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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.

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.

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.

Chicago Marathon Results (The Band was Good)

I think I ran 30 miles today. 26.2 would have been enough, but the bobbing and weaving had me spent by the half marathon. I ran through 22, but walked a bit after that when my good knee decided to shout at me and say enough was too much.

I really shouldn’t complain, I finished my second marathon of the year. I participated in something not everyone has the opportunity to do. I am thankful and will continue to plug away, lose a few more pounds and find a trail marathon to do in the spring.

The Expo, the experience and the Band was good, so I will put this one on the plus side for fun and overall enjoyment. I will say that I was good as retired from marathon running somewhere between 22 miles and 30 minutes after the race, but before a press conference could be organized, I recanted and started planning the next one. My priorities have changed from Boston Qualifying to finishing as many different marathons as possible. New York anyone? Big Sur?

Habit of Bad Habits

To say I like to over do things I like to do would be an understatement. A lot of the good and even more of the bad. If I didn’t run I would probably weigh 300 pounds. Running makes me not want to do the bad things, but I still over eat from time to time and a day off from running makes me hungry or bored or both.

We all have different reasons to run. I love it and it loves me. At least that’s what it has been telling me lately. From the books I have read and the hills I have climbed, it has all come together to make it the most life affirming choice of this life.

The book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall notes that the ability to love and running do have a connection. Looking back on my life, I was not capable of love before I started running. Not sure if the connection runs that deep, but I am willing to run with it. Oh golly!

I didn’t care much for myself, before I starting running. I couldn’t maintain a relationship before I started running. I was only successful at escaping from my problems before I ran with them and worked them out.

Run far and find….yourself.

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