Sunday, November 30, 2008

1000 Miles

I finally burst through the 1,000 mile mark for 2008 this morning. To say the least, it's been a tough year for me and it wasn't until this summer that I started to get my act together and returned to my roots. Things really kicked into high gear over the past few months and November has been simply outstanding.

How appropriate that I broke through the 1,0000 mile barrier with a 16.5 mile run; my longest run of the year.



As you can see above, I've been making steady improvement since April; but November was over the top. I've run 33, 36, 46 and 47 miles in the past 4 weeks. It must be that pesky muse kicking me in the butt.

Take care.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My inner Muse

Everyone needs a muse and somehow, I found mine. She's that inner voice that tells you when enough is enough. Time to stop complaining about being too stiff in the morning and time to start yoga. Time to stop complaining about being too fat and time stop my informal campaign to taste each and every beer variety ever brewed. I don't know where my muse has been hiding; but, I'm happy to have her flooding my tiny brain with a better vision of myself.

I started yoga at the local LA Fitness 4 weeks ago and the results have been nothing less than amazing. I can touch the floor again, whereas 4 weeks ago, I struggled to reach my mid-calf. I no longer wake up in the mornings stiff and bent over and I can actually look both ways easily when I run across intersections. Just amazing.

After improving my diet and cutting down on my beer consumption, my weight dropped from 188.5 to 178.5 in 4 weeks. I just couldn't hang onto the pounds. I even got through the Thanksgiving food-fest without any extra poundage.

Listen to your muse, she will set you free.

Running is also going very well as well. In the past 3 weeks I've got in 33, 36 and 46 miles and I'm on track to run another 46 this week. The best part is that I'm running pain free and nothing is getting in my way. I ran my mid-week 12 miler on Thanksgiving morning through a driving rain storm with the water running ankle deep down the streets. Feeling good feels so good.

Hope all is well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

176

Who'd have thunk it. Who would have thought that I could push myself hard enough to get my HR up and sustain 176, but this I did on a treadmill in South Bend, Indiana this past Tuesday night. I was scheduled for a 3.2 mile recovery run following my 8 mile tempo the night before and did oki-doki for first 2 miles, keeping the pace slow and my HR well within the lower bounds of my aerobic range ... but boredom set in on mile 3 and I felt a bit adventurous. Starting at the 2 mile mark with the inclination set at 1.5%, I adjusted the pace down to an easy 10/mi and commenced to crank up the inclination 1% every 0.1 mile.

Of the fun ... the pure joy of pushing one's self to the limit. 2.5% - no problem; 3.5% - child's play; 4.5% - OK, I felt that; 5.5%, 6.5%, 7.5% - I be huffing and puffing now; 8.5% - HR well north of 165 - up to 5K range; 9.5% - 170, 171, 172, 173; 10.0% - 174, 175, 175, 175. I didn't think it was going to happen; but with 0.05 on mile 3, 176 popped onto my watch and stayed there for 20 seconds.

For sure, my legs felt like rubber and I wasn't about to raise the inclination any more, but I did it. My previous high reading was 172 - so this was quiet the accomplishment. Funny how the simple things in life bring us so much joy.

Go team go ... hope all is well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Travels and Tribulations

On the road again. Actually, I’ve been on the road physically and mentally nearly non-stop. I’ve spent no more than 3 days in my official office (the one with my name on the door) in the past three weeks and I’m currently on a South West Airlines 737-800, heading to Chicago; after which, I’ll rent a car and drive to South Bend, Indiana. I’m on the road so much, that I now include my location at the top of my OUTLOOK calendar for each day so my Admin has a fighting chance to keep up with me. Ironically, I’m ever more conscious of where I’m not. The more I go, the more I’m cognizant that I should be somewhere else. I need to get back to Mexico very soon and it’s been months since I’ve been to Canada. I can’t remember the last time I was in California and the folks in Tucson must think I’m avoiding them. I’ve completely given up any thought of getting back to France anytime soon. It’s been 11 months since I was in Germany and even longer since I stepped on English soil. Bitch, bitch, bitch……..

Despite the traveling, my running is doing exceedingly well. I’m completely recovered from my last Grand Canyon crossing and running stronger than I have all year. I got in 37 quality miles in 6 runs two weeks ago and 33+ miles this past week in 4 runs, including a fantastic 12 miler on Sunday where, after nearly two hours on the road, I was honored with a spectacular sun-rise of the type you can only see in the desert. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. Of course the reds and oranges that exploded in the clouds as the sun started its slow rise over the McDowell Mountains could have been a total delusion brought on by dehydration and glycogen depletion – who knows – but it was outstanding none-the-less. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera – so the image will just have to remain forever locked in my feeble brain.

Cheers … and happy travels to all.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My Calendar says November, My Thermometer cries September

ROUND 3 - THIS IS MY 3RD ATTEMPT AT THIS POST

For some reason, the gods at Google have deemed my prose inadequate an have deleted the running portion of the post not once, but twice. Too tired to type the whole thing again ... I will simply summarize:

1) It's hot as hell in central Arizona - what gives? It's November and temperatures are still in the mid to high 90sF
2) I'm traveling again and have had little time to blog - bummer
3) Running is going well. After coasting along for two weeks following the Grand Canyon traverse, I got in 30 miles this week. Except for my long run this morning, which was a complete bust, the rest of the week went well.

PICTURES - Not Running Related - but cool.



From Running in the Sun


I took this picture in Phoenix while waiting for a flight to Seattle. You can see down-town in the background. It was a pretty afternoon.

The rest of the pictures in this series I took yesterday while on the Phoenix Loft Tour. Although I still haven't sold my house; I'm still looking for a simpler life style, which means moving down-down. The "home" tour I went on yesterday with some friends was really a guided tour of new loft condos in and around the central core of Phoenix. The views from the high-rise buildings were spectacular, but my heart is still set on something a bit more organic.

From 2008-11-01 - Phoenix Loft Tour




This is a really cool building situated next to "Chase Field" - the baseball stadium in Phoenix. The views from the community room on top of the building were great:

From 2008-11-01 - Phoenix Loft Tour


From 2008-11-01 - Phoenix Loft Tour


From 2008-11-01 - Phoenix Loft Tour


I checked out a couple of other high rise buildings during the day, but in the end the one I really like was a small cluster of 5 condos just north of down-town. Each unit is 4 stories high with unobstructed views from the top two floors. Now, if I could only sell my house.

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Cheers