Tuesday, December 30, 2008

1000 here I come...

Unless something disastrous happens tomorrow (knock on wood), I'm gonna get there. I ran just over 5.5 miles today over lunch and have about 5.3 miles left in my 1000 mile year. 2008 was a good one and I'm looking forward to shake it up for 2009. More to come...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Runner's World, The Loop

Ok, so Runner's World has started using Pluck to organize a more dynamic social community around their forums that they have dubbed "The Loop". I like the idea... because us runner's are a pretty social people. We enjoy hearing other people's stories about training and how to get faster... We are also, as I've heard Marcus say on several occasions, a self-documenting society. So... it makes a lot of sense.

However, I'm looking at the blog functionality on "The Loop" and it basically requires me to start a new blog. I'm wondering if there is a way to port what I am doing here directly into "The Loop". Admittedly, I haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure it out. But, it's not jumping out at me.

I do like how it pulls together all the activities of a certain "user" in one place. So, you can see comments, blog posts, add friends, upload photos, etc... But, the look and feel leaves something to be desired. It's just not terribly attractive.

Well... anyway, if anyone has the community capital to pull something like this off, I would guess Runner's World is as good as any. But, I'm hoping there is bigger and better to come.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just Signed up for TheDailyPlate

Not sure that I'm proud of it. But, I think it will help me log the things that I do that don't allow me to get to my goals. 185 here I come. No more excuses, the holiday meals are all over now.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sleep.. It Does a Body Good

I'm on day 7 of my 9 day holiday vacation from work. And, something I've been getting more of is ... sleep. Coincidentally, my running has really been a lot easier lately. I ran 5, 6, day off, 6 miles in the last 4 days. It's sad to say, but I haven't had a 4 day stretch like that in forever. In fact, those 17 miles in 4 days are two short of my week total high for the last 6 weeks or so. So, yeah, it's nice to be home and sleeping.

Also, this little spurt at the end of the year has put me dangerously close to 1000. After tonight's 6 miler, I am 18 miles away with 5 days to go. There is a rest day in there somewhere (maybe Monday?), but it is looking awfully reasonable all of a sudden.

As for tonight's six miler, it was cold and wet. I had planned to do 4 with my dog when I got home from my sister's. But, when I got out there, I just felt like doing more. I can't remember the last time that happened. In fact... lately, the exact opposite has been happening. I got out for 4 and only get 3 in. So, I think the tables are turning... just in time for 2009.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

1000 miles?

Back in July I set a goal for 1000 miles (see post here) for 2008. At the time I was at 400 miles and I had to average 100 miles a month to get there. Although, I was ramping up my miles and I secretly thought this was an easy goal. Then, Juliana was born in September and everything went a little haywire.

So... here we are, one week from 2009 and I have 24 miles left. About a week ago, it looked unlikely that I would make it. But, after a good week and a realization that it was still within reach, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get there (even if it's hitting the number on the nose).

So, funny enough, an "easy" goal I set 5-6 months ago is actually just enough to get me to finish the year strong. I ran 5 miles on Tuesday and 6 yesterday. I'm probably going to rest today (Christmas) and run 6 out of the next 7 days to complete the 24 to get to 1000. Unbelievably, I'm most likely going to hit my 1000 mile goal exactly.

Also... mini pushup update. I've been religiously doing my pushups and I think it is going pretty well. I've definitely improved and I've settled in to 5 sets, twice a day. I topped out at 116 pushups the other day. So, I'm moving up the charts a bit.

Yeah, Great Idea

I went over to the YMCA to get in a treadmill run because it was misting and cold outside. When I got there, I realized that they were closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Drats. I took that as a sign that I am getting to reliant on the indoor running and I should toughen up and run outdoors. So, I went back home and did some pushups and then went out front to check the weather. It was still misting, but not too bad. Very runnable.

So, I put a pair of shorts on and a tech shirt with a hoody and headed out on my way. I told myself that I was going to do 6 easy miles just to build mileage, not speed. So... the first 3.5 miles were great. I passed my brother-in-law's house and he was out front with their rotweiler Luther. He feigned like he was going to chase me down, so I continued running instead of testing him.

It was right about then that the weather worsened. And I tell you, the next 2.5 miles were the longest 2.5 miles I've run since the marathon in 2007. Ugh. It really started coming down and it was windy and freezing. I was totally unprepared (dressed in shorts, you moron). And, the whole time I kept fighting off flagging down a car to drive me into town again. But, I eventually made it back. I did the whole 6 miles and am glad that I finished. But, that ranks right up there with one of the stupidest runs I've ever gone on. 25 minutes of misery. No good.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Running and Pushups...

With the holiday season more than upon us at this point, I've got some shopping to do. But, I'm gonna fit some time in for pushups and running too. In fact, this week (as soon as I go running today) will be my most mileage in probably 5-6 weeks (20 miles, sad I know). And, the pushup competition is going well so far. I've just been dutifully pumping out pushups. I'm not sure what the ideal method is to get to 100 consecutive pushups as quickly as possible. So, I'm just doing a lot of pushups. I'm on day 6 and I think I'm through the worst of the soreness. Almost one week in the books. 7 to go...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pics from Jingle Bell Run...

For your viewing pleasure...

The Crew...

The Pre-race crowd...

Me with Sophie in the Stroller...

Talking crap on my work running buddy Lisa..

Passing my work running buddy Lisa..

Justin on his way to a sweet PR (my other work running buddy)...

Matt catching up to "the short guy"...

Marcus in the middle of a sub 20 5k...

Juliana trying to stay warm...

Monday, December 15, 2008

100 Pushups... Sort Of

How about this for a change of pace. After chatting it up a bit at work today, we actually decided on a different plan. Me and three of my buddies from work are embarking on an 8 week journey (unless someone gets there earlier) to 100 pushups. What's on the line? $20 from every competitor, winner take all.

The rules? Well, essentially, it's the most single rep of pushups accomplished in week 8 x 3. So, we will do one single rep three days the final week to decide our champion. The total of the three days is the winner. That, or if someone gets to 100 before then in one rep. Every other person will have a 2 day period to match the 100 and then the winner will be decided by total number of pushups on that last attempt. Admittedly, it's a little complex. But, the competition should be a blast.

In regards to plans... I was going to do the 100 push up plan. That's actually the reasonable plan. But, for an unreasonable bet like this... I think I'm gonna have to up the ante. For the sake of competition, I'm going to do a private log of my pushups. But, I'll certainly keep you updated on how it's coming along. Day one is in the books. I'm sore already.

6 Miles and 100 Pushups... Again.

I went on a really aggressive 6 miler after a pretty tough effort in my 5k yesterday. Justin and I covered 6 miles in just under 52 minutes (8:38 pace). Not too shabby. I don't know... the baby is sleeping at normal stretches... I'm feeling like I need to lose a little weight... the stars might finally be aligned.

Also, I started the Hundred Pushups program up again today. A buddy of mine, Adam, at work asked me about it today. He found it on Life Hacker. That's a weird coincidence. I told him how Steve actually reads my blog and he thought it was pretty funny. Anyway, I'm humbly starting at Week One, Day One. But, here we go again.

Pushup Plan- 10, 12, 7, 7, min 9
Pushup Done- 10, 12, 7, 7, 15

Day One complete...

Jingle Bell Run, Stroller PR!!

Ok... so I kinda wussed out on this one. I knew I was going to have a tough time PRing in this race. My training has been kinda lax and I just wasn't feeling it. So... what do I do? I decide (ok, my wife convinced me) to run the race with Sophie in her stroller. So, add 30 pounds to push through the entire race and that slows you down quite a bit.

I ran the first mile just hoping that I wouldn't trip anybody. I never knew how much maneuvering is necessary when running a race with a running stroller. People don't run predictable lines... and because of where I started, I was passing people most of the race. But, the first mile came in pretty slow at 8:42ish.

Then, the second mile opened up a bit and I came through the two mile marker pretty fast (at 16:41, 8:00 mile). The third mile was spent passing people and trying to just keep pace. At the end of the race, I saw Lisa (one of my work running buddies) out ahead of me like 200 yards. So, I made it a point to reel her in and then pass another guy right at the finish chute. All in all, it was a good race and Sophie slept the entire way.

25:44... Stroller PR!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jingle Bell 5k...

I'm off to run the Jingle Bell 5k in Lancaster this afternoon (or noon, whatever). I'm not sure how I feel or how well I'm gonna run. I keep thinking I'm just gonna go and "jog" it. But, I'm quite sure when I get there, that will all change. I think I will enjoy a fast run today. PR or not....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Breakfast... The Most Important Meal of the Day

It's funny... No matter how many times I heard this saying, I still hadn't adopted a regular breakfast regimen. In fact, it kinda became a part of who I was. "I don't eat breakfast". I'm actually usually a granola bar and cup of coffee kind of guy. I actually thought that I was doing myself a favor by eating light (again, despite all conventional wisdom).

So, I'm reading Runner's World this month and there is an article titled "Weight Training". It gives five resolutions for better eating, and one of them is to eat breakfast every morning. According to the article, "According to the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks about 4,500 adults who have maintained a 30-pound weight loss for at least a year, 78 percent of successful losers eat breakfast regularly."

Ok... that's kinda compelling. It's worth a try at least. I have eaten breakfast every day this week and it seems to be curbing my hunger a bit (i.e. I'm not dying when lunch time comes around). And... although it may just be coincidental, I have lost about a pound this week.

It begins...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And This Is Why I Run...

I went in to work early this morning because I had a lot to get done. After only a couple hours of plugging away, my wife called and told me that she was feeling worse then she did last night and didn't think she could hack two little kids all day. Very understandable... but up goes the stress meter.

Then, I get home and get some things done. I dropped my oldest daughter, Sophie, off at my sister's house and Melissa and Juliana (my youngest) slept most of the day away. That allowed me to get my work done without too many interruptions. Not perfect, but probably as good as could be expected.

All that said, I still feel way behind. So, instead of getting too wound up about it, I decided to go on a run. And... darned if that didn't clear my mind. I feel 100% better now. Funny how that works, huh?

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Much For That...

So, my last post was full of optimism and I was on the cusp of getting serious about my running. Then, I go to Boston and NYC for three days and am so busy I don't fit one run in... NOT ONE RUN... So, I'm stuck this week trying to throw some mileage in before I run my Jingle Bell Run on Sunday. Ugh... Will I ever get ahead?

As usual, the new year brings a new challenge... (Read: New Year's Resolution). I think I am finally going to set out to hit 185 this year. After creeping up the scale a bit lately, I've realized that I need to recommit myself. I'm gonna try and make my way through the Christmas holiday without too much added damage. Then, I'm gonna really crank it up.