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Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Run 4 What? The Hard

In less than 3 years this old runner will turn 50. Does the name of the blog need to change names then? Run 450 plus doesn’t quite cut it for me. Some have never caught on that the name of the blog was intended to indicate that the primary audience is the 40 plus runner, but then again it wasn’t supposed to be so obvious that it scared off younger runners. Oh well, a lot of things shouldn’t be so obvious that just anyone can do it. Like Tom Hanks character in A League of Their Own speaking of the sport of baseball, “The hard is what makes it great.”

Running marathons whether you are a 40 or 30 or 20 year-old are not easy endeavors. It’s almost impossible to complete one without feeling it during and long afterward. Whether you are slow or very fast, the distance will take its toll and you will know you have done something great by completing one.

This blog as long as it continues to be thrown out there by this old runner, will always be dedicated to being dedicated to running far. Slower than ever, yet still about the hard as always.


Dealing with Time Off

Telling a runner not to run is like telling a dog not to bark, just about sums it up.

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One of the more humorous and accurate lines about runners is “Telling a runner not to run is like telling a dog not to bark.” I came across that line online while researching running related injuries. We runners know taking time off from running is like a prison sentence. My brother finally convinced me to take time off due to a calf injury. I don’t like it. I told this to a runner friend, who said to me, “So you will listen to someone.”

As much as we may not want to believe it, time off may just do us good. The overuse injuries may not crop up as much if we give ourselves the chance to heal fully. I doubt that most of us have a fully stocked training facility with a full-time training staff  in our homes to take care of us when things go a rye (bread sandwich).

Though we don’t want…

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Not Sexy

Reblog from a couple years back.

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With every passing year, things tend to go south. This is not a novel idea per se, yet understanding how aging has affected you over the years can make a big difference when it comes to your current training goals. The 2 main areas of concern for me are overall speed and nutrition.

I feel like I am working as hard as ever, yet when I punch in the numbers I just can’t hit the pace miles of yesteryear.

I used to be able to eat everything, but McDonald’s and not gain weight. Now if I even dream about the plate size Reuben sandwich I got after the 2004 Chicago Marathon I gain 3 pounds.

For me to battle the speed issue, I am using a completely new (to me) marathon training program for my 2011 marathons compared to past training plans. The plan emphasizes pace, pace and more pace at endurance distances, so we will see…

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The Chicago Way

As I am not a Chicago Police Officer nor a Chicago Civil Engineer, the following suggestions on how to improve the Chicago Marathon are completely personal and without much hope of ever coming to fruition. Since this blog is dedicated to goals and visions of better things, why not make a suggestion or two, even if I am dreaming.

1. Reroute the course to utilize the lake front vistas, Lake Michigan looks like the ocean with infant waves and would go a long way to improving the scenic quality of the marathon. Running among the skyscrapers of Chicago is pretty neat, however looking straight up while running is not advised, unless you want to fall over or strain your neck. The view of the Chicago Skyline from Lakeshore is awesome and can take your mind off of the miles and the pain of the marathon.

2. Reroute the course away from the awful smells of underground awfulness. There are a few points on the course that excel in the area of stench. The pursuit of excellence in this area probably is not what the organizers had in mind. I assume that the stink cannot be turned off with a switch or blown away by a huge fan. Something should be done if at all possible.

3. Move the marathon to November. Heat is a marathon PR potential killer. The Midwest has been staying hotter later in the year. Cool or even cold weather is less of a bane on a distance runner than the opposite in temperature. Yeah, this proposal might conflict with the NYC Marathon, but both races are huge participation wise as they stand.

Really the Chicago Marathon is pretty darn great as is. The expo, course, after party and of course, the fans (all million plus of them) are all special. It is a treat to run with so many in a great city and then celebrate with friends both old ones and brand new ones made that day.

Marathon (I love the sound of it)

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The word marathon to me just sounds cool. (pause) Marathon (pause). Maybe its just me. I often get chills just saying or even thinking the word. To me if i don’t have the word in my head I will skip the occasional workout. If marathon is in there than those workouts find a way into the schedule around a whole bunch of other stuff. Balancing work and a very busy kids’ sports schedule isn’t easy, but doable. No matter how busy a schedule there should always be a way to trim the fat off the schedule and your midsection. 

The second part of this blog on the word marathon involves my favorite question that I and most marathon runners get as well, “How long is that marathon you are going to be running?  The official answer is 26.2 miles. I guess I shouldn’t be bothered by the question as it would be like me asking…

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Sweet Home Chicago Marathon

Some things are just made for each other. Peanut butter and jelly. Front doors and welcome mats. Nights and moonlight. Long strolls along the river with a loved one. Chicago and the marathon.

I probably biased on this subject. I have only run 7 marathons and 6 of them were Chicago Marathons, but like all great fits, we tend to stick with what works for us. Those jeans that have been broken in just right are hard to get rid of.

If you have run the same marathon more than once, you know what I am talking about. Large city marathons have their challenges and knowing what to expect from traffic to the expo, to the aid stations, to finding your friends/support team after the race, all factor in on the overall enjoyment of the event.

I have discussed some of the tricks of the Chicago Marathon in past blog entries, so I won’t rehash those here. The point of this post is to find what works for you and run with it. Chicago is my fit. I plan to run it again next year and the following year. This was a down/off year for me, but I have that bug in my brain to get back to Chicago and finish a few things.

I hope you find your Chicago whether it’s called Napa Valley, Olympic, Nashville, Rock and Roll or Peanut Butter and Jelly Marathon…. now there’s an idea.

New Kicks New Stride

After over 2 years of running exclusively in Nike Free Run running shoes, I decided to give another brand a try. One thing wasn’t going to trade is the minimalist ride. After a load of research, I decided to give the Sketchers Go Run a try. The angle of the sole appeared to make sense with a consistent arc making for what a hoped would be a smooth rolling foot strike that wasn’t too much heal nor too much toe for a nice balanced strike toward the ball of the foot. The other concern was economics as I found a pair on Amazon for $36 when the Nike Free Run runs around $90-$100. I figured if I didn’t like the switch it wouldn’t kill the bank account.

Well the first run was a success. The expected foot strike was  right on. I could tell a big difference from the Nikes. The rolling strike felt more in my wheel house than the Nikes as the Nikes gave me a more slapping (louder) strike, which translates to more shock. The Sketchers really were almost silent at the strike all the way thru the toe off.

The Sketchers are also way lighter than the Nikes. I don’t have the actual weight difference, but it was noticeable right out of the box. The Nikes are also known as rock collectors as rocks get stuck in all the flex points. The Sketchers are very flexible, but employs a more solid design that leaves the rocks behind.

The only criticism of the Sketchers would be the sole may not be as durable as the Nikes, yet only time will tell on that front.

Overall, I am very pleased. I’ll give you all an update in a 100 miles or so.

Logging Miles Logging Miles

Another one from a few years back with a simple, yet positive thought.

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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…

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Drive when there is no Drive

This is an old entry from a couple years back, yet it hits the spot just right, so it makes sense to repeat it.

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Somedays you run out the door and nothing feels right. You just don’t feel IT today. Today was one of those days for me. My legs felt heavy and my mind was not doing the pushing. I could have turned around and gone on home, but I didn’t.

A switch went off somewhere in the grand scheme of running (I not sure when or where), but I started to feel great. My strides were quickening and I felt fast like the me of 4 or 5 years ago.

Just because you don’t feel it right away, doesn’t mean IT won’t happen for you. Sometimes greatness comes out of the murky beginnings.

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Marathon Training Without the Marathon

With no fall marathon on the schedule for this year, I decided I would train as if there was a December marathon planned. The main reason is for the weight loss and the other is the mental aspect of getting back in the game.

My 3 year plan is to get down to lowest body weight of my adult life, which would be lower than any of my previous marathon pursuits and then qualify for the Boston Marathon at the age of 50.

A long road ahead, but the goal is set!


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