Saturday, October 31, 2009

Antsy pantsy!

So, isn't it amazing how time flies! Seems like I just started this training segment. Tomorrow will tell how I did, I guess. The weather looks to be nearly perfect! Starting temp around 40 degrees with clear skies. Don't know about wind speed. Do know that I am antsy!
Here's what I plan on: Go out and try to post a 9:15 or so first mile then cruise to the HM mark at or just barely below 9's, stay controlled....try to keep the pace to 20 miles. Dig deep, be courageous and creative over the last 10K
Here is a brief overview of my talk during the morning sevice Bass Pro has; I'm billed as the guest speaker who is a marathoner ( only run 4?) and Preacher. Pretty cool, they've really promoted this service so I'm pretty excited.

Low key and audience participation!

How has running changed you?
Why are you racing?
I will give one answer to this second Q. We race to enjoy the change running brings!
I transition from the physical/mental change, to the spiritual change. Text- 2 Corinthians 5:17
I won't be using a Bible, but memory.
Then I ask-How do we really enjoy these changes during a race?
We use trustworthy sayings! (mantras if you will)
Get 'em to share- Ex- hold on! Stay smooth-etc,

Here are three-
1) Stay smart from the start- pacing fueling- analogies to the Christian life using Joshua as an example
2) Test the Limits- Know that you will be challenged, assaulted by the stressers!
Testing will come! Using story out of Genesis to illustrate the fact that testing will come!
Trust in your training! Stay cool! Steady- You are able! Recite a familiar verse-Phil 4:13
3) Go the distance- One of my favorite movies-Field of Dreams-
See things through- Point A to point B-
Insurmountable barriers-cramps-why am I doing this-never again-doubt-despair?
Here is where you can really discover the change!
Wisdom!-Using another well know verse- Ill: personal experience

Conclusion- Today we will enjoy the change! We will make new discovery! We will finish the race! Good luck and God bless-
We're talkin' 20 minutes or so-
Wish me luck....I'll probably post pretty soon after the race. Peace

Friday, October 30, 2009

So a funny thing happened at the expo-

Not much of an expo, really. I was looking to speak with Carol, the race director, she was talking to a guy, he looked like a runner? So I went ahead and got my packet, After I got my stuff I turned around and she'd disappeared! So I asked the guy she had been talking with where she'd gone. He pointed me towards her as she was now sitting down behind a table on the phone, ....finally chatted with her briefly about Sundays service. As I was leaving I realized the guy Carol had been talking to was Jeff Galloway, DUH! I've only got two or three of his books! Yet all I did was ask him where Carol went. As I was leaving I realized I really didn't have anything to say to him anyway, and it's best I didn't consume any of his time. However, I wish I'd been a little more observant! Seeing as how I pride myself in that skill I failed miserably!
Bib #253- I like it!! Does your race number matter?
I'll post a synopsis of my talk tomorrow Peace!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Notes and Taper oddities

Yesterday I just took a walk? Last night I felt like a race horse in the starting gate! So much energy! This morning the same thing...gads and gobs of energy. So off I went for a run. "Now it's important to not kill yourself, Mark" I thought. Just cruise. So a little four miler in 9:25's with one mile at 8:57. This was on W south so hilly it was.
Taper oddities? Why would my left quad be tight and sore? Crazy? The mind games! One minute I doubt myself the next I believe in myself.
I've pretty much worked out my talk for the Sunday morning runners worship service. I'll post the idea of it tomorrow for those interested. Today I'm loaded with errands, meetings, and going over the course to plan on where to have my Sweetie meet me for refueling.
Today's little four miler was a confidence builder. Seeing that I know breaking four hours will require guts, confidence is good! Peace!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nice and Easy

Had a nasty headache yesterday. No way was I going to run! What with Swine flu and colds swirling about like the leaves in fall I opted to hunker down and rest. I slept well last night and woke up feeling a little washed out but better. Ran bunches of errands in town and came home with a strong desire to run.
I have been a bad boy today! When I was buying some items at the Dollar General I added some Rolos and a Coke to the list!!!! Oh, man! Did the Rolos taste good! Now I feel fat!
I decided to keep the taper a taper and only ran 3.31 miles today! I dressed in my "Marathon Outfit". Does that sound funny? Marathon outfit? Fav shorts, new singlet, Kayano 15's perfectly broken in, marathon finishers hat, dry max socks.
I'm basically ready. I just want to run the distance. I've been working on my talk that I'm going to give the runners that morning. I'll share some of it later but basically (obviously) I'll analogize running with the Christian life.
So nice and easy today-3.31/ 32:59/ 9:57's. Now...the Coke!! Peace! (I'm feeling fat)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Racing Ruminations

So the final week of taper begins. Marathon #5 is nearly here! I've got this goal in run under four hours. As I look back to previous marathons I see one glaring mistake and one recurring issue...fueling and cramping. I'm certain these are related! I will rely on myself for fueling. The mistake was to rely on the event to supply, don't do this! I've been using accelerade for several months and it seems to work well. I am using a hand-held bottle. I'll also use accel-gel. I plan on taking one every thirty minutes including one just before the race starts. Also, I will be taking salt tablets. Probably one every hour as that's how I've trained on my long runs. Sandy will be my crew, I'll get refills from her. My approach to this taper has been slightly different than last time. Still a three week taper, but less mileage! My body is definitely recovering! Lowering into the 25+ range has given me a chance to recoup.

The race strategy has to be aggressive, but the start has to be done right. I've been practicing this at the track. Here's what I know: I can run 14 miles at sub 9's. I have been able to finish long MP runs with a fast mile. The only questions are, "do I have the long runs?" Will those 19 mile trail runs pay off? I did walk a lot during them!? How will the weather be? (45 the low, 65 the high) How will I respond to the flats when the vast majority of my running has been on hills?

Finally, running is an integral part of my daily life. I have to run! For over 25 years I've been a runner. I've seen my times slow and that really doesn't bother me because truly my running isn't about times; but with that said the marathon is the one distance I think I can still post a PR ! Maybe my motive is the hope of a last hurrah? The breaking of new running ground! Posting a brand new PR! Proving to myself I'm not done in it's fun!! I love a challenge! In my early years of racing I used to go into a race with three goals; ultimate, challenging, acceptable. I really don't do this anymore. My mentality has always been to go for the ultimate goal! If I plant any other goal in my head I may be persuaded, during the pain, to settle for less. So I'm going to establish my goal as 3:59.

Wish me good luck! By the way I'm on vacation!!!!! Peace!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Punt pass and kick!

Okay, it is simply perfect outside today! Sunny, 51 degrees, nice breeze from the North. I got out early and drove to the track. Had to stop by the church and let some of my fine young leaders into the church. They are putting on a "Neewalloh" party on the parking lot this afternoon. That's backwards for Halloween.
I hit the track with an "Oh, No!" Bunches of people there? What's up? It was the regional Punt pass and kick competition preparing to start. I saw one runner on the track, going the wrong I said "what the hay!" I'll just weave through the folks....?
So it's my last track workout before the race. It is only for maintaining conditioning. Don't kill yourself! I wanted to experiment with going out faster. So I did. I didn't really experience problems with the folks. Some gave way to me, others didn't see me...I could of not run but I wanted this one. Finally the folks moved to the stands as their kids went onto the field. It was odd feeling like a hundred people were watching me every time I came around?!
The other runner and I began to converse every time we passed each other. She is training for the Bass Pro HM. She looked real strong. I asked her if she had a time goal. She said " I ran 12 miles in 1:50 so I want to break two hours." I said, "You'll do that easy!!" I also invited her to the 6:00am worship service where I'm the speaker.
I decided on a short effort today. Just keeping the cobwebs out! I did kick it in on the last mile for fun...and to show off! Lots of fat Dads in the stands! Yes, I have a mean streak!

Totals-8.01 miles/1:09:57/ 8:44's-the splits- 8:58, 8:45, 8:40, 8:51, 8:44, 8:50, 8:51, 8:06-

I did note that starting faster put me in a feeling of deficit for a while. If I could just find that happy median?

I am getting very excited about the race. It is a big deal to me. I have to take vacation time to run marathons so I can't run but around two a year. I am so ready to do it! The young lady running the wrong way ( maybe I was:)) asked me my time goal, I said I want to break four hours. I said it out loud! I have to be realistic about my goal. This will require me to break a barrier in me. My racing and training all point to the potential of beating the clock but what about me? Can I break the barrier in me?

As to what next, after Bass Pro. Depends on the result. Peace!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Street Modified Halfs

Hey, today makes one year I've been a blogger! I am so thankful I started this blog. I feel like I've made a bunch of friends, I know I've learned more about my sport, I enjoy seeing others succeed, and it is a great way to keep records of training. It can become somewhat addictive!
Today the rains came! The leaves are falling in a hurry! That does make for tricky running with the leaves all over the road, slickery and covering rocks, etc.
I was really wanting to do yassos but couldn't make the track so I did a one mile warm up and did 7x 1/2 mile with a 1/2 mile rest in between each half. I had to take the hills and dales so it was a pretty good work-out. Drizzled the whole way, strong south wind, about 60 degrees. Wonderful!! Rest day tomorrow!
8.0 miles/1:17:56/ 9:44's. I'm enjoying the taper!!!! Peace!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Yikes!!! Everybody's sick!!

I'm not kiddin'! One of my facebook friends says half the kids in her school are home sick! All the hacking and coughing; my Sweetheart is even feeling under the weather but she's still working. Needless to say I'm concerned about catching IT!
So taper week two is here. I took Monday off! I rested! Not the least bit guilty! Even the fantastic weather couldn't get me to run! Today is a different story. I ran! The weather is even better! Sunny, 70ish, breezy. Funny how the taper works? I felt so strong today?! I decided to run 8 miles of W south which is very hilly. I also decided to go with how I felt and I felt like running! I actually set a PR for this route today. 8.05 miles/1:17:30/ 9:37's. It is very hilly, with some steep inclines. I was actually running some low 9's up hill! I'm feelin' good today!
Here are my thoughts regarding the rest of the week. Thursday will be around 8-9 miles with some pick ups unless I go to the track then I'll do Yassos. Then on Saturday go to the track to enjoy some flatland and knock off 8-10 miles. That'll give me a total of about 25-26 miles.
So here's to hoping I stay healthy and to the taper!! Peace!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Steam Locomotive

Today was Saturday track day!! Flatland! The weather is nasty. Cool, 45ish, dark clouds, North winds around 10-15mph. I dressed in my shortest shorts, I like them because when they get soaked with sweat they won't catch (drag) on my thighs, if you know what I mean?
Long sleeve shirt (Adidas tech, my fav), gloves and hat. A little cool to start but after a while I felt comfortable. Dressing for a cold marathon can be tricky so I want to test specific wear.
So, since I've decided to lay it all on the line in 15 days I need a strategy. Today as I started my MP run I wanted to simulate how I would start. But the first mile was a 9:50. That is too slow! It takes a bunch of miles to make that up if you want to avg 9:09's! If you start too fast your dead later? This is a tricky balancing act!? Today I wanted 10 miles at MP. I had one bad patch but that is good to experience and learn to work through. Two observations today. Have a couple of different strides in your arsenal. I noticed that when I shifted to a shuffle for a while I regrouped. Imagine yourself as a Steam Locomotive. You must feed the engine with fuel!

Here are the splits-9:50, 8:49, 8:44, 8:58, 8:48, 8:41, 8:41, 8:40, 8:45, 8:32, 8:15

Totals-11.01 miles/ 1:36:55/ 8:48's.

Next week Taper- looks like a max of only 30 miles-Wow! That seems like such a small amount of miles! Peace!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Opted for Golf!

Today it has been cold, windy, and dreary! I arose early-5:15, worked for 4 hours, ran 4.2 miles, and went golfing! It was great! Not hardly a soul on the course besides me and my two buddies. I shot real well! If the putter had been working I'd of closed near my handicap which is eleven.
I appreciate the encouraging comments in regards to my slacking this week. It's down to 16 days until the Bass Pro Marathon!! I'll not fret over this weeks lost mileage.
I am developing my race plan and I definitely plan on going for 3:59:59! One of the important things for me is to not start too slow. I did that last year at Bass Pro and I never could get to MP...ever! It was a tough run! I've got a good plan on fluids, gels, and salt. The only "worry" is I've not done a 20 miler! I've done eight runs between 17-19 of hills and trails in the last 15 weeks. We will see how this works!?
So, all these weeks of training culminates in one run. Wow! This course is flat and fast. It is perfect for a PR and for a guy trying to break a barrier. Good luck to all who are racing this weekend!!! Peace!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On the road again....

Wow!! Two days off in a row!!! What a huge difference that can make! Granted, my legs, heel, knee, all still sore, but the strength was there! A short 7.1 miler in 61 minutes! I was knocking off 8:36's! So even though I will come up short on miles this week due to traveling, etc, I can still get back on track. Only 11.1 miles so far this week and I was needing at least 38 miles. I think I may be able to get 15-17 more miles getting me to the high 20's for the week.
Yesterday I had a terrible headache as we traveled home and I rarely, if ever, get sick! I'm still a little drained from that but managed this good, strong effort today.
I am already getting excited about the race. I've been training for it now 15 weeks and the work is done. My long runs were numerous and truly hard efforts. I've done better MP runs, and have seen the hills add muscle, and reduce weight! All I need to do is decide will I go for it or not? Peace!

Monday, October 12, 2009


I've been singing that tune-"California here I come..." Wow! The traffic is unreal!! You know you are from the hills when six lane highways are mind blowing! ! The people are nice! Very friendly and cooperative. The environment is different. Lots of brown yards. I heard that they are behind in rainfall. Beautiful homes! Wow...the gated community I saw today was amazing!
I had to get up early and head out immediately because of the conference schedule. I found myself running fast! My goal was the beach! I am located about 1/2 mile from HWY 101, this runs along the ocean. I enjoyed it! Had to run back and get Sandy and take her to the ocean. So vast! I am so disappointed that I won't be able to meet up with Anne and Meg. The conference is important, and I need to not miss anything. Maybe some day, though. I'm thinking about running a marathon out here.
I figured about 4 miles today. No running time...or the taper is not starting too well? Congratulations to Carlee, Bill, and Jamie on running such great times in their marathon! Peace!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Land of Hurt

To the track! I opted out of the premier road race in our area this morning. The St. Johns Sunshine run. I've ran that puppy off and on since the mid-eighties but my MP run was more important. A beautiful morning with sunny skies, and occasional cloud, good breeze from the North, and cool, cool temps-38! Shorts, long sleeve shirt, hat and gloves. I had decided to slow the pace and try to really establish a true MP. My body was so sore and stiff, this has been a challenging week, dealing with fatigue. As I started the workout I could see this was going to be a test! Started in lane eight and began to knock off laps. Lots of activity on the track. Novice runners, walkers, kids, it was a pretty busy place but not a problem.
At around mile nine I began to hurt. The kind of hurt you experience when your glycogen stores are getting low, when your legs are heavy and feel like concrete, like around mile 20 in the marathon. I just talked to myself saying " Mark, don't let up, hold the pace," etc...
Seemed like I held on okay but when I finished my quads were toasted. So it's in the books!
Totals-14.06 miles/ 2:07:31/ 9:04's. Here are the splits-9:49, 9:13, 8:55, 8:55, 8:49, 8:40, 8:44, 8:42, 8:41, 9:06, 9:27, 9:24, 9:02, 9:22. ( Got my 50 in!) I think this was a good effort for the fact that I was in the land of hurt for around five miles. My next run will be in California! We are staying at the La Quinta in Carlsbad and I hope to run from there Monday morning sometime. Otherwise next week is gonna be a booger getting miles in because of the conference but it'll all work out. Peace!
Good luck again to all racing today and tomorrow!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Miles to go....

We received 6.2 inches of rain out here. Yes, I'm now officially and old person! They always have rain gauges, you know!
The rain finally stopped and I set out to put in a 7.5 miler. I went the way of the most hills today. Over these past six months of living out here I've noticed a definite increase in strength. I wonder how it will play out in the marathon?
However; I'm hitting the flats tomorrow!! Yee Haw!! Flat track day. My hope is to log as many MP miles as possible, preferably 13-14 of 'em. That would push me over the fifty mile mark, too.
The only little problem might be this, and your opinion is valued, my last true long run will have been a week ago last Monday, will that make a difference? I always would run my last long run three weeks or so out from the marathon, but the longest run this week will be tomorrows.
It is what it is and the last day before taper is tomorrow! I am pumped!
Best of luck to my blogging friends who are running marathons this weekend. Bill, Chanti, Jamie, and others...good luck and Godspeed!
Totals-7.5 miles/ 1:25:39/ 11:25's. Peace!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wet Feet!

So I tried to beat the storms by heading out for an early run. We are expecting very heavy rains and cooler temps. I looked at the radar and the front was way North and West. I guess I wasn't aware how fast the front was moving! OOPS! Caught again in the middle of a storm!
I had made up my mind to go at least 9 miles so When the front hit, suddenly, I was 4.7 miles from home. I turned and high tailed it homeward. Here came the cold front! BRRR...high winds, heavy rains, I kinda liked it!? At least the wind was behind me, I had my running hat on so I was protected. My shoes got soaked, but I felt better than anytime this week.
Towards the end of the run I began to hurt, but it is the good kind of hurt that is necessary to experience. The hills have a way of zapping you.
Totals-9.41 miles/ 1:38:52/ 10:30's. Best run in a while. Thanks for all the encouragement. I've needed it this week. I appreciate you guys and your thoughts and words. You all are the best!
So I need two more efforts this week with the focal run Saturday; a long MP.
Lots of you all are going to Chicago. I've never been there! Good luck Jamie! Chanti! And anyone else I missed. I hear tell it is a great marathon! Peace

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ugly Eight

My goal in this final week before the taper is to reach the fifty mile mark one more time. However; I am prepared to accept whatever the final tally will be. I have had a real struggle with energy this week. An important quality of true integrity is to "face the brutal reality". Facing reality is not pleasant sometimes! No wonder so many people are living numbed lives! My brutal reality is my run was ugly! I imagine I looked like a wounded goose, moose, or something hurting as I looped along the roads. My head has been aching, I've constant post nasal drip, and I could sleep standing needless to say it wasn't pretty. After a few miles I warmed up and began to feel better.
I will hope to rebound for the final push. I need 30.4 miles in the next three days?! Looks like I will be doing another crazy track run Saturday!!
Totals-8.1 miles/1:37:35/ 12:02's. Terribly slow, yet it was on W south. So far this week looks like this: 5.31/ 6.2/ 8.1. I need to finish like this: 7/8/15. Bunches of people are running marathons this weekend! Glad it's not me! Good luck to each one of you! Peace!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Final "Weak"?

So far this final week of training, before the taper, is starting off slow. I've not had the energy or initiative to do a long run?! Once I get started in the run I feel okay. It's just I seem so draggy and tired. I sure hope I can get it done tomorrow. If not I'll have to do the long run on the track rather than the MP miles this Saturday.
Otherwise it was a good day. 6.2 miles/ 1:07:27/ 10:52's. (Molasses in winter)
Some of us are natural born leaders, but I believe leadership can also be taught and learned. I was reminded today of a very important and oft overlooked principle in leading with integrity. "Being right" cannot compete with "doing well". Think about it! Peace!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Phone Man!

These are some of the best running days wise! It's just flat out perfect!! Sunny, 50ish, light breeze. Wow!! I felt very slow and tired today, but that's just Monday! I finally got outside, after a meeting this morning, some reading, lunch, then the run. I wasn't worried at all about pace or time...I just relaxed and took it easy. I actually disassociated for quite a while until I heard a shout from behind me.."Hey! Help!" I turned around to see Faye. She is a very elderly lady who sits on her front porch along the highway. Her house is very old and looks like a shack. Her yard is littered with a boat, old truck, trailer, stacks of wood, metal, etc. I stopped by one day and introduced myself so we've become friends. I said " Faye, what's the matter?" " Come here quick.." I thought it was something serious? "My phone's out!"
Long story had come unplugged! I was her hero! She wanted to pay me! Of course I I was inside I observed; it was a real Ozark home! A worn Bible on the coffee table, years of pics all over the walls, quilts on the bed, a sweet smell of home cookin' in the air. It was a very small home so I could see nearly every room. The kitchen table had the red and white checkered table cloth, a small t.v., a radio, some very cool oil lamps! Before I left she asked me to pray for her! She's very old and all she has is her phone! It means the world to her and I fixed it! I'd say I'm pretty high on her list right now. Needless to say I feel good!
Totals-5.31 miles/ 59.51/ 11:16's. Hope the weather is nice in your neck of the woods! Peace

Saturday, October 3, 2009

HM Time Trial

Sunny skies, cool temps (50's), very windy, I headed for the track with the goal of 12 MP miles. I decided to simulate the marathon. So I pretended it was race day. I lined up about in the middle and took off in control. I had my water bottle, my gels, and my knock off as many MP miles as possible! Ultimately, I decided to make this run a HM time trial. It helped motivate me to push for the half. Here are the splits-9:18, 8:52, 8:44, 8:56, 9:02, 8:50, 8:51, 8:41, 8:45, 8:39, 8:45, 8:49, 8:46, -total time: 1:55:52/ 8:51's/ 13.1 miles.
I took a gel every thirty minutes per Spirit Flowers suggestion...worked real good! Drank early and often, worked good. Felt like I still had a few miles in the tank. I got my 12 MP miles! Next week I hope for 14 and then the taper! 51.12 miles this week! That's a PR for me.
Well the day is just beginning! Sandy and I will go run errands in Ozark, the off to Branson for a show and some shopping. Hope your Saturday has been a good one. I'm pulling for all of you that are racing tomorrow!! Best of Luck! Peace!

Friday, October 2, 2009


As I hit the road today I realized my recent mentality has been "just do it". I'm just kind of on auto pilot? I think my strategy this week has been pretty smart....the long run Monday, rest Tues, decreasing miles from Wed to today; 7.44, 6.24, 5.4 respectively, with the weeks culmination tomorrow on the track. I have 14 miles planned with 12@ MP. That's the goal, anyway.
I find myself mentally preparing for this next marathon. I've been reviewing my blog posts from the last two and I'm really encouraged that I've been doing what I think was needed to break the four hour barrier. More long runs, and more runs at MP. I've logged 8 runs since July of 17 or more miles. (They have all been hilly). I've increased sustained MP miles from 4 to 10. This week is 12, next week is the last one, I hope for 14. I've trained carrying a water bottle and drinking a specific sports drink, taking gels on the fly, I'm practiced up!! I've set a personal record for a months mileage, and tomorrow will set a new weekly PR. My weight is as low as it goes! I'm holding around 175. Not bad for a 6'1" guy. The heel is slowly getting better! It's just the daunting reality that I need to average 9:09's that keeps buggin' me, I'm not getting any younger!! How will I respond on the flats? All I've been running except for Saturday is hills, hills, and more hills. That's my story!
Best of luck to all who are racing this weekend, go Aron!! Just do it!! Peace!!
Totals-5.4 miles/ 59:28/ 11:01's.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bombs away!!!

What a difference a day makes! Today the walnuts had come down in force! The roads, in places, were covered with them....every now and then I'd hear a crashing and kerplunk! Walnuts! Black gold! Picking walnuts is a very big deal here in the Ozarks. You can make some pretty good money if you have opportunity.
Today was a better day than yesterday, running wise. I started off feeling a little less old! After two very slow miles; 11:58, 10:55, I felt like pushing a little, 9:59, 9:58, 8:57, 9:09-I was relaxed and cruising. The hills didn't slow me too bad and I stretched it on the downs. My buddy Larry hooked up with me for a while. He's about the happiest Lab I've every known.
I was thinking as I registered that 9:09 mile that this is the pace I have to average to get my sub-4. Man...this is gonna be tough! I will definitely need a solid taper. I'm pretty sure I will do a three week taper based off of a 50 mile week. I will have to be carbo loaded to the hilt! I must have a good strategy for refueling, and the weather will need to cooperate.
Thought for the day- "Think big...act small". Think about it....
Totals-6.24 miles/ 1:03:02/ 10:06's. 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...