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June 25, 2005


I'm bugged by people who obsess about food, are slaves to one diet or another, who claim to have gained or lost 5 pounds in anything less than 2 weeks (it's well-nigh impossible), who anthropomorphize the human body ("I ate a hot-fudge sundae to shock my body out of thinking it's in starvation mode, and it thanked me by dropping 1.3 pounds").

Runners who exhort other runners to put on sweatsuits and garbage bags and run around in a sauna as a form of "heat training" should be forced to don sweatsuits and garbage bags and run around in saunas until they drop. Where I live I have no other choice besides "heat training" for 75% of the year, and adding layers of sweat-inducing clothes sounds unsafe as well as uncomfortable. I mean, it's hot enough already. Will the heatstroke add to mental toughness? I've heard it can scramble your brains.

It's been a lousy week in a whiny sort of way. Most of the lousiness came from being on call; I've been woken up by the pager 4 of the last 5 nights (mostly cry-wolf sort of stuff), and I have to work overnight tonight. Separate from the on-call stuff is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is making my job less of a geek paradise and turning it into pure bureau-tech. Because of this Act I have to request permission and justify and triple-document everything that I do so that people who don't understand what I do can ask me questions about it later and let me know how many Sarbanes-Oxley rules I inadvertently broke. Mea maxima maxima culpa. Meanwhile the whole fucking server room could catch fire.

When work gets this lousy it's really hard not to carry it with me everywhere, including all my training runs. The 2nd week of Pfitzinger is done, and I got the miles but not the pace, and some of the midnight pages (and subsequent sleeping through the alarm) had me switching training runs around during the week. I don't know whether it's lack of sleep, or having a tooth pulled Wednesday, or the fact that for the first time in my life I have a sore knee, or the lousy whiny misanthropic work attitude I can't shake, but running was not really fun this week, and my pace was decidedly slower than last week.

Posted by joe positive at 10:08 AM | Comments (1)

June 21, 2005

those Pitzfinger people are always whining

So says my husband, who once pronounced it "pits finger" and so it remains as a joke in our house. Anyway, it's just past 11 at night, and I've been working since 7:30 this morning except for the time it took me to have a molar pulled, and yeah I'm whining.

I ran the 8 mit strides today. My arms and pectorals felt sore, and I couldn't for the life of me think what I'd done to get them that way. 8 miles later I remembered that some of the massage last night was so painful I got tense as a board, hardly breathing and trying not to jump off the table. That must have done it.

Tomorrow was supposed to be 13 miles, but the dentist asked me to cool it for 24 hours so I don't get a dry socket, so I'll probably run 6 easy in the afternoon and save the 13 for Thursday.

Posted by joe positive at 11:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

I am on call

Six recovery this morning, and I do mean recovery. The first mile was something like 10:15. It got better, but never very fast.

This evening I was able to get an appointment with a massage therapist who is just great. She worked on my hips, which I knew needed work, but when she started in on the hamstrings I almost stopped breathing. I had no idea they were so tight. For about an hour afterward I hobbled around like an old lady but now I feel a lot better. We'll see how things go tomorrow.

I'm on call again this week, and it's another Microsoft Patch week, which means that over the next 3 nights I need to check on a couple dozen servers after they've been rebooted, tuck them into bed and wish them happy dreams. This week's patch fixes something that last week's patch broke. Gotta love it.

Posted by joe positive at 8:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2005

no killer weekend

No killer weekend for this joe, but I did run 18 with Albert this morning. We had hills in the form of bridges across the intracoastal waterway as well as the little bit of surprise hilliness that Clearwater has to offer. We started out slower than my solo run last Sunday, but ended faster. There was a bit too much sidewalk, concrete, and camber for my taste, but after 2 short naps I feel a lot better.

Week 1 of 18 is done. I wish I could say this week - 64 miles, which is not killer for me - felt easy and I feel great, but it's not quite true. My legs are tired and tight. Well, more tight than tired. I hope it's just temporary, because training's only going to get harder. I think a massage might help. I'm on call this coming week, but maybe I'll just have to let the damn phone ring for one hour.

Posted by joe positive at 3:29 PM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2005

six recovery

Not much to say about this morning's run except it was done at a perfectly respectable recovery pace, and I didn't feel I was pushing at all or holding back either. The bird who always talks to me made his car-starting noise.

Tomorrow I'm going to meet my old long-run partner Albert for 18 miles (17 for him, 18 for me). He recently quit the running club that I'm about to leave, and he does his Sunday runs with a group in Clearwater, which is about a 40-minute drive for each of us. So I'm going to get up at 3:45 to get caffeined and functional enough to meet him at 5:30. Believe it or not, I'm kind of psyched to be running with Al, even if it means getting up at an ungodly hour.

Not to give away any secrets, but it looks like Chelle did really well at Grandma's today.

Posted by joe positive at 5:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2005

ten general aerobic

in warm soup, around 6:15 this morning but it seems like a million years ago. Saw a scared chocolate lab running around, some space-alien night-blooming climbing cactus, and a guy throwing busted storm doors out of a dumptruck onto the street as I ran past (still had safety glass clinging to the frame which shattered as it hit the ground).

Today I am really sick of being an information technology professional.

Posted by joe positive at 9:07 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

six recovery


Good news: my GPS suddenly started working perfectly again. I got something like 9 hours' sleep last night; I fell asleep before it even got fully dark. I got a lot done at work today, actually made a dent. I don't think I'll have to work this weekend. I will probably run 18 miles with my longrun pal Albert on Sunday.

The bird who always talks to me when I run past his house was up early this morning, and he shouted at me coming and going. He says 3 things: caw, a wolf whistle, and something that sounds a little like a car engine trying to turn over and a little like a cartoon horse. I always wonder what he was imitating to come up with that sound. I've thought about trying to teach him to make an ee-yow ee-yow peacock noise.

Posted by joe positive at 8:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

twelve medium long

Today started early and hard, and it will end early and (hopefully) easy. Medium-long run meant to be a little faster than for-real-long-run, turned out faster still. It felt hard by the end, but I didn't want to get into the habit of slowing down late in a run so I tried to keep it up until the bitter end. Then off to work, which today consisted of meetings (hate 'em) and emergencies and other stuff that kept me from getting much done. By 4:30 even soda pop couldn't keep me awake enough to think much, so I left. All the work left undone, and more, will be there in the morning.

Back to running: tomorrow is recovery and I am just going to poke along in my poky way.

Posted by joe positive at 7:56 PM | Comments (1)

June 14, 2005

8 with strides

Almost anyone who reads this has also read Advanced Marathoning or has heard of it or knows basically what a marathon training plan looks like, so I won't go too much into detail. This morning's run was "general aerobic" plus 10 strides, during each of which I was supposed to concentrate on on aspect of form.

The strides were fine, but the general aerobic was a bear. As I have mentioned before, I run pretty slowly except for races and (oddly) long runs, and I'm a lousy judge of pace. Put all that together with a GPS that can't find the sky, and you get a warmup about 30 - 50s/mile too fast plus a cooldown that feels a leetle bit too hard to maintain at that elusive "general aerobic" pace. I don't mind so much that it feels a little harder (it's supposed to, dontcha think) but I worry about getting injured like I did last summer because I ran too hard for my level of fitness.

What would coach P say? Probably something like shut up, quit checking the watch so much, just run the miles. So I will.

Peon, free - you guys are my hero.

Posted by joe positive at 7:53 PM | Comments (3)

June 13, 2005

5 recovery

That's what I did this morning. I can't remember the last time I ran just 5 miles - must've been just after Boston. Anyway, that's what the schedule called for and it felt swell, warm-soup-air and all.

I think it's kind of funny when a plan (or a week, or whatever) starts out with recovery or a day off or something. It seems designed to make you feel good whether or not you actually do anything - you can say "there, I did it, day 1 of the Plan" when what you really did was not do anything.

Anyway, tomorrow is 8 with strides, which is a little more like something.

Posted by joe positive at 8:27 PM | Comments (1)

June 12, 2005

bad day for satellites

Boy, have I ever been slack about blogging. For the past few weeks I've either been running a lot, working a lot, or both, or neither (spent all Memorial Day weekend installing silly Oracle on this silly linux box, for example). During many of my runs I've composed blog entries that never got written. But all that is changed now :-)

I recently made a sorta-big decision to go coachless while training for Baltimore. I thought about joining a club closer to home (my current club is in the next county), and I thought about signing up with a reputable outfit like this one, but in the end I decided to give the Pfitzinger 18-week 70+mpw plan a shot. If I do well in Baltimore (and think I can do better still), maybe I'll reward myself by signing up with a real coach. But for this marathon it will just be me and Coach P.

Since Baltimore is on a Saturday, my training weeks are a little turned around. I started the Pfitzinger plan this morning with a 17-miler. One of the (many) differences between this plan and the kind of training my running-club coach espoused is attention to pace as well as distance. Pfitzinger doesn't get anal-to-the-second about pace but he does seem to recommend ranges, which is 180 degrees from what I've been doing for the last 2-1/2 years. Anyway, today I set out to do the first 5 at whatever pace, the second 5 @ 8:30 - 8:50, and the rest heading toward 8min pace. I am a terrible judge of pace but I was confident my GPS would help keep me out of trouble. The GPS died after 3 miles. I borrowed my husband's but it would not hold a satellite signal for more than a mile or two at a time. So on the very day I was supposed to start thinking about pace in more than an offhand way, I found myself running god-knows-how-long at god-knows-how-fast. In the end I think I got 17.5 miles at 8:03 pace. Not an auspicious beginning.

Posted by joe positive at 4:41 PM | Comments (2)