Archive for March, 2012

Boogie Man and the Yorkie

Posted: March 31, 2012 by Roberts in Running Log
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This was my first week of consciously using the treadmill less.  I now have a treadmill guideline.  If the program calls for 4 miles, I will use the treadmill on interval training.  If it is any other mileage, I am outdoors.  The first outdoor run of the week was a small 5 miles on Thursday. OK, the actual first run of the week outdoors was to be 2 miles on Wednesday.  I skipped it since, yet again, I was too tired that night.

The Watchmen Soundtrack

I recently picked up a copy of the Watchmen Soundtrack.  Albums should be listened in their entirety and in the correct order.  Or rather, a well-produced album should be enjoyed in its entirety.  I can’t seem to find too many of them these days.  This brings me to the run.  The run time for the soundtrack is 53 minutes.  Given my pace, that is about a 5 mile run.  Serendipity!  I had my theme music for the run.

Just past the first mile and a half the song “I’m Your Boogie Man” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band came on.  It’s such a fun song.  My pace quickened without even trying.  How much?  I went from a 10’10” pace to a 7’49” pace.  Not only did my pace quicken, I had a hop in my step.  I avoided the cars sticking out of the driveways by hopping into the street, and springing back onto the sidewalk.

What a Yorkie dive bomber may look like...

The only occurrence out of the norm was a small dog.  His little legs beat away trying to close the ground between us.  His high pitched yapping cut through my music.  Once he caught up with me, he circled wide to make another pass.  The little brown yorkie kept at it for the rest of the block.  Once I was out of his territory, he returned home triumphant.

As I mentioned, I missed my 2 mile early in the week.  Now it was time to pay myself back.  Late Friday night I decided it was time.  I hit the road, and pushed for a decent pace.  With the race coming up on Sunday I wanted to gauge my potential time.  I turned up the Tron: The Legacy Soundtrack and hit the road.  The first mile was a decent pace, but I knew I could do better and push harder.  So I did.  I shaved a minute off my pace for the last mile.  The final average pace was not quite a potential PR time for the 5k coming up, but you never know what will happen on race day.

What a hear attack in a tortilla looks like...

Here I am on the night before the race.  My wife and I decided to each enjoy a burrito from Chipotle.  I have not allowed myself such a lavish caloric food in some time.  If you don’t know what Chipotle is, well consider yourself lucky and unlucky.  Before I cared about my health I truly enjoyed them.  Each bite was a blend of fake Mexican flavors, meat and cheese.  Some combinations could reach as high as 1500 calories.  Each meal was a heart attack in a tortilla with a side of guacamole.  My friends and I referred to the inevitable tiredness that followed as a Burrito Coma.  You could not move, only digest.  So why get one now?  My excuse?  I am carb-loading.  Of course not really, but it works for me today.  It was really a splurge.  If I get a PR tomorrow, I won’t feel bad about eating it.  If I fail miserably in getting a new record, it was the extra weight of the burrito, so much weight.  I have all my bases covered!

Time for some sleep, and get ready for the race.

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What music do you enjoy during your runs?


Two weeks are down, and only twenty six remain in my marathon training program.  I would say that I am feeling good, but I am not.  I am more satisfied than anything else.

Game of Thrones (soundtrack)

Game of Thrones (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been a rough week for running.  Tuesday went well.  I was scheduled for four miles, and I did four miles.  On Wednesday I was scheduled for two miles, and for some reason I failed to read my schedule correctly and I ran four miles instead.  Of course, an extra two miles is not a bad thing.  Each of these runs was on the treadmill.  I got to enjoy a nice episode of Game of Thrones for each.

The trouble began on Thursday.  I got home and headed upstairs to get changed.  Prepared to run, I sat on the couch to put on my shoes, and nodded off.  That’s right, I fell asleep in my running gear.  Not my most proud moment, but it happened.  All day Friday I kept promising myself I would run that night, no matter what time I got home.  I got home at 10.  The call of my bed was far stronger than my desire to log another 4 miles or watch an episode.

On Saturday I got my miles.  The kids napped, and I ran.  It was another treadmill run, but the miles got logged.  What is the point of all this?

The Sunday schedule had me running eight miles.  Not a crazy run, but not an easy one.  I woke up that morning and made breakfast for the family.  The entire meal had an oatmeal theme.  They had oatmeal pancakes, and I, merely oatmeal.  Well, oatmeal with dried apricots, honey, and flax seed.  After letting that settle, it was time to hit the road.

An entire week had passed since my last outdoor run, and every run since then had been interval training on the treadmill.  I put an episode of SWIC on my iPod, and stepped out onto the road.  The first three miles were miserable.  My calves and inner thigh muscles screamed.  They were tight and unyielding.  Did I not stretch enough?  Are my legs no longer used to the impact of the road?  Maybe I shouldn’t have run the day before?  Either way, I needed my eight miles.  Mile 1…mile 2…mile 3…  Each passed, and was more painful than the next.  As I moved further away from home, I thought maybe I should turn back.  Just one more mile…just make it to the next corner…  I kept giving myself little milestones to take my mind off the pain.  After the third mile, the muscles were loose, and the pain washed away to numbness.

I completed the run as planned.  The only two issues I have are why I had the initial pain, and why my pace was so poor.  I have lost about a minute off my 8 mile pace since the sprain.  My unscientific analysis is that I believe it is due to the treadmill.  I have spent the majority of my runs on the treadmill in these past few weeks.  The machine is designed to reduce impact, and my legs have become spoiled.  My friend, Keith, thinks it might be due to over training with the interval sessions.  My legs may not have had the necessary time to recover.  Of the two of us, he knows quite a bit more than I about running. Either way, I need to reduce the treadmill sessions and increase the outdoor trips.

This entire week I have not been following my diet.  Throughout the week I have tried to maintain a limited caloric intact.  I have eaten small “meals” every couple hours.  The problem is I get near the end of the day and I feel dizzy.  I can’t focus and my mind starts to drift.  It makes me think it is a blood sugar problem.  I eat and the issue goes away.  Since I have eaten more than scheduled, my weight hasn’t gone down.  Better luck next week.

My last frustration of the week is Nike Plus.  I currently use the Nike Plus Sportswatch with GPS.  Don’t get me wrong, I still agree with my original review.  Their site has been having some issues and I can’t review my runs.  They keep promising to fix it, but I am still frustrated.  I love watching the little green dot run around the map showing my speed and heart rate.  I hope they fix the problem soon.

This week my running schedule changes.  I am going to drastically drop the amount of treadmill work.

Tuesday: 4 Miles – Interval Training on the Treadmill

Wednesday: 2 Miles – Race Pace

Thursday: 5 Miles – Long Run Pace

Sunday: 10 Miles…

Now, Sunday should be interesting.  I signed up for a 5k for the same day.  The question is, do I run the 5k, and then add 7 later that day?  I think I will first wake up and run 2 to warm up.  I will then do the race, and round out the day with a 5 mile run.  Sound good?  By reducing the treadmill work, and increasing the outdoor work, I hope to gain back my outdoor pace.

Though it was my idea to get the office to do the 5k, I might end up being the slowest of our group.  Oh well, it’s about the charity, right?  Nah, I’m going to haul my sorry butt over that finish line as fast as I can.  3rd out of four would be good.

Question for my readers:

What do you use to track your runs?

The Liebster Award

Posted: March 25, 2012 by Roberts in Misc

MyMultiPersonality graciously awarded me with the honor of the Liebster Award today!

This is how the Liebster is described:

This award we’ve discovered is given to bloggers who inspire you and have less than 200 followers. The Liebster Award takes its name from the German word meaning ‘Beloved, Dearest or Favorite.’

What does this mean?  Someone out there likes me, they really do.  Seriously, I love reading MyMultiPersonality and for her to choose mine is fantastic.

It seems there is a price to this fame.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Link back to the person who gave it to you and thank them.
  2. Post the award to your blog.
  3. Give the award to 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers that you appreciate and value (It’s a great way to get to word out there about other blogs!!)
  4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have received this award.

After looking over the blogs I follow, I see that not everyone displays their number of followers (myself included).  I am always looking for advice from others experiences, and how people are overcoming the trials of running.  There are so many out there; so I settled on these five.

The envelope please:

Twisted Running – I recently found her blog.  I give her this award for her fantastic write ups and posts.

Bearrunner – Awarded for his quest for a marathon and I enjoy the off topic posts.

Creature of Habit – This is a great combination of running and food.  I am looking forward to her other “experiments” in the kitchen.

Overpaid, Oversexed, and Over Here – I found this blog just after I started my own.  It is full of humor, and she is working her way to a marathon, just as I am.

DrRachelRuns – Another great blog about a marathoner with some amazing race write ups.

I have completed my first week of marathon training. How many times have I said that? Three to be precise.  Or rather, this is my third attempt. Third time’s the charm right? It seems injury always finds me during a marathon training schedule. The first injury was a busted rib, and the second an ankle.  Well, the past is behind me and nothing but the road is ahead.

Maybe I should trick myself. I am not training for a marathon. I am training for two half marathons back to back with no break. It would be very sad if I could trick myself that way.

During this week I had scheduled three treadmill sessions (interval training) and an outdoor run of eight miles. Not only did I accomplish that, I added an extra treadmill session. I just had to see one more episode of Game of Thrones. We all need our little inspirations.

My pace on the outdoor run was less than spectacular. No excuses, I will take the fact that I got out there as a mild success and do better next time. That just sounds pathetic.  I got out there, I got it done.  On a Sunday night there isn’t much to see on the road.

I had two encounters on my run.  The first was a squad car. She paced me down a dark road, and turned away when I returned to the lite section of the neighborhood. I don’t know if she was bored, or wanted to provide me some extra light for my evening run. It was that, or she thought I was cute, or maybe worried that I might get mugged.  The other interesting sight was a young couple I passed on three occasions.  By the third time they finally acknowledged me.  It doesn’t matter.  They were too busy walking down the street, each keeping a hand warm in the others back pocket.  Strange events are the norm for my runs; every now and then I need an uneventful one.

I have decided to sponsor, or rather trick, my office into a 5k race on April 1st. I convinced three other people to join me.  We are attending the Chester Community Physical Therapy Clinic “Run like a Fool” 5k.  It is a small race, but I have the bug and I need to get out there again.

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Finally, I have two questions for you:

What is the craziest thing you have seen while running?

What do you do to entertain yourself on the treadmill?

I’m back!  Where have I been?  As many of you know, I sprained my ankle at the end of last year.  It did a number on me, both physically and mentally.  The road kept calling out to me, however, I was too worried about damaging my ankle further.  That and [insert any number of useless excuses here] I became couch bound.

I have spent the past couple weeks working on the treadmill.  I could have logged each of the sessions, but what would I write about?  The shows I am watching while acting like a gerbil (BSG, Game of Thrones)?  Should I write about the exposed rafters in my basement, or maybe that strange cobweb in the corner?

Obviously I had nothing interesting to write about.  Well now, not so much.  Last Thursday I was working on the treadmill.  Halfway through my run, and episode of BSG, my arm hit the kill cord, shutting the machine down.   Standing there, my heart pounding and frustrated, all I could think was, “1.75 miles isn’t enough.  I am not going out like that.”  I grabbed my IPod and headed out the door to finish out another 2 miles.

Something strange happened on the run.  I couldn’t stop.  I just kept running.  Each driveway I passed, and every turn made I got further and further from home.  As I moved along I kept saying, one more corner, or one more hill.  I looked down and my watch said…4.5 miles!   It was almost ten o’clock, it was time to head home and I still needed to run back.  By the end I logged 9.11 miles, from a run I took outside on a whim.  The ankle wasn’t an issue anymore, and neither was my mental block.  Time to do it again.

Thursday night I was on top of the world, and on Friday morning I suffered for it.

Sunday was my first 5k race.  I attended the Kelly St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5k in Baltimore, Maryland (Bib #3795).  I went with a good friend of mine, Michael, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend.  It was a fantastic event and a fantastic experience.  The energy of five thousand people in a sea of green, all ready to push themselves and accomplish something that many people think is unimaginable.

The skill level of the runners varied so much.  Watching that many people crammed in such a small area pushing their way forward was very interesting.  The first couple seconds can only be compared to cattle moving along for the slaughter.  The most you could do was jog in place.  After the first minute of dodging people, weaving through the crowd, and avoiding the runners flailing their arms, I found my place.  The first mile had slight downhill slope; a great way to start the run.

About half a mile in, Michael tried to cut around the crowd down the sidewalk.  Much to his surprise, a women in a wheelchair cut out from the spectators out in front of him, and he cleared her.  Yes, he jumped OVER the old lady.  Ok, maybe it wasn’t a full vault, only a partial.  From my angle it was hard to tell.  Either way, laughing while running hurts.  She seemed fine and only a little shocked from the experience.

Now, to say that was the only strange sight would be a lie.  I watched as a man tried to squeeze between another runner and a pole.  The pole won.  One kid kept bolting past me, stopping, and bolting again.  There were a number of green hats, funny glasses, and strange head gear.  It was not the most serious of races, the perfect kind to start you racing experience with.

The most interesting sight was the end.  After passing over the finish line, you could pick up granola bars, water, bananas, and beer.  Yes, beer.  Nothing like running a few miles and ending it with a beer.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and keep on running!