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.