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Terry Hardwick

Blogging on the road to the Louisville Triple Crown of Running




May 2, 2007

Fear and Loathing at the Nashville Marathon

Date: April 28, 2007
Event: Nashville Country Music Marathon!!!!

Fear and Loathing on the Marathon Trail

The way, much too loud, ring of the hotel phone interrupted my fitful slumber at the ungodly hour of 4 AM. Thirty seconds later, the alarm on the complimentary radio-clock alarm sounded, making me jump through my skin a second time. I didn’t feel very rested, but the grogginess cleared quickly as it occurred to me that the long awaited day was finally upon me.

It had also occurred to me that this was my 5th marathon in a year. My body was tired, not only from the inadequate sleep from which it had just endured, but the brutal pounding it had received over the last year. In April the Derby Marathon, June the San Diego Marathon, September the Akron Marathon, December the Memphis Marathon, not to mention all the 20 mile training runs in between.

As I went about the tasks of waking up, my thoughts turned to the excitement of the day ahead. My mind began to wander and as always, I became philosophical about the marathon. Fear and loathing once again came to mind.

In a marathon, even if it’s your 10th marathon, as it is mine, negative thoughts are always in the background of your mind. The primary fear in all marathoners’ minds is not finishing the 26.2 mile course that lays ahead. Some fear not performing to their own standards. Others fear finding themselves running in a blinding rainstorm or blazing sun. Still others fear having some unforeseen calamity happen, like stepping off a curb and turning their ankle. All hopes of a new PR, not to mention 6 months of training and an entry fee, dashed with a single step.

The loathing of the marathon is the loathing of pain. The loathing of having to exercise your muscles for a long, long time, over a long, long, distance, to the point of pain. Pain, that if possible for the mind to recreate, would keep a person from ever doing a marathon again.

The loathing of running for the same amount of time it takes to drive a car, from Louisville, KY to Knoxville, Tennessee. A distance that most people have never walked, much less ran. It is the distance that killed Pheippides. It is a long time to run, and as much fun as the marathon may be, the long period of running and pain that goes with it, is the reason most people never try it.

The fear and the loathing of the marathon are what make it what it is. One of the greatest personal challenges a person can undertake. It is the challenge of overcoming physical pain and negative thoughts. It is the pride of starting something tough and finishing it. It is the distance that killed Pheippides. The distance that killed Pheippides is what we run for fun.

My wandering mind began to focus on the task at hand. Getting ready for the marathon. Joe, Jon and I began putting on our running gear, laid out ready to go from the night before. We drank coffee and ate bananas and bagels, fueling up for the day. We discussed our running strategies, where we would meet after the race and headed out to meet the other NQRFPTR’s.

The girls were piling into the car as we left the room. We followed them out of the parking lot for the trip to the LP Stadium. We had decided to take the shuttle from the finish to the start line to avoid problems getting back to the hotel.

We quickly found that traffic was going to be a problem. Cars were backed up on the interstate for a few miles. After a few minutes of stop and go riding, my eyes began to grow heavy and I drifted off to sleep. I slept all the way to the stadium and felt very rested on our arrival. I found later that it took 45 minutes for us to drive 6 miles. We exited the car and after the girls visited the Porta Potty, we boarded the shuttle and made our way to the start line.

Arriving at the park was an uplifting moment. Music was playing, people were scurrying around, dropping off clothing bags, eating bagels, drinking coffee, talking and generally getting excited. I was no exception as I drank a couple of cups of coffee and made my way, with Joe and Katie, to the 4 hour corral.

Joe and I were standing in the 4 hour corral, when we met up with Annette and Steve. We decided that Annette, Joe and I would run together and Steve would go ahead. I went to set my IPOD, and discovered that the battery was dead. No music! No distance meter! Bummer!

When the gun sounded, it took a few minutes to arrive at the start line. (Wave start) When our time came, we quickly took off and settled into a 9 1/2 minute pace. At the ½ mile mark we ran past our first band. They were great. Band after band greeted us as we ran through the streets of Nashville.

The crowds were also great. There was a group of cheerleaders dressed as Energizer Bunnies. There was a church that had a choir signing on their front steps. People cheered encouragement at every turn.

Some of the runners were dressed in funky costumes. Elvis, of course. One man ran in a dress, as Minnie Pearl. Two girls ran with Tu-Tu’s over their shorts. One guy had on a shirt that said: “This Sucks!”. (I saw him in at one of the twenty mile marks and he had lost 2 or 3 letters.) We passed lots and lots of Team in Training groups. (Even one group from the Louisville area.)

We continued our pace and even began to pick it up. I thought if we picked up a few seconds on each mile, we would pick up the few minutes we were behind. The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky. What a beautiful day. I was a little bothered by the sun, but except for the sweating, it didn’t seem to affect me. I was feeling great and knew today was my day!

We made every effort to hit all the water stops and walk through them, as we drank. We soon came to the 11 mile mark, and the half-marathoners split to the right for their trip to the finish line. We split to the left and settled into our next 15 miles. We were still telling stories and talking about all kinds of things.

We came upon a spot where the elite runners were passing the 18 mile mark. They were truly flying. I saw the leader run past and several other runners with rock hard abs. I liked the “out and back” parts of the course, because it gave an idea of where you needed to go and where you had already been.

We finally arrived at the 15 mile mark, and the sun was beginning to get to me. I had eaten several Power Gels and was becoming a little nauseated. We came upon an industrial park, and wound through it, to a 6 foot wide, paved road, that ran along the Cumberland River. It was a beautiful area. The blue sky, the fluffy clouds, the green grass, the green river, the sun. THE SUN. It seemed to blaze down the further we ran. I began to sweat more and the gel was beginning to roll around in my stomach.

The more we ran, the more nauseated I became. I finally told Joe and Annette to go on. I had to walk for a while. I walked to the end of what we called, “the Riverwalk”. (It reminded us of Louisville’s Riverwalk.) Joe and Annette soon left me behind. I jogged down the extremely steep hill that went back down to the industrial park and came upon a stand with Vaseline. I grabbed a stick full of the goo and slathered it on between my legs and under my arms. It really helped my chafing.

I resumed running again for a few miles. The more I ran, the more I became nauseated from the gel. Several times I thought I would surely throw up. I never did throw up, but wished I could have. The bouncing motion of running seemed to aggravate my nausea. I was reduced to a series of run/walks. I would run until I thought I would throw up, and then I would slow down and walk for a while.

The miles slowly went by, and I finally came to the 20 mile mark. It gave me quite a feeling of encouragement. I tried really hard to continue running the remaining 10K, but the dehydration and nausea were too much to bear. My walk breaks were becoming more frequent. I managed to make it to another “out and back”, around the 25 mile mark. I saw the runners coming out of a park and even saw Annette, Joe and Jon heading to the finish. It also gave me encouragement.

I met a girl in the park that was also struggling. It was her first marathon and she was thrilled to be at the 25+ mark. She helped me a lot to stay focused. We began a series of running downhill and walking uphill. Somewhere between 25 and 26, a girl in front of me stopped to puke. She gagged and wretched two or three times and went right back to running. I was so envious. I wanted so bad to throw up and rid myself of all that gel and Powerade in my stomach. It never happened.

When I came out of the park, I saw Emily and Amy headed into the park. They looked like they weren’t feeling very good either. I continued on until I came upon a single spectator, who told me that the overpass ahead was the 26 mile mark. It gave the boost I needed. I began to run again and gradually came to the overpass. I could hear music and even began to meet those condescending jerks who run back toward the runners wearing their medals and eating bagels. I knew I was close. Pretty soon, I saw the runners ahead turning toward the finish. The crowds became heavier and I began to pick up the pace. I was still fighting my growing stomach distress, but I could smell the finish line.

Soon, I saw the finish line. An archway of balloons beckoned me on. I ran as fast as I could, (which wasn’t very fast), and crossed the finish line at 4:51 minutes. The worst time I have ever had. I was disappointed, but pleased with myself for overcoming adversity and never giving up.

A cute little teenaged girl placed a medal around my neck and someone else placed a space blanket over my shoulders. I stopped by the ice water tank for a cold towel and placed it on my neck. I was beginning to feel better. My disappointment soon turned into relief as I began to mingle with the other runners. I picked up my free pair of Spenco sandals, ate some food and found Kristy. We met up with the other NQRFPTR’s and headed out to the shade for our free beer.

We gathered around a tree at our rendevous point and discussed the race. Gradually, all the others began to show up. Soon, Maria and Sylvia appeared from nowhere, ecstatic over finishing their first marathons. I hugged them both and congratulated them on their accomplishments. The marathon truly is a spiritual experience.

We later met for dinner and beers at Outback Steakhouse. We had a great time and later attended the Sarah Evans concert. The evening was fun, but not the fun night out we thought it was going to be. Everyone was pretty trashed and a few of us dozed off during the concert.

Marathon # 10 was now in the bag for me. It wasn’t a great performance on my part, but I got the same medal as everyone else and had a super time. I’m ready for the next one. Fear and loathing? Not on my watch!

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Apr 30, 2007

Date: April 27, 2007
Event: Nashville Country Music Marathon Road Trip

NQRFPTR ROAD TRIP

Preparing to leave for a weekend may seem like something to look forward to for most people, but for sale people like me, it’s a nightmare. Trying to get ready to leave for a few days, requires a lot of planning. I packed for the trip last night, making sure I had all the necessary essentials for a marathon, but had to use the morning hours checking and replying to emails, finishing uncompleted projects and returning last minute phone calls. I finally finished tying up all the loose ends and met Lena Snyder in my driveway for the rendezvous with the other marathoners around 10 AM.

We made the short drive to Cracker Barrel and met up with Jon O’Neil and Joe Kucszwara. The other runners, (Amy #1, Kristy #1, Karen #1, Amy #2, Emily, Kristy #2, and Katie), gradually arrived one by one until we were ready to hit the road. Jon, Joe, Lena and myself rode together in Joe’s truck and talked about various things, mostly concerning running and marathon topics. As usual, I had umpteen different phone calls from customers, other runners, my wife, my kids and practically everyone else, all the way to Nashville. We listened to the play list Kristy # 1 created for the trip and drove straight to Nashville CMM expo, with only one stop at the Smith’s Grove exit for a bathroom break.

At our arrival at the expo, we split up and took our own individual tours of the expo. It was a really great expo. It wasn’t as large as the Marine Corps Marathon or San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon expos, but it was pretty good. Various vendors gave samples of sports drink and energy bars and I tried all of them. (Missing lunch made the samples pretty tasty.) I picked up several freebies and even bought 3 pair of Cool Max socks for $15. I also bought some triple Latte gel to make the caffeine withdrawal during the four hours of the marathon a little more bearable. True to form, I received 4 more phone calls while I was browsing the expo.

After the expo, we returned to the hotel and checked in. Joe, Jon and I took showers, got dressed and met up with the other runners, for our pasta dinner, at Maggiano’s. I made the comment that the restaurant looked an awful lot like the restaurant we ate at in Washington, for the MCM. (I found out later it was the same restaurant. Part of the chain.) I ordered a ½ bowl of spaghetti and meatballs and it was more than I could eat. Jon and I had a pleasant dinner, getting to know each other and discussing the monumental task that lay before us. Annette and Steve met up with us for the remainder of the meal and we had a great time.

After leaving the restaurant, we returned to the hotel and began preparing our gear for the long run awaiting us in the morning. I attached my race bib and timing chip and laid out my IPOD, watch and gels. We called for a 4 AM wake up call and turned out the lights around 11 PM, local time. I tossed and turned for an hour or so and finally fell into a semi-conscious slumber, interrupted only once for a trip to the bathroom. (Significant, because I have been hydrating all week.)

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Mar 12, 2007

If you show up to run, the rain will stop.

Date: March 10, 2007
Music: Didn’t need any
Event: 14 mile training run
Temperature: 50 degrees

I didn’t need an alarm clock to wake me up this morning. I woke up at 4:19 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep. I stayed up last night to watch the U of L game and was so cranked up about the game, I had some trouble relaxing enough to go to sleep. Normally, I would have trouble just waking up instead of waking up early.

Nonetheless, I was up. I drank my usual pot of coffee, read the newspaper and had a nice breakfast of orange juice, bananas and whole wheat bagel, with peanut butter. I turned on the Weather Channel and began analyzing how I would dress for the run.

As I watched the Weather Channel’s “Weather on the Eights” and the other “Storm Team” talking heads, I realized that rain was in the forecast for the morning. I went outside and although still cool, the air felt like shorts and long-sleeved T-shirt weather. I opted for running shorts, running visor, (to shelter my face from rain), and my “Go Red” technical shirt. (From a breast cancer fund raiser.) After getting my fix of CNN “Headline News”, I grabbed my running gear and made the 17 mile drive to Fleet Feet.

When I arrived in the FF parking lot, everyone began getting out of their cars. I had to drive my daughter’s blue Neon, as I’ve had a coolant leak in my Ranger, and received a little ribbing about it. Someone commented on my “Go Red” shirt and I told them that Camille told me if I bought the shirt it would help in breast cancer research and it would “impress the ladies”. I mentioned that as I’ve been married for 27 years, that wasn’t a pertinent sales feature.

As always, we began debating the route. I had suggested we meet at the Belle of Louisville and run the Riverwalk to Shawnee Park and back. Jon and others said the Riverwalk was under water and impassable. We decided to follow a route that Emily Stoess had worked out the day before. It included a run down Frankfort Avenue. The problem was Emily hadn’t showed up. We decided to give her a few more minutes before we took off. Emily didn’t show up, so we took off to Seneca Park, with Danny Chesser and Donnie running ahead and out of sight. Our little group consisted of Maria, Joe, Annette, Sara, Kristy, Amy and Leslie.

We ran an easy pace of 9 minute miles and discussed several topics on the way to Seneca. As always, marathoning is the main topic. Training, race strategy, diet, marathon routes, etc. always come up in addition to movies, news, “what I did last night”, sports and other topics of interest. Politics and religion are usually not discussed, as most views on each are divergent and may result in discord in the group.

When we reached the park, we took a bathroom break and mingled with other runners from mini-marathon training groups. Their programs are laudable and provide training for casual runners. I'm sure the camaraderie and fellowship, both social and spiritual is rewarding. (I actually began running with one of these groups.) These programs provide a venue for beginners and but after the event is over, the runners, for the most part, go back to a non-running existence. My hope for these runners is that running becomes a large part of their lives and the goal-setting becomes second nature.

After our bathroom break, we headed out to Shelbyville Road to get us to Frankfort Avenue for the “Artsy-Fartsy” route. It is so-named because of the eclectic art shops, coffee houses, restaurants and bars that line Frankfort Avenue. Frankfort Avenue was just beginning to come to life, if hungover, after a Friday night of college students celebrating spring break.

We began the mostly down hill run on Frankfort and enjoyed the sights of the hip stores and restaurants along the way. The temperature was perfect, there was no rain and my running partners were interesting and informative as always. Annette and Maria were recovering from a bout with the nasty virus I had last week. Both said they were weak, but seemed to be running strong.

When we reached Mellwood, Leslie turned off to head home. We ran to Baxter Avenue and headed up the Baxter/Bardstown Road edition of the “Artsy-Fartsy” route. More hip shops, bars and restaurants all the way back to FF.

Soon we spotted the bell tower next to FF and knew we were almost home. As we were trudging up Bardstown Road, Annette asked me a question I have no answer for. “If I had not begun running how would my life be now?” It’s hard to imagine what my life would be like. Annette had no answer and neither did Maria. My thought is that running occupies such a large part of my life, living without running would unimaginable.

We arrived back at the store, changed and headed across the street for Heine Bros. Coffee. Soon Karen # 1 and Emily came in the store. They had gone to the Belle after all and had missed our 7 AM rendevous. So much for our communication system.

Well at least it didn’t rain.

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Mar 8, 2007

Anthem 5K

Date: March 3, 2007
Music: Didn’t need any
Event: Anthem 5K
Temperature: 40 degrees

I apparently caught the “virus from hell” last week and was ill, to the point of not being able to leave the bed, for two days. After my run on Tuesday evening, I began to feel odd. Wednesday morning, I woke up with extreme stomach pains and feelings of nausea.

I made my usual visit to the Ft Knox Army base, but had to sit down and rest a few times. My stomach pains grew worse, and I decided to go home. The ride home was a real challenge. I was feeling as if I was going to throw up and even had dizzy, lightheaded feelings. I drove straight home and went to bed.

I spent the rest of Wednesday, all day Thursday and Thursday evening throwing up and visiting the bathroom. I didn’t leave the house until midday Friday, when I went downtown to get my race packet. I decided that if I didn’t feel better by 10 PM, I was going to skip my first Saturday run of the year.

As we are training for various marathons, we have to add miles to the races. We planned to meet at 7 AM, run the 6 miles to the race, run the race and then run back. My plan was to take it easy and go as far as my dehydrated body could go.

Luckily, the nausea, diarrhea and stomach pains began to wane around 9 PM. By 10 PM, I was pretty much back to normal. I decided to tackle the run and went to bed.

My Saturday began as usual, as I prepared for the Anthem 5K and the 6 mile run preceding it. I had my usual pot of coffee, read the paper and got everything together and jumped in the Ranger for the17 mile drive to Fleet Feet.

I arrived at Fleet Feet and joined the other NQRFPTR’s in the parking lot. We quickly took off down Eastern Parkway, to Barrett. I ran at various times with Kim Cleary, (our Ironman mom), and Sarah, (our broccoli and potatoes runner). I ran behind Kim, and abreast with Sarah. I soon began to realize we were moving pretty fast. I struggled to keep up with the other runners, but soon realized this was a pretty fast group. My recent illness had taken a toll on my glycogen reserves and I soon began to tire.

When we reached Market St, Sarah commented we were averaging 8:16 minute miles. (Way to fast for my condition). The others soon began to pull away and Sarah and I settled into a slower pace. When we reached the race location, they kept going. Like lemmings, Sarah and I followed. We ran at least two more miles. I was pretty well exhausted.

We finally made it back to the race location and they were already singing the Star Spangled Banner. Donnie Fultz and I made our way to the 9 minute mile area and waited for the race to start.

Finally, the race began and I soon realized that I didn’t have the strength to run very fast. Donnie stayed with me the entire 3.1 miles, but I could tell he wanted to go on. He stayed right there with me throught the entire race. We got separated at the finish line and I went directly to the water booth. I drank two bottles of water and headed to the Panera Bread booth.

I grabbed a cinnamon and blueberry bagel and headed to the PowerAde booth. I grabbed a PowerAde and as I drank it, I began to feel stronger, but soon began to shiver. I spotted a couple of NQRFPTR’s and went over to talk. I talked to Emily and her friend for a few minutes, when Mark and Joe came over.

We chit-chatted about the race and other running topics, but I couldn’t shake the chills. Emily volunteered to take me back to Fleet Feet, but I got the feeling she had plans. I decided to ask Joe for ride back. He agreed and we walked to his truck in pretty heavy snow shower. I continued to shiver.

We drove back to Fleet Feet and the snow continued to fall. Very heavy at times. We went in the store and I began to warm up. A few minutes later, Graham, Donnie and Mark came in the store and said it was a pretty tough run back. I'm glad I took the ride.

Graham, Joe and I headed across the street for coffee. We met up with the other group, who had just completed 18 miles. We had our usual great time drinking coffee and planning our training schedule. I soon noticed I was pretty much back to normal.

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Five Miles in the Bank

Date: February 27, 2007
Music: My killer playlist
Event: Iroquois Park : Southern Parkway
Temperature: 40 degrees

After Saturday’s challenging run, combined with cold, rainy weather, I decided to take Sunday off. Monday was a hectic business day for me, and I couldn’t find time to get in my run. It resulted in a weight-lifting day, but no running.

As with my addiction to coffee, my addiction to running is equally as powerful. I started to get the DT’s on Tuesday morning. I had to get in my “running Jones” for the day. Early Tuesday morning, I packed my running stuff in the Ranger and went about my normal day selling Snap-on tools to my customers. I planned to make the last stop of the day at the Louisville Water Company, so I could scoot right over to Iroquois Park and get in my run. My plan went as expected and even though I didn’t get an order from the water company, I managed to go over to the Hampton Inn, on Phillips Lane, and change into my running gear.

I make a pretty enjoyable event out of changing in Hamptons. I stay at Hamptons, am a member of the Honors Club, and pick up a free USA Today, and usually bananas, when I change there. This time was no exception. I changed in restroom and headed for the breakfast area. I scanned the Sports section, ate a banana and headed out the door.

When I arrived at the ampitheatre, the parking lot was about half full. The temperature was cool, but not bone-chilling. The wind was a little stiff, and I began to second-guess the shorts I selected for the run. I stretched a little, cranked up my IPOD and took off, almost immediately. I met a few runners coming back in, (Gosh, I hate that! They are finishing up and I’m just starting), and waved at each of them with the approving wave we runners give each other, and headed off down through the park.

I reached New Cut Road and got caught by the light. I stood for what seemed like a long time, until I realized I could go. The configuration of the intersection makes crossing a real challenge. My old running buddy, Nick Truby, could read those light s without hesitation. He either went right on or stopped immediately. I, on the other hand, stop, until I am sure it’s clear.

I crossed over New Cut and began to crank it up. I met the “Running Couple” again, on their way back, and said “Hello”. They are an incredible couple of runners. They have done 15 or 20 marathons together. I have run with them a time or two, but they usually run alone. They are real disciplined marathoners.

I had "Stadium Arcadium" on my IPOD and began to get bored with it. I went back to my original play list, which begins with "Vertigo". A few songs later and on came "Tube Snake Boogie", by ZZ Top. It occurred to me that the rythym of that song, is about an 8 minute pace. It's a great song to make up some miles and time. I played it over and over, as I pounded the pavement, until I reached the turnaround point. I finally allowed the other songs to play as I trudged back the other way on Southern Parkway, when on came my favorite: "Runnin’ Down a Dream", by Tom Petty.

I played it over and over until I reached the top of the hill, at the tennis courts. It always motivates me to keep going. I let the playlist change to the next song and settled back to my usual 9 minute pace. When I arrived at the ampitheatre, Swag’s group was beginning to assemble for hill repeats, (Swag was even running), and I talked to a few of them, but headed to the Ranger for the trip back home.

On the way back, I ran into one of the girls who works at Fleet Feet. She and a friend were warming up to take off. (Gosh, I love that! I've already finished and they are just starting.) I felt pretty smug as they headed up to the road to take off.

Five miles in the bank!

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Feb 23, 2007

Life and running

Date: February 20, 2007
Music: My running playlist
Mileage: 5 miles
Route: To the top of Iroquois Park

Tuesday was a beautiful day after all the cold temperatures and snow we've had. I decided to go up to Iroquois Park and run to the top. I took along my IPOD and even wore shorts.

When I arrived in the park, there were only about 3 or 4 cars parked and only one man, who sat smoking on a picnic table, in the ampithetre area. I stretched a bit and took off.

When I run in Iroquois Park, I am always reminded of the many years I ran here with Nick Truby. Nick was my running mentor and taught me all the things I know about running. Nick has ran all his life and enjoyed helping me get started running. Every landmark in the park brings memories of something that happened on our runs.

About 3 years ago, Nick moved to Florida, with his wife Joan and I lost a great running buddy. I still haven't replaced him. Earlier in the day, I had received an email from Nick's wife informing me that Nick has prostate cancer. It was a shocker, because Nick is so healthy. He is going to have surgery in March and is pretty concerned about it.

As I ran up to the top, I noticed there was no one on the road. I made the entire trip to the top with only seeing one person. It was so peaceful and quiet that I even turned off the music for a while. Nick remained in my thoughts and I imagined a few times that he was running with me in spirit. Every time I passed an area, it reminded me of something that had happened during our many runs.

Running up there was one of the most spiritual runs I have had in long time. Running along in the woods, with nothing but my music and thoughts of Nick, his future and how he was doing.

As I came down the hill, I met another walker, which brought me out of thoughts. I rounded the bottom of the hill and headed back to the parking lot. At the parking lot, the Iroquois Hill Runners were warming up for their hill repeat workouts. I struck up a conversation with one of the runners and he informed me that another running buddy had injured his back and has to have surgery. His running career is over.

Today was a grim reminder that all of our running days are numbered and it doesn't take a much to end them. I am thankful every day for the ability God gives each one of us to run.

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The Ice Man Cometh

Date: February 17, 2007
Music: Didn’t even turn on the IPOD
Event: Saturday Long Run 10 miles w/the NQRFPTR’s
Temperature: 20 degrees


The day began as a typical Saturday. I got up at 6 AM and my wife slept on. I made coffee, and then used the bathroom. (My coffee addiction requires coffee immediately on waking up.) I read the paper, got all my running stuff together and most importantly, checked the Weather Channel for impending snow information. The snow was scheduled for later in the day. I jumped in my truck and made the 17 mile drive to Fleet Feet.
I am training for the Nashville Country Music Marathon. I have done the Derby Marathon 3 times and it no longer holds a mystique for me. I did 4 marathons last year, including the Rock 'n Roll Marathon, in San Diego, and have been a little sore from over training. We decided early on to back off the high miles of the advanced training program and go back to more forgiving schedule of the beginner. (No one cares at mile 22 whether you did advanced or beginning training. Especially not your joints.)

When I arrived at 6:55, a few of the NQRFPTR’s were already there. Everyone got out of their warm vehicles and began catching up on the latest news, weather and sports. (Film at 11.)

As we have elected to step back to the beginner marathon training program, our mileage only called for 10 miles. A debate ensued over the route we should take. We elected to run to Seneca Park, to share in the excitement of Camille’s 5K.

We soon decided to hit the road and took off on Eastern Parkway toward the park Graham razzed me a bit about a comment by Manfred regarding all the women I run with. (I can’t help if I exude animal magnetism.) In reality, there are several guys in our group, but most are little guys and/or much faster than me. It's a well-known fact that our group consists of mostly young women and middle-aged men. Nobody knows for sure why, but it's nice running with attractive ladies all the time. I'm around men all week and it's a nice change. Manfred, eat your heart out!

Graham and a few others began to pull away and 3 or 4 of us made our way to Seneca without much trouble, but as always, with great conversation. When we reached the park the faster runners were waiting for us and we used the bathroom and took our lap around the park to even out the mileage.

The trip back was pretty uneventful, but we continually came upon patches of ice, covered with snow that made the footing tenuous. I almost fell on the Seneca track, but my cat-like balance kept me from falling. (Ha-Ha)
We came upon the 5K runners in Cherokee Park and waved at several, as we made our way up to Dog Hill. Dog Hill, as always was tough. I usually begin to get pretty silent on Dog Hill. The constant gasping for breath leaves me pretty much speechless. (Much to the delight of my fellow runners.) When reached the top, we recovered from the climb and began to comment on the early hour it was. We were looking forward to the coffee of the day.
We headed back to Fleet Feet, changed clothes and made the .1 mile trip across the street to Heine Bros. Pam and Dave were already at the table when we arrived. We soon found out that Pam had had a nasty fall on the ice and busted her arm and ribs. She said Dave also fell and landed on top of her. I advised her to put on ice it and was quickly reminded that she is a physical therapist.
Our conversation soon turned to marathons and running as it always does and after mass quantities of Timor, we all decided to head home to finish out the weekend. Another 10 miles in bank.

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About Me


I am a runner. I’m not a jogger, nor a walker, but a runner. I emphasize this because I began running, first as a walker, then as a jogger, and became a runner.

On the advice of my doctor, in the fall of 2001, not long after the events of 9/11, I began walking for weight loss. She set me up on a low-fat diet and a walking program. It was hard at first, but the diet became easier and the walking evolved into jogging from mailbox to mailbox. I signed up in January of 2002 for the Jewish Hospital training program and ran my first Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. I have been running ever since.

As of Feb. 9, I have completed nine marathons (my personal record is 4 hours, 7 minutes) and four half-marathons. I do my long runs every Saturday morning with a running group we have nicknamed the “Not Quite Ready for Primetime Runners.”

When I’m not running, lifting weights or cycling, I am an account manager for the industrial/government division of Snap-on Industrial. I also find time to operate a real estate investment and construction company in my spare time. I’ve been married to Debbie for almost 27 years and have two college-age children. I am a 1976 graduate of the University of Louisville School of Business.




My Recent Posts


Fear and Loathing at the Nashville Marathon

Date: April 27, 2007 Event: Nashville Country Mu...

If you show up to run, the rain will stop.

Anthem 5K

Five Miles in the Bank

Life and running

The Ice Man Cometh

Fear and Loathing on Eastern Parkway

Hump de Bump



My Archives


February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007