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5ksandcabernets: February 2008


Friday, February 29, 2008

The miles keep adding up

My goal this year is to run 1,600 miles. That’s 133 miles a month, 30.6 a week, or 4.4 a day. When you look at it per day, it seems like it’s an easier task. Looking at the average I’d need to keep the entire month makes it a little more daunting. I’ve scribbled down every mile I’ve ever run since I started running in 2004 and the only times I’ve topped 130 miles in a month was when I was training for a marathon. In August 2005, I ran 133 miles. Last October, I ran 173 miles, and last December I ran 148 miles.
Before this month, the most I’d ever run in a month when I was not training for a marathon was 114 miles in January. Today, I did a 6-miler and wound up with 127 miles for the month.
Now, I’m still behind the 1,600-miles-per year pace. But, I figure when I train for the White Rock Lake Marathon starting in January, I’ll more than make up the deficit.
The February mileage has taken a little toll on my health. I’ve got a slight pain in my left arch and a nagging pain in my lower leg. Both pains go away when I’m running, though the leg pain _ I hurt it trying Feb. 5 jumping awkwardly out of the street to avoid an oncoming car _ is becoming bothersome. It feels like a deep, deep bruise. Funny thing is the faster I run, the better it feels. But when I’m slow _ which means at the beginning of runs, it’s like torture.
I get to see my son this weekend, so I think I’m going to _ gulp _ take a few days off from running and enjoy being drooled on.
February running totals: 127.74 miles, 19 hours, 24 minutes, 52 seconds. Pace: 9:07 minutes/mile.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yo Adrienne!

I don't listen to music when I run.
I like the sound my feet make on the crushed limestone path at the Trinity Trails here in Fort Worth. I like hearing the squirrels scatter. I like hearing the beep of my Garmin Forerunner 305 go off every mile. I like the sound of my own breath. It's fun hearing yourself be alive. If I listened to music, I couldn't hear all of that.
However, if I did listen to running music, if I did wear an Ipod when I run in Fort Worth during the mornings, there is no doubt about what I'd be listening to: Rocky music.
How can you not get fired up about “Gonna Fly Now”? This is the theme song from Rocky I, the music that would play when Sylvester Stallone's character would train while preparing to fight Apollo Creed. The song ends as Rocky runs up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “Rocky's Reward” and “Free Redemption” are also classic songs from that first Rocky movie that would absolutely go great with running. The composer of these songs, Bill Conti, is an absolute genius.
These songs, and a few others from the soundtracks in Rocky II and IV, are the Underdog Anthems of America. And when its you against the marathon, you against cramps and dehydration, against blisters and a bum knee, against hills, hamstring pulls, and heartbreak, you are the underdog my friend.
I can remember now, driving to my first marathon and I was playing this music. I was blasting this music, Central Expressway all too myself, and must have been going 85 miles per hour in a Jeep on its last tires.
I was envisioning myself making the final turn at the marathon, the finish line in site, and I was thinking about how happy I'd feel once I'd cross the finish line. I had goose bumps.
I had my heart rate monitor on. And no lie, my heart rate topped 140. My heart rate is in the mid 50s when I'm sitting around. But on this morning, it was 90 plus beats higher. I was hyperventilating. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had to turn it off and put in a Yanni CD just to calm me down. (I finished the marathon that day. But trust me, there was no triumphant gallop to the finish line at the American Airlines Center. It was more like a pissed off limp. But more on that race later.)
When you listen to Rocky music, you just feel like you can accomplish any athletic feat. And I get real weird about it when I'm listening. My lip curls up and I envision what I have to do _ a long run, an interval run, a race _ and if I'm driving in my car, I just play scenes from his movies over and over in my head. You know, scenes like Adrienne making her way to the ring at the end of Rocky I, scenes like Rocky being chased by all those kids in the second movie, or Rocky training to beat the Russian in Rocky IV. It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I have Rocky I and II on DVD as well as the original soundtrack from the Rocky Movies.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Giving credit where credit's due

With a blog, you always hope you are relevant, or funny, or creative, or all three. Sometimes its hard to come up with things to write, though if you've checked out my last few posts _ that's not so hard after races.
Today, I'd like to point out a running blog that is pretty long on humor, creativity, and relevance: This is the kind of blog I aspire to. I found this blog because it was linked off the Science of Sport blog, which is very long on relevance if you are into the science, of, well, sport _ particularly running and biking.
Anyway, one of the cool things on half-fast is a little contest that they are putting on. Its called the, “Shave your 5K challenge.” Basically, take a time you've run a 5K between December and March, post it to the half-fast blog, then, run another 5K from Oct. to Nov. and there is some kind of prize for the person whose time improves the most. So, if you run a 30-minute 5K in February and shave 3 minutes off that time in December, that's an improvement of 10 percent. Whereas a 22 minute 5K runner who knocks off 1 minute by December only improves by 5 percent.
Other sites I like: Jim2s running blog. This is a guy who has been running for years and has good answers to any kind of marathon training question you might have. Again, its one man's opinion, but neat stuff. I especially like the post about how to figure your marathon pace. Jim basis it on miles per week and your most recent 10k time.
Also, has a database of more than 1,700 blogs about running, and a lot of other cool stuff.

The weight issue: I didn't run today. This will be a recovery week before I start training, for, who knows what next week. But, in an earlier post I wrote that I think my wine-drinking was making it difficult to lose weight (I was drinking two glasses a night on most nights). I promised myself I would only drink on weekends and I kept that promise. I drank wine, albeit lots of it, Saturday after the Cowtown and Sunday. But, wooo-hooo, the weight is starting to come off. I think I was 171 a few weeks ago and I was 167 when I stepped on the scale this morning. Remember, they (they? Who is they?) said you shave 2.5 seconds per mile off your time for every pound you lose, so I'm already 10 seconds faster.
I still miss the wine at nights.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

My 2008 Cowtown 10K race report

The last weekend in February has brought some strange weather to the Fort Worth Cowtown. Last year, it was windy and 60-plus degrees. The year before brought crazy rain. There was an ice storm during the first Cowtown, in 1978. But last Saturday brought perfect running weather. Temperatures at the start were in the high 30s, it was sunny, with little wind.
I got downtown Fort Worth some 20 minutes before the 7:30 start time. Stretched some. Jogged some. Then I squeezed in line with nearly 2,000 other 10kers and waited ... waited for the National Anthem ... waited for the race official to make people get behind the start line .... and finally, the starters gun.
I spent the first half mile doing two things: trying to catch my breath because my lungs felt like they were on fire, and pulling up the strap on my heart rate monitor. It seems like every race, something happens body-, or equipment-wise that never happens during a training run, and it just seems like the strap on my heart rate monitor had a mind of its own. It kept sliding down to my stomach and I kept pulling it back up. Finally, at about the half-mile mark, I yanked it up to just under my armpits and it stuck.
The first half mile was also spent dodging slower runners who lined up at the front of the race. This is where Cowtown can be a little better. The race organizers should make sure all the 6- to 8-minute milers get at the front of the line and everyone else in back because I was dodging people who couldn't have been faster than an 11 or 12 minute mile. Some people in front of me would just stop. This meant I had to suddenly swerve out the way or stop so I wouldn't run over somebody.
But this is something that happens in most races when there are thousands of competitors and I've just learned to deal with it.
I finally got some clearing at the half-mile mark and after I got my breathing under control I was feeling pretty good.
The first three miles was mostly downhill or flat, but I held back some because I knew, from running this course in 2007, that there would be monster hills ahead. So, my minute-per-mile splits for the first half were: 8:05 (lost time avoiding the slower runners); 7:26, and 7:27. My total time for the first three miles was 22:56.
The hills started near the end of the third mile. And just past the four-mile marker, it got crazy. We made the turn out of Trinity Park onto 7th street and there was basically 1 ½ miles where the course elevated 72 feet. That's about the equivalent of a six-story building. My heart rate, which had been at a hard _ but manageable _ 176 beats per minute quickly jumped into the 180s and would sky to the mid 180s at the end of this hill.
Despite the slow first mile, I was pacing along at a 7:37 mile-pace before getting to the Hill, which turned off on Henderson Street for a flat quarter mile stretch, then picked back up on Lancaster for another hill that lasted nearly half a mile.
I got through that stretch and looked at my watch: 5.62 miles in 43:05. That's a 7:40 pace. So even though I slowed, I was still in good shape to go for a PR. I picked up the pace and just ran the last half mile like it was an interval. At mile 6, I basically went into all-out sprint mode and passed a few people.
I'm not sure if the race photographers got a good picture of me, but I got to the finish line, hit the stop button on my Garmin (my heart rate had skied to 189), and tried not to throw up on the guy cutting the race chip off my shoe.
My time of 46:57 was a PR by 50 seconds.
Average heart rate was 189, which is 88 percent max.
Here is the race course:

View Larger Map

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stumbling, bumbling? Nahh, but I saw more than 600 tired people.

When I ran my second marathon last December, Wellstone's White Rock Marathon, the race organizers put my name on my bib. This is so that people can cheer you on _ by name _ when you are out on the course. Now, you may think it's corny, but let me tell you, when you pass the volunteers at mile 22 and somebody shouts, “Way to go, Kevin!” you appreciate it and it kind of energizes you, if only for about 10 feet or so. That's why I decided to volunteer at the Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon Saturday.
As I said in an earlier post, I ran a 10k, changed out of my wet clothes, and joined about a dozen or so other folks at Mile 24. Many of these volunteers were part of the Fort Worth Runners Club, which I joined a few weeks ago.
I wanted to volunteer to give back some of the same enthusiasm that volunteers had given me. But I also wanted to see the face of the marathoner, late in the race, when the glycogen is gone and the muscles are spasming, and the legs are like spaghetti.
There is a big difference between a sub-4 hour marathoner and one who takes longer than 4 hours to finish. Most of the marathoners who finished under 4 hours yesterday were in pretty good shape when they hit my volunteer station. Richard, the tall guy I've mentioned in other posts, looked great. (His wife, Lisa, is the president of the FW Runners Club and was organizing our station). Two guys I work with, Tom and Patrick, had smiles on their faces when they got to mile 24. Tom, I later learned was within seconds of qualifying for Boston.
Other sub-4 hour runners looked in good shape as well. Though, I do remember the Asian woman wearing three or four heat patches on her legs, wincing in pain with every step. We tried to give her water or Powerade and she just waved us off. She didn't want to be bothered. She was in a zone and looked like she was afraid if she stopped, she wouldn't start back up again.
The marathoners didn't have names on their bibs, so to encourage them, I'd shout out their bib numbers. “Way to go, 471” or “Hang in there 1400.” I shouted out so many numbers that I felt like a professional auctioneer. Most would look at you, smile and simply say, “Thanks.”
As the four plus hour marathoners ran by, you could see big differences. Many of those running slower took water, Powerade, pretzels, or whatever else we were handing out. Some looked like they were taking their last breaths, and I'm sure when they saw the finishing hill they'd have to climb they probably thought they were taking their last breath.
Our volunteer stop was where the marathoners and the half marathoners merged. This means that when a marathoner came loping by on pace to finish in 3:30, he or she was finishing way faster than some of the half marathoners. Still, you have to give those half marathoners credit. It takes a lot of courage to get out there.
Every once in a while, you'd see somebody going at a faster pace than everybody else. First, you'd wonder, 'Did that person misjudge their pace?' Because you'd see people barely jogging and then you'd see somebody sprint by. Then you'd realize that that person was an ultramarathoner, a race the Cowtown decided to hold for the first time this year. These fools, uh, I mean, people, were running 31 miles in the same time that mere mortals were running 26.2 miles.
There were 117 ultra-marathon finishers Saturday at Cowtown. The fastest finished 31 miles in 3 hours, 37 minutes. Folks that's a 7 minute-per-mile pace. I've never run 31 miles in a week that fast.
It was also interesting to see the color of the faces on the marathon course. Anytime I've run a marathon, I only see a handful of other black people. Cowtown was no different. Of the 809 marathoners and ultra-marathoners who officially finished, I saw two black guys running the marathon, two black women running the marathon, and one black guy running the ultra-marathon. That's less than one percent. (Most of the serious black marathoners in the country were probably recovering from the Lost Dutchman Marathon in Arizona the weekend before. That's where members of the National Black Marathoners Association (yes, this group exists) were having their annual run. And guess where they are coming next year? Fort Worth's Cowtown. So I guess I know what I'm running next February.
So, Saturday was an interesting experience, but not as dramatic as I thought it might be. Nobody crawling or staggering, like this woman here at a marathon in Japan this past January. Not that many tears, and certainly no medic trucks were needed. All-in-all, it was a pretty good time.
Tomorrow: My 10K Race report

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Cowtown 10K Result

This is the time I clocked in the 10k portion of the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth Saturday. A personal record. And it could have been faster but I spent the first mile dodging slower runners who lined up in the front of the race.
Anyway, that's me volunteering for the Fort Worth Runners Club at mile 24 of the marathon. I ran the 10k, changed clothes, and stood outside for three hours handing out Powerade and water.
I came away with a new perspective to marathon running which I will share over the next few days.
But the first thing I'll say is this. Everybody who is thinking about running a marathon _ and I've run two _ should volunteer at an aid station late in a marathon. You see a lot. Determination. Agony. Humor. Tears. More tomorrow.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

The Cowtown Marathon: That's so 80s

There is a story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this morning about two guys in their 80s who are going to run in tomorrow's Cowtown Marathon.
Let me repeat: These guys are 80-somethings and are going to run 26.2 miles. That's just crazy, absolutely crazy. Do you how much work it takes just to get to the starting line to go the distance? That's hard enough, and then the older you get, the challenge gets that much more difficult.
Anyway, the Star-Telegram story said both guys would be the only ones in their age group. One of the gentlemen ran last weekend's Austin Marathon in 5:30:33. I point this out because this time is just 10 minutes slower than the time I ran at the Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon in December. Now, I had some major cramping issues, but still, I'm 30-something, so that shows you how much talent the 80-something guy has.
One more thing about age and running: A good friend of mine has a father who runs a lot. I mean alot. He'll be 69 in April. He had some chest pains while out on a run a few years back. He goes home, tells his wife the problem, then goes to the hospital. Docs check him out and immediately rush him to surgery. Everything was blocked up and he needed quadruple bypass. Docs said he should be dead. The reason he wasn't? He'd run so much that his heart had built another bypass to get blood to and from his working muscles. Now, I'm no scientist and I'm sure I've got some of the terminology wrong here. But you get the point. My friend's dad recovered and, I think, is now able to run again, though not as far or as long. He's run many marathons and his running saved his life.
Like I've said earlier, I'm only running the 10k tomorrow, though now I wish I would have signed up to run the half-marathon. It's my favorite race and in a later post, I'll tell you why.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Last big test

This morning's run was my last hard one before the Cowtown Marathon Saturday. Of course, I'm too beat up from running the White Rock Lake Marathon in December and the Austin Half Marathon in January, so I'm going to "take it easy" and run a 10k.
So this morning, I ran a few 1,000-meter intervals. Three, actually, in 4 minutes 11 seconds, 4:11, and 4:04. That's a pace of about 6:30 to 6:45 minutes per mile. So, I'm ready.
The question is: Will I run that fast Saturday? I doubt it. If I remember correctly, when I ran this race last year (finishing in 47:47), there were sooooo many hills. It also didn't help that my left lower leg cramped up some.
So, I hope I can maintain a pace of 7:30/per mile. That would put me at the finish line in about 46:30, which would be a PR.
Afterward, I'm volunteering at Mile 24 of the Cowtown Marathon. The exact location the water stop is the corner of ">Stayton/Trinity Park Road and 7th Street. I've run two marathons but this will be the first time that I'll be giving out the water and Gatorade this late in a run. Should be interesting to see the faces of the people. I'll be sure to bring a camera and post pictures.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

No more drinking, promise _ at least not during the week.

I keep looking for the one thing that slows my running and I keep saying it's got to be the drinking. And its not like I drink a lot. I drink two glasses of wine _ tops _ probably four to six nights a week. I like cabernets, mostly, hence the name of my blog. I've also been liking syrahs from Australia's Barossa Valley _ yummy. Anyway, I drink because I like the taste of wine and I like discovering new wines and new regions. Its like running. I love it. I used to wonder if I had to give up one _ running or wine _ to keep the other, which one would it be? Well, I have an answer: Wine.
I feel sluggish in the morning, even on two glasses of wine the night before with a full meal. It takes me longer to "warm-up." I don't feel as springy _ my legs feel dead. When I don't drink the night before I run _ when I know I have to run long (two hours or more) or when I'm doing an hour-long tempo run _ I feel pretty good.
So, this is what I'm going to do: No drinking during the week, and just one bottle of wine on the weekends. My running should improve, my weight, which I've written about a lot in these pages, should go down, and because I'm going to limit myself to one bottle during the weekend, then I can spend a little more and get a better quality of wine. Usually, I spend $13 to $18 for a bottle of wine. And sometimes, that's two or three bottles a week. That's $39 to $54 a week on wine. Ouch! The money alone should be an incentive.
We'll see how I do.
Morning weight: 171
Morning run: 6 miles, 49:20, 8:14 pace
Days since last glass of wine: 2

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Monday, February 18, 2008

It's fun being daddy

As I've written in other posts, my son and his mother live away from me, in Austin. Nancy and I hope to reconciliate, but in the meantime, I make twice monthly trips to see him and I had such a good time this weekend with Noah. He is growing fast. I mean fast. He sits up on his own. He can use his hands to grab things. He sleeps through the night without needing to eat. He remains as handsome as hell. Maybe his mother and I will get our acts together because Noah deserves both of us. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

The middle picture is of Noah and his mother, Nancy. I have to say, she has been a great mother.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Weighty matters

I was reading somewhere the other day that to run your best, you have to be height-weight proportionate. They've got some formula that says you should double your height in inches and thats what your weight should be. And they say every pound over your idea weight slows you by 2.5 seconds per mile.
Hmmmm. I'm 5-8, 170 pounds. That's 34 pounds more than they say I should be to run my best race. That's 1 minute, 25 seconds per mile slower than I should be, according to the experts. Well, I'll never be that small or that fast. But this whole weight thing is odd. I've been running at least four times a week every week since April 2004, and I've only seen a change in my weight because of the running once: When I trained for the Dec. 2005 White Rock Marathon, the increase in miles _ from 20 miles a week to an average of 30 miles a week with one peak week of 40 miles _ knocked the pounds off. I went from 165 at the beginning of August to 148 by late November.
And I could tell the difference in the running, too. I was light on my feet.
You'd think I'd lose even more weight last year, training for White Rock. I had a 12 week stretch where I averaged 35 to 40 miles a week, with peak weeks of 45 and 50 miles, two runs of 20 miles and two others of 18. But when I lined up for the start of the race, I was about 167 pounds, just 6 pounds less than when the training started.
Today, I'm 170. No matter how much I run and how fast, this weight is not going anywhere.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What will my son grow up to be?

I'm trying to teach Noah how to read. Of course, he'd rather eat the newspaper than read it. I think Its funny how I became a newspaper reader. My dad used to wake up every morning, take the newspaper to the bathroom, and stay in there for 30 to 45 minutes. I'd have to wait half the morning before I could read the sports scores from the day before. Now that I'm an adult, my day can't begin until I read the paper. I wonder if Noah will be a newspaper reader. It will be fun finding out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Don't let the age fool you.

So, every Tuesday morning, I run with a group of folks from Luke's Locker. A few are younger than me, but most are older, like mid to late 40s. Of course, all you gotta do is look in the paper every weekend at the 5k times of some of the 40- and 50-somethings to know that age never matters when it comes to running speed. This morning, during the last few miles of a 6-mile tempo run, I'm pacing along at about an 8 minute mile with a guy who has to be at least 50-something. And every time we hit a mile, he'd say, "that's an 8:04 pace." I'm like, "where did he get the wind to say that?" What's worse is that just a few steps behind were two other runners, one 40-something and another 20-something, talking about their running like they were just walking in the park. The 20-something, a woman, was saying she was going to run a 50-mile race, and talked of overcoming a broken heel by running too slow. The 40-something, a guy named Richard, is usually the fastest in the bunch (and at 6-3, he is definitely the tallest), and he was pacing along talking about injuries and running in this month's Cowtown marathon. Again, I'm sucking wind hoping that this run is over soon. I finished the 6.15 mile course in 49:50, about an 8:10 pace. Heart rate didn't go crazy like last week, mainly because it was 20 degrees cooler. I also felt good when I woke up this morning and I suppose its because I didn't have my customary two glasses of wine the night before. I'm going to try this no drinking thing during the week and see where it takes me in my running. I'm running the 10K at Cowtown and should easily pop a PR.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Isn't my son cute.

A picture says 1,000 words. His mother was nice enough to send me a photo. Ohhhh, I miss him.

Good aerobic run

Went out for a 12-mile run today. Was trying to keep my heart rate around or below 80 percent while going faster than a crawl. Results: Did it!
Ran 12.04 miles in 1:49:05, which is a pace of 9:03 minute/mile. Didnt drink any water or anything during the run. Just had a banana about an hour before the run. Heart rate average was about 79 percent with a high of 83 percent. That's what you call running aerobically. Anybody can pour it on and run hard and do a 9 minute mile, but to be in shape aerobically, its important that you have the ability to run fast without having to use too many of your fast twitch muscle.
This run puts me at 42 miles for the week. A little high, I agree, but, I want to be in great shape before I start marathon training in August for the Dallas White Rock Marathon so when I have to run high miles and log 3 hour runs, it won't hurt as bad.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I love Garmin and MotionBased!

I did another interval run today, 5 times by 1/2 miles. I run every single run with my Garmin Forerunner 305 and upload my runs to Sportstrack and to MotionBased. On MotionBased, you can view your run on GoogleEarth and its pretty much accurate down to which side of the street you were running on. Here is a 7 mile run from Tuesday. Feel free to click on the zoom buttons or change the view from map to satellite view:

View Larger Map

Cool, huh? Anyway, here were my 1/2 mile interval times in minutes:seconds for the run I did this morning.
1: 3:28
2: 3:21
3: 3:29
4: 3:20
5: 3:19
And here is a link to the actual run
This is way too much technology and I absolutely love it.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February weather, finally!

Enough of the 60 and 70 degree days around here, which, for a runner, can be brutal. This morning it was low 30s and mid 20s if you include windchill. With that, I had no problems keeping the heart rate below 80 percent during a five mile run, which I did in a pace of about 9:35 a mile. The only thing I hate about running in the cold is when you are done. With so much sweat, you cool down really really fast.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's Super Tuesday. How fast can your favorite presidential candidate run?

Obama or Clinton? Romney or McCain?
What if we picked our president based on their marathon time. Here are some political figures and their marathon times.

George W. Bush, 1993 Houston Marathon, 3:44:52
Michael Dukakis, 1951 Boston Marathon, 3:31:00
John Edwards, 1983 Marine Corps Marathon, 3:30:18
Al Gore, 1997 Marine Corps Marathon, 4:58:25
Mike Huckabee, 2005 Little Rock Marathon, 4:39:04

For a list of other famous people who've run marathons, go here.

Off the beaten path...
This morning, I went out on a tempo run. These are my favorite training runs. I can fly without running so hard it feels like a race, and I'm done in an hour, so its not a long run.
I ran with a group of runners that meet at Luke's Locker off of University Drive in Fort Worth. It's a 6 a.m. run. I did seven miles in 56:21, which is about a pace of 8:05 a mile. Heart rate averaged about 87 percent, but it soared to 92 percent the last 15 minutes because there were some crazy hills. It was also 62 degrees with humidity of about 80 or so percent. So, I feel pretty good about the shape I'm in. I had a shin splint flare up on mile 2, but gutted my way through it. Afteward, I had an endurox shake for recovery. Ah, sugar never tasted so good.


Monday, February 4, 2008

Somewhere in the world, the Patriots are champs.

Right after the Super Bowl, the winning team already has on Super Bowl winning hats and t-shirts. Well, the league actually prints up shirts and t-shirts for both teams. After the game, the losing teams swag is put back in boxes and shipped to some pretty interesting places.
Here is a photo from the Chicago Bears "winning" Super Bowl T-shirts from last year. (The Colts won the Super Bowl last year).

My running: Rest today. Got a 7-mile tempo run at 6 a.m. Tuesday.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

A marathon star returns a message

A few weeks back, I wrote in a post that I went to see Spirit of the Marathon. After watching the movie, I sent an email to one of the movie's stars, Deena Kastor, who holds the woman's marathon record. Well, last week, she emailed me back. Here is what she had to say:

From: Deena Kastor <
Date: Feb 1, 2008 3:36 PM
Subject: RE: Howdy from Texas
To: Kevin Lyons <>
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for the email and for supporting Spirit of the Marathon. I can't remember ever having so much fun at the movies; and it wasn't because I was in it, but because the theatre was filled with the people I like most…runners! Everyone was interacting and stayed after to chat. I hope you continue to find ways and reasons to be inspired. When you are in this sport, you are in it for life. All the best!


My run today: It was very hot in FW, like 65 degrees. I wanted to run and keep my heart rate during the whole run under 80 percent of my heart rate maximum (201). So, when I looked at my Garmin and saw my heart rate at 160, I'd slow down. Boy, am I slow. Again, it was hot. But, running this way, it took me 1:05:28 to run 6.55 miles. Which is a pace of 10:00/mile.
I need more aerobic conditioning.

My Super Bowl prediction: Patriots 45, Giants 17. Boy, was I wrong.

Wine I'm taking to the Super Bowl watching party: Layer Cake Shiraz, and Yalumba Barossa 95% Shiraz and 5% Viognier.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

My son, his mother, argh!@$$%#@*&

I was supposed to visit my 6-month old son in Austin today. His mother was throwing a "party" for him. We got in an argument last night. I didn't go. Guess I'm a bad guy.
I did go for a 9-mile run today. After a 6-miler Thursday and a tough 6-miler on hills Friday, I was pretty bushed today, and finished 9 miles in 1:22, about a 9:06 minute mile.
Oh, and one more thing. Back in 2002, I swore I would never drink merlot again, and laughed when the movie Sideways came out and there was the scene of Miles saying, "If anyone orders fu-k-ng merlot, I'm leaving." Well, last night, I'm at the World Market in Fort Worth and this old lady that is always serving wine _ her name is Kate _ turned me on to a Merlot from Chile called Santa Ema Reserve from the Maipo Valley. "This is a different kind of Merlot," Kate said. Well, I agree. Yummy. Chocalatey. And only $8.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

I got my name in the paper!

Ok, granted, this is like, one month old. But, a month ago today, I ran a 5k and won my age group. This wasn't my fastest time for a 5K, but it is the first time I've run a race where I was faster than everybody as old as me. Its funny, I've written hundreds of newspaper stories, done radio and tv shows in my previous life as a sportswriter, had people come up to me and say they've read something I've written. But, to get my name in the agate of the sportspages, it's like I earned it. I mean, they paid me to be a writer. Nobody paid me to be fast on this day.
On another note, I ran some hills around the university near my apartments. Some very steep, I mean very steep. I only did six miles and I was bushed. I think I need to do these at least twice a month and maybe that will make me stronger when I run marathons.Posted by Picasa