Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Resolutions

encourage and help April with her artwork
be kind when it seems impossible
book a caricature gig and mural job - draw at events
redesign my website
run somewhere new once a month
call people more often to see how they are doing
get to sleep earlier!


Doesn't look like I'll be running today. Between packing for Ohio and the drive there I just don't have the time. It looks to be really cold there, well colder than here anyway. It'll be another adjustment, but I think I can handle it. To all my readers, here's to a New Year and continuing with consistent exercise. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Back to the hills. I'll keep this one short as I had a good run. I did a few laps around the track at the middle school, then a few around the school. After about a half hour I stopped for a cliff block and some gatorade before my ascent to ...THE BEAST. Yes, back to my old friend. My legs were feeling a bit tired even in my warmup so I wasn't expecting much, but dang that first hill was way harder than I expected. I wasn't dying but I did feel like I was in slow motion, and my legs were already burning just after one. I had 12-14 on the schedule.

So I thought maybe I'll just run 8. One at a time I traversed the hill all the way to the top, slowing to a near crawl as I reached the summit each time. I checked my ipod on most of them and it was around 1:15 each. I definitely wasn't sprinting these bad boys, more just trying to survive. My legs were really burning each time and I think it was almost harder to go slow. If I had fully sprinted my lungs would give out too early, but by slowing down I also felt like gravity was fighting me even harder. But there are no trade-offs when running up a hill. Either you do it, or you don't. At 6 hills I was really wanting to make it to that eighth one. But each time coming down the steep slope on the other side I recovered and just went back to work.

At eight I knew I had a few more in me and thought I could at least match my last hill workout of 10. I found that when I did that tenth one, that I really didn't give a full out effort that I wanted to end on, so I just kept going. Legs driving, arms flailing, just trying anything to get back up this hill and reach the fire hydrant so I can slog around to the other side. My ipod updated me and I only had about nine minutes left. Time enough for another hill and then the five minutes back to the car I figured. So I ended up with twelve hill "sprints" for today. It was a tough workout. My muscles almost feel like they are too tight, but I'll live.

So it was a good workout. I definitely went a bit slower this time around. No full all out sprints, but still I just worked on driving and using my legs to propel me so I think it almost made the workout harder. Today was supposed to be my last hill workout before speed, but since I skipped out on last week I'll make it up. I really feel that these hill workouts are going to improve my leg strength a ton. I know I have the endurance, judging by the length of my long runs, but I'll really need strength to maintain a fast pace with less effort. So I'm not sure if there will just be one more hill workout. I felt really tired at 6, well my legs did, so I think if I still do a shorter hill workout of 6-8 hills every other week or something like that it could really continue to build my leg strength during my speed phase. I'm really not sure yet, but I know that it's a great workout and I really believe there are many gains yet to be made from the hills.

2:50pm. dowell springs hill. 57 degrees 6mph wind from SSW.
1:45:46, bf 965

Monday, December 29, 2008


A morning run. I had assumed when looking outside at the beautiful blue skies that this would be an easy run. I assumed wrong. I struggled a lot on this one for some reason. I don't know if it was the cold or maybe just getting out there early, but I definitely had some constriction in my chest. Not like a bad heart attack kind (i don't think) but just a general lack of being able to breath deep. Every time I did it seemed my lungs were shriveled. My chest area around the sternum seemed to be in some sort of pain the entire run. I thought it would go away, but it never did.

It warmed up quite a bit from the early morning. I could see steam rising from the rooftops of the houses as the sun peaked over the mountains onto them. And then the sun peeked on me and I started to get pretty warm. That obviously didn't help matters as I had dressed pretty warm. So I'll be sure to dress for the sunrise if I run tomorrow. It's hill day tomorrow because Wednesday we are going to Ohio. April's sister will be staying at our house while we are away and taking care of the cats for us. Anyway I'll have to either run hills in the morning tomorrow or Wed, so I think I'm just going to do them tomorrow and get them out of the way so I have one less thing to worry about.

8:30 am. home. 33-40 degrees sunny.
1:06:20, bf 952

Second run started off pretty bad. I had the good old side stitch that develops just at the top of the lung and beneath the rib cage.l If you are a runner you know of what I speak. There are basically two things you do, whether you really intend to or not. The first is to push on the area that hurts. I'm not sure why we do this? Is it instinct? Is is just me? I don't know, but that sometimes gives the illusion of helping. The second thing I do is push through it. I guess some people might stop here, but that's just not the way I roll. I went a good 25-30 minutes just feeling this stitch-pain, each breathe feeling harder than the next. Then, before I even realized it, the pain was gone and I was floating along. The rest of the run was great despite a little inflammation in my big toe joint that showed up toward the end. I really started feeling good. It was a nice 50 degrees, the sun was setting, and the sky was a cloudless blue. So nice to see after weeks of rain and cloudy overcast dreadfulness.

4:10pm. home. 53 degrees sunny.
1:10:52, gm 780

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I decided that today I would go to the soccer complex to run. I have been getting bored and dreading going to middlebrook. It's a long stretch and that is all and well, but even so it's nice to have a change. So I went to the one mile course. I really didn't think too much about the run today. I just knew I wanted to go for at least 2 hours 8 minutes as that is sort of my minimum.

I'll be honest, I haven't really felt motivated to run lately. I've had a few bad runs and this week hasn't been very motivating with Christmas and all that. I think it's just more that I run the same routes ALL the time maybe? There's also the fact that art is coming back to my life in a big way. I used to devote hours to it, and it's a big part of how I became so lazy and sedentary. Now that it's back I still feel like exercising, but I also want to just sit and do artwork all day long and stay up late and do artwork. Then when I go to sleep I find I'm just laying in there bed thinking about what kind of website things I need to do or what caricature I want to work on next.

So yeah, it's been difficult to juggle the priorities this week. Today's run was good though. If you can a mile over and over again for over 2 hours, heck that's just about as bad as a treadmill. But I didn't notice. It felt good to run today. The weather was a gorgeous 50 degrees with just a bit of wind. It seems lately it's either been raining, insanely windy, or cold and dreary and in the instance of yesterday, overly warm. So a nice sunny day was a welcome change. I'm feeling pretty motivated again as it's the start of a new week and I'll be back to business as usual with little to change my routine. I am driving up to Ohio for New Years with my family on Wednesday so that will be a slight kink in the chain, but I feel good about running again so it shouldn't pose much of a threat to the motivation train.

I guess that's all for today. Tomorrow I'd like to do two eight milers, then Tuesday will be hills. So hopefully I can get up and at em and start tallying up this weeks mileage. Two notes. One was I took a cliff shot thing after my run. I normally end up eating later so I thought replacing some nutrients would help with my recovery. We'll see how that works out. The second thing was that I got new headphones for Christmas (among other awesome running things) and they work great. They are the Nike Vapor. While my head movement is slightly restricted, I can still look left and right, which is vital on the roads I run. They have clips which hold them in your ears. The sound is pretty good. They don't fit quite as good as the earbuds, but they don't shift so the tradeoff is worth it.

3:10 pm. soccer complex. 50 degrees sunny.
2:16:48, bf 944

Saturday, December 27, 2008


A little rough getting back on the running horse. The first 20 minutes I felt really dead. I think all the Christmas goodies caught up to me. I ran for another 10 minutes and I saw a neighbor who always says hi to me. I normally mumble a few words and keep going, but I told myself the next time I saw him I would be sure to talk. And so I paused my run and said something along the lines of "Why wait till the new year" which of course was referencing all the people who will make a resolution, but put if off till new years day.

What I forgot to consider was that my heart rate was a bit higher than normal due to the abnormally hot day - close to 70 degrees. When I stopped I didn't walk or anything. The man's name was Ed. He was telling me about how his son had ran Boston and was like 250th place, not too shabby. His son also ran New York, and had to be carried off the course because he passed out.... About this time my head started getting really dizzy and everything looked as if it were blurry. Blood was rushing to my head and I was going anywhere. My heart was still pumping like crazy and I started to feel really light headed. I hunched over and put my hands on my knees, trying not to be rude to the older gentleman telling me about his life. I really felt like I was going to pass and then just sort of said, "Well I better get back it". As soon as I started running again i felt kind of normal, but my stomach now was tied in a knot and so I decided to stop for a drink of gatorade.

That helped a bit, but it was still unusually warm and I've been running in near freezing weather for about a month or so. It wasn't a very fun run I must admit. But I'm glad I got out there and put in some work. It's been two full days of rest, so at least it broke the streak. I also realized I didn't do hills this week, but after feeling how dead my legs were, it may have took some extra motivation to make it up the ginormous hill at dowell springs a dozen times. Long run tomorrow. Will try for 3 hours, but hopefully it won't be quite as warm as today.

2:30pm. home. 68 degrees, 12 mph wind.
1:04:21, bf 927


Yeah no excuse for today. Didn't get outside because of a nap at the wrong time. Enjoyed doing artwork though and started cleaning up the house after the disaster area caused by the Christmas rush. Tomorrow I'll be out there, but I feel bad about today. It was a nice day. Stress then rest though right? I'll be back up to speed on the training train soon enough.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Day off for Christmas


Today I did my first runcast. I didn't really prepare anything and just sort of winged it. Maybe next time I will think it through a little, but hey it's not like I'm a perfectionist....well hopefully not with this anyway. The run went fine. It was a nice 57 degrees, shorts and t-shirt were just fine. It let up raining and I ended up running outside. It was just a drizzle by the time I started and wasn't raining at all within the first mile. I had to end the run short so I would have time to get ready. Just an oversight on my part. I also didn't know I would be doing a runcast. I saw the camera sitting there and just did it at the last minute since I actually thought of a topic.

I also might do a podcast as well, which I think i would enjoy more. I can't really run with a $300 camera in hand. Well I can, but I obviously don't want to risk breaking it. So I think I could do a podcast on the run and it would be a little better. It is interesting to see myself talking. That is....weird. I mean normally you only talk to other people, so seeing yourself blabbing away on a screen is a little unsettling at first. I guess being famous isn't all that it's cracked up to be, but I'm not famous so maybe I have no clue what I'm talking about. Sorry for rambling.

So I ended the run and went to have family time. I totally didn't realize we wouldn't be getting home till 1 am, or I probably would have done a lot of stuff earlier today as now I'm wide awake because I haven't got my blog fix. So I'm getting this thing done now (after laying in bed for a half hour with eyes wide open) and hopefully it'll be out of my head and I can sleep. Adios, see you Christmas.

3pm. home. 57 overcast, wet.
42:03, bf 919

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


A nice run today. It wasn't nearly as cold as I thought it was and I kind of overdressed a slight bit. Not too bad. I don't wear tights, so normally running shorts don't really provide enough coverage for the legs. I wear sweatpants and today they were literally sweat pants, even though it was about 30 degrees outside. They are restrictive to, so it took a slight more effort to get the knees up high enough, but I managed okay. My leg muscles, hams and calves are just like bricks. I try stretching them, but it doesn't have much of an effect. I'm sure it helps a little, but they still feel tight all day. Hopefully it won't be so bad after this low week of mileage.

4:20pm. home. 30 degrees.
1:05:16, bf 914

Monday, December 22, 2008


Had a rough night last night. I kept getting woken up by my bloody noses. I usually get them when it gets cold like this because of the heater being on in the house. It dries out my nose which then cracks and bleeds. I've had them since I was younger, and it's just a reflex to jolt awake whenever I feel one happen. So it wouldn't have been so bad, but it happened like three times last night, and I stayed up late anyway working on artwork so that made it even worse. This morning I was wiped out, but I got up when April left for work and was tired, but that sort of tired where you don't want to go back to sleep at the same time.

I've been getting some artwork done as well as working on a blog for wiremanart things. I might also create a mural blog as well just to keep the content a little more organized, but I'm not sure yet at this point.
I have to get some Christmas shopping done tomorrow as I've been procrastinating. I have about half done, so it shouldn't be too bad. I plan on going in the morning sometime as there shouldn't be a ton a traffic then.

Anyway I didn't run today due to the tiredness and it's a rest week so no big deal. I might even take another full day before it's said and done. I'm glad to have another day off. My muscles deserve a break. I've been keeping up the mileage and I know it's going to pay off come marathon day. For now I'm really trying to focus on artwork, but I'm going to try and really blend them together after this week. I think I've been devoting a lot of time to running when I should be focusing on other things. Granted I'm happy with my running and I enjoy it immensely, but there is only so much progress you can make in a certain amount of time and I guess it's better to be patient and go one step at a time, rather than trying to make a huge leap like I am.

My time goal is probably insane to most people, but I've looked at my paces, I know how I feel during a race, I know how I progress during a training cycle, and I wouldn't make a goal I don't believe I could achieve. 2:45 would be a great first marathon, practically incredible considering my experience. But I'm just not worried about the time. I know that eventually in years to come, that time will be a breeze for me. I truly expect that to happen. But that doesn't make it any easier now, when the work needs to be put in right up until raceday. So I will do my best as always and if I reach my goal then I'll know it's because of the training, and if I don't, I'll rest, re-evaluate, and make another attempt to succeed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I changed this run a few days ago from 3.5 hours. I wanted to get a cutback week in and since it'll be Christmas I figured it would be a good time to take it easier. It actually turned out to be a great idea. The first half of the run went great and I made it to the greenway and did a lap which put me halfway through the run. I did skip the subdivision which has some monster hills so that helped too. Because I thought "oh I'm halfway" I turned back and started back down middlebrook. I forgot to do the loop back through the park so that threw me off a little later on. I kept wondering why I was so ahead of schedule the closer I got back to the park. I was thinking "how fast am I running this second half?" But I knew something was up because of one, big huge, giant factor and that was the friggin' wind. Just RIDICULOUS.

At a few points heading back I just wanted to quit. I was like man I'll just do this tomorrow and walk it back from here (5 miles from the car). Now I hate to sound complainy, but it was just tough. It literally felt like someone had two hands on my chest and was pushing me not unlike an angry football player in the complete opposite direction I was running. So I just kept trudging along, each step feeling like I might either lift off or be blown across the sidewalk into oncoming traffic. Still persistent I moved on. Eventually I made it back to walmart and got a little break from the wind, but not for long. I made it to the huge hill at wiegels and ugh, I almost lost it. A few more explicatives flew out of my mouth. Not only was the wind killing me, but my hams felt like they just went through a meat grinder. It was not easy or fun. But I kept moving somehow, just tiny little baby steps it seemed. Barely getting one foot in front of the other up the hill with no end.

My spirits grew the closer I got to the park, but the downhill section after Aubrey's was by far the worst. Even though it was downhill the wind was just whipping so hard I was still going slow. It was also cold so my face started to freeze. I covered up my face with one glove, and just kept pumping the other arm. I finally made it back to the park and thank the good lord for the trees there as I finished up with a final mile around the broken pavement track. So because I had to work harder due to the wind I got a good aerobic workout and due to the hills the legs got no remorse as well so it was a good run, just harder than I would have liked it to be. At least I ended an hour earlier as I said, because I don't think I could have made it much longer after the obstacle course I just ran. I was really happy to have this one out of the way.

2pm. ball camp to greenway. 30 degrees 14 mph wind from W.
, gm 771

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Started the day off strong with a morning run. It went great and felt nice and smooth.

It was raining (again) so I finished the day with another run on the sweatmill. It was a good run 7.7 the entire time, then increased a few notches towards the very end. The treadmill was squeaking and annoying me, so I had to stop, get a screwdriver, and make sure all the screws were in tight enough. After that it stopped making the noise and I was a lot less annoyed.

9:30am. home. 50 degrees
1:13:42, bf 897

6:30pm. tread.
1:14:30, bf 906

Friday, December 19, 2008


The wind is ridiculous today. I went to the soccer complex as I hadn't been there for a bit and it went okay. I was sore from yesterday's workout, especially in the gluteus maximus. Still I was feeling in need of a long easy run. Unfortunately that didn't really happen. It was pretty warm outside, but I was being blown all over the place and having to work twice as hard just to maintain a decent pace. Eventually I just started slogging into the wind as I didn't care anymore about pace and just wanted this run to be over before it started. Running into this crazy wind just felt like going backwards. I managed about ten miles and called it quits.

I figured I could run a half hour on the treadmill and see how that went. The treadmill was a welcome change. I started to get hungry about as soon as I got on, but I wanted to get the run over so I could make a phone call afterward. I was going to take a break as my sweat towel fell off in the first five minutes, but I never did. I just kept going. It felt good to run without being blown all over the place. I normally dont' mind wind, but considering what I did yesterday I really just needed an easy day to recover.

Tonight I also did a treadmill workout at 7.5 for the first half hour, then 7.8, and eventually up to 8. I was going to pause for a drink, but I guess I was feeling good and just kept going. It was a nice run and I was happy again not to be running in the wind. Quads are now sore as well as the booty, but it always takes two days for soreness so either I'm ahead of the curve, or tomorrow is gonna suck to be me.

8:50 am. soccer complex/tread.
60 degrees wind 18 mph from SSW.
1:53:09, bf 879

6:45pm. treadmill.
1:12:12, bf 888

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Got up this morning and had my breakfast early. I got some sleep last night and tried to take my pulse this morning when I got up. That didn't go so well, but I think it was around 52, which isn't really all that good. I already had everything ready to go. I thought all day yesterday about running and so I wasn't going to let another rainy overcast day stop me this time around. I was ready to go about an hour after breakfast and decided to go for a trip. I went back to Dowell Springs, over by our old apartment. There is a ginormous hill there and I was wanting to truck up it a few times. The hill is similar to the HH in incline, but it is a very consistent grade. The HH here in my neighborhood kind of slacks off about halfway through which gives the lungs a little break before the second part of the hill. "The Beast" is all up, and it doesn't back off.

So I started with about 25 minutes of normal running, just going around different places and the old middle school, then headed back to Dowell for the hill workout. Today was supposed to be 10 hills. Since this is actually longer than my normal I didn't totally expect to do 10. I was thinking more like 8. As I ran up the first one, staying around 85% and just gunning up it I actually felt really good. My legs were dead this morning at the beginning of the run, as they always are when I take a day completely off, so it kind of woke them up. They weren't feeling lethargic anymore and although it was tough it wasn't too bad. So at the top of the hill the road curves around, then goes downhill on the other side, with hospitals and medical facilities inbetween making a huge loop. They are actually building a new facility there, so there were tons of construction workers, dumptrucks, skidloaders, and cement trucks to run by.

The second hill I got to the top and was pretty tired. I tried looking at my ipod just to sort of time them and it was about 1 minute 10 seconds going uphill. I timed a few of them, but by the end there were so many numbers that I couldn't remember which ones I had looked at from the bottom of the hill. I'm sure lack of oxygen and full physical exertion had a small part to play in the memory loss... On the way back down I re-evaluated the workout. I was thinking at that point I could manage 8 of these hills. Then I'm going back around for number 3. Three was tough, but lungs were actually feeling good. I knew I could two more, then take a break and get some water. Four came around and went, then five. As I came down the recovery hill I still felt good. I'll do just one more before I take a break. Top of six I was dying, but by the time the downhill started I was feeling good again. I can just do eight and be done for today - there's really no reason to do all 10 since this hill is bigger and steeper.

At the top of seven legs were starting to cave in a bit and i really had to push to the end. I was using fire hydrants to mark the run, and I had stayed consistently around the 1:12 to 1:13 range and that one was right on. So I only had one left to do. Number eight was actually pretty easy and at the top I was like, heck I think I can do one more since it was just my legs that were tired. So I did another one and at the top I was really pushing hard to make it to that fire hydrant. I had to put my hands over my head on this one, lungs were kind of tired. I didn't walk by the way, through any of this. I was pretty slow right as I reached the top, but I always stayed moving at a pretty good pace. So I was pretty tired, but I thought If I can do 9 I might as well go for 10. So there I go for the last one. And I made it a good one. I pushed a little extra hard and at one point I was thinking, the faster I get up this thing the faster I'll be done. So I made it again to the top and jogged it off. I only had less than a half hour at this point in my run and I wanted to try a mile at the middle school track before I went home.

So I finished up the run doing a little over a mile a the track and was more than finished by the time I got back to the car. On the way back I did notice my chest was a little tight, but a good, worked lungs kind of tight.

So it was a really good run this morning. I definitely did a lot more than I thought I could, and those little recovery periods were just amazing. By the time I made it back down the hill I was into normal mode and had completely forgotten about the pain of the last hill. Each time after recovery I was ready to hit it again and again. I kind of want to find some of my other runs from last year on this hill and see what I was doing just for comparison. I remember a few times having to stop at the top of that hill. I certainly could have today, but I didn't really need to. All I needed was that recovery time and I was totally back to normal. The pace did digress a lot as the hills went by, but overall I felt really good. Next week will be 12 hills and I think I'll head back to The Beast again and see how I fare. I might even go on to 14 the week after, but that will depend on how next week works out.

9am. dowell springs. 46-48 degrees overcast, calm.
1:54:41, bf 857 (+10 hills)

Tonight I just felt like flying, so I did. i couldn't really help it for some reason. Well I suppose watching the Berlin Marathon where Haile Gebreselassie broke the world record kind of got me fired up a bit. MAYBE that had something to do with it. I loved watching the footage and just seeing the different styles of running. So many styles. I would love to see myself run and I've meaning to have April get some footage of me, but it's one of those things where you have to make time to do it. Plus by the time she gets home it's dark, so seeing a dark shape go by the house wouldn't really be that informative.

Anyway the run went really well and I felt like I was just floating. A lot of it has to do with the day off I think, as well as the hills this morning. You'd think that would make me tired, but it really just made me want to run even more. I guess I'm that crazy runner guy. It was drizzling tonight, which actually may have even boosted morale a little as it was nice and cool. Still at times I had to be careful because it was wet and there was mud. I almost slipped and fell last week on a tiny patch of mud a car tire left, but luckily balanced myself before I could tumble into the pavement. So I'm feeling really good about my training. I'm ready to kill the hills for the next few weeks, and I'm dying to get to the track for some fast mile repeats. Feet have been fine, just a little of that joint/metatarsal pain that comes and goes.

4 pm. home. 55 degrees, drizzling and wet.
1:05:44, bf 865


Unmotivated day. It just kept raining and didn't let up. I almost hopped on the treadmill, but spent time with April and doing artwork instead. I kind of felt bad because I wanted to have a higher mileage week, but now that it is the next day I feel pretty good about it. I hate having to justify a day off, but it sort of goes against the idea of consistency. At least it was a good recovery day and not time off for an injury or something like that, so there's always a good side to the story.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


These dreary dark days are starting to get to me. It was also rainy today again which didn't help matters. I still managed to get out the door this morning, at least for a little while. It was only a few minutes before the rain started coming down and I had to go in to the sweatmill. It was a really boring day, mostly just because of all the darkness. Later on I got to go out to put in my second and that went a little better. Only a little sprinkle here and there, nothing major. I did have to stop for a bathroom break on that one too, so I didn't really get any good "distance" running in today. But whatever, i put in the time so I guess that has to count for something.

am. home/tread. rained so went in.
1:05:06, gm 744

pm. home. 48 degrees wet and cool.
1:05:31, gm 752

Monday, December 15, 2008


Legs were a little sore today, but nothing too bad. I decided to just go for one run. It wasn't the best run I've had. I had some stomach issues which forced me to quit about 25 minutes earlier than I had planned to run. But I figured since it was the day after a long run a little extra time off couldn't hurt anything. Also the metatarsal on my right big toe was hurting so that played a small part as well in getting me to throw in the towel. I say that, but I still got 10 miles in. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad when you feel that slacking isn't running twice a day....

4pm. soccer complex. 55 degrees overcast.
1:20:21, gm 736

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This long run went okay, but I'm not feeling so good now. I'll try and write about it tomorrow when I'm feeling more myself.

Okay so as I said I enjoyed this run, at least till about 3 hours or so. At the "end" of middlebrook (I call it the end because I actually just don't want to wait to cross the street for traffic) I decided to make a right turn. It had never really crossed my mind before, but this time I saw a piece of sidewalk that turned right and just decided to keep on going. It turned out to be pretty awesome. I ran on down toward an elementary school and then ran behind that. That's when I found the greenway. It went through a nice little park area with lots of open grass. The path wasn't too long maybe a mile or so, but it kind of looped through the park. It was nice to actually be running somewhere I haven't for once. There is something special about going somehwere you haven't been yet, and I was excited to be running there.

The bad part about this greenway was that there was a water fountain just to the right of the path. I know what you're thinking, "isn't that a good thing Ron?". Believe me it would have been an awesome thing, and I was eagerly awaiting a drink from it as I was halfway through with my 3.5 hour run. But when I pushed the button I got nothing. Not a drip or a drizzle. That was a bit frustrating. So that was sort of a downer to the fun. I started back up the hill which led into the park and turned back on to middlebrook. I saw another runner who had a Buddy's t-shirt on, and we both said "Nice Shirt" or something to that effect and laughed as we passed each other. So I went on back down to walmart, through the tunnel under the road which is always a welcome sight, and then back down the rest of middlebrook to the park.

I had originally planned to run the trail that leads off of the tunnel, but I was kind of wanting to get this thing done and had about an hour or less left at that point. I really needed water or a drink, but it was still 20 minutes at least till I could get some. So I just kept on going. I did have a fourth of a marathon bar, which are great by the way, and I had that at around 2 hours. Still, it was just a tiny piece and I was starting to feel a bit empty (probably moreso from lack of fluid) I made it up the final stretch of hill and headed on back to the park. Before I made it there I had another problem and that was I really had to use the bathroom. I've never really "had" to go during a run. Although the feeling was really bad, I just wanted to get the run over, and I knew there were bathrooms at the park...

I got back to my car in about 3 hours and took some well earned and quick sips of gatorade then resumed the last half hour of my run. At this point I really wanted to check out the bathrooms and when I ran up to them I read a lovely sign saying "closed for the winter". That put yet another damper on the run, but I trudged on, my legs at this point feeling the effects of running for 3 hours. Luckily I was on grass now, in the back soccer fields. That felt good, but I was struggling a bit just to keep going. I was listening to podcasts this entire time, namely phedippidations because some of them are an hour long (I listened to almost four...) and I just happened to get to a point when he was quoting Bill Rodgers repeating mantra's to himself to keep going, keep running, run, run, run at the end of a marathon. That actually carried over into my own to run and I suddenly found a bit of extra endorphins to just keep on going and push through the painful achiness of maxed out leg muscles.

One loop around the soccer fields and then a little out and back and the run was finally over. I considered going an extra bit, but 3.5 was a new personal longest time spent on foot, so I somewhat happily ended the run. When I got home I was dead tired. My legs were pretty beat up, mostly the calves and muscles around the knee. I had a hard time standing, and was just exhausted. I took an hour nap on the couch, got up and ate a snack, then went to bed about 3 hours early.

Fortunately I don't plan on running much further than what I did today for a while, and each time I go long it does get a bit easier. Last week my legs were "hurting" with that achiness at around 2.5 hours, this week it was closer to 3. But the overall plan is to keep running long, but sort of not go beyond 3 or 3.5 until midway through my speed training. For one reason it is hard on the legs and requires more recovery, and obviously the second is that it may take away from the quality of my speedwork. So I really want to focus on my speed and not have my long run interfere. But a few weeks into my speed training I will start going back up and get to at least 30 miles. I might be running that now as I'm pretty sure i'm running faster than 8:00 minute miles, but I want to be sure so I'm leaving it as is. Today was 26 miles - actually 26.25 so at least a full marathon. At 8 minute pace my final long run about two or three weeks before the marathon will be around 4 hours and 15-30 minutes. It's just penciled in on my schedule, so it may change, 3 months is a bit of ways out and I'm always adding or subtracting until then.

2:11pm. ball camp+greenway. 52-53 degrees winds 10mph.
3:30:39, bf 843
note: joint pain at the metatarsal base of my big toes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Did sort of a slower run today. I was hoping to get to at least 1:45 or so, but once I got there I just said screw it and went for the full two hours. It was a little bit more energy than I felt like giving, but I figured it was only a couple miles so no big deal. The run went fine. There is a woman down the street who normally says something to me as I run by. Today she said "You're just like the post office, wind, rain, or snow" I jokingly came back with "That would be a great job for me" and then I mimicked pulling out mail from my satchel and tossing it in mailboxes as I ran by. It was definitely a tension breaker and got me through the last twenty minutes of the run with a smile.

2:52pm. home. 43 degrees.
2:01:08, bf 817

Friday, December 12, 2008


Just an average run, nothing different other than it is colder again. Leg muscles are tired, but cooperative.

10:41am. home.
chilly 31 degrees with some wind.
1:13:30, gm 726

Second run went okay. Legs again were tired, but not too bad. Just had the calves tighten up on a few hills but not too bad.

4:02 pm. soccer complex. 36 degrees windy.
1:04:14, bf 802

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Well I'll just sum up both of my runs today. They were both on the dreadmill due to the wind/rain/cold outside. The surprising part was that listening to my ipod instead of blaring my computer (to hear a movie over the treadmill) really seemed to make the run go by a lot faster. I also stopped halfway through both of these runs to refuel and mop up sweat, which is my biggest problem with treadmills. I had a fan on full blast blowing about two feet away, but in my small computer room there's really not a lot anything other than a full-fledged window air conditioner could cool down when I'm running.

So I maintained a much faster pace than I think I would have outside. It was interesting just to try a couple things. I also had the incline up a bit too, which I normally don't. I kept it around 7.5 for the first run, and even went on up to 7.7 then 8.0 for about 5-10 minutes, and then back to 7.5. This is a lot faster than I used to be able to maintain just remembering from last years runs on the mill. So I must be getting faster. My "later" run which actually wasn't too far along from the previous I decided to test even further to see where I was. I kept it on 8.0 the whole time, although I did back down to 7.8 for about two or three minutes for recovery. Toward the end I slowly increased from 8.0 to 8.6, increasing a notch every minute until the end of the run. I felt really good, although the legs were pretty tired. Not really a good recovery run...

So I decided to take a real ice bath tonight and it was cooold. But it felt good at the same time. It's amazing what a little ice can do for recovery. I was in for a good 15-20 minutes. The bad part was I put the ice in before I was in. So it was supercold and that first minute or two was just flat out freezing. After all that we went out to eat with our church group. It was really fun to see them and we had a great time. Hopefully tomorrow it won't be raining so I can do some outside running, but after today's runs I'm actually looking forward to the sweatmill. It was good to control my pace so easily and also not to have to run sideways like a nascar through 11 cul-de-sacs.

11:18am. tread

1:05:16, bf 786

4:56pm tread
1:04:30, bf 794

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The power was out which threw a lot of things off. I stayed up late last night watching a movie so a lot of the schedule was my fault as well. Mostly I couldn't do a lot of things I had planned, like eating. It's amazing how advanced we are. I was going to have to go out to lunch because I couldn't cook anything without power. But just as I was about to leave the power came back on. I had to run errands today which was frustrating. The line at the post office was so long I left after waiting ten minutes because there were still 30 people that needed to be helped. I figured it would be another half hour at least so I just left.

The one good thing about today was that i got to run early and in the sunlight. It was nicer earlier in the day with some sun, but by the time I got out it was cloudy and wet from all the rain we had last night and this morning. I started with a loop around the block and headed to the HH for my hill workout which was 6 repeats with rest inbetween. I wore my free's today as I knew I would mostly be on my toes for the hills and figured there wasn't much it could hurt. I'll just skip to the meat and say that the hills went particularly well. I felt really good on them, my legs were tired, but I wasn't gasping for air. That's not to say I wasn't breathing hard, I definitely was, but it was a controlled hard-breathing and not just survival. I took just a slightly extra recovery at the bottom of the hill by jogging about fifty meters to a mailbox and then back to the base of the hill for the next (normally I just jog downhill) So I think that really helped with recovery. These weren't really mean't for the anaerobic stuff anyway and are more for leg strength so I figured it couldn't hurt.

After the last hill I felt pretty tired, quads, hams, and a bit of calves but I still felt like running. I wanted to see how far I could go so I did another two loops around the neighborhood. By the second one though i was struggling a bit. Legs were tired, but it wasn't that. It was all the energy I spent on the hills. I was depleted and I knew it. I wasn't at a good stopping point, but finally I made it back to the house for a bite of marathon bar and some juice. I finished up the tiny bit of 13 minutes left that I wanted to run and called it a day. I've really been handing it to the legs lately so I took an ice bath; only, when I got in with just plain water I found that to be more than cold enough and left the ice out of it. The legs appreciated it and are feeling really good now.

3:45pm. home. 55 degrees overcast (more shorts and t).
1:36:05, bf 778

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I knew right away I wasn't going to be doing any hills today. It wasn't anything bad, I just felt my legs were really tired. Secondly the wind was 17-20 miles per hour, coming from the south. That means I would be running uphill, and into the wind with tired legs. Not gonna happen. So I might do another run later on tonight and try to work in hills tomorrow. It was insanely warm today, even with the wind, and i wore just shorts and and a t-shirt. It's December for winter's sake!

The church dinner is either Wed or Thurs. I am not sure. April is still sick. She has been coughing like a maniac and has a fever. I feel bad that I've been stand-offish, but I really don't want to be sick. She was sick a month ago, traded it to me, and now it's back to her. I'm hoping it isn't my turn again next. So I could ask her what the day is, but I don't know if she'd be alive enough to answer correctly. She went to work today anyway because she took yesterday off, but they didn't need me so I am at home.

11:45 am. home. 57 degrees 20mph wind shorts and tshirt? crazy.
1:13:33, gm 709

Tonight I had a rabbit to chase. I guess there is a new guy running at the track. Maybe it was just the weather. Anyway I already had about half an hour done into my run and I saw a guy up ahead. Naturally I just kind of locked on to see if I could gain on him. For two miles I stayed within distance, but didn't seem to be gaining. But on the third mile I noticed I was gaining quite a bit, especially into the wind as it was about 12-15 mph, as well as on the hills. I had about two more laps to go and so for the next lap I came just within reach of him, making up a ton of time on the hill and I could tell he was slowing a bit too because I just maintained a steady pace. Coming around for the final lap I took him on the outside as we were heading into the wind. I passed and said how's it going, then did my next mile, pretty much leaving him way behind. Not so much because I wanted to burn him or anything, but just because that is normally how I like to finish a run with a strong mile. So that made the run go by faster for sure, although I don't think it helped too much with keeping an easy pace. He was moving along at a pretty good clip actually.

4:50pm. soccer complex. 60 degrees 12-15mph wind.
1:05:03, gm 717

Monday, December 8, 2008


My legs were a little sore today from the run yesterday. Yes, only a little. I didn't quite stretch as much as I wanted to last night, but I think the ice bath would have given a tiny bit of improvement on the soreness. So I thought today I would try for a normal medium-long run and see where things went. It was an easy enough run. The hardest part is just being out there. I love running, don't get me wrong, but I don't exactly have a lot of variety to my 3 courses, two of which basically repeat themselves over and over. Ipod helps me stay motivated, but I wish I had wide open areas where I could just run through the woods or like a huge golf course would be nice.

The legs weren't all that sore, but they were tired. Counting down laps I only struggled toward the last few of them, and even then it wasn't like I was dying. I still had enough at the end for a nice half mile sprint or so which felt really good. The legs have turned over nicely for me today and yesterday, but I think it's just because I was only wearing shorts. The sweatpants tend to restrict movement, especially a higher knee lift which is basically where most speed comes from. Other than the legs being a bit tired the run was easy and I felt really good afterwards. All I keep thinking is that if I can run a half marathon any given day, that should mean I could run a decent marathon right? I don't know. It's a loooong way and only gets tougher the farther you get.

Tomorrow I'm planning hills at home, but I would rather do them Wednesday. I'll have to see if we are still going to the church thing, if not I may move it. I have work tomorrow too, so it looks like I'll be doing hills in the darkness.

3:45 pm. soccer complex. 47 degrees 5mph wind.
1:45:07, gm 700

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Long run. Did an hour at the park on mostly grass, got a sip of gatorade and headed off into the wilds. Did my normal route out middlebrook, down cedar bluff, through the major hills subdivision, then out to pilot and walmart, through the greenway and then ran it back to the park where I did a modified shorter loop. Legs were pretty trashed and hurting after this run. I knew it was going to be tough when I made it to the subdivision and hit that first hill. I was kind of like "uh oh, that one took me down a notch". But I just kept going and going. By two and half hours my legs were starting to feel some major effects from the hills. An achiness that just seems to hurt down to the bone. I stayed as relaxed as possible, but my lower back was pretty bad too. I think I was looking down too much, mostly to avoid looking at the lights on passing cars. I had to stop a few times for traffic, but not more than a minute or wherabouts so it wasn't too bad. Last 50 minutes of this run as I said was very tough. I was breathing really good, but the legs were pretty shot. It is NOT flat and I think there are just too many hills to really not have dead legs. All the same it's good training.

I had a small bite of laraba bar sometime around 2.5 hours, but I did notice that around 3 hours the stomach was growling, so I may need to eat a little more and probably a little earlier as well. I also only had that one drink at one hour. I wish I could have some sort of water pack I could carry along. I don't like bottles. They slosh and I think it would either throw my balance off or cause me to run a little different. My hip still hurts from time to time. Not in a big way, but I don't want anything to worsen it. I think it is a nerve damage or something because it really hasn't gone away after like 9 months or something crazy like that. The good part is it only "hurts" sometimes. If I press on it there is pain, but running walking are virtually free of pain so I just ignore it. So a good start to the week. Should be having some great numbers for December, hopefully up around 400 miles this month if I get in all my other long runs.

Just want to repeat that the legs were totally shot after this run, mostly the calves and hams. I could barely walk and it hurt to just stand there. I opted out of the ice bath and am going to try some stretching tonight and see if there is any difference. Normally with the ice I can run the next day so we'll see what happens.

2:50 pm. ball camp/middlebrook. 34 sunny to 31 at sunset.

3:21:30, gm 687

Saturday, December 6, 2008


A nice run today. I had lots of options as I have Monday off, so I could sort of move runs around a lot more. I got up later so that ruled out a double, and I didn't really feel a long run today. So I decided to go for my now usual 13 miler. It went well. I listened to a podcast, the only bad part was it wasn't long enough and I didn't have it as part of a playlist so I actually listened to two and half times through. Somehow it kind of made the run easier as I felt like I was starting over again and again and the miles went by fast enough.

Only one other walker was at the complex today. Soon there will be no friends to run by though. Legs were dragging a little today actually and at first I thought I might have to cut the run a bit short. But by the time I started getting into a nice easy groove things started rolling and I was looking forward to the next lap. That's kind of been my thing at the complex, is looking forward to the next lap instead of dreading it. Psychologically it has helped me to get through the runs, so take a note all those who are just starting to run. Running really is 90% mental, 10% physical.

April was sick today so we aren't going to the Christmas tree play. I actually wanted to go to it because the next one I've been to twice and it's the same each year. I doubt we'll be lucky enough to get out of that one : )

3:45 pm. soccer complex. 32 degrees overcast.
1:46:23, gm 662

Friday, December 5, 2008


A run around the hood tonight. Felt really good actually, I just didn't feel like being out in the dark all night, probably could have stayed out another half hour or so, but April was brining home dinner so I decided that was a bad idea. Still a good 9 miles so tomorrow I'll only need like 11-12 to get up near 85 miles.... Seems kind of crazy to be running that after the past few weeks, but it's actually been really easy to bounce back from the injury and sickness. Foot is doing much better. I had that scare a few days back, but since then I've felt nothing other than a twinge or two at work. So it's definitely not 100% or anything, but still good enough to do some quality hills.

I plan to get at least 12 in tomorrow, but I'd rather do two runs. It just depends on if I can run in the morning. April's car sounds like it's falling apart, so we'll have to have it worked on tomorrow. The guys at worked looked at it today, and it is definitely something to do with the belt or alternator making some kind of grinding sound- not good. I don't know because I'm not a car-guy. Anyway that will probably take the morning, so I'm planning 12 before we go to the Living Christmas Tree! whoooo. Yeah I'm not really excited about it, but it's just one of those things you have to do, only I'll be doing it again next week somewhere else, ach. See you tomorrow.

7:40 pm. home. 30 degrees (undershirt, turtleneck, jacket, sweatpants, headband, 2 gloves).
, gm 649

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Morning run in light rain. Felt alright on this one, but definitely wanted to end early. It was pretty strong rain at first, but slowly died down which was nice. Sweatpants were a bad choice on this one as they got wet and eventually weighed about 10 pounds and started falling down a bit. Kind of a slower run, but definitely just felt good to be out in the morning. It was nice to actually get up this morning. I feel a lot better about the day already because I already have about half of my running done.

6:15 am. home. 41 light rain.
49:00, gm 631

Second run tonight. Not much better than this morning. I was hungry and felt weak. Legs were kind of shaky because of it, and I had a strong urge to quit from 20 minutes clear up to about an hour into the run. Doesn't seem like a long time, but when you're stomach feels empty and legs are shaking it's hard to not veer off the path back to the car. It was nice not running in the rain, that's for sure. Sweatpants are pretty much my new best friend. My calves and quads thank you sweaties, for keeping them nice and warm.

Pace seems to be falling off a bit, but that's expected with the mileage increase again. I had a big dropoff because of the foot, so I'm trying to get back near the 100 miles/week range again. It won't be hard to do if I run twice a day. It was awesome to do that today, but because April had to work over 15 minutes I turned out getting home from my night run about the same time as usual - 7:30. But I would have been out till after 8:00 otherwise, so that's a huge difference. I like running twice a day, but obviously there are some fuel issues that need to be taken care of as I was so weak on the second run. The thing is I actually ate More than usual today, a banana for breakfast - which i never usually eat, as well as McDonald's as a treat, normal lunch, then some laraba bar just before the run (I was already hungry before it even started). So I think I may need to take some granola bar or something to eat while at work late in the afternoon. I know I always talk about murals and never get it going, but I'm getting kind of desperate at this point. 8am getting in, 5pm getting off work stuff is crappy once you factor in traffic and breakfast and all the other jazz it leaves like 10 minutes of daylight. Gah, but anyway I hope something works out soon so I can feel normal and not like I'm just running in perpetual darkness.

well enough rant for the day. I am excited that the foot is feeling normal again, not really ready to test any other shoes for a few weeks, but at least I can run without pain. Fitness should be increasing a lot with starting hills, then I'll be ready for repeats and all that track stuff I haven't really gotten into since high school. If I can get into good track shape, I'm sure that will totally blast my longer distance paces up too. Looking forward to that.

6:15 pm. soccer complex. 37 degrees.
1:12:02, gm 640

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Pretty decent day today actually. I got to do something other than stuff envelopes, which was a nice change, but completely stressful. I got to load the mailing machine with about 50,000 pieces of mail. There is a machine that prints all the addresses. It estimates the time, when I started on it the timer was at 1 hour 30 minutes...So yeah I had to cut open boxes, get the mail ready to load, and break down the boxes, while checking for backwards envelopes and making sure non get stuck in the belt and making sure to listen to Loy so I could stop the feeder if she needed. So yeah, not exactly sitting around. It was fun, but I was right by a window and the sun was beating down on me so I was hot. It is usually cold in there so I was dressed warm and couldn't really avoid it. Other than that it was kind of fun keeping up with the machine and juggling everything else.

Tonight was another good run. No foot pain at work today, and the same for the run tonight. Summation: nike frees, while there is a good chance they didn't cause the initial injury, didn't provide enough cushion to injured area thereby re-aggravating said injury :-) So yeah I wore them one day, the next day foot hurt. Switched shoes and now no pain again.... All learning experiences aside, I'm just happy to be able to run without pain. That is the main thing - staying healthy or at least running pain-free.

It was warmer today, was about 50 when i got to the soccer complex, but cooled down with the sunset. The only times I felt cold was when running into the wind on the last few laps. I'd say the wind was around 10 mph and my longsleeve doesn't exactly provide a lot of breakage for the wind. But it was a really good run. The laps went by fast and I was only breathing hard a few times on the inclines. Yesterday's hills didn't really seem to do much as I thought and there was only the very faintest of soreness in my hams during the run. The declines are the worst part of the run at the soccer complex, mostly because I'm putting pressure on my injured foot and theres really no way to avoid it. Going slower seems to make it even worse, so it's almost a kamikaze like trip down the hills.

So as long as I keep wearing good cushioned shoes, or at least not minimalist shoes I think the injury will go away. All the same I've ran 3 days straight of 13 miles, so there's nothing at all to complain about. I've been wanting to split my runs up, but I just can't drag myself up in the morning. I woke up at 4 am this morning and just turned the alarm clock forward and went back to sleep, haha. So yeah I'm not sure what motivation I need to wake up, but hopefully I can just do it. Splitting my runs up will not only give me more time running, but more time at night to eat, work on things, and still have time to relax. At this point I get home at 7:30, eat (if April cooks otherwise it takes another half hour) till 8, watch tv for an hour, do extra stretches and drills, blog, then start winding down to go sleep at 10:30-11. Mostly I'm just not motivated to do "work". I'll try anyway though.

5:35. soccer complex. 46 degrees 10mph wind (longsleeve, undershirt, shorts, gloves)
1:45:03, gm 623

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Eh. Foot is bothersome again. But the good news is that the run went well. Another good amount of time spent outdoors. It was cold tonight, but not bad. Same deal as yesterday, only this time I had a turtleneck under my longsleeve. I've also been wearing sweatpants over my shorts. It's worked out well. They are older so they are thin and are really loose so not too restricting. It's nice not having frozen legs.

So I ran in the neighborhood tonight. Other than the traffic it was great, ....well and the foot stuff. Breathing was good. I also decided to do some hills. These actually made the foot feel better as I was on my toes more. I did one for each loop around the neighborhood. I originally thought three would be good. I was going up them at a good clip, but not sprinting or anything crazy. The first two felt good, the third was pretty tough, and the fourth was pretty sad, but definitely doable. Four loops around the hood actually wasn't that boring. It was certainly much better than 13 around the soccer complex.

So I seem to be back on track fitness wise. Unfortunately the foot doesn't want to cooperate. I really thought it was healed up, but apparently the nike frees were just too thin to provide enough cushion. I kind of regret wearing them, but you live and you learn. Another day of work tomorrow, but we are almost finished with the job so I might have the rest of week off. Who knows though they might find something else for me to do. In the meantime I'm going to try to get up early and run, but no guarantees. I am definitely not a morning person, and with Mercedes getting me up the past two days at 3 am, I'm kind of lacking in the full night of sleep department. Ok, update more tomorrow.

5:40 pm. home +hills. 34 degrees.
1:46:18, gm 610

Monday, December 1, 2008


One month left this year. Just crazy. Time seems to fly when you've recorded it. Anyway...things were great till this afternoon when my foot started hurting a bit at work. Crap. So yeah the pain was back, but at least it wasn't like full out. I think it may be the shoes. Yeah they are kiiiind of worn out..... if by 'kind of' I mean totally. So I'll have to switch back to the moires, since yesterday I wore the frees and today there is pain I think it's fair to assume they are connected.

But I was determined to run, I would even go as far as to say I was craving a good long run. So tonight I just kept going through the pain and ran. It was great. I felt good through the whole run. I was happy to be running, even though on a gimpy foot, at least it wasn't raining or sleeting.

5:40 pm. soccer complex. 36 (28 w/windchill) degrees.
1:45:00, bf 597