December 8 - 31, 2008 were fairly bad for my training. I had a cold at first, then bad weather curtailed bike commuting. I trained significantly less in those three weeks than I had been doing in one week in October and November.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
December 8 - 31, 2008 were fairly bad for my training. I had a cold at first, then bad weather curtailed bike commuting. I trained significantly less in those three weeks than I had been doing in one week in October and November.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
And then today there is this, via twitpic.com - Lance and Levi working out on a climb at their current training camp in the Canary Islands. At least I have more hair than Levi...:
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
We started with laps on the track, sprinting the front 100m straightaway on each lap. They wanted to just start with that cold, but I convinced them to run the entire first lap before hitting the first sprint. I couldn't keep up on the sprint, even with the one girl that showed up for practice. It took me about a mile to warm up, is why. Youth...
After a couple miles on the track, we moved to the football field for the rest of the workout. I took my Saucony Killkenny XC flats off, but couldn't get any of the kids to take theirs off. They should have, since it was a damp day and the field was wet. At this point, I had no problem sprinting with them, as they tired and my 35 years of endurance kicked in.
After the workout I put my shoes on the roof of the car for a minute, so I could clear my back seat to give a couple of the kids a ride home in my little Ford Focus. When we got home, I realized I left the shoes on my roof! So I retraced my drive. I found the shoes on the edge of Greenbrook Road where it curves near West End Avenue. Those shoes rode my roof for at least a mile, taking a few accelerations and turns before ditching!
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thank you, GSS!
Everything is relative. Multiple daily workouts can become a grind and a distraction to productivity in other areas of one's life. I try and fit them in, commuting by bike, running during my kids soccer practice, for example. I have been an endurance machine for 35 years (16 marathons, countless shorter running & multisport races). It is almost discouraging when you realize you have to put in at least a moderate workout everyday just to maintain the fitness level you are at, while aging conspires to pull you down. AZers looking forward to ski season might take motivation from realizing the more "out of shape" a person is, the easier it is for them to make visible gains.
My training lacks strength workouts right now. I usually cut them in after running a fall marathon, and continue through the ski season.
I really believe that for recreational skiers, endurance trumps strength any day. Because here is what I see: Typically, when out west, I am at the bottom of mogul runs waiting for people who have to stop every 100 yards to catch their breath. In the east, at the end of the day, I am the one taking the last chair when my friends and family have legs that are toasted by 3:30.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
By the way, I have been creating these workout summaries by taking screen captures of the Zelky Workout Tracker application on Facebook. I wish there was a way to load them right into blogs via a web widget.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Speaking of which, in today's Newport-Liberty Half Marathon, I finished the race with Laura S., who caught me with a 1.5 miles to go. What a racing animal - I had no clue she was so focused and she was catching me. I must have been slowing down and she probably ran negative splits. She said, "We are going to catch that guy in yellow!" OK, motivation for me besides thinking I had to run fast so the RVRR women wouldn't beat this old guy. The guy in yellow was about 50 yards ahead of us, with some others between us and him. Well, in the next mile we reeled in the others, but not the guy in yellow. With a bit less than a half mile left, I went harder to catch the guy in yellow, and I also wanted to make Laura run faster. I caught the yellow guy, and have a story to tell too. Races are cool like that sometimes. I ran 1:32:01 - about seven minutes slower than I ran just three years ago, but about seven faster than last year. Races are cool like that sometimes, too. I have learned in my old age not to take them as seriously as I used to. I like to think that any day I am out there running, I am one of the luckiest guys in the world.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
My Son, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
...if you can see the photo, those girls are running barefoot and in socks. I'd say at least half the runners did not have footwear. Some were wearing sandals and very precious few had good running shoes.
Yes, shoes are overrated.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
...HOT AND HUMID THIS AFTERNOON...
THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IN THE MIDDLE 90S ALONG WITH HIGH HUMIDITY WILL RESULT IN THE THE HEAT INDEX RISING CLOSE TO 100 THIS AFTERNOON.
WHEN THE HEAT INDEX IS THIS HIGH, IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT THOSE WHO VENTURE OUTDOORS STAY WELL HYDRATED AND TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS FROM THE HEAT. IF POSSIBLE...STAY IN AIR CONDITIONED BUILDINGS.
Ah - great day to ride 50 miles in 3 hours! Here is the route I took.
I needed this long ride to compensate for not doing any long workouts to prepare for the Escarpment Trail Run since July 6 due to the breaking of the toe. I took one electrolyte cap and one PowerBar gel after hour 1 and 2 of the ride. One stop just after 2 hours for water. The ride didn't feel too difficult. This after one hour on the indoor trainer last night. Good!
Monday, July 14, 2008
After the forum, the induction ceremony for the National Distance Running Hall of Fame took place. This event is very inspiring for any distance runner and should not be missed, despite the lure of touring the F.X. Matt brewery. RVRR's own Amby Burfoot was inducted, along with Priscella Welch and Johnny Hayes. Hayes's induction was posthumous, of course, and was presented by Frank Shorter. Hayes was USA's first Olympic marathon gold medalist in 1908, and Shorter did a great talk about uniting both his and Hayes's gold medals for the first time. Priscella Welsh broke new ground for women and masters runners in her career, proving the abilities we can maintain at world-class level through our masters years. Amby sang praises for the community of every runner we are all a part of, as he always has in his life and writing. After this ceremony, I asked Frank Shorter to sign a copy of one of his books, Olympic Gold. He told me a story about how the massacre at the '72 Olympics psyched out so many athletes and destroyed their potential performances. Mike A. spent some time speaking with Bill Rodgers, who was glad to advise him on race strategy for Boilermaker's course. One of the great things about speaking with these running superstars is the sense that they are immediately your friend, not full of themselves, and would go out on a run with you then follow it up with a beer.
On Sunday, the experience of the race can be compared with a big city marathon, with less pain a better party at the end. There are eleven thousand runners and the entire 15 kilometers lined with enthusiastic spectators - there is a competition for the best cheering community, voted on by the runners after finishing. There are two bands and three water stops per mile. There are dancing girls, llamas and sheep, ice cubes and ice pops, and lots of signs telling you how much farther to the beer.
The beer is at the finish line that pours you into the huge parking lot of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company. It was a little after 9 A.M. and thousands of people were drinking the free Saranac beer, dancing to Nick and The Nice Guys, and having the biggest runner party in the world. I was sloshed and sober again by noon, when the whole thing shuts down. On the drive home, we waved to other Boilermaker runners at every Thruway service area, when we stopped to leave some recycled beer behind.
Running this race with a broken toe manipulated my experience of the race. I have run this race three times before. I was forced to run slower this time because of the pain in my foot from the broken toe. This made me enjoy the spectators a lot more, and allowed me to really see the course a lot better, because I wasn't concentrating on trying to run a fast time. I ran spot-on seven minute miles, even though I was in shape enough to run about 6:30 miles. I suppose I shouldn't complain about that, considering that I could run it at all after breaking a toe five days before the race. Yes, I am stupid because this is causing me to change my stride and possibly get me injured some other way, and I am not helping the healing process.... But I only own one life - so on on, I say!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
On July 4, Friday, I ran for two hours from Ventnor, through Atlantic City, on road, boardwalk & beach. It was about 15 miles and felt fairly easy.
On Saturday morning I rode the Trek 43.5 miles @ 2:26, Ventnor to Sea Isle City & back. On Saturday afternoon I ran an easy 7.5 miles @ 1:02.
On Sunday I ran another 2 hour run, about 14.3 miles, Ventnor & AC boardwalks and beach.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Breathe ... Breathe....
I got home and figured maybe it was the headset or the stem, even though I greased the stem thoroughly before the build of this bike . So I proceeded to disassemble and remove the stem from the frame. I cleaned the old grease. I shot WD-40 down into the steerer and into the stem bolts and tightener. I greased the stem and replaced it. Then I flipped the bike and dripped lube into the headset. I took it for a 10 PM sprint up and down my street and it seemed FINE!
AND - I rode it to work today and it was blissfully SILENT! Huzzah!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
And this makes me think a bit about my plan for my 50th year. My plan is to complete an Ironman, a 50K and a 50 mile run. I have this crazy mid-life crisis redirect of trying to inspire people to say to themselves, "Jeeze, if he can do this at 50, so can I." It is going to require more visible bike commutes and runs out the back door during the next academic year. So will my intended effect be thwarted? I wonder how many of my coworkers are going to secretly hate me for it?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The President's Cup is a wonderful experience. It is on one of the longest days of the year every June. It starts at 8 PM and finishes to free Sam Adams, a DJ and a runner party. I know a hundred people at this race; people I have raced and ran with for the past 34 years. This year my "non-racing" fit friends that live in Millburn ran the race. That was great to see, because I felt I exposed them to this race as spectators. In years past, they could not believe that the highly placed socio-economic profile town of Millburn would host such an openly public alcohol-fueled party.
After a brief thunderstorm I ran a 20 minute warm up. I needed a long warm up because all I have in my running bank is distance running. I have done no race-paced running in way over seven months. The race is a two-lap course around the business district of Millburn. I ran the course's lap in the opposite direction that it is raced and proceeded to say hello to about 90 of the 100 runners I personally know and talk to and run against and with that attend this race. It was a mental and spiritual warm-up as well as a physical one because it just felt great to see all these people and be out at a race again.
I started farther back than I usually do to force myself to go out easy. There was a good crowd, so the tactic worked. I still ran my first mile in 6:06 and felt pretty good. This surprised me, because the last time I ran a mile that fast may have been July of 2007! The middle mile felt fine, and the final mile was a bit of work. My finishing chip time was 19:10, which averages to 6:11/mile. Not bad on about 25 miles of running per week.
More to come....
Monday, June 16, 2008
I was riding my Trek on Saturday, and my handlebar started to creak. It creaked when I put weight on the brake hoods. I could hear it go tick tick, and I could feel it too. So I stopped and tightened the bolt that holds the bars. The creaking didn't go away. So I stopped and tightened the stem bolt and the brake levers, thinking it might be those things. I even tightened my seatpost's saddle mount bolt in case I was totally missing the source of the tick tick creaking. And it continued, even got worse as the ride continued.
When I got home I thought about greasing where the bars go through the stem. But I wasn't sure I should do that, because I had never had to do that before, and this creaking showed up out of nowhere in this Trek's second hundred miles since I built it. The Internet would surely tell me what I should do! So I Googled creaky handlebars. Results summary: lightly grease the bar/stem contact point, and another possibility was a cracking handlebar. The TTT Forgi bar on the bike is almost new, so I hoped it isn't cracking - I am far from a beefy sprinter and I have not used the bike in the mountains yet, so I have not yanked very hard on these bars. They did have a previous owner, however - but before I wrapped them, they appeared to be new.
Not wanting them to suddenly rotate in the stem, I lightly greased my handlebar at their midpoint, slid them back into the stem and tightened down hard. It seemed to make a difference while in the garage. I went for a ride on Sunday and at first all was cool - no creaking. But as the ride progressed it came back and proceeded to get worse and worse for 50 miles! What a great ride - my longest this year - but the annoying creaking tick tick tick over bums and while just relaxing on the brake hoods! AH!
At home again - disassembly at the stem again. I sprayed in a ton of WD-40 and heavily applied the grease. The creak is gone in the garage again. I have not ridden the bike yet, and probably won't until Thursday.... On Thursday night while watching the news, if you hear about a cyclist who suffers an attack of road-rage, perhaps tossing his bike through a car's windshield after the car passed him too closely only to cut him off while turning right, it might be me if that creak comes back!
Friday, June 13, 2008
I ran barefoot today. I have not been running barefoot that much this 2008, so far. Reasons have been posted in previous posts. But, I have to admit, that pulling back on the number of miles I run barefoot - and indeed the number of miles I run in general - has fostered the healing of my heels and Achilles tendons. At the same time, I am feeling very fit, at least aerobically. The speed at which I will be able to race is still in question, however, since I totally lack anything like tempo runs or intervals.
So I are stupid because, on this hot Friday The Thirteenth, after wearing shoes all day, I came home and took them off. Then I set out for a barefoot run. Half a mile on the street to Greenbrook Park's grass. Well, after only 50 yards or so it felt like I had something embedded in the bottom of my forefoot, behind my right little toe. I noticed the pavement was hot, but it didn't seem too hot. I continued my run. The pain worsened. I looked for something in my foot, briefly, and saw nothing. I got to the park and the pain continued, even on the grass. Something must be up, I was thinking. I checked the bottom of my foot again and saw nothing of note. So I did the right thing and turned around and ran home. Arriving home, I inspected the bottom of my right foot more closely and found three blood-blisters. The most bloody was the one on my forefoot behind my little toe. The second was on my forefoot behind my big toe. The third was on my big toe itself. Then I discovered a fourth on my left forefoot. Unbelievable. I can't remember ever having blisters from a short run like this, which was about 1.5 miles.
For the rest of the evening, I was limping around, because the blisters really hurt. The three points on my left foot, for example, seem to be the major weight-bearing points when I step. I suspect that my right foot does more work when I run, because the forefoot of my right running shoes now wear out before the left. (When I ride my bike hard, I am pretty sure my right leg works harder also because I can feel the stress at my right knee. That is when I try to relax my right leg and concentrate on using my left leg more.)
The stupidity factor in getting these blisters is evident in retrospect when I failed to consider my relatively low barefoot mileage this spring, the pavement temperature, the softness of my feet after being in shoes all day, and the fact that I am running the President's Cup 5K - my first race since the NYC Marathon last November - on Monday night.
Lucky for me, I am not shooting for any kind of specific goal at President's Cup beyond finishing with a time that I can work with for planning future workouts. And there is the Sam Adams and party atmosphere that follows, of course.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I ignored him.
But recently I have noticed that fitness bigotry goes a little deeper than that around my workplace. However, it is usually more good natured, stated by thinner, happier people. It's borne of a slight bit of respect, but coupled with some self-conscious, embarrassing envy. For example, when I told some people that on this NJ heat-wave weekend I ran only 27 miles on Saturday (I was aiming for 34) and cycled 40 on Sunday for recovery, at least three people in different places said exactly the same line: "What is wrong with you?"
Well, the point is, there isn't anything wrong with me. There is actually a lot right with me to be able to do those things. I tried to point that out to the people, who just shook their heads and looked at me funny. They all, in their own way, warned me about things like exertion in the heat, drinking enough fluids, bla bla. Like, yea - I am a grown man and have been managing my body under uncomfortable high heart-rate situation for about 34 years. So I think I know how to handle it, thank you.
So, people - and this even goes for my own wife and kids, and neighbors who have watched me roll and run out of my house for the past 15 years - can you please give me some props about what I am able to do? Can you please look at me and say, geeze, if he can do that much under these conditions, can't I do just a little bit? Show a little awe. Give me some respect. Don't just gawk, call me crazy, and be overly concerned about protecting your own ego.
Thank you - I will now stow my soapbox.
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I also did not bonk. I loaded with pasta last night. I had a decent Cheerios & banana breakfast at 4:15 AM. I consumed a Powerbar double mocha gel every hour. I drank Gatoraid.
But I stopped at 24.9 miles. I stopped because my thighs hurt a lot. I didn't want to do too much damage to my legs with so many other races coming up in the next few weeks. I didn't want to undo the progress I made this spring with healing my Achilles tendon problems. And I knew I was lacking in long runs with only one 2 hour and one 3 hour day this year under my belt.
I got back on the train after hitching a ride with Ed with 2.3 miles to go, from DeMott Lane to the end. That part really hurt. My total for the day was 27.2 miles. So it was sort-of an ultra, since I did run one mile beyond a marathon. I kinda wish I was running an official marathon, because my time would not have been so bad. At 24.9 miles I was at 3:37 = 8:43/mile. The run felt easier than really racing a marathon. If I had to race a marathon I think I could have easily ran about 3:37 or faster. One thing this event does for me every year is show me I am in much better endurance shape than I believe I am in at this point in my yearly training cycle. Though I didn't complete 34 miles, it is fairly amazing to me that I could relatively easily run 27 on sub-30 mile weeks and a lot of cycling.
I think the thigh pain that contributed to my decision to stop was because none of my long runs were at 8:30 pace, which is what we were required to maintain. I knew my long runs were slower than 8:30, but I figured since they were at Watchung Reservation, they were hilly and the trails were rougher, and that would compensate for a slower pace. Plus I couldn't run those long runs any faster because they were so close to the event - two and one week away, respectively. An important outcome of the "Train"ing run is to inform me that if I want to run a fast Escarpment Trail Run in the end of July, I will have to do some faster long runs.
After the run there was a great picnic. Socializing, eating burgers and drinking 5 or 6 beers made my thighs feel much better ~! All the photos are here.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
The second session started at about 4:00 PM. I went up to Watchung Reservation. I did the Wilderness Trail loop plus an extra muddy loop, mostly of unmarked trails. I ran this slower and carried a water bottle. It warmed up after the thunderstorms today, so it was fairly humid. I have to say this run felt easy and probably averaged about 8:45 pace. It was beautiful: saw a hawk, hundreds of chipmunks, some deep red cardinals and blue bluebirds, and chased a fox who ran in front of me near Watchung Stables.
I am feeling like I can run 5 hours, especially with all the support the "Train"ing Run offers. However, 34 miles is a lot farther than a marathon, so I will have no qualms about dropping out if I feel like I am injuring myself. I have fought too long against these Achilles tendon and PF problems to put myself into the position of needing another long recovery.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
~!~ glow ~!~
I never said anything to make that happen. Now, that's cool. It's nice when life just goes right without your input.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Hopefully, I will be returning to racing soon. I have had some Achilles problems and heel pain since the President's Cup 5K last June - but continued to damage them by continuing racing through the NYC marathon last year. After the marathon, I ran only about 1 - 2 times per week through February to get the problems to heal. I skied 30 days over the winter. I have increased mileage through March - and I have been wearing training shoes - and have been massively cross training on my bike and have been stretching my calves several times per day. I need to keep my running mileage around only 30 per week. Though I am close to 100% pain free, I still have pain the day or two after running anything faster than 8 minute miles. My return race will probably be President's Cup, a year after the point I really killed my Achilles, which I will run conservatively. Since I have been on my bike so much, I might do a short duathlon for fun in a couple of weeks. I am entered in other events already: Boilermaker 15K, River to Sea Relay. I plan to run the entire Towpath "Train"ing Run (34 miles) and the Escarpment Trail Run. I have no problem going long and slow. It is the faster running that hurts me. Post age-45 has been hell. I am turning 49 in June - so I am training to be 50. My goal in my 50th year is to run a 50-mile trail race and complete an Ironman tri....
Otherwise life is busy as hell with the family, all the sports activities of my kids and I, work and all. You know how it goes. No time to get in as much cycling mileage as I would actually like to.
Friday, May 02, 2008
My route has a lot of traffic. If I was not an experienced rider, I would probably take a lot longer to ride it. But I aggressively put myself out there, point my arms around a lot, sneak through traffic, use sidewalks and parking lots, go through red lights. It is crazy, but I get to work in only 6-9 minutes longer than it takes me to drive. It is ab out 7.5 miles. Hardly worth getting sweaty. I usually take a longer route home just to get in a decent workout.
Today there was about a half-mile of road on Washington Avenue that was ground in preparation for re-paving. Riding that rough stuff was a pain, and I was going faster than the cars that were backed up throughout the section.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
As I have discussed in my posts since last year, I needed to recover from Achilles tendon problems. I also needed to do some important races: RVRR XC races and The Escarpment Trail Run in July '07, and the New York City Marathon in November '07.
Quick summary (again): I did major damage to my Achilles tendons in June of '07, running in the President's Cup 5K barefoot. I did not do the damage because I was barefoot - it was because I ran race-pace barefoot, and I had not trained for that. I continued to train and race after doing the damage. I did conventional icing and Ibuprofen. You can read my training errors in this post.
So as I have tried to prepare for some races this year, I have used these things called training shoes. So far, 192 miles of running have been in training shoes, about 50 miles in racing or XC shoes, and finally 5.5 miles barefoot.
Almost 4 months into 2008, this does not sound like much mileage. In my olden days of running, 250 miles would be the result of one month of running, not four. But the important thing is I have been experiencing accelerated healing of my Achilles because I got back on my bikes. I don't know exactly why I decided to hit the bikes again. I know I was gaining weight through the winter. I watched it happen. I knew I could not amp up my running mileage, because my Achilles and heel would be hurting too much.
For some unknown reason I stopped shopping for skis on eBay, and I started shopping for bikes. Irrational, yes. I had a bunch of bikes hanging in my garage. But after shopping and lurking for a while I bid on a nice "vintage" Cannondale, but was below reserve. Emails after the auction closed the deal. It is a beautiful bike.
I got it just before my spring break. I knew I would have daylight time during my spring break to get some rides in. So that is when it started. I rode the Cannondale and my other bikes 131 miles March 25-30. That was the week that marked the end of skiing season, with a two day "guy" trip to Belleayre and Gore, skiing with Andy.
I have continued riding the bikes, tinkering with them, spending some money on them, and have successfully integrated decent running mileage. And I am convinced that the increased circulation to my Achilles and heels has brought about healing of all the tissues of the area. April weeks have been 40, 78, 66 & 91 miles of cycling, and 22, 18, 29 & 30 miles of running. I have commuted to work 10X on bikes and have lost some weight.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I ran at Deer Path Park yesterday. I ran about 7.5 miles on the cross-country course. I forgot how great that course is. It was a lot of fun. I wore my Nike cross-country spikes.
I was at the park because my son had a soccer game there. I am glad I got the run in, because the soccer game was horrible. My son is running his second year of middle school track. Yesterday's game may have been the soccer game that turns my son into a full-time runner. I am hoping it is. I used to get a lot of my distance runners during track season from the soccer team back in the early 1980's when I coached track.
I had one perspective on the game, and I am not a trained coach or referee. I just have not been watching soccer long enough in my lifetime to be an authority on this. But I will tell you my perspective. I couldn't swear it was right. When watching a game, everyone sees things differently.
First half: the game was rough. I don't feel referees had it under control from about 10 minutes into the game. The other team was very aggressive, especially towards the Cobras' offense. You know how these things can escalate. As a result, our players got aggressive. There was pushing and shoving, a lot of speedy plays where players banged into each other. That is soccer. Some yellow cards were handed out, at least once to the wrong player in the scuffle - for example when Ross got the yellow because he responded to the other team's player blatantly pushing him. They both probably should have gotten cards. But I am not a referee. It is the referee who decided to hand out only one yellow card.
Second half: Allegedly, the sideline refs were missing calls on both sides. The one on the spectator side was missing offside calls. The one on the team side was miscalling outs and not judging fouls in the goal box. I could not swear to these allegations in court, but that is what Coach Mark and other spectators claim. There was one instance when a player waited for the ref to turn and then pushed one of the players on my son's team. A lot of people were yelling at the ref: Coach Mark, spectators, players - the players were having words with each other on the field and with the spectators.
End of game: I am not sure exactly what precipitated Mitchell to fight with the other player. I have always known Mitch is a bit of a rough player himself, and hotheaded. He was first to run over and strike another player. Players came off the bench and joined, parents came out and joined. It was the worst example of a soccer game I have ever witnessed. The parents who stepped in, both coaches and all the refs should be ashamed of themselves. I can not believe that both coaches were unable to control their players, and that three referees did not get a handle on this game a lot earlier, before a fight broke out.
It was Mitch's decision to fight that really ruined the game and caused a big pile-on in the field. For that reason, in my opinion, Mitch should not be allowed to ever participate in any part of our soccer club from now on. His action was the decisive point that ruined the game for everyone. (I don't think he has ever had a parent at a game or practice, by the way.) Yet, Mitch is not 100% at fault. Both coaches, the refs, and every parent who ran out on the field should be somewhat accountable. I am not sure those parents and coaches realize there was not one college scout at that game, and in perspective, the win or loss means nothing.
When people were leaving, the player from the other team ran over and attacked Mitch again, unprovoked by the my son's team. (Was he encouraged by support from his team mates, coach and parents? Who knows.) That was a mistake, because he got taken down by several kids on the team. Again, I can not believe coaches and parents could not control their kids. It was a disgusting scene that I wanted no part of.
My son did not even play in the game. Which is weird, he usually starts and plays at least half or 3/4 of the game. It was as if Coach Mark was hypnotized by the game, despite being reminded to make substitutions. Perhaps he was determined to leave who he felt were his best, most aggressive players in, to oppose this team - I am just guessing. My son was the only player from either team that did not leave the sideline and join the on-field pile-up fight.
When he came over to me he said, "Dad, I don't think I need to be on this team anymore." I didn't disagree with him.
We got into my car to go when the first cop car pulled up. On the way out we saw three more on their way there. I do not know what happened after I left, and I frankly didn't care.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I am trying to regain fitness that I have slowly lost since June 2007. Though I ran races after injuring both my achilles tendons after that, most notably the Escarpment Trail Run and NYC marathon, both were on minimal mileage and pool running. I ran only 1X per week between NYC and January 2008, and only about 2 or 3X per week so far this year. I skied 30 days this winter. For the last two weeks I have added cycling and will probably train like a triathlete, adding swimming once June rolls around. My plan is to keep running workout frequency low, but have each running workout fairly long & easy. I will run races as my speedwork, and get in some long trail races as soon as I can fit them into my schedule. The only races I am 100% sure I am attending are
Towpath Training Run 34 miles
RVRR Summer Series XC
Escarpment Trail Run 30K
River to Sea Relay
Friday, January 25, 2008
The movie didn't inspire me with running-as-religion significance - but it left me wanting to run Chicago, no doubt a beautiful city, despite the craziness that killed the race in '07.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
January 2nd - Wednesday Night Club Run. It turned cold overnight. I felt chilled. I remember saying to Lesley, "I feel under-dressed." I found myself running with Talia, who was telling me how sick she was for the previous week, and that tonight she wasn't sure how far she wanted to run since it was her second day back after being stuck in bed for a bunch of days and taking antibiotics. I remember telling her about my supplement, VIBE, and that I believed it supercharged my immune system, and that I had not gotten sick in two years. I ran about 4 miles with her.
Jaunary 3rd - The jinx I gave myself on January 2nd kicked in: I got a cold. Sinus stuffiness and headache continued through the next 12 days.
January 4 - 15 - I ran a bit despite the cold and skied one Sunday. I didn't take any sick days. I used some decongestant, Advil and Tylenol when I was very uncomfortable. My first week of 2008 total was 15 miles, and 2nd week was 20. I have been interspersing walking thinking it would help the recovery from my cold, but am realizing it is a smart idea, since I am starting almost from scratch.
All my runs since the run on January 2nd have been 5 miles. My run walk intervals have been progressive. I started with walking 30 seconds at every 5 minute mark in the run. Then 35 seconds at every 6 minute multiple. Then 40 at 7's, 45 at 8's, 50 at 9's. I am due for 60 at 10's, but it is a club run tonight, so I am likely not to observe the walk break. I am imagining that I am training for an ultra, for trail running, imagining Jeff Galloway would say I am doing the right thing.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Writing well is hard work. Most of the time, I don't just bang out these things half-thinkingly. I learned way back in high school that whatever a person writes represents them. I don't take that concept lightly; too many people do. The more I write, the older I get, the more I realize how much hard work good writing is, and the more I respect good writers. And in this busy life, there is a budget of work and time. A person can only put out some given amount of hard work every day. So there is another reason why I have not written here. When I work with writing (and with all the other glop that makes up my life) elsewhere, sometimes writing here gets squeezed out of the available budget.
Another thing that has to fit into the budget is the topic written about here: Running Itself. Like good writing, good running takes hard work. I found a need to run less after November 2007's New York City Marathon. I ran an average of about once per week after that event. In the seven weeks that remained in 2007 after the NYC Marathon, I had a grand total of eight running workouts. As a substitute, I did about a dozen strength workouts, specifically targeted towards skiing (from SKI magazine's November issue), and I had 13 days of skiing in December.
As my older posts here indicate, the reason I backed off running is because I found myself suffering from Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. This is ironic and almost embarrassing, since all this barefoot running is supposed to protect runners from suffering such injury.
A brief history of the evolution of the injuries: I worked hard on my running after the previous skiing season ended, from April 15 - June 2007. I quickly increased my distance running, as I was able to do in previous years based on my bank of cardiovascular attributes gained from 34 years of running, but neglected training for speed.
Let me illustrate how quickly I elevated weekly mileage: From Jan 1 - April 15, ski season, I averaged 20 miles per week, with a high of 40. From April 16 - June 17, I averaged 38 per week with a high of 55. See the graph image below from my Excel Training Log. The dip in mileage at the week ending June 24 indicates the week right after the injury race, President's Cup, on June 18.
Through sheer force of experience, I amped up my training and was running previously unimagined distances barefoot (59% of my 120 June miles were barefoot). And I got cocky: I ran the first 9 miles of the Towpath Training Run wearing just socks with duct tape, which was no problem (pics). I tried the same thing at the President's Cup 5K, a road race. But I now realize why I injured my tendons there. It was because it was my first time running relatively fast on the road. I had only one other race so far that year, a cross-country race. I had been training slow distance - especially when barefoot and it was mostly on grass. My body was just not ready for fast running on the road. It really wasn't the fact that I was barefoot that caused the injury at President's Cup. It was the faster pace, pure and simple. I had done half of the 2006 Geralda Farms 10K race on pavement barefoot before, but slowed down because my big toes wore down and got bloodied and painful. The fact that I wore duct taped socks at the President's Cup race probably increased my probability of injury, because I could run even faster barefoot with that protection. I may have been able to handle that when I was 28 or even 38. But I guess at 48 my old tendons have lost some of that life-giving capillary circulation and decided to call it quits. Additionally, in retrospect, I felt some pain coming on in my Achilles area before the President's Cup race last June, but I did as most over-experienced runners do, ignoring it and continuing to train in hopes it would get better by itself. That is something I probably could have gotten away with in previous decades too.