Saturday, April 29, 2006

A better Ten-Miler

ORN: 10.2 miles, 1:36:54, 9:30 pace

I was seriously hoping for a pain-free long run this morning and I got it. Did some extra stretching of the Left ITB (per Susie's suggestion..thanks!) and got through the entire run with no knee problems. I kept holding back, not wanting to push it too much, figuring if it could heal up with moderate effort, it would be wise.

So, the splits for today turned out to be:

9 44, 9 14, 9 43, 9 26, 9 36;
9 22, 9 41, 9 29, 9 36, 9 14 and 1 44 (@ 8 42 pace)

Not awesome, but I'm pleased.

I was into the run and other thoughts so much this morning I completely passed my first stashed water bottle. I've found a perfectly-shaped-for-a-water-bottle crook in a tree at a spot I pass three times on my long run. I fill up an old soda bottle and can stick it there the night before a long run, as it is right on my way home from work. And I almost spaced the first pass this morning. Not so much a "runner's high" as a "runner's space."

So, next Saturday, a half marathon in Indy. Weather is always a can get warm and muggy by the first weekend in May here...we'll see how it turns out. Do I go for a sub 2?? Right now I'm thinking I will.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Commenting on Comments

ORN: Tuesday: 4 miles, moderate
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy
Thursday: 3 miles, felt stiff and flat

The Running Chick asked more about my knee I've complained about the past few days. as she had a similar-sounding problem after her first marathon.

It's a little odd, in that I've never quite felt something like this before. On a long run last Saturday and on a hard run last Monday, I was doing fine, very fine. Then, in fairly short order the L knee developed a pain on the outside portion. Enough that I had to slow (on Monday) or walk (on Saturday). The long run pain came after 8 miles at a 9:20 pace. Monday's run crunched after 4.8 miles at 8:55.

On Wednesday and today, as noted above, I still ran and had no knee pain at all. Felt a little stiff and flat on Wednsday and stiff again this morning. I credit this morning, though, to having umpired a baseball game (behind the plate) the night before!

Any wisdom there for me??

Regarding running plans, one of the fun events of the running year in Indiana hits next Saturday with the One America Mini Marathon, where I'll gather with 35,000 of my closest friends and do 13.1 miles in Indianapolis, including 1.25 laps of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I have not decided yet if this will be my target race for a sub 2 hour half. If not then (and it depends on the knee), I'll shoot for the sub 2 in South Bend on June 3, in a cool half marathon that finishes at the 50 yard line of Notre Dame Stadium. Then, another half in Parkersburg, WV on August 19. Why Parkersburg? Because my sister lives there and I can sleep for free.

The next Marathon is on October 1, in Portland Oregon. Many rank it among the top 10 in US marathons. My middle son lives and works in Portland (do you see a theme developing here??) so I can combine a trip to see him with a cool marathon. Then there is a chance I'll do the St Jude Marathon in Memphis on Dec 2 to finish out the year. I'm already targeting the Marine Corp Marathon in the fall of 2007 and maybe the San Diego R&R in June 2007.

Or I might collapse in a heap and not run another one. Naaaaaaaaah. Way too much fun.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Marathon Photos

Finally had some time post a few photos from the St Louis Marathon. Enjoy!

Here is a shot my brother-in-law took of me near mile 22. I was still feeling pretty good at this point, was just gettins set to turn to my right and head back downtown. It was sure wonderful to see a familiar face and let him know I was feeling good and was pretty confident I was going to finish. He promptly called my wife, (his sister) and let her know I was not laying in a ditch somewhere. She was grateful.

I also experimented in this race by putting my name in big letters on the front of my shirt. What fun!! I got a lot of encouraging comments. As hokie as it sounds, it was a real boost to have a steady stream of "Way to go, Joe!" all the way along. Now, the brothers from Pi Kappa Alpha at one of the local universities were a little too well lubricated for that early on a Sunday morning and they were over the top...but the rest were great. I'll wear it again.

Meet Nichole. We ran the first half of the marathon together. She was a delightful third-year nursing student who was running her first marathon. She has a great future in pediatrics. Her ability to speak comfortably with people and put them at ease will be a wonderful gift to sick kids and their parents for years to come. She even tolerated running with a guy that she realized was plenty old enough to be her father...thanks Nichole for humoring me!!

About a week after the race, I received the nicest greeting card from her in the mail. She had tracked down my snail-mail address and wrote to thank me for encouraging her though the first 13 miles! She then battled some side stitches and all the fatigue associated with 26.2. But she persevred and this is her at the finish! Way to go Nichole!!

Here I am just yards from the finish. By this point, I had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face, despite how tired my legs were. It hit me that I was done, I was a marathoner again. I couldn't quit smiling...even if I was two full hours behind the winner...who cares??

No it doesn't look like I'm running....but I was, honest...bummer of timing on the shutter though...the guy behind me has HIS feet off the ground...maybe next time....

And it's official. Crossing the mats, hand on watch.

What fun. And worth persevering for.

Whatever the name, it was a good run

ORN: 5 miles, at pace, tempo or something, 44:47, 8:57/mile

With my left knee huring somewhat Saturday, I skipped the Sunday run and did it this morning instead. My objective was to run 5 miles at race pace for the half marathon, which, on my Garmin, is 9:02/mile.

After a warm up, I flipped on the training mode and off I went. And it went smoothly. Splits were 8 47, 8 56, 8 59, 8 57 and 9 03. Better, it felt fairly easy. Never did feel like I was pushing.

Bummer...the last quarter mile saw my left knee talking to me again. Since I'm two weeks post marathon, I pay attention to it.

Will do an easy five tomorrow. Will I get in a full 12, as scheduled, on Saturday?? Stay tuned.

Persevere. Knee pain or not.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Marathon Keeps Teaching

ORN: 7 miles running, 2 miles walking.

Went out this morning, intending to do 11 miles at 9:30. Man, it felt good. The form felt quiet, smooth, comfortable. The first five miles went off at 9 07, 9 25, 9 19, 9 30, 9 07.

It just felt super. Moving on to miles 6 and 7, it just kept rolling, as I turned them at 9 13 and 9 10. I was doing calculations on my goal of a sub 2 hour half marathon, figuring I had a shot at it in Indy on May 6.

Then, I felt it.

My left knee, very quickly, developed a dull but clear ache. Some quick thinking reminded me I was only 13 days away from the Marathon. And so not surprising.

Unusually for me, I backed it off,cut the route short and walked it home.

It was a beautiful spring day...just wonderful to be out, so it was enjoyable simply being in the sunshine. And the lesson of remembering the seriousness of the marathon distance. It is a clear teacher, a taskmaster, a distance not taken lightly.

Good stuff. Persevere.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Small Wonder I Can't Dance...

...'cause I have no tempo.

Wednesday: 5.3 miles, tempo run
Friday: 3 miles, nice pace

With the marathon behind me, I'm now tuning for half marathons on May 6 and June 3. Using Hal Higdon's program, as I have for some time, I find this thing called a "tempo run" on the docket every other Wednesday. But what is it??

Higdon calls the tempo run a "thinking man's run." Well, this man feels a bit dull of thought, because I have never really "got it." From other blogs, though, I took a guess. Which is to run each mile at a different pace, building to some level of push towards the end of the run.

So, Garmin strapped on, out I went on Wednesday (note: which also demanded I clear my marathon finishing time...a moment of sadness). I took the first mile easy, as the legs take a little longer to warm up right now. Time of 10:48.

I decided to try to do mile 2 at 9:00 per mile. Off I went and hit the mile 2 spot at 9:02. Good.

Now, to back off, I decided to have mile 3 at 9:30. Easier. Well, too easy, it turned out, as the actual was 9:42.

OK, so let's crank it to 8:45 for mile four. Pushed it more. Not enough. 8:54.

So, I'm heading home, still enjoying the run. Let's do it at 9:15. Nope. Mile 5 was at 8:54 as well.

The good news?? 10 days after a marathon I had a quality, hard run. That was cool.

Bad news?? Not much of a grasp of tempo.

I welcome any comments on what I might do to help this out. I kind of liked the varying of the pace...made for some mental stimulation. But I didn't feel I got all I could have out of it.


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


ORN: 5 miles, decent pace

The Boston Marathon happened yesterday. Big news in running, even in the regular sports pages. But unlike most big events, regular folks can participate.

We had several from our local running club run. And, in some cool technology, each time they ran over the timing mats at 10km, half marathon, 30km and finish, they could select up to three email addresses to fire off the time! Sooooo, working with our local club's webmaster, several of our runners chose an local club email address that he set up to then zap our entire running club with the progress! The bottom line was about 20 emails informing us of the pace and progress of our local pals!

It gets better.....

This morning on my regular running route, I saw the wife of one of the guys who ran. She was getting her daily run in and I could greet her, knowing Tony's time already and the fact that the second half of the race must have been tough! She filled me in on the details and how the late hills gobbled him up. Yet the experience was awesome.


A world class event. And, in the very same event, regular folks participating, at the same time, over the same course. Would I ever get to see a single pitch at a game in Wrigley Field?? I wish, but no, never. A chance to make an inbounds pass to a fellow Boilermaker at Mackey Arena? Nope. Run in a race with world-class runners? Yep.

Very cool.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Now THAT'S a Goal!

ORN: Friday, 4 miles, easy
Saturday: 8 miles, easy
Sunday: 3 miles, quick

Nearing my turn around point during Saturday's 8 miler, I passed a fellow working out on his wheechair. I turned about 200 yards past him and met him again.

"You can go quite a ways on the trail if you want to" he offered.

"Yeah, I know, but I'm only doing 8 today. I did a marathon last Sunday and I'm just easing back into milage"

"Oh, that's cool. I'm doing 8 as well. My marathon's still to come."

"Really? Where?"

"Summer 2007. I'm going to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again."

Wow! Tim and I got talking and he told me of his plans. He wants to get in better shape and has a lot more constraints than I do. He has a plan, knows the route he'll take and, most of all, a vision that is worth aiming for. Talk about dreaming big...I was inspired just talking to him.

My legs are coming back. 8 miles on Saturday was about 3 too many, but it was OK. This morning, after a half mile or so, I just let it open and was amazed that I could do a quick 3 miles. This coming week, we start the work for the first of two half marathons, when I join 35,000 of my closest friends for the One America Mini Marathon in Indy on May 6.

Happy Easter to all. A day of hope and vision and renewal.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gee, that must have, uh, been, uh, interesting...

ORN: 2 miles, easy pace, felt good

What a hoot this week to see the various reactions (and non reactions) of folks to me running a marathon last Sunday. As big a deal as it was to me, it is clear that it is pretty much incomprehensible to most. And that is really fine. I'm not terribly interested in horses, for example, and many folks I know are.

So, I settled in my mind that if someone asks me about it, I'll talk about it to the extent they feel comfortable or interested. And no further. Why be a bore?? And that has been fun.

Plus, many people are simply so self-absorbed that it is hard to be interested in what others find interesting. An important lesson as well; plus advice for me, to ask the second or third question about that baby colt, even if it isn't a keen thing for me. It demonstrates respect. And that's always good.

After going on strike around mile 24 on Sunday, the head labor negotiator worked out a three-day cooling off period beetween my brain and my legs. That ended this morning, when the mediator suggested a slow, gentle 2 mile jog, just to see if the two sides could begin some level of reconcilliation. While balking at first, legs grudgingly went along. Brain offered to stop and have a slow, easy stretch at the usual spot, a third of a mile along. Legs seemed appreciative, though didn't want to show it too quickly. However, after a mile or so, the two sides were talking more and, upon realizing it was only two miles, both sides were smiling at the end.


Monday, April 10, 2006

St Louis Marathon: Full and Excessively Long Race Report

ORN: 26.2 miles, 4:29:31 (chip time), 10:18/mile

One day later, I’m still pumped over finishing the
St. Louis Marathon, my first marathon in 25 years. I posted a short report yesterday with the essentials. Here I’ll describe in more gory detail the whole event. Mostly, this is for my own benefit (and for my kids to laugh at 30 years from now!) but if you enjoy marathon reports, perhaps you’ll like this one as well.


I drove to St Louis on Saturday, enjoying a perfect way to travel: sunny weather and a Cubs ballgame on the radio. After picking up my packet, chip and goody bag downtown, I drove the first five miles of the course on the way to my wife’s brother’s house, where I was going to stay. Stefan and his wife Lana were wonderful (fabulous!!) hosts and it was great to see them again. They also agreed to drive the rest of the course with me, which came within two blocks of their house and then shot out another 6 miles to the west. This was a very good thing to do. In driving the course, I was able to make a mental picture of both the terrain and the key milestones; halfway, 20 miles, etc. This turned out to be very helpful.

After a wonderful meal with enjoyable, substantial conversation Saturday evening, I got to bed reasonably early and, amazingly, slept pretty well. Which means the FIRST time I woke up was not ‘til 2am! Then 3am. Then a dream I had forgotten to set my alarm (when, in fact, I had two set). Then again at 4am…you get the drill. At 4:30, I got up, got ready, had some toast with butter and headed downtown.

At 5:20am on a Sunday morning, there are plenty of parking spots in an urban center. I found a free, on-street spot 150 feet from the starting grid and started what has turned out to be a very enjoyable pre-race ritual for me. Getting there early, I can get out and walk around and begin to soak up some of the atmosphere. I beat most of the volunteers there. I watched the timing guys set up the mats at the starting line. I chatted with the bag-drop volunteers. I listened to first thumpa-thumpas from the big sound system. All of this in the dark, an hour before sunrise. I walked four blocks farther east to the finish chutes and got a good mental picture of what the final yards looked like. THAT turned out to be helpful as well.

Regular readers of this blog may recall I was concerned about the temperature on race day. Being the geek that I am, I packed a digital thermometer and left it in a concealed spot under a tree while I walked around. I didn’t think it felt like the predicted 33 degree low. And, indeed, it was a full-blown 46. Much better.

As the sky gradually brightened, I got ready. I decided on one-less layer than originally planned. I got set and around 6:30, I did one final check on my set-up and headed for the start line, via the port-o-johns.

I lined up with a pacing group shooting for a 4:20 marathon, as my plan was to run at that pace through 20 miles and see what would happen over the last six. A very nice fellow named Noel was leading this group. He was a remarkably fit guy with a marathon PR of 3:23. We figured he could handle the pace. There were about 9,000 runners overall, with 7,000 doing a half marathon along with us. Many of them in our pacing group were attempting their first half. So, it was fun to offer encouragement and welcome to them.


Right on time, we took off. It was only a couple of minutes for our group to cross the starting line and we headed on the first section, a lollipop route. The crooked stick took us south, while the loop took us around and then right smack through the middle of the Anheuiser-Busch HQ and Brewery complex. Hey, this is St. Louis, right?? We ran through the famous iron gates. They had the Clydesdales out for us to view; wow, what huge, beautiful horses they are. Yes, the whole place smelled like beer. No, they did not supply samples.

Back in the Real World, we returned downtown and then started the real trek. Like most river cities, the topography of St Louis is of generally upward slope away from the river. We headed straight west and the climbs started. Long hills, two of which were a mile long. Of the remaining 20 miles, no more than 3 would be considered flat. Up and down we went.

Having driven the course the day before, I had a clear mental picture of what was in front of me, both the length and the pitch of the hills. While I felt really, really good early, I held back on the pace, knowing just how very far west we had to go before turning around. And knowing, at that turn around, we’d still have 10 miles left.

Splits and miles are not terribly interesting here. Particularly because a number of the mile markers were off by up to a tenth of a mile (several of us noted this). But no bother, my splits showed a pretty steady 9:45 to 10:00 pace through mile 23. My chip split at the half was 2:10:14, right on the 4:20 pacing group goal. And, one of the fun things about long runs came true again. After the first 5 or so, the miles really started clicking off. It would seem that we’d pass one, chat a bit and boom, there was the next one. Very enjoyable.

Up, up we went, or so it felt. Past St. Louis University. Through Forest Park and the last remaining building from the 1904 World’s Fair. Past Washington University. Through wonderful old residential neighborhoods. Through a thriving commercial area. Into more residential areas. And, finally, the turning point at mile 16. The high point on the course. Having seen it the day before was huge. And so we headed back downtown. 10 miles away.

Miles 16-20 were along one street. Midway, I noted the outside of my right foot getting sore, as if it was rolling outwards. Well, it was. The entire route to that point had us on the right-hand side of the street. The camber of that side of the street put pressure there and I was feeling it. So I searched for and found some flatter pavement. For a mile or so, I actually went on the sidewalks. Avoiding small children and dogs, it worked well. The foot cleared up.

We moved through mile 20, still feeling good. I was pleased with this, figuring any good miles past #20 would be a bonus. We wound back through Forest Park, up more hills (weren’t we supposed to be going DOWN now??) and kept the pace in the 9:50 range. Our pace group had stretched out pretty far and no conversation was flowing any more, even when I wasn’t alone. Concentration and determination reigned for all. Running had ceased to be social…it returned to being personal.

Up a hill and around a corner and Stefan was waiting for me. He told me he planned to be at this point and what a boost it was to see a familiar face. He snapped a photo and then ran and talked with me for a quarter mile or so. Bidding him farewell, I headed for mile 23.

At mile 23, there was one more long hill. Over half a mile long and my legs finally protested. No more pace group. I had to walk. Once at the top, it was tough to start running again. I knew this was when mind would win out over muscle. I was simply pleased such an expected moment of truth came as late as it did.

The race that had been a real joy so far now became tough. A long downhill past mile 24, which slowed to 11:17. Good, two to go. Then, one more wicked uphill. Walk again, no way I was able to run it. Near the top was mile 25. The split was 13:03. But I was moving. Down a short hill, then yet ANOTHER short uphill. Walk some more. Before I got to the top, though, I determined to run the rest of the way. I simply had to. Only 8 tenths to go. I was so close, I just HAD to run it in. With the Gateway Arch and a huge American Flag dead-center in front of me, I got moving and at that point the realization that I was going to finish really sunk in. All I could do was smile. Mile 26 clicked in at 12:19 and I opened up for the end.

The finish line was set up around two short curves, which gave one the illusion of speed (I use the word “illusion” here intentionally :-) ). I did the last 0.2 at a 9:37 pace. I could not quit smiling and finished with my hands over my head in celebration. My legs had gone to mush but my mind was still there.

I finished. I was a marathoner again.


I kept walking for a good 10 minutes after de-chipping and getting my medal. I then started to feel a little woozy and light headed, so got in the food line. The longer I was in line, the woozier I got. Then, the foot cramps set in. They hurt like crazy. I got my bagels, bananas and water and gimped to a seat on a park bench.

Which was pretty much where I remained for nearly an hour.

Wow, did it feel good to sit down, take down some fluids and wonderful, wonderful bananas, the magical fruit for runners. Slowly I began to regroup. It was a beautiful day by then, at 11:30am, and I gradually got back to normal. I walked over to the bag-drop trucks and got the dry clothes I had left. That clean, dry cotton long-sleeve T shirt sure felt good. More fluids and bananas. Lots of conversation with other runners who came and went in the hour I was there. I finally got the nerve to change into the dry socks I had packed in my bag. Foot cramps went away…no blisters on the toes, the paper tape having done it’s job. The foot powder I dumped in my socks at 4:45am was still there. Other than cramping earlier, the feet were fine.

Four bananas, four bottles of water, two sticks of string cheese, one bagel, two bags of potato chips and an hour of conversation later, I decided I was ready to head out. I had a four block walk back to my car and I was amazed that, even though sore and stiff, I was walking OK. Some of the late finishers were still dribbling in, but the huge event of the day was wrapping up. So was I.

I drove back to Stefan and Lana’s, had a wonderful soak in a cool tub, followed by a warm shower. I blogged briefly and headed out the door. Five hours later, I was home. Still pumped, I sat up and watched the Cubs finish off a three game sweep of the Cardinals. Life is good.

The published stats on the race: My time was 4:29:31, placing me 79th out of 122 men 50-54, or 1056th out of 1695 finishers overall.


I finally went to bed around 11:30. Laying there in the dark, still wide awake, it was mind boggling to think through the events of the day. At one level, it is really cool. At another, it is relatively minor. But at the deepest level, I was profoundly grateful to be in a position, a country, with the means and the health to attempt something as seemingly crazy as running 26.2 miles. I was deeply moved and humbled. Many are not able to do so. It is a picture of grace.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

St. Louis Marathon--Short Report

ORN: 26.2 miles, 4:29:32

Wow!! It happened!!

This is a brief report from my brother-in-law's place, who was so kind to put me up for today. I'll post a longer review tonight or tomorrow after I get home.

The race went well... I achieved my first goal and a bit of a bonus goal. My main goal was to finish the marathon, uninjured. Check. No blisters, no pulls, no pain. The judicious application of paper tape to toes and nipples, along with a conservative approach to hill running, made this possible. My bonus goal was any time under 4:30...and I put a cool 28 seconds in my pocket for that one!! Wow, what a rush.

The course was hilly...and that took its toll on this flatlander who has no hills nearby. Nevertheless, the first 18 miles went great and I still felt fine through 23 miles. The last three were tough. I simply had to walk the uphills and run the flats and downhills. There was little left in the legs. No pain...just no response to the signals my brain was sending to the legs. More like going on strike!!

The end was on a downhill slope into a city park and what a rush that was. Those of you who have done this know exactly what I mean.

My fears about the weather turned out to be ungrounded. The temps that were supposed to be in the low 30s turned out to be in the mid 40s. The didn't get much over 55 for the whole race, coupled with a clear, sunny spring morning. The last three miles down Market Street in St Louis were lined with the Gateway Arch, the symbol of St. Louis, coupled with a huge American Flag strung between two hook and ladder trucks. Against the perfect blue sky, it was inspiring.

OK...I'm showered and have to get my aching legs into the car for a 5 hour drive home...I'm thinking I'll hit most every rest stop along the way to stretch...whaddaya think??!!

Thanks for all your means a lot. More tomorrow.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Three Days to Go

Tuesday; 3 miles, easy pace
Wednesday; 4 miles, "whoa, Nellie" pace

As many have noted before me, this last week before the marathon is a fully nutso period of time. It has been a good thing that I've been swamped at work, as it has taken up a lot of mental space that would otherwise be spent obsessing. A good week, for sure, but certainly busy.

I got a couple of runs in and will do a simple 2 miler tomorrow (Friday) for my last prerace outing. Wow, the odd little twinges!! What's that in my knee? Did my shoulder feel like that last week? Haven't felt the ball of my left foot for a while...and my back...well, you get the picture. All pretty normal and still unnerving.

On Wednesday's four miler, it was all I could do to keep from a near sprint. It felt good to run, I felt full of energy, almost ready to burst. When I didn't concentrate on my pace, it picked up terrifically. The impact of the taper.

Of more factual concern is the weather forecast for St. Louis on Sunday morning. Being a card-carrying Purdue engineer, I naturally made a chart for this. Last Saturday, I began looking at the 10 day prediction for the overnight low on April 8. While the weather gurus thought it would be 48 when they looked out on April 1, today's prediction is that it will be a mere 33 degrees for a low. Since the race starts just 30 minutes after sunrise, the start will be very near the overnight low. Wow. So, what do I wear? Especially since the predicted high will be 62?

I'm going with layers. And the top layers will be an old sweatshirt I can take off and throw to my adoring fans along the way and an old polyester shirt with which I can do the same. Found a disreputable looking Iowa Hawkeyes stocking cap to wear at the'll be jetisoned as well.

At least the prediction is for sun. I'm glad I don't have to anticipate rain.

Wow, is this boring reading or what???? I'm trying to spare my all the thinking ends up here on the blog and not at them.

So, the plan is to leave mid morning Saturday, drive the five hours to St Louis, get the packet, go to my brother-in-law's place and enjoy. I'm also thinking of driving the course, as it extends straight west from his house. Good idea or not??? I'm open to suggestions.

OK, enough drivel...I'm going to go review my list to pack once more....

Persevere. And stay tuned to this station!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

One Week to Go

ORN: 8.3 miles, 1:15:52, 9:08 pace

Sometime in the late 70s, early 80s, I recall reading an article in Sports Illustrated about the then-new phenomenon of Triathalons. They interviewed one of the winners of that era and marveled at the amount of training he did in all three disciplines. He went on to say something to the effect of "I really don't like races, though. They interrupt training."

Huh?? That quote always hit me as really odd. He just loved training and to mess that up by having to actually enter an event was just too much for him.

But there is now a part of me that begins to understand, just a little, what he was getting at.

What I really enjoy about running is running. What I enjoy about long runs is the long part. And here I am, on a reasonably nice spring day, the start of April, with the birds singing and the grass growing...and all I get to do is 8 lousy miles??? What's with this "taper" stuff?? What a waste of a wonderful Saturday and only being out for an hour or so!!! Yeeeesh, you'd think I had a marathon next week or something!!!

Oh, wait, I guess I do....

I'm not to where the triathelete was. I really like races, in that I get to run with other people. But I did gain an appreciation for his thoughts.

And why, oh why, do I clutter my brain with snippets of articles from 25 years ago??? Surely there is a better use of brain cells!

Hey, the run was a good one. I was trying to hold back, then my mind would move to some other subject and I'd be down under 9/mile again. (Slow for many of you, quick for me) It gave me a lot of hope that my second goal of the year, a sub 2 hour half marathon, is achievable. That would only require a 9 09 pace for 13.1.

For now, the focus is next Sunday in St Louis. I'm making lists, checking weather forecasts daily (today it said a 60% chance of rain, temps around 50 at the start...hmmm) and I've started packing. I'm excited. Some easy runs this week, just to help the legs remember what this is all about.

Splits today:
9 15, 9 24, 9 10, 9 03, 9 14,
9 13, 9 17, 8 43, 2 28 (@ 8 14)