but he got a medal and we've got a plan to do a 5K together. We'll run for 2 minutes and then walk for 15 the whole way through.

And I'm going to go running in a few minutes and then I'll get the real lowdown on how my legs feel.

Friday, March 24

A strange run

This morning's run was worrisome.

I never really loosened up and I felt a little pain/discomfort in my knees. I just bought new shoes last week and I don't know if that's a cause or not. I only ran four miles today.

Maybe I should have slept more. Eaten more. Stretched more.

I'm a little worried, but I'm not sure what to do.

I had thought about doing the Frisco High Line 10K tomorrow. Maybe I'll do the 5K. It all depends on how well I sleep tonight and how I feel in the morning.

Thursday, March 23


What a day. I left work around 9 tonight. I wasn't planning on staying that long and I didn't really have the right amount of food with me to make sure that I didn't get incredibly hungry. Now I'm torn between finding something to eat or just plopping on my bed and going to sleep.

Today was a day of rest though. The first day I haven't worked out at all since I ran 15-plus miles on Saturday. I'm thinking the Frisco High Line trail run will be fun in two days. Of course, that's provided that that I get to sleep before 9:30 tomorrow.

Anyhow, here's an interesting quote from Shakespeare that I keep coming across lately.

By all the gods that Romans bow before,
I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome!
Brave son, derived from honourable loins!
Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjured up
My mortified spirit. Now bid me run,
And I will strive with things impossible;

-From Julius Caesar

Wednesday, March 22

Spiritual running

I saw a book in the store recently: Running the Spiritual Path by Roger Joslin.

Interesting concept. I mean, I don't particularly pray well when running as I posted a day or so ago. I don't meditate too much on any one thing either. My mind more or less just wanders.

It's pretty much one step after the other. Am I going too slow, too fast? This feels about right. And usually a phrase repeats itself in my head, a line from a song or something.

I was running on a short street called St. Mary's on Saturday and so I prayed the Hail Mary.

Third Day of Spring

I bundled up and went running today. Bundled up is a bit extreme, but I wore the same clothes I wore on the coldest days of December and January.

I only went two miles for a couple of reasons. I wanted to run but I didn't want to go too far. Avoiding the overtraining thing I wrote about a couple of posts ago. My legs had been aching just a bit - no real injury, but something I felt I should listen to.

Anyhow, all in all it was a good two mile run.

Monday, March 20

Second Day of Spring

I've got the clothes to go out and run and be toasty in cold weather. Right now, however, I don't have the desire.

Since I've started running, I've started going to the Weather Channel website.

Their forecast for tomorrow: snow showers in the morning.

If I wake up in time, I'm going over to the Y to hop on the treadmill again. This time I'll be a bit more controlled and try to have an easier workout than I did today.

Or maybe I'll just sleep longer. I don't want to overtrain, but I'm not sure I want to undertrain either.

But from all I've read, undertraining is definitely better.

First Day of Spring

Well, it's the first day of spring. It's the feast day of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's 37 degrees outside. That's probably a few degrees warmer than it was when I went to the Y an hour and a half ago.

Not that I'm complaining about the weather. (I'm sure it's colder up north.) No, I don't want to complain about anything.

I woke up today with a strong desire to just hit the snooze button and roll over a few times. But I didn't. I went to the Y and got a decent workout in. Three miles on the treadmill. And they felt like three tough miles. It was the first run since the 15 miles on Saturday. I don't think I pushed myself too hard, but I could have gone a little easier on myself.

Oh well. Live and learn. Always a chance for renewal, eh?

Sunday, March 19

What about love?

A couple of weeks ago, I finished Lance Armstrong's memoir It's Not about the Bike. It was a good book and got me pumped for going out running and pushing through pain. It also helped me understand chemotherapy, something that I was relatively blissfully ignorant of - even though my mom went through chemotherapy as part of her cancer treatments.

Anyhow, the strangest thing about Lance Armstrong's book was the chapter about his wife, Kik. That's because it was written when they were very much in love but as I read the book, they'd been divorced for at least a couple of years. The whole thing makes me wonder about love.

Anyhow, while searching the internet earlier today, I found an article she wrote about her first marathon . It was a strong piece of writing.

Trouble with prayer

So, I have trouble with prayer. I don't feel I do it particularly well though I do try. Sometimes while running I pray, but invariably my minds wanders. I get distracted. I never really say amen. Interesting to start a prayer, but not finish it. Am I really praying even though I've forgotten it while my legs were moving?

Anyhow, this morning I was reminded of a trip I took last year to a monastery in Hulbert, Oklahoma. It was an interesting Lenten excursion. Don't know when I'll go again to someplace like that but it was quite the trip.

One of those things where even though I have trouble with prayer, I can be around people who make it the whole structure of their lives and see a little bit of a different world.

Saturday, March 18

How high is this mountain?

I did it. I ran 15 miles today. Actually a little over 15 miles, but I made it to my goal and I'm still standing. At times it was tough and my legs hurt, but I made it all the way. Near the end I caught a second wind and I felt great.

Achieving a big goal consists of achieving lots of smaller goals.

Early on in the run, a line from a poem came to me and it helped me keep running. It's funny, I couldn't remember but random phrases from the poem. And the key phrase I kept repeating. How high is this mountain?

It's a line from a poem by Marc Smith that's in this book, The Spoken Word Revolution. The book also comes with a cd and it's great. Pull the Next One Up is the last track on the disc.

I know you want to read the whole poem so here it is:

When you get to the top of the mountain
Pull the next one up.
Then there'll be two of you
Roped together at the waist
Tired and proud, knowing the mountain
Knowing the human force it took
To bring both of you there.

And when the second one has finished
Taking in the view,
Satisfied by the heat and perspiration under the wool,
Let her pull the next one up;
Man or woman, climber of mountains.
Pull the next hand over
The last jagged rock
To become three.
Two showing what they've already seen.
And one knowing now the well-being with being
Finished with one mountain,
With being able to look out a long way
Toward other mountains.
Feeling a temptation to claim victory
As if mountains were toys to own.

When you ask how high is this mountain
With a compulsion to know
Where you stand in relationship to other peaks,
Look down to wherefrom you came up
And see the rope that's tied to your waist
Tied to the next man's waist,
Tied to the next woman's waist,
Tied to the first man's waist,
To first woman's waist
... and pull the rope!

Never mind the flags you see flapping on conquered pinnacles.
Don't waste time scratching inscriptions into the monolith.
You are the stone itself.
And each man, each woman up the mountain
Each breath exhaled at the peak,
Each glad-I-made-it ... here's my hand,
Each heartbeat wrapped around the hot skin
of the sun-bright sky,
Each noise panted or cracked with laughter,
Each embrace, each cloud that holds everyone
in momentary doubt...

All these are inscriptions of a human force that can
Conquer conquering hand over hand pulling the rope
Next man up, next woman up.
Sharing a place, sharing a vision.
Room enough for all on all the mountain peaks.
Force enough for all

To hold all the hanging bodies
Dangling deep in the deep recesses of the mountain's belly
Steady... until they have the courage...
Until they know the courage...
Until they understand
That the only courage there is is
To pull the next man up
Pull the next woman up
Pull the next up... Up... Up.

Run Toward Fear

So I was a little scared at the beginning of the run today. I was real stressed all week actually. To paraphrase the Gatorade commercial - was it in me? Almost halfway through I realized I could do it. I could go 15 miles. I just had to keep my legs moving. I did it.

I guess the best way to deal with fear is to run towards it.

Reminds me of one of my favorite books, the poet Haki Madhubuti's Run Toward Fear.

Friday, March 17

Lou speaks

I could never play on the Notre Dame football team seeing as how I never played any high school football.

But I can open my Quotable Lou book and pick up a little drive from Coach Holtz.

Here are a couple of quotes to think about:

"I played on some teams that got beat pretty badly, where the other team was frolicking on the other side. It wasn't fun. The pain of losing goes away. The pain of embarassment lasts longer. Those kind of things happen, and they give you that fervent desire to excel at everything you do."

"You have to be a self-starter in today's world."

"Show me a person who is a success, and I'll show you a person who has overcome adversity."


Long week

This has been an incredibly long week for me at work. I've got to go into work tomorrow and tie up lose ends.

But I can't not run tomorrow. I can't not do the 15 mile long run tomorrow.

I know it's crazy to train for a marathon, but it's what I'm doing. It's my big goal.

Right now, honestly, I'm not getting much satisfaction at work. It's not that I'm going through the motions, but I feel like my voice has been silenced to some extent.

It's tough. Running though is about determination. You just do it and don't stop until you're finished.

I've got to believe I'm going to have a good run tomorrow. It's going to set my whole day and the end of this week and the beginning of next week off on a positive note.

15 miles.

Thursday, March 16

Fifteen miles

My goal for this weekend is simple. Run 15 miles.

I've also got a simple question. Can I do it?

I think I can. I should be able to. I must. I have a schedule and June 3 will be here before I know it.

But I am exhausted. It's been a long week at work. It's been a long month at work. I haven't been eating particularly well.

In short, I'm a bit scared. Hopefully though, we'll be able to take care of business at work tomorrow and get to sleep at a good time on Friday.

15 miles.

Wednesday, March 15

Running on empty

This morning's run was real interesting. The first run in new shoes and it went fairly well.

But anybody who has been reading this blog regularly knows I've been a bit stressed at work lately. So stressed I haven't been eating well and I've been too tired once I got home to cook.

This morning while running, I had to ask myself, what had I eaten the night before. What was it that made my stomach feel so blech.

Then I remembered. Yesterday afternoon at work I ordered a pizza, a medium cheese pizza, because I hadn't eaten anything all day. I ate the whole pizza. I was only going to eat half, but halfway through I just kept going. (Sort of the plan for the marathon in South Bend; this time, halfway through I will just keep going.)

I did go to the grocey store last night after buying my shoes, but eating a whole pizza isn't the best thing to put into the tank. I just felt real salty and it wasn't a good feeling. Hopefully tomorrow's run will go better.

Tuesday, March 14

More from Lou

It seems like a good time to have a couple more quotes from Lou Holtz:

On preparation:

"You will only succumb to stress if you are ill-prepared."

On potential:

"I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary."

OK, now I'm ready to go to sleep, get up in the morning and go running. How about you?

Happy Hippy Heel Striker

So I bought a new pair of shoes today. (I would now link to the lyrics to the James Brown song where he sang "Poppa got a new pair of shoes. Huh. Hit me!" Except for one thing. I don't think that song ever existed. There is the whole brand new bag thing but that's a whole different story.)

So anyhow, I got a new pair of running shoes. They should take me through the marathon in South Bend and that is exciting.

Here's an interesting story. While I was trying on shoes, I showed the lady the soles of my shoes that I had just taken off and she said HappyHippyHeelStriker real fast. It was a Rain Man sort of moment.

I said, "Huh?"

Then she explained that I strike my heel against the ground while I run and that's fairly normal. At least normal for runners.

And then she pointed to the shoes I was trying on and the shoes next to my feet and said they'd be good. And the shoes I had on felt pretty good too so that was especially nice to hear.

So, every once in a while, it's nice to be normal. And now that I've got a new pair of shoes, I'm going to have a funky good times.

Monday, March 13

New links

There are new links on the side of my blog. Three races are there right now that I think would be really cool to run in some day.

Of course, right now I'm focused on one race.

Sunday, March 12

I've run everywhere

One of my favorite Johnny Cash songs that I haven't heard in a while is I've been everywhere.

Well, I've been thinking about this past year and I've run darn near everywhere.

Just in the past year, I've run in
South Bend
Little Rock
Rapid City
North Little Rock
Sioux Falls

I've run everywhere man. Well, maybe not everywhere. But I've been around.
Travel, I've had my share man.

What heat?

I went running today wearing a shirt I bought at the Little Rock Marathon expo.

Black shirt with that technology that wicks the sweat away.
Two words on the front: "What hills?" The route I went running today, however, didn't have many hills though.

The question today was really, "What heat?"
My weather forecasting website says today's high is 78. We only went about six miles. But it's been a long time, if ever, since I've run this far in weather this hot. We had planned to go about seven miles but I stopped us at about the six mile mark. (Maybe that wasn't totally the weather, but partially stress also. The bottom line was that my body was talking to me. I think the most important running rule is to never underestimate the importance of rest.)

And the forecast says we're in for thunderstorms. It hasn't rained yet but the high tomorrow is supposed to be 58 with a low of 28.

With changes like that coming, there's likely to be some stormy weather. Which means if the timing is right, I might be able to get out and run in the rain again. I sure hope it rains on June 3. Although whatever type of weather there is will be good weather for running.

Quotable Lou

I picked up the book Quotable Lou that was laying around the house the other day.

The man is a motivational, inspirational genius. So I've decided that at least once a week until the marathon on June 3, I'll share some quotes from Lou with you, my faithful readers.

On goals:

"If you are bored with life, if you don't have a burning desire to get up in the morning to do things, your problem is you don't have goals."

On faith:
"You have to have an ego any time you really want to excel. So I had some problems with that for a while, but I don't anymore. I still stray from it, but I hope that I'll excel for the glory of God. Without him, I can't do anything but foul up my life. I want people to know that I have faith in God."

On success:

"Overachievers are an absolute necessity."

One mile

Since I've started running, I've been surprised at how many people say they couldn't run a mile. Actually, what's most surprising is the folks who say they couldn't run much farther than to their car. They don't know how short one mile really is.

I mean, one mile is 5,280 feet. 1600 meters. Four laps around the track. The distance from Sunshine to Grand.

Just about anybody in reasonable shape can run or run/walk a mile.

Running 26.2 miles though. That's been pretty tough.

It's a bit like sit-ups. On the sit-up board at the Y, no matter the incline, I can do one sit-up. But doing 26.2 (that's actually 28 the way I count) was tougher when I first started it, especially at steep angles.

But 26.2 miles is what I'm focused on.

Saturday, March 11

A thought

Once when I lived in Pennsylvania, I met famous journalist Earl Caldwell.

Caldwell worked for the New York Times and a case involving his coverage of the Black Panthers went all the way to the Supreme Court.

He got his start in journalism in a county bordering the one where I lived at the time. Old friends from his first newspaper came to see him at the function I was at. Caldwell told his friends that they had had great lives. He, on the other hand, had had a great career.

Just a thought that's been running through my head today.

Twenty miles

When I posted about my long run schedule, I mentioned that the plan has me running my first 20-miler on the weekend of April 15-16, tax day.
What was I thinking about?
Obviously not the liturgical calendar.

You see, the weekend of April 15-16 is Easter weekend.

This truly feels like a Lenten time to me. Things are going on in my life at work that are honestly a little bit scary. But I'm sure everything will work out for the best for everybody. I've got to have faith and trust in God. Easter is coming and Pentecost too.

Don't sell yourself short

A friend of mine sent a letter the other day. She said that a lot of the people she went to college with seem to have accomplished a lot more than she has.

I've been meaning to call or write and tell her that I think she's underestimating her accomplishments quite a bit. Especially the achievement of running two marathons. But not just that.

I think everybody has the ability sometimes to compare themselves to other folks and not count all of the things they've done.

And then there's the message I saw on the back of someone's shirt at the St. Jude Marathon - Be a completer, not a competer.

Anyhow, you who wrote me, you know who you are. But dear reader, I'm sure you've also at some point wondered whether you measure up.

We've all got our own individual race to run.

Suprised by light

I got up yesterday just a wee bit later than usual. But the sun was already up. I know the sun comes up earlier and earlier now that we're moving towards Spring. But I really feel that I need to get up before the sun if I'm going to get in a good relaxing run.

In fact, I think I need to pay more attention to going to sleep before 9 so I can good up at a good hour to go running and not worry about what time I'm going to go to work. Of course, lately I've been getting home from work after 8 at night and that makes it hard to get to bed as quickly as I'd like.

Hopefully I'll be able to be more disciplined about this.

Try to go on

I woke up this morning with a desire to listen to a certain song. Maybe I'll write more about this feeling I've got later on.

But I'll share the lyrics to the song I just played on my computer. Funny, I heard the song and then it was over so fast. I think I'll play it again.

Shipwrecked In The Eighties
(written by Kris Kristofferson)

Well you fight like the devil to
Just keep your head above water
Chained to whatever you got that
You can't throw away
And you're shooting through space on this
River of life that you're riding
And it's swirling and sucking you deeper
On down every day

So you turn to your trusty old partner
To share some old feelings
And you find to your shock that your
Faithful companion is gone (so long Tonto)
And the truth slowly dawns that you're
Lost and alone in deep water
And you don't even know how much longer
There is to go on

Like an old Holy Bible you've clung to through
So many seasons
With the rules of survival in words
You could still understand
When they prove something wrong
You believed in so long you go crazy
And you're so close to folding the cards that you
Hold in your hand

Singing, holy Toledo I can't
See the light anymore
All those horizons that I used to guide me are gone
And the darkness is driving me farther away from the shore
Throw me a rhyme or a reason
To try to go on

Thursday, March 9

A question

I was in a meething this morning when someone said something that sparked a question for me. I don't have the answer, maybe you do.

What is the highest common denominator?

Elevation tables

I believe the Little Rock Half-Marathon was a lot hillier than what I ran in Memphis.

So, I've been spending some time looking at elevation tables. Very interesting. I'll provide you with some links in a minute. My analysis shows that Little Rock was hillier than Memphis and South Bend should be flatter than both of them. Although the race in South Bend will also be twice as long. And that's really the bottom line. It will also be at a slightly higher elevation, but not so much that it will make a difference.

Now here are links to the elevation tables:


Little Rock.

South Bend.

I'm sorry I'm not blogger savvy enough to post pictures of the marathon table for each race. But by now you know that I don't know that much about html and posting and all that. Anyhow, I think it's interesting to look at.

Wednesday, March 8

Long run schedule

Today was the first day I was able to work out since the Half-Marathon. The soreness is finally starting to go away. Today I went to the Y and did some cross training - got on an elliptical trainer and also lifted weights.

But the Sunburst Marathon is now less than three months away.

So I've been trying to make a more specific plan for increasing my long runs to get me ready for race day and a three week taper.

March 12 - 7 miles

March 18 or 19 - 15 miles.

March 25 - Frisco High Line 10K (6.2 miles)

April 1 or 2 - 18 miles

April 8 or 9 - 9 miles

April 15 or 16 - 20 miles (I just noticed I'm planning my first 20-miles for tax day.)

April 22 or 23 - 10 miles.

April 29 or 30 - 22 miles or maybe 20 miles again. We'll see.

May 6 or 7 - 10 miles.

May 13 or 14 - Bank of America River Run - possibly one last long run in Wichita.

And after the River Run there's only three weeks left until the marathon in South Bend. That will be time for the taper.

Anyhow, this schedule is subject to revision and flexibility. I'll gladly take suggestions. Hopefully I'll have training partners. There are still more gaps in the training I need to hammer out but Rebecca keeps telling me the Long Run is the most important thing. Hopefully I'm laying a good foundation here.

Monday, March 6

Results, results, results

I love this excerpt from the Sunburst Marathon FAQ:
Where can I see results?

As with any fitness program, you'll see results....Just kidding!

Ha! It's so funny.

But official results from the Little Rock Half-Marathon are now online.

I'm going to blow some of the semi-anonymous nature of this blog, but let me tell you, I came in 766th place and 84th in my age group. :)
In Memphis, I came in 2,292nd place.
But I'm just being silly. And almost everybody who reads this blog knows who I am anyway. It's just fun to be semi-anonymous.

If competition matters at all, it is competing with myself. But as I read somewhere recently, no two races are the same. Different courses, different weather, different everything really.

But I am proud of the improvement in my time. In Memphis I ran the half-marathon in 2:19.41. In Little Rock, my time was 2:10.32.

Unfortunately, I also had to use the bathroom during the race in Little Rock and my porta-potty stop cost me at least 90 seconds. (It's nice to be a man and have the ability to pee standing up though.) If I had just emptied my bladder better before the start of the race....

Ahh, but if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

Anyhow, I had a goal for 2006 of running a 10K in under an hour. I also had a goal of running a 5K in under 30 minutes and that was taken care of last year. I met the 10K goal on Sunday in Little Rock, but it wasn't really measured. I do, however, have a plan for an upcoming 10K.

No Pain

Am I in pain after running a half-marathon yesterday? Not really. I'm a little sore but after driving home, I took a lukewarm/cold bath and got a good night's rest.

For me, there was no wall. One brief moment on one of the hills I questioned what I was doing and whether I really wanted to do a full marathon. That moment didn't last long.

I know I can run a half-marathon faster than I did yesterday - the bathroom break I took had to eat at list two minutes into my time. But I ran hard and put in a good effort. I didn't have the same feeling I had after the St. Jude Half-Marathon that I didn't train hard enough or run fast enough. And I did sprint hard to the finish line again and I was real happy about that.

But I haven't felt real pain in these half-marathons and I know that's part of the marathon. I've got to be mentally, physically and spiritually ready for that.

I realized yesterday that I pretty much did what I'd trained to do. Now I've got to train to do something a good bit harder.

Sunday, March 5

Big and Bodacious

I can't remember if I posted anything about my goals for the Little Rock Half-Marathon on here. I probably did a few weeks back.

But just to refresh. It went something like this.

Have fun. Finish. Finish faster than I did last time. Finish in under two hours.

Those are the basics.

And I hit all but the last one. And finishing under two hours would have been close to 20 minutes faster than I ran in Memphis.

My unofficial time was somewhere around 2:11. I'll post the official finish time later.

And I've got the world's largest marathon finisher's medal.
It reads:
Big and Bodacious
Arkansas' Race for Every Pack
Little Rock Half Marathon
March 5, 2006

Saturday, March 4

Damascus Road

So, last night I learned that the road to Little Rock is also the road to Damascus. No big conversion experience to speak of although faith did help me on the journey here.

Light, I tell you, does strange things in these Ozark mountains at night.

And the arrows on the road signs looked like kindergarten scribbles. Surprising at one point, seeing a sign describing the road ahead as "crooked and steep." What a warning.

If that is true, I thought, then what was the road behind me?

Friday, March 3

My hometowns

Well, the plans are to go back to Little Rock today. Originally I asked to take a day of vacation today. That was before my boss left. I've been working ahead and hopefully I'll be able to hit the road around noon today. That would set me up for a leisurely drive back to Arkansas.

Before I graduated from high school, I'd lived in four different cities: Virginia Beach, Virginia, where I was born; Little Rock where I lived from kindergarten until the end of third grade; Talladega, Alabama, where I lived from fourth grade to tenth grade; and South Bend, Indiana, where my family still lives. All that moving was tough, but at that age there's nothing you can do. Just say goodbye to your friends and start over. This was back before e-mail and so I don't even have any friends I stay in touch with from high school or any place that I've lived. I just don't have any of those connections.

Anyway, I've got tentative plans to go back to three of these cities where I'd lived and run in races:
The Little Rock Half-Marathon this weekend.
The Sunburst Marathon in South Bend in June.
The Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia in September.

I've registered for the first two already and am still trying to figure out details for the third. I don't know if there's a race in Talladega and if there is, (well, I know there's a big auto race in Talladega) but it just doesn't capture my imagination in the same way the others do.

I don't ever want to dwell in the past and I don't want to look too much into the future.
Running is always one step at a time. You've got to enjoy what you're doing. However, there's also looking ahead to the future. Achieving your goals. The satisfaction of finishing.

Lately I've been real stressed. I hope this running vacation in Arkansas is a good time. It almost feels like the timing is horribly wrong, but I guess that's just one of those things. Life is never perfect. How's that saying go? Do the best you can with what you've got.

Wednesday, March 1

Ash Wednesday

Again today I got out of bed later than I wanted to. The alarm was set for 5, but I didn't actually roll out of bed until about a little after 6. My original plan was to go for a quick four mile run around 5:30 and then head over to the 7 a.m. church service.
Now I had a dilemma. Run or go to church? I chose to run. I learned recently that Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, although it is a day of fasting and obedience. So, running seemed to be a higher priority. (And maybe I'll go to church at lunch.)
Today's run was tough. It seemed like I was taking a fairly easy pace, the weather was nice and warm but I was close to being exhausted fairly early on. I realized part of the problem may have been what I had for dinner last night - popcorn at the Moxie.
I have got to pay more attention to what and when I eat.
My legs are pretty tired right now so I'm going to take a couple of days off.
Especially since I'm doing this race on Sunday.