Sunday, August 30, 2009

A monumental average run

This was a tough week.

It started out OK. Monday was my rest day so I didn't run at all and spent some time with the kids who had started school and come home with the stomach flu. I wasn't around them long at all since they were sick so I thought I was alright. Tuesday I got back with some old friends and did some hill repeats. They were WONDERFUL! We did 10, 1/2 mile loops with a nice strong hill in each loop. I felt great afterwards..... for awhile.

Not long after I got home that night my stomach started hurting. About an hour after going to bed I was up again. Then up an hour later. Then up again an hour later. Then up again an hour later. This went on for quite a number of 'agains' that night. Totally sucky-sucker-ness and painful-painy-lisky. My body had basically rejected my stomach and voted it off the island. The stomach, however, is firmly implanted in the body and just wouldn't come out no matter how hard my diaphragm tried to dislodge it. I think my liver saw an opportunity to get free of the alcohol soaking I've given it for the last 36 years and it may have come out. Not sure what a liver looks like exactly so I may have missed it's exit.

I was out the next day, Wednesday, recovering from the night before and trying to be the mediator for my organs as they came to terms with each other again. Don't remember much of Wednesday but I know I didn't run, or eat.

Thursday I was a little better but still not 100% so I stayed home and tried not to go crazy from boredom. If you think I'm a bad injured runner I a REALLY shitty sick person! Oh it's not pretty when I get my mind back on track but my body is still not ready to engage the real world again. I hate, hate, hate, sitting around recovering. Yea, I know, you're all totally surprised. SHUT UP!

Friday I went back to work but it wasn't exactly a good day. I was still queasy and had to take things slow. Probably not the best idea to go back but that's probably why I did it. Give me a list of ideas and I'm a pro at finding the one that ISN'T the best choice. Wish they'd had those kind of questions on the ACT!

Saturday was The Big One's cross country meet so I didn't get a chance to run that day either. Not that I would have because I had really taken a plunge both physically and emotionally by then. All the pain of the sickness and the stress of missing work and other things had taken a toll and there wasn't much left of old Willie.

So that brings us to today, boys and girls. I knew I needed to get a run in. I also wanted it to be a long one since it's my long run day. The problem was I knew I was struggling just to stay awake and vertical. Running needed to be done but I was facing a demon I'd never beaten before. I knew there was a massive fatigue wall lurking out there waiting for me. I didn't know where it was but I knew it was there because I had those defeated thoughts like, "maybe I should ease back into this with a 3-4 mile run". What that means in Willie-ease is "You can't make more than 3-4 miles so don't try or you'll get beat." I hate those thoughts. Are they my angel trying to safe me from pain or are they my devil trying to hold me back from something.

You'll be please to know that I put all thoughts aside and went for it. Not in a macho way but just in a "shut-the-hell-up-and-let-me-run" kinda way. I started out around Lake Hefner not knowing if I would make it all the way around but I didn't focus on that. I stayed in the moment and ran each step not thinking of the next.

Then it hit. Turns out that wall was sitting there around mile 3. Now I should describe this wall for you since it's very particular to me. A little over a year ago I discovered this wall in myself and it forced me to the doctor and months of inner struggling that I'm just now coming out of. It sometimes caused me to see stars during runs and basically rendered me unable to continue running. I've come to recognize when it's setting it now and that how I knew I was struggling with this week and honestly I was scared since it's always beaten me before.

NOT TODAY! I felt it coming on and I was able to slow down, stay in my head, and run through it. It wasn't easy. I actually think I got through it by telling myself I'd stop after just one more mile. Well that mile came and went and I actually started running faster!

I kicked that demon in balls and left him laying on the dam road out at lake Hefner! Never thought I'd ever say that.

So that's why I'm very excited about, what turned out to be, an average run. I got 10 miles done in 1:26 which is only a 8:30 something average but DAMN it was the best 8:30 average I've had in a long time.

I know I'm not out of the woods with this thing. I still feel it now but I'm just so happy I got through it once. I may fail miserably next time so I'm gonna enjoy the heck out of this little victory.

Oh, yea, Tin Cup was on when I got home too! Very fitting although I'm a bit too tired to watch it all. Just the thought of it makes me smile.

Ya'll are doing great and I love reading about your running. Can't wait to hear more so keep writing!

Thanks for listening

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Total Stud

Look at that boy run!
Nice Stride!

Now that's a good running form!
You've been watching The Big One run his first Cross Country meet. He ran a 20:20 and looked pretty damn good doing it if I do say so myself.
Thanks for listening

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Super Natural Running

Wonderful new theory on running. Not a big Nike fan but this is something I think I could get into.

Check it out

Thanks for listening

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The best you can say

I find myself saying the phrase "The best I can say lately is....". Sometimes life gets like that, or maybe we just sometimes see life that way. Regardless, I think it's always good to at least say the best you can. No need to say the worst. Doesn't make you or anyone else feel any better and, by God, if we're here for nothing else, we should at least try to make each other feel better.

First I have to tell you about The Big One's triathlon last weekend. It's a quick story.

It Didn't Happen.

It seems the fates had different plans for my eldest last weekend. We had gone to a local lake so he could fish while The Little One and I played on the playground. As I'm sitting on a lovely bench in the shade, I see this limping figure coming towards me. Of course I new immediately it had to be my son. Of course! He had stepped on a stick that was sticking straight up out of the ground and it had punctured his sandal and gone into his foot. PERFECT! Lot's of blood and right in the middle of his foot. He swore up and down that he would run the Tri the next day but I knew better. I loved the totally-Willie-like attitude of ignoring the obvious reality of a bloody hole in your foot and committing yourself to go run! Good Lord that's what I gave him??? My totally-screwed up view of reality and need to stand up to totally impossible odds? Go me!

So he woke up the next morning and had a different attitude. Whew! Maybe there's a chance for him yet. He couldn't walk on his foot so he determined it best not to do a Tri. Look at the logic! Ha, that 'a boy!

So that ended that adventure last weekend. We did venture up and watched the Tri. One of my good friends won the Master's division! She ROCKS!

So in my running world things are going pretty well. I'm really trying hard to get my weekly mileage up in the 30-40's. I'm also shying away from the group/social long runs. I really believe I need to get out and put in the long miles in solitude so my head can find that wonderful place it goes to on long runs without the distractions. I think I've become mentally weak. I've also started running at lunchtime which is wonderful for a couple reasons. First, because it's usually HOT and SUNNY! Love that. Second, it gets it done so I don't have to try and fit it in once I get off work. I use those runs just for maintenance miles and try to run 4-6 miles at a steady but not hard pace. Two weeks of that now, hoping it continues.

Next week I am going to start speedwork/hill training again. Tuesday I've made plans to join up with the old gang of track-junkies and get some kind of harder workout done. It will be great to get back with these wonderful people who pushed me so wonderfully through some tough track workouts last spring. They both left town for the summer and we haven't run for some time. Should be wonderful on many levels.

The best I can say right now is that I'm hanging on. I love reading all my blogging friends posts as they make the hanging on that much better. I haven't run off to Alaska, like some people!, but I know I've been absent from the virtual world for awhile.

Thanks for listening

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Fine Evening

I'm writing on my phone so please forgive my thumbs if the stumble on
these tiny keys.

It's a beautiful evening here in fabulous Oklahoma and I'm sitting on
a bench watching the sun kiss the horizon. The Little One is playing
with some new friends he just met on the playground and The Big One is
out riding my bike getting used to the gears because HE'S DOING A

That's right, my boy is going to do another Tri. He's really excited.
This one is an open water swim which he practiced last week and was
great at and he get's to use my bike which will be a big improvement
over his last Tri where he used his mountain bike. He's been running
with the High School (Yes I have a High Schooler now, and yes I feel
horribly old!) cross country team so he should make the run alright.

I'll be there to provide cheering and much embarrasment which is my
role as his adoring father. I was tempted to do it with him but fought
the urge. This will be his moment and his glory. He deserves to have
it all to himself. I'm going to try my best to avoid the advice giving
and guiding as much as possible and let him be in control. I really
want him to experience this on his terms, his triumphs, his mistakes,
his highs, his lows. I want this to be as hard as possible and I want
him to overcome it and feel that amazing feeling of self realization
that comes from it.

We are all flawed in this life and striving and overcoming is a
wonderful way to fall in love with ourselves again and forget those
flaws for awhile. We all deserve to have the opportunity to achieve
something on our own, screwed up, terms.

Can't wait to write the race report!

Thanks for listening

Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, August 9, 2009

16 Miles for a start

I took a step today on my Back to Basics journey. I set aside this morning for nothing but running and it was fabulous. I had the opportunity to run around Lake Draper which has some pretty good hills, which made the run t much better.

I set out around 8:30 which allowed the sun to get really high and hot. Gotta have my sun, sorry Southbaygirl. The first few miles were just amazing. It was quiet, no traffic, and I was running down the middle of the road trying to save the ITBs. I left the Ipod at home so I could let my mind wander. I was really trying to get back in touch with that wonderful old feeling I used to get on Sunday afternoons when I started running. The road twisted and turned and I kept running, just running. My new shoes were doing fine and I was really enjoying their extra cushioning and lighter weight. I loved that I noticed that too. I realized that I had gotten so caught up in other aspects of running that I hadn't thought about my shoes in awhile. I was missing the little things about running that used to give me so much joy. Little things.

I took Paula with me but I didn't pay much attention to her. I was running totally on feeling. I wanted that time on my feet more than I wanted any special time on my watch.

I made it about 8 miles before I started to feel the heat and really start to suffer. I slowed a bit and even walked a little. I was half-way into the run and struggling. This time, though, I refused to get that defeated feeling. Struggling is something I used to do all the time. I've become arrogant enough now, I guess, that I don't expect to feel that way ever! How did I ever get that far gone? I have this bloated self-image that I'm something better than that, like I should never feel tired. Not this time, I accepted my fatigue and even embraced it a litte as a way of getting pasted it. No more denying it can happen.

After a short while I was running again. Running slowly but running none the less. I made it to the turn where the hills began and took a short break. I was pretty beat up and really sun burned. I decided that on these last 3 miles I would run the hills hard and walk the downhills and flat sections. I had run a good 12 miles of easy distance which was enough. Now I'd finish it off with some good hill work and then take the old bones to the house for an ice-bath.

The hills were marvelous! The heat was killing me so I decided to jog the downs and flats just so I could get done sooner. This made for an intense last 3 miles which was the perfect way to cap off this run.

Now here's a little more of that arrogance coming through again. I only did 16 miles and it took me 3 hours so WHY AM I COMPLETELY DEAD? I feel like I've run 2 marathons and then been run over by a truck! Am I that out of shape? I suppose I am and I need to accept it. I must learn to accept my position in regards to training (and other things) and not fool myself into thinking I'm better than I really am. I can do it now that I recognize it for what it is.

You guys and gals keep up the good training. I'm trying to keep up with all your wonderful adventures and successes, sorry if I don't comment all the time but know that I'm giving you a silent WAY TO GO in my heart!

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to Basics

Hey everyone! I am still alive and running, just not blogging much lately. I hope everyone is feeling and running well.


Since San Francisco I’ve run really well. My ITB pain is completely gone and I’m trying to get back in some kind of training rhythm. I’ve also been biking a bit just to mix things up. I like biking but it’s not running and I don’t plan to enter the Tour de France anytime soon so you’re safe Lance. I am still struggling with sleep and it has impacted my ability to run well.


After some brief retrospective (look at that word! Who’s distinguished now???) analysis, I believe part of my problem in San Francisco was a lack of endurance. I had been paying much more attention to the speedwork and tempo runs than to my bread-and-butter weekend long runs. I’m going to remedy this. Time to hit the roads for some serious time on my feet.


I find it kind of funny that I could get to the point where I actually need more long runs. It was not too long ago that I was trying to get more speedwork and tempo runs into my training because it seemed all I was doing were long runs. How could I get this far away from what I absolutely love? I miss you long runs! I miss your relaxing, sun-filled hours of thoughtless running. Those wonderful days spent at Lake Hefner when I would block off an entire afternoon to do nothing but RUN. This is where I found myself a few years ago and now it seems I’ve lost myself again so it’s time to go back “home”. I could go on and bore you with some lengthy, drawn out metaphor about life here but I’m trying to stick to running. Sorry if I’m too deep lately, sometimes my sappy side gets the best of my fingers and they just start typing away. Gotta remember that this is a running blog and not a psychologist’s couch no matter how much I need it to be sometimes.


I’m working out the details of my fall marathon plan. It looks like I’ll be staying local for all my marathons this fall. I just don’t have the time to travel around as much I would like. Right now it looks like the Spirit of Survival marathon in October, Tulsa in November, and Dallas in December. That is more than enough I think. My plans are to concentrate on Tulsa again and use Spirit of Survival as a long training run and Dallas as a backup.


First things first though, I’ve got to get those miles on my feet. Got my plan from Runner’s World Smart Coach and it starts week after next.


Thanks for listening