Rash Ramblings

A runner once, an explorer always!

Category : Stepping Up

Inching Forward

I ran an eight miler back on the sixth of March and the next day a fairly hard six miler and after that I cratered. On top of being tight and achy, my work load has greatly increased and the temperatures are rising. I am glad it is getting warmer. I am so tired of putting on and taking off multiple layers to run. It has been hard to get going for the last week or so. I am back to my longer runs and I hope I can get everything loosened up and ready to run a good race on the 27th at the Capitol 10,000. It is going to be the luck of the draw. I am not at all consistent right now. At the same time, I am so much further along now than I was 10 months ago. I am around twenty pounds lighter now. I am not totally sure where my weight is since my scale broke, but I am back to wearing clothes I haven’t worn in years. All the pain and agony I have gone through has been totally worth it. It always feels so much better after I finish.

Looking at where I was and where I am now makes me feel good, but I don’t know how realistic I was to expect that maybe I had a chance to go from no running to thinking I might have a chance to finish in the top ten in my age group at the Capitol 10,000 with less than a year of training. All this while still trying to maintain my work commitments. I do want to continue this routine, but right now I’m not sure I want to commit to running next year’s Capitol 10,000. I’ll make that decision when it is time.     Tues  36:01.34 Walk     Wed  59:33.21     Thurs  34:29.37 Walk     Fri  20:06.76     Mon  18:51.74     Tues  18:50.21     Wed  60:58.17     Thur  58:53.66.



03/07/11     Today I wasn’t sure how far or how fast I could run as yesterday I completed a run of a little over eight miles. This was the first time in over twenty years that I covered a distance that long all in one run. I felt amazingly good after the run, but was afraid what I might feel like on waking up this morning. I was stiff and sore and I originally thought I might only do two miles this morning. Instead I decided I would set out on my six mile route and go as far as I could. I made it all the way. I made it to the halfway mark at 28:47 and so I figured I would finish in about 57:30. All through the last part I felt like I was in slow motion, so I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my watch after I finished and it said I had completed this loop in 56:39. That meant I had run the second half in 27:52…almost a minute faster than the first half.

It is now getting to be crunch time as the Capitol 10,000 is only about three weeks away. I really don’t have a good feel as to what kind of time I can run. I estimated my time at 44:00 on the entry. I WANT to run around 38:00. Thirty years ago I was down around 33:00, but I was also at least 40 pounds lighter. Some of how I do will be determined by how much more weight I can shed before then. A lower weight and my ability to get into a more efficient running form will be the big determiner on how close I can come to my goal. I originally set as my goal to finish in the top ten in my age group at the Capitol 10,000. The question will be…”can I do it this year or will I have to wait another year?” At this point I am not even sure if I will want to run the Capitol 10,00 again next year. So, right now I just push on and wait to see what unfolds.      Thu  56:05.43     Fri  17:31.64     Sat  34:21.39 W  Sun  76:04.00     Mon  56:39.06



A Little More…

I’ve been thinking for a while I was going to need to up the distance again. Today I added an extra mile to my regular run. I had set December as the time to up the distance, but thought today was not too early.  Originally I thought I would have a little initial body shock as I started running again and then I would move fairly quickly into some semblance of my former running self. What I didn’t take into account was all those years off. As you build up miles an hours of exercise, your body develops a more efficient oxygen delivery system through increased capillary action. When I stopped, this declined as it wasn’t necessary for the physical activity level I was that I had moved to. I am only speculating, but I think this is part of he reason for the dead leg feelings and the same kind of a feeling as when you are trying to get more out of acar engine and it won’t go because he air filter is all clogged up. These things don’t rectify themselves overnight. I know the best way of overcoming this is to increase my mileage. This will not only increase my endurance, but will also have an effect on my speed just because of more efficient effort.

I go out early everyday before an interruption can keep me from completing my task. There are also less people out. Thee are less cars to guess what they are about to do. I refuse, for the most part, to  run in front of a vehicle unless I have a uniformed officer in front of the car holding it back. In this day and time, people are too distracted and too prone to blame problems that arise on other people. I choose to put that control and responsibility in my own hands as much as possible.

There are new aches and pains as each day passes, but there is also a feeling of  better overall health and conditioning and that lingers longer than the aches and pains. That is why I am sure I am on the right track.                  Mon     44:53.51     Tue  55:40.70



Keep on going…

If the truth be known, I wanted to turn around and go back inside right after I hit the road this morning. I was so stiff and achy that I really didn’t think I was going to make it very far. I set my sites to make the zero mile marker which is somewhere between a mile and a mile and a half from my house. This would be a distance that was in between the two routes I have been using. About 200 or 300 yards from that zero marker I started loosening up and feeling better, so I decided to do the full loop. This morning also had that superhero reference as I neared the zero marker there was a light fog hanging low over the ground and with the lighted lamp posts in the park shining through the fog it seemed to conjure visions of the opening to a Batman comic book. I had this thought and then it was gone and I was back to thinking about the run. My unconscious tendency is to run hard one day and recover some the next. I think now this is blocking improvement. Pushing through the pain and increasing the mileage covered is where I will find the improvement I desire.

I see myself chasing my former running self. As I run now, I am probably anywhere from a mile and a half to two miles behind that former self. I would like to be able to at least train at the level of this former self’s worst days. I want to get close to 34 minutes on the longer runs that I am now doing in 45 to 49 minutes. If I can do that, I will have a chance at making it into the top ten of my age group at the Capitol 10,000. I just have to whittle at each run and strive to make each step either a little longer or a little quicker.

I am about to run into another challenging period as the temperatures are expected to drop again and on top of that there are chances of rain coming almost daily this next week. I must shoot for consistency. Anytime idle is a step backward. I was back down to 201 pounds this morning which was the same I weighed the day before I got stuck by the agave. I fully expect, if I can maintain this consistency, that I will drop below 200 pounds sometime in the next two weeks. I have not been that light at least in the last fifteen years and maybe it has been 20 years. In the meantime, I’m pressing on.     Wed 48.03.70




Really right now when I think of my running quest, I can only think of more. That is what I’ve been thinking this past week or so anyway. It was for that reason this morning I started my next level. I will run longer runs in the morning. I am doing this because it is the only way I can guarantee it will happen. Too many things can happen after the day has started that can get in the way and stop good intentions.

I am still running everyday. I was thinking about running a race on Saturday, the Superhero Obstacle Course Race  http://www.247superhero.com/  , but I left too many things to the last minute and decide against it. Then I thought I would run a longer run  Saturday afternoon, but things came up and I ended up not running at all on Saturday. I then decided I would do that run Sunday afternoon, but after I gave blood Sunday morning I thought it might be better if I didn’t. I got back into it Monday after two unexpected days off.

I have to up the ante now to advance to the next level. There has been some stagnation and it seems to carry over into this writing, because I just don’t seem to have anything come to mind when I’m just coasting. I need that additional pressure it seems to get the thoughts flowing. We’ll see how much faster improvement comes now. This morning, I at least doubled the distance because it took almost three times as long and I know the pace was not that much different. I am ready for this new challenge.  thur 17:46.12  fri 18:14.44  mon 17:44.63 tue 18:33.81 wed 48:49.65


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.
– Lou Holtz

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.
– Woodrow Wilson

I try to challenge myself as much as possible, as often as possible.
– Alan Dean Foster



And who are you?

I fully intended to make an entry yesterday, but I started editing some of my past entries for spelling, etc. and ran out of time. I was feeling a little stiff yesterday, so it took me a little while to get going. After I had run for a while I felt pretty normal and just worked on lengthening my stride and relaxing.

That brings us to this morning. I woke up at my regular time. I Was Really stiff and hardly able to move. I got up and made my way to the alarm clock. I was thinking, “…this is going to be one of my days off this week…” and so I started changing my alarm to go off 30 minutes later, so I could catch a little more shut-eye. Then, all of the sudden, this voice comes up from out of nowhere, “Hey…what the heck do you think you’re doing?” It was the voice of Moe Howard from the Three Stooges coming from this little “Coach” sitting on my shoulder.  It wasn’t quite the devil and angel figures seen in the old movies and cartons, but it was in the same vein. I said, ‘I’m taking the day off.” and he said, “No you’re not.” So, what could I say? I put my clothes on and hobbled out the door. It was kinda hard getting going, but it got better. I have got to go on the assumption that I’m not getting better if I am staying comfortable. It is working through those deficits that maybe I’ll see real change. I know going through this will not be fun, but the results will be fun. And now I have this little guy standing on my shoulder with a frown on his face that I will also have to deal with. Now, I’m looking forward to tomorrow.    Th 18:44.32     Fri 19:24.46


Success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by a dint of hard work.
– Anna Pavlova

The important thing is to concentrate upon what you can do – by yourself, upon your own initiative.
– Harry Browne


It is the same day as the previous post and I did,as I alluded earlier, put in a second run today. I am ready to get this show on the road. Also as part of this phase two, today when I stopped for lunch, I got a single meat hamburger with no cheese, fries and a unsweetened tea (the only kind I would want anyway). We’ll see about further tweaks to the diet. I know when I was running before, there were things I didn’t eat then that I do now that could go away again. It won’t be a thing either that I am just keeping myself from eating them, but that I just loose the desire to eat them or at least eat them much less frequently.

The run was at a decent pace for me right now. It was very sunny and very warm. I felt good although a little stiff from pushing it some this morning. It was somewhere around four miles and I finished in 34:02.14. I post this even though I am a bit embarrassed in my per mile rate. I am doing this with every intention of getting as close to the times I was getting in my 20’s as I can. I don’t know if it is possible, but at the same time I don’t know that it is impossible. That would mean I would have some training runs with six to seven minute per mile pacing. So time will tell and I can only try to reach as far as I can and see where that leads.


I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.  – Tony Robbins

Start early and begin raising the bar throughout the day.
— Bruce Jenner

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
– Steve Prefontaine

You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.  – Steve Prefontaine



As we were watching television last night, I came to a realization after watching a portion of “The Biggest Loser.” The people on the show last night were in the beginning stages of a new show, so they were all still close to the top of their weight levels. Watching all that they were being put through, the shock that it was putting on their body and their mind made me realize maybe I have been fooling myself. These people have some pretty unforgiving coaches that have one goal of making these people see what they can be and then also how they can maintain that level of fitness.

I am my own coach and I can truthfully say that my coach has not been doing his job…but now it is time. Watching that show made me realize that we excel only to our level of commitment and this can be in any phase of life. If we ever get to a point to say, “That’s probably good enough”, we, in all likelihood have sold ourselves short. It is not good enough, if you have more to give, not if you want to grow in that area. It is through repetition that the body learns. By continually increasing the pace or the work load the body adapts to handle that. Who knows the limits? Can you afford to let your mind set them too low by rationalizing limits imposed by outside forces? And do we sometimes look for these forces just so we can have a reason to limit our effort? Most of the things I do, I am held back by me more than anything else. Having seen this, I will deal with it accordingly.

Today, when I went on my run, I knew I must test this to some extent. Most of my morning runs are around two miles in length. I do admit that because of my previous running life I have some guilt in admitting this is all I have been doing. When I was in college, if I didn’t have time for at least a five mile run, I wouldn’t go at all because I thought it would just be a waste of time and I wouldn’t get much out of it. I know I have not been wasting my time. Up to this point it has mostly been about setting the routine. Today I told myself I would push harder to see what I could do. Most of the time my route takes between 18 and 20 minutes, although I may have gone under 18:00 a couple of times. I pushed harder today and when I finished I realized I still had some left, but it further underscored my underachieving when I came through at 16:48.58. It is time now to step it up. On one side I must increase the workout and on the other side I must take better control of my diet. It has been a good day today and as it is only 6:52 am, I may still have time for another run.



Over the Hump

Sunday was a scheduled day off from running. The long run on Saturday did not have as much effect on me as I thought it would. I felt surprisingly good both Saturday and Sunday. There was also no new soreness due to the increased distance and time running. I must now work on adding more mileage to my weeks. That is what will give me the greatest amount of improvement.

I had a nice quick run this morning. I know the increased distance, like I did on Saturday, will help increase my speed, but as I increase my running base, I am going to have to think about doing some other type runs to also work on my speed. I think to some degree my body may be better adapted to take on this load as long as I don’t try to progress too fast. Being outside working in the 100 degree Summers has helped to build a level of stamina and strength that will carry over into my running pursuits. The excess heat is my greatest foe and I now do everything I can to stay out of the sun and heat, when possible.

I have observed in my landscaping pursuits when the heat gets excessive that  grass goes dormant, especially when not given abundant waterings, trees start shedding leaves and even the bugs go into hiding and are much less apparent. In times of excessive heat, it is time to slow down and conserve your resources. Now as the temperatures fall, it is time to begin the increase. It is the time to get in attack mode on these goals I have. I am ready.   17:44.29



I chose to start my birthday off with a challenge. It is something I have been thinking an=bout for a while. My goal was to run to the Big Spider and then back home. I had two things going against me from the get-go. I had never run the trails to the Big Spider (especially not in the dark) and this was going to be the longest run that I had done in over 20 years. The good thing about this day was we had a little rain last evening so things had been cooled down somewhat.

The biggest problem I had was deciding which fork to take when the trails branched off. It was nice to get away from the streets for a run. Mostly I heard my feet crunch, crunch, crunching on the crushed granite trails, although there were interspersings of concrete. On the way out, about two-thirds of the way to the Big Spider, I did have the thought go through my mind, “I wonder if I will really be able to run all the way out and back. As I was getting closer, I kept thinking the Spider would pop up, but it didn’t. Then just as I was starting to think I missed it, there it was. I ran up and between the legs as I turned to head home. That was fun…halfway done.

Giant Spider Sculpture

This twenty-three foot high giant spider, named Arachnophilla, is located at the Mueller Southwest Greenway in the Mueller development at the old airport. The sculptor is Dixie Friend Gay, an artist from Houston. [Julie Dean, 11/20/2009]

From: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/23592

I felt pretty good on the way back. I did have some pain in the bottom of the wide part of both feet, but not enough to really affect me. I made it all the way back to the house without stopping any. I felt good and I had been running for over an hour (1:03.36). After I got back home, I was curious to see if I had lost a lot of water weight, because back when I was running my best, I could weigh before and after a run and sometimes there was almost a ten pound difference. I weighed in at 204.4, so probably not the case today. Anyway, it was a good way to start my birthday. Now to go find some bacon like I smelled while out on the run.


It takes a long time to grow young. – Pablo Picasso

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.  Enjoy the trip.  ~Author Unknown

Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age.  Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.  ~Tom Wilson