Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yesterday's Run, and the Winner Is...

Random Road Run: Temperature 82 degrees; Splits 9:19; 9:16; 9:22; 9:22; 9:10; 4:17; 50:46 total for 5.5 miles; 9:13 per mile pace. (Planned pace was 9:30).

I'll keep it short and sweet, since all you care about is who won the raffle... :-) Hot and humid run, but despite that I challenged myself with lots of hills and did better than my goal of a 9:30 per mile pace.
OK, as far as the raffle goes, I didn't e-mail everyone their ticket numbers because it really didn't make sense to. Bottom line is, you guys seem to trust me to have had a fair raffle. I allotted the tickets as promised, put all of them in a bowl, and took one out. The winner is.....Lindsay from "Chasing the Kenyans" blog. She will receive a case (24) of Vanilla Bean GU gel, as well as a custom made t-shirt with whatever she wants put on it. Thank-you everyone who entered.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Next "Race"

My daughter and I ran in this last year. I told her I would run the course with her and a co-worker of mine. Needless to say, I didn't, and finished a few minutes before them. This year my daughter and I will be running the entire "race" together. I learned a valuable lesson during the Petit 5K race. Quality father-daughter time during a 5K is much more important than my finishing time. I'm hoping my co-worker will also run with us. Check out the link below, and you'll see why I have "race" in quotation marks. The free beer afterwards certainly motivates me also!

ALSO: Check out photo #268...my daughter and I finishing the Petit 5K together...Priceless!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

18 Miles? No Problem!

North end of Cheshire random run: Temperature range from start to finish: 59 degrees to 69 degrees. Splits 9:43; 10:11; 9:46; 10:09; 10:23; 10:23; 10:10; 10:28; 10:34; 10:50; 9:48; 11:08; 10:38; 10:14; 9:51; 10:20; 10:12; 9:39... 3:04:28 total for 18 miles; 10:14 per mile pace.
(WARNING: Post-run runner's high still in effect. This post is all over the place)

I woke up at 4 a.m. today, determined to be out of the house and on the road by 5 a.m. (side note: I started running at 5:20..OOPS!)so that I could beat the scheduled 85 degree temperature and humidity. I ate my normal breakfast of 2 english muffins with Smart Balance Light and strawberry jelly, downed a big cup of coffee, and started packing both "tool belts" with my 18 mile runner's survival kit: 2 bottles of ice cold water, and 2 bottles of water mixed with Hammer Nutrition's unflavored "Sustained Energy" powder. I left one tool belt with a bottle of Sustained Energy and a bottle of water in my garage for the halfway point of my run. The Sustained Energy comes in 85 gram packets, and I mixed each one with about 20 oz. of water. Here's the info. about it:* Enjoy sustained energy hour after hour.
* Easy to digest.
* Reduce muscle fatigue & recovery time.
* Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly.
* Contains no MSG.

"One of the original long distance fuels, Sustained Energy has attained a legendary status in the world of endurance sports since its introduction in 1992. Tested and proven in virtually every endurance event on the planet, Sustained Energy's unique 7:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, and it's neutral flavor, is still the first choice of thousands of athletes. After about two hours of exercise you need to have some protein in your fuel or you will start to cannibalize or break down precious muscle tissue."
Well, I certainly don't want to "cannibalize" my muscle tissue, do I?! I also downed my favorite energy gel, a Vanilla Bean flavored GU Energy Gel the recommended 15 minutes before I started running, and sucked down 2 more at about the recommended 45 minute and 1 1/2 hour intervals of my run. I regretted not having more of them on me. Instead I tried, for the first time, a tangerine flavored PowerBar gel, at about the 2 1/4 hour part of my run. It has 50 mg, or 2 times the normal caffeine of other gels, or so they claim. All I can say about it is "YUCK!" It tasted horrible, and I literally gagged it down. I also have it in double latte flavor, so to be fair I'll try that flavor at some point. Both were freebies at the Petit 5K Race, so at least I didn't spend any money on them.
Today's run was the first time in my Jeff Galloway training plan that I was supposed to run less and walk more. What I mean is that up until today, my "Long Ones" as he calls them, consisted of me running for a mile (approximately 8 1/2 to 9 minutes), and walking for a minute. Starting today, I was supposed to cut back to running for 5 minutes, and walking for a minute. Galloway's reasoning is that "These walk breaks shift the use of the muscles before they get over-fatigued. You'll have better muscle response late in the run and will recover faster.. There is NO reduction of endurance when you take walk breaks." Well, he's right. Twelve days ago I ran 16 miles with a walk break every mile, and averaged a 10:18 per mile. Today, with the more frequent walk breaks I averaged a 10:14 per mile pace. More walking resulted in a faster per mile pace overall!! OK fellow bloggers, if you haven't realized it by now, then I'll repeat myself: I LOVE THIS MARATHON TRAINING PLAN. The miles go by quicker and easier, and I find myself focusing on my Garmin and the 5 minute and 1 minute intervals, rather than on how far I've run and how many miles I have left. Come on...all of us can certainly run for 5 minutes and walk for a minute repeatedly, right?! Talk about something to look forward to..even left brain was OK with this training run today. You know from my last post how difficult left brain can be!
Between properly hydrating myself (Proud of me Lindsay?!), the GU gels, and the frequent walk breaks, I ran well and still feel well. It's 10 hours after my run, and other than a little leg and toes pain, I'm feeling great. How much of this is due to the Hammer Nutrition products and GU Gel I don't know. I have a scheduled 20 miler on August 9th. Maybe I'll run without the Hammer Nutrition products and see if I feel as good as I do right now. In closing, I believe I could have run-walk-run 26.2 miles today. At a 10:14 per mile pace, that would have been a 4:28:41 marathon time. Not bad, and certainly I would be happy if I have that time in NY.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Linear Trail: Temperature 85 degrees...hottest day of running in a while (Yuck!). Splits 8:55; 8:45; 8:43; 8:56; 8:50; 8:42; 52:51 total for 6 miles; 8:48 per mile pace. (Planned pace was under 9:00).

It was hot. It was humid. I didn't want to run. I know a lot of you can relate to that. Running the NY City Marathon in 101 plus days is a good thing, because it motivates me to suck it up and run. I looked in my box of Hammer product goodies for some pre-run help. I decided to try the Endurolytes, which I had never used before. I took one pill. According to their website, "Cramping is your body's final warning signal that you're on empty electrolyte wise. However, your performance is deteriorating and you are slowing down long before you feel the slightest twinge of a cramp. To keep your body's muscular, digestive, nervous, and cardiac systems firing on all cylinders you need a consistent supply of all electrolytic minerals, not just sodium and potassium. Plus, in many instances, you require greater volumes of electrolytes than any sports drink or gel can provide. That is why Endurolytes fulfills such a crucial component of your fueling by supplying your body with a perfectly balanced, full-spectrum, rapidly assimilated electrolyte source, allowing you to meet your widely variable electrolyte needs with tremendous precision, hour after hour, no matter what the weather throws at you." Sounded good to me, especially I've been feeling like a cramp was coming on at times the past few weeks, plus the warmer temperature. I also mixed up 20 oz. of Heed and stashed it in a bottle in my "tool belt": "HEED's subtle tasting, all-complex carbohydrate formula goes down easily and supplies you with consistent, long-lasting energy and the electrolytes you need to keep pushing the pace. Because we add no citric acid to the formula, it will not burn your throat or stomach no matter how long you drink it. HEED's sweeteners - stevia and xylitol - are actually good for you, xylitol being especially beneficial for helping promote oral health. The full-spectrum, all chelated mineral, electrolyte profile helps satisfy your body's mineral requirements. L-Carnosine and Chromium Polynicotinate help to buffer lactic acid and support stable blood glucose levels. If you prefer sports drinks over energy gels or like to use the two together, try HEED and find out what a sports drink done right can do for your athletic performance." OK, you get the idea.
I started off feeling great. Although it was 85 degrees, running on the Farmington Canal trail makes everything seem so much better. No traffic to dodge, no hills to go up or down, and best of all today, it was the return of drum roll please..."roller blading, disco dancing, karaoke singing, linear trail lady." See my May 20th post for more about her. Strange thing was that she actually was skating normal-no singing out loud or disco dancing. Oh well. Anyhow, I was running a comfortable and effortless pace, just happy to be running on a summer day. I reached mile 1, and Garmin beeped and showed me a respectable time of 8:55. I was off to a good. I was saving my Heed, figuring once I started to feel dehydrated I'd start drinking it. The voice of Lindsay (http://www.chasingthekenyans.com/)always reminds me to properly hydrate ever since I was a "space cadet" a few months ago and she commented in my blog to hydrate AHEAD of time as well as during my runs. Mile 2 came quickly and easily also, and Garmin showed me an 8:45 second mile split. I was running easy, despite the 85 degree temperature, humidity, and not much available shade. I hit a flat, open, full of bright sunshine area of the trail, and started taking drinks of Heed. Around mile 2.3 (Garmin is so precise!), I felt as if I was running on a treadmill with rocks in my pockets. Worse yet, as I approached an elderly couple walking on the other side, I suddenly became light headed, staggered, and regained my balance. ( I swear Lindsay, and everyone else, I drank enough water before my run, and up to that point). I quickly explored my options: a)stop; b)stop and walk; c)run slower and see what happens. Quitting never entered my mind. I went into "marathon mentality." That is, I asked myself "What are you going to do if this happens in the NY City Marathon?" Answer: c)Slow down to a slow jog, regroup, and regain my normal pace (hopefully). So I slowed down, chugged some more Heed, wiped myself off with my favorite small running towel that I carry in my pocket, and cursed myself for not bringing my favorite energy food, my Vanilla Bean GU energy gel. I was hurting, or at least I thought I was. It was left brain vs. right brain, and I was going to make sure that right brain won. (See April 21 for explanation of right and left brain). Right brain was telling me that I could do it, that the Heed and slower pace was going to help revive me, and get my mojo back. Left brain was telling me that I now felt like I had cement shorts on, it felt like a zillion degrees, and I might be better off just walking. I continued on, using the marathon mentality of just put one foot in front of the other, and keep running. My Garmin beeped, meaning I had "finally" reached the 3 mile/turnaround point of my planned 6 mile run. I reluctantly looked at my split time: 8:43. HUH?! I thought I was hallucinating. My 3 mile split was faster than my previous two splits? I don't know how it happened, except maybe I was so spacey that I didn't realize how well I was running. I decided to reward myself for toughing it out, as well as preparing myself for the last half of my run, so I slowed to a walk, chugged some more Heed, toweled myself off, and gave myself a pep talk, all in about 15 seconds. My first thought as I resumed running was that I wasn't going to be able to run a nine minute or better split for mile 4, since I had walked. Right brain reminded me that with the Jeff Galloway method of training, walk breaks help me revitalize and run well. At about the 3 1/2 mile point, I suddenly felt great again. I indeed was revitalized! Thank-you Heed, Endorolytes, and Jeff Galloway. I wasn't feeling quite as well as I did at the start, but at least I had lost the "lead legs." I reached the end of mile 3-4, and was pleased to see an 8:56 split. I still hadn't run a 9 minute split, which was my goal. Better yet, I was now feeling as good as I did at the beginning of my run. I picked up my pace, and reached mile 5 at 8:50. I was now 5-5 with sub 9 minute miles. I certainly wasn't going to run mile 6 slower. I wouldn't allow myself to. I reached for whatever physical and mental energy I had left. I was smiling, and having fun again. I was alert, I was sane, I was almost done in what felt like a short mile. Garmin beeped and rewarded me with my best split of the day: an 8:42. I was finished. I had sucked it up, defeated the heat, humidity, and left brain. It was time for a reward. I headed to 7-11 and celebrated with a 32 oz. Slurpee. As I've said in previous posts, try one sometime after a run on a hot day. It's cold, refreshing, and delivers a wicked brain freeze. P.S. Anybody out in Bloggerland want to do a team relay of 12 runners from Connecticut to Boston??? Check out this link: http://www.ragnarrelay.com/boston/index.php

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's Run, and a Freebie For You

Random Road Run: Temperature 79 degrees. Splits 8:44; 8:56; 8:54; 9:00; 8:28; 8:10; 52:12 total for 6 miles; 8:42 per mile pace. (Planned pace was 9:00).

What can I say? I felt good at the beginning, I felt good at the middle, and felt great at the end of my run. Hey, I even did a 9:00 split time after taking a "break" to shed some excess water weight. (Think about it...on second thought, don't think about it!). I think I've found the main reason for my success: proper footwear. I've noticed that since I bought new running shoes (ASICS GT-2140), my running aches and pains have decreased. I'm so glad that my podiatrist told me I didn't need running shoes for overpronation. My hip and knee pains are gone. By the way, I so smoked the 6th mile!
OK, as promised, my version of a giveaway/freebie. I want to keep this simple. I'm giving away a 24-pack of GU Energy Gel, Vanilla Bean flavor. Here's how you win it. I'm having a raffle. 1)You earn 5 tickets for being a member of my blog. 2) If you refer someone to my blog, and they post a message stating that you referred them, then you earn 10 raffle tickets for each person you refer. 3) You also can earn 3 tickets by adding me on Facebook. Click on my Facebook link on the right. If you already have, then you've already earned the tickets. 4) I have to encourage/bribe everyone to donate to my fundraising effort for team Autism Speaks. So, you get one raffle ticket for every dollar you donate to my fundraising effort. If you have already donated, you're all set with tickets. You can click on the link on the right in order to donate. 5) If someone you refer to my blog donates $$ to Autism Speaks, you will receive 1 raffle ticket for every dollar that they donate.
If you want your raffle tickets mailed to you, please e-mail me your address at cotaman@yahoo.com, and I will mail you your tickets. Otherwise, I will e-mail you your ticket numbers, and keep your tickets here. Raffle winner will be drawn on July 28th, which is my birthday! I will mail the prize to the winner. Hopefully I have covered all the rules. If not, PLEASE let me know. This is my first raffle, and I'm trying to keep it simple. In closing, I do want to say that I am not raffling the GU gel to promote it. I bought an extra case of it since I use it and like it, so I thought I'd share it with you guys. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!! The winner will also receive a t-shirt custom made with any logo, saying, picture, etc. of their choice. T-shirt will be white, but not "see-through."

5K Race Report...Quality Father-Daughter Time

I've run races with my 27 year old daughter before. Races where I've driven in my car with her and spent quality time together. Races where we've both wandered around beforehand, just talking and enjoying the pre-race atmosphere and freebies. We always go to the start line together, and nervously wait for the race to begin. Once or twice I even said that we would run together the entire race, only to have her tell me to "go ahead" because she couldn't keep up with me and knew I wanted to run faster. I always finished those races about 4 minutes before she did, but at least I was always at the finish line to cheer her on. OK, MOST of the time I was at the finish line cheering her on. Other times I would be stuffing my face with post-race food, or at the porta-potty as she finished. We always had a meeting place for after the race, so at least I never lost her! All of that changed yesterday. I wasn't going to enter the "GE Petit Family Foundation Road Race." It's for a great cause, which I mentioned in an earlier blog post. You can also "Google" it to find out the details. It's difficult for me to write about it again, so if you want to know my connection to it all, go back and read my post from May 31. So anyhow, my daughter laid the guilt trip on me last week about entering it: It was the second year, so the glitches from last year would be solved; there's great freebies; and most maybe the free race shirt wouldn't be so feminine looking (Side note: My wife loves the shirt). Of course she also played the "We can go together" card also. She didn't bother to ask if we could actually run together. So I entered the race, obviously. The past week I thought about the race, and the reasons for the race. To use the motto for the race, Yesterday was going to "Be the change." I was going to run the entire 5K race with my daughter. I was going to be a father, a companion, a friend, a running buddy to my daughter. I was going to let my daughter know how much I love her, appreciate her, and enjoy running with her. So I did. I ran the entire race with her. Sometimes we talked, sometimes we ran through sprinklers together to cool off, but mostly we just ran. I taught her the art of dodging "obstacles," or slower runners. I taught her to use the sidewalk for the first mile if necessary to get around the obstacles. At one point she told me to "get away." I thought she was telling me to leave her alone. Turns out there was "smelly guy" in front of her, and she needed to hurry up and get around him! The last half mile to the finish is a slight uphill, on a wide road. About 50 yards from the finish line she suddenly went into an all out sprint. I thought she was trying to beat me, so I stayed with her and asked her to grab my hand, so that we could finish together, holding hands. She did, and we did. She officially finished in a personal best time of 26:36, while I finished in 26:37. She had never finished a race in under 27 minutes before, so she was happy. I also found out why she was running so fast at the finish. As we were near the finish line, she spied her ex-boyfriend catching up to us. She wasn't going to let him beat us, and he didn't. He finished in 26:38, 2 seconds behind my daughter. Nice to know my usually non-competitive daughter has it in her to kick some ex-boyfriend's ass at the finish line. Overall, it was one of the slowest 5K times I have ever run, but it was also the most enjoyable race I have ever run. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, beats quality father-daughter time together. Giveaway update: Details later, or tomorrow. Fundraising update: I've raised $1503.20. SWEET!

Friday, July 17, 2009

This Run's For You!

Thursday: Linear Trail: Temperature 80 degrees. Splits 9:20; 9:19; 9:06; 9:03; 9:01; 8:37; 54:26 total for 6 miles; 9:04 per mile pace. I'm happy, since I was planning on a 9:40 pace.

Today: Random Road Run: Temperature 85 degrees and humid! Splits 8:43; 8:29; 8:53; 8:41; 34:46 total for 4 miles; 8:41 per mile pace. Good pace, if I must say so myself. It was hot and humid today.

Yesterday's run was scheduled to be 45-55 minute run at a 9:40 per mile pace. I packed my "tool" (hydration) belt, one bottle of ice cold water, downed a GU vanilla energy gel, and drove to the linear trail. I decided to dedicate each mile to a follower of my blog. If a mile wasn't dedicated to you, I promise one will be in the near future! That being said, mile 1 was dedicated to Anais (http://through-greeneyes.blogspot.com/). Anais hurt her ankle recently, so I decided she earned my mile 1 dedication. Anais inspires me to do well more than she realizes. Mile 1 was also my slowest mile...LOL! I probably just offended her, but maybe I can make up for it by saying my original plan was to run my 6 miles at a 9:40 pace. Mile 2 was about the same: 9:19, and was dedicated to Lisa,(http://watchlisarun.blogspot.com/)whose also injured but kicking ass with her workouts at the gym. As I finished mile 2, I was feeling strong. I seem to respond well to the GU vanilla gel. More on that later. Mile 3 was dedicated to Mel (http://mel-2ndchances.blogspot.com/), whose blog will always inspire me. She has gone through a lot in her life, and that has made her stronger. So strong that she's now training for a "Tri." Go Mel! Mile 4 was Carlee's (http://chasingfg.blogspot.com/). At that point in my run, I had turned around in Hamden and was heading back along the part of the trail that (I think) Carlee runs a lot. Carlee is a member of "Team in Training," who I actually saw at the Fairfield Half Marathon. They seem like a great group of people, and even had members along the course cheering on not only their team members, but everyone else as well. From their website: "Team in Training Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training® (TNT) has grown to become an unparalleled sports training program. More than 389,000 participants, from first timers to seasoned athletes, have trained with the Team and achieved their best at marathons, half marathons, triathlons, 100-mile century bike rides and hiking adventures." BRAVO to them. Mile 5 was dedicated to Mel, aka "Tall Mom on the Run." (http://tallmomontherun.blogspot.com/). Mel is a running babe, who also used to play basketball for Gonzaga. Yes, I called her a "babe." She runs a lot, runs well, and from what I can tell from her blog does a great job balancing her career, running, and family life. Mile 6 was dedicated to Lindsay (http://www.chasingthekenyans.com/). At that point, I was "smokin'" I was loose, I was feeling no pain, I was apparently vanilla GU gel good. Lindsay, I believe, is the 2009 version of "The Bionic Woman." She runs a lot of days, and a lot of miles, and runs damn FAST! Hence my theory about her not being human.
OK, no report about today's run? Why? Because 1) I've babbled on enough, and you can read my splits above; and 2) I'M GOING TO HAVE A GIVEAWAY!! DETAILS LATER...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Next Race

It's for a great cause...and my daughter is running it too!! http://www.petitroadrace.com/index.shtml

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yesterday a Reality Check and OUCH!

Random Road Run: Temperature 77 degrees. Splits 9:21; 9:50; 10:03; 9:55; 11:29; 10:04; 10:20; 10:09; 9:34; 11:38; 10:06; 10:07; 11:48; 10:17; 10:08; 10:06 2:44:55 total for 16 miles; 10:19 per mile pace.

I am not going to run a 4 hour marathon. I may not even run a 4:30 marathon in New York. Long runs hurt. Long runs are mentally and physically challenging. Long runs make me realize that I'm 52 (53 on July 28), and that I'm definitely making the right decision by planning on NY being my last marathon. I wanted to quit yesterday after about 10 miles of my scheduled 15-16 mile run. I could have quit and had a legitimate excuse after 12.35 miles. My son and his personal care assistant arrived home while I was taking one of my three scheduled water breaks. I went over to the van to say "Hi" before continuing my run, and got nailed in the knee by the unfolding wheelchair lift. I followed that with an awkward ass landing on the now unfolded ramp. My son and his personal care assistant felt bad, and at the same time of course tried not to laugh. I actually benefited from the ramp attack. It made me more determined than ever to continue, and even run 16 miles even although I could have quit after 15. I now have a bruised left knee to go along with my ugly scar on the same leg that I received during my last run.
Overall, the miles went by quicker than expected, and I couldn't believe I ran for almost 3 hours. Correction, I ran-walk-ran for almost 3 hours. As I've repeatedly said, Jeff Galloway's training program works for me, and it works well. My splits are fairly consistent the entire run, with the exception of the three times I was at my home taking my water breaks. I'm thrilled that my split times at miles 14-16 are as good, if not better, than my splits midway through my run. I decided to do at home water breaks instead of wearing my tool (hydration) belt, which feels like I'm carrying too much extra weight over a long distance. I also packed my Blueberry GU Chomps for carbs. As much as I like the Chomps, I actually prefer the Hammer Gel (see link on right) or GU Gel better. It may be psychological, but I feel like I get a power surge whenever I use the gels, while the Chomps just don't seem to do anything for me. At the end of my run, I was wiped. I had the post run "brain strain," where I could tell, and my family could tell, that I wasn't completely with it. My legs were spent, and during the last couple of miles, I was fighting off possible leg cramps. My toes, which I had covered with petroleum jelly, were also sore. I haven't experienced that since the Hartford Marathon last October. In my mind, and in my body, yesterday's run was a marathon. A 16 mile marathon. Could I have run-walk-run another 10 miles yesterday? Honestly, probably not. But that's ok. I have the next 109 plus days to prepare myself mentally and physically for New York. Correction... Mentally I'm feel I'm ready. Since the Fairfield Half Marathon, and after yesterday's run, I know I have the mental ability to suck it up when I have to. I just have to make sure that I'm physically ready for the 26.2 miles. As most of you know, 26.2 cannot be taken lightly. My experience from my two previous marathons, and especially reading everyone else's recent marathon runs is a constant reminder of how challenging a marathon is. I will be ready.
Fundraising update: Anais, of "Through Green Eyes" (http://through-greeneyes.blogspot.com/) has been supporting me both monetarily and through her blog. Thank-you so much, Anais. Of course, thank-you everyone else who I have mentioned in previous posts for your donations. I'm happy to say that I've reached my first fundraising goal of $1300 a month ahead of time! WOO-HOO! Yes, I have goosebumps as I type this. I'm at about $1350 right now. My fundraising link still shows $1007 sonce I haven't mailed them my latest donations. I'm still going to have a pizza eating contest; probably also a beer pong competition, and a car wash. I'm also going to have some type of an ice cream fundraiser, and maybe a bowling activity. Stay tuned for more details. As usual, thank-you for your support. It's also great to be back here in bloggerland, after a week off from running. The graduation party went well. Check me out on Facebook (link on right) for more party info. It's also a great place to find out what else I do besides run. Time for me to check on everyone and see how you're doing. Love you guys!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I Haven't Run Because...an Update

I won't be running this week. No, I'm not injured, thank goodness. My next run may not be until Monday, which is a scheduled 16 miler. We're having a Graduation Party for my 23 year old son this Saturday, so I'm going crazy getting the outside work done around our house. Plus I found time to help my 27 year old daughter with patching, priming and other assorted things in the condo she just purchased. Getting back to my son, I think I've mentioned that he has Muscular Dystrophy. We're very proud of him for not using his disability as an excuse to be lazy and "helpless." He has wonderful personal care assistants that drove him to college (Southern Connecticut State University) and took notes for him. It took him six years to get his Bachelor's Degree, but so what?! Now he just found out that he's been accepted into Quinnipiac University in the Masters of Science in Journalism program. We are so proud of him. We have about 50 friends, co-workers, and family coming to our home, including some longtime friends of mine who I only see a few times a year. It's going to be a blast! By the way my fellow bloggers, if anyone wants to travel to Connecticut and crash the party, that's cool! Just check my facebook link to the right for info.
Autism Speaks fundraising is going great. I'm up to about $1075, and still have the fundraisers to do that I mentioned in a previous post. I will also be having a pizza eating contest fundraiser in a couple of months, with a large "pig trophy" going to the winner. A local restaurant is helping me out with it. Anyhow, love all you fellow bloggers, and I'll try to comment on your new posts. If not, you're still in my thoughts, and I'll catch up next week.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Random Road Run: Temperature 79 degrees. Splits 9:26; 9:32; 9:40; 9:37; 10:08; 9:30; 9:31; 9:06; 1:16:30 total for 8 miles; 9:34 per mile pace.

Today's run was scheduled to be 7 miles run-walk-run at a 9:40 per mile pace. I packed my "tool" (hydration) belt, one bottle of ice cold water, a banana flavored Hammer gel, and drove to the linear trail. I bought a couple pair of Nike running shorts with the $50 I had in Dick's gift cards, and today's run was going to be a test run of one of them. One problem: No pockets. I like having pockets on running shorts, so I can store my small sweat towel, my gel or GU chomps, and my car key. After the initial panic of what I was going to do, I realized that the gel and towel could go in my "tool" belt (Duh!), and the key inside my shorts in what apparently is a key pocket. Wow, I learn something new every day! That being solved, I decided to do a random run, where my Garmin and I run randomly around Cheshire. As a reward, I would make sure the last 1 1/2 miles were run on the linear trail. Off I went, and the miles flew by. Running for a mile, and walking for a minute certainly has its benefits. Between miles three and four I started looking for potential bathroom break sites, and spied a good one off the road and in some woods behind a small brick building that looked like it housed some electrical stuff. Of course I now had to plan my run so that I would be able to loop back and end up at that point during my allotted one minute walk break. With 6/10 of a mile to run before my walk break, I knew that all I had to do was run 3/10 of a mile, turn around, and head back. Easy! I arrived back there as planned, quickly sucked down my Hammer banana gel (one of my favorite flavors)as I walked behind the building, and felt a sharp pain as I sliced my left shin on a branch. A two inch wide gash is the price I paid for creating a bathroom. The metal fence around the brick building concerned me, and in order to avoid possible pain in a more delicate area I kept away from it. Mission accomplished, I resumed my run. I went down a side street, and saw the entrance to Roaring Brook Falls. I ran along the dirt/mud path, past a brook filled with algae, and got scared by a extremely fast squirrel that ran across in front of me. I really wanted to see the falls, which according to ctwaterfalls.com: "This is the highest single drop waterfall in the state. The falls are quite spectacular especially in the spring or after a heavy rain. The falls have not been turned into a park and have been preserved in their natural beauty by the Cheshire Land Trust. A great place to see falls as they are in nature." Problem was I had no idea how much further I had to go, I was now being attacked by flies, and a check of my Garmin told me I was already at 5 1/2 miles, with what I knew was more than 1 1/2 miles to go back to my car. So I promised myself I'd go back another time and turned around. I headed down the road, turned left, and knew that at some point I would come to the linear trail. I really didn't know how much further that would be. Yes, I was running in my hometown, but at that point my sense of direction sucked. I saw a hill ahead, but wasn't concerned since I really don't mind running up them. I knew that once I cleared the hill that I would have a better idea of how much further it was until the linear trail, and to my car. As I reached the top, I checked my Garmin. It was at 6 1/4 miles. So much for a seven mile run, since I now knew that I was 1/4 mile from the trail, and had 1 1/2 miles of trail running to reach my car. So my planned seven mile run turned out to be eight miles. I really can't complain, since overall it was a perfect day to run, with the sun shining, low humidity, and 79 degrees. Plus I averaged a 9:34 per mile run-walk-run pace, six seconds than my planned 9:40 per mile pace. By the way, I love my pocket less Nike shorts. Superior wicking action, meaning absolutely no sweat at the end of the run. By the way, in addition to a slurpee after a run, nothing beats a Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut iced coffee with cream and sugar as a post run reward.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Recap of the Last Two Days

Yesterday: Temperature 70 degrees. Random road run: Splits 8:31; 8:39; 8:37; 8:07; 33:54 total for 4 miles; 8:28 per mile pace. (Goal was to run between 25 and 40 minutes at an 8:40 pace or better)

Today: Temperature 75 degrees. Random road run: Splits 9:16; 9:05; 9:23; 9:26; 9:22; 1:44; 48:16 total for 5.2 miles; 9:17 per mile pace. (Goal was to run between 45 and 50 minutes at a 9:40 pace or better)

Short but sweet. I don't know how many times I can say this, but I LOVE the Jeff Galloway marathon training program. To quote James Brown:
James Brown

Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now

Thanks to Lindsey of Chasing the Kenyans for teaching me how to do this!!

Fairfield Half Marathon Bling

Photo courtesy of Carlee

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Special Thanks Go To...Updated July 3rd


"Irish Cream" http://doitirishcream.blogspot.com/ Donation to Autism Speaks
"Anais" http://through-greeneyes.blogspot.com/ Donation to Autism Speaks
"Mel" http://meltriestorun.blogspot.com/ Donation to Autism Speaks

I'm not trying to make this look like a donation contest. It surely isn't. If you still want to contribute, please do so. I decided not to post the amount donated because I didn't want anyone to be worried that they weren't donating "enough." Every dollar donated helps and counts!

Only $443 to go to reach the first half of my fund raising goal. You guys HAVE indeed come through! Thank-you so much.

For the month of July, Every Tuesday and Thursday I will be selling pizza and bottled water at the school I work at. A local pizza parlor sells me the pizza for a discounted rate, so it's a great money maker. I'm also having a $5 car wash every Friday at our school. I'm working on organizing a pizza eating contest, with a cash prize along with a pig trophy to the winner. I am also going to be contacting local bars to see if one of them will allow a co-worker of mine, who's a licensed bartender, to bar tend for free one night, and she will donate her tips to Autism Speaks. So things are, and will be happening. I really want to be able to quickly raise the $2600 for Autism Speaks. After doing so, I'm hoping to be able to have people sponsor me per mile in the marathon, for example $1 per mile, or $25 ($26) when I complete the marathon. The proceeds from that would be donated to ASCONN, which is the Autism Society of Connecticut.

Deal or No Deal?

Linear Trail: Temperature 70 degrees. Splits 9:19; 9:08; 9:03; 9:06; 9:13; :49; 46:38 total for 5.1 miles; 9:09 per mile pace.

Yesterday's goal: Run between 45 and 50 minutes at a pace of 9:40 per mile. Ran for 46:38 at a pace of 9:09 per mile. (5.1 miles) DEAL!

A "suck it up and run" day. As much as I didn't feel like running, my two best excuses not to run weren't valid. NO DEAL! I wanted to pretend I needed another day to recover from my "monumental" run this past Sunday. DEAL! However, I had to tell myself to suck it up and deal with it since I'm training for the marathon. My other possible excuse, the weather, decided to cooperate. The rain stopped, Doppler radar (Yes, I check doppler radar sometimes before a run) showed that the rain was in our state, but not in this area. Plus it wasn't humid. Matter of fact, it was 70 "cooler than normal" beautiful degrees. DEAL! I cut a deal with myself. Since it had been the first day of working summer school, and I had gotten 2 hours less sleep, and because I was pretend tired at that point, I could buy and consume a 16 oz. Monster Lo Carb energy drink before my run. DEAL! Plus, I could run the linear trail at a 9:40 per mile pace instead of the scheduled 8:40 per mile pace. Psychological area taken care of, I stopped, drank, and drove to the trail.
Overall, a good run. I felt great, running was pretty much effortless, and although my splits went up the last two miles, I attribute it to telling myself to slow down. I really didn't want to run too fast, as weird as that may sound. I always have the fear of getting injured in the back of my mind. Previous injuries the past 3 years have made me more aware of how fast, how far, and how much to run on a daily and weekly basis. So, common sense along with the ability to "tweak" my marathon training schedule as needed is the key.
Autism Speaks fund raising update: So far I have raised about $600. I need to raise half ($1300) by August 17th. I have some local fundraisers planned, but raising another $700 in 46 days scares me! I guess if I break it down to needing to raise an average of just over $15 a day until August 17th it doesn't seem so bad. If anyone is able to contribute, please click on the link on the right.
P.S. "Deal or No Deal" is moving its show to Connecticut. They had auditions last Saturday at a local fair. The auditions lasted a whole 2 minutes, and consisted of paying $2 to park, $12 to enter the fair and get a numbered bracelet, filling out a 2 page questionnaire, waiting on line, spending 30 seconds talking about myself, and finally explaining what I would do if I won the half million top price on the daytime show. I'm still hopeful I am selected, just like everyone else. Hey, if I get on the show and win two grand or more, my fundraising worries will be gone!