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 . .

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!