Sunday, September 30, 2007

I feel like I have been lazy this week

Before today, my last run was on Tuesday. That was a while ago. Usually I run 4 days a week. So being at 2 days is a bit unusual for me. Today I did 3.5 miles.

Mile 1: 12:09
Mile 2: 11:31
Mile 3: 11:25
Last half: 11:15 pace.

Its not bad really. I have been feeling like I have had the beginnings of a cold this week so I slept a little more than usual (read increase of 5 to 6 hours a night to about 7.5 hours). When the weather snaps, I usually pick up a small amount of congestion. I have to be careful that it doesn't explode on me into something more serious. But I have been exercising at night but I just haven't been running much. I will try to do more next week. Since the distance run I have had a bit of an emotional let down, I think that is normal and I also think I am over it. Next week, I will try to go with 3 to 4 days a week. Perhaps 2 to 3 days at 3 to 5 miles and one day at 6 to 9 miles. I don't think I will be doing much racing for the rest of year and I have to get motivated to run for its own sake. Amy over at Runners Lounge talked about this before. I am having a hard time making the transition. I think I will register for the 10k in November just to have something on the schedule to motivate me. When I don't see goals and benchmarks to shoot for it can be hard for me to get my motivation up. I am realizing this about myself.

Today, I also lifted some weights and that was a nice addition. Strength training can be a bit boring but the results can't be argued with. I will have to add more to my schedule as well. Especially not that it is cooling off and the rush of activity associated with Summer is coming to an end. Time to redouble my efforts as the coming winter makes me nervous in terms of my weight. This is the time of year I usually increase in weight. I have to go into January on a good program or I could gain 20 pounds from January to April.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little run today. I was just looking for a groove today and not so worried about time. Tomorrow I will do a few miles on the hills to work on speed. But today, not so much.

Mile 1: 12:42
Mile 2: 12:31
Mile 3: 12:34
Mile 3.5: 12:01 pace

Not bad just putting in paces today.

Weight check today was 255. Not too bad but not great. I am at the point where exercise is not enough. I will be working on a more comprehensive diet plan over the next couple of weeks. Everyone have fun out there.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Goals and Saturday times

I have decided to focus on some personal running goals until I figure out if I want to run another race this year. I wrote some goals around mid June as it relates to my running. Here is the list:

  • Run sub 12 minute pace for 5 minutes (each mile below 12 minutes) - Completed this one. I ran a sub 12 for the first 6 miles of the Philly Distance Run.
  • Run sub 11 minute pace for 5 miles
  • Run sub 10 minute pace for 3 miles

These are the goals I am working on. I will try to work these out over the next 6 weeks while I figure out what I want to do in terms of racing for the rest of the year. Today I did this:

  • Mile 1: 12:07
  • Mile 2: 11:23
  • Mile 3: 11:31

Not bad, I am getting there. I am getting faster and as long as I can concentrate on the speed I don't see any reason why I can't do this.

Friday, September 21, 2007

It was all I could take

I wanted to run last night, but I did some cross training instead. I am not a 100% recovered yet. The wear and tear I put on my body was a little more than usual, the race pumped me up to times I don't usually do on 4 miles runs never mind 13.1. But I am a running junkie, and my junk is running. (Please see Half- Fast's recent post on his new morning running addiction, funny stuff). So I woke up (crawled out of bed) at 5:30 and stumbled around for 15 to twenty minutes before getting out the door. I had not worn any running shoes since Sunday. Strange feeling (I cross train barefoot if you must know) to be wearing them again.

It felt like I was in Munch's the Scream. It was a surreal feeling just being out there. I had run the streets before but it felt weird being out there again. Just feeling a bit misplaced this morning. I am not registered for any races, maybe that is part of it. I had postponed the Baltimore half to get my heel and ankle a chance to recover a bit. So as it stands now, the only reason to run is simply to run. I never quite got into a groove today but over all I am happy just to get back on track.

3 miles

Mile 1: 12:43
Mile 2: 12:18
Mile 3: 12:22

I wasn't trying to ease up but this was the best I could do today. My pace was a bit herky jerky .. up down up down. Like I said the groove was elusive today. But that is fine. I will do a longer run this weekend and see how it goes. Overall I am happy to be back on the junk.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Recovery Guilt

I usually do something everyday. It is either running, martial arts, cross training ... well something. But this run wore me so far out that I have only gone to one martial arts class since and nothing else. I feel very guilty. The guilt is good because I know that it will get me back on track. It has just taken me three days to get over the bone in tired that 13 miles did to me. I was simply worn out and I suppose my body was letting me know that I needed a rest. Last night I slept for 10 hours something I never do. Usually 6 to 7 is where I come down in terms of sleep.

Today I feel better and hope to put some miles and/ or cross training back under my belt tonight. I have felt the need to post pone my Baltimore half marathon until next year. I am carrying too many nagging injuries. I think I will need through October to get back to normal. Maybe I will sign up for a turkey trot or some such thing in late November to get me back on track going into next year. However, I keep learning a golden rule of running ... respect the recovery time, it is necessary. I know this is true yet somehow I am surprised every time. Maybe next time I will learn. Nahhh.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A little recovery time ...

Please enjoy this easy listening music while I recover.... Oh no music well pick your own tune.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all my well wishers. It really is appreciated. Currently I am recovering from the half marathon. I had some ankle issues since the end of race. Mostly, I have stiffness and my right hamstring is doing a bit of barking at me. (ruff, ruff). I have a case of right as it were. What is a case of right, well in short my right side is giving me problems. Right heel, right ankle, right hamstring and now right thigh (the left thigh has joined to avoid loneliness). So I think it may be a couple of extra days recovery.

Future running plans don't include a full marathon for another year or so. If I had to run another 13.1 after completing 13.1 I think I would have died right there. But who knows with the proper training. But not until the Philadelphia Marathon November 2008 at the earliest. Right now, I may push off the Baltimore half until next year so I can properly recover, which I had not really done. I have been carrying around some naggers for a few months and should take care of my injuries. But I may pick up the half marathon for the Philly marathon in Mid November. I will think about that.

Thanks to all those who wished me well:

Tracey Mom -

Laura -


Jason -

Black belt mama -

Runner gal Leana

Some more I forgot:

Amy -

IM Able -

Non Runner Nancy -

livelaughlove32 -

Dave Fleet -

Mike -

There are others and I hope they know, I appreciate the well wishing such as my Mom, Brother, my Army buddies Sam and David, and Kenpo Sensei. To anyone I forgot to mention here I do appreciate it but I forgot just now, I will remember later I am sure, what was I talking about?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Philadelphia Distance Run

This is my post race report. I completed the 13.1 miles of the Philadelphia Distance Run. My pace was about 12:40, for a 2 hour 45 minute total time. When you consider that I finished the Broad Street Run in 2 hours and 26 minutes for 10 miles this is good, damn good. I have to say that I am quite happy with the result. Based on my performance in May in the Broad Street Run (I did about a 14:30 pace over the 10 miles) I had wanted to do about a 13:30 pace for the race. But I started out pretty well for myself. The first 7 miles were at a sub12:00 minute pace and then I just was fighting fatigue for the last 4 miles. It really was a good time. The bands were playing and I was able to run some real estate that you just don't get to on an average day. The course ran past the Liberty Bell, the Constitution Center, Independence Hall, the Art Museum (see Rocky) and up and around Kelly drive some of the prettiest running routes in the city.

My Garmin recorded things slightly differently than the course chip. Here is what my watch said.
Mile 1: 11:36
Mile 2: 11: 31
Mile 3: 11:26
Mile 4: 11:40
Mile 5: 11:53
Mile 6: 11:41
Mile 7: 12:22 (hills)
Mile 8: 12:43
Mile 9: 12:58
Mile 10: 12:16
Mile 11: 14:01 (fatigue + hills)
Mile 12: 13:51 (fatigue)
Mile 13: 13:20
Last tenth: 12:42 pace

My watch recorded a 12:25 pace. Who knows why this type of difference occurs. It probably has to do with the watch following just me and depending on how I take my turns can make the course different. It seemed that when I hit 13.1 I still had .2 to go. I will put a variance into the gps next time out.

I have a medal, yeah!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another Blog

I have started my martial arts blog at About the Journey. If anyone is interested I will continue my martial arts musings there. This way I can dedicate this blog to running as it was originally intended for.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I love the pre race expos

Today I went down to the convention center to pick up my race packet for Sunday. At the same time I registered my daughter for a fun run. I am sure she will have a great time. The race coordinators do a good job of getting the whole family involved. She gets a T-Shirt, race number and at the race she will get a medal, I am sure she will be thrilled.

After I make it through the lines to get my goodie bag and t-shirt are the expo vendors. I get a little jazzed for this. I am not much of a shopper but I like these. I try to bring about $50 to blow on running stuff. Usually the prices on running gear sometimes will make me cringe. So when I go to the expo and see shorts and tops for $10 to $15 a pop, my eyes open. For me it is like a kid in a candy store. Today, I picked up a pair of shorts, top and socks for about $30. I was very happy. I never seem to have enough shorts and anti-wicking tops. I tried about a week ago in a regular t-shirt, I won't do that again. So I am glad to find a bargain on apparel.

Last year, I had runner's knee and couldn't run more than 200 yards before I was in agony from the pain. I had registered for the distance run but just couldn't do it. I was quite disappointed. This year after a year's wait I will be part of the run, I am quite pleased to say. Everyone wish me luck, I am sure to finish. At what time is any one's guess. But I would like to be finished before my daughter runs her race at 10:30. I will do my best.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

An evening run...

I usually run in the morning and I usually run in the park. Today, I ran at night and I ran on the streets. I thought I change might be nice on my easy week before the half marathon on Sunday. I think the change agreed with me. I am a slow runner on a good day and a down right plodder on a bad day. Today, was different for me.

Mile 1: 11:55
Mile 2: 11:42
Mile 3: 11:40
Mile 4: 11:36

I believe these are the best times I have posted since my return to running in March. Now I was once fast. When I graduated from basic training my 2 mile exit test was 12:20 total or 6:10 per mile. But that was a long time ago. The fact that I still had more in the tank at the end is a good sign as well. The nice thing was that there is a large hill in the middle of the route I took and it didn't slow me down either coming or going. It was a good feeling to post this time right before the race.

Sunday is the big day.... Philadelphia Distance Run... I am a ready as I am going to be. My legs are strong and fresh, my weight is down, lungs are fine, motivation good as long as I eat and hydrate correctly I should be fine. Thumbs up.

Other Notes:
As I have mentioned many times in the past I practice martial arts as part of my overall health program. I have been in and out of training for the past 22 years. Depending upon where I have lived has determined what I have studied; however, it has always been a grounding force in my life and I always feel better when I am training. To separate my thoughts on martial arts from the more running related thoughts, I have decided to create a second blog dedicated to my martial arts journey. This is part of the same journey that brings me to running but I don't want to bore folks who are just not interested in my martial arts thoughts. For those that are a link will be provided. Life is a journey not a destination, this is my journey.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A lazy morning

Last night I had intended on going out for 4 miles but my daughter was in a mood and did not get to bed until late. The trials and tribulations of the 4 year old mind, hmmm. So I went out this morning and didn't have the time for 4 so I did a three. The goal is just to keep my legs fresh so not a big deal.

The results:

Mile 1: 12:50
Mile 2: 11:30
Mile 3: 11:34

By doing the nasty hills recently I have really kicked up my times on the straight aways. I started out in March running 15 to 16 minute miles. So on these short runs I have made some progress.

Cross Training
Last night I did a bunch of push-ups, sit-ups, dips along with an obnoxious amount of punches and kicks. By the time it was over an hour and a half had passed and it was 12:00. Midnight, good god what was I thinking. Well you work when you can, I didn't make an excuse so that is best. As my favorite quote goes "If you look for an excuse long enough, you will find one you like". So I got off the couch.

... 5 days to go... gulp

Strange Diet Notes
My biggest problem when I started this adventure back in March was fast food. I really was hooked on the grease and I never thought twice about what I was eating or drinking (a large soft drink and a refill was part of the process). I did not even think whether or not I was hungry or not. It was a comfort and habit sort of thing. Now, I have to say that for the most part fast food now makes me sick to even smell never mind eat. It took me a while to back off from it but now I don't go to a fast food restaurant except with my daughter once a month. I will eat something there and it is not good for me but it is only once a month. Everything in moderation.

These days my snacks are fruit and vegetables instead of cookies or other sorts of baked goods. And I look at serving sizes now. I will chug water but nothing else. So this is equally as important as the exercise. I never would have thought I would have preferred an apple to some peanut butter cookies. Strange.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

10 is better than nothing

I had intended to do 12 miles on Saturday, but that did not exactly work out. However, I did log 10 miles and that is not bad. You see I made a big boo boo in terms of my course planning. I went the hilly way instead of the pretty flat way. Well I had never done the hilly way for long distances before usually only a mile or 3. Well I determined that the hilly way is actually 6.5 to 7 miles long. Up and down ....uuuup and down .... uuuuup and downnnnn. The altitude changes alone are enough to make one's stomach do flips. Well, once I made my round tripper over the hills I was at 6.9 miles and then I hit the streets for the remainder of my run. But I was spent. I am not a good hill runner and I broke myself on the rocks as it were. I am pleased as the half miler on Sunday will be a pancake so I won't have to worry about the ups and down. In the end here are the times:

Mile 1: 14:12
Mile 2: 13:45
Mile 3: 14:15
Mile 4: 14:54 (I start to suffer right about here, my tongue is dragging and it is everything I can do to keep any kind of pace over the next 4 miles)
Mile 5: 15:07 - I find a water fountain about mile 5.5 and this saves my bacon as I can hit on the way back as well. Phew, I was getting pretty dehydrated. The 70+ percent humidity didn't help things any as I chewed my air along the way.
Mile 6: 15:52
Mile 7: 14:35
Mile 8: 14:25
Mile 9: 14:39
Mile 10: 14:50

I was trying to pace myself and I think I did a good job overall. The hills just sapped by strength and when I came out the other side there wasn't much left of me. I got through the last three miles on pure will. There was no juice in the tank only a little bit of experience and some kokoro (heart of all things- Japanese). It was all I could do to get to 10 miles. Sorry to report a relative failure on the 12, but I am happy with this hard 10. The difficulty factor was probably a 7 for me compared to the 2 to 4 of my normal run.

Cross Training
I have been working hard outside of running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday was an hour and a half of martial arts practice with some standard pushup, crunches and dips type exercises thrown in for good measure. Saturday was an hour of kicks and punches with some differing combinations and Sunday I pumped some iron. I mentioned before that cross training has been the holy grail of my running confidence and performance.

7 days to go
The remainder of the week is pretty lax in terms of my preparation. Just make sure my legs don't get weaker or my cardio. Monday - 4 miles, Tuesday - off, Wednesday - 3 miles, Thursday- off, Friday - 2 miles, Saturday - off, Sunday -Race. Well it is set now, lets see how it all turns out.

100 posts
I thought I might want to do something special for post 100. But instead I just wanted to end this post by saying thanks for reading along through my own personal struggle.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Not what I intended but still pretty good

I had intended to to 6 to 8 last night; however, being a lawyer sometimes unexpected work related things come up that blow my plans out of the water. So I am saying that I did not run last night, I wanted to and that should count for something I don't what but something. So I went out this morning but after a late work night (read 1 am), I was not really that motivated this morning. But I got up and went out to my favorite course and did what time allowed, which was 4 miles. But I did them right in a row so that was fine. It was an uneventful run beyond my pet peeve of people walking dogs without leashes that want to run up to you while you are running. I like dogs but I get a bit nervous during these encounters, because I don't know the dog's intent.

In the end all was well:

Mile 1: 13:15
Mile 2: 12:24
Mile 3: 13:01
Mile 4: 13:05

I was trying not to push on the last couple of miles but rather I wanted to find out what my natural groove was where the running isn't exactly effortless but comfortable. The answer is about 13:00. Not bad for me. The next post is 100 and it will also be the post pre half marathon prep run. I plan to do 12 miles tomorrow. We will see but that is the intent.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Getting hurt was the best thing for me

I was running almost exclusively until I came up lame with a plantar injury. When that happened I needed to find another way to exercise while I healed, as it turned out I didn't heal completely. I turned to swimming, weight lifting and at home martial arts/ body weight exercises. I returned to running recently to excellent gains in strength and endurance. At the same time I have continued doing my nightly ritual of push ups, crunches, leg raises, calf raises, squats, lunges, tricep dips, and punches and kicks ad nausea. The benefits have been excellent, not just in terms of what I can accomplish now compared to when I started but how I feel. My muscular strength has really rebounded and I can see the reduced fat deposits on my arms legs and abdomen. It's great and I am really pleased. I have an injury to really thank for it, because if I hadn't hurt myself I don't think I would have pushed myself to do these nightly exercises when most normal people are resting for the next day.

My heel has been feeling better and maybe in a couple of months I will be back to normal. Tonight I hit the streets for another run, I hope to put in 6 to 8. Which really means I intend to do 8 and will do everything in my power to do 8 but I will settle for 6 if time constraints intervene.

10 days until the race. Yikes!!! (I use exclamation points very conservatively)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ups and downs

Today I ran a part of the park trail that I have not really been on before. It is not hidden really just that everyone goes the other way so I followed them and never really thought about the other way. Well this morning I went the other way. It is pretty hilly and as such little used. Hills are rough for me, I just kill myself on them. Today was no different.

3 miles

Mile 1: 13:55
Mile 2: 13:50
Mile 3: 13:15

It was like torture for me but I did make it through it. Other point of reference, I always under estimate how I will feel the day after a long run. I was not capable of running on Sunday. I was torn up from my 9 miles on Saturday. So I took Sunday off completely. Monday, I did two martial arts workouts - one in the morning and one in the evening. Felt fine.

12 days until the Philly Distance Run ... tick tock, tick tock.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A brilliant run

This morning I went out for a long run in preparation for the half marathon Sept 16. The end result was quite good in my opinion. I intended 9 miles and I did 9 miles. That is great in my mind. Recently I have been out trying to do long runs but have ended up with not as much distance or with poor times when it was all done. I had intended to average about 14:00 miles over 9 miles. Not too lofty, but with my plantar pull and a hamstring pull to contend with, I was looking for steady eddie not Carl Lewis.

Mile 1: 14:12
Mile 2: 13:42
Mile 3: 13:55
Mile 4: 14:01
Mile 5: 13:47
Mile 6: 14:10
Mile 7: 14:01
Mile 8: 14:07
Mile 9: 13:47

I know it doesn't look like much but I averaged just under 14:00 a mile which is exactly what I set out to do. I am not looking at setting any land speed records only to get through 13.1 miles in one piece. I will gladly accept blisters and exhaustion as part and parcel of the process. At the end of the run I still had a few more miles in me which was nice. So I think I will be able to get through this half marathon. Which is a nice feeling. I did have to push myself to keep the pace in the troublesome 5, 6, and 7 mile marks. It seems my body wants to slow down after I hit 5 miles. I think I have conditioned this response. But as long as I keep watch on my performance is should not be much of a problem. My only concern is slowing down my neighbor Jack on the run.

Cross training Notes
Today was my belt test as well. I went from 9 miles on the roads to the belt test not a swift move on my part. However, I did pass so that was nice. It seems that I am making progress on this front as well. I just have to keep at it. The thing about working on it every day is that you can never say I will do it tomorrow. That excuse just evaporates.

Up next.... Sunday 5 miles