Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blog Transfer

Over the last month I have gone from 248 to 242. That is only 6 pounds but it really is more than that. I was sick near the turn of the year and when I got better I put that weight back on. I jumped back to about 252 and then I started this new diet and dropped 10 pounds in two weeks. I think I have this figured out. I will see as time goes on. But I am feeling normal again and I have to think what comes next. What does come next? I want to keep this fitness journal up so I have changed my site to:

New Site Address: I Dare
I will be posting all new posts to this site. In this way I can transition from a weight loss focus to more fitness related. There is nothing preventing me from doing that here, but I feel like I have turned a page and that it is important to change my focus to go along with that.
My goals are getting bigger and I feel that my site should reflect that. I hope you will all join me over at my new diggs.

I Hate Injuries

Last night I was at mile 2.8 of my 5 mile run when I stepped on a tree branch on the sidewalk that I did not see and twisted my ankle. Of course I cried like a school girl. Well I really winced in pain and hobbled around for a couple of minutes before calling it quits for the night. I did a hobble run back home to R.I.C.E it up. On the way back I think my running looked similar to Cornelius in Planet of the Apes. I would have made a good extra with that funky gait.

I treated myself at home during the night and the ice seemed to help (last night and again this morning). I believe this is a minor thing and will not affect my half marathon coming up. Just a twist that will probably take 2 to 3 days to remedy itself. Injuries are a part of sport, it is true and there is no getting around it. If you exercise you will get hurt as some point. But I will take this little twist over the plantar injury that hounded me for 6 months any day of the week.

Oh well I get two to three days of rest. Things could be a lot worse. Everyone put in an extra mile for me.

In other news, I love this story from Muncie

I love this story.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First Race of the Year

I have registered for my first race of the year. I have been looking high and low for something close enough and long enough to peak my interest. I have found...

This fits both criteria, 1) close as it is only an hour from home and 2) far enough - since a half marathon is my longest race to date I think this qualifies. I am very pleased with the find and am looking forward to the race. I have been training hard but I didn't have anything to really get up for per se. So now I have something to train for besides the beloved Broad Street Run, a great race through the heart of Philadelphia.
As to the Ceasar Rodney Half Marathon, I will be increasing my mileage to get up for it. Well, I can run the thing today but I want to have steady energy so here is the plan for my long runs.
This week 2/2 : 10 miles
Next week 2/9: 11 miles
Third week 2/16: 12 miles
Forth week 2/23: 13.1 miles
Fifth week 3/1: 6 miles
Race week: Race
I will not scale back for a month on this plan. But I think that will be ok, I will keep everyone updated.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jogging or Running?

I have to admit that I needed something to post about. So when Scott accused me of jogging on his blog, I felt that I had to post about that. I won't say I am offended at the characterization but I will say that I feel it is incorrect. From a gut perspective I know that I work to hard out there for it to considered simply jogging. I may be a recreational runner but I am still an endurance athlete. But being a law school graduate and an officer of the court within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (just a fancy way of saying lawyer) I do want to thoughtfully evaluate the situation. I would not want to dismiss it out of hand as much as that appeals to me.

What guidance can the dictionary give me in determining if I am a jogger, heaven forbid, or a runner. (definitions taken from

Jog: to run at a leisurely, slow pace, esp. as an outdoor exercise

Run: to go quickly by moving the legs more rapidly than at a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground.
The definition of jog seems to indicate a reduced effort as I thought was the case.
  1. Leisurely run
  2. Slow Pace

The slow pace might be accusation that might be leveled against me but not for lack of trying. However, slow is a relative and subjective term much as leisurely. However, leisurely seems to be something that is best left to self definition rather than external definition. Whereas, it would seem that the exerciser is the only one in the position to determine if the effort is leisurely. As each persons level of fitness is different leisurely for one is not leisurely for another. For me leisurely these days might be a 13:30 minute pace. However, leisurely for Ryan Hall, U.S. half marathon record holder, I believe his leisurely pace would simply put me in the ground and would embarrass most recreational athletes. I think I can lay to rest, from a legal analysis, that I am not a jogger. As I have turned the definition into a test, I can see that the leisurely criteria fails as this is a self defined criteria where slow may or may not be externally evaluated.

Am I a runner? This is a good question. My gut reaction is yes. Also, if I am not a jogger than wouldn't I necessarily become a runner? Perhaps. What does the definition require:
  1. quick movement faster than a walk
  2. for an instant both feet off the ground

As to the firs criteria, I think this would apply to what I do out there. I move faster than a walk. My fast walk is about a 15:00 mile and I run between 10:30 and 11:45 mile. I think this is not world record worthy, but I still think it is running by terms of the definition. The second part of the test I also satisfy, during my runs I do have both feet off the ground for an instant during my run. I do not think this should actually be required at all times and may actually be impossible during some hill work. But needless to say, over even or downhill slopes, I do in fact become airborne (for an instant).

May it please the Court, defense counsel respectfully submits that the definition of jogger does not apply as the leisurely component is necessarily self defined. Additionally, the slow portion of the definition is vague as to the definer of the slow component. Does it mean slow for me or objectively slow. This is unclear. As such, the jogger definition does not apply.

Rather, the definition of the term run is more applicable to the instant situation. Please refer to the above definition for your ready reference. Run requires speed in excess of a walk. This requirement is satisfied with the current pace of this practitioner. Finally, the movement taken place does leave the practitioner suspended in mid air for an instant. In short, this definition more closely defines the practitioner.

-- Just as I thought, I am a Runner!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Week of Running in Review

Here are my results for the week:

Week in Review 1/21/08 to 1/27/08
Date..... Time .....Miles .....Pace .....Calories
1/22/08 ..44:31 ......3.85 .........11:34 ......757
1/23/08 ..56:05..... 5.06......... 11:06...... 1005
1/24/08 ..44:03...... 3.75......... 11:45....... 718
1/26/08 ..59:19...... 5:06 .........11:44 ......970

Totals Days ...Time..... Miles ....Pace .....Calories
..............4 days ....3:23:59.. 17:71 ......11:31....... 3334

This was the scale back week. A couple of small notes about each run:

1/22 - runners trots - well enough said really. We all know what that means. I had to cut the run a little short.
1/23 - 3 miles at a sub-11:00 pace (10:58, 10:55, and 10:58). This was fast - well for me.
1/24 - I did this one at 6:00 am -- I haven't done mornings in a while and I was tired.
1/26 - This was the usual hill route with the exception that it was condensed in that I had to do each hill twice in a short period. It was tough, but I did it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Diet - How goes it?

When I started running back in March of last year I was tipping the scales at 293, today it is 245. I knew back then that I had to do this in a two part process. Trying to diet and exercise at the same time back then, when I had done neither was going to be too much for me, I knew that. So I took last year to make exercise a priority and this year diet. For the past week, I have been really watching and regulating what I have been eating.

This is the challenge for me. I have never really thought much about my diet until now. I always just grabbed something or cooked but didn't really think about it much. Just eat it and forget about it. Portions were what I felt like there really were no limits. Now I think about it, a lot. Here is the typical day now:

Breakfast: Yogurt, oatmeal, banana
Snack: carrots or broccoli - I tried the broc raw today, I won't do that again.
Lunch: half sandwich, cup of soup, celery, apple
Snack: pretzel or orange or other fruit
dinner: fruit, vegetables, small portioned meat
Snack: piece of fruit

I mix some things in and out but you get the general idea. On top of this I drink the recommended 8 glasses of water per day. If I run it is more like 10 or 11 glasses of water. I have noticed that I never feel over stuffed on this new system. I think that will take getting used to. I know portion control is my biggest challenge. The good news is that the reduced caloric intake has not affected my running at all.

On Wednesday, I did a 5 miler where I had three miles sub-11:00. I think the diet is helping. I also have been supplementing with vitamins. I will let everyone know how it is going on this. I will say that I am not miserable eating celery and I don't feel hungry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Guest Post: Weight Lifting with Scott

With my scale back week, I thought it was a good opportunity to invite a guest poster to share some time. This is part of my mix it up format. As Lisa commented on one of my posts, we running bloggers have a tendency to report a bunch of facts. With that said, I have invited Scott from Forging Ironman to do a little bit over here. Scott has an interesting background and truthfully I made the suggestion as to a weight lifting post. My thinking at the time being that this is pretty much a fitness blog. Scott is not a runner but I think you might like what he has to say. Thanks for stopping by Scott.

Hi. This is Scott from Forging Iron Man. Rob asked me to write a post on weight lifting for him since I was a bodybuilder before I got cancer. So think what I will do is describe what I did to build a lot of mass. And with the mass came strength. Now that I have been out of treatment for cancer for a year (getting fat), I think it is time for me to go back to the gym, and I will ease myself into this plan. If you are interested in building size and strength, try something like this plan, and let me know what you think of it after three months or so.

Experts recommend you change your plan every few months or so, because your body might get used to it and stop growing. However, after several years of lifting, I came up with this plan and did it with very little modification for eight months straight and I got in great shape. It didn't seem to be losing it's potency for me.

Day One: Chest
Day Two: Back and Shoulders
Day Three: Legs
Day Four: Arms
Day Five: REST

You want to be sure to ease into the plan, because if you haven't been lifting, you will be in lactic acid hell for a couple weeks if you try to just start this full blast. In fact, it might be a good idea to take a couple weeks and lift very light weight and low repetitions for your whole body to get used to work before you dive into the above plan.

My general rule was 4 sets of 10 reps for each lift. Sometimes I pyramided up and sometimes down with my weights. Sometimes I would want to go heavier than I could handle for 10 reps, so I'd end up with a set of only 4 or 6 reps. Conversely, sometimes I would lift lighter than my potential and I would make my last set hit 12, 15, or 20 reps—almost to failure. Between sets, a 1 to 2 minute break is best.

Now each day you should attack each muscle group from all of its ranges of motion and at many different angles. Chest day is a good example. You might think the chest has one exercise—the bench press. Well there are lots of ways to do this. Using a barbell you can bench incline, decline, or flat, and you can also do the same movements with dumbbells. Right there are six different exercises! Then you can get creative and throw in some cable benching. And you don't want to forget the other movement the chest makes, which is pulling your arms in. For this you can do the standard flyes with dumbbells, a pec deck machine, or you can use a cable machine to hit that movement at three different angles—up, horizontal, and down. There are a couple other ways you can nail the chest for mass, but they are hard to describe.

Using this plan, a typical chest day for me would use four of those exercises. I might start with 4x10 of flat barbell bench presses and then go to 4x10 of incline dumbbell presses. By now my chest would be feeling full and I would maybe do 4x10 of flat dumbbell presses, probably lighter weights now because your dumbbell work should always be lighter than your barbell work because dumbbells focus on symmetry and secondary stabilizing muscles like the triceps for bench pressing, and barbell work focuses on brute strength. By now I would feel a great pump in my chest and most likely would feel that I had done all the necessary pressing motions for the day. I would probably finish with a fly motion using a two sided cable machine and lifting my arms up and in to finish the pump. If you add it up, in this sample workout, you've just done 160 repetitions. If you collapse before you can finish that, you should probably focus on lifting lighter for the time being. If you do that and don't feel in the least bit fatigued, you are lifting way too light, and I suspect weight lifting isn't your gift—you should look into running marathons!

Also, I recommend after your workout, get on one of the cardio machines and do only 10 minutes of cardio. Then get home and eat a meal high in carbs and protein (a balanced meal or a protein shake with a fruit blended in) in the "golden hour," which is anytime in the hour after exercise when your muscles need replenishment the most.

I've focused on the chest, but with the other muscle groups, follow a similar plan. With back and shoulders, I focused on the shoulders because they have the most complex range of motion. But don't forget to do some exercises to hit the major muscles of the upper back, which are the trapezius and the latisimus dorsi.

Leg day should be the most grueling, as squats, leg presses, and weighted lunges are brutal, draining lifts. But don't forget to do plenty of quad extensions and ham curls. Then I always loved trying to get a bunch of sets on a calf machine before I puked. The calves are the only muscle group that I recommend breaking the 4 sets of 10 guideline. Those muscles—the gastrocnemius and soleus—need both heavy weights and high reps. I usually sat in a calf extension machine and did 20 reps with my feet straight, immediately went to 20 reps with my feet facing out, and then immediately 20 reps with them facing in. If you can do that, you will Charlie horse up. Once the pain goes away, smile . . . you're growing!

Arm day is always my favorite. Concentrate on doing four different exercises at 4x10 for your biceps, then four different exercises at 4x10 for your triceps. I know, that adds up to 320 repetitions on this day. It is hard but it should give you an insane pump. Try to put a coat on before you leave the gym. If you can't get it on, that means you had a good workout. The biceps exercises will hit the forearms, but if after all that, you want to attack your forearms, you can do a few forearm rolls or something. But don't overdo it!

Having the one day of rest is a minimum. If you are beat at anytime in this training split, don't feel bad to take an extra day off at any time! There is a lot more to bodybuilding, but this is just a basic plan that I found worked wonders for me. If you have any questions for me, go to Forging Iron Man and leave me a comment or email me. I will respond!

Advice for New Runners: No Excuses!

Amy at Runners Lounge has come up with Run With It Thursdays. This week's topic what advice would you give to new runners? Here is my take:

Rob, what advice do you really think that new runners might need. My answer, leave your excuses at the door. When I began running about a year ago the hardest thing to do was to get out there. There is always an excuse lurking out there - I am too tired, I am too busy, I have a full schedule today. Leave all of that at the door. As my former martial arts instructor told me one time that if you look for an excuse long enough you will find one you like. Meaning in short that if want to find an excuse you will. It is hard to make a healthy habit. They say it takes 6 weeks to make or break a habit. I found with running it was considerably longer.

In short, if you decide you want to run three days a week, you just have to do it. Make running a priority not a if I have time sort of thing. Running cannot interfere with American Idol, it has to be the other way around. We also know which one should win right, (go get your shoes). To build the habit takes commitment and that is the hard part. You will always feel better after you run. It does not matter how far you run, what matters when you start is getting out there

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How do you find motivation?

When I began running last year, I really needed to motivate myself to get out there. I was really out of shape, obese to be frank, and running hurt. My ankles, knees, and hips squealed on a regular basis. I really needed to mentally push myself to get out there. It wasn't easy. These days, I don't have to look for motivation on getting out there but rather on the finer points.

Back in November, I felt like I was stagnating a bit. I think I had crossed a threshold in my running and I needed to do more but I hadn't realized it. The injuries didn't really help much. When I pushed my base run from 3 to 4 miles I noticed big changes in my abilities. So how do I get motivated these days now that I have increased my work load?

Well it seems that I have been employing a tried and tested motivational method used for centuries. This technique originates in Ireland. Ireland you say, exactly I say. You see what I do is tie an angry Leprechaun on my shoulder before I set out on my run. The Leprechaun, or Mr. O'Toole, will berate me with profanities while hitting me with a stick (or shillelagh) when I don't run fast enough. This is quite similar to Luke Skywalker lugging around Yoda in the Empire Strikes Back (well without the sentence confusion). -- Run you will-- This seems to do the trick without much in the way of added weight.

No really that is how I do it, well not really these are my tried and trued motivational tricks.
  1. Right now Dean Karnazes is in the middle of a 50 mile run, I can do 4 right?
  2. the Mantra - small hill, small hill or I don't know how to quit, I don't know how to quit -- Well you get the idea.
  3. I always feel better after a run than before no matter how bad I am feeling.
  4. Set small and consistent goals: At the start of the week I try to set some goals for the week. This is beyond just 4 miles on Monday and 9 on Saturday. Rather, I like to set some time goals for certain runs. I don't always get there but pushing myself to get better keeps me at it.
  5. Set big goals: for me this year the big one is the Philadelphia Marathon, 26.2. It is a big goal and I know I have to be very consistent to get there. This makes skipping on runs and giving in to fatigue during a run less likely. Rob if you are going to run 26 you need to be able to do 10 with no trouble, for example
  6. Gifting: I am a big kid in many ways. I like a new toy and I usually make this result related. If can do x then I will get a new running top, pair of shoes, etc. This along with the angry leprechaun are usually enough motivation to meet my goals.
  7. Responsibility - I will tell you folks the brutal truth of what I am doing. If I slack then I have to admit that. This keeps me going. Oh my what would ... Jason, Nancy, Dave and others think if I gave in now. I don't have much quit in me, but this keeps me more honest.
  8. My Scale - I remind myself of my weight when I get out the door. Then I remind myself of how far I am away from my goal weight. Where am I am now -- where is my goal - one angry leprechaun saying things I can't repeat and this gets me running surer than anything.

So if you can't find an angry leprechaun or a sasquatch to help motivate you then these 8 things might help, or not. Maybe you have your own list.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The coming week

This week is a scale back week. I am pushing 40 and have only been running for about a year so I am a bit concerned about how many miles I have logged over the past couple of weeks. That being said. I have decided to do one scale back week for every two long weeks, at least for a while. With a solid 24 mile week last week, I am following this schedule this week:

M: 4-5 miles
T: rest
W: 4-5 miles
Th: 4-5 miles
F: rest
Sa: 4-5 miles
Su: rest

I think this will give my body a chance to recover and keep me fresh. I also believe this will reduce my chance for injury.

What will happen here on my beloved blog during this week? Rob, come on 4 recovery runs do not have the same sort of built in suspense as your other posts. This may be true. What I have come up with is this:

  • I have a guest poster, Scott from Forging Iron Man. Scott has made a lifestyle out of overcoming adversity. Although not a runner, his blog is really worth looking at.
  • I will post some non-running stuff a couple of times this week. I may do something on motivation. I seem to find it in ample quantities these days without the need to psyche myself up as I did last year (especially in the summer). However, I think I will rethink some motivation stuff and how it applies now. It is different.
  • I will also do a post on nutrition. This is my weakness. I will do fine for a few days and then binge. I will make progress but it will be slower than I would like it to be.
  • On the weekend, I will post the week in review on the training runs rather than looking at the same thing. I will admit that the winter is a less interesting time to run. It is dark and I run the streets so there is less wildlife to see, beyond the Philadelphia crack head, Philadelphia drunk, or the less interesting Philadelphia pedestrian. So I will give a nitty gritty next weekend.
  • In sum, 4 posts scheduled. 1) guest post, 2) motivation post, 3) nutrition post, and 4) week summary.

I will probably keep this type of schedule through the winter. That is 2 weeks of pushing the mileage and talking mainly about that and one week of scale back where I will look at doing some different things.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Sort of Long One...

I hit the roads this morning as promised. I hit my normal weekend hills and suffered as usual.

1:40:53, 8.30 miles, 12:10 pace, 1580 calories

Mile 1) 11:40
Mile 2) 12:29
Mile 3) 12:16
Mile 4) 12:05
Mile 5) 12:01
Mile 6) 12:02
Mile 7) 12:40
Mile 8) 12:15
last .3 ) 11:39 pace

I think it is fairly obvious where the hills where the really big hills were (miles 2 and 7). Beyond these two miles, I think I was pretty consistent. Given that I was running up a slope that I would be afraid to ride a skateboard down, I think I did ok.

I would have gone farther but I was a bit late for getting my daughter to her Saturday classes. So I had to wrap it up.

In terms of Energy - I started a little low but snapped out of it quickly. I got into a pace I could sustain at the end of mile 1 and worked through mile 2. Then I hit a stride at mile 3 and the hills didn't seem to bother me. Compared to last week I cut some serious time off my run time. Good news.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Make-up Run

I was not able to run last night due to the freezing rain. I like to think of myself as being pretty resiliant but freezing rain is just plain uncomfortable. It is my limit. So I had a make up to do on a Friday night, I have no life so I did it.

4.37 miles, 50:08 minutes, 11:28 pace, 858 calories

Mile 1) 11:35
Mile 2) 11:30
Mile 3) 11:12
Mile 4) 11:36
last .37 - 11:31 pace

I started at 10:30 pm so I was a bit fatigued when I hit the road, I didn't want to be out there and it was tough to get going. To make matters worse, Jupiter is not the only gas giant around this evening. I think my nickname tonight should have been Broccoli Rob - well you get the idea. Thankfully the streets were empty.

Long run tomorrow, yikes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Getting back at it

Tonight the Captain (my Garmin) and I hit the roads for a little more distance on this up effort week. Next week being a cut back week, I am trying to push it this week. Here is what happened:

1:15:01, 6.60 miles, 11:22 pace, 1310 calories

Mile 1: 11:11
Mile 2: 11:03
Mile 3: 11:16
Mile 4: 11:21
Mile 5: 11:53
Mile 6: 11:30
Last .6 - 11:22 pace

My legs were a bit rubbery from Monday, but I pushed through it. The Captain will not tolerate any slacking off. So even though I wanted to stop early for a cocktail, I pushed through to the end. I would not want to see the Captain when he is angry. I will admit that mile 5 was a tough one, there were some ups as they say. I had to push through the mile to get to some level ground. I have to say that I am happy with this. I do feel like I am becoming a better runner. I can remember a time not to long ago that I strived for a 13:30 mile. Now, I get upset if a post a 12:00 on any run that is not long or hilly.

Good and unusual news: I am not injured in any way. Most people take this for granted. However, I have been a member of the walking wounded for so long that I forgot what is was like to not be hurt in some way. I just figured that exercise meant some injuries. But today, I can now say that my right foot is 100%, my shoulder that I dinged falling is 100%, my chest congestion is gone, hamstring injury is gone, back twinge and hip twinge on long runs also gone, basically I am in the pink for a change. The only thing I have to deal with is a couple of old injuries, the nerve damage in the left elbow I received when I elbowed someone in the fist when I was 20 (it creaks and pops ... could be worse) and a broken right wrist from the military (it sounds like rice crispies on occasion).

Up and coming: I have contacted a couple of folks to guest post. I am not going on vacation or anything. But I thought it might be nice to mix things up.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday again?

Today my Brooks top came in. I don't know how it keeps you warm and wicks the moisture away but it does. I like the brooks stuff, because I enjoy day glow yellow. Well, not really but it will cut down on my chances of being hit by a car. I won't say it won't happen, as the sales lady said she was almost hit by a car while riding a bike while wearing this top. So people don't pay attention, ok I knew that. I see stupid things everyday in my work as a lawyer, no stupidity would mean no need for lawyers. All that said I like the top.

The Captain (my Garmin) and I went out for a little jaunt this evening. This run kicked by back side for reasons unknown. I feel more tired than I did after my 9 on Saturday. This may be due to it being Monday and after a full day of work, here are the results:

59:07 minutes, 5:12 miles, 1000 calories, 11:33 pace

Mile 1: 11:30

Mile 2: 11:27

Mile 3: 11:32

Mile 4: 11:45

Mile 5: 11:30

Last .12 - 11:32 pace

I have no excuse for mile 4. I thought I was maintaining throughout but I fell off in mile 4, can't say why?? I was a slacking I think. I am getting generally faster.

The Master Plan

I can be a bit unreliable when it comes to my running schedule. I usually get in the miles I want but the days can vary. That being said I want to lay out my week schedule and beat my chest a little bit.

Monday: 4 - 6

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 6 - 8

Thursday: 4 - 6

Friday: rest

Saturday: 8 - 10

Sunday: rest

Total: 22 to 30 miles (well that is the plan, I will see what the Captain says when it is all done).

In other news, anyone who may have seen any football this weekend may have noticed that the New England Patriots won this weekend. This was their 17th straight victory this season. It was a sexy pick to say that the Jaguars would beat the Pats. The Jags gave them a good game but since 2001 they have never beaten the Pats. Tom Brady had only two incomplete passes all day (92% completion percentage ... sick). Now I get to see San Diego try to make a go at my team this weekend. They have less of a chance, we pounded them early in the year. This is clearly not the same team, but they killed themselves beating the Colts. I just don't see them giving as much as the Jags did. Could this be a 19-0 season, could be.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Over Hill, Over Hill

I decided to up the difficulty factor this morning on my long run by running the dreaded hill variant of Pennypack Park. It is just one long stretch of hill after hill. I was hard pressed to ever be able to run them. I think today was the first time I ran every hill without some sort of walk break. I ran from my home so that added some mileage.

9.1 miles, 12:29 pace, 1699 calories, 1:53:38 total time

Mile 1: 12:10
Mile 2: 11:44
Mile 3: 12:26
Mile 4: 12:04
Mile 5: 12:56
Mile 6: 12:31
Mile 7: 12:29
Mile 8: 13:22
Mile 9: 12:39
last .1 : 12:51 pace

This is what the Captain (my Garmin GPS) has reported on my run. But I did notice a lot of variance in the run times today and I additionally noticed that the Captain had a hard time catching up to speed increases today. I will take the Captain's word for it but I know I felt faster on quite a few miles than what was reported. I feel good about today as this was the first time that I did not have to walk this course. It is a hard one. Usually my difficulty factor for a run is about a 3.5 to 4, today I give it a solid 8.

I am tired but satisfied. The 1699 calories is a nice number to look at as well. The other good news is that I am not wrecked. Usually after a long run I need a few hours to recover, not so today. 9 miles no problem.

Have fun out there.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

7 Miles Tonight.

I am still getting back into the swing of things from the flu. So I took my congestion and hit the bricks tonight. I will share a little story that illustrates my insanity to a certain degree. Let's see if you can follow my logic. I run with a Garmin 205 gps, I love it as it keeps me from having to keep track of things the old fashion way. When I was in the Army during basic training one of the drill sergeants encouraged us to name our rifles as we would be closer to the rifle than any woman. With this in mind, I have nicknamed by Garmin, "Captain." Why, well here it goes.

a. Garmin rhymes with Gavin (for Gavin Mac Leod)

b. Gavin Mac Leod was the captain of the Love Boat (Captain Stubing)

c. Hence, my Garmin is called Captain

d. It fits as the Garmin is in charge of my run much like a naval captain would be.

I also have little Star Trek moments about not having enough power to get up this hill or that hill. I have also told myself that the toilets have backed up into the warp drive when I feel like I am going to just fall apart. But this is all part of my inner geek.

So there is a glimpse into my insanity. So tonight the Captain and I went for a little run with a new pair of shoes. I said I wasn't going to use them on a long run, but I lied I guess. I had to try them out. I am glad I did. These are the best shoes I have used to date. They really picked up the impact of the run and I felt very comfortable throughout the run. Great stuff.

7.15 miles, 1:22:05 time, 11:29 pace, 1381 calories

Mile 1: 11:21
Mile 2: 11:17
Mile 3: 11:25
Mile 4: 11:16
Mile 5: 11:27
Mile 6: 11:52
Mile 7: 11:47
last .15: 11:24 pace

Mile 6 and 7 I had a few issues. First I picked up a pretty strong head wind which really slowed me down. Then I tripped. A little unusual for me I don't usually fall. But I lost a half minute dusting myself off. I am fine, just bruised ego.

The Shoes... they're new

I was thinking about my mileage for last year today and I realized that I am due for some shoes. That made me happy. New shoes ... ahhhh. The simple pleasures of life are quite varied at times.

I was not 100% pleased with the last pair of Saucony's that I bought. The first pair were fine and I had no complaints at all. But when they revamped the design they made the shoe a little narrower. I believe the thinking was to make the shoe a little snugger. What happened for me was that it increased the frequency of blisters when I wore the shoe, especially on long runs. If I ran more than 7 miles I was assured a blister. This was a bummer. During the beginning of last Summer I started to do some trail running and bought a pair of Brooks for the trails. I purchased the Cascadia model and I was very happy with everything about the fit of the Brooks model. In a vague explanation, it was just enough shoe for me. Not too snug, just enough cushion but so much that it felt like I was running on sponges. There was enough stability for my over-pronation but not so much that I felt like I was wearing a boot. It was a good shoe.

So when time came to buy a new shoe, I went to Brooks based on my happiness with their trail shoe and my concerns over the Saucony that I have been running in. So I went to the Philadelphia Runner at lunch and had one of their awesome sales people give me a hand. If I haven't mentioned it before I love this store. The staff is the best, they all know running (well they should I guess given their business) inside and out. They know the gear, know what you need and never sell you more than what you need. I respect the way they approach their business and as such I always shop here for shoes and anything else I need running related. It is the best store and it is one block from my office (and a half a block from the Pita Pit, one of my favorite lunch spots).

Today, I picked up a pair of Brooks Adrenaline 7's. I looked at the Axiom's and another higher end pair as well. The higher end pair was too much shoe for me and felt like it had too much cushion and was a bit tight through the instep. The Axiom's were at the not quite enough phase. So I guess I chose Mama Bear, right in the middle. I like the feel of the Adrenaline and I will give a full report on how they are holding up. I have high hopes based on my previous Brooks experience. Also, they look fast so that has to be true. I am sure I will be running faster than anyone in my neighborhood soon. Well that is probably already true as I have never seen anyone running in my neighborhood besides me. I won't breaking in the Brooks tonight as I have a longer run planned and I don't like to plan on 7 miles with a new pair of shoes right out of the box. New gear gives you a great feeling though.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Speeding Up... Sort of

I am trying to get back into the swing of things after my flu. I am still not 100%, maybe 85% is the best I can say. I am still a bit weak and my lungs complain a bit on the run. But tonight was a bit better than Saturday.

4.35 miles, 49:22 minutes, 11:21 pace, 846 calories

Mile 1: 11:00
Mile 2: 11:05
Mile 3: 11:39
Mile 4: 11:28
.35: 11:54 pace

I had to stop after mile 2 to walk a .2 and clear out my lungs, well you get the idea. When I started again I was a bit slower pace wise. I have to say I am happy with the run. Things are getting better.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I am still not 100% over my flu but I was tired of being at home and resting. So today I went out and ran a little bit. I ran for 4 miles at scenic Pennypack Park. I did not run 4 miles in a row though. I ran a mile than walked a quarter then ran a mile walked a quarter and so on. Without being too graphic, I am surprised at the amount of mucus that the human body can create in such a short time.


4 miles, 12:13 average pace, 753 calories, 48:51 total time
Mile 1: 11:51
Mile 2: 12:24
Mile 3: 12:13
Mile 4: 12:22

I do feel much better post run and hope that I feel even better later. I just hope that the mucus calms down over the coming days. Keep running.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

It has been a rough couple of weeks for me. I had only planned on taking a couple of days off for the Christmas holiday; however, I caught a nice/ nasty flu that had other ideas. So now it has been two weeks, my word. The good news is that the congestion has finally taken leave of my lungs. So that is good news. Now I can get out and do some running. I am quite pleased about this. Being laid up in bed every other day was not much fun. I can make some very good home made soup, so I was able to speed my recovery with my own soup. Mom was too far away to be of much help this time. Oh, well.

The election season is on us again. I admit I am a bit of a junkie on this stuff. I stayed up late last night to watch the results in Iowa. A caucus seems like an interesting thing, perhaps a bit old school but interesting. I was glad to see Obama lead the dems, I am not much of a Hilary Clinton fan. As for the Repubs, I like McCain and would like to see him emerge on that side of the aisle. But we will see what happens in New Hampshire. I know I will be looking forward to it.

I have reset my Garmin for the new year and I will keep everyone posted on the results.