Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ten miles... negative split

I spent the weekend with my daughter and really enjoyed myself. I haven't ever had Sophia for that long of a period of time before... And, to be honest, I was kind of nervous. But, it worked out well. She is healthy (as far as I can tell) and I think she had a good time. I'm sure I did. We didn't really do anything special, just good old fashioned quality time.

In the running world... I had a pretty good cold this past week. I missed 3 days of work and 2 runs. So, by the time my wife got home from her scrap booking weekend, I was absolutely itching for a run. And, the last thing I wanted to do was miss my long one for the week.

So... I went out for my 10 miler and had it in my head that I was going to negative split the long run today. I've never really focused on this kind of thing before. Mostly because my long runs were such a monumental challenge before. Now, they are less difficult. So, it allows me to focus on some things that I didn't before.

It turns out... I had a really good long run. I ran the first 5 miles in 48:55 (intentionally slow). Then, I really pushed the back half and ran that 5 miles in 46:03. After I mapped it, I also found out that I had actually run about 5.125 miles both ways. So, I ran a total of 10.25 after all. Nice to be back...

Run recap- 10.25 miles, 1:34:58, 9:16 pace
Split paces- 9:33 first half, 8:59 second half

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Top of the hill to bottom of the hill in 3 seconds flat..

Just when I was raving about how fantastic Tuesday's run was.... I got slammed with a pretty killer cold. I was out of work the last two days and am staying home again tomorrow. It really kicked into high gear today and I went to the doctor's for antibiotics to hopefully slow it down. I battled all day, but am starting to feel a little better now. I hope I get a good night's sleep tonight. I haven't had one of those in a couple days.

As for running, I'm skipping my last two runs of the week this week to see if I can be ready for my long one on Sunday. But, I'm not promising myself anything. If I don't feel right by Sunday, I'm not going out.

On top of all that... My wife gets her first getaway weekend since we had Sophie (18 months). She' going to a scrapbooking weekend with a friend (much deserved). I've got Sophie duty all weekend for the first time EVER. Phew... When it rains, it pours. Can't wait to spend the time. But, I hope this cold is in low gear by then. Or else, I've got my hands full.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

That's what I'm talking about...

I just went on a scheduled 4.5 miler and boy did it feel good. I went fairly fast the whole time and I really don't feel bad at all. Definitely more in the tank. This was one of those days that you remember why you run. It doesn't happen as often as I'd like, so I'm gonna bask in this while it's fresh in my memory. Eat my dust!!

Run recap- 4.51 miles, 37:34, 8:20 pace

Sunday, March 23, 2008

9 Miles, Hills and All...

For the first time, Nate was coming down to my house to do a 9 mile run. That, in itself, was reason to find a fun run for us. It's kinda weird.... Having someone check out your running turf is personal. You don't want the other person to think your regular training grounds are lame. So, I did my best to find a run that I enjoy intermixed with the distance we needed for the half plan.

I did that... to some degree. Although, if I had it to do again, I might make some changes. For instance, we had a 9 miler on the schedule and I planned a pretty hilly route. Not intentionally, that's just kinda how it worked out. It was a joke between the two of us every time we hit a new hill. Even I was starting to wonder if I had planned all those hills somewhere in my subconscious.

The thing I focused on with this run was how scenic it is. And, in that respect, I think it lived up to its billing. It's definitely a lot easier to get a long run in when the scenery is continually changing.

As for the run, it went pretty darn good. I felt pretty fresh and strong. But, my foot ache was back this morning. Not at "keep me from running" proportions, but there none the less. So, I'll have to make sure to keep an eye on that. Nate was also struggling with a knee problem. This running thing sure makes us old men well before we should be. I think that's counterintuitive. Don't you?

Anyhow, here are the stats. All in all, a great way to start the day.

Run Recap- 9 miles, 1:29:44, 9:59 pace

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lehigh Valley Half Marathon Goals

Amazingly, the half marathon is fast approaching. I remember the beginning of the year when I was trekking back and forth to the physical therapist and could barely run without getting laid up. Then, the slow building of miles (excited for a 10 mile week). Now, next week will be my first 20 mile week in a long time.

Not only that, now I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to run the half. If I plug my Run4Luck time into the McMillan calculator, I get a half time of 1:48:44. Two things about that time... My McMillan times tend to be slower than the projections as the race gets longer. I learned that the hard way last year with the full marathon. So, I don't know if that is entirely realistic. And, I'm just not putting in the serious miles I was last year when I ran the Hands on House Half in 1:54:55. So... Where am I?

I always put three goals out there for myself for virtually every race. The first one is my achievable goal. It is set low enough that I would be happy with it, but it is very achievable. The second is my more accurate, probable goal. I'd be very happy with this. And, the last one is a "pie in the sky", all things went perfect kinda goal. If I get that one, look out. There will be parties in the street.

So, here they are...
Easy goal- 1:54:55 or under (If I do this, I PR)
Probable goal- 1:53 or under
Stretch goal- 1:51 or under

Since I've only run one half, I don't really know how high to set my goals. I'm definitely excited to see how I do.

Does anyone else set goals like these? Or, am I a weirdo?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nap Anyone?

I don't know about everyone else... but I rarely get the opportunity to nap. Between work, being a dad & husband, running, and completing my MBA... it's quite a luxury. So, as much as I love you all, I'm getting a nap in NOW. My wife and daughter went to the gym and I am at home alone. Off to Napland I go.

I got a nice run in at lunch today. It was a little short of the 4.5 I had planned (I didn't remember the directions well, I need a Garmin). Anyhow, here's a recap.

Run recap- 4.25 miles, 38:02, 8:57 pace

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ho Hum Miles

I went to the gym tonight to do my mileage. I have homework tonight. But, I'm gonna put Sophie to sleep before I get to that. It'll be nice to spend a little time with her tonight.

Run Recap- 4.5 miles, 42:37, 9:29 pace

Final Results, Run4Luck

They've posted the final results for the Run4Luck... I finished in 72nd out of 304 people (best I can tell, they only showed age group results). And, I finished in 9th out of 21 in my age group. Not bad. I hope that these numbers get better later in the racing season. But, pretty good for the first real race of the year.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easy Five with Ivey (my dog)

I went for an easy five miler to keep my legs loose after the race yesterday. Ivey really enjoyed the run. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I'm going to make a concerted effort to take Ivey along more often. But, I'll have to watch how far I take her... Five miles is the upper end of her limits right now.

Run recap- 4.97 miles, 49:37, 9:59 pace

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Run4Luck Results

Talk about a good time... This morning, Nate, Marcus, Dave, Jennifer and Bridget went out and ran the Run4Luck. My wife and daughter went out to support us as well. It's always nice to have someone on the course cheering you on. Thanks... The weather, although a little chilly, was much better than it had been the first two years of this event. I only ran last year, but I think the organizers were starting to feel a little disappointed with the weather they had to endure the first two years of the event. But, it was a very nice day for a race indeed.

Nate and I are similarly paced. So, we ended up running a majority of the race together. I was trailing him no more than 20 yards the entire time. In fact, we were running side by side at about the 3.5 mile mark. Kinda crazy... I told Nate that he was gonna have to start pulling away there because I have a better kick than him. He didn't seem to have it in him. We stayed close most of the rest of the race. Then, in the last .1 miles (I would guess), I began to take off. I ended up running a 30:46 for the 4 mile course while Nate ran a 30:54. As you can see, we're pretty much a dead heat anymore. He has a little more long endurance... So, we might have had a different story if it were a 5 mile race.

All in all, it was a blast. I beat last year's time by about 8.5 minutes. Not too shabby. I was hoping for sub 32. I would have been very happy about a 31:30 or lower. And, I was ecstatic with a 30 something time. I can hardly believe it.

The other really nice thing was how close Nate and I are in terms of fitness level. We are training for the same half and that should keep us both very motivated. There was also a period of time last year where Nate and I were pretty far apart. Nate has all but completely (if not completely) closed the gap. So, that's fun too. We're not hyper-competitive about it and I think it serves as good motivation for the both of us. So... that's a win on all fronts.

Oh yeah... Congrats to Marcus for finishing in first in his age group. And, congrats to Dave for a better time than anticipated. I believe they came in 25 something and 27 something respectively. They're fast.

Run recap- (Splits based on people giving splits on the course)
Mile 1- 7:27
Mile 2- 8:38 (long hill)
Mile 3- 7:10
Mile 4- 7:30

4 miles, 30:46, 7:42 pace

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The next race on my schedule is on Saturday morning at 9:30. It's called the Run4Luck because it is always around St. Patrick's Day and is a 4 mile race. I ran it last year and it is my current 4 mile PR. That is easy for me to say... because I've only ever raced one 4 miler in my life. I ran it in 39:15. I expect to run much quicker than that this year (anywhere between 30:00-32:00), but I don't discount what I did last year for this race. It was my first race last year and I hadn't even finished C25K yet when I did it... Here's an interesting quote from last year's race... I thought you would enjoy it.
The run wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. That doesn't mean that I ran fast, but the weather turned out to be less of a factor than we thought it was going to be. I made it through the first mile at 9:10, but the second mile had a monster hill and one other hill, so I evened out to 20 minutes for the first two miles. The last two miles were a struggle. I definitely bit off more than I could chew. But, I came in at 39:15 or so (don't know what the official time was yet). So, I'm pretty happy with that, under 10 minute miles in bad conditions.
A lot of people are coming out to this race that I know... so it should be a blast. I'm very curious to see how this goes. Also, there is a history of bad weather (each of the last two years). It's supposed to be rainy on Saturday. I'm crossing my fingers for nice weather. Wish me luck.


You kind of take it for granted when everything is good... but I feel pretty healthy. The side of my foot hasn't been as achy, if achy at all. And, the arch of my foot hasn't been as achy either. I credit that to the break I took and the stretching that I have been doing more often (as well as finding the right shoes). I don't do it religiously, but much more than I ever have... If you're curious, here are the 3 stretches I do:
  1. Hamstring stretch- Put my feet together, and bend straight down and touch my toes (Hold for 10 seconds, 3 times).
  2. Calf/Achilles stretch- Stand on a stair and angle one foot at a 45 degree angle hanging off the stair (Hold for 10 seconds, 3 times for each foot)
  3. Quad stretch- Stand on one foot and pull the other foot up to your butt (Hold for 10 seconds, 3 times for each foot)
Very basic stretches... But, done consistently, they really make a difference.

In running news, I got two more runs in since the last time I logged. I did a four miler on Wednesday with Dave at work. He is faster than me, so I decided to use it as a tempo run. Truth is... we were shooting for 9 minute miles and just went faster than that. He took me on a new route near work and it was a lot of fun. I look forward to running with Dave in the future. Very cool. I also went on a short run today too. Results of both are below.

Wednesday's Run Recap- 3.77 miles, 32:24, 8:36 pace
Thursday's Run Recap- 2.11 miles, 19:03, 9:02 pace

Monday, March 10, 2008

Seven Miles to Ruby Foo's

If ever I'm alone in NYC, I usually try and make my way over to Ruby Foo's for some sushi. After a long day of finding our conference booth and then putting it up, I wanted nothing more than to head right over to Ruby Foo's. But, I still had 7 miles on my schedule and there is no way I would run after I eat. So... I ran 7 miles on a treadmill. That was one of the least exciting experiences ever. But, it gave me something to look forward to. And, now that it's over, it wasn't that bad.

Run recap- 7 miles, 69:30, 9:56 pace

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Fourth Run of the Week

This seems to be working with no big problems. I just did my second week in a row with 4 runs. This morning I did a 2 miler at 10 minute pace to get some extra running in without killing myself. It seems to be working great. We went to the YMCA and I did 2 on the treadmill. Then, I got some much needed time with my daughter. I'm starting to relax and rest. Just one more week of travel madness at work. Then, it calms down for a bit.

Run recap- 2 miles, 19:55, 9:58 pace

Friday, March 7, 2008

Quick Recap, Two runs...

I'm so busy I don't really even have time to do this... But, I had two good runs. One on a treadmill, the other outside, both of 4 miles. Tuesday's run was on a treadmill and I couldn't wait for it to be over. I was at a trade show and my colleagues were waiting for me to get finished so that we could go out to dinner. The second was yesterday in the midst of a very busy day. I've been absolutely out of control lately. Here's a recap of both runs.

Tuesday, Run Recap- 4 miles, 36:51, 9:13 pace
Thursday, Run Recap- 4 miles, 35:40, 8:55 pace

Monday, March 3, 2008

Trenton Makes... The World Takes

As I'm taking the train into NY for another couple days of business travel (what's new right?), I see this sign on a bridge as I pass Trenton. "Trenton Makes... The World Takes". It's a sign I've seen many a time before... But, for some reason, it really got me thinking (maybe cause I'm exhausted). Either people in Trenton are really upset about this or they are awfully presumptuous. I mean, really... Just cause you made it, doesn't mean I want to take it. In fact, you tell me it was made in Trenton, I'm probably less likely to take it. I really am not sure what they are trying to say here.

But, I digress. I have another two days in NYC this week, then 3 next and my hectic work schedule finally slows down. In the midst of all this, I've decided to ratchet up my running schedule. I feel more healthy... and quite frankly, I feel under-prepared for the half at the end of April. I know you can't "make up" fitness. But, I would like to train a little harder over the next six weeks to get ready. Hopefully this doesn't back fire on me. But, I'd really just like to feel like I am training to potential at this point. I'll check in again tomorrow. But, for now, I'll see you on the other side. One more show to go after this one. Then, some much needed shut eye (I know this won't happen... But, I like to dream)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cris Clemons Signs With Eagles

The Eagles got another signing yesterday to compliment their opening signing of Asante Samuel. They signed Cris Clemons to a five year deal from the Oakland Raiders. Clemons is a fast defensive end who had 8 sacks in part time duty last year. Adam Schefter said that this makes up for when the Raiders took Derrick Burgess from us. If that's true, I'm stoked about the move. More realistically, I hope that he adds some pressure and another fast, live body to our defensive end rotation. Good news to see the Eagles aggressively going after help in free agency. I don't want to see another last place in the division.

Still waiting on what is going to happen with Lito Sheppard. But, I'm sure that will happen in due time. Or, maybe not? Maybe they'll find a way to make him happy. Who knows at this point? My money is on a trade for draft picks. He is receiving a lot of attention from teams in need of cornerback help. So... the Eagles may get some good value for him.

Newville 6

Ok... There were only 3 of us (Nate, Bill and I), but we did 6 miles this morning on a trail in Newville. It was a really good effort for me. I did a lot of linoleum work in my basement yesterday and was already pretty sore before we started. It really caught up to me at about mile 4. But, I hung in there. Nate seems to be much fitter than I am right now. And, Bill has always been. So, running with these two will either kick me into shape or shred me to pieces. Here's to hoping for the first.

Meliss and Sophie also came out because Meliss knows that we tend to go get breakfast after our runs. Also, there was an off chance that we would be able to stop and see her friend Jana who also lives in Carlisle (like Nate). Unfortunately, that didn't work out. Jana wasn't back to the house yet, so we just went home.

Run recap- 6.02 miles, 55:49, 9:17 pace

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Asante Samuel Signs With Eagles

The first reaction to this signing is... Awesome!! The Eagles get a top cornerback to add to their already great tandem of Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard. Unfortunately, there's a possibility that this may mean the end of Sheppard's run in Philly. He's been great for the Eagles over the years. He was their best playmaker on the defensive side for many years. But, he just couldn't seem to kick the injury bug the last few years. That is his only downside.

There have also been rumors that Sheppard could be traded for Larry Fitzgerald. That would be a tough one to pull off based on Fitzgerald's salary figures the next two years ($14 and $17 million). The Eagles would have to offer him at least that in guaranteed bonus money up front to even get that part of the deal done. Then, they would have to figure out who and what to trade to the Cardinals. It would probably be a 2nd round pick and Sheppard to get it done. So.... We'll see. But, the signing of Asante Samuel does make you feel like there is another shoe to fall.

Although... There may not be. If they can move Sheldon Brown to safety and keep Sheppard, that would be great too. That would give them all kinds of flexibility in their secondary. All in all, a great move for the Eagles. I can't wait to see what else they do

First Added Run

So, I added my first short 20 minute/2 mile run in to my schedule. Only time will tell how this goes, but I feel good. I'm glad to be back to the 4 day a week schedule. But, I think the 3 day a week schedule really helped me. I have a 6 miler with Nate on Sunday. That's gonna be fun. Because I shortened my last long run, I haven't gone on a long run in two weeks. I'm looking forward to it... Here's a recap of yesterday's run.

Run recap- 2.15 mile, 19:44, 9:11 pace