Friday, February 11, 2022

High and Low Motivation, Hmmmmmm


Almost hitting six weeks into the new year, I'm finding both high and low levels of motivation.

On the high side, I am loving getting out in the morning, capturing that early sunshine in my body and mind, getting in some miles. On the low side, I'm just not interested right now in any significant mileage. Four miles seems nice, six miles seems long. I imagine that will change, at least I hope it does. At this point, I'm sort of in the Easy, Slow Mode.

I blame it all on the Corona Virus. That IS the in thing to do. Companies are doing it, politicians are doing it, everyone is doing it. So I am all in on blaming everything on the pandemic. The truth is that I am finally feeling pretty normal again (whatever that means for an old man - one day great, one day terrible). It was a long haul. The worst of it was getting the breathing back to where it ought to be.

As for those things that lie around the corner? 

Well, I am entered in the Eugene Half Marathon at the end of April. It may be a jog/walk kind of thing but I am moderately enthused about finishing in Hayward Field so that is the real motivation of the journey to Oregon. AND..... I guess I could be excited about being in a new age group (THAT is a stretch). 

Bigger than either, is that Linda and I are moving in early May. We have been in this area of South Aurora since 2007 and I have loved having easy access to the Cherry Creek State Park. Mostly though, I spend my run time near Tagawa Gardens. The new place is up in the Inspiration neighborhood south and east of here and no matter where you go, it's a hillfest. Still a moderately short drive to the Cherry Creek path and the Tagawa area. Anxious to test the new waters, or trails as it were.

The weather has been interesting. Like some of last winter, we seem to be in this pattern where it snows about every 5-7 days. The gap is long enough for the trails to dry up, but the dryness is met with the next "storm of the century." Because this is Colorado, by the way, the cold is balanced with the nice 50-60 degree days (by the way, where is the degree sign on my phone or computer?????).

All in all, I cannot complain much (well, I can ALWAYS complain a little). The quest for the perfect shoe continues. I'm on my third pair of Adidas UltraBoost 20, but while they seem nice, and I LOVE Adidas clothes, I think I'm missing something. It shouldn't be that complicated as I only need a good everyday cushy, supportive shoe. No need for some fancy racing thing. We'll see....

In the end, it's all good. Moved this carcass over 119,000 miles so far. Looking for thousands more.

Run on.


Monday, January 3, 2022

Hello 2022! Good to see you!


As we're just a few days into the new year, it seems like a good time for a recap.

First: races....... none.

Next: LONG runs......none.

Streaks? Yes, had one the lasted about 380 days before being ended by a BAD cold and missing a day. THEN..... came the Corona Virus and missing three weeks.

All in all, however, it was a good mileage year logging 2508 miles which happens to rank fifteenth in the 56 years I have been logging each 5280 feet run. So, I guess that's not so bad.

My knee seems to be holding out. It has good days and bad days. There may be a replacement in my future, but it sure isn't happening anytime soon. As long as I am content to run slow, slow, miles, there is no reason to allow anyone to place foreign objects in my body.

So what about 2022? Well, I think I'd like to hold or raise the past year's mileage. I'd love to not miss a day, BUT, that is always a challenging goal. Mostly, I'd like to get comfortable being just a little bit faster on my runs. Pretty much..... that's it.

What about you?

Run on.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Run Through Corona Virus? Uh, Not Me!


My last run was on Sunday, November 28. I snuck it in as I could foresee the inevitable.

A week earlier, my wife, Linda, went in for a colonoscopy. When the Dr. rolled in she said to him, "Sorry, I'm 5 months late on this, but I've avoided the hospital so I won't catch the Corona Virus." Her words hung out there....... Six days later, I'm sneaking in my run and she's getting a positive test at the local Urgent Care. Her symptoms started Black Friday. Mine two days later.

Neither of us were going to catch this thing, and we had done a pretty damned good job until she got it at A HOSPITAL!!!!!.

Anyway, Monday was a pretty bad day. I will say this: I never really got it as bad as Linda did, and it beat the living shit out of me. Monday late afternoon, we decided to head to the UCHealth emergency room, one of the few places in Colorado where she could get an infusion of the antibodies, something that has allowed some people to snap right out of this thing. Wasn't meant to be.

Four cars ahead on C470 someone slammed on their brakes, so did car 3, 2, 1...... I missed car 1, right in front of me. Unfortunately, the young woman behind me took her eyes off the road for a second and BAM, there she was in the back end of my car. Four hours later, we finally got back home, freezing and sicker than we had been at any time.

The rest has been a blur of taking care of my worsening honey, caring for our 6 month old puppy Winston, and trying to give myself some care as well. Fevers sat between 99.0 and 100.4. Never got much worse, but finally broke. But while the fever lessened, nothing else got any better. The days just went on with little or no improvement.

Finally, we'd had it. We weren't getting better and frankly Linda just wanted to be done (and I mean that in the most serious way). Friday, we got in the car and headed back to Urgent Care to at least get vitals checked. What they discovered was EXTREME dehydration. We'd been conscious that we weren't eating or drinking much, but just weren't doing anything substantial about it. Urgent Care sent us to the ER where they dropped to bags of fluid into my withering wife and sent us on our way promising we'd eat and drink more. 

In the middle of this, by the way, Winston got sick. Nothing like cleaning up after diarrhea dog when you're sick yourself. I digress.

Saturday, I saw progress. Yesterday more. Linda is eating and drinking like a champ and sees a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm feeling better, too, just exhausted. That has been the nature of this whole thing: exhaustion.

Running? don't know about that one. We'll see. I'd like to think that in another week I might feel good enough. For now, taking Winston to the park is good.

The moral is to be strong, healthy, and live your best life. All of the money is being spent promoting vaccinations. No one is much help once you have the thing. So advice from Dr. Rich:

Drink constantly, rest like crazy, monitor fever and blood oxidation, eat however and whatever you can (we had a ton of grocery and restaurant delivery), wash your dishes and your hands constantly, catch up on movies (best thing I did this weekend was watch The Maltese Falcon). If you get scared, call the right people to make you feel better. Last, be patient and kind to your self and DO NOT RUSH IT!!!!!

This Corona Virus thing is an ass kicker.


Monday, November 15, 2021

Somebody Start Me!

In the Mask, Jim Carrey delivers the line, "Somebody STOP me." 

I need something different..... Somebody START me!

Is it the change of weather? Is it that I've already FAR exceeded my mileage goals for the year? Is it that I lost my "haven't missed a day all year" streak? ORRRRR, d) all of the above.

The last few weeks have been the least motivated I have been in a long, long time. Yeah, I'm still logging some miles, but there is not even the slightest movement towards anything substantial. And yes, I realize that this is SUBjective. Many runners would be excited to run 40-50 miles a week. They wouldn't be whining about it. HOWEVER...... I gotta tell you, I'm struggling to get out of the door.

I realize, too, that if I continue to average about 45 miles a week, I will get to 2700 for the year and that would be my best mileage year since 2012. I was younger then...... I will also get past 119,000 lifetime miles. Nice.

The bottom line here is that while I'd like to get motivated, there really isn't a good reason to do so. It's not like a race can motivate me, or running in/at a particular location. New shoes? Probably not. Actually, I think I'm pretty okay with this the more I write about it. That is a good thing!

A shout out to the thousands of fall marathoners, especially my son-in-law, Brian Bergquist, who tackled the Boston - New York double. Run on.

And I'll get there..... pretty soon.

Friday, November 5, 2021

70? Seriously?


Tomorrow I turn seventy (looks better written than as a number). That means I have been on the planet a decent amount of time. That also means that I have spent almost 80% of that time running. Not many things I have done longer. Nonetheless, seventy means several other things.

First and foremost, I have moved up an age group. That is always a nice perk. Unfortunately, since I don't race, that perk doesn't carry much weight. It exists, just the same.

Next, it reinforces that age is just a number. I felt better at 40 than at 30. I hope to feel just as good at seventy as I did at 60. I'm still doing that thing I love and I am doing it consistently and with passion. Couldn't ask for more than that.

AND..... Today's run put me at 2304 for the year. That's not a bad total for a guy who was supposed to have his knee replaced a few years ago. It is my hope to average about 50m a week for the next eight weeks which ought to firmly land me at over 2700 miles for 2021. That would be the most in a year since 2012. In fact, I ran 2788 the year I turned 60. Hmmmmmmmm..... motivation.......

It also means that I can no longer afford to carry this extra weight around. Dangerous at any age, worse as we get older. SO....... time to lift, maybe yoga, time to hydrate, time to drop back into more veggies and fruits. Time to just take better care of this vehicle that has transported me for a long time.

I'm guessing that when I wake up tomorrow, I won't feel much different than today. Birthdays are like that. They're just days. Pass the cake.

Run on!


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Future Running Buddy?


It's been a long time since Bosco was around. Back in the 80's, my Old English Sheepdog Bosco would go with me on the occasional running journey. His claim to fame was that one time, he went 18 miles. Four weeks ago, and after a long, long time of contemplating a dog purchase, we found Bosco's replacement...... Winston.

Winston (pictured) is an English Cream Retriever and is already showing promise as a future running buddy. He loves to tag along when we break into a run AND.... according to the All Things Dogs website, "English Cream Retrievers should run for 1 hour/day." Perfect.

As for the human running, I am still working my way through mile after mile. The pace remains pedestrian in the mid 12 minutes per mile area with an occasional easy day easing to the 13's. While that may seem monstrously slow, I find that the effort is becoming easier each day. Hopefully we keep improving on that pace. And with the "chase the tennis ball" fartleks being thrown into the mix, quicker moving is inevitable.

Mileage-wise, as many readers of this blog know, I consider it a "serious" year when I get in 2000 miles. Well, as of today, Sep 14, we are at 1906 and counting, The hope is that we are on the way to a very seriously good year.

Races? We don't need no stinking races!!! Having said that, I'm thinking about the Hot Chocolate 15k for simple something to do with some other running type people.

All in all, and in no way emblematic of this space, I have no complaints (well, at least not about this topic.... tax increases, pandemics, do nothing legislature, bad roads, crabby people.... plenty to complain about there. Don't get me started).

Nevertheless...... run on.


Saturday, August 14, 2021

55 Years!!! This running thing is pretty great!


Two days ago, August 12th was my 55th runnerversary. Amazing how the time flies, but also amazing how some things remain constant. Near as I can figure, the only things I've done for over 55 years has been be alive (and all of the stuff that goes with that (breathing, pumping blood, etc...) and being my Brother's Brother.

There are MANY posts on this Blog site that celebrate various running milestones of mine, so if you're looking for something reflective, it would be there. For me, I am in the present, and so much so lately that I actually missed my runnerversary, and that is rare. I guess it's mostly the fault of my new future running companion, but that's another story as little English Cream Retriever, Winston, is only 9 1/2 weeks old and a ways away from hitting the trails.

SO.... the present. It's going to be about a 58-60 mile week. This has been a back-off kind of week after three in the 70's. It's been a nice little "run" getting in some decent miles. If I could only get the strength thing and the diet dialed in, that would be awesome (oh well, always something to self-gripe about). At this moment, I have logged 1647 miles for the year and have yet to miss a day (probably shouldn't say that, but I'm not one of those jinx people anyway). Those miles should put on track for 2700 for the year, BUT..... if we have the knee surgery in December, those miles will have to wait.

All in all, I am presently 26 miles short of 118,000 for my career, so there's that. Keeping plugging towards the next big goal of 200,000 kilometers (124,274 1/4 miles).

Didn't work much in July, so had ample time to absorb all of those Olympic moments. THAT, however, will be for a blog post another day.

So, run on and keep having fun. tTake it from me, this running thing is pretty great!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

3 Wrong Moves and BOOM, it's 18 Miles


All I really wanted to do was go somewhere different for a longer run. After much geo-wrestling, I decided on an old route from my Boulder days. So, South Boulder Creek trail, across Hwy 93, UP to the Mesa Trail and a short loop, then down. Couldn’t really remember, but I thought 12-14 miles.

Upon crossing 93 and starting up the hill, I decided to take a single track trail which I thought might be a shortcut. 


Wrong move #1. It took me UP the hill, but was by no means a shortcut. Once up the hill I found a sign that pointed to the Mesa trail. I took it. 


Wrong move #2, It took me too far North. It seemed like FOREVER to actually get to the Mesa trail. Then after struggling to the Mesa trail (and I haven’t run it in 15 years probably), and a LONG way along it, I looked for the move DOWN the hill. Missed it. 


Wrong move #3. So I ran nearly the entirety of the Mesa trail before I found a way down.

Three wrong moves, and in the end, an 18 mile run. My legs are shot, but part of me is proud. I was out there running for over 4 1/2 hours on a knee that was supposed to be replaced a year and a half ago. Oh, did I mention that I ran out of water at about 3 hours. (also of note, actually got the nerve to ask five runners and cyclists who had finished their jaunts if they could spare a bit of water....... no, no, no, no, no. Thanks comrades). Better planning needed. HA!

While as tiring as any marathon I’ve ever run (with the exception of 1979 Pikes Peak), it was equally satisfying. I mean, I’m almost 70 years old, what the hell was I doing? Answer: Having a blast. Like many blasts, I may regret it tomorrow. I’ll jump off that bridge when I get to it.

Side notes
: the Mesa trail is rougher than 15 years ago and way rougher than the first time I ran it in 1980. Must be all those thousands upon thousands wearing it down. AND Boulder has changed immensely since I lived here in the 90’s. The one, and only thing I miss, are the trails.


The big side note is that I lived to tell about this. Monday, I was a hair stiff, had a higher than usual resting heart rate (55 instead of 48) and still managed 9 miles. Today...... well, today there were no aftereffects so I went another 10.


Amazingly, my knee feels pretty good. I've made some stride adjustments to keep my foot from landing too far forward, thus reducing the possibility of a pop or buckle (see: http://runspittle.blogspot.com/2020/09/pops-and-buckles-what-happens-to-my-knee.html). And it has REALLY helped. Also hoping more weight loss will further aid this progress.


All in all, I won't complain. The middle of 2021 is going well and despite some wrong turns, it's all good.


Friday, July 23, 2021

The Happy Post


Having perused my last few blog posts, I decided it was time to post after a good run, when I was feeling optimistic (not that I am pessimistic, ever, but sometimes this blog has becomes an outlet for the bad side of my current running journey). So, here it is: The Happy Post. 

I ran ten this morning. Five days into the week, my mileage is sitting at 47, so easily this will be another 60+ mile week. My 10 was at 13:07 pace which, while very slow, it's part of a slow progression for me during 2021. I began this year barely "running" at 15 minute pace. The lack of stability in my knee made every step an adventure not knowing how it would land. Incrementally, the 15 minute miles became 14:30, then under 14, then lower. I actually remember a couple of weeks ago being excited about a run that averaged under 13 like it was really cool (well, it was...... for me). Well, today, I didn't notice it. Didn't notice it? Yep, today after the run, I texted my wife, Linda, and said "ran ten easy." She said, "How was your knee?" I said, "I didn't notice." That's a good answer.

So, the last four weeks have been, in terms of mileage: 60, 63, 63, 56. That's a nice month. For the year, we are at 1433. That's more than ALL of 2019. I like it!

It's got me thinking about a few "races" this fall. Not races like see how fast we can go. Mostly races to be back out with the other people who love to do this crazy thing I love to do. Maybe Fortitude on Labor Day (a 10K), maybe something else...... not sure exactly what that looks like yet.

Is every run awesome? Well, yes and no. Every run is awesome from the standpoint of just being out there. Do they all feel awesome? Not at all. I still have very bad knee days. I still think that eventually this crabby little thing will have to be replaced. On the whole, however, I'm a pretty happy fella.

Thus, the Happy Post.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Where Am I Supposed to Be?


Where am I supposed to be right now? Olympic Trials in the new Hayward Field.

Why am I not there? Politics.

More on that later, or maybe not.

So I have had some good weeks of running of late. 52 miles, 54 miles, 55 miles, and on my way to about 55 this week. I appear to be getting somewhat fitter. Now, "fit" is a relative term. As my average mile creeps down below 14 a mile (yeah, baby, look out!), it is clear that I am not "fit" on anyone else's scale other than mine. BUT, as all we have is our own experiences anyway, so I'm going with that.

In another two days I will cross the 1200 mile barrier and that is more miles than I ran in all of 2019. All in all, I have very few complaints. Yeah, my knee is still bothersome, and any over-striding whatsoever can lead to my knee popping (not a good thing). But I've come a long way when it comes to my form and foot strike, and that's a good thing. The other good thing is that I run so slowly that others running type injuries are pretty non-existent. The plan is to get that pesky left knee replaced right after Thanksgiving.

So back to the aforementioned Olympic Trials. The plan was to go. We had SOOOO much fun at the 2016 Trials that we could not wait to head back. And then this Virus thing hit. 

And so far, it would have been great to witness LIVE. It is, nonetheless, still fun on television.

Loved watching the  Men's 10K and seeing CU grad Joe Klecker make the team. FABulous women's 1500 and 5000 meter races (nice job Niwot CO girl, Elise Cranny, and one of my fave runners, Rachel Schneider), and more to come.

The thing you have to love about the Olympic Trials in the USA is that you race, and the top three go to the Olympics (with a few exceptions - but we won't go into Olympic Qualifying marks here). That makes it exciting, AND keeps the politicking out of it (many other countries have committees decide who goes and who stays home).

And speaking of politicking and politics..... well, never mind.

Run on.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Running Bucket List? Yeah, I've Still Got One.



June has arrived and the weather has made a change to FABULOUS. Moisture and chilly was much of May (sounded like Yoda said that), but the wait for Spring/Summer is finally over. Obviously, this had made morning running a much more comfortable happening.

I ended May at 989 miles. Considering I barely passed 1100 back in 2019, I consider this pretty awesome. I also (and if I were even a bit superstitious, I wouldn't write the following words), have yet to miss a day in 2021. In fact, my last day-off was October 12 of last year and that was after 165 days in a row. Hmmm, not bad, I guess.

As the weather gets nicer and race juices begin to flow, my mind is wandering to things I'd like to do once this knee thing is in the rear view mirror. And by the way, I'm 80% sure I'll have this pesky left knee replaced, and if it is, I'm thinking early December.

So, here is the quick top 12 of what's left on this old man's running bucket docket.

12. Nine more marathons. Don't care how fast, just want to end up with 26 finished marathons in my time as a runner. I wasted lots of prime years before they were cool, and who knows where I'd be if I'd made different choices (HA! we all could go there, but let's not). Nonetheless, at 17 now, let's get more.

11. I would love it if two of those marathons were New York and Chicago. I've run New York three times (1993, 94, 98), but one more would be nice. And Chicago, well, I made it to 9 miles back in 2019, so I have to make it to the end. Boston? Eh, too tough to qualify and been there, done that without much motivation to return.

10. I want to run some track races. 5K, 10K, don't care, maybe even a mile. It would just be fun (maybe I'll invest in some "cheater" spikes).

9. a 50K and a 50 miler. And let's add Rob Krar's running camp to the ultra mix.

8. Pikes Peak, either the real live race or just on my own. My last up and down journey on Pike's Peak was in 1979.

7. To run either The Mount Blanc marathon or one of the UTMB series. I got accepted to the Mt Blanc for 2019 but that was NOT a year when that was going to happen.

6. Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. This is a biggie and maybe one of the most important runs on this list.

5. Marathons in Rome and/or London.

4. To run in Kenya

3. To get to 200,000 kilometers. That's 124,274.3 miles. So only about 7000 to go. Than, we'll see

2. To run without the extra-curricular pain. There will always be issues running. I would just love to get to that spot where I'm not constantly nursing some knee thing and able to no have every old lady on the trail passing me.

1. To run until I no longer can. Running has given me so much in this life, I can't imagine being on the planet and not partaking (that's the only reason I'd even consider letting someone stick metal, or whatever it'll be, in my knee).

There you have it. My list, subject to revision, especially addition, at any time. What's on yours?

Run on.

High and Low Motivation, Hmmmmmm

Almost hitting six weeks into the new year, I'm finding both high and low levels of motivation. On the high side, I am loving getting ou...