Saturday, September 5, 2009

Disneyland 5K and looking ahead...

Here at Disneyland. Ran the Family Fun Run 5k this morning. Finished in 38:05. The Garmin got a little bit stupid and was miscalculating my overall average pace due to traversing through a few tunnels and underpasses causing it to lose its signal. As a result, when I was calculating my projected finish time while en route I figured I had no shot of beating my PR of 36:46. I think I could have made it, or at least come close, had I had accurate information.

The medal is cool and I got a t-shirt to match. The race was a good tune-up for tomorrow's half-marathon. It also reminded me of how narrow the course is while running through California Adventure and Disneyland.

Looking forward to the half-marathon tomorrow, partly because we get to run through Angels Stadium. Last year, the Angels were in town playing a game so we could only run through the parking lot. This year the Angels are on the road. Also, planning to run the race with my wife, side-by-side. A first for the two of us.

The one thing I am not looking forward to though is dealing with a cold. The morning we flew out here I woke up with the feeling of an oncoming cold. It did not seem to effect me this morning on the 5K. But, this evening I am beginning to feel it more. Here's hoping a good night of sleep will get my batteries recharged enough for the 13.1.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It has been a while...

Hey there! I know it has been a while since I've last blogged. More then a year to be a little more precise. I am going to try and keep this one short for now, but wanted to say that I have so much to blog about that it has been keeping me from blogging.

Briefly, for starters, I just completed my second run with the OK Runner store in Norman, OK. For the past two weekends I have gotten up at 530am and met other runners at the store to go on a Saturday morning run at 630am. Although I have been the back of the pack, and much slower than the others, I haven't cared. We have started out together and it has been motivation for me to run. It has been motivational in part because it has made it more difficult to give into the temptation of hitting the snooze button and sleeping in. It also has been motivational for me to work on my speed. Plus, I love having an alternate route to run other than the ones I run right outside my door.

Second item up for bid, or rather blogging, is the Disneyland Half-Marathon and 5k races. Next weekend I will be running in both, on back-to-back days. Last year I ran the Half-Marathon only. I am excited for this year's race because this year the course actually will take us through Angel Stadium in Anaheim, whereas last year we only went through the parking lot of Angel Stadium.

And finally, although I have many more things to blog about: races, lessons, tips, gear, etc. I will leave you now with this. Since my last blog I have run 2 marathons, 3 half-marathons, 1 12K, 2 10Ks and 1 5k. With all that training and racing I experienced a case of burn-out and ended up taking a 3 month vacation from running this summer. It helped though, as I managed to get a lot of house chores done, including painting a number of rooms in the house.

So, until next time, keep running, or at least reading about running and I will blog more of my experiences when I can. Thanks for sticking with me.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

All-Star Week...Back In The Saddle

Good afternoon everyone! It has been some time since I have posted. Although I have slacked in posting, I have not been slacking in the running department. Lots of running lately as my marathon training plans get kicking into a higher gear. Wednesday I put in a 12 mile run.

Some were surprised to hear that I did not watch the end of the MLB All-Star game Tuesday night so I could go to bed early and get up early for the run. It was a good thing I did, because as most of you know, the ballgame went well into the night. I was up at 430am Wednesday and running by 515am. I put in my 12.14 miles at 2:45:47. That translates into an overall average pace of 13:39 a mile, well ahead of my pace I put in for the OKC half marathon back in April. At 5am the temp was down to 72 and the humidity was up to 87%. By the end of the run at 8am the temp was back up to 75 and the humidity was down to 76%. By 10am, the temp was already up over 80. Hope that helps to explain the early rising.

With the 12 mile run being my longest since the OKC Half I was a bit excited about it. My running strategy for it was a run 5 minutes, then walk 5 minutes and repeat, therefore some miles would have more walking than other miles. I followed through with it after my initial warm up within the first mile. For those that are interested, here are my splits. I am interested in any feedback you may have.

Mile 1: 14:33
Mile 2: 13:55
Mile 3: 13:37
Mile 4: 13:27
Mile 5: 14:02
Mile 6: 13:15
Mile 7: 13:23
Mile 8: 13:09
Mile 9: 13:06
Mile 10: 13:25
Mile 11: 13:48
Mile 12: 13:08
Mile .14: 2:12

Total: 2:45:47
Pace: 13:39 / Mile

Thinking I would give status updates, the Disneyland Half Marathon is 6 weeks away. The Maine Marathon is only 11 weeks away. Maine is going to be tough, one because of the hills, although not as bad as my sister, A’s hills during the KC Hospital Hill Run, but also because it is a faster marathon. What I mean by that is they have a cut off time of 6 hours (Disney is a 7 hour cut off for a full marathon). This translates into a 14:00 / mile pace. Fortunately at this time I am on track to stay ahead of that. As we get closer I will keep you all updated.

As for the hills within the Maine Marathon, I think I will be okay. Friday night my wife and I made it a date and drove around some of the county roads near our home. For over two hours we drove along measuring a number of different routes. What we found were some roads to run on that will provide us with relief from the concrete from in town. In addition, the roads have numerous hills of various shapes and sizes providing that joyful hidden speedwork. As we were driving my face was lighting up in excitement. I am sure my body will disagree with that excitement after I get out and run those hills. I was a bit nervous about the hills of the Maine Marathon, until I found these hills of Norman to train on.

Other exciting running news, at least for me it is, I have surpassed the 400 mile mark on the year. As a result, I have bought my third pair (Brooks Addiction 8) of running shoes to begin breaking them in. My first two pair are at the 200 mile mark, with the first pair (ASICS) nearing their early retirement. The second pair (Brooks Addiction 7) I will be hanging onto I think a bit longer. For those not aware, typically the cushioning of your shoes are good for 300-500 miles. The reason for the wide range stems from the differences in body weight, frequency of use, and rest to name a few. Since my weight was up much higher and they were the only pair in the beginning my ASICS are getting the boot early. For now they have been relegated to my short distance shoe. The Brooks running shoes, both the 7’s and 8’s, are for my longer distances.

The one negative to report, although not entirely negative, is the weight has gone back up. The weight increased due to some slacking in the food intake department, but also from the rebuilding of muscle. During May and June the mileage amounts were a bit less, partially due to work and travel. There were a couple weeks where I was only able to get in a single run. All combined, I am back up to a total weight loss of only 6 pounds, having put back on 10.

There is your brief update. If time allows I will fill you in more on the past 2 months, but don't be holding the breath for too long.

Happy feet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why I Run

The question has been posed, why do I run? While there are probably just as many reasons to not run as there are to run, I had to take a few moments to really seek out why I am hitting the pavement, treadmill, trails and concrete. Much of my list came to mind while I was where else but amid a run. Some of my reasons are common amongst numerous other runners. Others may be unique to me.

First and foremost, I run for MYSELF. This is one of the few times I am selfish and do something for me. I have come to find it allows me some alone time. Getting out on the open road and breathing in the nature around me helps to clear my thoughts, workout plans and problems, analyze situations and scenarios. My wife might say it gives me the time to conjure up some kind of Rodgers and Hammerstein ideas. In addition, being a Libra, it is in my nature to always weigh the pros and cons.

I run for HEALTH. After drinking and eating my way through the college and ESPN years I managed to put on a pretty good share of pounds. Through my running I strive to lose weight, stave off illnesses and diseases, and improve my overall fitness.

I run for EMOTION. Finishing a training run is satisfying. The days and weeks prior to a race are full of nerves. Toeing the Start Line is a sense of joy. Ticking off mile after mile as I traverse the course is exhilarating. Crossing the Finish Line is elation. Receiving a finisher’s medal is a sense of honor. And, there is a sense of pride in wearing the race t-shirt knowing I had run in the race.

I run for STRUCTURE. I find the training leading up to the road races lends itself to a more structured regimen for me. I like to have a set plan. There is room for flexibility to compensate for unforeseen circumstances, but the structure of the training gives me something to strive for and takes out the guesswork.

I run for INSPIRATION. Whether I am in search of inspiration for myself or offering up inspiration to others, it is there, therefore I run for it.

I run for ENERGY. Hearing the cheers of encouragement from spectators, hearing the comforting words of the volunteers, and seeing the smile on a little kid’s face when I run by and high five his or her outstretched hand, that is the energy I seek.

I run for FAMILY. I run so I may live longer and am able to spend more time with my loved ones. I run to provide family support when needed.

I run for CHARITY. Most road races are organized to help raise funds for a charitable cause. It is my pleasure to provide a donation to the charitable cause for the honor to run in their race.

And finally, I run for FOOD. Not just any foods mind you. I run to eat more pasta. I run for Little Debbie Swiss Rolls, Olive Garden Tiramisu, Pat’s Pizza, McDonald’s double cheeseburgers, Prudie’s whoopie pies, Maine lobster with butter, Grammie Jane’s fruit salad, Fenway Franks, and Dysart’s Poutine.

There you have it, the reasons I run.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Sorry for the absence once again. Just a quick note before I head off to sleep though. Tomorrow (Sunday, April 27) is the Oklahoma City Half-Marathon my sister and I are running in. It will be my first race of any kind since Jr. High. My wife will also be taking part in the 5k (untimed event). You may track my sister and I by logging onto , then clicking on the "participant tracking" then "half-marathon participant tracking." Once there you can enter my bib number H1413 for me, or H4951 to check on my sister. More blog to come tomorrow or Monday. For now I need to get some sleep because I will be getting up in 6 hours to head to the corral.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Embassy Eleven

Excuses, excuses! Sorry for the delay in posting this weekend. Yesterday was my wife’s drinking birthday and the first night of Passover. Passover services went much later than we expected and I was quite exhausted by the time we got home. After all, an 11 mile run can tire you out pretty well. That’s right; I said an 11 mile run. I was originally slated for 2 miles on Friday and 9 on Saturday, however, thanks to having to wait on the cable guy all day on Friday I never made it out for my 2 mile run. Wanting to get the miles in I just added them onto my Saturday run. Heck, it was only 1 mile longer than my longest run to date.

Now, one benefit to being home waiting on the cable guy Friday was that I was home when the UPS guy showed up and delivered my brand new Fuel Belt. Earlier in the week I had ordered the Terminator 6-bottle Fuel Belt for me to use on those longer runs. One challenge I had found out when doing my 10 mile runs was that my water bottle just did not have enough capacity to get me any longer. Therefore, I opted for the Fuel Belt, providing me with a few more ounces of liquid capacity. In addition, it also provides me with a little pouch to put my ID, cash, key, Gu Gel packs, and for those photographic runs I can even add in my compact camera (it will be handy passing through Disney’s Hollywood Studios towards the end of the Goofy Challenge).

It is time now to talk of the run. Despite my desire to wake early and get the run in before the heat I still managed to sleep in. By the time I had awoken the outside temperature had already reached 72 degrees. I ate my Power Bar, got dressed, slathered on the sunscreen, filled the Fuel Belt and laced up my Brooks. When I was finally ready to get out the door the temperature had risen another degree to 73. GARMIN took hardly any time to locate satellites this time. I was quite shocked. Could it have been the addition of the Fuel Belt? Just kidding. Locked in, I set out for 11 miles. At first I did not have a real plan of how I was going to break down the day’s run, but within a minute or two I devised a plan. I decided to try and work some speed into the beginning of my run rather than take the usual full 1-2 miles of warm up walking. This would work twofold. One, it would put some speed into my entire workout, but two, it would also help to reduce the time I would be spending in the higher temperatures. Knowing I would need to slow it down as the temperature went up I figured it would be better to more miles behind me before it got too hot. When you see my splits you will be able to see the results. Speaking of the splits, here they are:

Mile 1: 13:42
Mile 2: 13:54
Mile 3: 13:32
Mile 4: 12:26
Mile 5: 13:21
Mile 6: 13:16
Mile 7: 13:00
Mile 8: 13:25
Mile 9: 13:10
Mile 10: 14:16
Mile 11: 14:36

Accumulative Time: 2:28:43
Overall Average Pace: 13:31 / mile

As you can see, I did well until the last two miles. Today’s running route was along the Target Ten, only I went an additional half mile beyond it to where they are building the new Embassy Suites hotel here in Norman. Therefore, the name for this run is now the Embassy Eleven. When I reached the halfway point at the Embassy Suites the temperature had climbed up to 78 and I had consumed half the Gatorade in my Fuel Belt. Knowing it was approaching 80 I did not want to push it if my body was telling me not to. That is why in the last 2 miles the times were longer. Besides, the final mile I also intentionally planned to walk as a cool down. Also, I had a personal goal to want to try and get the first 9 miles in within 2 hours. Once I had achieved that the slow down began. By the time I finished my run the temperature had topped out at 84.

Wouldn’t you know it, the hottest run day this week there would be NO wind. After all the wind I had endured earlier in the week, nothing on this run but an occasional gentle breeze. Oh well! What’s one to do but drink more liquid? Speaking of drinking liquid, may I say how nice it was to not carry a water bottle in hand while running? It was quite enjoyable to be free of it. Here’s another question, kind of rhetorical, but also looking for insight. Why is it that I tend to find myself pushing harder and faster on the warmer days when I should be taking it easier and slower?

Non-running observations while out running yesterday. With the warmer weather it seemed as if everyone was outside. The parks were full of families picnicking, the skate park was packed full of kids on boards and blades, numerous runners and bikers were out along the route, and I even saw a gentleman and his dog out flying a kite. The funny thing about the kite flyer was he was using a fishing pole to reel in the kite.

I am sure to have forgotten something I wanted to add, however, it is time for me to pack up and head to the airport. I am off to Boston for the Patriot’s Day Red Sox game and cheer on the back-of-the-pack runners as they pass through Kenmore Square heading towards that ultimate goal of the finish line in the Boston Marathon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Noble 8

Aah, another great day of running in the wind of Oklahoma. Just south of Norman, along OK-77, is a little town called Noble. Today's run took me out my front door onto OK-77 and southward to Noble, four miles away, where I then turned around and returned home. This is what I will for now on refer to as the Noble 8. Today's run was a simple out and back straight shot with some hills during the middle miles. Yes, we do have some hills here in Oklahoma! It's not ALL flat.

The temperature for today's outing started at 68 and rose to 73 by the end. The wind at the beginning was a 26 mph wind out of the South, straight into my face for the first four miles. And once again, wouldn't you figure, I turn around to head home and the wind is reduced to a gentle breeze, if existent at all.

My run actually started out as a fast walk heading into the wind. For much of the first 2 to 3 miles I was feeling the fatigue in my shins, a result from pushing myself hard in yesterday's 5k loop. However, somewhere in the latter stages of the third mile I started to feel loosened up and ready to go. After having reached the halfway point and making my way back, after mile 5 I decided to work in some speed work. Sure, it would have been nice to have the wind help push me home, but as I said, it pretty much died off when I turned around. Anyway, starting at the beginning of mile 6 I set out to run for 6 utility poles and then do a 3 pole recovery walk. I went on to do this for a total of 5 times. Feeling good about that I then upped the ante and ran for 8 utility poles and walked for 4. I did the 8/4 utility pole cycle 3 times. This put me at about 7.5 miles. As I was starting up a fourth cycle I decided to just go ahead and run the rest of the way to complete the 8 miles. At the conclusion of the 8 miles I still had another .17 miles to get back home so I used that to do a slower cool down walk. Here are the mileage splits for today's Noble 8:

Mile 1: 14:47
Mile 2: 14:42
Mile 3: 14:29
Mile 4: 14:08
Mile 5: 14:02
Mile 6: 11:34
Mile 7: 11:50
Mile 8: 11:27
Mile .17: 2:25 (14:45 pace)

The final three miles are the three fastest miles I have run to date. Almost all of my actual running during these three miles was at a sub 11:00 pace. During the final .5 mile run I had about a tenth of a mile stretch where I sustained a pace sub 10:00. I was excited to see myself achieve these paces and not feel exhausted and totally spent at the conclusion of my 8 miles.

I have two more runs this week, a short 2 miler and then a 9 miler on Saturday that I will be contributing my miles to the family multi-state fitness group. Will check in again this weekend.