Tuesday, January 31, 2012

30 Minute Swim

Practicing new technique from watching youtube videos.  A chance to recover before high mileage tomorrow.

Monday, January 30, 2012

5 Mile Recovery

5 miles around Ravenswood.  Recovering from yesterday's fast and long run.  Swim tomorrow.
Final 5k: 23:58.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

11 Miles - More Motivational Graffiti

11 Miles up through Skokie and Sculpture Park.  Tried to keep up with an area elite runner for a mile or two, but was left in his dust.  Was a fun diversion, however.  At my turnaround, I saw this on a RR bridget.  To run, all you need to do is

your shoes....

Final 5k: 23:10

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

11 Miles, Sunny Day, Some different Birds

Some pics from this morning:
Ice Ladders

Some runners rounding the bend near Diversey Inlet

Me and the skyline

Some different kind of birds are they some exotic kind of ducks, possibly?

Total Miles 11.  Final 5k: 24:00

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2.5 Miles and "The Bean"

I ran at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am this morning.  I had a 7:30 am dental appointment due to an unfortunate incident involving an olive pit and my two front teeth. Anyway, the run was nice and short.  It was a "shakeout" run before a high mileage day (11 miles) tomorrow.  By the way, my dentist is on Boul Mich, so I had to walk by the bean on my way back to the Millennium Park garage.  Here's a pic I made in front of "The Bean" with my cell phone camera (notice the new front teeth):

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

25 Minute Swim - High Elbow Catch

Trying out a new swim technique.  I learned from reading stuff on the topic that it is best to freestyle swim with a "high elbow catch."  Hard to tell if I'm doing it correctly.  Maybe I need to get a coach to watch my technique?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

15 Minute Swim

Relaxing swim to get ready for 10 miles (hopefully) tomorrow.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Motivational Graffiti and a 13.1 Miler

On my way to the lakefront trail, I ran under the Metra tracks at Berteau and saw something that got me motivated for my run:

Can you see the blue word?

Now the same word, a little closer, so you can see it.  It says:  "RUN".  And so I did...

down to the lake and the "Arctic Tundra."

Looking at the Drake and Hancock, south of North Ave.  Why hasn't the city plowed the lakefront trail, yet?

13.1 Miles total. Final 5k: 23:49.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

3.3 Mile Recovery Run

3.3 mile recovery run before my two, count 'em two, yoga classes this morning.  Now I'm all relaxed and ready for lots o' miles tomorrow.

Total Miles for the Week: 32.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Evening Cross Country Ski

It snowed in the late afternoon/early evening, so I took off on my skis.  Skied from my front door to Horner Park, skied down the sledding hill full of kids and skied back home.  About 2 miles.  Some pics from my trip:

8 Miles Along the River Trail

Ran along the North Shore Channel Trail half way up through Sculpture Park.  4 miles each direction.  Some small "hills" along the path when running under the East/West streets like Devon and Foster.  Not quite like the "Newton Hills" near Boston, but they'll do.  Overcast, 15 degrees.

8 miles total.  Final 5k: 24:31

Google Maps

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3.75 Miles on a Blustery Day around Welles Park

At Welles Park, I saw one runner cover her face and started to walk when she turned the corner and hit the 20ish MPH headwind.  I passed her and did not see her after that.  She probably went home after that.  Hard to blame her, it was not fun.  I put up the neck gator to cover my face and soldiered on for 3.75.  At least I got a few miles in.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

50 Minute Swim

Actually got to the pool early.  It was crowded, likely due to the M,W,F lap swimmers having to swim today because the pool was closed for MLK's b-day yesterday.  However, at about 7:30 it cleared out and I had my own lane for the last 20 minutes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

10.5 and a Sunny Run Video

10.5 Miles in the sun by the lake.  24:03 final 5k.  Took a video and some pics of the beautiful scenery.  (Taken around 1pm).



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yoga, a 12 Miler and the Fellowship of Runners

Ran from Tula Yoga studio on Milwaukee, east along North Avenue to Oak Street Beach and home.  As I was making the turn around the "S" curve just south of Oak Street Beach (10 feet from the lake) another runner came towards me, lowered his scarf and said "Careful, it's extremely icy on the turn!"  Since one slip would theoretically put me in the freezing lake water, I heeded his advice and slowed down and turned around.  He stood there and made sure I made the turn safely. Gotta love the fellowship of other runners. One may have saved my life.

  12 miles total.  Final 5k: 23:39
Total Miles for the week: 40.5
In front of "Exit Chicago" on North Ave. The marquee says "Chicago's Original Punk Club Since 1981 Open 365 days 'til 5am.

North Ave. Beach

The "S" curve is just past the white band of snow in the distance.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Can't Run? Ski!

I finally was able to use my cross country skis this morning.  I had purchased them way back in November.  I had anticipated lots o' snow after I bought them, but had to wait 6 weeks for the first real snowfall.  After shoveling out the neighborhood for an hour and a half, I carried my skis over to Horner Park. There were already several ski tracks in the snow when I arrived. After putting on my skis, I struggled to move fluidly, because I was trying to run in my skis.  However after I stopped trying to run, I was able to get into a rhythm, of pushing and gliding.  I now realized that to be an efficient skier, one has to take advantage of the glide component of cross country skis.  Anyway, another skier was on the track headed my way.  She stepped to the side so I could pass.  As we exchanged "hellos" she said to me, "Can't Run? Ski!"  Now I have a new motto for the winter!

40 minutes, 1.75 miles.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

10.5 miles. The Calm Before the Storm?

10.5 mile run by the lake today. There were not even a tenth as many people as there were on the lakefront trail on the weekend.  Today the trail was populated mainly by bike commuters.  
One statistic I used to measure during my training (about a year or two ago) was the final 5k of my training runs.  This helped to keep me more focused on the last 2 or 3 miles of my run, at precisely the time that I would to drift oft mentally and physically.  Getting a solid final 5k out of my training runs helped to ready me for those times when I needed to push through the last few miles of a race.  

The final 5k of my run today was 22:26.

Just before the storm at Belmont Harbor
Mostly bike commuters on the lakefront trail this morning
I guess I scared the ducks a little.  They took flight as I approached.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

25 Minute Swim. Legs Almost Perfect Now

Finally.  I had enough time for a relaxing 25 minute swim.  Nice to get there a little early so I am not rushed for time.  My legs are feeling better than they have in a year and a half.  I attribute this to 3 factors:
  1. New shoes.  Finally ditched the Adidas Supernova Sequence for Minzuno.  Adidas had made some changes from version 3 to version 4 that made my lower legs hurt.  So, thanks to Fleet Feet, I have a pair of better fitting shoes.  My shins have never felt so good after a run.
  2. Swimming.  The lower parts of my legs get a good, non-impact workout and stretch two or three times a week.  Ankles have never felt better/looser.
  3. Yoga.  Again, stretching and strength workout once or twice a week.
At my age, running 6 or 7 days a week takes it toll, since recovery times are longer than when I was younger.  So cross training is key.  I know, however, that a marathoner's legs have to get used to some abuse to be ready for the marathon, so I will cut the swimming portion down to once a week as the marathon gets closer.  I will eventually replace one swim day with an easy run of about 3 or 4 miles.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

8 Mile - Perfect Morning

30 degrees, sunny, no wind.  Lake Michigan was was as flat as glass and the sun was rising over the lake as I arrived.  Doesn't get much better than that.  Only one photographer at Belmont Harbor.  He had a backpack to store his SLR and was obviously a runner.  Pace was 8:01/mile with a 6:53/mile for mile #8.  Finished fast.

Monday, January 9, 2012

10 Minute Swim Debacle

Got to the pool late.  Really late.  Had only a handful of minutes to swim before the 8am Water Exercise class began.  At exactly 8am, before the Water Exercise instructor arrived, people stood in my swimming lane in the shallow end (I believe on purpose), hence blocking my path.  After swimming around and under them for a couple of laps, I swam up to the lifeguard and asked him if I could stay in the pool in the deep end only and use the kickboard.  He said, it was probably not a good idea, as it would disturb the class, but that I could come back at 10:30am for the next open swim.  Left and went to work.  After changing into my work clothes, of course!  Memo to self: Got to wake up earlier...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wrigley Field Zamboni and a 10 Mile Run

Ran by Wrigley Field today on my way to the lake.  I bet it is warm enough for the Cubbies to play a game today.  Anyway, did 10 miles @ 8:16/mile.  That includes some picture taking stops.

Chicago Music Scene

Wrigley Field Zamboni

Wrigley Snow

Cubs time was 9:25

The grass looks amazingly green.  Do they dye it?

Medidator by the lake.

The Lakefront Trail on January 8th.  With so many people out and about, it seems like it could be April 8th!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday: Two Runs with Yoga In-Between

Early Morning:  Blisteringly hot and sunny today.  Almost too hot. My winter training plan is to wear 7 lbs. of  clothing (including utility belt and large water) for every run.  Today, this has given way to short sleeves and shorts.  Since I am running lighter and the air is warmer, I tend to turn on the speed, which is not good for the joints and muscles, especially at this early stage of my training.  So of course, I ran too fast, running 4.2 miles around Welles Park at a 7:10 pace.  Should have been aiming for 8:00/miles, but could not help myself.  I like speed too much.

Mid Morning: Yoga at Tula in Logan Square.  Ah, sweet stretching....

Afternoon:  4.2 miles to North Park University outdoor track and back.  This time more slowly. 4.2 miles @ 7:48/mile.  Stopped at antique store on the way.

Total Miles for the Week: 24.56.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Marathon Training for a Goal Time and My Top 8 NYC Marathon Highlights

According to Jeff Galloway, "Training for a time goal (in a marathon) increases injury risk by about 3 times.*"  He also goes on to add, that by not over-speeding during the marathon, recovery time is faster.  Along those lines, he recommends for every fast marathon, try running the next three at a "slow and enjoyable" pace.  With that in mind, I take a look back at my first "slow and enjoyable" marathon after my fast one.  So, here are my top 8 2011 NYC marathon highlights and none of them have to do with how fast I was running at a particular time:
  1. High fiving and low fiving literally hundreds of cheering adults and kids
  2. Accepting gel packs, lollipops, fruit, paper towels and even salt from random spectators who were donating their hard earned money and time to help me out. One spectator even asked me which flavor of gel pack I wanted from their own stash!  I took a raspberry.
  3. Saying "thanks" and chatting with spectators
  4. Chatting with fellow runners in the bus, on the course and afterwards where we laughed about our leg pains
  5. One balcony about 5 stories up along the route was throwing a marathon viewing party and had about 30 spectators.  They had a large "Team Pete" banner hanging over the balcony railing.  I yelled up to them, pointed to the name on my shirt and they all roared for about 45 seconds until I passed.
  6. Running through all 5 boroughs of New York on a bright, sunny, 50 degree fall day with all of the trees in full color.
  7. In the medical-tent, the volunteers were faced with a "war zone" type situation with people falling all over the place, yet they found time to treat my "minor" shin injuries with ice packs, quickly and efficiently.
  8. Riding the Sixth Avenue bus back to my hotel, wrapped in an aluminum cape, chatting with two senior ladies, who were volunteers at the race, and who got in an argument with the bus driver about which stop I should get out of the bus at.

That all said, I am looking at the 2011 Boston Marathon as the second of my three "slow and enjoyable" marathons.  I hear that it is a blast.  Can't wait.

*From Marathon You Can Do It by Jeff Galloway, Shelter Publications, 2010

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Three in a Row: Who's the Young Guy?

Third swim day in a row.  Legs feel much better.  Overheard today at the public pool:

Man getting in the pool:  "Who's the new guy?"
Lifeguard: "Oh, you mean Larry?"  (points to guy at far end of pool who is about 70 years old).
Man:  "No, the young guy."
Lifeguard:  "Not Larry?"
Man: "No, that guy" (points at me).

Now that I am approaching my mid 40's, it's funny to hear that I'm now the young guy! :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Two Days, Two Swims

Today, I did some more cross training with a swim at the park district pool.  A swim for me means about 20 minutes of regular laps, and about 10 minutes of kickboarding.  Did the same yesterday.  May go for a third tomorrow and further unwind any tightness in my legs.

Photo courtesy of https://foursquare.com/v/independence-park/4b917de4f964a52082c033e3

Monday, January 2, 2012

4.5 Miles in the Snow to Logan Square

Jogged down Western to the Congress Theater.  Footing wasn't very good, not directly due to the snow, but due to the fact that I could not see the uneven parts of the sidewalk because no one had shoveled.  Luckily, I think my ankles survived.  I may take tomorrow and Wednesday off to swim.

Total Miles This Week: 13.5

Sunday, January 1, 2012

9 Miles in the Wind

9 hard miles.  With the wind it felt like 14.  Longest training run since September 24th when I did 16.  Needed a nap after the run.

The good thing about running in the winter is that it is difficult to run fast due to the cold air and heavy clothing..  This should mean that it is harder to get injured.