Tuesday, April 29, 2008 4 comments

2008 CMM Michigan Chapter

Here are the smiling faces before the race!
Monday, April 28, 2008 5 comments

Burn Baby Burn!

The team rocked the Country Music Marathon! They tried to rain on our parade (literally) at the beginning of race day but thankfully it stopped before the race started. 30,000 people lined the streets of Nashville to start the marathon or half-marathon.
I was prepared to traverse the city streets of Nashville in such a manner that I would see 28,500 of these individuals at least once. I had my map in hand and I knew the course like the back of my own hand. I went off in an early corral to ensure that I wouldn’t miss any of my team. I knew that it was going to be a long day, since the talent disparity between the team was so vast. I had a plan and was hoping that it would come together without a hitch.
Since I was the only Michigan TNT Run Coach assigned, I made it a point of seeing every participant for both the half-marathon and he full. Nashville is a great course to coach because the layout is conducive to just cutting over a few blocks and you’re back on the course again, minimizing the number of miles that you have to run. I never had an opportunity to see the lead runners but I wouldn’t have known them anyway.
I love to see the faces and attitudes of the runners in the first few miles, everyone is so full of enthusiasm and energy. Then you flash forward to the latter part of the race and it’s a complete 360º! No matter how much you preach to them, it falls on deaf ears. I was pleasantly surprised to see Christy from Nashville within the first mile of the marathon. Even though her training wasn’t what she planned she was out there running. I also saw her at mile 19 and she was still smiling, but not having as much fun.
One strange thing I noticed about this event was they were handing out tambourines to participates at mile two! So as the runners realized how difficult it is to carry a tambourine, run and take in fluids, the tambourines were being discarded in record numbers. Maybe this would have been better served at the end of the race?
It was a successful event for the Michigan Chapter of TNT. We had runners completing the races in times ranging from 1:41 for the half until 6 hours for the full. Unfortunately I must have been wearing five hour sunscreen, so I’m now sporting a tank top tan!
One of the funniest lines I heard was on the bus after the marathon. One of the TNT participates was asking if anyone wanted her unused gels, because she was never eating this $hit again in her life! I guess we won’t be seeing her at another marathon.
One down and a few more events to go!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 7 comments

Get Ready

I’m trying to get ready to take the team down to Nashville for the Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon.
I always forget how stressful this time before an event gets for the team and me as well. I have my checklist to ensure that I don’t forget any items, as if I was going to a third world country. All I really need is a pair of shorts and stuff to run in!
Our last group training run was a little emotional for some of the team members. I’m still at a lost as to how teachers go through this same process with their students. How do you spend so much time with them only to see them leave and you replace them with another group of students?
This has been another wonderful season filled with ups and downs (the longest winter ever) but these individuals stuck it out and will perform admirably at Nashville and Vancouver.
So if you’re running in Nashville, I’ll be the tall, dark TNT Coach with the big Red Dice hat on!
My running is becoming consistent although still rather slow. I’m able to do my strength training during the day and run in the evenings. I’m actually sneaking up to the track and getting in a few track workouts. I need a carrot on the end my stick to get out the door and not succumb to the temptations of the refrigerator full of beer!
Tonight I get to blow my whistle and yell at my summer team of TNT participates at their track workout. My hope is to have TNT alumni and current participates doing the track workout throughout the summer.
Finally a quick poll to see if you’re a hasher:

1. A UFO lands in your backyard and Aliens approach you with a device they claim will end world hunger, cure heart-disease, provide a clean source of unlimited energy and prevent cancer. You...

a. Present it to the President of the United States.

b. Present it to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

c. Take it apart to see how it works.
Friday, April 18, 2008 5 comments

Lower Numbers

I know that a lot of you in Blogland are trying to get into those skinny jeans or just want to lose a few lbs to enhance your performance.
Well, I’m not trying to lose any pounds but I am trying to get a number lower. I’m trying to get my cholesterol back into the desirable range. At my last blood test I was just above 260, which is well above the American Heart Association’s High range for high of 240.
Now, I’ve always had high numbers due to the wonderful genes that were bestowed upon me by my parents. I could eat a steady diet of grass and still have high numbers.
But as I get older, I’m starting to take closer look at these numbers and noe I know that I have to make some changes in my diet.
So the plan is:

· Cut back on the ridiculous amount of meat that I consume (save a cow)
· No potato chips (okay, I’ll still eat them but not as many)
· More fruit & veggies (yummy)
· More beans and lentils (don’t get behind me)
· More fiber (I hate oatmeal)

I’m hoping to get my number close to 200 with the aid of medication and healthy eating. Stay tuned.
Thursday, April 17, 2008 5 comments

Another Great Workout

We had another great evening at the track. The team is really enjoying the workouts and I get to yell at them as they go around. It’s amazing to see the progress in some of the team in such a short period of time. They actually look like a team! Now don’t take that the wrong way but they were running like runners.
I’m hoping that we can continue these workouts and not have any conflicts in the team schedules or mine. That grass is going to start growing and all of the other outdoor chores will beckon my attention.
This time next week, we’ll be in beautiful Nashville getting ready to conquer the Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 0 comments

171 Years and Running

That was the combined age of my lunch running group, the three amigos! The pace was a lot slower than I normally run but the conversation was remarkable. We were talking about consecutive marathon streaks, sub-forty 10ks, and even when race entry fees were under $10 (with the shirt).
Being the youngster of the group I let the other two gentlemen set the pace and decide the course. It did make me think about how my current running has been going and what the years ahead will bring. I’ve already noticed that I’m running slower than I ever have, but I can live with that.
We then began talking about other runners that had fallen off the face of the earth and no longer heard from. I definitely know quite a few of these individuals that no longer come around any of the races or common training sites.
Maybe I’ll be like that 101 year old Brit that ran the London Marathon.
Sunday, April 13, 2008 1 comments

I Surrender

Well Mother Nature is back to being as unpredictable as the Detroit Tigers. We were graced with a morning snow squall. Even though I’ve run in snow and it’s better than being in the rain, enough already! I am mentally ready for some sunshine and 60º temperatures. I ran out a ½ mile and decided I wasn’t having any fun, so I turned around and went back home. This winter has beaten me down, I surrender. I’m throwing in the towel……..
So it was down to the basement to get on the trainer and sweat to Coach Troy. I’m really trying to incorporate the bike into a lot more of my training and it’s almost fun.
I was wondering if any of you are athletes in Blogland are competitive in other areas of your life? I rode my mountain bike to get a set of batteries for my latest toy (Trek Incite ACH Digital computer) that is pissing me off. Why am I racing to get from point A to point B? This should be a nice leisurely ride with no time constraints and I still find myself pushing. Do you take the steps two at a time, just because you can?

Saturday, April 12, 2008 2 comments

Forget About it!

No matter how many years you run, there are still things that you forget.
There was a small break in the weather yesterday where the sun came out and the temperature was in the fifties. This was a perfect time for me to go and enjoy a lunchtime run. You know get away from the desk and soak up the rays.
Since the weather has been so crappy here in the high five state, I’ve kept a lot of my winter stuff in my bag just in case I need it. I’ve gone as far as ensuring that I have duplicates of running stuff (i.e. socks, hats, long pants). So my bag is pretty stuffed and somewhat heavy to lug around.
You would think with all of this preparation there is no way I could forget one item that makes running comfortable for me and weighs about 2 ounces.
I’m missing athletic supporter! I can’t run without that, it hurts too much! Ladies that would be like you running without your high tech support top.
I remember when I began running a thousand years ago and wasn’t aware of the physical benefits of using a support device. It became apparent pretty quick that those running shorts liner weren’t enough for me.
So as the old American Express commercial said, ‘don’t leave home without it’.
Thing number two that old runners shouldn’t forget. Today we had a steady rain that didn’t hamper the run but accumulated on your clothing. Now each of you should be aware of the benefits of using Body Glide or some similar product on the areas of your body that sometimes rub! Rain on clothing is a lot like sweat when you’re running. It makes your clothing pretty abrasive in certain areas. My area is my massive tree trunk thighs (it’s my blog so I can describe them anyway I like). Now I’m walking around like a cowboy.
So the lesson for this weekend are, pack smart and Body Glide isn’t just for summer!
Thursday, April 10, 2008 3 comments

TNT Track Workout

Yesterday we had our inaugural TNT midweek track workout. I’ve never tried having mid-week group training in the past due to scheduling conflicts but this seemed like the thing to do for my summer team. It’s not like the team wasn’t getting in their miles but a little motivation never hurts.
I was shocked to hear a few of the team mention that they had never run on a track before, so we even went over track etiquette. You know the stuff like don’t spit in the lane with a runner in it.
Since this was the first workout I wanted to keep it simple, so we did pyramids starting with 400s up to 1200s with 400 recoveries.
It was so much fun to see everyone start off so fast on their first lap. Why do we do that? This was a great way to see each individual and work with them for short periods of time on the track. One of my favorite sayings to them is,’. you run like a girl’. Which they always reply back, ‘that’s because I am’.
Towards the end of the session the team was slowing down dramatically but they were still moving forward.
Needless to say we’ll be hitting the track next week!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008 4 comments

Flash, I Ain't

Okay, I don’t want to jinx myself but I’ve had some really good runs this past week. Due to being geographically challenged yesterday evening, my easy 4 miler turned into a 6 mile run. The good news about this is there was no real pain or twinges in my knee! The bad news is I ran longer than scheduled and got to the beer stop after everyone else. That’s right, beer stop. We will throw in a beer stop on the route just as a reward. The hard part is getting back to the restaurant after the beer stop, but it’s usually just a mile to go.
The next hurdle for me to get over is this speed thang! I saw most of my running group just fade away from me in the horizon. To make matters worst, some of these people had run a ½ marathon on Sunday. This was there ‘take it easy’ run. I can remember those visions of climbing the age group rankings just through attrition and maintaining what used to be conditioning. Little did I realize that the guys that would continue to race were the really fast ones.
I should be happy just to be running again but it’s tough to no longer be a middle of the packer. Now I the caboose for the group! If I could find my mojo, I’m sure that my speed can’t be too far from it. When you lose stuff you just retrace your steps to find it right? It’s not like I’m asking for all of it back, I’d be happy with a little more than half of it back. I could probably plant some and let it grow now that the weather is warmer and the sun shines a lot longer.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008 1 comments

Sleep Deprived

I’ve been getting to work earlier and by early I mean two hours earlier. Now I can get out and take advantage of the warmer weather and run after I get home. This also allows me to do my strength training during my lunch hour.
The disadvantage is I wake up earlier and am in need of a nap after eating lunch. How do people do this day in and day out? Who was the person that said you need less sleep as you get older?
So it should be interesting tomorrow morning since I’ll be partaking in some running & beer drinking with my Tuesday night crew. Remember back in the day when you could get trashed during the week and recover the next day by lunch?
Stay tuned for details.
Monday, April 7, 2008 1 comments

I Heart Heat

I had another great run today in the sunshine and 70º temps. SoloRunningChick mentioned that my mojo was hidden in the colder weather, maybe she’s right. I do love to run in the summer heat.
I failed to mention that we had our 20/13 miler for my TNT spring team and these guys kicked some a$$! As much I preached LSD these guys ran close to marathon pace. I am so proud of all of them. Nashville and Vancouver had better watch out, these runners are race ready.
Sandy completed in want is becoming a bigger local race called the Martian Marathon and Half. In the past this was a training run for the TNT participants but this year we weren’t invited to attend. My Tuesday evening running club had a strong presence and a couple of them placed first in their age groups. Sandy ran 1:54 with one potty break for the ½ marathon. I slept in and enjoyed my one day of rest on the weekend. Why is it we wake up earlier on the weekend than during ht week, just to take advantage of the entire day?
I have to give a BIG shout out to RunningJayhawk and her Kansas University basketball team. They’re playing for the NCAA championship tonight. If you hadn’t noticed my NCAA bracket was busted sooo long ago that I kept quiet about it.
Time to watch some college basketball………….
Sunday, April 6, 2008 5 comments

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

It was definitely a beautiful day in the neighborhood today. We were blessed with real spring weather. The big ball of fire in the sky was shining and the temps were above forty. I swear that my body reacts to warmer temperatures like a moth to the flame. I actually ran with the twinges or discomfort or any negatives. As I always say it helps to have at least one workout where thing go right. Now I should be able to build upon this for the remainder of the week (fingers crossed).
Going to the new bike shop to pick up some sale items….
Tuesday, April 1, 2008 2 comments

Just Add Alcohol

I am at a lost on what is happening with my knee. I take a few days off and medicate myself with alcohol and the pain has gone away!
I belong to the Motown –Ann Arbor Hash House Harriers and we celebrated our 1000th hash this weekend. I wasn’t able to make it to the hash because of TNT training but Sandy and I made it to the on-after (party)! If you’re familiar with hashing, you’ll understand why I indulged in so much alcohol. If not, we’re a drinking club with a running problem.
This made for a very forgetful Sunday afternoon run! I felt like I was going to lose my breakfast almost the entire run, but I made it.
I can remember in my youth when I recovered the next day after a long night of drinking, now it takes a couple of days to get back to feeling normal.

Fast forward to Tuesday……

Monday was a wasted day, I couldn’t even concentrate to do my strength training….
Now we had our Tuesday evening running club’s 25th year anniversary celebration, and you know this meant more drinking!!!!!!!!!
At least this time there was some running before the drinking started. But I still woke up vowing to never do that again……….

Famous last word.