Saturday, February 27, 2010

From the Aerostar to the Exposition!

I've moved from the Aerostar to the Exposition (and back again, I'm sad to say!) No, no, I'm still driving up to NC with Woody on 3/25, but this is about yesterday's trip to the Jose Gasparilla Exposition for the 24,000 plus runners attending this weekend's running events.

I haven't been to the expo in a couple of years, don't know why, just haven't, but I went yesterday. I can say runners must live longer, because I saw the same old faces that I saw there 20 years ago. Geez, but I'm getting old!!! But not yall, seriously. Not yall.

It was kind of cool walking around shooting the breeze. I was a little, embarrassed when people asked me what time I was going to run the marathon in. I said, "hopefully daytime!" Truth is my goal is every bit as ambitious as it was when I had to break 3:15 9 years ago to run Boston. No not nearly as fast (3:40) but age, injuries, and different emphasis over the last 9 years make this goal just as daunting.

I'll tell you what, I understand why it's just as daunting, I just have to get comfortable in my new skin.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Driven Man

At the end of March I'll be a driven man. The dadgum price of air travel to Raleigh, it just won't come down. So, my buddy Woody is taking his aging Ford Aerostar to Raleigh, and I'm hitching a ride.

It means taking a day off of work, but sick days I got, it's money I do not have.

And while Aluminun might be close to $2 a pound in Cali, it's topping out at about 30 cans for a buck in Florida (that's 1/2 what Arnold's Army is getting on the left coast!)

What's a poor old dude to do?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'll Never Be Able to Do This....

I started my run with the age defying Davo on the Suncoast Trail on Tuesday by thinking, "I'll never be able to do this!"

Davo is a 50-year old friend of mine, but he doesn't run like a 50 year old, heck he doesn't run like he's 50-year young! He runs like a youngster. Anyway, Davo is leading a pace group at this, the 10th and last, Gasparilla Marathon which takes place on Sunday. Davo is committed to pacing his group to a 3:50 finish, roughly 8:45 per mile. There was a time, pre-2001, when this was a stroll for me. Heck, I used to routinely run sub 3:30, but that was before I started running long..... really long. I didn't quit doing marathons, they just became my speed work. As I average about 14 minute miles in my 100's, 10 minute miles became speed work. My marathons were now run somewhere between 4 and 5 hours.

Suffice it to say that when you hope to maintain 14 minute miles in 100 miles, 8:45 becomes a little quick. 8:45 per mile after running 40 miles over the 9 hours of darkness on Sat/Sun made our little 6 mile 8:45 adventure a formidable task for me, though effortless for Davo.

I was correct in assuming that it wouldn't be easy for me. As I was telling some bull squat story (which wasn't easy considering the blistering pace I knew we were setting) we hit mile marker one in what I was sure was about an 8 Minute Mile. "8:51" Davo called out. Yoikes! I'm tired I'm sore, I've gone one mile, and I was too slow.

I shut my mouth (not an easy task) and concentrated. We hit the next mile in 8:35 and I felt a little better having worked some of the Sat/Sun kinks out of the legs. We proceeded up the Suncoast for one more mile, this another 8:35 (Davo has gotten really good at this pacing thing!) and this mile was a tab easier than mile two.
.. .. Davo, leads the way, while I hang on! ... ...

Davo and I then reversed our course for the 3 mile return. We went 8:31, 8:31 and 8:35, each of these miles was easier than the one before. I finished light on my feet with Davo demanding that I slow down.

The run left me saying, "I'll never be able to run this pace for 26.2 miles.... Until Sunday!" Go AndyMan Go!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hi, I'm Andy and I'm a Stumblebum

From SnL season 12 (can't find the video anywhere on the web!)
Steve Martin: Um.. is, uh, this the Gerald Ford Clinic?
Kevin Nealon: Yes, it is.
Steve Martin: Great! [ Steve closes the door, walks across the room and trips over Kevin's foot, falling to the floor before finally taking a seat ]

Steve Martin: Hi, I'm Steve, and I'm a stumblebum.
Kevin Nealon: Hi, Kevin, I'm a stumblebum, too.
[ Martin Short enters the room, stepping into a bucket and tripping into an American flagpole near the window ]
Martin Short: Hello! Sorry! Is this where the group therapy is?
Kevin Nealon: Yep.
Steve Martin: Yep.
Martin Short: [ takes a seat ] Okay! I'm Marty!
Steve Martin: Hi, Marty. I'm a stumblebum.
This could have been our pre-race conference on Saturday night at Croom.
Hi, I'm Andy, and I'm a Stumblebum.
Hi Andy, I'm Andy too, and I'm a Stumblebum.
Hi Andy and Andy too, I'm Dan and I'm a bigger Stumblebum.
Yep, between Andy, Andy, and Dan we had 9 falls on Saturday night, making it one of the more successful night runs in recent memory! As a matter of fact of the 7 of us making the trip everyone ended up taking a tumble except Woody and Frank.
Anyway you slice it, that's a lot of time in the dirt.
Since I couldn't find the SnL clip, at least enjoy this appropriate you tube!

Friday, February 19, 2010

I CAN Weight!

You see I have an I Can weight, which is good because it's harder to eye my can if my weight is at my I CAN weight! Sadly, I am too old to have an eye can D weight.

I'll just have to settle for I Can.

See you at 180, I plan on arriving by April 1.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

And since I combined Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, I ended up with Fat Ash Wednesday, and it's correctly descriptive.

So, when Star and I were chugging around Wilderness Park yesterday I made a rather bold statement. NO:

1. Chicken Wings until after Umstead (March 26 - 27).
2. No Hamburgers until after Umstead.
and 3. No, gulp, French Fries until after Umstead.

Yoikes! The burgers, that's no problem, even though burgers are unlike dogs, and my students (you really can't beat a burger!); I rarely eat burgers; the problem areas are French Fries, they have good ones at the school cafe, they are only $1, and I don't always bring enough lunch from home and the Chicken wings. I eat chicken wings about 1.7 times a week, which is about 3 times more than I should. Here's the thing, I love chicken wings. Garsh they are yummy.

But I'm going to do it, I know I am, heck I have to. I really don't want to be DFL at Umstead, I'd rather by DM (dead middle).

Let's see if I can turn my Fat Ash into a Thin whatever!

Monday, February 15, 2010

There are Victories, and Personal Victories

I wish I could say I won a cool race like our bud Andy Barrett did this weekend. I'm proud of him, he's been running very well.

But, while I didn't win, or even run, a race, I still had a great running weekend. It started on Saturday when I met Little Lisa at Trout Creek. We had a nice, relaxing 12 miles at a steady pace. My legs felt good.

Sunday it was only Star and Tracy Cole (nice lady and quick ultra runner from Longwood, FL) and I up at Croom. We started at 7 AM in 24 degree weather. But it was a beautiful day, and even though I never wear tights, only shorts, I was never cold. We chugged around for 31 miles and again, my legs were great (my feet were killing me, but not the Plantar area) and I felt better at mile 30 than at mile 5. So, 43 or so miles in two days, and I was feeling pretty good.

Today Star and I met again, this time back at Trout Creek. We motored for 15 miles, and it was effortless. So, 58 miles, the legs feel good. I have a pretty good shot at Umstead, and I'll slay 'em at Kettle in June.

Things, they be looking up!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Men Tour?

Someone called me a men tour the other day. I was like, "What the heck does that mean?"

Yeah, sure, I'd love to play 36, shoot a game of eight ball, down a picture of brew, and scarf down a platter of wings at a gentleman's club (talk about your misnomers. It's kind of like when I went to the Adult Book Store and asked for a copy of Grapes of Wrath, I thought a very adult book, and they tried to hustle me out of there with some swanky magazine instead!)." That's the men's tour.

Turns out that isn't what they were talking about. A couple of people with whom I work are just starting their training for a 1/2 marathon and I am taking them for a run tonight. Another associate called me a mentor. Turns out that means someone that kind of guides some one along, makes suggestions, has maybe done it before.

Aw, shucks! Two nice ladies, I'm glad to help.

Kind of cool though to think I may know something about something that someone somewhere don't know. I get to take them on a neighborhood tour tonight and I have tidbits to share on tempo, stride, and the mental game. Sadly, I think after that I'm out of material that isn't common knowledge. Still, it's nice to think that at one point I was a mentor.

Still want to go on that men tour though, sounds fun!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Double Trouble

I did it again. The double run. 4.5 at 4:30 in the am then 6 at 6 pm. It was much easier running than the last double. And it's starting to work!

I'm certainly no Dean Karnazes yet, but my legs are starting to get hard as Chinese Arithmetic! And my belly is following my hairline (it's starting to recede :)

Even had my first compliment since my youth the other day. "You are starting to look lean," said the nice lady behind the desk. She gets a gold star!

This running isn't as fun as it used to be, but it's starting to work (unlike Star, who is on extended vacation!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Here we go Loop de Loop ....

Here we go Loop de Loop; Here we go Loop de Lie.........

Andy B, Patrick the Fast, and I went over to Clermont and met Tracy at Triathlete hang out called Bradshaw Loop. It's a rolling 10 mile dirt loop. And on that Saturday, it was a muddy track meet.

Geez, but Geez, there were a lot of Tri-Geeks out there (Darn, but I get irritated by Tri-Athletes, not as people or anything, it's just that they drive really nice cars. There wasn't a beater in the bunch. If Roger ran there they'd tell him, "Yeah, your car's ok, for a domestic!" as they struggled around the 10 mile loop.)

Any way, while I was out there looping around I was thinking, this is so silly, just out here running in circles with all these nuts. Isn't there more to life than this? But then I saw Jim Sullivan, yes I guess he really is everywhere! I figure if the guy that's done more ultras than anyone else in the world is out there it must be a good place to run.

Hey Tracy, had fun, thanks! But, geez, is it always so windy?

Gentleman Jim was out there!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Pride Runneth Over

Yesterday I went to a sports scholarship signing, and wow, did it do my heart good.

No, it wasn't the one from my school that made the Front Page of the St. Pete Times, and the front of the sports page in the trib. Those were cool too, but didn't fill me with the same sense of joy and pride that the one earlier in the day did.

The one earlier was very low key. ESPN didn't have live coverage as they did when our two blue chip athletes signed with the State's two best football universities yesterday. This one was one of our female track and field athletes signing with a small mid-western school. There was only one photographer there, and I'm pretty sure he was hired by the school, not ESPN, not even a local paper. But you know who else was there?

Her Mom, Her Dad, Her Elementary School and middle school gym teacher and track coach one of her best friends from school, her current girls track coach, and me, the head coach from her last two years.
I won't over state things, I had very little to do with her success. The girls coach is very much a person in control and did not ask for nor accept much help. I'd like to think I set a good example by being there everyday and by staying in relatively good shape myself, by having the track unlocked, the lights on, and the equipment out for practice every day. Regardless, she and her parents seemed very happy that I wanted to be there and that I was obviously happy that she was getting the chance to accept a scholarship to same U that her parents attended a few decades before.

To me, her story was much more compelling than that of the Mega-Blue Chip recruits that are constantly told how much talent they have. Our track girl, walks around campus unnoticed, humble, and grateful to be in a place that offers her an education with highly qualified educators. She has no sense of entitlement, and I think there's a story there!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daily Double

Skipped the am run this morning. Plenty of sleep. But I treated my self to two cycles of the snooze alarm. It's ok, because yesterday I did the Daily Double! It was my first Daily Double in quite a while (well, running anyway.)

I have done well this week. Popped up and ran on Monday AM. Tuesday, I did the same fearing that RunDavo would have to cancel on the night run, in reality, I cancelled on him (life gets in the way). Still, I had time to squeeze in a 4 mile jaunt whilst Ali was in dance.

So, with two 5 am runs and a double to my credit I slept in, but I don’t want to get too lazy, so I am planning a little jog with RunDavo and the Beckster tonight. It is my desire to run no matter the status of my two partners (I fear retribution for dissing RunDavo last night.) To increase the odds that I get out and run this eve I integrated some running garb in my work outfit today. Yep, I am using the Miles for Moffit tech shirt as my undershirt, and who needs boxers when they have sleek running shorts that provide all the support the boys need? Yep, when the school day ends, I can do the quick change, and since my Super Suit is already on my bod, I won't even need a phone booth! Why didn't Superman ever think of that? Genius!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


First, I didn't steal Star's picture. If it's on the web, it's public domain! Oh, sure, I got it from there but I didn't steal it. I resent the alligation, and as an Auburn Tiger, I resent the Alligator!

Second, Run something everymorning before you go to school-work-gym-shopping. Just roll out of bed and get it done. If AM don't run in the AM, AM aint running! We can count on our ultra buds to meet us at 0-dark-thirty (also borrowed from Star) in EBFE on a weekend, but aint nobody meeting you at 5 AM on Tuesday morning, so just quit griping and run. Again, I used to know this, but during my injury time out, I forgot.

I have fallen into the, well, I'm meeting Davo and Becky later so I can sleep in, trap. Yes, we may get together, but we may not. And if I've worked all day and they cancel, I'm going to Beef's and getting some wings and I'm not running, oh yeah, not running!

Talk about timing, my lovely daughter's lovely mother (and that is NOT sarcasim! Ali's mother is a very good person) just called and due to circumstances beyond her control, I'm now the Teenager Taxi for the night and can't drive to Lutz to meet Davo for our scheduled run!

Boy, it's a good thing I remembered what used to be second nature! If you don't run in the morning chances are more than fair that you aint gonna run!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Real Citrus Park!

On Saturday we ran in Citrus Park, no not the mall, this was wetter, longer, less crowded, filled with more culinary treats, and just all around better.

I hate the mall, I like the park.
I hate to park at the mall.
Bears and mountain Lions like to Maul at the Park.
When I got done I felt like I'd been mauled at the park.
Most people fell, I did not fall. I felt like I fell, and then got run over, and then got mauled.

************ The Real Citrus Park! **********

Wait, I must give a shout out to the Professor and his BGF Lindsay, they ran all 41 with us at Citrus and then came back and ran the Florida "It really is a Challenge" Challenge 1/2 marathon on Sunday, and they did very well. Way to go you two!

I feel better today.
I ran this morning and my legs were fine.

When I ran on Saturday I did not feel very good at all for the first 35 miles. I felt and ran very well for the last 6 miles. What's up with that? Does that mean I'll have to keep going at Umstead and Kettle if I don't feel good at some point? I think that's what that means.

Oh well, I have my work cut out for me!