Run440plus's Blog

from one runner to another pass it on

Archive for the month “January, 2011”

Snow Rush

Pushing through the obstacles the weather brings can be frustrating to the runner. Pushing through the negative thoughts can be difficult, but rewarding. When it is snowing outside, one may start running through the list of excuses that may prevent the weak from taking that first step out the door. Some are legitimate reasons like getting hit by bad drivers on slippery roads. Some are mildly inconvenient like the layers of clothes and the time that it takes to suit up and strip down. Something like getting dressed shouldn’t be seen as a major hurdle.

Focus on the rewarding feeling one gets from the workout. I am in my fifth month of lifting weights and 2nd decade of serious marathon training, each workout may have varying levels of satisfaction, but the common denominator is satisfaction.

The challenge may be different each day, season to season, yet the challenge will be rewarded with the rush only experienced by ample effort.

Push on through.



Sunday of week 3 brings the first 10 miler of the program. The Fargo Marathon is just 15 weeks away now. These 3 weeks have flown by. Each run seems to take little or no time. Why does this feel so easy?

10 miles this afternoon will put the total miles for the week at 38. As the numbers and overall confidence goes the program is going famously. The only thing that would make everything perfect would for a few warmer days and better conditions to complete the speed and marathon pace sessions. Mileage and overall health (check). Speed (TBD).

10 pounds of winter clothes. 10 pounds left to lose before the marathon. With those extra numbers being carried on each run, I feel like the pace will come as I progress through the program. February and March should be warm enough to see an accurate pace on those speed workouts.

The speed may be stuck at an 8 right now, but the attitude is at a 10. Perfect.

Pick Up Line

When starting a new workout plan or healthy lifestyle, you never know if you will be the only one who will benefit. Often those who change their life will inspire those around them to do the same. Some by accident and some on purpose.

The scene in the movie Jerry McGuire where Jerry gets fired and then asks to the entire office, “Who’s comin’ with me?” came to mind when I started running. I knew then that I wasn’t just running for myself, but for everyone who would see the results and want to come along for the ride.

Last night, a friend I hadn’t seen in a while asked if I had lost 100 pounds. I said more like 35. He said you look good. It was a short exchange between bowling frames, but you never know if that will be the inspiration to change someone’s life. Everyone needs a little pick up once in a while.

Pass along the strength.

For 40 Plus

40 articles plus and still growing. 40 years old plus and still running strong. You don’t have to be 40 or older to appreciate the contents of this blog. Some the people I know who read this little rant are much younger than me and my peers, yet there is some solace in knowing that the older generation can still kick it.

When I was 28 I didn’t have much thought about the prospect of being active and competitive in my 40’s. If I had influences at that time who were much older and running faster and farther than me, I may have had a more positive attitude about what the future would hold.

Given the current state of communication avenues, we all can benefit from the experience of others more so than any other time in history. It is exciting to know that no matter how quirky one’s interests are, there are people out there who are as quirky and interested in the same things. 

In this blog you have a guy writing his 45th article in the same year he will turn 45. The mission has always been to motivate others to get off the couch, put down the ice cream and get moving. If one person does just that then this blog has been a success. I hope that it will be one plus, but one is always a start.

Please see the other 44 articles if you haven’t already. There should be something for everyone in there. From marathons to amusing musings. Try it and you may just start yourself down a great path.

A body in motion tends to stay in….

Need for More Speed

I have never run a spring marathon. My training experience has always been during the summer for a fall marathon. This winter training is more difficult than what I had anticipated. Getting the miles isn’t the hard part, but the speed is the trouble aspect of this deal. Snow and tracks closed for the season really have put crimp in my need for speed.

The treadmill is where I have tried to get some speed work, however I just can’t get the right feel for it. I hope the snow goes away soon, so I can get outside and really fly. Please bring the heat and melt that white bain to my running existence. Thanks.

Delivering the Mail

The program continues with week 2 going off without a hitch. Tomorrow brings 8 miles and the end a successful training week. Like a postman on his route, the mail must be delivered no matter how cold and miserable it may be.

The biggest difference between this program and my prior marathon training efforts is this program is holding me accountable for a daily routine. It the past I only paid attention to my weekly long runs and fit in other runs of varying distances and paces the other days. This program has a speed day,  a tempo/marathon pace day and a long run day plus 3 other running days every week.  6 days of honest hard work. Put it on the calendar, own it and it will be there for you to live, learn and experience.

2 weeks have flown by, 16 to go, which doesn’t seem like that much more. Keep on plugging.


My wife and 10 month old son were sick today so my scheduled 6 mile run was cancelled. I did get in my weight lifting workout at lunch, so I was able to get some exercise in for the day. The program only has one day a week off from running. I may have to increase the mileage over the weekend, however that may be difficult with a 6 miler and 8 miler scheduled for both days.

The wise choice at this point would be to use keep the mileage at the prescribed amounts for both days as I do not want to run into overuse issues this early in the game. I have planned for this training program and am giving myself the recognized standard 18 weeks to complete. I have hit a few hurdles this first week, but not enough to throw me off the track. Power ahead.

Runner/Writer’s Block

Today brought the most productive run of the training program to date. 6 miles over the hills of Mt. Vernon, IA. It was dark, 16 degrees and the sidewalks were a bit snow and ice-covered, so caution was the key. I was able to push the pace in spots, which made for an impromptu intermittently intense workout. It was one of those taking lemons and making lemonade type situations. Less than ideal conditions (to be expected for the next 2 months) and making the best of it.

This was one of the nondescript days on the program. 4-6 miles depending on ability and level of experience.  In three weeks Thursdays will be at marathon pace, but for the first two Thursdays no pace requirements are set. The weather called for adjustments, yet the overall feel of the run produced a positive result.

As the title suggests, sometimes the words and the steps don’t always come as easily as one would like. Those who choose to fight through the block are the ones who end up with the greatest accomplishments.

Humble Beginnings

Day 3 of my 18 week training program for the Fargo Marathon is a day off from running. A suitable moment to write about the progress to date.

Day 1 provided options within the plan. I could choose to not run at all or run up to 4 miles. No pace requirements were set. Distance is the only noted feature. Due to other commitments my running was restricted to an indoor track, which I had never experienced before. This track was much harder than I expected. I ran 3 miles and my knees really felt it. Having run 5 miles the day before (last pre-program run), I felt 3 miles would be adequate given the unforgiving surface.

Day 2 is set for speed. The program calls for 3 total miles at intervals of 800 meters at 10k pace with 400 meter jogs in between each interval. I went to my work’s gym and found all 3 treadmills in use. I jumped on a stationary bike to make do until a treadmill became available. 10 minutes n the bike and which point a treadmill was afforded to me. After a 3 minute warm up, I notched up to 7:19 minute pace (marathon pace, however on the treadmill, it felt more like 6:20 pace). After 20 minutes and 2.5 miles the workout is over.

Overall the program has kicked off in a less than spectacular fashion. The running has not met expectations, however I am encouraged by the weight training (all supplemental to the program) and my overall health going into the program.

*Please note the program’s author will be revealed once the Marathon has been completed. This is to insure the program was honored by me with both training diligence and marathon performance. *

Experience Life

“The road in life may take many trick turns. It is those who close their eyes who never learn.” Those lines are from song I wrote after the death of a family member and I preformed the song at the funeral. The song title, Stay Strong, sums up my philosophy of life. When things don’t go your way, do you fold up stop or do you strive to fight through? Life is short and even shorter if you do not take advantage of opportunities and let obstacles defeat you.

If avenues are closed for you, go off road and find new challenges to enjoy life. Dare to be creative. Stay Strong.

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