Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Smarter than who?

Had a good recollection of my father this morning. He taught me,  among many other things, how to ride a horse on our farm when I was young.

He was fond of telling me, when the horse wouldn't do what I wanted,  "Joe, you gotta be smarter than the horse.". Calmly, leaning on a fence post, advising but not bailing me out.  " Be smarter than the horse."

And there are days and those words still encourage me.



Saturday, August 01, 2015

On Beauty

Was up before dawn today to get my last long run in before the Wausau Marathon three weeks from this morning.  We've had  brutal heat and heavy humidity for the last month, so typical of late-summer Indiana.

But not this morning.  The gentle north breeze brought clear skies and low humidity.  The added treat was a fantastic full moon, a Blue Moon (the second full moon in the calendar month), floating high in the western sky as the sun gently approached the eastern horizon.

I saw more than a few people out walking or running early, many of whom I knew...the mood was festive.  "It's a beautiful day!" was the universal sentiment.

Which made me think of Harry Caray, the late, great, legendary baseball announcer. Harry always led his broadcasts with an enthusiastic "It's a BEAUTIFUL day for baseball!" (sound clip here ... so good to hear Harry's voice again!!!)

Yet, as baseball fans know, it's often NOT beautiful weather in Chicago, where Harry broadcast for many years.  But Harry was neither dumb nor clueless.  In his love for the game, any day on which you played baseball was a beautiful day.

This morning was truly a beautiful summer day by any definition.  Yet beauty is much broader than that.  The gift of health, the gift of safety, the gift of exercise, the mere ability to go outside on our own two feet and move freely....THAT is beautiful.

Any day we can run is a beautiful day.

What I think about while I run.


Today's Run:  20.0 miles, R/W 6/1, 3:16:11, 9:49/mile pace


Friday, July 31, 2015

Piles o' Miles

Coming into 2015, I wrote of my goal  to go under 4 hours for the marathon.  I went after it and, boom, had an injury.  What to do??   I met up with a good local doc and got back on the road again by mid March. 

This shifted my target races from spring events to fall runs, however.  So, right now, I have three events which have timing and courses that may allow a sub-4 effort.    I've been training hard, as you can see in the chart below.  July was a solid mileage month, close to the month I had last October when I ran the 50 mile ultra.  

The plan is shaping up like this.  My first quest for the sub 4 will be in three weeks, on August 22 at the Wausau Marathon in Wausau, Wisconsin.  Hoping for a cool, dry northern Wisconsin late summer morning that day.

The second will come at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 7.  Hoping there for a not-yet-freezing late fall day.

If neither of those work, then I'll head south for the Rocket City Marathon in scenic Huntsville, Alabama on December 6.   Again, a flat course with the hope for good weather.

Right now, I'm piling on miles and following Hal Higdon's Intermediate 2 plan.  Will it work??? Dunno...but we're going to find out.



Thursday, July 30, 2015


In a weird way, running in an Indiana summer is a lot like running in an Indiana winter.  Stay with me here for a moment.

In both seasons, we are hit with very extreme weather; July and August, January and February.  It is so hot/humid, cold/windy; both will nearly take your breath away.  Both certainly tax one's motivation to go out the door.  Both diminish running speed.  

And both demand a shift in attitude;  rather than speed, you just get in the miles.  That's it...just get in the miles.  You can't predict much from your training times.  BUT, and it's a big but, you CAN count those miles.  And by counting the miles, you are far better off for the spring and fall races that count.  

Persevere.  Whatever the season.  


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Attention Span

Of all our limitations, our ability to pay attention, to ANYTHING, is perhaps our most striking.  And something we speak of little.  

Example:  Over the weekend, I stumbled onto some very old messages to me inside LinkedIn.  Several people had sent me serious notes asking for leads or input on key job searches.  Important matters to each of them.  

Yet, I don't look for messages on LinkedIn.  It's all I can do to pay attention to both my personal and my business email accounts plus cell phone text list.  So I missed it.  

Which tells me something.  When I want to connect with someone, I need to first ask "To what does she pay attention?"  

Because spans are limited.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

DNA is digitally perfect

On several early morning runs this past week, I've noticed the familiar call of the mourning dove.  It took me back to my only serious bird-watching of my life, in 5th and 6th grade a very long time ago.  I remember little of that time except for the call of this bird.  And, some 50+ years later and 600 miles from where I was raised, the call remained identical.

It struck me how amazing the genetic material is.  Over gazillions of birds, thousands of generations and huge distances, this species' call is identical to that I recall from my youth.  Indeed, it's identical for centuries.  

It's amazing to me and made for much reflection.  

WITAWIR (What I think about while I run).

Persevere.  The mourning doves sure have.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Let baseball sell baseball"

Middle son Nathan sent me a very interesting article on the demise of the MLB Fan Cave, the "dream summer locale" for guys who really loved baseball.  It's a good read for baseball fans. 

It also contains good insight into a far-reaching issue; if you measure the wrong thing, you inevitably draw the wrong conclusions.  

And, if you are measuring the wrong thing, you are likely asking the wrong question to begin with.  

Major League Baseball adroitly realized they were asking the wrong question and, thus, quit throwing good money after bad.  

Nice example.