Monday, January 28, 2008

Week 2 Marathon Training - Looking Up!

Well it was a good week for marathon training. I started out the week with a 4 mile run on Monday as scheduled and then followed that up with running 4 miles on Wednesday and Friday with 2# “heavy hands”. The HH make the run more difficult and provide an increase to the cardiovascular system. I intend to keep using these in my training to make the shorter runs at least a little more challenging.

On Saturday, I headed to Mill Creek Park to get in my long run. It was still cold and I told myself before leaving for the run that if it was too bad, I would cut my run short. It was 10ْ˚ when I got out of the car. I think it was somewhere around “0” with the wind chill. Although the air was crisp, it did not feel too bad (maybe I am getting used to this weather I thought to myself).

I ran into my son and his friends in the parking lot who were there waiting for some more people to arrive. I told them I was leaving and off I went. I started off slowly and was intent to run every bit of this run and climb every hill. I decided prior to getting to the park that I was going to run my usual 10 mile loop backwards just for a little change of pace.

The first mile or so was pretty cold. My hands were cold and when running along the edge of Lake Cohasset I could feel my face tighten up as the cold air blew across the lake. I shook my hands and rubbed my face. I was dressed adequately and knew once I got going I would warm-up just fine. After the first substantial climb up Big Bear, there was not a cold spot on my body. I was actually wiping sweat from my face before it could freeze on my brow. The nice part about this section of the park is that it is closed in the winter, so there was no car traffic and it closely resembles running on trails as the roads were completely snow covered.

I cruised this entire run. I am not sure which way is easier to run, but the elevation increase/decrease would be exactly the same. Towards the end of the run I decided to add an extra loop onto my run. Instead of walking down the steel staircase on the end of Lake Glacier, I ran down Glenwood Ave. to Mahoning Ave. and made my way a few blocks east before turning down a block and heading back into the park. I added at least a mile and it felt good.

I decided when I got back to the entrance of the Rose Garden that I would pick up the pace a bit and see how it felt. I made my way down the road and could actually feel the wind hitting me harder in the face as now I was moving into a headwind. It started to snow just a bit. I put my tongue out to catch the little pieces of moisture. I tucked my head slightly and continued to drive my legs into the wind to get back to the car. I was breathing harder and the cold wind made my breath look like it was white frost coming out of my mouth. Very cool I thought. I made it back to the car in 1 hour 28 minutes for about an 11 mile run. I was happy and actually felt I could have went a little further.

I followed this long run up with an easy 4 mile run around town on Sunday. It is funny but after running in Mill Creek Park, there is no hill around town that even makes me look twice at it. In the fall when I was running around town with the cross country boys, I noticed every hill, no matter how big or small. Now I would describe McDonald as being pretty much flat.

My total miles for the week was 27
Average pace per mile 8:30
Weight still 200 but I feel lighter!
Long Run = 11 miles at Mill Creek (felt great)
Continued use of heavy hands to increase effort on short runs and strengthen my arms and upper back.
I have also incorporated stretches into my routine to loosen and strengthen my lower back. I was given some great routines to do by my physical therapist after injuring my back. So far my back feels great!

So that is week 2. I am keeping my head up and plunging forward. Next week will present me with different challenges, but I am prepared to run at various times to get my miles in. Stayed tuned for details!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Week 1 Marathon Training - Blah!

Well my first week of official marathon training was anything but spectacular. In fact, it should be labeled as forgettable. I started off the week on January 14 with high aspirations of running the schedule I devised. I was pumped. I had planned on a nice easy 5 mile run after work on Monday to recover from the hard10 mile run I had done on Sunday the 13th.

Unfortunately that all changed when I arrived to work Monday morning to find that the Department of Health had arrived at our facility to do our annual Medicaid compliance survey. In simpler terms, this meant that Tronk would be working at least 50 hours this week along with coaching swimming in the evenings. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday amounted to leaving the house at 5:30 a.m. and returning at 9:00 p.m. Not much time (yet alone energy) to even go for a run. I chalked this week up in my mind to getting in whatever I could and start officially next week. One week can’t kill me right? I was grateful that the survey came when it did because I would rather it happen now than in the middle of my training.

So my training for this week amounted to (3) five mile runs on Friday, Saturday, and on a cold Sunday I chose to run on the treadmill (Ughhh!!!). It really sucked!

My weight remains at a steady 200 pounds. One thing I did do was try to use this week as a recovery of sorts. Since I was running less, I did some stretching in the evenings, drank plenty of water, and did some light weight exercises. Next week will be better, and I have already started off well by running my scheduled 4 easy miles on Monday the 21. Boy it was cold out there but I have told myself it is time to put up or shut up.

Continue to follow the blog for updates. It will be at least weekly but may be more frequent if I have an interesting experience that is worth telling the world wide web. See you “On the run”!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Cleveland Marathon

Well, on January 10, 2008 I sent in mine and my son's application for the Cleveland marathon. This will be my first marathon since 1998 and the fifth of my life. Including the one 50k I have completed and two training runs, it will be the eighth time I ask my body to run more than 25 miles at one time. For my son Taylor, (who has a long list of running credentials) this will be his first run of this distance. My previous 4 marathons have all in been in the great city of Columbus, Ohio the first being in 1992. Since then this itch has come and gone and this is one year that I cannot ignore it. I want to run in the same race as my son on his first marathon. Although we will probably not be together, it will be fun to share the experience with a first timer and tell the many tales that follow a race of this magnitude. So on May 18, 2008 you will know where to find me. I will be toeing the line next to my son enjoying every minute of the experience.

Over the next few months I will be chronicling my training along with any other intersting things I can to throw in. One thing this blog will contain will be my weekly mileage, my body weight, training mile pace, long run for the week, and anything else that I think a reader may find worthy. So without further ado:
  1. Total miles for this week was 25
  2. Body Weight = 200
  3. Training at 8:20 pace for long runs
  4. Long Run = 10 miles ~ roads in Mill Creek (every big hill I can find)
  5. Cross training (sort of) I started jumping rope for 2 minutes in between (8) 600 repeats - I am trying to get my heart rate increased on the days I run shorter. I also carry 2# "heavy hands" on the 600's. I also started isometrics on off days or shorter days, i.e. sit-ups, push-ups, L-seat dips, and Russian twists.

My ultimate goal is to be around 190# for this marathon. I have not been under 200 for the past 11 years! Stay posted and any words of encourgament would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

5K Jingle Bell Run 12-31-07

My wife Pam, my daughter Kyrsti and I traveled over to the Canfield Fairgrounds today to run the Jingle Bell Run sponsored by the Boardman Rotary. As we were pulling in to the parking lot, we met up with my son Taylor and his friend Bobby, who runs x/c for McDonald.
(Bobby, Kyrsti, Tronk, Taylor)
I was also surprised to see Jay Layshock (Jay Lay) helping out by parking cars. Jay is a great runner who finished second this past year at the YUT-C 50K. I shook his hand, wished him a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and then the four of us went to check in. Pam does not run but acts as a great support crew holding onto everything, cheering for us during the run, and talking with all of her friends before and after the race.
This race is getting bigger and bigger every year. The first time I did this race was in 2001 and there was probably less than 100 runners. Since then, it has grown in a monster of a day and I would guess there were close t0 300 runners in the 5K and probably about 75 runners in the kids 1/2 mile. It was awesome. With the sounds of bells ringing, (each person can wear small jingle bells if they choose), it makes the run even more special. This was also the best weather I can remember at the Fairgrounds for this race. It was close to 40 degrees with only a slight wind. It was ideal.

The course itself is not fascinating. In fact, it is quite mundane. You run on the roads around the fairgrounds and basically weave back and forth and round and round. You do this loop twice, which is kind of nice because you come through the central area of people cheering twice before finishing in front of the crowd. It also lets you see other people in the race because as you are going one way, they may be going the other way. I got a chance to see my friends from work Tony and Jan and wished them encouragement as I went by.

At the end, I was satisfied with my time of 22:30. Just last month at the Firefighters 5k I ran 23:10 so I was happy to be a 40 seconds faster (although it was a completely different course). My kids both ran well and I think Taylor may have been slightly ahead of me (I am not sure as I never saw him). Here is a picture of Taylor running

I should mention one last thing about this race that brings me back every year. The swag for a 5K is tremendous. Each runner received a sweatshirt, a water bottle, coupons to Dick's Sporting Goods and a Power Bar. In addition to that, the after race refreshments are second to none, with cookies, donuts, fresh fruits, Power Bars, hot chocolate, coffee, Gatorade and bottled water. All of that provided by some of the nicest race sponsors and helpers you would ever want to meet. What a great day and HAPPY NEW YEAR!