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.

Productive Running: The Question

Today’s Run

Time – 58:40
Distance – 6.3 miles
Pace – 9:16 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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One mile warmup, 4 miles at 8:57/mile pace, then cool down. No fast finish. Just running. No news feels like good news.

What is Productive Running?

My Garmin Forerunner tells me that I am “maintaining fitness” right now with my runs. There’s a metric that shows how each run is supposed to affect me. Now it’s time to research this and figure out what that means.

#GetOutTheDoor

Today’s Run

Time – 1:32:38
Distance – 10.0 miles
Pace – 9:16 min/mi
Elevation – 210 ft.

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This guy is cold!

#GetOutTheDoor is real! I got to run outside today before the freezing rain (which wasn’t so freezing after all) arrived. 10 miles of windy goodness, which I enjoyed immensely. I went out at 9:20–9:30/mile, and figured I would just hold that the whole way. As I came back, I got nervous about the rain, I had to pee, and I was getting cold (those last two are a bad combination), so I picked it up a bit and ran 9:03 pace for the last 4 miles, all at a 153 HR. That’s really good for me! I can really see the speed kicking in. There’s a lot of opportunity in these legs. Plus I negatively split the run by more than 90 seconds, which I will take on a 10-miler!

Technology is cool

My running watch has a prediction capability based on different calculations that will tell me what it thinks I can run. While some of these numbers seem ludicrous, they may not be that far off. Today’s run, which was long for me, showed me that I have a lot of ability in my legs, especially as distance wears on. I may never be an elite marathoner or win at Western States, but I might still be able to get to some of my goals.

These numbers are based on the calculation that the watch does for VO2Max. This is something that normally requires much more sophisticated equipment than a HR strap and a running watch to measure, but the general nature of the prediction is the key here. The watch thinks that a 22:11 5k is possible, as well as a 1:41:57 half marathon. Both are still fast for me, and the prediction assumes perfect conditions, but this gives me something that I can aim to accomplish.

Today was a 10 mile run in the cold. I wasn’t wanting to race it, and I haven’t spent any time doing speedwork, or even running very fast for that matter. But I was able to run at a speed for 4 miles at the end that would have caused me to fall over just a few months ago. I know that I’ve been growing and improving as a runner, and that those improvements will taper off. For right now, though, they continue to give me hope that I can do this thing that I want to do.

I CAN run 100 miles. I CAN run faster than I ever have before. I WILL run.

Where Does The Time Go?

Today’s Run

Time – 37:17
Distance – 4.0 miles
Pace – 9:18 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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First run of the year was a treadmill run. 3.5 miles at 9:13–9:31 pace with 2 quick 6:58/mile pace strides at the end for a couple of minutes each. The faster running at the end was REALLY quick, but it felt good. The rest of the run was easy and sustainable. I need to be doing more miles and more time, but I didn’t get to run until very late. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get into the gym sooner and get the runs done.

What’s in store?

2018 has some interesting things on the horizon. We’re looking to buy a house in the next month or so, then we have to immediately move because the month of February is full, and we need to be out of the rental by March. The company I work for has gone through a change, which should be exciting and full of opportunity. Baby Girl’s arrival will only continue to bless our lives. The Teenager turns 15 right after we move, which means that Driver’s Ed is right around the corner (no more road running for me!). The Wife and I will celebrate our 10-year anniversary just after the move as well. There’s a potential marathon in my future, the thesis for my Master’s degree, and then graduation.

Summer means busy times! More running races, Tee-Ball for Little Buddy, and getting ready for a new school for him, too, as he’ll be out of Pre-School and into Kindergarten. The Teenager will be in full swing for homeschool high school, and we’ll probably keep the learning going this summer as next summer he’ll have a job.

The Fall will be family vacation, end-of-year madness, and Baby Girl’s going to be walking soon! The Teenager will be thinking about driving (save us all!), Little Buddy will be thinking about getting too old too fast, and The Wife and I will be hanging on for dear life.

This should be a great year!