There are many who repeat that hackneyed expression ‘while there’s life there’s hope’, as if hope were an excuse for ambling along through life without too many complications or worries on one’s conscience. Or as if it were a pretext for postponing indefinitely the decision to mend one’s ways and the struggle to attain worthwhile goals, particularly the highest goal of all which is to be united with God.

If we follow this view, we will end up confusing hope with comfort. Fundamentally, what is wrong with it is that there is no real desire to achieve anything worthwhile, either spiritual or material. Thus some people’s greatest ambition boils down to avoiding whatever might upset the apparent calm of their mediocre existence. These timid, inhibited, lazy souls, full of subtle forms of selfishness, are content to let the days, the years, go by sine spe nec metu,* without setting themselves demanding targets, nor experiencing the hopes and fears of battle: the important thing for them is to avoid the risk of disappointment and tears. How far one is from obtaining something, if the very wish to possess it has been lost through fear of the demands involved in achieving it! (Friends of God, 206-207)

Resolution Run


The Resolution Run 5k on New Years Day was held on a cold blustery morning. Even though the race didn’t start until 10:00AM it was still chilly. About 45 degrees with a windchill in the lower 30’s. Unfortunately for me when I strapped on my Garmin before the race, it came up “Low Battery” then shut off. My forst race with this great technology and I had a dead battery.

Without the watch I figured i would just cruise with the pack and see how I faired. I was about 20-30 seconds back from front when I crossed the starting line. I felt pretty good for such a cold morning so I pushed the pace up 1st avenue to the top of the bridge over the Cumberland. I had been practicing running downhill so I pushed it even harder going over the other side of the bridge. That is one of the good things of having trained with a heart rate monitor. When running down hill even if you think you have a good pace, your HR drop quite a bit. From this I realized I could push harder downhill then I normally did.

The timer at 1 mile yelled out 7:30 as I passed where he was standing. That would put me as around 7:10- 7:15 for the first mile. That was a bit faster then I normally run. I maintianed a decent pace on the other side of the Collesium until Don Barnnet cought me at about the 1.5 m mark. He usually beats me by a minute or so. As I hit the 2m mile mark they were yelling out 15:00. So my pace slowed to about 7:30 on the second mile. Still ahead of normal pace. After the finish line for both the CMM 1/2 and full marathon, the pedestrian bridge was looming ahead. From the bottom you can see where the first 100 yards of the bridge has a much steeper grade then the last 200 yards. So you tell yourself if I can just get to the part where the grade levels a bit I will be fine. Well by the time you get to the change in grade the brigde has already taken its toll and the rest of it is shear torture.

I tried to keep my pace by increasing my stride frequency and shortening my stride. I wasn’t really working and you could feel yourself lose momentum almost immediately. As I struggled to the top where it actually was flat, I was on the verge of losing my breakfast. Fortunately I skipped the morning bagel. The last part of the run was down hill al the way to the finish. Once again I pushed the pace going downhill. Just a quick left then a quick right and then the finish line was in site. I started to pick people off one by one unitl the final stretch with one more person whitin reach and I pushed past him with about 15 yards to go. I crossed the line at around 23:24. Not knowing what my actual chip time was I figure I finished at 23:00.

After what seemed like an eternity in the cold wind they finally publishe d the results, They apologized for the delay and said they were having problems with the equipment. I looked on the list and it saod I ran 23:01. I was pretty happy with the effort considering the elements and the course. My best up to that point was at the O-fest run on a much flatter course 22:56.
Yesterday morning when I got to work I logged into the Strider’s website to see the corporate results. We finished second to the Vandy team. BUt to my surprise the revised results showed that I had ran the 5k in 22.53. A PR by 3 seconds! Totally unexpected. I am glad I showed up!

The Day After


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I am glad for the time off and the chance to get away from work far a few extra days. But today mark the beginning of the training cycle for the Country Music Marathon. I have done a few runs off and on since my last post. I seemed to have recover from my case of shin splints. They are still a bit sore but it is gradually going away.

I have come to the conclusion most of the probelm stems from poor running form and gettting sloppy at the end of a hard run. I picked up the book Chi Running. I was a bit sceptical at first, but it seems to have worked for me. By concentrating on increasing my forward lean and landing on my midfoot instread of heel striking, I have not had the shin pain when I run. I did 9.5 miles this morning and had no problem.

I am thinking of getting a running coach to evaluate my running motion to see if I can improve even more. I would rather run a bit slower and avoid the injuries then run fast and on the edge of injury. I guess it is the fact that I turn 46 in a few days. I don’t want to spend my time injured. I don’t recover as fast as I once did.

I have also kicked around the idea of doing some ultra events (longer then a marathon) after the CCM. I also wanted to use the opportunity to raise money. I got the idea from Lisa Smith-Batchen website

Solid Run


Had a solid run yesterday. 6.7 miles at a 8:30 pace. Felt strong the weather was perfect. The Garmin is dropping out in a few places, but I want to see how it does over the long term. I understand it hasd to learn the positions of the satellites over time. Will see how it does in the same area around Vandy today.

I ran 6 miles (5.71 on the Garmin) yesterday. I took it easy. No ill effects today. I did some stationary bike and weight today. tommorrow I will try a long run and see how the legs feel then. For now I will avoid running two days in a row until I feel reasonably sure the shin problem is under control.

One more day


Tomorrow is the big day. Hopefully I will get an idea of how my shins have recovered. They feel fine for the most part and I think I have given them adequete rest. The weather should be warmer adn I can take my time, maybe incorporate some walking as well.

I have really noticed a rise in my stress levels since I had to take this sabbatical from training. I didn’t realize how important running was to managing my stress.

Lite work


Yesterday and this morning I didn;t do much in the way of a a workout. Yesterday i stretched a bit, but not much more and today I did some Leg presses and Calf Raises to maintain some strength. Hopped on the tread mill for a few minutes but felt a bit of pain in the usual places on my shins. The weather is turning too cold to run outside for the next few days so it will be Saturday or Sunday before I can run again. Probably a good thing.

No problem


Well I ran yesterday and used the Garmin for the first time. I will have to say this piece of technology is pretty unbelieveable. Im kind of old school so this was a quantuum leap in technology over the Timex Ironman watches I have been wearing for the past 15 years. But it is useable technology, even for guy like me. I will update more in the future when I get a handle on some of the more deatiled features.

As far as the run went, I ran pain free for 3.41 miles at 8:15 pace. I ran with Brady who is a competetive sort (played college and pro football). That meant we couldn’t just finish the run on an even pace we had to sprint up the last hill at the end. Got the Heart rate up to a max of 179. That a bit higher then I have been able to do on a staionary bike. Will take today off. Another day rest. Hopefully a long run this weekend to put the shins to the test.

I have recently purchased a Garmin 305 GPS/heart rate monitor and can’t wait to use it. So today I will give it a whirl. I know I should wait a few more days before getting back into trianing, but I am getting claustrophobic. This will be an easy run. If I have any pain, good or bad I will wait a few more days.

On related note I am toying with the idea of doing some trial running to reduce the pounding my legs take on the pavement. There are a few trail runs coming up later this winter that look to be a lot of fun. They are long events, but you are not running the entire time. If I can do some long runs on trial as opposed to pavement, I might be able to avoid further damage and be able to make it to the CMM (Country Music Marathon) in April.

Painful Reality


Everything’s Zen……I don’t think so! -Bush Sixteen Stone

While I was doing my 30 minutes of stationary bike this morning I was listening to an old favorite of mine BUSH. Well, everything is not Zen. As a matter of fact reality is pretty painful and can not be suspended forever or blissfully ignored. It must be dealt with. The longer we put off dealing wth reality and its associated pain the worse it will be when the gig is up. It is best to recognize it for what it is, deal with it and then move on.

Dealing with pain is something we don’t do a real good job of in our society. Our society seeks comfort at all costs. We will pay anything to be comfortable and avoid discomfort. A life spent avoiding discomfort and pain will leave us totally unprepared for when real tragedy strikes.

So, it looks like I will have to wait until this coming weekend to see if I can run again. The Shins feel fine on the bike, but I need to let them rest bit more to be safe. For a runner injuries are always measured by how long recovery takes. We want some magical remedy to fix the problem so we don’t miss too many workouts. For a runner the most painful thing to do is to do nothing. If we are to continue to be a healthy runner, that is a pain we must find a way to embrace.