Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another week down

Another great week of running for old Willie. Somehow I've gotten used to running in the mornings. I suppose, like so many other things in life, it's all about motivation. Lately I've been on this kick of wanting to run everyday of the week and those morning runs are the only way to make that happen for me.

I ran a great 10 miles this morning with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon training group and, once again, pushed the pace for the entire run. I'm beginning to look forward to these long, hard runs every week. I'm back to my old plan of 1 speed workout, 1 tempo run, and 1 long run a week along with those easy morning runs thrown in for good measure. The difference is that the long run is now done at a challenging pace and is no longer an easy distance run for me. I think it's really helping me settle into the faster pace. This could be total BS but it's working for me so I'll ride it out and see where it takes me.

We got hammered with ice and snow this week in the greater Oklahoma City area. I had to leave work at 11 on Thursday and worked from home on Friday. What this means is that I put my pajamas on Thursday at noon and didn't take them off until Friday at about 4 PM. I actually got a lot of work done from home which is amazing considering I stopped at the wine store on the way home Thursday to stock up on "necessities". I did miss my Thursday run but I knew it was coming so I put in some extra miles Sunday through Wednesday so I could take Thursday and Friday off without impact to my training or my mental state.

I'm running the Austin marathon in a couple weeks and I'm hoping for a decent run. I've never been to Austin so I'm also looking to have some fun in, what I'm told is, a great town. That shouldn't be a problem since we've got a great group of runners going down. I believe we could have fun at an insurance seminar.

You guys and gals keep your heads up and keep running. There always seems to be a light at the end of every tunnel and there's some love to be found in everyone. Keep your ego low and your sights set on others.

Thanks for listening

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sticking with what you know

There are many things in this crazy world that I just don't understand. I'll never understand why hulu-hoops are so damn fun for instance. For the most part I don't worry about not understanding things. I've come to accept that I'll walk through life in a daze regarding some things. They just aren't that important to me so I don't take the time to find out about them. Some things, however, continuously frustrate me because they are important to me and I just don't seem to understand how to do them.

I guess in Willie's world it's OK to not understand something as long as you haven't tried to get it. It's NOT OK for Willie to try to figure something out over and over again and still not get it. This just will not do. No no, will not do at all.

The most common of these things that stump me fall into some type of category dealing with an emotion. Damn things those emotions! Both good and bad, I just don't understand them.

Maybe that's why I enjoy running so much. It gives me a simple opportunity to experience some emotions but I get to do it on my terms. It's a personal thing that doesn't require anyone else to be involved. I can have really high highs and really low lows and they are all self-induced. For the most part I still don't totally understand why they come about but I can spend some time trying to figure that out without causing someone else any problems. It's my chance to learn in a controlled environment if you will.

Now I won't fool you into thinking that each run is a science experiment. Most of my runs are filled with a whole lot of sweat and nothing more. But every now and then I get the chance to learn a little something new and that's pretty darn cool.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wow that was fast.... but not fast enough

I had a great run on Saturday. It was the group run with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon training gang. We ran 12 miles on the Oklahoma City river trails. I'm not a big fan of these trails but yesterday I really enjoyed them.

I hooked up with a great friend who pushed me through every inch of those 12 miles. He kept speeding up and I kept hanging on. I started worrying about the pace around mile 2 and it got worse as we continued. By mile 7, though, I got that crazy-Willie-screw-it feeling and stopped worrying and just went with it. Don't know why I always equate running with bull riding in those situations but I do and my standard saying/thought is "if you're gonna ride, ride it till she bucks you". So that's what I did. Luckily I didn't get bucked and I made the 12 miles in 1:31 minutes. I was beat-up and beat-down and dead tired the rest of the day but it felt great and I'm so pleased that I was able to do it.

Now here's the depressing thought I had later that night. We averaged around 7:30 per mile on the run and it was extremely hard for me to do that. My Boston qualifying time is 3:15 which is 7:28 per mile. So if I could run that extremely hard pace I ran yesterday for another 14.2 miles I still would NOT qualify for Boston. Ha! A nice reality check for Willie. Oh well, I like running well and I'm still blessed that I can do it so screw Boston.

Thanks for listening

Monday, January 18, 2010

Brief rant

The worst thing about getting older is nose hairs.

WTF?? Where did these things come from? Didn't have them when I was younger, why now?

Thanks for listening

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coming up for air

I hope to never stop learning in this life that I lead. Fortunately my absent-minded nature provides me limitless opportunities to learn new things about myself.

I would like to write here that I'm not one to be given to getting caught up in things to the point where I don't see the world around me as it truly is. I would love to say that I always keep my head and wits about me. Sadly I can't write these things because that would make my fingers out to be liars and my fingers don't deserve that kind of scorn.

So here's the question I'm struggling with: At what point should you question your wants and desires? It's OK to want something but every now and then you should take a moment to stop and question that desire to make sure it hasn't become something damaging or disruptive. If you've changed your life and attitude significantly as a result of something you want is it a good change or a bad one? It's foolish to not ask these questions periodically and I haven't been very good about analyzing myself lately.

A harsh but effective way to force this analysis is to take away the desire. It's almost impossible for me to do this on my own accord but the object of my desire sometimes forces my head above water to take a breathe of self-analysis. It takes me some significant wrangling with anger and disappointment before I understand how beneficial the loss is but, in the end, I usually end up seeing the light and making some meaningful changes. I'm stubborn and childish that way.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, January 10, 2010

So Far

So far it's been a good year for Willie.
My running looks like this:
Sunday - Yoga
Monday - I think I ran but can't remember, i.e. I'm FREAKIN OLD!
Tuesday - 5 miles on some good hills
Wednesday - 4 miles around my neighborhood
Thursday - 4 VERY COLD miles in the morning and Yoga in the afternoon
Friday- Rested
Saturday - 8 EXTREMELY COLD miles with the marathon training group

I'm hoping to get out later today and add some to that. Running is enjoyable and I'm actually looking forward to the miles. I've been trying to run the weekend training group runs hard (sub 8 minute pace) and use the weekly miles to recover and get some time on my legs.

In other news, things have settled into a routine pace again. I'm learning how to do this life and what I mean by that is that I'm really not good at it but I may be able to see where I'm going now at least. I have some wonderful people around me that are patiently teaching me. Couple this with 2 wonderfully understanding children and there is a bit of light shining through. Running is my therapy

Congrats to Southbay girl for running a great race today. Also congrats to RBR for finding the courage to register for another one of those swim-ride-run things. You gals are keeping me going and I can't wait to read all about your adventures.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010

All things must come to an end and just this week the year 2009 did just that. It ended. As a fitting tribute to 2009 I decided the best way to witness the end was to run through it. So a few of us got together at our beloved Lake Hefner at 11:45 and took off running into the night. It wasn't a fast run and it wasn't a long run it was just a run. A run with a few friends of like mind who wanted to do something to see the old year go and usher in the new one. We talked a lot and, at least for me, thought a lot. All in all it was a wonderfully joyous and sad moment all wrapped into a frigid few miles.

We met again at 11 AM on New Year's day to run some quality miles with a larger group. It was still cold and we all struggled a little (read that: Hung Over) but we were out there, running, because that's what we do. After the run the TRI-OKC club was holding a Polar Bear Plunge at the lake and I made the horrible decision (read that: Peer Pressure) to participate. I'm not sure what the actual temperature was at the time I stripped down to my running shorts and entered Lake Hefner but I know it was really cold. I went in all the way to my neck just to be sure I felt the full experience. I'm glad I did it but it did hurt more than I anticipated.

Saturday, January 2nd, was the first day of the OKC Memorial Marathon training which my running club sponsors every year and is the program that began my participation in the club a couple years ago. We had another HUGE group of people show up in the freezing single digit temperatures at 7 AM to run 6 miles. I decided to run the short distance at a hard pace just to determine my current fitness level. I ran with my good friends Bill and Dave who set a deliciously fast pace. The answer to my question is that I'm not where I'd like to be but I am not as far removed from the goal as I feared. More miles and a little speedwork and I can get there.

I hope all of you out there in blog-land had a great Christmas and New Year. If you made resolutions I hope I can give you some help in keeping them this year. I don't make resolutions at the beginning of a new year but I do strive for continuous self-analysis and improvement. One thing this has led me to is the realization that the thing that makes me happiest is to give encouragement to others. My life goes astray when I'm too focused on me and my needs. My goal is to provide more to this small section of cyber-space than I take from it.

Continuous Forward Progress my friends, thanks for listening