Thursday, January 3, 2019

Holiday Days and more

Linda and I traveled to Chicago for Christmas and visited our oldest and his girlfriend and after two nights in the windy City we got to visit our wonderful grand daughter --June. We dined on Beef Wellington on Christmas- a first for me and enjoyed it thoroughly.  

The highlight of the trip was visiting June at her house.   She had been at Grandma's for a couple of days and had been through  a lot of Christmas already.   But, she rose the occasion and helped us celebrate it one more time.    Linda and I gave the family a karaoke machine for a present and that was a cool gift.  After loading several Disney songs and some of Betty and Linda's favorites on the machine, off they went.   June was just mesmerized by the entire scene and was right up front watching the show.    She loves music and eventually will be putting on her own show in a year or two.   I have a picture on my phone of June in the middle of the action, but we are doing some security changes at work and I cannot email anything from the phone until next week. 

I am working on training for two events in in the next month.   The SE USATF regional meet is in Winston Salem on January 20 and I wanted one more warm up before the National Indoors, so I am going to Kenosha, WI on Super Bowl Sunday to run in a small meet.   That meet will be 3 running events and the high jump.   It also the birthday weekend for Linda and we will visit June again and also visit the newlyweds--Adam and Audra.  They were in Vegas during Christmas and had a great time in the desert.    That will be a full weekend for both of us. 

Training is going well, I am getting in some indoor running and weight work.  I feel pretty good and do not have any real injuries to speak of.   I did run last week outdoors when it was 65 and sunny and that was just too much fun.  Next week I have a meeting in Florida on the Atlantic coast and I want to run on the beach if the weather permits.   I enjoy getting in some beach sprints and making sure my stride length and gate are at their best. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Dates on the Calendar

It is time to mark dates on the calendar for next season.  The next race on the calendar is an indoor meet in Winston-Salem on January 20. I have started my prep work with weights and some indoor running.  My soreness level has definitely increased after taking off several months from  racing and running.  I have been doing pilates to stay flexible, running about on a week or two on a tread mill, but little else.
 I did in the meantime finish the bathroom redo and it looks marvelous. 

That is part of our attempt to start running a bed n breakfast here in Brentwood, TN.  We are going to connect this bathroom with a bedroom for a nice little suite.
Linda does the cooking and feeds them and we hope it can work out.  
With the hard work done and living in transition and dust, we will move into the government phase of the project where we get the permits and other paperwork squared away.  Even if we cannot get the BNB thing to go, we have a much improved bathroom!  It as modern as we could make it in an 1880 model house.  This was the back porch when the house was built.

I looked into the Master Rankings yesterday to get the final low down on where I finished this season as compared to the rest of North America and the world as well. 

My outdoor finishes were:

1. 50 m    30th  in World  30th in North America
2. 60 m     27                      8
3. 100m    95                      35
4. 200m    57                      18
5. 400m   57                        11
6. HJ        37                        11

Indoor numbers are very similar, I get beat by the same people.   The 60 is fairly high because it is run very little outdoors.  It is fun to run outdoors, but is just not put in the program that much. 

It is quite obvious that I need to stay with the longer sprint in North America and continue to high jump.  These appear to be my medal events--so to speak.   I do not think I am ready to go to the Worlds and throw down yet, but in August I am putting Toronto on my list as meets to attend.  Hopefully, by then there will be enough sore knees and hamstrings so I can sneak in for a medal!

Major meets this year will be SE Regional Indoors and USATF Indoors in Winston-Salem.  USATF Outdoors in Ames , Iowa and the NCCWMA in Toronto, Canada in August.  Four big meets and I will sprinkle in a few other local meets to test the water a bit.  You need to race to be good at racing. I am not going to do the National or State Senior Olympics this year.   The National meet is in Albuquerque and the 5 days of the altitude is too much and recovery is horrible from the 400 and the State Games I did not even qualify.  I cut back a bit in term of racing.  I think I will train a little differently as well.  I need to get into the low 62's or better to be a factor in the 400 and 1.5 meters would be a really good height in the HJ. 

I know what needs to happen--now I need to execute.......

Have a great Holiday Season !!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Annual Reminder Race

I ran in my annual--you are a sprinter stupid- reminder race on Thanksgiving morning at the Cool Springs mall area.   My gym--Prairie Life Fitness was one of the sponsors this year and it started from their facility.  This change was a huge improvement. I could warm up inside on their track and leave my stuff in a locker and not have to worry.  I travel heavy and with the parking situation--I parked three blocks away--a locker made life much simpler.  

Race morning was clear and frosty and about 3000 runners showed up for the annual fundraiser put on by Grace Works Ministries.  They make a lot on money on this event and they are glad to see you.  The Grace Works staff is very gracious and do say thanks many times during the event.  I am actually glad to help them out.   Organization was very good and this year they added a 10 K event, so a 5K and 10 K were ongoing on slightly different trails at the same time.  The finish line area  was very busy with runners from two directions finishing.

This year the course was very similar, but they started at the old half way point and they did not put out any mileage markers.  Mileage markers are key for me to keep a good pace and with my lack of experience on road courses I struggle to make my time schedule.  I shoot for a 30 minute time and this race I had the same target.   I ran a 31:06 which was 608 overall out of 2453 in the 5K.   That was 11 out of 48 in my 60-64 age group.  Not what I wanted, but I did not get into any distress or cause any harm.  I will take it and move on to the next new thing for me.   Last year I ran a 30:56.   I recovered pretty well, I did pilates the next day with Linda, and had little soreness,   I had been running on the treadmill and had worked on my endurance at a 8:30 mile pace and it seems to help out.  I am still a sprinter, there is no debate on that. 

Next up is the USATF SE Regional indoor meet in Winston-Salem in January.  I will start working on some strength and speed work this week in the gym or Vanderbilt indoor facility. It is really cold this week and the outdoor stuff will need to wait for better weather. 

Linda made a great turkey and trimmings on Thanksgiving.   We had a fun couple come over to help enjoy the feast.   We also hauled out the turntable and played some Tower of Power on vinyl albums.  Their stuff is still very topical after 50 years.   Hopefully you and your yours enjoyed the family, friends and some football. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Senior Olympian Week at Sunrise Center

I had a chance to give a 30 minute presentation to the residents of a local senior center today and to talk about my travels in the USATF Masters and Senior Games.  That was an interesting experience and like any other presentation that I have given to a larger group.  You had some dialed in to you and others that feel asleep--   I had some PowerPoint slides and a couple of videos of my experiences the last 9 years of competition.   The prep was interesting, as I assembled pictures and researched the names and ages of the runners, I would remember other people to include and it was an eclectic mix of people that had come through chemo, stroke, heart attacks, knee operations, major surgeries, obesity.... I also included Orville Rogers as the shining example of a late bloomer.  He is 100 now and still competes in USATF meets and started when he was 80 years old.  At 95 and 100 he has broken a lot of world records for his track accomplishments.  He has also been involved in a book about his life and has numerous articles in magazines.  That was fun to try and pump up the old timers in Brentwood. 

I am progressing with the bathroom redo so we can give a bed and breakfast a shot.   I am down to the shower enclosure.  The sink and toilet are completed.   This has been a slog!  

 We are going to build in a 32  x 60 inch shower and include a built in shelf and have a seat for shaving activities.   The intentions is to have a glass sliding door system to keep the water in the enclosure.  It will not be too long now.  With every project at this house there is the moment when you notice something has been poorly installed or engineered.   I notice after working on removing a door way and widening the passage that you can mate different styles of crown molding if you install one upside down!   I solved this one quickly be removing both pieces and throwing them out. What sort of carpenter let this happen??

If we are basically done by Thanksgiving, I will be a happy camper on this project.  Hopefully we can continue the progress and get the tile up and then do the detail work and painting.   
On Thanksgiving, I am signed up to run the 5K Turkey trot in Franklin.   I have not done any real work on the track for weeks and today is really nice, SO I am going to get some laps in shortly.  I have been doing Pilates weekly and that helps the strength and flexibility, but my wind is going to be weak until I get running again.   I don't know about you, but the time change is going to make any afternoon work outs impossible.  I am not a fan, it is dark here by 4:30 PM now.  yuck

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Still kicking

I am still kicking, just way busy on non racing stuff to keep everyone up on the latest. 

I started remodeling a bathroom that we will eventually use as part of a bed n breakfast we are working on.  Remodeling is basically keeping the toilet, but in a new location, and replacing an old stone floor with tile, updating the lighting and ventilation and a new shower and sink.  Sounds simple, but nothing in this house is square or level and every thing has to be custom fitted and attached.  It is time hog and it would be incredibly expensive to hire done due the time required.  It will get done. I am about half way and if we are finished by Thanksgiving that will be cool. 

This weekend,  I am racing in Fort Collins ,CO in USATF regional meet.  I wanted to get another meet in this season and this one is altitude.  If I struggle with 5000 foot elevation, then Albuquerque is off the table next summer.  THE senior Games will do their outdoor event there next summer.  My first trip for the USATF Indoors there was really tough to recover. I will test my recover and see how I feel.   I am jumping in Fort Collins and running the 60, 100 and 200.  No 400.  The meet arrangement will not allow me to do all the races. 

I have been running only once a week due to lousy weather lately.  It has been so rainy the last couple of weeks, that getting to the track has been impossible and I live next door to a track!

Next week I will be in Wisconsin for meeting and I will get to see the grandbaby a couple of days.   I think I will also be the handy man for my daughter.  She owns a house and a storm blew a tree limb onto their storage shed and put a hole in roof.  Hopefully it will not rain for that repair job as well.  My carpenter muscles are in pretty good shape right now.


Friday, August 3, 2018

USATF Masters Outdoor National Meet


Last weekend I ran and jumped in the USATF Masters Outdoor National meet held at Eastern Washington University.   This is my second USATF Outdoor National event and I enjoyed the meet and had a lot of fun meeting people and doing some competing with the best in the world.   I was in the High Jump (4th), 100 and 200 (4th in each) 400 (5th) and 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays--both were Gold medals.  Just like every meet the goal is to make the finals, score some points and do not get hurt too badly.  I made all the finals, scored 15 points for the team and also finished up with just a minor complaint from my right foot and both Achilles.   With all those bases covered it had to be scored a success.  I am still seeking the elusive individual medal, but I had a shot in the 400 and I think I screwed up in the final straight.   But, it was fun, and Linda got to visit a part of the world she has never experienced. 

This is a Lane1--Dave Albo picture.
The weather was typical for Eastern Washington in the summer--very dry with temperatures in the 90's and not a cloud in the sky.  I was hot--with very limited shade available and shade helped a lot.  The track had a permanent set of bleachers between the track and endzone of the football field in the turn 3/4 area and we could get some shade there--but it was really limited.  Everyday a layer of SPF 50 needed to be lathered on a couple of times and hats were mandatory.  We stayed in Cheney, a couple minutes from the track and we would go back to the hotel room between events to cool off and rest.   That really helped me out and kept me fresher.

Right out of the box on Thursday is the 400 prelim and we had 12 in the race and needed to eliminate 4 to get down to 8 for the finals the next morning.   I ran a 65.74 lap to finish 4th in my heat and transfer the final.  I really just cruised the last 200 meters, you cannot win anything in the semi's and I knew I had enough people behind me to make the show tomorrow.  In the finals, I was in lane one and had a stalking runner on my outside that beat me last time in Baton Rouge with a late surge.  I wanted to prevent that late pass this trip and was trying to figure our how best to not make that happen with 150 meters into the race.  I should of just ran my race and not even worried about how to beat him, but I was in race mode and that is what you do.   I came around the final corner in medal contention and I think I screwed myself out of a medal with my finish.  I accelerated as hard as I could with 90 meters to go and was in third, but with 40 meters to go I was used up and finished 5 th -- I was out of juice.  In hind sight, I think I should have skipped the blast of speed and finished with my normal strong strides.  I did not and it cost me.   But it was a 62.96 which was this years fastest lap and I will take it. The hardest race was complete. 

100 m finals, lane 1
In the afternoon on Friday I had the High Jump final and 100 prelims.  Friday was my busiest day. I jumped pretty well and finished with a jump of 4' 7" for fourth and 3 points for the team.  It was very hot on the jumping pad in the late afternoon with very limited shade.  I had no misses until three at 4' 9" and they were all very close.  First time in the event and I get 4th, I think I will take it.   I had about 15 minutes between when I finished the  HJ and  100 prelim.  I changed into running spikes, added my back bib and had 5th quick time to transfer to the 100 final on Saturday late morning. I ran a 13.53, which also my finals time--same for both.  Two days in and feeling pretty good. 

Day three was the easy day.  100 finals and 200 prelims were it.  Plenty of time between races to rest and tell stories.  I ran 4th in the 100 as another team points event. I typically do not run the 100, but the coach likes to fill the field with our team.  My track  team -SoCal-- dominated the team event and doubled the second place team point total.  We had a lot of runners, walkers, jumpers and throwers and some really good ones at that. This team travels well and about a dozen are going to the International meet in Spain this summer. This was the 17th time SoCal has taken the team title.  

4 x 100 Gold medal Team
Day four and everyone is getting tired and sore.  We ran the 200 finals around 11;00AM and I ran a very competitive fourth.  I was trying to get close enough for a big lean and medal and it was not be.  I lost out on a medal by 0.2 seconds.  It was a fair fight and I lost.  A little rest and then the relays.  I was in the 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400 relays and these are my medal events.    In the 4x100,  I was the third leg and had a nice turn, even though no one saw it since it was behind the bleachers. We won it by  less than 0.2 seconds in an absolute nail biter.  Their lead man had a bad hammy, but their anchor was really quick and closing fast.  We were fortunate to win it.   Finally a gold medal!!   In the 4 x 400 it was nearly the same team, with one new members.  But our competition in the very last race of the meet was not that strong and we cruised to the gold.  My third straight capturing a gold in this event.   I actually wore my regular running shoes for that lap, my Achilles was starting to get some strain and was ouchy. 

4 x 400  2/3 leg
Orville Rogers also made the meet.  He is 100 years old and ran the 100, 200 and 400.  I chatted with him a couple of times and he skipped the 800 due to his  blood pressure getting too high.  I think he was just nerved up!  But he ran pretty well and appeared to enjoy the weekend.  I think his grand daughter was assisting him.  She would yell into his ear as the translator,  he is pretty well hard of hearing.

Linda and I did some sight seeing in Spokane and enjoyed the river and falls right in the middle of town.  We also spent three days in the Boulder area on the way home.  She had never had an opportunity to get into the mountains and we did some serious exploring of the mountains just West of Denver.   We took a drive to Estes Park and just South of town two of the nicest bull elk were just grazing away on each side of the road.  Not a care in the world.  They are huge animals.
That was quite a show!

I came through the race with just some Achilles soreness and our team massage therapist suggested getting some heal on my spikes.  I use Asics Sonic Sprint which has no heal and the Achilles is always stretched out.   I run on my toes, but I will get some different spikes and see if I can control the Achilles pain a little better.   This is part of the calf issue--I need to get this fixed. My right foot gets sore after several races and that is an injury from high school that never did heal properly. Nothing can be done for that problem.  

Looking forward to the next big race-- that will be indoors in January and March.  With those dates on the calendar, I will have to make sure I control my weight better this year.  I raced this event at 194.5 pounds and I cannot get up to 203 like I did last winter... too hard to get it back off. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Family and 5 miles

Linda and I traveled this  Independence Holiday to Upper Peninsula of Michigan to celebrate with her very large family.   Linda is from Rapid River, but the majority of the action was in Gladstone.  They have a massive parade and also they hold a fund raiser on the 4th with a 2.5 mile walk or a 5 mile run early in the day.   I had agreed earlier in the year to run the 5 miler because of  the death of a family member and we wanted to remember him because he has run this event before. 

Jay Thoman was a JAG in the Army and was out for his morning run when he was struck by a car and killed a couple blocks from his house in Washington DC area.  He had no ID and was not identified until later that afternoon.  Just a frantic situation and really hard on all involved.

Part of the family that participated
He left a wife and two or three relatively young children behind.   We had some shirts made with his likeness and tried our best to make his memory live on.   I wanted to celebrate the life of a fellow runner the best way I could.  

My daughter Betty on the left
The 5 miler was on a flat course with chip timing and a cannon start--literally.  We were lined up and ready and all of a sudden a massive boom and we were off-it could have been two bags of powder.  That was much loader than the .38 caliber starting pistols used earlier this season indoors.   My plan was to run and walk and try to make it in under 60 minutes.   I was pretty successful with a PR of 56:11.  It was my first 5 miler, so of course it is a PR.  The weather was quite humid, even by my standards, but it is great for my breathing.  I had on a camelback with 1 liter of water and it was all used on the course.
My brother in law Buck and me.
  5 milers are a little different in terms of knowing  your progress.  They had timers at each mile mark and it made keeping your goal time much simpler.  I wore my heart rate monitor and kept my rate between 145 and 165 the entire event.
Walk when it got high, take off after a little rest and water.   My brother in law ran the course in 43 minutes and my daughter made it in 63 minutes. There was 700 numbers used, so it was a nice sized event.  

I was actually surprised how quickly I recovered the next couple of days.  I had a little soreness in my quads, but nothing else of note.   I starting training again yesterday after a few days off.   

I did all the family things including some beer and brats.  You get fed very regular and well at these family events!  I bought an 18 pack of Blatz beer for $9 at Woodman's in Milwaukee, which is the cheapest beer they carry. I like the flavor and it is not carried anywhere in Tennessee to my knowledge.  It is a very old German style beer from Milwaukee and has a great lager flavor.  That beer was incredibly popular for some reason at the gatherings.  Maybe the old flavors are making a comeback. I hope... 

Gladstone has a parade very 4th and it is also the time that Linda's family do an annual gathering.  There must have been over 100 family members around  at one time or another.  They are quite prolific and gather at a family members house for the parade and picnic.

A lot of fun for all.  The parade is about 90 minutes long and there is just a ton of people lined up to watch the spectacle. Bands, fire trucks, politicians, horses, every business and club in the area marched and threw a lot of candy out for the kids along the way.  It is a grand affair.

Our grand daughter also made the trip and we kept her a couple of nights at the local hotel where we stayed.  She was recovering from an ear infection.   Even though taking medicine, she was the usual fun little kid we have gotten to love so much.  She loved playing with the other kids and also is keen on Grandma's jewelry.  She put it on every chance she had.  She just loves $1500 necklaces!  It gets harder to give her back every time we get to keep her.

  We also visited the newlyweds in Milwaukee.  Adam and Audra were married a few months back and we checked in on their progress and things appear to be pretty good. 

Swing time with Grandma