Thursday, July 06, 2006

Jack has moved to BTT

Jeff at breakingthetape has my new Blog up and running (again), so please redirect to my new URL:

Don't forget to redirect your Bloglines and other feeds to the new URL.

See you on the other side!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Technical Difficulties

Please ignore that last post, since I already managed to kill the template on my new breakingthetape blog. Now how do I break the news to Jeff...

In any case I will post at both sites until the new site recovers from Jack the Blog Killer's latest thrashing.

Did you ever have one of those days where you really, REALLY need to go for a run...!

Jack has moved to BTT!

Running with Jack has moved to, bye-bye Blogger nightmares! Please redirect your Bloglines and other feeds to the new URL.

See you on the other side!

Monday, July 03, 2006

An Early Morning 14K Recovery Run

Today marks the beginning of a very busy week at work, so I will probably fall behind on reading and writing blogs. One of our manager’s from our sister company in Billerica (MA – USA) will be here at 2:30 this afternoon. We will be trying to complete a technical manual before he leaves on Wednesday.

So in anticipation of a late night at work I decided to go in a little later today and ran at 5 a.m. It was still nice and cool outside as I started out on my 14K/8.7M loop. The sun was just stretching as I made my way over the fields. My legs were a bit sore from my overindulgence at the 10K race yesterday. After a few kilometres my legs started loosing up and I fell into a comfortable 6:00/K (9:39/M) pace, which I maintained the rest of the run.

My next run will probably be Wednesday night, if I get off work on time. I want to run for the first time with the Graben Running Club, the group that put on the 10K race yesterday.

On Friday night or Saturday morning I want to try my first longer run, probably about 2½ hours – easy pace. This should give me a pretty good idea how fast I can return to normal training.

My next major (scheduled) event is a forest marathon on September 10th. Of course there are lots of other race choices almost every weekend, so I may use some of these for training purposes.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Recovery, How Boring, or the Graben 10K Race Report

Yesterday (Saturday) I spent some time in my woodworking shop working on a small cupboard that my wife can use a coffee machine and “stuff” at work – nothing fancy, just painted plywood.

The weather was beautiful again, sunny and a mild 29C/85F. After grilling up a couple steaks for lunch my wife took a nap and I took an hour walk around the fields surrounding our town. Not the same as running, but pleasant just the same.

This morning I woke up an debated whether I should run the 10K race that was offered at the next town, Graben, the town with the Running Club that I have been thinking about joining. So after pondering over the negative aspects of running a race a week after an ultramarathon, which took about a zillionth of a second, I suited up and drove my scooter to the race. I told my wife that I was just going to go and run a “fun run”, which she never believed for a moment.

So anyway I rode my scooter to the race and parked right next to the school in the bicycle parking area. All the car parking places were filled as I knew they would be, thus the reason for taking the scooter.

It was already 26C/79F and humid – the race was going to be a hot one! I picked up my race number and chatted with a couple people I know – Friedrich Vetter from the Running Club Phillipsburg, he ran the 80K race last weekend too! Albert Ulrich, the 91 year old runner that frequents the local races, he was only going to run the 5K today – too hot!

About 15 minutes before the race I jogged a few minutes to warm up, then took my place at the Start. I new from running this race previously that walkers and slower runners tend to line up at the front and middle of the pack, so I made sure I was well in the front.

So after a few minutes the start pistol went off and we were on our way. I decided to push and see what my body could deliver! I ran the first kilometer in 4:46 (7:40/M) and the second in 4:49/K (7:44/M). As we headed out over the open fields in the full sun I could feel the humidity trying to zap my energy. I tried to ignore this and just concentrated on keeping the pace up. After about 10 minutes we again entered the shade of the forest – the trails that the Graben Running Club uses for their training – I knew them well as I trained on them through the winter.

I passed the 5K half-way point in just over 24 minutes, it was still possible to break my 48:18 personal record, but I had to keep the pace going. I attached myself to a talk, lanky, young man that slowly passed me – I figured if I could hang with him I’d make it.

I passed the 6K marker, 4:55/K (7:55/M) pace, I need to keep this going. Past the 7K, I was breathing heavy, the younger man was speeding up. I hung with him, gosh the time is going by slowly – why do I do this to myself.

So out into the sunny fields again, the forest was so nice and cool…come on Jack, don’ get soft now. So on across the fields, back onto an asphalt path – we joined back with the 5K runners – just a few 5K runners straggling in.

I passed the 8K maker, just one foot in front of the other. We headed back into town, made a left, then a right, past the 9K marker – time to pick up the pace. Huff, puff – gosh I wish I didn’t eat so much the last couple days, I’m carrying an extra 5 pounds today – I feel it all.

Last corner, the young dude left me in the dust, I pass a few, there’s the finish – I try to sprint but it is weak, I cross the finish – glad that’s done. Whew!

Dang, I’m 8 seconds too slow – 48:26. I missed breaking my personal record (48:18) by 8 seconds. But that is still good for a new SECOND BEST!! Whoohoo!

So I walked around for a couple minutes to cool down, then gorged myself with cold watermelon that they were offering – umm, the best part of the run!

As I stood in the shade cheering in the last of the runners I got to talking with a young lady from the Graben Running Club about there group. She invited me to stop on by an run with them next Wednesday night. Sounds cool!

How was your weekend?

Friday, June 30, 2006

Joy is Going for a Run!

I couldn’t wait anymore, recovery be damned, I had to hit the road last night. It was a beautiful 29C/85F, sunny, warm and the trail was singing a seducing song in the gentle breeze that was blowing…

I rushed home, changed, and headed out the door with probably the biggest, goofiest grin imaginable, and was off. I started out easy and slowly built up my pace as I felt the power and energy flowing through my veins. I finished the last of the 9 kilometers with a sprint to the door - gosh what a good feeling!

In any case, despite my enthusiasm, I managed to keep the overall pace down, I averaged 5:45/K (9:16/M) for the 9K/5.5M.

I did notice that my legs are not fully recovered, so I won’t run again until Sunday. Next week I will start easing my way back into training mode, the first week keeping my pace and distance down, followed by a week of increased distance and finally a week where I try to bring my pace back up to normal. If my body is in agreement I hope to be back on schedule by the third week of July.

IMPORTANT: I will soon be moving from Blogger to – I will let you know when Amazing Jeff has me up and running.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Round and Round we Go

So Thomas obviously thinks I have time on my hands during my recovery, so has tagged me:

4 Jobs I’ve had:

- Farmhand
- Pizza chef
- Bartender
- Grocery manager in a supermarket

4 Movies I watch over and over:

- Streets of Fire
- Dirty Harry
- Predator
- First Blood

4 Places I have lived:

- Ratcliff, KY
- Ettlingen, Germany
- Aberdeen, MD
- Hinesville, GA

4 TV shows I watch:

- CSI Miami
- CSI Las Vegas
- Home Improvement (I am a Tim Allen fan)

4 Places I’ve been on Vacation

- France
- Holland
- Denmark
- Austria

4 Websites I visit every day:

- Bloglines
- Weather
- USA Today

4 Favourite Foods:

- Pasta (any)
- Salads
- Cake
- Lobster

4 Places I’d rather be right now:

- Running
- Norway
- Alaska
- Upstate NY

4 Favorite Bands/Singers:

- Toby Keith
- Brooks and Dunn
- REO Speedwagon
- Charlie Daniels Band

4 Bloggers I’ll tag:

I don’t know who has done this already, so if you feel the urge, just do it!

Taking it Easy

On Tuesday I stopped at the swimming pool on the way home from work and swam some laps, nice and easy, more for enjoyment than training. Last night I dusted off the workbench in my woodworking shop in the shed and started working on a small cupboard for my wife.

It feels really strange not running so much. My recovery is going fabulous, no pains, aches, cramps or other weird things going on. My energy level is high, and quite frankly I am bored to death in a running way. Tonight I am going for a 30 minute jog to see how my body reacts.

Race Plans

On Sunday I have a 10K race, actually two, I still have to decide which one I want to do. The race will be treated as a fun run, no PR-setting pace, just running pure!

I think for the rest of the year my major races will consist of a forest marathon in September and a 50K race at the end of October. My wife is not in disagreement with this, so I think it’s a go. Of course there will be several other shorter races mixed in here and there. But most of these are within a half-hour of the house and can be decided at on the spur of a moment.

My main focus for the rest of the year will be to build up my base and endurance. If my wife finds a job right away then I may have the opportunity for a 100K race in the spring. Thus I need to be ready if the race comes calling! I am going to try to run 4 times a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with some swimming, weight training, hiking and biking thrown in as time allows.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So Where Am I Running To?

I’m enjoying my successes that I have had with my running the last couple years – I’ve come a long ways! On the other side my marathon DNF in March is a constant reminder that I am only human, that I need to keep a cool head and train smart, and not rush. Since my marathon disaster I have slowed down my race tempo a little and seemed to have found my groove.

I would like to keep going longer and further, I am pretty sure that I could do a 100-miler if I had enough time to train properly. However there are too many hurdles in the way at the moment. My wife’s job contract runs out at the end of the year so she needs to find a new job. With unemployment at a record level in Germany this will be no easy task. With our hefty mortgage we both need to work, particularly since the introduction of the Euro which drove the price of EVERYTHING through the ceiling. So this needs to be the center of our attention for awhile.

Another personal hurdle is that my wife only tolerates my running, nothing more. Without my wife’s full support, training for such a long race, e.g. 100 miles, would be like running a dark mountain trail without a flashlight.

In any case I will still be running some shorter races this year, a few 10K’s, a HM or two, a marathon in September and maybe a 50K in October. My wife is already asking me when I am going to “slow down a little”, so I need to make sure that I don’t get too carried away.

For next year I may be forced to pick fewer (but hopefully longer) races to pacify my better half. In any case this is a delicate issue and I have to be careful in order to maintain peace on the home front.

I have a good tip for those of you whose spouse (or partner) either runs or fully supports your running – give them a hug, maybe some chocolate, whatever – you don’t know how lucky you are!

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