Thursday, May 31, 2007

Disney World

I am taking the family to Disney World for the weekend. So I have been hustling to get in a bunch of runs ahead of this schedule. I did ok. I ran everyday except one over the past 6 days. One day I ran twice. This morning I put in 4 miles at a 10 minute pace. It is not great but it is good. As I have posted recently, I am more interested in speed these days. I started with the thought that I can do the miles and that is the accomplishment. I suppose over time this changes to of course I can do the miles but how fast? Or I have only 30 minutes can I put in 4 miles in that time (right now the answer is no). But I think I could do it in 36 if I really pressed myself. I will try to run tonight and then once during the weekend in Florida but who knows.

My daughter, Emily, who is 4, is really looking forward to seeing Mickey Mouse. I think it will be stressful due to the crowds. But I am trying to be a good parent. So there we have it. I will take 4 days out of my practice to be a good parent. Wish me luck. I will give you an update when I get back. Keep running - find 30 minutes and get out there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I used to hate the Yankees

Maybe hate is a bad word for it. But I grew up a RedSox fan and the Yankees were always beating us my whole life (2004 World Series and ALCS meltdown aside.) The Yanks always had our number. You were biting your nails because the Yanks just had a bit more talent, well in the 70's and early 80's alot more talent. Recently they have had just a little more talent. But this is not the late 90's anymore. Today, the Yanks are in full meltdown. The starting pitching is miserable and Roger Clemens can only help so much. The Yanks are looking up at every team in the division not just the RedSox. However, the RedSox have a 14 and 1/2 game lead on the Yanks already. Things can change because the Yanks have no top end for their payroll so they can afford the talent to come in at mid season. But that may even be too late. So today, I feel bad for them. It really isn't any fun when your arch rival isn't any good, it makes the games not as meaningful. Well hopefully they will be better next year. Well this year I can always look forward to the Indians, never thought I would have said that when I was a kid.

5:30 am is a great time of day

I ran today at 5:30 and it was great, who said that? I remember a time when 5:30 was a time to go to bed not get up, amazing how things can change. But the weather in the morning is cool and crisp and just a nice time to enjoy the day. So I hit the bricks as my dad would say. I ran the first two miles pretty slowly until I realized I was doing it. Then I picked up the pace for the next two miles. If I have to guess, and I do, the first two miles was a 13 minute pace and the second two was at a 9 minute pace. I have to watch myself or I can be lazy. But I do have to admit something, when I run fast my butt hurts a bit. Not something a man wants to admit, sore butt that is. But it is true. I think I will be running at the crack of dawn during the summer. It is great training weather.

As to my pace, I have to look into a big purchase - a watch and shoe chip combo. Probably run about 250 but I am at the point that it is necessary. I did some research and I was torn between a timex system and the Garmin 205/ 305. I think I will go with the Garmin 205. It is just a bulky watch but it guages pace, distance, calories and does a bunch of other stuff. In the end the Timex system is great but too bulky for my liking. The chest strap and arm receiver were too much equipment for my liking. The Garmin 305 also has a chest strap but I will opt out. The heart rate is nice to know but to me its not worth the equipment. The good news, I have found that I can pick one up for a little under 200. A savings in my book. I love the internet.

I hope everyone had a productive weekend.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Too Much

Too much heat and too much speed, that was the story of today. I started my run late as it too my mechanic over 2 hours to do the brake job I had done today. So I started about noon and ran a little under 5 miles in an hour. I was cutting a far better speed than that maybe about a 10 minute pace, fast for me. The heat and humidity of the day hit me hard. I completed the first couple of miles and really had to walk, I was in a bit of trouble in terms of my body condition. The remaining 3 miles were a mix of run and walk. Overall I am happy with the run but I have to watch the heat and humidity. I can do well but I am very fair and have to respect the sun. I did recover in about 2 hours post run, but it did take the steam out of me.

I will try to run a bit more tonight.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Registration Complete

The big races require you to register early to same some cash on the fees. So, I registered for the Philly Distance Run and the 1/2 marathon portion of the Balitmore Marathon for September 16 and October 13 respectively. The die has been cast so to say. I have done 10 miles and that was the true test - Can I do it. Answer: yes. Even with a sprained ankle I covered all 10 miles and did not walk but maybe 6 blocks through the entire race. So now I have two half marathons on my plate. Remarkable from my reckoning. But it does mean that I have to run through the summer and have to take the running seriously as 13.1 miles is nothing to sneeze at. My goal time? Good Question, I'll look at it.

15 minute mile = 195 minutes or 3 hours and 15 minutes
13 minute mile = 169 minutes or 2 hours and 49 minutes
12 minute mile = 156 minutes or 2 hours and 36 minutes
11 minute mile = 143 minutes or 2 hours and 23 minutes
10 minute mile = 130 minutes or 2 hours and 10 minutes

My past performance would probably put me at about the 13 minute paxe throughout the race, so that is where I would end up if I ran today. But I worked on speed last night and ran 3 miles in 28 minutes (a 9 minute and 20 second mile). So I have some speed to work with and will develop more over the next few months. So I think I will be happy with a 2 hour and 30 minute time (between 11 and 12 minutes per mile). But I will shoot for 2 hours and 15 minutes (between 10 and 11 minutes per mile). There it is I am registered and plan to compete. I hope to beat my 10 mile performance on the 1/2 marathon and beat that time on the 2nd. That is the plan. Wish me luck and good luck to everyone else.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This Weekend

My schedule for this weekend is as follows, it is Memorial Day so I have included Monday as the office is closed.

Thursday: Street Run - 3 Miles

Friday: Street Run- 3 Miles

Saturday: Pennypack Park: 8 Miles

Sunday: Kelly Drive: 5 Miles

Monday: Pennypack Park: 8 Miles

I will let you know how my progress is. This may be a bit too ambitious just coming off the sprain but I will do my best to stick to it. I don't want to be the guy with an excuse so I will do my best to keep it up. I know that Dean will probably have done 250 miles in that time period so the least I can do is 25 miles.

Of course there will also be barbeques, family fun, and car repair. But I will do my best to be a serious runner this weekend. I will think of Pre, Dean and all those Kenyan guys and try to fly as best as I can. Next Friday I leave for a weekend in Florida so I need to get my exercise in before hand. Walking around Disney for a weekend should be interesting with a 4 year old. But in the interim I need to hustle some runs in.

After Monday:

Tuesday: Kenpo

Wednesday: 3 miles Street Run

Thursday: Pennypack Park - 5 miles

Then I can relax for the weekend without feeling too guilty. Happy trails folks and get some miles in, there is a race right around the corner. Turtle Express chugs on.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

John Bingham's Site

I have added John Bingham's site to my links. I find his website is a source on motivation, beyond my thinking about what Dean Karnazes is doing (which is probably running). John is a regular guy who decided to start running one day. I find his columns speak to me more than others who I don't think really understand the regular guy part of what I am doing. For me, I am not trying to win, I just want to lose weight and be healthy. The races give me structure for doing that. I think John Bingham gets that about those like me. So I think what he does for this sport is great, he gives the message that we are all welcome for all of our reasons for doing it.

I like to run because:
- it gives me some alone time to reflect
- it is a sport I can do at my own pace
- I only have to compete with myself
- Races, as I have recently learned, are a wonderful experience. It is a party preceded by alot of exercise.
- it gives me something to look forward to
- I feel better after I finish
- Out of town races give me a chance to travel to places I might not otherwise go to.
- I like being able to buy new smaller clothing.

We all run for our own reasons, none of them are wrong. Well unless you are just practicing to run from the cops.

The Next Run - June 24, 2007

I had been a bit concerned about my ability to recover from my sprain in time for my next run, The Double Trouble Trail Run in Morgantown, PA. After spraining my ankle I was uncertain about my recovery and was not sure if I could make the run. Today I am sure I will be recovered. I can walk without the brace and have run 5 miles since the Broad Street with no real problem. The race is 15k or 30k depending upon what you want to do. It is a trail run through a state park. So the view should be nice and there should be shade, but I won't count on it. Sun block is my friend, especially with my Scotch and Norwegian decent. Let's just say if I was any paler I would be see through.

I have the ability to run 30k if I choose to, I can't really imagine that but who knows. The run is apparently a loop and if you come to the finish and want to run another loop, then go ahead. At this stage of my running, I do not think I will do that but I will keep the window open. 15 kilometers is 9.3 miles and as I ran 10 miles in early May, I do not see a problem. I am able to train again so I wam hopeful for this one. My other summer run will be Marsh Creek Raptor Run which is a 10 miler.

For me these runs are important for my own accountability. If I did not have these to do it would be too easy to slack off. So having some shorter ones in front of the half marathons at the end of the year keeps me honest. I cannot just go out and run 13 miles, I have to build up to it. That takes miles during the week, miles on the weekend on a constant basis. I have to build to 100 to 125 miles a month -- establish a foundation so to say. Rome wasn't built in a day and they never built a skyscraper without a foundation. I have to build the base first and then I can succeed without killing myself. The worst thing I can imagine is showing up to race day unprepared. I did show up injured but I had built the miles over the previous 6 weeks, so I see a difference. 6 weeks of 15 to 20 miles per week, so I put in 100 miles to run 10. These shorter runs keep me on pace for the half marathons because September and October seem far away today. Also, the runs in September and October will gear me up for my Marathon next year. Always building on the base. I can't walk out the door and do 26 miles, I have to establish a base.

Wish me luck on the Double Trouble- 9.3 miles. It doesn't sound like much - but I am sure that by mile 8 I will know I have done something substantial. I can do it and so can you.

I always remember the words of my former Kenpo Instructor Bud Barrett, "If you look for an excuse long enough you will find one you like."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back in the Saddle

I wasn't able to run earlier in the week due to weather. But I was able to go out today, even though it did rain a bit. Running a light rain with warm weather is very nice I think. I went out to Kelly Drive. For those not familar with Philadelphia, Kelly Drive is one of the miracles of Philadelphia. Starting at the Art Museum and winding through miles of Fairmount Park, the largest Municipal Park in the States, Kelly drive is wonderful countryside running and biking track in Philadelphia. The planners have added many statues and rest areas throughout the course to make it appeal to families as well as runners. Additionally, the course runs the river where college boat houses abut the water. Most of the boat house are over 100 years old and are pleasantly constructed. The end result is quite remarkable. I am always impressed when I run down there. It is about 15 miles from home so I have to make a commitment before I go, as it takes about 45 minutes to get there through city traffic. However, it is always worth it.

Boathouse Row Philadelphia

Today a high school regata was going on while I was running so I had some distraction on the course. Crew is an interesting sport. I do wish I had looked into when I was in high school. In short today, I ran 4 miles on my recovering ankle (I also walked an additional 2). In short, my ankle did hurt afterward but it was not a pain to worry about, just a dull sore. Which is probably due to underuse. Tomorrow I will run Pennypack park. Turtle Express chugs on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Kenpo Class... oh, yeah!!!

I went to class last night and my arms are hurting today. Blocking can be a workout that is for sure. I have a little bruising on the inside of my arms today. It is a good pain. I need some time to perfect techniques. Tonight I will spend some time on it. The hardest part is keeping the names straight. Martial Arts techiniques have crazy names that are difficult to remember... so you have to do the technique and say the name as you do it. Maybe if I did them 20 times a day it would stick. Well I will try 15 times each tonight and see if that helps. Well I am off and rolling again after my post race injury... it feels good.

The New Race Schedule

Here is what I am committing to for the remainder of the year, after giving careful thought to the situation. I don't want to go with both the Philly Distance Run and the Marathon as they are basically the same course. So I needed to mix things up a bit.

May 6 : Broad Street Run - 10 miles (Philadelphia) - completed - I finished sprained ankle and all.

June 24: Double Trouble Trail Run - 15k (9.3 miles) (Reading, PA) - A trail run with lots of cover and after 15 k I can decide if I want to do 30k, I probably won't.

July 22: Marsh Creek Raptor Run- 10 miles (or 5 miles) (Downingtown, PA) - A nice jaunt through a state park on trails. Should be cover to protect me from the Sun.

September 16: Philadelphia Distance Run - 13.1 Miles (Philadelphia) - Starting at the Art Museum and around historic Philadelphia.

October 13- Baltimore Marathon - Half Marathon 13.1 miles (D.C.) - a run through Baltimore waterfront. Should be nice.

November 4: Run the Bridge - 10 K (6.2 miles) (Philadelphia - across the Ben Franklin Bridge) - How often do you get the chance to run across the Ben Franklin with Sal Palantonio from ESPN. So it will be a nice finish for the year.

It is an ambitious schedule but I think I can pull it off. If I can do it all I will try a marathon for next year. Probably not Philly, maybe Baltimore, the Marine Corps in D.C., or the Steamboat up in the Poconos.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Today's update

I was able to go to class tonight. A good start, I think. My ankle is a bit stiff now and was before I started. But overall I feel great. My pivots and stance changes were good enough for a man with a sprained ankle and felt good enough. I was able to break a sweat for an hour with little difficulty.

Now I need to get back onto the streets and do some running. I will try to get a couple of miles in tomorrow and work back up. The reality check part of my brain thinks that I need to hold off on my two to three hour runs on the weekend for a few weeks. I think my schedule will be as follows.

M-2 miles
T- Kenpo
W-2-3 miles
F-2 miles
S- 3 miles
Su- Kenpo practice at home

Once I can get back into the swing of things:

M- 3 miles (Tempo)
T- Kenpo
W- 5 miles
Th- Kenpo
F- 3 miles (Tempo)
Sa- 8 to 10 miles
Su- 5 miles/ sprinting/ cross training

The above will be more of a function of my healing more than anything else. I hope to get up to speed as soon as possible. One day at a time. The Turtle express is off and running again. Finally, the last week felt like a year.

Weight Check

I am surprised that after not really exercising for a couple of weeks I still dropped a bit (261). I took most of the week before the race off, to be rested for the race. After than I have been nursing a sprained ankle and haven't been able to run. So it is surprising that I am still dropping weight. Tonight is my first Kenpo class since injuring myself. Wraps, ibuprofen and moderation will be the keys to tonight's class. Life is hard and you shouldn't coddle yourself. I know I can do class so I should go because I enjoy it. If we all waited until we were a 100% to do anything then nothing would get done. Be smart about injuries but sitting the sidelines rarely makes sense over the long haul.

My goal for the next month is 10 pounds. Lets see.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Doing Better.... Today.

Over the weekend I was forced to do some shopping at the mall. The concrete floors murdered by ankle. It did not swell but it sure did hurt like a @#$%&. Today, I am better. It seems that overall I am much improved over last week. I think this is a good sign. Tomorrow, I will take my first stab back at Kenpo class since my injury. I will wear the brace and watch my lateral movement, but I think I should be fine. I may have to ice the ankle a bit after but I would rather be part of things than watching. Plus I need to keep my activity level up so I can get to the next scheduled run. Right now I am leaning toward a 15 K for the end of June. But that all depends on my recovery from the this sprained ankle. If all goes to plan my running schedule for the year will be as follows:

May 6 : Broad Street Run - 10 miles (Philadelphia) - completed
June 24: Double Trouble Trail Run - 15k (9.3 miles) (Reading, PA)
August 12: Chicago Half Marathon - 13.1 Miles (Chicago, IL)
September 16: Philadelphia Distance Run - 13.1 Miles (Philadelphia)
November 4: Run the Bridge - 10 K (Philadelphia - across the Ben Franklin Bridge)
November 18: Philadelphia Marathon Weekend - Half Marathon 13.1 miles (Philadelphia)

This is my plan for the year. It may be too ambitious and I may cut out Chicago. Three half marathons may be too much. But I think that 2 may be fine. I will keep you posted.

Running 0 miles this week, not good. I will attempt to do atleast some walking this week.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Master Tatum's Videos

When I was a young man I would have laughed at the idea of using videos for training purposes. My idea was that you should just go to class and practice and that videos were not really worth much in the realm of training. However, today I am of a different mind. Maybe it is that I am older and can't remember as well as I used to or that I have a career and cannot dedicate my time the same way. It is probably a bit of both.

I ordered a couple of DVD from Master Tatum's collection, mostly to help me associate the names of the techniques with the movements. I really find them to be excellent. They do what I want them for - reinforcement of class - and they offer more. Specifically, Master Tatum offers some tips on the execution of the techniques, purposes for kata, practical applications as well as how the technique is supposed to look.

A part I overlooked before is that it motivates me to work on techniques more at home. This will make me exercise more and hone my techniques outside of class. This is a great benefit. So I would recommend the dvds and find that they help me in many ways. Great!!!

On the Mend

The swelling in my ankle has subsided, my ankle is almost normal size. It still is painful and I wear a brace to work. However, it is managable. I have some discomfort when I twist it by accident but it is not a swollen mess with discoloration any longer. Although I cannot walk down stairs without pain, I think it has something to do with mass going down hill but I am not sure the reason it does not hurt going up stairs.

I have been doing some martial arts at home, but I had to cancel the week due to injury. I will be back at it next Tuesday with some pacing conderations for class. In the mean time I will be exercising at home being careful not to distrub my ankle too much. I find I can pivot just fine on it, so I can work on some things. I just have to avoid the stairs as much as possible. Good luck I guess. I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sprained Ankle, Ouch!!!

I sprained my ankle when I was about 20 and it took 6 weeks to feel better. At the time I had to use a crutch. I was a mess. So now I have to fight through another sprain, although this one is not nearly as bad. I am still remined that it is not right when I move wrong. It is just a dull pain but it reminds me of what I need to do. I would still run with the sprain again, it was worth it to compete in the run.

I learned that Robert Massaroni, a local Tang Soo Do instructor died at the finish line to the Broad Street Run. The cause of death is unknown. I feel very badly for him and his family on what should have been a great day. My sincerest sympathies go out to the family of this truly remarkable man. Please link to the article from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Broad Street Run

Well, I did it. It was not easy especially since I sprained my ankle on Friday while walking down the steps on the Subway on my way back from getting my race number. Really unfortunate, I almost was out two years in a row and I wasn't going to let that happen. Last year, I had a bad case of runners knee right before the Philly Distance Run (half marathon) and I just couldn't bear through a mile never mind 13. So I really did not want injury to get me again. As a result, I wrapped the ankle and popped a fist full of ibuprofen and marched on. My goal after all was only to finish not to win the darn thing.

Of course the best efforts are not always rewarded and the comedy of errors were not done. I went to the stadium with the wife and kid. So we rushed down the highway at 80 mph to get to the stadium to park the car before the event. Then I rush to get on the subway, while Jinja and Emily stroll down to the finish line. This is a real bright spot for the run, at the finish line are balloon animal artists, face painters, children rides, petting zoo and much more. I give them an A+ on the logistics for the run, top notch. Meanwhile, I am trying to catch the ride north to the start line, Septa (philly pubic trans) was not running any runners trains and I ended up at the start line 10 minutes after the gun, so I had to run just to catch up to the start line.

Now the race is on, the ankle is sore but it is bearable. My goal was 13 to 14 minute miles as they said 15 minute mile was what you had to do the run in. The run was slow and steady I had no real issue with the completion of the run. The ankle just kept me from my normal slow pace of 11 to 12 minute miles. So my finish was 2 hours and 26 minutes (about 15 minutes per mile), I am not going to break any land speed records at that pace. However, I did finish all ten miles on a sprained ankle. So I am happy. I was running 13 minutes for a couple of miles but had to back off just a hair as my ankle was starting to burn about mile 3. I am disappointed with the 11th hour injury. I have to take some solace in the fact that it did not keep me out of the race and I was able to experience the race. Also, next year I will definitely have a personal record.

My last error for the race was in the water teams. These folks were rabid in handing out water and they crowd you as you pass by to give you water and gatorade. Couple this with thousands of cups on the street and the potential for disaster is right in your face. I learned that drinking at each stop screws up my pacing, so I have to think about hydration for the next race and how to get it done without compromising my run.

So in short, it was feeling of accomplishment not to bend to injury. I don't like to be the guy with an excuse, so I ran. I did not run fast but I did the whole thing and ran by my law school on the way. In the end I was happy to complete the run but with a little disappointment that I could not give it my all. But it is a 90:10 ratio. It is a moot point to be upset over the circumstance, I can't really do anything about it. So I am happy to have finished.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tomorrows the Day for Bob!

Tomorrow is the day for Bob's race, the Broad street run. 10 miles! Good luck! i know you will do well. you have trained hard, and successfully. you will finish, and you will do well! I have faith in you! I will look here on Monday to see how it went, as i am sure tomorrow after your run, you aren't going to be running to the computer to tell me how you did! rest up today, carb up today; and relax. You deserve it!

this week my running has gone very slow. I only logged in 3 miles, due to family commitments. I will definately need to kick it up a notch in order to be ready for my 13.1 in Sept. There are 3 races in Sept that i would like to do; 2 are local and the one that is in Va Bch. the 13.1 is the first race of the month; so hopefully anything after that will be cake. lol! So, today being Saturday, i am planning on getting in a 3 mile run; i have measure different paths with my car from my house to figure out mileage; so i dont have the same route to run all the time. I figure an assortment of runs will be good for me as well. thought about going running last night in the dark, and realized that the bears are now out foraging around and decided that probably would not be a good idea. Will definately have to make sure my time for running is during daylight hours.

Well, Good Luck tomorrow. I know you are a more advanced runner than i am; so any advice i give you would be mute. So, have fun, remember to breathe, and the goal is just to finish! Best of Luck, Laura

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Congrats to Laura

It takes alot of guts to sign up for a long distance run, like a half or full marathon. 13 and 26 miles are nothing to sneeze at. For those of us not blessed with speed are looking at running for 2 hours plus for a half marathon and 4 hours for a full. A grueling experience to say the least, to have the guts to say I want to experience it takes alot. So Laura deserves alot of credit.

It takes alot of commitment to get geared up for it, including, long runs on the weekend, tempo runs during the week and maybe speedwork once a week. Tough stuff. I am looking at the Broad Street Run this Weekend, 10 miles of fun. My ten mile experience last Sunday was grueling. The course will be easier for the Race but it is tough once you get above 8 miles, or atleast that is true for me.

Like Laura I plan on registering for, and running in, a half marathon for the fall. Laura picked up a book on the prep required and there are alot out there. I like Hal Higdon's book on marathon training. I found his advice very helpful and it gives you a complete idea of what to expect during training. also has an interactive program that allows you to put in your race length and time of training and comes out with a program for you. It is nice but I like something a bit more detailed.

I wish LJ the best in her training and hope to hear from her on her results and trials during her training. Good Luck.