Saturday, December 26, 2009

Building Mileage for Black Warrior 50K

Started adding mileage for Black Warrior 50K

16 mile long run

Managed an 8:48 pace on the first 8 miles with Dave.

Here are the numbers. 29F degrees, 8:35, 8:32, 8:40,
2 miles =17:24, 9:04, 9:00, 9:07, 1:32, 8:15,
8:06, 8:07, 8:05, 8:08, 8:08, 8:05, 7:58, 2:16:51

Adjusted for 1:32 break 2:15:19 - 8:27 pace

I managed an 8:33 pace overall even counting a 1:32 minute break.

Running with Dave early helped me manage a real consistent pace and a strong finish.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Black Warrior 50K or Bust

I had a lousy summer... heel pain, bad decision on some shoes, and overall loss of speed. Good shoes, good stretches, and speed work have put me back on track. The summer was not a complete washout. I achieved my goal of finishing my first triathlon. I made it, but it was not pretty. The summer and fall are behind me and I am ready to move ahead.

I turn 50 in February 2010 (50 is the new 30), so I have been wanting to do something that will test my stamina and fitness. I signed up for the Black Warrior 50K. I figure 50 years old and 50K have some symmetry. I have felt good this fall and I have been maintaining and adding to my base mileage. Train for this will help me stay motivated and even help me prepare for this spring's races.

So 50K or Bust.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Getting Back to Where I Was

The summer had been slow and painful. I have finally turned the corner on the heel pain.

I have also turned the corner on the slowness. I had altered my routine during the summer and left out my intervals. Several weeks ago I got back to my old interval routine and my speed and pace have been improving.

Learning what works and what does not is just part of running and I have learned my lesson.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Near Death Experience – Heart Attack

Last week I had a heart attack or an acute myocardial infarction… at least this is what my EKG reflected. I have an EKG every year because of my age and family history. So last week after getting my lab work done I walk half a block to the hospital for an X-ray and EKG. At this time I was feeling great, no pain, calm, and not stressed at all.

After waiting for around 30 minutes I got to take the EKG. Usually the tech will ask me questions about how much exercise I do. I do appear fit and when asked I will explain I am a runner. No such physical fitness chitchat this day.

After the test I was told to have a seat and wait. She was going to try to fax it to my doctor. The wait was around 10 minutes and I should have realized something was up.
She came back with a couple other techs and told me because of the EKG I could not leave until I saw a doctor. They had tried to reach my doctor, but could not reach him. They kept asking me how I felt and were concerned I might pass out. I assured them I felt great and had run over 5 miles earlier that morning. I know that people who train and exercise can have abnormal EKGs, but I did get a little anxious at this point.

I was eventually told that the EKG showed an acute MI and saw it printed on the readout. She said I would need to be admitted to the ER and see a doctor there. They did let me walk down to the ER. The tech walked me down and said I was very lucky that they had found this on the test and she would say a little prayer for me. She definitely bought into the technology. I do not blame her for proceeding as if I was having a heart attack.

The ER staff ask me if I was feeling OK and I said I was feeling pretty good until they told me I was having a heart attack. After another wait I was allowed to go back and have my vitals checked. They were happy to see my heart rate at 65 bpm. It had been 49 bpm during the test. The low heart rate had also concerned them.

After another EKG in the ER, I saw a doctor and he ask me about my exercise routine. I told him that I run, bike, or swim every day. He was pretty cool headed and said several things could cause my left ventricle to enlarge and one of them was extensive exercise. In the case of exercise the enlarge left ventricle was expected and a good thing.

He released me and after paying a co-pay I was allowed to leave. The admitting clerk told me she hoped I was feeling better as I left. I told her I felt great and walked back to my doctor’s office. I was able to talk to my doctor’ partner. He had been on the phone with the ER doctor and told me not to worry and it was what he called repolarization.
I ask him if I could continue my routine and he said yes.

The next day I rode the bike 18 miles, ran 12 miles the next, rode 23 miles the next and ran over 5 miles the next. I think the rumors of my near death experience were greatly exaggerated.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

This Has Been My Long Summer of Running Discontent

Since June I have been in a running funk. I did manage a sprint triathlon. The Plantar Fasciitis has slowed my running with pain. I also deviated from my tried and true routine and this cost me speed. I still have the pain, but I may have turned the corner on getting back to where I was. The mileage is there just not the speed. Getting back to the old routine is already helping.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

(T- Day) HiWaay Sprint Triathlon

I did it. It was not pretty, it was not fast, but I did it.
Prep for this race included 60 pool miles, 1500 bike miles, and 1100 run miles. Still not competitive, but there will be next year.

The run was fairly technical. Turned my ankle twice. Only turned it 3 times on the McKay Hollow Half Marathon.

Finished run 22:26 unofficial.

Biking went better 21:33 including transition I think. Very good course and traffic control.

Swim was survival mode 14:14, should have been around 9:30 and 10:30. Let me apologize now for anyone I got in the way of. I am not fast, but navigating the other bodies was tough. I had to stop a few times and after each length. The traffic really put me off my rhythm and pace.

Total race - Overall around 58 minutes unofficial.

My friend Dave “the torpedo” Truitt beat me by 6 min overall. I was a few seconds ahead after the run.
He gained on the transition, bike and swim.

I will be back working on distance for some ultras this winter/spring.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heel Pain Better

The Plantar pain is still there it is more manageable. My speed is way off, but the mileage is back to around normal. Triathlon on the 14th of August. I will finish it, just not in a very good time I am afraid.

Stretch, stretch, stretch.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Plantar Fasciitis... Ouch

My heel became really sore.
I had a manageable case of Plantar Fasciitis,
but it became very acute on June 16th.
I was limping for several days. Still sore.

I worked through a case of Plantar Fasciitis about
2 years ago with some good orthotics.
This time it seems much more acute.

Not running is a hard pill to endure, however
triathlon training has its benefits. I have been
concentrating on swimming and biking. Neither
seem to make the pain worse.

Everything happens for a reason and I have been
spending more time swimming which is my weakest area.

I did run a little this week, very little.
Hope to be back doing some substantial running by next week.
(Maybe 2 weeks to be realistic)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


10 dollars to enter... training with daughter... being with her for her first race... priceless.

We ran the race together and she took 2nd in her age group.She and I were pumped. She is a very tough 13 year old. I am as always very proud of her and her sister.
Cool morning and ditches were full… Great conditions for this year’s Eurocross. The water crossings were wild.

We started out in the middle of the pack. This was her first 5k race.
The water was over the banks, so when we crossed the extra water concealed the drop off for the original bank. Slick and muddy it was wild at the crossing. Mike Greene had advised me to wear old shoes and embrace the mud.

I think we started out a little fast for my daughter’s normal pace. She seemed a little overwhelmed during the first 1.5 K. She hung in there and we maintained a good pace. We got muddy and had a blast. During the last lap I told her to save something for the finish.

When she turned it on with the finish in site she shot out ahead of me. Great race and a great day with my family.

By the numbers.
1. 5:43 fast start
2. 6:10 reality set in
3. 6:34
4. 6:29
5. 6:02 strong finish
Total 30:59 for both of us (she finished second place in her age group)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Over Training

OK I should have slacked this week, but I did not. Hills and a 20 mile bike ride do not leave much left.

Week in review:
12 mile long run Saturday, 23 mile bike ride Sunday, .8 mile swim Monday, 6.2 mile hill workout Tuesday, 20 mile bike ride Wednesday, 6.2 mile tempo run today.

Oops guess I blew it.

Ran my 10K tempo route today and I had nothing. Best I could do was long run pace.

5K Euro cross Saturday will not be a good outing for me. I will swim tomorrow for a easier Friday and to give my legs a break.

We will see what happens Saturday. No predictions just hoping to average under a 7 minute mile.

My daughter will be running. It is our first race together, so it should be a good day any way it turns out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Change is Good

I ran with a friend of mine this AM. We ran my hill route. He suggested running it a little differently than I usually run it. It was a great change of pace and I think I will try it this way for a while.

I am really anal about routines. If it works, I keep it until something better comes along.
Guess what… something did this morning?

Thanks a lot Wayne for the change.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Glorious Day for Running

59 Degrees at 6:00 am. What a good morning for a run. Made better pace than last week.
It has been a great week of training.

The swimming was better this week. 3 quarters of a mile in 33 minutes.Very little recovery between laps. Kept thinking jog instead of running. Thanks for the advice Mr Fagerman.

Bike riding for tomorrow.

Long run by the numbers.
1. 7:15
2. 7:19
3. 7:15
4. 7:13
5. 7:11
6. 7:21
7. 7:21
8. 7:29
9. 7:21
10. 7:24
11. 7:28
12. 7:20

Total 1:28:03 7:20 per mile pace.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Week of Activity

Biked, swam and ran this week. Looking forward to running with my daughter in a couple weeks. Her first race.

Road the infernal stationary bike today.Long run Saturday. Off the usually pace, but it feels good to ramp up the mileage and get back to a long run on Saturday.

Warm humid weather makes for slower running.
Saturday's run by the numbers:
1. 7:31
2. 7:28
3. 7:21
4. 7:24
5. 7:27
6. 7:32
7. 7:36
8. 7:42
9. 7:46
10. 7:47
11. 7:53
12. 7:37
Overall 1:31:09 7:36 average pace

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jesse Owens 10K

Good race. They do a great job organizing this race. My pacing was better and I made my goal.
The race course is not strictly flat there are some rolling hills to keep you honest and make you work. A shower cooled down the air some, but it was still muggy and warm.

Started out with the leaders and then after half a mile let them slip further ahead. I would never have been able to pace with them. I just use them to establish my initial pace. I kept them in site most of the race. Started at a good pace and managed to not lose too much on the last miles. I was passed a few times late in the race.

By the numbers:16th overall 3rd in age group
1. 6:29
2. 6:40
3. 6:44
4. 6:50
5. 7:04
6. 7:03
7. 1:28 Last .2
42:22 total 6:50 per mile

Posting a goal really motivates me to achieve it. Nothing like making a goal public to hold your feet to the fire.

Jesse Owens is a great race and I hope to run it next year. They give real trophies and a glass mug to finishers.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good Light Week

Jesse Owens 10K tomorrow. I have had a good week. My goal is to break 43 minutes.

Did around 44:35 2 years ago in a bad effort. Hope to do better tomorrow.

Weather maybe a concern. We will see.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Goals are Great When You Attain Them

My goal for the Steeple Chase 8k was to run it in under 34 minutes.
I made it. Great race, the organizers did a great job laying out the course. Really nice tee shirt and free stuff. I will try to run the race next year.

Started out at almost 5K race pace. I always have a good first mile. I try not to have to good of a mile. Still I usually have my best mile during the first mile. Leaders were in sight but minutes ahead. I paced off a young guy till I passed him after mile 2. I then paced off of another 25 year old. I passed him after mile 4. He blew by me in a well-timed sprint for the finish at about 5 blocks from the end. I had my time and did not give up my pace much. Pacing was pretty good on the last .97.

I did not realize until later that the 2nd place in my age group was only 1 second behind me. I had no idea anybody was that close. If I had known that, I might of picked up my pace a little towards the end.

By the numbers:
8th overall and first place age group.

6:41 Last .97
33:48 Total

Great race and the race benefits the Neighborhood Christian Center. Kudos to the organizers for a great race benefiting a great cause. My only regrets are no long run this morning. Next week Jesse Owens 10K.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Breakthrough Swimming

I am finally turning the corner on the swimming. I am starting to push the envelope a little. More reps with less time in between. I am finally able to push myself and go beyond my comfort level. Still hate the water but it is a little more bearable.

I am tired of pure swimmers running better that I can swim.

Countdown to the Steeple Chase 8K. The race is Saturday. I missed a run this week with the weather. I think I am ready. I would like to run the race in under 34 minutes. With the warmer temperature and humidity I think it will be a challenge. The course is not flat with a giant overpass to run twice and some hills. We will see Saturday and next week Jesse Owens 10K.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another Good Week

Missed a day of swimming – AM thunderstorm Friday

Running and riding felt good.
Monday’s swim was great 1250 yards.

Had company on the first part of today’s run.
Nice conversational pace first half.
Had a golf cart to pass on the last half mile.

First 6 with Dave
1. 8:30
2. 8:15
3. 8:38
4. 8:18
5. 8:20
6. 8:22
7. 7:31
8. 7:35
9. 7:30
10. 7:21
11. 7:29
12. 7:35
13. Last two halves - 3:49 and 3:39 (raced a golf cart on the last half)
Total 1:42:58 - 7:55 per mile average.
Next week Steeple Chase 8K

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Is There a Scout Badge for Urinating in the Woods?

I had company on my favorite weekly run. Over 100 scouts were camping beside the trail.

What is it about the woods that reduces the inhibition about fulfilling nature’s call? I even saw an adult relieving his self along the trail. I could understand relieving oneself in the forest, but this is a municipal trail. This area has lots of walkers, bikers, and an ice rink a 100 yards from the campsite.

I had planned to run 15 miles today. I was able to maintain a good pace for the first 10 or 12 miles.
I decided to run the last 3 miles as cool down miles. The bicycling on Thursday and Friday had a cumulative effect on my running. Usually it is an easy swim on Friday.

I will be mowing and mopping later today. I gave up my riding mower for the exercise benefits of a push mower. Anything that requires motion is good for training.

Bicycling tomorrow hopefully around 20 miles.

Today by the numbers:
65F perfect conditions.
1. 7:06
2. 7:16
3. 7:13
4. 7:14
5. 7:19
6. 7:17
7. 7:26
8. 7:23
9. 7:26
10. 7:30
11. 7:31
12. 7:32
13. 7:53 Cool Down miles
14. 7:56
15. 7:54
Total 1:52:02

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pool Closed

Pool closed, something is broken, so I decided to reacquaint myself with the road bike.

First serious bike riding since the wreck in January. Rode 18 miles on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully another 20 plus on Sunday.
Great week of running. Looking forward to a long non-technical trail run tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nice long run and a real good week

I ran my favorite non-technical trail today. 50F calm conditions.
Pretty standard for me. There was a guy ahead of me on the trail so passing him help me up my pace on mile 10. I always run better pacing off other runners. I never pass Tyrone Harris.
Pacing of miles:
1. 7:11
2. 7:19
3. 7:17
4. 7:12
5. 7:16
6. 7:18
7. 7:21
8. 7:21
9. 7:18
10. 7:09 Oh goody somebody to pass
11. 7:22
12. 7:20
13. 7:28
14. 7:20
Total 1:42:18

Had a pretty good week and my swimming continues to improve. Still not anywhere near where I need to be. I am a real drowner. Coach and I have discussed it and it seems my problem is mental. I had too little exposure to swimming as a child. Now at 49, I have to over come an extreme anxiousness about the water. I have progressed to a less frantic swimming style, but I still tire pretty quickly. A friend told me early on to think jog instead of run when it comes to swimming. He is right. Thank you Mr. Fagerman.

I should push myself more. To quote Lance Armstrong (pain is temporary… quitting is forever) quitting maybe forever and so is drowning.

It will rain tomorrow and I will be back on the infernal stationary bike.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Time Off with Family

Spent the last two days out of town with the family. Good break from running and a time to recharge.

Swimming was great Wednesday. I was a little disappointed about my progress on Monday.
Wednesday was kind of a break through.

So I slowed it downs and was able to swim more constantly. I really do hate the water.

Had a good hill run Thursday and then was out of town with the family.

Got back to it today. After lunch ran 12.miles on my favorite non tech trail.

Back to swimming tomorrow AM.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Keep your mouth closed at the finish

I never seem to know where the cameras are. So as usually there are pictures with my big mouth wide open.

Barely swam 800 yards.
Feel really good after bike ride Sunday and swimming Monday.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Get Back on That Horse

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” Lance Armstrong

I rode a real bike and not an infernal stationary bike today. I rode for over 18 miles. This was significant because in January I had a significant bike wreck. (face plant, broken tooth and 20 stitches).

I have ridden since, but nothing more than a few miles. I bought a new road bike 3 weeks ago. So early this morning around 6:10 am I rode the new bike. The temperature was 54F degrees with clear calm conditions, so it seemed to be a good morning to ride.

After the wreck I had an epiphany. I now know why a couple of bike mechanics from Ohio were so obsessed about building airplanes. They were trying to find a safer form of transportation.

So I am back to the third part of my triathlon training.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not Quite Back Yet

Swimming was tough this morning. I barely finished 1000 yards. Just didn’t have it in me. Looking forward to a nice tame trail run in the morning. Hopefully 12 or more miles.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

McKay - Plus 5 - Soreness Gone and Back to Speed

Ran my usually hill workout with just a loss of a few seconds per mile. Soreness is mostly gone. Rode the infernal stationary Wednesday. Will be swimming tomorrow. And for Saturday I am looking forward to my 12 mile (walking trail) run. This is not even close to a technical trail run. After McKay it should be very enjoyable. Might even get a real bike out and ride this weekend.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

McKay - Plus 3 – Hair of the dog

Very sore Monday but managed 600 yards of swimming. Today still stiff and sore so I ran 5 miles and I feel less stiff and sore tonight. A little hair of the dog that bit me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

McKay Hollow - Plus 1

Ouch, I am very sore and wondering if I will be able to swim tomorrow.

For a more detailed description of Mckay Hollow see the March 28th post.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

McKay Hollow - Mud, Crud, and Vomit

McKay Hollow Madness Trail Half Marathon

62F Degrees

42nd Overall

5th in age group
Time 2:35:18

56 Miniutes second aid station.

2 hours 7 minutes Last Aid station

I played the “go, no go” game I always play before a race. I always seem to choose go. Picked up the race bib and thought about just packing it in. Ran into a friend who had been doubtful about running the race. He was there and going to race and that tipped the balance for me. I had to run the race now. We had done some training runs together. Rain stopped at race time.

McKay Hollow is run on Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, AL. Mountains are a relative term for Alabama. The race traverses up and down and around the sides of the mountain. The trails, well that is also relative.

They are trails in a very broad sense. After the over night rains they were muddy rock strewn paths with large rocks to scramble over for a little change of pace. Slick and muddy ascents and descents were particularly interesting. Early on I moved up trails energetically and the down hills were controlled falls or fast joints. In the latter stages of the race I was a lot more deliberate on the descents and walked the ascents. My fatigue made me more cautious. Many places were just climbable and I could not imagine anyone running them.

Started the race at a sane pace and for the first 20 or 30 minutes ran close to some friends. They finished the race 15 full minutes ahead of me. Before the first aid station I ran through mud, rocks, puddles, and vomit. I encountered what resembled vomit several times before the first aid station. I had initially been concerned about the water crossings with all the rain, however the trail itself was a water crossings in many places.

The slower pace of the race allowed for conversations when there was somebody closed. After the second aid station I was by myself for some distance. Eventually a commercial pilot caught up with me and we ran close together for about 45 minutes. Some extreme conditions bring out camaraderie or at least a feeling that we are all in this together. The conversation on occupations and hometowns passed the time and helped me endure my waning physical reserves. He finished over 6 minute ahead of me.

The water crossings I had been so concerned about turned out to be traversable. I waded across most choosing not to balance on the slippery rocks. Immersing my ankles into the cool cold water was soothing to my ankles and feet. The water helped removed some of the caked mud from the shoe treads to improve traction on the trail. I passed the last aid station at about 2 hours and 7 minute into the race. The last and longest ascent was ahead. I tried to take it easy and be cautious. I had come to far to break something or really sprain an ankle. Before the last ascent, I was greeted by the race winner who had hiked back down and was sitting in the stream relaxing in a the cool water. He yelled encouragements and how far we were from the finish. He said we were around 12 minutes from the finish.

The last part of the trail was slow going. It would of been very hard to run even if I still had any energy left. I did manage a trot when a photographer emerged about half way up. After scrambling up the so-called trail, I trotted to the finish with a time of 2 hours 35 minutes and 18 seconds. I finished 42nd overall and 5th in my age group. I was happy to be finished and gladly accepted the coveted McKay Race Shirt.

Great race and I plan to run it next year.

Here are great recaps of the McKay Madness Half Marathon:

Friday, March 27, 2009

So Much for Pacing

A good day for a race (37F to 48F degrees). . A bit chilly at the start but warmed up pretty quickly during the run. I wore a bright orange toboggan. I started out trying to establish a good pace. Just before the race I had established a goal of 70 minutes. Goals are important, but I had not given it much thought.

So much for pacing: 6:27, 6:42, 6:41, 6:41, 5:51, 6:57, 7:10, 7:12, 7:22, 7:18, total 69:26.

Overall the Rocket City 10 Miler was a good race for me.
(69:26) Finished 23rd overall and 3 out of 14 in my age group.

Saturday the 28th will be the McKay Hollow Half Marathon. Forecast 57F degrees, rain and storms for race time.
Unless something happens I am a go for the McKay.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Swim, Run, Swim, Bike?

Swimming yesterday and running this morning. Pretty good day running.
And for the third leg of the triathlon I bought an inexpensive road bike. It has flat bars which I like, but still a road bike. Currently I ride a Schwinn Mirada hybrid. 26 X 1.5 wheels and tires. The bike will be faster.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Train, Rain, Train

It was a dark and rainy day. Saturday was 12 plus miles in rain and 50F.
Today was an hour on the infernal stationary bike. All this in preparation for a 10-mile road race this weekend and a half marathon trail race the next.
Long range plans are the complete my first triathlon this summer. Monday will be swimming at 5:30am. I started working on swimming in August. I am a real “drowner” and have always hated the water.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This is how it all started

I guess running was my midlife crisis. I reached the point in my life where I had fewer years ahead of me then behind me. The hourglass is definitely, barring some sort of above average life expectancy, half empty. I could not afford a fancy sports car or buy a motorcycle. Personally I feel motorcycle ownership by anyone over the age of 25 constitutes a death wish and is a serious character flaw. In my case, maybe running is also a death wish. Die young and leave a good-looking corpse, as for me, a thinner corpse. Running to obsession is also a character flaw and, did I mention, I am obsessive compulsive. Once I took to running I really made it a part of my life. Not exactly a religion, but I devoutly pursue running as an activity.

Why did I choose running when I could not even run a quarter mile without throwing up? Well, mountain climbing was out because I hate heights. I guess running was in my blood. My grandfather ran the quarter mile in college. I guess he didn’t suffer from the same gastric revulsion to running that I had. Since running has enabled me to consume more calories, my digestive track just enjoys the ride.

Heart disease is pervasive on my father's side of the family; and I was 37 years old, 5’9” and pushing 200 lbs. Most of the weight was around my middle. I had to do something. I started watching my diet and eating more rationally. After several years I lost weight and attained the approval of my physician to attempt vigorous exercise. I was 42 and had always wanted to run, but had never put enough time and effort into it to get acclimated to running substantial distances. During high school, a full quarter mile jaunt at speed would end in losing my breakfast

I started by alternating running a minute then walking a minute and gradually built up my endurance (Intervals for the severely out of shape). By employing a simple kitchen timer, I was able to do this effectively. Eventually, I was running without throwing up. I still carry that kitchen timer and a cell phone when I run. The cell phone was in case of coronary. I figure I might get one call off and tell the paramedics where to find me.

I have managed to build my endurance and the obsessive part of my personality took over; this is where the term 'Run Dan Run' comes in. I have managed 5ks, 5 milers, a 10k, and half marathons. I enjoy running so much that I have to run just about everyday. These days I run trails to preserve my knees and just enjoy being close to nature.

Obsession or not, running has given me many positive benefits. At 49, running has toughened me mentally and physically. By doing something most people cannot or will not do, I have grown stronger physically and spiritually. Enduring intemperate weather, pain, sweat, and hours of solitude, I have more personal confidence to handle any situation.
The greatest benefit is a healthier lifestyle and, God willing, more years to enjoy my family.