Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflecting Back On A Very Successful Year!

OK...being that I still have this cold and never got out to run after I hit 970 miles for the year, I must say that I've been quite bummed out over the past week.  However, looking back on 2008 as a whole, I see that all around it was a very successful year.

On the running front, I ran my first marathon and set new personal bests for 1 mile, 5K and total miles run in one year.  On the work front, I have been managing my largest project ever and have received positive feedback about how I'm doing.  Things are also going really well with my family - we just returned from a trip to NY and NJ where we saw all of my first cousins and their kids which was really great.

Looking ahead, I'm still trying to formulate my goals - and running schedule - for 2009.  I don't think there's another full marathon in 2009 for me.  I'll likely focus on the Half Marathon distance - try to first do a sub-2:10 and then maybe stretch to a sub 2:00.  I was thinking of putting the National Half Marathon on March 21 on my calendar, but it's $70 ($85 if I sign up after tomorrow).  OUCH!  That's pricey!  So I may be looking out for less expensive options (I believe there is one in Annapolis around the same time which was about $50 last year).

Over the next week or so I'll try to get my goals figured out (and published in the blog, so that there's some accountability...).  In the meantime, I'll enjoy New Year's Eve!!!

Happy New Year's everyone!!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cold Settling In

My cold has lingered for a few days and it is now settling into my chest.  Grrrrrr.  Just what I needed - NOT!

Anyhow, if it is any consolation, I wasn't going to be getting a run in over the next few days anyhow.  We're heading up to the NY/NJ area to visit some family and I wasn't going to be bringing my running gear this time around.

However, this brings the number of non-running days to six in a row.  By the time I get a chance to run again it will be nine days off.

This also means that I will not be making my 1,000 mile goal for the year (unless I go for a 30 miler on Dec 31 - very doubtful).  I'm actually OK with not achieving this goal.  Last year I ran 600 miles for the year (my best ever) so hitting 970 definitely is nothing to cry about.  Plus, I didn't set the 1,000 mile goal until July.   Out of the 5 mid-year goals I set, I achieved 3 of them (5K PR of 25:17, ran 2 Half Marathons, enjoyed running).  I did not run a sub 2:11 half marathon (one of my HMs was more of a training run and the other was too humid for me to finish at that pace) and now I did not hit the 1,000 mile mark.

So...I think I know what two of my goals for next year will be!

I am also thinking about trying to train and run with either my son (he's 6 years old but has shown interest in running) or my dad (he's a 62 year old smoker who is in decent shape by playing golf and tennis...I'm kinda thinking that perhaps having him start with running will help him quit the smoking habit) for a 5K.  We'll see if I can convince either of them - or BOTH!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Runner's Envy

As I'm still recovering from my foot "realigning" (two trips to the chiro for my foot and he told me to not run for a few days) and fighting whatever illness has been coming on (I've had low energy since Sunday evening - I've hit the sack in the 9:30pm to 10:30pm range each night - way earlier than normal), I was not going to run today.

However, it was a balmy Christmas Day - temps in the high 40s!  I saw so many runners outside (including my wife who went out for a morning run...if I couldn't enjoy it, at least I could watch the kids so she could, right?).

I was so envious.  I knew that I wanted to run on such a glorious day, but it was better to rest.

I think I have another day or two of rest for both issues.  Unfortunately, that coincides exactly with when we're taking a trip up to NY/NJ to visit some family...and smelly, sweaty running clothes don't exactly travel well.  So my next run may be on December 31.  :-(

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll feel much better tomorrow and get out for a run on Saturday.  Maybe I'll also be able to get out early on Sunday morning before we hit the road.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Chiro Visit

Weirdest thing - I was playing around with my kids last night and all of a sudden my foot started to hurt whenever I put pressure on it.  I tried massaging and stretching the foot, but to no avail.  I popped a Vitamin I before going to bed hoping that it would do the trick.

This morning my foot felt a little better - but not well enough to lace up my running shoes.  (Actually, I also have that feeling that I'm on the verge of catching a cold - so I'm not about to go and run in 18 degree weather).

I went in to the chiro's office.  He did put the electro-stim thingy on the top of my foot (some tendon there?) and after that he went to do his adjustments.  He was trying to release (I think that's chiro speak for "crack") my talus bone.  It took him about 5 attempts but he finally got it.  And I believe that by tomorrow, this foot pain will be gone.  Gotta love the chiro...

And since the weather is supposed to warm up a bit, I may be able to go out for a run :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Giving Up On The Goal?

1,000 miles for the year is actually still in reach. I have 30 miles to go - that's a little more than 3 miles a problem, right? (OK, we're heading to NY/NJ for a few days to visit family, so I most likely will not be able to run on those days...sweaty running gear doesn't travel well...).

Things at work have been uber hectic, so I have not been getting enough sleep. I felt really run down this weekend (yet still dragged myself to run 5 miles yesterday morning) and this morning I woke up with a scratchy throat. I know that I need to take it easy.

So, I'm not going to push myself to just get to the 1,000 mile goal right now. If I feel better tomorrow, then I might get back on the program - but for now, I need to rest.

I did get some good (and surprising) news this morning. Amid a week full of eating out, eating latkes and donuts, skipping a meal and then eating too much to compensate and tons of other weight-conscious no-no's, I thought my weight would have gone up again this week. Instead, it went down by the pound and a half that the scale showed I put on last week. I'm back to 168.5. Thanks goodness the 170 I saw last week was just a one-week spike.

Friday, December 19, 2008

End of a Busy Week...Finally

Finally the work week is over!  I put in about 60 hours this week (and the weekend hasn't started yet...grrrr).  My project has some aggressive deadlines before the end of the year - one was completed on Thursday morning - I thought we were going to finish the other big one today, but we decided to call it quits finally at 8:30pm tonight.  So much for Shabbat dinner with the family.

Which brings me to the realization that I did not see my kids during any evening for the past 6 days.  Actually, on Wednesday I didn't see them at all - I left the house before they woke up and returned home after they were asleep.  Luckily, I don't have many weeks like this.

I was able to get in 10 miles of running so far.  I want to get a long run in during the weekend, however, I may play with the kids tomorrow morning instead of going for my normal Saturday morning long run.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get a run in on Sunday - before I have to log into work again...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chiro Visit and Busy Work Week

After yesterday morning's back pain, I was in desperate need of my chiro. His posted hours started at 11am, and I was supposed to be in Columbia, MD for work. I called his office, he answered (he was in the office doing paperwork) and he took me early. He did a bunch of trigger point work, "adjustments" (can you say back cracking!), pulling, prodding, icing and electro-stim work. I felt 1,000 times better! HOORAY!

He gave me some stretching exercises to "open up the joint" (apparently the joint was pinching a nerve or something like that). I'll need to hit the Chiro's office one more time this week - no biggie. I was able to sleep last night and run this morning!

Which brings me to this morning. I need to be in Sterling, VA for work today. The weather forecast called for freezing rain (which really did not happen) - so I planned to wake up early, drive to the Fitness First in Reston, VA before the traffic got too bad, and run before getting to the customer site. I was on a tredmill by 7am and did my Pyramid Intervals workout - and threw in an additional 1/4 mile interval at the end. All intervals were done at 7.5 mph (8 min mile pace). 5.5 miles, 52:52 - 9:37/mile pace.

Off to the customer site I go!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Back Pain = Up At 3am

Last night I started doing some push-ups in front of the MNF football game. I had decided to stop the Hundred Push-Up Challenge for a few weeks - but continue to do five sets of 25 push-ups three days a week. After a few weeks, I'd hop back into the challenge - hopefully ready to attack Week 5 (I've done Weeks 3 and 4 three times now!).

At the end of my first set of 25 I was starting to tire out and I pushed myself to get those 24th and 25th push-ups in. However, I think I may have pulled a muscle in my back - just below my left shoulder blade. I started to feel some pain, but didn't think much of it. I tried doing another set of push ups and got to 20, but had to stop.

There was still a bit of pain when I got into bed, but I was able to fall asleep. However, I woke up at 3am and the left side of my back was killing me! I got up to pop some Ibuprofen and tried to get in a comfortable spot in bed. Nothing was comfortable.

I had considered trying to go for a run since I knew I wasn't going to fall back to sleep. Either I would go out then, or leave the house at 4:45am to be at the gym when it opens at 5am. I got out of bed and started to pump my arms back and forth like I do when I'm running, just to see if I could do it. No go. Too painful.

Finally around 4am I went downstairs and got a bag of frozen carrots out of the freezer and laid on that for about 15 min. That seemed to help a bit. However, I knew I wasn't going to be able to just fall back asleep - I grabbed my iPod and dialed up some mellow music (James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Dido) and laid back in bed. I dozed in and out of sleep until 6:30am when the "morning madness" of the Fox household begins.

So no run for me this morning. I actually was supposed to head out to Columbia, MD early this morning - instead I'm going to wait to see the chiro and then head out to the customer site.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Latka Overload would think that after a 30 mile week I would have a chance to lose a pound or two, right?

Well, I guess I figured that since I had been running so much that I didn't need to watch my food intake this weekend - WRONG!  After a few big meals and high-fat, high-calorie foods (I must have had six latkas last night as I was at two Chanukah parties), I stepped on the scale this morning to see that I was back up to 170 lbs.


OK - a little perspective here.  I'm still in the "normal weight" BMI category (just barely...I'm at 25).  I'm nowhere near the 185 lbs that I was tipping the scales at five years ago.

However, it's just a bit discouraging that it took me three weeks to lose 1.5 pounds and two days to gain it back!  (OK...another reality check - a lot if it is likely water retention or something and I'll weigh myself tomorrow and I'll be back to 168.5.  No worries, right???)

Anyhow, the reason I'm worried is that I'll be eating out a lot this week - some engineers from my customer's regional office are coming to town this week and I'll likely be going out to dinner with them a few times.  Also, Chanukah starts next week, which means lots of fried foods and chocolate.

I originally was thinking that I would need 25-30 mile weeks through December in order to hit 1,000 miles for the year.  Now I know that I'll need to do it to avoid hitting 175 lbs by the end of the year...

Which brings me to running this week.  I already lost the first battle - getting out of bed this morning.  6:30am rolled around too quickly.  My younger son was up in the night so my wife asked me to get my older son ready for school.  No run for me this morning :-(  The only chances that I'll have to run today are - if I get a break late morning or lunchtime...before I go out to Columbia, MD to meet with my customer, or tonight in front of Monday Night Football at the gym (that's IF I'm not at dinner with the customer).  So...I better get back to work so I can attempt to get a lunchtime run in.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ten Mile Morning Run = 30 Mile Week = Rabbit Caught!!

I did a ten mile long run this morning - the loop from my neighborhood to Fallsgrove and back.  It was a cold run again - average temperature during the run was about 27 degrees with wind chills about 5 degrees colder.  BRRRRR.

10.53 miles.  1:52:37.  10:42/mile pace at 151 avg HR (again I had some early false readings, but these cleared up after a mile).

The run put me at 30 miles for the week.  I hadn't done that since marathon week in May - WOW!

Best of all, I caught up to the 1,000 pace bunny (I'm username "foxeygoblue").  Rabbit caught.  Now I just need to keep that critter in my rear view mirror.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lunchtime Easy Run

Since my behind didn't get off my seat all morning, and my original lunchtime plans fell through, I took the opportunity to slip out to the gym for a lunchtime run.

I was on the treadmill by 12:20pm and started my warm up jog at 5.0mph - a 12:00/mile pace. My HR was jumping all over the place - from the low 160s down to the 120s and back again. This continued until about a mile and a quarter into my run, when finally the readings made sense.

I'm going to have to switch out the transmitter on my HR monitor as I believe this one is toast. I use some "ekg" gel on it when I use it so that the sensors get good contact with my chest, so I know that this is not the issue. I believe I have had this HRM strap for close to 4 years, so it's had a good life.

Anyhow, I continued to bump up my speed each quarter mile or so, until I was up to 6.1 mph at 3.25 miles. My HR was in the low 150s and I was able to keep it there for the rest of the run (I did bump the speed down to 5.9 after a while).

I ended up running 5.5 miles in 57:40 - a 10:30/mile pace with avg HR of 151 (give or take since the first 1.25 miles were sketchy).

I'm getting much closer to the pace bunny - 2 miles away! I should pass that wabbit tomorrow on my long run. Hopefully for good.

I tried finding the Elmer Fudd song on You Tube - this was the closest I could find. Anyone have the entire thing??

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scheduled Rest Day and Push Ups

Luckily today was a scheduled rest day.  First of all it was cold and rainy - YUCK!  (although 2 of the 3 runs I have done this week have been indoors on a treadmill, so I guess that can't be too much of an excuse, right?).  Second of all, I hurt my knee during Israeli Dance rehearsal last night.  I was standing in for one of the dancers who could not be there last night - there's a part where the dancers all go down on one knee, and I took it a little too fast on the hard floor.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm no longer a teenager...

Anyhow, I did get my push-ups in.  Sets of 25, 25, 25, 24 and 21 - 120 in all.  Woo Hoo!!!!  Again, it was a bunch less than I was "supposed" to do (set 2 was supposed to be 29, set 4 was 25 and the last set was to be 36 or more...yeah right!) but I shattered my previous high of 108 by 12.  Nice.

I will hopefully find the time to run tomorrow.  I don't think I'll be waking up early to hit the gym (it's already getting kinda late and I'm not in bed yet...).  I had lunch plans for tomorrow that cancelled, so perhaps I'll be able to do another lunch time run.  I'm currently 6 miles behind the 1,000 mile pace bunny - I know I can catch that rodent by the end of this week :-)

One other thing that I need to start monitoring - my shoe mileage.  I'm up to 268 miles in my current shoes.  I haven't worn this model before - the Brooks Defyance - however, they are similar to the Brooks Glycerins which ended their active running life with 333 and 358 miles on them.  If I'm planning to run another 60 miles before the end of the year, I may be purchasing a new pair of kicks to finish that mileage in...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Push Ups, Pyramid Intervals and Lunchtime Run In The Rain

It's been a really busy week for me with not much time to blog. There really hasn't been much time to run either, but I have stubbornly squeezed in my runs.

Monday evening I did my first set of push-ups for Week 4, go around number 3. I did sets of 21, 23, 20, 21 and 23 push-ups. 108 in all! Woot! It was 10 less than what the program calls for, but it is the most I have ever done so I'm pretty happy.

Tuesday morning, I had to be in Columbia, MD for work. So I left a bit earlier and went to the Fitness First in Olney, MD which is on the way. I did a speedwork workout of Pyramid Intervals. This time, I set the treadmill to 5.5 mph (10:54/mile pace) for the recoveries and 7.5 mph (8:00/mile pace) for the intervals. I was definitely pushing it for the last two intervals of 3/4 mile and 1 mile, but I made it! 5 miles - 47:48 (9:34/mile avg pace)

Today, the weather was mild with some rain. Although I had a really packed schedule and had to be in Virginia for work, I was not going to let a 60 degree day in December pass me by. I NEEDED TO RUN today!!! My only hope was to take a late lunch break (I have a standing 12 noon conference call that I chair every Wedneday) and run then. Since I was in Virginia, I decided to run the W&OD Trail. I hit the Fitness First in Reston to change, walked across the street to the 17.5 milepost on the W&OD Trail, and this time ran East (the other times I have run the trail I ran West towards Herndon). I decided to run 2.5 miles out and then back - 5 miles total. The first 1.5 miles in this direction ran parrallel to Sunset Hills Drive - so I heard the hum of traffic as I ran. However, the last mile that I ran went behind some residential areas with lots of trees and less noise (and more hills, of course!). When I hit the 15.0 milepost, I turned around. Within a half a mile, the drizzle I was running in turned into a heavier rain. UGH!!!! All in all it was a nice run - 5 miles in 51:31 (10:19/mile pace).

So...I ran three days in a row. And at three different locations of Fitness First! ( I just changed and showered at Fitness First in Reston...)

I will definitely take a rest day tomorrow. Then hopefully run again on Friday and then once on the weekend.

Monday, December 8, 2008

One More Pound Down

The scale said 168.5 this morning. That's one pound down from last week. The weight is coming off - but slowly. However, I shouldn't complain as I ate like a hog on Saturday (I burned about 1,600 calories on my 2 hour and 15 minute long run that morning, so I didn't really worry about how much I ate the rest of the day) and yesterday I was not as careful as I should have been.

Looking at how my weight starts to creep up starting in August and crescendos into November/December, I'm thinking that perhaps putting a fall marathon on my 2009 - and every year - schedule is not such a bad thing. If nothing else, it will keep me burning all of those calories I consume during my birthday, anniversary, Rosh Hashannah, Sukkot, son's birthday, Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations.

I did hit the gym this morning for 4 easy miles on the treadmill. Even though it was warmer this morning than on Saturday (24 degrees vs 18), I just couldn't convince myself to run outside today. The good news - my aerobic fitness is definitely improving again. I averaged a 10:37/mile pace over the 4 treadmill miles, with an average HR of 146. The last time I ran an easy 4 close to this pace/avg HR was in early October (pre-bronchitis). I'm baaaack!

Of course, I know that it won't last too long. I haven't donated blood in close to five months so I'd like to do that before the end of the year. I've been thinking about doing a platelets donation and see if that impacts my fitness level/HR as much as a whole blood donation does, however, the donation center that does this is a bit further away (25 minute away instead of 10) and the process takes close to 2 hours. For a whole blood donation, if I get there when they open at 12 noon, I'm usually out by 1:15pm...I can do this on my "lunch hour" on a day when I don't have too much going on. However, I'll actually need to take a morning or afternoon off to do a platelets donation. I'm not sure I can fit that in right now. Since I know that it usually takes me about 3 weeks to get back to my original pace/HR after a blood donation, and I'm trying to run 25 mile weeks to hit the 1,000 mile goal, I'm not sure when I'm going to do this. December 31st?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Frickin' Cold Out There!

Yesterday's Net Calories:  1,985

After yesterday's predicament, I decided to do a longer long run - in the 12 to 14 mile range.  I decided that I hadn't done a really long run like this in a while and I should do it on a morning that wasn't rainy/snowy/icy.

Last night I checked the weather forecast.  Overnight low of 18 degrees.  BRRRRRRR.  I thought that it would probably be in the mid-20s when I first went out to run, so I laid out my Mizuno BreathThermo long sleeve top, running jacket, running tights, and since it would dark out when I started my run - my reflector vest and my day-glow yellow running gloves.  I also laid out my Amphipod water belt with a few packs of GU, some cash and my cell phone.

For some reason I didn't sleep too well last night.  I ended up waking up a few times and looking at the clock to see if it was time to go on my run yet.  Finally 5:30am rolled around and I got out of bed and ready for my run.

During the first few minutes of my run, I felt COLD.  Toes and fingers were freezing up a bit.  I thought that perhaps I should have worn one of my other pairs of running gloves that are a bit thicker and warmer.  However, after about 15 minutes my toes and fingers had warmed up - as usual.

On the route that I took, there were three different turns that I could turn which would make the run either 12.3, 13.5 or 13.8 miles.  As I was chugging up Great Seneca Highway - about 4 miles into my run - I decided to take the first turn and make this a 12.3 miler.  It was definitely cold outside and I remembered that the last time I had run 13 miles was during the Parks Half Marathon in September...and due to the humidity I did not run all 13 miles.  I wondered when the last time I actually had run this distance was (I just checked my running log - the last time I ran 13 miles was at the Riley's Rumble Half Marathon in July...I walked the big hills on that run, and before that was at the Frederick Marathon in May!)

It ended up being a good idea to only have done the 12.3 miler, as I was to find out...

I had started to drink water from one of the three water bottles on my water belt, and as the water level in that bottle went down, the water that was at the top started to freeze.  The ice at the top of the bottle made it tough to drink from.  I wonder what runners up North do to keep this from happening?  Put salt in the water?  Perhaps Gatorade has a lower freezing point than water?

However, the thing I was not prepared for was that about 7 miles into my run my fingers started getting cold again.  YIKES!  Normally, when I go for a run on a cold day my fingers will be cold initially but then they'll warm up and I'll be fine for the rest of the run.  I don't ever remember my fingers chilling up again.  I really thought I was going to get frostbite and again I wished I had worn my thicker, warmer gloves.  I kept alternating between wrapping my fingers around my thumbs to warm my thumbs and making a fist and closing my thumb over my fingers to warm up my fingers.  I had even considered calling Sherry to come and pick me up and drive me home...  Then I remembered a passage that I had read recently about the mental side of running - that we are capable of doing more than we think we can.  So, I was convinced that I could make it home - frostbitten hands or not.

At one point I looked at my hands - and saw the thumbholes at the end of the sleeves on my running jacket.  I never got the whole thumbhole thing.  I mean - it's my fingers that always get cold...what good will thumbholes do?  My fingers will still be exposed to the cold, right.  While I was looking at the thumbholes, though, the idea hit me - pull the sleeves of my jacket OVER your clenched fists.  I did this and within minutes my fingers started to warm up again.  HOORAY!!

By this time it was an hour and 45 minutes into my run already, and I realized that I had not consumed any of the GU I brought along.  I usually take one about an hour into my run, but I had forgotten at that point - and then I had to deal with freezing water and near frostbitten fingers.  I took a GU packet and put it in my hand (which was still in my sleeve) to try and warm the thing up.  After a few minutes I finally ate the GU - even with warming it up a bit, it still had a near-solid consistency.  It was very weird.

I went to wash the GU down with water.  The water in the water bottle I had already started drinking from had turned to ice.  I swapped it with one of the other water bottles and popped the top up.  No water came out.  UGH!!!  I stopped and unscrewed the top from the bottle - water had frozen at the top and blocked the pop top!

When I finally got home, I really wanted to know just how cold it was during my run.  The temperatures ranged from 17 to 19 degrees while I was out for my run.  Once again, BRRRRRRR.  No wonder I had so many issues!

Final stats:  12.27 miles, 2:15:45 - 11:04/mile pace.  155 bpm avg HR.

This now puts me only 5 miles behind the 1,000 mile pace bunny.  Watch out you rascally rabbit!

Friday, December 5, 2008

To Chase The Goal, Or Just To Enjoy???

Yesterday's Total Calorie Intake: 2,308
(Exercise Calories: 665)
Total Net Calories: 1,653

Today is a scheduled rest day and tomorrow will be my weekly long run.  However, I'm torn about how long I should run tomorrow.

The weather will be cold - but no rain and little wind - so I will be able to run outside, which means I can basically run as long as I want without getting bored out of my wits (I can only last about an hour on a treadmill - not much longer than that).  So weather will not be a limiting factor to how far I run.

Over the past few weeks I have had "long" runs of 7 miles, two weeks of no long run (bronchitis), 10 miles and 9 miles.  Conventional wisdom would tell me not to run longer than 10 miles for another week or two.  However, I'm thinking of running 12 to 14.

And I know why.  It's the darn 1,000 mile goal staring at me.

I'm currently 15 miles behind pace for 1,000 miles for the year.  (Tables showing mileage vs. the "pace bunny" can be found here...this is for people who are tracking their mileage on and who have subscribed to the User Forums for the Pace Groups...).

If I was far away from the goal, I wouldn't really push myself to get there.  But I'm so close.  I want to catch up.

So, I'm thinking of waking up a bit earlier tomorrow and heading in the direction of my 12 mile, and 14 mile loops - instead of the opposite direction for a 9 mile or 10 miler.

Should I chase the goal?  Or just go out and enjoy running during the last three weeks of the year and not stress about whether I'm going to hit 1,000???
I also did my last set of push-ups for the week.  The plan calls for sets of 22, 30, 20, 20 and at least 28.  I did 22, 20, 20, 20 and 20.  It was 18 less than the plan called for, but it was still 102 push ups!  That's my first time over 100!!!!  So although I didn't do all of the push ups on the plan, it's hard to not get excited about doing over 100 for the first time.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spaced Out on the Treadmill and Signs I'm Getting Old

Yesterday's Total Calorie Intake: 1,847
(Exercise Calories: 100)
Total Net Calories: 1,747

This morning I got out of bed at 5:15am to hit the gym early. I was meeting a friend for coffee at Starbucks at 7am and I wanted to get a run in beforehand.

I decided to do some speedwork to make things more interesting, as treadmill workouts can be BO-RING. My plan was a "pyramid" workout - warm up for 1 mile, then four run intervals - 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile and 1 mile - each separated by a 1/4 mile recovery. The workout ends with a 3/4 mile cooldown to bring the total distance to 5 miles total. I set the jog speed on the treadmill to 5.4 mph (a little over an 11:00/mile pace) and the run speed to 7.2 mph (about an 8:20/mile pace)

Sounds like a good plan, right?

I did my warm up mile - check. I did my first quarter mile run - check. I did my first recovery jog - check. EHEM - why is the treadmill now showing 1.81 miles? Wasn't I supposed to start running at 1.5 miles? OOPS! I totally spaced out!!!

My mind is normally wandering during my run workouts - it is the time of the day when I can think clearly and have no interruptions. I actually formulate many decisions during my runs - thinking through work issues, personal finances, parenting, etc.

However, I was not expecting to totally blank while doing a speedwork workout at the gym.

Anyhow, I figured out that I could swap out the 3/4 mile cooldown with the 1/4 mile recovery that I was doing, and got back into the workout.

Final stats - 5.0 miles, 48:56 - 9:48/mile average pace, 157 bpm average HR.

In the "signs I'm getting old" department, last night I was at rehearsal for the Israeli Dance Troupe that I direct and one of the teens was taking pictures with her phone. She said that she was going to post them on Facebook later - I asked if she would post them to the Yesodot group so that I would be able to see them or just to her own page (which I wouldn't be able to see as we are not "friends" on Facebook).

Her response was, "You're on Facebook???!???"

Wow. Am I really that old?

I ran this exchange by one of our alumni who was at the rehearsal (she's now a sophomore in college). Her response was, "You know what...I don't think I have friended any adults in Facebook..."

Um. Another big dose of reality. Yes....I really am that old.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Scheduled Rest Day

Yesterday Total Calorie Intake: 2,591
(Exercise Calories: 991)
Total Net Calories: 1,600

Today is a scheduled rest day.  No feeling guilty as I slothfully laid in bed until 6:35am this morning.

This week I ran on Monday and Tuesday mornings, and I'm planning to wake up extra early tomorrow morning and hit the treadmill before meeting an old friend at Starbucks at 7am.  (I don't really like Starbucks, but it's close, it's quick and it's open at 7am...).  To finish out the week, I'll likely rest again on Friday and do a long run on Saturday morning.

It's funny to look back at the beginning of the year when I wondered whether my body would be able to take running 4 days a week (which meant I would not have a rest day after each run).  My big concern was whether I would get injured by upping the number of runs from at-most-3 to at-least-4.  Eleven full months later, I can confidently say that running on consecutive days has not caused me any injuries.

I did my push-ups this morning.  Day two of the third column of Week 3:  sets of 20, 25, 15, 15 and 19 (the last set was supposed to be at least 25, but I couldn't muster out more than 19).A total of 94 push-ups in all.  Whoa!  Each set has more push-up than I was able to do "to exhaustion" when I started.  Plus, the second set of 25 is more than I was able to do "to exhaustion" two weeks ago.  Amazing!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Push Up Update and Blog "Following"

I did my push up "exhaustion test" on Sunday evening. I did 28 in a row. Not bad, but it puts me back at the Week 3 plan again - this time on column 3. So by the time I'm done with this thing, I'll have done all three columns on Weeks 3 and 4.

Today's sets were 14, 18, 14, 14 and 20. 80 in all. It gets harder pretty quickly, so I hope I can stay with the program!

Also, in an earlier post I mentioned that I added a "Following" gadget to my blog. I started looking into this and found that when you choose to follow a blog, it adds it to a Blogger Dashboard section. I've been using Google Reader to "follow" other's blogs, but I'm not sure what other folks out there are using. I'll keep it up for a week or so and if it looks like people are using the Blogger "follow" function, I'll keep it. Otherwise I'll take it down.

Geez, It's Cold Outside!

Total Calorie Intake: 2,143
(Exercise Calories: 522)
Total Net Calories: 1,621

After yesterday's boring run on the treadmill, I was excited to get outside again! I planned to help my wife out with the kids a bit in the morning and then get out for my run at 7am - when the sun was starting to rise.

I got bundled up in my running tights, long sleeve tech shirt, running jacket, gloves and beanie and out into the cold morning. The NOAA weather site showed it was 30 degrees when I left the house a little before 7am. Surprisingly, it then showed that it was 28 degrees around 8am when I returned. Aren't the temperatures supposed to rise in the morning as the sun comes up????

I put some Gloria Estefan on my iPod this morning. I was thinking that perhaps the Latin rhythms would remind me of being somewhere tropical and I would feel warmer. It worked for about 3 minutes - then my fingers and toes started to freeze up a bit and the warm, tropical feeling was gone.

I always see a few runners when I'm going on my weekday runs in the 6am to 7am timeframe. However, I was surprised to see about twice the number of runners out this morning. To me, running from 7am to 8am is late (I normally like to be at my desk and working by 8:15am or 8:30am) - but I guess it is the normal morning peak running time around here.

I got back inside the house a little after 8am - 5.5 miles in 58:08 (10:34/mile pace). A quick shower, bowl of cereal and cuppa joe and I was at my desk in time for a 9am conference call!
I've added a new "gadget" on the right column of my Blog - a "Followers" section. I don't think you'll be able to see it from Google reader or an RSS feed, so come on over the the blog page and sign up as a follower to my blog!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Morning Run on the Dreadmill

My younger son came into our room at 5:27am.  13 minutes prior to when my alarm was going to go off.  At least I wasn't the one waking my wife up this morning as I got ready to head out and run :-)

Last night was cold and rainy - and I hate running in that type of weather - so I got my gym bag ready last night.  I rolled out of bed as my wife brought my son back to his room, weighed myself (I only gained 1/2 pound last week with Thanksgiving festivities - not too shabby - however, I will be back to counting calories this week), and got into my workout clothes.

I was at the gym and on a treadmill a few minutes before 6am.  The plan was to do four easy miles.  I started out warming up at 4.8mph - slower than a 12 min mile, and my HRM was giving me false readings in the 150s and 160s.  I'm used to this happening while I warm up - usually for the first quarter mile.  However, this kept on going on for over a mile.  WTF?!?!?!?  A quarter of a mile into my run I was thinking, perhaps I'm coming down with something and I should keep it slow?  However, as I passed the half mile mark and my HR was still being shown in that range while I felt really relaxed and fine, I decided that the readings were most likely bogus and started to up the tempo a bit.  Around 1.1 miles in - while I was at 5.2 mph, my HR finally showed in the 130s and stayed there for a bit.

By 2.5 miles in, I was up to 5.7 mph (about a 10:30 mile pace) and my HR was up in the high-140s.  I settled in there for the rest of my run.  4 miles, 44:38, 146 average HR (well, kinda - who the heck knows what my real average HR was...).

It was a blah, boring, uneventful run at the gym.  I will likely brave the cold tomorrow so I can run in the glorious outdoors!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shabbat Morning Run - Back In The Groove

Total Net Calorie Intake:  ???

Before I get into running details, I gotta come clean on the calorie counting.  There was none over the past two days.  And I'm OK with that - it was Thanksgiving, right?  I actually don't think I fared too bad on Thursday.  I started out by burning 700 calories during the 10K (and probably 100 more doing 99 push-ups) and then didn't eat too much until the evening feast (where I surely made up for lost time).  Yesterday was the usual festive Shabbat dinner, Thanksgiving style :-)  I'm sure that the past two days threw me off a bit, but I'll go back to the calorie counting and everything will be fine.

This morning I went out for an easy Shabbat morning run.  The run was the longest I have done in a few weeks - 7.3 miles - but definitely not a "long run" by standards set earlier in the year.  I had contemplated going longer, but that would have meant leaving the house earlier (and thus getting out of bed earlier) and carrying water with me - two things I did not want to do today.  So I settled on the 7 miler instead of the 9 or 10.

I checked the weather this morning before leaving the house.  26 degrees.  BRRRRRR.  At least I didn't have to wait around for 45 minutes before running, like I did at Thursday morning's race.  There was virtually no wind, which made it bearable.  As usual, the first two miles were tough and cold, however, I was comfortable the rest of the way.  Also as usual, the cold weather made me run a bit faster than I wanted - I guess this is how my body responds as it wants to warm up faster.  My average HR was 156 over the 1:18:35.

The 7.3 miles brought my weekly total to 21.9 miles.  My yearly total is now 899 miles!  This is way more than I have ever run in a year - which is good news.  On the flip side, I have fallen behind the 1,000 mile "pace bunny" due to the week and a half I didn't run with bronchitis and the "ick-ies".  I'm about 13 miles behind pace to finish off with 1,000 miles, which means I'll have to average around 24 miles per week to get to the 1,000 mile goal by December 31.  It is definitely within my reach - I just need to really want it.

To get there, I will really need to make my weekend long runs longer - which means waking up earlier, wearing my water belt and running in the dark for a portion of my run.  I may also have to have some more flexibility due to the weather getting crappier by the day.  And some of these runs may have to be on the dreadmill.

As much as I would really like to reach this goal, if I don't make it I won't be depressed.  I believe that I'll be close to this mileage again in future years - especially in those where I'll run another marathon.  Plus, the main goal for me this year was to finish a 26.2 mile race - and that has been achieved!

So, I won't be pushing myself through sickness and fatigue to reach 1,000.  However, if I'm at 990 miles by December 30, you can bet I'll go out for a 10 miler on December 31!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

2008 Turkey Chase Race Report

This will be the third year in a row that I have run the Turkey Chase 10K in Bethesda, MD on Thanksgiving Day.

I like this race because (a) it is in the neighborhood where I lived in 1999-2000 and (b) it's a great way to start out Thanksgiving Day - on a day where I'm going to overload on food, at least I'm starting the day off by burning 700 calories!

I hate this race because my times have consistently been slower than I know I am capable.  There are a lot of hills in the first three miles and this normally tires me out.  In 2006, seven months after posting my 10K PR of 56:14, I ran a 1:01:20 (I later realized that I had donated blood less than a week before that race...oh well!).  Last year, I ran a 1:02:16 (the weather was a lot warmer than expected - in the 60s!).  I was hoping to finish under an hour this year, but I my mileage had decreased over the past few weeks due to bronchitis, feeling icky, and bad schedule karma.

I threw away my goal last week and just decided to run a smart race.  Start out slow.  Pick up the pace later.  Enjoy the run.  Unlike many times that I went into the race with a similar philosophy, this time I actually followed it!  And by doing so, I nearly met my original goal.

The weather this morning was bright and sunny with not much wind, but it was still cold.  I believe the temperature was around 30 degrees.   I don't mind running in this weather, but I sure hate waiting around for a race to start in it.

I got to the race location around 7:45am for the 8:30am start.  I caught up with my friend Jamie who used to work at Nortel with me.  We stretched out, took a jog around the adjacent neighborhood and tried to keep warm.  I was looking out for fellow blogger Not Born To Run, however, I did not see her in the mass of 8,000 or so people there.  Go figure.

I wandered over to the starting line and nestled in with the 10:00 to 12:00/mile pace group.  This group was supposed to start 4 minutes after the gun time, however, it was more like 9 or 10 minutes by the time we all got to the starting mats.

The first quarter mile or so is slightly uphill.  The big consolation is that race ends here in the opposite direction - nothing like a fast finish going downhill!  I thought my Heart Rate Monitor may be giving me false readings here as I felt like I was going rather slow, but the watch was showing I was already in the 150s.  I got it back into the 140s while going downhill and continued going at this pace.  The first mile marker came up and my split was 10:37.  A bit faster than I was anticipating...perhaps my HRM was giving me correct readings after all!

The second mile included some pretty big neighborhood hills - both up and down.  It finishes coming down one of the largest hills on the course - Pooks Hill Road...luckily, we were running DOWN this hill and not UP!  My mile 2 split was 10:39.  Right on track.

Mile three was on Rockville Pike passing in front of NIH and the Bethesda Naval Hospital.  Again, there are a few hills here - I rarely noticed them while driving, but when you are on foot they are very noticeable.  As I was running up one of these hills, I felt really strong - especially my upper body.  I think the push up challenge that I am doing is starting to pay some benefits in my running (I wasn't planning for it to help in running, but I'll definitely take it!)  As I was pumping my arms to get up that hill I almost felt like it was somehow pulling myself to the top.  The mile three marker was before the last big hill crested - 11:04 split.

As soon as I crested the hill, I knew it was my time.  We were heading into downtown Bethesda, so the hills would not be as prevalent.  I had conserved my energy and I felt strong and ready to pick up the pace.  This was now my race.

The first water stop was right around here and I just blew by it.  And I started to pass a lot of people.  The thought came into my mind that the past two years I ran this that I was the one being passed - not the one doing the passing.  It's a nice feeling to be doing the passing, I must say.

However, passing people is not always the easiest thing to do.  The race officials had coned off one lane of the street, so there was a pretty narrow lane to fit all of the runners.  I ended up doing a lot of weaving; I tried to stay to the left and pass on the left most of the time, but many of the runners were plugged into their iPods and oblivious to their surroundings.  Heck, I'm 170 pounds and my running shoes squeak a little with the Superfeet insoles in them - you should be able to hear my footfalls if I'm coming up behind you...

Mile 4 split = 9:05.  Mile 5 split = 9:14.  I still had a lot of energy left.  It was time to run like crazy to the end.  The song "Lose Yourself" by Eminem started going through my mind - it's got a great beat to run to.  For the next mile I was burning it up and passing tons of other runners.  I felt like I was running a 5K - and this was mile 6 of a 10K!  I got to the mile 6 marker and checked my split - 8:14.  Holy cow!!!

I did the last 0.2 mile in 1:39 (an 8:15/mile pace) and crossed the finish line.  Watch time of 1:00:33.  Still not near my 10K PR, and not sub-one hour, but a course PR nonetheless.

The after-race events were a bit chaotic.  I don't think the race organizers knew how to handle so many people (this was their largest crowd to date).  I had checked a long sleeve t-shirt and sweatshirt at the bag check, and I went to go get that, however, the line was really long.  By the time I got through the bag check line, there were no more bagels - and that was the only food they had for their "spread".  Bagels and water.  And not enough bagels for all of the runners.  Grrr...  Plus, Sherry and the kids had come to see me at the race and we did not meet up.  We missed each other at the finish line and then could not find each other at the post-race festivities.  I did get a really big reception from all three of them when I got home which was very sweet.

Post-race issues aside, I had a great race.  What a wonderful way to start the holiday!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cold Morning Run

Yesterday's Total Net Calories:  1,717

Since tomorrow is the Turkey Chase, and the temperature at starting time will be somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees, I decided that it was time to do a run in the outdoors.

It has been a while and I have been whimping out being in the elements.  Last night I checked the weather report and it was getting down to 29 degrees overnight, so I figured this would be a sub-freezing temperature run.  I dressed in my running tights, long sleeve t, running jacket, gloves and a beanie (and my reflector vest as it was still dark when I got out the door at 6:15am).

It ends up that it was only 38 degrees - I've run in shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt in that weather before - however, there was a swirling wind, so I was glad to be bundled and layered up.

Being that it was my first "winter run" I put the Nutcracker Suite in my iPod.  It's such great music for the season!

My goal this morning was to keep the pace easy.  I wanted to see what my outdoor pace is at the sub-150 bpm heart rate.  For the first 2 miles I did fine.  Then I realized that I was speeding up as the music was crescendo-ing (I think it was the music when the Nutcracker battles the Army of the Mouse King...).  I got myself to slow down, but I really don't know how long I was running faster.  I finished the 3.4 mile run at an 11:10/mile pace with an average HR of 151.

I think I have a race plan for tomorrow.  I'm going to run the first 2 miles at sub-150 heart rate.  I'll then bump it up to between 150 and 160 for the third mile.  After that, I'm going to try to run the final 5K at a brisk pace and not work about heart rate.  I'm not expecting the last 5K to be anywhere near the 25:17 I ran in early September :-)  However, I can probably run 9 minute miles over the last half if I conserve my energy up front.  I'll see if I can keep to this.

Good luck to everyone running Turket Trots tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scheduled Rest Day

Total Calorie Intake: 2,252
(Exercise Calories: 690)
Total Net Calories: 1,562

No run today. I will try to go for a short 3 mile easy run tomorrow morning - mainly to get used to running outside again. It's a light day at the office tomorrow, so I should be able to get the run in even if I wake up later than I should! I will also pick up my race packet tomorrow.

I did my push-ups this morning. I'm doing Week 4, second column. I could not muster out 22 on the second set (and still have strength left to do the others), and I couldn't do more than 25 in the last set - I managed 19. All in all, I did 87 push-ups: 18, 18, 16, 16 and 19. Although I couldn't do the totals that the plan calls for, I'm still happy as this is the most I have ever done!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Easy + Tempo Run At The Gym

Total Calorie Intake:  2,130
(Exercise Calories:  728)
Total Net Calories:  1,402

How many times have you heard this one - "I was planning to run this morning, but woke up a bit too late at 6:15am...". happened again this morning.

Add that to a busy day at work - so no getting out for a noon-time run - and I thought that there was no hope for a run today.

However, my younger son took a late nap (didn't wake up until 4pm) and I knew my wife was going to want me to do something with him while she was putting my older son (who was extremely tired and falling on his face after school) to bed.  Of course, the first thought in my mind was, "how late does childcare go at the gym"???  (the answer...8:30pm!!!??? - umm - whose child-care-aged kids are still not in bed by 8:30pm?  isn't that a recipe for a meltdown?)

Anyhow, the plan did not get vetoed.  After the kids ate dinner I took my younger one to the gym and put him in the childcare room - there were 4 other children there at 6:15pm.  I hit the treadmill for what was going to start as an easy run.  I was going to try to do another 4 miler or maybe 5 - depending on how I felt.

I felt GREAT!  I started out at 5.0 mph (12:00/mile) for the first 0.25 and then increased the speed every 1/4 mile until my HR was in the 140s.  By the end of the first mile I was up at 5.6 mph (10:45/mile pace) and still in the 140s.  Nice.  Especially after yesterday's "first run back" after being sick.

I stayed the course at the 10:45/mile pace until 3.5 miles into the run.  My HR was starting to creep up, but I still felt good.  Also, I hadn't pushed the pace in what seems to be months (I took a look at my log now and see that it was less than two weeks ago - November 12), so I decided to kick it up a few notches for the last 1.5 miles.  For the first mile I ran at 6.7 mph - a 8:57/mile pace.  With half a mile left, I bumped the incline up to 1%.  With a quarter mile left I  bumped the incline up again - to 2.0% - and bumped the speed up to 7.0 mph - a 8:30/mile pace.  At this point my iPod was pounding out Pedalsped's "Stretch" - the chorus starts "Race for the sun / Don't let anything stand in your way..."  Very appropriate!

The full 5 miles took 51:15.  I may try to fit one more run in before the Turkey Chase - maybe Wednesday morning.  I want to run outside to acclimate myself to the colder weather before Thursday.
One more thing...  This morning was weigh-in day.  I weighed 169.0, so I lost 1 pound vs last week.  Not too bad given that I pigged out for 24 hours from Friday night to Saturday night.  Thankfully I got back on the program on Sunday - just in time for the weigh-in.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Running Again...Finally!

I had planned to run on Friday.  It was going to be an easy 3 miles to get back into the swing of things after not running for close to a week after being sick.

However, I went to bed too late and did not have enough time in the morning to get a run in.  I had then planned to run during my lunch break, but I had a 12:30 conference call pop up on my schedule last minute.  We were having guests for Shabbat dinner in the evening, so I needed to be in the house around 4:45pm - so there was no way for me to run in the early evening.

So...there was no run on Friday.  Saturday also came and went with no run.

Finally I got to the gym this morning.  I wasn't going to do the long run I had planned since I had not run for eight days...this was going to have to be an easy run.  I ended up doing 4 miles on the treadmill at 5.2 mph - and 11:30 mile pace.  My HR averaged at 145 - nice and controlled so I don't overdo it.

I must say that I'm a bit frustrated about how I'll do at this year's Turkey Chase.  Two years ago I ran it in a frustratingly slow at the time 1:02:16 - a 10:02/mile pace.  When I looked back at my calendar I noticed that I had just given blood on the Saturday before that race, so I was not back up to my normal aerobic conditioning.  Last year I fared better - 1:01:20, a 9:53 pace - but not as well as I would have liked....and no where near my 10K PR of 56:14.  I was hoping that this year would be under an hour, but with my recent hiatus from running due to being sick, I doubt that will happen.

I'll still run on Tuesday.  Perhaps even another short run tomorrow and then a longer run on Tuesday.  But I'm not sure what that will equate to in terms of my time on Thursday morning.

At least I'll have burned off a bunch of calories before I attack a turkey on Thanksgiving Day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hopefully My Last Consecutive Rest Day

My cold isn't fully behind me, however, I no longer have the chest congestion.  Woo Hoo!  My nose is a bit stuffy, but I can handle that - right?

So tomorrow, I'll definitely get a run in.  Being that the temps have been in the 20s overnight here, I may run at the gym instead of outside.  I'm still not used to the colder weather yet.

If tomorrow's run goes well, I'm hoping to go on a long run on Sunday.  Probably not the 12 miler I was originally hoping for - but perhaps a 7 or 8 miler.  It will have to depend on how I'm feeling and how tomorrow goes.

I did get my second set of push ups in this morning.  Sets of 14, 19, 14, 14 and 20.  81 in all.  OMG!  I'm getting close to 100 (OK, not 100 consecutive, but I don't think I have ever done 100 push ups in a DAY this is big for me).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Feeling Better

Tuesday Total Net Calories:  1,650
Wednesday Total Net Calories:  1,660

I'm still a bit congested today, but a lot better than I have the past few days.  My chest does not feel as tight and heavy and I'm not coughing as much.  It's amazing what a little rest will do!

I didn't run today and I'm not going to run tomorrow, however, if the trend continues and I continue to feel better I'll try to run on Friday morning.  Then perhaps a longer run on Sunday morning.

On the calorie front, I'm keeping things in control.  I had to eat out two of my meals today and for one of them I had a Greek Salad (OK...I went a little nutso and had them put the dressing on the salad instead of putting it on the side and using less - you gotta live a little bit, right?).  Anyhow, I'm hoping to stay with it and see my weight come down a bit before the Thanksgiving food fest...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Chest Congestion...Again :-(

Total Net Calories: 2,070

So...when I went out for my un-inspired run on Saturday afternoon, little did I know that this would be my last run for a while. By yesterday, the nasal congestion started to settle in my chest. Not good for running. I'm going to hit this with Mucinex, VapoRub and more sleep and hope to get this out of my system before it becomes bronchitis like a few weeks ago.

This will mean that my last week of training before the Turkey Chase may not happen. I was hoping to run this 10K in under 60 min (my best on this course is 1:01:20 - it's got some big hills in the first 2 miles which drain me for the rest of the race), however, now it's looking like I'll just run for fun. And to start Thanksgiving Day off by burning 700 calories. Talking about calories...

Yesterday was Day 1 of counting calories again. I didn't plan out my day very well, and ended up eating an 800 calorie lunch (who knew that a tuna sandwich at Panera was 720 calories? darn mayo! luckily I subbed the chips for an apple!). The eye-opening news (it always is, folks) is seeing how much I would have normally eaten during the day. An extra serving here, an additional snack there, a cookie (cookies?) or dessert after lunch and/or dinner - I surely would be eating more than 3,000 calories on a given day. No wonder my weight continued to creep up while my post-marathon mileage decreased.

So, although I'm not happy about going back to the calorie counting, I'm glad that it helps me regulate what I eat and get back to eating a reasonable amonut. I know that if I want to pitch the calorie counting, that I'll probably need to be running 30-35 miles a week...and not 15-20 miles like it has been over the past few months.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Push Up Test

After Week 4 of the Push Up Challenge, you need to do another "exhaustion test".  I was able to do 24 consecutive push ups.  Not too bad - a month ago I could only do 11 - however, based on this, I can not go to Week 5 - I need to go back to Week 3 to do column number two.

Still, I'm quite impressed.  I don't think I was EVER able to do more than 20 consecutive push ups.  Now I'm able to do more.

In other news, I have officially "tipped the scales" again.  When I weighed myself this morning, the scale was up to 170 lbs.  In the six months since running a marathon I have gained six pounds (OK...most of the weight was put on over the past 3 months with birthdays, holidays, etc.).  I am just on the cusp of the BMI definition of being overweight.  UGH!!!'s back to some transparency in order to force accountability.  I will be counting my calories again - like I was doing at the beginning of the year - and posting them on the blog.  At least for the next few weeks until I get things under control.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just Not Feeling It

A bug has been passed around in our household.  First the kids had it, then Sherry.  By Friday afternoon, I was starting to feel a bit icky.  I decided to sleep in on Saturday, instead of going out for a run.  By the time I got out of the house to go to synagogue, I found that the weather was unseasonably warm and I felt bad about missing my opportunity to get out and run.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to try and get my run in.  I did not feel 100%, but it was a head cold - not in my chest - so it's usually safe to run.  I started my neighborhood loop that could be a 4.4 mile, 5.5 mile, 6.2 mile or 7.5 miler - depending on where I re-enter my community.  Of course I was hoping for the 7 miler, however, after 3 miles I still wasn't feeling that great running feeling.  I decided it was going to be the 4.4 mile loop, and I even stopped running and started to walk as soon as I re-entered the community (at around the 4 mile mark).  I think the only time I have stopped a run short to walk this year has been when I start to feel injured...I never have lost motivation to run - it was quite a deflating experience.

I finally got my last set of Week 4 push-ups in this morning.  Sets of 16, 18, 13, 13 and 19.  That's 79 push-ups total!!!  And the fact that I was able to do 5 sets of 13 or more push-ups - when four weeks ago I could only muster 11 - is incredible!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

HRM Watch Is Back!!!

Good news - my Polar S120 came back in the mail today.  Hooray!  It's all fixed up and it was ready to go for my run this evening.  I can now do time splits, see my max HR in addition to my average HR, and I finally can see HR, elapsed time and time of day all at once.

Bad news - The televisions at Fitness First do not have the NFL Network.  So no game for me on my run this evening.

However, I did run.  I decided to make it a hill run, so I hopped on the treadmill and chose the Hill program.  It asked for what level 1-20, so I chose 15.  Holy crap!  The thing started out at a 5.5 incline and maxed out at 11.3.  I kept my speed slow and fought through it.  I thought about bailing on the hill program after a mile - then again after 1.5 miles, 2 miles and at the 2.5 mile mark - but I just kept on going.  I may be a bit sore tomorrow...but I'm hoping it helps out during the initial (hilly) miles of the Turkey Chase...

No Morning Run - Football Run Instead?

I got to bed late last night and was woken up twice in the middle of the night by the kids - so I was in no mood to head outside in a cold, pissing rain when 6am rolled around. Even if it was just for three miles. No. Way.

However, tonight there is a football game on. And since it is only a three mile run, I may hit the treadmill at the gym during gametime. Now that sounds like a plan!

I did however do my push-ups (OK...I was supposed to do them yesterday). Sets of 14, 16, 12, 12 and 16 - 70 in all! WOW!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pyramid Intervals

I scheduled to do 5 miles today, and I want to do some speedwork on my longer weekday runs. Last week I did a tempo run, so this week I was going to try some interval work.

I normally do either 400s or 800s for my intervals, but this morning I shook things up. I did a "pyramid" - 400, 800, 1200, 1600 - each with a 400 recovery (started with a mile warm up and ended with a 0.75 mile cool down to get to 5 miles).

I wasn't blazing fast today - I was on the treadmill and did my recovery at 5.5mph and my intervals at 7.0mph. But it was nice to get some speedwork in.

Good think I ran 5 miles this morning. I went to Chili's for lunch with a work colleague and chowed down on greasy tortilla chips with salsa, and a mushroom and swiss burger (black bean patty burger) with fries. YUM!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let The Cold Weather Begin!

This morning was my first sub-freezing temperature run of the season.

I found it quite comical - I dressed in my running tights, long sleeved tech shirt as a base layer with my running jacket as a second layer (and a reflective vest - as it was still dark at 5:30am when I ventured out the door), a beanie hat that I received as my finishers premium at the Parks Half Marathon I ran in September (it was quite ironic that at a race where it was over 70 degrees that they were handing out winter beanies!), and a pair of running gloves.

It was 31 degrees outside. I know that in two months, when it is 31 degrees outside I probably won't be wearing the jacket, and the beanie will be replaced by a baseball cap. It's all relative, right? Right now 31 degrees is 10-20 degree colder than I'm used to running January it may be 10-20 degree warmer than I'm used to running in!

As I started my run, I remembered what my big issue was in cold-weather running - I start out too fast! I believe it is an attempt to warm my body up, so instead of easing into my pace, I jump right in - normally going fast than I intend to. This was supposed to be an easy run - with my HR under 150 bpm. About 1/4 mile into the run, I took a look at my HRM and saw 160....time to slow down!

I ended up keeping things under control. My average HR was 148 and my pace was 11:03/mile. Nice and easy.

And if I had gone much further than 3.4 miles, I surely would have overheated! :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Scheduled Rest Day and Random Observations

No run today.  Good thing, as my legs were a bit sore.
This week is a "stepback" week from the Marathon plan (week 6).  Basically, it's the same weekly runs as last week, but with a 7 mile long run instead of a 10 miler.  I'll probably do easy runs on the 3 milers and a tempo or interval run for the 5 miler.
At the end of my long run yesterday morning, a leaf dropped down from a tree right into my hand.  I normally would not have thought anything of it, except I had just read a blog post from Peter the day before.  I decided to keep the leaf!  :-)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another Awesome Shabbat Long Run

You would think that I would be grumpy this morning.  The weather is gray with a little chill in the air.  My little guy came into our room at 3am and I didn't sleep well the rest of the night.

However, I feel great!  A 10 mile slow, easy run will do that for you :-)

I checked my running log to see what 10 mile routes I had done in my marathon training.  They were all on the Rockville Millennium Trail - which I need to drive to.  I did not want to deal with driving the car this morning, so I plotted out a new 10-mile route ( was 10.5 miles when all was said and done) which took me over to the Fallsgrove neighborhood - and onto the Millennium Trail for a mile - and then back.

My plan was to keep my heart rate under 150 as much as possible.  The past few runs I have let my heart rate get too high...I wanted to ensure that I ran this one with a bit more discipline.  I succeeded as my average HR over the full 10.5 miles was 150 bpm.  My pace was slow and steady at 11:24/mile.

I definitely felt "the burn" in my legs as the miles passed.  I also felt it in my arms and chest as I finished another week of the push ups plan yesterday with sets of 11, 13, 9, 9 and 15 push ups (57 in all!).  But I don't feel too sore right now - just refreshed and ready to take on the world today!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Bonus Run

It's a beautiful day in the Washington, DC area.  By lunchtime it was sunny and warm - the temperatures were near 70 degrees.  Is it really November???  It feels like September!

Anyhow, today was supposed to be a rest day - I ran on Wednesday and Thursday and I have a 10 mile long run scheduled for tomorrow.  However, as my 11am conference call came to an early close around 11:30am, I could not control the urge for a short run.  I hopped into my running clothes and took it nice and easy around my lake loop.

So, after tomorrow's run it will be four days in a row.  At the beginning of the year, I was worried about running four days a week instead of my normal three!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back To Blogging!!!

I'm baaaack!

It's been a crazy few days - starting with having family in town for my little guy's 3rd birthday and then continuing to some very busy days at work and in the evenings after work.  It's given me very little time to blog.

However, I HAVE put aside the time to RUN!  Once again, I must say - I'm baaaack!

On Saturday morning, I got a 9 miler in before making it to synagogue.  On Monday morning I got an easy 3 miler, on Wednesday morning a 5 mile tempo run and then this morning another 3 miles.  I'm back to my 20 miles a week schedule - and that will increase to about 25 miles a week just before Thanksgiving.  Just in time for the Turkey Chase 10K (and more eating...)

Oh...I did mention eating.  Through all the festivities - starting with my Birthday in early August, Anniversary two weeks later, all of the Jewish Holidays in September and October and finally with my son's birthday and Halloween - I have put on some pounds.  And there is still tons of candy in my house.  It's ironic - the kids had pretty much forgotten about the candy, yet I was still reaching for it throughout the day.  Tuesday night - while watching election coverage - I declared that I had eaten my last piece of Halloween candy.  So far, so good (OK, I've lasted a full day and a half!).  I hope that this - and getting back to running - will help me melt those pounds off without having to go back to counting calories.

I have also kept to the Push Ups.  I'm in Week 3 now, however, my exhaustion test after Week 2 did not go so well - I was only able to do 16 consecutive push ups.  So I'm doing column 1 for Weeks 3 and 4.  Today I did set #2 - 10, 12, 8, 8 and 14 push ups.  52 push ups all together.

So you see, although I had not been blogging, I still have been running and doing my push ups.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Running At Night, HRM Watch is Dead and Push Ups Update

I decided to go out for a 3-mile run last night. Work has been crazy busy over the past two days (I was at site in Columbia, MD) and eating out a lot since I was not in the office. So...a run was necessary to gain some sanity back.

Of course I kept to the sidewalks on main roads, wore my reflector vest and no iPod, but running at night still freaks me out at times. There's a stretch on Quince Orchard Road - a four lane road with a median and sidewalks on both sides of the street - where there are no street lamps. It is dark!

My HRM watch officially died. Luckily, I have an older one to use in the interim. The older model only shows HR -or- running time -or- time of day - not all three at the same time like my current Polar S120. For $20 I'm sending the S120 into Polar repair for a new battery. I'm hoping this is all it needs. I would love to get a Garmin 305 or 405 - but I can't justify the $300 to $400 price tag.

I have finished out Week 2 of the Hundred Push Ups Challenge. I was not able to get through the Day 3 workout - I did 12, 13 and 10 push ups for the first three sets. Set four I was only able to muster 8 push ups. For the last "max" set I was only able to do 10 - not at least 15. Still, I did 53 push ups today! I'll do another "exhaustion test" this weekend to see what the plan will be for Week 3.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treadmill 4 Miler

It was a dark, chilly, blustery morning. I knew it would be, so I had my gym bag packed the night before. Good plan!

I learned a few things on my run this morning:
  1. my HRM watch is what is malfunctioning...I was thinking it was the chest strap/transmitter, however, I used another chest strap this morning and it worked fine with the treadmill - but the watch was having the same issues...time to contact Polar's tech support!
  2. I have lost some conditioning over the past 2-4 weeks of not running much, eating too much and being 4 mile easy run on the treadmill was at an 11:19/mile pace...there were a few times where I had to adjust the speed down to keep my HR under 150. I'm hoping that two weeks of consistent running will get me back on track.
  3. I still loathe running on a treadmill. I will try to remember this the next time I start to whimp out on a dark, cold, blustery morning...just suck it up, layer up and get out into the elements for an awesome run!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Morning Run and Push-Ups

I got a late start this morning, however, since I'm slowly easing back into running this week I wasn't going to be running too long.  Since the sun was starting to rise at 7am when I left the house, I decided on the 3 mile lake loop - I won't run that in the dark for fear of "wildlife and weirdoes".

One very frustrating issue on today's run.  My HRM is not working!  It was doing some crazy things on Saturday morning's run - mainly going to the "In Zone Training stats" that normally only show up when you place the watch right in front of the transmitter/chest strap.  This morning, the watch wasn't showing any HR at the beginning...then it was showing numbers in the 30s, 40s and 50s...then it started showing nothing again.

So, I made this an easy run by feel - although I know that there were times that my HR was higher than is should be during an easy run.  Especially since I ended up running at a 10:31/mile pace - while Saturday's easy run was at a 11:49/mile pace.  The cool temperatures helped, I'm sure (it was a crisp 43 degrees when I headed out this morning) - but I doubt they helped that much.

Later during my workday I did my push ups.  Week 2 of the Hundred Push Ups challenge.  Sets of 9, 11, 8, 8 and max (I did 13) with 60 seconds rest in between.  It ends up that the time between the last set of 8 and the max set was probably 5 minutes as I got a call for work in between.  49 push ups in total....Woo Hoo!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Plan for Turkey Chase

My next race on the calendar is the 10K Turkey Chase in Bethesda, MD on Thanksgiving morning.  I could probably go out and run a 10K no problem right now - even with just getting over bronchitis - however, I want to run this race under 1 hour so I'm going to have to put in some focused training.

I've decided to take a few weeks from the marathon training plan that I used.  I'm going to start with Week 4 - runs of 3, 4 and 3 miles and a 9 miler on the weekend.  Starting next week I may use the mid-week longer run as a speedwork run - I'm going to give myself a break this week as I haven't really run much in two weeks.  I may also do some hill sprints after one of the weekly runs as well.

It will be good to have a training plan to follow once again.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My First Run In Over A Week!


I felt good enough to go for a run this morning.  I'm no longer coughing, although I still have a little congestion.  Still, I felt well enough to go for a 3 mile run in the neighborhood.

I lucked out on the weather.  At 7am it was in the mid-50s and the rain had stopped.  It had rained during the night and it will pick up again later this was definitely a sign from above, "Mike - it's time to run..."

I decided to do a few push ups before I headed out - to see how many consecutive push ups I could do after week 1 of the Hundred Push Up Challenge.  Last week - before I started the program - I was able to do 11...this morning I did 18.  Pretty good improvement after one week!  I'm not sure how I'm going to do over 30 consecutive push ups - let alone 100...  But then again, before this year I didn't think I'd be able to run 26.2 miles either.

I finally got out the door at 7:15.  It was great to be running again!  During my warm up walk, I saw my HR was in the low 90s - it is normally in the high 70s, low 80s during my walk, so I knew this would be a slower run.  My goal was to stay around 150 bpm - an easy, controlled pace.  There were times - up some hills or when my mind started to wander and I wasn't paying attention to my pace and HR - when my HR was in the high 150s or low 160s, but as soon as I realized it I got it back down.  I ended up running my 3 mile lake loop at an 11:49/mile pace with an average HR of 149.  It will definitely take a week or so to get me back to my normal pace at that HR, but for today I was just glad to be pounding the pavement once again!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

No Running - More Push Ups

The bronchitis is clearing up - thank goodness!

I'd love to go for a short run tomorrow, but I don't want to go to the gym and spread whatever germs I may still have.  The weather forecast for tomorrow morning is yucky - showers and thunderstorms, 50 degrees and 10 mph winds - I don't like running in that stuff even when I'm at 100%.  I'll see what happens.

I finished up Week 1 on the Hundred Push Ups Challenge.  The plan is sets of 8, 10, 7, 7 and max (I did 13) - with two minutes in between each set.  That's 45 push ups today!  I don't think I have ever done that many push ups in a day.  The fact that I was able to do 13 consecutive push ups after already doing 32 of them was awesome for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10K On The Calendar!

I signed up for the annual Bethesda Turkey Chase 10K this evening.  It is run on Thanksgiving morning.  I have run this race over the past 2 years and I love starting out Thanksgiving with the 10K allows me to eat Thanksgiving dinner without any guilt!

There are some pretty big hills during the first 2 miles of this course, so my times have been no where near my 10K PR of 56:14.  I don't think I have broken 1 hour yet.  So that will be my goal - a sub-60 min 10K on Thanksgiving morning.

Once I get the bronchitis out of my system, I'll start the hill work!

Push Ups - Day 2

Since I'm not running for another few days, I have decided to continue what I have started on the Hundred Push Up Challenge.

I'm on Day 2, Week 1. The plan calls for five sets of push ups with 90 seconds rest in between them. 6, 8, 6, 6 and max (at least 7) push ups is the plan. I was able to do this - with my max in the fifth set at 10. That's 36 push ups total!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


After my cough became much worse last night - hacking the evening away - my wife told me it was time to go to the doctor and get it checked out.

I'm glad I listened to her. It ends up I have bronchitis. Good thing I've been smart and I haven't been running over the past few days.

I'll be on antibiotics for a week. I'm hoping that I'll be OK to run by the weekend.

Meanwhile, I've still been itchin' to run. Over the past two weeks I have run a total of 10 miles. Over the 40 weeks previous to that (i.e. since the beginning of the year) I have averaged 20 miles a week. That's a huge drop-off. Here are a few observations that I have had:
  • Whenever I see another person running outside, I wish I could be them
  • The milk crate in my closet that I use for my running clothes that need to be washed is empty
  • Some of my pants are starting to get a bit snug in the waist (OK...having this rut during the Jewish Holidays - when I'm eating a ton - doesn't help)
  • I have no idea what is on my iPod shuffle right now
  • I'm less focused at work
Oh...I can't wait to get a run in this weekend!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Push Up Challenge

I have been reading on quite of number of my fellow runner's blogs about the Hundred Push Up Challenge.  I've thought about trying it out, but never committed myself to it. was day one for me.  If I can't get out and run - due to my cough - I may as well get this started!

I had done a few "Initial Tests" over the past few months.  On any given day I was able to muster out between 10 to 15 consecutive push ups (will I really be able to work up to 100 in as little as six weeks???).  Since I'm still a bit low-energy, I decided to go conservative on Week 1, and choose the middle column (for those who did 6-10 in their initial tests instead of those who did 11-20 in their initial tests).  Today's workout was five sets of push ups with 60 seconds of rest in between each set.  Sets of 6, 6, 4, 4 and then as many as I could do (ended up being 9).  So I did 29 push ups total.

I'm hoping to do push ups on my off days from running going forward - running 4 days a week and push ups 3 days a week (once I'm back to a clean bill of health!).  It's a mighty ambitious schedule since I haven't run much in the past two weeks, but I think I can stick to it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Still Coughing

I have not been able to shake this cold.  Unfortunately, it has settled in my chest for a bit, so I did not run today.  I'm hoping that it will break up a bit tonight and perhaps I'll be able to run tomorrow at lunchtime (it's going to be around 30 degrees tonight - I'm not running on a freezing dark morning with a cough - I don't want this thing to turn into pneumonia!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

No Energy In The Morning

Over the past few weeks, I have not been able to drag my behind out of bed to run.  Part of this was due to the fact that I'm fighting a cold, part of the problem is that I stay up too late to watch sporting events (BTW...I turned off the baseball game last night in the middle of the 7th inning - BIG MISTAKE!) and I believe part of the problem is that it stays dark until 7am now.

So...I did not get out for a run this morning.  I was hoping to sneak out for a lunchtime run today - but I had conference calls peppered through my schedule until 3:30pm.  However, I did slip out around 4pm for what I was hoping would be a 4 mile neighborhood run.

The weather is great for running.  Overcast, cool and slightly breezy.  It's hard to believe that I'm wasting this wonderful running weather!

As I headed out of my neighborhood - about 3/4 of a mile into my run - my lungs were feeling a bit tight.  At that point I decided to turn right and do one of my 3 mile loops instead of turning left to do a 4/5/6 or 7 mile loop.  I don't want to get a relapse of this cold just as I feel I'm getting over it.

I ended up running the 3.38 miles in 34:04 - a 10:05 pace.  My HR was high - 157 avg - but my mileage is down over the past two weeks and I guess I'm still fighting this bug.  I can't wait to fully recover and really run again!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

W&OD Trail In The Dark

First of all, my chest congestion is better - not 100%, but thanks to Mucinex and VapoRub I was able to sleep last night.

Except for the fact that I woke up at 4:45am. At that point, Sherry was no longer in bed - it ends up that the boys (who are both battling coughs of their own) had both woken up, so Sherry was busy getting them back down. I'm not sure how I didn't hear them...I guess I was in a nice deep sleep at least for some part of the night.

My original plan was to wake up at 5:45am, get in my running clothes and drive to Reston, VA to run there and shower at the gym. I have meetings all day with my Director who is in town, so I had to be in Virginia in the morning. My thought was to leave early and beat the traffic.

Lying in bed at 4:45am, I knew I would not get back to sleep. So I made the decision to just get out of bed and move the schedule up an hour. This way I'd get a good hour and a half of work in (I love free WiFi at Panera!) before picking up my boss.

I left the house at 5:15am and got to Reston by 5:45am. No traffic whatsoever! Hooray! Except it was still dark when I arrived.

I had a decision to make - run outside on the W&OD Trail in the dark or run inside on the treadmill. Given that I still had some congestion, I decided it would be to everyone's benefit if I stayed outside (this was validated a few times during my run...don't worry - I won't share the gory details).

I normally enter the W&OD trail at mile marker 17.5 by cutting through a field and down a hill on a pseudo-path through high grass. Since it was dark, I knew that was not the best way to go. So I used the sidewalk and went to the next biggest intersection and entered the W&OD trail via a street entrance. I started running at mile marker 18.0 and decided to go up 1.5 miles and return 1.5 miles.

It was nice to get running again - even it was just for 3 miles. I couldn't see my HRM watch in the dark, so I ended up with my heart rate a bit higher than it should on an easy run (155 avg), however, I'm still a bit under the weather and my body isn't 100%.

Three early miles in the dark - and now I'm ready to tackle the day!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No Running Again

I woke up and congestion was in my chest. Bad news for running.

Crossing my fingers that tomorrow will be a running day. Given the Jewish holidays are here (and that means lots of eating), I need the calorie burn BADLY!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Still Feeling Icky

No running again this morning. I'm waking up with a raw throat, nasal congestion and low energy.

I really want to run, but can't seem to get my behind out of bed to do it. I hope this cold will pass soon...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Low Energy

I've been fighting a cold the past few days.  Some congestion and coughing and lower energy.  Probably another reason I could not get myself out of bed for a run yesterday morning - as well as this morning.

I'm just going to try to get more sleep tonight and try to get the run in again tomorrow.

However, tomorrow morning I will be building our family's sukkah for the festival of Sukkot.  So, I can't run too much tomorrow as I'll be getting plenty of physical exercise.

Friday, October 10, 2008

No Run Today :-(

I was hoping to get a run in this morning, but my younger son had other plans.

He came into our room around 5am and came into bed with us.  He started to get playful so I brought him back to his room and I tried to get him to get back to sleep.  I knew that he was up for the day (or at least until 10:30am when he went down for a nap!).

I let Sherry continue to sleep and I stayed on kid duty.  No morning run...

I'll try to get one in tomorrow.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Surviving The Fast

Today was Yom Kippor. No running for me today. Actually, no eating or drinking today - that was the reason for no running.

Yesterday was a really busy day at work - I didn't walk in the door from work until 6:10pm...and synagogue services were scheduled to start at 6:30pm - UGH!! I quickly shoveled food down, got in my suit and out the door for synagogue - all in less than 30 minutes. I made it just in time for the first Kol Nidre prayer.

I was in synagogue most of today. There was a break from 2pm to 5pm - we had a babysitter take our boys to a playground for two hours while Sherry and I took a short nap. That is definitely the way to go!

We hosted a "break the fast" meal after synagogue tonight - around 7:30pm. Sherry and I figured out we had close to 40 people in our house this evening to fill up on bagels, kugels, blintzes, quiches, salads and desserts.

After all of that food, I definitely need to try to get a run in tomorrow morning :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Under The Weather...No Running :-(

I had started to feel a bit under the weather on Sunday night. I ran on Monday morning anyway, but by Monday evening I was really feeling bleh. I decided it would be best to get as much sleep as possible on Tuesday morning, and the trend continued this morning. I'm feeling better, but not 100%.

Tomorrow is Yom Kippor - so I'll be fasting from about 6pm tonight until 7:30pm tomorrow. So, no run for me tomorrow!

Hopefully I'll get out there on Friday morning and then do a long weekend run.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Morning Run and New Milestone

I woke up early and got a run in. My normal 4 miler - in the dark today starting at 6am. I guess I better get used to running in the dark.

Today's run puts me at 802 miles run for the year! Still on pace for 1,000... (as a benchmark, last year I ran about 625 miles and the year before that about 550 miles).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday Morning Long Run

I made it out this morning around 6:30am. It was still dark - when will Daylight Savings end??

As I started my run, I saw the East sky in a beautiful array of pinks, reds and orange hues. One of the many advantages to getting out of the house early for a run - watching the sunrise.

I ran my 7.3 mile loop around the perimeter of my neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods. 10:35/mile pace - 151 avg HR.

It's a bit ironic that 7 miles is now a "long run" where a few months ago I was running longer during my weekday runs. I'm sure that as I start to train for other long distance races that I'll easily get back to longer runs. I may even try to do some longer weekend runs soon just to keep the mileage base up.

The upcoming week poses another scheduling dilemma for my runs. Thursday is Yom Kippor - and an all day fast. So, definitely no running on Thursday. I'll hopefully be able to get at least three runs in...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

One Mile With My Boy

Today was a scheduled rest day.  However, my 6 year old was acting quite wild in the house this morning - especially with his soon-to-be 3 year old brother.  He constantly asks to run with me and my wife - but he wants nothing to do with me when I'm soaked with sweat coming back from a run.

This morning was my big chance!

I asked him if he wanted to go out for a run and he LOVED the idea!  We both quickly changed, laced up our running shoes (OK, his sneakers and my running shoes) and we were out the door.

He recently joined the Running Club at his school, so he is learning how to pace himself.  A few months ago he would have darted off and then walked and then darted off again.  Today, we settled into a slow pace and headed off towards the lake.

My goal was to make it to the lake (about 1/2 mile) and back.  As we approached our synagogue building - about 1/4 of a mile into the run - he wanted to stop and walk.  We were going uphill and he said he started to hurt.  I knew that he wasn't really in pain - it was just starting to get uncomfortable.  I pushed him a bit - told him not to walk but we can run a bit slower until we get over the hill...then it will be easier.

We finally got to the top of the hill and started to recover on the downhill.  He started to get in a rhythm again!  Off to the lake we go!!!

We got to where we could see the lake.  I knew that this was about where the 1/2 mile point was.  I was ready to turn back, but he wanted to keep on going.  ALRIGHTY!!!!

We continued along the path next to the lake for another tenth of a mile.  It started to go uphill again slightly, so my son finally said he was ready to turn around and go back.

He was also ready to walk.  He wanted to count to 100 before we ran again.  I said 30.  He said, "How about 90?".  I answered, "How about 25?"  His response - "OK...let's do 30."

As we were walking, a man from the neighborhood who was out for a walk stopped us.  He said that we reminded him of the runs he used to take with his son, and that he was impressed with how far my son was able to run at such a young age.  He also said that his son is now running Track and Field at Princeton!  (I'm not convinced that my son will ever be a standout runner and good enough to run at a Division 1 University...but I can dream, right???)

On the way back home, we did stop for 3 walking breaks.  Counting to 30 at the first two before starting to run and 20 for the final one.  Of course, once we hit our block of houses came the final sprint home - just like you would expect from a six year old!

I measured our run on the Gmap-Pedometer this evening and it ends up we went out 0.6 miles - so 1.2 miles round trip.  It was most likely the slowest run of the year for me...and perhaps one of the most enjoyable!