Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Saturday Morning.


It was cold (50), cloudy, and a bit windy.

I ran 16.5 anyway!

I began by waking up around 7:45am, filling the coffee cup, and downing a bowl of Rice Chex cereal. I gave my system time to catch up and--sorry to be gross-- but clean out.

At the start, I decided to push it harder than last weekend's LD. I averaged an 8:40 pace-- holding it for Miles 1-10. I once again brought no gel packs, and stupidly consumed no water along the way. It didn't matter.

After mile 10 I felt great--no--amazing. I stepped it up averaging 8:10-- even hitting a few strides of 7:30's. By mile 15 I was beat and slowed it down to the 10:00/11:00 mark.

I finished at 2hrs 31m!!!! I am proud of that. If I can hold the pace I had for miles 1-10 and not try and push it-- I might make my goal.

next weekend: 18 miles!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Detroit Paranoia

I am sure many of you have heard by now. Three runners, two of them quite young, dropped dead at the Detroit Marathon this past weekend. Anyone else having trouble getting this out of their heads?

As soon as I found out this morning-- I googled news articles about the story. I also went to RunnersWorld.com, and much to my dismay, there was only a brief mention of the deaths. An interview with their cardiologist/contributor Dr. Thompson filled in some of the blanks but I still have sooo many more questions.

At this point, the deaths, are a mystery-- even to the Medical Examiners. They've performed the autopsies and declared that more tests are needed to determine a cause. This is strange. If the deaths were merely "cardiac related" , which most seem to believe, the Coroner would have easily been able to rule that after a standard autopsy. What is a bit alarming is they need to wait for results of blood and toxicology tests to try and determine if there was something in their systems leading to death. The tests can take weeks. In the meantime all anyone can do is speculate and bloggers in Detroit are doing just that!

On Freep.com (Detroit's major newspaper and sponsor of Sunday's marathon)the comment section at the end of the article is full of all kinds of allegations. From the obvious suspected causes: heart problems and/or over exertion-- to the more outrageous: "Tainted water" at the refueling stations...

"Tainted water"???

At first I thought it was a ridiculous statement. A far fetched scenario created by someone's extreme paranoia. But then I thought about it. Why is it so hard to believe in present day that some sicko would compromise something all of us runners deem to be a safe "bet"-- water stations at races.. Who in the world would tamper with that???


Who in the world, would attach bombs to their body, walk on a bus, and press the red button detonating themselves-- and countless of innocent others?

Who in the world, would spend years training to become a pilot only to hijack a plane, fly it smack into a building, intending to murder thousands of people?

Who in the world would hide along a highway-- and for weeks continue to shoot and kill innocent people-- fueling up their cars-- sniper style?

Paranoia-- maybe. But, 'tis the day and age in which we live for it not to be a sick possibility.

I hope that's not the case.

Any answer, really, that comes out of these three tragedies will be unsettling to all of us runners. If all three are natural? What questions will you ask your doctor? Or should I ask before my marathon? If it is-- God help us-- something sparked by a terrorist or other attention seeking sicko-- I hope they catch the creep (I have much stronger terms) and punish him/her accordingly.

Most of all-- My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these three men and hope for their sake-- the answers, whatever they maybe, come quickly!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

14.5 Miles and counting!

What a great weekend! I had my second "serious" LD training run for the marathon. I set out to go 13.5. I added a mile!

Saturday was a beautiful and somewhat chilly day here in Buffalo. To me, the cooler the better. I run stronger and faster in these unseasonably cold temps-- partly just to stay warm.

I mapped out a great course that took me around the city's waterfront, then around the Naval Park, into downtown, up to Delaware Park-- That's the park I have written about many times before-- an "Olmstead" designed park. It was a very cool course and with several hills, also very challenging.

I felt awesome-- one of those runs you wish you could have every time. The odd part--I made it 14.5 without any nutrition along the way. I forgot my GU packs-- I didn't even have water, still it went well.

I learned a valuable lesson. I started out slow-- If you've been reading my blog for the past few months you know this is HUGE for me. My first 7 miles I maintained only a 9:00 pace (approx)-- stepping it up the last half:

Mile 8: 8:46
Mile 9: 8:37
mile 10: 8:37
Mile 11: 8:30
Mile 12: 8:13
Mile 13: 7:57
Mile 14: 7:45!!!

I finally "get it"! I usually and when I say "usually" I mean ALWAYS break that cardinal rule-- and start out of the gate running strong-- only to lag behind the last leg of any run. The pace, if followed in January, definitely won't get me across the Disney finish line at my target time of sub 4 hours-- But remember, I felt fine afterwards. Next time I will know I can step it up a bit earlier. I took the advice. Advice Glenn (The Running Fat Guy) and Brian (A Runner's Blog) have been telling me since I started this darn blog-- Training is all about tweaking- taking it slow here-- pushing harder there-- working-- to get the pace you desire.

I like the new me! Lets just hope the old guy doesn't come back to haunt me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Disney Training Runs

If the Disney Marathon in January is half as fun as my training runs-- I am going to have a blast!

I first met with my group a couple of weekends ago. There are about 30 people from the Buffalo area running for the same charity as me. The training groups are broken into 3 different groups with 3 different coaches. The northern suburbs, southern suburbs, and the city. I am with the city group-- Our first run was through a cemetery-- which sounds creepy but it's a GREAT run.

It's the Forest Lawn Cemetery-- not to be confused with the one in L.A. where Michael Jackson is buried-- although it has plenty of celebs there. We ran past Rick James' grave and President Grover Cleveland's resting place. This course is also very challenging-- full of hills. We ran a good 4 miles through the cemetery and then into Delaware Park:

The total run was 8.5 miles. I ran with the husband of our main coach-- He's a great runner with several marathons under his belt. He is also very fast and kept me going hard. We maintained a 7:50 pace-- not bad for a first training run.

The coaches asked what my marathon goal is-- I told them to finish under 4 hours. They feel it's very do-able. I am hoping they are correct.

I've been keeping with the training program they prescribed and at this point putting in 30 plus miles per week. I missed last weekend's group training because of a college reunion in the Poconos-- but back at it this Saturday.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Yes I am alive and despite not posting anything here in 11 days-- I am running hard.

This past week has not been easy. Have you seen the commercial, not sure which product it is pimping, but it targets runners. The woman, is snug in her bed. Outside her window, the leaves are falling, the wind blowing-- it's clearly a fall brisk day. Despite her sheets pulling her back into the warm comfy bed-- she beats down temptation, laces up, and runs. Thats exactly what I have been dealing with. The temps took a dive this week (averaging low 60's day, low 40's night) which is rather early even for Buffalo-- I have been SOOO tempted to stay inside, next to the fire, comforting myself and stomach with delicious high calorie foods-- a casserole or something-- but I fought back and like the woman in the commercial-- pushed myself out the door.

average mileage past two weeks: 34

8 miles today-- the temp: 51F

I am meeting with my running group for Disney training runs this Saturday-- Will let you know how it goes!