Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Original Wet Wille...


A few photos from Wil's game. Just how wet was it Saturday morning, take a look. The boys loved it, the field got muddy and it played well for throwing in a number of reverse plays. Get them moving to the left and send it back to the right.

The photo below is just that our first reverse, Quarterback 18, 39 reverse... TD. The play prior, I had Wil go to the right on an 18 sweep. So you can see that there are boys thinking he has the ball on this play. In the very background you can see the leg of the kid with the ball running up field with the other team chasing.

To quote Wil when asked about scoring the game winning points, "Good times, good times".

Three for Track

Day 38

Boston Qualifying Training. I woke up at least 4 times before the alarm went off in anticipation of today’s track workout. My love for track workouts is well chronicled. I have my times written on my arm, though with no moon, and the fact I am wearing long sleeves, (yeah long sleeves, welcome to fall, it is 50 degrees this morning) it is more for memorization than being able to see at the track.

Arriving at LTF, I pull next to Jeff’s truck, I grab my gear and see Jeff as I am walking in. Jay is doubtful for the morning. Still recovering from his weekend race (he had a great race) and returning from a business trip, he is not likely to make the track.

Jeff and I hang out in the lobby area, I grab a chair and Jeff looks at the couch, but there is somebody already sitting there. Obviously this stranger has no idea he is in our spot. Jeff and I are likely thinking the same thing… dude, that’s our spot, move. This interesting train of though is broken as Corey pulls up. We all know Jay is a no show and we head out the door.

The chill of fall feels good and I am very comfortable with the long sleeves. There is no moon and the light pollution is very low, all the stars are out and Venus is hanging low in the sky.

The track workout today is pretty straight forward, 2 x 1200 @ 4:40 followed by 4 x 800 @ 3:05. The pace reasonable. Work will be done, but the first couple of laps will feel easy.

Typically by the end of the jog to the track and a quick lap around, my legs are ready to go. Today my legs are feeling tired, though the beauty of track, it is fast and done, no time to consider any aches or fatigue. It’s nice to have Jeff and Corey along for the run, thinking back I’ve been running, biking, swimming with these guys for the past 7 years.

I hit my watch for the first 1200, first 200, right on, 400, on, I stay on track but do not look at my watch until I hit the 1200 mark… too fast on the last lap, I am fast by 11-10 seconds. I have a two minute RI between sets, amazing how two minutes goes by so fast during an RI, but when I'm doing a “Plank” the damn clock will not move.

I start the second 1200, this one I will be right on, first lap, EZ, second, lap, feeling it, last lap, harder, but I hit the time only fast by 1 second. I’ll call it perfect. Done with the 1200’s the 800 are a piece of cake. I cruise through the 800’s though I am “efforting” on the second lap with the last two in the set. I am fast on each one, but only by a few seconds, the last on, right on the money with a negative split.

I am extremely happy with the fact that I was so close to the prescribed times, right up until Corey sent me an email saying the times should have been 4:53 for the 1,200 and 3:12 for the 800’s. I went too fast. Perhaps if I delete the email I will feel better.

Realistically I know I can go even faster, but that is not the goal. The goal stays set for December 12th, at the end of 26.2 miles. This will be my 11th marathon, I’m no rookie at this but my approach will be different from the other races my goal is to go into this healthy with no breaks in training.

Stretching at lunch and core, football later tonight. Weight 180… Kim made cookies and saved some for me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 37

Boston Qualifying Training. I am glad I went to bed when I did last night. Had I stayed up to watch all the Monday Night Football game I’d have been exhausted. My workout had to be short this morning, I had to be home so Kim could be at the school by 7 AM.

At the pool, there is a very small crowd, most of the racers from Augusta are getting to sleep in, it is well deserved. The temperature outside is 50 degrees, so today we swim inside, likely that will be the case from here forward.

I share with Mike, the swim coach I need to leave early and I jump right in and get started. With warm ups over, we have 5 x 300, with the first 50 all out. My lungs are burning with the first 50, this will be a good main set.

During the last set, I see Mike walking along as I swim, I think to myself, "Wow I am really doing better", I feel sleek and slim in the water, a real streamlined positioned. The guy swimming in the lane next to me is right along side me. My competitive nature kicks in, I decide I want to keep pace or better with his pace. I know he is faster, but do not care, it is the last of the set. I dig in thinking form, power… the first 100 we are on pace together. I can see that he has picked it up too. The next 100 I take a lead by a body length, it feels good, but I was doing some serious work to make that happen.

Finishing, I look at the time and I need to leave. Hopping out of the water, Mike stops me, he had video taped my swimming. I think yeah, he is going to tell me how much better I have gotten, how streamlined my body has become in the water, after all, I was really feeling it.

Wrong. I look at the tape, my legs which I thought were tight together were never any closer than 8 inches apart, my right leg looked as if it was moving independently from my body in a completely different rhythm, my toes were not pointed so I looked as if I were wearing boots, my shoulders seemed to just bulldoze the water in front like a steam shovel. It was really surprising, as that was my "good form". Clearly more work to do there.

Kim is off to the school... I am in charge. Wil and I miss his bus because we are watching Curious George. I have to drive Wil to school. I'll never hear the end of this from Kim. At least George got the man with the Yellow Hat his bowling ball back, not knowing would have killed me.

Weight 178.

Running on Tired Legs

Day 36

Boston Qualifying Training. I stayed up to watch a little football and knew that my tempo run would take place at lunch. I spent the better part of the morning in what seemed like a scramble, first preparing for a Board meeting followed by multiple calls to close an opportunity. I had to push my lunch run until 1:15, but I finally got out there.

I did not have much time as just before I was ready to go, a mom from Jack's football team emailed saying their game from the weekend would be made up tonight. Tonight! That was less than 5 hours from that point. I called the head coach and we discussed a plan he would get the call list of the parents and after the run we would start calling.

The run was a tempo run, medium tempo for 5 miles I added a mile warm up. The first mile was so slow, if felt like I was running 9 – 10 minutes per mile. When I hit the 1 mile marker, it was 8 minutes flat. I was dumbfounded. I re-set my watch and set off on the 5 mile tempo. I was running right into a stiff wind. It was work, I was having a great deal of difficulty judging my speed, my legs felt tired and stiff. I knew I had not stretched enough after my long run last week. this was the result of skipping my stretching.

At the 1st mile I was at 7:12… too fast. I backed it off focused on stride and made a mental note to control speed. The wind was no longer in my face and there was a slight downhill at this part, I kept and even stride for most of the mile, the 2nd mile was 7:00 minutes even. Way off pace, target is 7:30.

I hit the turn around and was heading back. I knew this part would be back into the wind and it was. It was slightly up hill too. I really focused on keeping pace and as my legs were feeling fatigued, doing so would be critical. I hit the mark closer to the pace with a 7:26, better.

My legs were really getting tired and I had two more miles to go, come on. I thought to myself, I need to learn how to run on tired legs. They will get tired during the marathon. So deal with it. The next mile, was up and down with wind on my face for the first half and my back for the second half. I hit it at 7:18, the last mile was no wind and slightly uphill. I hit that mile in nearly 7 flat.

The run was too fast, I was happy to be done and my legs were screaming at me. Average pace 7:12, target 7:30, performance review, poor. My legs were stiff, I was tired, bad nutrition in the morning, it was hot and humid, but none of that contributes to me not holding pace. I know the wind was making it difficult to judge, but I need to do better.

I shower and hop on the scale, 178. Not bad. Jumping in the car I make 30 phone calls for work and for the football game tonight. I go home finish up the days work and go pick up the boys for football.

The kids play hard and pull out a victory. Several kids have big games including Jack. He looked good and ran for 28 yards picking up two first downs. He also had 2-3 good tackles and a fumble recovery.

Not a bad Monday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hey shouldn't you be at the game...?

How nice... the boys with "Matty Ice"

Sunday, Bacon, Ball, Beer oh Boy!

Day 35

Boston Qualifying Training. I wake up this morning and immediately think of my buddies getting ready to start the half Ironman in Augusta. I on the other hand consider rolling over, but, I’m up, so I go down stairs and look at the weather they will be dealing with, it says low 70’s with clouds. Sounds good.

The family heads to Mels for breakfast we talk football with Mel. We all brag on Wil and his game winning touch down run. We make our game picks for Sunday. Kim picked up a game on me last week, I need to have a good week. As we are making our picks, the cook comes by the table with a huge plate of bacon, “Hey I’ve got some extra bacon, you guys want it…?” You’d have thought we won the lottery. Amazing how fast a pound of Bacon can disappear. The breakfast was great, omelet, spinach, mushroom, bacon, cheddar, yum.

We head home and a neighbor calls to see if we want to play a game of football. It was the parents versus a bunch of high school freshman football players, as well as younger kids that are Jacks age. Thinking of my training, I opt out of playing. However, when we get to the field, I opt back in. I take the position of QB, 3 Forty plus guys, a 12 year old and Wil versus 3 fifteen year olds, Jack and another 12 year old. We smoked them. It was a blast. We played for 90 minutes and I t was great to work off the big breakfast. I’m inviting my buddies next week. I think Jeff and Morgan would have a blast.

I feel good as I get ready to take the family out to TacoMac to watch the Giants. The Gmen stick it to the Bucs. I am troubled though that the giants did not perform better. Jacobs has lost some power and is not packing the same punch. They need to fix the run.

Giants are winning and I do not want to waste a good day inside after all this rain. I have been wanting to pull out my welder for the first time. Clearly, I have a lot of practice ahead of me, but I think I can get it. It seems like a "feel" thing. Also it was apparent that I need a welding helmet, more so than the welding shield I have.

Jack , Wil and I play a game of flag in the yard, Dad is the all time QB… God, does it get better. I do not think so.

The day winds down with the family watching the Red Zone package… as we cheer for our teams to pull through. The games work well for me this week and I gain a game back on Kim for a two game margin on our yearly picks. Jack is trailing Wil so far this year. That is not going to be good if it continues. I would say I should feel bad about beating Kim, however, she beat me 4 years in a row. Some of my pride is bask as I have won the last two years and would like to make it three in a row.

Need to really do something nice for Kim, she has been great, supporting me through the training, better yet, she came home with two cases of beer last week… now that’s love! But I'm still not throwing any picks, she'll have to earn that.

I will watch the ball game tonight with Jack and hit my tempo run at lunch. Week 6 starts with a 5 mile tempo run at MT pace. Jay is to email how fast that will be, I am guessing 7:30. Getting ready to hit it!

Irish Win!

Day 34

Boston Qualifying Training. A good Saturday morning as I finished up week 5 of the 16 week training program. My right ankle is stiff and I spent a good part of yesterday limping around. As I lay awake I think about my friends in Augusta, getting ready for tomorrow's race.

Everyone was asleep in the house, so I decided to quietly go down stairs and make a big breakfast, pancakes, hashbrowns, toast, sausage, chocolate milk… the smell of breakfast brought everyone down and we had a nice start to the day. A few errands to run with the family as we got ready for the two football games, Wil at 2:45 and Jack at 8. I took the boys and Kim to 5 Guys after our errands to fuel what would be along afternoon and evening.

We arrived at Wil’s game and the parents were great about getting the boys there early. It really helps to run through the plays before the game. Wil’ team, the Irish was facing the Bulldogs. We won the coin toss and marched down the field, however the sky opened up on us and it started to rain, heavy rain. We stalled with two bad center exchanges. It was third and long. Time to call out a reverse, the field was getting slick and I thought this might work. The snap was good, the first hand-off, good, the next one was great, everyone was following the first guy, Aaron as Preston came around in the opposite direction. Wil was now the lead blocker and there was only one guy to beat. Wil ran right into him sealed the deal with a great block as Preston went in for the Irish’s first score of the season.

The game went back and forth and Wil had a few bad plays including an interception at our goal that resulted in a Bulldog touchdown.

The Irish battled back now down by one score. The team played strong and each member contributed to the drive. We scored on an end around play on the left side. But we were down by one point. I went for two… I called Wil’s number, Power Shift Right, Quarterback Sweep, right side. The two running backs went in motion we were aligned heavy on the right side, the ball was snapped, Wil took off, great blocking, though Wil had one many to beat, he went for Wil’s flag, Wil pulled his hip away with a juke and ran into the end zone! Irish win!

A great way to start the season. The boys were all soaked and covered in mud as it rained the entire game. Wil had blood running down his arm from a big cut, with his two missing teeth and the blood he looked like Jack Lambert.

After the game Wil said he wanted some “Victory Fries” from McDonald's. Jacks Game was later cancelled do to rain and lightening. We all hung out and watch a movie as a family. Not a bad Saturday.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Five for Friday

Day 33

Boston Qualifying Training. I have had a week of wild dreams. This one was too bizarre to even get into, but clearly I have a lot of things rolling around upstairs. Surely a good run can clear out the mind, and I have just the prescription, a nice 18 mile solo run.

I wake at 4:30 and grab my gear. I did not have time to pick up gels yesterday, but I did a good job at dinner putting in some pasta. Going downstairs, I grab a slice of bread and some peanut butter, a glass of juice and my six-pack of powerade. Jumping in the car, I make the bottle drops and head to LTF.

MY goal a nice steady pace. I fully expect my first mile to be a bit quicker and I am fine with that. I want to feel the pace and lock it in. As expected, my first mile is an even 8:00 minutes. I expected that, it was easy, now time to back it off. My target based on the “plan” is a 45-60 seconds, + planned marathon pace. I dial in an 8:45 and keep the pace. I go purely on “feel”.

Last night I took a Sharpe and marked off 3 key check points at 5 mile intervals. My goal, to be just under the following times, 0:45 at 5 miles, 1:30 at 10 miles and 2:15 at15 miles. I am hitting a time of just over 8:46 per mile, and right in the marging provide.

I feel good especially at mile 10 where I usually get hungry. It believe I would have been better served had I taken Gels with me, however I did not. Need to plan ahead. By not taking the Gels with me, I missed an opportunity to learn something about nutrition. At around mile 15, I start to feel a little fatigue. Likely I am running out of fuel. Taking a gel at miles 6 and 12 would have helped.

The negative thoughts start to creep into my head. Wow, I am feeling it at 15 miles… I’d still have 11 miles to go in the race, how am I going to do it… a trip to Negative Town and I was standing in line waiting for the bus. I catch myself and decide to get out of the ticket line and focus on the positive. First, I am just finishing my 5th week. I still have 11 weeks of training to go including four 20 mile runs. Next, though my legs are a bit worn, everything else is doing great, lungs, body… fluid intake good… and truthfully, I feel I could hammer it right now and finish it up faster. Though I know not to do the last part.

I take a look around me and the sun has come up. People are in their cars making their way to work. I think how lucky I am to be out for a run and the small percentage of people in the world that could actually go out and run 15, 16, 17, 18 miles. I think about how much fun I am having coaching the boys football games. Next thing I know I am hitting the last mile. Everything feels good, I am pulling up to mile 18 and feel confident that I could hit 8 more.

I take a quick dip in the pool and stretch. I need to hit core at lunch. Early this week I was talking to a girl at LTF, she was stretching and I saw her doing an exercise. I asked her, what she was doing, a “Plank” she said. What’s it do, I ask. It builds and strengthens your core. "CORE". I hear the key word. She tells me how to do the Plank, looks pretty simple and besides I am big tough guy, this should be a piece of cake.

How long do you hold it… She tells me she does 3 x 1 minute. Great. No problem I think to myself. I finish my sit-ups and crunches and strike the “Plank” pose. The girl who showed me is still stretching and is watching me out of the corner of her eye. I am now 15 seconds into the exercise and things are starting to get interesting. 20 seconds and I notice that I am sweating again and a bead is rolling down my face. I keep a calm cool look, I did not want that girl to think I was struggling. 35 seconds go by and though I am keeping my composure, the fact that my arms are starting to shake is giving me away. 45 seconds go by and I can not figure out why the clock is moving so slow… is the damn thing broken or what. 55 seconds and I know my face is red, my core is toast, I am doing everything to keep the position. 57,58,59...., 60… thank god.

That may have been the longest minute of my life. The girl walks by me as she is heading downstairs… “ now do two more…” she smiles walking away. Crap.

Weight 177… ahhh a good day!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday

Day 32

Boston Qualifying Training. A good morning. Again last night was filled with wild dreams, including me running into Paul McCartney and George Harrison at a gas station in my hometown. Even more strange, I looked at George in my dream and said, “wait a minute, your not…”, at which point I promptly woke up. I looked at the clock and it was time to go work out, the alarm was about to go off.

I was a little tired this morning and my splits in the pool were slow. I was happy that today was a taper day for many of those swimming. Almost everyone in the pool except for me would be racing this weekend in Augusta, the Augusta Half Ironman. The workout was light distance, but still intense. I am still struggling with my kick in the water. If I can do a better job streamlining, I can knock sometime off my 100 meter splits. A good goal to work on… after December 12th.

I was talking to another swimmer about the upcoming marathon. They were shocked that I was so concerned with not being able to qualify, “your so fast…” she said. “Yeah, but…” was how I started my response. As I responded I thought to myself, this is the second conversation on this topic this week, and each time, I have responded with a guarded answer. Almost as if I am building in a reason for not being able to run and qualify. Even in this paragraph, I talk about concerns of NOT being able to qualify, rather than my effort and training and expectation to qualify.

I really need to change my perspective. 8:00 minute miles, for 26.2 miles should be a very reasonable accomplishment for me. However, earlier this year I failed. Why… mental, certainly that was part of it, training, every run I did was based on trying to hold an 8 minute or faster pace, by the time the race came, I had very inconsistent training twice taking 10 days off to recover. I thought I was doing well. I went out on one 16 mile run and was hitting 7:42’s, I did a 13 mile run at 7:33’s. I think the stress I was placing on my body early in the training beat me up.

On race day I felt ready, but my mind was more focused on the what if… very negative.
These next few weeks I need to really clear my mind. Trust the training and listen to my body. Though I am somewhat dreading the 18 miles alone tomorrow, there is a part of me that knows I need this run. I need to run it alone, and equally important, stay on pace, not a fast pace, but the prescribed 45-60 seconds per miles above marathon pace. I expect the run to be challenging, and I am hoping to chase away the negative thoughts that have been creeping into my mind.

Work will keep me busy today as I tie up many loose ends that have been dragging along these past few week. I will spend the afternoon prospecting and networking.

At lunch I will hit the weights and core...really working the core more and getting my body strong. No football tonight, but the grass needs cutting due to all the rain. That should get me warmed up for my big run in the morning.

Making dinner for the family tonight and off to be early, wake up is at 4:30 AM tomorrow. I already have the course plotted. It is a good run.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Too Fast Wednesday

Day 31

Boston Qualifying Training. It felt good to get to bed early. I feel asleep quickly. My dreams were outrageous, but perhaps the last dream was the most telling. I had a dream I was in the hospital. I was having surgery done on my knees, specifically my medial and lateral collateral ligaments. I was talking to the doc as he was checking out my knee structure. At which point, they put a needle in my arm and I was out, blackness. I woke in my dream and was in the recovery room, I had small cuts on my knees, they were swollen and bloody. There were three scope cuts. I had a tube for drainage in both knees and the doctor was telling me that there was too much fluid building up. They sucked the puss out and I watched my knee drain. Next I was in a hospital room and talking to family, it was at this point I thought, why did I have the knee surgery now, I have a race coming up, there is know way I’ll be ready in time. I was trying to get out of the hospital and I had all these people that keep banging into my knees. Clearly I have my mind on the prize as well as some underlying concerns. At least we all had our cloths on and it did not get Freudian on me.

Track workout this morning. In addition to the speed, I think there is a lot of mental toughness that is built on the track. A considerable amount of discipline is needed for a good track workout. There is a group of 5 heading to the track this morning. We are all doing different workouts, 2 are tapering, 2 sticking to the marathon plan, 1 was there for the workout. I was on my plan. That said, I felt like I was running alone. I hit the track and was ready to go, one warm up lap, and off I went.

Clearly my concern was, "could I go fast enough". The problem, I was way too fast I could not seem to slow it down, first mile, 6:14. One minute later I start again, I hit the next mile with the first two laps right on, the next two progressively faster, finish time, 6:24 grrrr. One minute later I am off again. I am determined to hit the target 6:41. First lap… 1:38, 2 seconds fast, next lap, pace is held, two seconds off, close enough. I hit the third lap and I am now 4 seconds fast, but not bad. Last lap, I do not look at my watch, I just try to feel the pace. I end with a 6:32, 9 seconds fast. Better, however not great.

If I were to grade my performance this morning I would give myself a D-. The fact is I am not here to work on my speed, I am here to build and hold pace. Next week I need to be better.

I am mid way though my 5th week. I feel good and my weight is still hovering around the 180 mark. I weigh myself this morning 179.

This afternoon is filled with meetings and football. Tomorrow I am pushing for my 10th masters swim class in a row.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No School Tuesday

Day 30

Boston Qualifying Training. I was really enjoying the football game last night, the boys had school cancelled due to the flooding and rain, and it would have been real easy to stay up and watch the rest of the game. I really need Peyton Manning and the Colts to win. Kim has a two game lead for the weekend picks and if Miami wins, she will take an over all lead. If the colts win I will maintain a one win margin over her while putting distance between me and the boys.

I knew that would be a bad idea to watch the whole game and getting up to swim would have been that much more difficult. So I turned off the TV and headed up stairs. Sounds like good discipline, but I did not mention that I made an apple pie yesterday and had two slices during the first quarter of the game. Man warm apple pie is good, at least I did not go ala mode.

As I was putting my shoes on sitting on the couch, I saw movement on our deck. Looking out I thought that is the biggest rat I have seen or that is an opossum. Yep it was an opossum, must be all the flooding forced them out of the creek area. I turn on the deck lights and he takes off. I briefly consider getting the BB gun and just as quickly decide how stupid that idea would be.

I beat Melissa out of the subdivision this morning, I drive much faster than she does so I hit the pool deck a few minutes before she arrives. Today was an easy workout as all the swimmers are preparing for Augusta. I enjoy the workout and the tri start is fun. The last bit was 6 x 25. The forth one we made an early turn and I caught a foot/heel right square in the face. The girls used my nose as a kick-off wall, that was a surprising. It did not hurt, but it did knock my goggles askew.

Hitting the weights between meetings today. I will also focus on core. Tomorrow is a run day, I will likely hit the track and put my long run on Friday.

Jacks team has football practice today and after our defeat on Saturday we have a lot of work to get done and need to figure out how we can motivate the boys to block better. Clearly they can block as they showed it on the first half of the game. Need to understand what was happening.

On the training front, my weight, 180… I am seeing a pattern, though if I had skipped the pie it likely would have been better.

I have concerns about my running after yesterdays difficult performance. Tomorrow’s 3 x 1600 at a 6:53 pace should be telling. We’ll see 1:43 per 400 and 0:52 per 200 is the pace. That sounds easy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday - a little trim on the side

Day 29

Boston Qualifying Training. Up late watching the Giants game, I was glad that the tempo run was to take place at lunch today rather than 5:30 AM. The game last night was a good one that came right down to the last seconds of the game and decided by a field goal. The Giants won. Jack stayed up and watched the game with me… it was way too late for him to be up, but it was a great father son moment.

Morning came and I drove Wil to school… too much rain and lighting, I did not want him at the bus stop. We talked about the Giants, but more importantly the two teeth he lost this weekend. One upper and one directly below. It make for the perfect “kid” smile. Jack and I taught him how to spit out of the new whole he had in his teeth as well as how to stick a straw in there for slurping up chocolate milk. Fun stuff.

Lunch came and off to LTF. Jay who is tapering was to meet me, but he is preparing for a race this week and will not be hitting it hard. I was on my own. Track, love it! Long runs… get it done…, tempo runs. Tough, always tough.

As I am walking to the treadmill, I see Corey and we talk about the up coming race and this past weekends bike ride. I think how I would have liked to have participated, but remember my goal and don’t think about it any more.

Working my way to a good spot, I see Lisa Marshall, Vickie Cherry and John Adamson, all tremendous athletes; John a Hawaii Ironman winner, Lisa a National triathlon top ten, and Vickie, another good athlete. We talk for a while and I push myself on, this workout will not be over until I get it started.

I do the warm up 2 miles at an easy pace, it feels good but I sense I am working too much for an easy pace. I think about how much easier it is to do this outside on the road, but the weather is bad, real bad and I want the treadmill to keep my pace, something I struggled with last week.

off I go... the first two miles are boring and uneventful, other than I am working too hard and trying to find form.

With 2 miles done, I hit the speed button and my leg turnover immediately increases. I think about the winter I had my greatest increase in speed and remember spending months on the treadmill doing various speed workouts designed by the “Cheetah Speed” club out of Minnesota. I know this is going to help.

Jay shows up and runs at an 8:00 minute pace beside me as I am turning a 7:13 pace. Jay keeps a nice easy pace and looks smooth the entire time. I am struggling, I look down and I have only gone ¼ mile. Rats! This is going to be tough. I try focusing on anything to take my mind of the fact that I am struggling, more so than I think I should be. Jay is listening to his iPod, no conversation today. I look up at the various screens, nothing there to hold my attention or better said, distract me from the difficulty I am having running at this pace.

Last week I was running almost this same pace, but it was outside and seemed significantly easier. Oh well, not today. With nothing on the bank of TV’s and Jay singing to the left of me, I decide this is a time for me to work on being mentally tough. We all know that there are high spots and low spots in a marathon. It is the ability to hold down the high’s and use the energy as well as fight through the lows. I am dealing with some lows. Legs are tired, why, I just had two days rest. The ankle (the bad one) is wobbly, and not feeling stable at all. I throw those thoughts away and focus on good form for ¼ mile. As I am running Jay shouts out over his iPod… “hey this is the pace for Huntsville…” he is running right at 8:00 minutes per mile, “… This will be easy for 26 miles.” I give him a gratuitous "yeah", but I am thinking really. You yes, me, right know I have doubts. At this point I am 1.5 miles into the 3 mile tempo run, pace 7:13. Over the hump. I know everything at this point is a count down. I am tempted to speed it up more just to finish, but that will not help. Jay looks over giving me words of encouragement, he says, I look good, but I think he knows I am working with a great deal of effort.

I finally reach the end of the second mile, and the last miles goes by fairly quickly. My body had adapted to the speed, I am sweating and working hard. I see that they are showing highlights from the Giants/Cowboys game on a TV but it is way too far for me to really watch. I keep running. I look back down and there is only 1/4 mile to go… and done.

I drop the speed back to a 8:30 pace, it seems hard at first as my legs are worn, but I adapt pretty quick and that too goes by quickly. Done and done!

I am sweating almost as hard as it is raining outside. I go stretch and hit my core workout. It feels good. I shower, check my weight, 180.0 right on the money. I dress and head to the lobby.

The rain is ridiculous and nobody is leaving the LTF. I decide this is a good time to get my hair cut for 20 bucks. I chat with the girls up front and they set me up with Anastasia, a bleach blond from Russia. She is 20 years old and fun to talk to. Slight accent, but she’s been here since she was 8. I feel bad, because I realize I am still sweating from my workout. She asks me if I am hot… oh so many good jokes. I leave them alone. She says it happens all the time, people sit down and start to sweat after a hard workout. We talk about working out, and her previous place of work that was all female, too much gossip, she says. The haircut is brief for obvious reason. A quick shampoo and I am out the door.

The first day of week 5 is done. Swim practice and weights tomorrow.

What me worry

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday... rest, work, rest.

Day 28

Boston Qualifying Training. Sunday morning. I feel drunk from the loss last night. I keep going over in my mind, how I could have called a better game. The family wakes up and we make our way for breakfast at Mel’s. It is a good breakfast and fills me for the day.

I spend the day replacing door knobs downstairs. We have removed all the gold door knobs downstairs. Upstairs is next. I could spend the next year working only on the house. If I had the money.

I have a meeting down on 75 it goes for 3.5 hours. I come home and I have work to do… I sit and watch the games while I work. I finish it up as I watch the Giants.
Tomorrow I start week number 5 with a tempo run.

Game Day Saturday

Day 27

Boston Qualifying Training. Game day is here. I can not sleep. I wake up at 2 AM and can barely wait to play. I lay there in bed with plays going through my head… plays for Wil’s team and plays for Jack’s team. I can not sleep. I get up and wander around the house, I even played Madden for a bit. I finally am tired and go back to bed. I am back up again and it is 6:15… I run to go get donut holes for Wil and Jack.

The boys get up and Wil is dressed and ready to play. We load the car and get to the field. As we are warming up the rains come… hard… harder yet. The game is cancelled. Rats. We go home and enjoy the day and get ready for Jack’s night game.

Jack’s game. We are playing the undefeated Red Eagles. Jack is starting quarterback. The game starts well. Jack marches the boys down the field we go down to the 4 yard line… off sides, motion, off sides. Four plays later we are not in the end zone. The play goes back and forth for the first half. It is 0 – 0 at half time.

The second half, we are stopped on the first drive. The next series, the Red Eagles make their way down field with poor tackling by Jack's team. Touch down. Jack's team from that point forward plays deflated. Worse, the offensive line falls apart, Jack is getting killed in the backfield. To his credit, he is not rattled. He holds his own, but it is an up hill battle.

The final score, 14 – 0. I go for a few beers with Jack after the game. I tell him he did a good job. I toss and turn most of the night looking for ways that we could have won the game. We will see these guys again.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Frenetic Friday

Day 26

Boston Qualifying Training. This is the end of week four, 25% of the training is done. The body is holding up well, though I can certainly feel this past week. Clearly the 20 miles run took its toll on my body. I was very tired going into yesterdays swim, though I responded well. Best of all I hit 8 swim practices in a row. One more and I break Jay’s streak, seeing as how he missed yesterday. Sorry Jay.

Last night was fun. As we have been swamped with rain lately, rather than practice, all the boys and coaches met for a film review. Good stuff. The kids really could see what was happening and why hitting their blocks or a certain gap was so important. We’ll see how it translates into tonight’s practice and more importantly the game tomorrow.

I had the most sleep I have had in over two years last night. I was asleep by 10:00 and woke at 4’ish. I checked my email and Jay had pushed the track workout back to 6:45. After laying there for a while and a trip to go pee… I finally drifted back to sleep. When I woke up I was completely rested. Not one bit sleepy.

I made my way to the gym and put on my gear. As I waited on Jay, I saw Corey who had just returned from his 8 mile run. I noted his compression socks, I have seen them grow in popularity in the last 8 months. I know that my calves where my down fall in the marathon. I might give them a try on my next 18 mile run.

Jay shows up and we are off. Though I am rested, my legs are feeling the weeks work, a good tempo run and a solid 20 miler. Things are moving slow. We hit the track and each vow to keep it under control. I go out first. We have 5 x 1K with a 400 RI. The first 200 is right on but my next is slow… I blow it completely and we finished 4:11 WTF!!!! Okay, Jay goes out next… we are a little fast. I take the 3rd 1K, first 600 right on, however, I am having difficulty trying to do the math and think we are slow on the 3rd 200 so I pick it up, 3:51 finish, again what??? Jay and I both trying to do math and though we have advanced degrees, we might as well have been the dumbest people on earth, 2:36 + :47 seconds…I don’t know 3:07, no, 3:11, no… uh oh, time to run…. Go… Go… Go… basically, that time was under too. Finally, I remember I have a lap button on my watch… we nail it. 47 seconds dead on every lap. I am so proud of myself, I look at the cumulative time 3:59, and realize I needed to be running 48 seconds per lap. Okay so we were erratic, but at least the last 1K we were consistent, if just a little fast.

We circle up half the track and start back to LTF. We clearly both want to get this one done and the pace back is a bit more than a cool down jog.

The workout was an easy workout and yet times out there I was working. At some points I thought, Man are my legs beat” and at other times I was feeling fine thinking I could run like this forever. Knowing my legs were tired, I really focused on form running and I think that helped.

I am looking forward to the day, way too much to do at work. Lunch date with Kim, our standing Pure lunch date.

I have demos all afternoon, in fact, I have two scheduled at the same time. I have an idea how I can do that, it should be interesting.

Evening, back to back practices. I need to get the boys ready for their games.

Saturday… football from 8:00 – 8:00.

Man I need a better Camera phone

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Graduation Day

Day 25

Boston Qualifying Training. A good morning! I went to bed early and was able to get a little reading in before I shut my eyes. My reading, “Welding”, yep that’s right, I bought a welder with all my reward points from traveling last year. It is my goal to work on my Mustang over the winter months and I needed a welder to fix a few areas. The nice part about reward points, you do not feel bad on spending them on something like a welder.

The reading was interesting as the first 4 pages explained the various ways to accidentally kill yourself with a welder. I am now wondering why I bought a welder. But seeing as how the general IQ of those using welders on a daily basis is typically not that high, I feel confident I’ll be alright. This weekend I will take some time and start practicing.

I headed off to LTF this morning and noticed that my legs were a bit stiff, clearly the 20 miles were to blame, and it tells me I should have done an extra round of stretching yesterday. Though yesterday was far too busy of a work day.

Getting in the pool, the workout went quickly and mid way through I gave myself a promotion to the next lane. (later I will have cake and throw confetti in the air). I know Mike has been wanting me to move, but as I shared with him, I have different priorities. That said, I was feeling good and by the time we came to the second set of 100’s I was hitting them at 1:40 – 1:45 pace. Not too bad for me. I enjoyed the tri-start, though I am not racing, I knew I was well suited for very short burst of energy and it looked a lot more fun than 3 x 200 by myself.

I’ll hit the gym at lunch and focus on lighter weight, higher reps. Likely I’ll spend more time stretching today. I really want the legs ready for tomorrows track workout.

Tonight is football, we are doing a skull session with pizza for the boys as we review film. We have one more practice before our next game… not enough, as we missed 3 practices the last ten days and our quarterback will be out. Looks like Jack may be starting! The team we are playing is undefeated. Time to hang a loss on them.

Weight, 179. I can live with it, but it needs to start coming down next week. Sorry Jeff no photos.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wet, Wet, Wet....Wednesday

Day 24
Boston Qualifying Training. I woke five minutes before my alarm went off. As I laid there I briefly contemplated the idea of falling back to sleep for a few minutes. Not really my style. I was up and really, I wanted to get out there and get this work out done.
It was the first of five, 20 mile runs in this work out program. There was a little anxiety about this run, mostly because it was 20 miles, though the pace would be slow, heck, it's 20 miles no matter how you do it, that is a lot!
I grab the bottles and make my way through the streets of Alpharetta, strategically placing bottles to drink along the way. Jay and I meet at LTF and lace up the shoes, as we stand out front we see Corey he wishes us luck as we embark on our 20 mile adventure.
The streets are dry after a rainy evening the night before. We start out knowing our pace needs to be 9:00 minute miles, that equates to 3 hours over 20 miles. The pace is easy, comfortable. It is supposed to be and Jay and I are doing a good job reigning in any push for speed. We hit our third miles and the rain begins. This fate was sealed yesterday when I promised Jay in an email that we would have no rain, not a cloud. Reality, it came down hard, to the point it was comical and Jay and I were both laughing. However as I have been know to say, there is an underlying seriousness, “it rains on Race day” so you better know how to run in the rain. Human nature causes you to naturally speed up when the rain starts, it takes a lot to refrain from doing so.
By the fourth mile we are soaked, shoes are now filled with water and much heavier. My technical shirt is too heavy and sticking to my body. I ditch the shirt. My apologies to the population of Alpharetta for having to suffer as my “chubbies” bounced through all of downtown and the surrounding areas. It was the right decision through and I felt better for doing it. The first 2-3 miles I have a lot of stiffness in my left quad, though this went away until miles 8-11, there was a point I kept thinking, if it hurts now what do I have to look forward to…? This however is “stinking thinking” and nothing good comes from those thoughts. I spin back around an consider how effortlessly I am breathing, that aside form the one leg, everything feels good, great even. I know that once we cross the half-way point and make a charge up our last challenging hill, life will be good.
By the time we rounded the top of the hill, the rain had stopped, there was a slight breeze and it felt good. Our last water stop was a mile away and everything was feeling good, pace, pretty darn close to goal, legs, a little tired, but hey we had 15 miles down. We turned on to a long straight road with a slight up hill climb.
The conversation was good, traffic had picked up than it happened again, in almost the same spot we had the first down pour, it came again, with a vengeance. This time, there was no place for the water to go, puddles were too big to leap across and after 16 miles, our legs might not have made the distance anyway. Splish! Splash! Splish! Again, we picked up the pace, a natural reaction to the rain and again we knew better and backed it off. Rain was coming straight down, hard, and as the cars came by, we would also get hit with water from the side. It brought a little levity to a long run at a time that it was needed.
The rain was slowing as we hit the final stretch, 17.5 miles and that is when it hit me. I my legs, done. Wind, okay, but I was fatigued. The next 2.5 miles were tough. I focused on form, I did not want to get sloppy. I could feel my left hip and knew that my leg was coming out to the side like a puppy running sideways down the road.
Focusing on form worked for the next two miles. I really wanted to pick it up and tried to a couple of times, to be reigned back in by Jay... "Pace Bob, Pace" "Right" Thanks Jay. The last half mile, I was a bit out of it and feeling every bit of the mileage we had run. It was like it hit me all at once.
Finally, 20! Time, 2:57:19, pace, 8:51. Not bad. Target was 9:00 that is really close and very consistent. We jumped in the pool and stretched. It was good. Followed the big run with a great breakfast. I saw Jay even eat sausage, turkey sausage, but still. Jay eating meat, wow! Weight 178. I’ll take it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Water Park


You may recall the family and I had a nice extended weekend at the water park. Basically it was a lot of fun and the slides were a blast, major wedgie action, but fun. I could not help but notice that a Water Park attracts all kinds of people, or perhaps "odd" kinds of people would be a better statement.

What you do not see in the picture below is the twin to the girl pictured here. You might see part of her head, but are missing the effect of the same size person in a string bikini!!!

Let you mind ponder that for a while and my facial expression is more than understandable. Typically one has to go to Wal Mart to see this type of girth. For a bikini show like that try the Wal Mart in Panama City Beach.

Tuesday Swimmming in the Rain

Day 23
Boston Qualifying Training. Clearly the dedication in s showing, I went to bed and NFL football was on TV. I knew I would need my sleep these next two nights, not just for the early swim today, but more for tomorrow’s 20 miles, the first of 5 in this training program.

I rolled out of bed and felt rested, a little hungry, but rested. I actually followed Melissa's car, another swimmer in the neighborhood, as we both drove to the gym. Over the past two months, a construction crew has been working to put in a sidewalk that will lead all the way to my neighborhood. That is great, as it is now a very dangerous street, I have only run 2-3 times as it is just to risky. I was pleased to see their progress, mostly as I know it will give me more running options, especially on the upcoming long runs.

This morning, the swim coach asked if I was ready to move to the next lane. Likely I was, though, I really do not want to focus as much on picking up my swimming right now, so I waved it off until next week. I felt good in the water today, through my legs are still an issue. My early sets had me going at about 1:50 per 100, not great. Unfortunately, it got worse, I dropped to 1:55 for the final set of 10 x 100. Something to work on after December 12th. I enjoyed the middle set as it stared raining, coming down heavy at times. Fun! Checked my weight, 179, and I am starving.

Got home and had some vanilla yogurt with frozen blueberries, a tall glass of juice, man was it good. Bad news, I felt bad as we were so late swimming today, we did 3,400 meters or 2.11 miles, I did not get to walk Wil to the bus stop. I hate that. Next time I will cut it short.

Another of the many stories about Wil. Last night I read him a book before he went to bed. We joked around and I told him to brush his teeth and I would be back in to say good night. As I walk back in his room and he is in bed, however, I see his boxers are on the edge of his bed? I ask him, “Wil, did you change boxers?”. “Nope.” Puzzled, I pause… than it hits me… “Wil are you naked…?” “Yep!” I shake my head “What?” “Why?” “My body needs to breath” He says with a big smirk on his face. I smile to myself, and shake my head as I say good night and turn off the light.

I sign Jacks report card, 4 A's and 2 B's. Not bad. They are Jack's first "B's". I tell him not to sweat it. I think he was shocked.

Light weights today at lunch and a few errands. I will try to get out to the gym by 11:00 today and really work on stretching and core.

Wil's Fat Head - Go Giants!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Run Day

Day 22

Boston Qualifying Training. A good Monday morning. I made my way to the gym and hit the treadmill. Today is a tempo day, 1 EZ, 4 at Medium Threshold Pace and 1 EZ, the pace was 7:24. Okay, so Saturday I did my tempo run and it felt pretty good, in fact it felt like I was going too slow while I was running.

Today on the treadmill, I found it difficult to keep the pace. I did keep the pace, but it was an effort to do so. Jay was running next to me, he looked to be running with no effort, real smooth.

The stretching felt good, need to really hit the weights today at lunch. My weight, 179. Not bad. Really want to get down to the 175-176 number somewhere around the middle of the training. I do not want to hit that number at the end of the training, that was a mistake last time.

A lot of meetings today. Ready to hit it. For Jeff I included a picture… Not much to look at today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday A Giant Day

Day 21 Boston Qualifying Training. Sunday morning. I wake up early and for a moment forget where I am. I have spent the last week sleeping in Jack bottom bunk bed. However last night, Wil asked that I sleep in his room. He too has bunk a bunk bed. I laughed to myself once I figured out where I was.

Today was a marathon… of work. It was 6:30 AM and I headed down to my office and started digging in. Soon I could hear the family moving about upstairs. I joined them and we continued our tradition where it left off on Super Bowl Sunday.

The “Picks” were printed out and we made our way to Mel’s for breakfast and made our football picks we were all attired in our Giants Gear. On the way back home we watch some of our friends kids run the IronKids triathlon. It was fun and my boys were both fired up to give it a go next year! Especially Wil.

Back at home the boys and I played and Jack helped Wil learn the plays for his upcoming flag football game. Wil looked good and Jack was a good coach, the seasoned veteran.

Back to work. I turned on the football games and worked through both games, only stopping for dinner. The Giants looked good, but they let the Redskins stay in it… It is going to be a tough season.

Tomorrow is Tempo run, I meet Jay at 5:45 AM. Bed early tonight. I also need to do better on my weights and core workouts this week.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday "Hairy Balls"

Day 20

Boston Qualifying Training. The Tempo run. and the end of week three.

Well yesterday I was hit with the balance of life. In a perfect world we have all the time necessary to do all the things we want to accomplish, I do not know many people who live in a perfect world. There are always unforeseen challenges or events. The father, husband, employee/employer, athlete, coach, clearly there is a lot to balance and there are priorities. Family first, no matter what. Employment and doing a great job, critically important.

Yesterday training took a back seat. In hind sight, I might have been better to get up and push through the fatigue I was feeling from the previous day. I never made it to my run yesterday. Rather, starting at the point I sat at my desk until I left for Wil’s football practice, I was in back to back meetings, while simultaneously, grinding out 3 critical deliverables, for various clients and prospects. I literally finished and hit the send button as I pulled up to Wil’s practice.

Though I did not get my run in yesterday, I did finish the day strong with practice for Wil and Jack, and off to bed at 11:00. Late, but a solid nights sleep.

I woke up and was facing the Tempo Run. I believe this is the “key” run, for my training. It is also the one I believe is the hardest. It tests you physically and mentally and I know I was not ready yesterday. The challenge is holding pace, when your legs are burning and it hurts to breathe.

This Tempo run called for a 7:45 minute pace, 1 EZ, 5 at 7:45 and 1 EZ. Should be "EZ". However I was concerned, I should not have been, I had run 10 miles at a 7:30 pace only a few weeks earlier. But, with the recent slow runs, I kept thinking, what if I am getting slower. It was hard doing the 8 minute pace on the treadmill last week.

The moment of truth, I laced up the shoes, pulled on the ipod (thank you Steve Jobs) and I was off. I was running a new route, an out and back with only slight up and down hills. The first mile was to be EZ, I thought 8:15 – 8:30, the pace felt good, but I knew I was working, likely because I was warming up. I hit the mile marker and the time was 7:20… Crap… Too Fast.

It did not feel that fast, but, I was warm and knew now that I would not have a problem with 7:45, I backed it off and concentrated on keeping a steady pace. I really wanted to hit my projected times and I was feeling in the groove… first mile 7:16, WTF!!! How did I speed up?

Back it off, I kept telling myself, I turned off the ipod, thinking the music had me running too fast. Next mile, 7:14! At this point I am getting frustrated and totally blowing what I am trying to accomplish, finding and holding a pace. I really could have used Jay and his Garmin on this run. I am all over the place on my speed. Worse, my left leg, the one without the broken ankle, is beginning to burn, like a nail is being driven through the muscle. I am actually happy for the pain, I believe it might slow me down.

I concentrate on my right leg and balancing my stride, easy, glide. Trying desperately to give my left leg a break and relieve the pain. No success, I hit the next mile at 7:17. This continues for the next 2 miles and I finish with a mile cool down.

I had a target time of 7:45 per mile over five miles, I ran 7:16 per mile and my leg was on fire. Typically, I would be okay with this pace, actually a little disappointed that it was slow, but with my goal being a marathon, my disappointment was not being able to find and hold my projected 7:45 pace.

As I pull in the parking lot of LTF, I see Jay and Jeff, they are getting ready to bike for the next three hours, I had hope to join them as this is the only Saturday for the next 10 weeks that I do not have 2 football games on a Saturday. However, today is picture day and more importantly, I knew my run was far more important than the bike. I wanted a quality run. I talked to the guys about the busy week, sounds like we are all in the same boat of balancing family, work, coaching and trying to be an athlete.

Jeff and Jay look strong as they are primed for the half Ironman in Augusta. I am disappointed that I am not doing the race too, and that I am not riding with them today. However, I know my goal and that challenge waits for me on December 12th.

On the way home I see a farmers market selling flowers. They are big and bright, I stop and buy a bunch for Kim. They are colorful, the bunch has big sunflowers and field flowers, it also has these big round bulbs. I ask the guy what they are called, he said with a straight face in a heavy Asian accent that they are “Hairy Balls”…

I laugh to myself as I realize I am bringing my wife home a bouquet of Hairy Balls… I hope she likes them!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday 911

Day 19

Boston Qualifying Training. I just looked at my watch for the date and saw that today is 9/11. I do not think many people will ever forget the absolute tragedy or horror that happen on this date. I can clearly recall the morning. I was in Denver, Colorado, and the night before had seen the opening of Invesco Field. The Bronco’s were playing the Giants, and my friend and boss at the time had surprised me with tickets. The game was good, but the Giants lost and Joe Juraviccious had broken his leg and was out for the season.

I had gotten up early and was out for my run. I recall another runner was following me and trying to catch me on the run. As my personality back than, I did not let that happen. I returned to the hotel, finishing my run and waited for the other runner and we talked about how nice the weather was. I smiled to myself when he said he had been trying to catch me, but with no luck. Really I replied, I did not know you were there. I know pretty pathetic. Later that day I was to meet with Bill Gate’s brother-in-law, he had a distance learning company and we were looking to see how we could help him. The other runner and I walked into the hotel and saw a number of pilots and flight attendants standing by the lobby TV. As we were staying near the Airport that was not a big deal, but clearly something was up.

As I made my way over to the group, the images of the single tower in flame and smoking were startling. The flight attendant said “someone accidentally flew into the tower”. I looked and the day was perfectly clear in NY, the sky was almost cloudless and there was no haze. It did not seem to make sense. There was already a video of the plane hitting the building and I turned to the pilot standing next to me and asked him how big was the plane that hit the building, he was pale, he looked and me and coldly said, those are the planes we fly. I turned to the girl and said, clearly this was not an accident, at that time, the second plane hit the second tower. I looked back to her and said, we are under attack.

I was in those towers only two weeks earlier and was to be there two day later for another meeting. I recall while I was there wanting to go to the observation deck, but deciding I could do that next time. That never happened. A neighbor and friend of my lost his brother that day... too many people did. We should never forget how much people fear freedom.

This morning, I woke and was tired from getting up early that last two days, I decided that my run would have to wait until lunch. My body needed rest. I wanted to map out a good run and put in my key mile markers. This tempo run I feel is significantly important to being ready for the marathon and I do not want to just mail it in.

There is a lot of work to do this morning and I want to get that done and run with a clear and purposeful mind this afternoon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thrilling Thursday

Day 18

Boston Qualifying Training. I knew I had a meeting in Birmingham and had to pick up work colleagues at the airport at 9:00. Doing some quick math, I set my alarm for 4:00 AM. I knew that going to bed before 10 would pay off. I woke at 4 and zipped to LTF. I had my laptop and “business attire” in the car. I was in the pool by 4:30 and had a 2000 meters done by 5:30. Hopped out of the pool, shower and dressed.

Jumping in the car, I was headed west on I-20 and made it to the Birmingham Airport, it was a rather uneventful drive over to Birmingham. I did notice that there was an exceptional amount of laundry on the side of the road in Alabama. Huh. Anyway, I picked up my colleagues, had a quick lunch and we were off to the meeting.

The meeting was a great and the it was refreshing to meet with another healthcare group that understood the opportunity to connect the various stakeholders to provide a seamless and meaningful solution to eliminate the fiction that has for so long been inherent to healthcare.

The group has a new VP that clearly “gets it”! One of the better/smarter guys I have met in HC in a while. Clearly our visions are aligned.

Sped home, (really) I was going about 85 miles per hour to get home in time for opening kick-off with Jack. Go NFL, Go Giants! Okay.. back to working out.

Tempo run tomorrow… 7 miles, 1 EZ, 5 at tempo (7:45/mile) 1 EZ. No Jay tomorrow. Just me, the street and my ipod.

Weight… 181. Dang!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday 090909 Oh My!

Day 17

Boston Qualifying Training. I was happy yesterday when I was able to make my swim during my lunch hour. It was only 1,800 meters, but it was aggressive, no hanging on the side, it was a 200 warm up followed by sets of 200 with a descending time. My chest was pounding on a few of them.

I hit the bed later than I had hoped, 10:00, but unlike last week I did not toss and turn and wake up every hour, I was out and do not think I even moved until the alarm went off. I grabbed my gear and hit the door.

I made the bottle drops, and liked the course that was plotted for the 17 mile run. A good amount of rolling terrain. The hills were mostly at the back half and I thought that would be a build strength necessary for the later stages of a marathon. I hooked up with Jay a 4:45, and we were off.

Unlike last week, the focus was on hitting our goal pace. Again, speed was not an issue, rather we had been going too fast. Today was a prescribed, 8:45 per mile. Really? I know, slow, but I continue to think perhaps the idea is to push the endurance, time on the course, and slowly build up the speed through the tempo and track workouts. Perhaps the idea is doing it this way reduces the stress that running fast places on the body. Basically, trust the system, it has worked for thousands of others, it will likely work for me.

So off we went. Unlike last week, the weather was a bit humid and certainly warmer. The first several miles were so familiar, that they went by quickly as Jay and I caught up on family and work stuff. We hit our first bottle drop and our time was reasonable, through still a bit too fast, 8:35, not 8:45, but far better than last week. The pace was adjusted and we continued on.

My left leg continues to do most of the running, so I really focused on a even cadence and stride. It was better today, though sitting here 5 hours later, it is my left leg that is still sore. I also felt a lot more of my broken right ankle today, stiff and sore, but manageable. We hit our next bottle drop and our time was about the same, though it was mostly down hill at that section. That would soon change, at mile 10 the hills were in front of us, about 2-3+ miles worth. Long slow climbs.

I was beginning to feel a little fatigue, and even a little hungry. I began to question, "hey, am I going to be able to do the 26 miles if I feel this way now?" I kept those thoughts to myself, put my head down and kept running. Runners run. Besides, if it was easy, anyone could do it, that is the purpose, a challenge. Can I train my body and mind to achieve a goal. Can I push myself to take a little more pain. A lot of questions, luckily I had several more mile to contemplate those thoughts. Jay and I ran silently for a couple of miles. Not much was said, except to point out a broken sidewalk, pothole or note that I'd just run through another spider web so Jay would not think I was crazy as I started waving my arms all around trying to remove a web.

As we reached the top of the hills, the last leg of the run was upon us, we were almost done. Conversation resumed and we fought the urge to go faster, after all that is not the point of this workout at this time. It was good to know at mile 15 and 16 there was energy to pick it up, again, we fought the urge. Somehow the sun had come up in the last couple of miles, without us noticing, fortunately, it was hiding behind some clouds and the temperature did not change much at all.

We pulled in where we had left 17 miles earlier and the per mile pace was 8:40, not bad. The goal was 8:45. Knowing we started too fast, I would rather start next time slower and progress to negative splits, and that is something to work on. Overall time was 2:27:23.

We saw Corey entering the gym as Jay and I chatted briefly in the parking lot. Assurance were made to be at Masters swim practice tomorrow morning, number 6 in a row for me, 7 for Jay.

My weight for the day was 178, I was very pleased it had not skyrocketed over the weekend. I stopped on the way home and had a great French toast breakfast with a side of bacon, man was it good. Too many meetings to count this morning, off to lift for lunch!

Glad Jay remembered the lighter for the smokes

Duex Tuesday

Day 16 Part II

I made it to the pool, though I had found out earlier that Masters Swim was on Monday and Wednesday during lunch hour. Thankfully, Mike the swim coach provide me the workout from earlier in the day. It was not the transition workout that was previously scheduled, rather it was a long 6,000 meters. As this was a lunch hour and not a lunch two hours, I was limited to what I could do, but wanted to keep the streak alive. I hit the swim, showered and back to work. A good day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Two for Tuesday

Day 16

Part I

Boston Qualifying Training. I knew that today the Masters swim class in the morning was doing their “funky” transition training and decided to hit the pool at lunch.

I do not want to miss my consecutive days of Master Swim, so I will make certain I hit it at lunch. Tomorrow… 17 miles I already have the course mapped out. I hate the thought of hitting a scale right now I know it will be ugly.

Monday Madness

Day 15

Boston Qualifying Training. Man was I glad that Jay emailed me late last night for a track workout. Best, we were starting an hour later, a little extra sleep to recover from the party.

We meet at 7:00 sharp. The sun was up and the track just seemed different. Likely because it was not dark and we could see! There was one other person at the track, he too was doing laps, Furman, he was training as well for Hunstville, he appeared older than Jay and I, though he was moving for his age. I had a talk with myself and ignored what he was doing.

Our first time, a 1,200, was a little too fast. Jay had too much energy. The second set, was right on the money as were the next 6 sets. It was good workout. I went home and spent the rest of the day just playing with the boys. Later that night we picked up a new TV. The old set was dying and it was time to replace the old girl, the TV was 17 years old. WOW!

Kim said i spent too much money and that it was too big. It must be the right size! We watched the Yankee's play Tampa Bay in HD, it was unbelievable! I felt like I was there. Bring on the football season!

Sunday Funday

Day 14

Boston Qualifying Training. I woke up early, the idea was to hit the lap pool and get in some much needed work, especially after the big diner last night. I made my way out of the room trying to not wake the family. When I got to the hotel lap pool it was closed. Rats. I looked for the fitness center. It had an elliptical trainer and that was it, back to the room.

We all got ready had a buffet breakfast and hit the water park again. Again we were the first one’s there. We hit all the slides before they got crowded. Afterwards, we went home, mowed the grass, did our chores and got ready for our Fantasy Draft party. It was a hit, we all had fun and the food was great. The picks were fun and 6 hours slid right by. I was thankfully in bed by 11:30.

Saturday's Splash

Day 13

Boston Qualifying Training. I woke up early. It felt good. There were a few things to get done around the house before the weekend got started. Kim and I surprised the boys telling them we were heading to the Lake Linear Water Park. We had breakfast at Mel’s and off we went.

We checked into the hotel early, and were the first ones in the park. That was a great idea, we hit the all the slides before the park got crowded. I hated that I was not getting a workout in this morning, but I certainly walked a bunch of stairs and hills.

The best slide by far was the “Intimidator” Easily a 30 foot drop. When you get on the slide, it appears to drop right off the edge. What a blast. You actually leave the slide and free fall for a period of time. Wil dropped for about 15-20 feet in a complete free fall. Later that night we all went out to diner, and all ate too much.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Post run breakfast

Fifteen Friday

Day 12

Boston Qualifying Training. I woke this morning at 3:40 AM, wide awake. Not just a little bit awake, roll over and sleep some more, rather I was middle of the day awake. It is typical for me to wake up a few times before a long run, but usually, I can close my eyes and drift right back to sleep. Not today, I was mad. This was more about the game last night, a loss. It was terrible, no-continuity, the play calling terrible. I blew at least 4-6 plays for the boys. I felt bad. As I laid there awake I kept running the game through my head and all the decisions I should have made. I fully understand that you can not go undefeated all the time, but losing a game you should have won because of bad play calling or decisions, that one twisted in my head. I kept thinking as bad as we played, we only lost, 12 – 7. Dang!

Fifty minutes later the alarm went off. I was all to happy to get out of bed and run the demons out of me. I made the bottle drops and met Jay at LTF. Just as I had hoped yesterday, the weather was cool, the moon was out and it was a great morning for a run. I looked at Jay knowing we had 15 miles to run, not an issue. The issue was not could we run fast enough, rather could we run slow enough. We started off, a casual conversational pace. Saw AM and Brian (Patrick) heading the other way on Marta. Our pace was steady, though we did naturally pick it up in a few areas, mostly hills. Our goal was a pedestrian 8:45 per mile. We did well, though not 8:45, we hit 8:28 per mile. It was easy, though I could tell my legs were starting to feel the miles on the hill up Westside Parkway as we neared the end, specifically the left leg which seems to be doing all the work. I need to balance my stride.

I feel we could have done this run at 8:00 - 8:10 and possibly felt better, but that is not the plan. Jay and I are both struggling with the concept of these longer slower runs. How are we supposed to just turn on the faster time for 26 miles? We finally rationalized that we are building up endurance, doing so at a slower pace to ready our body for the time it will be out there running 26 miles, while increasing the strength of our legs as we progress in the 16 week program. That as we near the end our speed will increase and our body will have adapted to the stress.

Knowing this it is my expectation that I will not have the interruptions in the training program like I did last time. Last time there were days I could barely walk it hurt so bad. I remember sitting at my desk rotating ice packs and taking Tylenol all day. I’ll stick to the plan. I have now completed 2 weeks and have 14 more to go.

Busy day at work, too many calls to make and budgets to piece together. Looking forward to Wil’s first ever football practice. He is very excited about playing football. I think he is mostly excited about doing what Jack and Dad are doing, cool.

Wil is making great progress. I came home last night after our loss, feeling crummy, and Wil rushed up to me beaming. He was bursting at the seams to tell me he read his book all by himself. A huge accomplishment as reading has been an issue. He is making great progress. He told Kim, he used to think reading was boring, but now it is fun. Good for Wil.

Weight… 178! Good for me! I love those long runs! Post Race Breakfast Pic for Jeff

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wet Thursday

Day 11

A great morning. I left my Mustang outside last night so I could drive it to the workout this morning. It was great driving to LTF, the coming autumn weather felt good and the air was cool and crisp. I was thinking ahead to how great it would be running tomorrow in the cooler weather. Perfect for a long 15 miler.

Today, however, was Masters swim class. This is now my 4th day in a row for making it to swim class. The lane six group is not too happy with me; they say I am too fast, (comical). It is kind of like being the tallest midget. I am still far slower than I would like to be and when the conditioning goes, my stroke falls a part. That is bad considering it not a great stroke to start with. That said, I did have a few moments where it was clicking, and the 200’s were going at a 1:45/100 pace, so getting there. Meant to take my camera with me for a morning pool photo... (sorry Jeff) I am certain all the women there would appreciate that. Maybe Tuesday.

It rained sporadically while we swam, though I never felt it. I was told they kept announcing at the gym that there was a blue Mustang with the top down. Ha. A little wet when I left, but the rain stopped and I enjoyed the ride home.

I’ll hit the weights at lunch, nothing too much, really want to focus on core and stretching today; perhaps spin for twenty minutes to warm up.

Looking forward to tonight’s football game, Jack plays the Green Eagles at 6:30. I need to get the game plan together later this afternoon. Should be a good game, we’ll see. Likely we will hit Taco Mac and catch a quarter of the Giants football game after Jack's game.

Need to make it a quick night, 4:30 wake up and 5: 00 AM start, 15 miles, marathon pace plus, 45 seconds. I doubt we’ll go that slow, but likely it will be a conversational pace and not as quick as last week. I am still struggling with the idea of going this slow for these longer runs, but will keep on schedule.

Weight, still hanging around 181. Goal for the rest of the day… watch my food intake.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Skip the Cake Fatty

Day 10 part II

Lifted, and did my core workout at lunch. Did not see Corey. LTF is sending out a search party. Donations will be accepted. Weighed myself after lunch way, way too much, 183, plus... Back at the desk working.

Cake anyone...

Day 10

Yep, day 10 of Boston Qualifying Training. Piece of cake was right, I felt like I barely worked out. I guess that will let me be fresh for the 15 miler on Friday morning. I am looking forward to that run, there is a good amount of rolling terrain and it should be a nice, somewhat chilly day. Pace will be the word of the day.

As for track, Corey and Michelle left for their track work out early. They had a longer workout. I have to be honest, it is killing me that I do not have the speed I once had. Can I get it back, I do not know. What I do know is that I need to be consistent for this marathon training, watch my weight and keep up the weights and stretching.

The workout was 1 miles warm up, EZ, 4 x 800's 3:05, 3:02, 3:07, 3:04 and a mile cool down, EZ. Jay and I traded lead, keeping pace. We were consistent, consistently faster than we should have been.

I need to find a way onto the bike on Saturday. I am afraid the guys have gotten too fast for me. I might start going out myself, not sure what to do there. Weight, 181.9 ugh.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Today I was 6'3"

Day 9 for Boston Qualifier training and the first day of September, another year flying by. I guess that happens when you are busy. Good to be busy in life.

Today was Swim. I must admit to being very proud to have hit swim class 3 days in a row now. I like the class and I know what I need to work on… long in the water, the coach said imagine you are 6'3", use small scissor kicks and rotate the body and hips together. I did a few times and it felt good. I need to make it an all the time thing and than introduce power back into my stroke. My swim times were not as great today as they were on Thursday. If I can get this technique down, I too believe I can see a significant drop in my swim time.

Today we did about 2 miles of swimming. I felt good. I have a number of errands to do today and a significant amount of work. Everything must get done.

Wil’s leg was hurting him this AM, so I drove him to school. I think he was just looking for a little Daddy time, that is a good thing too. Jack has a Math and Science quiz today, later he’ll be practicing as the quarterback. I think he’ll do great. He is a smart kid. Both the boys have an intelligence that is beyond their years.

I did not weigh myself today, I was rushing to get home, I may weigh myself at lunch and see the damage. Yesterday was a tough and I felt like I ate all day.

Bobalu called yesterday with an interesting opportunity. We’ll see how that works out.

Tomorrow is track only 4 x 800 piece of cake! Guess that is rest for the 15 miles on Friday. Wahoo!