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.