Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Kim over at Book Worm Runs Tagged me (well technically she said anyone that anyone that wants to play along consider themselves tagged) so here I am.

1. What are you most proud of accomplishing in 2010?
This would have to be sticking with running all year. I first started running nearly 20 years ago in high school, but after that I was a hit and miss runner. I'd run for a month or two then lose interest. A few years would go by and I'd try again. This year I was determined to turn it into a lifetime change. It's worked and I'm loving my new health, life, and running friends.

2. What are your running goals for 2011?
Hard question. I guess to break it down, I've got three goals.
a. Complete my first marathon in March.
b. Increase my speed and mileage.
c. Be as pain free as possible.

3. What is your favorite race?
My favorite race of 2010 has to be the Army 10 Miler. While it ended in injury and a hobbling 2 mile finish, it was an awesome experience and the furthest race I've ever done. It also was a personal race as I work for the Army and used to work on the National Mall.

4. What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
Hmm, I'll give two.
a. The wifey's Chocolate Covered Pretzels
b. Christmas movies. (Too many to narrow down to one)

5. What is your most embarrassing running moment?
Even harder question. I can not come up with anything I'd consider truly embarrassing. I guess I'd have to say my first race. It was a cross country race my junior year. I was very new to running and went out way too fast. I ended up the last runner by far. I can still recall stumbling in several minutes after the runner before me.

Since I'm behind on my blog reading I too will tag anyone that is interested.  Especially the wifey.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rudolph 5K XC Race Report


I finished off my 2010 races with some fun.  I signed up for a cross county race to celebrate the holidays and had decided to make some fun out of it.  My only two goals were to finish and to have fun doing it. 

The race started at 11:30 so we were able to relax and not have a morning rush to get to the race.  It was a small race (89 runners in the 5K), and at a small conference center surrounded by woods.  Once we arrived, I realized it was going to be entirely a field run, no road and no woods. Most if it was run on the perimeter of the woods.  A rather hilly and loopy route run on snowy grass.  Not exactly slippery, but enough to be cautious on.  Before leaving the house, I grabbed Connor’s Reindeer antlers and decided I’d run with them on.  

IMG_4051It was a family oriented race and even a rather young looking Santa Claus and elf showed up to hand out gifts to the kiddos.   

Last night Paige, Connor, and I were embarrassing Jen skipping around Target riding our horses and before the race I decided to break mine out and ride it for a bit.  Here I am holding the reins. 



The starting line was haphazardly setup and the race director attempted to explain the course.  It wasn’t completely marked out due to the snow and according to Jen several people got mixed up and went the wrong way. (Thankfully I wasn’t one of them).  I decided to do a 1:30/1 interval and see how it goes.  Once we were off it was a nice course but I definitely am out of practice with hills. Damn you NCR Trail and your straight flat trail!!  All kidding aside, it was fairly tough with the hills but I was having fun.  I was able to run past the family several times and even got in a trot or two (see video).



The last 1/2 mile was pretty tough and I was rather winded, but it still didn’t keep me from having fun.  I even did a short trot at the end.  Several of the race volunteers were commenting on me “elkness”.  I finished in 34:39.  Not a PR by any means but I wasn’t trying for one anyway.  I finished and had a blast doing it; a great success!  Afterwards we enjoyed some apple cider, cookies and bagels, warmed up inside, then headed out once the awards were done.  All in all, it was a fun race and a great way to end the race year.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

3 Hours vs 30 Miles

My daily commute is slightly over 32 miles each way. In the morning it usually takes me about 45 minutes, in the evenings it varies.  Tonight, it took almost 3 hours to make it home.  Snow, or should I say the prior falling of it caused the entire Baltimore/Washington area to gridlock.  Needless to say, I didn’t make it to my running group.  Actually, I could have just made it, but by that time I was already worn out, hungry, and just not feeling it.  So I met Jen and Connor at Don Pablo's and blew my weekly dieting progress.    Oh well, I’ll try to get a run in tomorrow at work, but if not, there is the Rudolph Run on Saturday. 

Jen made a comment the other day about having one of those fake screens for my treadmill and it got me thinking about my running, treadmills, and why I can’t stand them.  Last Sunday I was doing my long run (8 miles) and decided to call my Grandma in Oklahoma.  We talked for a good 45 minutes or more while I was running and it was a great feeling.  Granted,I was going slow enough that I could talk on the phone but this reminded me of the movie “In Good Company”.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s a pretty good movie, but really isn’t about running. 


There is a scene early on of Topher Grace that starts with a close-up of him talking on the phone and running.  At first it looks like he’s outside running through a forest, but the camera pans out to show him on a treadmill with one of those screens behind him (actually to his left but behind him from the camera’s point of view).  He’s unhappy with his life and everything seems artificial. 

Clipboard07By the end of the movie he’s gone through a life lesson and ,without giving anything away,  the films ends on a second close up of him running on the beach and talking on the phone.  I’ve always loved this contrast.  The artificial treadmill run vs a real beach with the smell of the ocean, wind on your face, and sun warming your body.  Something about that just seems calming, meditative, rejuvenating; the kind of run I wish I could do everyday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

 Today's weight: 206.6.   Yup, an increase.  Not the best of things but I'm still down from two weeks ago so that's good.  I had a cold last week and it made me crave everything.  We've had some cupcakes in the house since Thanksgiving and I didn't eat a single one until last week (polished off all six, ugh!).  Now the house is filled with the sweet smell of chocolate covered pretzels thanks to Jen's yearly Christmas treats.  I MUST restrain!   OK, so I can have some, but not much. lol.  

Running went fairly well last week.  After Tuesday's sickness, I meet with the FF group on Thursday and had a good run, then I did 8 miles at the NCR Trail on Saturday (Was supposed to rain all day yesterday) that went great. 

My times have slowed down a bit lately.  Not that I'm getting slower, but I'm being more cautious and not trying to push it.  After the holiday's I'm going to start adding speedwork to my training; but for now, I'm concentrating on increasing my mileage and getting used to this darn cold weather running. Why can't I live in South Florida!  It's perfect weather for running their now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


First off, I hate treadmills!  I always feel awkward when I run on them, feel like I'm pounding too hard, and especially like I'm running but not going anywhere. :)  Every time I get on one, I think of a hamster. 

I was still feeling like crud yesterday so I stayed home from work to rest and recover.  In the afternoon, I was feeling much better and didn't want to completely skip out on running so I figured I'd try out the treadmill I bought off Craigslist for $50.  I hooked it up and got going.  Immediately I noticed a humming sound coming from the motor.  Not a good sign!  I kept at it, slowly.  I basically wanted to get my heart rate up and legs moving for a bit but not push it.  I stayed on for 15 minutes.  I noticed that the treadmill showed me as only running .3 miles.  Thats about a 45:00 mile.  I don't think so!  I'm going to research treadmill maintenance and see if I can get it worked out.  If not, I'll put it up on Cragslist and find another one.

As for my sickness, I'm still pretty stuffy today but feeling better.  I'm not going to attempt a lunchtime walk though.  :) 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

As of this morning, I weighed 205.2 lbs.  That's a 1.8 lb drop!  :)  The limiting of calories is going well. Tracking calories is teaching me what is truly healthy and what is perceived healthiness.

As if thus morining, I've also caught the crud.  Paige brought it home from school, Connor's been off and on for awhile, and Jen had it bad last thur/fri.   Now it's my turn.  Yuk!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Do you ever get that feeling in your throat where it just feels thick, and you keep having to swallow?  I do, usually when I getting a cold or such.  Well that happened to me last night. Today I woke up with a bit of a scratchy throat. I still got up and hit the trail for today’s 8 miler.  It was windy and cold, but I got out there and once warmed up it was fairly nice.  Only the diehards were out on the trail today.  I still have trouble brining my time to the recommended 2 minutes below pace for these long runs. It just feels like I’m barely moving.  I was shooting for around 12:45 miles, but of course, I undershot that.  The pain in my right foot was mostly gone this morning, but I could tell it was still lingering.  I tried my best to not land too harsh on it.  By the end, I could feel it, but it wasn’t bad, still better than on Friday.  Let’s hope I don’t feel worse tomorrow.  :)  I also could feel my hammy tendon aching a bit.  Going to do some stretches after awhile.

I made a decision regarding my weekday runs.  I’m going to cut the mileage down to 3-4 miles so that I can get it in at lunch or with Fleet Feet.  I will NOT feel guilty about the change.  It was somewhat arbitrary anyway, just went with what was default on the training schedule….. Problem solved! 

Oh, and lastly, in my final mile today, I started seeing snow flurries!  Maybe a ton will dump on us tonight and I’ll be off work!  :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Yesterday, I posted about my December goals.  One of which was to walk at least one loop around the lake outside my office every day I'm there. Well I've failed at that goal.  Can anyone guess why??

That's right, a freaking foot concern!  After I got home from running last night I noticed a slight pain a the base of my 2nd smallest toe and it's middle neighbor. Fight where the finger is in this picture (not my foot, found it online)  I didn't think much of it last night, as I'm frequently visited by minor pains in random places.  However, this morning it was still there, only when I'm stepping off from that foot.  There's no swelling or inflammation that I can see and I'm not too concerned at the moment, but it is enough that I'm not going to push anything with a lunch walk.  I put some icy hot on it shortly before lunch, and will ice it tonight/tomorrow and hopefully things will be fine. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Am a Winter Warrior!!

lft_logo I decided to hold off and run with the Fleet Feet group vs lunchtime.  It was perfect timing.  The store was starting their “Winter Warrior” program, where we can earn prizes for how many times we come to the store to run this winter. :)   As I’ve stated before, I really enjoy running with the group.  It’s that social aspect of running you can’t get when you run alone. 

I’ve been debating about how to proceed with this marathon training.  The one thing I hadn’t considered was my weekday runs.  I’m scheduled to do 5-6 mile runs for most of them.  This presents a challenge in many ways. 

Do I:

A) Run them at work during lunchtime.  This will be difficult as a 6 mile run will take me way longer than I really should be during the workday.  Technically, I can add on some time at the beginning or ending of the day, but it still doesn’t feel right saying I’m heading out for a 75 minute run. 

B) Split the mileage into half at lunch and the other half with Fleet Feet. When I run with the group, we only go roughly 3.5 to 4 miles.  I could do a 2 miler at lunch, then 4 with them, but that’s a hassle to do every Tues and Thurs.

C)  Alter my training schedule so that the runs are shorter and fit into either A or B.  Other than adjusting these first two weeks, I really didn’t alter anything from the original training program I am following.  Is it really necessary for me to do 5 or 6 miles during the week and still do my long run on Sundays?  Will I be hurting myself to limit weekday runs to 4 miles?  If I do, I can always incorporate speed work on my lunch runs.  Possibly alternate between lunchtime and group runs.

I’ll have to think it over but I’m welcome to your input!!

Rudolph, Reflections, and Resolutions (AKA. December goals).

I signed up for a Christmas themed run.  The Rudolph 5K XC Run on December 18th.  This makes my 8th and final race of the year.  It's supposed to be an off road race through part of the Patapsco State Park so it should be a lot of fun.  I'm going into it without a time goal, just because I want to focus on the enjoyment and not on trying to PR.

November was sort of a dud for me running-wise.  I only ran a handful of times, and was mostly recovering from the hammy tendon pull, or heel pain.  December is another month, however, and I'm determined to pull of my goals.  Speaking of.... here they are!

1.  At the least run the mileage indicated on my marathon training plan.
2.  Walk at least .77 miles (1 loop at the lake) every day I'm at work.  On running days, I can skip the walk.
3.  Keep my caloric intake limited to roughly 1500 per day.  I will increase it as my mileage increases for marathon training.  I'm trying to shake myself out of the weightloss plateau, then adjust accordingly.
4,  Complete the Rudolph 5K XC Run.
5.  Have an awesome holidays while maintaining these goals. 

Now to decide if I'm going to run at lunch or wait and run with Fleet Feet tonight. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blog Reading

Mini Survey:

How many blogs do you follow:

Do you read them directly or use a feed reader:

How much time do you dedicate to blogging per week( reading and writing):

Are you a lurker or do you frequently comment:

My answers:

I'm currently following 54 running blogs, but always on the lookout for more.

I recently started using Google Reader, and love it!

I probably spend about 8-10 hours a week on blogging.

I have to admit, the majority of blogs I follow I rarely comment. For the others, I've been lazy with commenting lately.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marathon Training Schedule

Here is my training schedule.  I don't have any set speed work or cross training on here.  It is simply the mileage.  For speed work, they will be part of the Tuesday or Thursday runs depending on how training progresses.  I felt that by just listing mileage, it will be easier for me to maintain the schedule.

Calories, Trails, and Training

I've really been watching my caloric intake the last few weeks.  As you know, I haven't had much luck losing any weight this entire year, and I've suspected it's due to an increased appetite, late night snacking, and morning donuts.  I'm proud to announce that I've cut out the late night snacks completely.  It's been about three weeks since I've snacked after dinner!!

Getting back to calories, I've been trying to maintain a lower calorie intake and have been fairly successful (minus Thanksgiving Weekend).  During the work week, I've been drinking coffee alone for breakfast (no more donuts or other pastries), and I've been bringing lunches, mostly some variant of noodles.  Then I tend to have a large lunch.  Yeah, it goes against the recommended method of a large breakfast, medium lunch, and small dinner.  However, I know myself, and even when I eat heavier early, my body still wants a full dinner.  It's working well, and I've lost about 5 lbs total in the last couple of weeks. 

Since many other fitbloggers post weekly weigh-ins, I've decided to start doing the same.  SO to kick it off, here was my weight this morning: 207.0 lbs.

I'm hoping to hit below 200 before the year ends, then try and keep lowering it until I'm around 175-180.  Thinking back, that seems to be my ideal weight.

Yesterday, I hit the NCR Trail and did a long and slow 6 miles.  I ended up heading out later than I should, and it was fairly dark when I finished.  I didn't see a single person the last 20 minutes or so.  The run was great, I did a 1.5/1 run/walk and started out at an 11:30 mile, but slowed it down to an average of 12:42 finishing in 1:16:10.  Slow and steady!  My heal felt fine, however, I could feel some weakness in my hamstring tendon, which I hurt 5 weeks ago during the Army 10 Miler.  It wasn't painful, but enough to notice.  I'll keep an eye on it, and if it starts to act up, I'll adjust my training. 

Speaking of my training, I'll post my marathon training, which officially starts this week, later today.  My training calendar (modified from this) is too big to post, so I've got to create an excel spreadsheet that is easy on the eyes. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is ready for the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh Yeah!

I got a 3.08 mile run in today at lunch.  Yay!  This is the first lunchtime run I've done in awhile, and I need to get back into them.  Especially with it getting darker earlier now.  It's supposed to rain this evening and I've got several things I need to do tonight so I decided to bring my gear and run at lunch.  It turned out great!  The weather was nice and I ran the loop around the small lake outside my office.  Each loop is .77 miles, and I did 4 laps!  I forgot to bring my watch so I was forced to estimate my intervals.  I imagine it wasn't every consistent, but oh well.  I'll just call it a fartlek!  3.08 miles in 35:10 (11:26 pace).  Not bad for being out so long.  Here is the course, it's relatively flat, with great scenery. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Relaxing Weekend

This weekend was nice and relaxing.  We saw the new Harry Potter Movie (Awesome!) and other than that it was pretty much sitting around playing with the kiddos. 

Today I finally started back to running.  I was hesitant at first, it’s been two weeks since my last run and only my third run this month.  The hammy I pulled during the Army 10 Miler was great.  Not a peep of pain out of it. My left Achilles tendon was sore.  Nothing major, but enough to notice it.  I only ran 2 miles (technically about 1.9) and It felt great to get back out there.  I’ve got two weeks before I’m officially in marathon training so I’ve got some reconditioning to do between now and then. 

As for the Achilles tendon, I went to the doctor on Friday and he said it could be either bursitis or a bone spur.  He’s leaning towards a bone spur.  I got x-rayed and a referral to the office podiatrist.  I’ll make the appointment tomorrow and hope for the best! 

Tomorrow I should be getting my new car back from the service department.  They’re replacing the lower control arms tomorrow at 1:00 so I hopefully will be picking it up after work!! 

Time for bed so catch ya later!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday

Numero Uno:  Good news!  my heal is basically back to it's normal state.  Not healed, but back to only being sore when I first start walking.  I have a Dr. appointment with my GP for tomorrow and going to probably be referred to the practices podiatrist.  The good thing is he's also a sports med doctor so once I get to see him, I'll probably discuss what's needed to ensure I'm injury free during the marathon.  Tonight will be my first run in nearly two weeks.  :)

Numero Dos:  I'm still loving my new car.  I ordered two decals for it and they arrived yesterday, a fire ant and a mosquito.  Yeah, I'm a bug freak, what ya gonna do? :)  Last night we took the family out to this awesome frozen yogurt place  called Ice Berry.  You pay by the ounce and they have a bunch of different toppings to put on it.  This was the first family ride and the kids loved it.

Numero Tres:  Jen is about to start the 30 Day Shred and I'll most likely start it too.  I skimmed the video and it looks like fun, challenging, but fun.  This will put us right up to Christmas. Jen is having surgery and we're going to Oklahoma between Christmas and New Years.  December should be a great time!

Monday, November 15, 2010

On The Mend

I think my foot pain episode is nearly over.  The NSAIDs are finally doing there job and my walking is returning to normal.  I should be back to normal by weeks end.  I'm still planning on seeing the doctor about it.  I'm trying out their online appointment request.  Waiting to get a response.  Most likely he'll refer me to the office podiatrist, which I'll end up waiting several weeks to see because of being a new patient (Jen just went through the same for her plantar fasciitis.

These last few weeks have sucked to go without running.  I can nearly feel my training evaporate away.  Ugg!  I guess the good news is I haven't noticed anything going on with my hammy the last week.  Hopefully it's nice and healed. 

So, I've been thinking that I know what I want for Christmas.... a new body. Anyone care to get me one?  lol   This year's been one roller coaster of a ride healthwise.  How about this:  For my Christmas present, I want to be healthy for all of 2011 and not have any foot issues, running or non-running related.  PLEASE!!!

I did get a new car yesterday. A 2007 Dodge Caliber.  While I was originally thinking of an SUV, after looking at them, I couldn't justify the price and low gas mileage compared to the crossovers.  Basically they same thing minus some headroom really.  With the luck of my trade-in and savings, I was able to walk away with a small loan which should be paid off before nest Summer!  I abhor having a car payment.  Once that is paid off, then Jen's car payment is next on the chopping block.  Getting back to the car, it has the premium options including sunroof, a 6 CD changer and satellite enabled (I really could care less for either as I usually listen to my Walkman), but the best part is that it has Boston Acoustic speakers and even has a built in sub woofer.  Yeah, I'll be ghetto bound with some gangsta rap soon! 

Oh, I was reading through the last of this month's Runner's World and saw the profile page on Scott Bakula.  It was awesome seeing him give a shout out to the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk/Run program!  Way to go Dr. Beckett!! Or should I say Captain Archer?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Busy Bee

Things around here have been BUSY!  First, I’ve been dealing with transmission issues on my truck and have decided to trade it in.  I was looking at SUV’s but I’m leaning more towards the crossovers now as they’re cheaper and get better gad mileage.  It’s very likely I’ll be getting something tomorrow.

Next, we’ve decided to rehome our little Fala.  She’s  too much to handle.  We live in a townhome and do not have a fenced yard, so she’s stuck on leash whenever outslde.  She really needs to run free and since she can’t outside, she does inside.  She also has seperation anxiety, chews everything, and tortures our senior mini poodle.  So, it’s time to find her a better home where she can have a yard to play in.  We have a potential home, that she might work out with.  Will find out this week.

On the running front, it’s gone nowhere.  My left heel is acting up.  I’ve had bursitis off and on for awhile on this heel.  It’s what gives me trouble in the mornings with being so stiff. Well something agrivated it about 4 days ago, and the inflammation has yet to go down.  Jen saw a podiatrist for her plantar fasciitis and think’s he’d great.  I’ll most likely be making an appointment with him on Monday.  Even if the inflammation goes down,  I need to see a specialist about it.   Given this, I decided to not sign up for a turkey trot.  Depending on how long it takes to get better, I’m hoping to get another race in before the end of the year.

I’ve also slacked off on the challenges.  I didn’t do them yesterday, and only did the situps on Wednesday.  This was my last week so, yeah, I didn’t make it all the way through.  But!  I’m going to try and keep going with them for a few weeks, until my foot feels better, then start Julian Michaels 30 Day Shred which Jen got and has started doing.

As for the blogosphere, I’m way behind on reading posts.  I’ll get back to it soon! 

I hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cool Video

I came across this video of runners at the NYC Marathon.  Thought I’d share. 


Sunday, November 7, 2010

A First

I’ve been running in my neighborhood for nearly a year, and today was the first time a fellow runner actually stopped to talk.  Although mainly he walks, but I have seen him out and about before.  We talked for about a minute or two on where we go, then went our separate ways. 

As for my run, I did almost 3.5 miles.  I was planning a 4 miler, but I didn’t map out where I was going (our house up to Paige’s school), I wasn’t exactly sure how far it would be until done. I started out great, but conservative.  About midway I started noticing tenderness again in my right hamstring, so I slowed it down even further.  It’s only been two weeks, so I wasn’t expecting it to be full healed anyway.  Still going to take it nice and easy for the next few weeks.  I do plan to run more than once a week from this point on however.  Otherwise, it was a nice, chilly morning run.  I do need to get a good running jacket for the winter. I was using a regular hoody and it’s too stuffy.  Off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday. 

Catch Ya Later!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lack of Running

I have to admit, I haven't been running the last two weeks.  I got a slow 3 miler in last Sunday and that's been it.  Partially, I want to make sure my hamstring has plenty of time to heal, but partially because I've just been lazy busy with work and family. My plan, cause you know I've always got to have one, is to start back on Sunday, expecting that my hamstring issue should be resolved by then. When I ran last Sunday, I thought I might have felt a slight bit of tenderness, or I was just over analyzing it. I still plan to run a Turkey Trot in a few weeks so I have to get back into shape.  Plus my marathon training officially kicks off the following week.

Thanks for the input on Christmas stuff.  Winter clothes will definitely be a good thing.  Still debating about a watch.  If mine wasn't missing the plastic buttons, I'd be fine with what I've got.  Possibly just an upgrade of this version as it's about 5 years old.  I think I can find it on ebay pretty cheap.  Maybe some new running shoes.  The more I think about trail shoes, the more I think I can go with out, at least until spring rolls around and I start looking at the available races. 

The latest issue has been my poor truck. She's only a 2003, but the transmission is slipping in the morning, and other issues are creeping up.  It's time to get something new.  Something the kids can ride in.  This weekend I'll probably start looking around.  I've like the jeep SUVs (Patriot, Liberty, Compass).  Anyone have one and is there anything you don't like about them?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas Gift

The Mrs. has been hounding me what I’d like for Christmas and I could use some input.  I’d originally thought about getting a Garmin Forerunner, but I really have no interest in using a GPS watch at the moment.  I like mapmyrun to find out how far I’ve run. I could use a newer watch though.  I’m using a Nike Triax Speed 50 that a dog got ahold of.  Some of the buttons are missing.  It has nearly all the functionality I want, except when doing intervals I have to hit a button for it to stop beeping at the changes.  Otherwise, it does what I need a watch to do. 

My question is, what are the better non-GPS watches out there? I’m looking in the $60-$80 range. 

Secondly, I need to pick something else as well.  I was thinking of a new pair of shoes, mine currently have about 225 miles, and by the end of my marathon, I’ll have put on another 400 miles (quite a bit passed the recommended life span).  I could also get a pair of trail shoes, and use them for part of my training.  I want to get some trail runs in next year so which should it be.  Trail shoes, or my normal running shoes?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the Battle Continues

pizza-the-hut-spaceballs This week’s theme seems to be food.  A lot of people are posting about their efforts against their own food monsters. 

This week is tough. I’m attending the Armed Forces Pest Management Board committee meetings in DC this week and that means long drives, and getting home late.  Tonight I chose to pick up some Chinese food for dinner because Jen and the kids ate the leftovers from yesterday, and the house is pretty much bare. I grabbed a General Tso’s combo at a place down the street. I hadn’t been there before and when the food came, it was HUGE!!  Normally, I would stuff myself and eat almost all of it, but tonight I told myself that just because I had a huge amount of food, I didn’t have to stuff myself.

I ate less than half!!  I’m not stuffed, but not really full either.  Just satiated.  Inch by inch, I’m fighting my food monster.  Good luck with yours!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Challenge Update


Jen and I are still plugging away with the Push-up, Sit-up, and Squat challenges.  I just started week 5 (only 4 on squats) and I must say it’s kicking my a$$!  I did  94 push-ups, 136 sit-ups, and  94 squats tonight.  Wednesday it ups from 5 sets to 8!!  These last two weeks are going to kill me!!

We’re looking at doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred for the next challenge. Anyone tried this one before?

October Recap

Month In Review:

Running: 10 runs, 2 races, 42.3 miles
Walking: 2 lunchtime walks, 5.4 miles
Challenge:  Pushups, Situps, and Squats 3 times a week (no squats the week before the Army 10 Miler)

Monthly Highlights:
  • Komen Race for the Cure: A great race with a PR.  It was challenging to navigate through all the walkers but a great run.

  • Army 10 Miler:  A disappointing time, but a win regardless.  This is the furthest race I've done and minus the injury, it was awesome.  I can't wait for next years!

  • I signed up for my first marathon (Shamrock Marathon March 20th 2011!).

  • Took an entire week off work just to enjoy the fall and relax.

  • No gout issues, and blood pressure staying down.  Only real health problem was pulled hamstring from race.

November Goals:
  • Run a Thanksgiving day race (undecided at the moment, several to choose from).

  • Allow pulled hamstring to fully heal and relax running until marathon training starts on November 29th.

  • Finish challenges and start another.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

HaPpY HaLlOwEeN!

Happy Halloween everyone!


Good luck to all the MCM Runners!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Name's James and I'm Addicted to Food.

I have an addiction, it's food.  since I started back to running at the beginning of the year, I've been waiting to see the bathroom scale benefits.  They've yet to show up.  Sure, I feel way better than I did a year ago.  I'm fitter, I'm more healthy, and I have more energy...... but......I know I'm overweight and many of my health issues stem from that. 

"your making muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat"  I don't know how many times people have mentioned this.  If this is what was going on, by now I should be as buff as Arnie was before he took on politics.  It's been nearly a year and I don't have that much more muscle.  My calves are bigger, that's about it looks-wise. 

Basically all year I've fluctuated only about 5-10 lbs.  My weight has been anywhere from 205-217.  Why can I not break below the 200 mark?  I'll tell you, it's pure and simple....

I LOVE to eat!  Just ask my wife

Usually around 2:00 she's getting a text message "What's for dinner?" or "I want Don Pablos" 

I'm a Mexican foodaholic.  I could eat it everyday.  And of course this does nothing to help me loose weight.

We also eat out way more than we should.  Our kitchen is not suitable for our needs.  It's too small, doesn't have the right storage, and the fridge, microwave, and dishwasher are barely functional.  All of this makes conducive conditions for eating out all the time. With a busy family, hectic household, and hungry tummys, it's so much easier to hop in the car and wash our worries down with a tall glass of tea (unsweetened many times). 

The simple truth:  Calories in has to be less than calories burned.

I'm working hard on the calories burned side, but now it's time to step it up on the calories in side.

The holiday's are coming fast and we'll be spending Christmas to New Years with my family in Oklahoma (Ah, some of my favorite restaurants will be calling my name daily!).  It's going to be hard to eat healthy then if I don't start working on it now.  We as a family need to develop strategies and methods to keep from eating out so much and eat healthier items when we do.   Jen's on board as well, and hopefully we'll establish so new routines that will help. 

It's time to get serious and face my addiction!  I seriously don't want to be lugging 215 lbs or more when I run my marathon in March!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Race Photos

The race photos are up.  A few came out ok, but nothing worth paying for the full size.  I like the one of me standing on the finish line.  It was a bittersweet moment.  I finished, and was happy by that, but seeing my time and knowing how close it was to being so much better was disappointing. 

Gritting my teeth and pushing through the pain. Running well and loving it! Just a Movin'  Enjoying the walk break.  I believe this was before the pain started.The ying and yang of the finish line. Kicking it!

A New Addtion to the Family

Well, to the blogosphere family that is. My wife has created a blog.  Her second one on getting in shape.  The first didn't last too long.  Head over to Fantastically Fat to Fit. and welcome her to the wonderful world of exercise blogs.  She's a fledgling runner herself, but is on hold do to a foot issue.  She's considering running the Army 10 Miler with me next year.

Give her a hand!!

Two Questions Tuesday

1)  What training program do you follow for marathons and why?

2)  What should be Jen and I's next challenge (half way through 100 pushups, 200 situps, and 200 squats)?

I've been searching Craigslist for a used treadmill.  I've decided it was a necessity being that insanely registered for an early spring marathon.  I despise running on treadmills, but long runs in the dead of winter will be tough without one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I’ve Gone and Done it Now!

This morning a hesitantly clicked the button sending $106.75 to the wonderful folks hosting The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon.  I only have a few weeks to relax before training starts for it.  I’ve started to look for a treadmill because I can not rely on doing my long runs outside all winter long. 

My hamstring is still fairly sore, I most likely pulled it some while hobbling for two miles yesterday.  No running this week! 

I may have had a crappy finish for the race yesterday but could this face be one of utter disappointment?


Taken at Buffalo Wild Wings shortly after we left.

On Wednesday the race pics are supposed to be posted and I’m hoping for some good ones.  I “posed” for a bunch of cameras throughout the race.  I’ll post any I can find.

Oh, and I’m probably going to try for two more races this year. A Turkey Trot, and a Christmas race. 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Army 10 Miler Report

The morning began at 4:30 with the alarm clock blaring it’s ugly tune to get up.  I don’t recall what time I got to sleep but it was somewhere around 10:00, so I wasn’t for lack of sleep, but it was still hard to get up that early.  I got up, hoped in the shower and we were off.  Stopping at 7-11 for some coffee along the way.  We made it to the metro station about 25 minutes to 6:00 and had to wait on the platform for awhile before it opened.  When it did, we had a pleasant surprise… we were able to catch the yellow line and didn’t have to make a switch over like we thought.  Connor was tired, but he loves trains and enjoyed showing his stuffed animals the train.  Off we went and about 45 minutes of rest.

We arrived at the pentagon and out to a darkened view. The excitement was in the air and  I had a twinge of excitement…… wait, it wasn’t from the excitement, but the need to pee.  We fumbled around locating the jons and ended up getting in line while a guy was hollering about 100’s of open potties on the other side of the stage.  We decided to stay put… a good thing too, because after I headed through the runners security, I realized they were for runners only.  Jen would have been out of luck 

We watched a paratrooper come in and I prepared to head out.  We said our goodbyes and I was off to the starting line.  I took about 10 minutes to do some stretching, ate a GU (mint chocolate…yum!) and proceeded to my corral.

About 1/3 of the starting line is in the distance.  It was huge!It was supposed to be two waves, and subdivided by color.  Well when I lined up in my color (white) corral, it was a rainbow of colors… bib-wise. 

We stood around, thousands of us, waiting for the start. Wounded warriors first, then wave one, then us.  I crossed the starting line about 13 minutes after the wave 2 gun went off. 

The race was packed tighter than a cheap can of sardines.  I made an executive decision to run the first mile without walking, for fear of being run over.  I took it slow and steadying, knowing I tend to get caught up in the excitement and go out to fast.  The crowd and runners were both awesome.  and things were off to a great start.  Hitting mile one at a 10:52, I was going strong.  That’s when I decided to start the run/walks. Mile two was great.  We crossed over into DC and to a large crowd of spectators.  Running by the Lincoln Monument and around to Virginia Street, I was feeling strong. I hit mile 2 in 11:34, right on target.  Up Virginia Ave, to the sounds of a band (there were several along the route), and passing by the State Department (I do some work there on occasion).  Scenery-wise, this is probably the dullest of the entire route.  Mainly, I was pushing strong through here and focused on my running.  I could tell I was have a great race at the time. 

Miles 3-4 along the river.  Again, I was focused hard on myself and the pack.  My preferred position is on the left side of the road, and there were plenty of spectators cheering us on.  Somewhere around here I started to take a Cliffs Bloks.  I’d been drinking water throughout the race and thought I was doing well nutrition-wise.  Mile 5 and along the Washington Monument, I was really enjoying myself.  My running was strong, I wasn’t over doing it, and everything about the race was just working.  Coming on the mall and the crowd became huge!   It was extremely motivating and running through the mall, where I’d worked for nearly a year, brought back memories from my former job and thoughts of how much better my life is now.  I was having a great race.

Mile 6 marker was by the American Indian Museum (Which I used to service) and right on the corner was a high school band.  We turned north and looped back around the front of the Capitol then back down the mall.  Somewhere around here I started to feel some pain in my hamstring, but I didn’t think much about it.  My feet were feeling good, I was well hydrated, and breathing was steady.  Somewhere between mile 7 and 8, I hit it.  I had stopped for a walk, and realized my right hamstring was getting worse.  I stopped and did some stretching, and took the next run very slow.  It didn’t get better.  Turing the last main corner and it was slightly over 2 miles left.  I took a break at a port-a-jon and massaged my leg.  Did some stretching and attempted to get back to it. I got about 10 seconds in and more sharp pain.  I tried off and on to run for about 1/2 a mile from when it first hit, but about the 8 mile mark I made the decision to stop the running and walk the rest. 

This was very disheartening.  Only about 5 minutes prior, I was having a great race.  It was going so great, that I had decided I was going to run the last mile without walk breaks.  I’d been set to run well above my goal and was excited.  When the pain over took me, I was pissed off and feeling like crap.  I tried to speed walk it, but after a bit, even that was causing pain.  Stopping every few minutes to stretch and rub my hamstring, and I only continued to slow down.  Soon enough even the other walkers were passing me, and people were asking if I was ok. 

Around the 9 mile mark, I could have easily given up.  I’d been walking for over a mile, the pain was constant, and my goals had all but slipped away. One thing I kept noticing were the shirts of my fellow runners.  A lot of runners were doing it in memory of fallen soldiers, or were injured or retired soldiers themselves and I used that to help me through the last mile.  Hobbling along, I came into the last turn and pushed through to the finish.  I nearly collapsed, not in exhaustion, but from the pain.  I found the medic tent and checked in to have my hamstring looked at.  The Dr. that saw me agreed that it was a cram and not a pulled muscle.  I did some stretching and proceeded to go find Jen and Connor.  I collected my medal, hobbled over to our pre-arranged meeting spot, and sat down, contemplating the race.  We were supposed to meet some friends afterwards, but decided it was better to head home. 

When we got off the metro at the last stop, a fellow runner got up, and was hobbling similar to me.  Come to find out he works at Fort Meade as well, and had a similar (although not as severe) injury as me.  It’s strange, but that made me feel better.

Finishers medal.  Medals are an Army tradition and I'm adding this one to my collection! So to sum it all up… The Army 10 Miler was one of the best races I’ve been in.  Partially because I work for the Army, used to work in the area of the race, and the administration and spectatorship of the race was top notch.  the first 7.5 miles of the race I was kicking ass.  I was feeling great, having a good time doing it, and happy as can be.  The last 2.5 miles were a struggle I faced and beat.  Even though it came off crappy towards the end, the race was still an accomplishment, and I am very glad I did it.   Did I meet all of my goals, no.  Did I complete my first one (to finish) yes I did and I’ll do it again next year damnit!  Possibly side by side with my wife too!

10 Miles Down!

I finished!!  Barely….  Let’s just say it was an awesome run until about 7.5 miles in.  Then my right hamstring cramped and I had to hobble the rest of the way.  I’ll post a full report later, for now I need a nice long nap!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Army 10 Miler Goals

 This weekend's race will be a first for me.  I've never run a race longer than 10K before and I'm a bit anxious about it.  Yeah I know, it's not that much longer than a 10K but in my mind anything above a 10K is a long race, whereas 10K's and 5K's are short races. I consider this the first racing step towards completing a marathon. 

So for my goals.  I have three.

Goal #1.  To finish the race strong and uninjured.  I don't foresee this being a problem.  Yeah, I didn't train as well as I should have but I'm feeling good.  I did 8 miles last Sunday, and completed 10 miles a few months ago.

Goal #2.  To finish under two hours.  Last Sunday I ran 8 miles with an average of 11:29 per mile.  If I can maintain that pace for an additional 2 miles, I'll be under two hours.  Since I started too fast last week, I think I'll be fine as long as I take it slower out of the gate.

Goal #3.  The pie in the sky.  I'd like to run it under 11:00 per mile.  This is an achievable goal, provided I can manage my pacing.  Tuesday I actually ran 1.5 miles at a 10:10 pace. If only I could keep that up for 10 miles!

Plan of attack:

Saturday the family and I are going to take the metro down to pick up my racing packet and check out the Expo.  We don't plan to spend all day in DC, as we want to get pumpkins for Halloween with the kids too. 

Sunday, the goal is to leave the house about 4:45.  It takes roughly an hour to drive to the closest metro, which opens at 6:00.  Generally it takes roughly an hour to metro down to the race area, putting us there about 7:00.  I can not enter the corral before 7:20, giving us a bit of time incase of delays. 

I plan to start off slow for the first mile.  Looking for around a 12:00 per mile pace.  Then once I've settled into it, increase the pace up and push myself.  I'm upping my running ratio to a 2.5/1 run walk to give that extra 30 seconds of running to increase my time.

After the race we're planning to meet a college friend for lunch, then head home for a well deserved nap. 

Provided all goes well, I'm going to register for the Shamrock Marathon on Sunday. 

I hope everyone enjoys the weekend and if you're racing, good luck!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Article on Running Shoes

I was reading some of my work newsletters and came across  a good article on running shoes.  Everyone knows you need to match the shoe to your foot right??  Well not according to some research put out by my colleagues in the Army Public Health Command as well as the other services.  I'll let the article speak for itself.  It made me think twice about my next shoe purchase.

FYI, I work for the Army Public Health Command, but as a bug expert.  

Article in the October 2010 version of Mercury:

If you want to minimize your chance of injury while running, you choose a shoe based on your foot shape, right?


Results of three military studies showed that prescribing shoes based on foot shape made no difference in the rate at which injuries occurred in Army, Marine and Air Force basic trainees, who spend quite a bit of time running.  That’s “no” as in none, sports fans.

“We found no scientific basis for choosing running shoes based on foot type,” said Dr. Bruce Jones, injury prevention program manager at Public Health Command (Provisional).  “Our findings have surprised not just military decision-makers, many of whom run to stay fit, but runners in general.”

Popular Running and sports medicine literature recommends that people with high arches should choose cushioning shoes, those with normal arches should choose stability shoes, and those with flat feet should choose motion-control shoes, Jones explained.  The literature says that such shoes will compensate for the way these foot types strike the ground during running and lessen injuries to the legs and feet.

“This seemed to many of us to make sense,” said Jones, a long-distance runner for many years.  “But when we looked at it in multiple, scientific studies, it turned out to be a sports myth.”

Jones and his colleagues were asked by the Department of Defense to test whether basic trainees suffered fewer injuries if shoes were matched to foot type in the way the literature suggested.  Experts led by Dr.  Joseph Knapik looked at more than 9,000 pairs of feet, manually measuring arch height as well as taking
Foot imprints.  In the most recent study of Marine recruits, 1,400 men and women were divided into two groups at random, with one group receiving shoes matched to their foot types and the other group (the control group) receiving stability shoes.

Like their Army and Air Force counterparts from two previous studies, the recruits with shoes prescribed according to foot type experienced the same rate of injuries as those in the control group, regardless of other demographics like age, sex, race and smoking habits (other USAPHC (Prov) studies have linked smoking to higher injury rates in basic training).

The military services are keenly interested in preventing injuries from running, and for good reason.  “Injuries are the leading health problem in the U.S. military, resulting in about two million visits to medical treatment facilities a year,” Jones said.  “Of those, more than 50 percent are lower-extremity injuries caused by weight-bearing training, and the biggest culprit is running.”

In addition to the pain and disruption the service member suffers, such injuries mean duty time lost to recovery, which in turn affects unit readiness.

Some medical experts argue that static foot morphology (what Jones and colleagues looked at in their studies) is less predictive of injuries than studying the foot in motion, but so far that theory has not been put to the scientific test.

In the meantime, what’s a runner to do?

“You can’t simply look at foot type as a basis for choosing running shoes if you want to prevent injuries,”
Jones advised.  “You should choose a shoe that you like and that feels comfortable.”

In other words, if the shoe fits
(comfortably) — wear it. (Public
Health Command (Provisional))

Monday, October 18, 2010

Spring Marathon

header_logo I believe I've narrowed it down to the The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in March. It's at Virginia Beach and I have the Force Health Protection Conference less than 30 miles away that following week I've already got hotel reservations there in case I choose to attend pre-conference workshops. As long as I don’t have to attend a workshop that Sunday, then I’ll be free to run it.  Also,I can do the Whale Challenge by completing the TowneBank 8k that Saturday.  I’m thinking if I choose to do it, then let’s go all out!  It’s only an additional $35.   Hmmm.  Off to contemplate things…

Challenge Week 3 Day One

Tonight the entire family (minus the doggies) did the challenge Paige and Connor tired then jumped and flipped around.  It made for a fun time.


Push-ups:10, 12, 7, 7, Max (I did 12)

Sit-ups: 15, 18, 11, 11, Max (I did 23)

No squats this week


Push-ups: 4, 6, 4, 4, Max (She did 12)

Sit-ups: 6, 9, 6, 6, Max (She did 10)

Squats: 6, 8, 5, 5, Max (She did 20)

Tomorrow is my units PT test.  I’m hoping they all pass!  It’s good to be a civilian!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

And the Winners Are…

Congratulations to the following for participating and winning The Runnersbug Virtual Non-Race.  I didn’t have a great turnout but to all that participated and spread the word, a big thanks!

Lisa at Chasin’ Bunnies for posting pictures from a great run.  She lives in the great state of New Mexico and has awesome places where she runs.  Thanks for posting the pics!

Bobbi at Zero to 26.2 for having the kind of run everyone needs to have.  She did just as asked and  “it turned into one of THOSE runs.”   This was exactly why I chose a Non-race; to bring yourself back to why you love to run.

Stacy at Dare To Tri for being creative with the run. Stacy chose to do a treadmill run, not exactly what I was intending but it worked great for her.  This allowed her to “distract myself with some good Sunday football” and kept her mind busy with formulating 2011 goals.

Lastly, Ginny at Neurosis of the Stay at Home Mom of 3 for going above and beyond what I had asked.  She not only chose the 10 miler, but she did it twice!  Although she admits “I did wear my watch, so, there was some watch looking”.  Not to worry, I actually did the same.  I nearly always do run/walks so I have to have a way of timing the intervals.

For the prizes, I’ve decided that I will make a custom painting for all four winners.  I am also gathering some various goodies, mostly energy gels, drinks, etc to send out.  Please send me your addresses (Both email and snail mail) to xm41907@gmail.com .  If you have a photo already send it along with a description of what you’d like it to look like.  If not, we can discuss it. 

Congrats again Lisa, Bobbi, Stacy, and Ginny!!

Pre-Race Test Run

Today I ran 8 miles on the NCR Trail as my last training run before the Army 10 Miler.  I will probably do 2 light runs this week (Tues,Thurs) but nothing too strenuous.  I’m also cutting out the squats challenge until next week.  The run was great.  I didn’t leave until about 10 because it was COLD this morning.  By the time I got there, it had warmed up and was a perfect autumn day.  Sun shining, light breeze, and the leaves.  Many of the leaves are changing colors and starting to fall.  It was a very pretty day for a run and I’d wished I’d had my camera. 

My goal was to run 11 min/mile pace, but I was feeling great and pushed it too much the first two miles.  Big mistake.  After two miles, my times got longer.  Not horribly longer, and to be fair I’ve been running 2/1 and not the 3/1 or 4/1 that I’ve done in the past so it shouldn’t have been fast.  Here are my times:

Mile 1: 10:31
Mile 2: 10:33
Mile 3: 11:25
Mile 4: 12:16 (took a minute to have an energy gel)
Mile 5: 11:52
Mile 6: 11:43
Mile 7: 12:00
Mile 8: 11:33
Average mile:  11:29

For the race I’m going to increase the running portion.  Probably 2:30/1 in the hopes of getting closer to 11 min/mile.  

Yesterday was the Baltimore Running Festival and I knew quite a few people running it.  I’ve yet to hear from any of them, but I hope it went well.  I chose not to run any of the distances because of it being a week before the Army 10 Miler.  Next year, I plan to run it.  This afternoon Paige has her last kids race.  I hope she does great today! 

Happy weekending!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week Two…Done!

Tonight we let Connor stay downstairs while we exercised and he loved it.  He tried to do them along with us.  It made it more enjoyable so we’re going to try it with the whole family next week.  I’m going to hold off on the squats next week though. 


Push-ups:5, 7, 5, 5, Max (I did 8)

Sit-ups: 8, 12, 8, 8, Max (I did 17)

Squats: 7, 11, 7, 7, Max (I did 20)


Push-ups: 4, 5, 4, 4, Max (She did 8)

Sit-ups: 6, 7, 6, 6, Max (She did 9)

Squats: 5, 6, 5, 5, Max (She did 15)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Challenge Results

Still going strong!  Jen was definitely feeling it tonight.  She changed to crunches because she struggled to get up.  I’m sure she’ll feel better on Friday.  I still have to applaud her for doing them!


Push-ups: 5, 6, 4, 4, Max (I did 11)

Sit-ups: 7, 9, 6, 6, Max (I did 18)

Squats: 6, 8, 5, 5, Max (I did 19)


Push-ups: 3, 4, 2, 3 Max (She did 8)

Sit-ups: 5, 6, 3, 5, Max (She did 13)

Squats: 5, 5, 3, 5,  Max (She did 20)

Tomorrow I’ll see how my shins are doing. If they’re still sore, then I’m going to hold off on the squats until after the Army 10 Miler. 

Speaking of,  I received my bib number (17955).  We’re definitely heading into DC for the pre-race expo the day before.  I am NOT going to risk trying to pick up my package the morning of like I did for the Komen Race. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Busted Speed Mile

Today my goal was to run another speed mile.  It failed miserably.  I did a short warm up, stretched then headed out.  I got about 1/3rd of a mile in and died.  No steam left in the caboose.  I ended up walking to the 1/2 mile mark then tried again, and gave out about a minute into it.  I ended up walking the rest of the way.  Two things:

1.  My shins were sore again, most likely from the squat challenge.  I think I’m going to hold it off until after the Army 10 Miler, then start it back again.  I don’t want to cause any injuries before the race.  I’ll be keeping the push-up and sit-ups going though.

2.  I didn’t eat a lunch today and given I haven’t had anything since about 9:00 a.m.  I had no energy to sustain the speed work.

I’ll try another speed mile on Thursday.  I’ll be sure to eat prior to it. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Challenge Week Two Day One.

Tonight Jen joined me in the challenge.  She’s starting on week one so I’ll be a week ahead of her.  Maybe I’ll increase mine by a week so we finish it together.  Things felt easier today than last week, although it’s still challenging, just more natural feeling. 


Push-ups: 4, 6, 4, 4, Max (I did 9)

Sit-ups:  6, 9, 6, 6, Max (I did 18)

Squats: 6, 8, 5, 5, Max (I did 21)


Push-ups: 2, 3, 2, 2, Max (She did 8)

Sit-ups: 3, 4, 3, 3, Max (She did 8)

Squats: 3, 4, 3, 3, Max (She did 17)


Tomorrow I’m planning another speed mile.  Hoping to get it under 9:00 but it’s not going to be on a track so we’ll see!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Runners Bug Virtual Non-Race Report

This morning I decided to do my virtual non-race.  I was originally thinking of doing the 10 miles at a very slow pace, but decided that would be pushing it so I chose the 10K instead.  I headed over to one of my favorite routes, the NCR Trail, grabbed my walkman and a bottle of water and hit the road. 

I was glad I decided against the 10 miles because my shins were sore.  Most likely from my Squat Challenge.  I took it slow and steady and kept forcing myself to slow it down.  I wanted to savor the run.

It was a nice cool morning and there were plenty of people on the trail.  I always enjoy it more when there are other people out there.  The curious nod as you pass by, acknowledging effort, the smile from walkers, and the happy tail wagging of dogs.  It makes for a nice run.  The weather was great too.  Nice and cool with a gentle breeze. I must say it was a near perfect day for a run. 

I kept to my 2/1 intervals and didn’t push it at all.  Just a nice relaxing run, listening to some great music.  Afterwards, I headed home, showered, then we went to see The Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of  Ga’Hoole”  which was a great CGI movie. 


I’ve been thinking of some prizes for the virtual race and outside of the normal Gu, Nuun, etc.  I thought I’d offer up something unique.  I have a hobby of enhancing photos and/or making photo paintings on the computer.  What a better prize than a personalize painting of your favorite running photo.

The winner from each distance will be offered a handmade photo painting.  I can’t afford to actually print them out, so it will only be a digital copy, but there are quite a few places online that will print to canvas if you’d like.  I’ll just make the image, but you can do with it as you like.  The winners will need to send me a pic of them running or something else running related of them.  Here are a few examples of my work

406306747_H27kU-M 413501086_BntRb-M 413775537_mpuTg-M

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Let the Staycation Begin!

Being that I was off Monday for a holiday and Friday for my regular day off, I decided to take off the rest of the week.  So, starting today I’m off for nine days!

I began the break by going over to the track on post and running a speed mile.  I did a 1/4 mile warm up and stretches first.  I wanted to time myself at an above race pace but not dead sprinting. The goal was to run the mile “uncomfortably fast” and warn out at the end, but not keeling over like I would sprinting.  It was great, I finished fairly strong with a 9:01 mile.  Better than I was anticipating!  I did a cool down 1/4 run then headed home where I decided to knock out day three of my challenge:

Push-ups: 4, 5, 4, 4, Max (I did 10)

Sit-ups: 6, 7, 6, 6, Max (I did 17)

Squats: 5, 6, 5, 5, Max (I did 16)

Now it’s off to shower then a  “Bull Roast” for Jen’s work tonight.

Catch Ya Later!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


        Life is good!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Challenge Day Two

I was still sore from day one, but I set to it and got the job done.

Push-ups: 3, 4, 2, 3, Max (I did 8)

Sit-ups: 5, 6, 3, 5, Max (I did 22)

Squats: 5, 5, 3, 5, Max (I did 15)

It did feel easier to do the movements, even if I was a sore.  I still need to find something to help my wrists during push-ups. 

So what is your current challenge? 

Next Race Thoughts

I have less than 3 weeks to go before the Army 10 Miler and frankly I feel crappy about my total lack of training for this race.  Yes, I've had a few medical problems that forced me out of training early on, but looking back I could have jumped back from them sooner and pushed myself harder to train.  At this point I'm focused on getting my mileage back up so that 10 miles isn't a shock to my system.  Speed work, and  tempo runs will have to wait for another time.

So with the race nearly here, I'm starting to think about my next big race, one that I hopefully will be able to train for.  I'd like to do a half marathon and am starting to look at what's coming up.  I'm thinking an early 2011 race would be nice.  Any suggestions on races around January-March?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Post Challenge Soreness

I didn’t think I’d be sore after last nights challenge workout….but I was wrong.  I’m not dying but I can definitely feel it today.  Stomach muscles, pecks, and shins all are tender.  I guess that means it’s working!

Tonight I ran with Fleet Feet for the first time in a few months.  I went with a group doing 1.5/1 and it went well.  We ran slightly over 4 miles and ended at 50:24.  It’s a slower run than normal but I enjoy running with the group.  We took a rather hilly route to boot. 

Not much else to report.  If you haven’t signed up for the Virtual-Run, you have until Friday at 5:00!  Join in and spread the word!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Challenge Day One

Jen has come down with a horrible fever and has been out of it all day. I wasn’t about to push her to working out in this condition so I’ve started the challenge on my own. Tonight was pretty easy.  The reps were small and mainly I wanted to get used to the movements.  I think it went fairly well.

Tonight’s workout:

Push-ups: 2, 3, 2, 2, max (I did 6)

Sit-ups: 3, 4, 3, 3, max (I did 20)

Squats: 3, 4, 3, 3, max (I did 13)

Lessons learned: 

1)  I need some push-up bars.  My wrists are weak and I need to get some bars to alleviate pressure on the wrists.

2)  While I have to watch sit-ups because of my back, this is my strong area.

3)  Squats sure make my joints creak.  I felt like an old rotting boat.

4)  Do not attempt exercise in the same room as a neurotic dog!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Three Challenges

Starting tomorrow Jen and I will begin three challenges.  100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, and 200 squats.  From everything I’ve read, these challenges are fairly doable and should help develop some strength throughout our bodies.  I’m looking forward to seeing the results in 6 weeks! 

2 3 outline700

Komen Race Report and a Small PR

This morning was one screwed up pre race. I woke up at 6:00 hoped in the shower and we were off by 6:30.  The plan was to stop at Panera Bread for for some coffee and a pastry but they weren’t open yet.  So we stopped at 7-11 and just got coffee.  As we got closer to the race, the road traffic increased and we ended up sitting in line trying to park for a while.  We got to the site and since I registered later, I had to pick up my bib.  Jen had registered a long time ago and hers was mailed.  Jen and Connor waited at one location while I went to grab my bib and shirt.  That was a nightmare. I was standing in line to pick up my bib (line for A,B,C last names) and waited for over 30 minutes.  Once I got up there, I was told my bib was in the line for timed racers and was directed towards another line that would have been 30 minutes or more. At this point it was already race time and thankfully I found a lady that went and grabbed mine from that line.  Of course by this time, the gun has already gone off, Jen and Connor were no where to be found, and I wasn’t exactly sure where the starting line was (very poor organization and signage).  I saw some other people running towards the start so I followed them and got up to the start.

When I crossed the starting line, the race had already been under way over 4 minutes.  Not too big of a deal because this race was PACKED!  I’ll have to look up the number later.  Anyway, I took off, already winded from sprinting to the starting line, and having to pee.  Not the best way to start a race.  Settling in to the first mile I ran continuously.  Dodging walkers all over the place.  Having decided last night that I was planning to run the first mile before walking, I was feeling good about the race so far.  The pack was horribly crowded and I kept getting cut off or having to slow down because the entire road was taken up by a group of walkers.  Come on people!  Just because you want to do it as a group doesn’t mean you have to be side by side!  I came up to the first mile with a pretty good time (9:54).  A bit faster than I was planning but overall feeling good. 

I ran another couple of minutes then decided to take a walk/drink break.  Having packed my fuel belt with a Nuun, I enjoyed some berry goodness, put the bottle back onto my makeshift belt (two elastic straps held together with velco, which worked awesomely by the way) and started back to a run.  A minute later someone tapped me on the shoulder and said my bottle fell out.  The pouch/strap that the bottle itself is in was still there, but the bottle was no where to be seen.  I said screw it, not turning back in this crowd and kept going (Jen said she thinks she saw it on the ground, lol). 

This area was even more crowded than the beginning because the road narrowed.  It became increasingly hard to maneuver between people and I spent most of my time along the sidewalk or grass next to the road.  Frustration was setting in but I had some great songs to listen to and kept at it.  Hitting mile two at 10:56.  Slower than I’d wanted but still under the 11 minute mark.

The next mile was a bit better maneuvering.  I kept to the left side and only had a few times where I was stuck, but I also took a couple of walk breaks here.  Feeling tired because I haven’t been running continuously in a long time, but otherwise doing well.  I came to the three mile point at 10:33.  Still doing pretty well considering the crowd. 

The last .1 miles was cool.  I was exhausted so didn’t have much of a push at the end, but the spectators were awesome and came in strong at a finishing time of 32:26 (watch timed).  The shoot was horrible. As soon as I crossed the finish line I came face to face to people going the other way.  There was no organization, it just ended and people were standing around in a mindless daze.  Most people weren’t being timed, so nobody was taking numbers and nobody directing you where to go.  I grabbed some water and waited along the sidelines for Jen.

She came in around 52 minutes on the clock, but she didn’t start at the beginning either.  It was a great accomplishment for her (first 5k ever!) and even though she walked the majority of it, she did run some of it.  I have a feeling she’ll be running it strong next year.

So…. everything considered, it was a good race, for a good cause.  Better organization would be great considering most people that do it never run 5Ks or run at all, it was great.  I came away with a better understanding of how huge races go and hopefully can adjust my strategy for the Army 10 miler in 3 weeks.  

FYI, I did PR by a whooping 5 seconds!  

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pre Race Update

Tomorrow I’m running the Susan G. Komen Maryland Race for the Cure.  Originally my wife signed up and created a team.  Next, I signed up and we were going to run it together.  Unfortunately, Jen’s been having some trouble with her feet (Yeah, she’s got to follow everything I do! just kidding!), and the doctor suggested she not run it; so instead she’ll be walking it pushing Connor in the stroller. Being that she’s walking it, I’ll be running it and feel pretty confident that I’ll do well.  I’ve decided to bring along my walkman and run with music.  Tonight I’m planning out my play list.  For some reason I just feel good about the race tomorrow. 

I want to thank those of you that spread the word about my virtual run.  I don’t have much a following yet and appreciate everyone helping out.  I’m looking forward to reading the reports!  Wish us all luck tomorrow.   I know some of you are running it as well.  Maybe I’ll catch ya there!