Keep Austin Running … Take 2?

June 28, 2010

A friend of mine who was very helpful and active in contacting City Council and in attending meetings on the Downtown Road Closure Ordinance … a.k.a curb races downtown sent me a message on the mobility bond the city council could add to the November ballot which includes construction of a boardwalk over town lake. He sent a well worded message to City Council that I’d encourage you to read and determine what you’d like to say to our City Council.

Here is the relevant link:

Also here is a copy of his e-mail to the city.

I’m writing to encourage you to put the $85 million mobility bond package before the voters in November this year. Most of the included infrastructure projects enhance connectivity within and around Austin. Countercyclical spending at this time is especially appropriate for a few reasons

• The enhanced availability of labor to implement these projects in a period of high unemployment
• Historically low borrowing costs for municipalities at this time
• The infrastructure projects should enhance the positive buzz already surrounding Austin
• The increased connectivity (especially down town) is essential to a city that will see significant population increase in its core

Also would like to add some positive comments specific to the proposed boardwalk to complete the Lady Bird Lake trail

• Timeliness of completing the Lady Bird Lake trail as a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson
• The price tag of $15 million is very efficient as compared to the original construction of the Pfluger bridge (about $8 million). 1.1 miles of pedestrian walkway versus a few hundred yards. And the Pfluger bridge was worth it also!
• The scale and benefits of the project are large and it score 12th out of 455 projects in the ASMP’s project scoring matrix
• Commitment from the Trail foundation to raise at least $3 million in private funds for the project
• Very little upward drift in the estimated cost of the project as the design has been fine tuned
• Completion of the trail will create several nice views of the city
• It will enhance pedestrian connectivity between the east and west sides of the city

Thank you for your consideration.

His message to me really reminded me of the incredible involvement from the running community when the ordinance was being discussed and passed and the impromptu keepaustinrunning web-site and facebook group we created. Maybe those need to stay around get some use. I’m open to ideas on how people would like those used. Ning just added features to make it easy to update facebook with events etc so I’ll all for it being a place for the running community to own.


Setting reasonable goals and adjusting by listening to the body

June 26, 2010

I probably haven’t been doing either of these things well this season. 90 miles a week is still my target but that is 20 miles more a week than I’m running right now and 15 more than I’ve ever managed to run consistently. This week I’ve come crashing down, the combination of work, running, family, and starting a new business. Anyway, there are many of reasons or excuses but in the end it comes down to my failure in not balancing everything and backing off on something. My body did let me know this Thursday, by Friday my weight was 8 lb below what I should be after a run, now I’m 6 to 7 below where I should be in the morning before running. So for now my training plans are simple, get over the bug that’s keeping me sick and get my weight back up and then worry about whatever is going on with my running paces and mileage. No pressure until … well just no pressure.

Two weeks into a long season leading to CIM

June 20, 2010

I’ve been gradually getting back into running around two weeks after the Boston Marathon this year and today week two of the training leading to CIM in December is over. This week was my third in a row hovering around 70 miles a week. Generally our macro works out to a 5 mile increase a week to our base. I started a little earlier and my target is 90 miles a week, 15 to 20 miles more a week than I’ve managed successfully in previous seasons. To account for the higher load than I’ve encountered and some pick-up workouts I’ve decided to add to the mix, instead of increasing my mileage every week I’m going to hold each level for two to three weeks and then increase. That should mean that the rest of the Team will soon be at the same weekly mileage as me and the two to four miles I might be doing on my own for a couple of weeks will soon be with everybody else, the way I like to run 🙂

On another note, I haven’t hit them all but I have managed to get running drills in 2 to 3 times a week, strides twice a week for the last two, and the gym for at least a month. Hope all this effort means I can make it through the season in good health.

Piling on a new venture to the heap

June 16, 2010

I mentioned a few posts ago trying to do it all, well another step in that direction was taken today. I made a visit to the Texas Secretary of State to file paperwork to incorporate a company. More on that in the future as things make progress. It’ll be a learning experience no matter where it goes.

I was thinking about blogging after filing the paperwork. I have this running blog (regularly updated), my NI work blog (barely updated) and this new venture should bring a third  (hopefully updated more often than my NI one). Most of what I work on I can’t really post on so I may just give up on my NI blog. There may be a way to combine them all into one place, the downside of that would be no “separation of church and state”. For now this is the only blog I’m actively writing on, if the new venture gathers steam I’ll try some test runs of posts here before creating an entirely new one with a more dedicated purpose. If this new venture does have some legs I’ll enjoy having a second blog to share what I’m working on with some friends and expound on something other than running.

Going to be a rough summer of running

June 15, 2010

It’s still early in the summer and I’m
now at what used to be my max mileage of around 75 miles a week. the group runs are a little faster than I’d like, but I think I’ve kept it under control. The 14 mile run today wasn’t what I’d call easy, it wasn’t that I was pushing but it just felt labored.

On average I’m thinking my runs will be in the 7:30 minutes/mile area. They’ve been ranging between 7:15 and 7:40 which is fine, and slower on some days where recovery has been key. The group of front runners these days consists of Ashish, Corey, Niccole, and Brent. It’s taken only been a week but it’s been fun to notice how each person or clump of folks like to run pace wise at different phases of the run. For me it’s easy warmup right under 8 minute pace then get it down to a comfortable area around 7:30 min/mile and never getting under 7:00 min/mile … well except that downhill return on Congress 🙂 That should keep things under control for the base phase I think. slower is ok but faster is a no no for now.

Staying Comitted to Team Rogue

June 7, 2010

A former Team Rogue’s post today on leaving Team Rogue got me reflecting a little. I went through the range of emotions from surprise, anger, disappointment …  The most important thing in this post is the title, this is my reaffirmation to the team I’ve spent countless hours with every week over the past two years.

The disappointment I have with the post from Kevin is the public nature of it. Don’t get me wrong, any business these days should expect public reviews and feedback, that’s the beauty of the internet but … I’ll draw an analogy to breaking up. There are lots of details, events and specifics to any relationship and many things that friends see through the course of a relationship. Training is no different, with the coach or your teammates.  In the breakup the people doing the breaking up have their biases and specific things they focus on, consciously or unconsciously, correctly or incorrectly.  Break-ups that are extremely public drag too many people into them. There are always two sides to every story, then there’s the nit-picking, the finger-pointing … it’s more detrimental than beneficial and making it public has consequences that … just kind of suck. So no finger-pointing on the specifics from me and my observations, just a comment on the overall “break-up”.

Enough with that, why am I committed to Team Rogue? Here are three simple reasons:

  • The coach Steve Sisson. He is willing to try new things, experiment and challenge us. People said we were crazy 2 years ago when we started on our training for CIM. He doesn’t just keep doing the same old same old, is willing to buck the status quo and he treats us all like we’re the real deal. He’s very different from other standard Rogue programs and that’s what’s great about him.
  • The athletes. Yes, people in Team Rogue are athletes, from the 2:40 marathoner to the 4:00+ marathoner. Anybody that is willing to run a 28 mile workout, run between 60 and 100 miles a week and do all the ancillary training necessary for the workload is an athlete. This weekend I heard Steve describe a workout that us recreational Team Roguers do to a former college athlete that has a US Championship qualifying time and you could see his jaw drop. Kind of cool to have somebody that can lap you on the track in a workout have that respect for what you do 🙂 To all my team mates, you kick some royal ass.
  • The results. 2 years ago at CIM it was the “3:10” train for a large clump of folks trying to break 3:10. Two short years later we’re going back to CIM and now have the “2:45” train. That is INSANE! It’s not just the “fasties” as some of my friends like Jenn term this group but what I consider the true folks that inspire us. Jenn for example broke 4 hours recently, the commitment that took and the her progress helps us all believe that if we execute and take personal ownership for what we’re asked to do we WILL succeed.

That’s it. So guys and gals I’ll be there bright and early at 5:30 tomorrow morning for the season opener of Team Rogue as we get ready for CIM and Dallas and plan to be there through the ups and downs we’ll inevitably face during our training and races.

Need to let it ride

June 5, 2010

Life has been running out of control lately (pun intended 🙂 I tend to think of myself as somebody that likes to stay busy and can multi-task, but of late I’m inclined to believe I’ve reached my limit. That uneasy “I’m overwhelmed” feeling seems to come over me on a more frequent basis. I do enjoy the rush but fear I’ll drop one of the many balls I’m juggling and it’ll come down crashing, and worse that it’s one that I really can’t afford to drop.

On the bright side I do feel good about where things are right now with everything. On the work side, I’ve been back at NI for just under two years. Really enjoying it, working on cloud stuff, learning about RF communications, and just some very cool technically challenging things (many geeky acronyms are being left out here). On the friends and family front, able to spend time with the people who are important to me … would like to spend some more. On the non-profit front Green Doors is doing well and seems to be finding its footing with a good board and set of athletes in place. Another project is an attempt to start a new business which is scary, exciting, liberating and stressful all at the same time. On this last one the next three to four months will be key, after that who knows, it’s really too early to tell. Oh, and running, having a regular partner whose company I thoroughly enjoy to run with everyday has been heaven-sent. I don’t do well running on my own and couldn’t imagine being able to run as much as I’d like to and stay sane without that. The team starts up this week so it’ll be nice to have the whole crew together at least three days a week for the rest of the year.

Lately I’ve been contemplating backing off on something … maybe stop training so hard and just run for fitness. But I really enjoy everything I’m doing. The combination can be overwhelming but … well I was with a former work colleague who went back to school for his M.B.A. and somebody asked him “What is the best lesson you learned at school?”. His response was that he got a chance to talk to a lot of very successful people at lectures/conferences and he made it a point to talk to them and gleam what made them successful and satisfied with their lives. The conclusion he reached came down to a perspective on work life balance. He said that for those people work life balance was that the two are intertwined and those people tended to give a lot to all the things in their lives. Did they have regrets about some of their decisions … of course but in all they made use of all their time for all the things they wanted to do and achieve. Focused on work at work, got home, spent time with kids, focused on their family for the time they had with them and didn’t half-ass it by staying on their laptops etc. That helped me out a little with my current state of mind. For the time being, I’m going to keep going with all cylinders firing. I hope I don’t overheat but I won’t know unless I try.

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