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!