Friday, April 22, 2011


That's right, what would Jeff do? I have a marijuana marathon (thanks Adam!!) maintenance plan of running long on Saturday mornings alternating with 6 miles, 8, 10, then 7 miles, 9, 11, then back to 6 and start over. The idea is to build up to a base of 20-25 miles per week and also build up the mid week runs to include a rotation of tempo, strides, and hill work. Then around September, I'll fall in love and move out to the Hamptons I will begin a plan that will take me to the starting line for AZ RnR in January ready to break 2:03:02 once and for all, and on a certified course!

So the decision today was whether to run 6 miles or 8. My running partner is still suffering from plantar, asthma, and puddingslow, but we had agreed to run our long runs at 10:45 to 11:15 pace NO MATTER WHAT. It keeps us aerobic, injury free, and trains our bodies to be out on the road for a loooonnnnnggggg time -kinda like a marathon. Running faster only teases my brain into thinking I'm better than I am and results in a finish line disappointment and possibly erectile dysfunction.* Partner went six and I ran 8, but I went fast during three of the miles including the last mile. Most plans would wag a naughty finger at me and say:
Quite simply, Jeff is an idiot
Higdon: No-no-no, stay at your prescribed pace.
Jeff: Shoot, I was feeling good and wanted to stretch it out a bit. And I'm not hurt!
Higdon: Not hurt this time, hows that toe?
Me: welllllll, a little black but that's cool right?
Higdon: Cool rhymes with fool son. Follow my plan and I'll get you across the finish line healthy and happy.
Me: Ok Mr. Higdon, I'll do it!
Higdon: Let me see your hand.
Me: What?
Higdon: Your hand boy. Let me see it!!
Me: This hand? Oh lookie, my fingers were crossed. ha ha
Higdon: (scowling. shakes head and wanders off to Country Buffet because it's almost 4pm)

Marathon training plans are designed from experience, research, and are set to help people cross the finish line feeling happy, healthy, and accomplished. So don't fuck with it Jeff! We are pros who have run for years, usually professionally and Olympically, we've interviewed thousands of runners, and analyzed stats and research, and we really do know what we're talking about. Well Mr. Professional, I'd like to introduce to you to Mr. Ego. Ego has been around for 44 years and also knows what he (it? id?) is talking about. Ego can bring Jeff's credit card (my counselor told me to watch out for third person disassociation shit like this) out in  flash, drive him to run into injury, and generally cause havoc that would make a New York Dolls concert seem like a Scottsdale 85 and older tea party.
lovely, just lovely
I ran faster than my plan allowed. Sue me. No, sue someone else who has money and make up challenging scenarios for me to spend the money in a limited time.

I feel like I'm at a turning point in this quest to be in better physical shape. I'm losing a bit of weight and feeling stronger than I was two years ago about the running, but I remain reluctant to decide whether to go faster and risk mid-run lung ejection or stay at these speeds and feel like I'm getting medium workouts. At what point does a person, can a person, should a person, upgrade to a faster plan?

* possibly, just possibly, but maybe it was the Thai food

Saturday, April 16, 2011

2011 Pat's Run Race Report

2011 Pat's Run 4.2 mile race Tempe, Arizona
That's a PR!
This was the third time in three years I have run in this event and I've gotten faster each year. The top finishers:
20:33!! HS!
Average age of these finishers is 29! I'm kind of a stats nut, and I really love looking at ages and times of some of these runners. There were six 89 year olds who smashed my time, and plenty others who finished. That's inspiring. I have a buddy from Florence, AZ who is a skinny young fast runner and he finished in less than two minutes ahead of me. I haven't had a chance to talk to him, but either I'm getting faster, or he has a broken leg.

I was thinking during the last mile about dragons and cheerleaders whether I could have gone faster, and the answer was no. My paces were off from my plan and mostly positive splits instead of my usual negative splits, but I really believe that even if I were able to reverse that, my total time would have been the same. The hill in the third mile was a surprise to me. I had forgotten it thinking only about the hill on Curry road in mile 2. I ate that hill alive but burped it back up on the hill in mile 3. I was feeling pretty gassed at that point and wasn't able to throw down a turbo in the last .3 when we enter the stadium (Lauren, I was doing the gasping thing again! How embarrassing) With about 30,000 runners, you can imagine that it was difficult at times to stay on a planned path. This is supposed to be a fun run, and so I only pepper sprayed one or two "people" who decided to walk right in front of me.

Hey! Good times and nothing more about this lest I draw too much attention away from the folks running that little huckleberry in Boston on Monday. Tear it up Beth!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Smell This... Does This Smell Bad??

Ran this morning 6 miles in 58 minutes w/Norman. He almost got a duck!! It was a nice run without incident. Plantar is talking bit on the left but no big worries. Calves fine, pulmonary fine.
Not dead dead, just dead drunk.... AGAIN!
Got home for my typical weekend post-run coconut water and had two big gulps before realizing something was.... wrong with the stuff. Not 'dead mouse' wrong, more like a dying mouse had taken a swim in the can before crawling off somewhere else to die --possibly in a Golden Arches product. A couple of small gags later, I was past it and moving forward in my morning recovering with water and coffee.

Pat's Run is coming up next weekend. 4.2 miles around Tempe with about 25,000 other meatheads. There are a few choices for approaching a run like this: Race, commemorate, socialize, other.
RTP's Strategy choices for Pat's Run 2011:
!. Go for a PR. Last year was 38:33 which is a 9:12 avg. pace. Uugggh, that's a fast time to beat, but doable. I was heavy into a 'roid phase this time last year, but this year I'm a better runner.
2. Run for fun with Harrison in stroller and finish in exactly 42 minutes to honor Officer Tillman. (option 2.1 is to handicap race against Adam and his man-child)
3. Run for fun then run 4 more miles after to get a long slow run in for the weekend. Fuck that I can tell you right now.

No matter what, this is a fun time each year and I'm looking forward to it. I'm definitely one of those runners who loves the atmosphere of a foot race of any type. I love the pre-race rituals and the waiting in the corrals, and all the post-race analysis. I don't care that I'm slower than most, I still can't believe that I can run at all. It's been a good Spring for me. Not as many miles as I has planned, but I'm healthy and heading into the Phoenix summer with a base that will carry me into the start of Marathon training in late August.

Dangling Thought: Will Nitmos ever admit it?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's Getting Hot Here in Phoenix

Went out for a 5 mile run with Suzanne and Norman the 8 month old no-nut nut-job choc lab spazoid.

We started by walking since Suzanne is still suffering from plantar faciitis and was also having pulmonary challenges. Our plan was to go 5 miles and we nailed the distance. The pace was on the slow side, but we both finished with negative splits and feeling healthy. I know from past experience that plantar- like most of my stripper girlfriends-- is a bitch while you have it and then it's gone seemingly overnight when it finally decides to leave. Hopefully hers leaves soon and isn't replaced by ITBS, patellar tendonitis, or air-conditioned lazy bones. I have some interesting little aches and pains going but nothing to really claim as an injury right now. I attribute it to inconsistent mileage and poor attitude. He doesn't really know it, but Georgia Snail is my current running/fitness hero, and of course SUAR.

So we left at about 7:45 and the sun was up and blazing. I had put on sunscreen (I'm nearly transparent-complected, so I need to wear spf 'aluminum siding') and a water belt. Most runs under 7 miles lately have been without water but today I was glad I brought it. This summer, I'm determined to try a handheld water system. It seems convenient and all the cool kids are doing it.

So we went through the run mostly without incident. Norman didn't have to crap in the street, but he did slow down towards the end. It's obvious that he will not be able to make it on daylight or long Phoenix runs in the summer. Poor pooch, he loves to go out.

Our normal route crosses some major roads and we usually have to wait for traffic. Sometimes that is a blessing and sometimes I wish I was still running. The good part is that I'm getting better at hitting paces and holding them. This is a skill that either comes naturally or with a lot of running and help from the Garmin 305 (that's  me). I'm still a big fan of the Garmin and almost never run without it. I love the data and the running log, and being noticed in the coffee shop afterwards --
Her: "Your a runner?"
Me: "Yep.......... uhhhh you missed that contraction in your opening line"
Her: "I do that sometimes you sexy runner beast!"
Me: "Are you a runner too?" Brilliant Jeff Brilliant!! This is gonna be good! Keep it going...
Her: "No, just an EMT trying to resuscitate you because you inhaled muffin crumbs and started choking and then dreamt up this little dialog. Are you like 50??"
Me: "Damn"

Thermometer now at 95 in the shade in mid-afternoon. Air conditioner on. Here we go again.....