Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Merry Christmas! I just looked back and realized it has been JULY since I last posted. What kind of testament is that? This year has absolutely disappeared and now I find myself sitting here at the end of it wondering wher.e it went. The last time I posted, I was beginning a marathon training program in the heat of the summer. Now I can report after struggling through a three mile run this morning I did not continue that training having abandoned it later in July.

I continue my studies at the University of Alabama as I near the half-way point of the Masters program. Taking these classes has occupied much of my time outside of work and I have used this as an excuse to put my marathon training on hold. I plan on focusing more on running this next year as my weight and mid-section have grown to a point that warrants a change. Getting out and running when it is cold and wet is hard to do. I have just got to take it a day at a time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday 7-10-08

Up at 4:00 this AM to get my day started. Didn't have much luck as I drug around until about 5:30 when I finally got out the door for my Thursday run. I am now on week four of my marathon training schedule and it feels like I am not making much progress. I can remember last year getting ready for the Huntsville marathon and sweating through the summer months thinking I would never make it through to the race. Now, I am in the same boat thinking I will never get back in shape. Why is it that it takes months to get in shape and only weeks to get out of shape?

I managed to complete 5.6 miles in 53 minutes for a pitiful 9:30 pace. This was supposed to be a tempo run where I run at a faster pace. I barely was able to finish much less do it at a faster pace. I think the heavy pasta I ate last night may have had something to do with my sluggishness. i have got to get my diet in check and lose some weight. Trying to run these progressively longer runs carrying around 205 pounds is a challenge.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday 6-11-08

Out this morning for a 3.3 mile run. I felt better today. Weather was cooler, dryer. It was a good run in all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday 6-10-08

I think it is pretty pitiful to see a blog that is inactive. I know mine has looked that way the past couple of months and I need to change that. I began last week on a training program for my next marathon. I expect to train for at least 16 weeks, maybe longer, with the goal of besting my time in the Huntsville marathon in December. The big difference in my training this time will be that I am going to incorporate more speed work in with the distance.

I ran 4.1 miles at 5:30 this morning. Temperature is pretty brutal as the whole country is locked in a heat wave of sorts.

I am still feeling pain in my side identical to what I felt all last year during my training. I am planning on having something done about it this time. I go see the surgeon next week for the prescribed plan for taking care of it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday 5-2-08

Up early this AM and wanted really badly just to sleep in. But, I managed to drag myself out to swimming practice. man, what a tough session! We did shorter distance sprints with very little rest in between. Something on the order of (1) 200 yard, 20 seconds rest, (2) 175 yards, 20 sec. (3) 150 yards, 20 sec, (4) 125 yards. (5) 100 yards, (3) 75 yards. Cool down. In all we did over 2100 yards. That is pretty good considering the speed we were swimming. Of course, the fast swimmers went further but for me, this was a great feat. Now if I can just get back into the running mode I will feel better about getting ready for some triathlons this summer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday 4-16-08

The second Masters' swimming class has begun and today was another interesting workout. It seems when I can do no more the coach wrings out a little more. I know I have come a long way since the beginning of these classes in January but there is no letting up. I guess it is a good thing, because I have been on a three month sabbatical from running and this swimming is the only thing keeping my gut in check. I just love to eat. My weight is still hovering around 195-200. I know the only way it is going to drop is to get serious about running again and with my school schedule I am limited on my free time. Oh, yeah, and there is work, as well. I am wanting to start getting in shape for a few summer triathlons so I have got to get some running and biking in.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wednesday 4-2-08

Swimming today at 5:00 am for the last time in a week. My first Masters' swim class is history. this has been quite a learning experience and I hope I am in better shape now than I was three months ago when it started. I know I am a better swimmer but I still need a lot of work building up my stamina. In the class this morning we were timed on our best lap times for various strokes. The most dramatic was my time for 500 yards which came in at a little over 9 minutes. This is a little less than a 30 minute mile average. Just for comparison, three months ago I was swimming a mile in 42-44 minutes. What a change!

In order to get ready for triathlons this summer, I have got to start back running and biking, though. It seems i just don't have the time since I started back to school. It definitely is going to require more discipline than I presently am showing.

By the way, another Masters' swim class starts next Friday. I am planning on being there.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday 3-26-08

March is almost over and my blog entries have been fairly sparse this month. I still have not locked into a good running regime since the marathon in December having only run twice this month. BUT, I am continuing the masters swimming program which will conclude next week. Then, the next session will start a week later. This has been an excellent workout for me and an intersting experience. The workout today was probably the toughest yet. After warming up (500 yards) we had to swim 30 50 yard sprints at one minute intervals. Well, needless to say, after three or four laps I was sucking wind and making a lap in about 1:15. This meant I had no time for resting between laps (not good). The coach did show me some leniency and allow me a 5 SECOND rest between laps. After time had expired I had done 27 laps to the other swimmers' 30. I consider this to be an achievement as three months ago I probably would have been at least 10-15 laps down. I am getting stronger but it do hurt.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday 3-7-08

I guess its been almost a month since my last posting. Time sure gets away and I have not been making the time to write lately. I have been exercising, though. The masters swimming class is going great. We did a one mile timed swim today and I came in at 33:20. Almost 10 minutes faster than my last time. There is no doubt this class is making me a better swimmer. I have got to start running again and getting back on the bike. The weather is starting to warm up so the opportunity is going to become available soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

NationRun Guys

The young men on the NationRun team left out of Columbus and the state of Georgia on Wednesday morning. It was cloudy and cool with threatening rain. They were in high spirits and eager to get moving. We were motivated by their commitment and were glad they decided to stay with us while they were in town. Follow their progress on

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday 2-11-08

It was hard getting out this morning...not enough sleep last night and a swim class at 5:00. Well, gone are the days of a leisurely one mile swim. I thought I had it tough back when that was all I was doing! The swim workout this morning was one of the toughest yet. I don't think I have ever been so out of breath. I know I am getting in good shape but it sure hurts. I will put in a plug for these Masters Swim classes; they are designed to get you in good shape. I like they way they are structured and our instructor, Rochelle, is doing a good job.

If any of you have been following the Nation Run guys, they are to be in Columbus today and tomorrow. they are actually planning on staying at our house two nights. My wife is so excited. She sent them an email the end of last week offering our services and they heartily accepted. They are only about two weeks into the trip and they have had to spend several nights in their tents. This will be a good chance for them to get some rest.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Scott Matty

The Columbus cycling community suffered a huge loss this past Sunday when one of its own, Scott Matty, was killed while riding on a local country road. Our prayers go out to his family and friends as they suffer through this tragedy. I did not know Scott but I understand he was a fine individual and super athlete. I am taking a Masters swim class at the YMCA with a young man who was a very good friend of his and to him I offer my deepest sympathies.

I join with another local blogger friend of mine in stressing the importance of being safe while riding and running on the open roads. People in cars generally DO NOT watch out for you so you have got to be very defensive.

Wednesday 2-6-08

The Masters' Swimming program continues at the Y at 5:00 am. We had a fun class today; we are starting to do back stroke which few swimmers know how to do. I have always enjoyed doing back stroke. I was an AAU area champion in this stroke back in the day; WAY back in the day when I was still in grade school. This class is going to help my swimming tremendously. I will comment on anyone who has gotten swimming advice from online swim coaches; use caution not to get bad advice. I remember following the advice of a coach a couple of years ago that has messed up my swimming. I developed some bad habits that are proving tough to break. One is the tendency to hold my head too deep in the water; this creates too much drag and slows you down. The other is the advice to use your legs sparingly if you are doing triathlons. I am having a tough time learning how to kick and getting my legs in shape. This has got to help my running strength! Each class finds me in better shape and less whupped when it is over.

I still have not gotten in the groove in my running and biking. These college classes I am taking are keeping me up late at night and early in the mornings and on the days I am not swimming I am taking time to study.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Friday 2-1-08

I made it on time to the masters swimming class at 5:00 am. That is not easy, in itself, because I have to get up at 4:00 and not waste any time getting ready. I like to take my time getting woke up in the mornings but not on swim day.

The pool was a little warm, but at least that is better than being too cold. The class went well and I feel like I am getting stronger every class. The hardest part is the kicking exercises. I thought my legs were strong but evidently not strong enough. That is going to be the best part of this class; learning how to kick efficiently. This is going to help my running endurance also.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona 2008

I went with my brother and his family down to Daytona Speedway last weekend to watch the Rolex 24 Hours endurance automobile race. It is hard to appreciate the skill involved with driving a race car at high speed until you have done it yourself. These guys are good! I along with many others dream of getting to drive in a race like this. It must be a neat experience to actually get to do it. I guess I am just going to have to settle for the occasional drive at a driver education class.

The winning car is shown here. This team has won this race three years in a row.

In 24 hours at speeds averaging over 100 mph, the winner made close to 700 laps. That is pretty impressive for 24 hours non-stop.

Wednesday 1-30-08

It was back to the Y pool this morning at 5:00 for another masters' workout. For various reasons, we had a 1-1/2 week layoff and that surely did not help matters. This is a good class and if I can keep struggling through I will become a stronger swimmer. I am a little discouraged at this point, however, because I have been actively swimming now for three years and it now feels as if I have not swimming at all. These workouts bring back memories of summers at swim team practice when I was young.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday 1-25-08

I know I really don't want to stoop to the level of whining and complaining about my physical state of being for that is certainly not what my blog is intended to do. But, it is going to be tough getting back in shape after a six week hiatus from running. I had hoped the Masters Swimming program would help keep me in shape but with this bad cold I have had the past two weeks I have regressed to an out-of-shape condition I didn't want to reach.

I ran at the Y on Wednesday for 3 miles and the next day my legs were sore! I ran 4 miles this AM and felt tired and sore. The bright spot is my feet have healed completely and there is no pain. I am ready to start back on some kind of training program. I am probably going to look at a triathlon training scheme because I do not have time to start training for a marathon AND do the Masters Swimming thing. After the class ends in March I may consider the marathon. Whatever I do I need to have a goal to keep me committed to staying in shape.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday 1-14-08

Monday morning, 5:00 am. Despite being sick all weekend I decided to go on to the swimming class at the Y. The water was 76 degrees and took your breath away but we went ahead and held class. I quickly discovered how much my bout with bronchitis affected my lung capacity and I stopped after only a few laps. May be Wednesday I will be in better shape to swim. It is such a bummer to get sick.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Masters' Swimming Program

I have decided to participate in a masters' swimming program at the Y. I went to the first class Friday morning. Boy, what an eye-opener! I never knew I was in such poor shape! I think it is going to be a great experience; surely one that will get me in shape for doing triathlons. The class is from 5-6 am on M,W,F. It is just the thing to get the blood pumping. More on my progress in that class later.

I start my college classes next Wednesday. Remember me as the time crunch will be on.