Friday, August 31, 2007


So here it is Friday and I as the day goes along I am getting more and more angry with myself. You see I did what every runner knows is a cardinal sin. I talked myself out of a run! For no good reason. Just pure laziness! Now I know that missing one day of training is not that big of a deal, but that isn't the issue. The issue is letting, or more to the point making it happen.

The weakest link in my running chain is my head. I am not as tough mentally as I need to be. During every tough run I have ever had my mind gives in before my body. Time to change that!! No more excuses. Time to put up or shut up!! Under 100 days until marathon number 2 and I need to get to work if I am going to do this in under 4:30.

Another short rant by the grey haired fat guy!!!


Thursday, August 30, 2007


So here is a question for my 10's of readers out there. Why is it that when I did three 1 mile repeats at roughly a 9 minute pace (8:40, 8:45, 9:13), I damn near puked when I got done. Then last night I do 3 miles in 27:47, which by my math is 9:16 pace. Does 15 seconds really mean that much? I wasn't even really tired when I finished last night. (Scratching the top of my head like Stan Laurel).

Here is my only body does not like to slow down. When we do speed work the recovery period in between the workout is usually 440 yds. at a slow jog. My workouts are always fastest times first, opposite of what I want. By the time I finish my last recovery jog I have had it and getting back up to and maintaining speed is very difficult. It is somewhat like people who take planned walk breaks every 8 minutes or every mile. I can't do that! The first walk break is ok, but by mile 3 I just can't get my body back into running again.

I really enjoy the speed work, but it is frustrating me. Any ideas????


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


One of my biggest character defects is lack of patience. Not only with others, but with myself. I had a really good speed workout yesterday, but I left feeling frustrated with my time. We did 3 one mile repeats...8.29 8.50 9.13 So about 9 minute average. Which was my target so in that respect I was happy. That is the problem, I want to be faster!! NOW!! Now I understand it is unrealistic to think I can just go out and run 7 minute pace, but increasing by 10 seconds here and there is maddening. Was in the band Queen that said "I want it all, I want it now!"
Other than just running faster I don't know what to do. I need to lose some more weight I know that will help, but again a pound here, a pound there. It sure didn't take this long to put the weight on!!! My body seems to like the speed, but my lungs will not cooperate. I guess 15 years of smoking will do that a person. The speed work on Tuesday helps and I know it will start to happen. I will all of sudden see the weight loss and my time will creep down, but I aint getting any younger!!!
Just a short rant by a grey haired dad with a big belly!!


Monday, August 27, 2007


Bleary eyed and stiff I made it out the door at 6:15 Saturday morning and headed right for 7/11 for a coffee. Once on the road I became increasingly aware that I had no idea where I needed to go. I mean sure, I knew the general area and there were so many people that I figured I could just follow the crowd. The problem with that logic is the crowd was going in every direction at once. As usual though my worries were for not and I got my number and T-shirt, went back to the car grabbed a quick drink of water and headed to the start area. Once there I was happily surprised to find the Team in Training folks. As the time approached for the race to begin we squeezed as close to the road as possible, which because of the mass of people, wasn't very close. The 'herd' started moving and we were off.

Coach Ken, more on him in a minute, and I ran for the first 2 miles and because of the number of runners had no choice but to maintain a 10 minute pace. After he pulled aside to pick up some other runners I ran alone for some time. Well not alone, in the Crim you are never really alone. This was the first race that I was dodging people the entire time. I felt good leading into the hilly portion of the race, which begins at mile 5 and up I went. Last year I walked the better part of the uphills at this point and one of my goals was not to do it again. And lo and behold I didn't. Short steps and relaxed arms did the trick and before I knew it I was through the rough section and heading down hill. At this point I had only a rough idea how I was doing for time becasue my did not like the rain we got before the start and was not working, but I knew my goal of 1:35:00 was out of reach. I realize that I set goals a little too high sometime at this point, but I was ok with it. It was also here, between miles 6 and 7 that I realized something else. I need new shoes!!! My left foot started to really hurt and it was at this point I started walking here and there. I readjusted my goal, which was now to beat my best 10 mile time of 1:48 and with two miles to go I was at 1:29. I felt like I could do it, but I needed help.

Just under a mile to go I got that help, Coach Ken. I passed him as he was looking for runners and he asked how I was doing and I told him not good, but go find someone else who really needed help. Luckily he didn't listen!! Now to him it was probably nothing, but to me the 20 seconds or so he spent with me made the race. By this time the demon in my head was winning and I was bearly moving forward. "stand up straight, don't look down, look ahead, find a rhythmn." Rhythmn, that really woke me up and there it was. I was back! But it was the last he said that really inspired me. As he pealed off to find other runners he said pick someone ahead of me who is running the same pace and catch them. Because, he said, there were people behind me doing the same thing!!

So, I looked up and saw her. A bright orange tank top, speed walking about 20 meters ahead of me. I had been with her for about 3 miles and I decided there was no way a walker was going to beat me. I am not sure at what point I passed her but it was the strongest finish to any race to date and I came in at 1:44. Almost a full hour behind the winner!!! But because of Ken's 20 seconds I felt great! For what you and the other coaches do for us is beyond words. Thank you so much and thanks for the beers afterwards!!

So with my number drying on the dash and my cho-pats hanging from the rear view mirror I drove home thankful. Thankful for be able to run 10 miles, thankful for the people who pushed me when I needed it, and thankful for the signs when I got home saying way to go Bob. Your #1 Dad!!! Fast as Lightning!!! You did it!! No, you did it, because there is no way I make it without ya.....thank you so much for doing that it made my day!!!!


Friday, August 24, 2007


Compared to a few days ago I am feeling great! Most of the head cold is gone and I am looking forward to Saturday, with some trepidation still, but looking forward none-the-less. I think it helped me to look back on my post from last year. Which I will re-post now...

originally posted Aug 29, 2006
NOT JUST ANOTHER 10 MILE RACEFor the last few days every time I attempt to write something of interest here it just ends up being gibberish and I decide to quit. Today I need to get this back into gear, because I need to get my running back in gear. After a week I just as soon forget, I woke to the alarm at 4:45 Saturday morning. Blearry eyed I managed to make it into the bathroom and threw some water on my face, brush my teeth, and stretch my old bones. I got my running clothes on, kissed the kids and headed out the door. Great it's raining! Back into the house for the wind breaker/rain suit. 1st stop coffee, 7-11 big brew and a energy bar. The 30 minutes or so it took me to get to our meeting place was filled with this thought, 'How am I going to get through this?' My food intake for the week was way, way below what it had been and my sleep, well let just say Thomas Edison would have been proud. I was the first to arrive at Big Buck, so I decided to wake some people up, it was after all 5:30AM on Saturday who would still be sleeping? After a while the others arrived and we piled into Christy's Envoy and we were off. The others were Steve, Russ, Matt, Christy and myself. Just in case you were wondering. As we pulled into the YWCA parking lot I could feel the anticipation building in my gut. The 5 minute walk to the registration building was filled with the sites of racers just milling about, warming up, people setting up tents, etc. Registration went without a hitch and it was back to the car to drop off everything I didn't need. As amazed as I was we found some other people from Team in Training and before I knew it we were herding toward the start line. Fast forward to mile 3 and I knew it was going to be a long day. My arms and legs were already tingling and I could almost feel my body burning muscle instead of fuel. Somewhere at mile 4 or 5 I lost myself in a crowd and let Margarita go on without me. I had held her up enough. Thanks for helping me get through those first few miles!!!! From this point on it was just a matter of would I finish not when. 1:52:07 after my chip beeped I crossed the finish line. It was like a scene from a movie. There I am, barely able to walk looking for any familar face. To the left, the right, half hoping to see my family there to surprise me, but alas. I really started to feel sorry for myself until realized how many people were saying way to go nd good for you. Everyone seemed genuninely happy for me. Funny how things happen like that. So that was that, my first Crim, my first big race. Even though I was extemely disapointed in my performance I understand why it happenned and will learn from it. Thanks to everyone for the pep talk before, during and after the race. You folks help me more than you know. Oh and by the way, next year... 1:35:00 here I come!

My plan is a simple a good pasta dinner tonight, get a good nights rest and run the first 5 miles in 50 minutes. If I can do that I might actually be able to to hit 1:35. Hopefully I will see lots of people I know and those of you who are going, if I don't see ya have a great race. See ya in the beer line!!!


Thursday, August 23, 2007


Or maybe I am just cursed! I officially signed up for the Crim yesterday and almost immediately I got sick!!! Typical head cold, running nose, scratchy throat, watering eyes. ARGH! How am I supposed to run 10 miles Saturday with a head full of cold??!!??
I guess it could be worse, I could be way under trained and out of shape...oh wait a minute...

I also wanted to mention that this Sunday is the start of the "Binge". The binge is an annual golf outing I usually go on. It is called the binge for two reasons.. one...4 days of golf, 28 guys and a quick story. A few years back, actually more than a few, the 28 of us were in the hotel bar where we were staying that year and last call rolled around. The bartender told us that we could, if we wanted to, purchase beer to take with us!! A sort of carry out service. Well after some conversation he asked if we would like anything. 12 cases of beer later we were off to our rooms!!! I am relatively certain he still talks about us!!!! The other is Bingen is the last name of the 'chairman'. Drop the e and there ya go! Because of several reasons, not the least of which is financial, I am not going this year and I am starting feel sad. The same group of guys have been going now for 25 plus years and this is the only time I get to see some of them. Maybe next year!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


As in tattoos... I have been for some time now trying to get ideas for a running based tattoo and I am having no luck. Does anyone know of or have examples of such tats? I would love to see them. I am going to incorporate a tattoo into my Honolulu trip in December.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Simply put I am not ready. I have not put in the necessary miles. Ready for what you might ask? The Crim...
The Crim is a 10 mile race here in Michigan and it was my first "big" event last year. Last year I had a terrible week heading into the race. I lost almost 10 pounds and did not eat for the better part of a week before the race. Needless to say I did not fare well and finished just shy of 2 hours. That being said I felt more prepared last year than I do now.
I have only one double digit run in..THIS YEAR!!!!
If I get 15 miles in a week I am doing good.
I am heavier by almost 15 pounds than last year...
But as I write this I have decided to do it, why??? Not entirely sure. I think it has to do with getting the bad taste out of my mouth from last year. As I finished last year's race I was physically and mentally spent. More so than any other race, including my marathon.

So preparation be damned!!!! But if you see me...give us a push I may need it!!!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Writers block sucks!!!! Not sure how people who write for a living do it?!!?

Anyhow, training is what it is. Did some speed workouts yesterday and felt pretty good about it. We did 1mile, 1/2 mile, 1mile repeats with 660 jog rest in between. I was under 9 minute pace for all three, which is fast for me!! I also went out to Stony Creek last Saturday for my teams first group training. It was nice to see some new faces as well as the old ones, no offense Ken!!! For those of you not from around here, Stony Creek is a Metro Park here in Michigan. Metro parks are places set aside that have picnic areas, beaches, lakes, golf courses and yes running paths. They are maintained by the state and there is a small fee to use them. The "loop" at Stony is 6 miles and that is what i did on Saturday. Scary how hard 6 miles was, but I can feel progress and I am sure it would help if I was training on a regular basis!!! I may have mentioned it before, but I am not a patient man and this whole getting back into shape thing sucks!!!
As I said, however, it is what it is and every mile helps!!

Thanks for stopping in!

Friday, August 10, 2007


As I mentioned in my last entry I entered this week totally fired up about training, running, and basically getting back into shape. I was ready to get some serious miles in both alone and with the group. Well wouldn't know Mr. Murphy decided to pay me a visit. Everything seemed to conspire against me and I have only been able to get out once this week! Weeks like this are frustrating, not only because of the lack of training, but because they seem to never have existed. They days go by so quickly I am amazed that today is Friday already.
On a happier note I did meet a few of my team members on Wednesday at the Team in Training kick off meeting as well as a few of the mentors. I was happy to find out that my mentor was Dana, with I trained for my last marathon with. I should mention, for anyone who doesn't know, that I am training and fundraising with TNT. We raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to one day find a cure!!!
Tomorrow is our first team group run so with any luck I will have a report on Monday!


Monday, August 06, 2007


I have never been the type of person to do something for the sake of doing it. I have pretty much always needed a push, a reason, a coach, etc. Running has been no different for me. I have met countless people who, for most of their lives, have been runners. For no other reason than that is what they are. There have also been people who were drawn into running by something that happened to them or to a loved one and because of that they have become runners. Even though I have always been athletic in some form or another for most of my life I would not call myself a runner. It is not an obsession, if I take a week off I do not crave or miss it. I ran for a brief stint years ago because some friends of mine decided to start running, but like most things it didn't last. Then this past year after quitting smoking I decided to run so I wouldn't gain weight. Even with that in mind I still needed more so I joined TNT and for the better part of 5 months I was a runner. Then after my event I reverted back to being the non-running Bob, excuse making Bob, Lazyboy Bob!
I am not sure why I say this now other than maybe just say it. To get it off my chest and start over fresh. I am back to running again and it feel great both physically and mentally, but still the push isn't there like it was last year. that is until yesterday.
The 2006 Ironman from Hawaii was on TV and I just happen to catch it. This was the first time since I started running that I have seen any type of endurance event and the stories to go along with it. Call it fate or carma or intervention, but timing is everything!!! The first bit of inspiration I saw was team Hoyt. For those of you who are unfamilar with them please take a second and check out the attached link. What an amazing man! My wife Beth was down stairs doing some cleaning and I called her up to see their story. She said "thanks" for calling me up to see that and I think that is well said.
Next was an army officer who, while in Iraq had his foot blown off by a land mine. Then there was sister Madonna, a 76 year old nun participating in her 20th Iron man and then there was the story of Jon Blais and Brian Breen. In 2005 Jon Blais ran in the Ironman to promote awareness and raise money for ALS, which he had. One of the things he said while doing an interview back then was he would finish even if they had to roll him over the finish line. Well he finished and he rolled himself over the line. By the time the 2006 event came around he was confined to a wheelchair and could no longer walk let alone run. So in stepped tri-athlete Brian Breen, who before 2005 had never heard of Jon Blais. In 2006 however, he was running, biking and swimming for ALS. And how did he finish? Yep, he rolled himself over the line! Man how can I ever complain about cramps, quads, blisters, headaches again! Seriously?!!??
So this week starts my second trek into marathoning and I have a whole new set of challenges and goals. A new set of expectations and people behind me. Unlike last year my goal is not to just finish, but to make a difference. And in case I don't say it later... thanks!!! Thanks to the coaches, my team, the people I saw yesterday on TV and especially to my wife and kids. Without you I am nothing.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I signed the dotted line on my second marathon yesterday! Honolulu in December!!! Once again I am raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team in Training. Here is a link to my fundraising web page....

More to come.....