Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two Foot long Hotdogs+French Fries=5K Run

Temperature: 68 degrees; splits 8:23; 8:29; 8:19; 25:52 total for 3.1 miles; 8:21 per mile pace.

I absolutely, positively wasn't going to run today. I felt I deserved a rest after my 90 degree run yesterday. My lawn needed to be mowed even though I mowed it just 4 days ago. I didn't even fertilize it like I normally do, yet it's growing like it's using performance enhancing drugs. So bear with me as I explain why I ran. My son Robert has a weekly radio show on Wednesdays from 10-12 noon on WSIN radio (
which is at Southern Connecticut State University. One of the students in the classroom I work in loves to play guitar. So I drove him and some of his classmates to the radio station so that he could play his guitar on my son's show. Afterward we decided to go to Glenwood Drive-In ( some good old fashioned food. Well, 2 foot long hot dogs, an order of fries, and a few onion rings later the damage was done. Of course I was sure to order a diet soda with all of that, like it really mattered. So when I arrived home, with 4 1/2 hours of daylight left, I had no choice but to run before I mowed "steroid lawn." I chose my favorite 5K road run, which begins and ends at my mailbox. With a 68 degree day, and a perfect breeze, off I went. I surprised myself at how strong I felt at the start. Normally when I run by myself, the start is my weak point, as my real or imagined aches and pains begin. It wasn't like that at all today. I felt good, even as I continued up the first 1/2 mile uphill part of my run. Long story short, I felt fantastic the entire run. It was like pre-injury running again, only slower. But I'm OK with slower. I'm feeling so good again about running that I just entered a new 5K race that takes place this Sunday. I need to finish in the top 300 so I can get a commemorative shot glass! At the very least, I get a cool shirt. Copy and paste the link, and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Batman Runs Again!

Temperature: 90 degrees; splits 8:45; 9:08; 9:14; 9:04; 36:11 total for 4 miles; 9:02 per mile pace.

Back on the road again. As much as I didn't want to run today in 90 degree heat, I really couldn't come up with a legitimate excuse not to run. I figured I'd pretend I looked "cool" wearing my Batman type utility belt. I know I'm showing my age here, but Batman's utility belt had , according to Wikipedia, "a kevlar strap and metal buckle, and the belt houses ten cylinder cartridges, which vertically clip onto the outside of the belt. The buckle itself contains a miniature camera and two-way radio. A secondary compartment behind the length of the belt houses Batman's supply of collapsible batarangs." Freakin' cool or what?! Hey, my version of the utility belt has a velcro strap, with two outside rear back pockets to securely hold 2 plastic water bottles containing nourishing cold liquids (water), as well as a small pouch with a velcro fastener which safely and securely stores my vital statistics (name, address, and phone number).Alright, now that I've clarified that, my total run was 4 miles on the road, out and back from my house. There was actually a nice breeze blowing that felt cool to me, if that's possible when it's 90 degrees. I decided to run for 6 minutes, and if I was feeling well, then to go for a mile before my one minute walk break. Yup, I was "tricking" my left brain again. After the first 6 minutes, I was feeling good. No, I was feeling DAMN good. Maybe there IS something to wearing Batman's utility belt. I was going to run a mile before I took a walk break. As they say in the Batman fight scenes,"Zap," "Pow," "Bam" left brain. One mile time was 8:45. After my minute walk break, which consisted of chugging my nourishing cold liquids and wiping my sweaty forehead (Eww), I was running again, and still feeling DAMN good. Mile 2 came quickly, and was a 9:08 split, including my walk break. I really thought I was suffering from heatstroke at that point. I was feeling too good, not overheated, and the breeze still felt cool. Mile 3, including my walking break, was a 9:14 time, and I finished well with a 9:04 split for the last mile. So overall, on the road, up and down hills, in 90 degree heat, I averaged a 9:02 mile pace for 4 miles running and using 3 one minute walk breaks. I think, no, I know I'm on to something here. After a 15 minute ice pack under my left heel, I'm good to go another day. Next week starts my official training using my new BFF Jeff Galloway's 4 hour marathon training schedule. I'm assuming that I'm going to be lucky and be chosen in June to compete in the NY City Marathon on November 1. If not, then I'll adjust my training and run in the Hartford Marathon on October 10.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Dork With the "Tool" Belt

Temperature: 86 degrees (A record high); splits 9:01; 9:17; 9:28; 9:47; 10:03; 9:45; 57:21 total for 6 miles; 9:33 per mile pace.

Yes I probably looked like a dork wearing my "tool" belt as I ran today. The name "tool" belt was given to me by my kids since they call me a "tool" for wearing my running belt that holds 2 water bottles. Hey, better to be a well hydrated dork than a passed out obstacle on the linear trail. Well, I don't have any great words of wisdom, or creative thoughts about today's run. What I can say is that I ran smart today. I ran for a mile and walked for a minute for the entire 6 miles. The walk breaks were just long enough for me to chug some water and wipe myself with my "tool" towel. I had hoped to run/walk the entire 6 miles on the road, but I played it safe and ran the last 2 miles on the linear trail. By that point I needed some shade, and the flatness (Is that a word?!) of the trail. I'm psyched that 1) I completed the run without passing out; 2) My time and pace per mile were good; and 3) My heel pain is gone. Tomorrow will be a day of rest, and I'm hoping I can get out my Jeff Galloway book and create my marathon training schedule. I need structure, and the sooner I create a running schedule, the better. P.S. Anybody ever drink a 40 oz. Slurpee after a hot run?! Let me tell you, the brain freeze you get is unbeatable!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Walk Breaks Today

Temperature: 83 degrees; splits 9:04; 8:51; 8:59; 9:38; 8:55; 45:27 total for 5 miles; 9:05 per mile pace.

I'm still kicking myself because I didn't bring my running attire to Atlantic City. As my wife and I walked along the Boardwalk yesterday, I watched several runners go by, looking like they were having a good time. It definitely would have been an enjoyable run for me, with the ocean nearby and all the sights and sounds of the Boardwalk. My wife even commented that she was surprised I didn't plan on running while we were there. Well, live and learn. Next time I go away, I'll pack my running gear.
Yesterday's mail contained an entry form for a 5 mile race on Father's Day (June 21). The race is one that I ran in 2 years ago. There's 1450 runners, the course goes along the shoreline, it has plenty of water stations, there's digital clocks every mile, and there's 3 bands along the course. Plus the post race food isn't bad either. I have 2 months to prepare for it, meaning running 5 miles without stopping and walking. So, today being a ridiculously warm 83 degrees, and me haven't run since Wednesday, I decided to challenge myself and see if I could suck it up and run 5 miles without taking walk breaks. The first 2 miles were easy, the third mile wasn't bad, and at mile 3.4 I stopped for a well deserved and much needed drink from a water fountain. At that point I was feeling like I might not make the 5 miles. I not only drank a lot of water, but I immersed my face in the water as well. I was regretting not wearing my running belt that holds water bottles. As I resumed my run, it felt like steam was going to blow out my ears. I wanted to quit so bad, and blame it on the heat. I reached mile 4, and looked ahead at what seemed like an endless mile. It was now a psychological battle, with me reminding myself that my time didn't matter, and that I just needed to keep running, no matter how slowly. Plus I knew that there was an ice cold Powerade waiting for me in a cooler in my car. I wasn't going to allow myself to drink it if I quit running. I somehow finished with the second fastest split time of my run, jumped into my car, turned on the air conditioning, and chugged my reward. So much for a proper post race cooldown! Overall, I can't complain. Other than a 30 second break to drink water and assure I didn't drop dead, I accomplished my goal. Tomorrow it's supposed to be near 90 degrees. Tomorrow will definitely be a run-walk-run day. Tomorrow I will wear my "tool belt" (as my kids call it) and make sure I have plenty of water with me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good 'Ol Right Brain

"Spring" temperature: 46 degrees; splits 9:45; 9:38; 9:48; 9:45; 10:11; 9:28; 9:25 1:08:02 total for 7 miles; 9:43 per mile pace.

Ah, the mentality of a runner. I'm going away the next 2 days with my wife of almost 28 years. We're going to Atlantic City and staying for free, yes free, at a hotel there. Of course I know I won't be motivated to run while we're there, especially since I won't be packing any running gear...LOL. Anyhow, that of course meant that since that I no longer have my problematic heel as an excuse not to run, that I HAD to run today. I played the "right brain vs. left brain" game that I now love to blog about. Left brain said (read using a whiny voice)"It's's only 46 degrees, and it's sprinkling outside and it might rain harder, and your body is achy from your weekend runs and since you want to run on the road today it will be more difficult because there's lots of hills, and hills are hard to run up, and you haven't been running on the road so you will get tired quickly and you'll get all sweaty and wet and cold." Right brain said "You will get a walk break for a minute for every 6 minutes you run. So, drive your ass to the linear trail, park your car, and run a few miles and see how you feel. Listen to your music while you run, and again, you get rewarded with a walk break every 6 minutes. You can do this." Well, I listened to right brain and drove my ass to the linear trail. I parked my car, listened to my left brain say "See, I told you so. There's only 2 other cars here," told it to shut the hell up, and off I ran. UGH! I was hurting...I am still out of prime running shape, and it certainly was looking and feeling ugly. I headed in the direction of a 3 mile road run, that finishes with a final mile and a half on the flat and easy linear trail. I figured that 4 1/2 miles would be plenty to run the way I was feeling. The first 6 minutes somehow went by quickly, and the one minute walk break felt great. I was wet, sweaty, my glasses were fogged, and I still felt like crap. I pushed myself again, knowing that 6 minutes of running would again get me a one minute rest. And so I went...running, walking, sweating, fogging, but yet groovin' to my 70's tunes. I reached the linear trail, and at that point wasn't feeling so bad. I tricked whiny left brain and told him that I was going to run to the top of the hill on the road, and see how I felt. My goal at that time was to run an extra loop so that my 4 1/2 mile run could turn into a 5 mile run. As I reached the top of the hill, I started to think big. I knew that by continuing to run and not turning back towards the trail that I would reach Route 10. Route 10 is a long, slow rising uphill run that eventually would lead to a downhill run to the parking lot I was parked in. Left brain at that point had taken a hiatus, so right brain and I were going for the gusto! It wasn't easy, and the walk breaks saved me, but I made it. I reached the parking lot at 6.4 miles, so even though I was tired, I talked myself into a 3/10 mile out and back on the trail to make my run a total of 7 miles. NEVER did I think I would be able to run 7 miles again so quickly. Even with the walk breaks, I'm extremely impressed with my time of 1:08:02, and a pace of 9:43 per mile.

Monday, April 20, 2009

GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOO-HOO!!! I have chills, goosebumps, and even a tear or two in my eyes. Today's appointment with the podiatrist went better than I expected. First, my self diagnosis of plantar facitis back in January was correct! Yes, the quack of a podiatrist I saw back then incorrectly diagnosed me with achilles tendonitis. To his credit, the extremely painful cortisone injection he gave me worked well. I now know that the tingly feeling and feeling like there's something in my shoe at the ball of my foot is a result of what is called "Morton's Neuroma." Here's the link if you're curious about what it is... What does all this mean for me? It means I can start some serious half marathon and marathon training again. I spent $65 on a pair of medical grade orthotics, which are sitting pretty in my shoes as I'm typing this! They can be removed and used in any shoes I'm wearing. I also was happy to hear that I don't need to buy running shoes for overpronation. The podiatrist said to buy regular running shoes, and use the orthotics if I experience any pain. The $65 will obviously be money well spent. I'm off from work this week for spring break. I'm planning on reading my Jeff Galloway book and figuring out a training schedule so I can run the 4 races I have in the "Upcoming Races" section of my blog. Plus I will definitely attempt a long run later on this week, using the run-walk-run training. Even though I now know that there's nothing seriously wrong with my heel and foot, I still believe that is the best training program for me. Now, as long as I don't wake up and discover this is all a dream, I'll be good!! :-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A "Monster" Run

Linear Trail; 58 degrees; splits 9:19; 9:14; 9:26; 9:17; 37:16 total for 4 miles; 9:19 per mile pace.

As tempted as I was not to run on the linear trail today, I decided that a road run should wait at least until after my appointment tomorrow with my podiatrist. I decided to push myself today and instead of running for 6 minutes and walking for one, I ran for a mile and walked for a minute. I have "mixed reviews" on how successful it was. I started off feeling as if two days running in a row was a mistake. I felt like my stride was off, my legs hurt, and I was feeling tired. I even chugged a "Monster Lo Carb" energy drink on the way to the trail to try to get a temporary "boost." Then I remembered reading about Jeff Galloway's "left brain vs. right brain." As Jeff puts it, "Inside the left hemisphere at the top of your head is the center of logic. The left brain solves math problems, organizes and nit-picks, and conducts the structured cognitive activities during your workday. One of the primary missions of the left brain is to steer you in the direction of pleasure and away from discomfort. Any form of stress or perceived stress will stimulate this negative center of logic to produce a stream of messages to "slow down!"or "quit!"or to question your sanity: "Why are you doing this?" Because we rely upon the left side for logical guidance, we listen to these messages. If we're weak or tired, we're very likely to give in to the messages and compromise our goal." Well, I decided to listen to my right brain, which "Is a reservoir of creative solutions to just about any problem, challenge or obstacle. Through pacing, walk breaks and blood sugar-boosting, you can cut down dramatically on stress, reducing the negative left brain messages so that you stay on the right (brain) track." It worked! Whether it actually happened or not I don't know, but all of a sudden I felt a surge of energy from my energy drink. My stride was back, I was smiling, my legs stopped hurting, and I felt great. I noticed that the trees and bushes along the trail are finally starting to bloom, and the birds and ducks have returned. I was experiencing the running euphoria like I used to. It was a little more difficult than I had expected to run the entire mile before taking my "reward" of a one minute walk break. I was disappointed that I have lost that much stamina in just a few months. BUT, I ran for the second day in a row, my heel didn't hurt, and still doesn't hurt 8 hours later. My splits are fine, especially since they're consistent. As long as I continue to remind myself that running a faster time doesn't matter, (especially since I'm training to run another marathon), and my heel cooperates, who am I to complain?! P.S. I just looked it up. IF I was able to maintain that pace for a marathon, my time would be 4:04:16... my best marathon time is is good!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Linear Trail; 78 degrees; splits 9:47; 9:57; 10:37; 10:05; 9:39; 50:05 total for 5 miles; 10:01 per mile pace.

I'm feeling positive. I was able to schedule an appointment with another podiatrist for this coming Monday. After researching Connecticut Magazine's "Top Docs," I settled on a podiatrist in the town I work in. I was amazed to find out I could see him so soon. My heel actually is doing fine. The problem has shifted to the area below my little toe, on the "fatty" part underneath. Whenever I stand for an extended period of time, it feels as if it has swollen, and hurts like heck. Once I rest it, it goes away. I still have the tingly sensation however. So, Monday I'm hoping to get answers to my questions.
It was 78 degrees outside by the time I was able to get to the linear trail. I'm still not taking a chance and running on the roads yet. I decided to run-walk-run an extra mile today to see how my heel would react, and also to see if my split times would still be consistent. I couldn't have been happier. I didn't experience any pain, and my splits averaged out to just over a 10 minute average, mainly due to me refusing to take the one minute walk break with a half mile to go. Yes, that is allowed in the Jeff Galloway training! That's what is so great about his method. It's flexible in that if you're feeling good and want to skip the walk break at any time, you can. As of 9:30 at night my heel is still pain free, which is pretty amazing considering I just realized that I never iced it. I'm probably going to attempt another run tomorrow to see how it holds up with back to back runs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When 75 Minutes Is Forever

Linear Trail; 48 degrees; splits 10:01; 9:55; 10:41; 9:55; 40:32 total for 4 miles; 10:08 per mile pace.

Wonderful, marvelous, exhilarating...words cannot accurately describe how good it felt to run yesterday after a 2 week hiatus. The Jeff Galloway run-walk-run (TM) method is going to be my saving grace. I honestly believe that. A 10:08 pace per mile for running 6 minutes and walking for a minute over and over again works well for me. This was my third time using this method, and it was better than ever. The walk breaks allowed me to not only rest my heel, but also to feel fresh after a 2 week layoff. Unfortunately my heel still seems to be swelling after I run, and since I was going to the Mets home opener last night (They lost 6-5), I didn't have time to ice my heel. Fortunately the swelling disappeared as I sat watching the game. The "tingly" feeling still remains however. I do believe I'm making progress. Today I had an appointment scheduled with the podiatrist I saw 3 months ago. My gut feeling told me to go get a second opinion, but my laziness in not scheduling with a different podiatrist had me going to see him today. Keep in mind I scheduled this appointment 8 days ago. Yes, this is leading to something. I arrived at my 3:45 appointment 10 minutes early, since the traffic light Gods allowed the 4 million (OK, I'm exaggerating) traffic lights between my house and my podiatrist's office to be green. I walked in and was surprised to see 3 other people already sitting in the waiting room. At 3:45, I discovered that the women who was next had a 3:00 appointment. At 4:05, she went to see the podiatrist. At that point I determined that I would probably get to see the podiatrist at around 4:50 if I was lucky. At 4:30, the woman with the 3:30 appointment went in, so I figured that I had about another 15 or 20 minutes to go. At 4:50, the podiatrist started loudly questioning his office help why the woman was only scheduled for 15 minutes for a procedure that was going to take a lot longer. After a minute of listening to the podiatrist and staff member arguing, I decided that it was time to leave. Why should I stay there, when he was going to be running 90 minutes late by the time he saw me? I honestly believed that I would be rushed out of his office as quickly as possible, since by then 2 other people had sat down in the waiting room. Plus, how unprofessional were they to be arguing loudly enough for all of us to hear?! Also, wouldn't it have been courteous to let me know that the doctor was behind schedule, and see if I wanted to reschedule my appointment? So, tomorrow I will be scheduling an appointment with another podiatrist. I knew I should have trusted my gut feeling and not gone back. Oh well, live and learn...but, hey, again, other than a tingly sensation in my heel, it feels great!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone!

Hi everyone, and sorry I haven't been sociable. It's been a very busy past 6 days, with my wife working 14 hour days and me taking care of my son's needs. At least I found time on Friday to rent a "boy toy" core aerator and aerate my entire yard. Now that was fun! I was also able to squeeze in a quick 12 mile bike ride earlier this week on Wednesday. I really feel like aerating my lawn and writing about riding my bike is not blog worthy, since my purpose in creating this blog was to write about my running adventures. BUT, since I haven't run since March 29 (Has it really been 2 weeks?), I at least wanted to type something to let you guys know I'm still around. I apologize for not commenting on your blogs. I do read them every time you post. To be completely honest, my jealousy over all of you running has gotten the best of me and helped make me anti-social. I have an appointment with the podiatrist on Tuesday. I'm going to try to get in a short run of 3 or 4 miles between now and then just to see how my heel reacts. It's definitely feeling better, but it still has a weird feeling in it. meaning I'm thinking that when I attempt to run again, it's going to say "No way." I'm in a funk...I so badly want to be able to run the Fairfield Half Marathon on June 28, and of course hopefully the NY City Marathon in November. Honestly, if those are the last 2 races I ever run, I'll be ok with it. OK, I know I just whined and complained, but I needed to. Now, everyone have a very happy Easter, and for those of you (Carlee and whoever else)on vacation this week, ENJOY! I love you guys in blogger land!! There-I feel better already...

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Update Just Because I Want To

Well, I was LAZY this weekend and found excuses not to bike. I'm still not feeling that my heel is ready to attempt a run. Saturday was extremely windy, with gusts of 35 mph + winds. Plus it was chilly. I didn't have a difficult time convincing myself that unless I wanted to look like the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz riding through the air, then staying home and resting was a better idea. So I lounged around and watched HGTV and DYI and all those other network shows that have weird letters. I learned important lessons such as don't EVER think about trying to do plumbing by myself, not to work underground on the Baltimore subway repairing the track with molten steel hot enough to melt away your flesh, or work on the Chesapeake Bay bridge repairing it's support pillars during a torrential downpour. As I finish this extremely boring post, it's 9:45 p.m. and I'm noticing that being lazy the past few days has actually made a difference. True, I'm stuffing my face with unhealthy snacks to feel better, BUT my heel actually does feel better. Maybe rest combined with massive amounts of cake, chocolate, and potato chips is the key?! The funny tingly feeling has disappeared, and I can actually stand for a long period of time without shifting from heel to heel. Well, just to torture myself some more, I have an appointment a week from tomorrow with the same podiatrist I saw back in January. I have my toes crossed that rest, ibuprofen, and ice will actually work as planned. Oh, and a side note, I'm SO jealous that Carlee of "Chasing Forest Gump" ( was able to run the Danbury Half Marathon yesterday. I could have had a big, ugly, nasty blister just like hers had I been able to compete!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Maybe I Need to Change My Blog to "Marathonman Rides Again!"

Temperature: 67 degrees; 15 miles; 12.2 average m.p.h.; 1:13:52

First off, an update on my heel. My unprofessional prognosis isn't good. My heel won't heal itself. It now has this weird "tingly" feeling, and feels like the sensation you get when a part of your body has fallen asleep. I'm guessing that's not good, especially since it hurts like heck to stand, and isn't exactly fun to walk on either. I know I need to go back to the podiatrist, but I'm not sure if I want to go to a different one and get a second opinion. In any case, I need to decide in a hurry.
Today was an invigorating ride, with it actually feeling like a spring day. I was able to ride 15 miles total, 9 1/2 of which were on the linear trail. I passed by a lot of runners, and of course still felt a little jealous, but I'm getting better. I even startled a runner who was running with two of her friends by passing her on her left, as I was supposed to. However, she rudely reminded me that I should be saying "On your left" as I pass. OK, rude lesson noted. I also met a couple of friendly young girls who gave me a polite and loud "Hi" as I was struggling to ride to the top of a steep hill. I think that was their way of encouraging me to keep peddling. Lastly, I apparently was worthy enough for a car full of teenage girls waiting for a red light across the street to give me a shout out. I didn't hear what they were yelling, which probably was a good thing. I'm not exactly a stud muffin in shorts with my bony legs and "old man" running shorts. But, I will NEVER traumatize the entire town of Cheshire by wearing spandex biker shorts. I'm LMAO just typing that.