Friday, November 30, 2007

Nice Night for a Run

The runs later in the week have a tendency to get pushed aside due to life demands. I have a billable hour requirement and that forces me to pay very close attention to what I am doing in terms of work each week. As the week wears on I get more conscious of where I am in terms of hours and I tend to push near the end of the week (Thursday and Friday have a tendency to be 10 to 12 hour days sometimes more- the down side to the legal profession). But today I started work very early so I was able to put things to bed early, which meant that I got to go running. Huzzah (I think huzzah is starting to rub off on me, has more to than yeah).

4 miles: my goal was really just to get out there and do it. I did not have a time goal, just run. (I should do this more often)

4miles, 11:55 pace, 762 calories

Mile 1: 11:47

Mile 2: 12:08

Mile 3: 12:00

Mile 4: 11:45

I think this worked out. I just want to get my endurance back up again. I really fell off the wagon after the half marathon. I think I am getting into the swing of things now. Injuries can really suck.

Tonight was nice, not really cold just a bit crisp. Roads were clear and everyone gave me the same look as usual when I run late at night. What is this idiot up to. I have only ever run into another runner once in all the time that I run at night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I have been tagged, it is a sad time. But what to do. Well I guess I will play along. David at Toronto Runner has punched my number and here are the rules:

The Rules of the game:
Link to your tagger, and post these rules on your blog.
Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
Tag 5 people at the end of your post by their names and links to their blogs.
Let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.
  1. I am well travelled: (for an American) I have lived in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, Nevada and Pennsylvania in the States, I spent a summer in Tokyo and almost a year in the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War (Saudi Arabia and Iraq). I have visited or lived in 42 out of 50 states and visited 14 countries, one of which doesn't exist any longer (East Germany).
  2. I am of Scottish and Norwegian ancestry but I think of myself as an American. Strangely, most Americans I have met don't, they think of themselves as Italians, Irish and so forth.
  3. I am an education junkie. I like to learn something everyday. I read constantly and I do that to expand my knowledge even if it is only of myself.
  4. I am published. I was given the privilege to be listed as a co-author on a peer reviewed journal article on Japanese War Crimes during World War II. I worked with a professor in undergraduate who I helped put together the research on the article and she honored me greatly by listing me as a co-author. I also gained a lot of knowledge about some very disturbing events.
  5. I have been training in martial arts since I was 16, off and on. I have trained in the following arts Chinese Kenpo (I ran a school for a while in this art), Tae Kwon Do, Danzan Ryu Ju Jitsu, Tang Soo Do, Wah Lum Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Bok Fu White Tiger Kung Fu, Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and currently American Kenpo. I enjoy it quite a lot, I never feel better than when I am training.

I know I am supposed to tag 5 people but I will leave it up to those who want to. If you want to do this put a comment to this post that you are participating.

10k Tuesday, part the second

As I mentioned last week I was starting a tradition of 10k on Tuesday for the winter. So today I did a bit better than last week's version:

Ran 10k, time 1:15:27, calories 1161

Mile 1: 11:32
Mile 2: 12:01
Mile 3: 12:17
Mile 4: 11:58
Mile 5: 11:55
Mile 6: 13:00
last.21: 13:03

I am pretty happy with this. The last mile would have been a lot faster but I ran into a strong head wind. I really did not realize how much a head wind can slow you down. But I was putting out the same effort as before but I was being held back. Interesting stuff.

Good news: My heel which had been giving me soooo much trouble over the summer seems to be for the most part resolved. I can remember times this summer when I had to crawl up the stairs first thing in the morning. Now the most I get is a little nudge of pain. I am pleased with the progress. I don't even wince when walking stairs any more, it is just the odd step now and then that will give me a dull pain.

This was also run #2 with music. I think I like it. It is a nice change for now. I may get bored with it eventually, but during the winter this may be a necessity as it is hard to enjoy nature with the cold beating down on you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday 4 miler

Today I broke in my new MP3 player. I have been running for a year but this is the first time I went with music. I am of mixed review. So I loaded up some stuff to keep me upbeat while I ran, Linkin Park, Fuel, Matchbox 20, Shakira (because her hips don't lie, what more can you ask) and some Fergie. It did keep me up and going, I will give it that. I think that it would have really canned any intent on my part to want to quit. I will say that I did not really run any faster than usual, but the roads were a bit slick so I was trying to be careful, so I will hold off judgement until I have had it about a week or so.
Mile 1: 11:38
Mile 2: 12:20
Mile 3: 12:50 (I was not getting tired but rather there was a big hill in the middle of this course)
Mile 4: 12:05 (not really speeding up rather a big downhill for the first .3 of the mile)
Over all good, I finished and I got some music to listen to on the way. I will do some exploration of music over the next few weeks to see what works for me.
Have fun out there.

2007 Book List

This is a non-running post about my reading so far for the year. There is only a month left so I thought I would put down what I have done so far and then update it on January 1st with the full totals. I have two hours a day to read on my communte to work and here is what I have looked at.

30 Days of Night (Novelization)- Tim Lebbon
-- this is just a novel based on the movie. It is what you might call a popcorn read. There is nothing difficult about this. The down side is that like the movie, it is not very scary. It is more of an action movie with super-powered villians. Too bad really, there is promise in the concept. I am a fan of the genre but this missed the mark.

Angry White Pyjamas - Robert Twigger
-- I really liked this one. This is a travelogue about an Englishman living in Tokyo who decides, mostly on a lark, to study a year long intensive Aikido program. It is really good. I am sure Twigger took some liberties but it is an entertaining read.

Blood Curdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre- H.P. Lovecraft
-- I do like good horror and there is none better than Lovecraft. Lovecraft knows something that most seem to forget, it is not what you see that is frightening it is what you cannot see. Creepy and frightening, as is all his stuff. But it doesn't really translate well to screen.

Children of Hurin - J.R.R. Tolkien
-- Not the Tolkien people think of from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This is a dark and grim tale. Based on some of Tolkien's notes, this book is dark and distrubing. As a teen I caught the fantasy bug and I still like the genre.

Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
-- Civil War tale on which the movie is based. It is a two part tale, part one is sort of Gone with the Wind-ish in how the farm is held together while the wounded soldier protagonist makes his way back home. It is good.

The DaVinci Code - Brown
-- I came to this late, I know. I don't usually like to get sucked into hype. But I read this and I have to say it was good, but annoying. The story is good, his writing style is annoying. If one more character was going to have a sudden recollection to move the plot I was going to pull my hair out. How does everyone suddenly remember something, that was annoying. I know everyone loved this book, and it had its good points, but didn't this writing style get on your nerves?

Empire Falls - Richard Russo
-- Story of a small town and what lies beneth the quaint surface. I think this is one of the top two or three I read this year. Russo is just a great writer. You don't realize how fast you are flying through the story and then you are done and sad it is over. A couple of parts seem a bit forced but really great.

The Farthest Shore- Ursula LeGuin
-- Part of LeGuin's Earth Sea Cycle. It is very well written and has a nice flow. This is well done fantasy.

The Fight - Norman Mailer
-- This is Mailer's account of the Rumble in the Jungle between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. This is a great story and is a must read for any boxing fan. Top notch.

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
-- I can't really talk about it. Well fight club is a story about one man's disillusionment with material society and his reaction to it. A good read, just like the movie (mostly) only deeper.

Gates of Fire - Steven Pressfield

-- This is novelization of the Batle of Thermopylae. It is a decent read but really a popcorn novel. I read it before 300 came out. It was fine.

H.M.S. Suprise - Patrick O'Brian

-- 3rd book in the Aubrey/ Mauratin Series. This is a series of books focusing on the lives of a Naval Officer and his spy/ doctor friend during the Napoleanic era. Lots of high seas action with some humorous dialogue. They are good but not over taxing.

I Am Legend - Richard Matheson

-- With the Will Smith movie coming out later in the year, I thought I would look at this. I was not really familiar with Matheson before. This will be the third movie made of this book. He also wrote for the Twilight Zone, Terror at 20,000 feet a great episode with William Shatner is also one of his. He has also had Stir of Echoes and What Dreams May Come turned into films. I liked this short book, it will take all of a couple of sittings to get through this.

Illiad - Homer
-- The sack of Troy, the transgressions of Achilles, the Greek Warrior tradition in full view. It is great. I am a geek, who reads Homer for fun.

In the Name of Rome - Adrian Goldsworthy
-- History on the some of the more famous Roman generals and their particular achievements and flaws. It is very interesting to see how the politics of Rome hamstrung their own military. Interesting.

Kokoro - Natsume Soseki
-- The classic Japanese novel of a young man and his teacher. It is really good. I read this book every 4 years or so.

Living the Martial Way- Morgan Forrestt
-- I read this book every year. It is a sort of blue print for living your life as a Martial Artist. For me it is important. It is about integrity and honor. For me it is always worth my time.

Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
-- the classic tome of fantasy fiction. Outstanding in every sense. Very flowerly language, high action and characters that you like and respect. What is not to like.

Master and Commander - Patrick O'Brien

-- 1st book in the Aubrey/ Mauratin Series. This is a series of books focusing on the lives of a Naval Officer and his spy/ doctor friend during the Napoleanic era. Lots of high seas action with some humorous dialogue. They are good but not over taxing.

Odyessy - Homer

-- Reading Homer for fun, still a geek. The Fagles translation is really good.

The Painted Veil - W. Sommersett Maugham

-- Maugham doesn't get enough play today. He is really great. This is the story of a doctor who takes his unfaithful wife to an infected area of China in the 1920's. It is really a story of personal growth with a disturbing back drop. Disease is scary.

Phoenix Guards - Stephen Brust

-- this is a Three Musketeers rip off. It is a well done rip off set in more of a fantasy setting but still a rip off. All that said, it is really good and if you like that type of swashbuckling story then give it a try.

Post Captain - Patrick O'Brien
--2rd book in the Aubrey/ Mauratin Series. This is a series of books focusing on the lives of a Naval Officer and his spy/ doctor friend during the Napoleanic era. Lots of high seas action with some humorous dialogue. They are good but not over taxing.

The Razor's Edge - W. Sommersett Maugham
-- This is the story of a man looking for what is meaningful in post World War I Europe. It is a moving story and a bit on the philosophical bent. I don't think you can read this without examining your own beliefs. I really enjoyed it. This was in the top two or three for the year.

The Shipping News- Annie Proulx

-- Story of man who tries to find himself in NewFoundland after an abusive marriage. I liked this book a lot. A friend of mine read this at the same time but was not nearly as impressed as I was. Perhaps, I am bit off on this one. But I found it to be excellent.

Snow - Orhan Pamuk

-- The author won the Nobel Prize for literature, so I thought I would give him a try. The story is interesting but it is a hard read. This was just tough to get through, there is no flow. This may be due to translation but I would say I didn't like this one.

The Spartans - Paul Cartledge

-- A dry history of the Spartans. You can't get the time back once you invest it, don't do it.

Vampire Hunter D - Hideyuki Kikuchi

-- Entertaining quick read but the story is a bit like a comic book.

A War Like No Other- Victor David Hansen

-- An excellent and readable history of the Peloponesian War. This was a really well done history. The information is organized well and for a history it is very engaging. It is quite good.

So here is what I think this year:

Best books: Razor's Edge, Empire Falls, Shipping News, Angry White Pyjamas

Worst: Snow, The Spartans

What we have learned: Rob is a geek and reads Homer for fun, there is a lot of good work out there that most people (myself included) never hear about.

The eat-athon is now at a close

Thanksgiving seems to be a time of endless food. The good news is that it tastes really good, the bad news is that eating that much is not really good for you. My view point on this is that it is only one day. I don't eat that way normally only one day a year.

My preparations this year were as follows (I cook the thanksgiving feast at my house, I am pretty good at it).

1. modest turkey (12 pounds)
2. Stuffing - with raisins, apples, onions, celery (I like it a lot)
3. Sweet potatoes
4. string beans
5. cranberry sauce
6. snacking food before the 6pm dinner of cheese and chips with some apple cider (very nice)
7. Desert - blueberry pie (my daughter likes the blueberry pie) and chocolate pudding pie served with whipped cream.

It was all very good and I am glad I made the dinner, but I am equally glad it is over. So now back to the roads. I gained 1 pound over this food free for all. Not bad.

This week.
Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: 10k Tuesday
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: Long - maybe 8 to 10 miles
Sunday - Rest

I think my 1 pound is history. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

I hope everyone had a great turkey day. I know that I did. I did a lot of cooking. I made a good turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans with a couple of pies. It was all very good, but I ate too much. That is ok as I did a little Turkey Trot in the morning. Here are the results.
Mile 1: 10:43
Mile 2: 11:59
Mile 3: 12:20
Mile 4: 12:15
Mile 5: 12:21
Total 59:38 = 11:55 pace.
It was a good time. I will do one again next year, it is nice to front load some calories so that I can feel free to eat a lot on Thanksgiving, it is a good plan. I ate a good bit but as I was down 3 pounds from the race it was fine. Have a good holiday everyone.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hopefully the first of many...

What is this a new tradition in my running schedule. I hope to introduce on a regular basis....

10 K Tuesday

I have been a bit down on myself for not running as much as I want to. Well this is not exactly it. I have been running on a treadmill which is incredibly boring. This was not always true, I used to be able to do the treadmill no trouble, until I started running that is. After running streets and trails nothing else comes is as fulfilling. I found last night that my legs were actually sore after 4 miles. I mean come on. The treadmill caused my legs to fall a bit out of shape. Why, I think because there is no impact on the treadmill, well there is some but it is not the same. So I have gone back to what makes me happy.

Tonight was my first, I hope of many 10k Tuesdays.

How did things go, great thanks for asking. You see, I left the jacket at home and just went out with long sleeve top, pants and gloves (well shoes too). Here the results so that I might build upon them.

10 kilometers (6.2 miles) - 1:15:58 (1143 calories) - Pace Average 12:15

Mile 1: 12:00

Mile 2: 12:10

Mile 3: 11:56

Mile 4: 12:31

Mile 5: 12:30

Mile 6: 12:28

.2 : 11:52 pace

So in the end, I felt so much better tonight than I did last night. It was a nice night for a run. But I did notice as I have in the past that I was the only one running. Now Philadelphia is not the safest place in the world, but my neighborhood does not usually hit the headlines. But it was a nice quite evening for a run, not too cold, traffic was light ... it was good. As you can tell though the course goes down hill about mid way through mile 2 through mile 3 and then up mile 4 and mile 5. So I had to work the hills a bit. Over all a good pace.

The first 10k Tuesday is a success. (Very nice!!!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Head Scratching Moments

I went to the GNC on the ground floor of my building, I work on the 50th floor, for some energy gels and had a strange encounter with the merchant.

Me: I see you have some lose energy gels but do you have any boxes?

Merchant: No

Me: There aren't that many loose ones, when do you expect more in?

Merchant: They sell very fast, but we should get a box in sometime next week.

(me thinking, one box but he said they sell fast ... I am confused)

Me: Did you say that you will only get in one box next week.

Merchant: That is right, sir

See if I was a nutrition store, I would keep more of items that sold quickly on hand. Also, I know I am a rebel on this one, but I would order more than one box for something that I had very little of. Just me, I know I live on the edge but what can one do.

Well I bought 10 leaving 2 in the store, which were both vanilla with zero mg of caffeine; I need the caffeine. I think I am learning that for running supplies the Internet is my friend. I will order online for my future energy gel needs. Sigh, it would have been much better to be able to just pop down at lunch to get what I needed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cold Weather Running.

Tonight I went out running in the cold after work. I am not nearly as cold resistant as Bigfoot; however, I do have some cold weather running gear. That being said, I did not expect to overheat, but this is exactly what happened. The jacket was just too much. I think I have a lot to learn about winter running. There was a small drizzle tonight and it was pretty cool. So I took a running jacket, with pants, gloves and long sleeve top and hit the road. However, I could not get into a groove, I felt like I was fighting myself so after a mile and a half I took off the jacket. I felt much more comfortable and got through my 4 miles. It went something like this:

Mile 1: 12:25
Mile 2: 12:20
Mile 3: 12:22
Mile 4: 12:33

After a was done I hit the showers and the water was so cold, but that was from my body. I noticed I had a bad case of red belly. The cold from the elements really gave me what looked like a sun burn on my belly and chest. It took me about 15 minutes before I was normal. I have a lot to learn. I will get the hang of this stuff.

  • overheating
  • cold weather injury

I am sure I will find out other things to really keep an eye on as time goes on. But this is a learning experience so tonight will go up with them. In the end I felt good. A good 4 miles.

Philadelphia Marathon Thoughts

This weekend I watched the Philadelphia Marathon on television while I was doing some law-type work. You can tell that you are hooked on running when you will watch it on television. But there I was at 7:30 in the morning watching other people run. I still can't watch golf on television, feels like torture and I did golf regularly at one point in time, not well but I golfed.

Kenya's Timothy Psitet won the marathon with a time of 2:25:01. Pretty good I think. I am looking forward to my marathon experience next year. I was looking at the finish leg and was thinking of my time at the half marathon in September. I really wanted to be there. I am really excited about running next November. Congratulations to everyone who ran.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thinking about Charities?

As everyone knows, I am a veteran of the United States Army. As such, military matters mean a good deal to me. Everyone of them matters. Tonight on the news there was a story about a soldier running in the Philadelphia Marathon to raise money for charity.

His website:

His Blog:

Story in Washington Post:

The name of the movement is called Take Pride, the mission is to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and other military related charities. These soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan and have a lot to worry about in their day to day lives. However, these men have taken the time to worry about other soldiers who have been seriously wounded. I can't say enough about how moved I am.

It is easy to forget that Americans are in harms way every day; they are. The wars we fight overseas these days are done in such a way so that they do not interfere with everyday life here in the States. But we are at war. The soldiers fighting these wars do so without asking for anything in return. I know I care and I know a lot of other people out there care as well. So I am taking the money I would have spent on a registration fee for out virtual blogging run on the 8th of December and spending it on a T-shirt to help this project. I would urge everyone to do the same. We all give money to causes every year. I give money to various charities throughout the year, this will now be another.

So please buy a t-shirt for a very good cause, the good news is that it won't go to your butt or gut like chocolate for school fund raisers. These men and women may have been doing their duty; the least we can do is let them know we as Americans care and appreciate it. Check it out, please.

I have added links for your convenience.

On the Treadmill ... again

I mentioned before that I really do not like running on the treadmill. But with my heel being an issue that I want to resolve, I have to limit my days outside. So today, I went to the gym in the morning to do my 5 mile run on the hamster wheel. Well I don't have much to say beyond the fact that I did it. I hour = 5 miles = 12:00 pace. As others have noted my Garmin does not work so well on the treadmill. My actual pace being zero as I was in the same spot the entire time. I am being a grumpy gus about the the treadmill thing, I am sure I will be better about it as time goes on.

Tomorrow I will run on actual roads that will life my spirits about running. My goal for tomorrow is 7 miles. That will put me in good stead for the 5 miler on Thanksgiving and good training for the 8 on the 8th. Tomorrow is the Philadelphia Marathon that means I have exactly one year to get ready for the 2008 Philadelphia Marathon. I will get a training plan together shortly and let everyone know what my plans are.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ready for Winter?

Today at lunch I decided to gear up for winter. I purchased a pair of thermal running pants and gloves. I can make do with the rest of what I already have but the gloves and pants were a necessity.

I like Brooks running gear a little more than most. So I picked up some very yellow gloves, good for the night time running and some running pants that don't quite qualify as running tights. For a man of my size tights are not something for outside wear. Running tights should be for those with the body for it (a license should be required).

I would like to run through the winter to have enough of a base to run a marathon at the end of next year. This is a big goal but not something that is unachievable. I started running in March of this year and by next November that will make 21 months. I don't think that is pushing it. This year I have run a half marathon, a ten miler, an 8.4 miler and a 15k so I have experienced some longer runs. I think with good preparation I should be ready for next November. But first I will need to do some winter running. I will keep everyone updated on the progress through the cold weather running.

I will also be taking place in the 8 on 8th organized by Nancy
and also pimped by Vanilla. So for all the bloggers out there I will also be pimping the virtual run. I hope you will all do your 8 miles on the 8th. If I can do it than so can almost anyone. Lets get out there and make it a great race (well on our own courses by ourselves, hmmm). Well I am still going to do it. Look forward to hearing everyone's results on December 8.
Road Test:
3 miles
Mile 1: 12:35
Mile 2: 12:42
Mile 3: 12:40
This was a slow run for me, but I just wanted to see what I thought about the cold weather gear. There was a cold wind tonight and that made it feel colder than it was. But I felt that the pants were great at holding the heat in and I didn't feel cold in my legs at all. The gloves on the other hand were a little less efficient. At the end of the run my finger tips were a little cold. Nothing serious but just a bit chilled. End result: Pants: A; Gloves B+ -- still good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sick ... well almost

Over the past three days I have been fighting getting sick. Like most sane people, I don't really like being sick. It interferes with my schedule and my running, Nancy knows how that can happen. Yesterday at work I started to spike a small fever along with some chills for good measure. I have a system that will work overtime on this sort of thing so I had some fatigue as well. A nice combination really. So last night I laid about like a common ne'er do well. I like the word and don't get to use it as often as I like, mostly because it makes me sound like Dickens.

ne'er-do-well - n. an idle, worthless person; a person who is ineffectual
unsuccessful, or completely lacking in merit; good-for-nothing.

These are strong words to use against a sick person. So I tried to think of other words that might be more fitting, perhaps I was a miscreant. Another word with a bit of a Dickensian flair.

miscreant - n./ adj. - scoundrel, depraved, behaving badly, an evil doer, a villain

Sounds pretty harsh. I am sure that laying about on the couch is behaving badly in some circles but it does not seem to be villainous or smack of depravity. Maybe I went to far, was I flagitious. Another word not often used.

Flagitious - shamefully wicked, vile, scandalous,

I have been shamefully wicked before and perhaps scandalous depending upon who one speaks with. But I dare say that being a lay about does not quite rise to this level. I think I am looking for something else entirely. I believe what I was looking for was wastrel.

Wastrel: n. 1. a wasteful person; spendthrift.
2. Chiefly British.
a. refuse; waste.
b. a waif; abandoned child.
c. an idler or good-for-nothing

I was idling so 2(c) seems to fit splendidly. I was absolutely a good for nothing last night. I simply came home and laid about all night. Well I had muscle aches, a head ache, chills and fever so perhaps most will understand my slovenly behavior. In short I didn't run so I had to make up some sort of post. Well here it is I hope it entertained in some small way. Sorry if I made anyone's head hurt.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day

I don't usually give too many details about my life beyond running and exercise efforts on this blog. Today, I am going to break that trend. Today is Veteran's Day and as a Veteran I take this day pretty seriously. Additionally it is not just me.
  • My father was in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in the early 1960's

  • My step father served in the Korean War

  • My Uncle served on the Nimitz during the Vietnam War

  • Two other uncles served in the post Vietnam era in the Army

  • My Grandfather served in Alaska during World War II, he was one of seven brothers 6 served during World War II (3 died one at Normandy, one in Submarine service and one in the European theatre)

I come from a military family, it means something. I don't take things for granted in my life. During my service I served in Saudi Arabia and Iraq as a Scout in the 2nd Armored Division. It is not my part to talk about the nobility of war or the honor of service. There may some truth to the second but not the first. In war there is only death and destruction, there is nothing else to read into it. Soldiers serve where ordered, it is no different today. However, today I want to talk about my friends. When I served I had the good fortune to be stationed with Sam and Steve. Although I am not related to these two men, they are my brothers. We served on Bradley Fighting Vehicles (pictured to the left). I was promoted to Sergeant during the War and Sam and Steve were Specialists.

During our time in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, we lived on these Bradleys for months. Not exactly plush accommodations. The best sleeping spot was on stacked boxes of 25 mm ammunition. The best food was luke warm soup sent my our friends at the Campbell's Soup Company. I don't know why they send all that soup to us, but I was grateful. Today, I still eat it even though it is not the healthiest you can find on the market. The desert was filled with nasties even when there was no combat (i.e. desert vipers and scorpions). Sometimes we would play volleyball, but this was before we were on the line. After that we would spend our time watching and feeling the payloads of B-52's carpet bombing miles away, the ground would shake. Sometimes British Tornados would whip over our position at incredibly low levels heading to drop some unpleasantness. In short we lived in some strange circumstances that at times were intense. This may have had something to do with the depth of the friendships we formed.

We were friends before we went to war and after we were friends for life. I can say that I feel fortunate to have such good friends. In life you are mainly on your own. We don't want to think this is true but it is a lot. Friends that last a life time are a rare thing in this world of diminishing relation to community. I feel fortunate to have friends like Sam and Steve. I know that no matter what happens I can depend on these guys. I know this because when it really mattered they were there for me. They have been there since and I hope that I have as well. We have become a family of sorts. The bonds that we made during this time, now more than 15 years ago, mean more to me than almost anything.

Sam and I talk almost every week, Steve less frequently. On Veteran's Day I call them both. It is special. I don't know if it was that we were friends and then shared a few near death experiences. I am not sure. But I know that they are my best friends and that will always be true. Sam and Steve, here is to you, take care my good friends. Also, here is to the guys who have served there since and to those that are still there. Take care.


Rob - formerly Sergeant Rob

---- Also, today I ran 5.5 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I didn't like it but I did it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Did I mention...

... that I really hate treadmills. That being said I went to the gym today rather than running the streets. It was raining today, I don't mind running in the rain but when it is freezing rain I am given pause. So I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. I started lifting some weights so that I felt that I really did something. When I was done with the weights, I put in 5 miles on the treadmill. Or so it says. I guess the problem is that I am still standing in the same place at every point on whatever distance I ran. So in the end I got to sweat a lot and didn't really go anywhere or see a thing beyond Sports Center.

Tomorrow, roads (I hope)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Managing Pain

I have been running in pain since early summer. I hurt my foot in martial arts class by coming down hard on my heel and then I ran a lot. This created a nice plantar faciitis injury that I have sported for about 6 months. It just hasn't healed the way it should have. But that is my own fault. I have not given it a chance to get better. It has not bothered me to run at all so I have run. It is getting up in the morning and early day walking that is the trouble. I have on occasion had to crawl or hop up stairs to the bathroom in the morning. I have silently screamed as I first stepped out of bed in the morning. Although this is good for waking up, I can think of better ways.


Over the last month I have not run that much. It is really been one race and one training day per week. I have been a little under the weather so I have been taking it easy. At the same time I am a lawyer with a billable hour requirement. My monthly numbers are fine but for the year I want to get to a fairly good number. To do that I have to put in some hours. So for the past month I have been working a good deal. Now the interesting thing is that my ankle/ heel is finally healing. I should have known that extended rest was the key. I just wasn't letting myself do it. My ego was getting in the way. I wanted to run and compete with myself. I still do. You see last year I missed alot of time due to a runner's knee injury and I didn't want to go down again. So I ended up with a nagging injury that was manageable.

However today my foot feels better than it has in months. I know that is because I have been mostly off it for the past month. I think I need to do more of the same to get better. So I will follow what has been better - only two days a week on the roads. That is too bad for me because I would like to get out more. But I also need to heal so that I don't have to crawl up the stairs or wake up in pain from turning wrong.

Time to do the right thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

2008 Race Schedule

This is my intended race schedule for next year. I will add a few shorter races through the year and maybe a couple of trail runs in the spring. I hope to do a Marathon at the end of next year in the Philadelphia Marathon. Here is the list:

March 9, 2008 - Citizen's Bank Ceaser Rodney Half Marathon - Wilmington, DE (registered)

May 4, 2008 - Broad Street Run (10 Miler)

July, 2008 - Marsh Creek Raptor Run (5 Mile Trail Run)

October 5, 2008 - Army 10 Miler (register in April)

October 11, 2008 - Baltimore Marathon (Half Marathon) - registered

November 2008, Schuylkill River Loop Run (8.4 Miles)

November, 2008, Philadelphia Marathon

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Schuylkill River Loop Run - Post Race

Today, I ran the Schuylkill River Loop Run. (skoo kill) I didn't come up with the spelling so don't blame me. This is an 8.4 mile race around some of the nicest parts of Philadelphia for running. The start is at the Art Museum then run up 4 miles to the Falls Bridge and back down Kelly Drive past Boathouse Row to the finish.

Art Museum

Falls Bridge

Rower Statute

Kelly Drive

It is a nice course. This was part of the Philadelphia Distance Run and I liked that part of the course so much that when I found out about this race, I wanted to do it. There is lots of tree cover and on the back half there are lots of statues and family oriented space set aside. Additionally, there are usually rowers on the river. It is just a nice place to run. On to the nitty gritty.

Mile 1: 10:43
Mile 2: 11:02
Mile 3: 11:32
Mile 4: 12:02
Mile 5: 12:19
Mile 6: 12:18
Mile 7: 13:10
Mile 8: 13:44
Last .4: 13:28 pace
Total Time: 1:42:52

I think you can see a trend. I started well but then I dropped off. I hit a groove from miles 3 through 6 but miles 7 to the end was just tough on my body. I did not train as well as I should have but I made it to the end with a 12:20 pace. Good for me and below my expectations by a little bit. The other good news, I placed 3rd in my age group so I got a performance based medal. Huzzah!!! I am tired, I will take a nap now.

Nancy, I received the Viagra based pens and stuff. Thanks. I will use them with pride at my office. I am sure people will notice. Nancy sent me a couple of Viagra pens a mini mouse and $5 as I won our little bet on the first to break the 11:00 mark on three consecutive miles. Happy running everyone.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sneaking out for a Quick 4

With the Schuylkill Loop tomorrow, I thought a little tune up would be in order. I had a busy day on tap but was out the door this morning for a quick 4 miler. I haven't been running as much as I would like as of late. Life has its demands as we all know. But this morning here is how it went.

Mile 1: 12:30

Mile 2: 12:01

Mile 3: 12:07

Mile 4: 12:08

I was not looking for speed, I was only looking to find a groove and stick with it. The first mile was shaking cobwebs out of my system. Then after that I was looking for something I could sustain for 8.4 miles. That is the distance of the race tomorrow. For the half marathon I ran at a 12:40 pace. I would like to do better for this run. I have run a 5k at less than an 11:00 pace for the 3 miles. I think I would like to average between 12:15 and 12:30 for the race. I will set the pace at about 12:00 and see where that goes. I am still in awe over the fact that I can discuss these speeds. It may not sound like much to the average runner but for me it is fast. I started running back in March at 15:00 to 16:00 pace. However, over the last few weeks I have not been as diligent as usual in my running. I think it was my body telling me I needed a rest.

Tomorrow will be 8.4 miles around some of the prettiest running territory in Philadelphia. Wish me luck.