Sunday, January 5, 2014

Just a quickie...

It's my first week of posting in the new year, and I'd hate to miss one of my planned twice-weekly posts this early!

Not much to say today. Good week of running - two 2-milers and a 3 miler. Not much I know but I'm starting from the ground up and really focusing on speed this year. Of course, this has all been on the treadmill...we've got snow on the ground, and it's SUPER cold right now. Temps will be below zero for most of the week. 

However, the eternal optimist in me is thinking about spring. Which leads me to a commercial advertisement of sorts. My church (Good Shepherd Lutheran in Naperville, IL) is starting a new group on the spring called GROW - Get Running Or Walking! I'm excited to see it launch and will post more about it in the future. For now, check out our Facebook page at . 

More later...


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Well...THAT was a long hiatus...

My last blog entry was on May 4th of 2008...I had no idea I wouldn't be back until now.  I've thought about resurrecting TS blog now and again over the last almost 6 years...decided that now is the time to do it. Since my last posting I've completed a marathon (2011 Chicago Marathon), 3 half marathons, and more 5K and 10K races than I can count. 

I changed jobs in 2011 which had a big negative impact on my running. I've gotten back into it slowly, but I really feel like 2014 is my year. 

We also joined a new church in 2011, and this year I am helping get a runners/walkers group started. More about this as it progresses. 

For now, I'm planning on blogging at least twice a week, maybe Wednesdays and Fridays. We'll see how this hoes and who follows me. 

Good running, my friends. More later. 


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bye for now...

I've been thinking this through for a few weeks, and I made a decision last night. This blog is going on hiatus. I won't have a blog focusing strictly on running anymore, but I'll fold my training updates, race results, etc., back into my "main" blog, jtj3.

The good thing, and the bad thing, about blogging is that it's very easy to start. Keeping it going, not so much. I've let my blogging addiction get the best of me, to the point where I tried to keep 4 going and write for another.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I travel for a living. I also just started an MBA program. That, plus other work/home/family stuff really limits the amount of time I have for trivial fun stuff.

I also got to thinking about a comment Rick made on where he's going to go with his blog now that he's completed his marathon. It made me realize that I'm trying to go down too many roads at once. In retrospect this blog was a great place to write specifically about marathon training, and I'd hoped to do more, but reality set in.

This space won't go away...that's the good thing about Blogger, is that you can start, stop, and resume whenever you want. I'm not going to delete this blog, and if I start writing about training again I'll use this space.

I'll still come and visit all of you, and invite you to my other blog every once in a while not only to see how the running is going but just to see what's going on.

It's not like I'm leaving town, just moving. So stop by to see me whenever. And I'll see you whenever. Until we meet again, though, run strong and long!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Race report

It was hectic around the jtj3's household this weekend, and now I'm on travel for the rest of this week. However, I felt darned good about my race this weekend, so I thought I'd post a report...

This Saturday I ran the 4th annual Kingdom 5K Run. It's a great race, and the church that sponsors it has many great ministries to the community. Proceeds from the race benefit a ministry that plants new churches all across the country, and they're wildly successful at doing so.

Anyway, back to the race...since it was my first race this year, I was just hoping for a good finish. The conditions weren't great--cold and windy. I picked up my packet about an hour before the race started, and ended up driving back home to get an extra layer of clothes.

Now, for the good news--I finished in 27:47.9, for an average pace of 8:58. That's only about a minute off my 5K PR. I was really surprised I did that well. I didn't really check my pace during the race, but just let my body go at whatever speed it wanted to.

A special "thank you!" goes out to Community Christian Church for putting on a great race. In spit of the wind and cold, they had people stationed every quarter mile or so cheering you on, making sure you stayed on course, and holding up signs with encouraging words. From the first racers to the last, they cheered enthusiastically and made you feel like an Olympic star.

That's it for this time, folks--until next time, run strong!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm famous!!!

Well, OK, maybe not famous, but definitely (probably) semi-famous...

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago where I told the story of how I got to be a runner. I got the inspiration to do this from Confessions Of A Runner podcast #13. After I wrote the post, I dropped a line to Jodi to give her a summary of the post, and to thank her for the podcast.

Fast forward to today--I'm driving to work listening to COAR #16. At the end of the 'cast, she read some excerpts from my email, and mentioned my blog. WHOOHOO! I'm famous, I tells ya!!!

I guess you had to be there. But it did feel cool to hear her read it, and she even laughed at a couple of the funny comments I dropped in. Anyway, if you haven't checked out Confessions (the podcast and/or the website) it's definitely worth a look/listen.

Oh yeah, and I'm back to regular running now. I've done 3 runs of 3 miles per day, and I have a 5K coming up on Saturday (race report to follow). Wish me luck!

Until next time, run strong, my friends...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Boston Marathon and Olympic Trials

Wow...hard to believe I haven't posted since tax day...and now here we are on Boston Marathon day. It's underway right now--looks to be a good, fast race and great conditions.

I have to tell you...the Internet is a beautiful thing. As I write this I'm doing some work stuff in the background, plus I have a window open for audio/video coverage of the race as it happens. I'm also checking in occasionally on Steve Runner, who I've mentioned here before--he's the voice behind Phedippidations, and has run Boston for several years in a row now.

The conditions for last year's race were horrible--cold, very rainy, and very high winds. Contrast that with today where the temperatures seem to be very moderate, it's sunny, and there's no wind. I know which set of conditions I would rather run in...

Just at this moment the runners passed the halfway mark, and Kenya's Robert Cheruiyot is leading. He looks very strong and is the leading contender to win this year. This would be his forth Boston title, and he holds the current course record. He's an amazing runner, and a very humble man. His story would make a good book or movie one of these days.

In other marathoning news, Boston was the venue for yesterday's 2008 women's marathon olympic trials. Deena Kastor won with an outstanding time of 2:29:35. Joan Samuelson (winner of the inaugural women's marathon at the 1984 Olympics) also ran in the trials, finishing in an amazing 2:49:08.

Congratulations to the winners--heck, to the FINISHERS!--of both events. Go take an ice bath, and get some Gatorade--you deserve it!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

6 Days To Boston...

Yep...6 days until the 112th running of the Boston Marathon. Not that I'm running it, mind you. Still, it's a banner day for our sport.

I'm willing to bet that most people, even those who don't know what a marathon is all about, have some familiarity with Boston. It's a true classic, and has a long and storied history (read more about it here). Not too long ago I finished reading one of those stories--John Brant's excellent story of the 1982 Boston Marathon entitled Duel In The Sun. If you haven't read it, I recommend it highly.

I know what it takes to qualify, and I have an enormous amount of respect and admiration for those who do. I just don't see myself ever getting the hallowed qualifying time of 3:20, based on my current age. In fact, when I'm 80 the qualifying time will be 5:00--heck, I'd feel happy to run a 5:00 marathon now! Unless something changes radically, my participation is going to be limited to watching it on TV.

There's going to be tons of coverage through all kinds of media outlets. The Versus network is going to be showing live coverage. There will also be streaming coverage on the World Championship Sports Network at Steve Runner is recording a podcast during the race, and you'll be able to monitor his progress via his website.

Even if you don't watch the whole thing, or can't catch it live, you should at least take a look. There's truly nothing like it--especially the finish.

Just curious, y'all--any of you shooting for a Boston Qualifying time? If so, best of luck...

Run strong friends!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Congratulations, Rick!

I have nothing really interesting to say today (yeah, like that's ever stopped me!) other than to give a big shout-out to a pal who is now, offically, a MARATHONER.

I've mentioned Rick before...yesterday he finished the Glass City Marathon in an amazing 4:38 (see his post here). Great time, proud of ya, and a big WOOT out to you! Looking forward to the full post-race report soon.

Quick update on the recovery front--heading out tomorrow for 2 to 2.5 miles, going to try for 3 runs this week. Wish me luck...I feel better and stronger this week than last, and hopefully that improvement will continue. See you out there on the roads, my friends...


Friday, April 11, 2008

Just for fun - ultra-short fiction...

You might or might know this, but I have a few other blogs that I either write or contribute to. Rather than posting on my non-running at this point, I thought I'd re-post a story I wrote for another blog.

The blog is called 55 Flash Fiction Friday. The idea (and I don't even remember who started it...) is that you write an ultra-short story in exactly 55 words. Why 55? Dunno--but it does make it interesting and challenging. So I wrote this a month or two ago for that blog, I thought I'd cross-post it here. Enjoy the story...

Five miles into it, sweat pouring down, legs pumping, heart racing.

He did this every week, whether he wanted to or not.

He was past the pain, the cramps, and into his zone.

The miles clicked past effortlessly, and he could have run forever.

"I've unleashed my inner Kenyan," he smiled to himself in triumph.

Hope y'all have a good weekend. Shout out to my buddy Rick--good luck in your marathon!


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Today wasn't the day...

I'd hoped to get out the door for a couple miles again this morning--notsomuch. Not only is the weather not cooperating, but I had a bad sinus headache and nausea (because of the headache). The snooze button became my best friend this morning.

It did strike me today, though, that I'm on the equivalent of a summer vacation. I have no goal and no milestones in mind, and it's nice for a change. I'm running because I feel like it, not for a time or pace or distance.

I'm starting to look at 2 upcoming 5K races--one on April 20th, one the next week. Might do 'em both, might do neither...just not sure at this point. And I'm looking at other, longer races. But for now, I like having nothing on the horizon.

Hm, it is starting to feel like I'm repeating myself--not much to say, so I keep saying the same thing. Anyway, I'll have more successes and joys to write about soon. I promise.

I'm checking in (lurking and commenting) on y'all's blogs here and there...your exploits and stories make me proud to be part of the running community! Run long and strong, friends...


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How did I get here?

To truly appreciate where you are, every once in a while you need to look over your shoulder and see where you came from. I've had that on my mind lately--how I got to where I am, running-wise, right at this moment.

Part of what got me started down this mental pathway was listening to Confessions Of A Runner #13, where Jodi talks about her start in cross country, and how it made her the runner she is today. So, with that, here's what got me to where I am...

When I was growing up, my brother--9 years older than me--ran track in high school. He ran 440 and 880 (remember when races were measured in yards???). He did pretty well, and really enjoyed it. I decided I wanted to be a runner someday.

I tried sprint distances in high school, but was way too slow. I thought about longer distances but didn't want to put the effort into training, so I dropped out.

As the years went by I'd run a mile or so now and then, but nothing serious and I never stuck with it.

Shortly after we got married, my wife and I both decided we needed to start getting fit. I tried running...walk/running at first, then graduating into longer runs. I did my first 5K in October of 1992. I don't remember what my time was, but I'm sure it was awful. I still wasn't very regular at this point, but was close to getting hooked.

I ran off and on for the rest of '92 and into '93, until I tore my ACL while on vacation. I had surgery and lots of physical therapy into the middle of '94. By the fall, I was running again.

I stuck with it, sort of but not really. Life, travel, work, and my own innate laziness all pulled me away from it. By 1996, I'd gotten up to 190 lbs (I'm 5'4", y'all...). I started a weight loss program that summer, lost 30 lbs, and worked out like a demon. But again, inertia set in, and within a couple years I was back to where I had been.

This, that, and the other thing happened...but let's fast forward to 2003. Because of complications of diabetes, my dad had both legs amputated that year. Additionally, my maternal grandfather had a heart attack in July, and my grandmother had a stroke in August. All three of them passed away toward the end of that year. Seeing them decline in health, and seeing others in my family suffer with problems like obesity, diabetes, etc., made me put a stake in the ground. So, on a spring day in 2003, I started walking/running again--knowing deep in my heart that I'd never quit again.

I ran a local 5K that June, finishing in a little over 31 minutes. Hey, I even had negative splits for the 2nd and 3rd miles...yay me! I was exhausted at the end, but I was also hooked. I ran 3 more races that year, and continued to enter races and train.

I've taken 4 minutes or so off my 5K PR (I still ain't happy with it yet, though!), and run much longer distances and at a faster pace. Part of me wishes I'd kept training logs for all those years so I could recall PRs, dates, etc...but a bigger part of me says "Just get out there and run, and enjoy the moment."

Where am I going? Well...God willing, I'll actually *complete* the Chicago Marathon this year. I'm also planning on the Soldier Field 10 Mile run in May, and possibly the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon in August. Rick (if you're reading this) you should seriously consider coming down for any or all of these...and if any of you reading come into town for these, let me know!!!

Anyway...when I'm about 100 or so, I figure I'll switch to another sport. My knees and ankles will probably need the break by then. But we'll see, I could change my mind.

Thank you for sticking with me through this--I know this was longer and more rambling than most of my posts (and that's saying something!), but I thought it'd be good to get it out.

So, my friends, what got you to where you are now?

Run long and run strong!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Testing the waters

Well...I won't say "I'm back," because look what happened last time I did. However, I will say that I'm starting to test the waters of running again, and the signs are looking good...

I got out this morning for a short run. It was a bit chilly so I wore long pants and a long shirt, which made it bearable. I'd intended to only run a mile, but I felt pretty good and had a decent pace so I stretched it into two miles. I finished with a time of 17:50, which is an 8:55 pace. Considering that I did the first mile at about a 9:20ish pace, I must have been really flying the 2nd mile.

Anyway, it felt good to get out again. My mood was much better today, and I'm betting I will sleep better tonight because of the exercise and fresh air.

I want to say a special "thank you!" to those who gave me encouragement while I was down and out. It felt like forever, but really was only about 3 weeks. Thank you Rick, thank you Barb, and everyone else! A special "shout out" to Sara from Running From The Law...she had a great post about the STL marathon, and gave me a nice note of encouragement in the comments on my post from Saturday.

Seriously--all y'all rock. (C: (Special note to non-Southerners..."all y'all" is the plural of "y'all.")

Run long and strong, my friends...


Saturday, April 5, 2008

STL marathon tomorrow...

Just a quick best wishes, thoughts, and prayers go out to all those who are running St Louis tomorrow. I wish I were there with you in body, but will definitely be there in spirit. Looking forward to all the post-race reports, and will be overjoyed at your success!

I'm hoping to head out for a mile or two tomorrow--let's see if the weather and my lungs cooperate. I'll be in training to get into training for Chicago, I guess...

Run well! I'm proud of you!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Health update

Finally, some positive news on the health front...

I saw my regular doctor yesterday. He said I look and sound good, except for some chest congestion. He cautioned me to take it easy still, and he wants me to stay off of exercise the rest of this week.

The good news...I can start very light workouts (probably just walking) sometime next week and see how it feels. If that goes OK, maybe a short run 1 or 2 times the week after that. Dare I hope???

It's getting warmer here, so maybe I can even do those outside. We'll see. But I want to make sure I'm fully recovered, and I'm not training for anything right now, so slower is better.Hope y'all are running long and strong!