Big Questions

Today’s Run

Time – 45:04
Distance – 4.6 miles
Pace – 9:45 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%


More treadmill, but two days of running in a row. I’m feeling good about this so far. Getting back into it isn’t hurting, I’m finding the paces that I wanted to see, and my own recovery from illness isn’t holding me back too much. My right ankle was sore about mile three, but I think that was because of the repetition of the same motion on the treadmill. I’ll have to get adjusted to that. Also, there’s no slowdowns or stops on a treadmill, as opposed to road crossings, turns, and other obstacles during outside runs. Did core work again after the run.

14 weeks till GO! St. Louis

I’m scheduled to run the GO! St. Louis Marathon in 14 weeks, on April 8th. I’m not nervous about the distance. I know that even if I blow up, I can still walk it in and finish, which would be disappointing to be sure. My concern is more that I won’t be ready to run at the paces I want to when the time comes. There’s a piece of me that is thinking about switching to the Half Marathon and doing more work on speed. I can do 13 miles without any issue. A shortening of distance, however, will not help me towards THE GOAL. I need to be putting in the miles.

The struggle is timing. As I turn 39 this year, speed potential is diminishing. I will reach a point where I will not only stop getting faster, but I will start to slow down. Endurance, however, is something that sticks around a lot longer. I’ll be able to go distances for a while beyond when I get slower. That means that 100 milers can be in my future a lot longer than 5:xx/miles (if that pace is even POSSIBLE).

I started this blog with the intention of running Western States. This has not changed. But it’s the end of the year, and a time for much reflection. I’m considering that one or two more years of putting off Western States, while pushing out THE GOAL, may be the only way to make my other goals happen.

If I was 15, and I was thinking about all of this, I’d be running 5K cross country races and 1600m or 3200m track races. Mileage during sophomore or junior high school summers is 35–45 miles a week (at least), and speed work would be the order of the day in-season. Long runs would be 9–13 miles, and I’d be working on building aerobic capacity. This sounds a lot like the kinds of running I’m doing now. Effectively, I’m a high school sophomore when it comes to running (except not quite as fast). Most kids that age don’t look for big mileage races for another 2–3 years, if not until after college. As I don’t have 6 years to give to this, I think that it’s not unreasonable to work on getting faster now, and doing ultra races a little further down the road.

This means, of course, that I’ll need to run more races this year. Lots of 5k’s and 10k’s to work on speed.

I need to think…


It Actually Happened

Today’s Run

Time – 31:16
Distance – 3. miles
Pace – 9:30 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%


Treadmill run as the temperature outside is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and I don’t have gloves or tops warm enough right now. The run was good considering I’m battling a cold or RSV, not sure which. I did the second mile at 7.7 MPH (7:47/mile pace), so that’s probably the fastest mile I’ve ever run. Ended with a comfortable jog and did some planks after the run. Core work will need to become part of the routine.

Christmas in the hospital is no fun

Baby Girl’s RSV progressed slowly the rest of Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, but by the evening of Christmas, it had us VERY worried. We decided to take her into the ER to have her looked at, and, because she’s only 3 weeks old, they admitted her. So we spent three days in the hospital, with Baby Girl on an IV (precautionary, though, as she was still eating well), and oxygen. Nothing like the look of a newborn with tubes up her nose…

But, thanks to Baby Girl’s resiliency and the dedicated work of the doctors, nurses, and staff, we’re back home and she’s fine! She’s eating even more now, which is fantastic, and she’s sleeping well. The Wife and I still have our own complications from the RSV to deal with, but it’s not nearly as difficult on adults.

Now that this is over, I can get back to running more. I won’t hit this week’s goal of 30 miles, but I should be able to get in runs to finish off the week and back on schedule next week.

So, hopefully, I’ll be posting again tomorrow.

Sick Christmas

Today’s Run

Time – 55:33
Distance – 5.8 miles
Pace – 9:31 min/mi
Elevation – 180 ft.

Running in a winter wonderland!  Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas Eve run with the new watch I received on Saturday, a Garmin Forerunner 935. Very good watch, I’m now getting consistent pace information as I run. It was snowing, and the wind was blowing, and it was 26 degrees Fahrenheit outside as I ran, so VERY cold. But a good run, considering that I’m not in the best shape with RSV running around our house. Glad to get out the door, legs felt fine. The pace was really easy to hit, so I’m expecting great things this spring when the weather starts to improve.

And EVERYONE has gotten sick

Baby Girl wasn’t well, so we took her into the doctor on Friday afternoon. Turns out she has RSV, which explains why Little Buddy was so sick this week. It appears, now that we’re 3–4 days into it, that she’ll be okay if today goes alright, but we have to be very diligent about keeping an eye on her. I’ve been battling this, and so far I’m winning, but the Teenager went down on Saturday for a while. The Wife got hit last night, so I’m pretty sure that today is going to be all about cleaning and scrubbing and getting all exposed surfaces wiped down. Nothing like illness during the holidays.

And, to bury the lead, yet again, it’s Christmas! Merry Christmas to you all! We’ve had a nice time so far. Gifts on the 23rd, in case we needed to take Baby Girl in to the hospital on Christmas Eve or Day for additional support (fluids, clear her airways, etc.). The boys have loved it, The Wife didn’t give me coal this year, and we have been able to be together, which is all you can ask at this time of year.

The running will continue, as it has to in order to meet THE GOAL. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Running Blind

Today’s Run

Time – 59:29
Distance – 6.4 miles
Pace – 9:18 min/mi
Elevation – 153 ft.

Urban light pollution much?

Anything to get out the door and run. I skipped yesterday, which was my second day off this week so far, to take care of sick kids. I got in today’s run in last of the good weather, felt good, and ran really hard for mile 4 (8:07). Glad I got it in.

It was late, and the weather will turn soon

Left work late, stopped to get dinner, hit the grocery store, and picked up Starbucks for The Wife, who was taking care of sick kids today. Little Buddy went to stay with grandparents tonight, so Baby Girl and the Teenager were the only ones at home. I was able to get out, which was good, as this might be the last warm night for a while. It was bright out, too, with the cloud cover, so I was able to enjoy parts of the run a little more because it wasn’t quite pitch black.

Stress can be “not easy” some days, especially when things get off track. It’s really a pain when the little things go off the rails. When big stuff breaks, everything has to stop and the world comes together to fix the broken. When the little stuff gets delays, or issues, or just isn’t quite right, then everything seems to domino. A couple of days of a sick kid moves around the order of operations for the whole household, and then the extra time needed to get the house-buying paperwork together can throw in another delay, and suddenly everything is off-kilter.

Patience has to be the order of the day in these situations, I’m learning. Nothing is ever going to go right 100% of the time, so just wait for the correct timing, and do what can be done to keep things from stacking up. It’s amazing what turning on a nearly full dishwasher can do to remedy a day gone haywire. No, it’s not completely full, and can feel like a waste. But having all of the mugs and spoons and forks clean can make the latter part of the day seem easier.

This is a random series of thoughts, but I guess the theme is that, while some things will break and affect the course of a day, nothing small has to ruin a day if it gets worked around properly. You CAN run at 8:30 PM, even if it pushes dinner out to 10:15 PM. You CAN finish health insurance enrollment paperwork when the evening is coming to an end, because it makes the next day much simpler. Little issues can be mitigated with little adjustments.

Even if it does seem like sometimes you have to run in the blindness of the dark, there may be cloud-cover and urban light pollution that brightens up sidewalk.

More of the Same

Today’s Run

Time – 29:59
Distance – 3.1 miles
Pace – 9:35 min/mi
Elevation – N/A


I think a cold is coming on. Little Buddy has one, and I’m feeling it in the head. Treadmill run tonight because I didn’t want to brave the cold, and I wanted to keep it short and on pace. Nothing special, didn’t hurt, but the heart rate was a little higher than normal. I’m definitely coming down with something.

Just Keep Swimming…

More miles, anyway I can get them. Aerobic fitness is all about consistency, and making sure to keep using and growing the ability. Tonight’s run wasn’t for fame or glory. It’s another page in the book.

Running for Goals

Today’s Run

Time – 1:14:47
Distance – 8.1 miles
Pace – 9:12 min/mi
Elevation – 192 ft.


Wanted to run at least 5 miles today, but I felt good while I was out so I kept going and got in 8 miles. Felt really good, and I was able to finish with pace.

Sometimes it’s just about the number

I needed at least 3 miles to make my goal of 30 for the week. I planned to run 5, and did 8 instead for 35 miles for the week. I’m glad that I ran the extra miles, because they felt good, and I haven’t gone longer than 6.x miles in a while, but I need to be more diligent about making schedules and hitting the numbers.

I don’t have to be beholden to them, though. It IS a good thing to run on feel, and to get out and enjoy running. The purpose of a schedule is to mitigate injury through overtraining, and to make sure that undertraining is not a problem either.

It’s all about the sweet spot.

Thinking About Futures

Today’s Run

Time – 57:23
Distance – 5.9 miles
Pace – 9:40 min/mi
Elevation – 215 ft.

What do you see?

Easy run today with a fast finish just because it was getting cold and I wanted to get home. These are the miles that make a difference in April, May, and June. Felt fine to go easy. No pain, no struggle, just running.

Look Into My Crystal Ball

So many things can change so quickly, it’s sometimes hard to see what’s coming next and how it will affect your life. We have had a number of changes around here, and there’s still more to come over the next weeks and months as Baby Girl grows, Little Buddy moves from preschool to all-day school, and the Teenager prepares for Driver’s Ed and his future. YIKES!!!

In the meantime, the Wife and I continue the search for a house for our little tribe, with the hopes that running will be easy in the neighborhood, the house will fit all of our eccentric needs, and that it will be the right price. That’s not asking too much, is it?

I’ve never really been one to get nervous about the future. I’ve always had more issues with the anticipation. I wanted to see what happens next. Not that I want to fast forward to get there, because life is filled with too many moments to pass up. My desire is to know more than anything. This is why I’m still pursuing my Master’s degree outside of my field of employment, and why I read so much about running and other things. The desire of KNOWLEDGE is worth the time to me. Perhaps I’ll always be a student.

More knowledge, however, doesn’t tell the future. It won’t give me insight about what’s coming next. But what it will do is prepare me for those moments when I need to have understanding about the situation and be able to make educated decisions. In the end, that’s what learning is about all, isn’t it? Educated decisions.

What do you still want to learn?