Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Felt Good to Run Again!

Due to a week-long cold, and prior to that, cross country skiing, I haven't really run much in the last couple of weeks. Last night, however, conditions were perfect (for winter), with temperatures in the low 20s, no wind, and although a foot of snow on the ground, the roads were clear. I felt good, and average 8:19 per mile for a 4-mile run (per my Garmin). Now, this would be classified as a rather "brisk" training run, in which I pushed slightly, and if I had a running partner, it might have been difficult to carry on a conversation. The pace was not close, however, to a tempo run.

With over 6 inches of snow last night and tonight, it may be back to cross country skiing for a while again!


Monday, January 26, 2009

More Striders Moments in the Sun News

Dr. K Striders Mark and Mike Raybuck finished in the elite pack in the 1978 Hershey Chocolate Chase 10k, with times just under 34 minutes, and placement in the top 10 or 15 out of at least 200 runners (this is from memory, so don't quote me). Times were a bit slower than for some road races, due to extreme hills in the course. The other unique point concerning this race, is that it was Michael Raybuck's sole head-to-head road race victory over Mark Raybuck. Mark sprinted furiously the last 1/2-mile, with Michael feeling good, and mildly amused by Mark's spirited effort to avoid defeat at the hands of his younger sibling. The separation at the end of the race was a mere 2 to 3 seconds, but Michael stated that he had yet another gear, if it was needed (he typically saved something in all his races, just in case).

In fairness to Mark, he had run 3 marathons between December (Maryland Marathon) and mid-April (Boston Marathon), and understandably, was slightly fatigued less than 2 weeks after completing the Boston Marathon in 2:49.

The young Striders are shown here relaxing after the race.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dr. K. Striders Biggest Moment in the Sun

In the Summer of 1976, our 24-hour relay team was truly impressive. Spoon ran some legs so fast that he was actually accused of cheating, the suggestion being made that he had only run 3 laps instead of 4 on one of his legs. The team was a bit of patchwork quilt, since we didn't arrive with ten runners. I was on the team and so was Sheldon. I don't remember who else ran who was a SUNY-B runner. We ran through some rain, at one point switching from a normal baton to a Drake's Devil Dog because Spoon was concerned about lightening strikes.
In a 24-hour relay, teams are comprised of between two and ten runners. Each team member runs a mile and then hands off the baton to the next teammate in the rotation. If a team members drops out they can't come back in. It might not sound all that hard, but I remember being really tired at the end having stayed up for more than 24 hours in a row and each hour having run a mile in about 6 minutes.
In 1976 we were in a dog fight for what seemed to be a long time. Spoon's ridiculously fast legs (some were under 4:45) were his attempt to let our competition know that we weren't fooling around. I'd say by the time we were 10 or 12 hours into the event we had made our point and it was clear that if we could keep cranking out 6 minute miles we would win.
This was a really fun event. I highly recommend it. Perhaps Dave can convince his charges to participate in one after Spring track is over...
Am I making this up? Certainly not...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Training Break

I usually take at least a week during each winter to allow my legs and body to recuperate from many months of running and pounding. This year, I took off a couple days in the cold last week, but had planned to get right back at it. However, I came down with a bad cold on Sunday, so after Sunday's tennis with Kaila (indoors), I have not run or cross country skiid a stitch since then. I hope to be out of the woods, so to speak, with this cold, and start running and skiing by tomorrow, or Friday at the latest. I'll keep "everyone" posted.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Strikes Again!

Winter is now in full force in Buffalo. I went cross country skiing with a co-worker on Friday, and enjoyed some spectacular scenery. The topography was varied, with steep embankments, and the 8 to 10 inches of fresh powder with snow continuing to fall made for a spectacular outing. The good thing is that this all counts as training.

I skiid again at a local park near my house on Sunday, averaging about 12:59 per mile for 3.25 miles. Once again, I remind the readers that cross country skiing, especially when blazing your own trails, or when there are any hills, is much slower than running.

I am pondering, though, how running and skiing work together. I've noticed that since I've been skiing more, it seems my running is a bit slower. Today I averaged only 8:29 per mile for a 4-mile run. I felt ok, but I feel like I'm working different muscles. I hope over the course of the winter that the cross training will ultimately have value, and when I start running full-time in the spring, I will have either gained ground or not lost any during the winter.

Regardless of the training benefits, I really enjoy the change of pace, and cross country skiing has always been one of my favorite workouts, especially with scenery as shown in this post.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Winter Training in the Frozen North

Winter training is continuing here in the frozen tundra, but it's not all bad. Although tonight's 4-mile run occurred in the dark, cold, and icey-pellet type snow hitting my face, last week I cross country skii 4 times, including two times in the scenic woods surrounding my home town of Houghton, NY.

In fact, I was joined by fellow Dr. K Strider, Michael K. Raybuck, during one of those sessions.

I actually used my Garmin and conducted a 5-K time trial in the woods, and averaged about 10:58 per mile. Seems slow, but skiing is slower than running.

Enjoy the video clip below of Michael K. Raybuck skiing in the scenic forest surrounding Houghton.