Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress is hard regress is easy!

 Have you ever noticed how easy it is to put on pounds, but how hard it is to take them off? How excellence, or a high level of fitness requires lots of hard work but lay-off for a while and you're back to out of shape in a heart beat!! Interesting rule I learned some years ago and it proves true, you begin to lose your fitness level after a 14 day lay-off, and man how time flies! I feel like I'm gaining fitness back with the slow and gradual increasing of time on road. I still am about six weeks away from a having a true, solid base of miles but I'm gaining! Must stay motivated and healthy! Down five pounds since the sugar lay-off. Race in two weeks, no great expectations!
  Good and hot today, 15 min out and 15 back today....Peace!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ebb and Flow

  A real interesting reality in life is the principle of "ebb and flow". It means a decline and increase, constant fluctuations, it alludes to the inward and outward motions of the oceans tides.
  Have you ever said "when it rains it pours"? Have you ever noticed that life seems to be going along just fine then a series of circumstances develop that cause/bring you grief or angst?
   How about running along a road and it's peaceful but suddenly it becomes "grand central station!" then it goes back to quiet? You get the picture! Ebb and Flow, a reality that when understood we find we can be prepared for troubles, trials, or difficulties, and we can enjoy to the fullest the times of peace.
  Think about it and start observing how this happens in your will be surprised! Often all  I want is the easy, peaceful, no problem times.....not gonna happen! Expect the hectic! Be prepared!
  This principle is applicable to running. There is a time for increase and decrease....the body needs ebb and flow. Times of stress and times of rest. I must learn to pay attention to my body. Where am I in this principle?
  50:01 on the roads today. A slow run in the sweltering day. I am feeling the desire to increase but must be so cautious due to achilles. Hey, I only need one 27 minute run to meet my goals for this week!
  My legs are seriously tired from the two hard work-outs this week. Man I'm glad I am able to flow...a little! Peace!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Speed Work

   Speed Work-it means what it says! Speed-putting the peddle to the metal-work-sweating, straining, giving it your one said it would be easy!
    So off to the track I went with a 4x400m speed work session in mind. Football camp is underway but they were not using the track or field. I did get to observe their work-out, and one of the Coaches comes to my church, I wonder what he thinks about the Pastor running around in circles? So it was fun to be there but I had work to do!
   A good warm-up, and off to the races; I felt the heat and humidity and the hills from Monday! But all in all it was a very good session for me...1:46, 1:47, 1:50, 1:52, each had a 400m recovery jog.
  I held good form and breathing the whole way and felt my recovery was better than last time out. As I think about my upcoming return to racing, Aug 14...a little 5K, I know my base is weak. I really need miles but I do not want to fall back into injury! I have hopes to run two more times this week with one of those runs to be my longest yet! We will see....I also hope to cross train on Friday.....that is GOLF! My game has been better than ever and I enjoy the escape...much needed! Hope you are having a great day! 40:01 with 4x400m. Peace!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming Back

   Today I am gaining real encouragement in regards to my running. I have had Achilles tendinitis for a year and I must say my heel area feels better than ever. I ran a mid-day, hot weather run today and I experienced virtually no pain, or burning! It has taken quite a while for the heal to recover. I have lowered mileage, at times practically to nil, and have very slowly, gradually, and carefully increased. I made it to what I called base camp; 16 miles a week for four weeks. Then I began increasing again last week moving to base camp II which will be 20 miles a week. This is with hills and track work-outs. So far so good.
  I have a race slated for August 14th. A 5K, I am looking forward to being able to race again even if it is short. 40:35 today. That's a total of 1:23:11 this week. Three more runs this week!  If I can get to Base camp II, maintain my hills and speed sessions, I ought to be able to run a respectable race this September 11th. It feels good to feel good! Peace!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hungering for hills

  Mondays are often particularly hard for me to get energy as I have expended so much on Sunday. I lead a very dynamic and growing church family so it demands much energy from this old man!
   However; today I feel good! I was hungering for hills! My 1/10th 4 to 5 degree hill was calling my name, "Mark....Mark..come and run, come and run".... that's stupid!
   Anyway, after a morning of study and thinking I made it outside with an 8xhill workout in mind.
I did a nice 20 minute warm up and launched into it...all eight repeats were in under 1 min. The best was 54 seconds. I put the 1/10 mile hill in five sections, remember I like to play, the jungle, the forest, the blueberry patch, the grove, and the big oak. This helped pull me up the hill.
  One thing about hills? They build heart! Not only character/heart, but physical! My heart was maximizing every bit of O2 enriched blood it could get! I was sucking air in I needed two seconds earlier! My recovery was quick, though, and that is a good sign of heart health/strength. Hunger for hills they build heart!
   42:35 min today with 8x1/10mile hill reps. Peace!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Staying fresh-Be imaginative!

  One of the challenges of life is staying out of the dreaded rut! They say a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out! Marriages hit ruts, education endeavors find ruts, hobbies, friendships, faith, life in general....just look at your routine!  People are creatures of ruts....we like to hide out in them, peaking our heads up from time to time thinking we may dare to do something. Running can become a rut....I've been a runner for a long, long time...running my first road race in 1985 in Branson Mo, called the White Water 10k. It was a bugger! Nearly uphill the whole time!! I've had a 1185 day running streak, 2,000 mile year, I've been idle for several consecutive months, gotten heavy, gotten light, up and down, all around! I've discovered that running must be fun for it to stay fresh. You are an amazing person with a great mind! Use your mind to make running fun! Imagination! Fresh work-outs, new courses, races, books, etc. Same as in any facet of your life! The key to real enjoyable living is thinking!! Try thinking, sit down and be quiet and think about stuff! That is the formula for staying fresh! Most folks don't take time to think but fly by the seat of their pants......
  58 minutes today. I'm really pumped! I played 18 holes yesterday, carrying my bag, and no heel pain today!!! It's healing!!!! BTW shoot a 78 yesterday! Peace!

   P.S. today is my 401st post! Also, no offense, but if any comments are posted in Chinese, Japenese, etc, I will automatically delete them, several of these comment posts are links to nasty and pornographic sites which I will not allow on my blog. Peace!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cruise Intervals

In order to devote Saturday to my Sweetheart Sandy, it will be her BD, I decided to hit the track today. I arrived as early as possible (7:45am) but the heat, humidity, and sunshine already made it very hot! No matter, I love it! A good four lap warm-up and then the work-out; a sweet little plan today. I want to find that threshold, where I am right now in regards to speed and sustained speed. One effective way is to do Cruise intervals. A "Threshold" pace run.....running a sustained pace where you are right on the edge of Lactic Acid overdose! Think of it as the threshold of a door.....when you cross the threshold you enter a new realm, environment, from outside to inside(sustained pace to abstained pace!). The idea is to discover the threshold then train to push it back. Stay outside longer...get it?
So, my decision was to do 2x1000m (400m recover) and 2x100m (100m recover). My little work-out! I found that pace! Not as fast as I wanted, but I knew I had to hold back. In short distances we can run faster but that defeats the purpose of the work-out, training and ingraining the body and mind with ability to recognize and handle the threshold.
Here are the results: The 1000's-5:06, 5:07, the 100's :21, :22. I really like dealing in meters btw. I did a decent cool down jog and felt extremely good!? I know I was right on the threshold and I really enjoyed this work-out. I would imagine myself setting the cruise control, keeping good form and breathing, smooth, in control...Gazelle like, okay don't get carried away! I had fun! Heel felt good! I've added minutes this week. All I need is a 40 minute run Saturday and I've put in a good week! Hope you have a great weekend! Peace!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sudden Death

Often we get these reminders of how fragile life is....a very well known Christian leader in our community passed away suddenly yesterday while playing tennis. I had just seen and spoken with him Friday @ the golf tourney which he and his team won! He was 54...a year younger than me....of course it got me to thinking....about running....speed work....sudden death....finally I was able to put it in perspective...the usage of the term "sudden death" in sports means we play 'till the first team scores then the game is over. Do I sit on the sidelines and watch? Do I wait and cower in fear that I might lose? Or do I stay in the game I love and play until it's over?
Not to be a downer, but we're all gonna die! Might as well stay in the game, do what I love and not live in fear. So I went out and ran for 41 min. Thoughts and prayers to the family, we know he found sudden life. We'll be living reminded how wonderful life is!! Play on friend! Peace!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Amazing Body!

I have been spending a lot of time outside. Usually after work, around 5pm I'll spend quite a bit of the sultry, humid evenings outside....basically because I love Summertime! I have been running early and this has been wonderful, too...the early morning in Summer is amazing! The haze, sounds, peace of a country, nothing beats it!
Today as I took out for my EZ day I felt a surge of energy! I haven't really felt this for a long time; strength, confidence, a desire to RUN!! The intense humidity finally brought me back to reality because after 20 minutes of the best running I've had in a while I was back to survival mode:) My body has adapted to the heat! I am also amazed that my achillies has not said a thing today! It's acting like it's totally healed...not yet ole buddy, not yet. I will stick with my plan to train specific for a 5K then assess the current reality. 40 minutes of good running today! My goal is 195 minutes this week, so I'm needing 105 more minutes....Peace!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hill Repeats= Dental work

I have a real nice neighbor who is always out walking his three dogs. Today I was doing my Hill repeats and as I explained them to him he decided they equated to going to the Dentist! No disrespect but I hate going to the Dentist, but I go to keep my teeth!!
Last time I was at the dreaded Dentist I overheard the goings on in the other room....a person had let their teeth go and now were in serious trouble! Infections, root canals, pulling (yeowww) teeth, surgery, all sorts of bad news!!
Hill repeats are hard, but man will they pay dividends when it comes race time! I have lost four pounds since I've started my no sugar life....Sandy says she can tell by my waist line, I felt a little stronger today on the HRs, too. The HRs are about 175m on a max of 5% grade, so it's a very solid work-out. I did 7 of 'em and did each one in under one minute! My heart rate hit 89% of max on one!
The heel barked on the last one but not an injury, it's still not 100% but is improving. I feel I can run and train for the 5k distance as I allow the achilles to heal and so far I've been successful.
40 minutes today...7x175m HRs. Peace!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rare Bird

That would be me! Probably on the endangered species list! 55 year old guy going to the track for a hard work out on a sultry, steamy Saturday morning.
I really wasn't feeling it I launched into the 4x400's, after the mile warm-up, I realized it was going to be a struggle.
A young lady was making her way onto the track as I started my first 400...I was cordial but no time for conversation. A 1:54 first 400...the girl was doing some stretching but as I was coming around for my rest lap she started her work-out....she took off hard! No warm-up, what she was doing was a power work-out, 100m hard 100m rest/jog...she did this for probably 4-5 laps. I continued and slogged through, a 1:53, 2:03, 2:03. Then did some cool down laps. The young lady and I had another brief conversation, I commended her on her work-out, she asked me "how long do you go?" I really liked that question! What was she really saying? Often when we try to get in someones head were wrong, but I heard what she was saying. I really am encouraged by these young kids that are willing to work hard in order to achieve....she's a rare bird, too! Most people do just enough to get by but true achievement requires hard work.....she was just gaining info in order to get better... so I told her "36 minutes today, some 400 reps, not much more than you did!"
Be the rare bird! Maybe we'll get off the endangered list! Finished out a great week! Hills, miles, and speed....also, got some new Kayanos last night! Peace!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stagnation is real

I was running W south today and noticed a pond that is totally covered by scum (algae). This pond still harbors life yet is dealing with stagnation. I hear the frogs but also am attacked by the mosquitoes. Life deals with the exact same issue! Stagnation! Getting in a rut! Day in and day out we do the same things finding a routine and rhythm, suddenly we realize time has gone by!!

How do we keep the pond fresh? It's a difficult task! Most folks settle in and go through the motions...they go to their job and after 30 years they still do what they did in year one! So they've done this same one years of work for thirty years! Do you see? Running is the exact same thing! To stay fresh you must be learning, trying new things, running various race distances, contributing the sport (blogs?), becoming a Sage!

Always straining for the best the pond stays fresh, plus you will rise to the top of your profession! 36:16 tomorrow I am in a cool Golf Tourney....Saturday I hope to get in a solid track work-out as I aim for my goal race Sept 11. Peace!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Early as possible

I did it! I ran early...I was out the door by 7:30!! That is super early for me but the experience yesterday motivated me!! The humidity still slowed me down? My pace speeds are super slow and I needed to walk a couple of times? I will try to do the same thing tomorrow. I've been adding time last week and this week, my goal is to gradually get to around 20 miles a week and make that base camp for a while. I am not far from that goal! Must be careful, though! The achillies is not 100% yet.....might never be....but it's worth a try. I still am believing a marathon may be possible this year....37:13 today. Peace!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In a Quandary....

This morning left the house early without eating breakfast....planned on going to the local Cafe.'
My plans were changed!!! Had to detour to a different town....stopped in McD's...what to eat? It's all junk! Fried...fat...calories galore! I had the #10 a Bacon and egg sounded the healthiest?!
Another I ran at 3pm. Extremely hot (102 heat index) and humid (72%). I may be getting too old to do this because I really got hot! In my younger days no whew! Is it better to train in mid day heat and die or early or late and live? HMMMM.....
I did get 40 minutes in without any heel pain!!!! I had some kinks to work out from yesterday's hill reps but the body is feeling good! So tomorrow it's supposed to be 95! I think I will run early! Peace!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What if?

I have a what if.....what if I could lose 15 lbs? I remember my first skinny I was!! I was down in weight as low as I'd been since high school! So I'm determined to lose all I can short of starving myself. I haven't had a soda pop or a sugary treat for a week! I have been very aware of my intake...I have dropped a pound!! Did you know 11 ruffles potato chips is 120 calories!!!!! It takes me nearly a mile to run off 140 calories! If I put things in this perspective it is easier for me to resist food!
Today I started week two of my 5K training program. I run hill reps on Mondays. I did a 15 minute warm-up then 6x150m hill reps, with a 150m recovery walk back down. My times were all good with the best rep @ 46 seconds....time is actually meaningless really, what is important is I kept my form and when I reached the top I was sucking air...
I kept wondering what it would feel like if I could drop to my lowest possible weight....I intend on finding out. Tonight I'm going to grill some chicken breasts and fresh zucchini...then bite my lip when dessert time comes!
All systems felt achillies tendon did not bother me at all during the work-out!!
Tuesday is an easy day with additional minutes added in in order to continue the build. Hope all is well and going good with you...Peace!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Track Attack!!

Better than a heart attack although I probably should of had one today! I headed out to the local track around 12:30 this afternoon. With the humidity and heat both high I really was asking for it! I did manage to get the workout in but man alive! I got hot!
Two others were out on the track...young people...20ish, doing sprinting drills. This weather will kill you or make you I was driving home I remembered why I went the track early!!!
A mile warm-up then 4x400 with a 400 rest are the splits: 1:46, 1:54, 1:59, 1:56. Half way through the second 400 I really wanted to change the work-out! I was thinking about doing 200's! However; I stuck it out and finished the workout. My goal is to train for a 5K. Try to run strong and healthy and allow the achilles to heal. I do have my sights set on a possible marathon, though. Rest tomorrow and another week begins! Hills for Monday!!!
Have a great Sunday, Peace!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweat Box

Hot and just can't get any better!! Today was like running in a sauna, I loved it!! 37 minutes of running bliss today! Here's where I am this week, I have four runs with a total of 155 minutes. I have to take off tomorrow! My schedule calls for five running days per week and I must adhere to it or face possible injury (achillies). I hope the rain will pass so I can golf! Otherwise I will read, write, and pray.
I ran hills, I ran a long run, and Saturday I will go to the track. Probably looking at 400's again. The heel, tendon, feels pretty good. There has been no pain or burning during runs but I still do experience stiffness and some soreness afterwards. Must be patient...must be patient!!
I am encouraged, though. The body is healing....on another note today is day three of no sugar!! I have cut out my beloved Cokes....Hersey's chocolate, and yes Linds M&Ms. I am on a mission to lose at least 15 pounds!! People will tell me I don't have it to lose but I do!!
Tomorrow cross training with golf!! Peace!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


GPS systems are cool! I was able to experience one recently in my auto as we traveled about in Little Rock. I didn't always obey the lady so she had to "reconfigure" several times. That's how I live!! I am willing to reconfigure; maybe too much sometimes:)
As to running I love to make running play. If it becomes work I'd quit! But I make it fun, plus that's how I live, too...make life fun!! So reconfiguring can be fun! ( I live a sheltered life)
So I decided to run today instead of taking off...why? Golf! I hope to get a round in before the annual tourney next week and I don't want to do both in one day. Too much on the achillies.
It was a good day on the road, 35 minutes, I begin to increase in time this week! Peace!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Subsistence training

An idea today...."subsistence training" We, as Americans, might have a distorted view of the word subsistence. "The minimum, as of food and shelter, necessary to support life" Yet that really doesn't capture the true meaning of the word. Subsistence means-"real being" such as existence. It means continuation and persistence, and the character of that which exists. I know this is kind of a deep thought and is difficult to grasp because of the distorted usage of the word.
Yet it is a beautiful picture of a person who makes the most of what they've been given, such as talent, giftedness, time, possessions, etc. As a runner it is a picture of each one of us finding ourselves on the roads; alone, suffering, sweating, seeking something distant and shrouded in mystery, not needing more but less, not discovering failure but victory, not complaining of every ache and pain and set back but discovering that each run has given me subsistence. Strangely we begin to turn into grateful people! That's why I kind of like running and runners!
33:45 minutes today. Peace!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'm Happy

It takes very little to make me happy/content....Sandy and I headed to Arkansas to see our son Evan over the weekend. He is doing really well and looks great. His girlfriend Amelia is a delight and fun to be around. They showed us the sites in Little Rock, we ate "Authentic Indian Cuisine" very different but good! Had a good time of visiting.....we cried when we had to come home, we've been experiencing some tough family times so we are emotional.
On the way home, in the Buffalo River valley, we ran across a roadside food stand! Picked up some tomatoes and fresh peaches!! Just finished a bowl of the peaches...I'm happy!!
Put in 47 minutes after we arrived home late this afternoon. I have devised a flexible training schedule for the 9/11 5K.
Mon-strength training-15min of hills...Tues...increase time on road....Wed-rest...Thurs-longest run.....Fri-30 min easy...Sat- track day.
Heel is feeling good...I'm happy, hope you are, too! Peace!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Back to the Track-

It has been a while since I have made it to the track....what with the bum heel and all; I really needed to know how will it respond to speed work.....
A sad truth?....if you don't do speed work regularly you lose it! Remember the "s.a.i.d. principle" I had a simple, little, easy, workout mile warm-up, 4x400 with a 400 rest in between each one, cool down to 30 minutes total time. I made it but the speed sessions showed my lack of training, 1:53, 1:55, 1:57, 2:00, were the splits in that order....note the rapid decline!
My goal is to focus on the shorter races for a while thus minimizing the weekly distance needs maximizing healing for the heel....I want to train for a marathon....bad!
I think I have a goal race in mind: "We're bookn' it 5K" This gives me 10 weeks to train. At least I've a goal and a little hope!
Finished with a good week-179 minutes of running! Peace! Happy fourth!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Today I headed down my beautiful road in the direction of the National Forest, just a short run...some kids had a Kool-aid stand set up! I mean the clientele has to be sparse! The road ends into the forest in about a mile from the stand....btw these homes down here are huge!!!! The one across the street from us is selling for 3/4 of a mil!! They are spaced out by several acres, ex-we have 4.5....So the kids had the Kool-aid prices at $1.00!! Plus they had a tip jar!!! Talk about inflation! What were your Kool-aid prices? Ours were .25 cents w/o a tip jar!
You know what? I didn't have any money.....Sandy and I are going to a Bluegrass festival today so I will drive there first and buy me something to drink...the tip jar? Probably! I love to give!
Hope you all have a great weekend. I put in 57 minutes today!! Having a great running week! 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...