Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Raindrops keep falling on my Head!!!!

       The best thing I can say about Sundays race weather was at least it wasn't 90 degrees and humid!We were asking for cooler weather and we got what we wished for. Actually take away the wind and rain and the temperature would have made for ideal conditions but you can't take it away so you play the hand your dealt!
     Friday was expo day and as usual spent way more than I should have. I love race expos becuase it's all about the runners-it's like a buffet where you buy anything you want. I met Jessica and Serene in Plano and we all went together. New shoes, 2 new pair of sunglasses, new running duds, and several other items that I didn't really need but sure could use-I bought them all. Did I mention I love Expos?
    Saturday morning after an easy 2 mi. with Jessicas Team in Training we headed out for the hotel(which I didn't get lost trying to find-race starting out with a good sign). For the last 3 years I have spent the Sat. nite at the Team in Training team dinner. Good Pasta and more importantly a very inspirational way to prepare for your race. It was good seeing all my old(not age) and new friends.
   It was still raining when I went to bed Sat. nite and I still hadn't made up my mind what all I was wearing. It didn't help that the one thing (my calf sleeves) that I wanted to wear, evidently I had left behind. I had pretty much decided that I would have to wait till morning to make my final decision. I knew that unless it was freezing I would not worry much about jackets or pants because on race day all that stuff just bothers me. I can train in it but I don't like racing with it.
   Race morning: what we came here for finally got here and it was raining hard at all. Race clothes decision made and I decided to go with short sleeves to and shorts. the only extra would be my arm sleeves and gloves . I brought some water resistant gear that I would keep me dry until the race started and I could throw away once I got to the starting corral. It was just a light rain but no use being wet before the race started because you would get wet enough once we started running. I had been thru this many times before but I just kept wondering what all the 1st time half and full marathoners were thinking about at this moment.
   And we are off! The start had changed from last year and it was amazing how much better the corrals were moving. A little over two minutes and I was crossing the starting line. I'm thinking if the rain will not get any harder then we will have a great day for racing-Wrong! My race plan was simple-since I had missed so many days of training just go out more conservatively at 1st and the finish with all you had. Everything was going as planned then the rains came. It would rain hard then easy. I kept rolling my calf sleeves up and down until they got too wet so I just took them off and carried them. I tossed 2 pr. of wet gloves and was down to my last pr.(good ones that I couldn't toss) so I just left them in my race belt which was wet and driving me crazy. I can train with all this stuff but come race day it bugs the heck out of me.
    I knew I went out slower than I had planned and by mi. 8 I also knew my race goal time wasn't within reach so It was time to adjust my goals. New goal-finish as strong as I possibly could. Once I hit mile 9 I was running good and mad at myself for not going out faster. The good new is I moved up 20 spots after the 15K mark(99 after 5K and 51 after 10K-isn't technology great). My last 5k was my fastest and I did run negative splits so I should be happy with my race. I had 3 major goals and I reached them-run under 1:45(changed from 1:40), negative splits, and finish in top 3 of my age group.
   After crossing the finish line all I could think about was getting to bag check, warming up and getting some dry clothes on. Of course I forgot my dry shoes but after getting my dry socks wet I was given a great suggestions and I put on another pair fo dry socks and dried my shoes using the hand dryer in the restrooms. I warmed up and then went out to get wet again and wait for Jessica and all the other runners that I knew to finish. I took a while to warm up and missed a lot of the half finishers.
    Mary always said that watching and waiting at a marathon wears her out and now I know why. It's the unknown that gets you. Are they ok-on pace-wet and cold? It started raining hard and all I could think about was Jessica was out there around the lake freezing and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it. It was making me miserable(that's the Dad in me-can't be helped). Needless to say everyone finished-some ran faster than they expected some didn't but that's not what mattered. 13.1 and 26.2 miles people in a cold rain.
       Before I end this I would like to say what a great job Dallas White Rock people did. From the free gloves and ponchos at the start, the course monitors, and all the people at the finish line trying to get us dry and keep us warm. An excellent race day for me and I hope for everyone else also!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On The Road Again!

  On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again! Those lyrics were so true these past two weeks for me. My 1st cataract surgery was Nov. 2nd and my second was Nov. 9th, so I haven't run since Nov. 1st. Evidently since the surgery is so successful and relatively safe, the recovery must take longer to be on the safe side. If I had been a golfer instead of a runner I could have been back at in 2 days after each sugery instead of having to wait a week after the 2nd one. Something about running and bouncing upn and down on the road. Who told my Dr. I fell a lot while running?
    My favorite line of all my instructions was where it read: Wait one week to do any strenuous exercise. Wait 2 days before you play golf, Evidently they have never seen me play golf-lot of chasing golf balls in the woods.
    I did manage to learn 2 things with this time off. 1.-At age 62 you lose a lot more of your conditioning in two weeks off and 2.-It hurts more when you start back. Actually I guess that's basically the same thing so I guess I just learned 1 thing, so I'm not as smart as I thought I was. The important thing is that I am running again and I can see clearly. No more will I be able to get off course on a race and blame it on the course official. Now I will be able to see the official pointing at the turn and not just think she was just waving at me because I am so darn cute in my running shorts.
    Anyway-as my friends at Brooks Running say-"Run Happy"! I know I am.            

Friday, October 21, 2011

That was then, This is now!

    As I sit here wondering about where to hang my finishers medal rack and knowing I have to get another one, I think when did hanging these medals become important to me.Don't get me wrong I liked the medals but up until a certain time to me they were something extra you got after you ran the race. My main concern was my finishing time and my place(overall and age group). It is hard to write these thoughts without sounding egotistical but believe me I'm not.
      Even at Boston and New York I was more concerned with my finishing time than anything else. I had a goal and I wanted to reach it. I also was concerned where I finished and how I compared to other runners my age at some best races in the world. Needless to say I didn't compare as well as I would have liked to but to me that was more important than a finishers medal.
     When did the finishers medals become so important to me? Easy answer-after I had microfracture surgery on my knee and was told there was a possibility I might not run again. I beleived it and went as far as to buy a bike just in case it was true.I did get the go ahead to run but no promises on how much or for how long. This is why finishing each race now is special.
     My 1st race back was the Dallas White Rock 1/2 Marathon that I ran with Jessica. I can't describe the feeling I had when we crossed that finish line together. All of a sudden that finishers medal was the most important medal I had ever earned. I think it hit me right then that those finishers medals were a symbol of all the hard work and dedication I had put in preparing for each and every race.
    I have now found every finishers medal I have and will put them up on my new rack and will buy another one at the next expo.I guess it's true-You never know how much you will miss something until you don't have it anymore. Every finishers medal I earn now will go on the wall where it belongs because you never know which one will be your last. I received a 2nd chance(actually a 3rd chance but that's another story) and intend to take full advantage of it. I want as many finishers medals as I can get.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

   "I hear it's your birthday. It's my birthday too."(Actually it's not-mine was 6 days ago but this is what song I always play for Mary on her birthday). She never lets me forget that I am 6 days older than her and I always say that I can't help it if I like a younger woman!
    I kow this blog is supposed to be about running after I turned 60 and in a way it is. It is dedicated to the one person who more than anyone else made this possible. I'm not at all sure that I would have anything to write about if she hadn't been standing beside me all those years ago when I decided to change my lifestyle and become a "runner". I still remember all those early races when she was always waiting for me at the finish line urging me on-Yelling"kick Tony Kick" just like we were 18 yrs. old and in high school.
     I remember all those training runs where she would measure my mileage for me and hand me water or when she would meet me at certain spots with fresh cold water bottles. It takes a special person to drive all over Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston(in an ice storm), and Austin just to meet me at certain parts of a race and hand me a bottle of flat coke. I can't even begin to tell you of all she has put up with and the sacrifices she has made for me and my running.
     So if you get a chance today, tell Mary Margaret Collins happy birthday!!! She is my greatest supporter/fan/coach and she is more beautiful now than the 1st day I sat by her in freshman history class(You can tell her I said that too)!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yesterday When I was Young!

    As a runner I've always heard the 1st thing to go was your speed. Since I never had much of that I beg to differ. I think it has been my ability to handle the hills in a race, Actually the hills today I 'm not sure any one handled. them real well. Anyone that doesn't think we have rolling hills in East Texas needs to run this course.That said, I have to admit I really like this race, could be I'm a glutton for punishment.
       Jessica and I got to the race about 7 this morning, hit the porta-potties, picked up our race packets, and met up with friends. The 1st thing I noticed was that I had forgotten my flat coke. No problem I would just take an extra packet of E-gel.After another trip back to the car(get my garmin) and a last potty stop it was time to line up for the start. Jessica and I told each other good luck then we went to the start.
    Race time-Everything started out like I wanted it to-1st 2 mi. up and down but not a problem. Then came mi. 3-it was tough-mostly uphill. It was already working on me then I saw David Starrett with his camera taking pictures of me so I had to at least look good. I don't know how he did it but it seemed like everytime I hit a long straightaway David was there with his camera. It helped!
    The middle of the race was series of long hills both up and down but seemed mostly up. I was still right on pace time wise and the fact that I could see the runner that won my age group last race. He was ahead of me but I had it in my mind to catch him. I hit mile 9 thinking I had a chance of running negative splits but by the time I hit mile 11 wasn't going to happen. Miles 10 thru 11 were uphill and pace killers,  The good thing I knew David would be there for one last picture so I needed to at least look like I was running hard.
      The last part of the race I was just hanging on-I was pushing as hard as I could but I could see my competion just moving away from me. By mile 12 he was just a blur(well everything is just a blur to me right now but thats another story). I could only see the color of his singlet when I was at the top of a hill. Finally we turned into the Rose Garden area and guess what-yep-another hill, up the hill,turn the corner, one more hill, then downhill to the finish.
   The finish was great-in the middle of the Rose Garden-on grass and thru the chute. Over at last!  This is my second time to run the Tyler 1/2 and I think this course was tougher than last years if that's possible. Last years course had more twist and turns but I think that tended to break up the hills some. Doesn't matter it was tough.
    It may seem like I'm complaining about this course but I'm not! I like it-Heck when you get that finishers  medal you dang well deserve it, Besides the course is the same for everyone. I really feel like I ran as good as I could today and that's what it all about. I ran 5 min. faster tha I did on my last race and instead of finishing 6 min. out of 1st I was 44 sec. out to the same runner. All in all a very good birthday run and weekend!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"Still Crazy After All These Years"

   I wasn't going to post anything until after the Tyler race tomorrow but after reading all the different runner comments about crazy, weird, strange, and insane I had to put my  two cents in.I think back to when I 1st started training in 1989(2nd go-round of running) and now I see that all the little quirks I had seem to be common in the running community.
   It seems like all the little "goofy" things I was doing weren't so goofy after all, Reading facebook I can see that all runners go thru some sort "preparation" for each race and sometimes even for training runs. I know I still get excited and a little nervous before each race. If I stop doing this then it is time for me to quit racing. Some of the things that I do have changed and some of them have stayed constant for the last 22 years. At least now thanks to Facebook I know I am not alone in doing what I do.
    So whether you have been running forever or you have just recently taken it up-Remember you are not alone-We are normal, it's everybody else thats strange!
    "Runners-Yea we're different"-to be continued!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Go where you wanna go!

  GPS-just 3 letters but they have totally changed the way a lot of us run. GPS watches to me are the greatest innovation since Caller ID. They give us the freedom to run where we want and to know our pace, mileage, and total time immediately when we finish our runs.
  The old way(stone age time) for me was to run a route then get in my car and depend on my memory to be able to drive back over it for the mileage. Next came the out and back method. Drive out so far on a country road, measure it then run out and back with no deviations-boring huh! On my long runs my wife would put water bottles in the car and drive my rte. as I ran it( sweet sweet Lady). She would measure the miles, hand me water, and double check my times-what a girl! Last but not least I would pre-mark every long rte. with spray paint. I think at one time every county road and oil top had a white paint mark with a corresponding mi.# marked on it.
    Now with my GPS all that is gone. I just leave the house and go where I want. Turn left, turn right it doesn't matter because when I'm finished I know how far I went and at what pace. Heck-even on vacation you can run with knowledge that you always know your mileage. They will even map your rte. for you showing elevation as well as turns(I'm really still too technology challenged to figure this all out).
    Today I wanted to run a route similar to my race in Tyler next weekend so I just sought out every hill I could find and ran them. It was a totally up and down winding and turning run today. I couldn't have done that in the past.
    Now this said, I do suggest doing some of your easy runs without your GPS, I-Pod, or MP3 player. Just run to be running! How will you know if you ran far enough or fast enough? It doesn't matter-you were running and that's what counts!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Not Fade Away

This is my goal in every race-do not fade away at the end! Well it did not happen today-ran the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon today and I did fade at the end. It was a tough course but a good course if that make sense to you(in other words I enjoyed the course). This was a 1st time race and I think the race was very well run off and I will be running it again. Granted it was a lot hotter and more humid than I was expecting today but it's not like the race directors had any control over that.
       Back to my race-I knew I wasn't in top shape but I wanted to get a good race in. After all Jessica and friends(Serena and Dianna) were running so everything was pointing to a good run. We got to the race and parking was easy-bag check was simple and most importantly-no line at the port-a-potties. Got all the preliminaries over with and lined up for the race. The 1st song to come on my player-"Eye of the Tiger"-my running motivating music. What more could I ask for? The gun went off-the race started and it pretty much went downhill from there.
          I had a plan how I was going to run this race and I through it completely to the wind the 1st 2 miles. The plan was to go out easy and finish strong. The 1st 2 mi. in 14:40 was not a good plan. I believe a wise man once said "If you are digging yourself a hole and only going deeper-Stop Digging"(thank you David Burdette). By the time I stopped digging it was too late. I crashed and burned somewhere around the 9-10 mi. area. To make matters worse I ended up missing a turn and ended up running 2 to 3 min. extra. One of the volunteers evidently let me run past the turn at 11 and I went and extra 1/2 block too long. Those things just happen.
         No excuses for me-I knew I wasn't in top race shape and wasn't expecting my best time. I have 3 weeks till my next 1/2 in Tyler and a lot of work to do. When it comes right down to it take away the extra time and I ran pretty much what I thought I would. The only trouble with that is I always think I can do better. I wonder-think that's where Jessica gets that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Please Come to Boston

   I have been officially accepted to run in the 2012 Boston Marathon. This will make the 3rd different decade I have run been fortunate enough to run Boston. I ran in 1990(40), 2000(50), 2003(53), and 2012(62). This Boston I will be running with a different perspective than in the past.
      The past Boston's I have gone into thinking I was go to run a super time and have that perfect performance. Never happened although in 2000 I did run a 3:06.36 and even though I was disappointed looking back it was one of my better races. In later blogs I will try to talk about each of my previous Bostons in more detail(what I can remember anyway!).
       This year I intend to really enjoy my trip to Boston and take in all the sights and sounds of the race. It will be a first for me to just run a marathon to enjoy the trip and not worry about time or pace. I think I can do this.        

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take the Money and Run

    Let me first say that in this blog "Take the Money and Run" is a good thing and I will explain. I spent another Sat. morning running with the Mckinney "Team in Training". In case you do not know TNT is a orginization that raises money for lukemia research thru running, cycling and other events. It is a great organization.
    I first saw the "Purple" singlets and race tops at many of the races I ran in but hardly gave them a second thought. Oh sure I knew they were running for a charity but hey it didn't involve me so after the races were over I quickly forgot about them. That all changed when my daughter Jessica became involved. When she 1st told me she was running the White Rock Half Marathon my only thoughts were about her as a runner but that all quickly changed.
    It was natural for me to want to run with Jessica so I went with her to her TNT training run one Sat. morning and it was an eye opener.  I met her coaches and mentors but most importantly I met a group of people who had come together to face an incredible challenge for one reason. They were there to raise money to put and to a terrible disease that has struck someone close to you. I am in awe every time I go run with them.
   This is Jessica's 3rd year to a TNT runner so this is my third year to run with them. I cannot pass one of those "purple" singlets without saying "Go Team". This brings me back to the title of this blog today-I urge each and every one to donate to this cause so the "Team" can take your money and run with it and help find a cure for this thing we call cancer. If you are running in or a spectator at a race and you see one of those purple singlets out there shout out a "Go Team". They will know you are supporting them and just might get them thru a bad spot in their race,

Friday, September 2, 2011

Take it to the limit!

     I think I took it to my limit this morning.It looks like 2 hrs. of runningwill be my longest run for a while. The main reason being that starting in Oct.( yes Jessica-maybe Sept.) I will be running at least one half-marathon a month until the end of March. I won't have time for anything else. Am I thru marathoning-I hope not. I want to run at least 2 more marathons. I haven't decided which ones yet but I do have an idea the ones I want to run.At least one of them I want to run with Jessica and the other one just depends on how things work out. I will know more about it in September.
     I'm not sure how I let myself get talked into running all these races but I know who I am blaming it on. I believe she called me clumsy in her last blog. Actually I think it will be fun and I am looking forward to all of them. i keep telling myself not to worry about times because I have a new motto to live by: All Runs are Good Runs-It's Just Some are Better Than Others.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Wall!

      Every marathoner knows what the wall is and what it takes to push thru it. Sometimes we are succesful and sometimes we are not. I have experienced both as has most runners who have run a marathon or two. the "Wall" I have hit now is with my running in general. It sems to me I am at a point where I can't get over, under, or around this wall.
       In the last 22 years of running I have always had a plan and goals whether it was to run a sub 3 hr. marathon or just lose 50 lbs. and run a mi. without stopping (yes I have been there also). At the moment I have no structure to my running. I am planning on running 7 maybe 8 races between now and the middle of April and I have no schedule of any kind for any race. Except for my long runs I have know idea how far I am going to run when I start out. I just run till I am tired then head back home. Lately I have been turning around a lot quicker than in the past.
       I know I am not going to set any more PR's-those days are long gone but I don't want end up struggling thru every run mentally. I still enjoy running and the feeling it gives me when I have had a really ggod run(although there haven't been a lot of those lately). Someone told me a long time ago that if I ran more than 3 days a week I was doing for another reason than just exercise. I think my answer to him was" What's your point"!
     I am not giving up or retiring because I truly believe that there are 2 or 3(or more) good races left in this almost 62 yr. old body. It's up to me to get thme out of it. I think some 60 degree weather would work wonders for that-What do you think?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Generation-Don't be talking bout it!

            The perfect tune to come on right when I started my last uphill mile on my run tonite. Since it was the Live at Leeds version I was able to listen to the entire song on the last mile plus my warm down and some. Listening to it I couldn't help but think about how much things have changed for my generation in the last 40-45 yrs. I am not going to bore you with the all the things but take it from me there have been a lot of changes. Some good, some not so good but I believe the majority of them good. Life changes and we all change with it.
      When you are 18-20 yrs. old, you think you know everything and you think you are invincible. This attitude leads to a lot of stupid mistakes. I mean a lot of them. If we are lucky we survive them and outgrow this attitude and get wiser with age. Some people(me) take a lot longer to reach this stage  but we finally make it-grandchildren help a lot in aspect.
   I am really not sure what I am trying to say in this post. I think about a lot of different things while I'm running usually triggered by a song I hear. Running down Milligan Dr.(street I grew up on) and listening to the Who reminded of all the great times and great friends I had growing up. PHS Class of  68- the greatest group of people ever.
      When I was 18 I remember someone asking me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I still remember my 3 part answer.1- I didn't want to ever outgrow rock and roll( Elvis is the King and the Doors, Beatles, and Creedence are the greatest RnR bands ever). 2. I wanted to keep running for as long as I could( this one is turning out well). 3-the most important of all-I wanted to be with my high school sweetheart forever and she has been with me every step and stride of the way. No matter what Mary is always waitng for me at the finish line-either in person or spirit. This Sat. Aug. 20th will be our 41st wedding anniversary.
       I guess you could say the way I feel now can be put in the words of a song. "I love the life I live and live the life I love"(with a few bumps, twists, and turns along the way!).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Keep your MOJO working!

    4 mi. run this morning and I have come to the realization that I am in worse shape now than I have been in the last 22 yrs. It seems that I have lost my MOJO and I can't get it back. It is 8 weeks until my 1st half marathon of racing season and I am not anywhere near where I should be in my training schedule. It would be easy to blame the heat or age but I can't because there are runners as old or older than me out there training in this heat.
     As always I do have a plan. Always before if I ran a bad race I would just say " I was just using this race for a training run". Whether it was true or not it always made me feel better so I will just say before the race it is just a training run(unless I run good  and then we go to plan B).
     Now how to get my MOJO back. 2 new pair of running shoes should do it. It has always worked in the past. It is time to go to the Brooks website and start working on getting my MOJO back. Life's not hard it's just simply complicated. As always great running to you!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


        98.6-normal body temperature right! As I sit here with a ice pack on both knees and a pkg, of frozen peas on my head trying to get back to normal temp. I realize I did something this evening that I had never done before, I ran when the temp. was over 100 deg. In all my years of running I had never done this before( except for a few times when I was much younger and they are not to be counted or discussed because 1-they weren't training runs 2. this blog is rated G and 3-my daughter reads this blog.).
       I have been riding the stationary bike for the last 2 days but when I got home from work this evening I just wanted to run. It was 102, 5 which is better than 107 so I thought why not. It was only a 5k run but it was a run and actually I did not feel that bad. I keep saying to myself that in 6 to 8 weeks it is going to cool off.  All I can say is to stay focused and Hydrate-Hydrate-Hydrate.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Times They are a Changing!

        It's funny to me how our goals seem to change in running through the years and miles. When I first started running (the 2nd time around) I had only one goal-to lose weight-as much and as soon as possible. This goal worked out real well.
        The next phase of my running had to do with races. Every race I ran I felt like I should set a PR even though it doesn't usually work out that way. If I didnt't se a PR then I must not have worked hard enough during the week so I would add more miles to my workouts. By doing this I developed a new goal-run as many miles during the week as I possibly could(never said I was smart).
       After turning 50(with age comes wisdom?) I decided to set my goals a little different. I would pick out one to two races a year(marathons and 1/2's) and train hard for those and use the short races for speed work. I still felt like I had than one super race left in my legs and that one race it would be my day when everything went right and I would run the time of my life. I'm not sure if I ran the time of my life after 50 but I had some great runs.
     My next change of goals came after my knee surgery. It was simple-just let me run again. I was able to run and then my gola was to run a marathon, preferably the same one as my daughter Jessica ran. Again this worked out great because I finished the race and watched Jessica cross the finish line of her 1st marathon( along the way I was also fortunate enough to run side by side with Jessica in her 1st 1/2).
      Now I have new goals and they are very simple ones. I think they have changed again because of a combination of age, heat, miles, and a little wisdom on my part.
     Goal1: Finish my runs upright on my own feet.
     Goal 2: Finish my training runs the actual same day I start them.
    Actually I have one more goal: To keep running as long as possible and have Jessica cross the finish line and wait on me!
Whatever your goals are:Keep Runnin!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunshine Superman!

     I started my run out today feeling really great. It was just beginning to turn to daylight and did not feel to bad out there. The 1st 4 or so mi. I was running right on target pace thinking this is really going to be a good run timewise, then it happened. I started slowing down and began feeling miserable and could not get my pace back to what it should be.My feet were even hot and burning. What was going on?
       Then I looked up and realized what had happened. The sun had become my kryptonite. The higher in the sky it got, the worse I felt and ran. I had no lead shield to protect me so naturally, just like Superman I lost all my strength. The last uphill mile home proved to be a struggle but I made it and found a lead shield in the form of the A/C and will live to run another day!  It just goes to show you that "Running is 90% mental and the other half is physical". Please forgive me Yogi for changing that quote just a little.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cool Water

Instead of "My Kingdom for a Horse" this morning i felt like saying my kingdom for some cool water, but since iI don't have a kingdom I just settled for some luke-warm watered down fluid.On my days off in the summer except for my long runs I try to start my runs between 7 and 8 a.m. Even though I don't always manage to do this, it is a habit I picked up when I was racing 3 to 4 weekends a month in the summer. Most races start at these times so I felt like it would better prepare me to race by doing this. Why I still do it I'm not sure unless it at least makes me think I'm preparing for a big race.
      Rambling right along, this morning I left the house with a full bottle of iced cold fluid, but by the time I took my 1st drink the ice was melted and the bottle was 1/2 empty(not good). It is always a good idea to double check and make sure the lid is closed tight and if you feel water running down your back you might stop and recheck the bottle. I wasn't that for from the house and the smart thing to do would have been to go back, refill and re=ice but then noone has ever accused me of being just real smart when it comes to things like this. After all, it was only an hour run right-needless to say was out of even lukewarm fluid when I finished my run this morning and was very hot and thirsty.
      The moral of this story is #1-check then double check your water bottle and #2-it wouldn't hurt to freeze one bottle overnight and take it with you as a back-up. This just goes to prove if you want to survive out there on the road this summer it helps if you are smarter than the road. If not it could be a long hot summer!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Smoky Mountain Rain

It's hard to believe that we left for the Smoky's almost 2 weeks ago. It was a great vacation and I did learn something very important for future use. If it says it is a running or walking trail that's what it means and if it says it is a hiking trail with a moderate or hard degree of difficulty thats what it means(more on this later).
   My 1st day of running consisted of running close to the hotel and i mean real close because the road up to the hotel was a very narrow 1 mi, straight up road that you had to share with very lge. trolley's. After breakfast Mary and I headed to the Mtns.and our 1st hike of the day. Our 1st hike was a total of 4 mi. roundtrip to the top of Laurel Falls on a paved trail. It was paved but it was all uphill to the top and Mary made it to the top and I was very proud of her! Next on to Cades Cove for some more hiking and looking for bears(we did see several also).We came to the Abrams Falls trail next and Mary decided to sit this one out. It said a moderate hike that would tkae 3-4 hrs. round trip. I decided to put my new Brooks Cascade trail shoes on and run it(1st mistake). I started out running at a good pace, the trail was fairly flat and smooth and I crossed a bridge and ran beside a river and the trail started climbing. This is where my problems started because now I really was on a trail with stumps,roots and very lge. rocks to dodge know that if you fell you wou have time to shave 4 times before you hit water or ground, Of course I did take a very hard tumble and scraped my knee up plus I landed on a big rock and must have bruised some ribs in a bad way. After I fell did i use some sense and hike the rest of the way-oh no not me I started out to run the trail and I ran it. I managed to make it to the top and back without any more mishaps but I was beginning to feel the effects of the fall. By the way it was a 5 mi. round trip to the top of the falls and back and well worth it for the great photos i got.
       The next two days were filled with doing the usual tourist stuff with a lot of walking and looking. I did find a running trail that went thru the park from Gatlinburg to the Sugarland Ranger station. It was smooth and only a few small hills and a 4 mi. out and back run. I ran it and Mary  walked parts of it and we also did an easy hike to Cataract Falls(it was easy until I climbed to the top of the falls). We also took a ride on the Great Smoky Mtn. Railroad. We did this on Saturday and Sunday because I had bigger plans for Monday.
       Monday was my big hiking day. I had decided I wanted to do some serios hiking so I se out by myself(Mary was spending the day in the arts district.) My 1st hike was to the Chimney Tops. It was a difficult hike for me but I made it to the top. Next I went to Newfound Gap on the TN. and NC. border and hike a trail that took me to the Appalachain Trail. I hiked some on it then hiked backed to the car. Next I drove to Clingmans Dome and went to the top of it and along the way found some more trails and hike on the Appalachain trail again(cross that off my bucket list-not the whole trail but just hiking on it,) According to my Garmin I hiked a total of 12+ mi. this day but the next morning it felt like I had run 25. My ribs where I fell on them would only hurt really bad at night but they caused me discomfort all day running and hiking.
        We left on Tue. for Charleston and the running there was great. Running along the river you get to see Rainbow Row and the battery and you can also see Patriot;s Park. and Ft. Sumter from the road. Running the museum mile you run thru a lot of history and see a replica of the Hunley submarine. Our last leg of our trip was Nashville(one of my very favorite cities). I ran mostly around the hotel here because it was so big. We did go to the Grand Ole Opry(cross another off my bucket list)and had a great time.
   This is a long post for me I know but it seems like we did a lot in such a short period of time.I am ready to go back and hike some more trails and see some more sights.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Heat Wave!

I think this was the same subject as my last blog. People be careful out there-Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. I can't remember the heat being any more brutal than it is right now(of course some of that memory might have to do with age-as we get older we begin to have more of a selective memory). I know that the heat does affect us more as we get older but this summer seems to be much worse much earlier. I just finished a 4.5 mi. run and I am complete toast. 7:30 am may be too late in the day to run. The best thing to do is to run before the sun comes up or after it goes down. I'll try that when I can.
   Some good news though-the Mavericks won last nite and the Reds actually have won 2 in a row!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer in the City!

OK-I know I am not in a big city and it is not officially summer yet but after my run this morning the back of my neck did feel dirt and gritty. Today is National Running Day so I hope each of my facebook running partners are able to get a run in today. I ran 1/2 mi. intervals today because for some strange reason I think the 1/2 mi. is a great race to run and watch( 800 meters to you people born much after me).
     I noticed that several major races are offering discounts if you register today. I am even watching a commercial on tv as I type this for White Rock. The lottery for Houston opens today also and I hope that each and everyone of you that enters has their name drawn. I think I am going to register for the 1/2 at Rock and Roll San Antonio and for the 1/2 @ White Rock. Tyler in Oct., Houston in Jan., Austin in Feb., Little Rock in  March and then I will do my best to find a great race in April. I now have a plan and everybody needs a plan.
   Again Happy National Running Day to everyone-runners and non runners alike!!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Running on Empty!

That's what it felt like I was doing out there this morning. I could blame it on many things but I think I'll go with the heat and humidity. It seemed like the whole run (9.6 mi.) I was in a sauna and had no way to get out.This is the time of year that runners have to be extremely careful until they get used to the heat and humidity. I know it bothers me much more now than in July and August. There is good news though-I just received an e-mail that my new running shoes have been shipped and are on the way. Hopefully here by June 1st National Running Day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Light My Fire!

Lately my runs have been a little sluggish and I am not sure why. I was staring a 9 mi. run in the face so I knew I needed something to light a fire under me(now you get the title). Time to go from my training playlist to my race playlist. On my training MP-3 I have all my cd's downloaded but on my race Oakley's I have only 50's, 60's, and real early 70's music. I mean if you can't pick up the pace when you hear Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels blasting out "Devil with Blue Dress On " then something is wrong.
      Needless to say I had a much better run today and now I think I can go back to my regular playlist for my easy training workouts and use my race playlist for my speed and hill workouts. This worked out so good I even think I will start using music for all my post titles. I am sure that at some point in my runs a certain song or lyric will standout and it will make a great title.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Houston I'm one step closer!

This morning about 5 A.M. I got a text message telling me my qualifying run got me into the Houston Aramco half marathon. I have been stoked up ever since. I have never run this particular race even though I have run the Houston marathon twice(one good-one bad). The most exciting part of the whole race weekend to me is the fact that I will actually get to see the Olympic Marathon trials live. This race will be special to me because I will be watching someone run in the trials who I coached during her high school cross country and track seasons. It will be a special moment for me when I see Meagan Nedlo pass by as one of the best runners in the USA. Did I mention that I am stoked for this race! Ithought I did.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Whatever Happened to the Easy Runs?

What a difference 20+ years make. When I 1st started running it was so easy to run after work. I couldn't wait to get home, lace up the shoes and hit the pavement. It didn't matter what kind of workout-easy,speed, tempo,hills, or a long run-"it just didn't matter". Now I come home(trying not to talk myself out of running while I'm driving home-thank goodness it's only a 25 min.drive) and struggle just to put my shoes on. The runs seem harder to get thru also and all I am running are easy runs that aren't so easy anymore.
    The question comes to mind if it hurts so much then why do I do it, I could say that what doesn't kill you makes you better but the real reason is simple. I still feel a great sense of accoplishment and pride everytime I finish a run no matter the distance or time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Was I Accepted?

Got in this morning from work at 6:45, took a shower and laid down. Alarm went off at 7:55 a.m. so I got up and signed on to the Houston Chevron Marathon web site. At 8:00 a.m. I began filling out the early registration form. So far so good, I finished the registration and hit submit-of course it didn't take because I had done something wrong(did I mention I am technology challenged).  It seems that I had put my qualifying time in the wrong spot and of course when I tried to correct it, I not only messed up again but somehow I managed to lock up the web site.After 3 more tries I did manage to submit my actual entry( even though Mary said she didn't realize I knew that many different bad words). Now I am just waiting to find out if my qualifying time is accepted and if I will be running the half at Houston this year.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Team in Training

This morning I ran with Jessica's Team in Training in Mckinney. I always enjoy these runs not only because it gives me the oppurtunity to run with my daughter but also because I just enjoy running with Team in Training. In case you are not familiar with TnT, they run for others who cannot. They run and raise money for Lukemia and Lymphoma research. They also raise money for patient care among other things. Jessica's team is made up of 1st time runners, seasoned pro's, and everything in between. It is great to run with runners who are not only helping themselves but helping others. I guess the purpose of this post is to urge you if you have a chance to donate to the TnT runner of your choice. This will make you a part of the Team!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Running after 60

It's hard to believe but I have been running the roads around Pittsburg Tx. since 1989 and I have chronicled every mile run in a log book of some kind or another. Now that I am over 60 It now seems like a good idea to me to share my thoughts about running. I do hope someone will get some enjoyment out of it as I share my daily workouts and runs with everyone. There have been so many changes in running in the last 20+ years that it will take a while to talk about them all. This is one area that I will enjoy talking about because all of you that know me know I don't have a problem talking about running. So check back and see what an old man has to say about running