Mile PR #2

Today’s Run

Time – 38:52
Distance – 4.09 miles
Pace – 9:30 min/mi
Elevation – 82 ft.

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2 mile warmup, 1 mile run on the track, then a 1 mile cool down. New PR, again! 7:20! Apparently, the 7:45 last week was soft because of the wind. I didn’t have much else left in the legs after this, so that’s definitely closer to the top end for me as of right now. Time for a lot of miles and hills to build the speed more.

Hills are speedwork in disguise, they say

I’ve heard that line numerous times. “Hills are speedwork in disguise.” Living on a hilly street is starting to pay off. Every run has at least three hills on the way home. And, because they’re at the end of the run, I’m usually picking it up at the end to get home quicker. This puts more effort into the hills, thus getting me more out of the hills.

It’s not scientific by any means, just an ancillary benefit to my regular running routes. I’m starting to like the available runs here. There’s not as many options as there were at the last place. I had, within a half mile of the old house, 8 different routes that I could go, each of which could be 3–10 miles or more. Now, it’s a mile either direction out of my neighborhood, and still there’s only another 2 or 3 choices another mile after that. The choices are not bad, however, and are safe and scenic.

There will be a lot of driving to running starts from now on, though. It will be good to be forced to add new routes. I could use more time at the track, or on trails, as a part of my running. Those are things that help to improve.

So I Saw a Unicorn

Today’s Run

Time – 45:26
Distance – 5.08 miles
Pace – 8:56 min/mi
Elevation – 135 ft.

Ran the standard 5 mile out-and-back. Little breezy, felt a little tired, but I held together the whole time. It was a good run without much to report.

You read that title right

Finishing up my run, turned for home and ran past a bank that was having some kind of party/Grand Opening/whatever. There was a tent, balloons, and pony rides. As I’m passing the pony area, I noticed that one of the ponies had a shooting star on it’s rump. “Ok…then…” I think, and figured I would just keep going. Then I saw that both of the ponies had a unicorn horn. I just about stopped in the middle of the sidewalk.

Yeah, there’s not much to say about that. I didn’t get a picture, but now I can check off the list that I’ve seen two unicorn. All I need now is a cat with a headband and a golden gun, and my mission is complete.

Why I Hate Running

Yesterday’s Run

Time – 41:15
Distance – 4.24 miles
Pace – 9:43 min/mi
Elevation – 187 ft.

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Little Buddy hates running, too.

Easy day following a harder day. Just tried to keep my pace from speeding up into the tempo run range. It didn’t feel bad at all, and my legs were really solid. I’ll be back into the rhythm soon.

Why I Hate Running

To be clear, I don’t hate running all the time. I hate a lot of things about it, though.

I hate that I’m still trying to get away from the fat kid I was when I was younger, and he seems to always be right behind me. I don’t remember him being that fast, or having this kind of endurance. I keep getting pushed to get out the door because I need to put him in the rearview mirror and keep him there.

I hate that it seems to take forever to get faster, despite all evidence to the contrary. Last year in July, I was running 2.5 miles at 12–13 minute per mile pace. It’s 9 months later, I’m doing 8’s and 9’s for my miles, and I know that 12–15 miles is a reasonable long run. Perspective is hard to get when you do something regularly without taking time to sit back and view the work being done.

I hate the fact that I like doing this so much that I find myself daydreaming about taking a run when I’m in the car on the way to work, or in the evenings while winding down from the day, or that I find myself running in my dreams. This is getting a little obsessive.

It is, however, pretty cool that get to keep running, in spite of the fact that I seem to hate it so much. Maybe I’ll go for a run after breakfast…

That Wasn’t Pleasant

Today’s Run

Time – 39:01
Distance – 4.25 miles
Pace – 9:11 min/mi
Elevation – 121 ft.

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The first real sunshine in 10 days means that it’s time to go running. This was the first run in almost 2 weeks, and I paid the price for it. Nothing too hard or too fast, but I’m definitely going to have to work to get my legs back. Pace was bearable, and I wasn’t pushing too much.

A series of unfortunate delays

I’ve been asked by friends and acquaintances more than a few times over the last 2 months, “What happened to the blog?” There’s no one answer to that, of course, as life doesn’t really consist of one thing.

  1. We bought the house and moved in, which has been an adventure, to say the least. Moving everything you own every 2–3 years gets really old, and this time seemed to take a lot longer than most. Maybe that’s because we know we won’t have to do it again for a long time, unless the unfortunate happens. Until then, we’ve got a house! It fits our family just right, is in a decent neighborhood for running, and a great neighborhood for everything else.
  2. It’s been raining more this spring than I can remember, and I have NO motivation for treadmill running. That doesn’t help at all, and so I’ve left a lot of running days on the table.
  3. I’ll be skipping the marathon/half-marathon this spring. All of these other things have required that I jettison a couple of items, and this is one that has to go. I’m disappointed in myself, but I know that, based on what my running is really starting to look like, I’ll be pleased with the times I can put together when I get the next race in.
  4. My Master’s thesis has been postponed to the fall. This just hasn’t been able to happen due to work and family needs, and was the other thing that I’ve pushed off, besides the race. I go to a great school, and my advisor and the department chair have been helpful with getting my schedule adjusted. I’m very grateful.
  5. Finally, there’s the family. Because of all the things that I haven’t been doing, I’ve been spending that extra time I’ve had with them, and it’s been amazing! Baby Girl is growing so fast! Little Buddy is turning into a whole new personality, thanks to time in the program at his school! The Teenager is 15 now, and we talk about cars, which is scary to say the least. And, above all, I’ve gotten more time with The Wife, which makes me happy.

All in all, the trade off between running and life has been worth it. I’m okay with the way this has gone, even though I’m not getting out the door or blogging as much as I would like. The running hasn’t gone away completely; I’ve run 12 times in the past 8 weeks, so I’ve been getting it done a little bit, but nowhere near the numbers I’d like to see. I’m 187 miles behind pace for 1500 this year.

It’s time to get back on track.

When the Weather Is Good

Today’s Run

Time – 53:04
Distance – 5.64 miles
Pace – 9:24 min/mi
Elevation – 118 ft.

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At least it’s not raining men…

Easy day, post workout. 40–50 minutes. I went a bit long, but I felt really good the whole time. My achilles are a little sore this morning, but nothing that I have to worry about.

Let the sunshine in

Weekends are great, because running in the sun becomes an option. Not only that, but I get to run in shorts, outside, when the weather is nice. Score!

Random side-note: My 7 week old daughter, Baby Girl, loves to listen to the soundtrack to Pocahontas in her rocking seat. She first heard it in the hospital when she had RSV at 3 weeks. She’s gonna be a Disney princess for Halloween, every year. I can tell.

No dinosaurs and pirates for this dad anymore…

Meeting Old Acquaintances

Today’s Run

Time – 48:50
Distance – 5.04 miles
Pace – 9:41 min/mi
Elevation – 194 ft.

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Do I know you?

More cold running. The marathon training plan said 40–50 minutes of easy running, so that was the plan. Lots of light jogging around the quick loop through town. It felt really easy, and I had to slow myself down a couple of times because I started to go sub–9:00/mile pace. That’s a great problem to have, I think.

Say, aren’t you…?

Out running this evening, I ran into a guy I knew from college. I haven’t seen him in nearly 20 years, and we didn’t get to spend too long catching up because he was with his family, and it was cold. It was good to run into him, though, because he’s been living a couple of towns over for a while, and we had not connected yet.

This made me think about the things you get to see when running. I had read an article on Runner’s World’s website many years ago that was an account by a runner of the adventures he had with his small group of running friends. There was a lifetime of stories, including being chased by dogs and people, finding things along the roadway, getting propositioned from the windows of passing cars, and other strange-but-true tales. There were discussions, debates, arguments, and silence. There was solo runs, runs of two or three, and races. It was a collection of the stories that are gathered over a collection of years.

My meeting last night was another of the stories I get to add to my own collection. It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s another memory I get to keep from my own running life. And that makes it special for me.

Today’s Run x 2

Today’s Run x 2

Run 1 – Wednesday

Time – 40:37
Distance – 4.2 miles
Pace – 9:39 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

Treadmill run at the hotel. No TV to watch, just a window to stare out into the evening skyline in Kansas City. Didn’t really push hard as this was a recovery run. Every treadmill brand feels different, and this was no exception. A little stiffer, but not bad on the legs.

Run 2 – Thursday

Time – 1:12:09
Distance – 7.4 miles
Pace – 9:39 min/mi
Elevation – 482 ft.

I wasn’t looking to run hard as this was an outside run from the hotel into parts unknown. I had the cold wind at my back going out, and then it was bitter coming back. Lots of hills in KC, and the sidewalks were a little icy in some places. The run felt great, though, and I was able to put in the miles without much thought. I need to add more effort to some of these runs, though. I’m going too easy too often.

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Running while on the road…wait…

Traveling for work makes running more interesting. The running clothes get left in the back of the shower during the post-run rinse to remove the locker room smell, and most runs outside need to be out and back to remove the risk of getting lost. But, new sites are pretty cool, and I got to see thinks that you don’t pick up on from the Uber as you drive by.

When I travel, my blog is going to suffer, I can tell. The hope is to keep putting my runs out there, along with my thoughts, so I can keep it all straight. Time will be the X factor.

In the meantime, I am realizing that I have fallen into the trap of too many runs at the same speed and duration. Lots of 5–7 mile runs at low to mid–9:00/mile paces. This is going to get to be a problem. I need more workouts, and better paced easy runs, to get faster.