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Archive for the month “September, 2010”

Good Sore

 Pushing your body as far as your body will go is important for peak performance. Knowing when a good sore crosses the line to potential injury can be tricky.

Hard one day and easy the next is key to allowing the body to work and recover. Simple as it may seem, your body can fool you into thinking that going hard everyday is okay. Be careful as when it’s too late, it’s too late.

Some people have tremendous motors that work all the time, but motors are not always the most important part when the joints can wear away without proper care and rest. Some of the greatest college and Olympic wrestlers of all time are nearly crippled from overuse injuries. Hips and knees are far too easily worn away.

Keep the balance between hard work and rest. A good sore is in the muscles and not the joints. Know the difference and live to run another day.


Own It

Running is one thing that you don’t need spectators, bosses or any type of support. Running is about you and self-satisfaction. Everyone has someone who gets on your nerves and running is a great way to release tensions and get away from the stresses of the world.

Your goals are owned by you when running. If you want to lose weight or get faster at any age it solely about you and what you want to accomplish. A job may have limitations, a team sport may have limitations, but running has no limitations as it is only about you and the road. Yeah you may get hurt or may never get as fast as you desire, however none of that matters when it comes to the stress reducing factors that running provides.

Setting goals will get you out the door, but if you just run to run that is good-E-Nuff! Those who don’t enjoy running never really have given running an honest chance.

Fall Marathons in the Midwest

The winters are too cold, the summers to hot and humid, the spring is alright, but you might be burning a little winter weight. Fall is just right. Fresh off a hard summer of training and the weather cools off just enough for peak performance in a fall marathon.

Training in the summer will be tougher than the actual race. Big city marathons in the midwest will have more water, energy drinks, electrolyte packs and maybe even fresh fruit on the course then you can carry on a training run. The weather will be more mild, so conditions should be perfect.

Have confidence that even if you had a few bumps in training that once race day arrives you will experience something magical. I felt that way before all my marathons. Game Day Magic is more about a state of mind than the physical preparation. Tell yourself that you have more than prepared for this day. You body is ready, now tell your mind to believe in yourself and you will have that push you need when things get rough around mile 20, 22 or 23. Heck you may even say to yourself,  “Where was the wall? I didn’t hit a wall”  Then you will know there is nothing like running a fall marathon in the midwest.

Enjoy the magic.

Positive Thoughts

Set backs in training can create frustration and heartache. Injuries happen even when things are going famously. How one adjusts when setbacks happen determine how one will survive as a runner and a mentally strong individual.

Staying positive even when the uncertainty of an injured limb makes your near future a rebuilding period. To get knocked down once and to rebuild is once is one thing. To get knocked down repeatedly and to get back up again and again and again is what makes those who dare to be great just that. Whether it is business, sport or even one’s general health. Do you have the fight to succeed when adversity strikes?

The medicine may be a tough pill to swallow, but if the reward is simply living life to the fullest isn’t it worth the struggle  to get there?

Logging Miles Logging Miles

Many may find it hard to believe that a truck driver was a marathon runner. The image of a trucker is not always the picture of health. I was a trucker and a marathon runner. 4 of my 5 marathons were trained for while on the road as a trucker. Those years were the best to be a runner. Traveling all over the midwest USA and being able to run in the foot hills of Colorado and beaches of the Great Lakes were great experiences.

Truck Stops are not always close to the best of running locals. One must get creative while on the road to make running fun. Not every run will be memorable, however (as mentioned in prior blogs) the accidental discovery can be that diamond in the rough. I have heard from friends that more and more truckers are running and are exercising, which is really cool. Back when I was truckin’ I can’t recall ever seeing another trucker hop out of his or her truck and go for a run. It is awesome to hear that is changing. We should all hope for a healthier community as a whole. My experience is that runners make for better neighbors. It’s difficult to keep others up at night when you have to get up at 5:00 am for go for a run. The healthier choices you make for yourself the less likely you will be a burden on those around you.

Being back home and off the road for the last 4 years, I do miss the variety of places to run that the road affords. That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative at home, it may take more planning, but it can be done. The farther you run to more you get to see. Throw in a bike ride to a running trail and have your own personal duathlon.

Think outside the box for a healthier, happier you.

Chicago 2002

After a failed attempt in my first marathon to qualify for Boston, I was more determined than ever to succeed in my next marathon. Coming so close (6 1/2 minutes off the qualifying standard for a 35 plus year old of 3:15) I knew I could accomplish my goal with steady training and wise dietary choices.

Iowa winters can be treacherous both in temp and icy conditions. I trained with a minimum 10 mile long run from the end of the first marathon to the next. I had failed in my mind and I wasn’t about to take my foot off the gas until my goal was reached.

In 2001 my top long in training was 20 miles. I hit the wall at 23 miles in the marathon and didn’t want to do that again, so in worked up to 24 miles in training 4 weeks out with a 22, 2o and 15 taper. In 2002 in never felt a noticable wall and finished in 3:11:24 knocking 10 minutes off my 2001 time.

Back then in my late thirties I didn’t have much time for crosstraining. Now in my mid forties I see the need to have more balance in my training. Oh the things you can get away with when you are young. It was fun going guts out and giving it all you have in training and in races. Maybe I would have done it differently, maybe hit the bike once a week, but I would never have taken it half ass, not then, not now.


A fall marathon is now out of the question. After 6 miles of a intended 20 miler the knee said, “No.” and the said it again at 8.5 miles. Time to regroup and get strong for the spring.

I will take the 28 pounds lost and the base conditioning and build for a leaner me. It would be easy to get discouraged and fall into a lazier pattern of behavior, yet I feel mentally tough enough to come out better on the other side.

Moment of Truth

Twas the night before 20 miler and all through my brain are thoughts of whether my knee will be able to hold up. After 6 workouts (only 2 of which involved running) in 5 days, my conditioning is good. The saying about a chain only being as strong as it’s weakest link has me concerned. The stantionary bike and boxing workouts have filled some gaps, but will those alternatives be enough to prepare me for this long run?

This long run will be the make or break test for my planned fall marathon. If this one doesn’t fly then I will shut it down and regroup for a spring marathon.

10:00 CDT tomorrow the report card will be known.

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