Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wild Hogs and running

I took my baby out for a long ride on Saturday. My riding club from work goes to Talimena Arkansas every year to see the wonderful colors of fall. It's a 5 hour drive from OKC and I hadn't ridden for a long time. Needless to say, my butt is not very happy with me today. Most of my problem comes from the fact that I had to ride straight through on the way back because my alternator went bad. I couldn't stop for more than a minute or two or the motor would die and wouldn't restart. So I rode 270 miles without stopping. Just ask my butt, he'll tell you all about it! He's reminding me of it every time I move.

The running club ran 20 miles this morning and I was to join them. Of course I didn't make it. 6 AM came way too early and I was too sore anyway. Once I did get moving I managed to get over to Lake Hefner and run 11 miles. I also was able to keep an 8:15 pace for the entire run. OKC is blessed today with 25 mile per hour winds out of the North so it wasn't the easiest of runs. 

I'm trying to get back to a normal life/training schedule. I am still feeling so burnt out and tired. When I run it feels like I'm wearing bricks for shoes. I can't even remember what it felt like to have a good relaxing run. I hate dreading my next run. It's not that I don't like running, I dread them because I worry about how it will go. What happened to the joy of running? Even when I run easy I can't seem to enjoy it anymore. So anyway, I'm trying to relax and let this pass. I've already given up my goal of a 3:15 and I've dropped down to the half marathon at Tulsa. I really don't care too much about those but I really want to enjoy running again. I'll get there, I just need some time and some normality again.

OK so I don't want to end this post on a sour note so I'll tell you a little more about the ride yesterday. My riding club consists of a bunch of middle-aged engineers who happen to own motorcycles. You'd think that there would be a bunch of Harleys but out of 15 bikes yesterday there was only one Harley. Most were of the Japanese make. I ride a Victory which is American made. So anyway, we are one bad-ass group of balding hell raisers! Wild Hogs!! We look tough in our high-dollar riding suits, who needs leather and chains. When we ride into town people fear for their lives. Not because we will intentionally destroy their town but because we really can't ride that well! Put 92 cubic inches of horsepower between a geeky engineer's legs and you've got a recipe for disaster. It's a wonder I ever make it home alive. 

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What the hell, let's do some

According to my Boston qualifying training plan today was speedwork. Oh you remember the plan don't you? I know, I know, I haven't really kept up with it. I've slipped a little I know. Ok so I kinda ripped it up and threw it out the window after cussing it in many different languages that I don't even know, but I'm over that now really. Seriously. Absolutely. Without a doubt over and done with that bad attitude. Maybe.

Speedwork, yea, that's what we were talking about. Tonight torture looked like this:

 1x1600 at 6:12,
 1x3200 at 12:40,
 2x800 at 2:58.

 A 5 mile total workout once you add a 1/2 mile warmup and cooldown.

The mile went GREAT! I kicked out a 6:14. Oooo-Rah! 

The 2 mile not so good. I have never run so hard to run so slow! I was trying so hard but going so slow! I had setup Garmin to do a Quick workout of distance and time. 2 miles in 12:40. I expected Garmin to beep at me if my pace was too slow but I guess she only does that if you set distance and pace. If you use the distance and time she has this nice way of telling you that your time has expired. It's a single beep. I guess that's her way of letting you down easy. My time expired on the last lap and then, and then, and then... Garmin had the nerve to just stop and tell me that she wasn't going to time me anymore! I didn't know there was a total time limit?!? She has been very emotional lately and I haven't been nice to her so maybe I should have expected this. Our relationship just isn't what it used to be. I miss the good times when we were both excited by each other and the relationship was easy. Sometimes it seems we just go through the motions. How do I revitalize out relationship? Maybe a special night out for a run? I just don't know, maybe I need a new model.

Speedwork, yea, that's what we were talking about.

So I dogged the 2 mile in 13:40 or at least that's all Garmin told me about.

I hit the last 800's in 3:14 each. That wasn't far off of the goal and I did them in exactly the same time, no degradation. 

It's supposed to get cold here tomorrow. I like cold. But not tomorrow. It's too soon. Cold should come in November. That's when I ordered it this year. They never listen anymore though, almost like the weather Gods aren't listening to me. Customer service these days. Geesh.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I need slower friends

I stole the title of this post from RBR, sorry girl, you need less hot friends and I need slower ones.

One of my good friends from the running club ran the Indianapolis marathon yesterday and qualified for Boston! He ran a 3:20 which was exactly what he needed to qualify. I think he made it by 20-30 seconds. I'm so happy for him but at the same time I'm extremely jealous and more than a little intimidated. He has always been much faster than me. He was one of the first "fast people" to invite me to run with the "fast group". So my problem is if he can barely run a 3:20 how the hell can I ever expect to run a 3:15? I'm basically saying that I will run faster than him! I can't fathom that ever happening. Oh well, I'm still happy for him.

We have more than a few people from OKC who have qualified for Boston this year. I'm hoping for a big group trip there. I will be the Oklahoma cheering section for all of them! I've never been to Boston but I hear they have good beer. I'll be able to drink it every night since I won't be running! yea for me.

Tonight my kids want to camp out in the back yard. My oldest son has already set up the tent and I have a fire going in the fire pit. My little man wants to sleep in the tent but he will never make it all night. The last time we tried this he talked non-stop for about an hour and then decided he was too scared to sleep in the tent and went inside. I have absolutely no problem with him being scared because my back cannot take sleeping in a tent all night. I plan to stay out with them until the little one has had enough and then retire comfortably to my bed. Should be fun, we even have marshmallows to roast. 

Congrats to Sarah and Ryan on a great race in KC. Love the pictures of my favorite city.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is....

"Hey let's go out to dinner tonight"
"Sure that sounds like fun"

This innocent little conversation caused me much trouble today. You see my boss and I are not really good for each other. We have many of the same interests and likes which you would think would be wonderful. It would be wonderful if those interests were something along the lines of self-improvement or something for the betterment of society. Our interests, however, are more in line with self-destructive tendencies and destruction of all moral standards.

Our biggest problem is a deep love of Whisky. I must admit that I started this effort to destroy our livers. He was merely an innocent bystander who had a fleeting interest in my self-destructive love for the golden nectar and was drawn into the effort. Oh how it pains me now to remember. I believe it went something like, "Hey I'd like to try that", "OK, here". (We're not deep conversationalists if you haven't noticed).

So anyway, at work yesterday it was suggested that we go to dinner together that night down in Norman. I may have brought it up, I don't remember and it doesn't matter. What matters is the fact that "Going to dinner" == "Come down to my house and drink". We bring our wives and actually do go eat somewhere but those two points are meaningless. The real focus of these events is to sip Whisky and act like fools.

I had made plans to run 18 miles with a friend at 5:45 AM on Saturday morning. Did this factor into my decision to partake? No. Did it influence me to say, "no more I've got to run in the morning"? No.

We ate BBQ (mixes well with Whisky once shaken in the stomach) and drank until 11. I got up and ran my 18 miles but my stomach was PISSED! It still is. I haven't had this much pain in a long time. I've eaten a million Tums but they are like throwing a glass of water on a raging inferno.

On the plus side, I did run 18 this morning and I ran a pretty good pace for most of it. As good as it was, I am further convinced that I have run too many marathons this year. I still don't feel smooth or relaxed. A 3:30 would be wonderful in December.

Congrats to Sarah and Ryan who ran the Kansas City half marathon today. I'm sure by now they are both kicking back on the Plaza enjoying a wonderful day in KC. Maybe even eating some BBQ (Oh goodness, just the thought makes me ill!). Enjoy your day and have a safe trip home.

Thanks for listening

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quick summary of Willie's week

Catching you up in 1 minute or less...

Oklahoma lost to Texas last weekend which makes work difficult since everyone is pissed off.

Mizzou lost to Oklahoma State which SUCKS! Oh yea, it was also my fault according to my wife since I ran a 5K in Stillwater (OSU home) on Saturday before the game.

I ran a 5K in Stillwater at Eskimo Joe's with my son. I ran 20:48 and my son ran 22:30. I still hate 5K's, they are way to short.

A cold front came through Oklahoma and it rained most of the week.
I couldn't complete a 4 mile run on Tuesday night. I got light headed and had no energy after about 2 miles. I was completely tired.

I was so down in the dumps that I seriously considered not running any more marathons this year.

I got over it.

My son ran his last Cross Country meet and finally decided to get the lead out. He busted out a 12:29 2 mile and was 10th overall in the conference meet on Tuesday. I responded by smacking him in the back of his head and asking him where that was all year! His coach repeated that action.

I had a great run tonight although it was only 4 miles. I'm way behind in my training and way off of my plan.

Ok so now you're up to date. What I really wanted to write tonight was about some changing plans for me. In a nutshell... I'm tired!

I have run 5 marathons this year and I have been extremely busy at work. My kids keep me busy all the time and I rarely eat well. Add to this some self-induced personal stresses and the result is that Willie's body is beat down and battered. This really hit home for me after the Spirit of Survival marathon 2 weeks ago. Although I only ran 20 miles of the marathon and walked the rest, it took me much longer than I expected to recover. In fact, I would say that I still haven't recovered. It's hard to describe other than to say that my body is tired and it's now spilling over into my mood and general well-being. 

I get it, I've over done it this year and need to slow down. 

For this reason I have decided to change my plans for the Tulsa marathon and only run the 1/2 marathon. I have also dropped any time goal for the Dallas White Rock marathon. That will be my 6th marathon this year which averages out to 1 ever other month. If I was running them just to run them I wouldn't be concerned but I would really like to improve my best time and I feel I have blown that this year by running too many and resting too little. Oh well, live and learn. I have no regrets about any of the marathons I have done (except maybe Andy Payne). I have traveled to Florida and California and have met new friends at all of them. No regrets at all.

Next year, however, I would like to concentrate on only a few marathons and on improving my times. If you've read this blog for awhile you know that this will be hard for me to do. I have this bad habit of spur-of-the-moment "planning" and that little issue of being a total idiot at times. So we'll see how well I keep to this plan when the Spring marathons come rolling around and I get the urge to jump on a plane to the coast. Hey at least I'm trying to plan ahead!

Thanks for listening

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Somebody stop me!!!

I can't stop eating! I am so hungry all the time since the marathon on Sunday. I eat and eat and never feel full. I think something may be broken between my brain and my stomach. The message just isn't getting through that I've eaten an entire cow and MUST STOP EATING OR I'LL EXPLODE!

Hello Mr. Brain, this is the stomach, we are good and full now please stop sending food.

What? I couldn't hear you I was noticing the cookies in the cabinet.

No bad idea, we can't fit cookies, we can't fit anything more.

Did you say more? OK arms and legs, go for the cookies.


Did you say Moo? Yes steak would be lovely.

AHHHH, make some room in the leg, we've got incoming!

Thanks for listening

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spirit of Survival Marathon AKA Reality check for Willie

I had always planned to run this marathon as a training run. I had also always planned it to be a reality check on how I was doing against my 3:15 goal for Dallas White Rock in December. I was disappointed with both outcomes.

I actually registered for this marathon ahead of time which lately is a BIG step for me in terms of planning. My buddy Maurice had emailed me and asked about carpooling down together a few weeks ago so I had to comite to it early. Go me!

Somewhere along the line we began talking to other Landrunners and ended up meeting 4 others for the drive down to southwestern OK. Dave, one of the 4, was also using this as a training run for Dallas so I was excited to have someone to push me through. Dave has always been faster than me and I love having someone to hang onto for a good run.

Sidebar: Dave was one of the first people I met in the running club (Maurice was the 1st) while we were both training for the OKC Memorial marathon in 2007. We were training hard to hit a 9:00/mile pace for that marathon! Wow we've come a long way! He more than I it turns out, but that's OK, it's still cool to think about

So Maurice, Dave, and I all hop in the car to head south at about 5:00 AM Sunday morning. Oklahoma has these wonderful things called "Toll Roads" all over the state and the road down to Medicine Park is ALL toll road! I have had trouble with these roads in the past where I threw the required money in the bin but the stupid coin counter missed one of them. I drove on knowing I had given the proper amount only to have bright lights light up and sirens go off as I drove away from the toll gate. I thoroughly expected to get a ticket in the mail and was ready to fight it but, alas, it never showed up. Anyway, Maurice brought his PikePass device which is a nice way to drive through the toll gates and have the state take your money right out of an account automagically! How nice of them! Well, we hit the first toll gate and I drove through while Dave held the Pikepass up and...... nothing happened. No little green light telling us we had been sufficiently taxed by the state. What the F??? Did it work? Did it not work? Am I a felon again? Oh well, we continued on to the next toll gate and got the same reaction, nothing! Now I'm a repeat offender and on the lamb so I don't care anymore! Might as well knock over a liquor store now, since I'm already going to jail!

We eventually made it to the parking lot of the race without police intervention. We weren't allowed to drive into the National Forest so they had school buses pick us up and take us into the starting area. Big yellow school buses! It was my first time on a full sized bus, I always rode the shorter ones...

The race started at 8 AM so the sun was good and up by then. The race director once again informed as about the Bison on the course and said she'd see many of them during her drive on the course that morning. She must have had better eyes than me.

Dave and I had decided to run 3 miles easy then hit 20 miles hard and finish with another 3 easy miles. Great plan! Didn't happen that way for me though as you can see from the chart below (exhibit A). I made the 3 easy part OK. The scenery was beautiful and I didn't even notice the hills much. There were water stops every 10 feet it seemed so I drank as much water as I could knowing it was going to get hot.

At the 3 miles mark, Dave and I picked it up to 8 min/mile pace. I actually felt good and was chatting for most of this time. My quads were taking a pounding on the hills though. By mile 10 I was beginning to feel them tighten. By the turnaround they were screaming. I felt like I had plenty of energy just my quads were screaming. I slowed a bit and tried to work them out. By mile 15 I knew I was in trouble of making it to mile 23 at this pace. Dave, however, was running strong and decided he would try for 7:30's from mile 17-21. I told him to go on, I just couldn't make it with him. Once he left I lost my pace and had to walk at mile 16.5. I decided that my training run was over because I didn't want to risk injury. I walked and jogged from that point on. It gave me time to take pictures and talk with the water stop volunteers which was great! They were so nice and encouraging. I did see a buffalo herd at mile 19 or so and stopped to take some pictures. The wind was really kicking out of the South and it made for a beautiful scene of prairie grass blowing and Bison eating. Eventually I caught up to Dave who had stopped his run and was walking it in at mile 22. He showed me his times and I was really impressed. He had managed run under 7:30's for miles 17-21! He has a real shot at a 3:20 BQ in Dallas and I hope he makes it. He's awesome. We jogged on in and crossed the finish line together which was cool. We didn't get to do that in OKC 2007 because of my IT Band issue so this was our first time finishing together. Very cool. We finished in 3:55 which doesn't say much since we walked many of the last miles but it was nice to break 4 again.

So I couldn't hold 8 min/mile pace for 20 miles as I had hoped I could. As soon as I stopped at mile 16.5 I knew my Boston goal of 3:15 in Dallas was gone. There's just no way I can improve that much in 2 months. I need to hold 7:30's for 26 miles in order to run that time. Not going to happen. I wasn't dejected or depressed, I actually felt pretty good about the distance I had made. 8 min/mile pace is a 3:30 and I think that may be a more realistic goal for 2008. Boston will always be there.

After the race we headed over Meers Famous hamburgers to try this world famous hamburger. It has been showcased on The Food Network as one of the top burger joints in the country. I actually like the hamburger but I was also starving by the time we ate so it could have been dog for all I know and I would have still devoured it. 

Oh and did I mention that IT WAS MAURICE'S BIRTHDAY! He actually ran a marathon on his birthday! What I great (or sick) way to celebrate! Only runners can understand! Now if he will agree to pay my toll-road tickets! I'm sure he'll say that can be my birthday present to him! 

Thanks for listening

Route:--Elev. Avg:0 ft
Location:Medicine Park, OKElev. Gain:+0 ft
Time:08:04 AMDifficulty:0 / 5.0
78 F temp; 50% humidity
79 F heat index; winds S 17 G 24

Distance:26.33 miles
Speed:6.7 mph
Pace:8' 56 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 27-0' 297.1+0.4-- ft
28' 34-0' 227.0+0.3-- ft
38' 22-0' 347.2+0.4-- ft
48' 05-0' 517.4+0.7-- ft
58' 17-0' 397.2+0.5-- ft
67' 59-0' 577.5+0.8-- ft
77' 55-1' 017.6+0.9-- ft
87' 53-1' 037.6+0.9-- ft
97' 55-1' 017.6+0.9-- ft
108' 03-0' 537.5+0.7-- ft
118' 04-0' 527.4+0.7-- ft
128' 01-0' 557.5+0.8-- ft
138' 03-0' 537.5+0.7-- ft
148' 05-0' 517.4+0.7-- ft
158' 21-0' 357.2+0.5-- ft
168' 20-0' 367.2+0.5-- ft
1711' 07+2' 115.4-1.3-- ft
188' 32-0' 247.0+0.3-- ft
1910' 20+1' 245.8-0.9-- ft
2010' 06+1' 105.9-0.8-- ft
2111' 19+2' 235.3-1.4-- ft
229' 02+0' 066.6-0.1-- ft
2310' 30+1' 345.7-1.0-- ft
2411' 54+2' 585.0-1.7-- ft
2510' 45+1' 495.6-1.1-- ft
268' 24-0' 327.1+0.4-- ft
end7' 43-1' 137.8+1.1-- ft
Versus average of 8' 56 min/mile

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Spirit of Survival (SOS) "Tips"

Below is from the race packet information I received for my marathon tomorrow. Thought you would enjoy... emphasis added....

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a 59,020-acre open range, home to nearly
3,000 big game animals. Runners may encounter bison (buffalo), elk, long-horned cattle
(longhorn), white-tailed deer and other wildlife along the routes. Usually, these animals
are not aggressive, but if you get too close,
or someone stupidly decides to bring a herb of human marathoners into their habitat, they can be. Below are some helpful hints for
wildlife encounters.

If you encounter a large herd or a single animal on the roadway, you must stop until
they have passed. Don’t try to shoo them away. This is their home; take the time to admire
their beauty
as they are stomping you into the dirt of "their home".

Although buffalo are large and appear slow, they are very quick on short runs and may
charge from as far as 200 feet away. A buffalo can go from a complete stand-still to over
30 miles per hour in three seconds. If a buffalo raises his tail, this is a warning that you are
too close. If you are charged by a buffalo or longhorn, seek a climbable tree or rock that is
taller than the animal. If no protection is nearby or there is not enough time to get away,
curl up in a tight ball on the ground
and kiss your ass goodbye! Stay still until the animal is completely gone. Then, get up, clean the crap out of your shorts and continue running

Rattlesnakes should not be a problem, but if you see one, leave it alone.
Oh, don't fuckin' worry about that! ME leaving IT alone is not the problem!

Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is one of
547 National Wildlife Refuges in the United States. All wildlife, plants, rocks and antlers
, but not runners, are protected.

Thanks for listening

Friday, October 3, 2008

A pause to remember

I want to take moment away from my running and problems to remember Paul Newman.

For me, Paul Newman will always be Sully Sullivan in the movie Nobody's Fool. That movie really made an impression on me and I've always related to the Sully character. I have always thought that this role really was Paul's best role and I've always hoped that he was a lot like that character. He seemed so natural in that role. 

If you haven't seen this movie I won't ruin it for you but I highly recommend you see it. I will tell you when I watch it I see myself in a few years. Cleaning up the mistakes I've made, I only hope I can end up as good a man as Sully in the end. It gives me hope that even a guy like me who seems to make a mess of whatever he does might be able to make some amends over time. That there may be some good left in me no matter how deep it gets buried some times.

I hope to sometime soon get some time alone and spend a day watching Paul Newman movies. Check out the Team Hole in the Wall site to see Paul's wonderful charity. Maybe I'll run a race for them sometime soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Down and out in NY

I flew up to NY (again!) on Monday. When I ran Sunday it was 95 degrees with bright sunshine. When I landed in NY it was 50 something and overcast with light rain. Blahhhhhh! (Sorry Southbay Girl I know you love that kind of weather). Well my body immediately rejected that crap and threw me into a horrible head cold. I made it through Tuesday alright which was good because that was when my meetings were. I was able to get a GREAT 7 mile hill run in with my buddy Tuesday night. Then the bottom dropped out. After the run I was feeling much better and thought maybe I was over the cold. WRONG! About dinner time that night I began feeling ill and it got progressively worse as the night went on. OK so maybe the fact that I stayed up drinking until 2 AM didn't help but I don't like to lay blame too hastily.

So today I made it to work around 9 AM and just never got going. I really didn't drink much at all because I was feeling so bad so I knew it was not alcohol induced sickness. My head was stuffed up and I began to ache around 10. By 11 I was having cold chills and was getting dizzy when I stood up too quickly. I eventually decided that my corpse was doing no good at work and caught a ride back to the hotel. IT SUCKS BEING SICK ON THE ROAD! The hotel room was cold and lonely and there was nothing on TV. I so wanted to be home in my own bed with my own kitchen and my own couch to suffer and die on. Eventually I fell asleep while watch some very sad love story on the Lifetime Movie Channel. I always get emotional when I'm sick so a good tear-jerker was just the thing.

I woke up around 4:30 and still felt like crap. By now my buddies were returning from work and we all went out to dinner at Uno's Pizza (Heaven on earth to me!!! Love it). I stuffed myself full of deepdish pizza and am now ready to hit the Tylenol Nightime medicine that will hopefully knock me out so hard I'll forget who I am. Wish me luck...

I want my sunshine back!!! NOW! Somebody please get me back to Oklahoma....

Last minute update: THE PIE MAKER IS BACK! Pushing Daisies is back on!!! Chuck, The Pie Maker and Olive are back and Willie is beginning to feel a little better...

Thanks for listening