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 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

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gym Rats

What's the deal with the gym rats? I'm talking about the muscle men (boys) that spend their entire day lifting weights. It is very annoying for a fat guy like me, just trying to get in some little weight work. I'm not trying to be huge, I don't want to be huge. These guys strut around, arms so big that they can barely swing them. Then right before I refill my water bottle one hock a big snot ball into the water fountain. Thanks, buddy! Then there is a guy working out right under the sign that says "Please don't slam weights on floor." He is doing 80lbs. dumbbell presses, does about 6 reps (barely) and slams them on the floor. Really?!? Come on. Then you have the 3-4 guys all working out together, using 6 different machines. I waited for what seemed to be a window in their routine, to step in a do a set. Whoa!!! Can't do that! They were using that machine (even though they hadn't touched it in 15 minutes.) Ugh. The gym is a necessary evil, but people like that drive me nuts and make me not want to go.

Today, I did 65 minutes on the bike and my upper body weight routine. I feel recovered from my roofing and am looking forward to getting a run in tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week In Review

Another down week. I did get a bit of running in and a bit more cross-training, but overall missed my goals. I did have a roofing project that cut into the majority of my weekend. Roofing is brutal on the body. I have tons of bumps and bruises and I hurt in places on my body that I didn't even know existed. This picture is the biggest bruise I acquired, upper right thigh. In the little running that I did, I had very little shin pain (progress?!?)

However.... here's the weeks stats:

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:04:53/9:16
Avg Heart Rate: 151

I'm looking to get back into rhythm this week. I'm looking to get some more trail work in. I have another potential roadblock this weekend as I am returning the roofing favors at my friend's house. Also, I have plans to run a 5K race on Wednesday. I haven't run a race since the 4th. I also will be sending in my half-marathon registration this week.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Up on the Roof

My wife and I own a piece of "prime" real estate on the West Side (I'm flashing my gang sign now). A hole developed in the roof, so I have spent the weekend on it. With the help and guidance of my roofing crew (PB, MAS), we did a tear off and replaced the roof. Needless to say no running today. I am so sore and ache in place I didn't even know I had muscles. Hopefully, I can put in a few miles tomorrow. I did get my cross training in yesterday (65 minutes on the bike.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

For the Birds

I do love running in the rain, but come on, what's the deal? Where's the summer?!? The only company I had were some geese. (No biting this time!) Nice run today, regardless. Pain check...doing okay, nothing major to report. My shins seem to be holding up and tomorrow they will get some rest with a scheduled cross training day.

Mileage: 4.00
Time/Pace: 37:21/9:20
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Temp: 66
Weather: Rain

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On the Road Again

It feels good to run again! I haven't been running long (only seriously since about May), but the week layoff I took to help with my shins was tough. I have re-assessed my training to reduce further aggravation. Today felt great! A small tweak at the beginning, but other than that, nothing. I am icing as I write as a precaution.

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 27:31/9:10
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Temp: 63
Weather: Sunny

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cross Training Fiend

Today was a two-a-day cross training. I did 1 hour on the elliptical in the morning and then 1 hour on the bike tonight. I am paranoid that I will lose what I have gained as far a cardio and endurance. Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to run 3 miles on the trail. Hopefully, this goes well, because I really want to get back on track.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tweaking the Training

To assist with my shin issues, I have tweaked the schedule to use more cross training. This will primarily be done on a stationary bike as this is the easiest for me. I also have been doing some light weight work over the past month. On Mondays I've been doing upper body work, low weight, high reps. I will add this to Friday as well. Also, I have a core routine that I have been doing 3x week. I will continue to do this.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week In Review

In a word....disappointing.

I'm suffering through some pain and I want to just run through it, but have been advised not to. I know this is the right thing to do, but still doesn't make it any easier. I'm going to take a couple more days off, Monday is my normal rest day, I will do my normal upper body weights workout. I may or may not run Tuesday, but definitely do some bike work. Hopefully, by Wednesday I will be good to go.

Days: 2
Mileage: 10.00
Time/Pace 1:34:25/9:26
Avg Heart Rate: 153

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Frustrated Fat Guy

It's official. I'm frustrated. My mind is 100% into running, but my body is resisting. I know the right thing to do is rest, but I am becoming restless with inactivity. Yesterday I did an hour on the stationary bike. Better than nothing I guess. Today and tomorrow I am going to do as little as possible. Monday is a scheduled rest day, so hopefully by Tuesday I can get back at it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Everyone Picks Their Nose....


I was on my way to the golf course this morning and I noticed that my left nostril was experiencing some blockage. Not wanting to hamper my game with an oxygen flow issue, I did a clean swipe with my index finger and gave a little flick out of the window. Then I got to thinking if someone was driving by me and saw me do that they might have been disgusted. After pondering that imaginary scenario for a bit, I began to think about other "socially unacceptable" behaviors; burping, farting, talking about poop (what a funny word), etc.

What's the big deal about these things. WE ALL DO IT! Come on now! If you are shaking your head you are in DENIAL! I burp. I FART! I POOP!! And YES I PICK MY NOSE!!!

So, all of you in denial or just purely disgusted, embrace your farts! Let that burp ring free. If you drop a spectacular "hot one", don't be afraid to tell someone about it, and don't leave out those dirty details! Turn these "unacceptable behaviors" into what they really are, natural, everyday, important parts of all of our lives. I won't be upset if you drive by and that booger you just flicked out the window, lands on my windshield. I will celebrate your independence by gleefully streaking it across my windshield with the wipers. Embrace humanity for the burping, farting, pooping, booger flicking people that we really are!!

Oh by the way, I did about an hour on the elliptical today instead of running. A was drenched in sweat by the end, so I suppose that'll have to do for today's workout. Still craving that run, but am holding off, per advice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two A Days?!? Am I Obsessed?

Here's the deal. In talking to my "running guru" (don't get a big head AD) it was suggested that I do some cross training to help ease the soreness I'm experiencing. My wife was heading to the gym, so I figured what better time than now. I wound up doing about 45 minutes on the bike at the gym and I am actually writing this post as I do a cool down walk on the treadmill (thank you beautiful I Phone. )

The plan over the next few days is to lay off the running and substitute with the bike. Hopefully, this will work. It is going to be very difficult for me to resist running as I have no problem fighting through the aches mentally.

A Bit Achy

My shins are bothering me more today than over the past few weeks. It is a general soreness along the front, no really sharp pains. I have been consistently icing after each run. It is annoying more than anything else. I debated resting today, but since I was only going 3 miles I decided to suck it up and get out there.

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 26.42/8:54
Avg Heart Rate: 153

Temp: 66
Weather: Sunny

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

El Nino?!?

Is this summer? Stepping outside today I was rudely shocked by almost fall like conditions. I briefly thought about going back in to grab a long sleeve shirt. It is pretty weird how mild it has been this summer. I suppose I shouldn't complain. This cooler weather has been a blessing for me, as I haven't suffered through exhausting heat while run. Still weird...

Today's run was a 5 mile Fartlek with a warm up and cool down mile. Over the past few weeks, I feel as though I have been holding back a bit and running with some caution. Today I tried to kick it up a bit. Looking at my previous Fartlek (two weeks ago), I am pleasantly surprised with the stats. I completed the same distance almost 8 minutes faster and at a heart rate of 4 beats slow. A small victory for me, but I'll take it, because it shows me progress.

Also, my weight continues to go down. I have broken through 220 on my way to 180. Still a lot of work to do here, but heading in the right direction.

Mileage: 7.00
Time/Pace: 1:07:42/9:40
Avg Heart Rate: 153

Temp: 59
Weather: Sunny, Cool

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week in Review

Keeping it fresh was the theme this week. I did my first hill workout, on the Grand Island Bridge. I discovered trail running and think I am in love. Running through the rain is inspiring and motivating, though most may call it crazy. I topped it all off with today's 10-miler, the longest distance I've ever run at once.

Mileage: 33.01
Time/Pace: 5:35:50/10:10
Avg Heart Rate: 150

I've noticed my average heart rate going down week after week (I averaged 158 in mid-May for the week). This should allow me to push a bit harder, lowering my times.

Aches and pains....achy shins, right front lower near ankle, left higher up center of shin. Soreness above both knee caps at the longer distances. Left foot pain seems to have disappeared. None of these seem to be getting worse and none are unbearable during of after the run.

I'm looking forward for more trail work next week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Wife Thinks I'm Crazy

So what's a little rain? I was getting ready for my run today, and my wife looked at me like I was nuts. It was raining pretty good. I actually look forward to days like this. The rain is refreshing and it is a bit more challenging. I feel as though I accomplish a bit more on these days by overcoming an additional obstacle. Here's another example...last night, I was surfing the 'net looking at winter running gear. Am I a glutton for punishment? Am I truly crazy?

The run started with just a sprinkle. About a mile into it, the sky opened up and poured, as though it was trying to wash me away into the river. As I ran past parked cars full of people trying to keep dry, here I was running, embracing everything Mother Nature was throwing at me. I could hear what they were saying to each other, "Look at that fool!" or "Someone forgot to check the weather report!" I felt like Lt. Dann, on the Jenny with Forrest Gump, fighting the hurricane. Okay, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I was inspired and picked up my pace a bit.

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 27:23/9:07
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Temp: 70
Weather: Rain

Friday, July 10, 2009

Evening Run

It isn't too often that I run in the evening. I prefer to run as early in the morning as possible. It sets my day up nicely. If I wait until later, chances are greater that I get distracted and do not run. This was often the problem when I tried to go to the gym 4-5 days a week. However, today did not lend itself well to a morning run, so I had to run in the evening. I ate a light dinner about 1 1/2 hours before I left. I noticed that I began the run with much more energy. The first two miles felt as though I was floating. As I ran on, I noticed the heat and humidity getting to me, but I still finished the run without incident. Also, instead of focusing on my heart rate I went with how my body felt. I noticed myself moving a bit faster, but it also had me going out faster at the beginning and not holding the pace the entire time.

Mileage: 6.00
Time/Pace: 57:42/9:37
Avg Heart Rate: 156

Temp: 81
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Humid

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Day, New Trail

After yesterday's trail run, I decided to try another trail today. I headed over to Losson Park (Thanks for the suggestion EC!). At the beginning, I was a bit dissapointed, as I started in a section that was mostly bridge style walkways. However, as I continued I understood why these were here; there are several low lying areas that are quite swampy. The trails themselves are very nice, not too much elevation change, long enough that I really didn't have to repeat any trails, and scenic. Overall, quite enjoyable.

Mileage: 6.01
Time/Pace: 1:03:42/10:36
Avg Heart Race: 150

Temp: 67
Weather: Sunny, Cool

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trail Run

In my never ending quest to not become bored with running, I decided to try a trail run today. I have been reading quite a bit about ultra running and have become quite fascinated with it. However, I had no idea where to do any trail running around here. I was in EMS and the cashier told me about Chestnut Ridge Park. Though it is a bit of a drive, I had some time, so I headed out. In short, I loved it! I really enjoy how the trails weave in and out. There are quite a few hills, so I may take advantage of these hills for future hill workouts. The trails were a bit muddy, due to the rainy summer, no doubt. Overall, a great experience.

Mileage: 3.00
Time/Pace: 33:17/11:06
Avg Heart Rate: 147

Weather: Cloudy, Cool

I will be doing more trails. If anyone knows other trails in the area, please do share. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hill Work

This was my first attempt at hill work. Unfortunately, I don't have many hills in the area. So, a couple of weeks ago, on my way to the Outlets with my wife, we drove over the Grand Island bridge and I thought that might be a good "hill" to use. Today I tried it. I started with a 1-mile warm up and then hit the bridge. The first time over was interesting, as I was running against the traffic and the wind created by the cars was working against me. Turning the other way was literally a breeze with the traffic now with me and their wind currents pushing me along. I did four crossings. The total length of the bridge is about .75 mile.

Mileage: 5.00
Time/Pace: 51:45/10:21

Temp: 62
Weather: Cloudy, Cool

I am keeping a close eye on the aches I have, shins still sore, but not getting worse. Pain in foot, not as sore as Sunday. I will continue to monitor.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week in Review

I had a good week running. I was able to complete all of the mileage with limited issues. I felt good about my 10K and today I finished up with a solid 9 miles.


Days: 6
Mileage: 33.24
Time/Pace: 5:39:18/10:12
Avg Heart Rate: 151

Some minor aches and pains to discuss. My shins are still a bit achy. The pain hasn't gotten any worse, despite the increase in mileage. I ice and and elevate after the run. A new ache developed mid-afternoon yesterday. The inside of my foot, in the arch, near the ball of my left foot is a bit tender. It actually hurts more just walking than when I run on it. I have a scheduled day off tomorrow and I will reassess on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

And The Winner Is.......

Not Me.

Great day for a race. Temperature at start time was about 60, slight breeze, overcast. I woke a couple of hours before the race, had some Fiber One and was on my way. I brought GU along of course, had one about 45 minutes before the start, another one 15 minutes before the gun and was ready to go.

I have never run this distance before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I ran the Turkey Trot (8K) and did about a 9:40 or so mile. I felt as though I definately could do better than this. My best 5K was at about a 8:05 pace, so I settled for 9:15. During training, each split is usually slower than the last. In all the reading I have done, I noticed that I should be doing negative splits, so that was my other goal for the race. The first number was my goal the second my actual.

Mile 1: 9:25/9:19
Mile 2: 9:20/9:24
Mile 3: 9:15/9:11
Mile 4: 9:10/9:04
Mile 5: 9:05/8:57
Mile 6: 9:00/8:41
Last .2: 7:10 pace

Other than mile 2, I was successful at achieving this. What was more pleasing, was people that passed me in the first mile or so, I began passing at mile 3. That got me even more pumped and may have contributed to lower splits than I had planned for. Is it evil that I enjoy running past people, especially ones that look much more fit than I do?

Nice shirt from the race sponsor as well. Good job.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

5 Miles and Attack of the Killer Geese

Dramatic Title, Huh?!?

So, here's the story...I was enjoying my morning 5-miler when I happened on a "lovely" flock (or is it gaggle) of geese. There were a number of adults along with some babies hanging out on and around the bike bath. Thinking nothing of it, I continued to run assuming they would move out of the way as I neared. Quite the opposite happened actually. The big ones started hissing at me, some ran away, but one of the bigger ones actually chased me a nipped at my ankle as I passed.

I don't know what is more sad, a goose attacked me or that I was running slow enough for it to catch me. Anyways....

Temp: 68
Weather: Cloudy

Time/Pace: 51:28/10:17
Avg Heart Rate: 150

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Change of Scenery

I easily get bored, so today I decided to run in a different location. It was fantastic; made the run fly by. I was done before I knew it. Might try another route tomorrow. I also had a ton of energy. I could have ran at least a few more miles easy, but I didn't. I'll save my energy for the 10K on Saturday.

Temp: 69
Weather: Cloudy, Just Had Rained

Time/Pace: 28:33/9:31 (3 miles)
Avg Heart Rate: 145

I can probably pick up my pace a bit especially in these shorter runs. I am erring on the side of caution to prevent injury.