Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Meet Captain Jack Sparrow Jr.

Don't mess with captain Jack he's dressed to kill. This was his way of reporting to the blackboard jungle today. Thanks to his lovely, but sorry to say ill mother, (she's had strep for the past 3 weeks)who helped the captain don his outfit for today.
He did manage to come home with some treasures to share with the rest of his mates' Although, I am on a dark nugget (dark chocolate, hint-hint) diet these days so I didn't enjoy any of the spoils.

He thinks he's going to get away with that imported Tokai from Hungary. Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin, or his. That's a spoil his grandpa acquired for us while out on his adventures in the old country. Captain Jack, didn't need the intoxicant to obtain any goods for the day anyway. And he had a Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Inside - Outside

Saturday's weather forecast called for a severe thunderstorm warning, so I decided to play it safe and do a 30 minute tempo run on the treadmill. I began the first 10 minutes at a 7:30 pace with an incline of 2%. The second 10 minutes was at a 6:15 pace with the incline at 4%. I finally broke out in a sweat and was huffin' and puffin'. The last 10 minutes was back to a 7:30 pace and the incline at 2%.

This was my first hard run since running the Columbus marathon 2 weeks ago. I felt pretty good overall. I am taking 4 weeks to recovery and build up some mileage to help prepare me for a 5 mile race on Thanksgiving morning.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny Fall day. I packed my son's bike in the trunk of the car and we headed to our favorite 8 mile bike/run route in the park. The route is an out and back and going out we were faced with some strong headwinds. I think it was more difficult for my son to bike with headwinds than for me running. We made it to the turnaround point in 30:36 and was looking forward to having the winds at our backs. The run/bike was easier and faster the second half and we did enjoy the scenery by stopping at a viewing deck to catch sight of a fish jump out of the water. We also barely missed running over a garter snake on the trail. We finished in 58:57. It was a beautiful day in the park.

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Spinning workout DVD

Today was a kind of day to hop on the trainer and get a good workout. The day began with rain and temperatures dropped to the point of turning the rain into snow.

I recently received in the mail my new off-season workout DVD: SPINerVALS Ultra Conditioning 2.0 Ultra CORE-Strength Builder. And on this wonderful gray, wet, and snowy day I did the workout.

The workout consists 60% of the time on the bike doing various one leg drills and high cadence drills. The other 40% is core workouts on the stability ball. The core workouts were mixed in between sets of the different drill exercises, which help break the monotony of just spinning for an hour. My legs felt like they got a workout along with my back and abdominal muscles. I'll be back to do that workout again during the winter months.

Here is some information on the DVD.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Out in the woods.

Today was the first day I did some running since the Sunday marathon. I am so priviledged to have a park at the bottom of my street that has a 2 mile all-purpose hiking/biking loop trail and about 2.5 miles of hiking trails.

It has been a long time since I've run the trails and I have been looking forward to running them when my structured schedule of training would end, so that I could hit the trails. It was a beautiful fall day in the park. The smells and sites of the foliage was in its fullness. I ran the trails at a very slow pace and even came right up to some deer who were not at the least bit intimidated by me. I could have petted one but I don't trust those big four legged creatures. My legs are still a little sore but it was fun to get wet and muddy shoes after running 3 miles on the trails.

I plan on running as much as I can on trails during my 2 months of down time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Columbus Marathon with Smiles & Hugs!

I ran the Columbus marathon back in 1994 with a time of 3:29:00. But today was different...

As I looked around at the starting line of the Columbus marathon I was impressed to see an excitement among the runners that I don't remember noticing at any other running or triathlon race. The runners seemed to be full of high energy jumping up and down, arms and legs going in all kinds of directions, and chatting up a storm. It must have been the few weeks of running low mileage leading up to the race that we all were ready to explode out of the starting line.

Just before the gun went off at the start of the race we were greeted with a C-130 military plane fly-by overhead. That was exciting.

To help organize in my mind the unfathomable distance of the marathon I chose to break the 26.2 miles into various mile segments. The first 5 miles I planned to go out at a comfortable pace while sipping water and Gatorade from all the water stops. After 5 miles I was warm enough to pull off my extra tee-shirt. I think it was also around 5 miles I met fellow blogger Lloyd who had good words of encouragement and smiles. He has a short movie clip at the start of the race on his blog. He also took the one photo I have from the race. Thanks, Lloyd.
5 miles in 32:57

At the half way mark I spotted my wife and son in the crowds and I had to shout to get their attention. I was glad to see their big smiles while cheering me on.
13.1 miles in 1:25:05

Then into the 20 mile range it was all down hill. My legs felt thick and heavy. The legs didn't cramp up but they just didn't want to keep my 6:30 pace any more. The good thing was that I didn't have to walk at any point like I had to in my previous 4 marathons. I felt well hydrated and fueled from the many water stops and the two gels I took at 7 and 18 miles.
20 miles in 2:11:22

At the finish area I met Brian and got a big warm hug. We worked hard for this race and have encouraged one another throughout our training. I was so glad for him and that he broke his 3 hour dream barrier.
My wife and son met me at the finish area and I got a nice hug from them too. She wrapped her quilt blanket around me and put her arms around me to help keep me warm.
Final time in 3:03:03
This time was about 26 minutes faster than what I did back in 1994! Yes! I guess with old age you can still get faster.

We walked up the street to watch more runners come in for the finish. And about 30 minutes later we got to see our friend Sheri, finish in her projected goal time of less then 4 hours. She came in 3:55. She was smiling! Good for her!
Then it was a long 3/4 mile walk (which seemed longer) to the car. I needed the walk though.

To train for this marathon I used the FIRST to the finish training schedule and felt it worked great for me. I will use it again to train (which starts Dec. 26th) for the Boston marathon. However, I would modify the long runs a little different. Rather than going out at planned marathon pace (PMP +) I am going to try and run the first half of my long runs easy and finish the second half faster. I think running negative splits on long runs, is good training for the mind and body, and if anything, it will be a good mental booster in preparation for the marathon.

I really appreciate all the great comments and compliments from all those visiting my site. You all are my encouragement. Thank you. With smiles and hugs, Papa Louie. See you in Boston, April 16, 2007

p.s. if you click on the picture you will see my big smile.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Columbus marathon update

I wanted to send a quick update on my marathon run today. I am very glad to say I finished in qualifing time for the Boston marathon. My qualifing time is 3:30:0 but I finished todays marathon in 3:03:03. Whoohoo!! I am very happy to finsh 27 minutes ahead of the time I ran 11 years ago in Columbus.

Overall place: 109
Age Division: 7/264
Male: 104/2254
Overall time: 3:03:03

To be continued...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Taper week update

Monday - 50 minute Yoga workout. 3 mile walk in morning and 2 miles in the afternoon. Good thing I didn't have to work.
Tuesday - Interval track workout of 6 x 400 meters (average 74 seconds per 400m).
Wednesday - 35 minute swim.
Thursday - 3 mile run in 19:05
Friday - 25 minute swim and 50 minute Yoga
Saturday - Drive the marathon course
Sunday - Run the marathon!

Tuesday, we watch the inspirational movie of swimming the English Channel, On a Clear Day. One of the lines my son got a hilarious laugh was, 'my friend could fart in German'. I have to admit I also got a good chuckle out of it. And while I was swimming the next day the line came back to me with the sight of my son laughing it made me laugh. The problem was that I took a gulp of some chlorine water which was not good. I had to think of something else to keep myself from laughing while swimming. I realized you can't laugh while swimming.

On a scary note. My daughter caught a flu bug last week and my wife got it earlier this week. She got a throat culture on Tuesday and on Wednesday it came back positive with strep. I'm thinking, 'Oh no,' I can't get sick before this weekend. I was almost tempted to start taking antibiotics to ward off the bug. But I was advised not to mess with the pill unless I was tested positive and prescribed by my doctor. It's Thursday and I'm feeling great. I need to remember to wash my hands a lot and not to put my fingers in my eyes, nose, and mouth.

Everyone have a great weekend.
See you in Columbus.
My Bib number is 1096

Friday, October 06, 2006

Run long and taper!

My all time favorite podcast show is Phedippidations from Steve Runner and his concluding words to his shows is, "run long and taper". After 16 weeks of marathon training which included two 18 mile runs and five 20 mile runs I can finally say it's taper time!

During taper time I cut back on distance and intensity of my runs. It's also a time to cut back on cross-training of swimming, biking, and strength training for the last week leading up to the Columbus marathon on October 15th.

I will try to sleep/nap as much as I can, stretch and do some yoga a couple times during the week. And that's it.

Eight Days until marathon!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My letter to Nando Parrado

Dear Nando,
I just finished reading your book, Miracle in the Andes and felt to write to you. Last year October I watched on the History channel the movie Alive and remember the movie having a lasting impression on me. It must have been the challenges that you all faced and the strong will to survive.
Earlier this year Outside magazine (May 2006)had a condensed story of Miracle in the Andes and I remember checking out the magazine from the library at that time but I did not read the article for some reason. It might have been because I remembered the movie and didn't think it was necessary to read about it. Although, I have to admit the article was in the back of my mind and the curiosity of reading it would now and then come up in my mind. For some reason about 2 weeks ago I thought to get the magazine from the library and read the story. I enjoyed reading it so much and at times it brought tears to my eyes. My eight year son remembers the movie well and wanted me to read him the story from the magazine, which I did.
The magazine referred to the book, Miracle in the Andes, which I immediately requested from the library. When I began to read the book I found at times I could not put it down. I wanted to read as much as I could in one sitting.
I may not have experienced an Andes as dramatic in my life but like you said we all have some Andes to overcome in our lives. I do appreciate the gift of life every day of my life.
Some of the most profound thoughts and expressions I enjoyed in the book were:
** The conversation you had with Arturo about God. (page 84)
** Death being the constant in the Andes yet the love you had for your father was much stronger than what the mountain was putting you through. And "The opposite of death is love". (page 200)
** The ordeal simplified your mind... (page 216)
** Words of advice from your father. Don't let this be the most important thing that ever happens to you. Look forward, he said, You will have a future. You will live a life. (pages 245-246)
** How can you be at peace with life... I am not at peace in spite of what I suffered, but because of it. (page 261)

Thank you for sharing your experiences in Miracle in the Andes.