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Archive for the category “Born to Run”

Chicago Marathon 2017

Maybe not writing and holding myself accountable for my training, weight loss and pace ultimately resulted in less than desired results. After a devastating 2016 Chicago Marathon after a painful training season, 2017 training was a breeze. No injuries and decent pace miles along with a good June half marathon led me to believe a dramatic improvement was in order in Chicago.

The marathon started well. Running a relaxed pace through the half, a goal of 3:45 was well with in reach. Butttt by the 17 mile point the wheels came off and I was telling myself I wanted the quit and give up marathon running for good. Somehow the sense of defeat was in itself defeated, which allowed for me to finish the race albeit at a far less than expected 4:21:56.

After race feelings (both emotionally and physically) were much better. Physically I felt better than any of 8 other marathons I have run which includes 2 Boston Marathon Quilifying times. I was amazed and can only point to the 4 months of a plant based diet as the only difference in personal conduct compared to the previous efforts.

Suffice it to say, I am not done. I will run again as I am planning 2 marathons for 2018. #dontquit

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Bix 7 2016

This is the time of year I become a broken record and profess my love for the Bix 7 road race in Davenport, Ia. A hilly 7 miles with thousands of spectators and participants on an out and back course that give everyone the opportunity to see the elites tear down back half. All of this followed by the best party on the road racing circuit. No, I am not on the payroll of the race nor any of it’s sponsers, but the passion exists because this is one fun race set amid a Jazz Festival, so there is great music all weekend (not all of it Jazz).

Head on out to the QC on July 30, 2016 and enjoy. You will not regret it.

Mental Game Running Goals

On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.

The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.

Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to  focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.

Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.

A Few From Fifty

Wow, it has been a few years since I posted last, a few years since   I last ran a marathon and just a few months before I turn fifty. I suppose it is as good time as any to get back in the swing of marathon training and writing about it.

I entered the Chicago Marathon lotto and will find out Thursday April 21st if I got in (or not). If that falls through the back up Marathon is the Quad Cities Marathon. The  QC is only 2 weeks earlier than the Chi so my training schedules are pretty compatible.

Winter training has laid down a stable foundation and my long runs have been at over 10 miles for more than a month now. Feeling healthier than the last couple years heading into spring training, so this should be a good year.

Looking forward to more of these updates. Talk to you all soon.

Bix 7 2014

After missing last year’s Bix 7 due to reasons other than physical injury, you could say I have been waiting 2 years to return and run my favorite race. 10 years in a row was a good run and I am looking forward to another 10 as I approach 50 years of age (T minus 2 and counting).
Last year physically was a pleasure. I ran the entire year without pain in my knees yet didn’t run a single road race. This year started off with hamstring and knees issues putting me on the shelf for all of February.
It seems like I have to warm up longer and pay more attention to the little things than the younger me who could fly out the door and run for 2 hours without much thought of stretching or proper hydration.
This being Bix Eve Eve (2 nights prior) I look to hit the sack early and get those z’s that will more than likely elude me tomorrow night as Bix Eve’s tend to do.
So excited to be back, but I am concerned about a goofy hamstring and I strongly hope I have no issues on the hills of Davenport, IA Saturday morn. For the love of running and for the love of Bix.
Plus I looking forward to seeing Meb since he ran past me as I watched him win the Boston Marathon 2014. It will be cool to see him long before I get to the half way point as he hopefully has a large lead. Best part of an out and back course is seeing the elites running toward you. Participant and fan all in one.
Peace.

Running a Love Affair

Running in the mountains, by lakes, through the woods, by historical landmarks, along rivers, on the beach, over bridges, on soft paths, on city streets, by great architecture or any where you find interesting is always a plus when running, however the running part should be enough.

Motivation comes and goes, yet when running becomes a love the environment really doesn’t matter. Rain, cold, wind or anything that can be thrown at you shouldn’t matter when you love to run.  Maybe you are not there yet with the whole love thing. Maybe you just met running and are taking it slow. Not that you are playing hard to get, but just can’t commit to the relationship until you know for sure that running is your soul mate.

I wasn’t a young man when I fell in love with running. I was in my mid 20’s when I started to run, but it wasn’t until my 30’s that I finally used the L word and have been in love ever since. Not everyone will get there, but those who do know what I am taking about.

Running Song of the Day: Walk Don’t Run – Dropkick Murphys. Title will throw you a bit, but the song has a good beat with aggressive lyrics to give you that push.

Fonzie the Good Hood

I may have been a bit delirious after an 8 mile run, while mowing the lawn. I kept thinking about having  a comedian say, “It’s not called a Fonzie scheme, it’s called a Ponzi scheme, Fonzie was a good hood.” Not sure if that ever was part of a stand up routine, but it seems to have a moral to the story. One of those “Don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of story.

Some would say that running has a Ponzi vs. Fonzie kind of rep. Most non-runners don’t run because they say it is boring. I have said if running is boring then you are not using both sides of your brain. Obviously the brain power that it takes to run is not much, yet the brain can take care of so many other thoughts and needs while running. Personally I come up with song ideas and start to solve work and family issues while running. The exercise part is a given, yet the thinking part is forgotten.

Now what does the Ponzi vs. Fonzie have to do with running at all? Well Ponzi was trying to sell you a bill of goods and Fonzie was just cool. So when someone says running is a bunch of boring bunk, you can say if you tried it, you would find it to be really cool.

Running song of the day: Feelin’ Stronger Every Day by Chicago is one of those songs that gives you a powerful boast right when the miles are taking their toll on a long run or marathon. Program it to play around mile 20 and feel the benefits.

7 and 7

In honor of Bix weekend I went for two 7 mile runs. My way of feeling connected to the race I skipped for first time since starting my streak of 10 in a row. I know the race will be there next year and I can start a new streak then, yet I am a tad sad, but I can run, so that is the important thing. Run for mind, body and relationships. Health of all three is key.

This week on the ipod I have been playing my Bix7 2012 playlist ,which has a few songs that I had been rehearsing for an audition for the band Rattlebox. At the time of Bix 2012 I had auditioned, but had yet to find out if I had made the cut or not. It was a very stressful time and I remember thinking more about the band than running that day. Running is so cool that when you are running your mind can take you somewhere else completely. The ultimate multi-tasking.

I wrote this blog with one hand as the other arm had plasma taken out of it. Hows that for multi-tasking? lol

Bix 7 Results (continued)

(continued from previous post)

5. The spectators. Bix has the best cheering section of all races. Marathons like Chicago have people lining the course for most of the distance. Bix has fans lining the entire course plus they up on the figures of the sport like the previously mentioned Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

4, The beat the champs challenge. One average runner has a chance with a head start to win a jackpot. It is pretty cool to see that runner go all out to win the cash and most years she or he does.

3. Street venders. Part of my post race routine is to check out the venders post post race party. I gotten my share of cheap sunglasses and kick ass gyros.

2. 45 minutes flat. Many run for and will always remember his or her PR in a race.  My second Bix I was in top shape and the weather was right. It was cool to run a fast time early in my race career, but frustrating not to get back there year after year.

1. Elite runners on an out and back course. Being able to see the elites racing back at you and judge how far you are from the turnaround is awesome. This more than anything keeps the race connected to all who participate.

10 is just a number when there are so many more reasons run this race. It is truly special.

Bix 7 Results 2013

The weather was perfect for fast times and even better memories. Well, that is if you were fortunate to hit the starting line this morning. After 10 years in a row of running my favorite race, the streak came to an end. Yeah, I am a bit sad, however I will look forward to next year’s Bix and will take this time to reflect on some fun moments over the last 10.

10. Seeing Bill Rodgers in jeans 10 minutes before the race and thinking, “Too bad Bill is not running this year, wonder what is wrong with him.” and then having him pass me at the turnaround. I tried to keep up with him for the next mile, which was great hearing the fans yell his name. I pretended my name was Bill to use the extra support as motivation to keep going hard. He eventually did drop me, but I did have my best time that year.

9, The rain year. Hiding under a bank’s overhang to stay dry before the race. Being soaked for most of the race and then a good 1/2 hour after the race at the post race party. Not the best memory, but there is always the most of something race and this was the most drenched race.

8. The Marilyn Monroes. Several ladies all dressed in all white Marilyn outfits running and then dancing at the post race party. Good for a chuckle and a smile every year.

7. Brady Street Hill. Right off the bat a 1/4 mile hill that keeps the disciplined runners honest and the fools in side stitches or worse. Even effort is the key here.

6. Post Race Party. I will admit it was better when they had live bands, yet it still remains the best post race party in the land. Plenty of food and drink to satisfy all that complete the full hilly 7 miles.

(come back tomorrow for the top five)

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