Saturday, May 31, 2008

Oak Apple Run

After an indoor season of training @ play cafe's, swimming, and once the weather broke hopping on his trusty 16" Trek, Little Dirt Dawg was more than fit and ready to tackle the 31st edition of the Oak Apple Run and the kids 1/4 mile dash. In fact this morning, after I got home from running the 10k, Little Dirt Dawg stated that he was going to run so fast that everyone was going to feel his air!
Outfitted in his fast shoes and glasses, Little Dirt Dawg takes a moment to center himself and get ready.
After a crowded start, Little Dirt Dawg managed to show good form as he headed into the homestretch.
Upon receiving his trophy, Little Dirt Dawg stated, " I have never gotten a trophy before."

Why I have never run this race before is beyond me and seeing that the start line is a mere mile away and covers most of the area in which i due my runs I have no valid excuse. However, that being said and the fact that I am going to pace Dirrty Girl @ the Dexter 1/2 marathon tomorrow, I thought I would use it as an opportunity to check my fitness.

The temp @ the start was a mere 67 degrees, but 84% humidity. I thought that around 42 minutes would be a solid effort. Timing chips were provided, but oddly enough there was no timing chip mat at the start, so off I went with my Garmin to give me splits:

Mile 1 - 6:34
Mile 2 - 6:16
Mile 3 - 6:28
Mile 4 - 6:34
Mile 5 - 6:29
Mile 6.2 - 7.53

Official Time from RunMichigan.Com - 40:34
Garmin Time: 40:13
Avg. per mile: 6:29
Placing: 33rd overall out of 762 finishers
Age Group: 4th in 30-34 male out of 68 finishers

I felt really good, but did start to feel like i was fading the last mile or so due to the humidity. A friend of mine said speedwork makes a difference. I am inclined to agree.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America

During the late 1920's and early 1930's, a "marathon" craze swept the nation. We are not talking about the 26 mile 385 yard feat that is more associated with that word, but marathons of all sorts. Dance, Flagpole sitting, coffee drinking, and even talking marathons were the standard fare along with the bipedal races we commonly know and seemed to be more a testament to one's will than anything.

C.C. Pyle envisioned a coast to coast run (The Bunion Derby) in 1928 whereby entrants would run across the country in hopes of securing a $25,000 first place prize all for a $125 entry fee. 199 participants took on the challenge to run over 3, 000 miles averaging 40 miles a day on poorly constructed roads, shoes and diets. Just over 50 finished. The winner? One 20 year old Andy Payne who not only did it for his family, but more importantly to get a girl to recognize him.

Not quite as entertaining as Flanagan's Run, which is a fictional account of the Bunion Derby, but then again C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America was not meant to be entertaining in that sense. What it does do is give you an intimate, no holds barred account of men who struggled every day to get out on the road and face themselves and their own physical and mental limitations.

Overall a great read that more than anything forces me to look at those times when I am tired and say I have had enough. Have I? Can I go one step more?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Being Green

In the face of $4 per gallon for petro, the onset of what I hope is summer weather, and the fact that Royal Oak and surrounding communities are easily accesible by bike or foot, today was the first of many i am sure in which in all errands are done w/o the use of the automobile.

Important to note that you can fit 2 bags of groceries
(for super nachos) in the back of the doodlebug.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Into the Wild

“Think about all the evil in the world, all the hatred, and imagine yourself running against the forces of darkness, the evil wall that was trying to keep us from our best.” Chris McCandless

I am no Alexander Supertramp

I will not give all my savings to charity

I can not abandon my car and most of my possessions

I will not burn all the cash in my wallet

However different it seems that Chris “Alexander Supertramp” McCandless might be, there is one thing we have in common; running can be compared to an intensely spiritual exercise verging on religion. Hours on the road has provided ample time to allow thoughts to unfold, diatribes to be dissected, and reflections to be considered. I like to think of running as my weekly confessional, self talk therapy, and self medication that is as equally effective as sitting in a pew listening to a diatribe. And although I don’t stick my thumb out or walk off the map, there are times out on the road that I do feel like I have run into the wild.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

D.D.M.C. #5 +++

There were no takers, so the run began promptly @ 6:26 am. Admittedly, I was nervous, because the forecast predicted rain and a quick check of the radar before I left indicated a large mass of green moving towards Kensington. Never fear, not a drop fell the entire time.

Once i got there, temps were hovering around 59 degrees, and i decided that i would do a loop around Kensington Metro Park before gearing up and heading out towards Island Lake. There were a number of cyclists getting ready for the Tour of Kensington Valley Road Race as I made my way around but they were not riding on the path so I ran pretty easily.

Getting back to my car, I loaded up the waist pack with water, hammer gels, the shuffle, and headed off to run the trails @ Island Lake. Just before getting to the trailhead I hit the halfway mark of the D.D.M.C. #5 and thought that with the distance still ahead I might be over the marathon mark by a bit. A cool breeze and pristine trails awaited me. I hit the the marathon mark on the trails in 3 hr 55 min and stopped to refill a water bottle at the hand pump upon exiting the trails.

I had maintained a run 18 min/walk 2 min pace throughout the marathon and scaled it back to run 15 min/walk 5 min until I got back to the car. I felt great the entire time, and got about 13+ miles of trails in my first time out this year. Along the run got to thinking that maybe another 50 miler is in store this fall?

Total Distance: 31. 38 miles
Total Time: 4 hr 45 min
Average Pace: 9:05/mile
Marathon Time: 3 hr 55 min

Post run recovery included meeting up with some of the participants from the Tour of Kensington Valley Road Race which included the 4th and 14th plance finishers in Cat 1/2 and the overall winner and 10th place finisher in Cat 3 for some cowboy pops.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

D.D.M.C. #5 - Open Invite

Date: Saturday May 17th
Place: Kensington Metro Park
Time: 6:30 a.m. Or thereabouts

Feel free to join me for a loop or two or three for the 5th D.D.M.C. Easy pace, good course ( there will of course be some ashphalt gobbling 2 wheeled race going on) and probably will have some extra gels and such.

Please email me indicating your interest:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Benefits of Back to Back

"The value of the back-to-back is that you learn what it's like to run when you're not fresh. You learn about how to motivate yourself when you think, I don't want to run anymore; this is harder than I thought. But I'd rather do one longer run and then rest. Back-to-backs waste a whole weekend. If you do one longer run on Saturday, you can mow the lawn on Sunday"
Tim Twietmeyer

Until my recent marathon PR and subsequent thoughts about Boston, I have been looking towards using this year as a base for making a run at a 100 miler next year. So while I have begun to slowly add more speedwork (YUCK!), my mind really leans more towards longer runs. Last weekend, I ran 7+ on Saturday and followed it up with 18+ on Sunday for a total just over 26 miles.

This weekend, I set a goal of 2 hours runs on both Saturday and Sunday. I figured Saturday would be fairly easy, and then today, with the legs kind of tired i would add a bit more walking in and just see how I felt. Saturday, I ended up with 12.13 miles in 2 hours for an average of 9:53/mile. I ran for 18 minutes and then walked for 2 minutes and then repeated. So I ran for about 1 hr 48 min and walked for 12. Garmin indicated an aerobic workout. Felt fresh when I ended the run but by the end of the day was pretty wiped.

Waking up this morning, I know it is Mother's Day, henceforth the start of the run @ 5:17 am, and decided on running 25 minutes and walking 5 minutes. In the end, 20 min of walking and 1 hr 40 min of running, yielding 12.35 miles. Interestingly enough, I averaged 9:42 per mile and the Garmin indicated that this was a recovery run?

For all intensive purposes, I would like to try this every couple of weeks, sandwiched in between my D.D.M.C. efforts to continue building the base. I would like to just run long on one day and rest the next day and maybe that will happen once summer rolls around, but even if I have to break it up like I did, I was still home in time to as the kids were waking up. Wasn't very hard to motivate myself, especially since I had my Ipod shuffle and listened to several podcasts, one of which, Running with the Pack, is pretty interesting.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Marathon of sorts

It is a hard job but someone has to support the team. My training has been diligent, i have scouted parking spots for the best prices, cooked enormous amounts of nitrate encased dogs to familiarize myself with the smells of the park, and donned my tiger gear in eager anticipation.

3 games this week in 4 nights against the vaunted red sox and yankees. Good thing i get up so early to run in the morning.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Running things you could buy instead of...

purchasing the "motherload" of vacuum cleaners, as Dirrty Girl described the purchase. Got me thinking. What running related things could you buy instead of this?

Some quick computations resulted in the following list: (* note approximate costs)

602 Gu/Hammer Gels @ $.88 each (cost after purchasing 12 or more at REI)

5.95 pairs of shoes @ approximate cost of $ 89.99 per pair

1 Garmin Forerunner 305 and 205... one for you and one for a friend

10 1gb Ipod shuffles

3 4gb Ipod Nanos and Ipod Nike Sensor Kits

4 entries into the 2008 Detroit Free Press Marathon during early registration

35 pairs of Smartwool running socks

Thursday, May 01, 2008

No MoGo

After 385 miles and 2 D.D.M.C's they quietly whispered enough. No longer would they accompany on early morning rambles or Fun Runs @ school. Hard to let go, but it is for the best. Thank you for sharing the road.