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Chicago Marathon #9

After a lapse of over 3 years, I finally got back to running and ran the 2015 Chicago Marathon. It was great to be back running the streets of my favorite big city. here

Running in South Bend

I hope to be adding information about places to run and running events around South Bend. Stay tuned!

I'm a runner again!

Go, go, go!

Back in the Spring of 2002 I set out on a mission to get back into running shape, build my miles and speed, and get racing again. I didn't really expect to get back to the form I had back in the '80s when I was running a lot, but I had great fun trying.

Over the previous dozen years I'd been aggravated that I let my running go. Back in the early and mid 80's it was a big part of who I was. The idea of how much work it would take to get back into the shape I once was in was always a negative factor. It kept me from keeping at it long enough to even have a chance to do so. I'd run for a few weeks or months, and then, for some reason or another, let it go, only to repeat the ordeal several months or a year later.

Once I started racing again, the old competitive spirit came back. I actually beat my old Half Marathon record, and ran the Chicago Marathon in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011. After a 4 year hiatus, I ran Chicago once more in 2015.

I found that the internet was a great source for information on training. I devoured all I could read. I joined the forums on Runner's World's web site. Aside from my usual "what I did today" or "my running week" postings, I occasionally have made longer posts when I feel the need to share some significant thoughts or achievements. Here are a few selected postings. I hope you enjoy them!

I'm a Runner Again! (Posted Nov 30, 2002)
Rum Village Fun Run 1 (Posted Dec 22, 2002)
Rum Village Fun Run with Scott (Posted Feb 22, 2003)
My longest Run Ever! (Posted: Mar 1, 2003)
Beautiful, Spring Run (Posted: Apr 13, 2003)
Sunburst Half Marathon Race Report (Posted: Jun 7, 2003)
Johnny Ran Great Tonight! (Posted: Jun 8, 2003)
2003 Blueberry Stomp (Posted: Sept 1, 2003)
A Marathon Dedication (Posted: Oct 11, 2003)
Race Report - Chicago Marathon (Posted: Oct 14, 2003)
A Running Fantasy (Posted: May 1, 2004)
2004 Fall Frolic 10K (Posted: Sep 18, 2004)
Race Report - 2004 Chicago Marathon (Posted: Oct 11, 2004)
Race Report - 2005 Chicago Marathon (Posted: Oct 10, 2005)
Race Report - 2006 Sunburst Half Marathon (Posted: June 3, 2006)
Race Report - 2006 Chicago Marathon (Posted: Oct 23, 2006)
Race Report - 2015 Chicago Marathon (Posted to Facebook Oct 12, 2015)

Making it fun again...

After I started getting back in shape, I finally came to accept the inevitable -- it would be impossible, no matter how hard I tried, to improve upon the personal records (PRs) I had at 28 years old. Once you reach 40 or so, everyone naturally slows down due to loss of muscle mass and other aging effects. When I started running consistently again in 2002, I found that my typical pace had slowed by almost a minute and a half per mile!

Exercise physiologists have come up with conversion factors for expected performance by age. By plugging my old PRs into the formulas, I came up with comparable times for my present age. So I found that I could still beat my old PRs! I just had to accept the conversion factor as something that couldn't be overcome and aim at breaking the age-adjusted times.

My training the last few years has been much better than what I did back in my twenties. As I've continued to train and race I've been making great progress and have race performances that beat my old PRs after age-adjustment for all my race distances. With the new-found training knowledge I have found, I may be able to challenge a few of those old PRs. I actually beat my old Half Marathon PR in 2006 after several attempts. As for my other old PRs, beating them is unlikely and is no longer a goal I HAVE to achieve. I have more reasonable and nearer-term race times to chase. I'll keep you all posted on my progress!

Race DistancePR at Age 28 (1982)Current Masters PRAge Adjusted Time for
Current Masters PR
Age Adjusted PR ?
5K (3.1 miles)20:3922:52 2005 Spud Run23:40 Yes!
5 miles34:5039:49 2003 Rum Village Fun Run34:49Yes!
10K (6.2 miles)43:2047:49 2004 Fall Frolic49:37 Yes!
15K (9.3 miles)1:07:381:16:48 2003 Blueberry Stomp1:17::48 Yes!
Half Marathon (13.1 miles)1:51:301:48:49 2006 Sunburst 2:07:39 Yes!
Marathon (26.2 miles)Never Run3:53:06 2006 Chicago MarathonN/AN/A

Running Resources and Tools...

I've been keeping track of my running miles and planning my future workouts with a great computer running log called RunLog. Click below to see more info and ordering information on this great program. I recommend it highly!

Pegasus Software's RunLog Program

I've also been spending a great amount of time web surfing various running sites on the internet. If I had such an enormous amount of great information at my fingertips years ago, I'm sure I would have been able to train much more intelligently. I might have even been able to break 40 minutes for a 10K race. By far, my favorite web site for running and fitness related articles is Peak Performance -- a British site with over 750 articles on running, excersize and fitness. What I like most is that the recommendations and advice given is not from personal ideas of the writers -- every opinion is backed up with clearly explained data from scientific studies. If you are into sports and fitness and all, you need a link to this great site!

Peak Performance Library

In addition to the WWW resources I've found, I've also picked up a couple of books that I've found very helpful. The first one is by Coach Jack Daniels, PhD: "Daniels'Running Formula." Jack Daniels is a coaching legend. His book provides easily understood explanations of training strategies, how to design your own running program, etc. It is a great read!

Even better, though, is the one I'm currently reading: Bob and Shelly-lynn Glover's "The Competetive Runner's Handbook." As I've been reading I have been constantly amazed at the amount of quality information that is contained in this book! Not just for elite runners, the book contains everything a runner at any level needs to know to improve race performance. I recommend this book very highly.

I hope to add more information to my running and fitness page as the year goes by. Check back regularly!