Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scenic Running

Today was another quick workout.  2 laps around the ol’ lake.  I grabbed some fresh batteries and juiced up the Garmin before heading out so here are my metrics.

Distance: 1.6 miles

Time: 15:49

One mile time: 9:45

I stopped to walk for about 20 seconds after my first mile, then finished up.  Tomorrow I intend to do the same pace but finish without stopping. 

We went for a family walk this evening, roughly 1.25 miles. Nice weather for  stroll.

FYI, here is the scenery I get to enjoy everyday while on my lunchtime runs (photos were taken last summer).  There is a .77 mile path around the lake.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday Mile and a Halfer

Monday, I tried to use one of our Garmin Etrek from work. It's not a unit designed for runners; we use it for GIS data collection, but it can display distance, speed, and time. I started it off, and took off. The intention was to do another 3 looper (2.25 miles). About halfway through the first lap, I noticed the Garmin died. Batteries were dead.

Since I didn't take a watch, I had no idea of time, but I felt like I was pushing myself. I ended up only doing two laps since I pushed myself, but that's cool. I've been leaning towards using my lunch runs to work on my speed rather than distance. There's just not enough time to get changed, warm up and run very far. I might start limiting it to two laps, and working on bringing down my time.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blog Updates

Welcome to my brand spankin new blog layout!  Well, technically, I took a lot of the design from my family blog (which I haven’t updated in ummmmmm forever!  But I also have integrated this with my new online runner’s log.  Therefore, on my side bar, you can see my personal records for races, latest workouts, and cumulative distances.

Don’t you just love my new blog header?  It’s a tiger beetle (paige’s favorite bug) running a race.  The bib is a Boston Marathon bib.  :)  I was thinking of adding some funny parts to it.  maybe I will surprise you again!

Mini Me

Paige went with me to day for an interval run/walk.  we did 1.5 min intervals. I didn’t have a set distance or time since I wasn’t sure how she would do.  Wen I got home, I calculated it up…

2 Miles!!

She was a trooper too.  She’s excited about doing a race with me sometime.  :) 

In other news, I’ve been using mapmyrun.com and it’s great for finding routes or figuring out distances.  Here is a map of our route, in the corner you can see it reads 2 miles.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2.25 Miler or 3 Lapper

To start this post off, I need to explain some background. I am an entomologist. I work for the Army. "What?" you say! Yes, yes, I help to ensure the health of the soldiers and their families by researching and surveying medically significant insects. Also, I perform regulatory work to ensure the safe and minimal use of insecticides.

"So why are you telling us that?" you say. Because the Army has a vested interest in the health of its soldiers and civilian employees and has a policy for civilian physical training. I am allowed to spend time in conjunction with my lunch to work out. This roughly gives me an hour to run and eat lunch.

As I've stated before, there is a small "lake" (glorified pond) right outside my office. It has a great pathway that is a roughly 3/4 mile loop. Three laps equals about 2.25 miles. Ideally I'd like to have my normal runs be 3.1 miles (4 laps and a little extra), but at this point, I really do not run fast enough for a 3.1 miler and still have time to eat lunch.

Therefore, I've decided that for my lunchtime runs, I'm going to just keep it at three laps and not try to push further distances. I'm hoping this shift in planning will let me focus more on speed work so that I can bring my time down to something respectable. Then, I can start running my intended 3.1 milers.

I'll have to keep any distance runs to weekends or evening runs, but oh well, I still consider myself lucky to be able to get my exercise done at work anyhow!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Yeah, today is a rest day. Not for my feet though. They're feeling pretty good. I've been slightly dizzy today. I started new BP medicine on Saturday because the previous gave me horrible dry cough. One of the major side effects is dizzyness. I've slightly felt it the last two days, but today it's fairly strong. Not incapacitating but enough to not want to run. I hope it goes away as my body gets used to this new med; if not, then I might have to change yet again. :(

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

5K Luncher

Today's run went pretty well, with one exception. Since the race on Sunday, my legs have been achy while running. Yesterday, I'd assumed it was due to the cold but today was nice and they were still achy; mostly in my shins.

I have to confess I haven't done much in the way of stretching, outside of during my workout. I'll have to make a concerted effort to do extra stretches every night, maybe some Wii Yoga too. Jen's been using the Biggest Loser game and it looks to have a good yoga part

Getting back to my run, I did a 1.5/1.5 min run/walk set for 3.1 miles (4 laps around the lake). I stopped and stretched after the second lap, and it seemed to help. Tomorrow, I'm debating about meeting with the running group. I might just take a rest day instead.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Case of the Don't Wanna's

Today is just one of those days. I set out to run 3 miles around the lake, doing a 2/2 run walk. After the first lap, I really didn't feel like continuing. My legs ached and I could feel some rumblings in my bowels. So I stopped after two laps. A whopping 1.5 miles.

It's relatively cold today, in the lower 50's. Maybe that had something to do with it. Oh well, I'm allowed to cut it short. I at least got out there.

In other news, there was no Metric Monday yesterday because the gym was closed for a blown transformer. I did 25 mins at the other gym but it was crowded, humid, and the guy next to me smelled like he just finished a double shift at the moldy cheese factory.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Here are some pics from today. Some of them were pulled off of a video Jen took so they aren’t the best quality.  Thanks for taking them though Jen! 

Running, Potatoes, and Pain

The race went quite well. Jen went with me and when we got there there were approximately 400 runners. The course fairly flat with some small hills, and was an out and back race.

Coming into the first mile I felt like I was being conservative, but I hit the mark about 10:02. Going strong, At about the 1.5 mile mark I had to stop and walk, and from then on it was run for awhile, walk a short bit and alternate. My 2 mile mark was 21:20, so fairly slower. When I came into the last stretch I picked it up and finished strong with an official time of 34:23. 37 seconds faster than my intended goal. I'll post some pics once Jen gets them to me.

After the race I had the usual water and bananas but to my surprise, Outback provided every runner with a chicken sandwich and baked potato! That was a nice treat.

As we were listening to the results and door prizes, I started noticing my left big toe feeling sore. This concerns me a lot because I've suffered from gout and no the tell-tale signs. So once we got home I took my meds. I hope it helps. I haven't had an attack since around October.

Related to this, I started a new blood pressure medicine yesterday and one of the side effects is increased uric acid. If this continues, I'm going to have to find yet another BP medicine. Now off to relax a bit then pick up Paige's new mattress.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Four Miler! Well, almost 4!

I met with a running group tonight. There is a running store Fleet Feet Baltimore about 5 minutes from the house. I've run with them in the past (about 4 years ago) and that is where I bought my running shoes. After work today, my feet weren't feeling it, so I had decided I wasn't going to go and just make today a rest day. As I got closer to home, I decided to change my mind. So I went.

I joined a small group that were planning to run a 1.5 minute/1 minute interval (run/walk). They were planning a 3.9 miler. At first, I thought this would be too far, but I thought "it's a run walk." Then the Rob Schneider yelling "You can do it!" from Water Boy popped into my head and off we went.

The run was suprisingly easy being that I haven't gone that far in years. The walks really help to pace yourself (Not to mention the fact that I was with a group), and in the end it was a great run. 47:30, thank you very much. Yeah, I know what you're going to say... "I thought you didn't care about time!" I didn't keep track, but I heard it from someone in the group. Jen and I talked about it and decided that I'll try to make it there the tues/thurs that Paige goes with her father.

Now, off to play with some bday goodies! I'm off tomorrow Whaoooo!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Significant improvement

Today I repeated what I ran yesterday (2.25 miles) and my time was way better!  Yesterday I ran it in 26:26; today it was 25:38.  Now less than a minute might not sound like much, but today, I ran my first mile in 9:55!  Granted, I did take a walk for .25 miles that took me about 5 minutes, but then my second mile was 10:11!  Had I not stopped and walked, I would have had a pretty decent time. 

I wonder, could this be because I know I have a race on Sunday?  My short term goal is to get my pace to slightly under 10 min/mile, so this makes me very hopeful for Sunday! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's Always Sunny in....... Fort Meade!

Have I mentioned how I love running in warm sunny weather? Well I do, and today that just happened to be the case. I originally planned to run two laps around Burba Lake (a glorified pond about 150 yards from my building), which would equate to 1.5 miles, but about halfway through, I decide to push for 3 laps (2.25 miles). I know, this isn't too far, but for me 2 miles is about my norm.

In other news, I have a race set! I'm running a 5K this Sunday in Columbia, MD. It benefits a local YMCA and is only about 20 minutes away. I'm slightly nervous, as I really haven't been running 3 miles much, but I'm hoping the adrenaline rush, and the fact that I'm running with other people will carry me through. I've been trying to think of a goal for this race. Definitely not PR potential. Realistically, I am hoping to finish the race in under 35 minutes. Today I ran 2.25 in 26:26 so this should be doable. Who knows, maybe I'll surprise myself and get it done closer to 30. I guess I'd better bump up my mileage the rest of the week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Running Photos

My blog is too dull and drab so here are a few photos to liven it up.  They’re all of me from my high school days in cross country and track.  Enjoy!


Metric Monday


Exercise: Stationary Bike
Time: 25 minutes
Speed: Slow and steady
Resistance: Strong

Weight: 216
BMI: 27.4
Fat %: 30.8

interpretation: My overall weight hasn't really changed since starting this whole thing over a month ago. However, my fat % has gone down quite a bit. I guess right now my body is more focused on converting fat to muscle..... or something like that!

Weekend stretches

I didn't run this weekend. There was too much going on and with it cold and rainy, I did not feel like running in the rain. Instead, I did some stretching. I've been thinking about yoga a lot lately, and am slowly trying to find a good routine that fits me well. About ten years ago, I had this book on personal yoga, written by a guy with severe back problems who couldn't do traditional yoga. His thesis was that not everyone can do traditional yoga, and that by listen to your own body, and adjusting your movements, that you can develop your own routines. I'd love to find that book again, but I've had no luck in my searches.

It's another cold and wet day, but today is Metric Monday, so at lunch I'll be off for some biking (stationary) and my weekly weigh-in. Catch ya later!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Today it is cold and wet out and I've been tired all week. Soooooo........ I didn't do a thing at lunch. Well, I did go grab a lunch, but no exercise. I plan to get some extended stretching in tonight, and more this weekend. Boy do I wish there was a free beginners yoga program in my area. Most places charge about $12 per session. Oh well, maybe I'll get Wii Yoga. :)

I've been reading other runner blogs and I find a lot of them make lists. Lists of accomplishments. Lists of failures. And lists of just random stuff. So here is a list of random running stuff for me.

1. Fastest 1/4 mile: 59 sec. Actually nearly all of my senior year meets were 59 sec. I just couldn't beat that no matter what I did.

2. Fastest 5K race: 20:21 Junior year Regional Finals. It was a great race and even though it was 16 years ago, I still remember it vividly.

3. Fastest 10K race: 60 min something sec. I got a random bug up my bum to run this, but really failed to prepare. I was about 20 years old, and not consistent about running at all. My sister rode a bike race for the same event (Lake Hefner something or other festival) The funny thing is..... I won my division!!!!! Granted I was nearly the only one in it, but still. Cool!

4. Longest distance ever run: 11 miles. Again, another random bug. I intended to run 3 miles, but something inside said to just keep going. I had to drive the course to find out, but I had estimated I ran 8. Good surprise!

5. Boring-est race ever: Houston Runway for Life (2002 or 2003). This was a 5K race around a 1/2 loop on a new runway at the Houston Airport. The only interesting thing was that planes were landing on the adjacent runway and flying about 50 feet above our heads. Otherwise, it was like running on a very large track....... In Southern Texas......... In the summer time.........HOT!

6. Lastly, favorite running movie: "Running Brave" About Billy Mills and his Olympic upset. Very motivational. Maybe I should re-watch it this weekend.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Not much to report today. Legs were still pretty stiff during my run, even after extensive stretching. Tomorrow I'll prob do some cycling at the gym. Maybe that will help.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Stiff as a board; light as a feather."

In high school, our cross country coach taught us a pretty thorough stretching routine. Since then, I really haven't deviated from it when it comes to running.

After yesterdays speedwork, my legs were stiff. I stretched and headed out for a quick 1.5 miles around the lake (I'm leaving early for a battery of allergy test YUK!). After the first lap (.75 miles) my legs were so stiff I stopped and stretched some more. My first thought was "I'll push through it" but I decided against that because I'm being extra cautious when it comes to any kind of injury right now. So, I stopped and did some leg stretches, mostly focused on my calves and shins. The upper legs were fine. After about five minutes of stretching, I took off again and finished the second lap fine.

Thinking about this now, I feel I should research the art that is a runner's stretch. I'm sure schools of thought have changed in the nearly 15 years since I learned this routine.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Twinkle Toes Tuesdays

I tried my hand at some speed work today.  all I can say is ... it went. 

This morning my stomach was acting funny.  not nausea or anything, just an odd feeling.  Sort like hungry but not.  Any who, it's an awesome day out so I headed back to the track.  I wanted to get a bit of speed work in because I hate being so slow.  I know, I know, I'm not as young as I used to be, but can't I dream like I am?  I ran a short lap around the track, stretched, then started.  My goal was to run 6 sets of 220 sprints with 220 recovery sets in between.  That's sprint a half lap, walk the other half, and follow it up with a cool down lap.  That would have given me a 2 miler.  I ended up only making it through 4 sprints, then a cool down walk. 
My first one was great.  I took off feeling good and was happy to be flying like the wind. After that, however, I quickly sank into the glory of an aching side and shortness of breath. 

As I've mentioned before (Float Like a...), my Achilles heal, sort of speak, has been my breathing and lung capacity. When I first started back, my legs were weak and I felt I was being held back by them.  Not anymore.  Today reaffirmed my weakness is my breathing.

I'll continue with my speed workouts on Tuesdays, but I need to rethink my starting speeds.  Next week's goal..... finish all six sprints. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mixed Monday

I was bad over the weekend.  I haven't run since Thursday (see post below).  Yesterday I had every intention of running when we got home from my birthday lunch, but Jen and I got into a talk about her getting in shape and then we decided to take Connor and Fala for a walk.  We did about 1.25 miles though, so I at least got some exercise.

Today, I headed to the gym for my lunch workout.  Mondays, I've decided are the days I'll test my metrics (weight, BMI, and fat index) on the handy dandy machine.   When I headed over, I noticed how nice it was and decided I'd run at the track across the street.  So, I jumped in for my test.  It wasn't good. Apparently, I've lost 2 lbs, but my fat index shot up well above what it was before I started!  How in the hell did this happen?  My only guess is that I usually test it after working out, and today I did it before.  I know I didn't pig out this weekend.  Maybe it was from lack of running.

So on to the run.  I did a two miler around the track.  Shortly after starting, I thought that I really should check my pace, so at the halfway mark, I started my timer (a Walkman MP3 player where I kept track of the time based on what songs played.  Then I backtrack to count up my time).  So after finishing the second mile, I calculated it took me 11:48.  Not what I would like but better than I anticipated based upon my treadmill pace.  So I've decided Tuesdays and Thursdays will be speed days.  I'd like to get my pace to a 10 min/mile.

The good news was that it was a great day to run outside. A slight breeze, the temperature was great, and just cloudy enough to not be beat down by the sun.

Tonight, we're going out for a family walk too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday to me.  Happy birthday, James.  Happy birthday to me! 

I haven't run since Thursday.  A recap:  Friday - wisdom tooth removed, didn't wake up early enough to run beforehand.  Saturday - Felt ok, but its my normal rest day and spent it with family.  Sunday - My birthday, going to spend it with family, but will try for a 2 miler this evening.  Weather has been great.  Spring is on the way!

Friday, March 5, 2010

No running today

So I had every intention of getting up early enough to run....... didn't happen.  I guess I'll have to see if I'll be up for it tomorrow.  Off to have that pesky tooth pulled.  (I'd much rater be running a marathon sans training and in the freezing cold!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just not into it thursday

Today I intended to run 5K but once I got on the treadmill, I was just so not into it.  After about a mile at a reasonable pace for myself, I decided to cut the distance short to 2 miles and work on my speed.  So I bumped up the speed and did some impromptu interval workout for the last mile.  I ended up running the last 1/4 mile at an almost 8 min/mile pace (much faster than my normal right now).  So should I consider it a good day or a bad since I only ran 2/3 of what I set out for?  I'd say it was good. 

Tomorrow I will HAVE to run in the morning because I'm having a wisdom tooth pulled.  That's right, I never had them taken out and now one is giving me troubles.  I'm not sure if I'll be up for any running this weekend.  Good thing Saturdays are my rest days right now. 

For some good news, I signed up for a 3 mile run here on post.  It's a fort wide "esprit de corps Spring Run".  I'm still looking into a good 5K  with family activities.  Guess I'd better choose something soon!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

O' Readers Where Art Thou?

So this make my 16th blog and so far I've had two comments.  I'm starting to wonder if this is a blog or a personal journal.  To quote one of my favorite bands "Is there anybody out there?" 

Heading out to the gym for some biking then lunch. Enjoy your day, whom ever you are!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Past Results

Today I ran on the treadmill.  Nothing spectacular but my pace is going up some.  Still too slow to disclose though.  An interesting note.  I was looking on active.com and came across my last 5K results.  I ran the 5K in conjunction with the Annual Columbia Metric Marathon on October 2nd 2005 with a result of 25:47.  Not near what I ran in high school, but still pretty damn good.  Now, I highly doubt I'll break 30 mins, maybe not even 35 mins.   Sigh!

Monday, March 1, 2010


The gym at work has a nifty gadget that calculates your weight, height, body-mass index, and even your fat index.  I've decided to measure myself every Monday as one form of assessing my progress.  I'm happy to report that after my third measurement, I have lost over 7 pounds of body fat.  Now my overall weight hasn't shifted much.  In fact, I gained a pound this week but still slightly less than my first measurement.  Also, I'm noticing my heart rate isn't going as high for the same effort.  Another plus!