Going to be hot…

first 10: 2:25
second 10 : 2:35
Then 18 minute miles would get it done.

Just be humble at first.


September 24, 2017 Posted by | marathons | | Leave a comment


Well, the Quad Cities Marathon is tomorrow and it is supposed to be as hot as hell. Yes, I’ve faced similar conditions before, (in marathons), finishing the Andy Payne, We Walk, and DNFing at Quad Cities twice (2007, 2016)

Each of these events had two things in common: 1: I went out way too fast for the conditions (12:xx pace) and 2: I had to stop and rest an hour or so.
In my two DNF’s: I was 5:03 at mile 23 and 5:01 at mile 20. But there is one difference this time: time limit is no 7 hours…and I would have finished with a 7 hour time limit.

So, there is nothing more to be said. I HAVE to start out at a slow pace (nothing faster than, say, 13:30-13:45 in the early miles, maybe 14:00 would be better) and if I can get to mile 20 in 5:00 to 5:20 and remind myself that, 2 hours for the last 10K is a 19 minute pace, and 1:40 for the last 10K is a 16 minute pace.

Oh, I’ve finished this course before and I ran the first one in miserable heat (3:55) and the second one in 3:45. My walking PR is 4:44. But that is yesterday’s news.

Do I want to finish badly enough to go out with the proper amount of humility? That is my worry. And no, even this slow time won’t be easy. Well…

workout notes: easy 2 mile walk.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | marathons | | Leave a comment

On the need to prove yourself…

Well, I have signed up for a marathon this weekend, and it will be hot as hell. Still with a 7 hour time limit, I should be able to make it, if I don’t go out like an idiot. 14-14:30 mpm at the start..get to mile 20 in 5 hours and then I’ll have 2 hours to bring it home. That should be doable, even on a hot day.

Yeah, I’ve done a number of these, but with me, the question is “can I do it one more time?” I’ve got that need.

Yes, I’ve done much better in the past (masters PR: 3:38 (2000) running, 4:44 walking (2002); first marathon was done in 1980 (3:33)). Yes, in 2004, I walked 100 miles and *averaged* 6:12 per marathon. But can I finish THIS time?

But not everyone does..and that attitude is what I have to deal with. Where I went to school (undergraduate and graduate), it wasn’t just about learning something; it was about showing that you’ve mastered the material well enough to move on. You had to prove yourself. And, well, not everyone is able to. And so, as a young professor I brought that attitude into my classroom, and it did NOT go well. The old “not everyone can do this…are YOU one who CAN?” just does not play well in most settings. And it was tough for me to adjust to that.

Workout notes; taper mode. I had a full weight workout on Wednesday (the usual; incline instead of bench: hip hikes, rotator cuff, toe raises, pull ups: 15-15-10-10, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 7 x 150, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 45, standing, 10 x 90 machine: rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine, then yoga). Today: taper: 3 usual PT, 3 sets of 10 pull ups (strong), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (good, lots of energy), incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 20 x 40 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 110 machine).

September 22, 2017 Posted by | education, marathons, social/political, weight training | 1 Comment

Goat rant 1: long walk…

The first photo shows my actual time. One modification: I did NOT go around the ball field wall, but I did double back to the Riverplex (from the path near the beach volleyball court) to use the restroom. That is approximately the same distance. I was 2:54 at the turn around but managed a Glenn to home 1:13:35. (5 miles). That one minute extra was on the first downhill leg from Glenn to Forrest Hill.

The rant: (ok, whine)

1. I remember my running days. My “20 miler” was about a 2:50 to 3:10 event…maybe 3:20 on a bad day. I often ran without water and just stopped at a nearby fountain along the way. And I didn’t need bathroom stops as I sweated heavily.

NOW: 5 hour event, I pack water, money, salt tablets (they keep nausea away) and yes, nutrition tablets too. And yes, I have to stop for bathroom breaks as not only am I out longer, I sweat a bit less. And my “ok, use the bathroom, gather my stuff, put my orthotics in my walking shoes, lube up, etc. takes 30-40 minutes. Gads…so much for just going. It almost feels as if I am going out for an expedition. Damn.

2. And these walks go through phases. The first part of this walk didn’t go well at all…my attitude got worse the longer I went..I felt sluggish and exceptionally slow. I was almost ready to pack it in early. But I wasn’t feeling sick, nauseated …anything. I just felt sluggish and slow, and that is not a reason to quit.

But somewhere around mile 9, I started to feel better and I actually enjoyed the final 9-10 miles of the walk. The first part of the walk was discouraging..the final part was encouraging. And mind you, it was warming up. Yes, I know that the part from Hooters (on the River) to Sheridan/Northmore (near Midstate College) is a 8.6 mile stretch that is net uphill and the return from the Tower to my house is net downhill. But in the past I’ve felt terrible on the downhill return stretch; not today.

3. I cannot handle the mileage. Yes, this was my 4’th 20, and I also have 2 18’s and 3 half marathon races. But IF I’ve done any speed work in the week, I feel it on my weekend 20. Forget racing/20 on back to back days; that used to be a staple. Not anymore. Ok, once in a while…
Let’s just say that now-a-days, I have to work hard to do fewer miles than I once did.

Is the marathon worth it? Well…I am looking forward to it, but I won’t finish in the allotted time if I don’t train hard. The days of a road marathon being a “train through” or speedwork to build up to something else are over for me. Yes, when I did 24 hour events of 100 milers, walking 26.2 miles at 12 mpm is “speedwork”, at least it was for me.

Oh well, what did I expect. At 58, I should be grateful that I am out there at all. I am debating whether next Saturday’s workout should be a “faster 15” or a “slower 20” as it is two weeks prior to Quad Cities…I want to get it this time!!!! There is a local half marathon on Sunday, BUT the Illinois vs. Western Kentucky game kicks off at 7 and I won’t get home until after midnight…and the half has a 7am start. I suppose that IF I wake up on my own by 5, I’ll just register “same day” and do my best. The last time I tried that, it did not go well.

September 3, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

How much is too much?

A conversation with a friend got me to thinking about my training, life and long distance events.

She told me that one of her friends is always on her about “overdoing it”; hence when she posts “my feet are blistered” photos after ultra marathons, she excludes that person. is it. I’ve run for most of my life, lifted for most of it, and swam off and on. I started in 1972 to get ready for football.

It is now 45 years later and I can no longer handle significant volume. My knees have a dull ache much of the time (5 operations, mostly due to malaligned patellas and arthritis; these were in 1978 (major), 1979 (major), 1984 (minor), 1984 (minor), 2010 (minor). I haven’t really been the same since the 2010 operation.

I did most of my running in the 1997-2001 window and “serious” walking from 2002-2009; it has been a struggle since then. My walking marathon (best: 4:44, usual: 5:12-5:35) has migrated to 5:50 or so…and maybe not that fast. Running: LOL..I did run 3:38 in 2000, 3:33 in 1980…but my final sub 4 was in 2002 (3:57). That is gone forever.

Again, I am stiff most of the time (a return to yoga is helping that though), and there is the knee ache and tingling feet (soles)…calf/sole stretching appears to help that. And the back, the shoulder (PT for both). so right now, I walk about 40-50 miles a week and lift 3 times a week; 1-2 yoga classes too. I might add swimming later.

How much is too much? I have a friend who is in her early 70’s; she has run 4-5 miles, 4 times a week for years and years. But even she has aches and pains from time to time. And those who I know who do not work out: many are train wrecks, so it is hard to tell how many of my aches and pains are due to excessive activity.

Yes, I know: 100 miles is too much for me. There are people who are better designed for it..I am not one of them. 2009 was my last one. I have not given up on doing another 50 though; 2015 was my last one (in a 24 hour event). But yes, there comes a point at which excess activity harms the health.

My running/walking friends appear to be mostly healthy…but do they do the endurance sports because they are healthy, or does their activity enhance their health? It is hard to tell…

But, as for me, running might be over, at least in anything over 10-15 miles a week.

August 31, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | | Leave a comment

Marathon preparation: time to worry?

Today I had a decent day for walking (60’s at the start (61 F. 70 percent at the start, 75 F, 57 percent at the end). I am still recovering from my cold and didn’t have much energy at the start. So, I played it safe: 2.52 miles to the river, three 5.02 mile segments (goose loop, dam), 2.52 back home for 20.1 in 5:15:51. That is 15:43 mpm, too damned slow, but, well, 2 minutes slower than I was on the same course in 2015 (in September). What can I say. And that was my 3’rd 20 mile walk this build up so….if the day isn’t hot, breaking 6 hours will be tough but a “realistic challenge”.

I did have to dodge a few bikes and some “Farmer’s Market” traffic but nothing serious. And I feel much, much, much better this afternoon than I did last Saturday.

The cough is slight; I did have some right knee ache but nothing serious.

August 26, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

Realistic Optimism

Upshot: 15:02 pace for 20.5 miles (5:08); first 11 was in 2:47, 5 miles from Lake to home were 1:12:36 (14:31 pace; had found my groove a bit); kind of let up on the final 1.7 (14:54 pace). Weather was perfect.
Good news: nutrition tablets REALLY helped (ate 3 at 3:15 into it).

Realistic: when I was walking 5:15 marathons, this would have been 4:40-4:50 with this effort in this weather. The age group equivalent calculator predicts about a 5:46 marathon (based on a 2:45 half; I have one faster than that this year). That is about a 13:12 pace. Yes, that calculator showed a good correlation with past half marathons and marathon walks.

Course: Cooper, Union, MLK, Kumpf, trail at Hooters, in front of the Riverplex (as opposed to behind, due to set ups), around the goose loop and around the ball field wall (port-o-potty), up Abington, back to the trail through to Springdale, past Affina and the trail to Prospect, to the Tower, up Glenn to the trail again, across the Knoxville bridge, to the Sheridan/Northmore intersection, then back to the Tower, Prospect, Marietta, Monroe/Central to Forrest Hill, Bigelow, Corrington, Bootz, Hansler, Broadway, Columbia Terrace, Maplewood, Laura, Cooper. (18.75). Then Cooper to Moss, MacArthur, Bradley Ave., to Cooper and home.

Yesterday: weights only: rotator cuff, hip hikes, toe raises, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, 8 x 170, incline: 10 x 140, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40 (standing), rows: 2 sets of 10 x 65 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine, abs: 2 sets of 12 twist crunch, 10 yoga leg lifts, 10 moving bridges. Headstand (shaky, at first), rope skips: 13, 16, 20, 51. Getting better, but no one asked me if I used to box. 🙂

August 12, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Back to reality

Cool, sunny, just perfect weather. Ok, I was a bit heavy legged from yesterday’s 18.3 so today’s 11.3 was done at a much slower pace (2:56:09, 15:36 mpm), last 3.2 in 47:30 (14:50..but on much flatter ground). I focused on posture, posture, posture.

The weird: as I was coming up the big hill from lower Bradley to upper Bradley, I saw an animal scurrying away. I saw a hole…and sticking out of the hole was the ringed brown/black ringed tail of a raccoon.

Yesterday, I saw a bird fly right into a window and fall dead.

Bottom line: my cruising pace is slower than it once was. My faster pace is slower than it once was. But that was a 29 mile weekend.

But I am 18 miles; maybe 20 next week? I should have several 20’s prior to my marathon attempt.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | Leave a comment

Better things ahead for my walking?

Ok, this was solo. No Lynnor. 😦 And no, it wasn’t fast; I was just over 15 minutes for the fist mile; I walked through the construction at Sheridan/McClure and decided to risk getting divebombed on the river (red winged black birds); that didn’t happen. I was 1:23 at the Peoria Heights Tower (as opposed to 1:20 during my best walk of the year), 1:57 at mile 8, where I picked up the bike path at Bishop Hill.

There was some crowding near the River Market and with a group of charity walkers going out. And yes, a guy on crutches said something to me: “I want to be out doing that”; he had the look of being injured and champing at the bit to get well…very fit. I reminded him that it wouldn’t take him long to get back.

But overall, the walk, while deliberate (14:43), was…easy. The distance is starting to become less intimidating.

I had a few tingles in the left leg; nothing serious. And I kept reminding myself “posture”.

1:57:02 at mile 8 (where the bike path meets Bishop Hill)
3:51:39 at 15.7 (at my door)
3:57:26 at 16.1 (after the extra Laura/Rebecca loop)
4:28:53 at 18.27 (after the Main, University, Moss, Cooper, campus, Laura loop)

Upshot: this was not an especially long walk, nor was it a fast one. But, the distance is getting easier again; this one was actually pleasant. I am getting into the “looking forward to the long walks” mode, as opposed to sort-of dreading them but doing them to get ready. That is a big positive.

June 24, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | 1 Comment

Paying the price for a double…

Today: absolutely perfect day for a run/walk. So I started out with a was too tiring so I switched to a leisurely run/walk (jog the uphills and downhill, walk the flats) and toured my lovely 5.1 mile course. Barely broke a sweat.

I knew that I’d pay a price for this weekend (4 mile 37:20 Saturday, …yes, that used to be my recovery pace, 2:47 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday)

So I looked backwards to see similar doubles in my past:

1998: 19:53 5K on Saturday, 1:39 half marathon on Sunday…2 weeks prior to the Quad Cities Marathon
2000: 44 minute 10K on Saturday night, 1:42 half marathon on Sunday (National Capital races in Ottawa, Canada)
2000: 21:43 5K run on Saturday, 1:40:50 half marathon on Sunday (first part of a relay)
2002: 1:06 10K racewalk (judged) on Saturday, 6:22 50K powerwalk on Sunday
2003: 30:43 5K judged racewalk on Saturday, 2:17 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (this one drained me; both were hard efforts)
2004: 28:59 5K walk on Saturday, 7:15 50K walk on Sunday
2008: 25:13 5K run on Saturday, 2:25 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (cool weather)
2011: 27:45 5K sun on Saturday, 2:22 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (cool weather)
2012: 33:52 4 mile run on Saturday, 2:30 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (sort of warm) Ratio: 4.44
2012: 25:27 5K run on Saturday, 2:24 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (rugged IVS course)
2013: 25:31 5K run on Saturday, 2:27 “run” half marathon on Sunday
2014: 25:53 5K run on Saturday 2:24 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (cool)
2017: 37:22 4 mile run on Saturday, 2:47:22 half marathon powerwalk on Sunday (hot). Ratio: 4.48 (consistent with 2012, no?)

Bottom line: in addition to my becoming increasingly slower, recovery from these doubles is becoming harder.
I thought I might claim “weight” as an excuse, but even in 2004, when I was walking my best, I was about 5-6 pounds lighter. That is a difference, but not that much different.

Where to go from now: train for a fall walking marathon; make that my first priority. Reduce running to 3 times a week, keeping it short, with perhaps a little “pepper” . Key workouts: longer, slower workout (weekend), harder, medium-long workout (midweek), some repeat 1-2 miles to get readjusted to 12-13 minute per mile walking…rest is recovery. Keep up the squats.

Add some half marathon tune ups (3 more plus a 15K) to ramp up the pace a bit.

June 6, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | | Leave a comment