Monday, December 31, 2007

Heel problem update

I still have no idea what the problem really is. But, after two days off, a light workout and another day off... it feels a lot less tight. That's not to say that it is totally healed or that I'm not going to go to the doctor's.... But, I'm encouraged by the fact that it feels better with rest. I still have my Thursday appointment and I'll know better then. I also want to know if I need orthotics for my flat feet. I feel like I am demolishing my feet with this running obsession. Maybe I just don't have the right equipment.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Weigh in, week two

I woke up this morning and was pretty sure that I wasn't going to have a good weigh in. I was 198.2 this morning. So, 8.2 pounds to go in 6 weeks. After 3 Christmas dinner's in a row, a .4 pound gain isn't that bad. If we're being honest, I was pretty bad today though (went to the Eagles game with Meliss and Nate). But, here's to a better week. I need to be at least 197 something by next Sunday. I'm sure I will be.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mmm... running movie, "Spirit of the Marathon"

I found this on the blog Run Bulldog Run through See Corey Run.... I can't wait to see this movie. It's called Spirit of the Marathon and you can find better information on the RBR post where I found it. If you want to watch the trailer, click here. I got chills checking out the trailer (and yes, I know I'm a big running dork, thanks).

*** Update- I've got two tickets for January 24th (only day it's in theaters) for Melissa and I to go see this at Manor theaters in Lancaster. There's a spot on there website to see local theaters that will have the movie. FYI.

As for today's workout... I went to the gym with the intention of lifting and riding the bike. After doing my first chest/back workout since I got back to lifting, I went over to the bike. I sat down, looked at it, and jumped on the treadmill next to it. I ran 20 minutes at 10:30 pace. Very light workout, but probably not in my best interest. What can I say, I'm a runner.

Back to the chest/back workout. For the first time in a long time (maybe since college?), I did bench press today. I used to lift a lot in my college days. Enough so, that I think I maxed out on the bench press at 230-235 pounds. Not unreal amount of weight, but nothing to sneeze at either. Anyhow, I put two 45 pound plates on the bar (total weight of 135 pounds) to "warm up". Well, I could only lift it (safely without a spotter) 3 times. I was literally laughing at myself as I was doing it. I jumped up and put two 35 pound plates on (total of 115 pounds) and lifted that 5 times. Then, I went all the way down to 95 pounds and did 6 at that weight. Kinda humbling. But, I also know that it comes back pretty quick (not that I'm trying to get big anyway).

Run recap- 1.88 miles, 20 minutes, 10:38 pace

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm blushing...

Ok, ok... I know, it's lame to post so many darn times. But, this just couldn't go unnoticed. I frequent a blog (See Corey Run) by Corey Irwin. And, what's today's post you ask? It's an ode to yours truly. Ok... maybe not an ode, but a definite shout-out. So, not only am I going to make mention of her post (here). I'm gonna return the favor (it's well deserved).

Anyhow, in the spirit of Corey's post, the question is this... Why do I enjoy reading Corey's blog?
1. She has great taste in blogs.
2. She has created her very own training plan. That's cool.
3. She is very analytical, doesn't miss a thing.
4. She fights the good fight. Being as good as we are isn't easy (eating and fitness).
5. I just plain enjoy her wit.
6. She has great taste in blogs.

So... check it out. You won't regret it.

P.S. Corey- I know I said I'd return the favor when you least expect it. But, I had to brag about your post. And, I'm not terribly patient anyway.

Tarsal tunnel??...

Upon further review... This sounds more like what's going on. I gotta get to a doctor. My foot was going numb a few weeks ago. I took something from Dr. Nate (not Nate's fault, my own stupidity) as a complete medical diagnosis. Instead, I missed one of the basic symptoms. I'm a moron.

To the doctor's I go.... Enough of this self/Internet diagnosis.

Plantar Fasciitis?

So, I'm definitely not at a full blown level. But, I've had a tight heel for about a week and a half. And, taking a rest day yesterday didn't make it better. In fact, my heel is tighter today than it was yesterday. Everything I've read about PF sounds similar to what I'm experiencing. I'm just not at a point where it is terribly painful, just tight. So, that definitely means I'm taking a little hiatus from running. I'm hoping that will nip it in the bud. But, PF does not sound like very much fun at all. Anyone else had PF before? What has your experience been?

I've also decided that the weight loss plan will continue despite the fact that I'm not going to have the ability to run in the next couple weeks. I'll just have to be smarter about what I eat.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jolly old St. Nick...

That's what my belly felt like this morning when I woke up. But, after a lunch time run, I'm feeling better about it. I have one more Christmas dinner to live through. As long as I haven't gained this week (that's no guarantee at this point), I'll be happy. Man, I was my old self again yesterday. I ate everything in sight. Here's to a lighter dinner tonight.

But, back to the run... Nate and I got to go out for our first run together since we moved to the new building at work (we moved in early October, so it's been a pretty long layoff). Between him and I being hurt, we haven't had that opportunity at all. Nate was probably forcing the run today, but I'm sure he was happy to be out there. As for me... The lack of wind was fantastic. It was cold, but very bearable.

Run recap- 3.93 miles, 37:03, 9:25 pace

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Run...

I'm heading out to my in-laws for Christmas as we speak... But, I wanted to log my run for the day. I went about 4 miles with my dog Ivey. That was her Christmas present from me... along with a huge rawhide bone in the shape of a candy cane. It was a good run and necessary after last night's seven fish dinner. Off to my second of three Christmas dinners... Wish me luck.

Run recap- 4.05 miles, 35:19, 8:43 pace

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hot water and a broken run...

I've been battling with my hot water heater for the past week or so. First, we (my dad and I) replaced both elements in the water heater. Then, we replaced the water heater all together. I was still only getting warm water, not hot. I did some reading on the Internet and thought I had the answer (there is a mixing valve connected to the hot and cold pipes going into the heater). But, after a week of messing around with the heater, I finally decided to call a professional. He came in and confirmed my suspicion and fixed it in less than 40 minutes. So, that was an expensive mixing valve (water heater, element and service call later).

Anyhow, this is running related too. I went on my 3 mile run this morning with the chance of the plumber coming while I was on the run. I decided I was being stupid to go on my run when I had a plumber possibly on the way. So, I cut off my run after 12 minutes. Then, proceeded to wait 2 hours until he got here. I should've just finished the run. Then, after he left, I went and ran the final 18 minutes of my run. It was tough... but I think that had something to do with the wind. Anyhow, Merry Christmas everyone. I've got three, 4 mile runs and a 5 mile run left this week. I hope to just maintain my weight this week and lose again next week.

Run recap- 3.23 miles, 30:22, 9:23 pace

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weigh in, week one

Well, things were going along swimmingly... until yesterday. I had the whole day with Sophia and was stuck in the house (after my long run in the morning) all day. I had a blast and I think Sophie did too... But, I ate way more than I should have. But, I woke up this morning and the damage wasn't that bad.

197.8 lbs, 2.2 lbs lost, 7.8 to go

Saturday, December 22, 2007

7 windy, cold miles

My wife and 6 of her friends are staying in NYC tonight and exploring the city together today. I'm sure they are going to have a blast. That said, I am spending the day with my daughter, Sophia. I don't get to do this very often, so it is welcome bonding time. My wife stays home with my daughter during the week and I work longer hours than I should sometimes. So.... I love the time I get with her, however seldom that happens.

But, I'm also a stubborn runner. So, that means that I got up at 6 am to go for a long run this morning before my wife left. It was cold and dark (32 degrees and no sun). And, the entire second half of the run (although brighter) was really cold and windy. I didn't sleep very well last night. So, I did not want to get up this morning when 6 am came around. But, I somehow convinced myself.. and now I'm really glad I did. My reward....? A day of shopping for Christmas for my wife with my daughter in tow. Should be fun.

Run recap- 7.02 miles, 1:08:17, 9:43 pace

Friday, December 21, 2007

I am NOT overtraining...

Us runners are a funny breed aren't we? Probably one of only a few types of people that you have to keep from working too hard. And, the only thing that makes us stop is fear of injury. Well... I think I'm in that place right now. My legs are fatigued... my heel has a weird pain... and I'm terribly irritable. Well, the irritable is kinda normal. But, it's just another sign.

So, having recognized this, I'm putting on the breaks, right? Not exactly. I had planned to run 7 miles tomorrow and I'm really having a problem not fulfilling that plan. My goal is to run my 7 tomorrow morning and then really back off next week (down to 20 miles from 24 this week) without a run longer than 5 miles.

I ran 30 minutes on the treadmill tonight at 10 minute mile pace. I intentionally ran slow because of the aforementioned fatigue and I have 7 in the morning. But, this weight loss plan makes me really want to run. And, the upcoming week is a tough one for the weight loss... I have three days in a row where I will be having a special dinner for the holidays. So, my goal for this week is to maintain my weight and make up for the holiday the following week.

Run recap- 3 miles, 30:00, 10:00 mile pace

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Day off... from work

I've made it to the point where I love a day off from work because I can run whenever I please. I know, that's pretty lame.. but true. I love the fact that I am not forced to watch TV all day because I don't have anything better to do. The run really motivates me and then I try and find the other things I have to do around the house. With that in mind... I think I'm gonna go out back and clean up some of the down branches and see if I can rake up the yard. I rarely have time for that, so my wife should be pretty happy with me.

Mini update on the weight loss "plan" (that's for you Amanda)... It's going pretty well. I really struggled the first couple days with the restricted calories. But, I think my body is starting to get used to it. I'm curious to see where I'll be at the end of the week.

I also did get the chance to go on a run.... Nothing special and it felt a little slow. I think I need a lower mileage week next week for recovery.

Run recap- 4.98 miles, 44:12, 8:52 pace

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

5 miles again...

I went for a 5.13 mile run over lunch. Not too shabby. I felt good. Day two of eating better and my assumption that the AC trip inflated my weight was right. I was 198.8 this morning when I woke up. 8.8 pounds to go.

Run recap- 5.13 miles, 47:27, 9:14 pace

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ok... I said it

I am putting myself on an 8 week plan starting today. I want to get down to 190 pounds by the end of 8 weeks. That's a (depending on the day) loss of about 10 pounds over 8 weeks or 1.25 pounds per week. I'm also going to give weekly updates (I'm sure you guys care) to hold myself publicly accountable.

First day of schedule- 201.6 pounds, 11.6 pounds to go (that number is inflated because of my Atlantic City trip. I think it is more accurately about 10 pounds)
February 10th, final weigh-in

AC Trip and Running Don't Mix

So, Nate and I went to Atlantic City on Saturday night. It was fun and I lost a bunch of money (what's new). But, the beer and martinis don't really mix with my running program. I don't drink that often, so I kinda forget how much it affects my running. Also, I got my five runs in last week by Friday. So, I didn't need to run on Saturday. I was still recovering on Sunday, so I didn't run then either. That was my first weekend in a LONG time that I didn't run at all (save injured weekends). It was really kinda strange.

Today was my first day back at it. I ran my customary 4.19 mile run against the wind and my drinking from the weekend. It didn't go great, but I am happy to be back on the wagon.

Run recap- 4.19 miles, 39:22, 9:24 pace

Friday, December 14, 2007

NOVA Marathon Challenge

I realize that this is old news, but I just got around to watching the NOVA marathon documentary. I had the day off and I'm a running geek. So, this is how I spend my day off... trolling for running stuff. It was parallel to my journey to the MCM this year and I really enjoyed it. It took 13 sedentary people and trained them for 9 months to run the Boston Marathon. It tracked their progress and really showed some of the challenges of marathon running. But, it also showed that it can be done and you don't have to be superhuman. That's what I did with my day off. If you are interested.... They have it in five chapters on their website and it takes about 50 minutes to watch.

Here's the link.

Ice chips keep falling on my head...

I had to fight it today... and I'm not quite sure why. No, I'm not talking about my run. I'm talking about running outside. It was icy and cold and I didn't want to do it. I had the easy option of going to the Y and running on the treadmill. That was nearly enough to make it happen. Who knew, I guess I'm just a sissy at heart. But, because I just enjoy running outside and it is better for my training, I fought my sissy urges and ran outside. Not to mention, I can't imagine running 7 miles on a treadmill.

So, I set out for my 7 mile run in shorts and a sweatshirt (with gloves and hat). It wasn't nearly as cold as I thought and it actually started to warm up as the run went on. Hence the title of the post... There are a lot of overhanging trees on the run I went on. And, as pretty as it was to see all of the ice hanging from them, it was also a big pain. The entire run was spent dodging drops of ice and water (at really wooded sections, it was as if it was raining).

But, all of this dodging and diversion must have made for a good run. I never really check my watch at all. I usually just run as fast as I feel comfortable that day. Today was no different. I knew I wasn't running slow. But, I had no idea how fast I was actually running. I got finished with my 7.02 miles in a stunning (for me) 1:02:39. That is sub 9 minute miles and I wasn't even trying to run fast. Hmmm.... I think these 5 run weeks are treating me pretty well. This week I got 5 in before Saturday and a total of 23 miles. Awesome!!

Run recap- 7.02 miles, 1:02:39, 8:55 pace

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Icy on the outside, warm in the middle

That was the Y tonight... This ice everywhere made it impossible (ok, maybe not impossible) to run outside. I really hate the treadmill, but am thanking my lucky stars for my Y membership now. I was able to get a 4 miler in at varying speeds. I tested out different paces to see what felt comfortable. I guess the treadmill could be a good second option to running outside. But, I don't want to make a habit of it.

I also was able to get a little bit of lifting in today. I did bicep curls with 20 lb dumbbells, 3 sets of 8 reps each. Then, I did an overhead tricep exercise with 12 lb dumbbells, 3 sets of 10 reps each. I also did seated bicep curls (I forget what all this is called) with a 12 lb dumbbell for the first set of 8 and 15 lb for the last two sets of 8. Then, I did the rope pull downs for my last exercise... Three sets at 60 lbs for 10 reps each.

All in all, I think the Y is going to be a nice addition to my workout schedule. I think the lifting will round out what I'm doing a little more.

Run recap- 4 miles, 35:57, 8:59 pace

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Uneventful 5

This is becoming a trend, but my lunch time runs just don't inspire that much fun. They are just kinda getting the miles in... This was almost the identical run to yesterday, only 1 mile longer.

Run recap- 5.18 miles, 47:53, 9:14 pace

Monday, December 10, 2007

Quick 4 miler...

I went for a quick 4 miler over lunch today. My legs were a little tired, so I didn't try to push the pace. Here's the recap..

Run recap- 4.19 miles, 38:42, 9:14 pace

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Jingle Bell 5k

Today was my first race of any distance since the marathon. In fact, it is the first 5k I've run in quite some time. So, I had mixed emotions about what to expect for today.

Before I get to the race info, it was really nice to be at a race and run into so many people I know. Most of the people were from work (we had 12 people racing), but I saw some others as well. I saw Roxanne (one of the partners at our company), Christina, her husband Adam, Nate, Jenn, John, Marcus, Scott Parmer and his son Andrew. All in all, it was a great turnout. And, there were quite a few good results for the team as well... Congrats everyone.

My race was pretty interesting... Like I said, I had no idea what to expect. So, I just listened to my body and went with the flow. The first mile was kind of downhill and it was pretty quick as a result (7:19).

The second mile was more self preservation... I got to about 3/4 of the way through the second mile and happened upon Christina. She is normally much faster than me and I was surprised to see her. I passed her at the time and was pretty sure I would be running into her again later. She gave me a vote of confidence and I could even hear her cheering for me as I got a little bit more ahead of her. She was yelling something about me PRing this race. Right about then, I hit the 2 mile marker in 14:48 (7:28 mile). That was faster than expected and I was sure the wheels were going to fall off.

If the second mile was self preservation, then the third was just wanting to be finished. Because of the cold, my lungs really hurt. I kept having to spit... which I'm sure the other runners were really enjoying. Anyhow, I just kept pushing on and turned the last corner. I could see that the timer said 22 something and I was pretty happy. Usually I have a pretty good kick, but I had used everything. I sped up a bit. But, it wasn't very fast at all.

I forgot to stop my watch, but I'm pretty sure my finishing time was about 23:08 (8:20 for the last 1.1 miles). That's fantastic. My previous PR is 22:51. But, that was a short course. I attempted to calculate the race time and came up with about 23:15. So, I don't know what my official time from this race was and I have no clue what my time was for the previous PR. But, it should be pretty darn close.... I'd say, it's probably my PR at this point. But, I'm just waiting for the 5k where I shatter it with a mid 22 or less. That way, it will not be so confusing.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Treadmill at the Y

Melissa and I just got a family membership at the Adamstown YMCA. It is unbelievably cheap (I think $25 for the family membership per month) and they just renovated the fitness room. It's really nice for multiple reasons... It's super close, has babysitting services for Meliss and has a nice basketball court that Sophie and I like to play on.

Today was my first day working out there and I got on the treadmill to avoid the cold (and give my feet a little break). I ran 5.15 miles and it felt pretty good. However, it always feels like I am running faster than I am on a treadmill. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe that's because it is so constant and my normal runs are more sporadic in pace. Who knows?

Run recap- 5.15 miles, 50:00, 9:42 pace

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cold morning

So here's a new phenomena for me... The last couple times I went running in the cold, it has caused a really strange after effect. When I get back from the run, it takes about 5-10 minutes before I can speak at a normal rate. It feels like everything I'm doing is in slow motion. Really strange.

Anyhow, I went out for a 5 miler this morning and tried to keep the pace slow. It felt pretty cold, and I was happy to be done. This strays from my original plan to do 7 today. But, I'm ok with that.

Run recap- 5.19 miles, 50:16, 9:42 pace

Monday, December 3, 2007


Nate made mention to me that I was overcompensating for my time off... And, I couldn't agree more. My foot was tight today as I neared the end of my run and I probably am ready for a day off. Coincidentally, tomorrow is an easy day to rest. My company has it's Open House at the new offices and it will be a long day. So, I guess I deserve/need a day off.

That said, today's run was pretty good. I tried to push the pace and it was difficult. But, it was that good difficult that results from a tough run. I can't say that I struggled through the whole run. But, overall it was a pretty good pace workout. The rest of the week looks like this...

7 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 5 on Friday and off on Saturday. Then, the Jingle Bell 5k on Sunday.

Run recap- 3.97 miles, 34:31, 8:42 pace

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ivey the lab

I went on a shorter run today to start my week and took my lab, Ivey, along. For those of you who don't know, she is 2 years old and still kinda lab puppy crazy. So, when I take her for a run, it really improves her temperament.

It's also a bit more difficult to run with Ivey in tow. She stops at multiple places to smell, pee, and eat random stuff she finds. So, it's always an adventure when you take her. Today was no different. She did all the aforementioned things... and she also got off her collar. It didn't take very long to get her back on. To be honest, she never really realized she was off. But, if she had, I would've turned a short jog into a tempo workout to chase her down. Phew...

Anyhow, here's my run recap... A little slower because I didn't stop my watch through any of the Ivey pit stops. But, not bad anyway.

Run recap- 3.05 miles, 28:26, 9:19 pace

Saturday, December 1, 2007

One hour runner... again

So, despite all my talk of listening to my friends about overdoing it, I still managed to go for a longer than planned run this morning. I gotta tell you, it felt great. It's funny, I have no real reason to push the envelope right now. I just want to. I spent so much time training for the marathon and having to do what the schedule told me, it's kinda nice to run how and when I want. So, as a result, running is big time fun again.

I intentionally ran slow so that I could run farther. So, when all was said and done, I ran 6.63 miles in 1:04:17. Not bad for not having run that far in a while. And, despite a run in with a dog at mile 6, it was pretty uneventful. So glad to be back.

Run recap- 6.63 miles, 1:04:17, 9:41 pace

Scale watching... healthy?

I've seen this debate multiple times on Runner's World's forum and decided I'd talk about my thoughts on it. As a consistent, 2 a day, scale watcher... I think that there is nothing wrong with it, provided you don't go overboard. I do think it could be unhealthy, depending on the frequency and the reasons.

But, I feel like the reason I do it is valid. In January of this year, I was 230 pounds. That's not ridiculously overweight, but it is enough overweight to be very unhealthy. Nate and I decided to start the C25K program and it became infectious. Fast forward to today... I have lost 30-35 pounds (depending on the day) and am very happy with how far I've come. That said, losing weight has never been my problem. I've done this multiple times. My problem is keeping the weight off.

So, now for the explanation of why (for me) I think scale watching is totally fine.
1. I do it for self maintenance. I never look at the scale and get upset to the point of unhappiness. It really is just a number and a gauge of how I'm doing that week/day.
2. I still have a goal of losing 10-15 more pounds. I need to keep my weight top of mind. It is the biggest reason I run... but not the only reason.
3. At some point I will be a weight that I will be compelled to stay at. And, I need a way of keeping there. I've been down this road too many times to do it all again.

Admitted reasons it could be unhealthy:
1. It can become an obsession and overwhelm you. I have totally been there. But, not right now. And, not since I've been running. Ever since I have been a "runner", I haven't worried so much about my weight. I knew that it would kind of take care of itself. When I lost weight before, I didn't feel that way.
2. The scale and weight that it displays is not a total judgment of fitness and overall health. But, it is one measure. Coupled with how your clothes are fitting, blood pressure, running times... it is a good addition to the mix.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Equivalent run... little faster

I did a similar run to my Tuesday run except a little farther and faster. I felt great pushing it over the first mile and a half or so... But, then it got a lot tougher. I've definitely got some work to do.

Run recap- 2.94, 25:43, 8:44 pace

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I hear ya... sort of

This goes out to Nate and Marcus... the good running buddies they are. Both of you, independent of each other, took it upon yourself to tell me that I was probably doing too much too soon. As much as I agreed at the time and agree now, it's still very difficult for me to listen. So, what was supposed to be a 5 mile run today was shortened to 3.26. I also made it a point to not run very fast. But, if you're asking, no I'm not listening completely. What can I say?? Have you read the name of my blog? I'm still going to do 5 runs this week. But, the five miler is down to 3 something and the 7 that I had planned will probably be 5.

So, this is a true, heartfelt thank you to the two of you. If you can't stop me completely from my own ignorance... maybe you can slow me down a bit.

Run recap- 3.26 miles, 30:21, 9:18 pace

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lunchtime run...

For the first time, I went running on the mean streets of Lancaster today. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting, but pretty darn windy. I'm starting to feel pretty good here.

Run recap- 2.91 miles, 26:27, 9:05 pace

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goals for this week...

Tomorrow is Tuesday and I still haven't really decided what my plan is for this week. I guess I should figure that out, huh? Here's what I'm thinking. I did 5 miles yesterday (which is the start of my normal running week) and would like to do that distance one more time in my regular schedule this week. I am also trying to get 5 runs in this week, so.... here it is 5 (already complete), 3, 5, 3, 7. That's a total of 23 miles this week. That may be a little hefty for just getting back. But, I'll listen to my body (right..) and reel it in if I have to.

My next goal?? Find myself a running plan. I'm not training for any races. I'm kind of a lost soul without some sort of goal in mind. So, I'm gonna start searching around for a good plan... any advice, let me know. In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to find a race that I can run. I'm running the Jingle Bell run in a couple weekends. But, I'm not going to be "trained" for that run.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cold and dark... Awesome!!

I can't say that it's a lot of fun to run in the cold. But, I'm finally back in a groove of running (4 times in the last 6 days). I've learned over the last year that it doesn't always feel great to run. But it ALWAYS feels great after your done. In fact, I didn't feel terrible running tonight. I tried not to run too hard and ran faster and faster as I settled into the run. Even though I've been overeating, I still feel good now that I'm running again. Did I mention I'm running again?? Anyhow, it was my longest run since I've been back (4.89 miles). My feet feel great. Almost like there is nothing wrong with them... knock on wood.

Run recap- 4.89 miles, 46:00, 9:24 pace

Short workout

I was going to do 60 minutes on the elliptical yesterday, but I got bored and ambitious all at the same time. I was in my basement staring at a mess of crap. So, I decided to only do 30 minutes and spend some time cleaning up my basement. I broke down a bar and poker table that I have been meaning to get rid of for quite some time. They are both going out with the trash tomorrow. So, that rocks. But, I'm feeling very lazy and I have eaten a lot in the time I've had off. So, I'm off for a 5 mile run. I hope I have that much in me.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fitness Test

I was able to get out for my third run of the week today. In total, that is my fifth workout already this week (with a 60 minute eliptical on the schedule for tomorrow that'll make 6). I decided that this was a good opportunity to see where I am at and how much fitness I've actually lost. So, I ran the same run that Meliss and I ran yesterday. This time, I didn't run all out, but I ran enough to get myself huffing and puffing. I'd say it was about 90% effort. Yesterday was just about 75% effort. When all was said and done, I ran the same run in 26:42, more than 3 minutes faster than yesterday. So, I've definitely lost some fitness. But, I'm still in a place that feels alright.

Run recap- 3.08 miles, 26:42, 8:41 pace

Air quality...

The air quality in Adamstown must be terrible. That's the only thing I can figure... I ran for 30 minutes yesterday and it felt like I was running for 4 hours. I was so out of breath. It's amazing how quickly your cardiovascular fitness declines. On the brighter side of things, my feet feel good the day after.

Run recap- 30 minutes, 3.08 miles, 9:45 pace

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Running again!!

Nate, Marcus and I went running over at county park yesterday over lunch. With my flat-foot shoes, I felt like a new man. We went 4 miles slowly and it took us about 45 minutes. But, just getting out there again was great. I was a little sore last night. But, I feel much better today. I'm going to try a 4 miler tomorrow and see how that treats me. Then, I'm gonna cross-train on Saturday for an hour. Don't want to overdo it. Woohoo!! Running again!!

That was my first time over at county park. The trails were pretty sloppy (and scary for an injured runner), but it was very cool over there. I'm definitely doing that again.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sixty minutes down...

I used the eliptical trainer on Sunday and tonight for 30 minutes each. That is a great start to try to get to 5 workouts this week. I am going over lunch tomorrow to try out running again. Nate wants to do 4 miles. I'm totally up for that as long as my feet cooperate. So, I will have a 40 minute and 60 minute workout left for the week if all goes well tomorrow. Sweet.

Bone scan results

I've been joking all this time that I was a complete faker. Well, it turns out that I am. Not really.... But, I just got my bone scan results today and found out I don't have a stress fracture in either foot. Turns out I have some pretty serious inflammation in the muscle and tendon near my fifth metarsal on both feet. But, I've been given the green light on running again (provided I feel ready). Despite a little tenderness and helped by a new pair of shoots for flat footed people like me, I am going to give it a shot over lunch tomorrow.

So, here's props to the friendly runner guy at Inside Track who talked me through my supposed shoe issues to get me into a comfortable pair of shoes. Turns out I was getting the neutral, wide shoes right... But, I wasn't getting a shoe more tailored to a flat footed runner. So, I now have a very lame looking pair of shoes that will hopefully feel much better. I took them out for a spin at the store and they didn't cause any shooting pain. That's an improvement over my Asics right now (no fault of Asics though... just the wrong shoe for me). Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Can you feel it??

If you can, that makes one of us. On the last two long rides I've been on (50 and 55 minutes), two of my toes on each foot have gone numb. I'm guessing it has something to do with the stress fracture, but I'm gonna bring it up at my doctor's appointment on Monday. Both times, it took about 20-30 minutes until I had feeling back. The first time I actually soaked my feet in warm water until it got better.

Anyhow, I got another long ride in today... Officially, it was 53:54 and a total of 10.65 miles (5:04 miles). That was faster than a couple of my shorter rides this week. So, I'm pretty happy with that. And, almost eleven miles is nothing to sneeze at.

So, that is the end of another biking week. Today actually wasn't that bad. My schedule for next week is 30, 40, 30, 40, 60 minutes... I did two consecutive 4 day weeks and would really like to fit in 5 day weeks. So, I'll try again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cold, cold and more cold

As if it's not bad enough that it is cold outside... It becomes even more cold once you starting riding 20 miles per hour downhill on a bike. The wind was pretty powerful at times today and really slowed me down. I'm starting to think I'm going to need to start using the eliptical trainer through the colder months (unless I start running soon).

I rode for a total of 36:22 and 6.73 miles for an average of 5:24 miles. That was pretty slow, but the wind was tough and it was a pretty hilly ride.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sleepy cycling...

I got up at 5:30 am this morning and got on the road by about 5:45 for my morning bike ride. It was dark, but pretty nice overall. Since it was dark, I just went back and forth in the lit streets of Adamstown for 34 minutes. I covered 6.86 miles in 34 minutes for an average of 4:57 miles. Fast and flat. 2 down this week, 3 more to go.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New week, still biking...

Well, I've made a promise to myself to not start running until December at the earliest. No matter what the doctor has to say, I think it would be a good idea to give my feet time to recover. So, biking it is... This week's goals are to ride 5 times for 25, 35, 25, 35 and 55 minutes. I got it started today with a 27 minute ride that went a total of 5.22 miles (5:10 miles). Before I made the plan above for the week, I planned on going 50 minutes again today. But, biking bores me to death. So, I'm just going to stick with the biking plan that paralleled my running training. Here's to health and running in December.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Long ride day...

Today was my first long ride of my biking career and I have to admit, it's kinda boring. I'm glad that I'm not totally out of commission, but I can't wait to get back to running. And, my butt hurts. Riding for any longer than 15 minutes is pretty uncomfortable. I managed to ride for 50 minutes and nothing of note happened. I covered 9.5 miles in that period of time for 5:15 miles. Not great, but there were a lot of hills.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Early morning ride... brrr

Man it was cold this morning. I went for a 21 minute bike ride and nearly chapped my hands right off of my wrists. But, I do feel a lot better now that I got it in. And, despite not really learning a lot at the doctor's the other day, my feet are feeling A LOT better. I think the real key is just not trying to do too much. The biking seems good and the doc said I could use the eliptical (which we have in our basement). But, I think the eliptical might be too much strain on my feet. I'm going to stick to the biking unless I can't take the cold. Hopefully I'll be running by December. That would be awesome.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

On the road to recovery... I think

With my first orthopedic appointment looming, I decided to toast the occasion with a bike ride. So, I took on my second ride of the week... this time for 30 minutes (to be exact 31:20). I got most of the way through the ride with no ill effects. But, my left foot started to exhaust by the end of the ride. Other than that, it wasn't too bad. In fact, it felt great to get outside and get a brisk, sweaty workout in. I've felt pretty lazy/inactive since the marathon and it felt good to get moving again. I think the bike riding will be able to keep me occupied in the interim until my feet feel good enough to run again.

Official stats: 31:20 and 6.51 miles (avg. 4:49 miles). I have no idea what this means, but I figure I should measure it in case this biking lasts longer that I hope it has to.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Stubborn biking??

With the foot injury keeping me off the roads, I had to do something. I was going a little stir crazy. So, I decided to see how my foot would react to a bike ride. I didn't go out for terribly long. I was just trying to get back in the saddle (pun intended). But, I managed to go out for 23:18. Not bad. That is the first bit of cardio I've had since the race and it felt good to get out there. My foot got a little tired by the end, but not too much pain. I'm going to try and emulate my running plan through biking... Hopefully I'll get 5 rides in this week... 20, 30, 20, 20 and 50 minutes. Maybe this will hold me over until I can start running again. We'll see...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Sad day for running...

Ryan Shay collapsed and died on Mile 5 of the US Olympic Marathon trials this morning... Here's a link to the story (click here).

Apparently there was some talk of a previous heart condition... But, this stuff is scary. An extremely well conditioned athlete pushing himself to his ultimate limit. Sad day indeed. My thoughts go out to his family.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Waiting game...

This kinda stinks... With the buzz of running the marathon starting to wear off, I was hoping to be starting training for 5ks and 5 milers in the next couple weeks for the fall/early winter racing season. Instead, I think I have a stress fracture and I need to start trying to find an orthopedic doctor to give me some recovery recommendations. I'm already anticipating complete frustration with the recovery process... but I'm gonna try and stay optimistic.

First item of business... find an orthopedic doctor who can help. More later.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Marine Corps Marathon Race Report

Where to start?? Well, this was/is kind of an up and down experience for me. But, I'll get to the race recap and cover the down a little later...

The night before the race, Melissa and I had dinner with our parents at the hotel. We had a pasta buffet that was pretty good. And, for race jitters, it was a great idea to eat at the hotel. After that, my parents took Sophia (our daughter, for those who don't know) to sleep in their bedroom. This was key, because we wanted to try and make sure we got as much sleep as possible. From there, we went to sleep at like 10 pm for a 5 am wake up call...

Then, we got up bright and early at 5 am to start getting ready to head over to the race. It was a kind of crazy/nervous feeling all morning. It started with a shuttle from the hotel to the Metro that would take us to Pentagon City. That went off without a hitch. From there we had to walk, what seemed like a couple miles, to the UPS drop-off point for all of our post race stuff (warm up suit, socks, new pair of shoes, etc.). After we sat around there for about 45 minutes while we tried to stay warm, we finally decided to head over to the start line (about another mile away). Since all of our "warm" gear was in our bags headed in UPS trucks to the finish, it was pretty cold in our race gear. But, lucky for us, we had each other and were able to cuddle up behind a wall of a building out of the wind. We got to the start and had to battle the cold for about 45 minutes until we started heading over to our starting positions...

So, Melissa and I said our goodbyes and good lucks and went to our starting positions (me at 4:00-4:09 and Melis at 3:50-4:00). It seemed like forever (but was more like 6 minutes) from when the starting gun went off and when I was actually able to cross the start line. To give a point of reference, I was shooting for 9:09-9:10 miles. The first mile was fun... but not great for the race itself. I ran a 11:16 first mile for no other reason then it was impossible to run faster. Mile 2 went decidedly better at 7:23. But, for a race that is supposed to be even splits, that doesn't bode very well. My next two laps were 9:34 and 8:57. I can remember thinking that I was going to finally settle in to a pace. Mile 5 was 9:39 and there was still pretty much congestion and Miles 6 and 7 went off at 9:51 and 8:55 respectively. To be honest, I'm not sure if this was my pace or the ebb and flow of the race. I think it was the latter though. I didn't have a whole lot of control over how fast we were going. Mile 8 was 9:18 and a total time of 1:14:57 (9:22 miles). This was with my first 11 minute mile factored in and just following the crowd the whole way. Not terrible...

Then, a race altering event happened... In mile 9, my stomach was starting to feel less than normal. It wasn't terrible, but I knew I had 17-18 miles left in the race and thought I could get my pit stop in early and not worry about it later. So, I was passing some port o' pots and decided to stop (hopefully for the last time all race). Well, that part was true. Unfortunately, by the luck of the draw, I picked the first stall. Apparently somebody was dying in there. I literally waited for 2:30 minutes before I was reconsidering the stop. Then, at that point, I was so invested in the stop, it would have been stupid to ditch it. All in all, this stop cost me 5:30 minutes when it should have cost me 45 seconds to 1:30 minutes max. So, at best, I lost 4 minutes here.... So, mile 9 ended with a 14:03 mile. I'm not sure what I could have done to avoid this. But, I'm sure going to keep it in mind if I ever run a marathon again.

Funny enough, that took all the pressure out of the race. Having no real chance at my 4 hour goal, I decided to just run for fun. Just then, the race kind of cleared up for a couple miles and I was able to post a couple nice splits... Mile 10 at 9:10, Mile 11 at 9:07, Mile 12 at 9:12 and Mile 13 at 9:08. So, no chance at making up for lost time, but good splits this far into the race. Mile 14 and 15 began to dip a bit 9:25 and 10:08 and then 16 went to 10:22. I remember my spirit being a little beaten at this point. I had no chance at my goal time and had finally succumb to the fact that I was just racing for the experience now. Again, I started to enjoy myself and the splits got better again for 17 and 18 (9:33 and 9:32).

Then, it happened... I was on the 19th mile and starting to really dig in and I saw a guy with "Pain Train" written on his back. It was funny because.. first, that's how I felt. But, second, and even funnier... my buddy Nate always does his Terry Tait imitation at work and tries to tackle me. I couldn't resist the temptation and went blowing by this guy yelling, "Pain Train coming through!!! Woo Woo!!!". He was laughing hysterically, and everyone else around thought I was a nutcase. It was my absolute favorite part of the race (aside of finishing of course). That lap went off at 9:43 and the next went off at 10:01 for mile 20 and 10:05 for mile 21. Then the wheels started to fall off. Mile 22 was 10:55 and Mile 23 was identical. Somewhere in there, the race doubled back on itself and I was desperately trying to find a familiar face. It would have been a real shot in the arm if I would have been able to see Melis doubling back or my daughter and parents on the side of the course. But, alas, the last 4 miles were lonely and painful (as expected). I was gritting my teeth as I went slower and slower. I ran a 11:27 24th mile and a 12:03 25th.

Then, the real challenge began... We entered the final 1.2 miles and what seemed like a sea of spectators. These were the same type of fans that come out to watch NASCAR for the accidents or watch operations on TV. Yeah, they love to watch people crashing and burning. And, they got their fill. I was absolutely one of the ones who crashed and burned. I was about half way into the last mile and really couldn’t get my legs to turn over at all. It was like I was walking but trying to run. People were passing me left and right. There was nothing left…. That said, it was a bitter fight to the finish. I could hear the crowd cheering and I knew I had to be close. I turned the final corner to climb the hill that ended the race (are you kidding me?) and fate through me another curve ball. My right quad started to tense up. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was doing an up hill after 26 miles or that the end was in sight and my legs were giving up a little early. Either way, I thought I might be crossing the finish walking, not running. But, luckily, I was able to massage out the cramp and keep treading up the hill. The feeling of elation as I crossed the finish was pretty much unexplainable. I finished in 4:24:30.. but that is absolutely secondary at this point. I feel pretty accomplished just to get to that finish line.

Now, for the bad news… My right foot hurt all day Sunday after the race. But, I just assumed it was post marathon problems. But, when it was still bothering me on Monday, I decided to go to the hospital to get it x-rayed. Despite the fact that the x-rays came up negative, they believe that I have a stress fracture in my foot. It looks like I’m sidelined for a bit. I’m on crutches and the whole bit.

So, a big weekend for Meliss and I. We finished the marathon (Meliss in 4:03). Now, I think I have an equal challenge to partake in… recovery. I hope it’s not as bad as I think. I’ve worked too hard to get to this point.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scared or inspired... I'm not sure which.

Check out this crazy blog post by Dean Karnazes... It's his experience with MCM last year. He tells of an inspiring marathoner that just about scares me to death on the eve of my first marathon.

Blog post

Friday, October 26, 2007

We've arrived

Well, we are staying with Rachelle and Nikhil tonight and going to DC tomorrow to stay closer to the race. We went to the race expo and mingled with all the vendors. It was pretty cool over there. Not as many free give-aways as I thought there would be. But, we were able to take care of some last minute things (buy a couple Clif Shots for the race and we both bought a shirt). We also were able to pick up our race bibs and our chips... We are all set!! Now, we can relax tomorrow and just try to prepare for the race.

I should mention the major hassle that the Marine Corps Marathon and Sheraton put us through today. Between the two of them (we don't know which was at fault, so we'll just blame it on both of them), they managed to move us to a hotel that was 15 miles out of DC when we were confirmed that we were booked a mile from the start. Worse yet, MCM sent us a confirmation email last week that tried to sweep that fact under the rug. Yes, they told us that were were at the Sheraton Tysons Corner... But, at quick glance on the email, they made no reference that they changed our hotel reservation. They just changed our hotel and sent a confirmation email with the new hotel info. Anyhow, after raising hell and talking to like 4-5 different people, they fixed it somehow. I don't know how, but I'm glad they fixed it. Both Melissa's parents and my parents are booked at the Arlington hotel and that would have been a royal pain. So, one hassle down... hopefully that's the end of it. That could have turned out much worse..

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Last long run before the marathon...

Melissa and I decided to bring Sophie out to the trail at Grings Mill and run our last long run together. It is great to know that we are so close to finishing. But, I have to admit, the chase is part of the fun. Now that we're winding down the training, I'm kinda bummed. Despite a short argument because of my morning crankiness, the run was pretty uneventful. We only have 3 runs left before the race (3, 2, 2, marathon). I could do that in my sleep at this point.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Welcome to the world.... How may I help you?

So, after about 9 months of blogging on my Myspace account, I've finally become sick of nobody (except Myspace users) being able to comment on what I'm writing about. Besides, it's a pretty lame interface and I'd rather be able to do something a little more legit... I do have about 3-5 people reading this thing now you know.

So, in case you don't know me and you are curious about what this blog is all about... This is the place where I log my runs, talk about training and throw out random stuff on occasion.

Here's to finally creating a real blog. So, now nobody can read this thing in the real blogosphere.. not just on Myspace.