Monday, February 6, 2017


I'd like to tell you a little about my father in law Danny, who passed away a few weeks ago.  Danny was a part of my life for more than thirty years and it's hard to imagine a world that doesn't have him in it. Although he wasn't in the best of health, Danny's passing was sudden and very much unexpected.  No one saw this coming.  Danny had more than his share of health scares in the past, but he always bounced back.  This time was different.

You often hear people complain about their in-laws; they meddle, they judge, they complain. I have no such complaints.  I've been blessed with in-laws that are loving, supportive and positive.  Even when I first showed up at his house as a skinny teenager driving his daughter around on a motorcycle, Danny was nothing but nice to me.  Sometimes his niceness was disguised as giving me a hard time about anything from the way I was dressed or how bad I was at playing cards but it was always said with a grin or a laugh.  Kidding around and giving people a hard time was something Danny was very good at.  It was pointed out to me early on that was how you knew Danny liked you and you only need to worry if he stopped teasing you. Danny was able to find the humor in just about anything.  It's not a surprise that as I look through all the pictures of him that the family recently compiled, in most of the shots he is laughing.

As much as he joked around, Danny was a no nonsense kind of guy when it came to working on something.  If you asked him to help you with a job, your doorbell would ring at 7:00 sharp and you had better be ready for him or you'd hear about it.  He worked hard and efficiently, seldom taking breaks for longer than it took to open a fresh Pepsi.  He was an expert painter, but there really wasn't much he didn't know how to do and he enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experience. More than once, Danny bailed me out on home improvement projects that didn't go quite according to plan.  I got some good natured ribbing along the way, but always with a laugh and a smile.

Mostly, I admired Danny because he did what he needed to do, even if that meant making big changes in his lifestyle.  As a younger man he was a drinker.  When he decided he needed to leave that life behind, he stopped drinking and didn't look back.  A life long smoker, he had health trouble in his 40's that resulted in bypass surgery. The doctor told him if he didn't want to end up back in the hospital or worse, he needed to quit smoking. He quit cold turkey and never smoked again.  Years later he was told that he wasn't getting enough exercise so he started walking daily, a regimen he maintained for the rest of his life.  The thing is, he didn't really WANT to do any of those things at the time but he recognized what needed to be done and he did it.  I try to adopt that mentality when I can, but I complain more than he did.

In the short time since his death, I resumed marathon training with very little enthusiasm.  More than once I've found myself in the middle of a workout with thoughts of quitting.  Thinking of Danny and his work ethic has helped me to keep plodding along.  My enthusiasm is slowly returning but when I'm just not feeling it, I think about Danny and I do what needs to be done.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Marathon Six - Week Eleven

Week eleven of the training plan looks like this:

Sunday, Rest or cross training
Monday, General aerobic + speed 7M w/ 6x100m strides
Tuesday, Lactic threshold 11M w/7M@HMP
Wednesday, Rest or cross training
Thursday, Medium long run, 12M
Friday, Recovery 5M
Saturday, Long run, 20M


Weight: ha ha ha ha ha!

Health: I have a new pain.  The front of my leg, way up top.


Sunday - Rest day

Monday - I ran the 7 but wasn't in the mood for strides.  I ran 5 easy and then the last 2 at MP (7:51, 7:39).

Tuesday - Lactic threshold, 11M with 7 @ HMP.  I was feeling very negative about this run.  I got to the 4 mile mark and decided I wasn't going to try the HM pace part.  Then I got to the 4.5 mark and changed my mind.  For the last 7 my splits were 8:06, 7:38, 7:30, 7:27, 7:21, 7:30, 7:22).  Not exactly HMP for the whole thing, but I felt pretty good about it.

Wednesday - Rest day.

Thursday - I developed a sore spot on the bottom of my left foot after the speedy run on Tuesday.  I decided I bike for 1:40:00 instead of running the 12.  I watched a movie called "All the Way".  The movie is the story of Lindon Johnson, as portrayed by Brian Cranston. It was very good!

Friday - 5 easy miles in the neighborhood.

Saturday - 20 miles on the C&O canal towpath.  Some of it with a group of runners from the Steeplechasers.  All of it with my running buddy Linda, who is a wonderful training partner.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Marathon Number Six - Week Eight

Week XXXX of the training plan looks like this:

Sunday, Rest or cross training
Monday, Recovery + speed 7M w/6x100m strides
Tuesday, Medium long run 12M
Wednesday, Rest or cross training
Thursday, Lactate threshold 10M w/6M @ HMP
Friday, Recovery 5M
Saturday, Long run 20M


Weight: Still afraid to look

Health: Improved. My back is hurting less than it has been and my stupid toe is finally starting to heal.


Sunday - Because of Life, I had to push my long run from last week to Sunday.  18 miles in 10 degrees. The air was cold but still at the start, the wind decided to pick up about half way through it.  This run would have sucked in a major way if it wasn't for a couple of foolish great runners from the Steeps that wanted to get some miles in.  I ran three miles on my own before meeting up with them. Together we took a tour of Windsor Knolls, Holbrook, Loch Haven and a couple neighborhoods that I don't remember the name of.  The area where I live is surrounded by roads with narrow to non-existent shoulders and vehicles traveling at high speeds.  So to get in a run this long you either run a lot of loops or visit a lot of cul-de-sacs.

We kept the pace very slow and I got through the first 15 miles just fine.  For the last three I was having a lot of pain in my left foot.  I thought that it might blister but the next day it felt fine, so I'm not sure what the issue was.

Monday - I needed a rest day after the 18 miler on Sunday, so I took a rest day.

Tuesday - 7 miles, but no strides.

Wednesday - I ran 12 miles at work on my lunch break.

Thursday -

Friday -

Saturday -