Half a year -- 07/01/05

Half of the year has gone by... Isn't it amazing how time can fly...

I had started to post an entry on Sunday but never had time to finish it... and then Monday zipped past and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday... and I seem to have landed on Friday -- but only briefly -- and then the weekend will be here.

This has been a productive week -- not just in terms of accomplishing stuff for work, but here in my own life as well -- except I don't seem to be getting these entries written as often as I would like.

I am quite pleased with the way I am getting into better shape. Hmmm, let me rephrase that: I'm pleased with the amount of effort I've been putting into it. The results are not quite up to what I would like and I'm afraid I know why. You see -- shhhh, I don't want to spread this around -- come a little closer to your browser -- you see, I'm apparently not as young as I used to be and, in fact, I am more than twenty years older than I was back when I started running.


I ran four miles on the beach this past Saturday -- Running on the wet packed sand as the tide is going out is something I've enjoyed since we moved to Rhode Island and just this week I was reading an article in Runner's World that said it was very good for you. On Sunday I hit the bike path for a combination of running and walking -- ran a total of five miles and walked a mile and a half. Monday I did 35 minutes on the exercise bike and then on to the bench for some leg lifts and rows and work with dumbbells. Tuesday was a three and a half mile run on the bike path.

Wednesday I went to the Wednesday night family fun run on the URI campus.

They run that every Wednesday night all summer long -- a one mile run and then, after everyone has finished and recovered a bit, they do a three mile run and a five mile run at the same time -- same start and finish, just two different courses. Once upon a time -- say, back in the eighties -- the Triple Cities Runner's Club would have a monthly meet at the Binghamton University campus and they'd include a one mile run on the track. I used to usually run 6:30 or better -- I think my best was around 6:15 -- and I always used to think that if I could take the time to concentrate on doing enough speed work for a couple of months I might be able to hit six minutes even. Jump forward to '96 and '97 -- we've moved to Rhode Island and Jill had run cross-country as an 8th grade student (in the fall of '95 back in New York State) and ran cross-country and indoor track as a high school freshman in the 96-97 school year here. We would run at the Wednesday night fun run, pushing each other a little bit, challenging each other. I couldn't beat her in the three mile run -- I could keep up through most of the race but she could always put in a speed burst towards the end that would just leave me behind. I could, however, sometimes beat her in the mile -- and, even if she could out kick me at the end, I would only be a few steps behind. We would be pushing to break seven minutes and usually could get it down to 6:50, maybe a touch faster on a good night.

Wednesday night I ran the mile in 8:48. (And then I took 29:20 to run three miles.)

I think I know the reason -- it's called being 62 years old. Yeah, the operative word there is old.

Oh, I know... I've not done any track work at all this year and if I would hit the track one day a week and maybe do a little interval work, I could cut my time for the mile.... but going that slow when I was trying to run fast has really made me realize that not only am I never going to break under seven minutes again, I'm going to work very hard to even have a prayer of hitting an flat eight minutes.

Yesterday I did a full hour on the exercise bike (just a bit over sixteen miles) and then did about twenty-five minutes worth of leg lifts and rowing and lifting hand weights. Jill and I had been talking about going for a long workout today on the bike path, mixing running and walking, going from here to the train station and back (that would be about eight miles total), but the scheduling is not going to work for that, so now I have to psych myself up to go do it by myself.

Back in March and April, when I did that Six Week Tweak -- I managed to go from 201 pounds down to 198 and ran that 10k race at the end of April. Then, of course, I slacked off in May, found too many excuses to skip workouts -- and also put a pound or two back on. Now I've managed to get down to 196, so June has been pretty good for me for weight loss, but I've only got four weeks left before a ten mile race -- so I can't skip this run.

Tomorrow is my nephew's wedding so Nancy and Jill and I will be hitting the road first thing in the morning to drive over to New York State's Hudson Valley area. I may take some pictures in the neighborhood where my brother and I grew up.

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