Thursday, December 31, 2009

4 Mile Tempo

Hit the gym today for a 4 mile tempo run. Feeling a bit sluggish, could it be the pizza and wings I ate an hour before? Probably...I don't learn very quickly I guess...

Splits: 8:07, 8:03, 8:02, 8:00

Total
Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 53:09/8:51
Avg HR: 154

Back at It

After a few days off, I'm back at it. I wasn't entirely inactive, but my eating habits were less than desirable. I guess vacation will do that to you. We spent a couple of days in NYC. The first day was 4.4 miles of walking and the second day was 6.9! Of course with all that walking I needed some "fuel". Nothing will get you from point to point like Crumbs Homemade cupcakes, Long Island bagels, street hot dogs and pretzels, a Katz pastrami sandwich, and believe me, I had it all and more!

But, now it's back to work....

Yesterday's Run

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 46:58/9:23
Avg HR: 153
T/W: 24 (17WC)/ Cloudy, wind

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ah, Lovely Rain in December

I think Mother Nature must be feeling bad about the horrible summer we had, so to make up for it, she decided today would be a good day for rain. I certainly don't mind it, I just find it ironic that the one time most people actually want snow it rains instead. The miles peeled off easy this morning and it was difficult to keep myself going at a 9:35 pace.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace:56:50/9:28
Avg HR:147
T/W: 44, rain

Friday, December 25, 2009

X-Mas Day Run

No snow today...not good for all you "White Christmas" lovers, but great for a runner. Legs were feeling a bit sluggish, but I made it.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 57:19/9:33
Avg HR: 154
Temp: 37 (WC 29)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whoops

I ran at the gym on the treadmill today, but then accidentally deleted my stats from the Garmin, whoops! Oh well....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bubblegum Factory?!?

I set out for my run this morning and I noticed a strong smell of bubble gum in the air. Is there a bubblegum factory in Binghamton? It was very strong and if I had to guess, I would say that it was Bazooka, original flavor. This took me back to the days of buying .05 pieces at the corner store, Now & Laters (we always pronouced them NounLaders) , Snap on Wrist Bracelets (yeah, I know) and Pop Rocks. Before I knew it, my run was done!

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 57:09/9:31
Avg HR: 151
Temp: 19 (WC 10)

Splits: 9:30, 9:30, 9:33, 9:32, 9:35, 9:27

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Minor Victory!

With another 14 miler scheduled and my recent failure at this distance, I was pretty anxious to get back out there and prove to myself that I can do it. Not only did I complete the distance, I was able to keep the pace that I was targeting.

Splits (9:35 goal): 9:22, 9:33, 9:34, 9:35, 9:34, 9:32, 9:29, 9:34, 9:34, 9:34, 9:32, 9:32, 9:29, 9:22

Now, I'm not saying it didn't hurt, because it did, but I was able to push through and stay strong throughout. I'll take it!

Mileage: 14.00
Time/Pace: 2:13:24/9:31
Avg HR: 155
Temp: 32 (WC 24), Sunny

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Footpodding

I really don't enjoy running on a treadmill as much as being outside, but it was just too damn cold yesterday. I did an easy 5 miles at the gym yesterday morning. Today, I did another bike workout. Tomorrow, I will attempt 14 miles again.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 47:43/9:32
Avg HR: 142

Thursday, December 17, 2009

FootPod and The Treadmill for a Tempo Run

I received my footpod for my Garmin GPS watch today and it was also very cold out. Perfect for some treadmill work. Pretty mild workout today, it felt much easier than running outdoors. Part of this could be due to the fact that I have been wearing 3 layers lately when running outside. Today's run on the treadmill was nothing more than a pair of running shorts and t-shirt. Either way, this was a much easier tempo run than I have experienced previously. The footpod is great so far.

The goal for today's run was 3 miles at an 8:04 pace, with a warm up and cool down mile. My splits were 8:02, 8:05, 8:04. It was a bit difficult to get the pace exactly right as I couldn't get the treadmill set at 8:04/mile. I had to adjust it up and down a bit, but I think I was close enough.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 43:28/8:42
HR: 147

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On the Bike

I am really enjoying this bike cross training routine I've begun. I did another workout with it today and found myself completing it much easier than last week. I am still two levels below the actual suggested level, so next week I plan on moving up. Speaking of bikes....I'm still contemplating a bike purchase. I think I've settled on the S-series that Cervelo offers, now its just a question of which one I can convince my wife to agree with (the S1 is about $2200 as opposed to the S3 which is $7100). In a word (or two) these bikes are DEAD SEXY!! See below....

A guy can dream.........

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sometimes It Just Goes So Easy

This running thing is weird. Two days after falling apart, I got out for a 5 miler and had a hard time going SLOW enough. Bizarre...

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace:47:33/9:30
Avg HR: 145
Temp: 34, Wintry Mix

Splits: 9:29, 9:28, 9:30, 9:34, 9:30

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ugh Part 2

These long runs are kicking my ass. I had a 14-miler on tap today. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical due to my poor performance at 12 last week, but I gave it a shot anyway. I did eat today too, so I felt a bit more confident.

The First 9 miles peeled off without any issues: 9:35, 9:35, 9:36, 9:34, 9:37, 9:35, 9:39, 9:36, 9:30, and then I felt it come again, slowly, my muscles began to surrender...9:58, 11:06, 11:19, 10:54...

The wheels just came off again and I didn't quite get the 14th mile done.

Mileage: 13.33
Time/Pace: 2:14:02/10:03
Avg HR: 163
Temp: 36 (29 WC) Drizzle

I am pleased with running this distance, my longest at one time. I showed more endurance by not falling apart until later in the run. However, I'm disappointed to get so close to the end and not being able to finish. This is the first time I could not will myself to the end.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bailing on Today's Run

I woke up with every intention of getting out for a run today. I was half dressed and then mistakenly checked the temperature, 19F, -1F Wind Chill. I was already cold getting ready, so I chickened out. I just got done reading Anton Krupicka's blog about running in the cold and now I just feel like a wimp. Oh well....there's always tomorrow.

I ordered a foot pod today, that will sync to my Garmin GPS watch and allow me to track my mileage while on a treadmill. I even paid the extra $20 for next day delivery. Have I become a slave to my gadgets?!?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

1600x2

More speed work this morning...

I was a bit skeptical about running outside today because of the high winds. I wasn't sure how my gear was going to hold up. I was pleasantly surprised, I was warm the entire time and even though half of the time I was running into a strong head wind (gusts of 25 mph) I still successfully completed today's run.

Mile 1: 7:35
Mile 2: 7:34

Totals:

Mileage: 5.49
Time/Pace: 51:24/9:21
Avg HR: 154
Temp: 27 (19 wind chill)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Cross Training

Today was my scheduled bike training (The Wall). Last week, I backed off the resistance based on my first experience with this training. It was a bit too easy so today I bumped it up to repeats of 6/12 resistance (eventually I should be doing 8/16). This was much more challenging, and my legs got a nice workout.

Tomorrow...some more speed work, can't wait...(ugh)...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ah, That's Better!

Week Two of marathon training...much better today. No problems with keeping the 9:35 pace for 7 miles, perhaps a bit more erratic than I'd like, but altogether good. Splits: 9:24, 9:42, 9:20, 9:33, 9:31, 9:32, 9:34.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:06:39/9:31
Avg HR: 160
Temp: 29

Ugh

As Sunday's long run approached I was feeling good. I had skipped a race I wanted to do, but made up for it with a run that I got through without any concerns. It was a bit colder do to the wind, but with my gear I was confident I'd be okay. So off I went....

Things started out fine. For this run I was going to maintain a 9:35 pace throughout. First four miles....no problem 9:35, 9:34, 9:36, 9:36, right on target. Then something happened...I slammed head first into the biggest wall I've ever experienced. Marathon runners talk about hitting this physical and mentalwall around mile 20. I haven't ran a marathon yet, but I bet this is exactly how it feels. My legs just quit on me, my body got tense and sore, my arms wouldn't swing. Still I pushed on. I thought about what was going on and couldn't figure it out at first. I put in a decent amount of miles so far this week, but had felt no extreme tiredness or soreness. Then I figured it out. It was about 2pm and I hadn't eaten a thing today. WHAT (?!?!)...you say, me not eat. I've talked at length about how food is center in my life, so for me to forget to eat is bizarre. Hey, it happens, I guess.

Equipped with only my Accelerade (which accounts for about 400 calories or so), I pressed on, each step harder then the next. For the next few miles, I struggle to keep my pace close to my target, but I was fading fast...9:41, 9:39, 9:44,10:26. I passed a shortcut back home and seriously considered throwing the towel in, but I didn't. I fought on, telling myself that if I can get through this, it will make me stronger (cue comments on how bad this is!) I did finally finish in what I call survival mode; just finish! The final 4 miles split out at 11:10, 11:47, 11:42, 11:43.

What lesson was learned? Fuel before a run!

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 2:04:19/10:21
Avg HR: 164
Temp: 34

My Garmin watch estimated that I burned 2215 calories, so I hopped on the scale just to see where I was. I couldn't believe my eyes 208.8! This is probably some negative reinforcement to not eat before I run and get the weight down, but how I felt I won't soon forget. It's now Tuesday, and my body is still achy, but I will press on...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Change of Plans

I decided to change my plans yesterday from running a 5K to doing an easy pace 6 miler. The biggest reason was that my schedule was thrown off a bit on Thursday pushing my tempo run back a day. I have a 12-miler scheduled for today and I didn't want to put 3 tougher workouts in a row.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 57:27/9:34
Avg HR: 148
Temp: 34
Elevation Gain: 166

Running at home is very different than running during the week when I'm away. The lack of hills at home alone, makes for a totally different run. I actually found my self having to slow down to keep at the target pace. On tap today is a 12-miler at the same pace (9:35).

Friday, December 4, 2009

4 Mile Tempo Run

"In the 30 years I've been a runner, I've run more than 150,000 miles. Still, some of the hardest steps are those first few getting out of the door for daily runs."-Bill Rodgers

I had to DRRAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG....my butt out of bed this morning for a run. I skipped it yesterday, so sleepy.....

I don't have much experience with this type of running, other than trying to maintain a fast pace in an actual race. The schedule called for about 6 miles total with 4 miles at an 8:08 pace. I decided to do this on a track nearby as this area is very hilly, and I know the focus is speed not elevation. Overall I feel pretty good about what I did. The last 1.5 miles were a bit of a struggle, but I made it.

Tempo Run:
Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 32:31/8:08
Avg HR: 166
Temp: 31

Grand Total:
Mileage:6.30 (with warm up/cool down)
Time/Pace: 56:18/8:56

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's the Deal with Chinese Buffets?

I just can't understand the fascination with Chinese buffets or why I can't get enough of them. I walk in the door, practically salivating. Do I hit the appetizers first? Maybe some won ton soup and an egg roll or maybe skip that and get right to the General Tso's chicken, lo mien, fried rice, etc. The thing is I know that I'll feel like crap after I eat it, but I just can't help it. That first bite is practically heaven. Each bite after than gets less and less satisfying. First plate done, already feeling that churning in my stomach, I justify a second plate. I forgot the pepper chicken, dumplings and beef and broccoli, and besides, this IS a buffet and I need to get my money's worth. Sometimes, I even try for a third, real punishment! So obviously, I hit the buffet today and experienced all of this.

On the schedule today was my bike cross training, or what I have dubbed The Wall. If you recall the first time I tried this I failed, the resistance was intense. Tonight, I scaled back the resistance a bit to be able to make it through the 30 minute session. I made it through no problem might have been a bit too easy, next time I will bump it up a notch.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On The Prowl

You all know about my obsession with running gear and winter seems to be the perfect time to try out some new fun items. Today, was my first run with my Under Armour hood I bought, and let me tell you, very impressed! As you can see, I could hardly contain my excitement. I did crop this photo, by the way, due to the less than flattering, form fitting compression shirt. (I am a fat guy running, remember?)

Day One of my marathon training finished. A bit more challenging than I hoped for, but my energy was a bit down, due to less than a full night of rest. I did complete the 7 miles within the suggested time. Also, I fit in some core work. Tomorrow...The Wall (gulp).

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:07:02/9:34
Avg HR: 158
Elevation Gain: 620
Temp: 36

Off to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation....it's on all week at 8pm on AMC!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Destination 26.2

That's right. Next goal, marathon. The Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on March 21, 2010 to be exact. This gives me exactly 16 weeks of preparation. I've been looking at training programs for the last few weeks and have decided on using Runner's World Smart Coach.

This program includes 4 days/week running and cross-training, 3 weeks of mileage increase and 1 week of lower mileage, one long run per week, one speed workout per week and two easy runs.

It is interesting to me because it asks questions about your current training, how hard you want to train and a recent race time. If I follow this program it suggests that I will be able to run the marathon in 3:36:32, a 8:15 pace.

We shall see...

I'm hoping to add some upper body workouts, swim at least one day per week and do The Wall bike cross training as well. I know this is a lofty goal, but I've been stuck at this weight for a few months now and would like to see a breakthrough. I will sprinkle in local races as well, and hopefully lower my PR's.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

YMCA Turkey Trot 8K

EPIC DISASTER...

That's the only way to describe it. I was pumped up for this race. I feel as though I've made a ton of progress this year and thought I'd be able to tear through this one. Sadly, it wasn't to be.

What went wrong? I underestimated two things...

1) The crowd. With a record 12,000 people registered, I planned for a slow start. I tried to get to the front of the group, but still didn't cross the start line until almost 2 minutes after the gun. I didn't start my watch until I crossed the line, but it was still SLOW! Rather than taking this in stride, I got anxious and began to weave my way through the crowd. BIG MISTAKE! This takes up so much energy. Speed up, slow down, quick jerk to the right, jump over the curb, pretty much everything except keeping a straight line. This continued through the first 1.5 miles, until the crowd began to spread out.

2) The pesky little climb. The uphill on Delaware Ave, is much more deceiving than it looks. I've run this race twice before and have run a couple other races this year on this stretch of road and it still surprises me every time. Add this to the weaving, and I was done.

Another odd thing happened during this race. My heart rate went through the roof. I looked down to check it around the 2 mile mark, because it felt as though it was unusually high and to my horror it read 210!! I'm not sure if I was experiencing some technical issues with my gear or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was close, because it sure felt like it.

Anyways, again I've been humbled by a race and shown exactly how much further I need (and want) to progress in my quest for a fitter life.

Mileage: 5.01
Time/Pace: 45:23/9:03
Avg HR: 197 (questionable)

So, I guess for now I'll eat my words...and a juicy steak! (turkey is so last decade). Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trot Plans

Here's my goal for tomorrow's Turkey Trot...38:10/7:41 pace. How will I get there....?

1) Get closer to the starting line. The last couple years have been a nightmare of weaving through people for the 1st mile.

2) Negative splits. Even though my last few races have been successful, I still feel tons of room for improvement. The key is not starting out too fast. I realize that I will still have to deal with the crowd no matter how close to the line a get, so I need to take this in to account. My split times will be (notice I say WILL!) 7:48, 7:48, 7:38, 7:28, 7:28.

3) Avoid overdressing. Because I like my gadgets and gear so much, I want to use them all of the time. In my last 5K I was dressed too warm and really suffered in the last half of the race. I have to tell myself it is good to be cold at the start of the race.

4) Make a Killer (!) race mix. I love my ipod, just got a new Ipod Shuffle. It's really nothing more than a flash drive, so light you don't even know it's there. I will sit down tonight and work out the perfect mix of inspirational tunes, to get me through the tough spots.

5) Have fun. I've really fallen in love with running this year and I can't say how much I enjoy being out on the road with other people that feel the same way.

Today's Run

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 26:17/8:46
Avg HR: 150
Temp: 44

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 for Friday

Another run with a bit more soreness than I'd like, but last run for the week. I am in a mini-taper mode for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. I am only running 2 of the next 5 days, enough to keep me loose, but rested.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 45:41/9:08
Avg HR: 150
Elevation Gain: 659
Temp: 43

I've started to think about a strategy/goal for the Turkey Trot. I should have no problem beating my best at this distance as I have been running consistently for 8 months now. The previous two Trots were done with little or no prep. So the question is how much can I beat it by. I have found a pace predictor tool that you can put in a time for one race distance and it will predict your pace for another distance. I'm not sure if it works or not, but it is worth a shot! With my recent 23:00 5K it predicts that I should be able to run an 8K at a 7:38 pace. I certainly would be happy with this.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Slightly Different Strategy for Today

In my past few runs, I just went with whatever my body was giving me. I noticed that my avg heart rate was higher as a result. Today I tried to stick with in my target rate (145-155) for the entire run. Easier said than done, especially with all of the rolling hills.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 46:19/9:16
Avg HR: 153
Elevation Gain: 675
Temp: 34

I love running in this colder weather. Being a running gear nerd, I love taking out my Under Armour cold gear. Can't wait to try other cool cold gear stuff!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Aching 8

Today's run was tough. My body was quite sore at the start, and didn't get much looser. I fought through it, but it sure did feel good to stop. I know we all have days like this, but it is still frustrating, especially since I have been feeling great about my runs lately. My pace suffered as a result of this soreness, the hills didn't help either. To put the hills in perspective, on Sunday I ran 13 miles and had a total elevation gain of 202 ft, while today's 8 miles had a gain of 418. Don't get me wrong, I'm only partially complaining. I love what I've accomplished so far, and am looking to do even more. I take a twisted joy in punishing my body through these hills and feel great at the top. This struggle, this internal battle with myself, is what keeps me going; that and the fact I blog to all of you out there and I wouldn't want to let you down now!

Mileage: 8.00
Time/Pace: 1:16:33/9:34
Avg HR: 156

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Train Hard, Race Easy

Think about that...Train Hard, Race Easy. Makes total sense, not only in running, but also in life. I have embraced this saying lately. Prime example is this morning. I didn't get to bed last night until 1:30 and I have to be to work at 8. I woke up at 5:30am to get my run in. Old me would use this as a perfectly legitimate excuse to bail on a run today, and I would be justified. Why bail though? Why not use the less than ideal circumstances to push myself harder and longer; after all the theory suggests it will only make me stronger. So, I dragged myself out for a 3-miler. I'm glad I did!

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 25:27/8:29
Avg HR: 155

Sunday, I also ran 13 miles...here's the stats...

Mileage: 13.00
Time/Pace: 1:59:35/9:11
Avg HR: 149

This 13-miler was perhaps my most consistent run to date. I was aiming to keep consistent splits through out (target 9:15/mile). For the first 12, I ranged from 9:08 to 9:18. The last mile I kicked it up a notch and logged a 8:42. Very pleased with this run, my body is still aching though. More long runs in my future...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lindsay's Legacy 5K

In my final tune up before the Turkey Trot, I decided that I would be setting another PR for the 5K distance. Yep, just like that, no question, I will do it. I have felt so great all week, tons of energy, could it be that I stuck to some good eating habits? No fast food for over a week.

My plan was to break my previous best, 23:09. I figured I'd shoot for a 7:25 pace. For whatever reason, I got away from my negative split strategy that I started my running "career" with. For the past few races, I have picked a pace and tried to hit each each mile. I think I might go back to the negative split strategy. My splits for this race were 7:22, 7:24, and 7:39 with a 6:09 pace for the last .10. Anyway, still a PR...at 23:00, I really wanted to get in the 22's, but still happy with the result.

Mileage: 3.09
Time/Pace: 23:00/7:26
Avg HR: 171

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Running with Energy

I've been full of energy all week. It has been making my runs even more delightful than usual. I had quite the spring in my step, isn't running awesome?!?!

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 34:01/8:30
Avg HR: 160

Food Check: Going well, slight weak moment yesterday...pounded down some Chinese...but then I ran 6 miles, so probably a wash. I am not tracking formally, just focusing on eating good wholesome foods. The scale awaits....come on fatty you can do it!

Need Some Inspiration? Try This...

I came across the story of a gentleman named Norm Frank. Apparently his deal is to run 1000 marathons in his lifetime. He is currently at 965, only 35 to go. What is inspiring for me is that he didn't run his first until 35. This has me incredibly motivated as I'm only 31. Though I haven't even run my first yet, I have plans to begin my marathon quest in March 2010, when I have just turned 32. That gives me a 3 year head start. The sky's the limit.

Read Norm's story....click here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Because It's There

Several times a week, my travels take me through south Binghamton on Morgan St and Park Ave. Basically, from Binghamton, travelling south towards the PA border, it's one steady climb to the top of the hill. I have often thought about what it would be like to run or bike up it. Today, I stopped thinking about it and just gave it a shot. With a scheduled six-miler, I figured I get about 2 miles or so of climbing. It was a punishing run, but it felt good. I have done quite a bit of reading about trail runs and ultras and it seems the big test in all of these events (other than the distance) is the climbing. I do one day think I may be able to compete in one of these events, so why not give my body a nice little climb? I wasn't really focused on time, just tried to climb for as long as possible. The downhill was quite enjoyable.

Mileage:6.00
Time/Pace: 1:02:35/10:25
Avg HR: 154
Elevation Gain: 1001 ft

Tuesday's Run:

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 36:08/9:02
Avg HR: 160

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cardic Monday

So do you think you are in shape? I found a new cross training workout I decided to try today. I proved to myself how horribly out of shape I still am.

Here's the basics:

The idea of this workout is to break through the "wall" runners talk about.

Done on an Up-Right Stationary Bike, w/1-20 level settings, do everything seated to focus on quads, hamstrings and calves.

Warm Up
3 min @ Level 6 100RPM
2 min @ Level 8 100 RPM

Work Out (Repeat this section 3 times)
30 sec @ Level 16 100RPM, 30 sec @ Level 8 100RPM (repeat 5 times)
2 min @ Level 6 100 RPM

Cool Down
4 min @ Level 6 70RPM

I got through the warm up and the 1st 3 repeats of 16/30, 8/30 and then crashed and burned. I stepped it back to 12/30, 6/30 and finished the first set of 5. I then took 5 minutes to recover instead of the suggested 2. I started the second set at 12/30, 6/30 but could only get through 2 more repeats and could barely spin for 4 more minutes for a grand total of 20 minutes.

All I can say is WTF!! It kicked my ass. Walking back to my hotel was like trying to balance on two stacks of jello! Yikes. I think I just found a new kick ass off day workout to punish myself with.

I also recommitted to some semblance of a healthy diet. Here's what I have eaten so far:

Breakfast: pineapple and other mixed fruit, quad espresso

Lunch: big salad with tomatoes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, red pepper and some Italian Dressing, more fruit and cottage cheese

Afternoon "Snack": some grapes and a Kashi Southwest Chicken

Dinner: more Kashi and fruit

Evening Snack: TBD, probably more fruit and cottage cheese

My food goals....one day at a time....hey is that Taco Bell in the distance?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Has it Been A Week Already?

I'm sure my faithful readers have noticed by now that I didn't post this past week. The simple explanation is that I didn't run. WHAT (!!), you say. Yeah, I know, I was a bit of a slacker, but I have good reasons. Here's my top ten list of how I convinced myself not to run...

10) My shins hurt! Waaahhh.

9) Work was very hectic this week.

8) It was cold.

7) I only packed one glove. (Please refrain from the Michael Jackson cracks.)

6) I was saving my energy for bowling.

5) When it's burrito vs. running, the burrito will win every time.

4) I didn't get much sleep and therefore couldn't find the energy to run.

3) I'm saving myself for the Turkey Trot.

2) I'm sick, sniff sniff, more waaahhhh....

and the #1 reason....

Hey, I'm a fat guy....I don't want to get skinny too fast...

Oh well, I have promised myself not to be a slacker this week. We shall see....

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chestnut Ridge Challenge 10K

It was a nasty fall day. Steady rain, lots of wind. That wasn't going to hold me back, oh no, I was running the Chestnut Ridge Challenge! I have spent sometime in the park, including my mud fest last week. This course isn't run through the woods, but that didn't make it any easier. The rolling park streets are intense, especially the section they call "Mother", as in Mother F'er, I assume. I'd add a few more vulgarities, but you get the idea. The eighty or so brave souls lined up promptly at 9am.

I went into this race, with no strategy. Usually, I try to set a pace goal, but with not knowing exactly what to expect the only thing I could come up with is somewhere less than 9min mile.

Mile 1: Pretty much rolling, not too intense. Elevation gain of 202 and loss of 136. I was feeling good and looked down to notice a lap time of 7:45. Nice!

Mile 2: Very much downhill. Noticing that this was also the last mile, only that would be up hill, I tried to take advantage. The only problem was that the roads were fairly covered with fallen leaves and with all of the rain, I wanted to make sure that I didn't slip and wipe out. I know, WIMP, but I erred on the side of caution, thinking about saving some for this uphill at the end. Elevation loss of 245 and lap time of 7:28.

Mile 3: More rolling hills. Legs getting a bit tired. Elevation gain of 74, loss of 109, time of 7:55.

Mile 4: Oh boy, getting fun now! Much more climbing than descending. Then it comes, that nasty thing called Mother, right at the end of mile 4. With a climb of 187ft in .1 of a mile, the grade comes out to be 35.4% incline. Ugh! Just about killed me and my time. Elevation gain: 401, Elevation Loss: 203, Time: 9:10.

Mile 5: In survival mode now. Marking myself with runners ahead of me and trying to keep up with them. More rolling hills. Elevation Gain: 278, Elevation Loss: 317, Time: 8:48.

Mile 6: One last hill to climb. I can do it. Legs burning, lungs burning, intense craziness, why am I doing this again? Elevation Gain: 276, Elevation Loss: 298, Time: 8:47.

Last .2: Over the hump, and yet another incline, why? My body is really fighting each step now. This is the point where I really had to dig down, deep down. I willed myself to the line. I'm done, completely spent and yet, thrilled! Elevation Gain: 123, Elevation Loss: 0, Time: 2:01 (8:33 pace).

Totals:

Mileage: 6.24
Time/Pace: 51:57/8:19
Avg HR: 169
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1353/1309

Not only did I complete the race, I bested my previous 10K time by almost 5 minutes! This is huge for me not only because of a PR, but more importantly because of the challenge of the course.

I must give a huge thanks to my blogging buddy Erin C. I was able to keep her in my sites for the entire race. I caught up with and passed her on that horrific climb, but she blew past me in the downhills. I was determined to keep up with her and it was all I could do to keep up. So, thanks for the inspiration!

Legs are sore right now, so I'll rest, but thinking about a nice easy 12-miler early tomorrow, just to keep things loose.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Food

I'm really bad at this whole food discipline thing. REALLY BAD! Work has been intense this week, so I justify what I eat. I'll say to myself "It's okay if you eat that donut, you are going to walking up and down hills all day." Last night, I visited my friends at McDonald's and had a double quarter pounder, large fries and a coke. I did leave off the pickles and that must count for something right?

I've been so disciplined with my running, why can't I do the same with my food?

Tuesday's Run:
Mileage:3.06
Time/Pace: 26:56/8:47
Avg HR: 146

Tonight's Run:
Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 45:05/9:01
Avg HR: 148

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Runs

Nothing exciting to report, just my weekend runs....

Saturday
Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 53:08/8:51
Avg HR: 154

Sunday
Mileage: 8.00
Time/Pace: 1:16:32/9:34
Avg HR: 147

Another week of fun ahead...

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Gear, New Trail, and Lots of Mud!

Today, I decided I needed to make more preparation for winter and so I went out for some trail shoes. I was a bit disappointed about the selection, but I settled on a pair of Brooks. Gore-Tex and quite comfortable, what the heck, eh? I also bought a pair of wool socks.


Well, of course I had to try my new gear out, of course, I hit the trail. The weather was perfect mid 40's, light rain. Then the fun began....I encountered perhaps the best running experience to date. About 1/2 mile into the trail it began to get sloppy. Rather than tip toeing around the mud, I sloshed through it. This continued throughout the run, and let me tell you, it was AWESOME! It may sound crazy, but there is something perfect about running through the woods with reckless abandon, slipping and sliding through the mud, exploring and just enjoying the outdoors.


Needless to say and hour later, I was completely spent and muddy. My pace suffered, but this wasn't about pace today. It was about a new experience and having a great time. Here are the after shots.



So much for new gear. I'd highly recommend this adventure to anyone of my fellow bloggers out there who are looking for a little extra challenge. I'll be going back soon and hope to get as muddy. I'd be more than happy to have anyone who wants to join me come along. Just be prepared to get dirty and to laugh a lot!
Mileage: 6.01
Time/Pace: 1:17:09/12:50
Avg HR: 152
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2142ft/2094ft

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Smell That Fried Chicken?

So here I sit in my hotel room, ready to go out of my mind. I have been determined to change my eating habits. Yes, I know I have said this countless times throughout the years, and something always trips me up. Actually I find some excuse to pig out like, "Hey, It's Summer" or a friendly challenge of "Can you eat this whole bag of cookies tonight?"

I've been "good" since Friday, back on the point counting wagon. Now I sit here, smelling whatever deliciousness the guy next door is undoubtedly devouring. It smells like fried chicken. I have the sudden urge to hop in the car and get some KFC, which is weird, because I don't ever eat that, even in my darkest of eating days. Or maybe, Taco Bell or find some wings. Grrrr....I must resist....

Sweetheart, I Have a New Girlfriend!

Dear Wife,
I'm sorry I have to tell you this, but I have a new girlfriend. This doesn't mean we can't be together anymore, it just means that I will be spending more time with my new friend. She has nice lumps, fantastic humps and curves in all the right places. Though it looks like she has been with many before me, when I am with her, I feel like I am the only one. Sure, the path will sometimes get rocky, or seem like I'm climbing a never ending mountain, but she always seems to let me down easy. I think we are meant for each other...her name is Chenango Valley State Park.
I know, I'm a dork, but what else is this outlet for if not creativity. This is quite a fascinating place to do some good trail work. It is a bit rocky, so the going was slow. For the first time in quite awhile, I also didn't run with my IPod. It just didn't seem right to run in such a beautiful place and tune out the natural sounds.
Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 45:31/11:22
Avg HR: 146
Tonight I will hit the gym for some core work and a swim.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Some Runners Need a Fashion Makeover

I don't claim to be the most fashionable dresser. I try my best, but I'm sure I could always use improvement. In fact, I have always said I am envious of the gay friends I have, not because of their love for other man (that doesn't interest me at all, not that there is anything wrong with that), but I love their style. I wish I could pull it off like they do. However, some people that I see out when I run make me want to take them aside and say, "Hey man, what are you thinking?!?!" I would provide this service free of charge, kind of like it's a good deed for mankind. Like today, for instance. There I am sporting a well thought out running outfit, matching Under Armour gear, that included black shorts, black compression shirt with red trim, black fleece, black gloves, a black hat with red lettering. Even my sports drink was red. The only thing that didn't go would be my shoes, white, but I had to go with what was available at Fleet Feet(believe me if I had the same shoes in black I'd be wearing those). So, I pass this guy, wearing a peach (salmon?) tank top, light green shorts, white sneakers, and....wait for it....I kid you not.....BLACK SOCKS, and not the athletic kind either, looked like dress socks. Oh jeez....I must say there are also people out there that look as though they put tons of effort into making their "look" work. To even it out, I would certainly be willing to stop them and say, "Hey, nice job on the outfit. Keep it up! The world thanks you." That would probably be creepy though. I guess I'll just keep having these imaginary conversations in my head, and then write about them later.

Oh, I ran 12 miles today...

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 1:58:50/9:54
Avg HR: 149

My legs hurt. I soaked myself in a cold bath afterwards, and that was nice. The day is all downhill from here, as I will just have to watch the Bills. Is it too late to donate for the billboard?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tales from the Locker Room

As you have read in the past, I have an issue with the locker room at the YMCA I swim at while away on business. To briefly recap, I find it bizarre that the old men (60+) walk around free as a bird, junk swinging in the wind. I'm sure they are just too old to care, but please guys cover up! Anyway on to the story....

I went for a swim Friday morning and the locker room was unusually crowded and full of the aforementioned good ol' boys. As I was changing, I pulled out my clothes from my gym back and to my horror one of my wife's knee high stockings (ask me and I'll share with you my overall displeasure that my wife actually wears these) fell out and dropped, quite noticeably, onto the bench that I was sharing with two of my naked counterparts. Of course they saw this and I got a few raised eyebrows and a chuckle. Trying to make light of the occurrence I said, "I just like how smooth these feel on my calves" and shoved it back into my bag. I got a few grumbles, a snicker and I think one of them actually believed me. Oh well.

Chowder Challenge 5K

Nice cold day for a race! Temperature for an 11am start time was 43. I was a bit apprehensive about how well prepared for this race I was, but went out and did it anyway. My best at this distance was 23:50/7:39. I look at the pace times just as equally as the overall time, as each race seems to be just a bit different in length, even though they are all listed as 5K. MY goal today was to knock at least :05 off my best time.

Mileage: 3.07
Time/Pace: 23:08/7:32

My Splits: M1: 7:31, M2: 7:41, M3: 7:33, Last .1 (or actually .07) :22.

Very pleased with this and even though, shorter than other races, it still qualifies for a PR, with the pace and time both being below my previous best.

On tap for tomorrow....an easy 12 miler.

When Work Gets in the Way

This week has been tough, work has been crazy and I seem to spend more time in the car than on my feet. Oh well, it's good to be working...


Tuesday: 4 miles and 500yds of swimming
Wednesday & Thursday: No running :(
Friday: 3 Miles and 500yds swimming

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Swimming and Biking and Abs, Oh My!

A good old fashioned cross training day. Yesterday started with my core workout, then hit the bike for 60 minutes and swam 500 yds (.28 miles). I'm slowly trying to increase my swim distance. Maybe someday I will actually be able to do a forward crawl, but for now its breast stroke and back stroke.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beware: Man Wielding Plunger

So I had to go back to Binghamton for work on Sunday evening. I got in around 8 and decided that I just had to get a run in. I had an 11-miler on schedule. I knew I wouldn't do that much, but tried to get in as much as possible. It was past 8pm and dark, so stuck to the main and well-lit roads. Another great run in 40 degree weather.

I must caution all of you though as to the perils of night running. BEWARE OF MAN ON BIKE WITH PLUNGER. He is a fierce night creature. He prefers a super force cup and an old-fashioned wooden handle. WARNING!!! DO NOT APPROACH THIS MAN FROM BEHIND. Even though he may have passed you mere seconds ago, he may just stop, forget you were behind him and as you approach, he may raise his street weapon to deter you from attacking him. This creature, while easily spooked, will soon retreat, when it realizes that you aren't after his goodies, just interested in burning some calories on a nice fall evening.

Mileage: 8.00
Time/Pace: 1:20:25/10:03
Avg HR: 144

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hey Fatty, Have Another Bag of M&M's

One of the reasons I got into running was to drop weight. My big problem has always been my food consumption. I don't eat for nutrition or fuel, I eat for the flavor, texture, and sheer pleasure. I love the anticipation of that first bite, the full feeling of gorging on a delicious pizza or two. I can eat a 2lb bag of Peanut M&M's in one sitting. Bag chips? No problem! A Mighty Pack (4 burritos from Might Taco), yeah, for an afternoon snack!

I had been watching what I eat for awhile, but recently got back into the bad habits. One of my classic moves is what I call the Fast Food Trifecta. Let me explain...breakfast, McDonald's, Two Egg McMuffins, Hash Brown, and a Sausage Burrito, but I temper all of that caloric intake with a large Diet Coke. Lunch...Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich and Large Fries w/more Diet Coke (Wendy's fries are the best!) Dinner...If Burger's have a King, I'm at least the prince! A double Whopper (with cheese, hold the pickle, please) Meal. Now of course everyday isn't like that, but it is so easy to get into this or a similar pattern.

So, I got on the scale this morning and, wouldn't you know I was up 6lbs from the last time I weighed myself 16 days ago. Yikes! What does this mean? Well, more running and some duct tape over my lips. Maybe even some electro shock therapy or a support group. Do they have Hey Dummy Stop Eating Like Shit Anonymous (HDSELSA)? Say that, it actually is catchy H-D- SELSA (kind of like salsa). Mmmmmm....salsa....chips....fiesta.....Mexican .....ole! See....I just did it again!

Anyway...my run....

Today's run was fantastic! I am loving this weather, it is perfect to run in. I did 8 miles and felt super the whole time. My shins are sore, but what should I expect, carrying an extra 35lbs or so. You can try to tell me to rest, I dare you!

Mileage: 8.00
Time/Pace: 1:17:20/9:40
Avg HR: 149

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bad Blogger

I've been a bad blogger lately. Sorry! I'm still trying to get used to my new work schedule, so some days I am just incredibly unmotivated to blog. Anyway...Today was my scheduled day off, but I also took yesterday off. My shins are aching again. I want to fight through it and you can scold me as much as you want, but I will still press on, for better or worse.

On Wednesday, I did another BRICK-like workout. I ran 6 miles immediately followed by a .25 mile swim. I find that I am not as tight after the swim as I would be if I had just ran. I'm assuming the swim is helping with that. The swim was actually more doable than the past few and I am going to increase my distance next week. I have a good weekend of runs coming up and I am determined to finish, unless my leg snaps in half.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Did I Just Do a BRICK?

Hmmm....I've been reading about BRICKS, a triathlon training technique where you do two of the three disciplines back to back. Today I ran 3 miles and then hopped in the pool and swam for .25 miles (18 lengths). It wasn't too bad, though my swimming is still pathetic. I guess I'll just have to keep at it.

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 27:39/9:13
Avg HR: 147

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Flip Flop

I switched this weekends runs, 10 yesterday and 4 today. Both went well. It feels so go to be able to do a 10 mile run and actually function in society afterwards. I remember the first time I ran 7 miles. The rest of the day was pretty much shot. I couldn't move, eat and even had a hard time sleeping. Not so anymore, I am looking forward to increasing my mileage over the next two months, before I begin my marathon training.

Yesterday's Stats:

Mileage: 10.00
Time/Pace: 1:39:44/9:58
Avg HR: 156

Today:

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 36:48/9:12
Avg HR: 143

Friday, October 2, 2009

Only in PA


So, yeah! The picture says it all. I was driving in Wysox, PA yesterday and stumbled across this gem, I actually pulled into the parking lot to snap a memory. I just had to share this with all of you. Enjoy. Oh running...yeah...great run today, another cold one, but that made it more exhilarating. Binghamton is hilly, I've talked about that before, but I'm enjoying it. Hopefully, some of these hills will rub off on me and help me with those pesky race hills.

I also need to welcome some of my new followers. So...WELCOME! I hope you enjoy.

Mileage: 3.01
Time/Pace: 27:56/9:16
Avg HR: 157

Temp: 38
Weather: Cloudy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello Winter!

Today I stepped out for a run and wouldn't you know, it was 41 degrees! Nice! After a pretty lame summer, it appears winter is just around the corner. I still had an enjoyable run, but I was wearing a snow hat and gloves. Oh well....

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 1:01:42/10:17
Avg HR: 152

And for Tuesday's run...

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 28:05/9:22
Avg HR: 148

I skipped Wednesday, due to work so I will run Friday as well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

An Easy Monday

Not much to report today. It's my scheduled day off from running. I hit the bike for an hour and did my core workout. Back at it tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Linda Yalem 5K

Perfect race day weather, cool, cloudy, a bit of rain, but before we get into the race I need to discuss my pre-race prep, or lack thereof. I need to develop a consistent plan leading up to a race, including what I eat the night before, how much I sleep and the race day ritual. Right now, I pretty much do whatever, and get out and race. Last night, I was up past midnight, playing cards with the boys. I was thinking the whole time that I really should be in bed, but I couldn't pull myself away. I woke up early this morning feeling groggy and for a split second (or 2 snoozes with the alarm clock) thought on bailing. I sucked it up and went and enjoyed the run. It is always worth dragging myself out to run, even when I don't initially want to. I feel so much better afterwards.

On t0 the race: My plan today was the same as last week. I was going for consistency in my mile pace at 7:40. However, this didn't go exactly to plan. The first mile was tough, due to the large crowd. Mile 2, I stepped it up, and was able to hang in there for the 3rd mile. However, according to my GPS, this race was a bit longer than 3.1 miles, actually 3.13.

Mile: Goal/Actual (+/-)

Mile 1: 7:40/7:49 (+:09)
Mile 2: 7:40/7:33 (-:07)
Mile 3: 7:40/7:38 (-:02)
Last .1: 45:/51 (+:06)

So, two thoughts on this. I feel as though I met my goal even though the last .10 was longer than I had planned. My overall time wasn't better than my previous best, and yet my pace is lower. Is that a PR? Yes and no, I guess.

Totals:

Mileage: 3.13
Time/Pace: 23:50/7:38
Avg Heart Rate: 167

Temp: 61
Weather: Cool, Cloudy, Some Rain


Last .10:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Running with No Socks and Other Tales from the Road

It's been hectic and though I haven't blogged much this week I still was able to get the scheduled runs in.

Wednesday...I forgot to pack socks. I could I do that?!? My wife says I should make a list of things I need to pack every week. I refuse, but clearly my packing strategy has some holes. I was only doing four miles, so I just ran without socks. Bad idea! Socks are VERY important. Even though I only ran 4, I still developed the beginnings of a couple of blisters. I won't do that again!

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 39:39/9:54

Thursday...I had nice 6 miler scheduled. I run by cemeteries all of the time. I have never ran through one, but today I figured what the hell (no pun intended). Cemeteries are interesting and quite thought provoking. It is kind of neat to look at all of the headstones, Smith, Czewinski, Doll, Fischer, etc. There are a lot of dead people in there. What happens to a cemetery once all of the space is gone? Am I bothering anyone? I guess not. How long do you get a space? Forever? In theory, we could eventually have no where left to bury people if you never have to "give up" your space.

A cemetery joke for you: Why are there fences around cemeteries?....everyone is dying to get in!!!

Mileage: 6.42
Time/Pace: 1:01:43/9:36
Avg Heart Rate: 149

Today...I had a lot of energy today throughout the run. It is a great feeling to run 7 miles and feel fine afterwards. It was only a few months ago that 7 miles of run would drain me for the rest of the day, but now it is just a small part of the day. Also, got in a core workout.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:06:52/9:33
Avg Heart Rate: 148

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ugh....Swimming

I really want to like swimming. I can appreciate the intense cardio aspect of it and I would like to get good at it and maybe try a triathlon, but right now, I SUCK at it. Today I did another 20 minutes in the pool, I feel totally silly, because I know I have no rhythm and do more splashing than swimming. Oh well, I'll keep at it.

I also ran 6 miles today; nice and easy trying to keep the heart rate under 155. I did my core workout as well, so overall a pretty hefty workout day, but I don't feel totally drained, which I suppose is good.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 59:45/9:57
Avg Heart Rate: 150

Temp: 65
Weather: Overcast, Some Sprinkles

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fall Plan

So, now that I finished my first half-marathon, I'm thinking, what's next? For the next 2+ months my plan is to work on increasing mileage and to run a couple of races each month through November. I will then begin training for my first marathon (March 21 in Virginia Beach). I will be increasing my mileage by about 10% each week with a "rest week" (lower mileage every fourth week. I will not be doing any speed training during this time, but I will be incorporating a long run in the mix. I'm looking to peak at 34 miles/week with a long run of 14 miles. The final race before my marathon training will be the YMCA Turkey Trot. I have done this race in the past two years, but I have never trained for it or done any serious running before it. I haven't decided on which marathon training plan to use or to design my own, but I will be researching this over the next couple of months. It you have any suggestions please do share.

Other than running, I will continue my upper body resistance training and hope to incorporate some lower body work as well. I will continue swimming and biking as cross training.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shea's 5K

Well, I bailed on yesterday's 5K, due to work. I actually have to do some work today too, but I was able to get in the Shea's run this morning. I've been thinking some about pace and decided to try a new strategy. I had been starting slower and decreasing my time per mile about 5 seconds per mile. Today I decided to pick a pace and stick with it for the entire race.Today I was shooting for 23:45/7:40. Here's how I did.

Mile 1: 7:40/7:38 (-:02)
Mile 2: 7:40/7:39 (-:01)
Mile 3: 7:40/7:47 (+:07)
Last .1: :45/:45 (:00)

The last mile really hurt. This strategy was okay and I may try it again, but I still like my other approach better. I guess I shouldn't complain too much though as I decreased my best time at this distance by :10.

Totals:

Mileage: 3.11
Time/Pace: 23:50/7:39
Avg Heart Rate: 173 (Yikes!)

Temp: 65
Weather: Sunny, Cool, Breezy

Back to work....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Swimming Again

Today I went out and got a pair of goggles and a nose plug. HUGE HELP!! I swam for another 20 minutes and did my medicine ball core workout. MY biggest problem swimming is getting a breathing rhythm and while keeping my head in the water. The lifeguard on duty must think I look like a flailing cat, that was thrown in the water and is desperately trying to get to the edge. Oh well. It can't get any worse. Well...unless I drown.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Great Swimming Experiment

At the hotel I'm staying at, they've worked a sweet deal where the guests get to use the local Y for free. It is only a block away and has a pool. I've been contemplating adding swimming to the mix, but I have some issues with the whole public water activity thing.

However, I thought, what the hell, and went for it. I went out and bought a swim suit, some flip flops, and a beach towel.

As I went through swim, I began to realize why I have an issue with public water sports. Here's my list.

1) Feet. I have an issue with feet. Some people don't take care of their feet like they should. Maybe it always isn't their fault, but still, feet just bother me. This is worse at water parks as you have to share things like water tubes with other slimy-skinned people.

2)My Own Fat. Hey, I'm a fat guy. I don't actually look appealing without my shirt on. I try to take other people into account when I bare my chest. I feel bad for the lifeguard, who is forced to watch this round pasty guy thrashing in the water. She must be thinking, "Please don't drown. I don't want to have to drag your fat ass up from the bottom."

3) Man Junk. Come on guys! Cover it up! Why do the old fat men always prance around the room flapping in the breeze and then think it is a good idea to strike up a conversation with me. Hey buddy, you are wet, naked, fat and hairy. I really just want to dry off, get dressed and leave.

4) Water up the nose. This is the hardest part for me. I think I'll need to invest in a nose plug or something. I don't do the whole face in the water freestyle crawl thing, because of this. I need to learn how to do this, so I must try the nose plug.

So, in spite of all of this, I swam for 20 minutes. Swimming is pretty intense, especially when you do it for an extended period of time. I've never really swam for exercise, just recreation. The experience was tolerable and I will do it again (maybe even tomorrow!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cross Training and Resistance Training

I suppose I should document all of my other activities not just my running days. Since June I have been regularly been doing upper body and core work. I don't do weights for my legs as the running seems to be strengthening them just fine. I have been trying to do resistance training on my off running days and core work 3x per week.

My upper body work consists of 2 sets of 3 different exercises for each muscle group: chest, shoulders, back, triceps and biceps, with 15-20 reps per set, light weight. I did this workout today.

My core workout is with a medicine ball taken from Runner Dude's Core Workout.

Tomorrow I am also going to give the pool a try. Now that I am working out of town, I have more time to do more training. I work longer hours, but because I am not home I have nothing else to do in my down time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rochester Half Marathon

I did it! I finished the race in 1:55:04. A couple of morning mishaps didn't set me back too much, was just annoying. I was preparing to leave the room and had everything on except my Garmin watch. I had plugged it in at night to make sure the battery was fully charged. However, when I put the watch on, I noticed it was displaying the time as usual. It was frozen on one of the screens and I couldn't get it to respond. I was freaking out. I love that watch and it may be the most important tool I use when I run. My wife, who is usually impatient with everything, is the "repair wiz" in the house. She patiently inspected the watch and miraculously got it to respond and out the door I went. I noticed as I was trotting to the start line that the battery was only 32% charged. I figured that I had enough for the race since the battery is supposed to last for 8 hrs, and since I planned on finishing in under 2 hours it should last. Not so! It kicked the bucket during the last mile, which is okay, all things considered and I was able to use it to monitor my pace until the last mile.

So here's how the actual race went....

The first 3 miles were a breeze. Nice amount of spectators and a large running crowd made these miles go by fast. The start was a bit reminiscent of the Turkey Trot start, but it thinned out quickly. I did have a humorous experience in the first mile. A guy I was running behind, swerved off the road and peed on a building in downtown Rochester. He must have had to go pretty bad, since we were only in the first mile.


Mile: Goal/Actual (+/-)

1: 8:55/8:52 (-:03)
2: 8:55/8:54 (-:01)
3: 8:55/8:54 (-:01)


The beginning of the 4th mile, started with a pretty decent hill. Learning from my struggles with the inclines last week, I decided to try something new. I just took whatever the hill gave me, not focusing so hard on keeping pace. On the downhill, I used the decline to surge ahead. This seemed to work well for me.


4: 8:50/8:50 (:00)
5: 8:50/8:50 (:00)
6: 8:50/8:46 (-:04)


During this stretch the course got a bit boring. We had been running through city streets with a good amount of spectators, but then the route moved into a park and then on to a bike path along side the Erie Canal. There wasn't much room for spectators and not a lot of room to negotiate around slower runners. This was also where I turned on my I-pod for the first time. Up to this point I enjoyed the sounds of the race and spectators. Also, you'll noticed I struggled a bit hitting my splits, again I think mostly because I spent a lot of time weaving in and out of people, but I was getting a bit fatigued as well.


7: 8:45/8:42 (-:03)
8: 8:45/8:47 (+:02)
9: 8:45/8:48 (+:03)


The course began to get a little more interesting at this point. We emerged from the bike path and were running along side of the University of Rochester campus. This gave me a little boost of energy seeing and hearing the spectators. I also plowed into a lady who decided to stop dead in her tracks in the middle of the water stop.


10: 8:40/8:40 (:00)
11: 8:40/8:42 (+:02)
12: 8:40/8:37 (-:03)
13+ .1: 9:40/9:32 (-:08)


Overall:
Mileage: 13.10
Time/Pace: 1:55:04/8:46
Avg Heart Rate: 161

Temp: 51
Weather: Partly Sunny, Cool


I felt as though my plan for the race, was solid and I hit my goal, so I'm pretty thrilled. I must thank all of you who encouraged me and tolerated reading my blog. Also, thanks to those that came out to the race to cheer me on; my dad and Dawn, SL and VL, and of course, most of all, my lovely wife, who tolerated not sleeping much, getting up early and generally supporting me throughout this training.


What next?!? A few days off and then I will set a new goal. So, stay tuned...


I will leave you with this lovely picture of my race injury (more bloody nips!!) I even used Body Glide and that didn't work!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Night Before

Tomorrow is the "big day". I've trained hard, had a few setbacks, a few victories, a few disappointments.

Going through my mind tonight....

1) Did I eat the right food?
2) Did I train enough?
3) Am I going to make it?
4) Will I meet my goal?
5) Will I wake up on time?
6) Should I eat one banana or two tomorrow morning?
7) Am I going to look silly with my fuel belt on?
8) What if I don't finish.....

etc
etc
etc
etc

I'm sure I won't sleep much tonight, which is silly, because I'm not trying to win.

My strategy is the following...

Mile 1-3 8:55
Mile 4-6 8:50
Mile 7-9 8:45
Mile 10-13 8:40
Last .1 1:00

If I can accomplish this, I will run 1:55:10/8:47. Is this possible? Yes. Will I do it? Hopefully. Time will tell....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Holy Hills, Batman!

One thing about this area I'm working in now, it a much more hilly than home. Take today for instance. I left the hotel this morning, and ran around the neighborhood and immediately hit some hills the likes I've never dealt with. One hill in particular was just silly. I will now attempt some serious math to give you a better idea.

Gradient= Rise/Run

Rise
1100ft (top of hill) - 729 ft (ele. at bottom of hill) = 371 ft

Run
.81 mile (at top of hill) - .63 mile (at bottom of hill) = .18 mile

Gradient = 2061ft/mile

Ok, so what is the percentage gradient....do read on....isn't math fun!!

So first convert .18 miles to feet and that is...let's see....oh yeah...duh (!)...1478 ft...

Ok so then using Rise/Run....

371/1478 = 25% (Yikes!!)

Tough and something I haven't experienced before. I'll have to do more of this.

Mileage: 3.11
Time/Pace: 31:23/10:05
Avg Heart Rate: 140

Temp: 60
Weather: Sunny

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Otsiningo Park, Binghamton

I am working out of town, so I figured I'd try a new place to run. This was quite enjoyable. The park has a nice trail that runs along what I believe is the Chenango River. I took it nice and easy, not trying to break any records, just trying to keep my legs loose and enjoy my surroundings.

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 39:58/9:59
Avg Heart Rate: 147

Temp: 72
Weather: Sunny

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where am I?!?

So, I've been relocated for my job. It isn't too far away, only about 3.5 hours, but far enough that I have to spend time away from home. It already sucks being away from home, away from my wife, the puppies and kitties, my bed, etc, but it is important to make a living and so I can't complain too much.

I am looking forward to exploring some new trails and new sites while I run. I'll keep you posted as to what I discover.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Run into Buffalo 15K

Big test for me this morning. This is my first attempt at this distance in a race. I was a bit on edge, not having run since Tuesday, because of my questionable knee. Before the race, I tested the knee both with and without the knee wrap. I decided to go without the wrap.

The course is basically the Turkey Trot course, out and back. My plan was to test my pace to see if a sub-2hr half marathon was possible. I didn't feel the best waking up. I had a very active weekend and was up late spending time with friends. I was very groggy this morning when I woke. Anyway...

My thoughts were to start at an 8:40 pace, drop :05 for the first 4 miles and then hold at 8:25 for miles 4-6. Then continue the drop for 7-9, for an average pace of 8:25.

It started off well...

Mile 1: 8:40 goal/ 8:37 actual (-:03)
Mile 2: 8:35/ 8:37 (+:02)
Mile 3: 8:30/8:30 (+:00)

Some incline, that was more intense than it looked, but a nice descent too...

Mile 4: 8:25/8:33 (+:08), long gradual descent, took more out of me than I thought it would.
Mile 5: 8:25/8:25 (+:00), ok, back on track, but need the descent to help out.
Mile 6: 8:25/8:45 (+:25), sucking air now, more incline

Just survive....

Mile 7: 8:20/9:19 (+:59), more incline, ugh.....just breathe...lots of people passing me.....
Mile 8: 8:15/8:56 (+:41), I made a deal with myself, just get under 9mins, help from the descent
Mile 9: 8:10/9:23 (+1:13), yeah right....you are SO FAT!!!!
Last .3: 2:25/2:33 (+:08), sprinted to the finish....well SPRINT is a loose interpretation....

What did I learn?

1) I'm still FAT and out of shape.
2) I can survive a race, even when everything tells me to "Stop, this is stupid!"
3) Get better sleep the night before.
4) Eat better, you won't feel so crappy in the morning (aka. Food Hangover = Not Good for a Race)

This race was pretty neat other than my obvious deficiencies. I like the out and back race route. It allowed two opportunities to see the leaders zoom past. It is interesting to note the body type changes as runners pass by. The leaders were a long and thin, in top running shape. As the race progressed, the waistlines expand and the muscle structures become less obvious. Guess what group I was in? The round, sweaty balls blundering along somewhere in the middle.

Mileage: 9.32
Time/Pace: 1:21:41/8:45

Temp: 65
Weather: Sunny, Cool

The good news is that if I can run this pace for the half I will finish under 2 hours (1:54:37). This pace even gives me a handful of minutes to "play" with.

After the race, my knee felt good, even walking on it. The rest was successful. This week will consist of mostly rest too. I don't want to push it too hard. I will probably get in one or two runs in the 3-5mile range, just to stay loose, otherwise saving it all for Sunday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Checking In

I'm still resting my knee. I haven't run since Tuesday. Well, okay, so I ran a LITTLE BIT yesterday. My wife is doing the coach to 5K program, so I ran her daily workout with her. Other than that nothing, but upper body weight work. I'm itching for a run, but am erring on the side of caution. Today I have been wearing my Ace wrap all day, and the knee feels better. The latest plan is to run the 15K as a "test" for my running time strategy and to check out the knee. I may get a short distance (3-4 miles) in mid-week and then nothing until the half on next Sunday. I am confident that my fitness level (small as that is) won't go out the window and the lay off won't hurt me too much. After the half, I'll re-assess, but the plan is a solid week of rest with maybe a 5K. Then a good 8 weeks of building up mileage and various 5K's throughout the fall. At the end of November, the plan is to begin training for a marathon (Shamrock Marathon, Virginia Beach, in March). Whew...we'll see.

Also, if there are any bikers out there looking for a new shop in town check out Tri-Spot. They just opened and are the only local dealer of Cervelo. They have a winter time-trial series that uses a virtual reality race simulator that I am thinking about signing up for. I still need to purchase a bike, but I think I am going for the Cervelo S1.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nagging Knee

I'm feeling a bit frustrated about my knee. It is just sore enough to be annoying. I am going to bail on today's run and possibly tomorrow's too. Argh!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Body vs. Mind

Last month I talked about a run where I couldn't get my body (particularly legs) to move and respond the way I wanted it to. Today was just the opposite. I was trying to keep my body moving slow, but it just wanted to go. It felt very uncomfortable when I tried to slow down. Weird huh?!?

I also finally went out and bought an Ace wrap for my knee. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I'll let you know how it works. My knee is more sore when I walk. When I run it feels fine.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 44:45/8:56
Avg Heart Rate: 153

Temp: 61
Weather: Sunny, Cool

Monday, August 31, 2009

Week In Review

My longest run, a 5K PR, a bunch of miles, what could be better? I'm pleased with this week's work and now I am reducing mileage in preparation for my first half marathon attempt. I scoped out the route this week, looks a bit hilly, but nothing I can't handle. I feel very prepared and can't wait. I have one more tune up race planned, the 15K Run into Buffalo.

I have begun to think about what time I want to go after. I'm certain that breaking 2hrs. would be an achievement for me. I did a bit of research online using a race predictor and this is what it came up with...based on my most recent 5K time 24:00, it suggested a 1:50:24 half (8:25 pace). This seems to me to be a bit aggressive, but it would get me to my goal, so what the heck.
I am going to test this pace predictor in the 15K (it suggests 1:16:43/8:14 pace). I will incorporate this with my negative split strategy that has proven successful in my recent 5K (:05 per mile).

Week's Stats:

Days: 5
Mileage: 34.11
Time/Pace: 5:23:13/9:29
Avg. Heart Rate: 148

Sunday, August 30, 2009

12 Miler

This was my first attempt at this distance. Not much difficulty here. I went out purposely slow and kept my heart rate down, emphasizing finishing the distance. The weather couldn't have been better, cloudy and cool, perfect running weather. I ate two packages of Clif Shot Blocks, one block per mile (33 cal each).

Mileage: 12.00
Time/Pace: 2:04:11/10:20
Avg Heart Rate: 140

Temp: 64
Weather: Cloudy, Cool

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tops/Roswell Park 5K

Ho hum...another PR! After the last 5K I ran, I was feeling really confident. I set an aggressive goal for this race for an even 24:00, :43 faster than 10 days ago. The course is pretty much flat. The weather, rain, downpour right before the start and then let up as the race progressed. I felt pretty good throughout the race, though I was pushing my limits. I ate a bowl of cherries for breakfast and had a package of Clif Shot Blocks shortly before the race.

One thing that needs to be improved on this race...no chip timing?!? With over 400 people running this race today, I was baffled by the absence of the chip timers. Also, I've noticed that only a couple of races that I have run this year has a timing mat at both the start and the finish. In our technologically advanced society, you'd think that we'd be able to see this at all races. I time myself, but the fact remains that people want accurate times. I didn't cross the start line until 5 seconds after the gun and that is when I start my watch, but I'm sure other people don't have that luxury and are relying on race timing.

The Stats:
Goal / Actual / +/-
Mile 1: 7:50/7:49/ -:01
Mile 2: 7:45/7:46/ +:01
Mile 3: 7:40/7:40/ :00
Last .1: :45/ :43

Mileage: 3.11
Time/Pace: 24:00/7:43
Avg Heart Rate: 167

Temp: 67
Weather: Rain, Downpours at Times

Thursday, August 27, 2009

7 Miles? No Problem!

Nice 7-miler on the schedule for the day. I remember the first couple of times I ran this distance. Afterwards, I pretty much felt like I was ready to die. Not today! I moved well and still had more left to give at the end.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:06:00/9:25
Avg Heart Rate: 149

Temp: 62
Weather: Sunny, Cool, Breezy

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clif Shot Blocks and My Garmin

I tried a new energy food today, the Clif Shot Blocks. Fantastic! They have the texture of gummy bears and taste great too. The packaging is not as easy to deal with while running as GU, but I think I might like this product better. They are 95% organic too.

My Garmin is both a blessing and a curse. The techno nerd inside me loves all of the intricate details it gives me, but the major flaw of the watch is that when it gets wet, it does not respond to commands as well. I have problems changing the view when it is humid, if I get too sweaty or it rains. This gets frustrating, otherwise a great tool that keeps me on track.

Knee felt better today, I was going to get a soft wrap, but didn't, maybe tomorrow. I am keeping a very close eye on it as it is close to my target race and I certainly don't want to miss it.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 56:57/9:29
Avg Heart Rate: 152

Temp: 68
Weather: Overcast, slightly humid

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4x1600

More speed work today. My knee actually feels better (doesn't ache) when I'm running. When I walk it is sore. Weird. One mile warm up, 4x1600 with 400m recovery walk in between, and finished with another mile cool down. I wasn't really sure what my splits should be, so I just went by feel for the first repeat and then tried to lower my time each consecutive split. Here's how I did...

Time/Avg HR/Peak HR
1: 7:44/158/165
2: 7:39/159/168
3: 7:35/161/171
4: 7:31/162/173

I'm pleased with this, and I'm sure I could have pushed a bit more and gotten even lower.

Overall Stats:

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 52:01/8:40
Avg Heart Rate:

Temp:65
Weather: Sunny, Cool

Monday, August 24, 2009

Trying to Figure It Out

I feel like an old man today. My joints are achy and I'm frustrated. I am going to see how tomorrow is and I may run. Three weeks until my half-marathon. I am confident I can make it through it. Time will tell.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Taking a Few Days Off

Against my drive and desire to run, I am going to take a few days off. My left knee isn't feeling the best and though I could run on it, I probably should stay off it. The plan is to skip today and tomorrow's scheduled runs and get back at it Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll lose 11 miles of training but hopefully gain much more in strength and rest.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bad Sleep = Bad Run

Ugh...I tossed and turned all night. I forced myself out of bed at 7:30 and got out for a run. Every step was a chore, I barely made it through. I'm glad I did it, because I can draw on the fact that I ran and finished even though I was tired and wanted to quit.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:11:16/10:11
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Temp: 75
Weather: Sunny, Humid, Windy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moonlight Run 5K

Finally...a sub 25:00 5K!!

I made a few changes in my preparation for the race and goals I set/things I did during the race.

1) Food intake: Last 5K I ran, I killed a Chinese Buffet for lunch. Today, I had a much more sensible lunch (quesadilla) and about 2.5 hours before the race I had a couple of servings of pasta with lite butter and parm. cheese. I topped off the pre-race food with a GU 45 minutes and 20 minutes before the race. After the race, a banana.

2) Running with music: I run with music during my training runs, but until this point, I did not run with music during the race. I liked this addition, but am still torn, because I also like the sounds during a race.

3) Target Splits: Last race I planned splits that were :15 apart. This may have been too much. This time I planned splits for 8:05, 8:00 and 7:55 and then the last .1 mile at :44. This is how I did...

Mile 1: 8:06 (+ :01)
Mile 2: 7:58 (-:02)
Mile 3: 7:53 (-:02)
Last .1: :45 (+:01)

4) Running "Games": In past races, I found that my mind was fighting with my body, and I figured I needed something to occupy my mind. The music helped, but I also did a version of Fartlek running. I picked out someone a bit ahead of me and caught them and then slowed down until I "recovered" and then did the same thing again. I didn't need to do this until the 3rd mile and I think it got me through quite well.

Mileage: 3.13
Time/Pace: 24:43/7:54
Avg Heart Rate: 163

Temp: 79
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Medium Humidity

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bloody Nips and the Trail



I had some more track work on the schedule today, but my late wake up and looming race tomorrow suggested that I should alter my schedule. I thought, "Maybe a nice little trail run would be a good change of pace." I hadn't been back to Chestnut Ridge since I checked it out for a 3-miler in June. I decided to do five there today.


That trail is an ass kicker in certain spots. I wiped out a couple of times going downhill. The first time going down a pretty steep decline, I lost my footing and let out a pretty girly shriek. Good thing that no one was around. The second time was actually going uphill on a muddy section. I was able to catch myself both times and no damage was done. This is definitely a different kind of running. Much slower and much, much more technical. I love it! I wish this trail was closer as I would use it much more. I might check out Sprague Brook later in the week.


On to the nips...After my run I was stretching and I looked down and saw this (see picture above.) I didn't really feel anything during the run. They are a bit tender to the touch, but other than that no problem. Probably grossed out some of the people I ran past. This used to happen when I wore cotton shirts, but hasn't really been an issue since I switched to the tech shirts. Oh well. Another good story to tell, I guess.


Mileage: 5.00

Time/Pace: 1:00:50/12:10

Avg Heart Rate: 150


Temp: 84
Weather: Partly Sunny, Humid

Sunday, August 16, 2009

5 for Saturday, 10 for Sunday

I missed writing about my run yesterday, due to time constraints. Here's the stat for Saturday's 5 miler.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 47:29/9:29
Avg. Heart Rate: 149

Yesterday's run didn't feel so good. My left knee felt "loose". Not sure what the deal is there, I'll have to keep an eye on that.

Bridal shower day, hooray! Actually, as far as things like that go it was well done. My wife and a couple of other girls in the wedding did the planning. It was bearable. Now, I'm not suggesting that this should become a common practice, but being what it was, it was good. Highlight of the day...the dog (not mine) eating the groom's name off of the cake. Hilarious!!

So...today I set the alarm for early, determined to get my 10 miles in before it began to smolder. I felt great waking up, no lingering knee pain from yesterday. The 10 went by quickly, no major issues, unlike last week. I might be getting used to the humidity too, which is a plus.

Mileage: 10.00
Time/Pace: 1:44:17/10:25
Avg Heart Rate: 149

Temp: 82
Weather: Hazy, Humid

My wife and I just got back from Fleet Feet. I think I have her convinced to start some running. We got her fitted for some nice running shoes and I also picked up a new pair of shoes as I'm up to about 350 miles on the current pair.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Progress?

Today I went out for a 6 miler. I wasn't feeling my best, muscle soreness in both legs, but I figured I would forgo my cross-training tomorrow and rest then. I am impatient when it comes to progress and so it is a good thing that I have my Garmin to track all of my runs.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 59:10/9:51
Avg Heart Rate: 147

Temp: 74
Weather: Fog and then Sun, Humid

I looked back at my other 6 mile runs since I started for comparison. What I notice is that while today was not my best time, my heart rate was much lower. What I'm taking from this is that I am accomplishing the same goal in about the same time, with less effort. This is the definition of becoming more fit, right? With that being said, I can be somewhat pleased and this encourages me to continue.

7/30 55:27 153HR
7/10 57:42 156HR
6/26 1:05:41 151HR
6/24 1:07:20 155HR

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

5 Mile Run

I really didn't want to go out today. I was lying in bed thinking, "I could take today off, and make it up Friday." I almost convinced myself to stay in bed, but then something from deep within pushing me against my will and there I was hitting the road for five miles. My body was definitely sore from yesterday's speed work. I didn't push too hard and the humidity was definitely a factor. However, after the run I was feeling much looser. I'm glad I did it.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 48:21/9:40
Avg Heart Rate: 147

Temp: 76
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Sultry

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

800x6

Another attempt at some speed work today. I did this one on the track, nice soft surface, running in circles (or ovals) is a bit tedious. I started and finished with a 1-mile slow jog. I walked for 200m in between each 800 repeat. Here are my splits along with the peak heart rate for each.

1: 3:40/163
2: 3:42/166
3: 3:42/171
4: 3:43/171
5: 3:43/173
6: 3:45/173

I give myself an A+ for consistency, but and F for feeling good afterwards. Speed work kills me, does it ever get any better?!?

Total Stats
Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace:43:25/8:41
Avg Heart Rate: 153

Temp: 75
Weather: Sunny, Medium Humidity

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week in Review

Getting closer to the goal and still plugging along. Couple of anniversary blips, but I still got my scheduled mileage in. Yesterday's long run was a bit brutal, but I made it and hasve that experience to draw from in the future.

Days: 4
Mileage: 24.27
Time/Pace: 4:08:17/10:13
Avg Heart Rate: 156

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oh...So THIS is What Summer Should Feel Like

I think we actually had a "normal" summer day. Mid-eighties, hot, humid, a thunderstorm, etc. I did an evening 10-miler and....WHEW...it was the absolute toughest run I ever did. My numbers tell the story. It was humid, and I felt like I had to work twice as hard as usual. I really wanted to give up a few times, but I was able to dig down, deep, deep, down and finish it. The numbers are nothing to be proud of, but I think the experience of running in these conditions will prove to be valuable. I can now say that I've done it and can draw from that the next time I encounter similar situations.

Mileage: 10.00
Time/Pace: 1:50:18/11:02
Avg Heart Rate: 159

Temp: 82
Weather: Partly Sunny, Intense Humidity, Wind

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Freestylin'

I missed my last two workouts. Thursday, life just got in the way. Friday was my wife and I's 5th anniversary and we had the fortune of having one of the best days of the summer to enjoy, followed by a fabulous dinner. Today, was golf and a graduation party and afterwards I just had to get out and get some miles in. I didn't feel like setting or following a specific distance, so I just went out for a bit. Felt good and looking to do about 10 or so tomorrow.

Mileage: 5.28
Time/Pace: 53:29/10:07
Avg Heart Rate: 147

Temp: 66
Weather: Overcast, Light Drizzle

A bit about my nutrition. It is BAD. MY two problems with my diet and fitness has always been 1)no exercise and 2) poor, POOR diet. I think I have the first in check. I have never been this motivated to exercise and my new found love of running seems to be just blossoming. However, food is another story. I will get into this more in the near future, but just to give you a sample of how horrible it is here what I ate today: grande Java Chip Frap., cinnamon coffee cake, pretzels, 20oz. soda, two beef on wecks, two servings of jambalaya, a serving of roasted potatoes, serving of macaroni salad, piece of cake, a piece of barbecue chicken, and two light beers. It's only 8pm, so I will probably have something else before bed too. Can't wait to get into this topic further as I think it is my biggest problem and will hold back my progress.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bike Shopping Part 2

I did a bunch more research and I think I've narrowed my choices down to three bikes, the Equinox as mentioned before, the Trek 2.3 and the Madone 4.5. All are pretty comparable in price. The Equinox may not be the best choice as it is more of a time trial bike while the other two look better for cross training. However, the Equinox is DEAD SEXY (!!) and would be better suited if I ever did a tri. Here's a link comparing the three...bike comparision.

Bike Shopping

Yesterday I checked out a few bikes that I'm looking at purchasing at some point. I went to Bert's Bikes and told the salesperson I was looking for a bike to cross-train with and perhaps at some point do a duathlon or even a triathlon with. I checked out a few models and liked the Trek Equinox 7 the best. It is a time trial style bike, which I have no experience with, but it certainly looks fantastic. I haven't totally committed to this yet and am going to look around some more, but this is the leader out of the box.

Nice run today. Much better than yesterday. I actually was able to get some response from my legs. Weather is still unseasonably cool, not that I'm complaining it's just weird.

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 26:54/8:58
Avg Heart Rate: 152

Temp: 64
Weather: Sunny, Breezy, Cool

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Speed Work + Me = Disaster

Okay, well maybe not that bad, but it felt like that about half way through. My plan was a one mile warm up, followed by mile intervals with half mile slow recovery jogs. The miles were supposed to by at a 5K pace, so I settled on a goal of 8:02, which is basically what I had running in actual races. The first mile went off well at 7:58. The second mile, 8:10, not as good, but still acceptable. Then, WHAM, giant wall. I have no idea what happened. I was running into a bit of a headwind, but I certainly cannot blame it all on that. I felt as though I had concrete shoes on and finished with a 9:18. Ugh! At one point I even wanted to quit, so it was a victory just to finish.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 58:16/9:43
Avg Heart Rate: 159

Temp: 77
Weather: Sunny, Warm, Medium Humidity

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pushing the Envelope/Week in Review

I had serious doubts that I'd be able to get out for a run today. This weekend was dedicated to working on the roof. My diet this week was horrible. I pretty much ate pizza, chicken wings, and other fast food as a necessity to get food in me and continue roofing. My body was hurting from this and the stress of crawling in, on and around a roof. My body and mind was craving a run. At about 2 today, I decided I was going to push the envelope and get a run in tonight. I had every reason to put it off to another day. However, I wanted to really see what I could do when not at my best. I was definitely feeling run down and maybe even a bit of nausea. I ran anyway. Then a glorious thing happened. My body responded in a way that I could never expected. I ran a solid 7 miles, each mile feeling stronger than the first. I actually gained energy with each step and feel fantastic now! I really don't intend to do this on a regular basis, but it was great.

Week Stats:

Mileage: 21.13
Time/Pace: 3:26:15/9:46
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Hopefully, today's inspiring run will get me refocused to the stretch push to the half-marathon.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back on the Roof

Another weekend on the roof; sacrificing my weekend runs so far. I wasn't able to get in the five I had scheduled. However, I'm sure that I burning a truck load of calories anyway. My body aches everywhere. Tomorrow is another roof day and a scheduled 7 miles. Hopefully, I can get it in, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Today's Run

Not feeling very chatty today, so I'll just give you the dirty details....


Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 55:27/9:14
Avg Heart Rate: 153

Temp: 72
Weather: Sunny, A Bit Humid

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ronald McDonald House 5K

Before I get into the actual details on the run, here are a few things that amused, annoyed, intrigued, or otherwise caught my attention during the race.

1) Junk in The Trunk: There was a 20-something year old woman who started the race in front of me. She was wearing TIGHT (!!) pink spandex shorts. Normally, I would be all for this, hoping that she could set a good pace and I would have an extra bit of motivation for the run. However, WAY TOO MUCH junk. It was pouring over the top, squeezing out the sides, and bunching underneath (I assumed that last part.) Picture this....extra large curd cottage cheese! Nasty!! Now, I'm certainly not in the best shape and I shouldn't be too judgemental, but I know what the limits of my wardrobe are. I gave up my mesh tank top half shirts after I went above 180. I no longer wear the Speedo that I graced so many beaches with. Come on girl! Look in the mirror. Cover up that pizza!!

2) Smoking Cops (And I don't mean hottttt!!!!): During the run I passed two of Buffalo's finest smoking as they were directing traffic, blocking side streets, etc. The first was at the corner of Richmond and Utica the second at the corner of Delaware and Ferry. I know that being a police officer is sometimes a thankless job. In fact, we had a moment of silence for a fallen officer right before the race. However, How unthoughtful of these people to not only smoke on the job, but at an event that celebrates fitness and health. I am debating whether or not to write a letter to the BPD to acknowledge this. If I ask my wife she would definately say "Do It!!" (She's big on addressing bad service, behavior, etc.)

3) My Garmin Watch: I got a bit frustrated with my watch today. I had a hard time getting it to stop timing at the finish line. I'm sure that the rain and humidity had something to do with it, but come on (!) for almost $400, it should be able to handle these conditions. I wonder how it will hold up when I am doing the Badwater 135 (kinda a joke, but also kinda not?!?)

4) Recognizing Other Runners: I am starting to recognize other runners that I have run with in past races. There's the foot stomper, the fast granny, Mr. Heavy Breather, and the "Ball of Fury" (all pet names I have come up with. ) I guess I'm becoming a running nerd!

5) Don't Eat at the Chinese Buffet the Day of the Race: Yeah, I know right! I went out to lunch with a work collegue and we love to go to the buffet, so I didn't even question it. After eating that first dumpling, I thought, "Hmmmm...maybe this isn't a good idea." Well, I was already there and it was all you can eat...so...Fat Guy that I am...I chowed down.

Okay on to the race details...

My plan was to break the 25 minute mark. I knew this was a bit of a challenge for me, but I had a plan.

Mile 1: Great start. .25 into the race I looked down at my watched and noticed I was going at a 7:35 pace. I slowed down a bit and finished this first mile with no problem. My split goal for this mile was 8:15 and I nailed it.

Mile 2: Time to pick up the pace a bit. I was aiming for 8:00 pace and finished at 7:59. Cool! My goal well within reach. Until....

Mile 3: It all fell apart here. Quads went back to jelly. I was definately feeling that buffet...gurgle, gurgle. Body wouldn't go any faster, though my mind was whipping it like a thoroughbred in the final furlong. I was shooting for 7:45 and missed with an 8:06 mile.

So the final stats:

Mileage: 3.13
Time/Pace: 25:11/8:03
Avg Heart Rate: 167

Nice job by the race organizers. Good route, no problems. Will definately go back next year.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Conversation with My Quads

I had planned on doing some speed work, but I was craving a trail run, so I called an audible and hit the trail for 5 miles. During the run, I had an interesting conversation with my quads. The transcript is below.

Me: Uhhh....hey quads we've been running for about a mile now and I don't feel like you are putting very much effort in.

Quads: Hey, buddy relax it's hot out here!

Me: No seriously, you feel like a bunch of jelly. I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt in the first mile, figuring you hadn't done this in a while and just needed a warm up, but now I am expecting a bit more.

Quads: Hey, lay off. I'm the biggest muscle you have, don't piss me off!

Me: Well, there is a hill coming up. Do you think you can give me more?!?

Quads: If I feel like it, but don't hold your breath.

Me: I won't, in fact I've checked in with the rest of the body and they are all doing fine. Heart rate,150ish, good; calves, no problem here; even the shins aren't complaining (and we all know that they are ALWAYS complaining about something.)

Quads: Yeah, well the shins got almost two weeks off while you punished me on the infernal bike.

Me: I thought you liked the burn?

Quads: Whatever. You like to see me burn.

(A faster runner goes by.)

Me: Hey quads....look at the quads on that runner. They seem to be getting along just fine. How about you step it up just a bit.

Quads: No.

Me: I'll give you a quarter.

Quads: What the heck am I going to do with a quarter?!?

Knee: (chimes in) You can call someone who cares.

(Various body parts laugh)

Quads: Whatever.

Well, you get the gist. This went on for most of the run. My quads weren't sore, just felt dead.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 53:40/10:44
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Temp: 79
Weather: Sunny, Humid