It has been a goal of mine since we moved to Jackson to complete the legendary 5 mile run around the Manasquan Reservoir. Since the Liberty boys cross-country team had practice at the reservoir this morning, I thought it would be a good time to reach that goal. When I arrived at the parking lot at 10 a.m. the boys had already completed their workout, and were heading home. Coach Todd and Coach Jim were still there and greeted me kindly but informed me that I was 2 hours late for practice. So I set out alone to complete my task. I was determined to finsh the 5 mile circle of the reservoir even if I had to walk parts of the loop. Time and speed were not a factor in my mind today. I essentially jogged the first 3 miles because there were some extended sun-drenched portions. Somehow I got sidetracked and round up running an extra half-mile. Then on the final two and a half miles I ran a series of 10 x 75 stride surges. I have concluded by trial-and-error that 75 strides equals approximately 100 meters. I believe the total effort benefited by aerobic base and leg muscles as well. I will probably need a very light day tomorrow after 10 miles in 2 days.
“Happy Trails” This song came to mind today as I was thinking about a way to describe my run. And it does describe him how I felt about my run today. But immediately a flood of memories came back, really fond memories. So if you’re planning to read this entire blog today, you might want to grab a beverage and relax. I am feeling quite loquacious this afternoon. The picture I have in my head is of the O’Rourke family of six sitting in front of the TV set on Lexington Avenue back in the 1950s. My Dad and Mom loved the “Roy Rogers Show” and loved to listen to him singing HappyTrails after saving the good guys from the bad guys every week because it made everybody feel happy and, I think, safe. Those were times when I believe most of us felt pretty safe. But a week never passed in the O’Rourke household without the family gathering to watch the “Roy Rogers Show.” Those were the days when TV was our social media. I always think about Mom and Dad when I hear that song.
Because the temperature was in the 70s today, jumped at the chance to go for a long run in midday. I set out on my 4-mile loop with the goal to allow my body to dictate the pace at which I would run. Yes, at this point a four mile run is my long run. It was comfortable, and each mile became faster. Along the way I came up with a phrase to describe for me this type of running, which I labeled Comfortably Cruising (CC). It turned out that was somewhere between 10 and 11 minutes per mile when I checked my watch. It occurred to me that a few months ago I had created a similar type of expression to describe a different kind of running that I had labeled Comfortable Quality (CQ). (I do love to write in the Past Perfect Tense.) That as I remember was a pace of between 8:45 and 9:15 per mile. As I frequently do while I am running these days, I was thinking about sharing my new phrase with my readers. It then occurred to me about my previous phrase and the similarity that the two have is the word comfortable. I started thinking about that concept of comfortable and what it really meant to me. This is what I concluded. The word comfortable in both cases is not meant to indicate a measure of effort. It is a measure of body mechanics and breathing. Am I running with mechanical efficiency and relaxed breathing? I frequently told my athletes while I was coaching High School to be mindful of the comments of casual track fans at major track meets as we sat in the bleachers watching. We would frequently hear folks say to one another how amazing it was that the winner didn’t look like he was trying very hard. They were describing precisely what I’m talking about, mechanical efficiency and relaxed breathing. It is what separates the great runners from the rest of the field. Witness the recent USA Olympic trials. The not very astute announcers frequently commented that Galen Rupp, Matt Centrowitz, Bernard Lagat, Emma Coburn and Molly Huddle were winning with ease. But they were exerting as much effort as anyone else in the race. Only they have mastered through years of intensive training the Art of doing it comfortably. So I will continue my quest to become the most comfortable runner while training for quality, cruising or racing.
I mentioned recently that I submitted an entry into a Runner’s World magazine contest. Well, thanks to the efforts (votes) of my wife, my children, my extended family, all their friends and my friends, I have been selected among the top 100 finalists of 1,100 entrants. Pretty awesome! So, if any of my readers would like to vote and follow on Facebook, you can. It has been fun, exciting and humbling. It never occurred to me that I might be a 73-year-old “Cover Boy”. Ha! Ha!
Yesterday I took off completely because my body seemed kind of burned out. I guess that 3 x 1 mile andon a really hot evening on Tuesday took more out of me than I expected. Plus I did do 7 times 100 meters for the first time in over 2 months. So I took the day off. Today I was anxious to get out for a legitimate run but the weather was just too overbearing. So a little depressed, I set out to our local Fitness room to see what I could get done. It turned out that I got more done than I anticipated. I started out easy with some core work and upper-body machines. I did some stretching and some warm up exercises with anticipation of getting on the treadmill for a while. But first I went on the elliptical machine for 15 minutes just to see if I found that any more interesting than I did in the past. That was okay. Then I thought I’d go on the treadmill for 10 to 20 minutes to complete an hour’s worth of work. But it turns out the Mets game was on, and I started watching it while I was running 11 minute pace. It turned out I did 40 minutes on the treadmill, more than I’d ever done before I think. I had a nice, long, hot shower and a walk home, and my body feels pretty damn good right now.
All my stats were good today. I got 9 hours sleep. My Achilles was not sore at all this morning. Heart rate was normal and my weight was a very nice @ 152#.
Workout – 100 mins. Core & upper body for 40 mins + 15 mins. elliptical + 40 mins. Treadmill
It was still 90* at 7:p.m. as l arrived at the Liberty cross country practice. After some trepidations, I decided to try the 3 one mile repeats with the new guys on the team. We only averaged 12 :00 per mile, but it seemed serious to me. I finished with 7 x 100m with the boys. My clothes were soaking wet and I felt pretty drained as I drove home. Makes the thought of a 5k time trial on Thursday in the heat a little scary. Still TBA.
Two classic Renditions of this song by two of the greats. Take a listen while the clouds crash and the lightning flashes and tell me which one you love the most.
On one of the hottest days I can remember (It was 104 Real Feel in Jackson at 2 o’clock.) I drove between the lightning bursts to the CentraState fitness center for an indoor workout. Starting with 20 minutes on the Zero Runner, I continued to work on upper body and core exercises for a total of 50 minutes. One of my goals was to swim in the salt water pool, but the lightning storm forced that facility to be closed. Still, some solid work on a tough day.
I will be meeting with the Jackson team tomorrow evening, and I may be joining them for a 5K time trial on Thursday in Wall Township. That is yet to be determined depending upon a number factors, including if I chicken out or not.
Can’t get the song to play, but you know the music and lyrics by heart. Lol
I woke up this morning about 7:30 feeling pretty banged up. Forced myself to stay in bed till almost 10:00a.m. trying to sleep off some of the aches and pains throughout my body. It didn’t work. So, I got up and had some coffee, started moving around a little bit. Finally I decided the only answer was to go to the fitness center and beat the aches and pains out of my body. That worked! I lifted and did core work and ran for 20 minutes to complete an hour in the training room. Then I sat in the outdoor whirlpool for 20 minutes to revitalize. I arrived home invigorated, in time to watch the Mets shut out the Marlins.
Cooking veggies on the grill as I write. Brown rice on the stove.
I just needed to stop whining and get ‘started up’.
I-Mad – 0
A.m.HR – 52BPM
WEIGHT – 153#
SLEEP – 9 hours
Workout – 65 minutes in the gym + 20 minutes in whirlpool
Ran 4 miles in 52 minutes at Clayton Park this morning along tree-shaded trails that were quite hilly in spots to my surprise. These were new trails in a section of the park I had not visited previously. I have been avoiding hills lately because of my Achilles and plantar fascia issues. My lower legs seem to have survived the experience aided by some ice and foam rolling. The Liberty boys dropped me in the first 400 meters. So I ran most of it by myself along the pristine Monmouth County trails. I did, however, pass a few mountain bikers and equestrians on the way. Finished up with some core work along with the Liberty boys. My towel was voted the cutest!
I had planned to try for a full 60 minutes today but my heart rate was getting up around 160 BPM and the weather was getting warmer, so I backed off. I didn’t want the local headlines to read that equestrians found an old guy along the trails of Clayton Park early this morning. Better safe than sorry for the +70Runner!
Weight was back to 152.5# this morning and 151# after the run. Yay!
I-Mad – 0
a. m. HR – 54 BPM
Weight – 152#
Sleep – 6 hrs Time for a nap.
Workout – 4 miles in 52 mins with hills and 5 pickups
Today is a rest day in preparation for running with the Liberty cross country team tomorrow morning. I am getting all my gear ready for a 7 a.m. wake up tomorrow morning . I can not keep up with those guys, but I can warm up with them and then do my workout. Saturday’s practice is at Clayton Park in Upper Freehold, a part of the impressive Monmouth County Park System. There are many trails and open fields within the park. Last year I actually got lost doing a workout there with the team. I will have to be more careful this time.
Tomorrow’s goal for me is to stay in motion for 1 hour. I have no pace in mind but probably will be unable to resist the temptation to do a few pickups along the way. Somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes in motion my body seems to get energized and the urge to accelerate is usually irresistible. I have come to believe that my 7 week layoff did not have a very damaging effect on my speed or strength because I did continue to do regular exercise. However, it is going to take some time to rebuild my aerobic strength to where it was two months ago.
Last fall at Clayton Park the team did one of my recommended 30 – 20 -10 workouts. There is a 800m open field with rolling hills that is perfect for a controlled workout. I think it’s a little early in the season for it, but I hope we will be back when the season opens to complete it.
Stats – Steady except weight @ 155# ——- Too much beer or chocolate?!
Heading out to play cards and need a shower before 7 30. Wanted to fill in today’s workout. I was surprised to get in 3.83 miles around 4 o’clock because of the heat. I did manage to find a very nice 400 meter stretch in our neighborhood that is totally shaded by very nice trees. So I ran out to this spot in did pickups. Each pickup was about thirty seconds or a hundred strides. I am becoming very comfortable with my new Footwear. It feels strong and stable. That effort exceeded my expectations on this hot summer day.
Got to go.. Happy running and be safe in this heat!