Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lansing Marathon

I've got to say "Finally!" I don't have to drive to some other city to do a marathon. Lansing, Michigan is going to host its first marathon in April of 2012. I will be there. I imagine in an inaugural event there will be some glitches but whatever they may be, I'm so glad to have something like this in the Capital City. My daughter is planning on running it as well as other members of the cross country team. I will be following (or attempting to follow) Parker's 12 week competitive plan from the heart monitor book. This means I have to start a workout plan beginning Jan 29th of the new year. I did manage to take third in my age group once in the Saginaw Bay/Delta College marathon back in the early '80s. I ran a 3:25 (a PR for me to this day) and I just barely edged out the first woman in that race as well. I still remember her telling me "Good Job" as we were entering the track for the final .2 This of course made me feel kind of bad since I had been thinking unkind thoughts about her for the majority of the race. I think my chauvinism of those days actually spurred me on to get that time. Since those days however, I've been beat by so many women in so many marathons that I'm not going to say I don't care anymore....I care. I now realize these things happen and being a chauvinist is...just so tiring these days. So I'll be there April 22nd of 2012, ready to race. And I imagine I'll probably get beat by some female runners too. And I'll still be happy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Success is counted sweetest...

Moving on to the State meet! October 29th, 2011.
This past XC season, my eighth year coaching but the first at my daughter's school, the girl's team took third at our regional in Allendale, Michigan. This qualified the team to move on to the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) state cross country meet. I was overjoyed of course but I did wonder about a comment made by one of the parents I overheard at the starting line of the race (not directed at me). The comment made me ponder for several days about whether I would've rather gone to the state meet as a coach or a runner. The "either/or" thing*. My team in high school won our league and went on to the state meet the year after I graduated. We failed in our bid my Senior year due to our top two guys being out for injuries although we still took second in our league. I have, after thinking about it, concluded beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would rather coach a team to the state meet rather than go as a runner. Probably a good thing since that's how it happened anyway. But still I marvel at my capacity to be so happy for others. Maturity is shocking sometimes. In any case I just want to share with blog readers an unforgettable group of girl's on one of the happiest days of my life.

*not an allusion to Kierkegaard

Sunday, November 27, 2011

George Sheehan

When I was in high school I read a book by George Sheehan entitled: Dr. Sheehan on Running. It really grabbed my imagination at the outset of my first years of running. Made me see that running could be something more than exercise. Well as I enter, or have entered middle age, whenever that happens exactly, I don't know, a friend of mine recently loaned me a copy of the last book Dr. Sheehan wrote called Going the Distance: One Man's Journey to the End of His Life. It is amazing to me in this life how friendly voices come back to you. Reading the chronicle of Sheehan's dying of Prostate Cancer, well of course it will be a bittersweet read. But one I would expect from him as well. I will echo the words of the introduction written by Robert Lipsyte. At the end of the introduction Dr. Sheehan was saying that "this book I'm doing is going to be good, but the epilogue is going to be a problem." The introduction goes on to say "And no problem on the epilogue George. We are your epilogue, all the people to whom you gave courage and inspiration, all the people who want to say, again, thank you." I guess maybe middle age is that time of life when you realize how much there really is to be thankful for. Thank you George Sheehan. For writing and living and dying the way you did...inspiring others.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Max Heart Rate

Well it's two days after Thanksgiving and I went out to do the Max Heart Rate (MHR) workout after warming up with my wife a couple of miles. I did almost what Parker suggests in his book but stopped after two hill climbs because my own breathing was freaking me out. I hate hearing myself pant audibly. It makes me think I'm worse off than I probably am. My Max after two repeats (Parker suggests five) was 177. My formulaic Max following the Karvonen method is 181. I'm pretty sure that's very close to what it is. I'll have to take it to the Track I guess and see what happens there. I've always disliked speedwork. Probably because it hurts.

My Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is 51. Taking that is a little awkward because you have to move to get everything in place (making your heart rate go up) plus I haven't mastered my Timex Road Trainer and I guess it was beeping and woke up my wife last night. So I've decided to track my weight, BMI and RHR and see if those three variables mean anything in the coming months. I really haven't had this much fun since I filled out my Jim Fixx Runner's Diary in the late 70's and early '80's (high school days for me).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heart Monitor Training

I imagine I've been a little slow to take up heart monitor training. But in the end... I've heard, and agree with, the truism that distance runners are a little more traditional than triathletes. So anyway I bought Parker's Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot and, much as I dislike that sort of dummed down type of title....I really like the book. It works for me. And he's really funny. So in my road to IRONMAN Wisconsin when I turn 50 years old in 2013, I intend to keep this blog as both a record of my travails and reach out to a community of people to whom I can be accountable.