Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Natalie's First "Official" Meet

Now that my daughter Natalie is a 7th grader, she can finally compete in cross-country races this year. Today she ran her first meet. She's been battling a very sore heel (sound familiar?) but said it doesn't hurt while she's running. Apparently it didn't hurt before the race, either (but it did after).

How did she do? Very well! She finished 6th of 36 girls, and 2nd of 8 on her team. On the 1.5 mile course, she ran a 12:06 (8:04 pace, I think). She paced herself well. She was in about 12th place at the half-way mark. She also passed 3 girls in the last 200 meters. As always, I'm very proud.

Here are a couple of videos. Please excuse her overly enthusiastic dad in the finish line video...

video

video




Saturday, September 24, 2011

Upswing

Since my last post ("Tired"), my body has actually bounced back a little. Maybe that post was cathartic. I ended the week with a total of 6 endurance workouts: 3 runs, 2 swims and a bike ride, plus some weights & calisthenics.

The swims are still pretty slow, but I'm starting to feel better in the pool. I swam 2000 yds on Monday (20 x 100yds; 30 sec rest), then 1500 yds on Friday (10 x 150yds; 40 sec rest). The ride went pretty well, although my right knee was sore for the last 5 miles. Monday's run was a slow HR run, but my Thursday and Saturday runs were surprising. Thursday was 3 miles with a fast middle mile (6:54), and this morning, mile 4 (of 4.27) was 7:28...so I'm testing the wheels just a little. I'm still not ready to blast out a fast overall run (I can tell I can't yet sustain a fast pace beyond just a mile or so). Unlike a few days ago, my energy levels seemed to be up by the end of the week.

One concern I have is for my daughter Natalie. Her right heel has been hurting (sound familiar?) As soon as she complained about it this morning, we cut her run short, and I continued on for a bit. When we got home, she was introduced to the ice pack. She nearly ripped it off her foot after a minute or so, but stuck with it for 12 minutes (I've iced so much the last few years that I hardly even notice it anymore. It feels good to me.) She has her first cross-country meet next Wednesday, so I told her to let her coach know if her heel hurts at her next practice. I've been working with her on her form, but she still overstrides and heel-strikes. I'm hoping it's just a bone bruise and not the start of a fracture. I certainly don't want her to go through anything close to what I've had to endure. If she has to miss part, or all, of the season, I'd prefer that to a potential long-term injury. Fingers crossed.

So with that, I bid you adieu. I'm looking forward to a good training week ahead. Stay thirsty, my friends.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tired

I'm starting to transition into my cross-training (sprint tri-training) program. I swam 2000 yds on Monday, ran 4 miles yesterday and biked 20 miles today (with 3 more workouts left this week). I'm pooped, and my legs are shot. I think part of the reason is lack of sleep. I work at home and have rarely gotten out of bed before 6:30am. Now that we have an 8-week old puppy, I've been getting up at 5:00am to let him out. I try to go to bed earlier, but I don't always sleep well when I do.

That issue aside, it seems like my body isn't as willing to gracefully adapt to the activities I'm giving it. This is my 8th week of 3 short runs per week. I know that's not enough running to really make a big cardio-vascular change in my body (especially when I was used to 45 miles of running per week prior to the injury), but there are a lot of days where I just feel old and beat up. Not every day is like that, and not every workout leaves me feeling that way, but it certainly seems harder to come back from an injury each time I'm forced to do so.

But, that said, I shall NEVER give up! My dream is still to run regularly again, and to run another marathon (or eight)...and to PR (BQ?). Given my injury-prone body, that might be wishful thinking. But giving up on that wish would be worse than trying and failing. So...steady as she goes. Maybe patient & smart training will eventually lead me there again. And if not, I'll go down fighting.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Post-Race Photo and "Video"

Here's the speedy daughter with her "hat-headed" dad:


And here's a quick video. She was smiling at first, until she realized I was shooting video instead of a photo. I guess these running stars can get a bit uppity about video interviews...

video

More Hardware

No, not for me. I just finished pacing Natalie in her first 5k. The weather was perfect (upper 50's), and the rain held off. She was hoping to break 30 minutes. I knew she'd crush that, and she did — 26:58 (8:35 pace). She easily won her age group (it was a small race; around 100 people total. So that's 2 road races, 2 age group wins. Wish I could do that!)

I wanted us to run each mile faster, and we did (9:00, 8:51, 8:08, 6:57 pace for the last .14). She complained a couple of times, but she stayed strong. She smoked the last half mile or so. BTW, her pace here was faster than her pace in the 2-mile race we ran last November. Which, after her XC season, will be our next race together — a return to the Fowl Fun Run 2-miler. She'll be in a new age division (she's 12; it's 12-15, I think), so it'll be tougher competition, but I'm pretty sure she'll still do well. Sub-16? I think she can do it! After that, the Candy Cane Dash 5k in early December.

Needless to say, I couldn't be prouder of her. I'll post a photo soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"A Gift"

Last night, my wife and I went to our oldest daughter's middle school for Curriculum Night. We got to meet her teachers & find out what they'll be working on this school year. When we met her PE teacher, he didn't immediately place our daughter's name (he's been at it for a long time, and has about 200 kids in his classes this year). As we were chatting, it finally dawned on him who Natalie is. His eyes lit up when I told him she was running cross country for the second year in a row. I told him we had run together this summer. He talked about how hard she works in PE and how happy he was that she was in XC, saying he thought she has "a gift." Well, I'm not sure how a "gift" is defined in this context, but ol' Dad felt a little pride swell up when he said that. I told Natalie what her PE teacher said when we got home. I hope it doesn't put too much pressure on her!

Oh...and I happened to read something she's working on for one of her classes. In a paragraph talking about the lifestyle she enjoys, she says, "I love running. It frees you."

Daddy's gotta stop now before he can't see the computer screen...

8-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Video News

While I'm on the subject of humorous videos (see previous post), I thought I'd make a little announcement.

I just posted a new humorous video (also below), starring new character Dr. Gunter Weiskrak on my newly created comedy page, on youtube. My other video pages (Gil and Resurrected Runner) are still up, but I plan on using the main comedy site as a central location for a large variety of my videos. Thanks for watching. Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gil Flashback

It's been a year since our friend Gil interviewed me. If you've seen this, feel free to ignore it. If you haven't seen it, I URGE YOU to ignore it. You'll thank me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Like Having Another Baby!

And I'm not talking "food baby," although that can be a traumatic experience as well. I'm talking about a puppy. Those cute, cuddly, lovable little bundles with sweet little eyes and wagging tails.

Yeah, all that...along with nighttime crying, chewing, biting, messing in their crates (and sometimes the floor), the need for constant attention...wow.

But he's a keeper. We got him last Monday and named him Apollo. He's a pure-bred yellow lab. He will be my running buddy in a year or so (fingers crossed). My kids love him. My wife...eh, she's not an animal lover. She pretty much got overruled on this one. But...and she admits it...he's grown on her already. (But I get stuck doing ALL the dirty work)

Needless to say, my schedule has been revised by necessity. I did manage to get a run in both Tuesday and Thursday and, with tomorrow's run, I will have my first double-digit mileage week this year. I never thought I'd be celebrating a weekly distance that used to be ONE routine run...but I am. And I went "long" on Thursday, with a 4.5 mile run. I did miss my scheduled swims, but I got in an hour bike ride today.

I'll leave you with some pics of our new addition. Have a great weekend!