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 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


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:

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!! 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


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


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
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 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


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 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.