Monday, June 30, 2008

Hundred Pushups- Week 1, Day 1 (Round Three)

I vow this week to be my last on week one. Or, I'll do it again next week. :) Anyhow, I got through the first day of this week's training pretty easily. As I've become accustomed to, the rest of the week will probably be harder. I hope this week is the week.

Plan- 10, 10, 8, 6, max (minimum of 7)
Actual- 10, 10, 8, 6, 15

8 at Brillhart

I went for a slow (much needed) 8 mile run on Sunday with Nate, John and Bill. Bill had just completed a marathon the day before, Nate is just about ready to get started with his marathon training and we haven't quite convinced John to start thinking about 26.2 yet.

All in all... it was a nice run. We ran on the Heritage Rail Trail and went from Brillhart out to Hanover Junction (a little past and back to complete 8). We kept the pace slow and I think it really helped my body "active recover" (as Nate would say). I know that this can be a dangerous thought, but I truly think the slower run helped me.

As always, I really dig the longer runs when I get to run with other people. It breaks up the monotony and lets me think about things other than the run. I like to run on my own too... but this was a nice break. After the run, we all went out to a diner in York (as is tradition) and had a nice brunch. It's funny... this is the most social thing I do anymore.

Run recap- 8.01, 1:25:49, 10:43 pace

Crash and Burn

On Saturday, I went out for a 5 mile "fast" run as part of my 5k training plan. I felt pretty beat from the 8 x 400 earlier in the week. And because of the way that I was able to fit in the training, I actually didn't have a rest day since then. So... surprisingly, it didn't go very well. Ok, who am I kidding? I'm not surprised in the least.

I was able to get 2 miles in before I started to fall to pieces. Another quarter mile later I was ready to fall over. So... I stopped. That's right, I'm not afraid to admit it, I stopped. It was hot, my legs were trashed and I decided to listen to my body (for once). I'm happier today because of it too... (that's what I'm telling myself as I lay awake at night thinking about it)

Run recap- 2.37 miles, 20:50, 8:48 pace

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hundred Pushups- Week 1, Day 3 (Round Two)

Today was a pretty good day for pushups... but I think it's gonna take one more week to get through week one. Hopefully this is just building a base and will go more smoothly after I get through the first week. I guess there's only one way to find out.

Plan- 15, 13, 10, 10, max (minimum of 15)
Actual- 15, 13, 10, 10, max of 8

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Speedwork, I Hardly Knew Ya...

Today was the end of my 5k training speed sessions (thankfully). I really love the challenge of working hard and pushing the limits. But, I'd be lying if I told you it was fun.

Today was 8 x 400. I have to tell you, it was hard... but I really feel the improvement. And, it's also showing up in the results. When I did 7 x 400 a couple weeks ago, 3 of the 7 400's were at 1:34 or higher. This time, all 8 400's were at 1:32 or lower. I really improved on the back end (last 4 400's). In fact, my 5th 400 was a 1:29!! So, I can't deny that I am getting faster. I run my target 5k on the 4th of July and then it's on to the marathon training. If I don't PR, I'm gonna have a long time to chew on it.

Run recap
Warmup- 7:37
400 #1- 1:27, 400 recovery- 2:50
400 #2- 1:29, 400 recovery- 2:59
400 #3- 1:31, 400 recovery- 3:20
400 #4- 1:31, 400 recovery- 3:30
400 #5- 1:29, 400 recovery- 3:47
400 #6- 1:32, 400 recovery- 3:44
400 #7- 1:31, 400 recovery- 3:47
400 #8- 1:32, cooldown- 3:46

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hundred Pushups- Week 1, Day 2 (Round Two)

Ok... so maybe I don't have this figured out yet. But, it's fun trying. I did day two, of week one over again today. And, I still didn't quite make it. Here's my results.

Plan- 12, 12, 10, 10, max (or min of 10)
Actual- 12, 12, 10, 8, 6

In looking back, this was actually worse than my original week result. I'm thinking that doing my pushups after my run is affecting my ability to do them. I'll try that theory out.

Wanna Ruin a Marathon?

Don pointed me to this funny Onion story about ruining a marathon. It's funny, I had no idea that the Onion had hired Nitmos or Vanilla to write for them. This has to be one of their ideas...

"Try starting off with something simple, like printing out "Marathon Continues to the Right" signs and pasting them up by the on-ramp to the interstate. Once you're comfortable with that, you can work your way up to a larger goal, like breaking beer bottles into a sack and dumping them out in front of the wheelchair racers, or loading up on carbs and dairy so you can vomit all over the finish line."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hundred Pushups- Week 1, Day 1 (Round Two)

This time around, the pushups were noticeably easier. I did the sets according to plan and knocked them out without too much effort. I expect the workouts later in the week to be more difficult. That said, the first time I did this specific workout, I didn't make the cut. So, that's improvement already.

Plan- 10, 10, 8, 6, max (minimum of 7)
Actual- 10, 10, 8, 6, 13 (bold for effect)

Two Long (ish) Runs for the Weekend

If you thought this was turning into a pushup blog, you are dead wrong. I'm still running and actually turning the corner on my 5k training. I have two more weeks and then I run my 5k on the 4th of July (Preservation Pottstown 5k). That is the day that I will break 23 minutes and put another daunting PR on my list (or so I hope).

Also, I am going to have my biggest mileage month of the year this month (almost 90 miles). Not a huge number, but a sign that things are moving in the right direction. On top of that, I've been running 5 days a week now for a couple months with no injuries. Previously, pushing to 5 days a week was my breaking point. So... that is good news.

As for the runs that I did this weekend, I did 5 on Saturday and 7 on Sunday. The run on Saturday felt longer than the one on Sunday. It was hot and I didn't feel like being out there at all. The run on Sunday was completely the opposite. My wife (son/daughter to be) and daughter went out on the bike and rode along with me for the 7 miles. That was great! I really enjoyed having them along and it certainly made the run go easier. I hope we do more of that (as the pregnancy permits) in the near future.

Run recap Saturday- 5 miles, 45:56, 9:12 pace (splits- 9:32, 9:11, 9:11, 9:02, 8:58)
Run recap Sunday- 7 miles, 1:06:44, 9:32 pace (splits- 9:51, 9:35, 9:15, 9:18, 9:48, 9:50, 9:06)

Hundred Pushups- Week 1, Day 3

Aha.. not so fast Eric... You thought you were gaining on this program. I did day three of the Hundred Pushup program yesterday and it didn't really go that great. The plan called for 15, 13, 10, 10, max (minimum of 15). So... I was able to do 15, 13, 10, 8, 6. Not quite what the doctor ordered. But, not quite pathetic either. I think it's a good idea to do this week over again.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hundred Pushups- Week 1, Day 2

Quick update on the Hundred Pushups plan. Yesterday, I was supposed to do 12, 12, 10, 10, max (minimum of 10). I had a much better experience today. Not sure why. I didn't quite make it. But, I did manage the first four sets and 9 out of the last 10. I'll be finishing up today with day 3 and doing week one over again. This is pretty encouraging that I will probably only need to stay on week one for two weeks.

Pushups completed- 12, 12, 10, 10, 9

Friday, June 20, 2008

Older Than I Thought...

A buddy of mine (Jerry) was in town for a couple days and he found some time to make his way to see me yesterday. So, we do what guys do when they hang out... drink. We went to a little hole in the wall bar and hung out and had a pretty good time. Then... today came. Man was I beat. You would've thought that I was out until 4 am or something.

But... as with most things, I got a run in and felt much better. The endorphins are up, and I am ready to go. It's amazing how that works, huh?

Run recap- 2.97 miles, 28:19, 9:31 pace

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day of Fitness...

Man, today was packed full from the time I woke up. I got up early so that I would be able to ride my bike into work (or at least my normal "part way"). I got out the door and got a nice ride in. Because I am directionally challenged and I strayed a little from my regular route, I turned a 5.05 mile ride into a 6.24 mile ride. Nice... (shaking head).

Then, I got a run in over lunch... It was a good hard workout. I did a 40 minute tempo run. I warmed up for 10 minutes then ran about 8:15 pace for 25 minutes and then cooled down for 5 minutes (accidentally at about 8:30 pace). I guess I had a hard time revving down after a tough workout.

Run recap- 4.71 miles, 40:00, 8:30 pace (10 minute warmup, 8:14, 8:12, 7:57, 5 minute cooldown)

Then, right after my run, I did the first day of the Hundred Pushup plan. I was supposed to do (notice, I say "supposed") 10, 10, 8, 6, max (or 7 minimum). Well, I could only manage 10, 10, 8, 5, and 3. Not a great start and it looks like I'll probably be doing week one again. But, you gotta start somewhere right?

Then, I wasn't able to ride home because of a downpour. So, Shanelle at work drove me to my car and I will drive it home tomorrow to ride in and out on Friday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Six Miles in Town...

I went for a brutally humid run on Sunday in town. Again, I was very busy and had to find time to fit it in. So... instead of doing it early (my wife had breakfast in bed for me that morning for Father's Day), I ended up doing it in the heat and humidity. I ran a 3 mile loop and stopped (by stop, I mean grabbed Gatorade and kept running with it in my hand) in the middle to rehydrate.

The first 3 miles were done at a pretty nice clip (8:56, 8:32, 8:52). But, then the heat and humidity got to me and I kind of petered over the last 3 (9:40, 9:35, 9:00). That's backwards to how I want to be running my runs. So, I'm gonna try and do the opposite on my long runs from now on. But, it was still a nice first 3 miles.

Run recap- 6 miles, 54:38, 9:06 pace

Hundred pushups...

In typical "me" fashion... Someone (Steve) lightly suggests that I do something and I quickly say that I will. So, I'm starting the Hundred Pushup Challenge today. I'll let you know how the test goes. Yikes, I'm such a girly man. This is gonna be tough.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ivey and I on the Trails...

I was dreading my five miler today. To be honest, I needed a change of scenery. My normal courses are kind of old and tired to me at this point. So.. after mentioning that to my wife, she came up with a great idea. She told me to head over to Nolde Forest for a run. She said, "It's shady and you can take Ivey with you". Huh, why didn't I think of that?

One thing that I did kind of forget/neglect was how hilly it is over there. And, with Ivey running this way and that through the forest, it gets kinda tiring. That said, it was definitely a nice change of pace. We ran up the trails about a mile and came back down to the car. It was pretty humid, so I let Ivey play in a stream for five minutes and then we got back on the trails.

As humid and hilly as it was, I was certainly ready for the run to be over. But, it was anything but boring. I had a good time and got a really good workout in. The numbers don't mean much because of the terrain. But, here's the stats:

Run recap- 5.01 miles, 53:22, 10:39 pace

Quick Run Before Golfing...

I took the day off from work on Friday to go golfing in a tournament with a friend of mine, Bernie. Bernie is the husband of a good college friend of my wife and I (Jana). So.. Jana and Melissa went out all day and took the kids to a gymnastics place and Bernie and I went and played golf. But, since I knew I would be tired from a day of golfing, I had to get my 3 miler in before I left. The run went pretty well. It was really humid and I ran kind of slow. But, since I had a day of golf ahead of me, I didn't want to overdo it. So, I took Ivey (my dog) and off we went. Nothing spectacular during the run happened. But, we got the miles in. Here are the stats:

Run recap- 3.01 miles, 29:05, 9:40 pace

Then, came the golfing. We were playing a tournament at Deer Valley Golf Course in Hershey, PA. I was notified, the day before, that there wasn't a driving range at the course. That was kinda troubling because I haven't been out golfing yet this year. So, my first swing of the year came off the first tee. I swung and missed... wah wah. But, the rest of the round went surprisingly well. We were playing a "best ball" tournament. So, the entire team plays the best ball off the tee and then the best next shot and so on. We played my ball a number of times (not a lot, but enough). And, I was a pretty trusty putter. For not having played yet this year, I'd have to say I did very well.

But... the true story of the round was Bernie's drives. He's a big guy and he was hitting everything long and straight. We ended up finishing 9 under as a team. And, the winner came in at 12 under. So, we weren't that far off the lead. I think that was the best finish any team I have ever been on has done. That's not coincidence, I'm not a very good golfer. But... it was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh no!! My flip flops...

Check out this article about the problems with wearing flip-flops all the time. I am an avid flip flop wearer (is that correct grammar/English?). Anyhow, I wonder if this contributes to my problems with my feet. Crap, I don't want to give up my flip flops.

Treadmill Tempo

I was going to do this run over lunch and then I realized I was just being a moron again. It's been so hot lately, it's almost insanity to run in that stuff. So, I sucked it up and held my run until later at night. Lucky for me, my wife wanted to go over to the gym and workout today. So, I took that as my opportunity to fit my run in and avoid the heat. Not too shabby.

All the treadmills were taken when I first got there, so I did a five minute warmup on the elliptical machine. Then, I made my way over to the treadmills when one became available. I did 25:00 at 8:34 pace and then I did a 10 minute cool-down at 10:00 pace. All in all, it was an ok workout. Nothing to brag about. But, after biking 10 miles today, I was just happy that I wasn't too taxed to pull it off. And, in fact, I felt fine. So, that's good.

Run recap- 3.94 miles, 35:00, 8:53 pace

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two Days of Bike Commuting... Learned Anything Yet?

Glad you asked... Today was day two of my bike commuting experiment and it went much better than day one. That said, it's kinda hard to be worse than a flat tire and walking 2-2.5 miles to work with your bike by your side. I want to knock on wood when I say this, but it kinda went flawless.

Despite the good vibes I got from today's ride, I still have some things to work on and some things that I learned.
  1. I'm not actually going 8 miles in and 8 miles back. According to trusty Garmin, I'm only going about 5.05 both ways. Not sure if I made mistakes in my route on Runningahead or what...
  2. I need to be careful of how I attach my "saddlebags" to the bike. I caught one in my upstroke and narrowly averted a disaster today.
  3. I need to pay more attention to the weather on days that I'm riding. Duh, right? Apparently not. I just missed a pretty bad storm today.
  4. My butt hurts...
  5. This is a nice amendment to my workout schedule. I think it's gonna help me lose that last 10-15 pounds.
  6. It's a lot of work to get all the "things" ready for a ride. I think I'm gonna have to ride a little further to justify the time spent in preparation.
  7. My butt hurts..
That's about it for now. I'm going to NYC tomorrow and will be back biking on Thursday.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Two Miles, Too Hot...

I went out for my 3 miler today and realized that I was foolish for doing so... So, I cut it short. It was hot and humid (weather advisory) and I thought better of my run. I was keeping the pace slow and it still felt like I was working harder than I wanted to. So... despite my idiocy, I decided to err on the side of caution. I cut it short and I feel better for it.

Run recap- 2.01 miles, 20:11, 10:04 pace

Soupy Six...

I truly felt like I was swimming at times during this run. I actually tried it out earlier in the day, got 1 mile in, and had to use the bathroom (blushing).. But, I was determined to get the run in after skipping my Saturday run. So.... off I went at 8:00 at night.

The temperature had cooled down considerably, but it was not any less humid. The first three miles were torture. I was running uphill and my legs were already fatigued from the earlier attempt and mowing the lawn. Then, I hit a nice downhill section and my body woke up a bit. It was still tough and not a lot of fun. But, it went faster. I am just happy to have done it. Here are the stats...

Run recap- 6 miles, 56:48, 9:28 pace
1- 9:48
2- 9:41
3- 9:54
4- 8:57 (downhill)
5- 9:20
6- 9:07

Friday, June 6, 2008

Running You Say?

I know, I know. I've been talking quite a lot about biking lately (did I tell you I got a new bike?). But, I'm still running too. In fact, I put in a pretty tough, good workout yesterday. I did intervals and managed to get 7 x 400 in. My plan has me doing them at my mile pace (1:40 per 400). But, I actually topped that by quite a bit on all 7. That makes me happy, maybe I'm getting faster after all...

That's not to say this was an easy workout. I think I dread these workouts more than any of the other fitness I do. Throughout the workout, I am constantly reminding myself why I'm doing it and how much longer I have to go. But, I think that is the same reason that I like the workout. Anything that tough has to be helping me. Here are the stats.

Run recap
Warmup- 7:16
400 #1- 1:27, 400 recovery- 2:54
400 #2- 1:31, 400 recovery- 3:15
400 #3- 1:30, 400 recovery- 3:27
400 #4- 1:32, 400 recovery- 3:32
400 #5- 1:34, 400 recovery- 3:54
400 #6- 1:34, 400 recovery- 3:42
400 #7- 1:35, cooldown- 6:46

So Far, So Bad

I went on my first bike ride into work this morning and it turned out a little less than perfect. I went about 5.5-6 miles and everything was fantastic. I was loving life... The wind was blowing through my hair, the birds were chirping... you get the picture.

Then, it happened.... I got to New Holland Pike and the road seemed to get a lot bumpier. I thought... man, the city really needs to think about fixing these roads. No sooner did that thought go through my head then I realized that I actually had a flat.

Don't get me wrong, I had considered this possibility. But, I didn't think it would happen on the first ride. To make matters worse, I had asked the bike shop to change my tires and tube and they told me that it wasn't necessary.. despite the fact that the bike hadn't been ridden in ten years. On top of that, they slapped a sticker on my bike when they were finished working on it. I'm going in there today and slapping a corporate sticker from where I work on one of their new bikes. You know... We're cool like that.

So... my last visit to Cycle Circle in Lancaster will be over lunch today (just because it's close). Then, I'm never going back to that place again. I'm going to get two tires, two new tubes (and one extra to bring with me) and a tire tool to change my flat when I get them.

This doesn't change my mind about biking to work... just makes me more interested in being prepared for the ride. I've always been one to learn things the hard way anyway. But, I'm still disappointed that I don't have a flawless story to tell at the end of my first ride.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Late posting of Lehigh Valley Half pics

I was playing with my camera (to get the bike pic) and finally got around to taking the LVHM pics off of it. If you are interested, here's a couple pictures that my wife took.

This was half way through with a smile on my face (I'm the guy in the dark blue shirt and grey shorts). I thought this was funny afterwards because the guy directly to my left is wearing a Run4Luck 2008 shirt. I ran that race (1 of 300 or so). Not a huge coincidence. But, I had seen the picture a couple times and never noticed.

This one was taken from pretty far away, so the quality isn't that great (and I zoomed the pic to get a better "frame"). But, this is me at the finish. Notice... not smiling anymore.

Weight loss update...

The last time I did this, I was giving weekly updates and really concentrating on the week to week progress. Something about that felt contrived and didn't really work for me. So, I have just decided to post updates when I have something of note to mention.

So... after two weeks of paying better attention to my eating, I am back down around 198 again. That's 5 pounds lost in two weeks. I fully expect it to get harder (that was the beginning weight that falls off). But, I am staying true to my 185 goal. I just don't really have an end date to report. It seems to be working better in a less structured environment. So, I'm sticking with that.

My New Bike (pic)...

Tada!! Note the geeky bike light and blinker on the back and the rack appended to the back tire. Also, a nice kick stand. I have officially made a nice racing bike a clunky commuter bike. I can make anything slow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You could cut the tension with a knife...

I am patiently (not really) waiting to get the call.... The bike shop is supposed to have my bike ready today and I am really excited to see how it rides. Unfortunately, I'm going to get the bike at some point today and I won't be able to ride it to work until Friday... I would love to just ride it all the way home today. But, since I've never done the ride before, I think that's probably a bad idea (plus, I need my car for a meeting for work tomorrow anyway). Drats...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

RiverPlace Run Results...

Go ahead, say that three times fast... I woke up this morning feeling tired but ready. It was hotter than I expected though. I headed over to the race with my wife and daughter. We got there pretty early because I hadn't pre-registered. Then, came the long wait to start. Then, we finally got to the start line and had to endure 3 sponsors talk. I love the sponsors, but it sucks when you are ready to start the race.

Then, we were off... I got out pretty quickly, too quickly in fact, in the first mile. I came in at the first mile split in 7:07. Then, the second mile really sucked. I tried to run on feel despite having my Garmin. I was keeping up with the people around me and I figured that was quick enough. But, I was wrong. The second mile came in at 7:55.

As I've noticed before... When you blow up the first mile, the second mile tends to really suck and then the last mile is not terrible. I managed to put in a nice 1.1 at 8:25. So, unofficially, 23:27 5k. Not a bad race, but not a PR. I have 4-5 weeks to find another 5k and hopefully I'll PR there. I was planning on running the Ephrata Firecracker 5 miler on the 4th of July. But, now I'd really like to find a 5k to take another shot at a PR before marathon training comes in.