Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update from Maryland

Howdy, everyone. I'm down here in beautiful Potomac, Maryland for the week. Yesterday I ran 5.5 miles, including a tempo run of 2.6 miles on very hilly, rugged trails. The 2.6 miles was done at about a 7:40 pace. This seems slow, but a normal run on these trails is usually well over 9 minutes per mile, so I think this was about right for a tempo run. I was doing this as preparation for a hilly 6K cross country race down here on Saturday. Previous winning times have been just under 7 minutes per mile, so I know it is very hilly and very slow. I'm hoping for about a top 10 finish amongst an expected 100 to 130 runners, but we shall see. Today I hope to run about 6 miles on trails, if I don't get rained out.


Friday, November 26, 2010


Jusr ran 220s for the first time in months. 42, 42, 43, 42. Slow as they were, it was faster than I was expecting. My dream of breaking 5 minutes for the mile lives on. All I need to do is drop about 5 seconds per 220 and run 8 in a row without stopping.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spring Weather

It was a glorious day in Charlottesville on Monday with a temperature of around 67 degrees, sunshine, and a light wind when I made my return to the Charlottesville High School track. I'm hoping that within a week or two (if the weather holds up) I will be feeling good enough to try and get in a mile under seven minutes.

After my run I road the exercise bike for 30 minutes and expect to be up to 45 minutes tomorrow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eric is getting around!

Eric is now (or was) in Kyoto. Wasn't this a place where there was some sort of political agreement? I think I remember something called the Kyoto accord, but i have no clue what it was about.

Anyway, Eric is now cycling, albeit at an easy pace. He explained in a comment on the blog that there were several reasons for the easy pace. Anyway, here he is again, cycling, but not on the bike in the photo. Note: he is the one without the dark hair! The other guy must be a competitor.

I wonder where Eric will turn up next??? He really gets around!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mile Repeats!

I did three one mile repeats in Bassett Park today, on grass/trails/hills. Also a 1.25 mile warmup, then a 1 mile warmdown (total 5.25 miles). I rested 6 minutes between each mile repeat. Times: 6:34, 6:38, 6:31. After the 1st two repeats, I took off my sweat bottoms, and one layer off the top, so the final repeat was with shorts and just one long-sleeve shirt on top. The lesser weight seemed to help, as I thought my final mile was going to be the slowest. This was a little slower than my target 6:30 pace, but then I was thinking of wearing racing spikes, and probably thought about shorts. So if you add the weight of the sweats and training shoes, I was probably close to target pace.

But the main point is, didn't we use to do one mile repeats under Coach Truce on the cross country course? It hurt then and it hurt now.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Third Generation Strider in Training

I took my 3-year-old grandson, a 3rd generation Dr. K Strider, to the track a few days ago, and without telling him anything, he started doing 50 meter intervals. He kept stopping after each interval, though, to play in the long jump sand box! I tried to keep the rest between intervals about equal to the time spent running the interval, in keeping with Coach Truce's instructions.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eric in Tokyo - is he running?

Eric is currently in Tokyo, apparently doing some real life business or client development. But the question is, is he running? His previous post mentioned that it would not be a great week for running. Here he is, getting out of a cab, then going out to eat. So, at least we know he is taking cabs and eating.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Post-Truce Cross Country Race!

Approximately 31 years after finishing up my cross country career with Coach Truce, I ran in a comparable cross country race to our school days. The 8K championship race of a 5-race upstate ny series, hosted by the Genesee Valley Harriers, reminded me very much of a typical large invititational in the Truce days, even about the same 5- mile race distance. This race had over 160 runners, many of them fairly high caliber post-collegiate age athletes, plus many enthusiastic "age group" (i.e., codger) runners such as myself. In short, with a time of 32:28 (about 6:32/mile), I finished in 73rd out of 161, and only 11th out of 50 in the 50 to 59 year age group (sadly, called the "veterans" age group - doggonit, I'm old).

I even had to dig deep for an allout sprint down the final straight as a fellow 50 to 59er tried to come back and catch me, after I put on a good half-mile surge, with a faster surge during the last 300 meters to pass him. Embarassingly, I even leaned at the tape to get that 73rd place and coveted 11th place age group finish!

Another highlight of the race was bumping into Jim Miner afterwards. Jim, now in the supervets over 60 age group, is still running and doing crazy stunts like back to back marathons on consecutive days (some might remember his famous double Sub-3 hour marathon stunt, running sub-3 in both the Buffalo marathon, driving all night to NYC, and running sub-3 in NYC the next day). He outdid himself recently by running two marathons in ONE day, with a 6-hour drive in between events. By the way, did anyone ever figure out why Jim used to run with us, when he wasn't really in school at Binghamton? In fact, did he ever go to school there?

Results are at the link below (or click on the title), and I'll modify this post with some good race photos later, so stay tuned!



Saturday, November 13, 2010

From Bad to Worse

I'm expecting this to be a pathetic training week. I'm on my way to Tokyo and I left home at 5:00 A.M. Saturday. I won't get to my hotel until around 7:00 P.M. Sunday. So there won't be any running this weekend. During the week I'll run about 20 minutes/day, but it will be slower than normal since I won't be on a track and it will be cold. These days biking is an important part of my training and there won't be any of that.

When I get back I'm under orders from Mark to run fast so I can get a photo taken for the blog. The problen is I'm in no condition to do this--even a 220 at a decent speed will be difficult since I haven't done any kind of "speed" work for months.

I'm so glad that spring is only about five months away where I live.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prep for 5K race

I am tentatively planning on running a 5K road race this Saturday, to gauge what I can do in a flatter, certified distance. These trail and cross country races are slow, and distances are not accurate, so other than comparing to last year's times, or finding people that I know, it is difficult to say how I am doing. For example, in the Mendon Ponds 10K trail race, this year I ran 44:57 compared to 45:02 last year, nearly identical. However, the trails were dry last year, and the temperature was perfect, around mid 50s. This year it was rain/snow and in the 30s, had to wear more gear, and the muddy trails were slower. However, I don't know whether that translates into a few seconds slower, a minute slower???

Anyway, last night (8:30 at night after dinner, on a full stomach), I ran a tempo run, consisting of 5 miles total: 2 miles at 9 minute pace, 2 miles at 7:00/mile pace, then a warmdown mile at 9:05 pace. These after dinner in the dark runs just seem to be slow. I had hoped I could be closer to 6:30 per mile for the tempo portion, but it must be a combination of the dark, full sweats, and trying to run after dinner. I felt like the effort was good.

So, we'll just see what happens on Saturday. I feel like I am in better shape than last year at this time, when I ran about 18:48 on the track by myself. However, last year, I was doing consistent speed workouts on the track, and numerous mile time trials. This year, I have been running higher mileage, but no track speed workouts, only tempo runs.

My tentative plan is to go out at about a 6 minute pace, if I can, and see if I can hold on..........


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Comeback or Retirement? (Mendon Ponds Trail Run 10k)

A dilemma has arisen in my running career. Almost accidentally, it seems, I ended up winning a 10K trail race on Saturday, my first outright win (not counting age group wins) in more than 2 decades! But the question is, should I retire now while I'm ahead, as this is not likely to happen again, or should I pursue a comeback, including the elusive sub-5-minute mile? I would appreciate some input from the faithful followers of this blog. Retirement seems appealing!

My time was slow - 44:57, or about 7:14/mile, but it was an extremely hilly race, all trails, wet and muddy conditions, and snowing fairly hard for most of the race. Of course, since I won, this begs the question....where were the decent runners?


Click on link below or on title of this post to see full results!


Racing over Age 50 - A Philosophical Observation

The funny thing about racing today is, that it "feels" almost the same as it did 30 years ago, except I'm running roughly 1 minute per mile slower, maybe a bit slower. I think if i trained enough to be in really good shape, my 5k times would be about a minute per mile slower than in my prime (5:53 per mile vs. 4:53 in my prime). My mile time would be a lesser differential....4:19 in my prime, maybe low 5s (or sub-5) now. But when racing, I can't really tell that I'm running slower than I used to..............Strange.............doggone it, I must be getting old!