Site Cleanup 2014

It has been so long since I even looked at my site that I hadn’t noticed that a few sidebar items were no longer working. I deleted the offending widgets and updated my race results.

Rather than go into any long winded updates about the roller coaster that was 2013, here are the more notable events in chronological order:

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Since I haven’t been running these past 6-8 weeks, I have resorted to some short hikes for my exercise. Hopefully the time off has done some good for my left ankle. I don’t think I’ll know for sure until I actually try running again next weekend as it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue unless I run (or bike or elliptical).

This weekend I dusted off my GPSmap 60CSx and recorded some more GPX tracks around Lake Frank and Lake Needwood to upload to OpenStreetMap for adding some trails. I actually already had a number of recorded paths from previous trips of trail running. This time I followed through and did the editing to add the trails to the map. The following map is the current edit of the Lake Needwood paths on the west side with my GPX track highlighted in red:

One thing that I am still not sure about is the tagging of the paths. I ended up going with footpath for trails around Lake Frank that are for pedestrians only and generic path for the hiker/biker trails around Lake Needwood. It seems reasonable based on other examples in the area.

Up to Twenty

My marathon training has gone better than I expected it to. I ended up finishing the Parks Half with a 7:45 per mile average. I was hoping for 7:50, and I think I was around that through 10 miles. I felt good enough in the last 3 miles to pick it up. I finished in 1:41:27. Perhaps it would have been better to stick with the 7:50 pace as my left quad was sore for a week afterwards. Race results listings are now updated to include it and the two PCL DNSes.

Yesterday, I got my long run up to 20 miles on the C&O canal towpath. Looking at my training log, I noticed that it had been exactly one day less than a year since I last did a 20 mile training run. I ran two 5 mile out and backs downstream and upstream from Carderock. It is my favorite starting point for running on the C&O when I want to avoid hills. After three straight weeks of hills along Rock Creek, I needed an easier route. The run went well except for a muscle spasm in my left calf. Fortunately, the spasm dissipated quickly. It was fine during an easy 7 miles just 24 hours later.

I am still noticing some improvement with my knee every week. Hopefully, it will keep up this pattern, and I’ll get it back to 100%, eventually. It’s down to just six more weeks of training before Chickamauga. The plan is for one more 20 miler three weeks out. Otherwise, I need to add in some more marathon pace efforts. The problem is that I am not really sure what marathon pace I should be aiming for. Perhaps I’ll go with 7:45 for now. After the Army 10 Miler, I should have a better indication of my conditioning a bit closer to the race.

Injuries sure are distracting. While I am still not back to 100%, I am finally doing well enough that I actually believe everything will be OK. I will be able to do the marathon I registered for way back on the second day of March. Quite a few of my grand plans for training and racing underwent considerable revision since then. All of this because of a moment’s inattention while on my way home from work on a Friday in mid April…

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UPS Lies

I had been looking forward to getting my iPad on April 3 ever since I put in my order a few weeks ago. In the shipment notification from Apple, the delivery date was even printed as “Delivers by Apr 03 ,2010”. Unfortunately, Saturday April 3rd has come and gone, but my iPad never showed up. At the moment, I don’t know who screwed up. I do know that not only did UPS fail to even attempt to deliver my iPad, but they also have the audacity to lie in their tracking info. I was at home all day waiting. There was never a knock on the door from a UPS delivery person. There was no door tag left on the door. In fact, based on the tracking for most of the day, it didn’t even look like my package ever went out for delivery. It remained at DEPARTURE SCAN since 8:15AM through approximately 9:45PM. At no point was it ever set to OUT FOR DELIVERY as typically happens when UPS is attempting to deliver something. Then, all of a sudden the status changes to Exception with the note THE RECEIVER WAS UNAVAILABLE TO SIGN ON THE 1ST DELIVERY ATTEMPT. A 2ND DELIVERY ATTEMPT WILL BE MADE / PACKAGE WILL BE DELIVERED NEXT BUSINESS DAY-NO SATURDAY GUARANTEE. So now I don’t know when I will be getting my iPad, but I certainly won’t be sitting at home waiting for it on Monday, since I have to work.

This actually wouldn’t have bothered my half as much if UPS hadn’t flat out lied in their tracking. I know perfectly well that a delivery was not attempted as I was very much available to sign every single minute of the day from before 8:00 AM through midnight, yet in the tracking they imply that it is my fault! I hope that Apple never ships anything with UPS again. I am curious to find out if others in the Rockville, MD area had the same problem.

Last year finished up on a rather promising note as far as running goes. In late August, I ran my second fastest 10 Mile at Annapolis. Then a couple of weeks later I ran my third best half marathon at the Parks Half-Marathon. I got through my thirteenth marathon with my third Marine Corps race in the time range I was aiming for between 3:15:00 and 3:20:00. I struggled with the last 5K which became rather painful with my legs cramping up, but it was a huge improvement over last year’s run on the same course under very similar conditions. It was my second best ever marathon time. It took me longer than I would have liked to recover, so I decided to train for a shorter Spring race rather than doing another marathon training program. The goal is the Pike’s Peek 10K with MCRRC SDP. I’ve never trained specifically for a 10K. I have mostly concentrated on longer races like half marathons and marathons since 1996. Not having to do 20 mile training runs is a welcome break and will allow me to get in some short races during the training. Just to get used to some faster racing after the marathon, I ran 10 mi., 6km XC, 8km, and 5 mi. races starting in late November through December. The first three were not really all out efforts. The 5 mile ended up being a personal best, but when considering that it was only my second ever 5 mile race it perhaps is not saying much. Even so, I was quite happy with the result. It is the best I’ve felt with racing since early 2005.

So, now it is into February after going mostly easy with the training through January after donating blood and then getting rather sick for about four days in the first week of 2010. Despite that, I have gotten in the first 4 track workouts with SDP, although the last couple I had to do on my own on Thursdays. It is difficult to get to the track on time after work. The snow this weekend makes my usual running routes mostly impassable, but I did get in over 16 miles on Friday: 5 mi. in the AM and 11.5 mi. around sunset during the first couple of hours of the developing nor’easter. Yesterday, I ended up just going on a walk (if you can call it that) in the snow.

Bridge to Rock Creek Trail for access from Linthicum St.
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About Halfway

Yesterday’s long run brings me to the halfway point of my current Marine Corps Marathon training with MCRRC XMP. Two twenty milers are now completed, but there are three still to go. The next few weeks should be interesting as I’ve got a couple of races coming up with the Annapolis 10 Mile next weekend, and then the Parks Half-Marathon a couple of weeks later. It has been a long time since I have raced, so I am rather curious to find out what times my current training will result in. The vast majority of the training seems to have been long slow distance with hills and a few marathon pace runs.

For some reason, every time I do a software update of OS X 10.5 Leopard on my dual G5, I get a kernel panic that freezes the system after the restart and usually before I even log back in. The freeze occurs quite randomly at some inconsistent time interval after booting the computer. The updates only affect my G5, as my MacBook Pro has never had this happen. While I have no idea about why it works, there is actually a fix for the problem, which so far has worked every time to get me back to a stable system at least until the next software update.

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Dreaming of Waking

I wake up this morning and take a quick glance at my clock. It is blank. It is still dark. In the bathroom now, there is a flash like lightning. The light doesn’t turn on. I grab my flashlight and wander through the apartment. Something is wrong. I shine my light around. In one spot, everything stays dark. I sense something about to attack!

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Number Twelve

Yesterday, I ran my twelfth marathon in the same place as my first ( in 1996) with the Marine Corps Marathon. While I didn’t have a particularly good race, it was good to get back to the marathon distance after a three year break from marathoning. I had hoped to run somewhere between 3:30-3:40 but ended up over 3:50. I started out right on target at a little over 8 minute per mile pace through the first 10K, but for some inexplicable reason, without intending to speed up at all, I was suddenly cruising along at around 7:30 pace. I knew I wasn’t currently trained to run at that pace for an entire marathon, and my lack of concentration early really cost me later on. I was just about out of energy by 18 miles with almost a third of the way to go, so I shuffled along the rest of the way with occasional walking breaks.

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