Monday, June 29, 2009

The Loop!

So, a cold front moved through he Ozarks. The humidity is only 37% and the temps are mid eighties...nice!!
I have one loop run. That's it! Did I tell you I live in the boondocks? I've been working up to being able to run the loop. It is 18.81 miles with about 8 miles of pretty rough trail.
Well, knowing it would be a good day for a hard work out I planned on running in the heat! I left out of the house around 10:00am with my fuel belt loaded with two gu's, 30 oz of water, pepper spray, cell phone ( I can get service on the mtn tops) I had my hand held bottle (22oz) and a good attitude! I was gonna do the loop! It was tough. I had to walk a bunch but I made it and set the bar. It took a whopping 4:21.17! Trail running is really tough! I have the utmost respect for the folks who run these trail races. I am going to try to do this loop every Monday. I will say I'm hurting pretty bad right now, but it's a good hurt?...if you know what I mean.
I will take tomorrow off from the roads but I will do some strengthening exercises. Hope the miles are easy in your neck of the woods! Peace.

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's hot nearly everywhere! I prefer the heat but I will get out earlier/later due to common sense!

(some of) My rules of thumb in hot weather running:

Get it done before 10am, or wait 'till about eight.

Anything over six miles take water with you

Cool down briefly outside before entering the air conditioning

Of course stay hydrated

Your body has the most sophisticated cooling system in the animal world! Sweat with joy and confidence!

I opted for a Fartlek run today. Because of the 83 degree 79% humidity a mile time trial was not a good idea. But a 6X75 sec. @ 3K Fartlek run sounded fun!
So off with my Garmin I went. Once out on Hwy W if I go North the road is not so hilly, it's the flattest route I could have. A 1.5 mile warm-up then I began the work out. I launched into what I thought would be my 3K pace, it should of been around 7:40's. Here are the splits, first one was flat, second uphill, third downhill, returned so they reversed-
6:59, 7:41, 6:43, 7:51, 6:54, 8:10. By the last one I was pretty well spent but felt good. One thing I noticed and was reminded of; have you ever noticed how your base pace increases between Fartlek segments? My recovery pace was around 9:10's. Speed work has such significant benefits! Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day! I may only get in a short recovery run. They are predicting the hottest day yet tomorrow! Good luck to all who are racing this weekend, wish I was....peace!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brain Training

Last Friday I bought a new book on running called "Brain Training for Runners" by Matt Fitzgerald. I happened to be near the book store so I dropped in to see what was on the shelf; the title jumped out at me... Fact: The brain comprises 2% of your body weight yet uses 20% of your food and energy while at rest and running!

I've read several books on running and racing, you could say I'm a student of running, racing , and training. This book has a lot to offer us. I am truly excited about some of the things I have gleaned from the book. During the course of my current marathon training program I will initiate some on the concepts from the book. I will share what I'm doing and note if it aids in my quest for a sub four hour marathon.

So....core strengthening is now this weeks theme: As I did my 7 miles of rolling hills I concentrated on "Navel to spine". Stanford University did a study that revealed 9 out of 10 runners fail to engage the lower abdominal muscles properly thus losing energy that can help propel one forward. As you are running concentrate on pulling your bellybutton in to your spine.

This is hard! Here's what I learned today, all these years I've been breathing with the belly, diaphragm, allowing the lower abs to relax, you will really have to think in order to keep breathing properly and engage the lower abs, I noticed I could do it....but I would drift off and relax the abs. Does it help? It is supposed to improve your stride so I'm going to keep brain training my lower abs.

Got out early...80 degrees 86% humidity, by 4.5 miles my shoes were sloshing!

I'm very pleased with this run! 7miles in 1:10.19, the last three miles got better and better-9:52, 9:38, 9:29. This is a hilly route so I let go on the downs and pushed on the ups.

Must find some flat land!!! Thinking about Friday and early morning track work out....Peace!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The livin' is easy

So I ran 10 miles this morning, before the intense heat arrives. We've definitely hit summertime. I love it!! I went into the forest for my Monday morning trail run. The new trail shoes really worked great. I tried to push the pace but the trails won't allow fast pace, too difficult, rocky, treacherous! Yet I ran the whole way and was able to finish strong, best mile was 9:5o, slowest was 14:56-2K hill!
I plan on trying to get out early everyday this week because they are calling for high 90's. I took 44 oz of fluids with me today and used all of it!
Hope to get 7 miles of hills Wednesday. Today is BD #54. I'm gonna watch Phil win the US Open, go to Lambert's for dinner and spend the whole day with my Sweetheart!
Hope it's summertime in your neck of the woods, isn't it the best time of year!!?? Sweet sunsets, listening to the night sounds on the back porch, sipping lemonade.....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

JRA Race report

Ran the "Juvenile Arthritis Association's" annual race. It was a very nice course, basically flat and fast. Not a large turnout, probably 50-70 people. Lots of races in the area this morning. I planned on pushing hard to break 24 minutes but that didn't happen. A 7:38 first mile, a little crowded and a good little rise at first but nothing bad, noticed the sweat pouring out, the humidity was nearly 100% with temps already near 80 degrees.
A 7:52 second mile, and I began to note that the heat was taking a toll as some runners were walking, I passed one guy who was trying to maintain but he had to walk.
The mile marker was long according to the Garmin? I was cutting lines real well because I know this area, my old home roads. Mile three was a disaster, an 8:16! That really stunk! It was a flat stretch? I heard someone on my right shoulder as we came to the final turn, I wasn't about to let someone pass me! I held him off but he was close, wasn't anyone I'd passed either!
Finished with a 25:27-3.22 miles according to the Garmin, Gerald Glass and I compared
distance, his recorded 3.21 miles. So the course may of been a little long. Results came in and I won second in my age division. The overall winner is in my age division!!!

A good week of running-27.68 miles with a good trail run and a race. I made two new friends today, a guy named Donnie, he ran in the 22's, and a lady named Shannon. I also won a drawing!!! $10.00 at a coffee shop! Things are lookin' up!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Are you nuts?

They must be thinking that as they pass me while I'm running in the 90 degree heat! Got a new water bottle! It's one of those hand held was good to take fluids in today as I ran.
4 miles in 41:07. 5K race in the morning! Goal: break 24 minutes!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am extremely pumped! I am recovering well and running better than ever. I thought the 14 miles of trails would leave me very sore but not so! I ran 6.03 miles of hills today in 1:02.47. Not in the 9's like I wanted but a good effort considering the 87 degrees 57% humidity.
I am a hot weather runner. I love the swelter! Yet, I have decided that I will begin to force myself to run early on Mondays when I log the long run. The heat does zap you! It will slow the pace and elevate the heart rate. You must be very careful and wise because heat stroke can get you.
The Minneapolis marathon is closed to registration so I'm too late but thanks for the offer Beth. I will take you up on it next year, though! Looks like the Bass Pro will be it this year. I need to regroup a little, what I mean is ease my training a little. I don't want to burn out. I don't need to get serious until mid-July.
I will still finish my mile time trial, I have two more attempts to better the 7:12.
I will race at least once a month (this Saturday a 5K)
I will begin to run at least 16 miles every Monday, (let's see how long this lasts!(next Monday doesn't count, it's my BD and I'm spending the day with Sandy))
I will rest three days a week until training begins then I will train 5 days a week.
Well I have a story about today's run, Two men were trying to get a piece of furniture through a front door of a house, the one on the outside was giving the one on the inside what for! " I've told you a dozen times idiot....." etc, I hadn't heard someone berate a person like that in years, plus the lingo the old boy was using was not fit for hearing, he was mad! Well he saw me, he got quiet, I wondered if he was embarrassed? It stayed quiet as they continued to wrestle the furniture, then suddenly as I'm out of sight, he starts in on his compatriot again. Why did he care what I thought and not what his co-worker thought?
I love the roads! Hope it's going well for you!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Today is my long run day. Regardless of any training program the long(er) run is still a very important part of a long distance runners regime. So with that mentality I set out with 15 miles on the mind today. The majority of the distance was on trails. These trails really take it out of you. Lots of larger stones and rocks so it's really very rough. I enjoy it but it really sucks the energy. I pushed up "Cobb Ridge" with the goal of making it to Highway "H". I made it to the Highway but I knew I was in deep doo doo as I turned for home. My water was running out, and I felt like I needed to walk. I was nearly toast and still 7 miles from home and the trail loomed ahead.

I knew that I had two choices, sit down and die, or keep pushing for home and water. So I began to walk, jog, walk, jog, etc. All the way home. When I got in I saw that it was 93 degrees with 66% humidity. I was definitely drained. I have to think that this run will be beneficial to my long distance running, but it is an entirely different style of running. I did a lot of exploring today, too. I took a few rugged trails that shot off the main trail. I came across an old falling down house! In the middle of the forest! I stood there wondering about what the people were like, what life was like those many years ago when someone lived here? Oh, I saw a Raccoon today, too!

So, 14.42 miles in the books. I will rest tomorrow and Wednesday is my "rolling Hills" run.

Saw one Mountain Biker today. Funny? He passed me and didn't say anything...odd? Then up ahead he jumps off his bike, throws off his helmet, lays down the bike and walks around in circles with his hands on his hips, (I'm thinking..."Back away very slowly") I ask him if he's okay and he says yeah, just sucking air. So I move along, never to see him again?!

Hope all's well with you!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Go figure?

Today was perfect for the track! Overcast skies, slight breeze, and around 70 degrees. No one ran me off today either! So I warmed-up, did a few stretches, and went after a new mile best. My strategy was to take the first 400 a little slower and have something left for a kick. The first lap was surprisingly slow? 1:50.44. I tried to pick it up, I felt awful? I seriously considered stopping. A 1:47.36- second 400. So I kept running, a 1:54.62 third 400, here I felt a little better and tried to push it, a 1:52.65 fourth 400 for a 7:25.07 mile. That is much slower than the last track mile? Today I had better conditions but felt worse? Is my training causing me fatigue? All systems were go but the time was slow....go figure?

Anyway, right on the heels of this mile (one lap rest) I did a 4x400 with one lap rest interval. here are the splits-1:59.93, 1:43.17, 1:57.80, 1:39:31. Note: The last one was an all out 400. Maintained good form the whole time, stretched real good afterwards.

Total miles-4.64.


1) I am learning pacing by running on the track-

2) Racing a mile can teach us about ourselves, and also is a microcosm of the marathon in many ways. Try it and see what I mean, you can't start too fast or too slow, you feel like quitting, you learn to hold on and find a second wind and then you have to dig down deep to finish strong.

3) We are a very rare breed that run and train in order to do the best we possibly can.

Keep running and racing!! I'm playing a Bluegrass Festival this weekend...but next weekend I race!! Peace.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Vigor:1 : active bodily or mental strength or force 2 : active healthy well-balanced growth especially of plants 3 : intensity of action or effect : force
I have been feeling vigorous lately! Runs have been strong, and enjoyable, the body is healing and prepared for the next training segment. I must break four hours in the marathon! Why? I don't really know except I believe I can do it and I've set my mind to the vision. A Problem: I am becoming fascinated with trail running, but I have to conquer this goal first.

Today it is 86 degrees with 56% humidity, much cooler than yesterday. I actually knocked off a 9:17 mile w/o trying in the mid afternoon sun! I'm thinking big!! I can shatter four hours!

Tomorrow I will hit the track with the intent of lowering my mile time. I need to hit 1:45's on each 400 to get to where I need to be, in my mind anyway. It'll be hot, humid, but I thrive in this....I am feeling vigorous! Hope it continues....I am seriously considering the Minneapolis marathon in October!! Thanks Beth! It all depends on my ability to get time off. Peace!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I like Sultry!

Today it is 91 degrees with 66% humidity. This is my kind of weather! SULTRY!
I managed all miles in my general aerobic range which is 9:36-11:04. My best mile was 9:50 while the slowest was the last one at 11:03. On this last mile during the hills I would breath like I do in races! I knew I was really working, heart rate was 90% of max!
Yesterday I mowed the huge yard I now have and saw two snakes! One big black one and a smaller Copperhead. You've got to watch it out here!
Even with the sultry weather I ran very well today, in my estimation. I recovered very well from the 13 miler, very little residual soreness or fatigue. I seem to be gaining confidence and motivation. I really want to run a marathon before Bass Pro. November seems a long ways off and right now I'm actually in training. I think a September or early October Marathon would be the best bet. Coming off summer training in to the Fall I always feel very strong.
I ordered new shoes today!! ASICS "Trail Attack 5WR" I think these will do for a shoe that can transition from road to trail. Monday during the trail portion I stepped on a rock and it hurt! I decided then and there to get a better shoe.
Well I hope to get in an easy 3 miler tomorrow and Friday is track day!! I will try to set a new mile best. Hope it's sultry! Peace!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Into the Woods

13 miles today. The first 10k was a pretty decent pace but the degree of difficulty began to take its toll on my pace. Trail running is a delight but it is also harder than pavement running. I made it up to Cobb ridge and found the campground today. I also hit pavement and was nearing HWY "H" . This is all in Mark Twain National Forest.
On the way back I was blessed with a deer sighting. A good looking buck. You should of seen him! Majestic is the word! He saw me and up went the white tail and off he went. I saw some blue birds today, too.
I carried water and one gel today. I need additional fluids so I'm thinking about adding a hand held water bottle. Seems when I hydrate I'm good for a while, I'll sweat good, but then it's gone. I require lots of fluids, esp on these sultry days.
Saw a nesting Hawk on the way back, a rarity! You should of heard her screaming at me!
I wanted to walk during the 2K hill but I kept a jogging form going. I was proud of this effort. My training program now consists of a long trail run, rolling hills, track work. I believe this will prove to be an excellent program. We shall see. Peace!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mark Be Nimble

Today we had the annual Church wide garage sale. That means my Sweetheart and I worked all yesterday and today setting up, moving, selling, talking, you name it we did it! We are tired! There happened to be a very nice bike in the sale. I couldn't resist taking the bike for a spin. I was really moving, weaving and darting through the parking lot. I could of passed for Flash Gordon, or so I thought. Suddenly a car moves!!! I have to slam on the hand brakes, oops, hit the front one...head over heels goes the Pastor! Very embarrassing, as the entire sale comes to a stop and looks my way. But up like a shot I jumped, after I untangled myself, acting like I was no worse for the wear....some bleeding but nothing I didn't experience as a kid. Now I want a bike!
Came home, rested, looked at your blogs, got motivated, thanks Kara, and went out for a 4 miler. First mile warm up then three in the aerobic range with a 9:45 best.
This is the best mileage week I've had since the marathon, 25.73. I look forward to running into the forest Monday. My new secret place awaits! Peace!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Track day thwarted!

Here I was at the track. All primed with a 1.5 mile warm-up, a good mental plan, body feels ready, I turn to the start and here come the kids! A mass of them! I forgot! Summer school is in session. I had no choice but to vacate. So I drove a ways looking for the flattest possible section of side streets to do my speed work. I settled on an area and warmed-up again. This was not a flat segment but road miles rarely are in the Ozarks. I did a 7:23 mile and I followed with continuing the effort for another quarter but dropped to an 8:10 pace. Then I cooled down trying not to be disparaged. I was really ready to lower my mile time today! O well, you know the saying "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." I was thinking today, "What if I could string three of these miles together? It'd be like old times!! Hope your weekend is great! Peace!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Running Exchange

Wow! Sweetest running weather ever! 61 degrees, cool north breeze, light sprinkles. My objective today was 6 miles rolling hills between 9:36-11:04 per mile pace. I averaged 9:36's!
I felt strong! I am not dying on the hills now! I am taking them!
This was a general aerobic run and my pace is dictated by my mile time trial.
Here's the formula:
7:12 mile= 432 seconds. 432 divided by 65% and 75%= general aerobic pace= 9:36-11:04
Now , Friday awaits! Another time trial at the track. I may do a short aerobic run tomorrow.

Now the exchange:
Here I am running, feeling good, letting go down one of these hills, Garmin says 6:11 pace? I see the group of four good ole' boys sitting and standing around an old trailer alongside the road. They are older fellows, kind of rough hewn, disheveled, stained clothes, greasy ballcaps, they are really taking me in! Guess they'd never seen a runner. Well it didn't bug me a'tall! I waved!
Ring leader says (he has gray wild hair, black rim glasses, black coveralls, yes I'm very observant) "You sure are a good runner" I say "Thanks" He says "How far are you going" I say without windedness "six mile" (notice no plural? Out here that's how we talk) Now he gets to the point- "You want a job?" he says. Now I'm no dummy. What are these ole' boys thinking? That person running ought to get a job and stop wasting time on the road running? I stopped! Yep, they didn't phase me. I asked this question as I slowly walked towards them, " What kind of job?" "Well, you could weed eat this ditch." Ring leader places hands on hips puffs up chest a tad. "Well" I said, " I will be more than glad to help you." " Uh...Okay...we'll let you know" he said! I turned away and while waving said "Lord bless you!" Off went the RUNNER! I'm thinking about going and weed eating the ditch! Peace!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I ran 11.71 miles today. I went into the forest and man was it wonderful! Not a car or a person for 10 miles! The specific adaption to imposed demands principal is at work in me right now. I am running hills and trails and I've never had this persistent, consistent demand imposed. I have lost four pounds this last month even with lesser miles!?
I was really feeling the demand on my legs, ankles, and lungs today. The 2K hill was on the return but I experienced a hill today on the trail portion even longer and steeper, the Garmin said a 400 foot rise over 1.4 miles.
I made it to a place called "Cobb Ridge." It was absolutely spectacular! I really sensed the awe of God today! The pine trees lining the road/trail, the wind singing through the trees. It was a delight!
I'm really beat but I am expecting increased strength because of this run. Peace!


     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...