Monday, June 30, 2008

Trying To Get Back On Track

This morning I got out of the house at 6:15am and ran my 4 mile neighborhood loop.  It was cooler than normal - we got some rain last night which helped - but still on the humid side.  I think I'll need to get out a bit earlier if I want to run in more comfortable conditions, but since I'm not training for anything right now I don't see the point in setting an alarm to go running.

My hammy still had discomfort.  GRRRRRRR!   So today I went to see my Chiropractor ( neck and shoulders needed the Chiro as well after the 11 hour drive each way to Michigan!).  He basically told me the same thing that the sports doc did - the injury is where the muscle meets the tendon.  He did some electro-stim and trigger point work to get the blood flowing in that area.  The back of my leg felt better this afternoon than it had for a while, so I think he's on to something.  He wants me to come 3 times this week and 3 times next week to "attack" this area - I'm ready to try anything to get rid of this discomfort/pain!  If the chiro doesn't work, I'll hit the physical therapy center in the same office building as the chiro - however, for some reason I think the chiro may do the trick (at least I hope!)

My plan for the rest of the week is to not run tomorrow (yoga? cross-train? plain ol' rest?), run on Wednesday, rest on Thursday and do the Autism Speaks 5K race on Friday morning.  Perhaps I'll do a "long" run on Sunday - we'll see how I'm feeling hamstring-wise.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bye Bye Bally's!!!

I went to the gym this morning for some cross-training on the elliptical.  I went earlier in the week to use the rowing machine.

I know that I have complained a lot on the blog about the gym I belong to - Bally's Total Fitness.

Well, this week Sherry and I finally decided to switch back to a local gym - Fitness First.  I was a member here a few years ago, but switched to Bally's when my company started a corporate membership plan with them, as it ended up being a lot less expensive.  As they say, you get what you pay for!

Here's a list of some of my gripes about Bally's:
  • Child Care - this was the biggest gripe.  The caregiver at the child care was consistently late (posted Sunday hours started at 8am, however, she would rarely be there before 8:45am), and she did not interact with the kids much.  The room did not have many toys - and what they did have were old and not in great condition.  At Fitness First, I've been there twice now, and when my kids walked in this morning, the caregiver asked my older son how his karate class went the other day - it's a world of difference!
  • Equipment - Bally's was missing one of my favorite cross-training machines - a rower.  Fitness First has two Concept 2 rowers in both of the locations that I have been to.  There are also a bunch of weight machines for abs - which Bally's did not have.
  • Environment - Bally's felt like a factory.  And it was always too warm.  Fitness First has a much more relaxed atmosphere and there are fans near the cardio equipment!
  • Locker Rooms - Fitness First has shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the showers - Bally's had only the industrial soap.  Another nice touch - Fitness First provides plastic bags to put your sweaty clothes in (it's simply a roll of the produce plastic bags that you find at grocery stores...but it makes such a difference).
  • Television - Bally's claims their TVs are controlled by "corporate" so they can't change them.  Even if there is an important game on (i.e. Game 7 of the Celtics/Pistons Eastern Conf Finals...).  At Fitness First, if you want to change the channel and it's OK with others around you, they'll give you the remote control!  Also, a bunch of the treadmills have built-in television screens (which I don't like to use...I somehow can't run while continually looking down)
  • Weekend hours - Bally's opened at 8am on the weekend; Fitness First opens at 7am.  Since my family wakes up early, this is definitely a plus.
That's some of the main issues I had with Bally's.  I'm soooo glad to not be there anymore.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Three Hot and Sweaty Miles

I slept in this morning until about 7am and left the house at 7:30am for a short, easy run.  It was my first run in 6 days - I've been resting the hammy and plus I was on vacation.

I took it easy - a 11:04/mile pace - but with the heat and humidity I came back home soaked!  Yuck!  How the heck did I train for half marathons in this stuff???  I'm just going to have to wake up a bit earlier so that it is a bit cooler when I run.

I felt a bit of discomfort in my hammy for a good portion of the run, but I kept the pace slow enough that there was no pain.  I'm running a 5K on Friday - I'll most likely take it easy but I'll go faster than my training runs for sure.  It should be interesting how my hammy holds up in the 28-30 minutes of harder running.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Down On The Farm!!!

No running for me today, however, I got some exercise (cross-training?) as a "farm hand" at our CSA farm today.  We joined the House In The Woods Farm - a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Frederick County, MD - and continued again this summer.  We have half a share - which means we go up to the farm and pick up a full share of vegetables every two weeks and we have to work at a minimum two "farm hand" days during the summer.

I learned so much about farming, which crops are in season at what times and was introduced to many new vegetables last summer.  Right now, greens are in season - so we have been receiving kale, chard and lettuces.  Last week we got some bok choy and tatsoi which I made into a great salad with ramen noodles and a soy sauce based dressing...yummy!

I can't wait until later in the summer when we get into tomato season.  Their heirloom tomatoes are amazing!  I won't have to worry about getting salmonella or e-coli because I know exactly where my produce is coming from.

This morning I went to the farm to work.  I helped set up some t-posts in the tomato patch to add support for the wiring holding up the cages around the tomato plants.  The contraption that I was using to knock the posts into the ground was made of metal and vibrated each time I hit the post.  My "delicate" hands took a beating and I have two or three blisters and a bunch of cuts on them.    This experience definitely gives me a great appreciation for our farmers and helps me not take for granted the food that I eat each day.

Back From Michigan

I'm back from our family trip to Michigan.  We had a nice time as a family - although there were definitely the usual stresses of traveling with two small children, staying in someone's house that is not your own and trying to coordinate plans with everyone's interests in mind.

A few of the highlights:
- Meeting my running/blogging buddy Rick.  Rick lives in Michigan right near the Ohio state line, so we met up for some ice cream on the way up.  It was great to finally meet Rick, his wife Tammy and his daughter Lindsay face-to-face...I have been reading his blog since January (we both were training for marathons at the same time) so we both felt like we know each other pretty well already.  Here's Rick's synopsis of our meeting.  He did a great job summarizing so there's really not too much to add.

- The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.  This was a fantastic place for the kids...and I learned a bit myself (when I could actually read the placards that accompanied the exhibits instead of running after my kids who were already at the next cool thing).  Of course, while we were in Ann Arbor, we went to Pizza House for lunch - Sherry and I split a chipati (those things are HUGE...and to think I used to be able to polish off one of those solo...) - and then we went to Stucchi's for ice cream.  YUMMM!

- Seeing friends and family.  We stayed with my father-in-law (Papa and Grandma Judy).  In the three full days we were there we a bunch of Sherry's family members and good friends of ours Melissa (with her son Xavier) and Carone and Jim. 

The kids were really good car travelers so driving there and back was not so bad.

And as always - it was great to go and also great to return home!

BTW, on the running front, I did bring running clothes but I decided to rest my hamstring and not run while we were there.  I'm not sure when I'll start up again - most likely next week with a few tune-up runs before the Autism Speaks 5K on July 4.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Body Is Telling Me That I Need To Rest

I went out for a short run this morning around 6am.  Another 3 mile lake loop.  Another beautiful morning with temperatures in the high-50s and sunny with low humidity.  I could run every morning in this type of weather!

However, I think this is a bit of my problem.  Today was the third morning out of the past four days that I went running.  They were all short runs, but I'm supposed to be re-habbing my hammy.

Well, said hammy rebelled this morning.  About 20 min into the run - which is earlier than the discomfort has started since the week after the marathon.

I believe my body is telling me to rest.  I'm really considering not even taking my running shoes with me on our trip...that way I'll be forced to rest for 5 days.

Five days of being with family and not having an "out" to go running?  Am I nuts????

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Yoga, Take 2 - And a Beautiful Morning

Last night after the kids were asleep I decided to do Yoga in front of the television.  I have a few episodes of "Inhale" from the Oxygen network on my DVR - mainly in hopes that I will get off my lazy butt and do Yoga when I find the time.  Last night I had no plans and the NBA Finals are over so I decided this was the time.

My first attempt at Yoga was last week on Friday.  So this was attempt number two.  I actually felt that some of the poses were a bit easier to do this time around - however, I still am shaky on some of the balancing poses.  I'm sure that if anyone videotaped me doing these poses, it would be up on YouTube giving tens of thousands of people a good laugh in a matter of minutes!

After I finished the hour of Yoga (I jumped through a few commercial breaks, so it was probably about 40-45 minutes of Yoga in total), I felt really good.  And I slept like a rock last night.  I'm not sure if I slept so well as a result of the Yoga, as a result of trying to catch up on sleep since I had been staying up way too late recently, or as a result of the 800mg of Ibuprofen I'm popping at bedtime.  Either way, I probably could have slept through an earthquake last night (OK, I've never lived anywhere that had earthquakes, so I can't be too sure about that...)

This morning I was out of the house for an easy 4 mile run at 5:45am.  It was a sunny and crisp morning - about 56 degrees...awesome weather for a run!  My hammy did start to get a little uncomfortable around 36 minutes into the run - the good news is that I'm able to run longer without the pain...the bad news is that I'm still experiencing some pain.  However, I believe it is getting better.

I may try to run tomorrow as well, since Saturday we are leaving for Michigan to visit my wife's family.  I'm not sure how much running I'll get in during the trip...I'll bring my running shoes, etc., and I'll try to budget in a run or two.  We'll see.  I'll definitely need the calorie burning as I'm sure I'm going to be eating a ton!  Especially when we head to Ann Arbor on Wednesday (I think it is pretty amazing that I only gained about 10 pounds during my 4 years as a student there)  One other exciting tidbit for the trip - I am hoping to meet up with fellow blogger (my "dot-comrade"?) - and fellow marathoner - Rick on the drive up.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lunchtime Run

For the umpteenth day in a row, I went to bed much too late - and I know with the NBA Finals being on tonight, I'll be up past midnight tonight as well.  Basically, up too late = sleep in too late to run.

Luckily, the temperatures have fallen a bit over the last few days, making a mid-afternoon run not so unbearable.  The stars aligned - the weather was good, I had no calls between 12:15pm and 2pm, and I'm currently not swamped at work (this will change in about 6 weeks when my project ramps up in full force...) - so I ducked out and went for a short run.

I did the lake loop once again.  My HR was a bit higher than normal - probably due to me keeping up with the beat of the music - but my pace was also faster than it has been lately: 10:08/mile.  Best of all - no pain in my hammy!!!  (OK, it was only 3.25 miles and the last few runs the pain didn't start until around 3 miles into the run...but I'll take positive news any way I can get it!).

The soundtrack to this afternoon's run was Arash - a Persian singer whose songs I just downloaded from iTunes with the gift card that I received on Father's Day (thanks Sherry!).  A few of his songs have been used for some newer popular Israeli dances (there is a pretty sizable Persian community in Israel now - mostly due to the Jewish community in Tehran being virtually non-existent after the late '70s / early '80s).  Anyhow, the songs have a good beat even though I have no idea what the lyrics mean.

In other news, I signed up for my next race - the Cure Autism Now 5K on July 4th.  It's a neighborhood race, however, last year there were lots of runners from up and down the East Coast who came to run in teams to raise money for this important cause - it was very inspiring.  I'm not much of a fundraiser, however, if anyone wants to donate towards this cause, you can visit my page for the race here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Your Kids Are Watching You...

Yesterday was Father's Day. I had a very nice day - including a 7 mile run in the morning, a family brunch with my parents, sister and her family, riding bikes with my 6 year old, swimming with the family at the community pool and then dinner with the family. It was a lot of family time and I know that my two boys - ages 6 and 2 1/2 - enjoyed the family time.

I was reminded a few times this past week that my kids are subconsciously watching my every move as they start to determine what is right / wrong, safe / unsafe, etc.

I took my 2 1/2 year old for a short bike ride to our synagogue last weekend. I put him in the bike seat, strapped him in and put his helmet on. Since it was only 1/4 mile from our house and it was really hot outside, I had decided not to wear my helmet. However, just before we were going to leave, my son says. "Abba, where's your helmet?" I knew I was sooooo busted.

My 6 year old also consistently reminds me in the car to drive with two hands on the wheel since it is safer (I'm normally driving with one hand on the wheel and the other arm resting either on the window or on an arm rest/console).

I respectfully take their reminders and put on the bike helmet or put a second hand on the wheel. I know that in a good 10 years the tables will be turned and I will be the one reminding them to be safe during their more volatile teenage years. I just hope they give me similar respect that I am giving them in terms of listening to their recommendations...

Sports Doc

I went to the sports doctor/Orthopedic surgeon this morning.

He asked about the marathon - where I was originally injured - and was very surprised that I decided to run Frederick as my first marathon. 'Wow! That's hilly for a first marathon' was his response.

I brought my running shoes - he asked where I got them (he was happy to hear that I got them at a running store), he checked the wear pattern of the soles and said that he didn't see any issues from the wear pattern. He then did some range of motion checks on my legs - pushing them, pulling them, stretching them, etc. There were no "pain points" so he said that was a good sign.

His viewpoint is that I probably still have leftover inflammation in the area where the muscles meet the tendons. He had asked if I took any anti-inflammatories and I let him know that I took some ibuprofen (Vitamin I) for a week after the marathon. When he asked about the dosage I told him I took 1 or 2 pills at night. This was met with a bit of laughter...he explained that this is fine for a "analgesic" dose, but for an anti-inflammatory, you need to take 800mg (4 pills!) 3 times a day. He wants me to take an anti-inflammatory dose of ibuprofen for a week and see if this helps clear up the issue.

So...I may be dragging a bit this week. On an Ibuprofen high :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

This morning, I was reminded that I'm a father at 4am and 5:30am by my two and a half year old. He had woken up at 4am to tell us he needed to go to the bathroom (potty training has been pretty smooth for this little guy), and then did not go back to bed.  At 5:30am he was jumping in his crib asking for his brother.  I went in to quiet him down and put some stuffed animals in his crib to play with.

I did not fall back asleep, but I did lay in bed for a while.  I left the house at 6:30 for my run.

Due to some pretty severe thunderstorms yesterday afternoon, I was not going to attempt my Clopper Lake loop.  I have slipped on the loose leaves and tripped over tree roots on the trail there before and I did not want to run it in even more slippery conditions.  Since the kids were up, I decided to stay local and not drive to one of the other locations I was considering running at.  I ended up running around the larger roads that surround my community - about 7 1/3 miles around.

My hamstring did start hurting again about 3 miles into the run.  Again, the pain is not severe, however, it is noticeable.  Whereas normally the pain goes away immediately after the run when I'm only running 3 or 4 miles, today I still have some pain.  Just in time for my doctor's visit tomorrow morning :-)

I did hit a pretty major milestone during todays run....500 MILES for the year!  Since the year is not half over yet (15 days shy of the year being half over), I am definitely on pace to top 1,000 miles for the year.  WOW!

It's a pretty big progression.  Here's my mileage for the past few years:
2005 - 325 miles
2006 - 535 miles (first 1/2 marathon)
2007 - 600 miles (two 1/2 marathons...although I trained for three)
2008 - 500 miles by June 15 (full marathon!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

No Shabbat Long Run

I normally had run long on Shabbat morning. However, since tomorrow is Father's Day, I've decided to do my long run tomorrow. However, I'm not sure which route I'm going to run.

Last year, I drove down to the C&O Canal early and ran on the towpath for an hour. It was a really nice run - I love running near water for some reason. I saw a few great blue herons on the way and lots of ducks and geese. I always get a kick running under the American Legion Bridge - as I used to slog across it in my car during rush hour when I had a commute.

There are a few other ideas I have for a long run tomorrow: The Capital Cresent trail in Bethesda, Rock Creek Park trail (I would also pick this one up in Bethesda), or the Clopper Lake loop run that I can do from my house.

As I was thinking about it yesterday, I was really leaning towards Clopper Lake - however, around the lake is a trail through woods and I don't like running it alone (although I normally do...yes, I know I'm pretty stupid that way - but at least I'll bring my cellphone if I do run it alone). I called up a friend of mine yesterday who is getting back into running to see if he wanted to join me, but he's not available.

Either way, it should be the perfect way to start Father's Day. And if my hamstring starts to flare up mid-run, no issues - I'm going to the Sports Doc the next day :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yoga - Finally

I know that I've posted in this blog a few times that I should really try Yoga.

I really need to work on my flexibility and I don't stretch nearly enough - so either taking a weekly Yoga class or doing a Yoga video should really help. With my hamstring issue, I looked into it a little more on RunningAhead - there are a few threads with which DVDs people had success with, etc. However one poster mentioned the show "Inhale" on the Oxygen Network - I saw that it is on at 6am every weekday, so I decided to record it on my DVR.

This morning I woke up at 6:15am (a bit late for me...I was watching the Boston Celtics' improbable comeback last night - after being down by 24 early in the third quarter, they won the game!), I grabbed my wife's Yoga mat and started to do Yoga.


I thought this was supposed to be relaxing!

It was not easy for me. I did not have the strength or balance to hold some of the poses as long as they were doing on the show, and I did not have the flexibility to even do some of the poses without some type of "modification". We kept on going back to the "downward dog" pose, and I can't get my heels on the ground (yes...I'm THAT inflexible!)

I'm going to chalk it up to being my first time. It was definitely a humbling experience, however, so were some of my first runs, right? I remember my first few 5K "races" when I couldn't complete them without walking, and look where I am now...

I will definitely try to bring Yoga into my routine. My tight, inflexible muscles need it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Five and a Half at Half Past Five!

It was so wonderful to run this morning.  By the time I walked out the door at 5:30am the sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot - 63 degrees - although the humidity was still on the high side, so it was still a sweaty run.

I decided not to do speedwork...I'm still not 100% with my hamstring so I don't want to push it.  However, I did run longer today than I did earlier this week:  5 1/2 miles.  10:32/mile pace with average HR of 152 - nice and easy.

Unfortunately, my hammy did start to get uncomfortable somewhere in the 3-4 mile range.  Pain of 3 or 4 on a scale from 1 to 10.  Not enough to stop me from completing the run, but definitely enough to not cancel my sports doctor appointment on Monday.

This morning I listened to a bootleg of a Billy Joel concert from May 1977.  A shout out to my friend Norm for lending it to me!  I was a HUGE Billy Joel fan in High School - I played piano and sang, and I have fond memories of banging out many of these tunes in my teenage years.  What was great about this recording is that it was very early in Billy Joel's career - his voice is still very pure and he still has a very distinguishable New York accent when he speaks.  Many of the songs he played were "deep tracks" from Streetlife Serenade and Turnstiles albums that he would not play in concerts nowadays...this show was before his breakthrough album The Stranger was released.  I got a kick out of him introducing one of the songs - "This is a new song....A Premier!....It's called 'Scenes From An Italian Restaurant'"  If you went to a Billy Joel concert today everyone would be singing along - but at this show, it was the first time anyone had heard the song!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Break In The Weather!

Hooray - today's high temperature will only be 87 degrees!

Unfortunately, my schedule today does not allow me to run :-(  Of course, if I didn't stay up until midnight watching the basketball game last night, perhaps I would have gotten a morning run in...

I will plan to run tomorrow morning.  Maybe even some speedwork?  Jog to the track, do 3X800 with a 200 recovery in between, and jog back for a full 5 miler???  It sounds WONDERFUL!!!  I hope my hamstring doesn't kill me...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Four at Five-thirty

For some reason my body woke up at 5:18am this morning.  The sun was starting to rise, the birds were starting to chirp, the rest of the house was quiet.  Definitely, a great time for a run!

Since my last two 3-mile runs were successful in the sense that I did not have the hamstring pain, I decided to go for a longer run this morning.  I did my regular "4-mile loop" run (which is really 4.43 miles).  It was nice to run a bit longer - however....

It's UNCOMFORTABLE out there!

At 5:30am, it was 71 deg F with 91% humidity.  I was drenched at the end of my run.

How the heck did I ever train for half marathons in the stuff?  It's almost unbearable!  I know I may have complained about running in sub-20 degree weather a few months ago, but I'm starting to thing that I may prefer cold winter runs to melty summer ones.

The good news is that my pace on the run was pretty good for an easy run 10:38/mile which means I haven't lost too much while resting my hammy injury.

The not so good news is that I had a bit of discomfort in my hammy around 24 minutes into the run.  It came and went throughout the run, but didn't get too strong.  So it's not at 100% yet.  I guess I'll keep the sports doc appointment just to get an opinion on what's really going on and if I'm prolonging the healing by continuing to run...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another Run With No Hamstring Pain!

I'm not saying I'm out of the woods yet - this was only another 3 mile easy run this morning. However, my right hamstring did not have the pain that I've been experiencing in all of my other post-marathon runs.

That's two days in a row pain-free!

I'll try to run a little longer this week and see if the pain returns. If so, I'll keep my appointment with the sports doc. Otherwise, I'll cancel.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

No Pain!!!

I ran The Race For The Cure this morning ( was a slow jog) and I made it through the full 3 miles with NO PAIN in my hamstring!  Hooray!

I'm convinced it's because I already made an appointment with a Sports Doc :-)

I'm not giving myself a full, clean bill of health yet.  However, it was definitely a step in the right direction.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Race For The Cure Tomorrow

My body is in no shape to run a race tomorrow. I'm still getting that hamstring pain about 25 minutes into a run (BTW...I have made an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon / Sports Doc for the week after next - we'll see how that goes...). So for tomorrow's 5K in downtown DC, I won't be going for a PR, but I will not miss this race.

I will be running Race For The Cure tomorrow in memory of my friend Barbra.

Barbra and I were very close friends during our teenage years. We became friends through a Jewish youth group we both were active in - the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization - and during our senior years in High School we were co-presidents of DC Council. The two of us would spend many hours together in the BBYO office and on the phone, and we went to a few semi-formal dances together throughout the years. During the first few years of college (she went to Duke and I went to Michigan) we spoke off and on and saw each other over the summers. Interestingly enough, I believe the last time I spoke with her may have been after the NCAA Basketball Finals in 1992...Duke creamed Michigan and I recall our conversation being a bit on the obnoxious side.

After college, I moved to Dallas, TX and I started to grow apart from many of my high school friends. When I relocated back to the DC area 5 years later, I got back in touch with a few of my old friends, but not many...I had new friends that I had made at college, work and with other activities and just didn't make keeping up with these old friendships a priority. I thought of my old friends from time to time, but I rarely picked up the phone or sent an email to reach out.

In early 2001, I received an email that Barbra has passed away. She had fought off breast cancer successfully, but then had a relapse that was not caught in time to treat. I was in shock! How could this happen?? We were so young for something like this to happen (30 years old).

It was at that point that I realized that if I really cared about my old friends, that I needed to reach out. I have been making an effort over the past few years - calling and emailing some of these friends now and then and also set up a few play dates for our kids to get together and play. I've even reconnected with some friends via Facebook.

Unfortunately, it is too late for me to ever reconnect with Barbra. However, when I started running a few years ago I decided that I could run Race For The Cure in her memory each year.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Still Feeling Pain...

I went out for another easy 3 mile run today at lunchtime.  I took it easy due to the weather, and still again - around 25 minutes into the run - the pain behind my right knee came back.

Perhaps it is time to consult a Sports Doctor, eh?

Luckily, the pain isn't excruciating.  I was able to finish the run and the pain goes away within a few minutes after I stop running.  I just want to be able to run more than 3 miles at a time again!

It has been over 4 weeks since my marathon and I have only run a little over 18 miles in that span.  A few months ago, I ran more than that before 9am on a Saturday morning!  Needless to say, I'm a bit discouraged...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How To Get Back Into A Groove?

On both the blogging and running fronts, I am no longer "in a groove".

On the running front, I know it is because I'm trying to rest my hamstring. I'll try to take a few short runs again this week - but I have been going to bed too late each night and the thought of waking up at 5:15am to run is not palatable. I also have The Race For The Cure on my schedule this Saturday, and although this is not a 5K that I'll be "racing", it is still an easy jog that I have in my schedule (more about Race For The Cure in a future post this week...)

I'm not sure why I've hit a blogging "funk". Perhaps it's due to the fact that I'm not running (this is mainly a running blog, right?). Most of my physical activity over the past two weeks has revolved around Israeli Dancing - which is another reason I'm not running as much.

So, I'm a bit stuck here - now that the marathon is over, will I continue this as a mostly-running blog? Will it become a "the life of Mike Fox" blog? Will I retire the blog? Time will tell. I know that other recent first-time marathoners are having the same issues with their blogs.