Jan 30 2013

Finding the time for a long run

Well forget trying to find the time and energy to complete a long run… how about the time and energy for a run of any sort… that I would be happy with, or perhaps even time to get a blog post done? There’s a good start. Well making the most of every second I’m writing this from volleyball practice. Yeah – that kind of volleyball… I’m sure plenty of you are familiar: the kind that runs year-round through every season and just never quits. That’s ok though, for the most part its fun… except we have two in it… and another in boyscouts… uh, dance, basketball, etc, etc, yadda yadda you know the rest. Our schedules are packed to the brim every week. Somehow I do squeeze in some runs though.

Last week I wasn’t writing from volleyball… I was running! You just never know where you’ll find a nice run. Last week it was about 35, dark and stormy, windy. I thought as I was leaving — I don’t care! I’ll just run around the parking lot. Well I started doing some laps in the parking lot yes, but I soon found a decent enough sidewalk and heading back the other direction for a while – ran into a nice park that I had forgotten was there!

You can see the parking lots in the upper left and the riverfront park in the lower right:

VB Run
And here’s all the run details for that matter:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/265408141

You can always see an RSS feed of all my runs here too: http://www.runsometimes.com/statistics/ – as well as some other junk. That way you can always keep tabs on me. If I say I took a 20 mile long run, well you can look and check. Only a few obscure scenarios would lead to one of my runs being missing from that list:

1) I forgot my Garmin… not likely… but it *has* happened… and at Hospital Hill (2011) no less! I think that’s the one major race I ever forgot to take it to. Boy did I beat myself up over that one. It’s really made me remember it since then. You know what though? Everything turned out ok. (not really).

2) Garmin dead. This happens all the time. One because its old and I’ve used the hell out of it… and also because sometimes I forget to charge it. Normally I will even postpone a run for just a little bit though to take it and it can survive the run. It really is starting to show its age though. 416 runs with it as of today since July 13, 2008. It’s getting to where it dies about 17 miles into a trail run, or more recently this past October at 12 miles into the 2012 KC Marathon. Hmmm… that doesn’t bode well for a half-marathon does it. Might need to get that replaced before then… stay tuned for that adventure — glad I reminded myself!

Uh… where was I. Hmm… scenario 3 not to have… oh yeah:

3) I ran it on the treadmill. 20 miler? Hah! Not likely… but believe it or not I’ve done it before. Well, ran about 3 hours on the treadmill anyway. That’s kinda fun… in a sadistic sort of way if you want to try it sometime.

Ok so point is… if I say I ran that long run, I probably did, unless I didn’t, in which case no one cares anyway.

So now REALLY let’s see where were we? Well I had just completed that really nice run last week by planning on running laps in a casino parking lot but ended up on the river and through a park! You just never know where that mediocre run is going to take you!

Now why am I blogging tonight instead of running here again?

It’s a tad colder for one.

For two I REALLY needed to get this blog post done and I had some time tonight of course…. why the crunch for time? Well I’m going on a cruise soon… and I don’t plan on blogging while cruising… at all. What I do plan on doing is running though. I’ve never been on a cruise before so I was wondering about the running… do people run on the deck? The people I’ve asked (none of whom were runners, but all were cruise veterans) said “yes! they saw those stupid runners on the decks constantly and were constantly almost being run into by them! why do you ask?” oh no reason… except I plan on running those decks too… hopefully. Anyone here experienced (runner *and* cruiser)? Oh I’ll be relaxing some too of course I’m sure and doing whatever else it is you do on a cruise… I know we’re gonna be on some beaches… and guess what I plan on doing there? That’s right!! More running!!! And check THIS out! When I’m done I’ll hop in the ocean! Kabam, yeah I got that one!

Third reason I’m not running tonight…. Well I did do that 13 mile long run earlier.

So you see, the moral of the story is no matter if you are stuck at volleyball practice for two hours, or stuck on some ridiculous ship in the Caribbean in February, you can always find time to run.*

*(I’ll know for sure about the latter when I get back… and I will be sure to tell you all about it (the running) in a very matter of fact manner.)

Happy Running!

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Jan 13 2013

Hospital Hill Blogging Kickoff

Hello – I’m thrilled that you’re here and for this opportunity to write once again about one of my favorite races ~ The Hospital Hill Run!

Let me quickly introduce myself and this blog:

I started the blog in 2008 when I had a goal of running the KC Marathon in under four hours. I thought it would be a nice way to track all of my stats / runs… it turned out well (I met my goal!) and I’ve just basically continued it since.

It’s mostly served me since then as an immensely useful tool to look on my past experiences to better prepare for those in the future. It’s also quite fun reliving those past experiences too! 🙂

As for myself… I’m 34, male, average runner, 4 kids, super busy schedule with many interests that compete for my time.

I started running in my adult life a little more than 6 years ago, right after I quit smoking. Yeah that sucks huh? Smoking! Ew gross! I can’t believe I once enjoyed that…. tsk tsk. Running is SOOOO much better! 🙂

I always knew I would return to running though. It’s in my blood. My dad was a runner, and when I was growing up I would go with him to 5ks and such. I was even a middle school track star (didn’t translate up into high school though).

Since I started running again in 2006 I’ve run 6 marathons in 4 states, 17 half-marathons in 3 states, and dozens of other races.

When I first began the quitting smoking and running a co-worker commented to me, one day 6 years ago, about Hospital Hill. “Hey so you’re a runner now huh? Maybe you can do Hospital Hill!” – this was a challenge of sorts as it was spoken with a tone that suggested not only was I not really going to keep this running thing up, I would never be able to do something like Hospital Hill… obviously a runner’s mecca of some sort? I had to know… I googled it and found it. I was fascinated. I just stared in awe at those runners. And it had such a ring to it… Hospital Hill! It sounded so foreboding and awesome at the same time. I wasn’t really sure if I’d ever be up for that challenge – but I knew I wanted it… badly.

That year I ran my first half-marathon ever, the Hospital Hill in 1:56:32. I nearly broke down in tears at the end. I relished every second of that day and absolutely glowed for a week. I’d found another kind of runner’s high.

And boy was I a NEWB. I ran that race in TWO cotton t-shirts, cotton underwear, basketball shorts, and with an ipod held in my hand. I even wore a watch with hands on it and a leather band! EGADS! I’m fairly certain I saw someone that morning before the race pointing at me (with my half-marathon bib attached) and remarking to their son that I was ill-equipped to run this race. But *I* also remember seeing someone else at the race wearing such rags they honestly looked like they were a dirty homeless person (and I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean a homeless person who is quite unwashed) lined up to run… and I think that person left me in the dust. So… gear isn’t everything.

IMG_0601_s_jpg

The Running Newb in 2007

These days of course I run in the latest fashions, shiny shoes, and a trusty Garmin which I’m nearly distraught without. I am quite looking forward to this year’s Hospital Hill. It will be my 7th consecutive running.

I could quite literally type for hours about running, but I suppose I will wrap this up for now to save something for next time….

I plan to explore many topics over the next many weeks leading up to the Hospital Hill Run:

1. Beer… How does it enhance running?
2. Beer… How does it taste so good?
3. Beer is a great carb source.
4. Finding time to run with the activities of 4 kids, 2 dogs, rampancy, rampancy, rampancy, rampancy, rampancy, 2 kids, 4 dogs, 8 beers, trail running, 3 shoes
5. Hill Training
6. Speed Work
7. The quest to find the time and energy to complete a long run
8. Establishment of a 2013 Hospital Hill Run Goal Time
9. ?
10. Profit

That’s it ladies and gentlemen! I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Hospital Hill Run blog post. Tune in next week for the thrilling continuing ramblings where I will try as hard as I can to make you laugh out loud or at least smile and perhaps even offer a morsel of information that might em-better your running! HAPPY RUNNING!

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Jan 2 2013

2012 Running In Review…

Well 2013 is here, another year, another running circuit begins. It’s going to be immensely hard to top 2012 in 2013… but I think its doable.
Why will it be so hard to top? Looking back at 2012 it was a tremendous year for me… I set a PR in almost every distance I raced… and not by seconds, by minutes.

– Improved 10k time by about a minute (and did it on the toughest course possible…)
– Improved Half-Marathon time by 3 minutes (set Half-Marathon PR twice)
– Improved Hospital Hill PR by a minute and a half (yes that race gets its own PR) (weather was great!)
– Improved Psycho Wyco (20 miler) by 14 minutes (no mud!)
– Improved Marathon time by almost 9 minutes (I didn’t train enough, and earned this one on the course)

I had all of those as goals and met them all. I also just went back and read my 2011 Running Year in Review and realized I also did the 39.3 this year, as well as Hospital Hill, Psycho Wyco, and the KC Full which I’ve been meaning to do for the last three years… Wow… I did it all! I’m so proud of me. Hard to believe that 39.3 was even last spring… that seems like it was so long ago but really I suppose it was.

Hmm… the only thing I seem to be unable to improve upon is my 5k time. Maybe this year I can do that. I look back at my supposed PR though with question marks now… a 2007 run on Ft. Leavenworth before I carried a Garmin? Knowing some of those runs it could have been a full quarter mile short. Almost makes me want to pick another one as my PR… which I pretty much did… but I digress.

2013 could be looking ok I think. I’ve not slacked off this Winter as I have done in years past (although my 2012 was great and I did not slack off last winter either!). That must be the secret (and what a secret it is! not.) — to not slack off. Who woulda thought?

Now if only I quit drinking all those heavy beers too… that would probably make a difference? Nah, not worth it… and they are a great way to carb up is how I look at it! I think a few Boulevards fueled nearly almost all of those runs.

This year I may be blogging for the Hospital Hill, or I may not… I haven’t heard back from them yet. Regardless they will be employing (in the deployed since, not the check writing sense) an army of bloggers this year who should each have a different take on their train up and goals etc… that ought to be fun to observe.

Next race I am realistically looking at doing is the Parkville Trail 8k on February 3rd. I did that race last year and it was quite enjoyable. I’m also really enjoying trail running … both in official races and training. These days I’d say I do at least half, if not more of my outside runs at least partially on trails… and when I’m running “street” a lot of times I’m just running on it to get to the trail.

Here’s to 2013 and another great year for everyone!

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