What’s the answer? Prayer candles and beer.

I forgot what the question was.

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3 miles, 46:27 (15:28, 120)

Almost exactly the same as yesterday. Or maybe the Garmin didn’t work today and I’m just copying in yesterday’s numbers again. Squirreling on the track. Patience.

3 miles, 46:27 (15:28, 120)
10 a.m., track, 94
15:12, 15:09, 16:02
146, 0.72

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3 miles, 46:24 (15:25-121)

I can do this.

I don’t have to believe it. I only have to say it.

Felt OK. Decent amount of trotting mixed in with stroll. I guess that’s the new goal. Trot 3 miles. Set that bar high!

3 miles, 46:24 (15:25-121)
10 a.m., mad dog, 94
14:58 15:22 15:45
149, 0.7

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4.16 miles, 1:03.09 (15:09-124)

I woke up at 6 a.m. with the nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. What was it? My mind played mental gymnastics with the possibilities, which included an unfortunate dismount from the rings. Damn lack of upper body strength.

What wasn’t right? And then I realized what was wrong. .


I grudgingly got out of bed. Downside: More time to think about screwing up that headline in today’s paper. Yay! Upside: Mo hadn’t downed all the coffee yet.

What to do? Go for a stroll.

And that’s how I arrived at the track at the crazy hour of 7 a.m. This is apparently the designated time for old guys. Who knew?

There were a couple of other geezers at about my same pace. One was going a couple of miles but came equipped with two cartons of coconut water, a fleece towel and a change of shoes. Old guys take this stuff too seriously.

Just another day of staying under threshold HR. Four miles to bury the demons of last night’s deadline and move along. Funny. I work on a newspaper five days, and then on my day off I volunteer to shovel bird poop. I guess go with what you know.

Increasingly optimistic about long race. I mentioned it to Mo today and she didn’t veto. Should’ve gotten her to sign something.

Tomorrow is the first long day. Should be fun. Maybe I’ll buy coconut water …

4.16 miles, 1:03.09 (15:09-124)
7:15 a.m., track, 88
14:39, 14:48, 15:10, 15:44
124, 0.76

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5 miles 1:16.34 (15:17-126)

The prophet Scott Modzelewski once said, “If you have to walk, walk like you mean it.”

I tried doing this today, and I think it’s the answer. 5 miles, 1:16.34 (15:17-126). I just worked on my sidle for the entire 5. Kept the HR right on the border of aerobic and threshold. The result? Faster than yesterday, a lot easier mentally and physically, and with the feeling that yes, I could do this all day.

Idea now is just to stay at that 130 range and hope I get a little stronger. we’ll see. 31.5 miles for the week. The morning runner thing seems to be working. I can do this.

You never know when those old lessons will pop up. Thanks, Mojo.

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5 miles, 1:17.10 (15:225-132)

I’m running at the track. It’s an OK day. There’s an ancient shot putter (why would you put shot at 70 years old? um, why would you trot around the track at 61? never mind), the college field goal kicker being filmed by a video crew, a guy running the wrong direction. God, I hate it when people run the wrong direction on the track.

It’s an OK day. 5 miles, 1:17.10 (15:25-132). It’s a bit hotter today and I’m feeling the accumulation of the week, but no big deal. Miles is miles.

I go home, turn on SpongeBob and scroll through the numbers. blah blah blah blah. And then I see it. There’s a hill on the track.

This is weird. I run on a college track. It is flat. Very flat. It is used for track meets and Other Important Events. There’s just no question here. It’s flat. I might have mentioned that already.

Garmin says it’s a little bump, 3 feet tall. It occurs regularly at the same spot. It’s like I’m running over a miniature hill each lap. Except I’m not.

I go back and look at the week. It’s there every day. Same bump, same interval. Very consistent.

What could this be? I am crazed with curiosity. Actually, I am crazed with intertia (it’s just from a distance that I seem morose.) But that’s a different song.

And then it hits me. This counts as hill training! I’m counting miles on the track as hill work from now on.

I suppose there’s a metaphor in the bottom of my bag somewhere, next to the neglected jar of Vaseline and a packet of suspicious looking pills. I’m pursuing a comeback like I’m pursuing uphills. Just a tiny bit at a time. Sure, it’s so small that you can’t even see it, but it’s there. You just have to believe.

Maybe I’ll get a shot put …

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5, 1:15.25 (14:36-133)

Today I discovered the secret to running. Sadly, I can’t tell you what it is. It’s a secret.

OK, you seem trustworthy enough. The secret to running is this:


I wore my sunglasses for the first time this week. They’re Serious Sunglasses, some big red things that came in a race freebie bag. Add a fright wig and a rubber nose and you’re set for little Billy’s fourth birthday party. Little Billy is 4? Where does the time go.

The result: 5.17 miles, 1:15.25 (14:36-133), my first outing to crack 15-minute miles and the first to consistently trot the straights while walking the turns. And it felt pretty good.

How did the sunglasses do it? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s a psychological thing, where the shades make me feel cool. Possibly the lack of wind drag on my eyelashes. Maybe they’re so dark that I can’t see what is ahead of me and I feel less intimidated. All I know is they worked. Best run all week by far.

Skeptics would point out that it was 15 degrees cooler today, making the run significantly easier. They likely are just jealous of my stylin’ shades.

Probably pushing the HR a bit much. Threshold on straights, recover on turns, but it felt OK and I didn’t die. Tomorrow will be interesting.

The future’s so bright …

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