Wednesday, April 30, 2014

26 April 2014

Thursday has become my day for speedwork; this time it was 5 x 1 mile. Decided to go back to the camp ground loop in the state park and run on the macadam roads (I do most of my speed work off road either on the inner island dirt connector roads, or around a soccer/ softball field at Chappelle Park). Also donned a new pair of Saucony Viratas. (love the smell of a new pair of running shoes). There’s something familiar and strangely comforting going to run real hard in known places…perhaps a physiological understanding that I can and will survive such challenging work outs. And the familiarity of where and when certain levels of pain tend to kick in … and sort of an internal yardstick which automatically measures the way thru it.

Ran the first mile in 6:35 and the next 4 all in the 6:20s on about a 2:10- 2:20 rest cycle. Felt pretty strong; pleased with the effort and the fact that I seem to be where I want to be fitness wise right now. At then end of a 4 week ramp up… averaging about 50 miles per week. Half marathon coming up on May4. Would like to take a run at sub 1:30.

Participated in Relay for Life late Friday night at Ashley HS. Almost indescribably exotic running on the track (clockwise for some reason) in the humid, heavier air we had at 3,4 o’clock in the morning. Quite emotionally moving too considering of course the cause… and the visuals of hundreds of white bags with lit candles inside lining the track. Thought about Cathy Jo later in the run. Flashbacked to first talking to her at track meets and practices on the old cinder track in Lehighton some 20+ years ago. And Mom and Dad and their battles with the big C. Said a few prayers for Cathy Jo up in heaven and her family and loves ones here on earth. Said a prayer for Mrs Bernard too. Ran about 7 miles with a guy named Mark I met with the WRRC, and a few laps with Drew. Asked him about 100 miler he did (Graveyard 100 Outer Banks) and talked about some ultras coming up. Mark and I got a good run in (I did 7 miles)…  knocked out some low 7 minute miles. Put down 8 more miles then after a short break; ran a little with Lisa and Jill. Talked about Gator 50K and perhaps doing again next year. Met a guy named Peyton who ended up putting down an impressive 27 miles. Were a few others out on the track walking as well, and some young boys playing soccer at one end of the football field. A young girl offered me and Mark orange slices when we passed by on one of our many laps.  Felt blissfully tired as I walked off the track at 5am to head home, and blessed to be right where I was at that very moment

Maybe that’s the true art of living well………………..

30 April 2014

Found a speaker I can hook my iPod into. I like to listen to music, especially hard rock or metal when I do a core workout. Today it was Metallica’s “And Justice for All”.  Did 5 sets of planks at 45 to-50 seconds per pose, followed by 135 sit-ups. (broken into 2 sets: 110, 25), Have been trying to stay diligent and consistent with my ancillary work… core, and strength/ upper body 2xs each per week. Plus the myrtle routine after most runs. Want to also add lunges (without weight) at some point after Sunday’s half marathon.  I was never one to stick with all this extra stuff separate from running, or I would for a few weeks or maybe say 2 months and gradually fall away from it. But I’m not only noticing slight changes in physique, but more importantly small changes running wise, such as being a bit stronger on longer runs, and a bit more mechanically fluid when I’m running faster. Also it serves the body in allowing one to run more mileage without (knock on wood) getting injured.

5.5 miles earlier today n the humidity of late morning. Inner island road loop that I’ve modified to loop around another drainage pond and not be quite so out and back. Plus now I like to see if the gator is out at the one pond… wasn’t today. Cut pace down to 6:20ish last quarter to half mile on Lake Park road. Overall hi 7s pace, wanted to push a little but not too much.

Talking to Natasha about Iron Mountain the last few days, registration opens on June1. Stoked for the challenge of doing the 50 miler this year. She’s going to bump up from the 16 to the 30 miler that I ran last Labor Day weekend. Iron Mountain or bust. Would like to document more my training for it. Last year was such an incredible experience, from the comraderie of the participants, to the sheer beauty of the wilderness trails scissoring on top of and up and down the mountain range in southwestern Virginia. And Alex with his cowbell in the woods. Paul’s 12 year old son cheering us all on.

21 April 2014

Solid 10 mile cutdown run today. 1:11+ in fairly windy conditions. At first my legs felt non responsive, a bit heavy… but after a half mile or so they loosened up. By mile 5 I was churning out sub seven minute miles with moderate effort, not killing myself… but sort of a steady work man like gliding. Hit the wind miles 6 and 7 headed up Canal Drive towards the North End of Carolina Beach; registered one mile a little over 7. But the way back I even pulled back a quarter to a half gear as I ended with a 6:41 mile. Thought about the Boston Marathon only once or twice; had a message from a friend when I woke up about Shalane Flanangan in front and how she was a UNC grad. Told him I had seen her up in PA two falls ago at races (Runner’s World Festival in Bethlehem).

Trying to get back to writing this blog and writing in general. Of course what else should I predominately write about than running. Perhaps I should try my hand at some non fiction running type stuff, a.l.a The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner,  Maybe I need some more education (like Neal Cassaday coming to Kerouac and Ginsburg, asking them to teach him how to write). But its more a matter of dedication and inspiration. Though a little education never hurts.

Being able to get onto paper or translate from experience to words such things like yesterday’s runs the sound of frogs all croaking/ singing in the state park making one loud eerie beautiful cascading din... that wafted out the dark, murky swamps... thru the trees.... and into the dreary late morning fog. (when I first heard this noise I had no idea what it was). Or the look some deer gave me as I ran down one of the wooded trails… for a few seconds it just stood and watched me… as I watched it… from maybe 20 feet away… til it turned and bounded effortlessly thru the forest… and I then ran on.
Being a part of people’s’ lives, people I’m blessed to call friends… who get into running and maybe ask me questions, or tell me about their latest run… or ask about some race they want to register for. How for those fleeting moments and I can give back to the sport that has given so much to me. I can root them onward, upward…