Thursday, November 27, 2008

Running Has Been Going Better...

So, I recently wrote a post how I was going to back off it a bit over the winter and not worry too much about how much running I got in. That much is still true. But, the last couple weeks of running has been really good to me and I'd like to keep it up. I ran a long one on Saturday with Justin and he's coming down to my house this coming Saturday for another long one (maybe 10?). Anyhow, just when I was thinking about putting on the breaks, I got my second wind.

As for today, I'm gonna take Ivey (my lab) out for a 3 miler to prep for eating way too much food. I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the time with your family!

Monday, November 24, 2008

8 on the Conewago...

I'm so bad at remembering names of trails and where they are. So, when Justin asked if I wanted to run on the Conewago this past weekend, I said yes... The question was, "Where is that again"? I've been on a lot of trails, but mostly because someone else suggested it. So... keeping with my tradition, I still don't really know where the Conewago is, despite running on it Saturday.

The run was great. Justin really pushes me to run harder when I get the opportunity to run with him on my long runs. We ran sub 9 minute miles over 8 miles and it was pretty darn chilly. So much so that I was having a little trouble breathing at times (admittedly, that could have had something to do with the pace as well). But, a good time was had by all.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow running...

Now... that... was... fun!!! I woke up early this morning to go running because I am going out to eat over lunch today for a friend's b-day. I don't do this very often... but the day I chose to, it was snowing. :) Figures, right?

Anyhow, it actually was very enjoyable. The pace was slow because of the tentative footing. But, I cheated the running gods by running at a time that I normally wouldn't in weather that wasn't very forgiving. It reminds me of two January's ago when Nate and I started the C25K. We would run in everything and anything. If a run was on the schedule, we were out there. It kind of feels good to be back in that mindset. Very cool...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Harrisburg Marathon Relay photos...

Courtesy of Bill over at (where else?), I have a couple good shots of me in the Harrisburg Marathon Relay.

Me showing off... Yes, if you have to know, this kind of pose is great form.

Me sticking my tongue out at the camera...

Winter Slowdown...

Not that I have been pushing myself terribly hard for the last month... but I am going to back down the mileage a bit (maybe up the intensity, but maybe not) for the winter. I'm just going to use this time to keep fit and keep my mind in order. I have no races to plan for (aside of the fun Jingle Bell Run in December) and I think I just want some no pressure running until I get back into it in 2009.

I think it's going to look a little something like this... 3 or 4 milers during the week (3 or 4 of them) and a "long" 4-5 miler on the weekend. If I keep this up, I'll be in the 15-25 mile range every week and won't have to get frozen too often. Of course, building a plan like this leaves plenty of room for runs that are longer when I feel like it. But, I'll let that be the bonus miles....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Digress...

I don't do it often on here... but today was so whirlwind, I had to write a little post about it. Note... this is totally not running related, all about my job.

So... anyway, I started my day at 5:30 am, rolled out of bed and drove to the Philly train station. I knew today was going to be long... but, at 5:30 when the alarm went off, I just kinda stared at it like... really? But, anyway... I trucked along and got to 30th Street Station on time.

Then, I got into Penn Station, hauled butt across town to get to Grand Central Station... If you're counting, that's three pretty major train stations in one day (kudos to me... or not). Then, I headed out to Ossining, NY (never been, not bad) for my first meeting. That was about a 40 minute train ride from Manhattan and then 40 minutes back (obviously).

From there... I had to hustle to my next appointment (this time walking) and have one of the scariest meetings of my life. In fact, it was one of the coolest meetings too... But, I can't really reveal all that at this point. Then... off to a Custom Publishing Council Awards Dinner that my company was sponsoring...

So, who got to give out the big award of the night? That's right... yours truly. I watched Advertising Age editor, Jonah Bloom and Mr. Magazine (Samir Hussni) run the show all night. Then... I got up in front of approximately 200 magazine publishers... gave a little speely about our company... presented the nominees, and presented the big award. I was the only presenter outside of the event MCs... Although a little thing, that was one of the cooler things I've had the opportunity to do in my professional career.

Anyhow, It's 11:56 pm and I'm still on my way back to the Philly train station. I have an hour long drive when I get there... I don't expect to get in until past 2 am... What a day. I'm kinda destroyed right now. But... wow!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Harrisburg Marathon Relay

What a day it was on Sunday... I've never run a relay race before (not even on the track) and it was a totally different/awesome experience. I gotta say, I loved the team atmosphere and it certainly took some of the pressure off of the race itself (even though I had a very specific time goal). My teammates were Beth (a high school and college friend), Brad (Beth's husband and a college soccer teammate of mine), and Nate (another college soccer buddy of mine).

I got there early morning (as I tend to do on race day) and got the chance to see all the nervous marathoners in their race preparation. That was an interesting thing to see when I wasn't feeling nearly the same anticipation. Although I was running the long leg of the relay, 8.8 miles (8.93 on my Garmin), I just wasn't all that nervous. These poor souls were about to embark on a body pounding, 26.2 mile journey. I was just along for the ride.

I met up with my teammates and tried to figure out what the heck we were doing for the race. It turns out that the first leg was about 6.4 miles and was looping back to City Island (where the race started). Beth handled that leg and she was our only girl on the team. Go Beth.. That is where I would take over and take us just under 9 miles out to HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College). Then, I'd pass to our strongest runner (Nate) for a 6.2 mile leg. After that, he would pass to probably our speediest (but not long distance) runner Brad for a 5 mile finish.

My leg was actually pretty attractive. I ran out 3-4 miles along the Susquehanna River. That was great and sucky all at the same time. The wind was pretty brutal despite a slight decline in this part of the leg. Running along the water, I guess that should have been expected. But, it was really tough.

There was also a pretty smelly/noxious portion of the run along Industrial Road (yeah, it was just as it sounds). That was a pretty lonely part of the run and I couldn't help but feel bad for the marathoners who had this as part of their experience. I also thought it was funny that I was passing virtually every marathoner. They had more than half the race to go and I was trucking along in my 9ish mile race. Weird.

For the most part, I was lopping off pretty even splits.... right around 8:03-8:05. There were a couple tougher miles where I had tailed all the way down to 8:12-8:15ish. But, overall a pretty even race. I had planned to run a 8.8 mile 1:12:00 (about 8:10-8:11 miles). I ended up running a 1:11:41 over 8.93 miles (a 8:03 pace). So, I came in quite a bit faster than expected. In fact, my five mile PR isn't much faster than that at this point. So, I'm pretty stoked about my performance.

Overall, we did great too. We were called the Running Dutchmen (our Lebanon Valley College mascot). We finished 13/50 in the mixed (guys/gals) category and 18/78 overall for the relay division. That's worth talking about. I was very impressed and would totally do a race like this again!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

On the Mend... Mentally

Did you ever wonder why all the see-sawing? Why all the mental battles? Why all the craziness? For me... I think it has a lot to do with sleep (as I write this at 12:30) and stress levels. But... mostly sleep. Lack of sleep, for me, leads to bad decisions (about food and otherwise), stress, and frustration... Overall, there isn't a single positive redeeming factor of staying up for the sake of staying up.

That said, I think I know why I do it (and, ok, I'm already backpedaling on the "no redeeming factor" statement). I think it is the only time in my life (between the hours of 11:30 and 1:00) that I get to myself. So... effectively, I sacrifice sleep for time in my own head. Good trade-off? Not always. But, I think it's important. Here's the point in my own post where I totally flip-flop my opinion.... Actually, despite the long list of negatives, I think I need it.

Where does that leave me? Eh... right where I was five minutes ago. But... just like the time I spend on the road running, 11:30-1 is the time that I pick to unwind. The only difference is... that time is truly "off the clock" (ironic huh?). I have no goals, no pressures, no anything. I think we all need a little more of that at times.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Day Has Come...

Well... I was pretty sure that this day would come. And, quite frankly, I'm surprised it took so darn long. I've officially fallen off the wagon. I am eating as bad as I did two years ago before I started this whole journey. I could put it in the "things I gained when the new baby came" category. But, that would be unfair. I could put it in the "I'm bored of this" category. But, that would be terribly lame.

So... what is it? I think it's LIFE. I've been running around so fast and furious that I hardly noticed it happened. It started with the idea that... because I run, I can afford to treat myself every once in a while. Then, I started creeping... ever so slowly back to the dark side. Now (as I'm eating three donuts, a hot dog, pizza and a tub of lard), I'm officially as far from where I want to be as possible. Frankly... it did creep up on me. But, I should have seen it coming.

Every good realization comes with a half-assed... "I'm gonna do better". And, every "I'm gonna do better" comes with the thought that I know I'm not going to. How do I make this my life instead of just a fix? Woooo...

So... here's what I have done. I've made running a part of who I am. I NEED to find a way (on some level) to do the same with eating. Maybe I'm not Johhny Eatnutritious at the end of the day. But, would it hurt to be Johnny Eatsmostlynutritious?

So... what am I going to do about it? I don't know... But, I think recognizing it has to be a step in the right direction, right?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Quality Not Quantity

I've been training for some longer race for so long now that I have kind of lost track of the total miles logged vs. quality of miles logged ratio. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I've always run to control my weight. More miles equals more calories burned and that's that....

But, I think I'm turning a corner in my training. It's not that I don't want to manage my weight. In fact, I have gained a little weight since the baby came. But, I really would like to change up my training a bit. I'm finding that just going out for a run to log miles is not challenging/exciting anymore. I need to do something to shake it up.

And... not coincidentally, I have done two different workouts this week that weren't just "going out and running". The first was a stair/bleacher workout that Lisa has been doing that I really liked. We did three step variations (both feet on every step, one foot per step, and one foot ever two steps) and did an entire side of the bleachers at F&M. That was a really fun workout and will become a part of my routine I'm sure. Also, we did a sprint workout in the middle of a jog at the track. We did two laps around the track of sprint the straight away and walk the turns. It wasn't a lot. But, my legs are sore today.

Anyhow... I'd like to focus on different and speed at this point. I think it will help me do something other than just "log miles". Anyone else do this?