Saturday, March 28, 2009

Never Again

Remember when I said I wanted it to rain? Remember when I wrote a horrible poem about all the great things rain can do? Remember that??

They've never listened to me before, so who knew they would start now!
It freaking SNOWED yesterday! Hello overachievers!

Last week I wanted to get back to Oklahoma so I could enjoy the sun and 80 degree temps, now it's snowing.

I had a good week of running after last Sunday's little breathing problem. Monday I hit the treadmill just to get my legs loose and did 4 miles. Tuesday I got in some speedwork and Thursday I did a nice 6 mile run.

Saturday I never got out of my pajamas. I smelled, my hair was a mess, I had on the same clothes for over 24 hours. It was wonderful! I think the dog was disgusted by me.

Today I ran with the OKC Marathon training group on the Edmond hills. This is one of my favorite runs. It is close to my house so I can sleep in a few extra minutes and it's all rolling hills which really paid off last year.

Today, however, I did not have a good run. I felt like the Tinman. I started off running with stiff legs and ended up running with, well, stiffer legs. I never found my stride. I was pounding the ground so hard that I was looking for cracks in the pavement. This has happened before but I've never figured out what causes it. I came home and got in an ice bath immediately to try and stave off any potential swelling that I may have caused. I guess we'll see how tomorrow goes.

I'm hoping to increase my mileage this week. I suppose that's a good idea given that I only have 4 weeks until the marathon. Probably too late but we'll see. Speaking of the marathon, this is as good a time as any to tell you about my plans. Anyone ever been to Ft. Collins CO? Well, I've been invited to run that marathon with a big group from the running club. It looks AWESOME! It's all downhill but only a slight grade and it follows a beautiful little river running out of the mountains. They limit the entries to about 800 so it won't be crowded. The flights are only $69 each way. I've got a free room. How could this get any better? Only 1 little problem. It's the week after the OKC Memorial Marathon. So what's a boy to do? I can't miss my 3rd OKC marathon and I can't turn down such a great deal and good marathon. So I'll do both!

This will be my first attempt at running back to back marathons and it could go very badly. I also have to give up any dreams of running a PR at either marathon but that's OK since I don't feel I'm in the kind of shape I need to be anyway. I'll shoot for a PR this summer maybe.

I hope everyone has a good week,

Thanks for listening

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I wish it were raining

Today was another scheduled 20 miler with the running club.

I'm told more often than I like to admit that I'm too old to learn anything new. I suppose the theory is that once you reach a certain age you become set in your ways so much that you can't change even if you want to. Not me! Not today! I learned something new today.

It is possible to fall asleep while running.

I couldn't sleep last night. At all. Not one wink.

I was able to drag my bones out the door on time. I fought sleep all the way to the starting line and took off. It was dark. And warm. I dosed off a little but only for a second.

Now a normal person would probably say, "Gee (I never say Gee), maybe I'm too tired to run 20 miles this morning". Not me. I'm not normal. I kept going.

I made it about 2 miles to the top of the first hill and my body tried a different strategy to force me back to bed. I couldn't breathe. Asthma. Now I should tell you that I have had problems with Asthma in the past but that was a long time ago and it's a demon I thought I'd put behind me. Sort of. I still carry an inhaler on most long runs just because I hate the feeling of suffocating. I know, I know, I'm weird but I like to breathe. A lot. Almost every second. It's just a habit I got into at an early age.

So I had this attack and it stopped me. As soon as I stopped, the sleep bug kicked in again and I staggered back to my truck desperately seeking a deep breathe and a warm bed.

I made it back home and crawled into bed next to the Little One. He's always warm and cuddly when he's sleeping. A few hours later I awoke and decided to go back out again and give running a second try. I made it 5 miles this time and walked another 4. I know when I'm having a bad day, it only takes lack of sleep, an Asthma attack, and a really bad run to convince me. I'm quick like that.

The sky has threatened rain all day but not a drop has fallen. Maybe it's the lack of sleep but I find myself looking forward to some rain. I really want it to rain. Southbay girl says "What?". Yes, Willie wants it to rain. He doesn't know why he wants it to rain but he does.

So, again probably because of no sleep, I had a poem jump into my head about rain. I should apologize now for my poetry. It's really bad but if you're going to read Willie's blog you have to take the worse with the bad.

I wish it were raining
a warm spring rain
with blankets of gray clouds pulled up tight around the horizon's neck

I wish it were raining
because rain makes everything memorable
running, dancing, singing, kissing
transform from blah to a grand in the rain

I wish it were raining
because the weather should match the mood
foul mood and sunny weather make a complicated countenance
singing out of tune, a line delivered perfectly at the wrong time
a mismatch in time

I wish it were raining
to wash my world clean

One final note before I close.

Always is on TV right now. I love this movie, have since I was in school. It has everything that Willie loves. Airplanes, a stubborn pilot, a beautiful woman, and that universal problem of dealing with the future and letting go. If you haven't seen it please do.

Thanks for listening

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Skiing in the Homeland

video

So I'm on vacation from work and basically being a slob. We had a great time skiing with my mom even if we barely caught one of the last days of the snow season. The weather was warm but there was plenty of snow for us to play around on. We spent most of the day on the slopes and then relaxed in the hot tub before heading back home. Everyone had a great time and The Big One really liked his birthday.

I can't breathe here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. It's amazing that I grew up here without any problems because every time I come home now I am a slave to the inhaler and high on allergy medicine. I tried to run a couple times and made it 3 miles once but it wasn't pretty. I tried twice on Wednesday and finally gave up and "borrowed" my mom's gym for an hour on the elliptical.

Tomorrow it's back in the car for 14 hours and eventually home. I hear it's in the 80-90's back in Oklahoma so I'm excited to get some good, long, hot runs in this weekend. 20 miles on Sunday! Can't wait.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, March 14, 2009

roadtrip

as a way of celebrating The Big One's birthday we piled everyone into
the little car and are driving for 14 hours to go skiing in West
Virginia, (pronounced West-by-God-Virginia by us natives.) Just for
fun and because we had an extra square inch, we brought the dog too.

So I'm writing this on my wife's Iphone. Itty-bitty keys. I've got
lot's of time though.

I got back on my normal training plan this week. I did speedwork on
Tuesday but in name only, not much speed in these legs anymore. I hit
the eliptical on Wednesday. I took Thursday off. On Friday I did 9
miles since I knew I wouldn't get a long run this weekend.

Ok, back to scenery watching.

Send some good vibes towards Little Rock tomorrow. G. Stanley is
running the marathon. I can't link on this thing but his blog is
called "The Road to Shambala" and is in my Blog List. Go Glenn!!!!

Thanks for listening

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Stats

I was able to rekindle my relationship with Paula and she provided me with the stats. Turns out, Reese is a wonderful Garmin relationship advisor. Thanks man!



Map
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Splits
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
Gain
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 27+0' 047.1-0.1-36 ft
28' 37+0' 147.0-0.2+43 ft
38' 40+0' 176.9-0.2+7 ft
48' 20-0' 037.2+0.0-29 ft
58' 19-0' 047.2+0.1-32 ft
68' 10-0' 137.3+0.2+3 ft
79' 26+1' 036.4-0.8-3 ft
88' 05-0' 187.4+0.3-17 ft
98' 18-0' 057.2+0.1+17 ft
108' 35+0' 127.0-0.2+30 ft
118' 20-0' 037.2+0.0+23 ft
128' 24+0' 017.1-0.0+10 ft
138' 21-0' 027.2+0.0-66 ft
148' 05-0' 187.4+0.3-39 ft
158' 07-0' 167.4+0.2+13 ft
168' 38+0' 156.9-0.2+52 ft
177' 58-0' 257.5+0.4+23 ft
188' 38+0' 156.9-0.2+39 ft
198' 26+0' 037.1-0.0-20 ft
208' 17-0' 067.2+0.1-10 ft
end7' 59-0' 247.5+0.4-6 ft
Versus average of 8' 23 min/mile

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Most of a 20 miler

We have been extremely blessed here in Oklahoma this week by the weather Gods. So much so that I was able to pull the motorcycle out and ride to work on Thursday and Friday. She was so happy when I came into the garage early Thursday morning. She jumped to life and purred all the way to work. It's becoming that time of year again and I can't wait. Bring on the 110 degrees! My white, pale skin is ready for some color.

As I've said before, I'm also blessed with a great job that allows me to get out of the office on Friday's and run in the afternoon. I call it my afternoon at the Lake because I usually go to Hefner (surprise, surprise) and run a lap. This Friday, however, we had a snag at work and I wasn't able to get out until after 4 PM. Life is hard, I know you're crying for me. I ran 6 miles with a buddy and he really pushed me. I was feeling tired and tight and wouldn't have run at all if if weren't for him. Good to have friends. At the end of the run my knee was feeling a little tight but so was the rest of my body so I wasn't too concerned.

On Saturday I was planning to run the Creek Classic 10K for some speedwork but my knee was still tight so I skipped it. I spent the day resting and icing my knee. I REALLY wanted to get a good long run on Sunday.

So I was planning to run most of the 20 miler today with the OKC Memorial Marathon Training group. The run today was on the actual course and I love those runs. We start in front of the Memorial and then run through some really cool parts of the city. I met up with my training buddy from last year and we ran together. We also met up with a group of guys that included the OKC Memorial Marathon race director. He's the guy who organized this marathon 8 years ago and has run it ever since. And when I say "run it" I mean run it. He not only is the director, he runs his own race every year. That can't be easy but it's impressive and let's him see how things are going first hand. That's something I respect. Very nice guy. I felt good most of the way and we were putting in some 8- 8:20/min miles easily. My knee was tight most of the way but I never had pain. By the 17 mile mark my quads were really trashed though. I don't remember hitting any hard up or down hills which is what usually causes that pain so I suppose it's just my legs not being used to the distance. I told myself, "duh! that's why you're running this today dummy, to get used to the distance again."

So I ran the full 20 miles today. Yea, I got "most" of it, just like I said I would. Paula froze up on me as soon as I stopped he though so I don't have any stats to look at/analyze/fuss over/re-analyze/be the nerdy geek that I am. This is driving me crazy. I read how to do a master reset on her but I don't want to lose my run from today so I'm just letting her set awhile. I suppose I've offended her in some way and she just needs to cool off. I've told her I'm sorry a million times but it doesn't ring true when you don't really know what you're apologizing for.

Thanks for listening

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Birthday my son

I started this on Thursday but just today got back to it. I decided to leave the what I'd already written so it's written kinda in the past.

Today is was my oldest son's birthday. You know, the big one, he's 14, he outruns me.

To celebrate we went to the Cheesecake Factory. He really didn't want a bunch of attention so we had the waiters sing to him. Wonderful parents we. He is such a great kid. I honestly couldn't ask for a better son. He gets my sense of humor and he likes many of the same things I do. I believe that God gave me exactly what I needed when he gave me that little alien-looking troll 14 year ago today. Smart guy that God.

I had to explain to him tonight how I struggle as a parent to both respect his privacy and snoop just enough to know that he's not starting down a slippery slope of trouble. This arose from an incident a few days ago when I was caught reading his text messages. He was rightfully upset with me and I felt like I'd stepped over a line. In the end we made up and could laugh about it. I did make it clear to him tonight that I will read/snoop/pry/dig into his life if I feel the need. He's not old enough to avoid all the pitfalls life has to throw at him nor should he have to be. He has parents for a reason, we need to shelter him a little and keep the REALLY bad things from happening or going to far. The other things he will just have to learn on his own and it will make him a stronger man in the end.

I left him with the notion that I will get into his life when I feel the need. Right now, however, I don't feel the need because he's a great kid.

Later that night I found him laying in my bed watching TV. I grabbed a baby picture off the dresser and sat down beside him. I started recalling all the great moments from when he was a baby and how cute he was. I was on an emotional roll. Then he stopped me. Took the picture out of my hand and said, "Dad, this is my brother's baby picture".

Go me! Dad of the year!

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lost

Tonight I was planning to run about 6 miles easy. Key word in the sentence is 'was'.

A little background. I live near a park with a nice running trail. The problem is that there is no easy way to get to this park from where I live. It is exactly one block Northwest of my house but the sidewalks end on every street that runs to the park! This means I have to leave the relative safety of the sidewalk and run on the few inches of leftover pavement the road builders put down. This puts me at the mercy of every hyper-caffeinated, cell-phone chatting, make-up applying, minivan-driving, Mario Andretti wanna-be, soccer mom trying to get their little heathens delivered to said park for soccer/football/lacrosse practice. I like living on the edge but not that much.

So they built a new Lowes on one of the streets leading to the park and in the area where that street didn't have a sidewalk. So I thought I'd run up there and see if getting to the park had gotten any easier. It hadn't. Good thing I had my Road ID. Almost got to use it tonight.

I made it to the park but noticed that I was going to get more than 6 miles if I ran a lap of the park and then returned the way I'd come. So I thought (first mistake) I'd look for a shorter route back to my house. A friend who lives up in that area had mentioned that there was a path through a nearby housing complex that could help me avoid the road-with-no-sidewalks and get me back in a more direct way. I got on that trail, the problem was I couldn't figure out how to get off it. I was in one of those housing developments with many turns and dead ends. At 7 miles I knew I was in trouble. It was getting colder and I still didn't know how to get out of the complex and back to a street I recognized. I eventually saw the road I wanted to be on but couldn't get to it because everyone on the street I was on had large privacy fences that I wasn't sure I could climb. Probably had large dogs too.

Then I saw my salvation in the form of a water drain that ran between two houses and there was only a small chain-link fence between me and the road. I went for it. Did I mention the dogs? They didn't like me. They sure as hell didn't like me climbing the fence but I made it. This put me in a construction site. It seems they are tearing up this road. Nice. It hasn't rained in Oklahoma for weeks, months maybe but guess what I found on the other side of this fence. Mud. lot's of mud. I love my shoes. I love them like children. My children got dirty. And heavy. And when I ran clumps flew off of them.

So this construction put a damper on my direct route home. I couldn't get across the mess so I had to head directly South and was planning to go all the way to the end of the block, UNTIL, I saw the field. Nothing in the field so why couldn't I just run across this field, cross the Railroad tracks, and make a direct line home? So I did. Did you know they put fences along Railroad tracks now days? I didn't. They use barbed wire too. Luckily I looked around and found a place where I could squeeze under one piece of fence and over another. Ha! Nothing can stop Willie now. There was a cemetery on the other side of the tracks. Why would you put a fence around a cemetery? Don't want anyone to escape? Afraid people will be dying to get in? Crowd control? At this point I was committed so I had to just climb the damn thing and no, it wasn't in a cool way either. It was done in an old-man, butt hanging out, uncoordinated kind of way.

Don't worry I made it home safe and sound. I know you were worried! Stop laughing!

Almost 9 miles on a 6 mile run.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My dead body

I'm still feeling good about the race on Saturday and my body hasn't retaliated yet either. Life is good.

Some totally random thoughts.

I received a gift certificate for a Road ID for Christmas. I put off ordering the thing for a long time for the following reason. I don't like planning my own demise. You see in Willie's mind, buying a Road ID, i.e. a body tag, is way to much planning for my own death. The purpose of a Road ID is to give some stranger information about me at a time when I can't because I'm dead or near dead. Wonderful thought! I don't plan things I enjoy, I'm sure as heck not going to put much thought into this little event in my life. Of all things I want to be totally random and unplanned, this would top the list. In the end, I gave in and ordered the stinking thing because of the following little gem of Willie wisdom. I don't want my kids to worry about what happened to me any longer than necessary. If I die I want the important people in my life to know about it ASAP. No sitting around and wondering if I just found a great new bar during my long run, I want them to know I've finally bought the farm and they can start the inheritance process (that final cruel joke I'll play on them, much like the "college fund" I tell them about! Ha, you wish!)

I said I am still reveling in the joy I found during Saturday's race. Well as I was perusing the race results AGAIN, I noticed that in the overall results I was 17th and in the overall male results I was 12th. That means that there were 5 women ahead of me in the top 15. A woman was 3rd overall in fact! I vaguely remember that as I was nearing the turn-around there was a women in 2nd place. How cool is that? Now you may think I'm just sucking up here since I'm well aware that the majority of the readers of this blog are women but I'm not (OK maybe a little, I'm still very afraid of RBR). I really do think this is cool.

I hit the Elliptical tonight for 45 minutes as a way of giving my knee another break. I'll run tomorrow night but haven't decided if I'll do the speedwork I'm supposed to do. I'm going to race a 10K this Saturday and figure that will suffice for my speedwork. We'll see. The weather in Oklahoma is going to be WONDERFUL this week. They say we could hit 86 on Thursday (be jealous, be very jealous). It will, of course, be sunny also so this is perfect weather for me. I'll take it.
My apologies to Southbay girl who I know hates warm sunny weather since she's cursed with it 364 days a year in southern California.



Here's a picture from Saturday's race a friend sent me. It was cold if you can't tell.


Thanks for listening