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Archive for the category “Live the Dream”

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.

Chicago Marathon 2016

I got in the Chicago Marathon. 7th time overall and first since they went to a lottery system. What a great feeling. Now it’s time to ramp up the miles and the blog entries. 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.

Central Park Then Boston

I am finding it difficult to sleep with a bucket list type run just a few hours away. Central Park in NYC has to be up there. If my walk down 7th Ave some 50 plus blocks tells me anything is the people will be the scenery on this run. I was wondering if everyone in NYC is an actor or if people just seem more interesting here. They do seem in pretty good shape. I suppose walking those long city blocks everyday would help keep the people of this city in shape.

More of a report on the actual run itself later,

Also looking forward to taking in a run for the first time as a spectator. It is kind of a big deal maybe you have heard of it? Last name Marathon, first name Boston. The prospect of the chance to view the race I have dreamed of running and have qualified for twice is pretty darn awesome. I am sure there will be mixed emotions with the joy of being there filled with the wonderment of what could have been. Hey, it is what it is. I planned this trip to show my deep respects to a marathon and a city that took a sharp blow last year and more than recovered to get an even bigger event (if that’s possible) out there this year.

I probably should get some sleep before these 2 runner’s high events, but I am not sure that will happen, More words later,

 

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

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.

Mile High and Higher

As kids, my parents took us to Colorado on a family vacation. We found a basketball court and played around for a short while. Short because we felt the effects of the thin mountain air. Today the experts call it “altitude training” back then we just called it “sucking wind”.

My best marathon was after some mountain runs, so I feel like it helps to work out at altitude, however there were several other bonus attributes (lowest weight and overall conditioning) at that time, so the results are not scientific. I can attest to running in the mountains to be much more difficult than running at sea level, so that is all that is important. Like riding an old heavy steel bike compared to a new high-tech light one, the hard makes all the difference. I’ll take the hard every time in training to make the final event feel easier in comparison, which does wonders for the mental aspect of competition. To struggle in training makes it much easier to be run relaxed when it counts.

I was fortunate enough to hit the mountains of Truckee, CA over the weekend for the first time in about 10 years. My lungs burned as I ran up from 6,600 feet to around 7,600 feet. I got in about 15 miles over 3 runs (pulling a double on Sunday) in 2 days. Not a lot of miles for a weekend, yet the inclines were brutal, so the miles weren’t my main objective, survival was.

I have a cousin who lives in Monmouth Lakes, CA, which is where many elite marathon runners go for their altitude training. 8,000 feet in city and only up from there in the mountains. He says he can feel a big difference from Truckee to Monmouth Lakes. I sure would like to visit and give it a test. Maybe next year.

Now I am back home to 95 degree heat. Will have to see if heat is more of a challenge than hills and thin air.

Off for a run. Talk to you all soon.

36 Again

To be 36 again. Huhmmmmm, that would be a trick. I remember going to the official time checker at the after party at the 2004 Chicago Marathon. The guy entered my information and said, “3:14:11, great job!” He then gave me high five and I felt pretty darn awesome for the rest of the evening.

Flash forward 9 years and that marathon time is a distant memory. 2 more Chicago Marathons sub 3:28, but never close to another Boston Qualifying time. Yeah it hurts, especially since both times I qualified for Boston, I didn’t go to Boston. Sure I am part of the group that can called themselves BQs, but to never have run Boston still stings.

50 is rapidly approaching. Do I have one more shot at Boston? Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that running is a lot more relaxing now that it is just about my sanity and overall health. Would I like to line it up in Hopkinton and take that hilly trek into Boston? Sure, but will I lose sleep over it? Probably not. Could I take any more wishy with my washy?

After 4o running takes on a different meanings and that is okay. I think.

Mountains as Motivation

As the sands of time blow away the desire to race/compete, the need to find reasons to get out the door become important. Nothing motivates me more than the thought of running through, by or within sight of cool stuff. Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline comes to mind. The thing that really gets me going is a run in the mountains.

It could be that mountain running is such an infrequent endeavor for me. I live in the flat Midwest with Denver, CO 800 miles away. I was fortunate enough to have a career years back where I traveled to Denver several times with enough free time to run over to the foothills of Golden, CO. As a child my family camped in Rocky Mountain National Park. Plus on those family vacations we listened to a lot of John Denver. Mountains really pump me up.

Next weekend I am making a trip to the Lake Tahoe, CA area. A little research on Google Maps and this trip looks promising for a few mountain runs. Of course the preparation leading up to the trip is key. I have been ramping up my mileage over the last few months, however one thing I can’t simulate is the altitude and thin air. When I ran in Golden back in 2002, I was full in marathon training mode and really didn’t notice a difference. This time around I am heavier and my mileage (though above average) is not anywhere near 60 mile per week. Extreme care will need to be taken.

I can hear John Denver now with a medley of great mountain songs…..Almost heaven…..Rocky Mountain High…..eagles fly….

Move or Bust (Bust a Move)

As this blog has been geared for the plus 40 crowd of runners, we can see or feel that some days are more difficult to get moving than others. My daughters got me motivated to get out for a long run on Sunday,  followed by my youngest son wanting to go for a walk and then my wife wanting to play tennis in the afternoon. All of which had their hurdles for this oldish man.

To my surprise my body was able to handle all of the activity in a relatively short period of time. Can’t say I will be doing a triple like that again anytime soon, but the point is that one won’t know what one is capable of until one gets out and does it.

The next day was a bit a chore to get moving again, but I was able to get for a 4 mile lunch hour run, so I must not be too bad off.

Keep plugging, keep running.

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