Week 16

Week 15
Supposed to be 2 easy miles. I biked 14.1 instead.

The 5 mile tempo run that was scheduled that day was a 5 km. fast easy run. Was not near tempo pace, but it was much faster than my long runs. I also ran Thursday for 2.6 miles.

Saturday long run did not quite make it into the long run category. I was supposed to do 8 miles. I started the day with a killer 3.14 mile hill workout. If it was not such a hard run, I might have actually enjoyed the scenery. Beautiful fall colors in Virginia near the Shenandoah National Park.

After driving a few hours to our next stop we spent 5 hours at a church for its missions conference which included an international banquet and a church service. The family we stayed with happened to be home to a certifiable running nut. We talked about how much we liked running and training. We ended up talking ourselves into a 4 mile run at 10:00 at night. Hills again for the second time in one day.

Week 16
I have to admit to leaving my training plan at home on this trip. It was an oversight. But the runs are supposed to be something like 2 miles on Monday, 6 miles moderate on Wednesday and 2 miles on Friday. Then the week ends with a marathon on Saturday. I think I can remember that without the training plan in front of me.

The way the week will play out is that I ran on Tuesday for 4 miles. I plan to run again on Thursday for just a mile or 2. I need to test out an idea. Then on Friday I will run just 2 real simple miles.

Review: 50/50

50/50: Secrets I learned while running 50 marathons in 50 days, Dean Karnazes’ second book about running that I have read. The first one was Ultramarathon Man which was basically race reports strung together to give a history of his running life. 50/50, while different from the first in many ways, still has the same passion of someone telling a story, yet teaching lessons as he goes along.

The first couple of chapters are narratives about how the idea of running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days came about and how the first few races went. Scattered in the narrative are tips and tricks he learned in his running career that a new runner could benefit from. A few chapters into the book the amount of narrative and teaching switch roles. He begins to spend much more time talking about running and preparing yourself for your first marathon than telling details of each marathon run during the event.

The style of the work is exactly what I like in a book. The chapters are short. He focuses on one main theme for each chapter. He relates the events in an enjoyable, east-to-read, style. And since I love biographies and non-fiction of just about any kind, the interweaving of race reports with training guide is exactly what appeals to me.

Whatever you think about Dean and his shameless self promotion, you have to admit that there are many more people enjoying the sport of running because of Dean Karnazes. I was a runner before I ever heard of Karno, but the idea of pushing towards running my first marathon, and hopefully many ultras in the future, can be traced back to Ultramarathon Man.

I highly recommend this book for newer runners and marathoners. While more experienced runners may enjoy the story behind the 50/50 event, I don’t know if they will get as much out of the book as a newer runner will.

I will add the same disclaimer to this as I did on Ultramarathon Man: there is some profanity in the book which is unnecessary and dissappointing Therefore I caution readers about buying it for younger runners.

I want to thank Steve at Run Bulldog Run for having the drawing in which I won the book. Also I thank the publisher for overnighting a copy of the book to me the day they learned my first copy was lost in the mail.

Review: Metal Cowboy

Metal CowboyJoe Kurmaskie, the author of Metal Cowboy is a great story teller. He talks about people whom he met while riding his touring bicycle from place to place. Mostly the stories happened while on long trips across countries. As a writer, he was able to pull interesting stories out of people.

This book is not really a chronicle of a single trip. Nor is it really chronological over a long period of time. One could read the book viewing each chapter as a totally separate story. However, there are times that you would need to have read a previous story to get a full understanding of something mentioned in the current chapter.

Most of the stories relate to bicycle touring in some way. Many are just happenstance that he was on a bike when he met some people to drag an interesting tale out of them and biking had little else to do with the story told. Most are very humorous, while some are sobering in content.

I borrowed this book from a library, but I would like to get my own copy of it. While I don’t re-read many books, this is one that I would enjoy reading again and was actually saddened when the book was finished. I found myself carving out time to read even though I have certain times of the day when I read if it is convenient, but Metal Cowboy seemed to be in my hands much more often than my prescribed times. I usually “savor” books over several weeks (read: I am a slow reader). This book was consumed in 4 days.

While I am disappointed that this book has some cursing in it, I am thankful it is far less than other real-life adventure books I have read.

Joe Kurmaskie has other books on the market. I am hitting a book store tomorrow to see if I can pick up another. He is a great author.

My wife’s only regret about the book is that I now want to strap a tent to my bike and head out for a few days.

Metal Cowboy: Tales from the road less pedaled, Breakaway Books, 1999, 302 pages.

Week 15

Week 14
Monday to Wednesday
Camping. I did not run, but did get in some nice casual bike riding. There were also a couple of easy hour long hikes.

I ran an easy route of just 2.84 miles. That took the place of my Monday easy run and my Wednesday speed workout. I feel totally ready for the marathon. Right now I am just trying to run consistently without injury. I have no real time goals for the race.

I did my long run on Friday since I knew I would be out early on Saturday taking in all the garage sales. The plan was a 12 mile run. I did 12.24 at 10:19 pace. Goal pace (according to the training plan) was 10:13. Though I was not trying, I got pretty close to the goal.

Week 15
Monday: Easy 2 miles.

Wednesday: 5 mile tempo run.

Saturday: Long run of 8 miles at 10:13 pace.

Week 14 started my taper. I have just 2 weeks to go for the marathon.

September Goals Report

The goal is to run 1000 miles this year. I have accomplished 723.5. The month of September was my biggest month so far with 104 miles logged. I am needing to run a bit over 90 miles each month for the next 3 months to make the goal. It should be very do-able. I did these 100 miles in 12 runs. That is probably the least number of runs in a month all year, but there were 2 runs of 20 miles each.

I rode my bike quite a bit this month too. Getting the new road bike and being home more often really helped with that. I put 55 miles on my bike.

My reading has not gone as well as planned, but I am still hitting the books and pulling in content. If I knew a way to quantify my on-line reading, then my number of pages would go through the roof. I read 645 pages in 6 books. The only one of real interest is Metal Cowboy. I just started that this week and am really enjoying it. I plan to write a review of it soon. I read a book about Eric Liddell (the Chariots of Fire guy) and am reading another one about him. I plan to do a Missionary Talks episode about his life.

Just plugging away. Next month will be my marathon. I also will be away from home most of the month. My bike riding numbers will be almost nothing while my running and reading should get better.