Friday, January 23, 2015

Streak Over. 2015 Ruined. But There is Hope!

I didn't run Tuesday. In my defense, I could barely walk my lower back was so stiff. But I didn't run.

This unforgivable lack of commitment and total disregard for my 251 day running streak has twofold consequences. First and foremost (maybe) is the fact that my streak of nearly two-thirds of a year has ended. Perhaps, worse than that, I have now fallen 251 days behind reaching Ron Hill's feat of 50 years straight without a day off (which I planned to achieve on my 113th birthday).

On the upside, striving to be the optimist, this morning's strength and core session is the tenth of the year. Perhaps the goal for consecutive weightlifting days is in reach. Who holds that one anyway? Hercules? Arnold Schwarzenegger? That Milo dude who lifted the cow?

Actually I am pretty excited about the whole strength and core stuff. The hope is to establish a sense of consistency to the routine. Right now it is seven lifting exercises paired with seven core exercises. In another week, both are expanded. The key for me is doing the first lift. Once I'm there, I love it.

The snow has been consistent. No, not huge dumps that paralyze the highways and byways of the Denver Metro area, more like annoying 1-3 inch accumulations that make it impossible to see the ice hidden underneath. And they're coming about once every four days or so. Thawed out, snow; thawed out, snow and so on. I am SOOOO not interested in slipping and going down a la last years head whacking.

Down the road, I have 9 days to register for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon before the next price increase. Been thinking about returning to the Pig as it's been a long time since my Boston Marathon qualifier in Cincy. It's a fun race (run) with a great organization and having run the first two in 1999 and 2000, it'll be cool to see how the event has changed. My race report from that day is at http://runspittle.blogspot.com/2010/12/recap-flying-pig-marathon-may-2000.html

So that's it. Stay warm and run on!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Yeah, I quoted Oscar Wilde...

Roughly 30 minutes ago, the doorbell rang. It was the UPS guy. I've been waiting for him all day. In fact, I've been waiting for him since the 1st of January (yeah, I know, it's only the 6th). Why so diligent, you ask? Well, he was bringing my running log book.

Yep. I said log BOOK. Tried those computer, online run logging programs before and while they are SLICK, it is not the same as committing to writing a workout with a pen in hand (and by the way, I have used the SAME PEN for three years). There's something cleansing about that. 

I've been logging since 1966, the first day of cross country practice, when Coach Al Pingel said, "log your miles." No explanation given, none needed. Coach says log your miles, so I began what has been a fairly non-stop routine for five decades. Along with the logs, I have kept a running spreadsheet tallying the years as I go. That came in handy, by the way, in 1991 when my ex saw it wise (for whatever reason) to relieve the premises of many of my early log books, along with my college letter jacket and Duke the horse. I digress.

In 1966, I simply wrote what I did on the day I did it on lined paper, in a notebook. That was my modus operandi for many of the early years. I've also used the Runners World log, the Daily Run, the Running Times version and for the last six, maybe seven years, The Runner's Diary, designed (I guess) by Matt Fitzgerald. It is my current favorite.

I like the Runner's Diary because I prefer to have everything in a half a week facing me when the log is open and the option to write a little or a lot. I like that I can track races, set goals, and monitor progress (although I will confess to rarely using anything outside of the daily logging).

I don't read past logs although I will confess to referencing workouts when prepping for a special event. Mostly, the old workouts depress me. As a current 80+ ish minute ten miler (on my best day), it's a little disheartening to see a 1976 entry that states, "10 miles Easy. 56 minutes." OR "14x880 averaging 2:14 with 1:30 rest." Worse yet are entries like "107 miles, not a bad week." I do, however, occasionally read my race reports.

I won't go this far, but Oscar Wilde said, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." Nonetheless, I love reading the day I qualified for Boston, my first NYC Marathon and the pain written in the words following the Pikes Peak Marathon. My logs reflect my commitment. One day and mile at a time.

Yep, I am pretty happy. My log is here. Let's fill it up!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! Let's Run!

On this morning's run, I saw someone.

No, no one famous. No one I even knew. I just saw someone. And that someone was the first person I had seen running in the Cherry Creek State Park in five days. It's been cold. In fact, today was the first 0+ run out of the last four. It was 20 (we're havin' a heat waaaaave!).
Grippy Things

Today, obviously, marked run number one of 2015, the new year. It was a five miler in the snow. That followed yesterday's five miler which brought the total for 2014 to 2289. 

Speaking of snow, I am LOVING my snow gripper spring thingys my son Ryan gave me for Christmas. Very grippy and after a bad slip and fall last year, they have raised my confidence level on these last snowy days.

Back to the year. I did not race a single time in 2014 and went on very few long runs (15+ is a long run in my world). I meant to, it just never quite happened. Well, there's always next year. Right?

Ah, next year. The goals for 2015 are 1) to run as many days as possible. I am not super big into streaks (although currently haven't missed a day of at least 3 miles since May 13 - that's
From the One More Mile website
232 days) but a good streak is a reflection of being injury free and without sickness. 2) to run a freakin' marathon. I'm really shooting for a pair, here. I've run 17 so far and would love to begin pushing that number so that someday I hit 50. 3) to run a trail Ultra. I figure the intro distance is going to be 50K. 4) I want to hit the trails; mountains, seaside, plains - mostly in the mountains. There is a serenity and beauty of trail running that can convert the average run into an above average experience. 5) MOSTLY, I want it to be fun again. While I love my runs (in a strange way), 2014 was a year of little or no motivation for the individual run. I know it is not possible to embrace every run with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a new convert, but I'd at least like to return to the days of the easy, semi-fast, fun runs.


So, 2014 is in the books. I like closing out the year's log. I've been doing it for a long time. As has been previously noted herein (whoa, herein), I have been logging miles since I began this wonderful activity of running back in August of 1966. So, this log was number 49. In 49 years, we've logged 105,465 miles. That's 169,729 kilometers, 44% of the way to the moon, 4 and a quarter times around the equator and back and forth across the US about 19 times (take THAT Forrest Gump!).

At this point, I'm sure I could say many things, I will say only this: this incredible act of placing one foot in front of the other has been the cornerstone of my life. It has gotten me through the toughest of times, shared in the most joyous moments, been a reference point for how everything else is going and provided for billions of thoughts, emotions and perceptions. It is my anchor.

I want to do it forever.