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Dissertating And Running

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Dissertating And Running

Post  Michael Mitchell on Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:33 am

New blog. My old blog is way old. This year, I am not sure there will be any races. I have to finish my dissertation in history at the University of South Africa-Pretoria by December 2013. My only goals, at this time, is to maintain. 7:30 pace for 7 miles is the bottom goal. If we get to 7 minute pace, cool. The weekly mileage will be from 35-42 miles a week. With me teaching three courses a year, dissertating, running a library and running a grant, I just cannot train. With one hour a day to run, well the options are limited. Today, at 2:45 pm, 7 miles at the YMCA. Sunday, 52:50 for 7 miles with a mile warm up. I have 8 miles this week. Actually 10 miles, I did 2 miles this morning in 20 minutes.
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:09 pm

So, are you marching to Pretoria, then? And is dissertating really a word? Just kidding you, Michael - I get where you are coming from - just keep up the running as you can as we all know it is great for mental health.
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Pretoria

Post  Michael Mitchell on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:28 pm

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:So, are you marching to Pretoria, then? And is dissertating really a word? Just kidding you, Michael - I get where you are coming from - just keep up the running as you can as we all know it is great for mental health.



I want to, but...the wife says she is not sticking a 5 year old ( I would not walk until June 2014, he would be 5 then) on a floating tube for 17 hours. So, probably not. At least I will be done. I do love the word dissertating, but I love the word finished better. Yep, I am semi retired, like Alberto Salazar ( well he coaches...some athletes we may have heard of...LOL), just doing 40 miles a week at a 7:30 pace to keep up the heatlh. It works for me at this time.
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:13 pm

So, how does a doctoral student in Houston end up hooked up with a university in South Africa?

Oh, yes. And the running thing? Just keep at it. Think of it as building a really deep base. Be opportunistic when a convenient shorter-distance run pops up, just to keep it from getting boring. You can make this work.

But really... Pretoria? How? Why? There's a great story here, so please share!
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History

Post  Michael Mitchell on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:37 pm

UNISA huh? Ok, the short version. I was at UH. I was not liking it. I applied to UNISA on a whim that they MIGHT take me. That was in 2007. In 2009, they accepted me. Not that I hate classwork, but I got so tired of the politics. It was bad. At UNISA, I am totally on my own. I have a chair and committee, but it is all on my own. That is what makes this degree special ( to me). You have to have the want to do it. You have to set the deadlines. You have to work out the details. It is a totally European ( UK) style of grad school. It was an extension of Oxford back in the late 1800's. The tuition is nice (1800 a year). So, I am happy.
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Fun...I think

Post  Michael Mitchell on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:28 am

Run was ok. Not great, but got it done. Very nice and cool though. 53:12 and done. I ran 2 miles this morning in 20 minutes ( first 5 minutes are walking then I gradually move from 12 minute pace to 8 minute pace by the 10 minute mark). I will run 7 miles at the YMCA at 2 pm or my house at 4:30 pm. Right now, it is looking like YMCA. I have 19 miles this week.
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:05 am

Hmm, I see your wife's point, but a trip to SA, no matter your age or the fact that the flight is long is worth it IMHO. But that is me, and my daughter was a good flyer even as a young child (we only went to Europe twice when she was 5 or under, but it is still a pretty long way from Atlanta - not SA long, but still long). Sounds like an interesting path, Michael.
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Flying

Post  Michael Mitchell on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:56 am

Yeah, he did well to Honduras ( my wife's people are from there, she was born and raised in New Orleans..) this past summer. Loved the flight. That was only 3 hours. She is worried that he will be really agitated for a really long flight. Also, the money aspect. We live off of my salary right now as her practice is still in its infancy, so...
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Update

Post  Michael Mitchell on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:12 pm

Well, 2 pm comes and goes. I was waiting for a potential new hire to come in today, but I have had no phone call. In deference to the party, I will move my run to 4:45 pm at the house watching the Houston Marathon. Still thinking 7:36 pace for the first two miles and 7:30 pace for the last five. That is what I am thinking as of now......
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:15 pm

Good runs! And thanks for sharing the story. That's quite a path you're on. Very cool.

I can see your wife's point. Seventeen hours is a long time for a 5-year-old to be cooped up. Depends on the 5-year-old's temperament, of course, as well as the budget.
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Yep

Post  Michael Mitchell on Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:22 am

Mark B wrote:Good runs! And thanks for sharing the story. That's quite a path you're on. Very cool.

I can see your wife's point. Seventeen hours is a long time for a 5-year-old to be cooped up. Depends on the 5-year-old's temperament, of course, as well as the budget.



It is ok. I have been fighting this for long, I figure when I get the sheepskin, I will be happy. Smile
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Long Train Runnin'

Post  Michael Mitchell on Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:25 am

Not too bad. I am happy. First 1.25 miles, 7:36 pace and the next 5.75 at 7:30 pace for a 52:30 for 7 miles. Happy. Not even strained that much. Ran to the Houston Marathon. Man, I knew it was ugly out there ( I saw it out my window), but danged the conditions were brutal. I ran 2 miles in 20 minutes this morning and since I have a ton to do today, my run (7 miles) will be at the house around 5:15 to 5:30 pm. Oh well. Also, teleconference with my dissertation chair tonight as well. Fun. I have 28 miles this week.
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Later And Later

Post  Michael Mitchell on Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:43 pm

No run yesterday evening. Got home at 6:30 pm. Had to work late. Run today at YMCA with the wife. 52:30 to 53:12 will be the range. Will report later.
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YMCA Madness

Post  Michael Mitchell on Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:20 pm

Oh yeah. Just fun. Lol. 52:42 for 7 miles. I had struggle to adjust for i had not run there in a month. Today, 52:42 for 7 miles to give me 42 miles for the week. Ru should start at 4 pm, but 5 pm might happen too.
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Mark B on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:31 pm

So many questions!

I take it the Y has an indoor track, right? How long is it, and how do the turns affect your running? I think I'd feel like a NASCAR driver and start wanting to bump people out of my way after a while. Oh wait. That's not stock car racing. That's roller derby. Very Happy

And this history dissertation: What's your topic?
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Answers

Post  Michael Mitchell on Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:11 pm

Let me try to answer your questions...



So many questions!

I
take it the Y has an indoor track, right? How long is it, and how do
the turns affect your running? I think I'd feel like a NASCAR driver and
start wanting to bump people out of my way after a while. Oh wait.
That's not stock car racing. That's roller derby. Very Happy

Oh God no. This is the Cossaboom Branch. We are lucky to have an air conditioner that cools during the Summer. It is horrid. The gym is in the basement. There is one television. I The duct work has holes in it. You can tell it is hard for them with little money. They are nice folks that run the place. Lori and Erica are great, but danged the facilities are just lacking. The outdoor track in outside in a parking lot by the dumpsters. No, I am not lying. 13 laps to a mile. No one uses it. No one. I have been a member for over 7 years now and I have never seen anyone use it. I use it because it is 1 mile from my work. One day we will (HCC-Southeast) will have a gym, but until then, Cossaboom. (http://www.ymca.net/y-profile/?assn=6509) Now, we are going to try the new Houston Texans YMCA Branch next Friday. I will tell you how that goes. (http://www.ymca.net/y-profile/?assn=6529&address=Houston) It is relatively new.

And this history dissertation: What's your topic? New Deal. The Federal Writers' Project. I am doing my dissertation over the Texas Federal Writers' Project.
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Mark B on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:10 pm

Gym sounds like someplace you'd find secret Shaolin monks training. Or Ninjas. Smile

The dissertation topic sounds fascinating. How'd you come to research that?
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Lake Houston YMCA

Post  Michael Mitchell on Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:04 pm

Mark, I will answer your question in detail later on. I have always loved WPA ( knew I wanted to study the WPA when I was in 8th grade) and was introduced to the FWP by an archivist in the Southern History Collection at Chapel Hill, NC. More to come. Running. The Lake Houston YMCA is amazing. Taj Mahal compared to Cossaboom. Ran a 53:12 for 7 miles only because I did not know what to expect out of the treadmills. Very cool in there, but I did sweat a bunch. The televisions on each treadmill took a while to adjust. It was very weird. Also, I had to watch the time the whole way. Normally, I have my towel over it. My wife wants to go there tomorrow morning, so I am thinking 53:12 again, just for adjustment sake. Movie date tomorrow is Silver Linings Playbook. I hope, as a rabid Cowboy fan ( it is about the Philadelphia Eagles), I can make it through. I have 8 miles this week. I had 35 miles last week.
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Silver Linings Playbook

Post  Michael Mitchell on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:41 am

Well, I thought it was good. I thought it was Oscar worthy. My wife, eh not so much. They mentioned Metallica twice and Megadeth once (they mentioned when the character's best friend said "when he felt really angry, he would listen to Metallica and Megadeth in the garage" I, however, do not listen to these groups out of anger. It is more a release for me, but whatever works. LOL). Even mentioning the top two groups in the world of rock and roll ( and thrash metal) works for me. Smile The main character mentioned the amazing LP Ride the Lightning from Metallica. So, I thought, in celebration of such an amazing album, we shall run to it. Glad I did. First mile, 8 minutes. Then, the last 6 miles at 44:30 (52:30 for 7 miles). The last three miles were at a 7:24 pace. Really nice. Felt good. Very sweaty, but good. Today will be an interesting run. Why? I have to squeeze it between 3:30 and 4:30 pm. I can do it, but I have three meetings and I have to teach a class before I get to run. After the run, I have to see my kid swim. Busy day, but doable. I am thinking between 52:30 and 53:12. Not sure. I have 15 miles this week.
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Re: Dissertating And Running

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:50 am

Thanks for the quickie movie review! And Metallica and Megadeath? That'd be tough to run to, without pausing to air guitar. Wink

Good luck fitting your run in. It takes an extra level of dedication/stubbornness/insanity to work so much running into a schedule as crammed as yours.
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Understood

Post  Michael Mitchell on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:57 am

I know. It is hard. My best friend is training for a 15K in February and a half marathong in March. He is shooting for a 6:30 pace for it. I know he can do it too. Me, I am just wanting to get back to 7 minute pace. LOL. Thursday will be another tough day to run. I have a meeting from 9 am to 3 pm. I think, and do not quote me on this, I maybe changing YMCA's. I am so tired of Cossaboom. The Houston Texans YMCA seems so much more inviting. It is 2 miles from my work as opposed to the 1.5 miles that Cossaboom is. I am just tired of the heat, 78-80 degrees during the summer. Let me see what I can do today with it and see how it feels.
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Finishing Up A Week

Post  Michael Mitchell on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:39 am

Last week was another head scratcher. Wednesday, 37:45 for I had to rush the run due to meetings. I lost Thursday due to meetings all the way to 6 pm. All the way to 6 pm. ( I did run 2 miles that day in the morning). I lost Friday due to not getting home until 6 pm. Sound like a recording huh. Well, that gave me 22 miles by the end of Friday. I thought, let us make lemonade out of this. I ran a one mile warm up on Saturday (10 minute pace) and a 53:12 for 7 miles. I was kinda stoked then. I then had 40 minutes to kill while doing corrections on my introduction of my dissertation. I thought, hey why not. Dead legs, but I suffered through a 38:45 for 5 miles to give me 35 miles for the week. Basically, it was 35 miles on 4 days of running. I was pooped. Sunday rolls around. I am tired, but my son wants to go to the YMCA to play. Sigh. Ok, I have 1:30 minutes to get something in. Well, it was cold in the YMCA. I was loving this. At Cossaboom, it would have been sweltering. Just a mess. Not here. I am right under the vent. Yea. The first 3 miles at 7:36 pace. I am thinking, wow, a fella could get used to this. Last 4 miles at a 7:30 pace and the legs are just fine, thank you very much. Wow. 52:55 and I am really feeling nice today. Now, today, Texans YMCA. Why? Same setup as Lake Houston. Very cool and nice. Now, unfortunately, Tuesday will usher in Cossaboom. Why? I need a quick morning turnaround and Cossaboom is right down the street. By the way, I barely sweat. I swear. Smile. I have 7 miles this week.
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Cossaboom, Over and Out

Post  Michael Mitchell on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:10 pm

We are done. Kaput. Zilch. Nada. Done. I have had it. Today, in my quest to squeeze in 7 miles before my meeting, I was, again, going to go to Cossaboom YMCA. Now, let me state this. I love the folks there. I really do. They really do a great job for a small, very old branch. Today, I go in and it was sweltering. I mean just a sweat bucket. I got changed in the bathroom and I was sweating. I walk out to the treadmill and the air inside the workout room was still and just sitting there. I am sweating before I got on the danged thing. That was it. I am through beating myself up. I drove to the Texans Branch of the YMCA and ran there. Yes, I have moved. Now, it was not shangra la. No. It was not the freezer that Lake Houston was Sunday. I did sweat and I did get soaked. Instead of two complete dish towels ( that is what I use) being used and being wrung out from it being soaked, I only used one. I ran the first two miles at a 7:36 pace and the last five at a 7:30 pace for a 52:42. Now, was I tired, yes I was. Was it a little tough, sure, but I was not dead. I was not looking at the last 2 miles thinking, "Oh dear God, I will never make it". Now, I think the summer really looks promising. I am not looking at it with dread. That is it. Rant over. I have 14 miles this week with Pilates tonight.
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Looking Forward

Post  Michael Mitchell on Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:30 pm

Run today at 4 pm. With it cool and windy, I am sure this run will be delight. I really am looking forward to it. Smile
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Good One On Me

Post  Michael Mitchell on Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:34 pm

Good run. Really good. I was happy. 52:30 for 7 miles. Texas YMCA has been good to me so far. I cannot complain. I have 21 miles for the week. Today, 7 miles, 52:30 at the YMCA at 4:10 pm. Again, no problems. Nothing to complain about.
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