Friday, July 27, 2007

Elvis To Mickey

It's time. Time to get disciplined. Time to get busy. Time to get up early and run. Time to shed a little dead weight. Marathon training begins next week. 18 weeks to Memphis.

It finally came down to Honolulu and Memphis, and Memphis won out. I was already in Hawaii this summer, and it just seemed a touch too far away to fly to go run one race. It'll always be that way, but maybe in a different year it won't seem so bad. It's a wonderful course, and I really would like to run it eventually.

Memphis is close by. It was my first out-of-town project when I started working many years ago, and it still has some sentimental appeal. Southern hospitality. Memphis charm. Beale street blues. I'll only need 15K frequent flyer miles to get there vs. 35K to get to Hawaii. Does Corky's BBQ qualify as pre-race carbo-loading?

With all the frequent flyer miles I save, it's almost enough to get me to Orlando, which is good because I just signed up for Disney. The half is already sold out, and with it the Goofy challenge. The full is at 85% capacity, which prompted my early registration. I'll have 6 weeks from Memphis to refresh and recharge.

I'm going to try and have fun with Memphis and use it as a tune-up. I won't worry too much about time in Memphis (famous last words), but it would be nice to PR at Disney. The old training plan from last year has been dusted off, and new run times have been calculated. I'm toying with a 13 minute improvement goal - that's only 30 seconds per mile - and then "rounded" that up to an even 15 minutes improvement goal. Does that sound reasonable?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Got No Rhythm

It's so good to be back home this weekend. I managed to run only once this week, partly due to the feeling that I spent half the week in the air. From 7:00 pm Wednesday until 1:45 am Friday, I tried to get from Minneapolis to Detroit. My connection in Chicago was cancelled, so I was re-routed to fly on Thursday through - of all places - Dallas. So I hopped off in Dallas and worked from home for a bit, and at least had a chance to see the family.

I ran Tuesday morning in St Paul, starting downtown and crossing over the Mississippi River just 3 blocks from my hotel. St Paul is not a bustling place. There was hardly anyone about, maybe because it was 6:00 am? Even so, I was out there until about 6:45 am and saw only one other runner.

I crossed over and there was a decent, if deserted, park on the other side. I ran along the river for a bit, past some obligatory river boat restaurants, and then turned around and headed back. I often use these runs to clear my head of work stuff that weighs me down, and it helped this time too but I could've used a few more miles to deal with this week!

I missed the Too Hot To Handle 5K/15K today in Dallas. S. is taking a yoga class all weekend long, so I'm in charge of the girls today and tomorrow. I've already lost the soda battle, and I'm pretty sure the defense is crumbling on ice cream or gelato, and behind that I see a pizza or two waiting to burst out. Maybe tomorrow morning I'd better get these girls out of the house and to the park to get moving!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Time To Move Along

Thank you all for your kind words and comments to my last post. From the time she first came home with us, Shari had been so much a part of the family for so long. It was very difficult last week, but it's much better now and we're moving along.

I tried running last week and it helped a little. It's been hot and muggy here when it's not actually pouring rain. I ran yesterday morning at 6:30 am and I almost couldn't even get through my usual 4 mile jaunt through the neighborhood. Marathon indecision is still ... undecided. I guess I'm waiting for divine intervention to show me the sign for Honolulu or Memphis or Disney or something!

On the good news front, I've discovered, well, good news. I've long since stopped paying attention to TV news, but it seems even online news is now just full of bad news. Doesn't anything good happen anymore? Well it does. Google "good news" and voila! Good News Network. It's a refreshing change.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Run Free

April 23rd 1992 - July 3rd 2007

Tears have flowed mightily today, but we know she is in a better place. I hope she is chasing rabbits to her heart's delight. I hope she has all the dog biscuits she can ever want. I hope the sun shines down on her every day. I hope she has green grass to roll around in, and a big comfy bed to sleep in each night. Most of all, I hope I'll see her again one day. Bye sweetie. We miss you.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Ever since I didn't get into NYC, I've been struggling with which marathon to sign up for. When I didn't get in last year, I signed up immediately for Marine Corps, and ended up doing that and White Rock. I don't think I want to do either again this year - there aren't that many marathon miles in this old body to go around the circuit twice!

So here's the list of candidates and reasons for running them. They're all in the US, which means 25K American Aadvantage miles if I have to fly there (35K if Hawaii), or close enough to drive if in Texas.
  • 12/1/07 Memphis - BBQ! wet ribs baby!
  • 12/2/07 Vegas - it's now or never, time to do my Running Elvis thing?
  • 12/9/07 Honolulu - any reason to go back to the islands
  • 1/13/08 Disney - free room at my sister's place (I think)
  • 1/13/08 Houston - because it's there
  • 2/17/08 Austin - my alma mater

If I can get one in in December, I may just keep going and do another in January/February. Maybe I'm over-engineering this thing, but I've also got a few reasons to not do some of the races above. The message boards on Marathon Guide really ripped the Vegas race organizer a new one for inept execution; it's got me concerned enough to pass on it this year until they get their act together. I also know Disney is a pretty boring course too outside of the parks, but it is what it is; I'm not up for the Goofy challenge, but I wouldn't mind a Mickey Mouse medal.

Any suggestions about these races? Any ideas for others I should think about?