The Nazz - Open My Eyes

Late Sixties psychedelic madness!

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Hamburger: The Motion Picture

Opening credits to the 80's cult movie Hamburger. The theme song here is like a cross between Bob Seger, John Mellencamp and the South Park team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone!

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Training Update: Dec. 17-23

Had a good solid week of 40 miles on 6 runs, aiming more for quality than quantity. I had three key workouts that went very well. On Monday I did a session of 8 x Rockcliff Drive hills (probably slightly more than 400 meters). A nice steep climb -- those sure hurt! On Thursday, I ran an 8 mile fartlek workout in the Metro Park with surges of 6-5-4-3-2-1 minutes with half-time rest breaks, and Saturday I did an 8 mile progression run on the same Metro Park course, finishing the last four in 24:38 (6:20, 6:13, 6:06, 5:59). I'm looking forward to a winter of solid conditioning and building strength by running hill reps every week and intervals, fartleks and tempos on hilly courses.

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UNKLE - Burn My Shadow

Featuring The Cult's Ian Astbury on vocals. Great stuff!

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Old School Badass: Todd Williams

When American distance running was going through some lean times in the late Eighties and early-mid Nineties, two of the big shining lights were Bob Kennedy and Todd Williams. Williams grew up in Michigan and ran for the Univ. of Tennessee before becoming a two-time Olympian in the 10,000 meters, as well as collecting scalps all over the place on the road racing scene. How did he do it? See below. I found this great tidbit on Let's Run.

What it takes to run 42:22 at the Gate River Run?By Todd Williams*
Wow! It’s been 12 years since I ran one of the best races of my career and set the American record of 42:22 right here in Jacksonville at the 1995 Gate River Run. I was also fortunate enough -- through lots of hard work -- to win four other Gate River Runs in the 90’s. I retired from competitive racing in 2003 and today the question I am asked most is: how did I run that fast and how did I train to average 4:30 per mile for 9.3 miles? My reply is always the same. I had plenty of talent but I also WORKED EXTREMELY HARD over a long period of time. In this article I’ll give an inside look at the training I did leading up to the 1995 Gate River Run. However, I DO NOT ADVISE THIS TRAINING SCHEDULE for anyone other than a world-class runner. What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you. Now that I’m coaching I know it’s extremely important to train each runner differently. Each runner has a certain mileage and intensity they can handle and must adjust accordingly. Following is an example of my training leading to my record setting performance.

Weekly mileage for the 10 weeks leading up to 1995 Gate River

Run: 110-102-91-86-93-105-105-95-103-106* race week

Long runs for the 10 weeks leading up to 1995 Gate River Run: 12-8-10-10-8-11-12-10-11-10

Specific workouts:
Each week I would do a track workout, hill workout and a faster road run, with some samples of those below. For each workout I ran a 3-4 mile warm-up at a sub 6:00 pace, followed by 6-150m strides and a 2 mile warm-down.

Key workouts:
1. 4xmile@4:15 with 3 minutes recovery jogs between each mile
2. Hills – 10x380 meter hill with jog back down for recovery between each
3. 8 x 1000m @2:45 with 200m jog recovery between each 1000m
4. 1600m – 1200m--800m-400m@:60-:61 pace with 400m jog recovery between each
5. 5 miles HARD road run (4:45 pace) then back to the track for 4 x 800m @2:02 – 2:04 with 400m jog recovery
6. 20 x 200m @ :30 with 200m jog recovery
7. 6 mile HARD road run then back to the track for a 4:08 mile

I ran twice a day every day, with my pace on each run never slower than 6 minutes per mile. At the completion of each afternoon run I would do 8 x 150m strides at mile race pace. The strides helped develop my speed and I left the track each day feeling fast. I was also in the weight room three times a week for circuit training consisting of body weight exercises (push-ups, dips, lunges, pull-ups etc). I took very little rest between each exercise. I wanted to break down my muscles and make them work when they were very fatigued. I liked to duplicate the feel I would have in the later stages of my races.

Even though I only stretched about 10 minutes before and after each run, I always recommend doing whatever you’ve been doing that keeps you healthy . Don’t change what works. As you can see, I didn’t do anything magical. I just ran a consistent program year-in and year-out that got me to the point of handling a higher work load. I was also very fortunate to stay healthy for a majority of my running career.

My advice to all runners at any level is to stick with what works, stay consistent and if you are a beginner or a runner that wants advice, contact me at PUSHTHEPACE.com and I’ll help design a program that best fits your needs.

Best of luck to all of you.

*Todd Williams is a 2-time Olympian and is the only 5-time Gate River Run champion. He set the American 15K record of 42:22 at Gate River Run in 1995, a record which still stands today.

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My job is like a cult!


Ever since the company I work for went through a big consolidation and closed down a bunch of regional offices and made the Cleveland office their main East Coast hub, I've felt more and more like I'm part of the Rev. Jim Jones' juice-drinking gang and we all know how that turned out. Hell, our boss man is even built like the Kool Aid mascot above and he's always so pumped up at work that I wouldn't be surprised if he let out a healthy, "Oh, yeaahh!" every once in a while. We keep getting more and more bizarre rules sent down to us from our HR Dept. -- the same folks who banned Rolling Stone Magazine from our office (see my past Blog entry about that). Now we can't even bring our coats into the office -- they have to be kept in hallway closets. Everyone ignores that one though. Luckily I was out of work last week when we had a big staff meeting where the higher-ups went on and on about how much they love the company etc. (maybe they needed to convince themselves). My friends at work who were at that meeting said I was really lucky to miss it. But, it's a good paycheck with good benefits and it supports my running 'career' pretty nicely! I think I'm just a bit frustrated because I'm the last of the generation of kids that were raised to believe that you could make a living doing something you loved... You know all that What Color is My Parachute? hippie crap. I had a good run with the rock 'n' roll stuff (for about 3 or 4 years my entire income came from working for a label/running my label, writing and DJing) and maybe as I get more and more immersed in the running scene I can find a job related to sports and become a more enthusiastic worker bee again.

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The Endless Summer

For whatever reason I had never seen this hugely influential 1966 surf documentary before, but I just rented it on Netflix and was pretty blown away. It really takes you back to a simple and optimistic time in America that just doesn't exist any more, like when I was a kid and we all thought we'd be living in space by now and driving really cool cars! Anyway, The Endless Summer documents two surfers who travel around the world, following the summer seasons in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, all in search of the perfect wave. Very Zen but not in a crunchy granola hippie kind of way. What blew me away was that these guys had no ulterior motives (i.e. fame and fortune) they just loved to surf and were willing to do what they could to be full-time' surf bums'. Pretty inspiring. Makes me want to quit my soulless job immediately, but that's gotta wait until I pay off my rock 'n' roll debts. Up until a year or two ago I still had hopes that I could somehow become an American Tony Wilson or Alan McGee. That said, Wilson just died in his early 50's and based on McGee's MySpace rants that have been forwarded to me (why does he even post on there at his age!) , you gotta wonder about his sanity so maybe it's just as well! So right now my personal Endless Summer is to try to be the best runner I can possibly be. Back in my first life as a runner it was all about the results and I never really thought much about the training and what it took to get there. These days, the journey is the most amazing part. I feel really blessed that I could quit for twenty years and after three years manage to get good enough again that I could run for an Elite Running Club. But much as I love the thrill of competition, I really dig the journey and how all the little pieces of the puzzle lead (like tomorrow's hill repeats in the snow) will maybe lead to the 'perfect' race. Hang Ten!

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Training Update

I'm feeling pretty good week one week removed from club nationals. Took a few days off this week and had some solid runs despite the winterly conditions, including a solid 10 miler today in Rocky River Metro Park with the last 4 @ AT effort (:40 - :60 slower than 5K race pace) going 6:37, 6:30, 6:25, 6:13 (my current PR race pace is 5:36). The effort felt really easy despite the slick bike paths and multiple layers of clothing as I braved the wind, cold and snow. Monday I'm going to start a proper base training phase where each week I'll try to do hill reps, aerobic fartleks @ 10K race effort (stuff like 4 x 5:00 w/ 2:00 rest) and a weekend long run with the last 3-4 miles @ moderate tempo effort like today's run. As winters can get pretty brutal here, it's all about the effort. In any case, with a really solid conditioning phase I think I'll be able to go straight into my next racing season in PR shape for 5K - 10 miles.

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Jet - Cold Hard Bitch

This Aussie band is definitely a Seventies throwback, but they've got the three "S's" that are largely missing from today's crop of overly sensitive musicians, namely: sleaze, sexism, and skinny guys (ever notice how doughy some of the current indie stars are like the dudes from Decemberists and Death Cab from Cutie?).

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Back to Basics

Currently I'm enjoying an easy/recovery week, where I'm running every other day and catching up on my sleep since I have the week off of work. Next week though I'll be starting up base training in earnest! I just created an account on Running2win.com, where you will be able to follow my daily training if you're bored enough to do so! The link is below and I have also added it to my Links section on the right sidebar.

http://www.running2win.com/community/public-log.asp?m=bszporluk&k=szporluk

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The Saints - (I'm) Stranded

Hard to believe That (I'm) Stranded by legendary Aussie rockers The Saints is 30-years old! This is probably my favorite album from the original late 70's punk rock explosion. Marketed as a 'punk' band by the trendy London music press, in reality this is just a kick ass high-octane rock 'n' roll record -- as loud and fast as the Sex Pistols and their ilk, but without the prerequisite spiky hair and safety pins. The title track, "No Time" and their cover of the 60's garage rock classic "Wild About You" by The Missing Links are as wild and dangerous as rock 'n' roll gets, but that's only part of the Saints equation. My two favorite songs on (I'm) Stranded these days are the bluesy ballads "Messin' With The Kid" and "The Story of Love." Chris Bailey was/is an awesome vocal talent and his prowess really shines here as it would on later similarly inclined classics like 1984's "Ghost Ships."

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One more photo!

Here's one more snapshot from the race. If the snow and mud wasn't enough, we also had a bunch of these suckers to jump over.

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USATF Club Nationals Cross Country

Just got back from Cincinnati where I ran in the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships. My club, Team Good River, ran great with outstanding performances in all four races: Men and Women's Open and Men and Women's Masters. Over 50 of us from TGR braved snowy and muddy conditions and gutted out great races and had a lot of fun afterwards! There were over 1000 participants in the four races from all over the country. Really proud to be part of such a great team. Thanks so much to the team's organizer and great runner in his own right, Tim Budic, for making it all happen. I was really happy with the way I ran in the Masters race. I was the top scorer for the TGR "B" team with a 39:40 over the unbelievably muddy course. For what it's worth, the course was actually long and more like 6.5 miles -- not that it matters since XC is all about place. This was a really good end to my season and quite an improvement over my XC race in San Francisco last year as I placed much higher in the overall and Age Group standings. Also, I was about 1:30 closer to the winner than I was last year, which is probably the best way to gauge XC success. The whole weekend was a lot of fun. A bunch of us met up for dinner the night before. I caught up with my friends Stephen and Jennifer from Ann Arbor on race day and even had a post-race beer on the course thanks to Stephen's ever present Dogfish Head cooler! Later in the evening I enjoyed quite a few post-race beers with the TGR crew. A great end to my 2007 season where I set masters PRs in 5K, 5 miles and 10K. Looking forward to crushing them all next season!

Now for the photos:

Calm before the storm!

An endless line of the country's best Masters runners get ready to rumble!

Braveheart!!!!!!!!!

Early on and already getting caked in mud!
The reason we all run! Posing with my old high school teammate and BMLC brother Stephen Magee who ran a solid race in the Masters Division for the Ann Arbor Track Club. In the background is his sister Robin and nephew Ben, who was allowed to have a sip of beer!

My wife Bella (left) with Stephen's gal Jennifer, who ran a great race in the Women's Open Division!

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LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge

This song really speaks to the jaded scenester in me...

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Elephant Stone Records: Last FM Update

Elephant Stone has been on hiatus for most of this year, but we've updated our profile on the very cool Last FM website and you can now download quite a few songs for free off of the site and if you feel so inclined you can buy the full CDs -- the buy now links will take you straight to the purchase page on the Elephant Stone site.

Here's the link: http://www.last.fm/label/Elephant+Stone/albums

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Evel Knievel American Badass - R.I.P.

Evel Knievel passed away today, age 69. He had an assortment of serious medical problems in his later years. To honor his memory I've posted footage of one of his great jumps in Portland. I used to watch him on ABC Wide World of Sports all the time as a kid and me and my friends would try to emulate him by doing dangerous jumps on our Schwinn Stingrays and Choppers. The '70s rocked with rock star-like sports icons such as Knievel, Pistol Pete Maravich, Joe Namath, Wilt Chamberlin, and Prefontaine.

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Cross Country Time!

The Club Nationals cross country championships will be next weekend at Voice of America Park in Cincinnati. From what I have heard the course is pretty flat, but gets muddy really easily. The photo above is taken from a past race at VOA Park. My club, Team Good River, is entering an A Team and a B Team in the masters race. I'm on the B Team. Both teams are really solid. I think our A guys will do especially well, though we'll have to contend with last year's masters champions, Front Line Racing Team, who are from Michigan and include in their ranks Paul Aufdemberge who hold the masters national record for 10K on the track and Tracy Lokken, who won last year's individual title.

My race prep has been going well. I did a really good 14 miler on the bridle trails in Mastick Woods last weekend and on Wednesday I did 4 x mile on grass w/ 2:00 rest breaks @ 5:52 average. Those felt really comfortable even with the heavy winds. I wore my spikes for the first time in a while and they felt good. All systems go!

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Nike Zoom Jasari

I'm well stocked on cushioned neutral trainers as I've won pairs of New Balance 882's and Nike 30/40s at two recent races, but I was kind of hurting for lightweight trainers now that my Nike Zoom Elite 3's are getting near the mileage limit I put on shoes. My favorite local running store, Second Sole in Rocky River, Ohio just got in the newest Nike lightweight trainer, the Jasari, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Wore them on an easy run today and I have to say they feel pretty good. For an 8 ounce shoe they have a lot of cushion. This will be a perfect shoe to wear for tempo runs and track workouts or even in a longer race like a 10 miler or half-marathon. For you older guys and gals out there, the Jasari's remind me a lot of an early 80's Nike classic, the Terra TC. Knowing Nike they'll probably get discontinued pretty quickly, since that seems to happen with a lot of their best shoes. Rumor has it the Elites have just been axed.

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Dandy Warhols "Ride"

The best song from the Dandys best album, their 1995 debut Dandys Rule OK. This beats the British shoegazers at their own game.

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Jumbalaya!

This is my new favorite frozen pizza courtesy of the fine folks at California Pizza Kitchen. I loaded up on these while my wife is out in California visiting her mom. Here's the description from the website:

"Blackened chicken and spicy Andouille sausage with a Creole sauce, roasted red & yellow peppers, mild onions and Mozzarella cheese. Topped with green onions."

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A Turkey, a Cheesecake, and a baseball bat

Yes, those were the prizes I won for being the top master at today's Home Run For The Homeless 4 mile race in Akron.

I had a great race this morning and ended up being the first Master and 28th overall in a very deep race, which had a lot of fast high school and college kids in the mix.

My time was 23:12 (5:48 pace) on a REALLY difficult course, definitely the toughest one I've run on all year. That combined with nasty weather (just above freezing, windy and rainy) made this a real 'character builder' so to speak. The middle two miles of the race, which went through a hilly cemetery with some serious climbs (which of course were followed by quad blasting downhills) was especially challenging.

My splits were 5:41 for the first mile, which was pretty flat after a 200 meter downhill start. After 800 meters or so there was a long gradual climb up a freeway ramp (I think?) to the mile mark before going down a sharp downhill into the cemetery. There were three big climbs on the paved paths in the cemetery and one big climb right after we got out of the park. Didn't catch my 2 mile split as at this point I was glued on to a pack of kids I was gaining on and in a total zone. The three mile mark was just after the hill leading out of the cemetery and I hit 17:24 there. My lungs still felt strong, but my legs were feeling trashed from the hills. I forced myself to bear down and just focus on the line of dying high school kids ahead of me. In an act of revenge for getting out kicked by two kids in the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot, I out kicked two high school kids in the last homestretch here!

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Training Update

Had a good post-10K race training week. Took three days easy after my race on Sunday and then had a nice session of 3 x mile on Thursday. It was super windy and pretty cold, but I felt good and hit the times I wanted to hit more or less. Had another 'key' workout on Sunday -- a solid 15 miler in Rocky River Metro Park. Gotta keep up those long runs all year round! Nothing keeps you in shape better than that. This week I'll be racing a 4-miler in Akron on Thanksgiving Day and I'll do another long run on Sunday. Everything has been going really well this fall so I just need to stay rested and ready to roll at nationals in December.

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Milkshake Protects My Running Shoes!

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Led Zeppelin: A Young Man's Rite of Passage

The New Led Zeppelin best of Mothership got me thinking that more than any band I can think of, Led Zeppelin is a young man's gateway drug into the world of rock 'n' roll. Seems like almost every junior high boy gets into Led Zeppelin at some point -- especially those in the Midwest -- and they're usually introduced to the band by some guy who has a 'cool' older brother. This has been going on since the '70s with no end in site. A 25-year-old co-worker just bought the complete Led Zeppelin on i-Tunes and as I could hear "When The Levee Breaks" cranking from his desk, I thought at least good rock 'n' roll will last even as the industry is on its last legs. I can guarantee that in 20 years time no one is going to be playing freaking Rogue Wave at their desk at work.

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10K PR - 36:24

Just got back from Michigan where I ran in the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot yesterday. I ran a masters PR of 36:24 and was first master and 8th overall. In case you're wondering, Ann Arbor has their turkey day race early because they don't want to compete with the big race in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. Anyway, this was my first race as a 43-year-old (my birthday was Friday) and my first race wearing the Team Good River colors so I wanted to do really well. Going into the race I was feeling a little beaten up as work has been very hectic the last 2-3 weeks. During this time period I did less overall volume that I wanted to, but made sure that I was fresh for my key workouts. Kind of a Bowerman/Kenny Moore strategy if you will.

Conditions for the race were pretty ideal, maybe a tad too cold and windy at 40F but no complaints. I took out the first mile pretty conservative in 6:09 and felt great so I decided it was a good time to gun after all the folks who were already rigging. The second mile had a nice downhill portion and I hit that in 5:42 -- perhaps a little too fast -- but I felt very good rolling into the 2 mile at 11:51. The third mile was a little up hill so I settled into a nice groove that I thought I could hold for the rest of the race. I caught a lot of people on this mile and hit 3 miles in 17:42 and 5K at 18:20 on the nose. It was nice that they had a 5K marker -- races don't always have this. I felt strong here and up ahead I saw a high school kid who looked like he was slowing down so I focused on him and tried to maintain pace. I hit 4 miles in 23:30 and soon after I caught him. We fought it out through the 5 mile mark (29:20) but soon after that he pulled away and ended up running 36:10 to my 36:24. I couldn't feel too bad about it as I think he ran the typical high school race of going out really hard, resting in the middle and then finishing with a huge kick at the end. Speaking off another kid came out of nowhere and ran me down in the last straightway and finished in the same time as me. After the race the kid asked me what age group I was in and I said I'm 43! He was like, oh I'm 16!

Fun race and I'm really psyched to run a big masters 10K PR. My previous best was 37:27 at this race last year. I feel like I'm ending my season on a nice roll with my 5K PR 2 weeks ago (17:22) and now this race. Hopefully I can maintain this fitness through club nationals XC.

I'd also like to give a shout out to my BMLC brother Stephen Magee who ran a masters PR of 37:31 and less than an hour came back to gut out an 18:41 5K to finish 6th overall in the Iron Turkey Division (combined 10K/5K race times). I did the Iron Turkey last year and vowed never to do it again. I think Stephen probably feels the same! His girlfriend Jennifer Kirk was second in her age group in the 10K -- her first race after running a marathon PR in the far-from-ideal-conditions in Chicago. Our other BMLC brother Tom Sisson ran a solid 10K in 38:45 -- impressive considering he was on antibiotics and pulled his hamstring less than halfway into the race.

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Training Update

I had a really good week of training. Took two very easy days after my 5K race last Saturday and did three quality workouts this week. On Tuesday I did an 8 mile progression run on a course with rolling hills with the last 4 miles @ 6:25, 6:20, 6:17, 6:15. Felt very relaxed and strong -- hopefully the kind of pace I would hit in a half-marathon. On Thursday I did 3 x mile cutdowns w/ brisk 400 meter jogs inbetween in 5:56, 5:49, 5:43. Felt very strong on this workout too. Today I ran 14 miles easy on the horse trails in Mastick Woods. Really nice trails. I've been re-reading parts of Kenny Moore's Bowerman biography and trying to really pay attention to Coach Bowerman's message about optimal training -- i.e. running quality workouts, but finishing feeling like you could have done a bit more and save the 110% dry heaving stuff for the races. Also really stressing his hard/easy philosophy and taking the easy days super slow. Seems to have been working for me lately. Next up is a 10K in Ann Arbor on November 11. It will be my first race as a 43-year-old as my birthday is this coming Friday. After that I think I'll do a Thanksgiving Day race somewhere and then it's Club Nationals cross country on December 8.

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Triumph and Tragedy at Olympic Trials

Yesterday's Olympic Trials marathon in New York City was one of the most exciting marathon races on US soil as Ryan Hall (left), Dathan Ritzenhein, and Brian Sell finished 1-2-3, which guaranteed them spots on the team for Beijing next year. Hall's performance was ungodly. His finishing time was 2:09:02, a US trials record, but even more impressive was the way he demolished the field with a 4:35 mile surge on mile 17. He beat Ritzenhein by more than two minutes and ran the second half of the race just under 1:03. Ritz, who had a disappointing marathon debut at last year's NYC marathon ran a solid race. There has been talk that if he makes the team for 10,000 meters next year he may opt out of the marathon. Third place finisher Sell was probably everybody's 'blue collar' favorite to make the team. A 10:06 two-miler in high school, Sell went on to have small success in college but really began to shine when he started running marathons and began training with the Hanson's group in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Sadly, these great accomplishments were undermined by the untimely death of Ryan Shay (right). The 28-year-old Shay had a heart attack and collapsed five miles into the race. Shay had finished 9th in the 2004 Olympic trials and was a high school star at Central Lake, Michigan and a 9 time All American at Notre Dame University. This summer he got married to former Stanford distance star Alicia Craig and by all accounts was poised to run a good race. It's shocking to see this happen to an athlete in his prime. The last time anything like this happened was when Athletics West distance star Jeff Drenth collapsed and died after a training run in 1986. I remember the Drenth incident well because he was just a few years older than me and I used to watch him race in meets at the University at Michigan when he was a runner for Central Michigan Univ.

The only thing I could do when I heard about Shay's passing was to lace up my shoes and go for a run. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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Team Good River

Team Good River is Ohio's premiere running club for post-collegiate open and masters runners. Three of their runners will be running in the Olympic Trials Marathon in NYC on Saturday. I was finally able to hit the masters qualifying standard for 5K with my 17:22 on Saturday, so now I'm a member of the team! You can read my profile on the roster section of the TGR website. I'll be running on their masters team for Club Nationals cross country in Cincinnati on December 8 as well as sporting the team singlet at a bunch of Ohio races next year.

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More on the Stinger

I mentioned loving my new Spira Stinger flats at the end of the race report, but wanted to add a bit more about this amazing shoe. No, I do not work for the company, but I can't get over how great this shoe felt during the race. It's super lightweight but very cushioned, unlike other lightweight flats like the Nike Katana racer that I have tried on, which while light have zero cushioning in comparison. The way the Stinger is constructed it pushes you up on your toes when you are running fast, kind of like a track spike for the roads if that makes sense. I will wear these again when I race 10K on November 11 and it will be interesting to see how these shoes hold up at twice the distance. I'm pretty confident they will do fine as plenty of people have worn them in marathons, including the top 5 finishers at this year's Detroit Marathon.

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5K PR

I ran a masters 5K PR of 17:22 this morning at the Great Pumpkin Run in Lakewood, Ohio. It's a flat, fast, out and back course in a nice tree-lined neighborhood, which starts and ends at Lakewood Park. The same course is used for three or four other races throughout the year. In fact, I ran my previous best of 17:41 on this course in May 2006. The weather was perfect today. It was about 50 degrees and though there was a pretty strong headwind in the first half of the race, once we turned around it was all on our backs. I went out pretty conservative in 5:50 -- the effort felt harder but the wind was pretty strong at this point so I trusted my effort. I felt like I was accelerating nicely at this point and once I hit the turnaround, I really started flying with the wind at my back. My 2 mile split was 11:26 and I still felt great so I went for it and started running as hard as I could, running down some guys who went out too hard early on. As I approached the finish line area, I buckled down and ran as hard as I could. It was a great feeling to see the clock ahead of me and know that I was going to PR!

I ended up 5th overall and was the first master. Team Good River's Jason Ream was the overall winner in 16:21.

I got a pair of Spira Stingers this week and I wore them in the race and I have to say they are the best racing flat I have ever worn. They're featherlight but very cushioned, which is perfect for an old guy like me!

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One Minute Marathon Training

I do not know who Merv is, but I found this tidbit below by a poster named Oscar the Grouch on a website called Merv Running. While it addresses marathon training, the same principles apply to anyone training for 5K and up. I need to pay more attention to #3!

One Minute Marathon Training

Posted By: Jon
Date: 10/17/99

Originally posted Oscar the Grouch on 10/14/98.

1. Heal your injuries before embarking on your quest - use total rest if necessary.

2. Aim for 3 good workouts per week (long run, long tempo run at MP, speedwork session.) Fill in with rest or "just running" on the other days.

3. Cut back every 3rd week to about 66-75% volume intensity.

4. Race (10km to half marathon) every 3 weeks.

That should do it

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Training Update: October 8 - 21

My training has been going really well. I've reduced my overall volume a little bit as I had been feeling kind of beat up after the 10K race in Minster, but right now I'm feeling great. Two weeks ago I had a solid 14 mile trail run and a nice session of 3 x 2 mile with 2:00 rest breaks and last week I did 4 x mile midweek and a nice very tough 11 mile trail run in Michigan with my BMLC teammates Tom and Stephen. The three of us are entered in the team competition for 10K race at the Ann Arbor, Michigan Turkey Trot on November 11. Looking forward to a really good race there. I'm going to enter a low key 5K on Saturday to get in a good tune up.

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Defy The Ban 10K video



Footage of Hillary Kimaiyo's 26:01 at the Defy The Ban 10K. 1400 feet elevation drop. Man, I want to do this race next year! Kimaiyo wore a pair of the 'controversial' Spira Stinger racing flats (see blog entry below).

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Unfair advantage?

Rock 'n' Roll Runner is all about fighting the man so when a little shoe company starts making some noise in the corporate running world, you know it's gonna get my attention! The Spira Stinger racing flat has made some big waves this year. Based in El Paso, Texas, Spira has been banned by the governing bodies of the sport for employing 'unfair technology. '

According to a recent article in the El Paso Times, "The shoes, which contain Spira's patented WaveSpring technology, ran afoul of USA Track and Field Rule 143, which specifically bans spring technology in footwear for competition. The shoes may also violate IAAF rule 143, which bans any technology that provides an 'unfair advantage.' Spira submitted its shoes to the IAAF for review and approval in September of 2006, but the worldwide governing body for Track and Field has been unable to provide Spira with an answer. Spira recently initiated a lawsuit in Federal District Court in El Paso, Texas, against both the USATF and IAAF alleging that their rules which bans spring technology constitutes a restraint of trade in violation of Sherman Anti-Trust Act."

The company, which is run by Andy Krafsur, who I knew a little bit from Michigan running circles back when I was a kid (his brother David ran for Southfield Lathrup High school and was an All-American at Tennessee) , made waves this year when two runners wearing Spira shoes led for most of the Boston Marathon before fading off the pace. Later this year, Kenyan David Cheruiyot wore a pair when he won the Ottawa Marathon in a PR of 2:10:35, a two minute PR. Today, Kenyan Hillary Kimaiyo broke the world 10K road race record in a pair of Stingers in a race sponsored by Spira, appropriately called the Defy The Ban 10K , running an amazing 26:01 on a certified downhill course. Because of the huge elevation drop, the time won't count for official world record purposes, but it certainly will garner some PR for Spira.

Too good to be true? Who knows? I might have to give them a try. I checked out the website and the Stingers and their lightweight trainer look pretty intriguing.

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Sisters of Mercy - Dominion

A classic from 'Floodland'...

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Sisters of Mercy Box Set

Released by Rhino Records UK, 'Merciful Release' is a box set of the Sisters of Mercy's three releases for Warner Brothers Records, plus a bunch of bonus tracks. Each CD is a digipack, which includes a booklet with detailed liner notes. A much better presentation than the recent Jesus and Mary Chain reissues. For those note in the know, the Sisters of Mercy were the premiere Goth rock band. The group was formed in 1980 in Leeds, England by vocalist Andrew Eldritch and within a few years the original lineup gained quite a buzz on the indie scene with their mesmerizing dark yet melodic rock sound, which was inspired quite a bit by The Stooges -- at times Eldritch sounds a lot like Iggy Pop. After releasing five excellent EPs, which are compiled on the 'Some Girls Wander By Mistake' CD, the group signed to Warner and released their astounding debut proper 'First and Last and Always.' Remastered for the box set, this album sounds even more potent than it did when I first heard it back in 1985. Tracks like "Black Planet," "Nine While Nine," and "Walk Away" define the goth rock sound. Sadly after the album was released guitarist Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams would leave to form the more commercial sounding Mission U.K. who ended up having great success in England for many years. Eldritch was forced to start all over again and 1987's masterful 'Floodland' could almost be described as a solo effort, though bass player Patricia Morrison (ex Gun Club) does contribute quite a bit. More bombastic than 'First and Last and Always,' 'Floodland' contains three epic dance rock gems, "Dominion/Mother Russia," "Lucretia," and "This Corrosion" that are probably the group's best known recordings. As with 'First and Last and Always,' the remastered recording of 'Floodland' sounds phenomenal. The Sisters of Mercy's third album 'Vision Thing' is merely good in comparison. Much more conventional sounding than anything released previous, a good benchmark would be Jesus and Mary Chain's 'Automatic.' While Eldritch still plays live shows with different lineups, Sisters of Mercy haven't released anything since 1991. That said I still think that a new Sisters of Mercy album will see the light of day before the next Guns 'n' Roses or My Bloody Valentine!

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Race Report: Oktoberfest Classic 10K

Just got back from the booming metropolis of Minster, Ohio where I ran in the Oktoberfest Classic 10K, one of the more competitive Ohio races due to a lot of prize money for the top guys. The weather here was definitely on par with Chicago, which makes me really glad it was only a 10K!

I ran really well in probably the worst conditions I've ever raced in. The race didn't start until close to 10:00am because the organizers didn't have it together. It was supposed to start at 9:30, which is way too late anyway, but they were letting people sign up too late and they waited for the sole wheelchair entrant who called and said she was running late to show up! It reached a high of 92 in the afternoon and was probably over 80 and super humid when we raced. On top of that, there was no shade whatsoever. Just wide open country roads and blaring sun. Anyway, I ran 37:47 (6:03 pace?) and was first in 40-44 and 37th overall. I knew a PR was way out of the question so I just ran smart and conservative and did my best to hang on. My splits were 6:06, 6:06 (12:12), 5:59 (18:11), 6:01 (24:12), 6:02 (30:14) and 7:33 for the last 1.25 so probably another 6:02.

My initial plan was to try and blast the last 2 miles in 11:30 or so, but by the halfway mark it was a death march. My legs were feeling like rubber and I really had to gut it out to hold pace. A couple of guys ahead of me just stopped and started walking. One guy ran to someone's lawn on the side of the road and just laid down in it! Another guy pulled over to the side of the road and passed out! In any case, I'm really happy with the race. I know I can run much faster for 10K. I think in perfect conditions 10 seconds per mile faster wouldn't have been out of the question. In any case, after the first few minutes no one passed me and I probably passed over 50 people or more in the course of the race.

This was the first time I've won an age group title in an Ohio Grand Prix race. I won a nice medal and a pair of shoes as well! The local sporting goods store kind of sucked but they did have a pair of the Nike 30/40's, which are named after Pre's famous workout so I opted for those. They feel a bit like the Elites as far as lightweight trainers go. My wife took some good pictures so I'll update this report in a day or too!

More photos and a detailed description of our weekend visit can be found on my wife's blog at:

http://artyfarty.vox.com/library/post/oktoberfest-minster-ohio.html

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Gouchers make Liz Smith's column

American distance running couple, Kara and Adam Goucher, were mentioned in Liz Smith's NY Post gossip column. According to Smith:

SPORTS AFICIONADOS love Kara Goucher, a runner who is so charismatic, whose smile is so dazzling, that she is often compared to a movie star like Julia Roberts. Her husband is Adam Goucher, also a world-class runner. They are the "It" couple of that world.

They could - and maybe will - give the fading Beckhams a dash for the gold of media fame. They already have an online show "Keeping Up With the Gouchers."

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Training Update: Sept. 23-30

Last week I ran 56 miles with two key workouts. Wednesday I did 12 miles on the metro park bike paths broken down into a 2 mile warm up, 2 miles @ half-marathon race effort; 60 seconds rest followed by 5 x 4:00 @ 8K/10K effort with 60 seconds between each rep and a 4 mile cool down. Those reps got to be pretty tough towards the end as some of the rolling hills in the metro park will get to you with such short rest breaks. Saturday I did 14 miles on dirt trails in Mastick Woods. I'm feeling very strong, but also pretty sore so I'll lower the volume and intensity a little this week and hopefully be sharp for my 10K race on Sunday.

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Geb! 2:04:26! New Marathon World Record!

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Rolling Stone Magazine: Banned at the Office

Rolling Stone was the outlaw music/counter culture publication of the late-'60s and early-'70s, but these days it's the best-known mainstream entertainment publication, which can even be found in the likes of school libraries. Yet, the HR Dept. at the corporation I work for is up in arms about a recent issue (cover photo on your left) that someone left in the lunch room. This is an email we got sent to us the other day. Names have been removed and replaced with XXX.

"Please refrain from placing periodicals in the lunchroom that display inappropriate content. This morning, XXX, Director of Management Training, brought a Rolling Stone magazine to my office that had been left in the lunchroom. The cover of this magazine displayed two naked women wearing only ammo belts and an ad on the inside displayed a naked man and woman shielded only by a guitar. Another section of the magazine featured an article on Iggy Pop, with pictures that portrayed Iggy giving someone the finger and another displaying Iggy's bare backside. This type of literature is not only offensive and inappropriate in the workplace but prohibited by our policy against harassment, including sexual harassment. This is not the first time literature of this nature has been left in the lunchroom, but I hope it is the last.


I find it discouraging that I need to send out a note like this a few weeks after completing 'Respect in the Workplace' training. If you have questions about what is and isn't appropriate, please ask before you end up jeopardizing your employment over something that could have easily been prevented. Thank you.

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Old School Badass: David Bedford

David Bedford was one of England's most colorful athletes of the 1970's, known for his brutal high mileage training, front running tactics, shaggy rock 'n' roll haircut and for racing in trademark red socks! Though he never won an Olympic medal, he's a badass in Rock 'n' Roll Runner's book. Bedford is now the race director of the prestigious London marathon, and in recent years, was in the news when he sued the British phone directory enquiries service 118 118 for using twin models with strikingly similar looks to his '70s self in an ad campaign. 118 118 claimed that they had never heard of Bedford and were looking for a Steve Prefontaine look a like! Well, you be the judge, the Bedford 'twins' are posted below:

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The Go - Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride

This is only the third Go album in eight years (fourth if you include the limited edition self-released vinyl only Supercuts from a few years ago), but each one has been well worth the wait. Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride is the Detroit outfit’s most laid back effort thus far, incorporating country rock and seventies pop influences into their R&B driven rock ‘n’ roll sound. One of the standout cuts, “Invisible Friends,” has a similar retro AM Radio feel to Outrageous Cherry, complete with infectious melody and appropriate handclaps. “So Long Johnny” sounds like the late-sixties Rolling Stones when they were hanging around with Gram Parsons, while even better is “Caroline,” a lush epic worthy of Badfinger in their prime. Two other favorites, “Down A Spiral” and “Smile,” have similar Canyon Rock grooves to The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield – infectious stuff. A couple of songs like “Help You Out” hint at the more aggressive direction of The Go’s 1998 Sub Pop debut, back when Jack White was a member of the group, but for the most part this is a more subdued effort. Mellow Gold.
www.thegodetroit.com

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A shout out to BMLC's Stephen Magee

This past weekend my BMLC teammate Stephen Magee broke 18:00 for the first time as a masters runner with a stellar 17:59 at the Dogfish Head Dash in Delaware, capturing First Place in the Masters Division. Stephen is the world's biggest fan of Dogfish Head Beer so it's appropriate that he won their race! Here's his race report, followed by a report of the weekend festivities:

It was a tough day strong wind from the North 15 mph. I was so geeked up for the race. I ran too hard the first mile 5:34 wind clocking around the back. Then the 2nd mile dead into the wind. I was 5th at the mile. A pack of 11 or so came up on me including my pal Brooks. He said it too nice a pack to let go, so he drafted up to me. By the time they reached me it had shredded to 4 people. Brooks passed me at the turn-around and I quickly came back on him. The rest of the pack dropped like bricks. I increased pace and was closing on the kids in-front of me but they had too big a lead. I was 5th over-all and first masters. Brooks won the 40-49 age group in 18:36. If I had better control and less beer in me I would have been about 10 seconds faster, but I was pleased. After a weekend of drinking and playing it was a great result. Another note Jennifer won the women's over-all (top 25 over-all I think). Her first ever over-all win! clocking 19:55 respectable for her, but not a PR like myself. All the fans were cheering for the first Women. We even got a picture with Sam after the race! He was so excited for us! This year the 5k and 10K had some real runners I think the 10k winner was 36:03! I think I would have been 3rd if I ran the 10K, but I was in no shape http://www.dogfish.com/news/2007_Dogfish_Dash_Winners!/962/index.htm If you look in the picture at the start I am right under the starters arm with my orange hat and BMLC singlet! The picture is of me at the finish!

Weekend Report:

I had no idea that I was a celebrity at Dogfish Head. They rolled out the royal welcome for me! We got treated to meals, excellent beer, behind the scene tour of the brewery, I was interviewed for a local paper! The manager of the brewpub comped us a $100.00 bottle of 2004 World Wide Stout! Clause treated us to dinner and so much great beer, even had us over to his house! Even the Chocolate infused Vodka they make. It was a super weekend. They gave me so much swag! and a few collectors only bottles of beer. I was even given a 6 pak of IPA 90 that they can't sell because it came in too high on ABV! I have that for special occasions only (but I am dying to taste it)! I will have pictures to follow and the newspaper article in a week or so. It was a great weekend. I hope some fellow BMCL's can make the trip next year! I will be trying to get more people out there. The ocean Kayak tour was a great hit. Next year they are going to comp me the Kayak trip! It was amazing! The weekend was too good. Next year I will take off Friday and Monday so I can party after the race. It was so hard to leave!

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40 second improvement from last year!

Today I raced at the Cleveland Heroes Run, which is billed as Cleveland's hilliest 5 mile race and I'm not going to argue with that! Rolling hills early on and a brutal half-mile climb from 3.5 miles to the 4 mile marker definitely give your quads a good workout. The last mile is flat, but it's hard to get back your old groove after destroying your legs on the climb.

Last year I ran 30:26, so this year I was quite pleased to lower my time by a full 40 seconds with a 29:46, good enough for first master and I think 6th overall. My strategy for the race was to keep it pretty even paced early on and try to make sure I still had something left in the tank after the big hill. On the flat, fast opening mile, which includes a nice downhill I contained myself well and came through in 5:56. I picked it up slightly on the second mile, which included a gradual climb of maybe 1/4 mile, followed immediately by a short downhill. I seemed to do most of my passing here. I hit the 2 mile mark in 11:48 and at this point the only people directly ahead of me were the top woman and the guy who was the second master. Both were a few seconds ahead of me and I managed to catch them by 2.5 miles. After that I was in total no-man's land for the rest of the race. The top 3 guys (open guys from Team Good River) ended up running 25:58, 25:59, 26:00 and I think 4th was under 27:00 as well. I could see the 5th place guy maybe 60-90 seconds ahead of me but that was it. That said I kept my focus on the 3rd mile and hit the marker in 17:40. I kept the pace going and felt like I ran the big hill well. Climbing the hill felt like running in quicksand in comparison to my previous pace, but I felt strong. At the top of the hill I hit 4 miles in 23:52, which means mile 4 was 6:12 (I think I did the climb in 6:30 last year). With one more mile to go I was able to get it back together and I held on for a 5:54 and 29:46.

Really happy with the race and I can't think of anything I would have done differently. I think if I had someone maybe 10-15 seconds ahead of me in the last mile I could have run 10-15 seconds faster, but that's just being picky!

As a side note, the training has obviously been going well. I've been averaging 55 a week or so over the past 5 weeks, focusing on two key workouts. The first has been a 12 miler midweek with speed-work mixed in the middle (stuff like a 2 mile at 1/2 marathon pace; 60 second rest break and then 4 x 5 minutes at 8K/10K effort with brief 60 second rests). The other main workout is a long run of about 15 miles unless I'm racing.

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rocknrollrunner.com

Yes, I bought the domain name but I'll still be managing this site via blogger.com because I have no idea how to set up coding for blogs and this website makes it real easy. On the plus side, you only have to type in rocknrollrunner to get here though! Maybe more people will find this site via search engines, which means I should try to update more often. Well, it's midnight and I have a race tomorrow but I can't sleep at all so I'm doing geeky internet stuff like looking up race results!

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Dances with Dirt 2007

Video footage from the DWD trail relay. I show up briefly for three seconds towards the beginning -- 5:23-5:20!

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To Hell and Back!

Well, this past weekend I took part in a 100K trail relay race called Dances With Dirt (www.danceswithdirt.com) in a place appropriately called Hell, Michigan. The race takes place in the area around the Washtenaw and Livingston county border in Michigan, including Hell, Pinckney and Dexter. Each team has 5 runners and there are 15 legs total ranging from 1.5 miles - 6.1 miles. Depending on what leg you run, you encounter pretty much everything imaginable. Hard dirt, lots of rocks, tall grass, river crossings, mud/quicksand, etc. The course is marked pretty well with flags tied to trees and other landmarks and you really have to trust your instincts. A lot of times the flags will take you off a 'proper' trail and into the woods or something and you just have to follow them or else you'll get screwed. Your team needs to travel from site to site too. Each site will have 1-2 legs and when your runner takes off you have to pile into your van and drive as quickly as possible to the next handoff site. My team, The Damned Unpleasants, finished 8th out of 350 teams though we're 34th after various handicap formulas were applied (having a woman on your team gives you a 12% handicap, so next year we're going to get a good woman on our team so we can really kick ass). I'm definitely more of a road race guy but I did have a lot of fun. I don't think I would do an individual trail race, but I really enjoyed the team aspect of DWD.

Other than DWD, I did a 5 mile race on September 1 called Celebrate Westlake. This is always a really good race as top Kenyans show up to get the prize money. I ran a solid 29:21, which I was happy with as I ran 58 miles that week and didn't taper at all for the race. After going out in a conservative 17:57, I cranked out the last 2 miles in 11:24 with a 5:34 final mile.

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Training Report: August 13-26

I've been a bit lazy with posts the last few weeks but here goes. The photo on the left is from the start of a track 5K race I did in Ann Arbor on August 17. Next to me on the right is my BMLC teammate Tom Sisson and sandwiched in between us is another BMLC teammate Stephen Magee. I hoped to run faster in this race, but it was crazy windy -- probably pushing 25mph at times and I ran a really even paced 18:01. Just couldn't get into a good 5K groove. Stephen ran 18:14 and Tom ran 18:17 so we had a very solid pack. After a low mileage week two weeks ago, I cranked out 62 miles this week, including a nice 15 miler on trails. I feel really great and I think in retrospect I let my mileage slip a little too much this summer. I'm definitely more of a strength guy so I'm better off doing more volume with a little less intensity. Next race will be a 5 miler on September 1. I'm not going to taper for it, but I still hope to run well. The focus this fall is on Masters XC Nationals in Cincinnati on December 8 with my half-marathon debut three weeks before that on November 18.

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Rockin' the 70s!

I figured that as long as I still had hair I'd let it rock out with complimentary 'burns like '70s running stars Steve Prefontaine and Paul Geis, pictured below. For what it's worth, the longer it's been growing, the faster I've been running, though it's probably due to the fact that I've been training my ass off. :-)

Pre and Geis:



















My '70s burns!

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Motorhead- The ace of spades

Turn it up to 11!

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Training Report: August 6-12

Got in 47 miles this week in pretty hot and humid conditions. It was pushing 90F when I did a session of 5 x 1000, followed by 4 x 200 on Wednesday and yesterday wasn't much better when I did my weekly 12 miler on the trails. All and all though I'm feeling pretty fit and these dog days of summer are building character as I brace myself for cooler weather and hopefully, some pretty damn good racing in the fall. Looks like it may only be about 75F next Friday when I race my track 5K in Ann Arbor, Michigan. If all goes well, I'm hoping for something in the neighborhood of 17:20 (5:35 per mile pace).

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steve prefontaine fire on the track 2

Part II! I'll post the rest if I can find it on You Tube!

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steve prefontaine fire on the track 1

This documentary rules! If this doesn't make you go out for a workout, nothing will.

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Work is the new school....














I've really started to hate my day job a lot lately, but I'm in that trap where the pay and benefits are really good and I work with a bunch of cool people, but the company I work for has gone seriously downhill since it underwent some big time corporate restructuring in the spring. If I didn't have any rock 'n' roll debt to pay off I'd quit in an instant and get a manual labor job or something. I'm glad I have running and music to keep me sane, but I don't know how much longer I can take it. I can definitely relate to the little guy in the photo. Work is the new school for sure though I think I even liked school better than this crap.

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Adorable - Sunshine Smile

Probably the best band of the mid '90s -- their song "Vendetta" inspired me to start a magazine of the same name and adopt the moniker Ben Vendetta

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Coming out of the Heavy Metal Closet!

Dio "Holy Diver"! I don't know if it's all the running that has boosted my testosterone levels back to my teenage levels, but lately I've been listening to a lot of the same stuff I did when I was a kid! Cheesey, yeah, but this seriously rocks! Beats the hell out of most of today's indie rock!

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$40 an ounce!

The brand new Mizuno Wave Universe racing flat retails at a hefty $149.99 price tag despite weighing only 3.7 ounces -- I did the math and that's $40.54 an ounce. Looks pretty cool but I'm guessing these things would fall apart after a couple of races.

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Training Update: July 16-29

Nothing too eventful really, just another good solid block of training. 49 miles two weeks ago, 45.5 miles this week. The focus right now is getting quality interval sessions in every Wednesday (stuff like 3 x mile or 5-6 x 1K @ 8K/10K effort, followed by 4 x 200 @ mile race effort) and a solid 12 miler, pushing the last half hard on the weekends. Everything else is just easy maintenance work with strides a few times a week to work on the leg turnover. Pretty simple stuff really, but I've been racing better than ever since I started competing again so I won't question anything. Next race is a track 5K on Friday, August 17 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Monaco Track Meet Uses Sex to Sell Tickets!

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More track photos

middle stages of the 2 mile


















finish of the 1000

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Track Time

I raced on the track for the first time since 1983 in Ann Arbor last Friday at the Tortoise and Hare Summer Track Series event at Huron High School. It was a bit hot at 80F and pretty windy but I ran really well, nailing down 10:55 for 2 miles with a nice negative split of 5:30/5:25. 15 minutes later I came back and jumped into the 1000 meters and ran 3:09 going 76, 75, 38. Not too bad at all as the shorter races aren't my specialty, but this was a really nice speed workout. I was surprised that sub 5:30 pace felt pretty comfortable since I've been doing all my intervals this year at 10K pace (5:50-6:00), but as the saying goes, strength = speed. On Sunday I watched my BMLC teammate Stephen Magee kick some serious ass at the Waterloo Triathlon, finishing 4th in the 40-44 age group. We also saw our high school buddy Dave "The Dimmer" Dimcheff this weekend. He's the head cross country coach at Kalamazoo College and told us that we were good enough to make his varsity team this year. This lead to much discussion on how Stephen and I could get funding to go back to school for a semester to run cross country and have it filmed as a reality TV series! Over a few beers we pretty much nailed down a full season's worth of potential episodes.

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Bay Days 5 Mile: 28:53!

Well, I busted my masters 5 mile PR in a big way. I could sense that this was coming. My training has been going great and I was convinced that the course where I ran 29:46 back in May was about 30-35 seconds long. Yesterday's race validated it. Everything really came together for me. Perfect weather -- about 70F with low humidity; a flat, fast course; great competition; and I was well rested. I went out conservative as usual for the first mile in 6:07 before upping it a notch and then it was an endless a parade of passing people until the 3 mile mark when there was a guy way ahead of me left to chase down. He was a masters guy I had never beaten before and I managed to catch him with about half a mile to go. I was 17th overall and 3rd in 40-44 (4th master). My splits were: 6:07, 11:55 (5:48), 17:33 (5:38), 23:16 (5:43), 28:53 (5:37).

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Training Report: June 4- June 17

Another solid two-week block of training with a really good 5K race yesterday. Ran 17:44 (5:42 pace) at the Ohio City Run & Crawl road race for 6th overall and 4th in 40-49 (damn, us old guys are competitive). I was only 3 seconds off my masters PR in less than ideal conditions. At race time it was about 85F and humid and while the course was flat, there were a lot of twists and turns through a residential neighborhood. Anyway I ran a solid even paced race, going out in 5:42 and easing slightly in mile 2 before blasting a nice negative split final mile where I caught a group of three guys I had been zeroing in on since just after the mile mark. Other than the race, I did a couple of solid 6 x 1000 sessions and back to back medium long runs in 95F heat while on vacation in North Carolina. I suppose the heat training there helped me with yesterday's race. Next up is a 5 mile road race on July 4 and a 2 mile track race on July 13.

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Matt Tegenkamp: New AR in the 2 mile

From usatf.org

2007 USA Indoor 3,000m champion Matt Tegenkamp set an American record in front of a standing room only crowd Sunday at the 2007 Nike Prefontaine Classic at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., which is the fourth event of USA Track & Field's 2007 Outdoor Visa Championship Series.

Tegenkamp finished third in men's two mile race in the American record time of 8 minutes 7.07 seconds, which betters the previous American standard of 8:11.48 set here in 2005 by Alan Webb. Tegenkamp was led to the finish line by Australia's Craig Mottram, who won the race in 8:03.50, which is the sixth-fastest performance all-time in the two-mile. Ethiopia's Tariku Bekele was the runner-up in 8:04.83, which is the eighth-fastest time ever.

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Reebok Grand Prix 2007 - Men's Mile

Alan Webb takes down Bernard Lagat and Craig Mottram with a lethal kick in the last 200!

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Training Report: May 28 - June 3

A pretty solid week after my 5 mile race last Saturday. 45 miles total. My two key workouts were a nice session of 6 x 1000 in 3:41 with 60 second 200 meter jogs for rest breaks in 85-degree heat on Wednesday and a 12 miler with the second half at tempo effort on the dirt trails in Mastick Woods on Saturday. Even though the trails in the woods are pretty shady, it was super hot -- about 90 or so. Nothing like summer running in the humid Midwest, eh? Gearing up for a 5 mile race on July 4 and a 2 mile evening track race in Ann Arbor, Mich on July 13. Will be fun to break out the spikes for that one.

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Race Report: Eagle Run

Ran a great race on what had to have been a long course. My time was 29:46 and I was 10th overall and second in the masters category. Considering the 80% humidity, running only 10 seconds slower than my PR was nothing to complain about... but, I think I may have actually run something more like 29:15. After running my first 3 miles in 6:03, 5:50, 5:50, I suddenly supposedly slowed down to a 6:20 before recouping and finishing in 5:43. Thing is I felt like I was running slightly faster in my last two miles due to my conservative start and I passed three people like they were standing still in that fourth mile. Everyone I talked to had an equally out of whack fourth mile. The winner, Matt Folk from Team Good River, who blazed the course in 25:12 was 5:30 on that mile and he's a low 24 kind of guy.
Anyway, road racing can be a crap shoot. I know I'm in great shape and the training has been going great. Due to my work schedule being less than ideal lately I've been doing about 45 miles a week with a midweek long interval session and a weekend long run of about 12 miles with the last 4-5 @ tempo effort. This seems to be working well for me while I work 45-50 hours a week for the "man".

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Fam 7:41 3K

Last two laps of Fam's 7:41 5K win in the Adidas Track Classic last weekend.

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Way to Go Cleveland!

I had thought about doing this race today as my peak Spring race, but instead opted to sign up for a certified 5 mile race next Saturday. Good call on my part. Looks like a lot of the top runners got directed off the course and ended up running closer to 9 miles instead of 6.2! Below is an account from Cleveland.com, which even got posted on the Drudge Report! Below that is a funny first hand account by 'Thor,' which I found on the Team Good River message board.

Rite Aid Cleveland 10K takes a wrong turn

A wrong turn sent between 200 to 300 runners off course in today's Rite Aid Cleveland 10Krace. So instead of running 6.1 miles some of them ran close to 9 miles. And now the results of the 10K race are in chaos. According to racers and race officials, a police officer at the two-mile mark of the race (see a map of the route) diverted the lead car guiding 10K competitors through the course. Highway cones had been misplaced in the area, and some racers in the Cleveland marathon who were walking the area had also created a bottleneck. So instead of going onto the Shoreway, the car's navigator sent runners through the Flats, tacking on as much as 2.7 miles to the race. Jack Staph, the race's executive director, said he had never seen such a fiasco. Some runners ran less than the extra 2.7 miles, race officials said. It's unlikely to change the outcome of the men's results. However, the women's results and the results for the top-Ohio finishers and masters (runners older than 40), may be altered. Runners in these categories are awarded cash prizes between $100 and $1,500.

A First Hand Account from 'Thor'

For the record (totally telling the truth!), on the "alternative" 10K route I saw a 3-legged dog, 2 condoms (potentially used), a homeless guy with an old-school Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket and I ran past the Larry Flynt Hustler's Club. I think the 10K "mistake" was actually a purposeful attempt to draw potential young, investors into the Flats area. If you look closely, the race organizers have strong ties to some local developers. Screw any race that goes into the Flats!!!! See ya in Columbus for a legitimate 10K in a couple of weeks.

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Ritz takes it to Mottram

In a bit of an upset, Dathan 'Ritz' Ritzenhein handily beat Australian superstar Craig Mottram, who is considered the best non-African distance runner in the world, in NYC's Healthy Kidney 10K run. Ritz's time of 28:08 on the tough Central Park layout is a new course record, landing him a $25,000 bonus in addition to his $7,500 first place earnings. In a classy move, Ritz, who grew up in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan and holds all of my former state's high school distance records, donated $7,500 to the charity that sponsored the race. Another great sign for the resurrection of American distance running!

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The Rifles - No Love Lost

I can't begin to understand why the debut CD by The Rifles still hasn't been picked up by an American label. After hearing three or four of the London group's singles last fall I got around to ordering the full length CD on Amazon and it's well worth the import price. "No Love Lost" is probably the best Britpop album since Oasis' first two records back in 1994/1995. If you're a fan of The Jam and the Clash c. "London Calling," you'll eat this up. Songs like "Local Boy," "She's Got Standards," "Hometown Blues" and "When I'm Alone" are as good as the genre gets. Clocking in at a brisk 36 minutes, you'll want to play this two or three times in a row. This CD has been living in my car.

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Training Update: April 30 - May 13

Nothing too eventful really, just two solid weeks of moderate mileage, including some good quick long runs and a couple of quality long interval sessions with short rest breaks. Last two weeks have been 46 and 47 miles. Felt a little stale the week after the 10 mile race, but I'm feeling pretty good right now. Two weeks to go to until my next race, The Eagle Run 5 miler. Supposed to be a fast course and it's USATF-certified as well. Just got a new pair of trainers, the Nike Zoom Elite 3 and based on today's first workout in them, I like them better than the previous two models. Very lightweight but enough cushion for everyday use.

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Race Report: Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler

This was my first race longer than a 10K as a masters runner so I was a bit nervous about what to expect. Also, I had some pretty rough training in April, missing a total of 7 days this month with some quad/hip flexor issues and a really bad cold. On top of that, the last two weeks I worked a lot of overtime, but that said the race went really well.

I ran 62:05 (6:12 pace) on a tough course, which included crossing two pretty big bridges and a stretch by an airport of about 2 miles straight into a really strong headwind. The first mile was flat and I went out very conservatively in 6:26 almost treating it as an extension of my warm up. Mile 2 was a long gradual uphill crossing the Carnegie Bridge from downtown Cleveland into the Ohio City neighborhood. I hit that mile in 6:24 though the effort was much faster. As I worked my way off the bridge I got into a really nice groove, hitting 25:00 at 4 miles. Soon after that we crossed another smaller bridge back into downtown. The 5 mile mark was right near Cleveland Browns Stadium and I hit that in 30:55 feeling very strong. There was a pretty nice tailwind for the next 1.5 miles as we headed by Burke Airport but man, the wind was rough coming back. After rolling off a string of miles in the high 5:50's/low 6:00's I hit mile 7-8 in something like 6:40! That said I was gaining on people who were ahead of me so I knew they were hurting just as much or more. I was never passed in the race after the first few miles so I was really pleased with my pacing. Once we got out of the headwind, I was able to regroup a bit and catch a second wind and finished pretty strong. I was 11th overall and 1st in 40-44.

I was really happy with my time and the fact that I ran pretty even 30:55/31:10. I think without the headwind from miles 6.5-8.5 I might have run about 20-25 seconds faster but I really can't complain. Next up is a 5 miler on May 26th where I hope to get as close as possible to breaking 29:00. Feeling motivated and back on track!

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New Balance Joy Division Trainers

No, this isn't a hoax! A British designer actually sculpted a limited edition shoe for New Balance as a tribute to the legendary late '70s UK post-punk band Joy Division. Apparently they are on sale in a few UK stores. For those who might not know the story, lead singer Ian Curtis hung himself in 1980 and the rest of the band went on to form the slightly more cheery New Order. The first shoe to celebrate the 'Runner's Low'? Maybe a Happy Mondays '24 Hour Party People' model would have been a tad more appropriate.

Anyway, more links can be found on Gawker.com

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Training Report: April 1 - April 22

Well, the last three weeks, since my 5K race on March 31, have been pretty up and down as I've been fighting off a nagging quad/hip flexor injury, which caused me to take five days off in the first two weeks of the month, and then this past week I got a bad cold and took two more days off. I feel like I'm more or less back on track now as I did a decent 12.5 mile run yesterday and right before I got my cold I did a pretty good 4 x mile session. My next race is a 10 miler on April 28. My expectations aren't as high as they were as my mileage the last three weeks has been pretty low. First week of the monthwas under 30, and the past two just under 40. Hopefully the solid mileage base I put in from January through March has kept me from losing too much race fitness. Anyway, my key race this spring is a 5 miler on May 26th so I have plenty of time to get ready for that.

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Death of the music industry

Great editorial in the NY Times op-ed section by two guys, Tony Sachs and Sal Nunziato, who used to own an independent record store in NYC.

Spinning Into Oblivion

Here's part of the piece if you're too lazy to read the whole thing:

In the late ’90s, our business, and the music retail business in general, was booming. Enter Napster, the granddaddy of illegal download sites. How did the major record labels react? By continuing their campaign to eliminate the comparatively unprofitable CD single, raising list prices on album-length CDs to $18 or $19 and promoting artists like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears — whose strength was single songs, not albums. The result was a lot of unhappy customers, who blamed retailers like us for the dearth of singles and the high prices.

The recording industry association saw the threat that illegal downloads would pose to CD sales. But rather than working with Napster, it tried to sue the company out of existence — which was like thinking you’ve killed all the roaches in your apartment because you squashed the one you saw in the kitchen. More illegal download sites cropped up faster than the association’s lawyers could say “cease and desist.”

By 2002, it was clear that downloading was affecting music retail stores like ours. Our regulars weren’t coming in as often, and when they did, they weren’t buying as much. Our impulse-buy weekend customers were staying away altogether. And it wasn’t just the independent stores; even big chains like Tower and Musicland were struggling.

Something had to be done to save the record store, a place where hard-core music fans worked, shopped and kibitzed — and, not incidentally, kept the music business’s engine chugging in good times and in lean. Who but these loyalists was going to buy the umpteenth Elton John hits compilation that the major labels were foisting upon them?

But instead, those labels delivered the death blow to the record store as we know it by getting in bed with soulless chain stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. These “big boxes” were given exclusive tracks to put on new CDs and, to add insult to injury, they could sell them for less than our wholesale cost. They didn’t care if they didn’t make any money on CD sales. Because, ideally, the person who came in to get the new Eagles release with exclusive bonus material would also decide to pick up a high-speed blender that frappĂ©ed.

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Family Guy - Cheetah On Crack


Family Guy is pretty hit or miss but this is freakin' hysterical!

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Training Report: March 26-April 1

Nothing too eventful with my training this week. 44 miles with one day off, a light interval workout and a 5K race in Akron called the Canal Park Challenge (see photo with pained expression to your left). I ran a really solid race on what was probably a slightly long course. My splits all seemed to make sense, but if those mile markers were accurate, then the finish line was probably about 100 meters further from the 3 mile marker than it should have been. Anyway, my splits were 5:32, 11:08 (5:36), and 16:52 (5:44). Normally it takes me about 37 seconds to get from mile 3 to the finish line but today it took 63 seconds so either the mile markers were all wrong or the finish line was off. I'd like to think the latter as the early pace felt about the same as the pace I ran my 7 x 800 @ 5:32 pace the other week.

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CD86: 48 Tracks From The Birth of Indie Pop

Great compilations like this one remind me how easy it is to be jaded about rock 'n' roll in the very mediocre thus far 21st Century. Some twenty years ago there was a thriving indie pop scene in the UK and CD86 captures it as perfectly as the Nuggets comps did for 60s garage rock. Before becoming the name of an entire movement, C86 was just the name of a free cassette tape, featuring up and coming UK indie pop bands, that came with a Spring 1986 issue of NME. Soon after, however, the name C86 would define a certain genre, namely lo-fi melodic bands who were inspired to various degrees by the likes of ‘60s garage rock, classic girl groups like the Shangri La’s, and ‘70s punk/pop. Some twenty years later, St. Etienne member and renowned UK scribe Bob Stanley has compiled an extensive two-CD 48-track compilation of that era with excellent liner notes that perfectly capture the times for those of us old enough to remember it first hand. For British music fans, this collection is as much of a godsend as the Nuggets compilations are to garage rock aficionados. Pretty much everything on here is breathtaking. Not surprisingly the early Creation Records bands play a prominent role, with contributions from the likes of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, The Pastels, The June Brides, Bodines, The Loft, Revolving Paint Dream, Jasmine Minks, and the all-too-obscure Meat Whiplash, who’s “Don’t Slip Up” nearly beat the JAMC at their own game. This is only the tip of the iceberg though with other high points including The Servants’ “The Sun A Small Star,” the earliest and most invigorating material by The Wedding Present, Mighty Lemon Drops, The Primitves, and The Soup Dragons (back when they wanted to be The Buzzcocks), and other long forgotten but amazing bands like 14 Iced Bears, Shop Assistants, Sea Urchins and The Wolfhounds.

(www.sanctuaryrecords.co.uk)

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