So, apparently I’ve redefined “cross training” today to involve Pop-A-Shot and chasing 4 year olds at novelty themed pizza restaurants. Let’s not forget eating cake.

The slack (not really slack – I did paint the laundry room today, too) got me thinking about races for the rest of the year.

  • The Physical Readiness Test is next month (April). I’m shooting for under 10 minutes for the mile and a half (more realistic is 11 minutes). And there – just cranked out a set of 20 pushups. I need to build that up to 70 or so in a month. Right…
  • Next race is the OKC HalfMarathon with the Doc. I’ve decided to wimp out on the full marathon, but cannot wait to see my niece and nephews.
  • Got the email that the Bluff Point Twilight Trail Race is Friday, May 16 this year. I cannot, cannot, cannot, cannot wait. This is hands down my second favorite race of the year. It could easily be my absolute favorite, but it’s superceded by
  • The New Haven 20K Road Race. I DNF’d last year, but man, oh, man, do I love this race. Let me take a minute to talk smack: Annalisa – I’m digging on your schedule for R2R; very similar to what I’m doing for OKC, so indeed, I am Down. Danny – Geeze, save us some food this year, OK? Jon – you do get one holiday each year, right? And AA & Dianna – man, I cannot wait for this race.
  • Lastly, JKRunning posted that the NYC lottery’s up, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger. If I don’t get drawn, I’ll probably target either Hartford or the MCM, but we’ll see.

Day Off

I took today and tomorrow off, nominally to take care of some church business, and to be home for my youngest kid’s birthday party (Yeah, Chuck E. Cheese!).

And, I got to get in a good almost 6-miler first thing this morning, starting downtown, looping up to Old Mystic, and finishing with coffee at Bartleby’s.

I’d go on, but it was nigh unto perfect. I need to drag out the camera – mainly to remind D why I can rate the mall as a 7 (maybe an 8).

Sex and Violence

Or, the second episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

So, my lovely wife got me the 16 ton Megaset for Christmas. This very easily could have turned into many, many hours on the couch drinking beer. But, knowing myself, I’ve decided I’ve got to segment it out – I can only watch the episodes while I’m riding the trainer (Christmas from two years ago)

Now, you’d think that this would be tough, but the trainer’s a cheap one, and only a slight step up in resistance from riding the rollers. Although, I think I get more tired on the rollers, ’cause I’ve got to stay in control of my upper body so I don’t run into the wall.

You can tell it’s almost March – I’m starting to get twitchy getting home before dark, and thinking about two weeks until Daylight Savings Time, and enough daylight after work to sneak in a little bit of singletrack.

It happens every year – I think that I’m going to fall back in love with the bike, but life has tended to interfere. Maybe this is the year. Hopefully.

Running’s going well. I blew off my long run this weekend, but made my mileage, more or less between Tuesday’s epic on the Mall and Thursday. Tomorrow, I’ll extend past what is on the schedule, get a regular run in on Thursday, and pick up the long run on the weekend again. Missy showed me up – she rocked the Colchester Half Marathon while I chilled at the house with my folks and the Kids.

Drop the Doc a line – he had a rough time at the Austin Half.

Turista – Washington DC

I knocked another one of the “Runs I’d Like to Do In My Lifetime” off last night. (More or less) – I did an 8+ mile loop on the US Capitol Mall in DC.As far as runs go, I’d rate it a 7 out of 10, but it was well worth doing.

I parked over by the Jefferson Memorial, in the lot for East Potomac Park about 8 PM. I figured I wasn’t taking my life into my hands, ’cause a) who gets mugged on the mall?; and b) There was a family with about a half-dozen kids younger than mine headed back to their minivan.

The running was surprisingly good, considering I haven’t been exactly diligent in my training. Oh, and that whole sick thing last week… But there’s something cool about running in a cool place that freshens up the legs. Does location matter? And if it does, is that enough to explain jeff? (and what’s my problem, running in such terrible locations as Mystic, Jamestown, and Newport?)

Showing my bent to liking the Executive Branch over the Legislative Branch (more of a “Stop jawboning and get stuff done” admiration than a statement on who’s in power), I headed up through the FDR Memorial (almost knocking over a school group as I cut a corner too tightly), and curved past the Lincoln Memorial. Ran along the North side of the Reflecting Pool until I about knocked over a flock of geese.

Past the WWII Memorial, and headed left towards the White House. Since when have they hugely expanded the security/parking zone around the People’s House? Didn’t one used to be able to go right up to the fence on the South Lawn? And cut between the Ike EOB and the Treasury Building? Anyway, the security guard waved me down, and sent me over towards the Ike Executive Office Building, which I passed to the left. The renovations on Pennsylvania Avenue are really nice, though.

Lack-of-Access angst aside, I headed back to the Mall, and headed towards the Capitol building on the crushed-gravel path. What a cool, cool run – both literally, as it was right about freezing, and I was in shorts – and visually. I just seemed to keep running while the dome kept getting bigger and higher above.

I’d intended to turn around at the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol, but the legs felt good, so I climbed up Capitol Hill (singing, … wait for it … “I’m just a Bill, on Capitol Hill”), passed the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress (didn’t stop to see if I could check anything out), and headed downhill to the Arboretum.

The wind was against me heading west on the Mall again, so rather than stay on the gravel, I headed over to Jefferson Ave. Which was neat in and of itself, because I’d never been close to the main Smithsonian building before. It really, really looked like a spooky old castle in the moonlight. Kind of neat. I was waiting for Scooby Doo and the gang to come squealing around the corner in the Mystery Machine.

Finished up at the Jefferson Memorial, which is still my favorite spot in DC, and probably always will be. Jefferson was the guy who hatched America as an Idea, and it’s that, more than America as a people, that’s held the world’s attention for the last quarter of a millennium. I walked up the stairs and spent a couple of minutes reading about Truth, Justice, and the American Way, and headed back to the car, pretty psyched that I’d just pulled off an 8 mile + run without dying.

Skipped another long run

After the funk I had all last week, I skipped my long run this weekend. Only supposed to be 6 miles, but still.

I’m feelin’ pretty low on the old running stick-to-it-ness.

The upside was a great weekend with the wife and boys.

To be sick, or not to be sick

So, one of the things to file under “You might be a runner if”: would be the classic debate:

You might be a runner if you’re feeling a tickle at the back of your throat and think “Hey, I bet if I go for a quick three miles in 20 degree weather, I’ll feel better”

Which is exactly what I did at lunch today. THe run itself was great – a quick 3 out and back onto Naval Station, taking the gentle hilly route past the Exchange instead of staying along the bay. Crushed gravel either way, but it felt good to have the resistance and the cruise instead of the steady flatness (Shouldn’t that be a TMBG song?)

I finished at 8:25/mile for 3.25 miles (always gotta add on a little bit extra to what’s on the schedule).

Dunno if I’m sick, which is one of the eternal annoyances. I went to bed early last night, and slept like a rock until the alarm went off this morning. Didn’t feel great, even though I got plenty of sleep. But, didn’t feel sick enough to stay home.

I think running was the right decision. I’d made it through a couple of meetings this morning without strangling anyone, and had a presentation to work on in the afternoon. So, sneaking out into the cold was critical for the soul, and let me miss a couple of phone calls which quickly could have sunk my afternoon.

Scaling back to the half marathon schedule, and approaching it as a beginner again seems to be a smart call. I finished the prescribed runs for last week, and haven’t felt the “bad” sore, just a good, steady dose of well-used muscles. And the joints have been feeling good in the cold, cold mornings, which wasn’t the case when I was pushing hard.

So, I think that I’ve honed in on where my fitness is at present. Which is a change – usually, I’m trying to push too hard, and it sneaks up on me and bites me in the butt.

The tale of the scale? That’s another discussion to have, hopefully once I’ve turned the tide on the tummy. (I’ve been failing at WWME)


A wise man I know once pointed out that there really is no steady-state in business. In his view, a business either needs to be growing, or it is in a period of decline.

There’s an analogy there to running in that we’re either getting fitter or less fit as the case may be.

Why do we forget the good ones?

We’ve had an unseasonably warm snap up here this weekend. So, when it was 40 degrees and somewhat sunny (with alternating snow clouds) after church this afternoon, I conned Jake into throwing his bike on the back of the car, and driving into downtown for a 5 miler.

I’ve revised my goal for Oklahoma City – no longer aiming at the marathon, but shooting for crushing the half (under 2 hours being defined as “crushing” in my case). I’m also pitching RLRF until I finish the half. The consistent base mileage I’ve been looking for needs to get into my legs.

We started heading north up the river, gentle breeze in our faces. About a mile north, we pulled over – Jake’d left his gloves in the car, so I gave him mine as I’d heated up a bit. Under the bridge, and at about the second mile, Jake said “My knees are cold”.

Lucky for him, we’d hit the couple of hills up by the old Catholic cemetery. Jake made it up all the hills for the first time (yeah!) with just one tiny push, and the ride back into town was peachy.

There’s something great about running with the boy. Time to talk, time to push. Tough not to connect.

We wrapped up with a little bit of coffee and hot cocoa before we headed back to the house. Good times, good times.