Monday, June 16, 2008

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

It was a wild weekend in Willie's world. I won't go into details but many things are changing for Willie. Most don't involve running so they aren't appropriate for this forum. First and foremost I have cut my marathon plans down to one a month for the fall. I may cut that further and may not run any at all in the fall (hey that rhymes). It's time for a life change and since I don't know where I'm headed why make plans?

Life throws curves sometimes but you can't be in the big leagues if all you can handle are fastballs down the middle. Dealing with life's problems is life. I may not be the best at it and I may be causing the balls to curve by my own actions but I have learned that I, and I alone, have to deal with them.

You guys have been great and I couldn't have dreamed that I would meet and get to know so many wonderful people when I started this blog. Thanks for the encouragement and the everlasting memories.

and, oh yea,

Thanks for listening

OCCC Triathlon

My wife and son swam/biked/ran the Oklahoma City Community College sprint triathlon this past Saturday. I was babysitter/spectator which is a new role for me. It was actually kind of fun. I appointed myself official photographer for my two triathletes. I was also official screamer-at-the-top-of-my-lungs for them. That was really fun. I was amazed 
how reserved spectators were. I love it when people yell for me at marathons so I figured I yell for everyone at this event. I got some weird looks but who cares, I also got some thank you's from the participants.

Picture: My overconfident son.

My son was on the extreme swim team here in Edmond so when they asked him for his estimated 500 meter swim time he gave them his best time from last year. That time put him FIRST for the start! When he saw this he was more than a little nervous since this was his first triathlon.

Picture: My very scared son at the start

He actually swam very well. He was in the pool 1st and out 3rd. He missed his predicted time but didn't make too much of a fool of himself. His biking didn't go very well at all. This was primarily caused by the fact that he has a mountain bike with a warped rear tire. The problem is that his father was/is not willing to drop $1000 on a nice bike until he knows his son can/will do more triathlons. Funny, he didn't understand that. Teenagers never cease to amaze me.

His run was GREAT! This made his father very happy and proud. Screw all the swimming and biking, the important thing is that he can run and
 can run well. 

Picture: Look at that stride.

Thanks for listening

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Have you seen this??? OMG this should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country!! I knew it had to be true, it just had to be. 

Now I can claim my daily trips to Starbucks are "training"! Here all this time I felt bad about it. Now if they would just publish a report claiming Whiskey actually helped men re-grow hair my wet-dream would be complete!

I have been hitting the gym all week. My abs aren't looking any better but my entire body, save the muscles in my toes, are sore. 

I ran Tuesday night with the RedRunner and we had a nice chat. It was really hot and I totally drenched when I got back home so I took the kids to the pool. 

Tonight I ran alone. Just me and the Ipod. I left Garmin at home. She's not speaking to me now but I just wanted to get out and get lost in some music and not worry about time for awhile. It was great and refreshing after a hard couple days at work. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I just can't seem to keep up and as much as I fight it I find myself drawn into the 
things I really hate doing and sacrificing the things I want to do. As I've said before I am blessed with a career that I love. I actually look forward to work everyday and miss it somewhat on the weekends. I know, I'm a nut, but there are things about the job that I don't enjoy as much as others. Probably because they are new to me. Normally I love doing new things but these are administrative tasks that I purposefully have avoided until now. 

So now I'm sitting on my newly stained back deck enjoying some Cranberry juice (no Vodka, damn it) the summer sunset, and some good new Kenney Chesney music. Have you heard, Better as a Memory? Great tune. 

Thanks for listening

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gyms and Selfish Snakes

I've been thinking lately about all the time I spend running and whether or not that could be construed as selfishness. As both of you know, marathon training requires huge amounts of time pounding the pavement and therefore away from home, work, kids. This doesn't even count the opportunity cost of the time. What could we do with the 3 hours I spend every weekend on my long runs. maybe we could go to the Zoo, go to a play, maybe a movie, or maybe just relax at home. When one person in the family is a runner, everyone really becomes part of the lifestyle.

Now here's the deeper problem. I WANT to go running rather than doing those things. Is that wrong? Am I putting my wants ahead of the others around me? Isn't that the definition of selfishness? I really enjoy running and look forward to my long runs on the weekend all week long. No one else in my family shares that joy and love with me. They run, but they don't really have the same passion for it. I don't fault them for it, I totally understand that they have other desires and respect them for it. I don't expect them to understand how much I enjoy running for 3-4 hours and that this could be the highlight of my week. It's a bit insane. But am I pursuing my passion at the expense of their happiness? They never complain but sometime I wonder.

Don't worry, I'm not going to quit running. EEE Gads! That's even tough to type! Stop running?? Never! 

I do believe deeply in self evaluation, however, and therefore feel it's important to confront all the questions that pop into my head. It's my way of being honest with myself after so many years of lying and not knowing myself. I'm comfortable with myself now and I want to make sure it's real. 

Gym again!!!   
Yep, it's true, I'm a repeat offender! I hit the gym again this morning with my buddy. And, Yep, it HURT again. Silly me, what the hell was I thinking? Actually I LOVE it! I figure it's about time my stomach muscles finally starting pulling their weight around this old body of mine. They have had it easy for many years now, making my back and legs do all the work. I can almost hear my legs laughing at my aching abdominal muscles during the workouts. "Yea, how you like that? Not so easy is it, try carrying your lazy ass around for 26.2 miles! That's not easy either Jack!" 

I will be there again tomorrow, and the next and the next. I hope to downgrade these 24 pack abs for at least a 12 pack by the middle of summer. A 6 pack is probably out of the question but who knows??

Call me a snake
So I ran weekend before last around lake Stanley Draper without a shirt. Then I hung around the lake drinking without a shirt on. Guess what my skin is doing now? I'm Shedding like a snake!! It's pretty disgusting so I apologize if you are faint of heart. When I take my shirt off at the end of the day you'd think it was snowing. Just thought I'd share!!!

New favorite songs:
Better as a memory - Kenny Chesney
Are you sure Hank done it this way - Waylon Jennings

Thanks for listening

Friday, June 6, 2008

See what the tide brings in

Have you ever seen the end of Castaway? I believe it may be my favorite ending to a movie. The funny thing is I don't think I ever "got it" before tonight. It has always been so sad to me before. Tonight I think I saw the side that I was missing all along. The happiness of what may come. Just wanted to share.

There is a 5K tomorrow that I am NOT running because I want to let my leg heal. Normally this would really bother me because I love running on the weekends. Be it an organized race or just getting together with friends for a long run. But I really want to heal my leg so I'm not running tomorrow or Sunday. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine. I am going to the race so I can watch. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine. My family is going to run it. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine. The weather is going to be beautiful. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine. I hear it's a flat course. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine. It's down in Oklahoma City along the river trails. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine. Sounds like a lot of fun. I hate 5K's anyway so I'll be fine.

Thanks for listening

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sucker for a pretty face

I have written before of my fondness for Paula Radcliffe. She is a great runner and an inspiration for me. Well I have always wondered what the heck she wore around her neck while running?? It looked like a really cool necklace. I did some research and learned that it is a Phiten Titanium necklace.

They claim that the titanium helps improve blood circulation and keeps your neck muscles relaxed during a run. I've worked on titanium-based airplanes my whole career and they have frustrated me and made me tense so I think that claim is probably crap, but......

I found a local golf shop that sold Phiten. I bought the necklace and the bracelet! OK so I'm a sucker for anything promoted by people I admire.

Now let me try and rationalize my purchase.
I love wearing bracelets when I run. I bought a yellow Livestrong band last year and wore it while training for my first marathon. It reminded me everyday that while I was struggling through the training there are those who are struggling for their lives and helped put things in perspective for me. I really like it bouncing around on my wrist while I chugged along. I no longer wear it everyday but have worn it in every marathon I have run.

Maybe it's because I have a very plain, boring body but I like to wear necklaces. I think it's a sub-conscience way to divert peoples attention away from my face. I have never found one that I like running in though. Metal just doesn't feel right against sweaty skin and leather shrinks and gets kinda ichy after a few runs. So I hope I like this Phiten (I better for what it costs!). I bought the shortest one they had so it won't hang too loose.

How'd I do?? I know, I'm just another sucker for promotion and celebrities!

On a positive note, I visited my running paraphernalia dealer and he gave me a really nice Brooks tank top. Did you hear that... GAVE ME! You don't get that at an online, no-service, mass-marketing, impersonal "store". I promised him to wear it at all my summer races. Of course, I hear drug dealers give away free things to get their customers hooked also, hmmmm way to similar, better not think about that.
Thanks for listening

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Lake... Big Lake...

I ran this weekend with the running group again. We decided to run at the lake where they held the Beacon on The Bay 25K. You might remember that I had a great race there and have always wanted to get back to that lake and run on the rolling hills. We met early since it has been HOT here in Oklahoma. I am not normally an early morning runner but with the group I seem to do alright. The normal crew was there, My Hero and The Rabbit, along with a couple of other guys I had never met. We had decided to run a full lap around the lake which is about 14 miles in total. Did I mention it was hot? no, OK, IT WAS HOT! This time, however, I loved it! I ran without a shirt and we averaged somewhere around 8 min/mile running in a group of about 5 people. I don't know why but it really felt good to get out in the heat and run a good pace with a good group of friends. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. Some of the runners were nice enough to go out early and drop off water and Gatorade for us. It was absolutely needed that day, I'm not sure I would have made it without that refreshment. 

We finished the run and came back to the boat dock where we started. Some of us had planned to hang around and tailgate afterwards with some "adult" refreshments. I made sure to fill up on plenty of water before partaking in the "Golden Nectar of The Gods". We hung around the parking lot for a few minutes before we realized that we had a nice cold lake just a few feet away. Why not go dangle our feet in the water? So we did. A few more beers later and hey, why not jump in and cool off? So we did. A few more beers later and hey, ... well you get the picture. I had a blast, it was so much fun to hand out by the lake like I used to back home. We all got sunburned and a little loopy then headed into town for lunch. I made it home 8 hours after I left for a "quick" run. 

The Gym 
Ok, so I never learn. Remember that friend of mine who wanted to run the OKC marathon but got a case of runner's knee? Well he is back to running but now has a small baby to care for so he can't run after work like before. He now runs before work (5 AM) and then hits the gym. He invited me to come 
along. I explained to him that I am NOT a morning runner. He did convince me to come to the gym with him in the mornings. I figured I could take a small break from hard running and keep my weight 
down by working my core and upper body everyday with him. Well I forgot how much he works and how much I hurt when I try to do what he does. 

Monday morning I hit the gym at 5:30 and we started the workout from hell! First he had me do these standing jumpy things onto a small platform. he said, "try to do it so both feel land together and try to land lightly". Oh by the way, we did reps of 50, 40, 30, and 20 of these GD things. Holy crap they hurt. We mixed these with some thrusting squats (sounds naughty right??) Then we hit the core work where we did the prop-yourself-on-the-standy-thing and raise-your-legs-in front-of-you torture. They hurt but I actually like those. They are a good hurt. Then we did some crunches and some lift you legs thingys. It was a good workout but I should probably learn how to pace myself in the gym like I do in a marathon. 

The Plan
I have posted my future marathon plans on the right. I figured it was time to commit to some and work out a plan. If you notice I have 2 in October. Truth is I won't do both but figured I'd put them up there just to remind me of when they are. I have decided to key on the Dallas White Rock marathon for a PR. A friend from the running club turned me on to a Boston marathon training program that's pretty aggressive. It's a 16 week program so i could start it in mid August and use the other marathons as training. That will give me the entire summer to get my stupid, worthless, no-good, pain in the butt, let healed!!! Sorry, got off on a tirade there for a minute.

The Leg  
After the run on Saturday, I rested on Sunday and then did the gym workout on Monday morning. The leg did not hurt through any of those events. On my Monday evening run, however, it decided that it would flare up again and both me. I had plans to just run around the block, about 4 miles, just to get some additional heat acclimation in (it was 90+). Well I made it about 2.5 and had to walk because I was limping so badly. The walk gave me some time to come up with some creative cuss words. I just can't get rid of this pain.

I was supposed to run with The Red Runner (my Hero's boyfriend) tonight but my leg hurt all day at work so I figured it was a lost cause and took the kids to the pool instead. Mucho Frustration!!!! The only saving grace is that I have all summer to get over this. Now I just need a plan to make it happen. The one I've tried for the last 6 months has been a miserable failure. 

Mega Hottie 
I am so proud of RBR for her great San Diego marathon! If you haven't checked out her race report be sure to. No one gives a race report like RBR! And she has pictures which is always a plus! 
Mega Hottie = It was hot in San Diego... RBR is a girl..... Get it?? Oh well, I thought is was a good pun.

Thanks for listening  

Sunday, June 1, 2008

And She's Off...

Our beloved RBR has started the San Diego Rock & Roll marathon. Send some good marathon vibes her way. 

Go Girl Go!!!

Update #1 Through the 10K
RBR is through the 10K at 1:14:49 at a 12:03 pace. That's a 5:14 marathon!!! Well below her goal of sub-5:30

Run Baby Run!!!

Update #2 Through the 1/2 way point!!
RBR is through the half... 2:41:34, at a 12:20 pace. That's a 5:23 marathon. She's slowed a little but still ROCKIN' Baby!
She's still on pace for a PR, ALL TOGETHER NOW!!!!!


Update #3 Through 21 mile
RBR is past the 21 mile point. The race is ON!!!! 2:24:26 at a 12:36 pace. That's a 5:29:55 marathon. She's right on the bubble, come on send some fresh leg thoughts westward!!!


And she's done!!
RBR finished in 5:33:12 AND I SAW HE CROSS THE LINE!!

I was watching the live webcam and I saw her! She looked great. I can't wait to read the race report. She's awesome!!!