Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Me & Mr. Peanut

This is me with Mr. Peanut. Mr. Peanut's handler watches me with distrust if not outright disdain.

I still run. Not as much or as fast as I would like, but I run.

I don't blog much.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Short Game

I'm back, or should I say I'm still here!

When last I posted, there were a lot of unfortunate things happening with dear members of our family and, although they didn't end well, we are recovering. While I never stopped running (there was a zero run week or two), it was just enough during the spring and early summer to not lose all of my fitness.

I did manage a couple races while doing a modest amount of training. The half marathon relay with my friend Shane at Rock CF went pretty well and we ended up 5th overall for the relay. I paced the Martian half marathon in Dearborn in April. At the time, I hadn't run more than 8 miles all year, just doing the miles was a challenge. I was assigned the "slowest" pace group, but running for 2:30 is still a long time. I ran a 5k with my kids in early May, followed later in the month by a "last minute" 5k in Indiana where I ran under 24 minutes and the Dexter - Ann Arbor 10k, where I ran dressed in a pineapple outfit. Really! I ran with my Kona pal Larry to help promote a couple Kona races (Strawberry run and Kona Run). I ran both those races, running Kona Run as a 5k pacer with my kids and the Strawberry run as a race (where I had a pretty bad showing). This was somewhat understandable. I didn't run for a week before and just had a pretty rough workday (I think it was on a Thursday evening). I guess that is more than a couple races.

 I really was a pineapple!
I only felt like I was "back" to running consistently at the end of June. Strangely enough, a vacation seemed to help me get back on track. I was able to run with some very nice scenery in northern Michigan and having the time and ability to run most mornings was great. July went OK and, for whatever reason, something seemed to click the first weekend in August. The runs weren't particularly fast that weekend, but they just felt "right" again.

I decided to run another "last minute" 5k  I found while visiting family in Indiana and finished in 22:49. I have this delusion of having race results faster than I really do, so I was surprised to find out that this was my 2nd fastest 5k time as an adult. It was a small race and I won my age group (though I was beaten by a 10 year old boy and 12 and 13 year old girls, because what is a race without being smoked by the very young or very old?) Despite the whoopin' by the youngins, I was encouraged by my progress. Fast forward to this weekend and I ran a 22:30 5k in practice (I ran hard, but could have went faster in a race) and then today ran my fastest practice 10k ever, while running at what felt like a moderate pace.

Hopefully, this progress continues and I will be in a good position to do well in what ended up being my "goal" races for the year. At the end of September, I will run the Brooksie Way 10k as part of a team for work. I think, as long as I stay healthy, anything less than a PR would be disappointing. Then, I will be running the first leg of the 5 person relay for a "Mixed Masters" team at the Detroit Marathon. My leg is just over 10k. I am excited for both races. I really like being part of a team for these races. It adds another element of fun to the racing concept. Assuming all goes well, I anticipate being involved with other team / relay events in the future.`I am also enjoying running shorter distances. 10k may be my new jam.

I guess that gets everything up-to-date. How is everyone else doin'? :)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Long Road Back

After a 4 month partial hiatus, I have gotten back on a semi-routine running schedule for the last 3 weeks. I have discovered (rediscovered) that once you get out of your routine, getting it back is quite difficult. Right now, running is difficult again. Runs which were relatively easy are now a bit difficult. I'm not back to the beginning, but I'm coming out of the winter in the worst shape I've been in within the last 4 years.

Perhaps a curious analogy, but I'm hoping that, like the aged gunslinger Clint Eastwood played in Unforgiven, circumstances will soon be as such that something will just click and I will be able to return to my previous form.

I have two weeks until my first scheduled race this year, a half-marathon relay race with a co-worker and "running pal" from work. We ran Rock CF together last year and thought it would be interesting to run a relay race, something neither of us have done. Looking at the times from the 2014 relay race, we thought that there would be a good chance for a top-10 relay finish with an outside chance at a top 3 result. I still think we have a decent shot at a top-10 finish based on past race results, but a top 3 result is probably not in the cards. Like most "local" races, it depends on who shows up almost as much as how we do. Neither of us are in peak condition right now, which doesn't bode well for being very competitive. This race was a nice excuse to (finally) try to get into shape for the year. I'd like to be 10 lbs lighter and a minute a mile faster right now, but it is what it is. I'm hoping that the next two weeks go well and that I do the best I can at the race.

I have only done two "long" runs (over 10k) this year to date, one each of the last two Saturdays. One 8 miler at Indian Springs and the other in Clarkston. Both runs were with the Wolfpack group. I brought up the rear at the run yesterday, but was close enough that I caught up to the group at the water stops. The people who showed up are fast, but my recent lack of training didn't help. Sometimes, running with people who are faster than you is what you need. I certainly wouldn't have run at the pace I ran yesterday if I was alone. It wasn't race pace, but I was uncomfortable and that can be a good thing.

After the relay race, I have no solid race plans, but I plan to do some 5Ks and 10Ks during the year. The hope is that by late summer / fall, I can PR both these distances and get close to some long-standing goals.


How did your winter training go? Did the cold weather (especially in February) disrupt your plans?