It’s been just over two months since I’ve tackled twenty-one. Since that time I’ve been working a push up program to improve my push up endurance. That program is supposed to get you to the point where you can do 100 consecutive push ups. Well, I’ve not reached 100 yet, but I’ve definitely improved my push up endurance and it shows in the results for twenty-one. On December 16th I needed just over 33 minutes to complete 21. Today I did it in 19:16. For those who don’t know, twenty-one is a push up and crunch workout where you start with 20 push ups and 1 crunch, then 19 push ups and 2 crunches and continue until you do 1 push up and 20 crunches. I do a leg lift crunch where I lift my legs and curl my knees up into my chest. You can do whatever type of crunch or sit up you are comfortable with. Enjoy.
By the way, I followed twenty-one with 100 squats for good measure. Squats are a quick way to burn lots of calories and you can quickly do 25 or 30 at work even. Contrary to popular myth, squats are good for you knees, just make sure you a doing them properly. Go to http://www.crossfit.com/ to see a video demonstration.
I felt really good going into this race, was well rested, and slept good the night before. So naturally I went out a little too fast at the start. Dumb, dumb, dummy. When will I ever learn? I ran the first loop about four minutes faster than last year and the second loop about 12 minutes faster than last year, but at the Scott’s Gap turn around I was only a few minutes ahead of last year’s pace. From Scott’s Gap to the finish I was still able to run the flats and down hills, but didn’t have the steam to really push it like last year. Also on the return from Scott’s Gap I was having trouble running fast down hill because my toes were so sore. It’s too bad I blew it this year because I can’t ever expect to get better weather and trail conditions than we had this year. I have to give a huge thanks to all the volunteers who made this race possible. The ice storms from two weeks ago and the wind from last week knocked down so many trees there was a good chance the race would have to be cancelled. Fortunately many people worked their butts off to get the trail ready. I have never seen such devastation; there were trees down everywhere, but with a couple minor exceptions the trail was cleared and in great shape. For finishing we got a wood medal shaped like a heart and a Colorado blue spruce seedling. Not sure where I’m going to plant it, but it should make for a lasting reminder of a great day on the trails. That is if I don’t kill it.
Two years ago a cardiologist told me I had a leak in my aortic valve. He told me to avoid lifting heavy weights, but running should be ok. He also told me to come back in two years for another cardiac echo. In the two years since then I’ve lost at least 15 pounds and have set new PR’s for just about every race distance with one annoying exception, the 5k. I had another cardiac echo done a couple weeks ago and the cardiologist says everything looks great, of course the leak is still there, but it isn’t worse. He said I’m in excellent shape and just keep doing what I’m doing and of course come back in three or four years to drop off another wad of cash.
This is all good because this Saturday is Louisville’s Lovin’ The Hills. LLTH is one of the toughest 50k’s around. My 50k PR is 5:11, my best time at LLTH is 6:30. This year my goal is to beat that time. It won’t be easy, but if I’m patient and don’t go out to fast at the start I know I can do it. Then again if I’m slogging through mud the whole way forget about any goal other than just finishing.
The good news is that I now have lots of time to train. The bad news is I won’t have the money to sign up for races because my job was eliminated on Tuesday. I’m now looking for a job as a “Certified Internet Surfer” with a salary in the low six figure range. If anyone knows where I can find such a job let me know asap.
Actually I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of jobs that are posted.
The Groundhog 7 was only the second time I’ve ever run a 7 mile race. Seven seems like an unlikely number of miles for a race. The first was back in 1984 at Ft Ord, home of the 7th “Bayonet” Infantry Division. They had a seven mile race called the “Bayonet 7”. I don’t remember much about the race other than seeing guys running in combat boots and fully loaded rucksacks. I was wearing shorts and running shoes, no rucksack. I also remember the Commanding General standing at the finish line shaking everyone’s hand as they finished. I don’t remember my exact time, but it was almost certainly slower than 48:18.
I belive this picture was taken after the race. All the hardware belongs to the girls. They were pretty fast runners. I don’t remember how three girls came home with five trophies, but they did. We were all students at the Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) at the Presidio of Monterey. The Monterey Peninsula was most definitely a runner’s paradise. I imagine it still is.
Back row: Sgt. Steve Lefavour, me, SSG Rob Pinnell
Front row: June Parsons, Debbie Hamilton, Michele ??
I ran the Groundhog 7 yesterday afternoon. The weather was just about perfect and after last week’s snow storm the roads were in great shape. There were a few spots on and around the rail trail that still had some ice and snow, but they were not a problem. As usual I went out a little too fast in the first mile (6:30) but managed hang in there and ran all but the 4th mile (7:05) under 7 minutes.
I finished 31st out of 270 with a time of 48:18. My goal was to keep it under 49 minutes, so I’m pretty happy with the result.
Louisville’s Lovin’ the Hills in two weeks.