Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

10K+ and Waldo Canyon

School District (38) Fun Run this Saturday (Starts at LP High School at 9 am).  A 5k and 10K, starts at the same time.   Not signed up yet, not sure who in the family is doing it or which distance.  Possible that I run the 5k w/ one of the kids and as they finish I continue with the 10k.  I enjoy running with my kids, I think they still like running with me.

Tuesday late afternoon I ran what I thought was the full course according to the event website.  First 5k was right around 3.1 miles, however the next 5k was 3.9 miles - and had a decent 300+ foot climb.  So, maybe I didn't get the course right.  In any case, it's for a good cause as we have all 3 kids in school and their school's get partial proceeds.  So hopefully there will be a good turnout - for this inaugural event.

Yesterday I ran Waldo Canyon - has been several years since I had been in there, in fact I remember having to piggyback the smallest of our kids for a lot of it when we were there years ago.  We also never made it all the way round the loop - going only about a quarter mile of it (takes about 1 3/4 miles to get to the loop start).

So, I ran it yesterday not really knowing what I was getting into - the sign at the trailhead says 6.2 miles.  It is more like 7.  Sensing a theme for the last 2 days: 6.2 mile course actually being 7.  No big deal as I took my time, albeit some reason for that was the decent climbing necessary.  But finished in 1:18 and change. 

Probably should have taken water with me as it was warm and I usually carry water if I am going over an hour.  But as mentioned, I didn't push too hard and enjoyed the trail and views.  Not too many hikers on the trail, once I got away from Hwy 24 it was quite peaceful. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Ramblings / The Dark Side

Mindless (and possibly useless) ramblings.....
* In a further attempt to prove that I am not that smart - I went for a 10+ mile run yesterday.  Start time 6:15 pm.  Finish time 7:45.  Sunset was about 7.  Couldn't see a thing for the last few miles.  Nice easy pace (on the dirt roads) and I had fun.

*Before it got dark I saw 3 dead snakes on the road.  Seeing 3 snakes is 3 too many for me.  Seeing 3 dead ones is not enough though - I am allergic to seeing snakes.  Not a fan at all.

* My 2 oldest kids play (so called) competitive soccer.  After a 9-1 result on Saturday (we won) in which my kid scored 2 goals - he says: "I think I want to try football".  Kid - that ain't happening.

* No soccer this coming weekend - school district has a community 5k and 10k fun run that the whole family may do.  Not sure what I'll do, who to run with (in my family) or if I'll try to run competitively.

* The Rugby World Cup continues in New Zealand.  For those of you keeping score, the latest result was Wales beating Namibia 81-7.  Tomorrow USA plays Italy and Canada plays Japan.  I have not seen any of the games.  I'm curious enough to check results but have not and will likely not see any games.

* It may just be me - but in the past week and a half I have seen 4 car accidents, within a few minutes (my guess no more than 15 minutes for each of them) after they happened.  3 of them were rollovers.   Are people just getting to be worse drivers?  Or am I just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

* On a lighter note..... some driving school bloopers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

9/18 - 9/24 Week in review

32 miles running for the week, just over 5 hours all told. Also had 2 rides on the (stationary) bike totalling 10 miles.  The Pony Express 14 1/2 miles last Sunday was my longest run since the marathon back in May.  Wednesday was a good run revisiting the Summer Roundup 12K course.  Did a 2 1/2 mile 8 min avg pace run on Thursday - was a bit of a struggle for some reason.  Then yesterday before 2 kids soccer games I got a 7 1/2 miler in that included a mile at 8 min, another mile at 7:30 and a half mile at 6:35 - which about blew a foo foo valve on me.

4 runs a week and about 30 miles per week seems good right now.  Some weeks will likely be less, a few may be more.  Both of my knees really don't like going fast downhill - probably arthritis / synovitis / age.  I am really not able to maintain much of any tempo faster than 8 min miles on flat ground.  The faster tempos yesterday had some downhill assistance. 

I would like to be faster in the hopes that if and when 5 and 10K's come along I can improve PR's - probably should try more speed / tempos / repeats to get there, but I am finding that I really don't like those compared to shuffling along on trails, enjoying the scenery.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer Roundup trail run revisted

July 12th was when this 12K trail took place.  2 days after it I had my knee scoped (torn meniscus).  I did the race only because it was part of a series (Triple Crown).  In hindsight it wasn't that smart - but I have never been accused of being the smartest guy in the room. 

On race day I started at the very back of the crowd, knee all bandaged up, and hobbled my way through and completed it.  It was my most frustrating race I have ever been in.  Mostly because the year before I had finished just under 64 mins and this year I had dreams of beating 60.

That wasn't possible with the knee issues this year.  I thought I might feel good about myself if I just finished it, knowing that it would be just an achievement to finish.  I finished and was just plain grumpy - like someone had stole my cookies.

Last night I revisited the course, while #12 was at his soccer practice just down the street.  A mile into it, when I knew I had started out too fast - but could care less as I was bent on revenge - I felt a sharp needle like pain just above my sock line / lower calf.  I slowed and looked down and a bee had just stung me.  I didn't see the bee but the stinger was hanging there.  Owwww.

I was smart enough to brush it off rather then grab at it to push further poison or whatever it is into my leg.  But still it hurt - like someone had stole my cookies and then stabbed me in the leg so I couldn't chase them.

So the option to stop was there, I have only been stung a few times in my life, was confident I am not allergic to bee stings - although I am allergic to sharp stinging pains.

All this happened within the span of less than a minute and really I didn't spend too much time deciding what to do.  I continued on with my run.  It was uncomfortable, occasional squirts of needle like pain at times were more annoying than anything.

Anyway, about 1900' feet of climbing up and back later I crossed the finish 21 minutes faster than when I had back in July.  It was still 5 or so minutes slower than my kid had run that day, but 70 minutes was enough to make me satisfied.

I'd like to do that a few more times before winter (without a bee sting), although the downhills are not not fun on the knees - so I will be careful not to do it too often. 

I have a few more "revenge" revisiting runs I would like to do this year - runs / races that I either missed or was not able to do at full capacity due to the knee.  

May not happen as I still am nowhere near fully fit, I have absolutely no speed.  I do seem to have a decent endurance base and can take on hills (uphill) okay.   It doesn't take me too long to remind myself to just "enjoy running - not everything is a race".  It is nice however to get "revenge" - even if it does hurt a bit.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pony Express 15mi Trail Run

Ran this yesterday.  Course started with about 1 1/2 miles from county road down to the water, then a full lap of Rampart Reservoir with the finish back up 1 1/2 miles to the road.  Total distance was closer to 14 1/2 miles.

The first and last section was on a forestry service road, the lap of the reservoir was rolling single track including a few rock scrambles.  Ran also along the (paved road) dam for about 2/3rds of a mile.

Was very scenic and enjoyable to run, less than 80 runners, only $6 and each finisher got a horseshoe.  1180' of going up, same down.  I ran like a tourist, 2:26 ish.  I have never run a race before taking photos - and it shows, some a little blurry.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The younger days

It was just a few months ago - meaning this Spring when I was in good shape - when 9 minute miles felt kind of slow to me. The last few weeks on most of my runs, 9 minute miles is about as good as it gets.  I can go faster, but not for very long.  My reality is I ain't young no more.  Not much comes easy - if it does, it sure does not come very fast.

I'm mostly okay with that however.  Two reasons: 1) at least I can run, for which I am grateful. 2) Faster times and pace will (hopefully / eventually) come. I'm okay with just putting in miles now. Don't need to, don't want to add speed and miles at the same time - avoiding overcooking.

For the second week in a row, I have run 2 days in a row, sort of.  Trying a trick on myself.  Ran early Monday morning (7.5 miles at 9 min pace) and then again this evening - 6 miles with those 4 1/4 mile hill repeats again.  Overall average was again 9 min miles.  Spreading out the back to back days runs to more like a day and a half apart seemed to work out for me.

The hill repeats tonight were better than last Thursday.  Taking the average from the 4 tonight and comparing to last week was 7 seconds faster average.  Cool weather, it was also nearly completely dark, lightly raining and I had a bit of a nose bleed for a few miles. 

By the time I got home inside I was a bit of a mess - took the wet shirt off and lay on the floor.  My oldest daughter noticed a scar on my belly - from where I had my appendix taken out a few years back. "Daddy", she asked, "is that where they took out your independix?"

A little later, was tucking into bed my youngest daughter (she is 6) and I asked how her day was. Her immediate response - without blinking an eye, quote: "Drew (also 6) has a crush on me, but he was doing his homework so I just gave him a hug anyway".  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - or have words with this Drew kid at her school.

Bought a new tune for the ipod - catchy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A country mile and more

I believe a "country mile" is considered as " a very long way", more than an actual mile.  Kind of like a "bakers dozen" is 13, rather than 12.  In any case - I managed to run a country mile today.  That, for me, was 12 miles in the country.

9 min average pace, 1hr 48 mins overall and just over 920' of climbing on the rolling hills.  Was a bit of a struggle at times, especially the last mile or so.  But something that I feel good about.

Total for the week: 4 runs totalling 33 1/2 miles for just over 5 hours of running.  I have not run that distance in a week since the 3rd week of May which was my Marathon week.  So, I am happy with a good week.  Not sure if I want to, or can, get any more distance each week - will see how things go.

Friday, September 9, 2011

6 miles with hill repeats = groan

Since the knee surgery about 2 months ago I have not run on back to back days.  Late yesterday I did get another run in, coming the day after a somewhat successful 8 miles on the Greenland Trail, I got a few miles in near home. 

There is a small hill, a little less than a 100' climb for 1/4 mile that is nearby - is good for hill repeats.  I did these a fair amount this Spring but have done none since.

2 miles warm up then 4 repeats - I tried, but was unable to get any kind of push uphill on any of the 4 attempts.  A few factors I think involved...... had run fairly hard the day before, a sugar rush from a packet of Jelly Beans earlier that afternoon had worn off, I'm running a little heavy - about 4 to 5 pounds up since the Marathon in May, then there was that surgery thing - but I feel it is almost about time to stop using that as an excuse.

2 miles after to bring the total to 6 miles.  A lot slower than when I did these in the Spring, but I'm still happy with being able to get the run in and feel quite good this morning.  Will take today as a rest day and should be able to get out tomorrow morning for a decent run before the kids soccer games.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Greenland Trail 8 misty miles

Was able to get a run in late yesterday and did a loop of the Greenland Trail 8 mile course.  Started at 6 pm, 50 degree temp, calling it either low clouds or high mist and for a welcome change for that area: no wind = all in all great weather to run in.

Started out averaging 8:45 to 8:50 pace along the gradual uphill for the first 3 1/3 miles.  Between there and the 5 mile point is more noticeable uphills, but nothing like the Barr Trail or PP Highway.  Slowed a little during that stretch, but only to an average pace of 9:05. 

Despite being a little wet due to the moisture and sweat, I was feeling quite good and started the downward last 3 mile stretch with only a little discomfort in the knees.   Was kind of cool to look across to I-25 and see the car lights in the distance in the mist / fog / clouds sending out fingers of light.

The next 2 miles I gradually bought the average pace down to 8:50 and for the last mile I set the lap timer to see if I could push the pace for a solid mile.  Since the knee surgery 2 months ago I have been able to run fairly well on uphills and for distance / endurance - but have not had any sort of speed, nor have I tried to push any kind of faster pace.  All those are relative to me - I'm faster than some, others are much more capable and faster than me.  I don't really compare myself with others speed etc - I do like to compare myself with my previous efforts.

So, I set out in the last mile to push as hard as I could, with the possibility at times of having my late lunch come back up as I pressed  through the last mile - I managed to do it in 7 minutes flat.  Not blazing speed - but decent after already doing 7 miles, albeit that last mile was somewhat downhill.

Total time for the 8 miles was 1:08:40.  Very happy with that.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor day Weekend

At times I think the concept of a 3 day weekend each week is full of merit.  Gives time to rest, work and get some running in.  This weekend was one of those and I liked it.

Got a couple of runs in - Saturday 9 1/2 miles around the neighborhood at a comfortable 9 minute pace.  Then this morning my son and I drove to Black Forest Regional Park and ran around the spaghetti trails - meaning they seem to and often do go all over the place - 7 1/2 miles.  He ran the first 4 then jumped on his bike for the rest with me.  Was fun, we took it nice and easy.  Was good to get out with him running again because it had been way too long.

This was the weekend to scrub out and take down the pool.  Got some sunburn with that.  Did some mowing.  Rebuilt 40 feet of fence to keep the dog in - which after finishing it did the job well - until I realized I left the gate open, she came back about an hour later.  Oops.

Played a few back yard soccer games and drills with the kids - they didn't have any games this weekend - which was nice.  Some grilling, Apple pie and ice cream.  A Sunday afternoon nap.

A good weekend overall.  However it is 7:30 pm and I am ready to go to bed.