Monthly Archives: March 2014

Feed the Baby then RUN!

Due to baby Louie’s early feed schedule I was up and ready to head out at 5:45 today. In Michigan it is still very dark at that time so I was loaded up with all my bright clothes and flashing lights.

It turns out that the country road I’ve been using for my runs has a factory on it and that the shift change is between six and seven. The road was really busy and most of the traffic was turning into the factory. The drivers were all very polite and gave me plenty of space. No beeping. No close overtaking. All very nice.

One piece of interesting road debris today: an old cassette tape. Haven’t seen one of those by the side of the road for years. Also found, a possum and a quail (?).

So an 8 miler at 8:07 pace felt quite good although legs were heavy. I need to do something to get my speed back too.

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Where the Rubber Hits the Road

Finally the snow in deepest Michigan is starting to clear. There has been sufficient melt and the overnights haven’t led to too much refreeze. So, today I was able to run the roads of Jackson.

It has been a while since I’ve been out as the adoption process has taken its toll on my sanity, plus having the new baby in our hotel room is leading to some disrupted nights. All par for the course and I am not complaining. Having a new child is a life event for which other things must give way.

Following the court date yesterday we now have permission to apply to take the baby home with us. This means it is just a few more days before we can start the journey home. Hurrah!

Now that we are through some of the more stressful parts of the process I am trying to get my legs rolling on the road again. I headed out for a quick six miler. It wasn’t my fastest run at an 8:16 pace but it was good to get out there. Vicious cross-winds were there to remind me that although it is spring the temperature is still below freezing. Most of the snow and ice has melted. The pavements are no longer deep puddles of slush and the sides of the roads can be used for getting out of the path of oncoming traffic. Altogether much better roads and conditions, and that makes a big difference to me.

Looking forward to stepping up the miles again.

As for the Nashville marathon next month, I don’t think that will happen for me. They also posted the bling pictures this week and it is a very ugly medal so that also helps me justify dropping out of my training. Back to running for the sake of running. This is where the rubber hits the road…

Falling Waters Trail, Michigan

Another glorious outdoor run today. Thanks to President Bush it was back to running in pitch darkness along the Falling Waters Trail just south of Jackson.

We’ve been in and out of the hospital over the last few weeks for family reasons and I’ve been talking with one of the guys there who is a good runner.

Today, for the first time we met up at 7am for a run. He is older than I but a much faster runner who agreed to run at my pace. We did a quick 10.9 miler and managed to hold a pace of 8:07 which is a good pace for me at that distance. This is the first time I have really run with someone else, let alone someone faster. Talking and running is a new experience for me. That was a little challenging at times but the guy I was running with was very easy to talk to.

He has helped to train a number successful runners that have gone on to complete Boston (and other) marathons. We may well run again later this week.

And it is soooo much better than running on a treadmill. So much better. Hurrah.

Out in the Open Air at Last!

Finally I got to run outside although it nearly went off the rails.

I got up at 5am as my body had decided that a run was a good thing. Dressed then headed down to the hotel lobby to get ready to hit the road. It was still dark so I clipped on my lights and hit the power buttons… Nothing. Both my red and white lights were completely dead. Gaa! There was no way I would go running in the roads without lights when it was that dark so I had to crawl back up to my room and try not to wake my daughter as I crept through the room she was sleeping in.

I guess the batteries died somewhere between Singapore and Michigan. I hadn’t used thee lights for over a month so they must have been knocked during transit.

So after a few hours more sleep I tried again at 8am. This time I got to run! Outside. It was cloudy with some small patches of ice from the refrozen melt. I got one shoe full of ice cold water but eight glorious miles of running on roads more than makes up for that.

I didn’t even notice the miles and was at 3.5 before I even knew it. Fabulous.

I love running outside sooooo much better than on treadmills.

The people in the hotel thought I was mad as I rolled back in through the front door, but it is them that are missing out.

Crank up the Music (to Drown Out the Dreadmill)

Another day. Another treadmill session. Today I lowered the intensity and targeted a five mile run in the hotel sauna (gym). They also had wipes again so I feel that I can get the machine clean after my workout.

To beat the dull repetition I have given in and used my iPhone for music. I have rather odd taste in music and this playlist was a random selection of a band from the 80s called It Bites.

Their first album was to poppy for me but the other two were quite solid rock with unusual key and timing changes, and very clever interplay of lead guitar and synth. Good solid music to tune out with. Although there is one track that makes me well-up and that makes it tough to run.

In breaking news, my old faithful water bottle from Ultimate Direction has finally sprung a leak after eight years of use. Really, the quality of these things is terrible! 😉

They are my favorite type of water bottle because they are squeezable and feature a kicker valve that will let you close it off with your tongue so the bottle doesn’t leak while you are carrying it either in your belt or in the hand-carrier that they come with. The leak has formed at the bottom of the thumb grip and gives a perfect arc of spray across the room when you squeeze the bottle. Nice! I will get another one.

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The Return of the Deadmill

In this episode Luke Treadwalker finally brings out the good in Daft DreadMill.

Yes, yet another treadmill session. This time I managed 3.125 miles (5k) in 22:37. This an improvement over the last sessions.

One observation is that although nike+ is highly accurate when you run at/around your average pace, it goes massively off when you run with mixed stride lengths on a treadmill. I guess you do this more because the mill stays at the same speed while your body naturally varies your stride (either consciously or sub consciously) to give you a break from the constancy. Nike+ which is normally very accurate only measured 2.88 miles. I am aware that I was taking larger strides at points to give relief from the higher pace.

My last lap was at 10mph (6:00 pace). The majority was at 8.2mph (7:19 pace) and I did sections at 8.5mph (7:04 pace) and 9mph (6:40 pace).

As I don’t have much running kit here, my wife bought me some new running socks the other day from Champion. It is the first pair of socks that I own that have a Left and Right demarkation. Isn’t that weird? Not very convenient for dressing in the dark in the AM.

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The Dreadmill Strikes Back

Day 2 on the dreadmill and another 5k+ in the hotel sauna (gym). I ran at a 7:30 pace/0.5 grade until the last quarter when I accelerated to 7:04 pace. Not too bad. I went outside in the 0F weather to cool down afterwards because I was a sweaty wreck at the end of it.

I think I shall use these treadmill sessions to work on my speed and perhaps throw some intervals in later on. I have to be aware of time though because my wife also wants to run most mornings. Probably means early starts so I hope the treadmill noise doesn’t annoy too many of the residents…

Dreadmill of Doom

After two weeks off running for family reasons I have to get myself together and get with the plan. I’ll need to build back up as quickly as possible and currently the weather and roads are so bad that I am stuck with using a terrible treadmill in a sauna of a hotel gym.

Today I put in a 5k to get my legs moving again. 27:35 wasn’t a particularly fast time but that wasn’t the aim. I need to get my legs moving again and get back into the habit of running in the mornings.

The temperature in the room is going to be an issue but there is little I can do about that at. Until it warms up outside and the trails around Michigan start to de-ice, I’m going to be stuck with this.

Time to suck it up and get moving.