Thursday, May 29, 2008

RiverPlace Run this weekend

I was just going to go out and do a 5k test on my own this weekend. But, why do that when I can actually race? So, I looked around for a 5k this weekend and low and behold there was one. It's in Reading and sounds like a nice little race. Here's the race entry if you'd be interested in meeting me over there. I'm just gonna head over the morning of and sign up then. Hope to see you there..

I also got a short run in over lunch today. Here's the stats.

Run recap- 3 miles, 26:42, 8:54 pace

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

All wound up about bike commuting...

So, I've spent A LOT of time thinking about bike commuting over the last two days. In fact, I couldn't sleep last night because I couldn't get my mind off it. What route am I going to take? What equipment will I need? What am I going to do about a bike? And so on... and so on...

Well, I might have answered one of those questions today. My buddy Jerry (who was in town from Arizona for a couple days) took in some of my ideas on bike commuting. In the process, he realized he had a 10 year old bike that was actually very nice ($1200 nice) when he first bought it. It's just been wasting away in his dad's garage for all that time. So, he gave it to me. I tried to offer him money, but like a true friend, he wouldn't take it. Hint hint... Jerry can expect a nice gift certificate to take his girlfriend out to dinner in the near future. He doesn't know that yet though.

So... it's actually in pretty darn good shape for the amount of time it has sat. I will definitely be taking it in for a tune up and to get some gear that is more commute oriented than fitness oriented (some sort of rack to carry stuff, bike light) as well as the necessary gear (a couple pair of biking shorts). But, other than that, it looks like it is doing alright.

On another topic... I think I've also figured out a way to work it into my schedule more often too. I hadn't considered driving my bike to within 10 miles of work and riding to and from my car and work before and after. That way, I could do a total of 20 miles and not have to do it all at once. I wouldn't waste as much sleeping and I could pull off about 60-100 miles a week this way (not from the start obviously, I'll have to work up to that). At that rate, you will actually start to see some savings (contrary to my original conclusion). At 400 miles a month, you will save over $50. Still not in the realm of "sole reason" to do it. But, $50 is $50.

And finally... I'm not far from doing it. I'm going to try and go to the bike shop tomorrow to drop her off and buy some gear. If all goes well, I might be doing it on Friday morning. How's that for impulsive (I mean motivated). Whatever...

One last thing... I found a very cool bike commuting site that is actually pretty comprehensive if I am striking a nerve with anyone else out there. Check it out, it's called Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips.

Tempo Workout

I had a good tempo workout today. Not much interesting to report. I was really struggling to keep the pace at the end of the 20 minute fast portion of my run, but I managed. I'm really curious to do my 5k test this weekend. I hope it goes well. Then, I have to find an actual 5k (I might settle for a 5 miler) to run at the end of this schedule.

Funny enough, I scheduled my 5k training around my marathon training and just assumed I would be able to find a 5k to run at the end. No luck so far. I'm going to keep looking though. If I can't find it, I'm going to run the Ephrata Firecracker Run around the 4th of July. It's a 5 miler though, so I'd rather find a 5k to run.

Run recap- 10 minute warmup, 8:00 or under for the 20 minute tempo part, 3:45 cool down
3.92 miles, 33:45, 8:37 pace

Light week...

I've got a light week for mileage because of my 5k test that I am doing on Sunday. So, I'm only putting in about 15 miles for the whole week. I have a tempo run today and 3 miles on Thursday and that's it until the 5k test on Sunday.

I also ran yesterday and put in a good effort for 3 miles. Here's the stats...

Run recap- 3 miles, 26:02, 8:40 pace

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bike commuting??

Yeah yeah... great idea, right? How about if I live 25 miles from work (which I do)? At a decent clip, it would take me just over 2 hours to get to work. My thought is that I would ride to work and drive my bike home at night twice a week. I would save 50 miles a week and get some added fitness.

Downsides? I'm not really saving that much money. And, I'd lose an hour to an hour and a half of sleep twice a week.

Upsides? The earth would love me. My gut would love me. My pocket would be a little fatter (not much by initial calculations).

From what I can tell, this isn't really a financial decision as much it is a eco/fitness decision. If I could do this all year long (which isn't likely living in the northeast), I would save $800. Enough money to be a nice side benefit. But, not enough money to make a decision solely on the dollars... What does everyone think? Anyone else do this?

It begins...

I woke up this morning and weighed myself to get an idea of what the damage is. I'm at 203.4. I'm going to set a more aggressive goal this time. I think the wimpy goals don't really do much for me. So, I'm shooting for 185 by the end of summer (end of August). Wish me luck.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Life has been beating me up lately. With travel from work and my eating getting out of control, I look a little something like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man right now. I'm determined to make that go in a positive direction. But, I can't say that I'm proud of myself after this weekend. I've probably put 5-6 pounds back on that I lost on this trek (over the last year and a half). Not good.

So... what am I gonna do? I guess it's back to the Smart Ones for lunch and lighter meals for dinner. I'm already doing the required exercise, so no changes necessary there. Oh well... The fun eating was bound to catch up to me eventually... and it did.

I got two runs in this weekend. One 4 miler that felt pretty good and a 5 miler that hurt pretty good. I was going to do 6, but my knee started to hurt. So, I cut it short. Me thinks that has something to do with the added weight, but maybe it's in my head.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gotta take it easy some times...

I ran an easy 3 miles over lunch today. I had a little tweak in my foot at the end of my interval workout yesterday (somewhat reminiscent of my feet problems after the marathon). So, I took it easy. One very encouraging sign... I was truly taking it easy and easy came in the form of 9:20 pace. That's pretty cool. Don't know if it was just a good day or I've improved. I guess we'll see soon.

Run recap- 3 miles, 28:04, 9:22 pace

Intervals on the Streets of NYC...

This might have been the strangest run of my life. I went to my hotel's fitness room yesterday morning and it was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Very old equipment and treadmills that looked like they would fall apart if you walked on them. I tried to start my interval workout on the treadmill anyway. But, alas, every time I got up to speed it would shut down. So, I had to take it to the streets. With only a little time before I had to be at the event, I had to hurry.

So... instead of going over to Central Park, I had to get the interval workout in on the streets. I frantically jogged North and would run East or West down streets that were less busy during my speed part of the intervals. I was sprinting up and back streets to the delight/confusion of construction workers. But, I'm a slave to the schedule, so it had to be done. All in all, I still haven't had a stable interval workout (only done two so far). But, I have two more to do in this 5k plan. Maybe the next one will go better.

Here's the stats that I have... 1:40 for every interval (not sure if it was a true 400) and a total of 34:38 time running.

Thought provoking event, MediaBistro Circus

Yesterday was my last day in NYC for the MediaBistro event that I was at since Monday. It was a pretty good content show. I had the privilege of seeing Chris Anderson from Wired Magazine and "The Long Tail" fame. I also got to see a conversation about the NY Times technology improvements with Jim Roberts, online editor there, and one of his colleagues (missed his name) that ran the special projects for the web. I also enjoyed Nicholas Carr of "Does IT Matter" fame as the last speaker of the event (he was interviewed by Business Week editor Jon Fine).

But, my favorite speakers/panelists at the event were Jon Wiley from Google and Robert Scoble from Fast Company TV. Wiley did a really nice job of explaining Google's attention to user experience. Not only did he explain it as their number 1 focus in their list of "10 Things Google Has Found to Be True", I also enjoyed his definition of profit. He explained it more as a utility for the user, not a function of money making. He also showed a fun little research video that showed eye mapping technology with green lasers. That was cool in itself... but the user audio was awesome. It was of a clueless user that was trying to find a television. So, instead of narrowing his search through any number of ideas that he had spoken, he just searched for the word "television" instead. That was Jon's way of saying that they still had work to do in making Google more intuitive/easy for the user. In his words (paraphrased), "It's unacceptable to expect the user to learn how to search better".

Robert Scoble was a completely different experience. I enjoyed this presentation for the frenetic world that he must live in. At one point in the presentation, he showed his desktop with all the twitter "tweets" and people he was following and real-time conversations and video that he was recording as he spoke... My mind is spinning just thinking about it. It was simply crazy. His content was good... don't get me wrong. But, I enjoyed his presentation for the manic quality it possessed. Very fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

First Central Park run ever...

Now, it hardly counts as a "Central Park run".... But, I did run in Central Park tonight. After a day of traveling and setting up the booth, I went out for a run through the streets of NYC tonight. I started out on 46th street and weaved my way north to Central Park (heading west or east when I didn't make a light). It was a different experience.

My schedule said 3 miles. And, based on my experience in Boston with my Garmin, I just decided to run with my watch and not bring it with me. So.... I figured I was running about 9:30 miles (probably better, but this is good to be sure I ran the full distance) and ran for 28:30. I'm sure I got the full 3 miles in. In fact, I was feeling pretty good. So, I wouldn't be surprised if I wasn't closer to 9 flat average. Either way, I think I'm starting to get out of my funk.

Back to the Central Park part of the commentary, I spent about 4 minutes running through the park. I kinda wish I had a six miler on the schedule. I really wanted to experience running through Central Park the right way. But, I have a tough interval workout on Wednesday that kinda scared me out of that idea. Looking back (now that I'm comfy in bed), I wish I would've just run the 6 and not worried about it. Oh well, there's always next time.

Run recap- Approximately 3 miles, 28:30, Approximate 9:30 pace

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not doing great...

I missed a "fast" run yesterday of thirty minutes, and I've bumped up to about 203 pounds. I'm also settling in to some old habits. The major difference from before to now is that I'm running and I care. So, time to reign it in a bit. I did get a five miler in today. That felt pretty good. The last two miles were under 9 minute pace. So, I generally got faster as the run got longer. Here's a recap.

Mile 1- 9:01
Mile 2- 9:23
Mile 3- 9:26
Mile 4- 8:43
Mile 5- 8:54

Run recap- 5 miles, 45:30, 9:06 pace

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not the cure to all my problems?

I've been very busy over the last couple weeks and I haven't had the chance to play around with Motionbased at all. So, the problem of uploading data still exists. That could be user-error however. But, this is certainly not (I don't think).

One of the things that I really liked about getting a Garmin was that I spend some time on the road for work and it allows me to go out on runs without really knowing an area. Well, I went out on a tempo run in Boston yesterday and had some problems. The Garmin kept losing the satellite (I'm assuming because of the size of the building I was near) and coming up with some weird readings. So, all in all, I know how long I ran. But, I don't know how far I went. That stinks. I guess it is just something I'm going to have to plan for and run in a park or something. But, I wish I would've realized that earlier.

In regards to the run, it went much better than yesterday (that was easy). I did a 10 minute warm-up at about 10 minute miles and a 15 minute stretch at about 8 minute miles. Then, cooled down for another 5 minutes at 10 minute miles. So, 15 at 10 minute miles and 15 at 8 minute miles overall. It felt good and I'm glad I was able to fit it in. 8 meetings in 2 and a half days makes life kinda hectic.

Run recap- 3.375 miles, 30 minutes, 8:53 pace

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm beat.... and not from running

I drove to Boston yesterday to start a four day trip for work. After stopping at two appointments on the way up, I finally made it to Boston at 7:00 pm (after leaving at 7:00 am). Then, I had three meetings in Boston yesterday. I tried to run on the treadmill at the end of the night and it was a no go. I ran 1.6 miles and started feeling dizzy and light-headed. So.... I stopped. I'm gonna go running outside today. Maybe that will help me feel better. I'm not quite sure what that was about.

Run recap- 1.6 miles, 15:12, 9:30 miles

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Motionbased troubles...

I haven't had the chance to really investigate this much. But, I was trying to upload data to Motionbased the other day and it wouldn't recognize the Garmin. I'm pretty sure that I was doing it right because it recognized the Garmin and uploaded the data the first time I tried. I'm gonna have to play with it a little more, but it's frustrating.

I also went on a 3 miler on Friday, here's a recap.

Run recap- 3.04 miles, 26:35, 8:45 pace

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Speed workout logs from Wednesday

This is just a quick post to log my splits from the run. I don't have a time for the first split because I was so concerned about the sprint itself, I forgot to hit the lap button.

Lap 1 (1st 400 and warm-up included, 1 mile)- 8:21
Lap 2 (400 recovery)- 2:46
Lap 3 (2nd 400)- 1:37, 6:28 pace
Lap 4 (400 recovery)- 3:01
Lap 5 (3rd 400)- 1:43, 6:52 pace
Lap 6 (400 recovery)- 3:28
Lap 7 (4th 400)- 1:37, 6:28 pace
Lap 8 (cool down, .54 miles)- 6:23

The schedule recommended running the 400s at "mile pace". I'm not really sure, based on my fitness right now, what that is. But, I'm guessing low 6:40s to high 6:30s. For 2 of the 3 400s that I have a time for, I was well faster than that. So, that's good. Not bad for a first effort. This is really just a benchmark at this point.

Run recap- 3.02, 29:00, 9:35 pace

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

First speed work... and my Garmin

How about that? I had a really busy day yesterday. I try to go out to lunch with my wife and daughter every Wednesday when I have class because that is the only time I will see them that day. Only problem was, I had planned to run over lunch. So, from then on, my day got kinda crazy.

I decided to go over to the McCaskey HS track between work and class (done work at 5:00, needed to be at class 20 minutes away at 6:00). So, needless to say, I didn't have a lot of room for error.
I got over to the track and it was taken for HS track practice (duh). So, I ended up doing the workout over at the soccer fields with my Garmin. One day, one saved workout already.

All in all, it was good. I did find it difficult to not have a visual target for the 400. Having to look at the Garmin for distance was kinda annoying. Steve tells me that I can program 400s though, so I will try that next time. And, the 4th 400 was tough. I was really losing steam by that one. It's hard to believe that I will be doing 8 400s in one workout in the relatively near future. 4 was tough..

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Maps? Who uses maps? Suckers...

Ok... I have to admit, this post is long overdue. But, today, I am a runner. Or, at least that is what Nate would have me believe. I ordered the Garmin Forerunner 205 last week (my wife "got it for me" for my birthday/graduation). Yes, I do realize there is a 405 coming out shortly. But, with one small child and another on the way, I just can't justify that kind of dough for a nice new toy. But, the 205 was manageable. So... it is supposed to arrive at work tomorrow. The irony of this all is that I am running on the track tomorrow. So, I don't even really NEED it. But, I'm probably gonna use it anyway.

Today was my last satellite free run in the foreseeable future. Unless, of course, the battery dies right before a run (I'm told this happens). Yikes!! Then what do I do? Oh yeah, right... what I've been doing for the last 15 months. Very cool. I'm so excited. I'm dubbing this the year of the satellite. I got a GPS for my car from my mom and a GPS for my running from my wife. What's next? If I can get my GPS to do my homework tonight, I'll be in the clear. Until then, I'm not actually graduated. One paper down, one to go. Better get typing, can't afford another night like last night (up until 2 am).

My last run pre Garmin- 3.23 miles, 27:15, 8:27 pace

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Graduation and Birthday on the Way...

My 5 years of going to school for an MBA are coming to a close this coming Wednesday. I have a lot to do in this last week, but it will all be over soon. That leads me to think about all the stress, worrying, energy and time spent working on this degree. Has it been worth it? Sure. Am I ready to be done? ABSOLUTELY! I started on the degree when I was young and didn't have much responsibility at work. Now I travel and have a lot of responsibility. It's much more difficult to get things done for school and I am totally distracted when it comes to class anymore. So... it's probably good that it is coming to a close.

With that, I get the opportunity to graduate next Saturday at Millersville University. That, coincidentally, is also my birthday. We're throwing a big party after the ceremony with friends and family. It should be a good time. I'm looking forward to it. But... before then, I've got a couple papers to procrastinate and one more class to attend.... Deep breaths, I'm almost there.

In running news... I ran a 5 miler with Justin at work. I'm not totally convinced that my distance log is right (we got a little lost). But, it's pretty close.

Run recap- 4.98 miles, 47:02, 9:27