Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My New Trail Running Gear

Since I can't seem to stay on my feet when running trails, I bought some new trail running gear. Hopefully, it will help.

My knee felt a little better today. I went out to the park this evening and ran 1+ miles on the park roads. I'll try a longer run tomorrow. I'm still confident that I will be okay for the marathon in Dallas on Sunday.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It only hurts when I use it.

I continued to treat my knee today. The swelling is not too bad and it only hurts when I am using it. I went over to the track this afternoon and ran a gimpy mile. I am pretty confident that nothing is broken and that I will be recovered sufficiently for the marathon on Sunday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Knee Injury

I went out to the park alone late this morning to run 8 miles on the trails. At about 3 to 4 miles into the run, I tripped on a root and caught myself on a small tree. Somehow, I hurt my left knee. I tried to continue running, but ended up walking most of the way back in. It is swollen around my left knee cap. When I got home, I put ice on it and treated it with some stuff. Hopefully, it will be okay by the marathon next Sunday. It is frustrating. I have been addicted to trail running for about 16 years, but trails have been the source of most of my injuries.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Leftover Turkey 10K

Our running club's annual Leftover Turkey 10K, 5K and 1-Mile race was this morning. All three courses were out and back along Veterans Memorial Parkway. I got there early and put out the three cones to mark the three turnaround points. Darren directed the race, so I got to run the 10K. We had a total of 32 runners for all three races. A half mile into the race, I noticed that some SOB had stolen the cone for the one-mile turnaround point. I managed to get some one-milers turned around a little past where the cone had been. Why would anyone steal a traffic cone with the club name marked on the side? As I continued, I was worried that the 5K and 10K cones were also taken. Luckily, they were not. In any case, I felt my running was sluggish. Maybe it was from eating too much on Thanksgiving. I finished in 1:12:05 on this very hilly course. This was about a minute slower than the last time I ran the same course. After the race, some of us had breakfast at the Cafe Texan on the downtown square.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Signed up for Mississippi Blues Marathon

Today, I signed up for the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS on January 8. So far, that is four marathons in January that I have signed up for. That should be good training for my 50 miler on February 5.
It was unusally quiet on the streets in Huntsville today. I worked out at Nautilus this afternoon and then ran 3 miles on the roads in town.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Run Thru the Woods

For the 9th straight year, I went down to The Woodlands this morning and ran the Run Thru the Woods 5-Miler. Finished in 55:35 (4th of 6 in my 65-69 age group). I spent the rest of the day with family and ate too much.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quiet Streets

With the university being closed for Thanksgiving, the streets of Huntsville were quiet today. I worked out at Nautilus and ran 3 miles on the roads in town without getting run over.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost Summer Again

I suppose the temperature was in the 80's today. Felt like summer again. The forecast is for 31 degree this Friday night. My, how things change in just a few days. My son, Ben, and I re-cleared a trail in the woods behind my house this afternoon. Finished just in time to meet the group at the park to run trails. We did our regular 4.2-mile loop. Afterwards, Ben and I went to the basketball game at Sam Houston State to watch the girls play North Texas U. Sam won.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I had a headache all day today, but am not sure whether it is from hitting a tree yesterday with my head or sinus blockage. In either case, I ran laps at the track and then worked out a Nautilus.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Trails on Sunday

With all these marathons lately, I have not had a chance to run trails with the group on Sunday morning. So, I went to the park this morning and ran 7 miles. I thought about doing a second loop, but my knees were really sore. With about a quarter mile to go, I tripped on a root, fell and hit my head against a tree. That really convinced me not to do another loop.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ran my 500th Race Today

I went to College Station today and ran the Texas World Speedway 5K at noon. It was my 500th race since I started racing in 1983 at age 42 (I'm 69 now). My first race was the Night Fighters 10K on May 1, 1983 at Fort Hood, Texas. It was an event of the 2nd Armored Division, which at that time was the Army's night fighting division. The race started at 3 a.m. and 2,500 runners participated. We all carried glow sticks for light. I figured that if I could not finish that I would fall off into the darkness and no one would see me. I finished in 1:03:00.
Today's race was on the speedway track. I finished in 32:21, which is my fastest 5K this year. I guess running a bunch a marathons is good training for a 5K. Also, I suppose if you are running on a race track you are expected to run faster. The banks were a little difficult to run on, but the straightaways were nice. It was a small race and I got 2nd in the 51 and over age group.
I rushed back to Huntsville to attend the Sam Houston State-Texas State football game. I made it to the game in the 2nd quarter.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Completed the Texas Marathon Challenge

With my completion of the Rocky Raccoon 50K on November 6, I completed the Texas Marathon Challenge (TMC) for 2010-2011. The TMC is operated by Roger Soler Sports in San Antonio. Complete any five Texas marathons (or longer) between October 1 and May 31 and you meet the challenge. This was my third straight year for completing the challenge. The first year, you get a medal, singlet and you can buy a TMC jacket. After the first year, you can buy the jacket.
There is no 5K in Huntsville tomorrow, so I will run the 5K in College Station. This evening, I skipped working out at Nautilus and only ran 3 miles on the roads in Huntsville.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reducing the Race T-Shirt Pile

Periodically, I have to get rid of race T-shirts. Since I have been racing since 1983 and completed just under 500 races and volunteered at many others, I have accumulated a lot of shirts. It was time to get rid of some more. Many are so ugly I have never worn them. Others I have worn out. Those 100 percent cotton shirts turn yellow around the collar. Some may be salvagable. Of course, I have to keep the Tyler Azalea 10K shirt with big yellow azaleas (there is no such thing as an yellow azalea). Some I threw in the trash. Others I set aside to take to the mission. Others I saved for a quilt, in case I ever have one made. Now, when I pick up my packet at a race, I look at the T-shirt and try to decide which member of my family might like it. Then, I get their size. Sometimes, I guess right.
Anyway, I put on a nice T-shirt and ran 4.2 miles with the group on the trails at the park this evening. James, a workout buddy at Nautilus, joined us this evening. He has been working on his distance. He was previously up to 3 miles and I talked him into doing the 4.2 mile course with us. It was a new distance for him and he completed it without any problem. In fact, his GPS said the course was 4.4.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marathon Withdrawal

After running marathons the last six weekends, I feel like I should be doing one this weekend. I'm tempted to go to Tulsa for the Route 66 Marathon, but I'll probably stay in Huntsville. I was planning on running a 5K in College Station (50 miles from here) on Saturday, but I just found out today that there is a 5K race on the Sam Houston State University campus this Saturday. I will run that instead. It will be my 500th race since I started racing in 1983.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Staying Trained

I do not have another marathon until White Rock in Dallas on December 5. With marathons the last six weekends, I have two open weekends before then. I suppose that long training runs will be in order. In the meantime, I met up with the group this evening and ran 4.2 miles on the trails. Cannot ask for better running weather.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Day After

I slept in this morning. Well, at least to 9 o'clock. I worked on my column for the Huntsville paper, which was due by 2 this afternoon. I always try to include the race results of local runners. I spent most of my time today trying to find the local runners in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon in San Antonio yesterday. Unfortunately, the race results are not searchable by hometown. I tried to manually screen all 27,000 finishers, but ran out of time. So, I left them all out and will include them in my next column. I hate that I was not able to recognize them in tomorrow's paper.
I worked out at Nautilus this evening. The weather was cool with a light rain. I wimped out and decided to run the treadmill at Nautilus instead of a road run. As I recall, it was my first run on a treadmill in over a year. We went out for pizza this evening and then Ben and I went to the Sam Houston State basketball game. Monday Night Football after that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fort Worth Marathon

I ran laps at the track in Huntsville yesterday and then headed north for the Fort Worth Marathon today. We started at 7:30 this morning and ran an out and back course on the walkway along the Trinity River. The surface was mostly concrete, but some asphalt and crushed gravel. The course was scenic and the temperature in the low 40's at the start and probably 60's at the finish. I ran much of it with Dee, who ran with me at the Tyler Rose Marathon a few weeks ago. She is from Fort Worth and this was her second marathon. She finished in 5:33:49, knocking about 12 minutes off her Tyler time. I finished in 5:37:11 (1st in age group), my best time since the Yuma Arizona Marathon last January.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Short Course

I went to the track this evening with the intention of running my 3-mile course. I ran into some friends who were leaving the track and got to talking to them. Before I knew it, it was almost dark. I ran some roads I have not been on lately. The course ended up being 1.8 miles. Oh, well, I need the rest for the marathon on Sunday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Routine Thursday

Worked out and Nautilus and then ran 4.2 miles on the trails at the park with the group.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Adjusting to the Change in Daylight

Now that it is getting dark so early, I am running first and then working out at Nautilus. I ran my 3 miles on the roads in town. My ankle seems normal now and I am ready for another marathon this weekend.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Breaking Them In

After working out at Nautilus, I met the group at the park. I decided to go ahead and break in new shoes and new orthotics. I ran 3.2 miles on the trails and another 1.2 on the park roads, for a total of 4.4.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Orthotics

I went to Fort Hood in central Texas about a month ago to be fitted for new custom orthotics. Being retired military, I can get them there for free. They called last Friday to tell me that they were ready for pickup. They would not mail them, so I drove 155 miles to Fort Hood this morning to pick them up. I stopped in Killeen near Fort Hood and visited with John Lllewlynn, who I worked with and ran with in the early 80's while I was assigned to Fort Hood. After the visit, I picked up the orthotics and drove back to Huntsville. Got back just in time to get in a 3-mile run on the roads in town before it got totally dark. Then, I went to Nautilus for a workout. I need to break in a new pair of running shoes and at the same time, start wearing the new orthotics. I am trying to decide where to do one or both before my next marathon this Sunday.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Night 5K

I went down to The Woodlands this evening and ran The Woodlands Running Club's monthly Sunday Night 5K. After the 50K yesterday, I was a little stiff for the first quarter mile, but after that I was okay. I finished in 34:02

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rocky Raccoon 50K

I got up at 4:15 this morning for a 6 a.m. Rocky Raccoon 50K (31 miles) start at the park. For over an hour, it was totally dark. I wore my head light and found myself focused on the trail in front of me, trying not to trip on a root. I am very familiar with those trails, but at times I did not know where I was. I even made some turns without realizing it. You just do not look up ahead. There were nearly 500 in the race, but most were doing the 25K. The weather was ideal and the trails were in good shape, except for the roots, of course. My ankle was sore, but never became worse and was not a problem. I finished in 7:59:05.

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm going for it

My ankle is still a little swollen and sore, but I am running the 50K tomorrow. If it does not get significantly worse during the race, I should be okay. The temperature is suppose to be in the high 30's at the start and get up into the high 60's during the race. No rain. I am a little anxious about the trail running in the dark for about the first hour and a half. My goal will be not to trip and fall or re-sprain my ankle. I ran laps at the track this afternoon and then met Phillip and Mary at the park lodge after picking up my race packet. Then, we loaded up the canopy and other stuff for the aid station our club will be operating and then drove on a jeep trail to the back side of the park and set it all up. Then, I attended a birthday party Mariah was having for James at one of the park campsites.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ankle Better

I treated my sprained ankle today and it felt better. This evening, I went to the track and ran an easy mile without too much pain. If it continues to improve tomorrow, I will run the 50K on Saturday. The race starts at 6 a.m., so we will be running trails in the dark. I have never done that. This should be interesting.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Darned Ankle Sprain

I went out to the park alone this afternoon to run the 7-mile loop in the cold rain. At 3.5 miles, I stepped in a hole of some sort and sprained my left ankle. It was my first ankle sprain in 16 years of trail running. I did a combination of running and walking the last 3.5 miles. I have been treating it since. The swelling is not too bad, but it is painful to walk on. I will do short runs for a couple days and hopefully it will be okay for the 50K on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Signed up for the Texas Trail 50K

Today, I signed up for the Texas Trail 50K on December 11. This is the replacement race for Sunmart, which was held at Huntsville State Park for 19 years. I ran the Sunmart 50K for 13 straight years and then the Texas Trail 50K last year. That will give me 17 marathons or longer for 2010. In the meantime, I mowed my grass this afternoon (hopefully for the last time this season), worked out at Nautilus and ran with the group at the park. Melissa Boone was back after a month-long bout with Mono. We ran about 4 miles, mostly on the trails, but partly on the road.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back to Monday Routine

After a workout at Nautilus this evening, I ran 3 miles on the roads in town. No blisters or lingering soreness from the marathon on Saturday. Next race is the Rocky Raccoon 50K (31 miles) this Saturday at Huntsville State Park. Since I have run the trails at the park for 16 years and this particular course many times, I am not as apprehensive as I would be going off to a city to run a marathon course that I have not experienced. Also, the current weather forecast is for no rain and a high of 67. Can't ask for more than that.