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October 30, 2007

I am an idiot

Somebody emailed me about not being able to post comments on this blog. I just checked the way I'd configured the blog for accepting comments and found his, plus a whole bunch of others that ended up being classified as "junk." A while ago I was getting comments and trackbacks from some very tenacious reseller of tramadol, so I guess I got too aggressive with the filtering, and stuff that was not junk got classified as such.

To those who have commented and may have felt I was ignoring them: sorry, thanks, and I'm not. I think the problem is fixed now.

Posted by joe positive at 3:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 28, 2007


I'd intended to title this "half-marathon training secrets" or somesuch and lead off with a joke about how the best training for a half-marathon is to train hard for a real marathon, drop out of the race and then run a half three weeks later while retraining for an upcoming real marathon. This is because I'd fully intended to run well in the half-marathon I ran this morning.

But I didn't run the way I thought I would - the way I thought I could, the way all my training seems to indicate that I can. I really thought the time had come when I could finally break 90 minutes and add second piece to the Holy Grail Stemware Collection (20min, 40min, 60min, 90min, and 3hr for 5K --> marathon). I ran 1:31:17, was 3rd woman and 17th OA, won some $$ for third, whatever. The 2nd-place woman ran on my shoulder until about halfway, found another gear (lucky her), and took off. I faded in the second half despite my most excellent half-marathon plan: miles 1-3 6:55, then 6:50s until 10 miles, then ram it push it clock it on home with whatever I had.

Trouble was I really didn't have much after 7 miles. Why? The first half was mostly into headwind. It was about 72F and 90% RH, so the tailwind coming home was hot and sweaty. This was a small race, and after 7 miles I was pretty much alone, with no hope of passing the few people I could see way in front of me. For a few miles I felt very much out-of-gas, and I was even hungry (I never get hungry in races, and can't ever eat during them anyway).

But so what? Everyone there ran in the same weather. The 2nd-place woman was even running her very first half, and 1:28 is a helluva debut under any circumstances. The rest of the "excuses" are nothing I've never dealt with before in races. I am beginning to wonder if maybe I have been overreaching. Maybe I have reached the absolute upper limit and should just...well, I dunno. I must be the slowest medium-mileage runner on the planet. I run 70s 80s 90s every week for a couple of years and I can't break 90 minutes for a half-marathon. I've heard it asserted that people like me should just quit trying. Today, for the first time, I am starting to believe it a little.

Posted by joe positive at 12:56 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 25, 2007

a tiny breath of fall

This morning it was 67F! with 75% RH! I've felt a little off all week so I put off my non-track workout until today, which turned out to be one of the better decisions I've made all week. The workout was 8x400 with descending rests (sounds musical, don't it?) starting at 90s. The goal was 87s per item. The reality:


jogged home to make 3.1 miles. Total with wu/cd = 10 miles.

I had trouble timing the rests, and decided it was better to start a few seconds early than start from a dead stop.

It was interesting to note the relationship between effort and pace as the workout progressed and I got more tired. The first 2 were kind of choppy as I figured out what effort I needed. During the middle 4 I found that a cutback to a more controlled effort still got me the pace. During the last 2 (esp the 8th) that effort suddenly didn't cut it anymore, and it was just a lot of work.

I had the day off from work, so I decided to dedicate the rest of the day to, well, rest. I soaked in a hot epsom-salt bath, took a short nap, started reading a new book (The World Without Us, which seems really neat), puttered around online, but by 4:30 I realized that all I wanted to do was go out and trot around in the cool cloudiness. So I did - 5 leisurely miles without looking at my watch, just listening for beeps to tell me how far I'd gone. Perfect.

Posted by joe positive at 6:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 21, 2007

the following quirks of language drive me up a tree

1. the ever-more-common replacement of the present tense with a gerund, for example "I'm liking" for "I like." Where did this come from? Ba-da-bup-bup-ba, I'm lovin' it McDonalds commercials, maybe, but it seems too widespread; I hear people do this who wouldn't be caught dead in a McDonalds.

2. describing something as right, wrong, good, interesting, etc on "so many levels," "any number of levels," etc.

3. the noun "issue" and the verb "address."

4. the use of "we" to mean the absolute opposite of we, as in "what are we doing to address this issue," or "have we found a fix," or "where are we regarding the deadline?" I used to hear this all the time when I worked in corporate IT, usually from project managers or business analysts or VPs who thought that imperiousness could inspire fear, and were very used to getting their way. It's sort of like the royal we, but much more annoying. Thanks god I don't hear this much in the world of massage therapy.

5. pointless overemphasis: there's this one guy with a running blog who never runs; instead, he "clocks," "pushes," "rams it on home" (or whatever) umpteen miles, and every run is a workout. Sheesh, the poor guy must be so tired from all that clocking and pushing and ramming. His blog entries make me tired. Even I know that a couple of 9min-pace runs can be helpful sometimes.

Posted by joe positive at 5:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

the rest of the week

This week I picked up extra shifts at work for people who wanted off for whatever reason. Ended up with 15 massages for the week - a record for me - and boy, are my arms tired. Actually they're not tired at all, but I always wanted to say that. Add to this my band's monthly show (it just sorta works out that we play once a month), which meant two practices and a very late evening at the bar Friday night, mostly spent watching (or trying not to watch, in may case) H R Puffenstuff reruns on multiple TVs while waiting to set up, waiting to play, waiting to leave, etc. I'd forgotten how much waiting is involved in playing in a band. Anywa, all this is a longwinded way of saying I'm tired. I'm tired. And I'm ready for a nap. But first, here's the full weekly:

M: AM 7mi (9:03), PM 4mi (8:47), some sharp knee pain
T: 7mi including 3mi alternating-800s workout; goal 3:35/3:15, actual 3:30/3:14. Knee much better.
W: 8mi (8:35)
R: 9mi (8:50)
F: 8mi (8:42)
Sa: 7mi (9:06)
Su: 17mi (7:30)

total: 67 miles

We've lost the little bit of fall weather we had last week, and these runs were all done in summery 75+ temps with 85+ humidity. I really didn't expect much from this morning's 17, but the running gods smiled once again and I ended up running an OK pace, even if I did end up alone for most of it. Next week is the last of the reverse-taper (77 miles) and then...I dunno, my schedule is blank still. There's time to get some good training in before Jacksonville, I think. I hope I can take advantage of it.

Posted by joe positive at 1:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 18, 2007

let us now start being more diligent

training this week, so far:

M: AM 7mi (9:03) recovery. PM 4mi (8:47) v sharp pain L medial knee during 1st mile; slowing way down helped. Remainder of the run was very gingerly
T: 7mi incl 3mi of alternating-800s. Goal for 800s 3:35/3:15, actual was
3:26/3:14, 3:32/3:16, 3:31/3:13. Knee much better, at least for now.
W: 8mi (8:35) knee much better after massage to L lateral quad and ITB, hmmm. There are definite perks to working at a massage clinic.
R: 9mi (8:50) summer weather is back

I'd hoped to do some tempo intervals today, but I want to let the knee finish healing (if it's gonna), and anyway the most important thing right now is to rebuild mileage. So I think the rest of the week will consist of 1) easy running to make 65 miles or so, and 2) a good hard run on Sunday morning.

Posted by joe positive at 2:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 17, 2007

back from the land of dee enn eff

unapology: I DNF'd Twin Cities at 12.5 miles. At that point I was on pace for 3:10 but felt like utter crap and knew I wouldn't last. I decided I was not going to waste the summer's training on a PW and the accompanying weeks-long recovery. And I am not the kind of runner who finds value in a leisurely 3.5-hour (or longer!) training run. So I opted for the big yellow bus to the finish. No medal, no tech shirt, no hat, no PW, (almost) no recovery.

So I am training for the Jacksonville Bank Marathon Dec 16. And here's last week:

M: off
T: 5.01mi (8:46)
W: 7mi incl 8x200 (avg 40s)
R: 8mi (8:22) tiny cool front came through, yay
F: 8mi (8:33)
Sa: 5.4mi incl 5K (19:30, 1F)
Su: 15mi (7:26) just perfect, one of those days we live for

total: 48.4 measly miles

This week should go about 65 miles and next week will get me over 75 again. The schedule is a big blank after that, but I hope to get 5 good weeks of training (80s-90s-?, with workouts and everything) before Jax. The other day I noticed some fairly sharp pain in my left knee, but it seems to be subsiding. Otherwise I feel pretty good, but then again it's not like I just ran a marathon or anything, just did 12.5 at marathon pace in crap weather.

Posted by joe positive at 12:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 4, 2007

do not panic until Thursday

So it's going to be warm in Minneapolis this weekend. Not horribly warm - maybe mid/upper 60s with lots of cloud cover. Certainly not as warm as it is here. But much warmer than I would consider ideal.

I ran this morning's 5-miler much later than usual, partly because I could afford to dawdle for once, and partly to remind myself what running in real heat felt like. 81F, 85% RH, bright mocking sun illuminating all the tiny water droplets suspended in the air. It made me think of Bible pictures I saw as a kid, with beams of sunlight barreling out of the sky, so solid-looking you thought you could climb on them. I can think of two marathons where I was pretty well-trained but ran in less-than-ideal conditions. Both times the weather cost me maybe 2 or 3 minutes, tops. In the grand scheme of things, that's not so bad. Anyway, what can I do?

Posted by joe positive at 11:13 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack