Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mixing it Up

It's been a while since I posted here.  I meant to about a week and a half ago, but I ran out of time before heading to California for a week.

Anyhow, since I was going to California and would miss two group trainings, and since I had Friday July 19 off, and since I did not want to take the time to go for a long hike somewhere that day, I did 8 miles of training early that morning by myself.  And for the first time over a year, I added some running to the mix: 1 minute running and 4 minutes walking.  The last two miles, I only walked.  My knee, which hurts some normally now, didn't feel any worse.  So, I am going to keep trying that - unless it does begin hurting more.  I don't want to push things by running a lot, but I think I can do enough limited running to stay under three hours for the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon.  I really would like to do that.

While returning from California in a long layover in Dallas, two people saw me in my purple shirt and called out "Go Team!"  One of them has done multiple cycle events, and the other has done one event - the Anchorage Marathon in 2003 (two years before me - still one of the great experiences of my life!)  I thought to thank the second guy, as a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor, and his reply was, "Well, thank you!  My son is a leukemia survivor!"

My training two Friday's ago was on a very warm and muggy morning at Deep Run Park.  I snapped a couple of photos while I was there.

I am looking forward to training with my team this coming Saturday.  The plantar wart on my left foot - why the hell is it always my left side? - is hurting more and I am going to a podiatrist this morning.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Social Security, or a Half Marathon?

Here is my fourth campaign update, as I slowly approach the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon for Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Hello from Art’s Cancer Kickin’ Campaign, with update number 4!

It occurred to me that, with another year clicking over on my life's odometer this week , I will be old enough to start collecting Social Security. But will I do that? Nope - instead, here I am training for another half-marathon. It will be my fourth half-marathon in a row, after three full marathons. So, does doing half marathons (13.1 miles) instead of full marathons (26.2 miles) mean, like many other old-timers, that I am slowing down?

We'll debate that later, but let's take care of first things first, which means thanking the many generous donors who have contributed to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on behalf of my efforts with Team in Training in the Crawlin’ Crab Half-Marathon this coming October. If you want to make a donation, read about what I am doing, or see my list of honorees, the place to start is my TNT web site:


If you want to donate, but don’t wish to use the secure on-line donation, simply contact me about how to get LLS a check for your donation.

On the fundraising front, I have attained 38% of my goal with about 12 weeks left to go. Will my hair be purple on the day of the race, October 6? It will be if you all get me to my fundraising goal!

Now, about that aging topic. Well, it's true - I don't feel quite as spry as I did when I walked that first marathon eight years ago. 26.2 miles, or even 13.1 miles, is a long way to go on foot. Since that rainy day in 2005 when I became a marathoner in Anchorage, Alaska, I've had a lot of adventures on the race course. Along the way, I became a runner, or maybe a "wunner" is a better way to put it, because I have interspersed walking with my running in every race I have ever done over 5K. (I don't know if wunner is a real word, unless Elmer Fudd uses it, as in: "Stand still, you wascally wunner!")

The tricky thing about running, at least for me, is it seems to have caused left knee pain for a good long while since I was training for the 2012 Shamrock Half Marathon. And therefore, I have gone back to being a walker, at least for now, instead of staying as a runner, er, wunner. That is how I have been training for this upcoming race - lots of fast walking. This past Saturday, we walked for 8 miles, so I am getting the miles in on my feet. The knee still bothers me, but not as much as when running.

So, when I was running, what is it like as an old guy trying to keep up with all these young people I tend to train with? Well, I'll share a tongue-in-cheek tale of the difficulties that this can cause:


Old guy or not, Social Security or not, slow or not, sore knee or not, I am going to just keep putting one foot in front of the other - repeating as necessary - for as long as I can! In the last year, that has amounted to more than 5 million steps, or about 14,000 steps a day on average! And that is a good thing, because as we age, we really need to stay active, or I believe we will rust in place. And while staying active, if I can raise some money that will help put incurable cancer in its proper place - the dark dust bin of history - that would be a very good thing indeed.

That’s all from my campaign at this time. Thanks again for your interest and your support, as we try to steam Cancer the Crab once and for all!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Training Around North Richmond

On Saturday, my training consisted of eight miles, the longest distance to date in our season. It was a pretty nice day for training, with cloud cover and reasonable morning temperatures. Starting at 6:30 helped a good bit. Our route was a circuit hike through North Richmond. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will put a few out there to give you a flavor of where I walked today. With the race less than three months away, I still have much to do, especially if my knee can feel better enough to run part of it.

This is our famous war horse, a statue of an exhausted and starving horse at the Virginia Historical Society, that commemorates the 1.5 million horses and mules that perished during the Civil War.
Confederate General Ambrose Powell Hill looks out over Hermitage Avenue.
 I thought that this crepe myrtle bush was lovely.
 Union Presbyterian Seminary is prominent along Brook Road.
 We, the "Purple People" of Team in Training, are always looking for purple objects along our routes.
 Emily and Terri give a spirited "Go Team" about a mile from our finish.
 I liked this little lion on the front stoop.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Muggy Training

Yesterday was the point at which the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon is exactly three months away.  I am still not running but my walking feels strong.  We walked seven miles, or just over half the race distance, on a warm and muggy day.  Everyone was drenched in sweat after a mile or less.  Walking in the shade when that was possible felt pretty good, but walking out in the sun was scorching.

Like a few weeks ago, we did the route that crosses over the Nickel Bridge again, but this time went another mile each way.  It is a very pleasant walk, and we saw lots of runners who are training on the Richmond Marathon Training Team.  I always like seeing other active people out working hard and having fun.  Their numbers dwarfed our little team of about 15 people.

Along the way, we passed through nice neighborhoods and many nice homes and yards, but I particularly liked this home's gardening:

My latest malady involving feet and legs is a plantar's wart on the ball of my left foot.  I've had it for a while, but I thought the pain was just something to do with my surgical site of 2.5 years ago.  But as it got more consistent and pronounced, I realized last week what it was.  I am treating it with an over the counter acid patch.  It is a little uncomfortable but not affecting my walking much.

Next week, we will start training at 6:30 for the rest of July and for August.  It is early on a Saturday morning, but we want to finish as early as possible to beat the heat.