Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Progress delayed

I think I have been waiting to post something on this blog until I had something good to say. Maybe a breakthrough of some sort. Perhaps to brag about a great week of training?. Maybe I'm ready to set those PRs I was talking about in my post about the upcoming year. Unfortunately, I don't have a ton of positivity to impart, other than that I haven't completely given up.

My next race is coming up this weekend at Rock CF Half Marathon on Grosse Ile this weekend. I am not in good enough running shape to PR this race. Nor do I think I'll be able to best my previous times for this race. I don't think I'll break two hours. In fact, I may not even beat my slowest half-marathon time, which was my first half-marathon. My training has been erratic and I'm currently home from work on the second day of an illness.

I still intend to run Sunday and have decided that I will be happy doing it, whatever the result. There are really only a few choices at this point anyway. I can run and be happy about it, I can run and be miserable or not run at all. Option 1 seems like the only acceptable choice.

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I was able to be a pacer at the Kona St. Patrick's Day race in Plymouth a couple weeks ago. It was brutally cold, but otherwise it was enjoyable. I was going to pace 60 minutes for the 10k, but instead ended up running 65 minutes with Lorenda (her blog). That was fine by me. Usually, when I'm pacing, I talk quite a bit and try to be encouraging and helpful to those around me. It was too darn cold for that on this day.

I also ran the 5k holding the "first time 5k" sign. I tried to run what I thought a first time 5k runner would run and probably finished in around 34 minutes.

I did get this nice photobomb out of the first race.
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Hopefully I'll feel better soon, the weather will improve and I'll be able to get some real training in. Until then, I'll continue to muddle along. Spring will soon be here?

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I decided to sign up for the Chicago Marathon and see what happens in the lottery. If I get in, that should motivate me. If I don't, I'll likely sign up for Indy Monumental Marathon and will use that and the "rejection" by Chicago to motivate me. Gotta take it when you can.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Marathon Madness

Apparently, enough time has passed where I now think of my Detroit Marathon experience as overwhelmingly positive and have mostly forgotten the pain and woe. With a good running week (finally) under my belt, I started to think about running a marathon again. That's all it takes, I guess. Over the past few months I've gone from "No way" to "Well... perhaps" to "I gotta sign up now!".

I have considered a few fall marathons (no spring marathon as I'm not even close to ready for a half marathon, much less a full one, but that's a different post) and I keep coming back to two races that I want to do. The Chicago Marathon was my first choice, but now I'm leaning towards the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Each race has pros and cons for me, which I will note below:

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon!

I grew up in the "Chicagoland" area, about 40 minutes from Downtown Chicago. It is my "home city" and I followed Chicago sports teams, watched Chicago TV, etc. We visited the museums and went to Sox games (we were Cub fans but Comiskey Park was much closer and easier to get to) on occasion, but most of our interactions with the city itself involved driving through and getting stuck in traffic on the Dan Ryan and / or Eisenhower with my Dad on many weekends. On the highway, we would hide as not to be kissed by the Magikist lips signs (I don't know why).


So, I'm not a "true" resident, but it was our city.

As the Chicago Marathon is in my "home city" and it is one of the biggest races in the country, I have wanted to run it for some time. The "Spirit of the Marathon" movie did not diminish this desire. That said, I have cooled on this race somewhat, and it has much to do with the lottery.

After a registration fiasco last year, the organizers of this race decided to have a lottery entry system for those not granted "exemptions" for entry. I'm not so down on the lottery as how it is being implemented. One can sign up between March 5 and April 7, and, if you "win" or "lose", you will be informed on April 14.

Do people really need over a month to enter? Isn't April 14 a bit late to know if you're in or out? It isn't too late in terms of training, but it is when trying to decide about entry to other races. I haven't registered for another race, but some of the races I have considered will cost more or be sold out by then. Have the lottery, let people know if they are in or out and let them move along.

Besides the lottery thing, the race cost is $185. Wow. To be fair, it is a bit less than New York or Boston, but come on. That's over 8 million bucks from race entry fees and I'm sure there is a huge chunk of $ from sponsorships. It costs money to organize a race (and even more with heightened security) but still... I know parking is going to be expensive and a pain and I'll need to park at least twice (pick up and race) in the city. I'd love to spend the night at a hotel downtown, but rooms are crazy 'spensive too.

Pros:
Hometown race
Considered a top 5 (maybe top 2 or 3) marathon in the country with good race history
Run with elites - some of the worlds best
Crowds are great
Great scenery
Can stay with family about 20 miles from race start
Highest possibility that family outside of household would attend

Cons:
The whole lottery thing
Cost (race, parking, etc.)
Not able to afford hotel room close to race start / finish


Indianapolis Monumental Marathon!

Detroit is my "current city", Chicago is my "home city", but Indianapolis is my "third city". I grew up near Chicago, but in Indiana. I went to Indiana State in Terre Haute, a little over an hour from Indy, so we visited on occasion.



This race really wasn't on my radar until Jeff aka Detroit Runner talked about this race and posted about it on his blog. They really enjoyed the race and had a good experience overall. It is much cheaper than Chicago ($80 vs. $185) to boot. We would likely stay in a hotel for this one, but the difference in race cost makes that less of an issue than it otherwise would be (though I just noticed parking prices at the downtown hotels are ridiculous).

Pros:
No lottery - you sign up, you're in.
Reasonable race fee
Good scenery / course
Hotels close to race start / finish which are not outrageously expensive
Some family may attend
I like November 1 race date

Cons:
Not Chicago
Race lacks deep history - less participation (4,000 marathon / 15,000 total vs 45,000 for Chicago)
Lesser elite participation
$27 parking (daily) at downtown hotels is not cool.
Must get hotel
Kids probably miss Halloween trick or treating


Conclusion

Choices include: 
A) Sign up for Chicago, see what happens, skip marathon in 2014 if not selected.
B) Sign up for Chicago, if not selected, sign up for Indy.
C) Sign up for Indy, forget Chicago this year
D) Don't sign up for any marathon - after all, that was the original plan
E) Run Detroit again or another nearby marathon
F) Quit running, eat more donuts

B or C are the leaders in the clubhouse right now. I should be able to wait to see what happens for Chicago and then sign up for Indy. The hotel rooms I would want should still be available, but the overall uncertainty is not ideal. Is there a 90% chance of getting in to Chicago? 50%? 10%? No one really knows right now. If I register and don't get selected to race, I'll be TO'd (Kip Dynamite would be proud).

Do you have difficulties in race selection? 

Are race lotteries the most fair way to deal with demand? Is the Chicago one goofy or par for the course?

Would you like to sponsor me and pay for all of my races, travel and meal expenses? (worth a shot)

Have a good one!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Ultimate Rock Running Playlist

Besides running, one of my “passions” is rock music. It’s much more about listening to it than playing it, as I can’t play at all. Anyhow, I consider myself somewhat of a classic rock / hard rock connoisseur in that I know quite a bit about that “genre” and I continually seek out both old and new music that I like. 


I tend to be on the same page as Eddie Trunk (That Metal Show and radio show host), when it comes to hard rock / heavy metal. Not in lock step with all of his opinions, but in agreement with many of his reviews, editorials, etc.

Eddie Trunk with Joey Kramer & Brad Whitford of Aerosmith
Given that I like running and rock music, it is only logical that I combine the two. When I am running, I am probably without music the majority of the time, but it is nice to have it on occasion, particularly when running alone and on familiar ground when I’ve seen all there is to see on my route. What I have found that works best is using my phone, without headphones, in an arm holder. It allows me to hear the music well when it is reasonably quiet, but still hear traffic and other ambient sounds.

With the advent of streaming services (I use Spotify), you can create multiple playlists from a choice of bazillions of songs. While there are a few artists missing (The Beatles are the big one, but there are others) and the catalogs of ones that they do have are not always complete, having 80% of all the music I want at my fingertips is still amazing to me.
The playlist I have spent the most time working on and listening to is my Running Rock list. I created this, primarily for myself, because the other lists that are out there are either woefully incomplete or feature far too many songs that have zero relation to running.

Here are the criteria that I have used over the past couple years when adding songs to this list:
  • Tracks should fit into the general category of rock. Hard / classic rock preferred. No specific tempo or beats per minute (BPM)are required, but I’ve tried to avoid anything that is too plodding.
  • Songs specifically about running (such as “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” by Iron Maiden or “Marathon” by Rush)
  • Songs which have some form of “run” or “running” in the title or as the main subject of the song (i.e. “Runnin’ Wild” by The Rods).
  • Songs which have some form of “speed” or “fast” in the title or as the main subject (demonstrated by two Slash songs – “Hard and Fast” and “Speed Parade”).
  • Songs about the road, ‘cause I’m a road runner, baby! (“Road Runner” – Aerosmith, “All Over The Road” – Rival Sons).
  • Songs of Defiance (“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” – BTO, “Gimme Danger” – Iggy and the Stooges).
  • Songs about winning or victory (“Victory” – Megadeth,  “Live to Win” – 2 different songs by Motorhead and Paul Stanley).
  • Songs about endurance, perseverance or power (“Push” by Dio, “Double the Pain” by Heaven and Hell).
  • Songs about Detroit, my current and long-time area of residence (“Detroit City” by Alice Cooper is a little known gem).
  • Songs about locomotion other than running (There are two versions of “Train Kept A Rollin’” in this list). I am The Train.


     

Without further ado, here is the list, by artist:


3 Doors Down – Race For The Sun

Accept – Fast As A Shark
Accept – Ahead Of The Pack

Aerosmith – One Way Street
Aerosmith – Don't Stop - Single Version
Aerosmith – Road Runner
Aerosmith – You Gotta Move
Aerosmith – Three Mile Smile
Aerosmith – Train Kept A Rollin'
Aerosmith – Get The Lead Out

Airbourne – Runnin' Wild
Airbourne – Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast

Alice Cooper – Catch Me If You Can
Alice Cooper – Detroit City
Alice Cooper – Under My Wheels

Anvil – Running
Anvil – Race Against Time

Bachman-Turner Overdrive – You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Roll On Down The Highway
Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Down The Road

Bad Company – Run With the Pack (Remastered Album Version)

Beatallica – Running For Your Life

Billy Idol – Speed

Black Country Communion – Burn - Live From Germany/2011

The Black Crowes – Go Faster

The Black Keys – Run Me Down

Black Sabbath – I

Black Star Riders – Bound for Glory

Boots Electric – Speed Demon

Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run

Bryan Adams – Run To You

Budgie – In for the Kill

Cake – The Distance

Captain Beyond – Dancing Madly Backwards (On A Sea Of Air)
Captain Beyond – Raging River Of Fear

Cheap Trick – Time Is Runnin'

Chickenfoot – Runnin' Out

Coheed and Cambria – Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial)
Coheed and Cambria – The Running Free

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Run Through The Jungle
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born To Move

Damn Yankees – Don't Tread On Me

Deep Purple – Burn - Remastered LP Version
Deep Purple – Speed King - U.S. Album Version from 'Deep Purple In The Rock'
Deep Purple – Highway Star - Live Version
Deep Purple – Fireball
Diamond Head – Run

Dio – Push
Dio – I Speed At Night
Dio – One More For The Road

Dropkick Murphys – The Warrior's Code

Edgar Winter – Rebel Road

Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Pump It Up

Eric Johnson – On the Run

Fabulous Thunderbirds – Runnin' Shoes

Fastway – You Got Me Runnin'

The Folksmen – Start Me Up

Foo Fighters – Breakout

Gamma – Fight To The Finish

Gnarls Barkley – Run [I'm A Natural Disaster]

Grand Funk – Runnin' - 24-Bit Digitally Remastered 02

Grateful Dead – The Race Is On [Live]

Halford – Speed Of Sound

Hawkwind – Kings Of Speed

Heart – Kick It Out

Heaven & Hell – Double The Pain

The Hellbenders – Runnin' Wild

Humble Pie – Road Runners G Jam

Iggy & The Stooges – Search and Destroy - Iggy Pop Mix
Iggy & The Stooges – Gimme Danger - Iggy Pop Mix
Iggy & The Stooges – Raw Power - Iggy Pop Mix

Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Iggy Pop – Run Like A Villain

Iommi – Dopamine

Iron Maiden – Be Quick Or Be Dead
Iron Maiden – Running Free
Iron Maiden – The Trooper
Iron Maiden – Run To The Hills
Iron Maiden – The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

The J. Geils Band – Detroit Breakdown - Live

Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin'

Jo Jo Gunne – Run Run Run

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Roadrunner

Joe Satriani – Speed Of Light

John Fogerty – Walking In A Hurricane

Jonny Lang – Hit The Ground Running

Jorn – Push

Journey – Keep On Runnin'

Judas Priest – Breaking the Law
Judas Priest – On the Run
Judas Priest – Turbo Lover
Judas Priest – Delivering the Goods
Judas Priest – Running Wild - Live

Kamchatka – Out of My Way

Keel – Speed Demon

Kiss – Mr. Speed
Kiss – Detroit Rock City

Krokus – Go Baby Go
Krokus – Fight On
Krokus – Keep Me Rollin

Lenny Kravitz – Where Are We Runnin'?
Lenny Kravitz – Always On The Run

Lindsey Buckingham – Holiday Road - Live

Lita Ford – Can't Catch Me

Locomotive Breath – Speed Driven

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Call Me The Breeze

Marilyn Manson – Running To The Edge Of The World

Megadeth – Fast Lane
Megadeth – Victory - 2004 Digital Remaster

Metallica – Seek & Destroy
Metallica – Fuel

The Meters – Running Fast - Single Version

Michael Schenker – Speed
Michael Schenker Group – Run to the Hills
Michael Schenker Group – Finding My Way
The Michael Schenker Group – Into The Arena

Molly Hatchet – Flirtin' With Disaster
Molly Hatchet – I'll Be Running

Mötley Crüe – Kickstart My Heart
Mötley Crüe – Too Fast For Love

Motörhead – Live To Win
Motörhead – The Chase Is Better Than The Catch
Motörhead – Speed Freak
Motörhead – Built For Speed - 1987 / Live At Brixton Academy, London
Motörhead – You Better Run
Motörhead – Iron Horse/Born To Lose
Motörhead – The Train Kept A Rollin'
Motörhead – Runaround Man
Motörhead – Built For Speed
Motörhead – Ridin' With The Driver
Motörhead – Built For Speed - Live at Monsters Of Rock, Castle Donnington 1986

Nazareth – Hair Of The Dog

The Offspring – Race Against Myself

The Osmonds – Crazy Horses

Ozzy Osbourne – I Don't Wanna Stop
Ozzy Osbourne – Over The Mountain - Remastered Original Recording

Pat Benatar – You Better Run

Paul Stanley – Live To Win

Pearl Jam – Supersonic

The Presidents Of The United States Of America – Mach 5
The Presidents Of The United States Of America – Kick Out the Jams

Queen – Headlong
Queen – Stone Cold Crazy

Quiet Riot – Run For Cover

Rainbow – Long Live Rock N Roll
Rainbow – Kill The King
Rainbow – Run With The Wolf

REO Speedwagon – Keep Pushin'

Riot – Run For Your Life

Rival Sons – Keep On Swinging
Rival Sons – All Over the Road
Rival Sons – Pressure and Time

Robin Trower – Day Of The Eagle - 2007 Digital Remaster

The Rods – Runnin' Wild

The Rolling Stones – You Can't Catch Me

Rush – Fly By Night
Rush – Marathon
Rush – Finding My Way
Rush – One Little Victory - previously unreleased R30 Live Version

Sabaton – The Price of a Mile

Saxon – Wheels of Steel - 7'' Version;1997 - Remaster
Saxon – Warrior
Saxon – Run for Your Lives
Saxon – Running Hot

Scorpions – Bad Boys Running Wild
Scorpions – Speedy's Coming
Scorpions – Love On The Run
Scorpions – Sting In The Tail

Skid Row – Let's Go

Slash – Hard & Fast
Slash – Speed Parade

The Sounds – Running Out Of Turbo

The Spencer Davis Group – Keep On Running

Stone Temple Pilots – Fast As I Can

Stray Cats – Built For Speed

Sweet – Fox On The Run

T. Rex – Chariot Choogle

Ted Nugent – Stormtroopin'
Ted Nugent – Hammerdown
Ted Nugent – Weekend Warriors
Ted Nugent – I Take No Prisoners - Live
Ted Nugent – I Shoot Back
Ted Nugent – Motor City Madhouse

Tenacious D – To Be The Best

They Might Be Giants – Speed and Velocity
They Might Be Giants – It's Kickin' In

Thin Lizzy – Running Back
Thin Lizzy – Warrior - Live Album Version

Tin Machine – Run - 1999 Digital Remaster

Todd Rundgren – Yer Fast

Tom Petty – Runnin' Down A Dream
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Running Man's Bible

Triumph – Lay It On The Line

Twisted Sister – I Will Win
Twisted Sister – Blastin' Fast & Loud

UFO – Rock Bottom - 2007 - Remaster
UFO – Running Up The Highway

Van Halen – Unchained
Van Halen – Runaround
Van Halen – Runnin' With The Devil

W.A.S.P. – Running Wild In The Streets
W.A.S.P. – The Running Man
W.A.S.P. – Show No Mercy

The Who – Motoring - Shel Talmy - Stereo Version
The Who – Run Run Run
The Who – I Can See For Miles
The Who – (I'm A) Road Runner - Live (1971 / Young Vic, London)

The Winery Dogs – Elevate

Y&T – Don't Stop Runnin'

The Yardbirds – The Train Kept A-Rollin'

Yngwie Malmsteen – Faster Than Speed Of Light

The Spotify playlist is available here: Running Rock


I intend to keep this list updated on a webpage in this blog. I am always looking for new music to add to this list. If you have any suggestions, please let me know here or on my Facebook page!

Thanks!