Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm Back!!!!

We are in! The move went pretty good. Not to much damage in transit. A few nicks, cuts, bruises, I lost the power cord to my desk top? Besides that, a little frustration with the phone service etc. I have been able to run twice since we've moved, with my new Garmin!! It is really a cool watch! I don't see how I ran without one! 5.2 miles of trails Monday. Steep, rugged terrain. 5.11 miles of Center road yesterday. I'll call it the 2K hill run. There is a hill that is about 12 tenths long on this road and it is a butt kicker! Today, too many chores, errands, etc. I'll probably not run.
As to the dogs...about a quarter mile down either way I must contend with dogs. To the East, three big ones, German Shepherd, Saint Bernard, and, O boy, a Rottweiler!
The other way, three mixed breeds that yap endlessly! I decided to carry a walking stick as a weapon!? The big dogs ran viciously towards me but I tried to speak kindly, they didn't respond to I warned them in an authoritative (?) voice.."you better not come out into the road!"
They stopped!!! On the way back they didn't even run to the road! I hope they'll see fit to leave me alone.
Well I hope to catch up on reading your blogs asap. I wish all of you getting ready for an upcoming race the best. Still have much to do around here. Peace!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Well, after 10 years five months in Battlefield we move tomorrow. The closing on our new house is this morning at 10:00 am.
All my cool, named, running routes...gone! Now I've one road, loose dogs, I know, quit whining!
Those folks out there in the woods....they just don't understand why we run? Well, since I play the banjo I'll probably be alright!
It will all work out. I will probably be off line for a while. My e-mail will change and I expect it to take me a while to figure out how to change all my passwords, etc.
My next run will be on Center road. Just on the edge of the Mark Twain national forest. Good luck to all who are racing this weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rebuilding Time

Today we hit upper seventies with sunny skies! Mowed yard, moved stuff to new calls galore! I'm supposed to be on vacation?
Anyway, thank you very much everybody for your advice on the Garmin. It is unanimous! I now have a Garmin 305 on the way!! I can't wait! Kinda like a kid waiting for Christmas.
Had my first run since the race. I decided on a walk run because my right calf is still sore and tender. Besides that I feel amazingly well!? So 2.1 miles run walk in around 20 minutes.
I'll not obsess to much about missing running time this week. The move is the priority and as soon as we get settled in I will start the rebuilding process.
I am planning on an eight week program directed towards the Half June 13th.
Have a great day! Good luck to Chanti who's racing OKC this weekend! Hope you break the four hour barrier!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Need Input-

I'm a running geek. As I returned to the racing world last year I noticed many runners with rather large watches? I learned they were called Garmins. As I researched them I wanted one, bad! All the cool resources and data really appeals to me! Well,my Sweetheart gave me the go ahead to buy one!! I sold an old Banjo recently so I've the cash in hand!
So, which one? The 405? The 305? Where? Do I trust an online site or go to the local running store where I can get 10% off because I'm in the local running club?
I would appreciate guidance from those who have been down this road.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Brand New Start!!

Remarkable! An ice bath has amazing medicinal value!! It is probably the hardest thing I've ever done though:)!!! My body feels real good despite some right leg soreness around the back and outer side of the knee.
As I wait to watch the Boston Marathon I am thinking about my plan of action in regards to breaking the four hour barrier.
Here are my thoughts. This week is moving week so I will probably run only two or three times very easy and short.
Next week I will begin to train specific for a half marathon, June the 13th in Joplin, Mo. Bart Yasso will be there so I will try to pick his brain a little. I did Yasso's before my marathon and they were predicting a 3:54.
I will try to post the lowest possible time I can. I will do long runs, speed work, and focus on nutrition. In all reality I could stand to lose 6-7 more pounds!
I heard a stat that says for every pound you lose you can run 2 seconds per mile faster...?
I am really very encouraged after this past marathon. A 4:19:05 official, 5/28 overall.
This was more of a trail race and I should of been more aware of and learn I guess.
After the Half I will have a little over four months to prepare for the Bass Pro marathon. I will break the four hours here.
Also, my marathon training will include more mileage, and faster long run times.
Good luck to all those folks in taper mode!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Race Report-no dice!

Well I did not break four hours. I am not totally bummed out, though. I still get to pursue the goal of breaking four hours and I intend to break this barrier.This was a rather unique Marathon. We started in fine weather on a nice crushed gravel trail. From the start of the marathon we had no mile markers. I was able to use those on posts along the trail for reference. At approx 3.2 miles I was at 30:37. Here I was running with a nice fellow named Ted and I said I was going too slow so I kicked it up a notch. I had decided to go for the four hours! Still unable to raise the bar, a 9:43? Mile 5-a 8:47. I ate my fig newtons and half power bar. Plus I had taken fluids. The first water station was a forbearer of things to come. No one handing cups...we suffered a real lack of volunteers. The trail began to get rougher. Larger stones, cattle guards, I actually turned my ankle harm.
I felt good! Mile 6- 9:13, mile 7-8:40, mile 8-8:44, mile 9-8:16, mile 10-9:12, (1:33.16) I'm thinking I can do it!
Missed mile marker-so mile 11 and 12-19:23- Problems I encountered? No volunteers at water stations. We had to stop and pour our own drinks, no problem, trail was taking toll on me.
Mile 13-9:16-(This was actually 13.2 due to the way we started.) 2:01.55. I'm still within a shot of four hours!
It was here that Ted passed me. I was in a bad patch. Mile 14-10:23, Mile 15-9:48,
mile16-9:36, I was losing it, and I was thirsty! No water station!!
Two guys besides Ted passed me during this phase...both ultra runners. The first guy I lamented to him how thirsty I was...he offered me a drink from his belt, I said no, he insisted, I drank! The next one was Rob! Rob you looked good! Rob said he was in a recovery phase, I passed back by him and didn't see him again.
Mile 17-10:36, Mile 18- water!! I drank, and I drank, and I drank some more-12:01. Here I knew 4 hours was lost. Big dog on trail, and I mean big! He didn't bite, but man was he slobbering!
Mile 19-10:46, I am really trying to get composed. I want the best time I can get.
Mile 20 no marker-but Sandy was there with my e-gel. I stopped and drank water. Two elites in the ultra had caught me, but we drank together. When I saw my Sweetheart coming towards me as I was running up to that stop I just about started balling! I was so disappointed that I wasn't going to break four hours. She kept telling me that doesn't matter that I was near the front? "There aren't that many people in front of you you are doing great."
Saw mile marker, it was mile 21-23:03 for two miles....not good! I was feeling good but hurting a little. I decided on a strategy: 70 right foot strikes running, twenty walking fast, repeated all the way in! Mile 22-11:21, Miles 23,24,25,26, no markers at all...time 39:34! That little system worked good!
Here's what happened on those last four miles. We came off the trail, thank goodness! It had beat me up good! We were now on asphalt, YAY!!! To my amazement I saw three white shirts in front of me, very catchable! By the way, no water at all from 20.5 on in, I began to catch these guys, one by one, also, I was passed by a super strong looking guy, one of the ultra runners, we shared words of encouragement. He won first in his age group.
The last guy I passed was Ted! I got him back! I was encouraged. My little system was working. Up a hill, turned North, back on trail, asphalt. Where in the tar nation is the finish. My calves are toast! Finally! Down a little hill, back up and through the finish line. No clock.
I hear this... " Mark Zimmerman, number 53, age 53," a pause, then a lady yells out, "first in age division!" Huh? No way! Sure enough! I've got the plaque to prove it!
Made a lot of friends, Tammy from New Mexico, Dave from Denver, Ted, who got second in age division (mine).
I could be bummed but I'm not. I finished with a 4:19.08. Unofficial. I will live to race another day. I realized some truths as I ran. I will begin to employ them in training and racing. What are they? Must log a few more miles. Long runs need to simulate marathon conditions. Sorry. Train slow-run slow. The body must be trained to run the pace you want to run. I will do more pace runs with deeper distances.
Thanks for all your support and thoughts. I thought about you guys as I was running. So no dice with the four hours, but a first place? Which is better? Peace!


Less than two hours until gun time. Slept pretty good. Up at 4:45. Breakfast: whole wheat waffle with pb, glass milk with Ovaltine (my standard fare). Other things we runners are concerned about......went well!
My race # is age! Cool! Found a penny on the ground on the way out of registration! Cool! I am not superstitious! But anything helps!
I asked myself this morning "why am I paying to run and to suffer?" I could stay in bed?!
Too many reasons most people don't understand cause me to run. This marathon appears to be a beautiful, quiet course. Through the Ozarks, valleys, hills, creeks, this is the time I connect with God. That's one of my main reasons. Solace, freedom, discovering the depths of perseverance, and many other things cause me to toe the line in anticipation of the challenge that lays ahead.
Off to the races!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

12 hours!!

Here's the plan:
I am only walking when I hit water stops-and eating times-I'll keep them as brief as possible- Eating at 5 miles, 10 miles, three fig newtons and half a power bar each time. I'll drink the power aide at all stations. At mile 18 I will take an E-gel-"Mountain Rush" This will be my secret weapon!! My sweetheart will be giving me some fluids (nuun) at mile 14.5.
Pacing: I must not start too slow! I will try to keep the first two miles within 9:30's.
Miles 3-13 I am looking for relaxed, easy, even pacing around 9:05's
From 13-20-I will see if I can maintain or even increase the pace a little to 9:00's.
From 20 on in I hope I will have the reserves to bust a 10K like never before. I know it will be very, very close to four hours if my plan works.
I have had a busy day. I'm tired. Been going non-stop all day but nothing physical. All in all I feel very good. I told my Sweetheart today that my legs felt like I was walking on air!
Thank you, each one of you, for your encouragement. It means a lot, I appreciate you all.
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. If you're racing this week-end, or Monday good luck!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

That's a wrap!

Well, this training program has just come to an end. Now it's time to express all the training into one race. The Marathon. Recently I read on a blog that we that run 4 hours or slower are termed "plodders". I didn't care for the term. We that are out on the course often twice as long as the "Elites" are Warriors!
I ran 3.3 easy. I felt real good, like I could go! I want to find a rhythm Saturday where I will burn a good mixture of fat/glycogen for the first part, then I can finish strong. I practiced carrying a zip lock bag with four fig newtons, one power bar, and one E-gel. It felt like it wasn't even there!
I feel extremely bloated and fat right now! I had been flirting with the last notch in my belt but not now!! I have been feeding on carbos and am very well hydrated. I know the water will come in handy when I am at mile 20! Usually I only post on the blog after a run. But I think I will post my running plan when I've finalized it...still thinking?
Unfortunately it looks like we might have to deal with rain and showers. Figures! Every race I've entered this year the weather has been atrocious! I was hoping for a decent day. However, I plan on racing regardless.
I think my sweetheart may go along. She's still somewhat undecided. If she does I'll get her to take some pictures. The main picture? Crossing the finish line in 3:59!!!
Hope all is well with you! Peace

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In The Groove

It sure is fun working up to a marathon!! I really enjoy the challenges of training, the testing of fitness, the goal setting, etc. I think I've trained smarter and harder than ever before. I've got the long runs, speed work, hills, races, and marathon pace runs under my belt. I have two nagging injuries, but they aren't where I can't run. The discomfort goes away after I get started running. I believe this (having nagging aches and pains) to be common among marathoners so I'll not fret. I think I did a stupid yesterday? That 8 mile MP run was not really necessary and I am a little stiff and sore from the effort. However, today my body wanted to get into the groove of MP but I held back! I decided to cut the run short and wound up with 3.3 miles at recovery pace. Tomorrow I will probably do the same thing. Run easy and short. My training is done. Now I need to be fueled and rested.
I think it's important to have goals. I have to aim for something. I want to break four hours. This will require an all out effort on my part. I am not a gifted runner but I am a determined one!
I also think there needs to be a goal after the race, so I've decided to focus on a 5K race in June and then strategize for my next marathon in November. Remember, We are opening our home to anyone who wants to run the Bass Pro Marathon in November. Come on down to the Ozarks!! Peace!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Taper Phase-The Final week

I am doing a three week taper for this marathon. Today begins the final week!! I ran eight miles today and 10k of it was at 8:45's. I am really green at this marathon stuff. This is my fourth one and I'm still trying to figure this race out. In a 5k I start fast, hold on and finish strong. In the 10 k I start strong, make the turn, and burn! In the Half I start steady hold steady, at halfway I push hard. In the marathon I'm iffy at best when it comes to a plan.

I'd like to hear your strategies, on pacing and fueling. At Grandmas in '05 I had 20 miles in 3hrs and hit the wall hard. The last 10k was in 66 minutes. No fuel at water stations.

Here's my plan for this week:

Monday- 8 miles- MP (done)

Tuesday- 3 miles recovery

Wednesday-4 miles-2-3 at MP


I'll pack the carbs all week. I'll stay well hydrated. Besides that I guess I'll keep hoping it doesn't rain. Currently there's a chance. Frisco trails here I come! Peace!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


On the way to the wedding traffic was crazy! I turned onto the southbound lanes of a four lane highway. I was driving my Father-in-laws 3500 Ram dually pickup truck, used to transfer tables . Accelerating the diesel I had to pass a slower vehicle, to my surprise here came headlights directly at me!! Fortunately I was able to swerve the truck out of the way, nearly losing control, initially sliding as I applied the brakes because the road is wet, it's drizzling, finally, seemed an eternity, the brakes grabbed the ground and I missed the ditch and the car in front of me. I caught a glimpse of the guy in the truck. An elderly man who appeared to be dazed and confused! First time for everything and I hope the last time for that! My heart actually was skipping beats for a moment! Remember, drive defensively!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Breathe, man, breathe!!

We've been going non-stop today getting ready for this moving sale. I managed to work the three miler in though!! Ha, ha life! So there! Got it done!
Did one mile at 9:01, another at 8:45. Felt good. Gotta go. Off to do a wedding. These are always a blast. The Bride is always beautiful, and usually there is one major snafu that makes it memorable. I have seen some doozies!
Next two days no running. That's only happened one other time during this training phase and i was sick.
Good luck racing this weekend!! Peace

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Couldn't be Better

Nine days until marathon #4. I'm feeling pretty good physically. Some minor aches and pains but that's just to be expected. Still icing lower quad, but swelling is going down.
Stormy skies today. The rains are coming and we do need them. I got in an easy 4.3 miles with thirty minutes at MP. I've decided to try to get this pace ingrained in my muscle memory.
Instead of striders tomorrow I will do an easy three miles with a couple of sections at MP or HMP, but not too fast.
The move is a go and we are full speed ahead. I've a wedding rehearsal tonight so I will be down near the new place and I can begin to move some stuff.
Tomorrow we get tables in order to set up the moving sale in garage, then we go to the new house; talk to guy about putting up the shades. Do the moving sale Saturday, then Sunday, O Yeah!! OHC will be packed out probably for both services!
These are exciting times!!
I am feeling a bit encouraged about my chances in this marathon. It will present some challenges, the water stations are every three miles. But with encouragement from blogger friends, and how I'm feeling right now I have the mentality that I am going to go for it!
Only three miles left to run this week? Wow, how'd that happen?
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today the weather is superb!! Sunshine galore, breezy from the North and 57 degrees!
Lots of people out! One other runner, we exchanged howdy's, I said, "How do you like this weather," he said "Lovin' it!" Good answer I thought!
A young Mother pushing her two little ones in a jogger carriage. People mowing and weed-eating. As I was running by the guy weed-eating he stopped his machine until I passed, the lady pushing a lawn mower a little later, stopped until I was passed. That is kindness in my book.
Many times I've been disregarded as a runner, but today folks were kind. They regarded me. Felt good!
As to the running; I did 10.3 miles at MP. First two miles are warm-up (marathon simulation) 19:38-this might be a tad too slow, next three in 8:47's. Came in house to eat a power bar, take fluids, back out, next 5.15 in 46:04.79-or 8:57's. I actually had to hold back the pace! I was wanting to cut loose! 10.3 miles in 1:33.23-9:03's. I'm pleased with the effort.

Current reality and observations:
Five runs left until Race-this is exciting
There is doubt in my mind regarding goal-this is nagging
I am much stronger than before my last marathon-this is encouraging
My aches and pains aren't as bad today-this is amazing
The Taper can mess with your mind-this is interesting
Mental Effort must be practiced-this is challenging-(more on this later)

Hope the weather has turned for the better in your neck of the woods! Peace!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jinxed-Taper Phase week two

I must've jinxed Spring! I declared it to be Spring last week and look at it now!! "Mercy sakes" as my Granny used to say, it's cold and nasty out there! There is a freeze warning out tonight. All the plants, left uncovered will be burned severely. What a shame!
Well week two of the taper is here. I will decrease to just 24 miles this week. I put in a good effort today-6.4 miles in 64 minutes. Easy warm-up and cool down. Did 30 minutes at 9mpm pace.
I noticed my right lower quad was very stiff and swollen? I am icing as I type. It didn't hurt during the run, nor did the hip, so I'm thinking with some smarts I will be able to make the starting line ready and well.
Rest of the week looks like this:
Tues- off
Wed-10miles at MP
Thurs-3 miles ez
Friday-5 miles 6x100 striders
Saturday- moving sale (cross training!)
Sunday off- total for week-24+ miles

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sign Rattling!

The wind was so strong today stop signs were rattling and shaking! Crazy!! It seemed like the wind was in my face the whole time, too!
I was worried about how the body would respond to the MP run today with the hip and leg soreness. Two 6 mile loops stopping at home once for a power bar and water.
Loop one-54:52.54 (first mile warm-up 9:54) -8:58's
Loop two-53:47.39-8:57's

I am pleased with this because I was hoping to string a bunch of 9's. A good effort. I feel good.The leg and hip is sore and tight. Took an ice bath. I think I may live! Now on to week two of the taper! Tomorrow off! Logged 32.6 miles this week. I will put in only 24 next week!
Good luck to all who are racing this weekend! Bob, Carlee, hope it goes well.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hillbilly Heaven!

Me and my Sweetheart
From the back

Lookin' west

Lookin' east

Back- we scared up a cottontail!

There's some of the land

The front! Basically there is one road. Then a highway. My running areas will be limited but I will make do. Lots of running will be in the National Forest!

Best laid plans....

Today we go out to the new house and do a walk through. We have been packing like crazy! Moving boxes of books!! I have a huge library. I'm gonna I was carrying one of these boxes my right hip and leg kind of twinged and gave out a little as I went up a step?
I never planned on moving during the taper phase of the marathon!! Such is life.
I stretched gently this morn before running. I started out very concerned. The leg and hip held up pretty good. I felt so strong and I can tell that even diminishing mileage by 22.5% I am already reaping the benefits of the taper. Cardio-wise I feel very confident about the marathon.
I stretched again after, took some ibuprofen, and began packing again...aarrggghh! I will post some pictures of the place! It's really a dream come true for us.
Put in 4.1 miles real easy. Still plan on the 12 tomorrow at MP. I think I'll have a bag of ice on hand and after the run I may hop in the tub with it. Wow..the weather is turning perfect for us runners. Hope you enjoy the day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I have decided to be more focused on two things for this marathon. My hydration and diet. Usually I just drink what I drink and eat what I eat... but I am focusing on staying well hydrated through the duration of this program, and I am very particular about what I am eating.
My foods of choice? Peanut butter, raisins, fig newtons, bananas, waffles, any kind of noodles, and yes, Chinese!!! Also, I bought some power bars and have been trying them out.
My drinks, milk with Ovaltine, water, grapefruit juice (diluted with water) and vitamin water. O yes, coffee!!
Today the weather was just wonderful! 50ish, windy, rainy, but it felt good out there!

A 10K run on tap @ HM pace- A mile warm-up at 9:55.54 then these mile splits:

I felt great, finished the 10K in 54:37.57-that's 8:48's. The course was rolling hills with some nice flat segments. I'm dealing with some slight right hip discomfort but nothing debilitating.
Two runs left for this week! 4.1 easy tomorrow, and 12 at MP Saturday.


     So, we've been getting missed by all the pop-up showers and now drought has come. Trees are soaking up all the dew and seedlings a...