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Resurrecting Chicago

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Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:56 pm



Why did I choose 'Resurrecting Chicago' as the title? In my prior blog, I listed 3 reasons I wanted to run Chicago:

1) Wanting to run in a major race to experience it,

2) It would be a great chance to put real people behind the names of quite a few of the characters with which I’ve been interacting on these boards, something I’ve enjoyed immensely when the opportunity has presented itself, and

3) Chicago can be fast if weather cooperates, so get a new PR (Now, Eliza arranged for ideal hometown weather in Eugene – I’m counting on Mr. and Mrs. Schuey to do the same in Chicago J.)

Little did I realize that 2) was really key to the selection. When traffic went to almost zero on the other board, I started questioning my decision to go to Chicago at all. And quite frankly, I was getting close to pulling the plug as a major part of the allure of that particular race seemed to be disappearing. But now that we are all here, it is safe to say that Chicago is now firmly on my race calendar. Thanks everyone!

So with my new PR in Eugene coming after a solid cycle of LHR training to build aerobic base, I’m going to continue on the building process. I had a big negative split in the last half and enough in the tank for a really good sprint to the finish, so that leads me to believe I probably left some on the course. But from my training runs prior, my level of improvement still had a fairly steep slope, so there’s got to be more improvement to be had for this. The problem is that I really don’t think I can run 60/70/80 mile weeks without courting injuries, so I have now worked cycling and swimming into the rotation. This gets me the aerobic workouts without the impact and allows me to add 7 or 8 hours of base building a week. To round it off, I’m doing a 1 hour Pilates workout with a trainer 2x per week to work on core, hips and flexibility primarily. It was clear after the first few sessions that there was a LOT of room for improvement in those areas!

So how’s it been going? Well, in a classic case of enthusiasm over intelligence, I pushed too hard in recovery and irritated my right ITB, so have been training on the elliptical for a couple of weeks. Based on Wendy’s firm guidance, have been going in for Graston on the ITB. Seems to be doing a lot of good and I lucked into a really talented guy who does Chiro/Graston/ART/Kenesio Taping and LOVES treating athletes. Ran for the first time yesterday (4 miles only) and things seem pretty much on track for running now. I hadn’t biked for 20 years or swum for 36 years, so am relearning everything there, but loving the process. Longest ride to date has been 40 miles with most in the 20-27 mile range and in terms of swimming, I’m doing the zero to a mile in 6 weeks and that is going well in week 3 (biggest challenge is finding lap time in the pool that is not too crowded).

So the training plan is running 4x per week (as in the Eugene cycle), swimming 1 mile 3x, Biking 25-30 miles 2-3x. Easy runs will be 90 minutes @ LHR, mid-week 90 minutes with an increasing portion at MP starting in week 7, and (hopefully) 3x 20 milers on the long run calendar. It seems like a solid path to a) build the aerobic base and b) for the first time start working in some speedwork in my training runs. I’ve been able to check off all the boxes on my training calendar thus far, but I’ll have to assess this as time goes by and adjust accordingly.

There’s a lot more detail here. Is a BQ in Chicago the right goal? Probably too early to tell. It sounds like a really big jump looking at the numbers, but I would have never predicted the result – or the race I ran – in Eugene. Time and training will tell. But now, Chicago is back on track!

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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Schuey on Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:08 pm

Tom glad to see you found your way here and that you started a blog up!! I really have enjoyed getting to know you and look so forward to following your Chicago training cycle! Not only can't wait to get the chance to meet you this fall in my hometown!

As for the BQ in Chicago, I have no doubt that you will have a kick ass training cycle. If we have good weather here in Chicago on Oct 9th, I believe you can do it. This course truly lends itself to running fast times on good days. My first BQ came here in Chicago in 2006, not ideally weather either, it wasn't hot but it sure was cold and windy. They actually had snow in the forecast.

The tough thing of Chicago is the second half of the course. Yes is still flat but once we leave the city you are really exposed to the elements of the day, especially the wind! And there are parts were the crowd support gets a little thin but the weather more the wind and sun are the big players at that point.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Jerry on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:14 pm

Love Chicago. The only problem is training through Texas summer. If you like swim, maybe swim more to avoid burnout, though SF is probably cooler than TX.

I meant to ask you and Mark, how is Eugene course? I can see some hills from the course profile.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Kenny B. on Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:23 pm

1) Wanting to run in a major race to experience it. Great reason although MCM is my largest race and not sure how major that was!

2) It would be a great chance to put real people behind the names of quite a few of the characters with which I’ve been interacting on these boards, something I’ve enjoyed immensely when the opportunity has presented itself? I agree, I have met some but Chicago seems to host the most!

3) Chicago can be fast if weather cooperates, so get a new PR (Now, Eliza arranged for ideal hometown weather in Eugene – I’m counting on Mr. and Mrs. Schuey to do the same in Chicago J.) Oh but does it every cooperate? Still a good choice it is in Oct so one would think so.


The problem is that I really don’t think I can run 60/70/80 mile weeks without courting injuries, so I have now worked cycling and swimming into the rotation. Seems you know what your able to do. And you'll probably be in better shape cause of it.

So how’s it been going? Well, in a classic case of enthusiasm over intelligence, I pushed too hard in recovery and irritated my right ITB, so have been training on the elliptical for a couple of weeks. Based on Wendy’s firm guidance, have been going in for Graston on the ITB. Seems to be doing a lot of good and I lucked into a really talented guy who does Chiro/Graston/ART/Kenesio Taping and LOVES treating athletes. Big Fan of ART GRaston etc for almost anything especially ITB.

So the training plan is running 4x per week (as in the Eugene cycle), swimming 1 mile 3x, Biking 25-30 miles 2-3x. Easy runs will be 90 minutes @ LHR, mid-week 90 minutes with an increasing portion at MP starting in week 7, and (hopefully) 3x 20 milers on the long run calendar. It seems like a solid path to a) build the aerobic base and b) for the first time start working in some speedwork in my training runs. I’ve been able to check off all the boxes on my training calendar thus far, but I’ll have to assess this as time goes by and adjust accordingly.

Someone's got a plan. Time to execute!

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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:00 am

Well Schuey, I'm counting on you and the missus to ensure absolutely stunning race weather. Please let me place my order now - 40 at the start, 52 at the finish, a gentle 3 mph breeze at the back the whole race. Make it 5 mph and there's a nice tip in it for you Very Happy

Jerry, Eugene is a great course. There are some minor, fairly short hills in the beginning, but for most of the race it is very flat (note: my other two marathons have been hilly - Big Sur and Anchorage, so perhaps Mark can give you a more balanced read on the hills). Much of the back course is on a riverside bike trail, so you have a number of dips where you go under roads, but that's about it. And you see the weather forecast I requested above, that's what we had in Eugene (well, maybe not the wind at the back in all directions . . .).

Kenny, I may not know my limitations yet, but I seem to have no problem finding ways to exceed them to my detriment. Quite frankly, I'm kind of feeling around for the right mix, but this combination seems to feel right. And this Graston stuff is truely incredible. I've run the past two days now, albeit slowly, with no issue at all in the ITB. I love the fact that the guy is one who explains everything and lets you participate in the treatment. I'm learning more about my body, and that can only lead to good things.

So training this week will be a total of 2.2 miles swimming, 75 cycling, and 20 miles ellipitical/running. Works out to about 10 hours of LHR training with only a paltry 1.25 hours with any impact. That's going to change as running mileage ramps up again, but I like the looks of the additional aerobic benefits I'll be accruing with the non-impact stuff.

Also had my first two Pilates sessions this week. Man, have I been ignoring my core. No wonder I have some of the issues I do, I've got no strength there right now. Actually, the first day wasn't too bad, but the next morning, ugh. Then the second session - my abs and upper body wasted no time in reminding me that I had ignored them for far too long and that payback was going to be a bitch. My trainer used to be a gymnast for the Bulgarian national team and when I told her I needed to work on flexibity as well, I swear she started rubbing her hands together and cackling with glee. Oh yeah, the first few weeks of this are going to be fun.

One final note. Since this forum got going my level of enthusiasm for all the training has gone through the roof. And from trying to keep up with ALL the posts going on, it seems like I'm not alone. Although it has been said hundreds of times already, THANK YOU Matt and Dave-O for getting this going and keeping our running family together.
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SQUIRREL!!!!

Post  Tom H on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:23 pm

So on yesterday's run I stepped on a squirrel. Not roadkill, a very active squirrel. I was minding my own business running along the trail and this rodent on crack shot out from under the brush right to under my foot. I don't know if he (or she, I didn't stop to check) was as shocked as I was, but if my foot coming down on its back didn't wake it up, probably my WTF exclamation did the job. Just so happened a biker was right there and I think he may have peed his bike shorts laughing about the whole thing.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  mul21 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:27 pm

@Tom H wrote:So on yesterday's run I stepped on a squirrel. Not roadkill, a very active squirrel. I was minding my own business running along the trail and this rodent on crack shot out from under the brush right to under my foot. I don't know if he (or she, I didn't stop to check) was as shocked as I was, but if my foot coming down on its back didn't wake it up, probably my WTF exclamation did the job. Just so happened a biker was right there and I think he may have peed his bike shorts laughing about the whole thing.

Haha! I don't know what's up with the wild life lately, but I've run by 2 deer in the last week that just stood there and looked at me as I ran within about 3 feet of them. They were both just hanging out on the side of the trail chewing on a tree and barely moved a muscle.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Schuey on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:22 pm

@Tom H wrote:So on yesterday's run I stepped on a squirrel. Not roadkill, a very active squirrel. I was minding my own business running along the trail and this rodent on crack shot out from under the brush right to under my foot. I don't know if he (or she, I didn't stop to check) was as shocked as I was, but if my foot coming down on its back didn't wake it up, probably my WTF exclamation did the job. Just so happened a biker was right there and I think he may have peed his bike shorts laughing about the whole thing.

Tom I can't stop lol! lol! lol! lol! lol!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:23 pm

@Tom H wrote:So on yesterday's run I stepped on a squirrel. Not roadkill, a very active squirrel. I was minding my own business running along the trail and this rodent on crack shot out from under the brush right to under my foot. I don't know if he (or she, I didn't stop to check) was as shocked as I was, but if my foot coming down on its back didn't wake it up, probably my WTF exclamation did the job. Just so happened a biker was right there and I think he may have peed his bike shorts laughing about the whole thing.

AHAHAHA! Seriously one of the funniest posts I've read! I could just picture the scenario step by step (no pun intended) as you were describing the situation. Great stuff Tom! I would've died..I hate squirrels...they're sneaky and quicker than me! Hahaha!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Paula Sue on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:38 pm

@Tom H wrote:So on yesterday's run I stepped on a squirrel. Not roadkill, a very active squirrel. I was minding my own business running along the trail and this rodent on crack shot out from under the brush right to under my foot. I don't know if he (or she, I didn't stop to check) was as shocked as I was, but if my foot coming down on its back didn't wake it up, probably my WTF exclamation did the job. Just so happened a biker was right there and I think he may have peed his bike shorts laughing about the whole thing.
OMG, thanks for making my day! You must be one hot, fast dude to catch a squirrel during a run. My new goal...thanks, Tom lol!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Natalie on Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:44 pm

One of these days, I'll have to run Chicago again. It was my first marathon in 2005, before I even knew the V-Team existed.

That's crazy about the squirrel! I wonder what could have distracted it so much that it didn't see, hear, feel, you coming down the trail! Maybe it was deaf...
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:57 pm

Natalie Wolf wrote:One of these days, I'll have to run Chicago again. It was my first marathon in 2005, before I even knew the V-Team existed.

That's crazy about the squirrel! I wonder what could have distracted it so much that it didn't see, hear, feel, you coming down the trail! Maybe it was deaf...

Poor squirrel if it was deaf SadSad

You should come run Chicago! It be great having you here!!!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mark B on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:14 pm

Wow, Tom! I guess we ought to start calling you Squirrel Stomper from now on!

The closest I ever came to that was just about tripping over two squirrels who seemed to be, er, um, "cavorting" on and off the bike path.

I think you're on the right track in preparing for Chicago. The cross-training will do a lot to help you get even more fit while reducing the chance of injury. Though I have visions of you and Wendy, wielding butter knives, backing people into a corner to show them just how well Graston works. Eek! affraid

(Jerry: There are only a couple of hills in Eugene. You need to take them into account when you're training, but they don't have to be big obstacles. Eugene can be a pretty fast course, and it's a very pretty one, too. Go for it!)
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Kenny B. on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:15 pm

Sounds like core work wilk be fun. In time you will be a machine. Approval
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mrs. Schuey on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:23 pm

@Mark B wrote:! I guess we ought to start calling you Squirrel Stomper from now on!

I think we have a new nickname for Tom! Good thinking, Mark! Love it Approval
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:11 pm

@Mrs. Schuey wrote:
@Mark B wrote:! I guess we ought to start calling you Squirrel Stomper from now on!

I think we have a new nickname for Tom! Good thinking, Mark! Love it

TOM VERSUS THE SQUIRREL. I see Youtube potential in this one . . . And Mark, the butterknife scenerio you present has a certain attraction to it. Yesssssss.

Did I mention that when I got home my dogs, who HATE squirrels, after furiously sniffing my shoe, looked at me with new respect? Or maybe it was loathing that I finally caught one of those pesky varmints they've been chasing for years. Tom 1, Dogs 0.

Now, it's off to the grocery store. I've got to bake 2 pies and a mess of mac and cheese for my daughter's baby shower tomorrow. Grandpa in the kitchen, now there's a scary thought. Hmmmm, I wonder how squirrel would taste in Mac and Cheese?
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:55 pm

Well, the squirrel didn't make it into the Mac and Cheese, but the baby shower was a grand success. Katie is getting close, only 6 weeks to go, and I'll officially be Grandpa. One of her friends brought her 3-month old which I glommed on to, getting in some refresher time in holding, patting, bouncing, etc. of young babies. After all, it has been 21 years since we last had a newborn in this household!

On to training. Got to the pool at 8 am when they opened and swam a mile today. Workout consisted of 600, 400, 4x100, 5x50. This represents the first time I've ever swum a mile in a workout, and considering I just started swimming 3 weeks ago after a 36 year hiatus, I must admit to feeling pretty good about it! Then late today, hit the road for a 90 minute LHR run. Turned out to be 9.7 miles @ 9:18 which I'm actually pretty satisfied with. I haven't been able to do a 90 minute run for 4 weeks, and the effort today and the average pace was actually slightly better than what I was doing at that time.

The only fly in the ointment wasn't actually a fly, it was gnats. Since I was running as the sun was setting, the gnats started swarming. There were about a dozen times when I run right into the swarm and had to shut my mouth and eyes to get through. And since it was about 85 degrees, I had plenty of sweat flowing. So when I got home and went in to take my shower, I looked in the mirror and I was covered with black specks which were the corpses of the unfortunate gnats with whom I collided. That'll teach 'em to get out of my way.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Mark B on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:38 am

@Tom H wrote:Well, the squirrel didn't make it into the Mac and Cheese, but the baby shower was a grand success. Katie is getting close, only 6 weeks to go, and I'll officially be Grandpa. One of her friends brought her 3-month old which I glommed on to, getting in some refresher time in holding, patting, bouncing, etc. of young babies. After all, it has been 21 years since we last had a newborn in this household!

On to training. Got to the pool at 8 am when they opened and swam a mile today. Workout consisted of 600, 400, 4x100, 5x50. This represents the first time I've ever swum a mile in a workout, and considering I just started swimming 3 weeks ago after a 36 year hiatus, I must admit to feeling pretty good about it! Then late today, hit the road for a 90 minute LHR run. Turned out to be 9.7 miles @ 9:18 which I'm actually pretty satisfied with. I haven't been able to do a 90 minute run for 4 weeks, and the effort today and the average pace was actually slightly better than what I was doing at that time.

The only fly in the ointment wasn't actually a fly, it was gnats. Since I was running as the sun was setting, the gnats started swarming. There were about a dozen times when I run right into the swarm and had to shut my mouth and eyes to get through. And since it was about 85 degrees, I had plenty of sweat flowing. So when I got home and went in to take my shower, I looked in the mirror and I was covered with black specks which were the corpses of the unfortunate gnats with whom I collided. That'll teach 'em to get out of my way.

Mmmm.... gnats in your teeth, squirrels in your shoes.

Nice to know that you're ready for when Katie takes her child aside and says, "You know, honey... grandpa? Well, he's a little... well... different." Very Happy
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:58 am

I don't know Mark. After the baby shower today we went over to her house where she whipped out an announcement for an inaugural half marathon in the next town over in December with the statement "I'm thinking that might be good timing for my first post pregnancy race!". Seems like the madness runs in the family. And all today's buggy experience demonstrated was that bugs in the teeth aren't just for motorcyclists any more!

As far as being different, that's just a perk of aging. I've made it a stated goal to become a curmudgeon, partially just because I think I like the title. Why, I'd even consider getting business cards made up that would have that on it . . .
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Julie on Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:50 am

I'm not kidding you, but one of my running friends squashed a squirrel during her run last summer. We still tease her about it.

congrats on the upcoming grandbaby! I know my parents love being grandparents.

Best wishes on the healing/recovering and all the cross training!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Ken Mello on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:04 am

Huh. Bugs in the teeth, and squirrels underfoot. At least it makes for interesting days! Lots of wildlife out and active around here lately too, and they dont seem to be afraid of people.

Good luck with the healing - sounds like you are doing a lot of different activities which will be great for your overall fitness!
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:39 pm

@Julie wrote:I'm not kidding you, but one of my running friends squashed a squirrel during her run last summer. We still tease her about it.

congrats on the upcoming grandbaby! I know my parents love being grandparents.

Best wishes on the healing/recovering and all the cross training!


@Ken Mello wrote:Huh. Bugs in the teeth, and squirrels underfoot. At least it makes for interesting days! Lots of wildlife out and active around here lately too, and they dont seem to be afraid of people.

Good luck with the healing - sounds like you are doing a lot of different activities which will be great for your overall fitness!

Julie and Ken, my wife and I are SO looking forward to this whole grandparent thing. I have friends and colleagues who say, "Doesn't it make you feel old to be a Grandpa? Are you going to let them call you Grandpa?" to which I reply "Nope, I'm happy to be so active when I am a grandpa and you bet your ass I'm going to insist they call me Grandpa - I've earned it! Wanna go run 20 miles with this old fart?" I actually think it is a contest of who is more excited, us or the parents-to-be. Well, not really as they are over the moon about this, but we aren't far behind!

This seems to be the training cycle of experimentation or changes in course or philosophy. There are quite a few of us who are now running wild (trails), I seem to see the words 'bike' and 'swim' showing up more, etc. For me the question, I know, will be when it is too much, but so far, so good!

So, a long intro to get to today's simple workout . . . If you recall from an earlier episode, I've been riding my 1990 Nishiki hybrid bike that weighs 37 lbs. I joked that it not only provided the aerobic benefit, but also allowed me to do my weight training while riding. Well, it turns out that the pedals on that bike (regular platform pedals with straps) encouraged me to stress my achilles tendon on the right side, so I decided it was time to make a change to clip-in pedals and cycling shoes as the cycling shoes have a rigid sole that will prevent the stress. My wife said my kids needed ideas for Father's day and Bday gifts for me, so I said, "Pedals and shoes". She said, "Hmmmm, I was kind of thinking along the lines of a new bike." to which I said Very Happy with an internal bounce . I may have done a happy dance.

So it was off to the bike store to look at new bikes, and they had some nice ones to be sure. So I got their recommendations and asked a cycling friend of mine his advice. He said they were all very good bikes but all had entry level components that I would likely upgrade in the not too distant future. But then came the kicker as he told me that he had an all carbon Trek 5200 with top of the line components he was going to sell as he had upgraded bikes. So I picked up the bike from him to evaluate, visited the bike store(s) to get the new shoes and other supplies I needed and today took the bike out for a training ride. To say that there was a significant difference would be more than a slight understatement. Wow. So that brings us to today's workout ride of 25 miles to and through the wetlands and up and over the Dumbarton bridge and back in 92 degree weather. I don't have comparable data on my old bike as I'd never done this exact ride before, but in the crossover areas I could tell that my cycling efficiencies were much higher. Got home from the ride, changed and went to see my Pilates trainer for a 1-hour session of abuse (1 arm push ups, really?). So I feel like I really got a full body workout today.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Schuey on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:09 am

@Tom H wrote:

This seems to be the training cycle of experimentation or changes in course or philosophy. There are quite a few of us who are now running wild (trails), I seem to see the words 'bike' and 'swim' showing up more, etc. For me the question, I know, will be when it is too much, but so far, so good!

There is nothing wrong with that Tom, it's always good to mix-up or change your training plan to work for you. I feel that we all need to be open to doing or trying new things to see were they will take us an what type of improvements we can gain from them. I've always felt the important thing is that my training should be fun and fresh. Once it becomes boring and not fun will I know I'm doing something wrong.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Tom H on Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:27 am

Well said, Schuey. It seems that a number of us are following that philosophy for a broad spectrum of reasons. For me, it has added a lot more variety and fun to the training, which I am revelling in to be sure. I can already feel different parts of the body getting stronger and find myself looking forward to the days efforts. I actually feel a freedom to mix up the schedule a bit on any given day depending on how I'm feeling - and that is neat. Assuming I can stay off the overtraining train, I have a really good feeling about this roadmap.
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

Post  Jerry on Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:14 am

Does Eugene marathon sell out?
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Re: Resurrecting Chicago

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