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Friday, August 31, 2012

Had Fun on my Temp Run

Well, that workout yesterday was successful.  My 6 mile tempo run called for (3-2-1).  3 miles easy, 2 miles and 5K pace + 25-30 seconds, and 1 mile cool down.

I knocked out the "tempo" miles 4 & 5 in 8:33 & 8:25.  Since I have not run a 5K in over a decade, I honestly didn't know what pace to shoot for on this workout.  Actually, I haven't run a race shorter a half marathon in two or three years.  I know, I know...I've read a hundred times that one should race some shorter distances as part of training...even marathon training.  Oh well, one more thing I don't do.

Regardless of what pace I needed to run, it felt good and there was still some fuel left...which is still probably a tad fast since I read in a couple of places that 5K + 30 seconds should be somewhere between your 10K and half marathon paces.  Using this standard, it was probably a shade too fast.

The good news today is that I feel good today without any soreness.  After 15 miles this week already, that's a little shocking.  I mentioned my former training schedules in my previous post.  I should crack over 30 this week.  I honestly believe that in some years of marathon training I only surpassed 30 weekly miles for one or two weeks (these weeks included a 20 mile long run).  It sounds impossible, but there might have been a marathon or two in which I never hit 30 miles in a week.  Don't believe me?  20 mile long run, and two or three 3 milers during the week.  That is 29 miles.  No wonder I never got injured due to adding mileage too fast.  I simply took my Saturday morning runs slowly from 6 or so miles up to 20.

I don't recommend that version..clearly I'm not a coach.  If you think you've hit the wall hard at 18 or 20 miles, I certainly have some stories to match.

Downside of this week was dinner last night.  We went out with family to one of our favorite local mexican food joints.  I had dreaded it all day because I really didn't want to eat poorly.  My weight was just getting down to where I wanted it for the probable increase in training ahead.  I HAVE NO WILL POWER.  I shall spare the details, but somehow I couldn't find anything sorta healthy or even remotely portioned properly.  I had one huge, super honking plate of food and ate most of it.  I'm still full.

It was good, but was not worth it.

Big long run tomorrow... a test for what may lie ahead.  Should I pick a race and torcher myself again? Man, I just don't know.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tempo Run?

I have to do something tomorrow morning that I don't believe I've ever done before.


Twenty years of running. Intervals. A hand full of hill workouts. Fartleks....which I
don't dare say around my kids. My training schedule calls for a tempo run. A 6 (3-2-1). I had to do a Google search to make sure I really knew what that meant.

Oh, and yes...I'm following a training plan. One that is actually not my own concoction. It is hard to believe that I've completed 8 marathons with plans modified to fit my schedule and my running style. That means low mileage during the week and long runs up to 20 miles on Saturday morning. This was followed by an afternoon of drinking beer, eating pizza and watching college football. The result, not surprisingly, was slower and slower times.

When I struggled across the finish in Chicago on 10/10/10, I promised myself that if I ever ran another marathon (and this was a big if) that I would work harder and get faster before I even began training.

It is not that slow bothers me all that much. I was actually running with a great attitude and just enjoyed being out there. I just think that humid morning in Chicago broke me.

That I'm on a plan at all is odd. I have not even committed to a race. I guess I'm training in secret. It is probably because doing it this way allows me to back off at anytime without having to tell anyone. O.K., I have issues...maybe we will explore this another day.

Anyway, in the morning I rock a tempo run. 3 miles easy, 2 miles at 30 seconds slower than 5k pace and a 1 mile cool down. I've run workouts similar in the past...they just didn't have an official title.

Now, if I just knew what my 5k pace was....

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Conejos River Valley


Refresh, Renew, Rejoice

For nearly a decade now, I’ve spent one week a year in southern Colorado fly fishing, resting and running.  My family and I rent a series of cabins on the Conejos River.  From the porch you can hear the rush of the water day and night.  This place is special like no other.  I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life and this place just keeps drawing me back.
Conejos River

When I return from one of these trips, I’m often asked about the fishing.

“How was the fishing?”

“It was ok, not great.”

“Not great? Why do you keep going back?

And that my friends is a question I cannot completely answer.  It is quite complex, yet it is really quite simple.  Being around family.  Limited access to technology…heck, you have to drive 15 to 20 minutes to get a reliable cell phone signal.  Mostly home cooked meals save for the dinners we have the day we arrive at the local restaurant.  Cool air.  Afternoon showers. Nature….

I could go on seemingly forever if I sat here and just jotted down anything that came to mind.

My Fishin'  Porch
It takes a few days to slow down enough mentally to not feel guilty about sitting on the porch for extended periods of time staring off into space.  Maybe holding a book, but not turning a page.  Someone might ask what you’re doing.  You can confidently say “nothing” and then go back to doing it.

One of the things I love about this trip is running.  It is so nice to get away from the Texas heat.  After a day or two of adjusting to the altitude, the runs become comfortable…dare I say easy.  Except for the steep trail runs, I feel I could run the backroads for days on end without stopping.  In the end, you stop so you can get some vittels, clean up and get back to doing nothing.

Leaving this place is bitter sweet.  I know work is piling up at the office.  I know I have real life to tend to at home.  I know I’ll be back.

A Shot from the Run
I’ve been home for a week now.  Reflecting back on the trip is hard to do.  Not because I wish I were back there or can’t stand that I’m here.  The years just seem to meld together.  Sure, I could recount it day by day…but it is a little like sitting on the porch gazing at the river.  Why bother with all the details?  Just sit back and let the trip just be more than the details.  Let it be about the feeling you get when you are really relaxed.  Really renewed.  That’s called peace.

I think God leads me there because it may be the only place where I find peace.  It simply doesn’t happen on any other vacation.  Maybe I’m strung too tight, but I need to be alone in the river.  Alone on the trails.  Alone on the porch to find my peace.  A place where even the smallest whisper from God can be heard.  A place where even the smallest prayer might be answered.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Downtown Church

The miles often drift by with little observation of the surroundings. Zoned out with the iPod streaming tunes I regret some of the things I've missed.


While in Santa Fe last week, I ran some of my normal routes. Upper & Lower Canyon Road, Old Taos Highway and through the Plaza. At one time, these were all new and exciting. Yet, they have become like running at home. I thought I had seen everything worth seeing.

Then I ran by San Miguel Church. I've been by it a dozen times, but never "seen" it like it deserves to be seen. The oldest church structure in the US. It was erected in 1610.


It is really quite amazing. The cool thing is that there are other churches in the same area that are also worth a visit. I've attended services at one of them several years ago. It is high time I spend another Sunday morning in worship at one of these historic churches.


My run was fairly early in the morning so the photos are not great, but next time I'll visit at a better time of day to get the gorgeous details documented on film.

I want to encourage you to run with your eyes open. Both at home and away there are things to be seen that we take for granted. Snap a few photos...slow down and take it all in. The miles can wait.


This week I'm still on vacation running in Colorado. More to report on that in the entry.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace