The Road to Richmond: Tapering is More Fun with Zombies (Week 13)

img_4181It’s getting close. I got my bib number in an email from Richmond this week, logistics are worked out, and I re-filled my stockpile of Huma gels. The goals now are just to finish my training plan and get rested for the marathon.

I hit the targets for my two workouts this week, and the other runs went well but were remarkable. At this point one of my challenges is not getting bored. I’m trying some mindfulness activities to focus on segments of runs that keep me distracted, but this week I found at least one better way to change things up and keep running fun.

Continue reading “The Road to Richmond: Tapering is More Fun with Zombies (Week 13)”

The Road to Richmond: Back on Track (Week Eight)

A few weeks ago I realized I needed to cut a week out of my training as I had miscounted the weeks leading up to my race. My plan alternates hard and “step-back” weeks, and it seemed to make sense to knock out a “step-back” week. This meant I would have one set of hard weeks back-to-back, and this was the second half of the set. I am now back on track, but I am also very tired.

This week also marked a switch from speed to strength workouts. This means my paces are a little slower but the trade-off is that the intervals are longer. This week it was six one-mile repeats. I thought that would be tougher mentally, but I liked the repetition after sprinting for the past seven weeks. Some of the strength workouts are longer, though, and I will have to decide if I want to keep those on the track or move to the road.

Continue reading “The Road to Richmond: Back on Track (Week Eight)”

On the Sidelines: Experiencing the 2016 Sir Walter Miler

As much as I enjoy track and field, I hadn’t been to a meet since I last ran in one as a senior in high school. I watched the Olympics every four years, but that was my only contact with the sport.  A lot has changed in track since the 90’s, though. One of the cooler trends is the growth of small meets centered on the mile that bring the crowd closer to the athletes and give elite athletes a chance to run stateside instead of overseas.

Since 2014 (not counting the pilot in 2013) Raleigh has been fortunate to host one of these events, the Sir Walter Miler, which brings a men’s and women’s field of elite runners to town in early August to race on the track at Meredith University.  The Sir Walter includes a few races with local flavor (this year it was a Raleigh vs. Durham open mile and a run club 4 x 400m relay), but the highlight is being able to line both sides of the track as spectators for the elite races.

I remembered seeing coverage of this in the News and Observer in the past, but hadn’t been able to attend. I circled it on the calendar this year and signed up to volunteer to give myself extra incentive to get out there.

Continue reading “On the Sidelines: Experiencing the 2016 Sir Walter Miler”

I’m Set for Icebreakers: NoG Run Club Flip Flop Run (2016)

Last Saturday Monkey and I participated in the nOg Run Club’s World’s Largest Flip Flop Run at Bond Brothers’ Beer Company in downtown Cary. This is the second such event put on by the club and has the goal of setting the world record for the most people to run in a 1k thong sandal race. I thought it might be fun, and my son agreed to go along.

Continue reading “I’m Set for Icebreakers: NoG Run Club Flip Flop Run (2016)”

Global Running Day

The first Wednesday in June is Global Running Day. I didn’t know it was a thing until this year, and when I first saw it pop up in my Twitter feed I had my doubts that it mattered.

Since I am in the mode of saying “yes” to running experiences, though, I thought I would try to make something of it. When Andrea brought up the fact that the next day was Global Running Day, I saw an opening and we decided to take the kids on a one mile run the following morning.

I woke up early and went for my usual run, except in the humidity of the early June morning I felt terrible. My splits got longer and longer and my energy waned towards the end of the run. When I got home Andrea was ready to go and rolled our kids out of bed.

Our youngest child is always up for a run, meaning that he will happily ride in the stroller. The older kids (7 and 6 respectively) were nonplussed. They were groggy and both really wanted breakfast instead, especially when faced with the injustice of their younger brother happily eating a cereal bar.   Our oldest son rolled around on the floor groaning. Our daughter decided to bring the drama. When we told Howler he was the coach for the run, Cottontail claimed to be the second coach, sending her little brother into a meltdown of tears and screams. Over the din of “I’m the coaaacccchh”, my wife and I exchanged glances that said we both questioned whether the family run would happen.

We got everyone out the door, though, and did a simple mile run/walk around the lake in our neighborhood. No pressure on anybody, just running. We stopped to look at a turtle in the path. Our oldest son could have run longer or faster, but he stopped several times to wait and encourage his mother and sister (Andrea was trying to pull Cottontail along). This was my slowest mile of the day, but it was also the best. Despite how we felt when we talked out the door, we all had smiles on our face when we returned.

The next morning I was about to leave for a short run.  The “coach” was happy to go along in the stroller, but my oldest son also wanted to go, pushing himself a little farther to run/walk two miles. I didn’t ask or plead. I don’t know if he always will want to or be able to come along, but I really enjoyed sharing the course with him the past two days.

Next year, I think we will probably circle the date on the calendar and plan something a little more. No matter what I thought before, any excuse to bring us or others together running is a good one.

“You Running Miles, Daddy?”

Our youngest son, Howler (I’m choosing to use pseudonyms for my kids), is two and in the past few months has started stringing sentences together. He is also the child that is most enthusiastic about sports. Last weekend, for example, he asked for golf instead of cartoons when we flipped through channels.

When I was training for my first marathon, he expressed the most interest of the three kids. When I would fall across the threshold after a long run (at least once literally), he would often barrel across the floor to greet me, stopping a few feet away to ask:

“You running marathon?”

When I said “no” he came back with a follow-up:

“You running miles, daddy?”

I’d say “yes” and then he would run back across the room to pretend to be a dinosaur, or he’d laugh and try to bounce on my stomach during my post-run stretches. It was something his mother and I laughed about, but like everything at this age, moments pass quickly. He’s already shortened his question to “you went running?” when we return from a run and now uses “mom” and “dad” (it seems too early for that) when talking to us.

When I thought about what I would want to call this blog, the phrase immediately appeared on the list of options and was the only one my wife and I both liked. It’s one of my favorite memories from marathon training and embodies a spirit of running as something shared by family and friends. We won’t necessarily run the same races (or at the same pace or even run at all), but we can always ask each other if we are running miles, share a conversation, and then run off to pretend to be dinosaurs.