Monday, October 29, 2007

World Series... over?

It seems odd that the World Series is over. I am glad that my team put together a great 4 game outing but it seems odd for it to be over so quick. The final two games were as follows:

Game 3: Red Sox 10, Rockies 5

Game 4: Red Sox 4, Rockies 3

I will give the Rockies credit, they never gave up and gave it everything they had. However, in the end their pitching wasn't up to the task. I never really expected a sweep. But I am happy that my team is World Series Champs again. Well it is only 4 months until pitchers and catchers report to winter camp.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Near Death Experience

Friday night was wet, really wet. I was meeting the family at a local Sears before going out to dinner. The rain just kept coming down and it was dark early from the weather. I took the bus from the train station to Sears. I got off the Bus and crossed the street. It was wet and dark but not crazily so.

As I walked into the Sears parking lot, I looked for the traffic coming in and out of the parking lot. It was generally clear. I saw a mini van a bit off from where I was, about 200 yards. I moved off to the left to be out of its path. It approached and swerved toward me. I RAN to the left. It kept turning toward me. I was being chased by a mini-van, What the Hell!!!! I was trying to keep clear of both the front end and the front left tire as the thing kept pacing me as Ibacked up and to the left. I slapped the front and side of the mini van with a good deal of force while continuing to back pedal to the left and out of the way of the driver. She finally stopped.

My heart was racing. It was raining and dark but not so hard or heavy as to miss a person under full street lights in the middle of parking lot. The woman said, "You shouldn't have been walking in the middle of parking lot."

????, I guess walking in a parking lot is an offense that carries a sentence of being struck with a 2000 pound vehicle.

It takes a minute for me to process this

I say, "you are the dumbest person on the face of the planet, as well as being the worst driver I have ever seen"

She puzzles over this, before realizing that she should have just apologized. To her credit she didn't pursue it any further, she just drove off. But she never asked if I was ok. Society seems to have lost some of its concern for others. Where this woman should have been trying to find out if someone was hurt as a result of her actions instead she blamed me for walking in a parking lot. I suppose it is surprising to see people walk in parking lots, I mean of all the parking lots I have ever been in only every person who goes there walks into the store.

She actually tried to convince me that I was at fault for her almost hitting me with her car. She was going too fast and quite simply not paying attention. I spotted a cell phone in her hand as she rolled down the window of her mini-van.

I am not dead but it is not for lack of effort on the part of the mini-van driver. I was a little shaken for the remainder of the night. So how was everyone else's night?

Race Report, Lupus Loop 5k

Today, I ran the Lupus Loop 5k here is grand old Philadelphia. Last week the 5k I ran wan't the best organized event I had ever been to and I was starting to rethink the wisdom of the 5k in my training schedule. But I saw that the Lupus Loop 5k had over 800 finishers last year. I thought that a 5k that big has to be well organized and of course the cause is good. To be truthful I was a bit hearbroken at the race. There were more than one t-shirt from people in memory of deceased children, just sad.

The run organizers were great. This was nice. Lots of post race refreshments, efficient people helping out at registration, local radio station on hand to keep people pumped up and as I said before a good cause. I had a great time and was lucky not to park in the mud that others were stuck in post race.

As Nancy and I had a competition as to the 11:00 mile. The competition is to be the first to complete 3 miles where each mile is 11:00 or faster for each mile. The last 5k I ran I ran an exact 11:00 pace for the three miles. But I ran a very good mile 1 and a slightly less impressive mile 2 and 3. Today, I tried to really manage my pace.

The Miles

Mile 1: 11:00 exactly - I don't think I could have done this any better. I started fast and then backed off to conserve some energy for the remaining two miles. I did well kicking it up for the first .6 and then backing off for the next .25 before kicking up again.

Mile 2: 10:53 - This was a good mile we climbed the first .3 and then came down for most of the remaining mile. I was able to conserve some energy and rest while going faster than I usually do. I covered a stretch of about .35 where I was going about 9:40 pace.

Mile 3: 10:52 - This was the hardest part of the run. I usually run an 11:10 to 11:40 pace. So running at a pace that was 20 to 40 seconds faster was taking its toll on me. I started to slow and had to really concentrate on kicking it up to keep pace. This was hard as there was a hill near the half way mark that really was killing me. But I hung in there and finished at my goal. I then stopped to tie a shoe that came undone with .2 to go. I then walked the remaining .1.

What an adventure. I have to say thanks to Nancy, without out little deal I would not have taken the training as seriously. Thanks for pushing me over the top. Although it was fun to win, I really don't want anything, the satisfaction of breaking the 11:00 barrier was joy enough. One more goal achieved, running is great.

Friday, October 26, 2007

World Series, Game 2

Last night's game was a great one. This is what I think about when I think about October baseball. Two teams throwing great stuff and batting orders grinding out a few runs. A mistake here or there breaks the game. Last night was all about pitching which for two teams that score runs in bunches in unusual. Matt Holliday for Colorado is a machine, 4-4 when only one other person on the whole team got a hit, he is great. J.D. (formerly Nancy) Drew has been hot as anyone can be as of late was key in the win for the Red Sox. In short a great game that really could have gone either way. Good base running was the difference.

Final Score: Red Sox 2, Colorado 1
Series: Boston 2, Colorado 0

I expect the Rockies to win the next two games and the Red Sox to win Game 5 with Beckett on the mound. That is how I see the series playing out in Colorado.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nothing to worry about, Nancy

Nancy , also known as the cave girl, I have placed a picture of her for everyone's enjoyment, and I have a $5 wager on the first person to break the 11:00 barrier for three consecutive miles. We have lofty goals that is for sure. Tonight Nancy has nothing to worry about. I ran immediately after work tonight. Now I don't have a physically demanding job as a lawyer but I am usually intellectually spent at the end of each day. It will take me a couple of hours to get right after work. But tonight I set out for a run. That is how I roll.

The results are not outstanding, I have placed a small picture of how I felt below, Dohhh:

Mile 1: 12:10

Mile 2: 11:35

Mile 3: 11:45

Mile 4: 11:27

I was a bit tired and even though I got into a groove I felt like I needed a nap the whole time. Well the game is still on, Nancy. I saw by your latest post that you are still working on it as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World Series, game 1

I don't pretend to be an expert on baseball. But I did grow up outside of Boston, so I am a fan. I have watched my team come back from some deep holes so I know it is possible to do. But, I am watching the game tonight thinking these teams are on two different levels. The Rockies simply look out classed. Their pitching is simply not good. It is a long series but if they are going to compete they are going to have to do better. The Red Sox batters are simply too good and patient. I have seen three straight bases loaded walks in the bottom of the 5th inning. A 34 minute inning for 7 runs, ugly.

Josh Beckett can't pitch every night so the one run performances will not be an every night occurrence. With that in mind I think this series will be done in 5 or 6 games at the longest. Sorry, Colorado this team is too much for your Rockies. It's midnight Cinderella, the ball is over. Colorado is a fun team with a lot of heart, but they are out classed in this series. Better luck next year.

Game 1: Boston 13 Colorado 1
Series: Boston 1, Colorado 0

Evening Run

I dislike running in complete darkness. I don't mind starting or finishing in it, I actually like dawn and dusk. But to know that I will see no sun on any part of my run gets me down. I think I would make for a bad Alaskan or at least the type that lives above the Arctic Circle. So I have not been too motivated for my morning runs as the sun hasn't been coming up until almost 7:00 am. So last night I began the nightly circuit. I got in to the office early then bolted at 4:00 to get home for a 5:15 run. Good plan, in the end I got out at 5:30, not bad.

Nuts and Bolts:

3 mile run

Mile 1: 11:10
Mile 2: 11:35
Mile 3: 11:45

I think I was hungry when I started the run and my energy was not what I would have liked. I got in a decent groove but I felt a bit off. It was nice to run in the sun again. But there were a couple of problems.

There were 2 dogs off their leashes running around with no owners in sight. They were in the woods calling the dogs on occasion. The dogs were chasing deer in the park. This created a real situation. Excited dogs can be problematic especially with no owners around. I was tensed up as I ran by the scene trying to remember by dog defense training I received a number of years ago when training for my black belt. Snarling dogs make me a bit uneasy. When I passed by I slowed a couple of times to warn folks walking in the opposite direction of the situation. So this may be why I didn't get my run in order.

Problem 2 was more of an environmental problem. I kept running into swarms of gnats. It would only be for a couple of seconds and then I would be past it. But I think I swallowed about 20. I can think of better (and I mean more enjoyable) ways to get my protein. Disgusting. This will go under problems with being a runner, swallowing bugs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey 11:00 how you doing?

I have been flirting with a long term goal as of late. This is to run 3 miles where each mile is sub 11:00. The other day I finished my three miles at 11:00 pace combined. So I am close. But one mile was 10:15 and the others were over 11:00. But I am on the right track. I think that if I can keep up my training I should be able to get to that pace by the end of November.

Running goals:
  • 3 miles 11:00 or less for each mile
  • 5 miles 12:00 or less for each mile (did this one at the Philly Distance Run)
  • 5 miles 11:00 or less for each mile
  • 10 miles 12:00 or less for each mile
  • 1 mile 9:00 pace
  • 2 miles 9:45 pace or less for each mile
  • Run a marathon - any pace will be fine

That is what I am shooting for. I am close on the first one and the 10 mile one as well. I have broken the 13:00 and 12:00 thresholds and now I am flirting with 11:00, how you doin', it feels good.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Race Results 2007

May 6, 2007, Broad Street Run (10 miles) -2:26 COMPLETE (14:36 pace)
-- had a sprained ankle for this race, happened two days prior to the race.

June 24, 2007, Double Trouble 15 K Trail Run - 2:48, COMPLETE (18:02 minute pace)

July 22, 2007, Marsh Creek Raptor Run 5 Mile Trail Run -1:17, COMPLETE (15:24 pace)

September 16, 2007, Philadelphia Distance Run (13.1 miles) - 2:45, COMPLETE (12:36 pace)

October 14, 2007 - North East Philly 5 Mile Run -57:10 COMPLETE (11:26 pace)

October 21, 2007, Run for Life 5k - 34:56 COMPLETE (11:15 pace)

October 28, 2007, Lupus Loop 5k, 34:58 COMPLETE (11:15 pace)

November 4, 2007, Schuylkill River Loop Run (8.4 miles) -1:42:52 Complete (12:15 pace)

November 22, 2007, Fairmount Park 5 Mile Turkey Trot -59:38 (11:55 pace)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I finally ran a 5k

When I started this great running adventure, I really intended to do long distances and the 5k never really entered by thoughts. However, after I finished the half marathon in September, I don't really have the desire to go that far again this year but I still want to race. So I have been entering shorter races. Today, I entered the Run for Life 5k, it supports a pregnancy counseling center. The focus of the organization is to help people through faith based counseling. This is the right choice for some, so I don't mind helping them out with an entry fee. I will say that I also wouldn't mind helping out the other side as well, that is if someone chose to get an abortion. We all make choices in our life, even if I wouldn't make the same choices, we all have the right to choose (at least that is what the law provides).

So I ran my 5k, it was not bad really. I set out with a goal of 36 minutes. I can't be sure what the official time is but I think it was about 34:45. That is not too bad, it works out to about 11:11 pace. I think that is rough and I wouldn't bet my house on my math. But I will say that I was running hard for me. I am getting quicker. My first mile was about 10:20 and the remaining two about 11:20 or so. It worked pretty well. If I had been a little smarter on the last part of mile 2 I think I could have come in about 20 to 30 seconds sooner. But I didn't manage the hills as well as I could have. I am still learning this running stuff. It is a lot more complicated than just put on some shoes and run fast.

That is all I have for today. Have fun out there.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Finding Speed

I noticed during the Philadelphia Distance Run, that I can run faster than I had been. I believe that I just didn't think that I could run fast so I ran slow. I was running and exerting myself so this is not a big deal. But I was generally running between 12:30 and 13:30 pace before the run. Sometimes I would get about 12:20 but that was it. Since my sub 12:00 for the first 7 miles of the half marathon, I have been trying to recapture that speed. I have not been disappointed. Last week, I put in two miles sub 11:00 and 3 miles of sub 12:00 on my 5 mile race. I have generally been running about 11:30 since the race. Not bad.

Today's training run was still good, even though it was humid. I think that slowed me up a bit but I am happy.

Mile 1: 11:12
Mile 2: 12:01
Mile 3: 12:07
Total: 35:20

There were hills on the course I took today and I worked on grinding out the hills by shortening steps and essentially shifting down a gear like I would in a car. I think that worked. I was not over tired at the top. I am still learning about running and hills are where I need work, but I am getting better. I have a 5k this weekend so wish me luck, I am looking for under 36 minutes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Site Updated - New Links

I have added a couple of sites to my Links section that I have found helpful in finding local races. I never would have found the NorthEast Philadelphia 5 miler but for Fast Cat Productions. Additionally, helped me find some of the other local 5k's and the Schuylkill Loop run. These sites along with the Lin Mark Computer Sports site have helped me to scout out local races. I have added them for those in the area and Active is not local so it will be useful to everyone.

I need running

I have been going through some trying times as of late, I will term it as "family related stress" or FRS. Nothing like putting three letters together to make something sound very bad - oh he has FRS, so sad. I am trying to stay up beat about this and many will note that my posts are less frequent and much shorter as of late. But I felt the need today to do a bit of running affirmation. I am inspired by Non-Runner Nancy's latest post on her running efforts. To that end I thought I would do a little running affirmation time here.

1. Since I started running March it has become part of my life. It is something I schedule and something I look forward too. It is not I have to run tomorrow, it is I get to run tomorrow. I am not much of a jump up and down type, or I might be but my deluded serious self image prevents it. I jump up and down on the inside.

2. When I run a race, I get new clothes. I can always use a new t-shirt, excellent. Then I get to exercise with some great people. Because all runners are great people, everyone of us. For all the cyclist observations on runners being grim, I don't see it. Every time I talk to a runner they are approachable, engaging and helpful. In short runners are good people, which means that I am a good person too. See how I did that, I complimented a group and then added myself to the group, thereby complimenting myself. Neat huh?

3. In my life I collect a lot of stress. I have the aforementioned FRS and I also have "work related stress" also known as WRS. Now I will admit that I have far less WRS than FRS because I have an awesome job with great co-workers and partners with realistic world views. So I have less WRS as a result. However, I do collect some and that is added to the FRS. When I run, I can decompress that stress and just concentrate on running. Much like a Calgon commercial, my troubles are gone when I run, it is just me and the road/ trail. It is my zen moment as it were. I can forget about it all for as long as I go that day.

4. Tracking progress is key in all this. I know that when I ran my first race back in May I was really, really slow. I mean I was trucking along at my slow pace during the race and a bike medic pedaled next to me to see if I was o.k. I mean I weighed 280 so he probably had reason to keep an eye on me. I was pushing a 15:00 pace back then. This last weekend I did 11:26 pace over 5 miles. That is great for me. I can see the progress and I like that. It is not as easy in my martial arts practice to see as there is so much more to evaluate to see if you are making progress. Both are challenging just in different ways. I will never be fast but I will get faster. I would like to eventually do a half marathon at a 10:00 pace throughout, not too lofty.

5. As I said before, I run because I can. I almost hit 300 pounds, a scary thought really. I was almost at the point where I could not run, I mean really. So now when I get out there I think of that almost 300 pound guy. He chases me every day, I know he is out there waiting for me if I fail in my diligence. I can run so I do, to avoid my unhealthy self.

I still won't be as regular posting as I would like to be but I will be out there taking in the fall. The best time of the year for everything, especially running. There are lots of great local races coming up and I will do my best to be at as many as I can. Keep running, it makes you a great person.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NorthEast Philadelphia 5 miler

I ran this little run today. It was a great day for a run being cool and dry. I ran much faster than I usually do.

5 miles = 57 minutes 10 seconds - That is really quite good for me. That is a pace of 11:26 over the course of the race. The first and last miles were under 11:00 and no mile was over 12:00. It was good. I like the small local runs, they really give off a family feeling. Everyone is so nice and happy. Plus the proceeds go to local charaties, which I like. Today was for local youth athletics, nice.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Up and Coming

I have recently registered for the NorthEast Philly 5 Mile Run. This will be a simple 5 mile trot but it does keep me going and gives me something to do. I will also run the Bobtober Fest 5 mile trail run on October 27th. I have put a couple more tenative things but aside from the two 5 milers I put above I am not committing to much right now. Thanks for all for your support.

Monday, October 8, 2007

A Break for a while

I am sorry to say that I will be taking a blogging break for a time. I have recently separted from my wife and I find that my personal life is too overwhelming at the current time. I will be back as soon as I can.



Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I'll take the .50 cal

When I was in the army, I was a scout. That is exactly what you think it is: sneak up ahead of everyone else spot the enemy and report back. Sometimes shoot at them and sometimes call for artillery or air support. The first unit I was in was at Fort Polk, Louisiana. This is not a pleasant place. No offence to folks who live in Louisiana, I did like the state. But the post was awful, infested with bugs, humid all the time, mud up to your knees and more than its fair share of snakes.

But it was here that I learned to be a soldier and that means pulling your weight and not giving up. The vehicles we used for our craft, it feels cool to call soldiering a craft so I'll do it here, were M113's. Most folks have never heard of them as they were obsolete 10 years before I ever joined the army. They are big aluminum boxes on tracks, kind of like an armored bull dozer with a big machine gun. Well after we would get back from the field, i.e. playing in the woods with automatic weapons, we would need to carry the equipment back from the motor pool to the armory. Sometimes there was a Jeep and sometimes not. If not you would need to lug the .50 cal a half mile to the armory (read 84 pounds - 60 pound gun and 24 pound barrel). I would volunteer for the gun. Mostly I did this for selfish reasons, first it was like earning good will to get out of more unpleasant stuff, second I could do it). So I take the .50 cal because I can and because I don't quit. I carried that hunk of metal over my back for half a mile. Quitting is for others, not this kid.

So tonight, I ran 4 miles beginning at 11 pm.

Mile 1: 11:58
Mile 2: 11: 37
Mile 3: 11:50
Mile 4: 11: 45

I could have gone to bed, I was tired after putting in a long day today. Nobody would have said I word if I did. But I didn't. Just like when I was 18, I can carry the .50 cal so I do. I don't give in, I don't break. I may back off for a little bit, like the last 2 weeks. But I don't quit, that is for others. I'll never be the fastest guy out there but I won't quit. I have some bend but no break.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Whipping My Horse

It has been a couple of weeks since the Philly Distance Run, my first half marathon. I think I finally feel right in my head. I was so pumped up for the run that I did not expect the emotional let down that followed the race. I had put everything I had in preparing for this race since late March. So when it was over, I was left with a feeling of what now. It was similar to my feelings after my black belt test so many years ago. What now? It was hard to get back on track. After investing so much of myself into the race, I should have realized that I would have an emotional lag after the fact. Well the good news is that I think I am over my lull.

I have let my horse graze in pasture after a hard race. But now it is time to get it out on the track again and get it up to speed. By horse I mean me. I finally have the bug back in my blood to get out and run, to test and push myself beyond where I went last time. I suppose I needed a little down time. But now I have to go whip my horse and put him through his paces.