Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday 8 miles

This morning I ran 8 miles for my long run.  I had intended to do 7 or 8 depending on my mood.  Well, everything fell in place for a great run so I did 8.  The temperature was in the low 70’s, it wasn’t too humid, and I felt great!  For my long runs, I’ve been trying to stay at a 11 min/mile pace, and I achieved that for all but one mile.  My average was 10:50.  It was one of those rare days where things just worked.  I stopped for a energy gel at the turn around, then a pee break shortly after.  Otherwise it was no stop running.  My music of choice:  Bush – Sixteen Stone, then a mix of Pearl Jam.  After the run, I meet a friend at Caribou Coffee for a few hours.  Now to relax then meeting another friend for dinner with the family.   
My splits were pretty good I think.
Mile 1 = 10:24
Mile 2 = 10:41
Mile 3 = 10:59
Mile 4 = 10:56
Mile 5 = 10:43
Mile 6 = 10:55
Mile 7 = 11:05
Mile 8 = 10:50
Total = 1:26:38

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  I got my truck back.  It was the fuel pump and wouldn’t ya know it?  My truck has probably one of the most expensive fuel pumps around.  over $600!! That, along with a new fuel filter and gas tank strap, plus labor = $1239!!!  I really had no grounds to shop around.  It cost me $80 to have it towed there.  After ponying up the money I know have my truck back. Only missed one day of work and I’m making it up tomorrow which was supposed to be my day off. 

2.  With the truck fiasco, I flat out forgot to do my makeup run yesterday, so until this evening, I hadn’t run since Sunday.  I was starting to feel like a fat tub of goo.  So I made it a point to leave work in time to make it to the running group tonight.  I ended up running alone as my normal peeps were gone and nobody else wanted to run what I did.  It was HOT and HUMID.  But overall a good run.  I ran 2/1 intervals but sped it up slightly from what we normally run to push myself.  I ended up doing 4.1 miles as I added a little loop in the middle.4615674089_2d630e10a0_o

3.  I was tagged by Olivia over at  Blissful Runner for the Versatile Blogger award.  The rules are to post 7 random things about me, then tag 7 other people.  I think most of the people I follow have already taken it, so I’ll leave it up to my faithful followers (if I have any) to do it if you haven’t already.  Here goes:

1). In high school and the first two years of college I worked at Taco Bell.  Everyone asked me if I got sick of eating it but the answer was no.  I basically ate it for at least one meal a day. Even on my day’s off I often stopped by.  You can’t be $0.59 for half price!  I still eat it occasionally but boy do I miss being able to mix my own stuff.  Yum!

2).  For nearly three years, I kept poison dart frogs.  I had three tanks and even were starting to have babies.  Somehow the tanks became infected with a frog fungus and over the course of about 9 months, they all died.  I filled one tank up with water and now have a cool looking aquarium with an interesting planted background.  Someday, I’ll get back into them.

3).  I’ve attended six different colleges and have four degrees.  I spent freshman year at one, sophomore year at another and received an A.S. in Business.  Started working full time and took classes between two other schools on a part time basis for the next three years.  I found my career interest, quick work and attended another one where I finished my B.S. and M.S.  then I moved to Maryland and started an M.S. ed which I completed in 2007. 

4).  Along with number 3.  I’ve been itching to go back to school.  I would love to get a PhD, but really need to be a fulltime student again and I can’t afford it with the family.  Maybe once Jen hits the lottery I’ll go for it!

5).  I had a best friend that died in our early twenties.  We had the same last name and everyone thought we were cousins we were so close.  It was a hard thing to deal with and I've come to terms with it.  As a way to honor him.  We decided to use his name as Connor’s middle name (Griffin).

6).  Today, I spent several hours discussing the possibility of a certain mosquito-borne disease causing widespread economic injury, livestock deaths, and possibly human deaths; should the organism reach the US.  Then, I spent a few hours working on a presentation on bed bugs, and ended the day researching some accidental pesticide deaths.  I love my job!

7).  In less than two weeks I will be in Disney World with my family, my parents and sister for a week.  I’m bringing my shoes and plan to bond with my sister while pounding some pavement.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sidetracked From Running

Tonight I had intended on running a 4 miler, but sadly, it didn’t happen. 

I had a normal day of work.  Buggy consultations, BSA Jamboree planning, bed bug analysis, and even some dishwashing (mosquito incubators) along with a nice 1.55 mile walk around the lake.  It was going well, until the ride home.

I was getting off the interstate and as i came to a stoplight on the off ramp, my truck died.  I coasted to a stop and tried to start it.  The engine cranked but wouldn’t turn over.  The starter was fine, lights, stereo, horn, etc all worked, but alas, the engine wouldn’t work.  I called Jen, who proceeded to sign us up for AAA.  There was some issues with getting everything setup right, but after awhile the tow truck was on his way.  About 2 hours later and $92 cheaper, the truck is now sitting outside a local mechanics waiting for them to open tomorrow.  It sounds like it could be the fuel pump, or an electrical system problem.  No telling how much it’s going to cost.  AAA

While I’m glad we got AAA, I’d like to make a few observations. 

First:  it took awhile to get everything setup.  Jen signed up, but they couldn’t find me on the membership, finally we got it all straightened out. 

Second:  The guy on the phone tried to diagnose the problem and proceeded to tell me the alternator was out.  HELLO!  the batter was just fine. If it was the alternator, then it wouldn’t start because the battery had been drained.  The tow truck operator shut that theory down immediately.


Third, and most important:  If you have or plan to get a AAA membership.  Be sure to purchase the Plus membership.  The basic one only covers the first 3 miles of a tow.  The Plus covers the first 100 miles.  You can not purchase a plus membership and have it active in the same day.  Only the basic can do that.  If you have the basic and need it towed more than 3 miles, it costs $4 per mile.  Best to pay the difference.  It cost me $92 after Jen already paid for the membership.



The good news is I called my office, and my supervisor allowed me to switch my regular day off (this Friday) with tomorrow, so that was great.  Thanks Ben!

Also, since I will be off tomorrow, I’ll make up the run I missed tonight, and try to get some much needed  housework done. 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sticky Sixer

This morning I ran 6 miles at the NCR Trail. It was pretty good outside of one thing.  Wet! It must have rained a lot last night, as there were a ton of small puddles along the trail.  Also, the humidity was something fierce.  I cam home to some wicked chaffing in the inner thigh region.  Yes, I did put some anti-chaffing stuff on before the run.  Oh well, still a good run.  Now for the recap:

Mile 1 - 11:01 - Not much to mention, the typical begining mile for me.  Slow start, then settle in.
Mile 2 - 10:57 - Quick potty break (not timed), then a nice pace. Enjoying the scenery and music.
Mile 3 - 11:26 - Humidity was getting to me. The last 1/4 to the turn around was slow.
Mile 4 - 11:00 - I stopped for some energy gel and several drinks of water(not timed), then off again. The stop must have given me a boost.
Mile 5 - 11:49 - Humidity was killing me.  I stopped for a 1 minute walk.
Mile 6 - 11:12 - I mostly coasted in.  Inner thighs were rubbing raw and just ready to get out of the sticky clothes.

It was a better run than I was expecting after yesterday.  We attended a pool party New Jersey and got home late.  Plus I have a ton at the party.

After the run, we took the kids to see Shrek 4.  it was a good movie.  Not as good as the first but on par with 2 and 3.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Funny Friday

Last night I ran with my running group.  We did 2/1 run/walks for 3.75 miles.  I always enjoy running with the group.  It's refreshing to have people to talk with, and run/walking is a nice break from my normal runs.  One thing I've been noticing is that I'm more winded with the run/walks than with full running.  Maybe it has to be the constant change between recovery breathing and run breathing.  When I full run, it takes about 5 mins to settle into a good breathing rhythm. 

The funny thing about last night was I pulled into the parking lot, and got stuck behind a car that was waiting for a "bag boy", by this I mean a man in his 70's, trying to collect carts for Trader Joe's from the parking lot.  He had 5 carts, and they kept running away from him.  One would start rolling away (the parking lot is slanted) and when he went to grab it, the others would start rolling.  This repeated itself several times.  I have no idea why he didn't push them together like the gigantic Walmart cart trains. This lasted about 3 minutes before a pedestrian offered to help him.  Why didn't I help?  I could stop laughing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  There hasn't been much to say about my running this week, besides Sunday's long run.  Monday was a rest day.  Tuesday I did 3.1 miles after work.  It was a nondescript run.  Wednesday I walked 1.55 miles during lunch.

2.  In about three weeks we are taking a trip to Disney World, where we will be meeting with my parents and sister.  It's not too often we all get together, so it should be a great week.  We would have liked my brother and his family to join, but they couldn't afford it. 

3.  This weekend we're headed up to New Jersey for a birthday party and will be getting in late Saturday night. Sunday's long run should be interesting.  I'm going 6 miles again.  I thought about increasing to 7 but decided to hold off until next week. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Sixer

This morning I had a great six mile run. 

I'm starting to prepare for the Army Ten miler, by doing long runs and this was my first one.  I haven't run 6 miles in years, but it was a great run.  It was cool this morning, so I was in no hurry to get out at the butt crack of dawn and waited until about 7:30 to get up. 

NCR_Gunpowder_Map Several people I know run on the NCR trail a twenty mile gravel trail that extends from Baltimore area to the Pennsylvania line.  I favorite of runners and bikers alike.  I've never been to it, but decided since I'm starting to increase my distances, I'd give it a try. 

All I can say is AWESOME!  

Who wouldn’t like running on this trail?p1010039 It is marked every mile, has porta-potties in several places, is closed to motorized vehicles, is a nice paced gravel trail that is basically flat, and has some great scenery along the way.  I only ran the first 3 miles of the trail but am looking forward to seeing the rest.

I had my watch, but didn’t always mark my miles, so here is my first half (32:49), and the finish (1:05:59).  one entire second faster than my intended time.  lol.  I was shooting for an 11 min/mile pace and was almost on the money.   The run also felt great, I took a couple of short walk breaks, but not because I really needed them, more because I wanted to enjoy the scenery. 

Several weeks ago, I had some Ebay bucks to spend before they expired so I hopped on and won a Camelbak FlashFlo and tried it out for the first time today.  I love it. it takes some getting used to because the pack goes on your backside, sitting on your waist. You have to be sure and tighten it enough, or the pack will bounce around. Otherwise, I hardly noticed it, and holds more than enough water.  And with it being at your waist, you don’t get that annoying sweaty backpack syndrome.   For those of you that need a lot of water like me, I’d highly recommend one.

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the rest of my weekend!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kids Race Results.


The kids had the best time today at their race.  The weather was perfect, there were plenty of people, but not too crowded, and they both had awesome runs!  We all got there awhile before the races so the kids got to play on the playground. Here is the two of them just before the festivities began. 


Before the races began, they called all runners to a grassy area and everyone went through some basic stretches.

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Connor and Jen’s 100 meter Toddler Trot was first.  He had a small upset before the race but only because he had to sit still until time to go.  Once the race was off, he loved it! 




Next up was Paige.  She was so excited.  She was with her daddy this weekend, and he brought her out.  This was her first time to run by herself, and she did a great job. Something tells me she’s got cross country in her future!



As soon as the race started, she fell into an empty pocket and was able to run at her own pace without other kids around. 


Mid-race, she held a great pace. And just look at that form.  A natural runner!


Coming into the end, she was getting tired  but once she saw the end was near, she took off.

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When She was done, we all had some post race snacks, the kids got to play on a bouncy castle, and we relaxed, as the other races finished.  After we left, Connor, Jen and I went to the National Zoo for a splendiferous time where we got to see the pandas, and the entire time, Connor kept running around saying “running, Daddy, Mommy, running!”  

Oh, and we can’t forget him picking up fresh peacock poopy!


In other news, I postponed my 6 mile run until tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck fighting the morning “dontwannas”!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Group Run

My conference was over early today, so I was able to stop by my office for a few emails, and still make it to the running store for a group run.  It was a great evening for a run. Cool and overcast without rain.  We did a 2/1 minute intervals at a decent pace for roughly 3.65 miles.  

I'm off tomorrow and plan to do a 6 mile long run, depending on how I feel.  If not tomorrow, then I'll plan to do it on Sunday.  

Happy Running Everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This Weeks a Bust

So far this week I only ran on Sunday.  This week has been very busy with work.  I am attending a workshop in DC, and the commute is nearly 5 hours a day with having to fight my way through both Baltimore and DC.  The workshop has been great but it gets tiring listening to presentations all day plus the commute.  So running has been on the back burner.  I was going to try tonight, but rain and lightning kept me from going.  I have one more day then I am off for the weekend (I get every other Friday off).

My goal is to make Friday a long day.  I want to shoot for 6 miles.  On Saturday is the kids race. Paige is with her father this weekend, and he's agreed to bring her, but I don't know if he's going to run with her or not.  I'm going prepared to run or photograph the events.  Jen will be running with Connor in the 100 meter race.  Should be a fun day for them.

In other news, my wrist tendonitis is SLOWLY getting better.  I've got a little bit of mobility with it now.  The pain still comes and goes, but is getting more going than coming.  As long as it's mostly healed by June 5th I'll be ok. We're going to Disney World for a week!  Can't wait!

Now, off to rest and get ready for my last day of fighting DC traffic!

UPDATE: I ended up doing a 2 mile run after the storms stopped. Nothing great, didn't time myself, and had some chaffing due to the high humidity, but I'm glad I got out there anyway.  I hate going more than 2 days off of running.  

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Relaxing Sunday Evening Run

Tonight I had a nice evening run.  I went 4.7 miles, at a very slow pace, and it was great.  It's runs like tonight that I love and keep me coming back to running.  I grabbed my walkman, setup Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, and took off.

One might say DSOTM isn't a great album to run to, and one would be right.  That is... if one is looking for a workout.  As for a relaxing medium distance run, I think it's great.  The music isn't too fast, has some awesome melodies and lyrics, and it's the perfect music to contemplate the world too.  "Great Gig in the Sky" is probably the best song for this. 

After this week, I've realized I much prefer my personal runs than races.  All the competition, and hassle of the races make it feel more like work.  Plus, whenever I see another runner stop to walk, it makes me want to as well.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Lastly, I didn't mention it in the previous post, but Jen, Paige, and Connor did a great job yesterday as well.  The kids both got medals (all kids that finished the 1K did), but still Jen said Paige did awesome.  Connor, well how awesome is it to be able to sit in a stroller, have Mommy push you, and still get a medal at the end!  He won't be so luck next Saturday when he has a lengthy 100 meter race!

Here are a few pics of the kids and their medals.

IMG_1060    IMG_1065

And on the Metro.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Musical Madness 5K Race Report

First off, I met my race goal of just being able to finish.  Yeah me!

Second off, I PR'ed for a 5K 17 seconds faster.  Yeah me!  again!

Third off, We had a great day, but now my wrist is killing me, and I'm worn out.

The race was pretty cool.  It was put on as high school band fund raiser and they were out playing as wee took off and finished.  The route was a fairly nice out and back.  Not too hilly, but definitely not a flat course.  After last week, I decided to take off nice and slow.  Things went well.  My first mile was a 9:58, about where I wanted it.  The second mile was a bit slower than I'd have liked at 11:00, but around the 2 mile marker, my right calf began to bother me.  It was stiff this morning but not really bad.  Also, my wrist was an annoying pain the entire race.  I ended up for the last 1.1 miles at 12:06.  About 2 minutes off from where I'd have liked.  Making the race at 33:06.  Not bad for just wanting to be able to finish. A whole 17 seconds faster than my last PR.  I can definitely do better but with the week I've had, I was extatic with it. 

After the race we took the metro down to DC and hit up the American History Museum, then we came across Public Service Recognition Week where the kids got to tour various military vehicles and lots of free items.  We then headed to Gardenfest outside the Smithsonian Castle, where I ran into my old boss (I used to do pest control at three Smithsonian museums) and her boyfriend dressed as bugs.  It was a great event and the kids loved it. 

Next we metro-ed back to the car and had some great chili at Hard Times Cafe, then home for rest. 

I probably should not have carried Connor any today, but it was hard not to.  My wrist is killing me.  I'm going to take my meds, and chill the rest of the evening. 

Tomorrow's goal: an easy 3 miler.

I hope everyone else that had a race this weekend did well, enjoy the rest of your weekends!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Still out

No run or walk yesterday.  I went home and vegged on the couch.  My wrist was so sensitive yesterday that the vibration from walking gave me piercing pain.  Today, it's a bit better.  I'm going to work on icing it throughout the day and definitely resting it.  Will try for a short jog tonight if possible. Otherwise more rest and ice this evening.  I would like it at least bearable tomorrow so I can try and run the 5K.  I've got 24 hours for some improvement. 

Tomorrow Goal: Just to be able to run the race without my wrist killing me.
Secondary Goal:  Cheer Jen and the kids on if I can't run.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Three Things Thursday With a Bonus

Three things Thursday

1.  Yesterday I went to the doctor for some pain I've been having in my right wrist.  For the last couple of months, I've had  dull pain off and on, but starting about two weeks ago it's become an everyday thing and more intense.  He diagnosed me with tendonitis and prescribed me a wrist brace and naproxen NSAID.   Well, I slept with the brace on and this morning I felt like I had broken my hand.  Extremely stiff, and sharp pain whenever I move it.  I called the Dr. and he said that if it's causing more pain to not use it.  I did as told.  I have some movement in my fingers again, but still not back to where it was yesterday. I'm going to try some ice baths and massage and see if that helps. 

2.  This tidbit relates to the aforementioned injury. When I woke up this morning and felt how sore it had become.  The first thing that pooped into my mind was "I hope it doesn't hurt too bad to run with tonight".  This was sort of an epiphany for me.  Having that thought about something keeping me from my run helps me to know that this time the running habit has stuck.

3.  We're signed up for the Musical Madness 5K run this Saturday.  As of right now, they are calling for morning showers, so it might be a rainy race! I'm running the 5K, Jen and Paige will be running the  1K fun run, with Jen pushing Connor in the stroller.  It should be a fun day less the rain. 

4.  Tonight, I plan to run with the store group at 6:00, provided my wrist pain isn't too much.  If it is, then I'll try for a nice long walk.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A good Run

Tonight there is a possibility of showers and since I didn't want to run in the rain, I decided on a lunchtime run. 

Today's goal: Upping my routine runs to 4 miles. 

Using Map My Run, I roughed out a 4 mile route from the office and took off. Since this was at almost noon on a hot day (85 F) and an increase in distance, I just started out light.  About 1/4 of the way through I took a GU and sped up a bit.  My right calf was tight and I took a short walk break.  The back half was against the wind and up hill so it was slow going.  The last mile or so I started picking it up.  Ending time: 46:08.  I finished strong and headed to Subway for some lunch. When I sat down to map it out, it came to a bit over 4.1 miles.

Goal achieved!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Paige and I

   I’m planning another 5K this weekend very similar to yesterdays, although the course isn’t as hilly.  They have a 1K fun run that Jen and Paige will be doing, with Connor in the stroller. Also, in two weeks is the “Kids on the Run” race where Paige will be running a 1K and Connor a 100 meter. 
Paige has run with me a few times, always as a run/walk, so tonight I thought I’d challenge her.  We did 1.5 miles nonstop (other than about 20 seconds at the turn around).  She was awesome!  No whining, didn’t fall (as she is prone to doing) and even finished with a sprint! 
The numbers:  1.5 miles at 24:15.  I’d say that’s great for a 5 year old!! 
I had to get a few pics when we got back so here she is post run finishing off our water.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Viking 5K Pictures

Waiting for the start

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Such a huge race!!

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It’s Me, it’s me!

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Race Results

Today's race did not go as planned.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I had some foot pain yesterday, so I was concerned about that.  It really didn't bother me.  here's the recap.

I got up this morning, got ready and could feel a bit of soreness so I took some ibuprofen.  Finished getting ready and made some green tea. We arrived at the school and got my race packet.  The t-shirt was black cotton with yellow writing.  Not really a good one to run in but oh well.  I didn't put it on by the way, wore a white tech shirt.

I said by to Jen and Connor and did some stretching of my legs.  The race started out on a track so we headed over to the other side while Jen and Connor hit the bleachers.

The gun went off and I started out cautious. It was one loop around the track then off through some fairly high grass. When we hit the grass I decided to speed it up as my feet were feeling fine.  About 200 yards through the grass and we hit a steep down and up across a ravine, came out to a residential street. I was feeling good, hot but good.  As I approached the 1 mile mark, I realized I was going too fast.  I hit one mile in 9:11, about 44 seconds faster than my normal pace.

Then right after the mark, the road began a nearly mile long up hill.  I was pushing it really starting to feel the heat (about 85 degrees at this point)  and sweating buckets.  Good thing I had my Nuun filled water bottle!

On the turn around loop I had to stop and walk a bit.  But started back up, but after hitting the 2 mile mark (10:44) I knew I was worn out.  The last 1.1 miles was a struggle.  Several small hills, the ravine, which was about 40 degree incline down then back up, through the tall grass which by this point felt like quick sand (the guy beside me made that observation), then a final lap around the track.

I knew the last 1.1 was going to suck because I struggled so much but at 13:24 all I can say is that it REALLY sucked.  I was hot, worn out, and just wanted it to be done.

Final time was 33:21.  A good minute faster than my last race, but nowhere near what I'm capable of.  Still it was a PR, so I'll take it.

After recovering and thinking about it.  I think the downfall was that I started too fast.  Had I not pushed myself too much at the beginning, then taken the long hill steadily, I probably could have held out for the last third.  It did have some good downhills and had I not been worn out.  I probably could have coasted through them and finished much better. 

So the take away lessons, be prepared for hills (I need to find a more hilly route), watch my speed at the begining, and now that summers hit look for runs that start earlier.

Now to take a nap, then later find a race for next week so that I can put this one behind me.

Pictures to come once Jen gets them on her computer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekend Running

I didn't run Friday or today.  I decided to take a rest day on Friday because I've logged a considerable amount more than normal and tomorrow I have a race.  Today, I was having the familar feeling at the back of my heel.  Yup, the bone spur/bursitis/gout/whatever it is.  So I elected to rest it.  I'm hoping I'll wake up and it will have cleared.  It's funny like that. comes quickly and goes quickly.  The podiatrist I went to wasn't very helpful. He did an ex-ray and said I do have a bone spur, but didn't prescribe anything other than an NSAID.

I'll probably go to a different podiatrist sometime in the near future.  For now, it's more of an annoyance.  Not debilitating like it used to be.

Tomorrow's goals.  As I stated before, my BFHG is sub 29 minutes.  I don't know about this one.  If my feet weren't bothering me, I'd say it's doable, but for now I'll focus on the mail goal.  Sub 30 minutes. 

Either way, I'm bound to PR tomorrow.  Since I had a 5 year hiatus from running, and crossed that mythical 30 year old mark.  I don't consider my old times as my records.  There's no way in hell I'll beat my high school records (about 20:30).  So that means my PR is at 34:23 from the last race.  Easily beatable unless I have an injury tomorrow.   

Off to bed and rest my foot.  Here's to a great race tomorrow!