Saturday, July 4, 2015

My Daily Run Streak Blog is Live!

I am posting regarding my daily run outings at the following link:
Daily Runner Rob

Friday, March 6, 2015

Runner's High

During the senior year of my high school track season I had a running experience that set the standard for me regarding running.  One evening following an intense interval workout I was feeling inspired to put my running shoes back on and snag some gentle solo miles.  I clipped my Walkman cassette player to my shorts and proceeded to run an out-and-back route from my home in New Hope, Minnesota to Clifton E. French Park in Plymouth, Minnesota.   During that run outing I envisioned myself listening to tunes in a recliner that was gliding through the air.  My fitness was such that it honestly felt like I was barely putting forth more effort than when I was at rest.  What an amazing sensation!

Whenever I attempted a comeback to running between 1992 and 2008 I quickly got discouraged by the memory of that amazing sensation and how it eluded me in relation to my poor fitness.

The last few weeks I have experienced this sensation during many of my run outings.  Without a doubt we are born to run and when we are appropriately fit - running is our home!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015

I came into February with a goal of running a minimum of 10 miles a day.  I attempted to do something similar this past August via an endeavor to run a minimum of 8 miles a day.  In August I experienced a groin muscle strain on the 18th day and had to abandon the goal.  I am excited to report that I accomplished my goal for the month!  I came into the month with a slightly strained hamstring which is now mended.  I did encounter a minor groin pull on February 14th but via keeping my stride short it recovered.  I intend to keep the Double Digit Run Streak going until I head to North Carolina for the Tobacco Road Marathon.

Daily Run Streak Day 325
Double Digit Run Streak Day 31
February miles: 327
2015 miles: 582
Streak miles: 2,350.7

02/01/15: 10 miles
02/02/15: 10 miles
02/03/15: 10 miles
02/04/15: 10 miles
02/05/15: 10 miles
02/06/15: 10 miles
02/07/15: 10 miles
02/08/15: 20 miles with Scott
02/09/15: 10 miles
02/10/15: 10 miles
02/11/15: 10 miles
02/12/15: 13 miles
02/13/15: 10 miles
02/14/15: 12 miles
02/15/15: 10 miles with Scott
02/16/15: 21 miles
02/17/15: 10 miles
02/18/15: 12 miles
02/19/15: 10 miles
02/20/15: 12 miles
02/21/15: 10 miles
02/22/15: 15 miles
02/23/15: 10 miles
02/24/15: 10 miles
02/25/15: 10 miles
02/26/15: 20 miles
02/27/15: 10 miles
02/28/15: 12 miles

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Week Worth Writing Home About

The week of February 16th 2015 through February 22nd was one I was super pleased with.

Monday February 16 2015: 21 miles

I had the day off on the 16th and it was a perfect day for a winter wonderland run adventure in Republic, MO.  The only thing that prevented me from keeping it rolling was the fact I did not bring any fuel or h2o with me.

Tuesday February 17 2015: 10 miles

Wednesday February 18 2015: 12 miles

Wednesday running featured challenging road conditions, - 3 D F weather, and a beautiful sunrise.

Thursday February 19 2015: 10 miles

Enjoyable outing with chipper legs.

Friday February 20 2015: 12 miles

Friday's run included an extention to one of my out-and-back routes and I was pleased with it.

Saturday February 21 2015: 10 miles

Sunday February 22 2015: 15 miles

I was pleased to conclude the week with a 15 mile outing.  I experienced some of my most enjoyable miles this week.  Most of my runs this week were out-and-back routes and I would often listen to the audio version of the book "Born to Run" on the way out and  I would listen to the new Imagine Dragons album "Smoke + Mirrors" on the way back.

I have recently been doing a Double Digit Streak within my Daily Running Streak and this week I have been thinking that I will try and keep this Double Digit Streak going longer than I had originally envisioned.

Daily Running Streak Day 319
Double Digit Streak Day 25
2015 Running Miles: 510

Tobacco Road marathon countdown: 21 days.

Week: 90 miles!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Momentum Recovered

I came into 2014 desperate to get back momentum in my running life.  In retrospect my running life started falling apart following my career change in August 2012.  My new job took two hours of daily free time away from me in comparison to my former career in social work [commute and mandatory lunch].  It is amazing how fast fitness can deteriorate.  I got a taste of this reality when I participated in the Dogwood 50k with Scott Griffith on October 21st, 2012.  My mile consumption for the few weeks prior was pitiful and I paid the price.  I was super proud of Scott getting his first 50k finish whereas I experienced my first 50k DNF [I am registered for the 2015 Dogwood 50k with plans of redeeming myself].

I did manage to complete the Memphis marathon in December 2012 but it was super rough.  I ran the first half with my wife and then battled through a few waves of fatigue to barely put a marathon completion and a marathon state in the log.

In March of 2013 I experienced another 50k DNF at the Chicago Lakefront 50k.  It was one of those events that I put on the schedule hoping that it would provide the motivation for me to get out the door on a regular basis.  I arrived at the event knowing that I would need to employ plenty of walking to get a completion.  An impending snowstorm took away the option of me walking it in when the run went out of the legs after twenty miles [we needed to get on the road before the storm destroyed the roads]  My bro Scott Griffith got his second 50k finish that day and I logged another discouraging DNF.

The remainder of 2013 included the ongoing battle to recover consistency.  Following a solid month of logging decent miles in July including a 38 mile long run on the Frisco Highline Trail I signed up for the nine hour and 11 minute Patriots Run and started dreaming of participating in another 100 mile event.  

On September 7th I successfully got registered for the 2014 Umstead 100 [an April 2014 event].  The Patriots Run, a few days after my registration, turned out to be another dud performance.  It was 93 Degrees and I quickly opted out of unnecessary suffering and merely logged a 15 mile training run.

I basically had seven months to train for the 2014 Umstead 100.  I would throw together a good week and then take a day off and before I knew it I had taken three days off and my progress seemed to reset.  I arrived at the Umstead 100 with great fear and trembling - knowing that my fitness was seriously lacking for such a huge endeavor.  Looking back it is actually impressive that I covered the 50 miles I did on that day.  That was my longest run since completing the Mother Road 100 on November 14, 2010.

Driving home from North Carolina I resolved that it was time to employ a daily running streak.  If I got myself out the door everyday it seemed likely I could recover the momentum that was absent from my running life over the last couple of years.   I started the daily running streak officially on April 10th, 2014.

Today, February 15th, 2015, my daily running streak is still alive at 312 consecutive days.  And I am happy to confess that I have recovered my running momentum.  During the streak I completed a double marathon weekend and I did it with solid evidence of fitness [October 11th, 2014 - Hartford, CT: 3h:51m:10s and October 12th, 2014 - Newport, RI: 4h:10m:04s].

I am coming into Spring marathons chomping at the bit to be let loose on my scheduled marathons: (1) Tobacco Road in Raleigh, NC on March 15th, and (2) Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY on April 25th.

Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Frisco Marathon

Yesterday, 4/28/2012, I was grateful for an opportunity to participate in another marathon event.  The Frisco offers a variety of distance options (8K, half-marathon, marathon, 50K, and 50M).  I was attracted to the longer options but I only had the budget for the marathon.

Most of the marathons I participate in involve travel.  I enjoy the travel, but it is also enjoyable to participate in local marathon events when possible.  I really got prepared for this one at a casual pace and arrived at the starting area with only 15 minutes to spare.  I missed out on the group Marathon Maniacs photo, but I did get to spend a few minutes visiting with a runner friend of mine who I first met at the starting line of the Frisco event in 2009: the Ultra Monk.

Part of my excitement about this marathon opportunity was to have another go at employing my (re)creational marathon strategy [see this post: here].

I leaned on my MOTOACTV to keep me from taking it out too fast or too slow during mile 1.  After that 8m:24s mile, I put the screen to sleep and settled into a sustainable glide.  During that first running portion I enjoyed conversing with a little group that was doing the 50K.  I also managed to drop the plastic bag that I had brought along to try and keep my phone dry.  This was a bit of a bummer because I was hoping to take pictures of as many runners as possible to share on the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners Facebook group page, and without that protection my lens got pretty fogged up.

I used my first rejuvenating walk segment to take some pictures, fuel, and to post some content.  When it was time to run again I gave into the temptation to take off a bit too fast (this is apparent in the mile split data gathered by the MOTOACTV).

I put on some tunes during my first walk segment and I kept them on until around mile 24.  It was fun to hear songs that were suggested to me by friends (in response to a Facebook post).

The first 13.1 miles went smooth.  I knew I was not being totally conservative, but I felt like I was still positioning myself to run a negative split (i.e., 2nd 13.1 more efficiently than the 1st 13.1).

During Miles 11 through 15 I was primarily occupied with taking photos of the runners I witnessed going the opposite direction of me on the trail.  This also included me communicating words of encouragement to them as we passed.  It was a blast to actually encounter runners that I knew (a bonus of a local event).

Frisco 2012

Once the picture taking job was done it was kind of nice to put my phone away and settle into the race a bit.  In retrospect I started pushing up the pace a little too soon.  A few of the runners I passed during miles 15 through 20 got to enjoy returning the favor during miles 22 through 26.

I was hoping to at least stick with my cycle of 27 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking all the way to the finish, but even more I was hoping to feel super fresh and drop the walk segments totally for the final 10k.  The dream is: 20 mile warm-up and 10k race.

Into the first mile of the final 10k I could tell I was not going to be discarding the walk segments.  The battle at that point was dealing with the temptation to throw in bonus walk segments.  About 8 minutes before my scheduled walk segment I shift into a walk.  I quickly reconfigured my interval timer and changed it from 27 and 3 to 8 and 1.  When I got running again I was hot, fatigued, and my heart rate seemed exceedingly elevated.  8 minutes at that point felt like too long, so I again reconfigured my interval timer.  I landed on 4 and 1.  I was able to keep 4 and 1 rolling for a few cycles.  I found myself longing for an aid station.  I desperately wanted to pour some cold water over my head.

An aid station appeared about 2 miles from the finish.  The water over the head felt great.  The last two miles were pretty pathetic.  I was primarily a walker with bursts of 40 yard runs.  I saw a few runners pass me that appeared to be in my age division, but the desire for age division hardware was not strong enough to get me out of my walking gear.

Finally the finish line appeared and that helped me shift back into a run.  I popped my 360 over the finish and enjoyed seeing the Lakin family at the finish handing out hardware, water, and encouragement.  It felt great to get another marathon finish and I refused to be disappointed with my performance.  It was not my dream day per se, but it was close enough.

I was excited to see others experience various accomplishments: first marathons, first 50ks, first 50 milers, and new personal records.

I have already shifted to thinking about me next event: the Brookings Marathon.  I would like to give this strategy another go and see if I can get me a sub-4 hour negative split performance (I have only had 1 negative split marathon performance).

A note regarding the MOTOACTV: I kept the display asleep for most of the event and at the finish I had 50% battery remaining.  Impressive!

Finishing time: 4h:04m:49s (9m:21s per-mile)
Clock time: 4h:04m:59s
Overall: 25/104 finishers
Male 40-49: 6/29 finishers
Marathon/Ultra-Marathon event completions: 26
Marathon event completions: 22
Ultra-Marathon event completions: 4
Marathon US States: 18
Ultra-Marathon US States: 4
Marathon/Ultra-Marathon US States: 19
Marathon & Ultra-Marathon US States: 3
Sub-4-hour Marathon US States: 15

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Frisco Railroad Run: Plan

This morning is the Frisco Railroad Run. I am pretty excited to participate. This is the 4th year for this event. The event carries a special place in my heart! During the inaugural event in 2009 I completed my first marathon and ultra-marathon via completing the 50K. During the second year I accomplished my present personal best for the marathon with a 3h:19m:18s performance. I am thinking I missed year number 3 due to a shortage of funds in my marathoning budget.

Today I am not gunning for a personal best, but it would be nice to be in the mix for some age division hardware.

Here is the plan for the day: I am going to start by employing a repetitive cycle of 27 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking (i.e., rejuvenating walk segments). I think I will take the first few miles out around a 8m:45s per-mile-pace. The first 20 miles will be framed as a warm-up. With 10k remaining I will consider discarding the walk segments and shifting into a racing gear. I would love to see a solid negative split performance today (i.e., second 13.1 miles covered more efficiently than the first 13.1 miles).

Ready for an enjoyable day of (re)creational marathoining!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 Go! St. Louis Marathon

My 25th marathon/ultra event completion was a 4h:30m pacing gig at the 2012 Go! St. Louis Marathon on April 15,2012. Last year in St. Louis was my first official pacing gig and I experienced a melting down failure. I am thankful to say that this year I was able to taste some success. The primary highlight was seeing one of the runners who ran with me get herself a 19 minute personal record.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week 8

Week of 8 of 2012 got off to a solid start and then...I got a new computer. I am presently on a mission to develop my first app for the Google Android App Market. On my new computer I am working on my Java skills. As the weekend approached I was thinking of going real long on Saturday morning...I forgot my son had a math competition that I was taking him to...whoops. Needless to say, not an overly impressive week once again. Being an ever-optimistic-dude, I am hopeful that March will be full of glorious mile consumption.

My heart did get stirred up during my 17 miler on Monday and I decided that I am going to gun for a 7:20 even split marathon effort in December 2012. Time to get this vessel shaped up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Week 7

Things got rolling a little bit better this past week. Started the week with an enjoyable 15 mile outing in the snow.

I was more consistent with getting out there on a regular basis. I enjoyed a couple outings with my wife, and one outing with the Republic Running Gang (only 2 of us this week). The weekend was a little bit of a disappointment, but I enjoyed some good times with my family so that is a valid reason for less mile consumption.

During today's run; which goes for day 1 of week 8, I landed on another goal for the year. By December I wanted to be prepared to do a 7:20 per-mile even split marathon for a new personal best of approximately 3 hours 12 minutes and 16 seconds :)

Coming into week 8 I am intending to experiment with a different approach to eating. I will scoop everyone in on that next week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Week 6

pathetic week

Wowser, another pathetic running week. Why? I continued to be obsessed with my new phone. I believe I mentioned my new phone during my posting about last week :) It was a colder week and I just wanted to stay inside and play with my I did. I broke the zero streak on Saturday and it appears that I might be ready to get some momentum going again. Only 62 days until my next race event. Another pathetic element about last week was my calorie intake versus my calorie burning! I ate and drank way too much. Hopefully, I will have something more glorious to write home about next week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 Week 5

This past week felt very close to a recovery of the momentum I had prior to the car accident on January 20th. I was able to get back out there early Thursday morning to run some miles with the emerging Republic Running Gang (some prefer Group), and I was able to partake of a couple long runs during the weekend. Saturday I enjoyed an out-and-back on the challening Terrell Creek road. Sunday, the FlyingDuck and I grabbed an enjoyable 20 miler on the Frisco Highline Trail. Coming into week 6 I am looking to recover some solid calorie burning and some discipline within the realm of my food consumption. To promote the emergence of Rob-the-Flyer I really need to burn off some of this extra meat.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 Week 4

Week 4 of 2012 was a very depressing one for me. The pain in my ribs increased from Monday through Wednesday. Via my wife's encouragement I opted to visit an urgent care and see if I could get some peace of mind regarding my injuries. Thankfully, the doctor took my information seriously and they proceeded to do x-rays of my ribs and my left knee. The good news is that nothing is broken. I was informed that bruised ribs can be equally painful to broken ribs, but thankfully they heal faster. Following my visit to urgent care and filling the pain killer script the doctor gave me, I decided to rest for the rest of the week. I would have rested through Sunday, but my wife did get me out of the house on Sunday afternoon to join her for 4 miles. I was thankful that she did because it was a beautiful day outside.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 Week 3

I was very pleased to start the week with a 42 mile long run on Route 60 [more: here]. I did take the next day off primarily because I had a huge 13 hour day at work. I got it rolling again on Wednesday and then on Thursday I enjoyed a morning run with the emerging Republic Running Gang. I opted to run to the get together and run home, that gave me a few bonus miles.

On Friday I was optimistic about a weekend with plenty of opportunities for mile consumption, but that got impacted a bit when the car I was driving for work got slammed by a Dodge pickup truck. Thankfully I did not suffer any major injuries, but the muscle strain, bruises, and soreness have slowed me down for a bit.

I did get out on Sunday to do a bit of a diagnostic run. I took Son1 along. The soreness improved throughout the run, but in the process I realized I am sore up under my left side of my rib cage.

I am optimistic that in about 7 more days my body will be past the trauma of the accident.