Saturday, December 30, 2006

2007 - A Look Ahead

I've never really been much of a planner. I do not set long range goals in my life. Usually I try to live by a set of principles and values I believe in deeply and then I just take what comes my way. I could have never planned what happened to me last year. If you would have asked me when I was 18 where I would be at 40 and how I would get there I would have never even come close to picking my current situation. I am not complaining. I like my life and it is good to be Tommy.

With that stated, I have to look ahead somewhat in running or I could never prepare for what the distances require. So this year here is what I am thinking:

On January 14 Jakeb and I are running the Half-Marathon in Houston. Together we have prepared him for it most of last year. Our goal is to finish, but I think Jakeb has a secondary goal of less than 2:00.

This year for Christmas my mom bought me an entry into the Surfside Beach Half-Marathon BUT the week after the White Rock Marathon I put together a training schedule to get me in shape to run the full that same day so I switched races.

Andrea and I both like to do the Bayou City Classic 10k in Houston. I think we will try to do that again this year. No time goals, just a run for fun.

In the summer I'd like to do some speed work and lower my 5k time a bit. My PR is 22:06 which I ran in 1996. I'm not sure I can beat that PR this year but I would like to lower my times from last year. In 2005 I only ran one 5k (the Mosquito Chase) which I finished in 23:34. I think I can do better.

Every year on July 4th our family likes to do the Firecracker 4. Every one of us did something last year and we all have matching t-shirts. I assume we will do that again this year. I will have to talk to the family logistics coordinator - Andrea.

I am thinking about doing Sunmart 50k next year. It is just a thought though. If I don't run Sunmart I will run a marathon again. I really want to move beyond 26.2 - if only once.

I've considered doing some multi-sport events but I am really enjoying just running right now. Besides I hate swimming for competition. My technique absolutely stinks. If I do a multi-sport event it will be an adventure race that has nothing to do with swimming like a run, bike, paddle - we'll see.

And last a reminder from an old Hebrew Proverb - "Man makes his plans but God guides his steps."

Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 Running Year in Review

This has been a good year of running, which I am happy with considering what has been happening in the rest of my life. I have thought through transition and done some soul searching while I’ve run this year. I’ve perpetuated bad thinking but eventually turned it around and started thinking well, all while I put one foot in front of the other.

This year I ran more than ever with Jakeb which has to be the highlight of the year.

I ran two marathons. On January 15th I ran the Houston Marathon in 4:13:41. It was the marathon where I hit the wall and blew up in the last five miles. Then on December 10th I ran the Dallas White Rock Marathon in 4:00:54 improving my PR by close to 13 minutes. It was a tough marathon but good for me.

On March 4th I ran the Lone Star Trail Run. It was my first trail run and I learned some valuable lessons like wear trail running shoes – they’re made for it. And I learned to bring something to carry your own water in, because even though they have it on the course it might be a long time before you get to it. I finished the 25k in 2:31.

This past year while I was on the road I ran in Dallas, Chicago, Lake Conroe, Lake Catherine State Park in Arkansas, and the Arkansas River Trail along the Arkansas River in Little Rock. I dig running in new places.

If I finish this week as planned I will have run a total of 1255 miles. This year was my longest year beating last year by 213 miles (1042). May was the month I ran the least amount of miles with 48. May is also the month I went on a hiking mission trip to the Himalayas in Nepal so I didn’t lack exercise. November was the longest month beating October by a mile coming in at 162.

I am looking forward to what 2007 running holds for me. I’ll post more about that soon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I sweat like a pig when I run, but this morning during my five miler the moisture on my skin was more from the water in the air than it was from the liquid that seeps from my pores. My goatee had drops of water in it from the mist that hung in the air. It reminded me of a Stephen King novella I read once.

I felt abandoned by the rest of the world and almost claustrophobic as the fog closed me in and my iPod isolated me from any sound other than the Dave Matthews Band. Cars would appear as if from nowhere as the fog concealed them until they were just in sight. It was a good morning to stay off of the road and on the sidewalks where my ankles fear the uneven pavement I can barely see.

It is another typical December in Lake Jackson Texas where the weather feels more like April than a holiday morning. I am not complaining though because the heat and humidity suit me better than ice and cold wind.

It will probably sleet tomorrow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dallas White Rock Splits

1 - missed the mile marker
2 - 18:35
3 - 9:10
4 - 8:56
5 - 9:09
6 - 9:00
7 - 8:48
8 - 8:45
9 - 8:38
10 - missed the mile marker
11 - 18:36
12 - 9:27
13 - 8:34
14 - 9:00
15 - 9:29
16 - 9:29
17 - 9:25
18 - 9:20
19 - 9:18
20 - 9:43
21 - 9:27
22 - 8:33
23 - 9:06
24 - 10:09
25 - 8:01
26.2 - 12:05

Marathon web sight says I finished in 4:00:54

I plan to try and run 3 with Jakeb tomorrow morning. My legs are starting to feel normal again.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Dallas White Rock Marathon

I ran the Dallas White Rock Marathon this morning in 4:00:55 (chip time by my watch … unofficial). I wish it my time had been 55 seconds faster but I am happy with it and I cannot complain. It was windy during the second half of the race and the hills from mile 18 to 21 were more than I bargained for. This marathon was more of a mental battle for the entire distance than the other two I’ve run.

Andrea and Jakeb made the trip with me. It was good to have the support of my wife and son. The three of us will attempt the half-marathon in Houston in January.

I saw EQ there. We picked up his packet yesterday and I saw him this morning in the American Airline Center before the race.

I was going to post some pictures but our dial-up is painfully slow. We’re scheduled to get fast Internet later this month.

I may write more later I may not …

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Getting ready to leave ...

Today I’m off of work and I am hyped up. Tomorrow we leave for Dallas and Sunday I run the White Rock Marathon. I had a friend who told me good luck and asked if I was ready.

I said, “Yeah, I’m ready. Even though I have run two marathons, the distance still scares me to death so I am a bit nervous.”

Hopefully I will be okay and be the finisher of a four-hour marathon on Sunday afternoon … we’ll see.

Tapering is a pain. I have been eating a lot and running a lot less than I had been.

Since I have felt good I have been running my miles too fast. I think I will have to jump into a pace group so I don’t take off too quick.

Last week I ran 8 on Friday and 6 with Jakeb on Saturday.

I let you know how it goes.