Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Throwback Wednesday

I know, I know, it's actually supposed to be Throwback Thursday, but anyone who is a fan of movies from the 1980s knows that this is a very significant day. It was 59 years ago (Nov. 5, 1955) that Dr. Emmett Brown invented the flux capacitor, which began the quest for time travel and has changed our lives in so many ways.

I am a huge fan of the movie Back To The Future. I've probably watched the movie well over 100 times since the first time I saw it in the theater in January, 1986, and much to the chagrin of my kids, I not only watch it every time I see it on TV, I repeat all of the dialogue too!

"Why don't you make like a tree...and get out of here."

What is also exciting is that less than a year from now Marty McFly arrives in the future in October, 2015. What makes that significant is that we will all own flying cars by then and the Cubs will have won the World Series. Hey, one of those could happen!

Oh wait, how did I get off on a tangent about my run today? Oh yeah, it's because today I shook things up and did something I hadn't done in five or six years. I was planning on doing intervals today at the Bartlett Rec Center, but instead of driving there and doing my entire run on the indoor track, I ran to and from the rec center as a warmup and cooldown.

Back when I was running a lot, I used to do that often, as the gym I used to belong to in Aurora and a running track at the Illinois Math and Science Academy were all just a short jaunt (1 1/2 to 2 miles) from my house. I started doing that because I'd much rather run my warmup and cooldown with a bit of scenery instead of just logging laps.

Not to mention the fact that it was above 60 degrees here today, and anyone who lives up north knows, if it's above 60 in November you try to do whatever you can to get outside! Especially when tomorrow's forecast calls for rain, snow flurries, wind and a high of 46.

So here are the stats for my run.

Warmup: 16:28.73
1 -- 56.52
2 -- 54.26
3 -- 56.31
4 -- 55.10
5 -- 55.12
6 -- 56.14
Cooldown: 17:57.96

I'm estimating the warmup and cooldowns to be around 1.25 miles apiece, to give me four miles of total running. At both the beginning and end of the intervals I ran three laps of the track just to get up to at least 1.25 miles each way.

Two things I noticed is that 1) they are all a tick faster than last week and 2) they are really consistent. One thing I've always been able to do is run consistent times and I have a good feel for pace. I don't know if there is such a thing as past lives, but I'd like to think that if there were I was once a rabbit (pacesetter) on the European track circuit in the 1960s.

I also found a little bit of inspiration too. They recently put down a new track surface at the rec center, and the color was changed from something dark (can't remember what for sure) to blue. As I let my mind wander on a couple of my recovery laps, I thought of how the blue track reminded me of the one at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, where they hold the Illinois High School Association state track meet.

Matt was fortunate enough to run there twice, as he was part of his school's 4x800 relay team that ran in the prelims in 2013-14. Ask any boy or girl who has aspirations to run at state and they will tell you that one of the things that drives them is the chance to run on the blue track, and Matt even admits that once he got down there and ran on it, it was just as cool as he'd dreamed it would be.

Here is a photo of Matt and I at the state meet back in May. You can see the blue track in the background. Matt has always been a huge inspiration to me. After his sophomore year in high school he decided he wanted to see how good he could be, and he worked so hard to become one of the top runners on his team. He eventually ran in the state cross country meet with his team in 2012, qualified for XC sectionals as an individual in 2013 and twice went to state in track.

I'm so proud of what he accomplished and what he continues to do as a college runner. I think the best thing about it is that I never pushed him to do it...what Matt accomplished was completely on him. I was there to help and support him, but he decided to do the work and do it for himself, which is awesome! His younger brother Kevin will be entering high school next year, and if he dreams of running on the blue track as well, I'll do whatever I can to support him and help him make it happen.

So from now on, whenever I run on the blue track at the rec center, I'm going to think about my goals and how each step on that track will get me closer to them.


  1. Awesome that you got to get out and enjoy the weather even more by running there and back.

    1. Thanks! We don't have very many chances left!