Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bucktown 5k. . .Done!

Fun time at the Bucktown 5k this past Sunday. Coach and I met up with my old friend Judy. 8:30 and we are ON it. First mile in 10:15 or so which was fine. Coach then spotted the fast runners going the other way on the other side of the street and decided to 'air it out'. Go Leah GO! She ran the last two miles in 8 something while Judy and I chugged along at our 10+ pace. Overall a good race. I finished in 32:54 which is fine.

Now I'm looking to add a LITTLE distance and run a 10k in a month or so.

Marathon is this coming Sunday. I'm a little sad (and my entry fee is gone!) but I'll go out my front door and watch the elites go by. Maybe next year. . . Like the Cubs!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Training Run

I think so before the 5k on Sunday. I know it's only a 5k but I look forward to any small challenge. My plan today was to take it fairly easy by only running 2 miles at about a 11 minute pace.


Mile 1 - 9:55
Mile 2 - 9:32

That's all I'm saying. Is there another sub 10 minute mile in the tank? I guess we'll see on Sunday!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

After a week off. . .

. . . Good news. Feel good and ran my 3 in 32:39. The race is a week away! I was afraid that with a week off I'd be back to wheezing a mile and walking home but maybe this was a good week off. Everything was hurting, new shoes didn't work, ick. So I ran in my old shoes today and felt pretty good. I probably could have gone faster but was actually trying to keep myself slow to get in a good solid three. I'll have to consult with my coach to see how I should train in this week before the Bucktown 5k. Should be fun.

Goals: A. 32:00, B. 33:00, C. 34:00

Splits from today 10:27, 11:39, 10:32

hmmm...maybe that middle mile is measured a little long.

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Shoes!

And they SUCK! Damn. I was very excited to try out my new pair of Brooks - Adrenalin. Got fitted today at Fleet Feet. Size 12 seems right as I measure 11.5 and I know you're supposed to go a half size or so bigger. They felt great in the store.

The girl was very nice. She explained to me that "as time goes on" your feet actually can get a little bigger. I thought that was a nice way to tell me that I am becoming elderly!

I ran south along the lake. After about 15 minutes both my feet were numb and tingly. That ain't right. My right foot felt like there was a ridge running fore and aft down the middle of the bottom of my foot. I thought maybe my sock had folded up or something. At 20 minutes I stopped and loosened both shoes. I took off the right one to fix my sock but it fits tight and couldn't have been folded up like that. Just a weird pain I guess. After 3 minutes I started back. Nine minutes into it my feet hurt and were going numb again.

Guess I'll be taking these back! Damn. It was a real nice day too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another 3

Yet another little experiment. I ran a half mile real slow and THEN stretched and got my wind back. Now for a timed three miles. My half mile was to the water fountain which is really only a guess. Since it's four miles from my start to north ave beach house and back I figured to the beach house and back to the fountain should be about 3.

Off I go. . .jeez I feel like crap! Kind of dissapointed that I've been running pretty regular in Chicago for a year and I could get winded running less than a mile. But, there's nothing for it now but to keep a going no matter how bad!


16:25 to the beach house which is half way. Could be worse. I'm still feeling pretty bad and running really slow. I finally started feeling better on the last mile. Passed the guy who had passed me some ways back and picked it up for the last quarter. I was hoping to get a negative split but total was 33:05. Still under 35 so there's that.

I think tomorrow I'll try a run I used to really like. Go by time. 20 minutes out and see if I can get back in less than 20.

I really think I need new shoes. My feets be hurting!

Chill coach. . . I already iced!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Easy There!

Had a GREAT idea today for some "speed" work. I planned to run three miles but at above my usual pace and rest and stretch between miles. Good plan!

First mile: 9:04! Are you freaking kidding me!
I stretched and rested as planned because I think that one key to getting faster is to just take bigger strides. Not that that doesn't cost you more energy but by getting a little more stretched out perhaps possible.
5 minutes of stretch and rest
Second mile" 10:15 Not bad. I didn't think another 9 minute mile was going to happen.
more stretching and resting
Third mile . . . .well there you go. Tank was empty but I had some nice jogs on the way back.

Just a Thought

So many people running up and down the lake front which is great except for how many of them pass me but that's ok. I'm getting faster. Last run I had this bit of a thought.

Why do we run? There are a number of reasons I'm sure. To lose weight. To be healthier. To challenge yourself. To race. Combinations of these and others and their all legitimate. But I don't think you should run so as to live longer.

I know I don't. There are too many variables to living longer. You could be a 3 hour marathoner and get hit by lightning. You could run every day and then run in front of a car. Some diseases can sneak up on you whether you're in great shape or not. Running won't help you then.

Lately I've been spending time with my 93 year old dad. I've finally gotten him moved into an assisted living place where he can get. . .well, assisted. My dad can barely walk across the room. He has trouble getting up (he has a lift chair now). He has a wheel chair but not the strength to push it around. What's his particular ailment you might ask? For what ever reason he's spent the last several years sitting in his chair and watching TV. He used to golf, walk, work in his woodshop but as these things got harder to do (we're not sure what pains he has or from whence they come) he never looked to get things repaired (doctors are bad) or to simply challenge himself to keep a-going. He just began removing things from his can-do list until they were almost all gone. He resorted to the chair and over the course of years he has naturally gotten weaker and weaker. He puts it down to getting older and certainly that's a factor but that's not really why he is in SUCH a weakened condition.

He has a therapist now who is putting him on an exercise schedule. Why? Because if you use your muscles they will strengthen even if you're 93! My dad has lived to 93 and I have NEVER seen him run anywhere! He made it to old age by shear genetic luck (and a martini or 2 every night) and good for him. But now his day is a chair and the TV. That's it. So. . .

I don't run to so as to get older. I run in CASE I get older.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Well, that was different. . .

I had a pretty good and aggressive run on Sunday and took Monday off. So, today I planned to just run a slow (11-12 min pace) 2 miles. Mile one I felt a little stiff but no real problem: 11:25. Perfect. Mile two going ok and then it happened. . .

I got passed by a giant butt. I hate that. Now it shouldn't matter because I had my plan and it was a good one so what's the diff? But there it was ahead of me. It is now a giant LAUGHING butt. "Yes I am laughing at you, you pathetic, tiny, old man!"

These are the voices in my head.

I picked up the pace. I had to. I caught the giant butt and now my butt is doing the laughing.


10:14. If I'd started that pace at the start of the second mile it would have been under 10. Pretty sure.

Speed work tomorrow. Wheeeeee!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


As reported here last time I was thinking that maybe I could string together 3 miles in under 33 minutes. It seems I'm usually more comfortable at around 11:15 but keep running some sub 11's here and there.

Today my main goal was to run my 3 mile course without stopping. That should lead to my best time be it under 33 minutes or not. Here's the splits:

Mile 1 10:31 (yikes. . .too fast!)
Mile 2 11:36 (too slow! or is that middle mile a little long?)
Mile 3 10:26 !!!!! (I also passed the two fat girls that passed me with a quarter mile to go)

Total 32:35 YES! I killed it!

Now I need a new goal or a 5k race or both. Now with proper rest and diet I should NEVER not be able to run 3 miles. EVER!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Two miles out. Rest and stretch and 2 miles back. Here are the splits

Mile 1 10:57
Mile 2 10:56 (points for consistancy?)
7:32 (rest/stretch)
Mile 3 11:14
Mile 4 Walked home

Not bad. Tomorrow I think I'll just run a flat 3 miles (avoiding the bridge over LSD makes it flat) and see how I do. No stopping. 33:45 would be a nice goal making 3 11:15 miles. 33 flat look doable in the near future. Just need to stick another 10:55 or so on the end of the first two!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Just another day. . .

Ran a mile. Stopped. Turned around. Walked/ran back. Getting just a little tiresome. . .

Although, that one mile was in 10:14 so as slow as I feel I am going that is way under my usual 11 minute pace. Back at it tomorrow AND Sunday.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Speed Work

Today was speed work. 6 quarters. It seems my natural pace is around 11 minutes per mile. I wanted to run these quarters at a pace above that so I was shooting for 2:15 - 2:30 quarters. Here’s how they went

1:52 (Whoa!)

Between each it took me about 4 minutes to walk/jog back to the starting line. After the first one I thought I had blown it and gone out too fast but it seems I recovered ok. These are actually ‘fun’ for me. I like the faster pace and the feeling of really running instead of jogging. Tomorrow is a day off and then my cherished Sunday run. Haven’t decided what that will be yet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Good run(s) today. As was my plan I ran 2 miles out, rested and stretched, and 2 miles back. Here's the splits..

mile 1 - 10:48
mile 2 - 11:18
rest - 9:24
mile 3 - 11;25
mile 4 - 10:41

Can you tell which miles have the bridge over LSD?

That's right. . . last mile was the fastest. . if you're willing to call 10:41 fastish.

Great day. Perfect wether.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Connect the Dots

I do a lot of walking (and running) around the city and lately I've been noticing that many Chicago sidewalks are polka-dotted. See? This is a stretch of Belmont Ave near Clark. Now I've pointed this out to people and most say, "Well, that must be gum". Could be but that seems like a LOT of gum to be left right in the middle of the sidewalk. Do that many people do that? Also, I never see any gum being in the state of partially melted to the sidewalk. I only see flattened black dots. Why are all the dots black? If it's gum, does all gum turn black in the sun or is everyone chewing Blackjack Gum?

Maybe aliens left the dots and are just waiting for us to connect them to receive a secret message. Maybe it's instructions for building a transporter or a time machine.

Well, anybody reading out there, I'm curious what other theories you might have as to the source of the polka-dots.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

"running"' LIncoln Ave

So, what’s living in Chicago like you ask?

I’m not sure my fellow citizens even know, as don’t I, how to answer that question exactly. But I do know that if you want data to help you you need to go to any of the street festivals in Chicago in the summer.

Just got back from Taste of Lincoln Ave. The people who attend this and other such festivals are. . .

With kids
Without kids
With walker
In 6 inch heels
In groups
Smiling. . . All of them!

Just gaze upon a giant grill with giant sausage (pronounced sah’ sige) grilling and that will get you started. Have a beer and listen to live music on 5 stages for the crazy price of $7 and that will help as well. Talk to strangers and tease them and have them ‘get it’ and you’re well on your way. Our taxes, schools, sports teams (not counting the BLACK HAWKS) suck and we have a king for a mayor but in the summer . . .


Don’t talk to us in the winter. We’re not so happy/friendly then.

Watch this

Yep, I like my new watch. Today I laid out a different 5k route so that I didn't have to turn around and re-trace my steps.

View 5k loop in a larger map

Along the lake to the bridge and then down to Ben Franklin and back to Fullerton is 5k. I ran to teh bridge and then walked over it and stretched a little on the other side and then ran the rest of the route. Time?


Not bad. About 2 of those minutes was me at the bridge so running a 5k in 30 - 35 minutes is in my wheelhouse. Now I just need one to run!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Watch!

As my coach will understand I LOVE data. Without a race to shoot for right now I bought a watch to have interim goals. Today I ran my 5k course as follows. .

2.5k out bound 16:18:57

Then I stopped and stretched and caught my breath and stretched for 4 minutes.

2.5k inbound 18:02:36

That makes a 5k in 34:21:33 for the running part although I walked twice on the inbound leg.

Overall time including the stretching at the halfway point is 38:00:34 (there is some extra time due to me not using the watch correctly so actually a little less than this. . . maybe.

Good news is that way back when I lived in Des Plaines (motto: SLOW DOWN!) I had a 5 k course laid out and rarely ran it in less than 30 minutes and usually more like 35 I think. So once I get my wind back up and can run continuously I should be able to put down a 5k in between 30 and 35 minutes. That would be great.

Friday, July 23, 2010

anxious to run so I'm. . .

CHAMPING at the bit. The next time I hear someone on TV say chomping at the bit I'm going to go nuts. The word is champing. Here from langson.com. . .

Champing at the bit

If someone is eager or anxious to do something, they are said to be champing at the bit, (not chomping at the bit. nor chomping on the bit).
CHAMPING: Repetitious, strong opening and closing action of the mouth which
produces sounds when the teeth hit together. Champing in swine may be a
threat signal, but also is performed by boars during courtship and
mating. Definition from Hurnik et al., 1995.
- The Encyclopedia of Farm Animal Behavior
v. tr. - To bite or chew upon noisily.
v. intr. - To work the jaws and teeth vigorously.
Idiom: - champ at the bit
To show impatience at being held back or delayed.
- The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Note that some dictionaries define chomp as being derived from champ. One especially lazy on-line dictionary simply links chomp to the definition for champ, thereby implying that they're identical. The Merriam-Webster entry for champ at points out that while the verb chomp is a transitive verb, the verb champ can be either transitive or intransitive. In particular, the verb in the expression champing at the bit is intransitive, so it would be ungrammatical to say chomping at the bit (since chomp, being a transitive verb, needs an object); you could say chomping the bit instead, but that really lacks the impact of champing at the bit.

So let's get it right people!

oh, yeah, horses run, I run (sometimes) = running blog

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicago Cubs

What? Cubs? I thought this was a running blog. Well, sometimes baseball players run and sometimes I run so I say this works.

We went to the game Monday night. The Cubs have been decent lately so I was anxious to see a win since so far I was 0-4 for 2010. Nice seats in the lower deck half way out to right field. Looked like rain was going to stay away. Sue bought me a beer and. . . PLAY BALL!

The Cubs give up 5 in the top of the first.

It was never close.

But that's ok. . .I'm actually a little used to that. On the other hand there's the "fans". The guy sitting behind us (arriving a fashionable 2 innings late) started talking. And talking. It was all about him. And 'babes'. On and on and on and on. Does this guy even breath? I finally took a look at this guy wondering, "How handsome IS this guy". Not so much. Complete dork. Of course.

We finally moved down to the end of the row in front of 2 women. That's right. . .one only talked and the other only listened. I tried to get them to comment on the game and they looked at me like I had a third eye and went right back to their roles as talker and listener.

". . .and so she said and then I said and then she said. . . . "

Now, I admit the game was out of reach. Way out. But there's always something to talk about at a game that is remotely connected to baseball. There's also. . .


When you're at a major league game there is SO much to watch. There is no such thing as a routine play. There is strategy. We could see ahead of time that Castro backed up on a ground ball making it impossible for his arm to make up for that. You don't get that on TV. And. . .

It's $50+ to sit halfway out in right field. Might as well watch the game! Maybe next time I'll bring a radio and headphones and listen to Pat and Ron. Ron watches the game. . . well, the one in his head.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Sunday Run

I always look forward to the Sunday run. No reason to make this one special but I guess when I was working it was more of a day to build toward. Anyway I still look forward to it. Today I ran my regular route to the bridge over LSD but instead of going over the bridge like I usually do I turned right (I RARELY turn right!) and found my way to what seems to be the new boardwalk between the farm in the zoo and the south lagoon. Very nice. They've put up signs about the local ecology and gotten rid of the paddle boats. Good deal.

Felt pretty good. Ran the first 1.5 and then ran a song walked a song the rest of the way.

I need a race for a goal!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Holy CRAP!. . . .

. . . I'm 60 . . . TODAY!

Had a nice run too. About 2 miles and then run walk back. I was joined for the first two by coach Leah and Lucy the grand daughter. Leah went on at the bridge over LSD and I pushed Lucy back in the running stroller. Well, it doesn't actually run ( I wish it did!) but you have to push it. It's surprisingly easy to push. Takes a little getting used to only swinging one arm or the other but its a fine way to put Lucy to sleep!

So, marathon is on the far back burner after missing a couple of weeks going to Florida and then sailing across the gulf of Mexico helping a buddy deliver his boat. In any case I think I'd like to focus on 5k and 10k races and try to get faster. I already have a nice big time to beat in a 10k. Who knows maybe training that way might lead to the marathon anyway. So I'm running well and not worrying about distance. I'd like to find a 5k in a week or two.

So, onward. Just one foot in front of another!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Running Away to Home

Sunburst 10K . . . DONE!

This morning, Coach, husband of Coach, and yours truly ran the Sunburst 10K in South Bend, Indiana - my home town. We drove to SB Friday after work (well after the kids' work. I don't do that any longer) and found our hotel right down town South Bend. Wow, nothing looks familiar to me but of course its been about 40 years since I had any reason to be down town South Bend. Some things were still there though. . . The State Theater (although it said 'Jesus Love You' on the Marquee. I haven't seen that one.), Dainty Maid donut shop, Morris Civic Theater (way back it was the Palace), Tower savings and loan building, The South Bend Tribune still in the same building. Of course Memorial Hospital is still there but they've also taken over my favorite pool hall across the street.

This is the South Shore Rail Road, LaSalle St. and the old LaSalle Hotel from the 50's. HEY, it's not all black and white back then!

We had a nice dinner around the corner from the hotel called, Fiddlers Dream. An Irish place. Good food and pleasant rustic surroundings where coach wouldn't allow me to have even ONE stinking beer! Back to the hotel and in bed. Racing tomorrow!

Up at 5 I walk over to the start line which is at the College Football Hall of Fame (about to go out of business and move). I got all our bibs and T's and back to the hotel. They had muffins, juice, coffee for us in the lobby. I'm READY!

This was an interesting event as it had a marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k all using parts of the same course and all ending on the 50 yard line at Notre Dame stadium (squeeeeee). Our race actually went off last at 7:45 which was unfortunate in a way as the humidity was definitely on the rise.

National Anthem at 7:44. . . gun at 7:45 and we're off! I felt good miles 1 and 2. Heading for 3 we were in a twisty, curvy part of the course and it seemed we were never going to get out of it. Also maybe around mile 2 there was a very nice. ..

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . L
. . . . . . . . . . L
. . . . . . I

And not the down kind.

We don't do hills in Chicago.


OUCH! That took a bit out of me. My pace was ok to that point and maybe a little after but I could feel myself breaking down. Had to walk when we got to another hill around mile 5 and then I shuffled in. Wish I could have done better but with the hills and the humidity I think I did about the best I could. This was my farthest distance so far so what the hell? So, hey, JUST GET OFF ME, OK!


If I had been running 10 miles or so on any given day I would have been more dissappointed but like any one of our sailing trips. . ."Nothing broke and nobody died"!

The finish was awesome. We got to run through the north tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium and onto the field. They had big speakers playing the sounds of the fans at a Notre Dame game as the team runs onto the field. I went to numerous games there as a kid but, of course, had never been down on the field. (Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy, . . . )

It's green. It's HUGE, and it's very cool.

If I'd felt better I would have appreciated it more. Still, cool race and well organized.

Sue and Lucy were waiting for us in the stands and we rode back to the hotel as happy as was possible. Speaking of Lucy. . . what a trooper! She was her smiling self (or asleep) the whole time.

So, thanks coach! There's no way I do ANY OF THIS without your expertise and encouragement.

Come Monday, actual scheduled training for the Chicago Marathon begins. After today I think my running will come along ok but maybe I need to just get stronger in body and upper legs. I felt weak there today at times (ok the last half of the race!).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Running West

In Portland, OR. Had a very nice run with my nephew who claimed he didn't mind running 11 minute miles and I decided to believe him. He lives on a pretty little lake with a second similar lake to the south. We ran around both lakes for 33 minutes which I figured was about 3 miles. Great running area this is! Cool and low humidity. Felt great with a little stiffness in my right ankle as usual. Got to take it easy and yet run this week as Saturday is the 10k in South Bend. Want to look good in my home town.

Trip to Portland on the Empire Builder

Chicago to Portland - 46 hours on Amtrak

What? This is a running blog. But train rhymes with pain which is all about running so here's a brief report on our trip to Portland on the Empire Builder.

We easily picked up the tickets we had reserved on line at Union Station, Chicago and were directed to the Empire Lounge since we had reserved a sleeper. Nice area with comfy seats and free coffee and pop. We look around and quickly realize that we are the youngest people in the lounge! By a LOT. Oh well, I guess it’s retired folks who have the time to ride the rails.

We walked out on the platform got on the train and were directed to our little room. No nasty guards, no x-ray, no security checks. You get to keep your shoes and belts on. Very nice. Two seats facing each other with a table between if you want to pull it out and a nice big window. Our conductor, Charles, asks us if we’d be interested in a complimentary bottle of champagne. We were very interested.

We sipped our champagne as we slipped out of Chicago. A little later the dinning room steward came around asking us which seating we’d like for dinner. We took 7 PM, the last one.

Now the observation car and the bar are open and we are THERE! The observation car itself is awesome. Windows go up and part way over the roof. There are tables for 4 in one part and seats facing outward with small tables in between in the other part. A couple of bloodies, a game of gin and it’s our dinner time.

We are seated with another couple and they were nice to talk to. They were returning out west as that’s where they’re from. Dinner consisted of steak, baked potato, green beans, cheese cake, and coffee. All the meals are included when you take a sleeper and I think it’s a pretty good deal.

After dinner we sat some more in the observation lounge, had a glass of wine and then returned to our room. Charles made up our beds (upper and a lower) and we turned in with our books. I took the upper and it’s fine. I’m used to confined spaces from living on the boat but it didn’t have a window. Oh well, my turn to take the lower tomorrow night.

Slept pretty good. I tended to wake up when the train made its stops along the way but the gentle rocking under way is pretty sweet. I woke up when I sensed the sun shining below my bunk. We’re somewhere in North Dakota which looks a lot like Indiana. Lots of rain last night as these fields are all very flooded to the delight of the ducks. I head to the observation lounge and find that there is a fresh pot of free coffee in our sleeping car. Nice!

Breakfast was good. We sat with a young couple who were on their honeymoon. Eggs, potatoes, sausage, coffee, and a biscuit. Now we camp out in the observation car with books, computer, and playing cards. Still pretty flat but some bumps starting to appear. We might just stay here all day!

We just about did and although there isn’t much to see in North Dakota nor Montana this far north, it’s just so pleasant to have these giant windows and to watch the land slip by. Maybe I’ve been missing watching the water slip under my keel. This is a pretty good substitute.

We had a couple of cocktails and then a 7 pm dinner. Our table mates were a lady Chicago cop and her husband. She was really un-cop like and pretty fun. We enjoyed sharing Chicago stories. Great to find that a Chicago cop loves the city. I would think that would be important and not sure they all do. The best part of dinner was that we were going right through Glacier National park area with snow on the mountains. This is SO civilized. Cruising smoothly through the mountains, a glass of wine, and good conversation. Very special.

An after dinner cocktail and Charles turns down our bunks around 9 and we’re ready to hit the rack and read a little. My turn for the bottom bunk and the window that goes with. Around 2 AM I awake realizing they we’ve been stopped for quite a while. Oh yeah, this is Spokane where we split the train. The front part goes to Seattle and our back part goes to Portland. I go outside and walk around a little and watch them couple the engine to our lounge car. Small entertainments. I thought about staying up but instead hit the bunk and slept solid to about 5.

I like getting up early and having the quiet in the lounge and the early morning sun. Even better with coffee but Charles hadn’t made any yet. When he did Sue brought me a cup which was great. We’ve lost our dinner car - it went to Seattle! So we only get a cold prepared meal and coffee but still free.

We’re following the Columbia River now and it is just gorgeous. I guess this leads us right to Portland. We should be there in about an hour. We’ve been on time or ahead for the whole trip. I didn’t expect that!

Would I do this again? YES! I wish I had rigged it for us to return on the California Zephyr. Next time I’d:

Bring a pillow
Bring some snacks - they don’t mind you eating them in your room.
Bring detailed maps to monitor your trip. The ones on board are pretty small.

Actually, that’s it! Great trip. Great way to travel. This is going to make me hate the airplane ride even more on Monday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

On it again

Back out there today after a pretty disappointing Sunday and much better today. I ran north again all the way to Montrose. I walked up to the water fountain then farther north and than ran around the hill and back to Montrose. From there I ran/walked back on the lake side. I LOVE that path. you're running between the lake and Waveland golf course. The course looks great for all you golfers out there. Hardly anyone out there too. When I played the course back in the 80's it was OK but they had mats to tee off from as they would get so worn. Nice grass now and very well kept up.

I was jogging along then by Belmont Harbor when a guy passed me. Jeez HE looked slow. That ain't right. So, I tailed him for a bit and passed him back. Pretty sure I didn't slow after that but he passed me again. Oh this is getting fun. Again I laid in behind him but could see him slipping away. I accelerated again and went way too fast for me and put some distance between us. Then I stopped and turned around. He was laughing and so was I. We high fived and he said, "Come on! Don't stop"! but I was done. Good way to finish.

I'm off to Portland OR. tomorrow by TRAIN! Hope they don't mind me running up and down the aisles for 30 minutes or so. I'm expecting the trails in Portland to be not as flat as Chicago but we'll see.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Minor Setback

I really look forward to my Sunday runs with my coach. Supposed to be 5.5 today and we had a new route. After about a half mile I said, "I feel really bad". I did. I stopped. We walked some, jogged some but I just didn't have it today. We turned back. Pisses me off too because on Saturday I was really good. Drank tons of water. Only have 2 beers (and more water). Ate spaghetti for dinner and went to bed early.

You never know. Well, since I barely ran at all I'll try this one again tomorrow morning. I will run a little later (I'm NEVER much good at 6 AM) and see how it goes.

Boy, this is hard!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another 2.5

Got my 2.5 in today on a misty cloudy day. No real problems. I started to feel a little stiff and bad with about 3/4 mile to go and what song pops up on the shuffle?


Yeah! You GOT to get going when you hear that one.

Coach and I are running 5.5 on Sunday and picking a new route to the north and around the sledding hill by Montrose. Looking forward to that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I live. . .

. . . through another Wednesday speed workout! I didn't want to run yesterday. I just didn't. My coach 'encouraged' me to run anyway. She has a way. So we ran an easy mile at my usual pace around 11 minutes and then we ran 'fast' mile at what turned out to be just over a 9 minute pace and then a mile jogging/walking/running. That middle mile is tough but in retrospect it is mostly tough mentally. Brain is saying, "you're running too fast!" but in fact a little check of how body is doing, brain finds out that body isn't actually breathing all that hard. Speed is staying up. Legs are not too stiff. It is only the panicky baby brain that tells us to slow down!

Big baby!

Thanks coach! I think these speed workouts (and anyone out there who is sniggering at a 9 minute pace being called speed work can just spend a day in my 59 year old body!) are doing the most for helping me get in better condition and run farther on Sundays.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back on the Path

Wow, missed the weekend run as I was 'busy' sailing! Back on it today with 3 miles in the morning. That's not far but it is at 5:45 AM! Nice day though and lots of other runner out. It's 1.5 miles from my starting line in the park by the play lot to Grant's statue just north of the pedestrian walkway over LSD. There's a fountain there too so makes a good turn around spot.

I want to get a decent watch now. I don't have a very good sense of my pace and feel like I keep adjusting my speed when I run without my coach. Any suggestions?

Hi Lisa

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Five

What a beautiful day in Chicago. Not a cloud. About 50 degrees and no wind. Coach and I took the EL downtown and walked over to Buckingham Fountain. From there to near Belmont Harbor is 5 miles. Great run along the lake. No stopping. No pain in my right foot. We ran in 55 minutes with the last mile being 10:47. This is similar to times from the Shuffle several weeks ago. Seems like a good pace and I think the Wednesday "speed work" ( or, let's see if I can kill Dad) is really helping with overall fitness and endurance.

10k in South Bend is coming up! Only 4 weeks from yesterday. That distance will be no problem but running in less than an hour might be un-realistic. Either way should be a fun race.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Making Big Strides

Exactly. On Sunday (my favorite running day) I ran with my 'college of coaches' (Leah AND Jason) for what turned out to be about 4 miles. We ran south to the pedestrian bridge over LSD and then turned back north along the lake. At this point I just tried to open my stride some. Of course this makes you go faster but it also made me feel more balanced, in tune, and relaxed. Brief stop for water at Fullerton and then on back to the start line.

This is good but I've learned to not get too high nor too low. I'll try this again with my weekday runs and see how it goes. Certainly makes sense that with less up and down movement the run might be smoother and more energy efficient. We'll see.

As usual the ice bath was awesome.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Coached

I'm pretty sure that I would have already pitched this crazy idea about running a marathon (or any race) if I didn't have my awesome coach. Yesterday we ran a slow mile and then did 5 'things'. They have a cool name but I forget it. Here's how it worked though

run a quarter in less than 2:30
walk half way back
jog the rest of the way back
repeat 5 times.

We actually ran them all in more like 2:10 (first one 1:52 and last one 2:01). This is a fun thing and breaks up the endless training by simply running farther and farther which ultimately might work but this is a nice break and coach is sure that this works better. During the last piece of the 5th one I looked over at Leah and asked, "Why aren't you breathing? I was huffing and puffing like a steam shovel! I guess the 30 year old body works differently from the 59 year old version.

I followed this up with an ice bath and a beer (and water too coach!).

Today is a day off and then I run tomorrow morning, off day Saturday but with a long walk and then our 3-4 miler on Sunday. I feel good!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Running in the Morning


I don't FEEL like it. I don't. I try but I don't. But I have to. But I don't like it.

So, I drug myself out to Sheridan Rd this morning at about 6 AM. I'm stiff. I'm not really awake. I get to the corner of Sheridan and Barry to cross and a cab pulls up into the crosswalk right in front it me. I'm dressed in running pants, shirt and running jacket. Bears hat and my shuffle stuffed into my ears. The driver looks at me expectantly with eyebrows raised. . .


He drives off.

Actually after that I had a pretty good 2 miler! Morning everyone and sorry to the cab driver.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Still At It

Still running and still writing here. . . sometimes. I guess Sunday is a good day to sum up the weeks running. I always really look forward to my Sunday runs with my coach and always hope to do well. Sometimes I do. Today. . . not so much but it was great to get out early.

It was right?

We started our run about 6 AM. I've NEVER been an early morning runner and I guess I'm still not. We did our 4.5 but I stopped to breathe a few times. We ran our last mile or so with .1 sprints -.1 walks which I think makes up for not running the whole scheduled distance.

So for the week 2 on Tuesday. 3 on Wednesday. I missed Thursday but took a LONG walk on Saturday.

I'm going to have to train my body for early morning running as I sure as hell don't want to be running at noon in the summer in Chicago!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Running pretty well this week. Leah and I are in our pre-Higdon schedule so that we may start the official Higdon marathon training in June. We plan to run 4 mi on Sunday. Hopefully I won't need any resurrection after wards!

I ran really well at the Shamrock Shuffle and thought it was fun. So, we've injected two more races between now and the marathon. It really helps to have these races as goals. You can certainly set goals all by yourself and work to attain them but having them tied into an actual race with people watching gives me much more incentive. I do NOT want to be that guy panting and shuffling along and walking half the damn race! So, we are running a 10k in my home town of South Bend, Indiana on June 5. We finish on the 50 yard line of Notre Dame (angles singing right there) Stadium.

Also have signed up for a half marathon in Chicago on August 1. That will be telling. That will be about 9 weeks before the marathon.

No pain in my right foot since buying the new shoes. There you go!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shamrock Shuffle. . .DONE!

Last Sunday I had a pretty bad run. Only made about 3.5 miles when I was going for 4.5. Sucking wind. Blah. I felt bad too because this was the last big run before the 8k (~5 miles) Shamrock Shuffle which was today. During the week I only ran once - 1.5 mi on Wednesday. I bought new shoes at the Expo though.
Yesterday, the day before the race, I got up and looked outside. It was sleeting sideways. The wind had blown the stop light on the corner of Sheridan and Briar over. Great. Let's go running. So I was pretty worried that the Shamrock Shuffle which kicks off marathon training might be a bit disappointing.

This morning it was still raining sideways (and the stop light was still down!) but not as hard. By the time I left for the El it had pretty much stopped but it was none too warm. I met my coach at the Belmont stop and we headed downtown. Didn't seem too bad down there. We jogged around the fountain and stretched a little before getting into our corral. Moo.

Surprise! Right there in our corral was my old friend Judy who I taught with for about 15 years! Lots of laughs there! Finally it's race time. We're in the 11 min/mile group and I'm just secretly hoping to get it done in an hour and not die doing it. Off we go! It's a really fun course with part of it right along the river on Wacker Drive. Coach Leah is keeping our times on her watch. . . and here they are!

Mile 1 11:24
Mle 2 11:18
Mile 3 11:11
Mile 4 10:34 (what the WHAT?)
Mile 5 10:51 (bastard hill!)

total time 55:20 YEAH!

What's good about this? Well while I'm really slow at least I got faster as I went. Also, for about the first time my breathing was normal almost the whole way. Only got ragged on that damn hill on Roosevelt Rd. near the end. I basically felt good the whole way. No real pain and a very fun race. This gives me a good feeling for continuing marathon training. It might be the shoes but I really think it's the coach. Thanks Leah!

On ward!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

marathon tips for 60 year old

Jeez-o-peet the "internet" is funny. Here's the first hit when I googled 'marathoning at 60'

Marathon® 60 WP
Marathon 60 WP is an excellent tool for sucking and piercing insects
HA, I wonder what it does for old runners? Who wants some?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Windy City

Well, I had hoped it would have gone better but considering that we had to turn into the wind for our second half it wasn't too bad. Man, wind makes a big difference. I felt like I was running under water1 Sore now too.

Easy taper week now as we have the Shamrock Shuffle 8k next Sunday. With a reasonable day I still think I can run it in under an hour. I'm excited!

Friday, March 12, 2010

On schedule

Coach and I had a nice 4 mile run on Sunday. My foot was a little stiff but I was able to run through it. We went slower than we did the previous Sunday and I think that helped.

Ran my 3 on Wednesday. Nice. No pain and it was actually almost WARM out. Running in shorts and a t-shirt with about a million other Chicagoans!

1.5 today was no problem as well. Wheeee...ready for 4.5 this Sunday and then the 8k (5 mi) Shamrock Shuffle next Sunday. I hope I win!

NOTE: Saw this sign while walking with Lucy the grand daughter yesterday:


Hell, that would fulfill about every possible fantasy!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I know that doesn't sound like much but I've been battling weather and my sore foot for months now with no increase in distance. Yesterday Coach Leah and I had a nice 4 mile run which is a new distance for me! Some stiffness in my right leg but I've been icing a LOT and took some ibprofin before the run. Also looking forward to running in plus 32 degrees weather.

Here's our route: (called 3.5 miler but I stretched it to make 4.0)

View 3.5 miler in a larger map

The schedule changes in one way now. I'm the grand dad day care now so my runs will move to the early evening time. I can do that way better than if I tried to run at 5:30 or 6 AM! Coach and I run 4.5 next Sunday and then taper a bit in the following week in preparation for the Shamrock Shuffle which is the official kick off to Chicago Marathon training. If my foot cooperates I think I can do this!

Coach has found a cool mac app for tracking running. Here's her post on that and our Sunday run.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Pain Back

No, not back pain. My back is fine. Shin splints in my right foot/ankle are back. I was looking forward to 3.5 with my coach. Not a bad day too. After about 2.5 I had to stop and walk some. I think once the foot starts tightening up I start running differently and I waste a LOT of energy. Breathing goes to hell and, as I said, had to stop. Weird. So, lots of icing this week and maybe go out a little slower on Sunday.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday 1.5 in the bank

Yes, always fun to run with my personal coach. Leah and I got our 1.5 in with no problems except, WE'RE SICK OF BEING SO FREAKING COLD! Looks like it might be a bit warmer for our 3.5 on Sunday. Looking forward to that and have already laid out a course.

View 3.5 miler in a larger map

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's snowing. . . again

Well, back from Florida and out into the cold and snowy Chicago lakefront. Got my 2.5 miles in and right foot was ok. I'm ready to run in something even a little above freezing. The path on the lake was dry and snow free though so that was nice.

The plan continues on nicely. . . 3.5 miles coming on Sunday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Running in Florida

Quick trip to Tampa to visit my dad. I ran Thursday (2.0 mi) Friday (1.5 mi) and Sunday (3.0 mi). It was kind of nice to run and not have my sweat freeze on me but my body was shocked by the temperature change. Plus, I neglected to ice for no real reason and paid the price today with the 3 miler. I had to stop at 1.5 and stretch the old right foot and then run/walk back. Lesson learned. . . AGAIN! I take a short run tomorrow in the ice and snow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Schedule!

Another mighty fine Sunday run with my coach. 2.5 miles on a sunny but pretty cool day. Seemed easy partly because coach is so fun to run with. She talks, she coaches, she flops down on the pavement. It's just fun, fun, fun.

No damage this time. What a tough coach!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shedule changes

Well, the weather last week screwed our trip to Florida so no running in the warm weather. . . until NEXT week! Heading down with the two later generations of me on Thursday. Should be able to make the Friday and Sunday run in Florida.

Meanwhile something nasty has gotten in to my neither regions so no run yesterday but I did get in a quick mile today and should be ready for our 2.5 miles tomorrow. This schedule is working well for me so I'm anxious to keep it up.

My coach is TOUGH! Hasn't missed a run right on through knocking out a tooth in a spill on the ice Wednesday. Well, it was only one. She rubbed some dirt in it and kept going. . . sort of!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Easy Mile

As per our schedule today was just a mile. From my 'starting triangle' by the tunnel under Lake Shore Drive near Belmont I just ran north to Roscoe and back. I haven't really run two days in a row but this easy mile felt fine.

Wednesday and Friday runs will be in Florida which should be a nice change. I should have time to do the Sunday run in the morning before we all need to get to the airport.

Finally, even though it was only a mile, guess what song started playing on my randomized iPod as I headed toward the tunnel. Give up? It's by Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah...YES


If you can't finish strong running in Chicago with this song in your head...well, then you're DEAD!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Good just Keeps Coming!

Great run today with coach Leah. A nice lake front 2 miles with, again, no pain in the right foot. It was a little scary with this big shiny sphere in the sky. What the hell was that? Made my eyes hurt.

Coach says we'll be right at 5 miles for the Shamrock Shuffle and ready to start the pre-marathon schedule. Nice to run an easy 2 but it is sooooooo much smaller than 26! Can't think about that.

So I wont!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm IN!

OK, the die has been cast. Monday I officially registered for the Chicago Marathon as did coach Leah. Guess I'll HAVE to do it now!

After missing a few days due to nasty little cold and selling books at the Strictly Sail Show I finally got back on my schedule on Wednesday. It was my first run in different shoes (an old pair of my son-in-laws) to see if that might help the shin splints. Only one run so not much data but I had no pain during yesterday's run. Did the 1.5 miles with no problem and I'm looking forward to the same tomorrow. I iced three times yesterday as well. Got to stay with that.

Monday, January 25, 2010

After a week off

I took a week off after bad shin splints last Sunday. I've been icing once or twice a day during the off time. Coach Leah has given me a very nice running plan and if I can keep the shin splints under control I'm sure I can stick with this plan.

So today I only had to run a mile. I took a couple of IbProfen 2 hours before the run to hopefully keep inflamation down. Out I go! Felt like I hadn't run in a week but I felt ok and finished with no problem. As to the splints. . . my right foot didn't hurt but I sensed that another 1/2 mile and it would be tightening up. I iced it down right away and next run is Wednesday. I'll ice later today and 2 or 3 times tomorrow. I also need to try different shoes. Some reading indicates that shin splints can be caused from heel pounding too hard.

If after this week I still have the pain and stiffness after 1-2 miles I'll go see the doc.

Good to be back on that's for DAMN sure!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weed day runs

Made my Monday, Wednesday, Friday runs. Nothing spectacular. Wednesday run featured the stiffness in my right instep returning. I think this is what they call shin splints. Today I took 2 ibprofan before running. Still got stiff after about 1 mile but was able to run through it. I iced it when I got back which coach says is most important and something I will now add to the routine. Nice to have the slightly warmer weather. It is in the 30's so I was able to run in a shirt and light jacket. Have to keep wearing the stocking cap to keep my earphones in though!

I'm looking forward to Sunday. I'm going to take the 145 bus downtown and see if I can run home from Buckingham Fountain. That's about 5 miles and farther than I've run yet but I'm hoping that I'm due for one of those breakthrough runs. We'll see. . .

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Still Cold

Took my Sunday run today since tomorrow is busy with other things. I went on my 4+ mile route but went the other way this time starting out along the lake front and inside on the return. I ran all the way to the walking bridge over LSD. The path along the lake was shoveled and salted so NICE! Felt good the whole way and no pain in my right foot.

I walked over the bridge and over to the statue of Franklin as that was a) snow covered and b) a little up hill. From there I ran/walked along the zoo and then pretty much ran back to the apartment from Fullerton. A good run but I am slow. I get a little tired of being passed all the time but when so many of the people passing me are women in black running tights, well, it just goes to show you that there's a backside to everything. . .(rim shot).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Yes. Winter has officially descended in Chicago. Saturday and Sunday was single digits. I took a short run Saturday - probably a mile or a little less just to get ready for Sunday.

Sunday it was again VERY cold. I think it was 6 when I went out but that was at O'Hare so I figure warmer by the lake. In this weather I can't really walk, stretch, and warm up. Got to just start running to stay warm. I ran down Sheridan to Goethe and then turned around. I'd had it already. I walked about 10 steps back and then said to myself, 'pussy'. Turned around again and got back on it. I ran to North avenue where lives the very nice statue of one of my heroes - Ben Franklin. I walked around old Ben a couple of time and stretched out my insteps and thighs. Got back on it and ran most of the way back with a short walk near Fullerton. You just can't take a long walk in this weather! That's my 4+ mile route and I ran most of it.

My new gear is working great. My coach and Jason got me a high class running jacket. by Brooks. I wore my nike under shirt which keeps the moisture away, a long sleeve t-shirt and that jacket. I was toasty warm as long as I was moving. I need tights under my running pants though as my legs got pretty cold. Best addition to my running gear is my new iPod shuffle. I can't believe how small it is (that's what she said!). Weighs nothing. Holds about 1000 songs. Sounds great!

Just got back from a short one today up to the totem pole and back. Seems like I was colder today than I was on Sunday. Maybe because I skipped the t-shirt today because it was about 10 degrees warmer. I'll put it back on on Sunday.