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).


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:
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....

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

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 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! 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


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.