Sunday, May 31, 2009

Running + Walking = Faster Splits

Temperature: 78 degrees; Splits 9:47; 10:00; 10:01; 9:46; 10:19; 9:58; 11:09; 9:37; 9:17; 1:29:54 total for 9 miles; 9:59 per mile pace.

Today I did my "long one" the right way. Unlike this past Monday, today I remembered to follow the training schedule of running for 6 minutes and walking for one minute. What a difference! I was hoping to average a 10 minute per mile pace, even with the walk breaks. I parked at the linear trail, and did not see roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady's car, or the "killer cats." Bummer! My daughter Stephanie came along to roller blade, and we set up a meeting at the car for 90 minutes later. Just to be safe, I wore my tool belt and packed my cell phone and car key in it, as well as giving Stephanie a car key. Since I now had peace of mind, I was off and running. Great thing about wearing a Garmin Forerunner 305 is that I can run the roads and not have to map out my route ahead of time. My "random running" as I call it had me heading up a hill and down and around some side streets. My goal was to stay off main roads and run the back roads. Roads with sidewalks are always a priority. Between miles one and two I found myself running a difficult uphill, which passed by the site where members of the Petit family were murdered in July, 2007. I don't know if I should go there, but I am. **Feel free to skip down to the next paragraph if you don't want to read my take on it** Back in the 90's, I owned and operated a lawn care business. The Petits were a customer of mine. When I first heard the news about the murders, I was constantly trying to remember why their names sounded familiar. Two days later, it hit me....hard. I could remember meeting Dr. Petit and his wife Jennifer inside their home and talking to them. Usually when people called me for a lawn care quote, I would go to their homes, look at their lawn, and leave a quote in their mailbox. The Petits were different. They actually took the time to sit and talk with me, and we got to know each other. Weird thing is, I can still picture the checks they used to pay their bill: The font, the signature, etc. How and why I don't know. So today Dr. Petit lives his life as best he can, and what used to be a corner lot with a beautiful 2 story house is now a memorial garden with lots of flowers and a heart shaped flower memorial for his wife and two daughters.
The run-walk-run worked to perfection. I supplemented my run with my first Carb BOOM at the 3 1/2 mile point. My tool belt with it's two bottles of water wouldn't have been enough hydration, so smart me looped onto the linear trail between miles six and seven, and refilled one of my water bottles. So my scheduled one minute walk break became about two minutes, and the result was an 11:09 split time. At that time my roller blading daughter arrived, and shouted some encouragement: "Stop dogging it!" I quickly downed my second Carb BOOM, chugged some water, and was off and running again. I decided to run for seven minutes for miles 7 and 8 before walking to make up for my extended walking break. My strategy worked. Mile 8 was run in 9:37, and mile 9 was a 9:17. Impressive if I must say so myself. Overall, a perfect weather day for running, since it was sunny, breezy, and 78 degrees. My splits were better than I hoped for overall, and I finished strong and feeling great. I was able to spend quality time with my daughter, and we rewarded ourselves with 40 oz. 7-11 Slurpees afterwards! Life is good... :-)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

GU Chomps, Hammer Products, and Carb BOOM!

Linear Trail: Temperature: 76 degrees; Splits 8:19; 8:29; 8:44; 8:33; 34:05 total for 4 miles; 8:31 per mile pace.

Today's goal: Run between 30 and 40 minutes at a pace of 8:40 per mile. Ran for 34:05 at a pace of 8:31 per mile. YES!!

Back to running on the Linear Trail, since I wanted an easy run before tomorrow's scheduled 9 miler. Before arriving there I stopped by the local bike shop, which I normally drive by on the way to the trail, with the intention of buying a few bags of GU Chomps. Normally I use the "Hammer Nutrition" products, but since I've run out and haven't reordered, I figured I'd try the GU Chomps. Before I go on, I've added a link to this blog for Hammer products. It's a "win-win" situation, since you save 15% off your first order, and I get a 25% credit in my account for whatever you order. Please use referral number 128750. Thanks in advance if you order! Anyhow, a lot of people whose blogs I read have been raving about the GU Chomps. I actually ordered a sixteen pack of them this morning from RoadRunner Sports (Thanks Lisa for recommending their website). According to GU's website, the bike shop has the GU Chomps. Wrong! So I figured I'd look through their selection of energy gels. It took me about 5 seconds...they had one Powerbar Gel, and several Carb BOOM gels. I decided on two Banana Peach Carb BOOM and one Strawberry Kiwi Carb BOOM gels. Total cost: $5.25. What a ripoff. I'm glad I bought my GU Chomps online. It probably would have cost me twice as much at the bike shop.
Prior to leaving home, I made sure I drank enough water so that I wouldn't "wilt" in the 76 degree temperature. 76 degrees felt like a heat wave compared to the temperatures we've had in the 50's this past week. Thanks Lindsay for reminding me of that this past Monday. I chose to leave my "tool belt" (my kids definition of a tool belt: I look like a "tool" when I wear my running belt with it's 2 water bottles)at home, mainly because it wasn't humid and I didn't want to carry the extra weight if I didn't have to. I downed one of the Banana Peach gels. It tasted good, and I know it's not possible, but about a minute later I felt like I had a sudden jolt of energy. I began by running 7 Accelaration Gliders, and afterwards I was feeling strong and quick. Perhaps the Carb BOOM was working?? I felt that I was going to have to "hold myself back" in order to run an 8:40 per mile pace for 4 miles. Sure enough, my Garmin beeped at mile one and showed an 8:19 mile. At that point, following my Jeff Galloway training plan, I slowed to a slow jog for about 1/10 of a mile, then took off for my second mile. I was wondering where everybody was, since the parking lot was filled, but the trail wasn't. I was disappointed that I hadn't seen roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady. (See my May 20th post if you don't know who she is). I completed mile 2 in 8:29, meaning my attempt to slow down my pace was working. However, I was still 11 seconds too fast, but better too fast than too slow. I slow jogged and turned around and headed back towards the start. I resumed my regular pace, and was debating whether or not I should stop at the water fountain and drink. I decided not to since there were 3 people already on line. I was too anal at that point about my time to stop and wait, even though I felt thirsty and had the sun in front of me. "Lead leg syndrome" hit me shortly thereafter. I guess I should have stopped and waited to get a drink, or worn my tool belt. The Carb BOOM wasn't doing anything for me at this point, and the extras I bought were sitting in my car. I was scolding myself for not being smarter, and reminding myself to keep pushing on and move my legs faster. Garmin beeped after 3 miles, and it read an 8:44 split...4 seconds too slow. I was mad. I felt as if I had dogged it and let myself down. I reminded myself that I was training for a marathon. 26.2 grueling miles. 26.2 miles that I need to run at an 8:40 per mile pace along with one minute walk breaks. My pep talk worked. Mile 4 was an 8:33 split, so overall I ran a 34:05 for 4 miles, for an average pace of 8:31 per mile. Perhaps I was too hard on myself. The first two miles were 21 and 11 seconds quicker than I needed to run. Four seconds off for mile 3 wasn't the end of the world. I have to remind myself from now on that it's the overall pace per mile that really matters. So for 4 miles, I was 35 seconds faster than I needed to be. OK, so what's the problem?! I'm looking forward to the Fairfield Half Marathon 4 weeks from tomorrow. I want to see if I can master the run-walk-run training program well enough to break 2 hours and still feel as if I could have done it all over again when I complete the run. That will give me a better idea of whether or not a sub 4 hour marathon can be achieved by myself.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In Summary...

Wednesday's Run: Temperature: 59 degrees; Splits 8:57; 9:08; 9:11; 9:05; 8:57; 1:34; 46:52 total for 5.1 miles; 9:11 per mile pace.

Today's Run: Temperature: 56 degrees; Splits 8:20; 8:37; 8:30; 25:27 total for 3 miles; 8:29 per mile pace.

Yesterday's goal: Run between 40 and 50 minutes at a pace of 9:40 per mile. Ran for 46:52 at a pace of 9:11 per mile. Woo-Hoo!

Today's goal: Run between 20 and 30 minutes at a pace of 8:40 per mile. Ran for 25:27 at a pace of 8:29 per mile. Double Woo-Hoo!!

One more run to go for week 4 of my 26 week "Jeff Galloway" marathon training schedule. I'm psyched because I'm still feeling well health-wise. My heel is still a "non-issue." The training is doable, enjoyable and easy on my 52 year old body. If only the weather here would cooperate. I'm tired of temperatures 20 degrees below normal. But I guess I shouldn't complain. It could be 20 degrees ABOVE normal. Random thought: Anybody know a good website for buying GU products??

Monday, May 25, 2009

Killer Hills and The Twilight Zone

Temperature: 79 degrees; Splits 9:31; 9:39; 9:52; 10:08; 10:03; 10:15; 10:32; 10:49 1:20:49 total for 8 miles; 10:06 per mile pace.

Today's run was designed to be a "Long One," as Jeff Galloway calls it. In this case, it was a scheduled 8 miler, run at a 2 minute per mile pace slower than what pace I could normally run on the given day. In other words, if I felt I could run at an 8 minute per mile pace today, then I should run the 8 miles at a 10 minute pace. Also, I am supposed to adjust (add on time) for heat, humidity, and hills, and incorporate walk breaks every 6 minutes of running. That being said, I was planning on running as many difficult hills as I could during my 8 miles today. I felt that I needed to plan on running 10:40 minute miles (8:40 plus 2 minutes). Wow did I screw up! First, because of the heat and hills, I should have planned on 9 minute/11 minute per mile pace. I ran some "killer hills." Probably too many "killer hills." I started off strong, but by miles 3-4, I was quickly heading into the Twilight Zone. For me the Twilight Zone (Check out when I'm running, but I'm barely aware of my surroundings. I'm on autopilot. I even had my "tool" belt with 1 bottle of water and 1 bottle of Erev energy drink. Nope, I haven't bought any GU gel, GU chomps, or anything of the sort. So desperate me resorted to an energy drink. Dumb move. It never felt as if it kicked in. Perhaps if I hadn't zoned so much I would have remembered to take my walk breaks. That's right, I forgot to take my walk breaks. So after mastering the hills early on, I was zoning and getting slower by the mile. I thought about quitting at miles 6 and 7, but knowing that I was going to be writing this kept me going. Plus I had text Carlee, of Chasing Forrest Gump blog, and congratulated her for completing her first marathon yesterday. She happens to live in the same town as me. I also told her she was my motivator for running today, and I certainly had to suck it up and complete 8 miles, since it's only 30% of the distance she ran yesterday. Fortunately I completed the 8 miles, and averaged a 10:06 per mile pace. It's faster than I had to run, but it was definitely a struggle since I pretty much did everything wrong. Tomorrow I'm scheduled to run for 40-50 minutes at a 9:40 per mile pace. Normally that's not a problem, but after neglecting to take it as easy as I should have and use walk breaks, we'll see.

Saturday's Run

Linear Trail: Temperature: 59 degrees; Splits 8:45; 8:51; 8:36; 8:37; 34:49 total for 4 miles; 8:42 per mile pace.

"Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup, and looking up, I noticed I was late."
The Beatles: A Day in the Life

I'm late with this, but I have a good excuse. Saturday was my 28th anniversary. How many people these days stay married for 28 years? So knowing I was going to Boston with my wife, and also knowing that I chose Happy Hour over running on Friday, I felt guilty enough to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. After a cup of coffee to wake (sober?!) me up, and much procrastinating, I was off to the linear trail. The linear trail is kinda scary at 7 a.m. There was only one car there, and its owner was nowhere to be seen. I was hearing sounds that I had never heard before, and the gray, overcast sky added to the creepiness. I quickly turned on my mp3 player, and started running my first of 4 Acceleration Gliders (AG) on the nearby sidewalk. After the first 2, I noticed a peculiar looking woman parking across the street from the linear trail. More paranoia on my part. As I was completing my third AG, I noticed 2 large furballs next to peculiar lady's car. They hadn't been there when she parked. I did a "WTF," and slowly walked towards them, hoping they wouldn't attack me and leave me running for my life. "Curiosity killed the cat," but I was hoping it wouldn't kill me! The furballs turned out to be feral cats, and they were enjoying two large piles of cat food left by peculiar woman. I stupidly considered provoking them to see if they would chase me, figuring if I started my Garmin and timed it, I'd have a heck of a first mile time. I really shouldn't drink the night before a run I guess.
As far as the run, my goal was to sweat out the excessive amount of Sam Adams I drank the night before. OK, my REAL goal was the run at an 8:40 per mile pace for 4 miles. Miles 1 and 2 consisted of me thinking about how much fun I had with my co-workers drinking, and how interesting it was that even though I had stopped drinking 13 hours earlier, I was burping beer as I ran. I was also wondering if I was sweating beer. Gross, I know. Mile 1 was 8:45, 5 seconds too slow. Heck, I was impressed I was even that close! Mile 2 was 8:51 (Too much belching, not enough breathing!). I decided to push myself the best I could for the 2 miles heading back. Considering my "lead legs" and other issues, I had an 8:36 and an 8:37 split. So overall, I missed my 8:40 goal by 9 seconds over 4 miles. Overall, I'm thrilled. I completed my 4 runs for the week, and week 3 of marathon training is done. Today I'm scheduled to run 7-8 miles at a 2 minute slower than normal pace. It's going to be 75 degrees and sunny, and without the humidity problems that some of you are dealing with right now. I can't wait to get out and run....TTYL everyone! P.S. Check out Carlee's blog...she kicked ass in the Vermont City Marathon yesterday..

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

She's Baaaaaack!

Linear Trail: Temperature: 78 degrees; Splits 8:16; 8:31; 8:29; 9:04; :28; 34:48 total for 4.06 miles; 8:34 per mile pace.

(Originally posted by me on February 21): I need to start by talking about roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady. Somehow, someway, no matter what time I run, I manage to see her once or twice a week on the trail. She kind of looks like a skinnier version of Big Bird on roller blades. Maybe I'm thinking that because she drives the brightest yellow car I have ever seen. She's tall, VERY tall on roller blades, and roller blades along, swaying from side to side, and does a disco dance by repeatedly rotating her arms forward as she skates. Plus, she always seems to forget that I can actually hear her singing as she zips by. Funny thing is, I never recognize what she's singing. Probably because I'm too busy laughing and trying to get out of her way. So, once again roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, big bird looking, linear trail lady, thanks for putting a smile on my face, and not running me over.
OK, that being said, I'm psyched! This old man usually runs every other day, but I decided to go for 2 days of running in a row, just to see if I could do it. Well, I did it! After a week off for illness, I feel as if I'm moving along just fine, thank-you! I began with 6 Acceleration Gliders (AG from now on), followed by 4.06 miles at my marathon pace goal of 8:40 per mile. I have to admit I was concerned whether or not an 8:40 pace was going to happen. After the AG, I was feeling warmed up and ready to go. I had no idea how fast to run, so I focused on my Galloway recommended form and stride. Around the half mile mark I saw "roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady." I haven't seen her in at least a month. Mile 1, my Garmin beeped, and to my surprise it showed an 8:16 mile. Sweet! At least I knew I could back off a little for mile 2. Still feeling strong, I hit mile 2 at an 8:31 split, and followed that with an 8:29 mile 3 split. I decided to walk for a minute after mile 3, just to see if I could run-walk my last mile in my marathon mile goal pace of 9:09. I completed the last mile in 9:04. Double sweet! Overall, a great day, starting with my 6 AG to warm me up, entertainment courtesy of "roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady," and my split times better than my goal for the run. I'm taking tomorrow off from running. I've earned it, and my "steroid" lawn needs my attention.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Ho-Hum Run

Temperature: 68 degrees; Splits 9:18; 9:13; 9:27; 10:11; 9:41; 6:51 54:43 total for 5.72 miles; 9:34 per mile pace.

Week 3 of my marathon training continued with a scheduled 40-50 minute run at a pace of at least 1 minute per mile slower than my marathon goal pace of 8:40/mile run-walk-run; or simply put, I was scheduled to run between 40 and 50 minutes total at as close to a 9:40 per mile pace as I could. WHEW!
Before my run, I started by doing six Acceleration Gliders. Since I can't really do a good job explaining what they are, I'll cheat and copy and paste the info. below:

"Speed Training Without Aches and Pains: Acceleration Gliders"

"When done every three days or so, these little "pick-ups" will warm up your legs while they improve your running form. These are not sprints and are not hard to do. Your mission is to play with your momentum while running with less effort. The acceleration part is easy to do on a short stretch of downhill. Simply pick up the turnover of your feet (not your stride length) on the downhill, propelled by gravity, touching lightly with your feet. As you "coast² onto flat ground, maintain that increase without any significant effort. Then let the momentum gradually decrease back to your easy running pace for that day. Your goal is to glide very smoothly, even with a quicker turnover.

Acceleration Gliders in Six Easy Steps
1. Start your warm-up by walking for five minutes, then walking and jogging very slowly for 5-10 minutes and then easing into your running pace for that day. Warm down by reversing this procedure.
2. Go down! After you're warmed up, use a slight downhill segment of 20-40 running steps to get a little momentum. Be sure to keep the legs and body relaxed throughout, without increasing your stride length. As you reach the flat, coast along with the added momentum, touching the ground lightly and feet near the surface of the road or trail. If no downhill is available, pick up your leg rhythm by shortening your stride length and gradually increasing the turnover of your feet and legs for 20-30 steps. (Turnover is simply the number of steps you take per minute.)
3. After the first few steps of the acceleration, when you feel comfortable at the faster rhythm, let the stride lengthen just a bit if you wish, but don't let it get too long. Avoid any feeling of tension or over-stretching in the back of your legs.
4. You're now up to speed so just glide, keeping the feet low to the ground and using very little effort. At the first sign of this, reduce stride length, and touch lighter on your feet.
5. Continue gliding for between 10-30 steps.
6. Rest by jogging very slowly or walking between accelerations.

Your acceleration glider program

* Each of these offers you a chance to work on more efficient running form as described on pp. 114-115 in the Marathon You Can Do It (Shelter Publications, 2001).
* Warm up before each session with 10-20 minutes of walking and easy running (with walking breaks if you wish).
* Keep the legs relaxed throughout the warm-up, the gliders themselves and afterward. Ease into the gliders, using downhills as the accelerations. If you don't have a downhill available, accelerate by shortening the stride, picking up the turnover rate of the legs, and then relaxing as you glide.
* Start with three to five gliders and increase by one or two each session to a maximum of 10 or 12.
* Two of these sessions per week will help to reinforce form improvements mechanically.
* You can use these as a warm-up before hills, speed sessions or races. You may also do them during your recovery and maintenance runs each week."

Jeff Galloway

That being said, I followed them with a random run. A random run is my favorite. It's where I set out to run around town on roads I don't usually run on, and somehow end up back where I started within my allotted time. That's the nice thing about wearing a Garmin Forerunner 305. Well, I underestimated both the difficulty of the hills on part of the run, and also the distance left until I was back to the starting point. So overall I ran for about 10 more minutes then I had planned. The water fountain on the linear trail at exactly 4 miles cost me a minute plus of time, but it was worth it because I was "zoning" at that point. I usually dislike running for odd distances, (Just one of my many running quirks) but after 5.72 miles and 54:43 I arrived at my car and called it a day. Overall, I'm happy with the 9:34 per mile pace, and the entire run was as good as it gets. The steep uphills were challenging, but not really a problem. Even though I missed a week of running, I feel as if I'm quickly regaining my running mojo. I also dedicated mile 4-5 to Mel-2nd Chances, whose on a temporary break from running. Go check out her blog: She's an inspiration to me and everyone who reads it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Slooooooow Run! (Take it Easy)

Temperature: 52 degrees; Linear Trail: Splits 9:43; 9:43; 9:44; 9:51; 9:48; 9:09 57:58 total for 6 miles; 9:39 per mile pace.

I had a million excuses not to run today. I still have a cough and the bleepin' postnasal drip that goes along with it. It rained last night, and it was wet and dreary outside. Why was it only 52 degrees in Connecticut on May 17?! No shorts, sweats instead...Boo! My lawn needed to be mowed...How could I run 6 miles after being sick for a week? I missed my second week of marathon training, and I had to start my 3rd week with a 6 mile run???
But I ran...not only did I run for myself, but for all of you. My 11+ "Followers" are the motivation for me NOT to be lazy and say I can't do it. Especially those of you who are injured and want to run but can't. Every time I run I try to remind myself how lucky I am that I have the ability and the good health to be able to do so. Today's run, on the Farmington Canal Trail (aka "The Linear Trail), was slow, yet enjoyable. It just felt great to be running again. My goal was simple: to complete the run without taking any walk breaks. My time didn't matter. I felt good, except for not having the "bounce" in my running. It was a slow and steady run, and I tried to concentrate on my form and my steps. I took notice of how beautiful the trail looks now that all the trees are in bloom. I was surprised at how lonely I felt. Since it was a "blah" day, there was only about 5 cars in the parking lot. Usually there's 5 times that. Thank goodness for my music. Speaking of music, I listened to everyone's music recommendations. You did well! I now have to try to remember how to download your song selections onto my mp3 player. When I do, I will! Great thing is that I will have musical motivation from all of you whenever I run.
I also want to thank everyone for your well wishes. I really didn't expect 7 responses to a non-running post about my sinus infection and pink-eye. Each and every one of you put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye...or was the tear from my pink-eye?! In any case, thank-you, I love all of you, and I wish I could give everyone a hug. Oh, and Lisa, yes I'm aware that everyone commenting is a woman!! Don't worry, wiseass, my wife's ok with it!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sinus Infection and Pink Eye Guy

I guess I made the ultimate Dad sacrifice this past week. My son's feeling much better, and for all my effort the past week helping him I get "rewarded" with pink eye and a sinus infection. I have probably slept a total of 15 hours the past 3 nights. My running is on hold. The field trip scheduled for tomorrow, which was me driving our class to Citi Field to see the Mets game, is cancelled. My doctor told me to stay home. Other than the beforementioned, I'm doing well. How's everyone else doing?!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

One Week Down, 25 Weeks To Go

Thursday's Run: 2 miles; 16:51 (8:25/M)
Today's Run: Temperature: 62 degrees; splits 8:36; 8:40; 8:30; 25:46 total for 3 miles; 8:35 per mile pace.

Where do I begin? It's been a very challenging week, with my son being sick since last Saturday. Anytime he's not feeling well is a cause for concern, since he has Muscular Dystrophy. Well, 2 trips to the doctor, some medication, LOTS of albuterol breathing treatments, and he's doing better. He still isn't feeling 100%, but the important thing is his appetite's back, as is his sense of humor, which indicates he's feeling better. Yesterday what he has hit me HARD. I came home from work, took a three hour nap, and then slept for another 8 hours last night. When I put on my running clothes today, my wife thought I had lost my mind. I explained to her that since I was feeling better, and it was a beautiful day, that I was going to attempt a run. I knew I only had to complete 6 "Acceleration-Gliders" plus run 3 miles at as close to my pre-determined marathon goal pace of 8:40 per mile. Perhaps I should explain...After reading Jeff Galloway's "Marathon" book repeatedly, I finally have figured out my marathon training schedule. My goal is to run a 4 hour marathon. I have printed out individual calendar months for the next six months, and written my scheduled days training on each day. Yes, I'm anal, but I need the calendar visual. Every Sunday is called "The Long Ones." That is the most intense running day. At the beginning of training, there is hill training, or "Hill Play" as Jeff calls it. There's also "Speed Play" and mile repeats. The Long Ones will eventually involve some VERY long runs. But, you run the "long ones" at least 2 minutes slower than your normal pace. By the end of week 23, if all goes well, I will have completed a 28 mile Run-walk-run. Run-walk-run means that you run a certain distance, say a mile, then walk for a period of time, say a minute, then run a mile, walk a minute, etc. The longer the scheduled running distance, the sooner you take a walk break. Monday's and Thursdays are the optional cross training days, where I can ride my bike, swim (not!), run in the water, or use an exercise machine such as rowing or cross-country ski. Tuesday's runs are about 45 minutes at a pace of one minute slower than my marathon pace, meaning I need to average a 9:40 per mile pace. Wednesday's runs are around a half an hour at my marathon pace of 8:40 per mile, and Friday's runs are also at marathon pace, but for 45 minutes. As far as "Acceleration-Gliders," they are designed to help you improve your running form by using a relaxed and more upright body and legs, shorter and quicker strides, and an overall more efficient marathon running form.
Now that I've lost everybody, I will say that with this training program, I look forward to my runs. Today's run felt effortless, as did Thursday's. I am actually averaging better than the 8:40 per mile pace so far, and I'm doing so without really pushing myself. I realize that it's only been a week, but I'm encouraged by the variety of training, and the walk breaks that will be worked in as I increase my mileage. Hopefully this training program will help me stay injury-free. P.S. Thank-you to everyone for giving me a list of 3 songs to listen to while I run. As soon as I can find the time, I will download all the songs everyone recommended. Of course I will be commenting on the songs in future posts. So, stay tuned! Thank-you also for the well wishes for my son. If I could, I'd give everyone a big hug.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tuesday's Run, and New Tunes Please!

Temperature: 50 degrees; Linear Trail: Splits 9:09; 9:33; 9:28; 9:26; 45:01 total for 4.76 miles; 9:27 per mile pace.

Day 2 of the official start of my NY City Marathon training. As I've said in earlier posts, I applied to run the NY City Marathon on November 1st. I'll find out in a month whether or not I get to run it. If not, definitely next year, since I've applied the past 3 years, and get automatic entry after 3 rejections. I could make a joke about that, but I won't! (Think about it).
Rainy, "blah" kind of a day. It felt weird running a certain time, instead of a distance. But, by following Jeff Galloway's training plan, I was scheduled to run 40-50 minutes. So, 45 minutes of a run a mile and walk a minute ended up being 4.76 miles.
I need everyone's help. I'm bored with my 70's tunes. I want and need to listen to more "modern" music. Music that will make me feel more "with it" instead of being stuck in a time warp. Music that will help remind me of how all of you motivate me. Please post a maximum of 3 of your favorite songs to listen to while you run or workout. I promise I will download them into my mp3 player (someday I'll buy an ipod). This way I have the best of both worlds as they say. I'll have new motivational running music, and I'll have songs to remind me of everyone as I run. Thanks in advance. By the way, my apologies for not commenting on your blogs recently. My son has been sick. I am reading them however. Keep up the good work everyone, and PLEASE send me your tunes!! P.S. Hi Hillery!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

5K Race Report

First, I feel as if I need to give some advice about how NOT to prepare for a race. NEVER eat Weight Watchers Fruities (candy) the night before a race. They have a laxative affect. That being said, I probably ran today as light as I could thanks to the Fruities! (Fruities = tooties!!). My other bad decision was to chug a 16 oz. Monster Energy Drink during the 30 minute drive to the race. Fortunately the porta-potties were readily available, so a half hour before the race I was all set...until I stood on the starting line waiting for the race to start. I felt like one of those old farts on the Avodart commercial. Fortunately, me jumping around waiting for the race to begin just appeared to be me warming up. Yes, I completed the run without stopping in the woods!
As far as the race itself, it was (keyword) FUN! Carlee, Anais, and Lindsay, I appreciate the reality check about having fun. Being a new 5K race, I expected a few glitches pre and post race, and there was. First, it was advertised that there was chip timing. There wasn't. There was a girl with a notebook writing down your number after you crossed the finish line. I'm not sure how, but my posted finish time is correct. The starting line was 2 blocks away from the finish line, which was at a restaurant. I had no idea where it was, so I followed the crowd of runners. Speaking of crowd, there was none. By none, I mean absolutely, positively no one along the course cheering. But that's OK. Some dude on a bullhorn gave us our race instructions. Problem was, the bullhorn wasn't loud. The woman standing next to me WAS loud as she talked to her friends and drowned out what bullhorn dude was saying. As you guys know, the pre-race instructions are usually common sense anyhow. All I heard was something about orange cones, which I assumed was "Stay to the left of the orange cones or you'll get run over by a passing car and die a horrible death." I made sure I was ahead of as many possible "obstacles" (slow runners) as I could be. No offense to anyone, but don't line up near the front if you're going to finish in over 30 minutes. The race itself went well. The course was flat, and the entire time I kept reminding myself to relax and have fun. I pushed myself, but didn't overdo it since I'm not in my best running condition. The best part of the course was the quarter mile or so on a cinder trail through the woods. Funny thing about running and wearing my Garmin. The one mile marker was at 9/10 of a mile, and the 2 mile marker was at 1.9 miles, according to my Garmin. My Garmin beeped as I crossed the finish line, indicating I had run exactly 3 miles. Yet the race was a 5K (3.1 miles) race. I guess that's what happens with a new race on a course that's not a certified course. I'm not complaining...My heel is so good now that I even forget that I once had an injury. I placed 79th out of 244 runners. I came in 2nd in my division, and I beat my goal time of 23:44 with a 23:41 time. My goal has always been to place in the top 3 in my division. It was great to hear my name called during the awards presentation, and have my fellow runners clapping for me. I'll gladly accept the 2nd place award of four 2 oz. bags of Brioni coffee and a "Hotel California Tequila" t-shirt. Yes everybody. I'm a winner. A winner of the most bizarre race awards that I've ever seen. But seriously, I'm happy as can be. The coffee tastes great, my son loves the t-shirt, my co-worker will love the shot glass I received for finishing in the top 300 (everybody did, since only 244 persons finished!), and best of all I have an ass kicking race shirt. No, it's not a "tech t-shirt," but it's "cool." If I can figure out how to take a picture of it and post it here, I will. A few random thoughts: 1) It can't possibly be comfortable for a woman to run wearing tight white shorts and a black thong. Yup, "tighty-whitey" finished near the end of the race. 2) Every race has the guy (It's always a guy) who comes storming down towards the finish line making lots of high pitched breathing noises with a strong finishing kick. Dude, where were you the first 3 miles? Sorry, but if you have that much left for the finish, you're not pacing yourself well. 3) Where were the frozen (non-alcoholic) Margarita's that we were promised? There was fruit, water, salsa and chips, but NO frozen margarita's. I don't care that it was cloudy. I wanted a frozen margarita brain freeze. 4) I ran without listening to my music. I just wanted to give it a try. I think for 5K races I may keep doing it. The race goes by quickly anyhow.

5K Race Results..I Came in 2nd in My Division!!

OMG, I placed in the top 3 in my division!! Details later. Time for a shower...

Hotel California Baja 5000 5K
Glastonbury, CT, May 3, 2009



4 Hours to Go

4 hours to go until the 5K race. I honestly thought I was done entering any more new 5K races. Well, the lure of a 12 noon race with a cool free t-shirt and commemorative shot glasses to the first 300 finishers won out. So did the "post race chips and salsa and tropical fruits at finish plus frozen (non-alcoholic) Margarita to all finishers." So now I'm stressing. I want to finish in 23:44 or better, which according to my Jeff Galloway book, is the 5K time I need to run a 4 hour marathon. Checking my past race results, that time used to be attainable for me. I'm not sure if it is right now. I ran my 5K course here this past week, and I finished at 25:52, which when I do the math is over 2 minutes slower. So now what should be a fun and relaxing 5K race for me has become a too serious "I need to finish in the top 300 and run in 23:44 or better." Time to remind myself that I have 6 months to improve on my 5K time. Time to remind myself to chill and if I don't get a shot glass, who cares? I won't use the damn thing anyhow! Although my co-worker Carissa would like it since she collects shot glasses. Reality check time. I'm going to go run, have FUN, do my best and not re-injure myself. Practice what I preach...time is only a number. I'm 52, able to run pain free again, and most importantly, since it's a new race, I should be able to finish in the top 300 and get a shot glass! (JK)

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Was Tagged!

I just realized that I was tagged by Carlee 5 days ago. OOPS! OK, better late than never I here goes: (Responses are in no particular order)

8 Things I'm looking Forward To
1) My son's graduation on May 29
2) My 28th anniversary on May 24
3) The 5K race on Sunday. I want a shot glass!
4) Officially starting my marathon training next week
5) Taking my class to the Mets game on May 13
6) The 3 day Memorial Day weekend
7) The end of school on June 19
8) The end of the Swine Flu media frenzy

8 Things I Did Yesterday
1) Helped my son with his needs
2) Went to work
3) Planned the Mets field trip
4) Talked to a RUDE Customer Service Person who works for the Mets
5) Bowled after work...3rd place isn't bad (started drinking beer)
5) Ate and drank too much (continued drinking beer)
6) Played pool (badly) for the first time in 30 years (continued drinking beer)
7) Went to co-workers stag (yup, drank more beer)
8) Left stag early, went home. Stags bore me

8 Things I would Like to Do
1) Learn to swim so I can compete in a triathalon!
2) Meet all my "blogger buddies" in person
3) Run the NY City Marathon
4) Put a smile on the faces of everyone I meet
5) Travel somewhere with my wife (Second Honeymoon)
6) Win an award competing in a race (But it's OK if I never do)
7) Buy my wife a new car-she deserves one
8) Win the lottery, so I can do #7

8 Shows I Watch (Sorry, I'm boring)
1) Prison Break
2) Jon and Kate Plus 8
3) Little People, Big World
4) House Hunters
5)Yard Crashers
6) Desperate Landscapes
7) Sportscenter
8) Mike and Mike in the Morning

8 People I Tag
Ummm, how about anyone reading this who hasn't been tagged lately?!