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Archive for the category “Nike Free 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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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.

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.

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.

Rollercoaster Ride

The following post I started to write on March 29, 2011 as I prepared to run the Fargo Marathon in May of the same year. For some reason I stopped writing and didn’t post it:

It is a cliché’ to say that life is a rollercoaster ride. We all know that things go well and then they don’t. Rinse and repeat.

I have never run a marathon with 2 good knees. I injured my knee playing basketball in January of 1991, waited to have surgery until December of the same year. I didn’t rehab the knee as well as I should and have had stability issues with it ever since. When I started getting serious about running I was always able to run straight forward without pain, but never without fear that the knee would play tricks on me. From time to time the knee would tweak while going down stairs or while playing with my kids in the yard, but I was always able to run. Now within the last year, my knee will tweak on occasion while running. Today was one of those days. It stinks. I feel like I can run the marathon

The interesting part of this finished post is that I can hardly remember the knee tweak in question as I was able to complete the Fargo Marathon that year with no issues with my knee. What I do remember is I did where a knee sleeve for both that marathon and Chicago 2o11. The curse of the knee sleeve…

This year I dedicated myself to running unaided (no knee sleeve/support) and so far it has been a success. The knee feels stronger than in more years than I can remember with no trickiness while running. Yeah it still gets weird on me at the oddest times, but if I can run with no pain in that knee I will take that deal every time.

I once heard a story about a man who was told by his doctor not to run as he had some damage floating around in there. Instead of quitting, he ran longer and imagined the pounding was grinding the debris into minute particles that no longer bother him. That man went on to be a Ultra-Marathoner. The mind wins again.

Bix 7 2012

Last year at this time I had run a marathon, 1/2 marathon, 5k, 8k, 10k and 10 mile race. My seventh race of 2011 would be the 7 mile Bix 7 race in Davenport, IA. 2012 has been raceless so far, but one thing for sure is the Bix 7. Over the last 9 years there has only been one appointment race in my book and that is the Bix 7.

Challenging hills, over 10,000 runners and a great after run party make for good times for those who can handle it. If you haven’t already, give it a shot. The Bix 7 will not disappoint.

Work, Kids, School and Running

These past 4 months, running has taken a distant last place in my life. I went back to college after 21 years off, my daughter made an elite traveling volleyball team and the overtime at work has been through the roof. Running went from 6 times a week to 4 to 3 to 1.

I must say it has been tough. Gained more than a few pounds, but it was worth it. After having nightmares of going back to college and failing, I was able to get an A in my first class back, Clinical Psychology. It will be slow going to get that degree as I won’t be able to take more than 1 or 2 classes a semester to pull down those last 40 credit hours. I will take it as it comes and maybe get in a few miles along the way.

Any way to improve one’s life is worth the struggle, be it by land or by textbook.

7th in 11

2011 Marathon season is coming to a close and as I look back I could have done a lot of things different and maybe would have come through with more desired results. Oh such is the life of a marathon runner.

Chicago Marathon training – I didn’t run fast enough

Fargo Marathon training – I didn’t run far enough

Two big vastly different mistakes with similar lack luster results.

One the bright side I finished my 7th marathon with no career DNF’s. 2012 will not bring a Boston Marathon, however I just want to run and enjoy the experience. Priorities may change, but one thing stays the same – honest effort and an honest life. Ok that may be 2 things.

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