Friday, July 31, 2009

We are a peculiar people!

No doubt many non-runners must think we runners are nuts! Today I went to the track to knock off some mile repeats. There was a football camp finishing up and many parents waiting for their children. I could see that the boys were getting packets and gear. I did an easy 1.5 mile warm-up, stretched a little, you know the heel is an issue, and I started the work-out;
3 X 1 mile @ 10K pace, 2min recovery jogging. Personally I don't care that people watch me, I'm sure it's a funny sight! One fella I noticed had a perplexed look on his he was thinking "why are you doing that?" Maybe he just had gas, or some bad pizza earlier? Or he had a point as spittle ran down my chin..yuk! I'm sure you've been there!
Here are the splits-8:06, 7:50, 7:49. I pretended I was racing on the last lap of the last mile, pushing to the finish! I enjoyed it!!! So tomorrow will be a recovery run of 5-6 miles, I hope.
Thanks for your comments on the last post. The long run is definitely crucial for a successful marathon effort! Totals-5.54 miles/ 49.55/ 9:00's. Peace!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slow and steady

What's up with July?!! We have had over 7 inches of rain in the last two weeks, and the temps have been in the upper 70's and low 80's! It's been fantastic!! Today, another half inch of rain, and 73 degrees! I expect the dog days will show up eventually!
Today was a recovery run, keeping the pace no slower than 11:20's or faster than 10:15's. I was really stiff and sore from the repeats yesterday. Recovery runs are good! The body gets a chance to loosen up and work out the soreness. After two miles I felt good and had to restrain the desire to pick up the pace. I kept thinking slow and steady.
I've also decided to go back to the track tomorrow. In this building phase I think reducing hills is probably okay. I will still keep at least one hill run per week, but the stress on the heel must be alleviated.
As I was running I asked myself the question what is most important in marathon training? I came up with lots of answers! It is probably impossible to pick one element. Everything fits together, like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, diet, rest, training, etc. But I do know about one very important principle that holds true. You'll hear me talking about it constantly, it's the SAID principle. Specific adaption to imposed demands. So one thing that is imperative is finding that marathon pace and training at it! Through this next phase I will be preparing myself to find this pace and begin to train my body to know it and hold it. What elements have you found essential for your marathons?

Tots-4.05/ 44:25/ 10:58's- Peace!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back Track-

Going backwards with the heel. Yesterday I spent around three hours hauling rocks and working on the property. I guess the boots I was wearing aggravated the heel because it was stiff and sore last night. You can't work outside w/o boots out here! We are in Copperhead country!
Anyway, I doctored it with icing and rest and Aleve. Felt okay this morning but hills were not in the cards so I packed it off to the track. As usual a busy place. I finally got to meet one of the regulars I've noticed. Her name is Brenda. She asked me if I was a marathoner! I thought that was cool! I guess I look like one?!
My goal was to warm-up then test the waters...if the heel felt good then 6X400's if it wasn't ready I would just go easy.
It felt good after the 1.5 mile warm-up! So I launched into the workout:
6X400 @ 3K pace with a three min active recovery ( I jogged).
On the first one I noticed how my quads were very heavy. I really began doubting I could complete the prescribed workout. But I are the splits-1:42, 1:49, 1:46, 1:47, 1:52, 1:50.
Not too bad considering the long run and the heel. Totals: 5.11/ 47:09/ 9:13's.
So ice, Aleve, and an easy recovery run tomorrow ought to get me ready for Fridays effort.
I think dealing with problems like this heel are just par for the course. They say making it to the start line of a marathon is a great accomplishment in itself. I have the tendency to push things and I must remember I am not a young man anymore!! That's hard! Peace!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Loop run-#3

Today I had to run early so I had everything set out and ready by last night. I had in mind the loop which is 18+ miles of hills, trails, and chip'n'seal. With around 50 oz's of fluids, cliff blocks, accel-gel, phone, I got out the door by 6:45. That's early for this bird!
It was truly a beautiful morning with heavy air, clear skies, and a lite breeze. My secret plan was to try to average 12 min miles the whole way by doing 4/1's. I also set out with a fueling strategy adopted from Aron, and Spirit Flower, not to mention the many other great Bloggers out there. I definitely noticed the benefits of the cliff blocks, and salt tablet!
I also had an accelerade mixture in one of my water bottles that I hit on the last leg.
After 8 miles I was a little under the goal so I picked up the pace. I felt real good. As I hit the difficult trail section at mile 13 I was pleasantly surprised how I was handling the trail and how the pace was staying strong.
When I arrived to 2K hill I had to walk! I could actually go faster by walking! I'm telling you 2K hill is a bear!! When I hit the top of the hill I thought I was behind goal. What did I do? I goosed it!! I notched my fasted mile in the home stretch a 9:55.
The heel felt fine the whole way. It didn't start bothering me until I iced it??
So training continues! I am believing I will break four hours in the marathon!
19.16 miles / 3:48.02 / 11:53 avg / total ascent 4052-This is a new PR by over 14 minutes! Plus I added on! I saw two Copperheads on the roads today!! Yikes!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rain Run

Sometimes running in the rain is a pleasure and sometimes a pain. Today it was a pleasure! I needed a medium endurance run to finish my week and I opted for a 10 miler on "W" North. This is still a rolling hill section and I love it because of the narrow, quiet country roads.
I felt pretty good as well as the heel did, too. I was trying to take it as easy as possible but still needing base pace numbers.I decided to push it in at the turn around and finished strong, a 9:06 last mile. I felt really good. The heel is still stiff so I must be very careful.
As I was running I was thinking; thinking is an oft overlooked art. Truth: Runners are often some of the best thinkers! We are Big picture thinkers, we see the goal! We are reflective thinkers, we base training on experience, past success and failure. We are strategic thinkers, we have a plan and devise a scheme to carry it out to completion. We are creative thinkers, we are always looking for new routes, better training plans, we create our own play!You will excel in your endeavors, I promise, if you become a good thinker! It takes practice!
Totals for today-10.8 miles/ 1:49.33/10:08 avg-total ascent 1555.
BTW-Jared's CT scan came back with no abnormalities!! That's good but he's still not well. Peace!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fridays Foto-

Look who came in our backyard this morning! He likes the corn we put out for them, there's a Mama and two fawns out back, too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ozark Excursion

Hwy "W" South
Red Bridge Road, off of HWY "W"

Cool little side road off of "W"

Gazebo on the square! Our Band plays here tonight. It's Farmer's market night and we hope to get some tomatoes and corn!

It's a nice square

Our cute little waitress. Her name is Kristina. She doesn't understand marathoning but we hit it off pretty good. This was a place where they had multiple antique booths. Below is an example of one:

Got a good workout in this morning. A 2x1 mile at 10k pace on the roads. 7:59, 7:51 respectively. Totaled 5.2 miles in 49:01-avg 9:26. Tomorrow is Sandy's BD. I will not run! She will be Queen for a day!!
Hope all is well with you! Peace.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back to "Hill(heel)ville"

"W" south is a beautiful run! I am going to try to get some pics today. But it is also nothing but hills and I believe partly responsible for my achilles overuse injury.. I decided to try it today. I went for a brisk walk with Sandy, then with a kiss good-bye off I went with wonder. I felt so much stronger than yesterday?! I have to believe the running form improvements are giving me more speed and strength, plus recovery runs are good. Today I practiced driving the thigh. Anyway, the heel felt great! I'm encouraged! Funny thing, I told Sandy since I've been taking the "Aleve" all my other aches and pains have disappeared, too!
6.29 miles with all five after the warm-up sub 10's with a 9:16 best. This is on the hill run! I really only need two more runs, or 12.5 more miles this week. I was thinking I needed a recovery week but I may do that next week or not at all. Still depends on Mr. Heel.
Today we take a mini-trip to some antique shops, and eat at a quaint little Tea Room on an old time Ozarkian square. Sandy likes to go to these places, I on the other hand go for her joy. She gives up a lot for my running and I appreciate that. We'll probably buy something, too! Have a great run! Peace!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lardy, lardy, lardy

I guess the run was effective yesterday because I'm sore today. Today I finished two books, took my Banjo apart and cleaned it, put on new strings, polished it up where it's just like new, then I ate lunch, vacuumed, sat down to rest for a minute, and off I went into nap land! Nice start for a vacation, huh?
I still wanted to run today so after the rain stopped (we have received 3 1/2 inches since yesterday) and I woke up, I went out for an easy run. I was sore? Tired? Lardy!
Anyway, I managed to get in 4.21 miles as a recovery run. Heel didn't bug me too much....still there though. No word on my sons tests, the medical system can be so aggravating at times! This hurry up and wait is really wearing on me and Sandy.
So I hope to get at least 30 miles in this week. There might be an opportunity to race Saturday...we will see.
Hope all is well with you, peace!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Flat Track-

Because of current heel issues I had to go to the track in order to find flat land. A nice day, around 80 degrees and humid. I was wanting 10 miles at marathon pace. I'm in a recovery week so I'll lessen distance but not difficulty. I guess the hills are paying off because I couldn't contain myself and found the pace way too fast. Finally at 7 miles I was done. I had changed the work out to a fast continuous run since I was going faster than MP. Splits-9:39 warm-up-8:29, 8:21, 8:19,8:25, 8:50, 9:35. I think I made the smart decision by not pushing it to ten. Now I still need to get a medium endurance run of at least 10 miles and it will likely be on hills.
The heel is feeling better I think age is a factor but so are eternal hills. The track was a busy place. Young lady doing mile intervals, older lady walking, three teens practicing football. I am thinking I may make one more trip there this week. Oh, I'm on vacation!!!! Yes!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


A beautiful day in the Ozarks. Unbelievable weather for July!! Not even 80 degrees! I still have tightness and soreness in the Achilles heel area but it loosens up as the day goes along. I went out hoping for the five flattest miles I could find. Wound up with 5.54 miles with some doubling back over my flat sections. I felt so strong! I am excited about the current reality; my training seems to be taking a positive cumulative effect. Now, for the recovery week, then, heel willing, I will build up to higher mileage!

Had a great visit with my older (17mths) Brother and his family today. They are from the Austin Texas area. I'm pretty sure I will run the marathon there next year. They are all looking and doing good and the kids have grown into extraordinary young adults! Hooray for the Zimmerman family!!
We may be able to hang out one more time before they head back home. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods! Peace!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Too much of a good thing-

Yesterday was a day of rest with "Aleve" and ice. I went out for an evening walk with Sandy and tested the heel. It felt good....but the real test would be today. I decided that "yes, hills are good.." but too much of a good thing can burn you! That's all I have out here is hill after hill after hill after hill..not that I'm complaining but my heel is! So I went to town to the Jr High track with 2x1 mile @10K pace on tap. A 1.5 mile warm-up..heel felt good! It was other places that hurt! That's a good sign! I tried to find the 10k pace of 8:03 but kept going faster? The first mile split was 7:39. Could the cool temps be helping? It's only in the seventies! I recovered for 2 minutes then launched into another mile. Looking for 8:03...a 7:38 mile? It felt easy? The heel felt good!
Did 1.5 cool down and found myself creeping close to 9:00's? I believe I am seeing the fruit of hill training! Totaled 5.38 miles at 8:37 avg pace! Talk about pumped!! Woooohooo!
Now I gotta be careful, can't let up on the doctoring..I'm icing now and will take more Aleve or "Motrin" that stuff really works! Also, I may have to go to the track more because too much of a good thing might take me out! However, I will do around 5 miles tomorrow out here in hill land:)
Hope all is well in your running! Peace! (Next week is recovery week!!!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nursing wounds-coolspot

The right heel is acting up. It's Achilles tendonitis. I can tell because there is a burning sensation even when not running. It is not prohibiting running, yet. I iced when I got in today. It doesn't really "hurt" during the run so I'm still okay to run. Hills have a way of stressing the body! There are points we come to in training- the breakthrough or the breakdown- it is a fine line sometimes to make the breakthrough. Today, knowing I'm on the line I decided to take it easy on my hill run by keeping the heart rate as low as possible. I had to run slow but that's okay. With 87 degrees and 61% humidity it was a good idea to go slow.
Seems I am in the process of developing a new attitude. One that embraces the miles and the suffering. An attitude that can make a marathon smaller in the mind. Where the idea of racing a marathon is a reality! Not just surviving one, or finishing one, but racing one!
8.17 miles in 1:40.12. Went off road today. I saw an old trail off of Redbridge Road and decided to take it. It went for about a 1/4 of a mile into the forest. So peaceful, but man I ate up the Spider webs! Found a really cool spot to rest for a minute and drink my water.
Well, here's hoping I make the breakthrough, and you do, too! Peace!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Larry and Clyde

Normal schedule dictates off on Tuesdays. Since yesterday was a short run I need the miles so I opted for 3 at recovery pace. As I started the run I began to take inventory of all the current aches and pains. Does anyone else do this?
I am still okay, no pain while I run but the mileage is increasing and so is the demand, thus inviting injury...must stay smart! That's hard for me to do! I want to get greedy and rack up a bunch of miles this week.
So I went towards Larry the Labs neck of the woods ( "W" North). He was out playing in the street, as usual, with a new friend. A really cute German Shepherd pup. He almost tripped me as he got tangled in my feet with his playful introduction. I named him Clyde. I thought Larry and Clyde had a nice ring to it...
Talk about trouble! These guys are it! Running up to every yard, hitting every puddle and pond ( we got 2 1/4 inches of rain!) chasing cows and mules, stopping traffic! And of course everyone thinks they are my dogs! I had a blast with them!
3.0 miles in 32:51. Muchos Hills manana! 10k race pace mile intervals on tap this week! Building for the marathon. I had a dream I ran a 3:46 in the Bass Pro Marathon!!! No way! Peace!

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Route-Good Golly Miss Molly! is long run day. I have run the 18.8 mile loop the last two Mondays. My body has been telling me "tired...tired.." I will still get in the miles this week but I will lessen the difficulty...or so I thought. I needed a good mid-distance run with hoped for flat sections. I wanted to stay at base pace which is within the 10-20% slower than marathon pace range. For me that's 9:30's to 10:26's. Off on Hwy "W" North I went feeling pretty good. I had my hand held water bottle and four endurolytes with the plan to only drink when thirsty.
I really had a hope for flat least some...but I must face facts, I live in the hills! As the hills began to take there toll the phrase "Good golly Miss Molly" began to run through my head. Not that I'm frustrated by the lack of flat but that every turn was a rise!! Good golly!
At six miles North of home I decided to turn back. My shoes were soaked and I knew it would be a challenge to make it back home w/o walking.
I kept chugging, started drinking, singing.."good golly Miss Molly." Finished the run feeling totally spent. 12.03 miles in 2:10.08-avg 10:49's. Had four good miles in there at around 9:30's.
During the run I was thinking about my goal marathon, "Bass Pro" November 1st. The course , compared to my running terrain is flat! I should be able to man handle the Bass Pro course!
If I want to train on flat I can go to the local track. I may do this for fun one day soon.
So, I'll keep singing "Good golly Miss Molly," and taking the hills! Peace!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rotten to the Core

Well, it had been a while since someone tried to hurt me while running. Yesterday on "W" North run I heard a car coming up from behind, a sudden skittering sound...and I saw an apple core fly by my feet! They missed me!

Such is reality, even out here in the country, some folks are rotten to the core, of course an apple core wouldn't hurt much but it's the principle of the thing. Yes they were throwing at me because they slowed then sped off...I was ready to fight or flight..I had a good adrenaline rush anyway!

Super humid today. I ran 5.01 miles and my shoes and socks were soaked! I went back on "W" North and because it's flatter I noticed my base pace speed is faster, I had to hold back. I had some good splits today with a total time of 49:09 for 5.01-9:48's. 38.34 miles this week, rest tomorrow.

My son will go in for further tests next week. Now, all of the sudden, his insurance company is being difficult! These kids are really having a tough time. Thanks for your response and support. Much appreciated! Peace!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


I am feeling fatigued today. Very low energy level, I could actually sleep all day if I had opportunity! However, that is not at all possible. Too much to do! Too much going on! I had quite a debate with myself today about to run or not to run. Knowing that feeling tired is a sign that I might need rest! Duh!! Well I went anyway. I was tired! I had to go ahead and make an adjustment to my training. Instead of 6x2min @ 3000k pace I did 4. I think there is also a sufficient amount of external pressure on me, too. My oldest son has been very sick with debilitating headaches and nausea. This has been going on for six weeks. Missing tons of work!! The Dr. has only prescribed pills. His wife finally laid down the law and we are taking him to urgent care in hopes of discovering what's going on. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated. He's24, his name is Jared. I would gladly trade places with him, no parent wants to see their child hurting.
So the Fartlek session went okay, here are the pace speeds for the 2 min intervals: 7:20, 7:39, 7:32, 7:32. Totaled 4.01 miles giving me 33.32 for the week. Hope to knock off a sixer tomorrow, gotta go...peace

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Betty, Molly, and Isis

Yes, it is very hot again, and running is not the smartest activity for mid-day. Plus it's against my rules for hot weather running to run mid-day, but I did it anyway!
I went down the easement. That is a gravel road next to my house that peters out in the forest about 4/10ths of a mile down the hill. It's a drop in elevation of 263 feet. Coming back up my calves started feeling it...very steep terrain!? I thought how this would be a good workout, down and up 10 times would make eight miles?!
Then I hit the road to make a three miler out of the day. Recovery pace only. It was hard to run that slow.
Coming back home I stopped and introduced myself to one of my neighbors. She was getting her mail. Her name is Betty. She's 81 yrs old and going strong! Her yard is beautiful and well kept. Her dog is Molly. We became friends. Earlier Molly had chased me!!:) Then I met the kitty, Isis...Betty says she was dumped. We have a lot of that out here. This cat was beautiful, and Betty says she's smart. I'm glad I ran today! I'm up to 29+ miles for the week with speed work tomorrow. Peace!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"W" South roller coaster ride!

"W" South is one of very few different runs I have considering my location. Today I decided to count the hills one way. There are 14 of them! I didn't count the short rises (3) to keep this an honest assessment. So over the course of 7.35 miles I had 28 hills! That's 3.8 hills per mile! Basically this is a roller coaster ride! I am pleased with the results today. Here are my splits 10:17, 9:23, 9:10, 9:33, 9:45, 9:49, 10:17. I was wondering what it would be like to run on some flat land? I have been developing and working on my hill running technique. The Garmin showed that my fastest pace speed was 10.3 mph! Gettin' better on the downs! I held pretty good on the ups until the last mile when I was toast.
The old bones are holding up good. I hope to do an easy recovery run Thursday then my Fartlek run on "W" north Friday. "W" North is a bit flatter. The hill intensity eases up some but they are still there!! This is the Ozarks and I'm lovin' it!
Looking for a race to run but only a bunch of 5ks. Need something longer....

On another note- Remember all the trees I planted? As expected there has been attrition but the ones living are doing well! My neighbor came by when I wasn't home to help me out...he mowed some of my yard...yep, you guessed it..he mowed down a row of trees that were growing very well. I saw his wife yesterday, she asked if he might have done that, I can't lie? I said yeah, he mowed down about seven of em. I said "Don't worry about it, they're only trees." She said
"Oh, I'm not worried about it." Huh, I thought. Then she said "well I didn't think they'd live anyway with this heat and all..." I guess she hadn't seen me watering my little trees! I motioned her over to take a look at how this one row was doing! I'm a proud Papa! Peace!

( I'm ordering more trees!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Loop, again-

I set out earlier this morning trying to beat the warm-up, it was perfect!! 70 ish degrees, some clouds, nice breeze. So, loaded down with water, two gus, six endurolyte tabs, phone, and a desire to better my loop time, I set out with a 1/4 plan. One minute walk four minute run. I managed this until the last big hill where I had to walk. At about 15 miles I began to get light headed. I also noticed I was hungry. So obviously I didn't bring enough food. I'm still a little spacey? I got in with a 4:02.49 for 18.88 miles. 18 minutes and 28 seconds better than last week. The eight miles of trails really suck the energy and strength out of a person. I believe I will come out on the stronger end!
Well I'm off to the hospital. Father-in-Law had surgery today. Peace!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sprinkles then sparkles!

Just a fantastic day for running! 70 ish with overcast skies and light rain. I broke a nice sweat and felt fluid and oiled.
Had to cut down on the distance. Don't want to get greedy with the mileage, you can get injured that way. 4.15 at base pace with progressively better mile splits, from a 10:34 warm-up mile to a 9:19 finishing mile. This was Hwy "W" south route, so it was hilly! I think I am becoming a better hill runner. Not only going up but in the going down. Technique is everything. Today I thought about kicking the heel back, not overstriding, and pulling the ground on the downs. I felt real good and believe I am getting into new territory in my running. My form has improved, I have always been a head down runner, but today noticed that habit is being broken?! I look so forward to Monday! I am planning on doing the loop. I hope to beat my current PR of 4:21.17. Nothing like competing with self!
35.54 miles this week-
Happy fourth!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Swallowing flies and Breaking rules

'Tis that time of year when the black flies like to attack. They'll buzz around your head and land on your body and bite! They'll fly so close to your face that you can actually suck them in your mouth as you gasp for breath during a Fartlek session, I had one half way down my throat until I choked him back out!!
As to breaking rules...the rule of increase; as you know, I'm sure, we aren't supposed to increase mileage more than 10% per week. I will be breaking that rule this week! Not by much but I think this rule can be broken based on experience and mileage base. I will be knocking on 35 miles this week, up from 24 last week, but last week was a recovery week anyway.
A 5.48 miler today, (9:33 avg). A Fartlek session with 6X90sec @ 3K pace (7:41's). Note, these are pace speeds for the 90 seconds, not mile splits. I actually did 7 but on the first interval I hit the stop button rather than lap, so because I am obsessive I started over!
They were much better and more controlled this time:
7:26, 7:36, 7:08, 7:20, 7:32, 7:32. Perfect weather! Larry the Lab came out to play today as I went by his house. He is a sweet dog, fun loving and happy. He almost tripped me up when he playfully pawed my feet. Then he took off! He saw a cat!
Off to a Bluegrass Festival! Hope you have a great 4th!@weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hills and hollows

I ran the Hwy W hill route today. I was wanting 8 miles but noticed I couldn't get to GA pace so I settled for a 7 mile recovery run. I'm encouraged by my recovery from Mondays run. Only a little right butt soreness? and left plantar, but nothing bad...I'm just a big wimp!
I've decided that to be a trail runner, and an ultra distance athlete you have to get over being a wimp. That'll be hard for me, but I was thinking back to my last marathon, which was a trail marathon, that I was tough during that race. I actually beat faster runners because I pushed through the pain, and discomfort. Embracing the pain is something that has to be learned...?
Anyway, 7 miles in 1:14.20. This is a very hilly route, if I knew how to get the elevation graph from the Garmin to the blog you could see this wonderful hilly route. Any help is appreciated.
I continue to work on stride and form...navel to today I "pulled the road" this is an effective stride enhancer. Try it..when you strike the ground pull the road like you have to get a treadmill going. You will find yourself running~!
I felt like a runner today. It was one of those days. Even though my pace was a little slow I felt strong and confident. I am believing I will run my next marathon beyond my expectations!
Hope all is well in your neck of the woods and the miles are a pleasure!


     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...