Running in Circles

Today’s Run

Time – 1:06:24
Distance – 6.6 miles
Pace – 10:02 min/mi
Elevation – 199 ft.

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Little Buddy is pretty excited!

It was COLD! Did a loop around downtown because it’s the least windy and warmest place to run. Good recovery run, but my achilles hurt on both ankles afterwards. Could be the new shoes, could be that I was on my feet most of the afternoon for the church’s sausage supper. Either way, the run felt good. Made some decisions about the spring marathon and my anticipated race pace.

It feels like I’m just going around and around and around…

When the only warm place to run in about 3 square miles, it can be a little boring to run in circles around the same neighborhood. You also start to get strange looks from the guy sitting by the window in the local bar when you go by for the third time…

I’m going to make a goal for the marathon in the spring. I’m gonna try and go sub–4:00. That’s a 9:06/mile pace. It will be hard to do for 26.2 miles, but I think that I can make it happen. I’ve got that much speed in my legs right now for 10 miles, but I have to see if I can do it for that long. I figure if I hold a 9:00–9:05 pace for the first 20 miles, then the last 10K needs to be sub–1:00:00. That I think I can do.

I’m going to spend the next two months with lots of easy pace runs with the fast Wednesdays with the group at Runwell and reasonable long runs on the weekend. The marathon plan I have starts on January 22 and goes 12 weeks. It has 3 long runs of 3 hours or more, which is where I should be able to get to 20–22 miles. I’ll need to figure out all of my paces for the workouts, but I’m excited to do this!

Countdown to Baby Girl – 15 days to go!

Running for Fun and Profit

Today’s Run

Time – 1:25:52
Distance – 8.6 miles
Pace – 9:59 min/mi
Elevation – 192 ft.

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Sometimes Strava confuses me. I ran 8.6 miles, no mile was over 9:52 pace, and I’m getting a 9:59 average. Sometimes the internet seems broken. It was cold, windy, and the roads were wet. The run didn’t hurt, and I didn’t have any issues running that long without water. It was a good run.

Running when it matters, matters

I took two days off because of schedules and other reasons, so I was able to relax and think about other things. Today was a tight day, with lots to do and not a lot of time. But I got the run in, because, well, I needed to run. It had been two days, and it was time to run again.

Running for running sake is fine. It’s perfectly acceptable to run because I enjoy it. When its time to run, though, I have to make sure to get it in. Consistency is how this works. Running often is how the work gets done, and how the body builds and gets stronger.

Keep running when you want to, go running when you should, and #GetOutTheDoor.

Group Runs Make Things Happen

Today’s Run

Time – 51:56
Distance – 6.0 miles
Pace – 8:37 min/mi
Elevation – 76 ft.

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Group run! Fun with the crew at Runwell made for another fine, fast outing. I like running up front and pushing to keep pace. I made a race for the turnaround with Sean, which slowed down my fourth mile, and I spent the rest of the run playing catchup. I had to push really, REALLY hard to stay with the leaders, and I was about 50 meters back most of the second half. It was tough, but worth the effort. New 5K Strava best (26:24)!

Group Running Has It’s Benefits

Competition is a good thing when it motivates you to be better than you thought you could be. I ran hard by myself on Monday and did a 5K in 27:32 and 6 miles in about 54 minutes. Tonight, I ran with others who pushed me to be better and I did a minute faster for 5K and two minutes faster for 6 miles. That’s huge!

There’s something to be said for the idea that I haven’t yet found the limit of what I’m capable of today. I think I was pretty close tonight. There was probably a little more in the tank, maybe another 10 seconds per mile at most, but that was about it. It was a good night for running, and I was able to make sure that I was running in front and enjoying it.

One of the runners, Richard, said to me that he liked running with the front group because they made him run faster than he did on his own. I’m seeing the same thing. Running with others matters. But it’s not an everyday thing. I can’t do this three or four times a week. I’d burn myself out unless I had a couple people that liked to run slow on slow days and fast on fast days. That’s where these larger groups come in. There’s about 20–25 people at the runs, with lots of people running at all different paces and distances. It’s easy to find someone to run with who is going your pace for that day.

I’ve been using this group as a way to push myself and, so far, I’ve been able to hang out near the lead pack. I know that as the speedier runners show up more as the weather changes, and race plans and training change, and as the holidays come and go, I will find myself struggling to keep up with the front group. Having ran hard these last few weeks, however, shows me that I can go a lot faster than I thought, and, with continued practice, I’ll be able to keep up at quicker paces in the future. I’m sure that the end of speed is nigh. I will cross over between the improvements of more exercise and the decreases that come with age eventually. When that day comes, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll also know that I can continue to run further and further because that’s the next great frontier.

You know, there’s a 240-mile race in Moab…

Tired Eyes

Today’s Run

Time – 42:10
Distance – 4.2 miles
Pace – 9:55 min/mi
Elevation – 113 ft.

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Easy run around the neighborhoods nearby. Nothing too fast or too rough. A couple of bigger hills just to keep the legs moving. Otherwise, it wasn’t too cold for shorts, but not too comfortable to stay out a long while. I felt a couple of tweeks at the end in my legs and ankles, so I cut out the last mile and turned for home one street early. I’ll have to keep an eye on that.

Bed by 9:30

Some nights, I stay up…no, not the lyrics by Fun.…and watch TV, play chess, or work (usually the latter). There’s always something to do, and after the kids go to bed, The Wife and I get to sit together and have Our Time. As of late, she’s been a little tired (I guess that being 9 months pregnant will do that!) and I’ve had some time to myself.

Last night, however, I crashed at 9:30. I was ready to end the day early! It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I just need to get to bed at an indecent hour of the night.

They say that rest is the best thing for getting better at running. It’s during the down times that your body gets stronger. Typing in “Rest for better running” in Google returns a significant number of results, including thefirstthree…from Runner’s World. Perhaps they do their Search Engine Optimization right…

Hitting the hay early is a good thing. I’m realistic, though. I can’t go to bed and sleep 8–9 hours a night every night. First off, my body automatically woke up this morning at 4:45, 15 minutes before my alarm. I can’t go more than about 7–7.5 hours at a stretch. It’s just not how I’m wired. Secondly, there’s a lot to do with work, school, family, and other responsibilities. I’m okay with a standard bedtime of 10:30 to 11:00 PM.

But, sometimes, it’s nice just to sleep for a little bit longer. And good for me, too.

Running Quickly

Today’s Run

Time – 56:54
Distance – 6.3 miles
Pace – 8:57 min/mi
Elevation – 145 ft.

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First run with a sub–9:00/mile pace at this distance. I’m feeling very good right now, which I’m happy about, because that means that I’ll have good fitness when Baby Girl gets here and I need to slow down. I can spend December and January in maintenance, and then late January-April in marathon prep. Cold run, but two layers on top and the running tights worked just fine. New Hokas!

Running Speed Distributions

While doing a little digging online I came across a thread in the “World Famous Message Boards at Let’s Run. In it, a discussions was had about race time distributions for 5K runners, runners in general, and some statistical analysis. While the commentary from some of the posters leaves much to be desired (too many high school cross country runners with reasonably quick times for their age makes for rudeness abounding), the information gives me a lot to think about.

Here’s the table (Taken from some data on athletic Japanese men and the Ache tribe):

Mean 5k time for men aged 18 to 33—19:00
Two thirds come in between————17:30 and 20:30
95% come in between——————16:30 and 22:30

% WR speed–Top X% or 1 in X men–200m–400m–800m–1 mi–2 mi–5 km–10 km

63%–74%–30.42–68.45–2:39–5:50- 12:29- 20:00–41:39

65%–63%–29.66–66.74–2:35–5:41–12:10–19:30–40:37

66%–50%–28.90–65.03–2:31–5:32–11:52–19:00–39:34

68%–37%–28.14–63.32–2:27–5:24–11:33–18:30–38:32

70%–25%–4–27.38–61.60–2:23–5:15–11:14–18:00–37:29

72%–14%–7–26.62–59.89–2:19–5:06–10:55–17:30–36:27

74%–7%–14–25.86–58.18–2:15–4:57–10:37–17:00–35:24

76%–3%–33–25.10–56.47–2:11–4:49–10:18–16:30–34:22

79%–1%–100–24.34–54.76–2:07–4:40–9:59–16:00–33:19

81%–453–23.58–53.05–2:03–4:31–9:40–15:30–32:17

84%–2600–22.82–51.34–1:59–4:22–9:22–15:00–31:14

87%–22,000–22.05–49.63–1:55–4:14–9:03–14:30–30:12

90%–300,000–21.29–47.91–1:51–4:05–8:44–14:00–29:09

93%–7 million–20.53–46.20–1:47–3:56–8:25–13:30–28:07–olympic finals

97%–342 million–19.77–44.49–1:43–3:47–8:07–13:00–27:04–gold medal

100%–19.19–43.18–1:41–3:41–7:53–12:37–26:18–world record

–Converted from 1500m and 3000m times

In considering my other goals, specifically the 5K goal of 18:00–20:00, it falls right at the beginning of this chart, which gets me thinking about what I’m doing next. Last night was a new 10K Strava best (55:52) and a new 5K Strava best (27:32). Those are nowhere near the low end of this list, but they are improvements that show me I can get better. The amount of increases I am seeing will slow, to be sure, but the amount of time I have to make improvements hasn’t closed yet.

So, now I’m considering a goal adjustment. Do I do the 100-mile qualifier in 2018, or do I work on speed and strength for 2018 and make 2019 the big distance year?

Certainly, The Wife would probably appreciate the extra available time that I would have from not spending 4–6 hours on Saturdays and Sundays out running 20–30 miles.

Every.

Single.

Weekend

Maybe this isn’t such a bad change to the plan.

Run Forrest, Run!

Today’s Run

Time – 2:33:02
Distance – 15.0 miles
Pace – 10:10 min/mi
Elevation – 329 ft.

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Long run day is here again. It was time for me to start adding more mileage, so the goal was 15 miles. I did an out-and-back down one of the trails in the area, into the cold wind to start, and then back through town and home. And it was COLD! A 15–20 MPH wind on a 45 degree day makes for not-so-comfortable temperatures. But, the mileage wasn’t too bad, and I was able to negative split the run with sub–10:00 pace for miles 10–14. This is what I need to keep doing for the next year until Tunnel Hill.

One of My Favorite Movies

One of my favorite movies when I was a kid was Forrest Gump. Yes, I know that it seems almost silly from a guy with a running blog, but there’s not actually a correlation there. I didn’t run as a kid, but I liked the story and the idea of a person passing through so much of history and being able to observe it.

That’s one of the best parts of this thing called life. While we get to interact with others, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and memories of everything, the observation of history is facinating to me.

I just finished an audiobook called The Accidental Superpower by Peter Zeihan. It’s an economics-based book with geopolitical insights, observations, and predictions. Certainly, it’s not a book to read if your experiencing the post-holiday blues, but Zeihan has an interesting perspective on how the world came to be the way that it is today.

One of the statements that Zeihan makes over and over is that, because of the paths taken by most of the world since WWII, history has been “paused” for the last 70 years or so. The significant changes, geopolitical struggles, and rise and fall of regional powers has been slowed or stopped completely for a while now, but, and here’s the key sentence from the text:

History is about to restart.

That’s a deep, overwhelming statement when heard in the context of Zeihan’s other material. Considering that most of Europe was still under minor, or major, regional struggles, border changes, and government shifts from the time of the fall of the Roman Empire until about 1946, it’s been a quiet couple of decades. And that’s just Europe. The world is preparing to make things happen again.

This goes back to Forrest Gump’s travels through the latter half of the 20th century. So many times, we do a lot without realizing that we can observe the things that happen around us. The same things can happen when running. I saw during the long run the colors of the trees and the brightness of the sun through the blue sky. The wind was big and bold, pushing around the fallen leaves and making the air smell refreshing and brisk. People were hustling about on their Saturday rituals and errands, enjoying a November day.

The world is full of things to see, if you watch as it goes on around you. For me, whether it’s history restarting, the fall colors, or the anticipation of Baby Girl’s arrival in less than 4 weeks, it’s an exciting time to be alive.

We Can Rebuild Him

Today’s Run

Time – 48:50
Distance – 5.0 miles
Pace – 9:46 min/mi
Elevation – 0 ft.

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It was just a little too cold today, so I decided to go over to the YMCA before they closed and do 5 miles on the treadmill. There is really NOTHING to watch on TV at 8:00 PM on a Friday night. It’s pretty bad. Otherwise, the run wasn’t too hard. I was feeling a little weird at the end, but I’m pretty sure that was because it was 9:00 and I was thirsty and hungry.

Humans are amazing

A child of one of my friends needed to have surgery yesterday. He’s only about 2 months old, and has a hole in his heart. It’s kind of a big deal when you think about it, but the doctors were very reassuring to my friend and his wife. They were going to take care of it, they said. And they did yesterday.

The little guy has a patch on his heart now. He’s recuperating in the hospital for the next few days, and then he’ll be heading home to get better. A few months of recovery, and he’ll be rocking and rolling, they say. Isn’t it amazing?

We humans are awesome. The time spent learning how to take care of each other, and the understanding of our bodies and our physical needs is tremendous. The things that can be done with a scalpel, some surgical thread, and a $250,000 education are beyond belief.

And then there’s our bodies themselves. They heal over time on their own. This is the biggest part of what our medicine can do. Doctors don’t necessarily fix the problem, but they put things together so that a body can fix itself. The little guy’s heart will heal as soon as they close the hole. It will build new muscle and blood vessels and nerves, and he’ll have a new part of his heart when he’s older.

That’s really what medicine is, when you think about it. It’s a body that works, and time. The first thing that makes the body work is what gets put in it. This is why I make such a deliberat push on the food I eat. It’s the only way that my body can repair itself after years of damage I’ve caused. You can’t build a house with rotten boards, broken windows, and a poor foundation. It will fall over.

The quote from Hippocrates always used in the countless food documentaries on Netflix and Hulu is, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” It’s from this same individual that we get the Hippocratic Oath, the oath that Greek doctors in the ancient world would take as they embarked on a career in medicine. Everyone remembers the part of the oath that says:

“I will do no harm”

Very few, however, know that those words are part of a larger passage:

“I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgement, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.”

Food is central to our bodies working to heal themselves. It’s the most important factor in recuperation. My friend’s son will be eating as infants do, and growing and healing quickly. The same can and should be said for the rest of us. Are we fueling our bodies to do what they can do best, or our we eating bad building materials that will break us down further?