I miss the way marathon running used to be because…

I did my first three marathons in 1980 (Maryland 3:33), 1981 (San Antonio, 3:48), and 1983 (East Lyme 4:24).

I still have the finish book for the Maryland.

Though I had several 50 mile weeks, I did no run over 15 miles. So the marathon was a bit of a rude shock. I hit mile 10 in 1:15, half way in 1:37 and slowed to 2:38 at mile 20. The finish: 3:33. Boy, was that last 10K a death march! It wasn’t just for me though; I managed to keep something like a shuffle (and flipped off a kid who said “here is a fat one”) and people were walking at this point; not everyone of course.

My buddies (who went to the race with me) ran 2:38 and 2:59. I ran 3:33 for 1054 out of 2229 men; the median time for the men was 3:36. There were 201 female finishers; two friends of mine finished in 3:30. The median female finisher was 4:05.

You had to finish in the top 50 to get a finisher’s medal but there was a nice finisher’s jacket (bright sunflower gold) that many of us wore to races. It felt “special”.

San Antonio: strict 5 hour time limit; I remember because I still have the newspaper clipping which had a list of the finishers. And my 3:48 put me well in the second half of the list of finishers.

East Lyme: I showed up fat and out of shape and had to walk 3 miles into it (foot cramps); for much of the race, I was by myself and I was frequently asked if I wanted to drop out. The finish line announcer said “that is a winner right there” as I came around the track..and I was embarrassed beyond belief. Time was 4:24 ….and when I told my friends the response was “what in the hell happened to you?”

BUT, when you get down to it…what I miss the most was being able to see an 8 minute mile as “easy”.

If things were like those days, I’d get timed out and be unable to participate in organized marathons.

Workout notes: weights only; 5 sets of 10 pull ups, 10 x 135, 6 x 170 bench, 10 x 135 incline, 10 x 155 decline, military: 2 sets of 10 x 45 standing, 10 x 180 machine, 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine rows, plank, side plank, etc.

October 8, 2018 Posted by | running, walking | | Leave a comment

Current Marathon or Beyond List, 2017

Maryland Marathon: 3:33

San Antonio Marathon 3:48

East Lyme Marathon (CT) 4:24

1998 (2)
Quad Cities Marathon 3:55 (hot: 207 out of over 1000)
Chicago Marathon 3:46

Quad Cities Marathon 3:45

2000 (2)
Lake Okoboji (IA) 4:25
Indianapolis Marathon 3:38

Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40

2002 (4) (13 total)
San Diego Marathon 3:57 (run)
Fairfield (IA) 50K 6:22 (walk)
Quad Cities Marathon 4:44 (walk)
Rocket City Marathon 4:04 (run)
(injured going in; had to run/walk)

2003 (5) (18 total)
McNaughton 50K (run) 7:04
Ice Age 50K 7:18 (walk)
Park City Marathon (UT) 5:17 (walk)

Judy Birthday 50K (walk; informal-Fat ass type)
Quivering Quads (MO) 50K 8:11 (walk)

2004 (7) (25 total)
McNaughton 50 mile 12:46 (walk)
Cornbelt (IA) 24 hour (101 miles), walk
Wandleweekend (NED) 24 hour (88 miles) walk

Fairfield 50K 7:16 (walk)
Quad Cities Marathon 5:13 (walk)
Chicago Ultra 50K 6:20 (walk)

Ultracentric (TX) 24 hour 81 miles (walk)

2005 (8) (33 total)
McNabb (IL) FatAss 50K 6:25 (run, sort of)
Chicago Ultra 50K (spring) 6:42 (walk)
McNaughton 100 34:16 (walk)
Andy Payne Marathon (OK) 5:25 (walk)
Lean Horse 100 (SD), 29:34 (walk)

Quad Cities Marathon 5:34 (walk)
Chicago Ultra 50K 6:29 (walk)
Ultracentric 24 hour 70 (walk)

2006 (5) (38 total)
McNabb (IL) FatAss 50K 6:37 (run, sort of)
Houston Ultra 24 hour 76 mile (walk)
Stigma 8 hour 27 mile (trail) (walk)
McNaughton (100 DNF), got to mile 50 then 20 more.
Ice Age 50K 7:36 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 83 miles (walk)

2007 (4) (42 total)
FANS 24 hour 66 mile (walk) (couldn’t train until 5-6 weeks prior)
FX 12 hour 34 mile (walk)
Farmdale 33 miles 9:27 (walk)
Ultracentric 24 hour 58 mile (walk)

2008 (3) (45 total)
McNaughton 50 mile (staged; 31:37 walk)
Andy Payne Marathon 6:16 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 47 miles (walk)

2009 (5) (50 total)
McNaughton 100 miler (47:45; staged, walk)
(brutal conditions; the drop out rate was astounding: 74 started the 100 and 27 finished; 47 started the 150 and 27 made it to 100 (including the 12 who finished all 150); in total 54 out of 121 starters made it to 100 miles and I was one of these)
Rockford Marathon 5:14 (walk)
FANS 24 hour 66 miles (walk)
Mulshoe 44 (DNF, ran out of time at mile 29) walk
Quad Cities Marathon 5:28 (walk)
McNot-aGain 30 mile 8:55 (walk)
(fought through injuries for these last two; almost no training was possible)

2010 (51)
McNotagain 30 mile 9:52 (knee surgery 3.5 months prior)

2011 (52)
Fans 24 hour: 54.5 miles

2012 (53)
We Walk Lake Wobegone marathon 6:58:58

2013 (54)
River City Marathon (run/walk) 5:44:55

2014 (55)
McNotAgain 30 9:54

2015 3 for the year (58 )
FANS 24 hour 59.9 miles

PNC River City Marathon (walk) 5:49:23

McNotAgain 30 (walk) 11:03

2016 2 for the year, (60 and counting)

FANS 24 hour walk 38 miles (35.9 in 10:40)

PNC marathon (run/walk) 5:52

2017: 2 DNF, one 50K
36 Hours of Jack Monkey Flunker 50K 8:42.

December 18, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, ultra, walking | , | Leave a comment

Workout catch up

Somewhat busy time but I want to get caught up:

Tuesday: 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic)
Wednesday: weights only: usual pt suff, pull ups (4 sets of 10), incline bench: 10 x 135, 10 x 150 (good hips), dumbbell bench: 10 x 70, military (dumbbells) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 110. Rows: dumbbell 10 x 70, 10 x 70, 10 x 110 machine. Yoga in the evening; got good corrections in Warrior 2.
Thursday: 3 mile walk (this morning)

Marathon: might be warmer than ideal; less than confident that I can make the time limit by walking 100 percent. So I might put jogging breaks in, but do I go to different shoes? (running shoes)

October 6, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

If you train for a marathon and your bench press improves, you did it wrong…

Postmortem part 2: yesterday, 5 mile walk, with some “cheat walking” (bent knee shuffle) in case I need to do some of that in my next marathon attempt. Course was Bradley Park (lower, 2 lower loops)

Today; weights plus walking. weights: usual PT stuff, pull ups 15-15, bench press: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good), pull ups 10-10, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40. rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Headstand. Walk: track, lane 2, 37:14 for 25 laps (5k), 12:29, 11:56, 11:18, 1:29. Yes, the last 2 miles would NOT be sustainable for a marathon (possibly a cool weather half though)

My pull ups and bench press have improved.

Go figure.

September 27, 2017 Posted by | walking, weight training | | 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

Slow marathon finish: inwardly happy; outwardly embarrassed ….

Today in the gym, a couple of the professors asked me if I had run in this past weekend’s marathon. I found myself embarrassed to answer “yes”.

Why? Well, I admit that I felt joy in crossing the finish line in under the time limit: 5:52 (time limit was 6 hours). Yes, this was my slowest Peoria Marathon (River City, PNC, etc); my other two were 5:45 (run/walk), 5:49 (walk 100 percent, but on a cool day).

But..I remember that this was 1:08 (one hour, 8 minutes) slower than my powerwalking PR (2002) and 2:14 (two hours, fourteen minutes) slower than my masters running PR (2000). Back then, I never dreamed I would become so unbelievably slow.

In fact, as recently as 2006…wait that was 10 years ago…I did training marathons (on my own) at about this pace….walking.

I suppose that if when I continue to slow down more, I’ll have to seek out long time limit marathons or, say, 12 hour events.

But, as I get ready to resume training (in say, 2 week’s time), I’ve got my eyes on either First Light (January in Mobile, Alabama) or Little Rock (March, Arkansas) and doing it as a walker (long time limits). Maybe I’ll get it out of the way early.

October 19, 2016 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | | Leave a comment

Has it really been 25 years?

Workout notes: slow paced weight workout (low energy), 2 mile walk in the neighborhood.

rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185 (off), 7 x 170 (normal), incline: 10 x 135, rows (3 sets with 50), military: 2 sets of 15 x 50 dumbbell (seated, supported), 10 x 40 standing. A few free squats, 10 x 25 (not a misprint), abs (2 sets of yoga leg lifts, twist crunch, moving half bridge). Headstand was easy today??? Then an easy 2 mile walk around the neighborhood. Very warm day; good thing the marathon wasn’t today!

Marathon fall out:

1. Some people saw me in the weight room and asked me. I felt…well, embarrassed. Yes, I am happy that I hung in there and finished; the time is long, long passed when I could take a marathon finish for granted. But I was well over TWO HOURS slower than I used to be, and that is embarrassing to me. But what am I going to do?

Then I saw my friend’s time. He had run 3:07 earlier this year, but got leg cramps and had to walk it in this time; his time was “only” 3:58 (he was blazing along at a good 3:05 pace earlier in the race.
Yep…something similar happened to me in 1999; I hit mile 20 in 2:37 but cramped up and limped the last 10K in 1:08; I wasn’t really hurting but my legs cramped up so much that all I could do was walk.

It is relative to one’s abilities, age, fitness, suitability for the marathon, etc.

And then I watched the 70 year old guy finish something like 8 minutes behind me. No way I’ll be that fast at that age.

25 years: today, I get my “25 years at the University” pin. My good friend agreed to be my guest. I got to this university before most of my students were even born.

Well, what can I say. Though the year is far from over, it has been a good one so far.

October 18, 2016 Posted by | walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

Some things haven’t changed

No biggie, I know, but I swallowed my 3’rd all time marathon DNF today, bailing at mile 20.


That’s why. I’ve always done poorly in heat. But now that I am slower, I am out in it longer and the effects compound. In the past, well, during the first Quad Cities marathon, it was brutally hot but I was at mile 20 in 2:50. The last 6.2 miles meant only 1:05 more running. This time it took me 2:10 longer to get there, and I had about 2 more hours to go, given how much I’ve slowed.

My margin of error is gone. I can only finish a marathon in cool weather.

I started ok; I mixed running and walking …but even at mile 1 I thought “oh-oh”; I was already sweating heavily and could just feel the heat…it was almost tolerable when the sun got behind a cloud but got downright miserable when it came out again.

Still…21:45 for 2, 45:05 for 4, 1:09:23 for 6, 1:34:03 for 8 then 2:02:56 for 10. At that point I mostly walked ..2:34:21 for 12…then death march. 3:05:46 for 14, 3:43:12 for 16 and 5:00:37 for 20.
Still, I was able to pick up the walking pace a bit..then the stomach went south. I stopped, unpinned my number, thought about it, pinned it back on, went out and almost got sick. Another 6 miles in that heat wasn’t going to happen…not any faster than 2 more hours anyway.

So I bailed and walked with my tail between my legs back to my car.

Upside: hey, my Bears vs. Lions tickets came! So at home I went to print…and found that my “lovely wife” had used all the printer ink and had not replaced it. Sigh. Sure, there is still a week to go but damn…I wanted an upside and didn’t get it.

Is “she didn’t replace the cartridge” grounds for divorce?

Oh well…I hope that the weather is cooler three weeks from now. If it isn’t, I am bailing and doing the half marathon.

September 25, 2016 Posted by | running | , | 1 Comment

Non productive but fun day

I ran my 10K course this morning, picked up my first “smart phone” ever and set it up this afternoon. Then Barbara and I had a lovely Indian dinner with Lynn; I sure have missed her.

Not much else to say, other than I made it to 200 miles once again this month. Oh yes, I signed up for the Quad Cities and the Peoria PNC marathon (last weekend in September, and 3’rd weekend in October); we’ll see how they go.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | Friends, running | | 1 Comment

Probably true for me but…

Workout notes: easy 4.2 mile Cornstalk classic run..not much of an effort. It was muggy but I felt fine when I finished.

Yeah, this Saturday’s Steamboat 15K race is going to suck big time (hot, hilly course, bad race for me, blah blah) but my plan is to line up at the 10 minute sign, ease into it and attempt to pick it up in the final 5K. But I’ve said that before.

But even if I get really tired, there should still be a bit of motivation to keep moving forward:


Now if one objectively looks at my build, it is easy to see that I am not suited for distance. I have no fast twitch muscle fiber and therefore cannot sprint. My upper body works against me in the distance.


So I should probably focus on the 5K, as I have for a few years. But given that my long run is already up to 15 miles and the fall marathon schedule meshes with football season, I am making it a goal to run a sub 5 hour marathon. Sad to say, that will NOT be an easy goal to meet, though my long run pace suggests that is a reasonable goal for me.

But as far as this weekend: it should be my usual disaster.

1998: 15K 1:08:22 183/844 (sticky) Was running just under 20 for 5K in those days. 22:50/23:05/22:27, 29/71 AG
1999: 15K 1:07:53 place was a bit worse; roughly 20:40 for 5K in these days 22:38/23:01/22:13
2000: 4m 27:51 After a 10K/half marathon double and 1:35 half a few weeks earlier.
2001: 4m 29:13 Lake Geneva Marathon 3:40
2001: 15K 1:11:16 (126/381) Fall 15K 23:20/24:04/23:51
2002: 4m 43:15 (walk)
2002: 15K 1:14:33 (run; fall) 167/405 24:10/25:07/25:16
2004: 4m 33:10 (two 24 hour walks in May; 101 and 88)
2005: 15K 1:23:13 (26:40/27:39/28:43) McNaughton 100 in April, Marathon on Memorial Day.
2006: 4M 42:10 (walk), FANS 24 in June (83 miles)
2007: Walk with Barbara
2008: Walk with Barbara
2009: run 1:27:23 (9:22 mpm) Place: 519/726 29:21/29:49/28:43, 34/43 AG
2010: walk 4 miles 39:32.
2011: walk 15 km 1:48:02 37:12/36:24/34:26
2012: run 15 km 1:36:55 29:26/33:54/33:35 679/835
2013: 15K 1:29:04 (29:34/29:53/29:38) 40/50 AG, 552/866
2014: 1:29:57 (29:22/30:46/29:49)
2015: 1:34:28 (30:49/32:49/30:50) (2 weeks after FANS 59.9) 579/804, 376/461 males, 173/219 male masters, 36/43 AG

June 14, 2016 Posted by | running, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment