And So It Begins Speedwork – RunLog 1-30-18

Today was the first day that I have actually done Speedwork in a long time. I wasn’t really sure that I would do it or not this morning, but with the wind chills below zero, I was not going to run outside. Which meant a trip to run on the treadmill again.

The winds were the biggest problem today, if it hadn’t been for that, I think I would have run outside. Unfortunately, the 15-20 mph steady breeze was just too much to play around in – even Bennie thought it was cold out there.

He found a spot on the couch where I had my heating pad on earlier and relaxed a bit. It looks like he is saying “quit bugging and let me get back to that dream I was having.”

That is how I left him when I took off to my clandestine meeting with the Planet Fitness treadmill.

One thing that is very strange, yeah it is rather odd that I love short intervals – that old sprinter in me dies harder than I thought. I am very weird in that I love to run fast for short distances and the more I thought about doing Speedwork today, the more I thought that I should do something that I do like to do. So I decided to do tenth of a mile fast intervals with a tenth of a mile recovery.

I figured that I would do 10 or so repeats and call it quits. Well needless to say that is not what happened.

When I finished the tenth one, I was feeling really good and kept going and kept going and kept going. There is something about me and short/fast runs – I love them and they don’t fatigue me like quarters, halves, klics or miles. I really could have kept going, but decided to stop while I was feeling great.

One helluva confidence builder!

Yeah I “warmed-up” at for .90 mile @ 7.6 mph and then proceeded to do 20 x .1 intervals at 9.0 mph with .1 recovery at 7.0 mph, with one more (the last one .1 @ 9.5 mph). Needless to say, I set my 2018 5.0 mile treadmill personal best pretty easily. Maybe someday, I should do a 5K race using this kind of a plan – although it would probably piss off some of the other runners though as we would pass one another all too often. It certainly wouldn’t be a consistent pace.

Now I know that I am not really in that kind of shape and that the treadmill does help me a quite bit on the speed side of things, but daaaammmn, that exceeded anything that I thought that I could/would/should do for my first repeat session of the season. At no point did I feel overly fatigued or unable to finish a repeat easily. Actually some of the recovery repeats were harder for me than the running faster.

Now in reality this workout does not relate to how I will run outside, it is simply a speed workout where I got to stretch my legs a bit more than usual.

Who knows maybe there is still some pop left in the old legs, but now to get them in shape for that non-motorized running outside 🙂

Ka-Ching – Do I Really Want to Run in Your Race?

Okay another one of those old fart soapbox posts, so if you don’t want to read about my whining and blathering, this is a good place to stop. Especially if you tend to get your knickers in a bunch very quickly about one of running’s sacred cows.

I was looking at what races I think that I want to run over the course of the rest of the year and got to thinking about some of the races I have run in the past.

Believe it or not – not all of my race experiences have been positive and it has not had anything to do with how I ran.

The causes, charities, organizations and for-profits that seem to dominate organizing races nowadays do not always give the race experience we anticipated when we willingly, well coughed-up, errrr paid our registration fees for “their” race. I won’t even get into how much races cost in this post that is saved for another day.

I guess that is what bothers me, is that so many race organizers seem to believe or have the attitude that it is a privilege for us to run in their race/event and support their cause. Is it?

Continue reading “Ka-Ching – Do I Really Want to Run in Your Race?”

1979 to 1982 – Running in St. Ignace

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

To make things simpler I have broken these posts into somewhat chronological order, based on where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years:

1979 to 1982 — St. Ignace, Michigan

Over my summer leave I ran maybe 5 times, I was too busy getting out having way too much fun and sun before my next duty station – it was the graduation summer that I never had. Transitioning back into the Coast Guard was going to be tough or was it?

I’m on the one without gold on my sleeve getting my Associates Degree. By the time this photo was taken I had become quite the Chunky monkey.

I arrived at the Marine Inspection Office – St Ignace July 1979 and had been on 45 days leave. Needless to say, I was still in civilian mode when I arrived, but that was okay, because of all my duty station St Ignace was the closest to me being a civilian during my Coast Guard career. Getting to wear civilian clothes, working in a small office in the Town’s Municipal Building made it seem as though the Coast Guard was miles away.

The first year in St. Ignace, I really didn’t run that consistently, it was more about meeting people, learning the area, a new job and it is where I met my first wife that summer. All I know is there was lots of bars, let me repeat lots of bars, eating at the Big Boy restaurant, not a lot of exercising and gaining back all of the weight that I worked so hard to get rid of those previous years.

When I saw a photo of me in uniform that first winter, I decided it was time to get my ass back on the roads and do something about the flubber that had come back in a bad way. Yes, I smartened up again. Stopped the boozing and began to run and I ran a lot. My boss was a runner and he was very supportive of my running.

Mail Order Running Catalogs

The next spring was when I discovered mail order catalogs and Moss Brown Inc. of Georgetown and ordering online using a credit card. It made it sooooo easy to simply call them up and place an order for that new pair of Shoes that appeared in Runner’s World or Running Times. All I know is that Moss Brown and a few other companies did get a lot of money sent their way and my started me on my weakness for new running shoes.

I went through several different shoes while there (some very good, some horrible), but the one pair I remember most was going down to Petoskey, MI and finding a brand new pair of Nike Equinox at a bike shop that carried running shoes, that I had been reading about in my Runners World and just had to have a pair.

The store didn’t have any 7.5 or 8.0, so I settled on a very tight pair of size 7.0 and hated the shoe, they blistered the hell out of my right foot (even back then my right foot bothered me), but I ran in them anyway because I didn’t have any others (my then wife had gotten rid of all my old ones before we left that day).

I know that I only ran about 50 miles in them before I went out and bought a new pair of Saucony Jazz, which didn’t work all that well for me either. So I ended up getting a pair of Brooks shoes (not sure if it was the Villanova, Tempos or what they were), that I just loved and ran in those for a long time.

Than I got a pair of Etonic Streetfighter’s if I remember correctly, between the Brooks and the Etonics, I was pretty happy with my running shoes for a while.

I was in St. Ignace until 1982 and I never ran a road race there, but I had several weeks where I was running 50-60 miles a week and reading all the running magazines I could get my hands on. I always pretended that I was training for Boston.

The biggest memories I have of running in St. Ignace are finally making it to the top of the hill beside the town office without stopping. It was a real tough uphill run for me. However, the course that I ran the most and no doubt was my favorite course was the 3.0 mile loop around the old trail out to the Airport, even back then I liked to run trails, I just didn’t know how much.

St. Ignace is where I learned that I do love to run long distances, even if I was and still not all that good at it.

1977 to May 1979 – Cape Cod and Bat Out of Hell

This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Even though some of you may have already read previous versions of this post. Since I have started writing on Aging Runnah exclusively, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish my forty plus years of running series here on Aging Runnah. There were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart’s story of running over the years – yeah the story of how I became the runner I am today.

To make things simpler I have broken these posts into somewhat chronological order, based on where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years:

1977 to May 1979 – Cape Cod

My next place to run was Cape Cod Air Station and there I started running again pretty regularly.

I was running in Brooks (I think the model was the Vantage), only this time I started to run longer distances and found that I while I wasn’t all that great at it, it did help me get skinny again.

One of the thing about living in the barracks at AirSTA Cape Cod was the only damn hill in the areas was coming back into the Air Station itself, so I always had to run up that damn hill to get back to base. Good training but I hated it. Although I hated that hill, it was nice for doing repeats and I lost most of the weight that I had gained onboard the SPAR, that first year at the Air Station.

The most memorable run I had was that first year there during November, I was supposed to be a tough runner, so I always wore only shorts and a t-shirt, no matter what the weather was (stooopid me). That day, as usual I was running in shorts and a t-shirt, the weather was probably in the 30’s with 30 mile an hour winds whipping off the runways and I went for a 5 mile run.

Needless to say, I was frozen when I got back and they took me over to the infirmary because I looked like I was going to die. A certain part of my anatomy was very frozen and had to be checked out by the on call physician to see if I had done any damage. It took a loooong time to live that one down.

The female HM’s were particularly brutal.

The CO at the time was an ultra-marathoner (which was very uncommon for back then) and after the next days briefings, I got a call to walk down the hall to his office. This wasn’t unusual since I did a lot of work for him and the XO. When I got to the office he asked me to sit down and he gave me some tips and advice on running in cold weather. I learned to run with a plastic bag inserted in my shorts or better in wind pants and he kindly advised me that I continued being a macho runner would lead to a very short running career. After that I got Bill Rodgers running wind suit and used it effectively in cold or nasty weather for many years.

When I moved off base and lived in Falmouth, I would drive down and run along the ocean drive to Woods Hole, not realizing it was part of the Falmouth Road Race course (unfortunately, I never ran it though), I just enjoyed the views both scenery and girls that would be walking/running there.

I lived on Tanglewood Dr in Falmouth and if you went all the way to the end of the road, it turned to an old woods road that came out on a series of cranberry bogs, that is where I did a lot of my running back then. Not much traffic out there which was a problem during the summers on Cape Cod.

Shorty cut-off shorts and tube socks – I was sooooo cool!

As usual I got hurt while playing basketball and ended up on crutches what seemed like most of the summer of ’78, actually only 3 weeks and I took the cast off, not the Doctors. The start of my not being to good with Dr.’s Orders – which in the military they really get pissed about and they let me know they were not happy with me.

After that I did run more, but never got into the local road racing scene down there, which is something that I regret.

So the summer of ’78 wasn’t a great running summer and while I kept running most of that fall and into the winter, when I met young lady who was living up in Worcester. I was spending time trying to get to know her a lot better, so running became less important to me. Things didn’t work out between us and I used running to help move past what had happened.

I did run my first 5K road race in Falmouth on January 1, 1979, as a New Year’s resolution that I was going to run more and do some road racing, lose a the weight I had gained. Unfortunately, the race was an utter fiasco, I was hung over, out of shape, overdressed, almost didn’t finish and finished last (DFL).

However my first enlistment was up in June and Rick, Bobby and I were gonna get out of Coast Guard. All three of us had out short-timers chains/calendars and we had made plans to go hiking up in the White Mountains with another guy – Kim.

So I was working out and running was a big part of the preparation for this hiking adventure, that whole spring. It ended up that Bobby and I re-enlisted at the last minute, the job market was not too great at that time for me (no degree), so when the detailer offered me a sweet new duty station in St. Ignace, Michigan and a nice re-enlistment bonus – I took it.

We did the hike, but didn’t do as much as we had planned, other priorities split us apart and we cut the hike short.

I left Cape Cod that May and took 45 days leave from the military, got tanned, did some haying for a local farmer and became a beach bum,

Gramp, Mikey and me

I also fell in love with a girl from up in Dexter, we spent the last couple of weeks of my leave getting to know each other a bit better. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t come with me and I drove off into the sunset for Michigan. Listening to Meatloaf’s – Bat Out of Hell cassette tape in my Brandy Spanky New Subaru Brat.