Thursday, February 28, 2008

My First Top 10!!

I finished 9th in the World Media Run 5k... woot!! Ok, Ok.... There were only 32 finishers, but I'll take what I can get. Special congrats goes out to Steve, Marcus, and Nate for running a good race. In fact, Steve and Marcus were 2 and 3 respectively.

Results pdf here

Upping the Ante?

The last month and a half has been really good for me. I have been running injury free for 7 weeks with no ill effects. My feet probably feel about 95%. Something tells me, as a runner, I will never feel 100%. So, I think I'm going to start turning it up another notch. My plan is to add one 2 miler a week for the next three weeks and see how that makes me feel. If that goes well, I'll up it to 3 miles... and so on and so forth.

I truly think that I'm ready for the increase in days (and resultant gain in mileage). But, I just need to keep my health in mind. If my body says no, then so be it. But, I'd be surprised if that happens at this point.

In other running news... I got in a 3.5 mile run on the treadmill tonight. I'm really glad to be home. But, I'm traveling 3 out of 7 days the next two weeks coming up. I'm ready for all this travel to slow down. It's kicking my butt!!

Run recap- 3.5 miles, 32:27, 9:17 pace

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Run at the Common

I got my first run ever in Boston in today. It was a pretty darn good time. Despite the weather, the course was great. I ran from my hotel out to Boston Common, which wasn't very far. Then, I did 3 loops around the Common and made my way back to the hotel.

The coolest part of the entire run was the fact that it was pretty busy out there. I was certainly not the only runner braving the conditions. When you are battling the weather, it's certainly nice to know you're not the only one.

Run recap- 3.64 miles, 31:56, 8:47 pace

Saturday, February 23, 2008

No long run this week...

I've been in Florida since Wednesday and I'm sitting in the airport typing this waiting for my plane to arrive. So... I haven't seen my wife or daughter for a couple of days. I also got word that my daughter was very disrupted this week with me gone. It sounds like she really missed me. The first night she slept fine. Every night since, she has woken up in the middle of the night calling for me. That, my friends, breaks my heart. I will get in very late tonight and have tomorrow to spend with Sophie and Meliss (and the dogs). Then, I'll be right back out the door for Boston on Monday (till late Wednesday).

So... What does this have to do with my long run this week? I decided while I was at the hotel killing time that I was going to run today instead of tomorrow. Since I raced the day before and I was extremely drained from a long week, I decided to can the full 6 miles. I didn't decide this until I was 10 minutes into my run on the treadmill. I don't know how people do long distances on the treadmill. Anyhow, this is going to be a down week for me. I ended up running 3 miles and calling it a day. I am totally wooped at this point. And, if I ran my long run tomorrow, I wouldn't get as much time in with the family. Easy choice in my opinion.

I can not wait to see Sophie and Meliss... Too bad Sophie is going to be asleep when I get home. So will Meliss, but at least we sleep in the same bed. Can't wait to be home.

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

World Media Run, 5k results

The jury is in... (drumroll please) and I'm either not as fit as I thought or ran a terrible race. Either way, a sub 23 is still alluding me. In this case, by a lot. We woke up early and ran a really nice course on the "Blue Monster" golf course at the Doral Resort. It was kind of a different race because it was so small. I actually was in third place after the first mile to mile and a half (part of my problem). My first mile came in at 6:55. Uh oh... My PR for a timed mile is 6:49. That is wwwwwaaaaaayyyyy too fast for the first mile.

My second mile was really difficult. Between getting out too fast and the thick Florida air, I was dying. My second mile came in at 8:07. Wildly erratic. I was able to pull it together some in the last 1.1, coming in at 8:37 (7:50 mile pace). So, that was encouraging. But, overall, it was not a very well run race for me. I think I ended up in sixth place at the physical event with an overall time of 23:40. But, there are still some results to come in from the virtual portion of the race. So, I will have to fight to stay in the top 10.

Run recap- 3.1 miles, 23:40, 7:39 pace

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm further intrigued...

I have given quite a bit of thought to the idea of putting on a 5k race since the meeting yesterday. Despite the naysayers... I'm still very curious and hopeful. I ran into a lot of people that were giving advice on various message boards that didn't think I would make money the first year. That's fine. If that is going to be the case, I don't want to do it at all. I don't have that kind of patience. The other thing that I have found is that everyone's solution is corporate America, not participants. I know that story very well. So... I am putting on my thinking cap and trying to figure out who my "friends in high places" are. I think I have a very good idea of how to sell the race (to be divulged later) to potential sponsors.

So... my job in the next month is to secure some meetings with local corporations that would have some money to spend on community outreach, wellness and marketing. I have some ideas... But, I need to cultivate them now.

I also got a run in today over lunch. It was cold and windy and not all that much fun. But, I did it. So... there's that.

Run recap- 28:58, 3.5 miles, 8:17 pace

Monday, February 18, 2008

Race Directors Unite...

Ok... I went to my first board of directors meeting for the Adamstown YMCA tonight. And, let me tell you, there was no pate and I went to the bathroom and the toilets were not golden. This was not going well. Then, the subject of fundraisers came up and I opened my fat mouth. That's right, I brought up the idea of an Adamstown YMCA 5k. Hmmm... I like running. I like my YMCA. Let's mix the two, right? Well, I'm not sure it's really that easy.

This is the part where I reach out to my friends and find out how crazy I really am. Anyone know anything about this? How many participants does it take to have a profitable race? How many volunteers does it take to run a race of say... I don't know... 100 people? Do organizations usually reach out to have a professional race organization run the race? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I haven't committed to anything yet (outside of my own head). But, I'm very intrigued by the idea. What do you all think?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

LSD and Dogs...

I did my LSD today with my dog Ivey. She helps me go slower when I should be going slower because she stops constantly throughout the run. It's fun to run with her though because I find myself smiling and just enjoying the run more often when I go out with her. And, you can't beat having a tired Lab for the rest of the day. So, it's a win/win for sure.

Anyhow, it was a pretty light run. I thought I was running faster than I was, but that's ok. It was meant to be an LSD anyway. No biggie.

Run recap- 4.97 miles, 50:26, 10:09 pace

Friday, February 15, 2008

Primed for Sub 23 5k?

My current PR at 5k is 23:08... I ran that in December at the Jingle Bell Run with only 4 weeks of training coming off my injuries from the marathon. Fast forward to today and I've been training for 4 weeks (5 weeks by race day) and I hit my first race of 2008. So... there are some similarities here. Here's what's different. The intensity of my training is down. I'm only running 3 days a week with 2 days of cross training. I'm just trying to stay healthy. But, I'm also healthy.. I got injured right after the Jingle Bell Run because of the good 'ole "too much, too fast" problem.

So, why do I think I'm gonna go sub 23? Well, I just ran a 3 miler over lunch in 24 minutes. And, I wasn't really pushing THAT hard. There were points in the run that I was going at a good clip, no doubt. But, overall, I'd give it an 8 on intensity. I have another couple notches in me.

This brings me to the World Media Run next week. My company is sponsoring it and it takes place in Miami. If you're interested, it has a virtual component as well. Check out the sign up page... We just got our shirts today (as sponsors of the event) and they rock!!

Run recap- 3 miles, 24:00, 8:00 pace

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Procrastination is a b...

Ok.. You know what I'm saying right? I've got all this work to do tonight for my MBA class and I'm writing a blog about nothing. That's right... this is about nothing. I'm ready to be graduated already (this is my last class). I'm sure you all will hear me complain for the rest of the semester. But, I can't wait until this is done.

In athletic news... Meliss and I went to the gym tonight. Unfortunately, we were only there for 10 minutes because Meliss started to feel queasy (pregnant queasy). Anyhow, we went home. No big deal to me. I was hungry and had a lot of work to procrastinate. But, I did get 10 minutes on the elliptical in today for the record. Not that it did me much good or anything.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snowy three...

I went on a run in the snow today over lunch. There wasn't much snow, but it was laying. So, for the first time in recent memory, I decided not to time my run. It really didn't feel like it slowed me down much. But, I just didn't want to be forcing the pace and I thought it would be better to remove the time element altogether. All in all, it was a good run. In fact, the small amount of snow seemed to cushion the roads a bit. That felt pretty nice on my feet. All in all, an enjoyable experience.

Run recap- 3 miles (that's it)

Monday, February 11, 2008

For the Love of Soccer...

A recent stop over at The Life of a Skinny Runner got me thinking about my soccer "career" and what it could have been. Let me paint you a little picture...

I loved soccer. I mean it. I loved it like you love your first dog or your first "real" girlfriend. I LOVED it. I played all year round from the time I was 5 years old all the way through high school (and a couple years in college until the drinking got in the way). I would go on "runs" where I ran for like 40-50 minutes straight on roads with a ball at my feet. I would juggle a ball for hours on end. I would do everything in my power to be the best darn soccer player out there. Actually, scratch that, it wasn't even about being good. I just loved to do it and it naturally made me better.

But, all that said, I never grasped the amount of fitness it took to become a better soccer player. To make matters worse... I tried on several occasions to get into "good shape" in the offseason and failed miserably. Why you might ask? Well, I thought I was just not a good runner. I thought it wasn't in the cards for me. So... I focused on the skill part of the game and got whatever fitness you get from being an active person. That was not enough.

In the end, I became a very skillful soccer player who couldn't run for very long (wah wah). That really sucks. I pin it on my coaches and my own inability to seek the right knowledge. I think that my coach in high school thought I was lazy (quite the contrary). I know it sounds stupid. But, I really didn't know what it took to get into shape.

Fast forward to today... I still love soccer. I have played outdoor over the summer once in the last 5 years and indoor a couple sessions over the winter. I'm really considering playing outdoor this summer. I'm kinda afraid though. Now that I've spent so much time getting into better shape, it's almost like the pieces are all coming together. Now, I don't think I'm going to be the best player on the field or anything. But, I do think it will be kinda bitter sweet. Over 10 years after I graduated from high school, I've finally figured out the running part. Now, I haven't had a ball at my feet enough to do anything with it.

In the end... there is only one way to find out what it will be like. I can't wait until summer league. Definitely something to look forward to. I'm gonna have to find some pickup games somewhere in the mean time though. I'm sure my touch is terribly rusty.

Eagles Rumors

I waited my entire 30 minute elliptical workout to see what the rumors are for where McNabb "might" go next year. Now, I don't believe for a second that McNabb won't be an Eagle. But, it's still fun to listen to the offseason rumors. So, 30 minutes of waiting... and I realize it's an hour long SportsCenter. So, I never got to hear the rumor (I found out later it was the Bears, Vikings and Lions). The mill is swirling around the Eagles this year. They are rumored to be interested in Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams and Chad Johnson. Another year... another load of receivers that the Eagles are "interested" in.

I do hope the Eagles are aggressive in the offseason. But, I would rather see defensive additions than all these offensive additions. They can score points. They need a playmaker on defense... be it a cornerback, safety, or defensive end.

I also got just over 30 minutes of elliptical in and did a pretty good pace. I don't really keep stats on the elliptical. But, it felt tough for about 2/3 of the workout.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

First Time at the Barracks...

I've been hearing Nate talk about the barracks for quite some time now. It's where he's put a lot of training time in and I would probably call it his "home course". So, it was neat to finally get out there and see what he was talking about.

So... Nate, Bill and I went out on a 5 mile run at the Barracks on a nice crushed stone path. The pace was pretty quick, but the company was very good. I like our little running crew. However, I really don't think that Bill can continue to run with Nate and I and still get maximum effectiveness out of the run. Unbelievably... at the end of a tough workout for me, Bill's heart rate was at about 90. Yikes... he's pretty fast.

Also... I kinda felt like the anchor today. It didn't seem like the pace was affecting Bill or Nate. But, it was certainly kicking my butt. That may have had something to do with the fact that I got about 4 hours of sleep the night before. We are trying to get Sophie back in a regular sleeping schedule and she cried for like an hour and fifteen minutes last night. That was brutal.

All in all, the Barracks is a great place to run. It wraps around a golf course and has a very nice path. I enjoyed it. Nate and I are going to try and hook up for every other long run for the half to keep up with each other's progress. It's really nice to have someone to share the miles with. It makes it a ton easier.

Run recap- 5.01 miles, 44:25, 8:52

Weigh in, week 8

If I could say one thing for this 8 week weight loss plan, it's that it took my mind off of being injured and allowed me to move forward with out losing too much momentum. That said, I got nowhere near my goal and am kinda disappointed by that. I've put my last weigh in below. But, before I get to that... Here's what I think I achieved overall:
  1. Like I already said, focus in a tough period of time (through my injury)
  2. A better understanding of the patterns of my body. I paid much more attention to my weight and it's cycles over the last 8 weeks.
  3. I didn't gain weight through the Christmas/New Year break
  4. Pushing past the plateau (I had hovered around 198-200 for about 6 months)
  5. A couple pounds of weight loss (2-3 on average)
Although it won't be reflected in my final weigh in, I am now hovering between 194-196. I started the program hovering between 198-200. So, that's progress, however minimal. I'm happy I did it and a little disappointed that I didn't make more of it. But, it's not like I'm going anywhere. This is a way of life now. So, no big deal.

One thing I did learn... I need to cut back my caloric intake on the weekends. I was using Saturday as a "cheat" day. All too often, it spilled into Sunday. Another thing I was thinking... Maybe I should have one weekend a month that doesn't include a cheat day. I think that will keep the progress coming.

Weigh in- 197.2

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fueling and hydration advice

I was talking with Marcus and Nate yesterday about the stomach troubles I have when running longer distances (in excess of 13-14 miles). And, now that I'm planning on running another marathon... I think it's only right that I start trying to figure out the right combination that will make my stomach less of an issue.

So... I was playing around on the Runner's World forums and ran into a post about this exact thing. It linked to a pretty good document called, "The Endurance Athlete's Guide to Success: Everything you need to know about optimum caloric, electrolyte and fluid intake for training and competition".

I'm gonna read this and see if anything jumps out at me. Hopefully it will point me in the right direction. Hope you enjoy it too.

Harrisburg Marathon... I'm in?

I've been debating whether I wanted to run Harrisburg in November (because it's close and small) or Steamtown in October because it's medium sized (not too big), down-hill and fast. After looking at the schedule, I would have to be training all the way through the summer for Steamtown. Where as, if I train for Harrisburg, I wouldn't have to be on my training plan in June. Also, after running MCM, I would really like to have a small "event". For Harrisburg, you can park 100 yards from the start line and you don't have to get a hotel. That's nice. Not only that, my wife is pregnant again (like how I snuck that in?), and she is due the week before Steamtown. So, that's probably not going to work.

So, Harrisburg it is.... provided I stay/get healthy and continue to progress. Nate is probably going to run it too, so we'll be training some of our long runs together. That'll be nice. The only thing I am dreading is Marcus's race report last year. He is an excellent runner and he keeps telling me how much he hated the "park" portion of the race starting at mile 18 (I think it was 18, deep into the race anyway). He said that it is rolling hills for a couple miles. On a normal run, no big deal. That far into the race, big deal.

I guess Steamtown is meant for another year. It's a fast course, so it may be one to reserve for when I'm really serious and trying to BQ (if that ever happens). But, for now, it's Harrisburg.
Probably not my first pick, but absolutely the least complicated pick. And, that works for me right now.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Less is more?

I've really taken to the idea of running 3 days a week. Not only is it good to my feet and keeping me injury free, it feels like it's giving me a little extra boost on my runs. For instance, on Tuesday I did a tempo run and it felt great. I didn't feel like I was running that hard (it was tough, don't get me wrong), but I was totally surprised by the pace I was running at.

Maybe all this 5 day a week training was too much for me at the current fitness/muscle level I'm at. It's tough... Now that I have run the marathon, I have this tendency to think I'm a pro runner or something. But, in reality, I'm just starting year 2 of my running career. Talk about elementary school... jeez. Anyhow, this isn't a long term plan. But, it totally feels like 3 days a week with 2 days of cross training is way better for me then even 4 days a week of running and 1 cross train. I would like to get back to 4 days a week... but not until I feel "ready". Whatever that means.

As for right now... I'm enjoying my runs and happy to be relatively healthy/injury-free. Maybe at some point, I'll feel like pushing a little harder won't be detrimental to my training and health. But, until then, I'm pretty ok with 3 days a week.

Beer, Clams and Tomato Juice... Awesome!!

Ok... Now that I've got your attention, this has got to be one of the worst ideas ever!! Apparently Budweiser has had some success in California and Texas with the Latino crowd introducing this new drink called Clamato Chelada. But, I can't imagine this being any good. I'm also the guy who puts ketchup on his mac and cheese and have eaten pickles and peanut butter sandwiches. So, I'll try it before I totally knock it. But, I'm not expecting to enjoy it.

How did I stumble upon this you might ask? I was running through Lancaster and ran by a billboard for it. After I almost threw up in my mouth.. I had to know more. So, immediately after my run, I went online to find more info about it. The pic above is linked to a press release. Enjoy..

Run recap- 26:20, 2.95 miles, 8:43 pace

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Man am I Fast...

I went on my scheduled 3 miler over lunch today and it went great. I didn't intend to push the pace, but I was feeling so good, I decided to. This was the first time in a long time that I ran "fast" on a run. I will now go back into hibernation from the tempo run for a bit. But, it's nice to know that it's still there.

Run recap- 3.01 miles, 24:21, 8:05 pace

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

As a huge football fan, I thought that I would be remiss to not have an entry about today's game. That said, I can't remember a game that I cared less about then today's game. Well, not true, the Steelers/Seahawks SB a couple years back competes. But, that's it.

Honestly, I've been telling everyone that asks that I hope they play the game over a fault line and both teams fall in. I've had enough of the "perfect season" talk and the "best team ever" talk. So, my instinct is to root for the Giants. That said, I'm a huge Eagles fan and I'm not sure if I could stand another Super Bowl ring in the division that isn't ours (we're still ringless for those counting). We're still holding to three league championships that happened pre Super Bowl era. Pathetic.

So... instead of telling you who I'm rooting for, I'll tell you what I expect to happen. I expect that the Giants will play them tough. They will get somewhere into the 4th quarter and Eli Manning will turn back into Eli Manning and throw a pick and fumble the ball. In the end, this will be the first Patriots Super Bowl in this recent era that will not be won by a field goal. I think it will be at least 10 points. I say, 30-20.

Hilly 4 miler

I went on my "long" run of the week. It's hard to believe that 4 miles is my long run of the week at this point. But, it is truly where I'm at. It was a tough 4 miles. It was a very hilly run, so I'll give myself that. But, my cardio and muscle fitness are definitely down.

I got more bundled up than usual... But, it was entirely unnecessary. 32 degrees and no wind feels great this time of year. Overall it was a good run. But, my legs are pretty trashed now.

Run recap- 4.1 miles, 38:22, 9:22 pace

Weigh in, week 7

This was a pretty successful week for me. It doesn't quite play out in the numbers. I've really got to figure out how to not do so poorly on the weekends. But anyhow, I'm moving in a positive direction again. Next week is the end of this program. I'm gonna try and have one last big push to get lower. It's pretty obvious I'm not going to reach my goal. But, I have managed to bring my weight down a bit. That's something I hadn't done in the previous 6 months. So, it's not a complete failure. Not a complete success either.

Weigh in- 196.6

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cross train at the Y

Not a lot of human interest stuff today... Sophie and I shot hoops at the gym this morning while Melissa worked out. Then, I went upstairs and went on the elliptical for 30 minutes. I have a 4 miler tomorrow and then next week's long one is 5. Starting to make a little progress. But, I'm still sticking to 3 runs a week (perhaps for the entire half training).