Thursday, May 22, 2008

Have a nice day sir...

The other day I was at the store and at the checkout, the "youngish" person bagged my groceries, handed them to me and said, "have a nice day sir." It's not the first time someone has called me sir, but this time it just hit me a little hard. I was taken aback a bit for I do not think of myself as as a sir, heck, I'm only 44.

Old age, I decided, is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. I'm in the best shape of my life, but I sometimes despair over my body -- the wrinkles that are starting to appear on my face, the baggy eyes. And, often I am taken aback by that old person thats starting to live in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, and my loving family for less gray hair or a faster 5k. As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that latest and greatest piece of equipment that will transform my ordinary bike splits into the extraordinary. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I've have a few friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read until 4 a.m. and sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 70's, and if I at the same time wish to weep over a lost one, I will. I will walk around the pool in a speedo that is stretched over a masters body, and will dive in with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten -- and I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers through an illness? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair start turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say, "No," and mean it. I can say "Yes," and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've earned the right to be wrong.

I like being older. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

Monday, May 19, 2008


It seems like yesterday I was gunning to run a sub 40 minute 10k.. If I look back, I think it was sometime in early December I went 39:25ish to cross that one off the comeback list... I was estatic at the effort and claimed I was on track for better things to come barring injury. Over the weekend, I ran the certified course Warbird 10k in 37:57 in a VERY windy day indeed. I really thought I could go about 30 seconds faster than that, but the brutal headwind I had to deal with for the 1.5 mile finishing stretch was just too much to hold onto the pace I needed. I finished 1st in my AG and 6th place overall... definite progess...

I haven't been posting my weekly mileage for awhile now, but I can say that I haven't slacked any. Weekly totals have been anywhere from 55 - 70 miles per week. I've been putting in regular interval and tempo runs every week now for some time. A sample of some of the speedwork I've been doing is this. 1 mile warm-up then, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 600, 600, 400 with a 200 jog between each. The slowest pace was the 1200 done at 5:38/mile and the fastest was the 400 done at 5:08/mile. There has also been some hillwork done as well from week to week. All other runs are done at MAF or a HR of 146 max which equates to around 7:00 - 7:05/m.

I'm trying to stay consistant in jumping rope to keep me in balance. I don't do it as much as I like, it's just a matter of habit I need to get into.

I have a 12k I'm doing this coming weekend. I ran this race last year in 52:49 which I think is a 7:05/m average. I can safely say that I'll blow that out of the water this year. ciao for now!

Monday, May 5, 2008

500 Festival Mini Marathon

It's been awhile since I've run the Mini down in Indy. It's the largest half marathon in the world and the 8th largest running race in the world. I was really looking forward to running it this year. I had applied and got a seeding for the race in the "A" corral, which is right behind the elites. When the race started I was 1 step behind the elites when the gun went off. I had met up with Brandon Reichert from the Three Rivers Running Company before the start of the race and decided we were running about the same pace so we'd pace each other. The first mile was relatively slow, 6:33, having to deal with the all of the quick starters and settling into a rhythm. The 2nd mile was 6:06, yikes.. We finaly found our rythm and clicked off 6:12 - 6:18 through 8 miles.. Brandon was feeling good and picked it up about 5/10 seconds per mile, I held my own to the finish in 1:24:31. Not nearly my best, but was satisfied with the effort at this time of the year. I still love running around the speedway mid race. It's such a feeling of awe when you get a perspective of just how big it is when your running around the 2-1/2 mile oval. Thankfully the weather was great this year, overcast and mid 50's. I've done the race when it was mid 80's and sunny. Going around the track when it's that hot, it's almost unbearable.

I have a 10k I'm running in two weeks that I'd like to crack 38 at, then a 12k the following weekend. All this racing is geared more toward the 1st major goal of the season, which is to run somewhere around 17:30 at the Runners on Parade 5k on July 12th. I need to stay consistant with my weekly speedwork, both tempo runs and track work with some hill workouts thrown in there as well.

During church on Sunday, Pastor Hawks had quoted someone (who, I don't remember) with a saying that I thought was great and meaningfull. The quote was something like, "Failure, is being successful in something that doesn't matter." which I took to heart. Is being successful at running doing something that doesn't matter? I had to think about it for awhile. What are the things that really matter in life? I came to the conclusion that for me, it does matter. My wife, kids and my love for Jesus Christ are the most important things, and always will be, in my life. It matters that I show my kids that when you apply yourself to something your passionate about, whether it's running, baseball, basketball, football or anything else for that matter. You can reap the rewards of your efforts. Stay the course, never give in, never give up. It doesn't matter how old you are, or get, you can still whoop up on the youngsters, and have fun doing it! ciao...