Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Totally Exhausted

It's been awhile since I really could not drag myself out of bed at 6:30am - but that happened this morning.  I actually stayed in bed until about 7:15 and finally got into a shower so I could get to work on time.

My Memorial Day Weekend at Hora Aviv really sucked the energy out of me.  It was a great weekend - but I am totally exhausted with no respite in sight.  Maybe I'll get to catch up on sleep this weekend???  Will I last that long???

Anyhow, I finished out last week's running with 18 miles.  I did a 7 miler on Friday morning - running to the Rockville Fitness First.  On the whole it wasn't a very pretty run, but it did have its moments - especially running past some of the older Victorian style houses in old Rockville.  After the run, I went for a nice brunch with my wife and then went to pick up our younger son from Nursery School (he was really excited to see both of us there!).

I had packed my running gear for Hora Aviv, but I never got around to running.  I was dancing so much that when I had a break I wanted to relax and not run.  I stayed up until 1 am on Friday and then 3 am on both Saturday and Sunday nights.  I didn't have my kids to wake me up, but I still didn't sleep more and 6 hours either night.  Will I ever be able to sleep in again??

Anyhow, since I couldn't get my behind out of bed this morning, there was no morning run.  With no Monday or Tuesday running, the most I can hope for is 3 running days this week (maybe 4 if I go running with my son one morning).

As I mentioned in my last post - I just need to hang in there for 4 more weeks, and then I'll have a lot more time to run/blog/relax.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Five More Weeks

My current project launches in five more weeks.

Although I have liked being busy and I enjoy the work, I also will like being able to get a bit more sleep and get back into running - and blogging - regularly.

I started thinking about it on my run this morning - at the end of June, my project will have launched (it will still keep me busy with post-launch activities, but I likely won't be logging back into work at 9 or 10pm every night to catch up) and rehearsals for the Israeli Dance troupe will be on summer break, so I'll have Wednesday nights back too. What will I do with the extra time???

Anyhow - It's looking like I may get close to 25 miles in this week. So far I have run 11 - two with my son on Monday morning, 5.5 on Tuesday morning and 3.5 miles today. Tomorrow I'm taking the day off from work and I'm going to run to the Fitness First in Rockville, while Sherry will go there to work out after driving our son to school. This will be a 7 or 8 mile run - depending on which roads I decide to take.

I know...it's a crazy concept - running to the gym and then just using the facilities as a place to shower. My wife thinks I'm nuts!

I will hopefully get a weekend run in as well. I'm not 100% sure as I'll likely be exhausted - I'm taking 10 teenagers from the troupe to a weekend-long Israeli Dance "camp"/workshop - Hora Aviv. I'll already be getting tons of exercise, but I will bring my running shoes and Garmin and hopefully get a run in one morning.

And maybe I'll have time to blog??? We'll see...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Somethings Gotta Give

I'm about as busy as can be right now at work - not to mention other commitments (kids, Israeli Dancing, running, etc.) - I barely have time to do much else. (as I write this, I have 3 active (work-related) IM windows up and listening in on a conference bridge - and this is some of my "less busy" times where I can throw up a blog post - YIKES!)

As I was discussing all of this with Sherry the other night, she was pretty amazed that I'm able to keep everything going. Her words were "Something's gotta give" - you can't be continuing to do everything.

Yesterday, I got the hard dose of reality what had gone by the wayside. Blogging. Both reading and writing blogs.

I logged into my Google Reader last night and had over 120 unread posts. YIKES!!!

Also, my last post to this blog was on Sunday. And this blog post is not much more than a rant of how busy I am (sorry to my readers...I'll try to get back to more running related posts).

On the running side - I have 10 miles logged this week. Tuesday morning I brought my car to the shop early and ran back home (6.5 miles...my wife thought I was nuts!). Thursday morning I also got out for a 3 miler around the lakes.

I also ran twice with my son - about 2 miles each run. I'm not sure if I should count this in my weekly mileage, as these runs are still run 2 minutes / walk 1 minute - there's something about doing a run/walk at such a pedestrian pace that makes me feel it's not "legit" enough for the running log. I'm going to try to push him up to 3 minutes of running soon. - we'll see how that goes as he's currently starting to whine during his 2 minute runs...but he finishes them all. Either way, it's great exercise for him, it's special one-on-one time for the two of us and he loves it!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Another High HR Run

I'm not sure why my heart rate is elevating higher than normal on my easy effort runs lately.  Saturday morning I went for a short "long run" - only 6.5 miles.  I did a route which was new to me - from my house to the lake around the Rio/Washingtonian Center and back.  The hills aren't too bad and my pace didn't change too much - I stayed in the 10:30 to 10:50/mile pace throughout the run - however, my average heart rate was over 160 after the first two miles.

The run started out fine - a 10:30/mile pace with an average heart rate of 137.  However after that it started going up.

Perhaps it's still fatigue?  Perhaps I'm not drinking enough water?  (I'm not working from my office a lot lately, so it's more coffee and sodas than water at the office...and more alcohol at night to recover from the work day ;-)

Luckily, my big project launches in a little over 6 weeks, so if it is fatigue, I know that after June 23, I should be able to get some more rest.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Finally A Run! And Another Failed Platelets Donation :-(

This week has been a doozy at work. The system that we're deploying had an outage this week and I've been on lots of recovery, troubleshooting and root cause analysis calls. Last night's call went until 11:30pm - YUCK!

Anyhow, I'm pretty confident that I'll have more 14 hour days ahead of me in the next 6 weeks. With a bunch more layoffs occurring at my company this week, I can't really complain too much...

My wonderful wife let me "sleep in" until about 6:45am this morning (OK, my younger son ran into the room at 6am to declare that he waited "until there was a 6 on the clock" before coming into our room. I decided that I would get to the office a bit later than normal since I worked so late last night, and I went out for a 4 mile run before work.

It was such a wonderful day to run. Sun shining, 60 degrees, slight breeze - truly scrumptious! My first mile seemed effortless - even after not running for a full 4 days - 10:14 with an average HR of 142.

However, the effortless feeling would not last long. My heart rate started to elevate a bit on mile 2, to the point that by the time I got to the big hill on Argosy Street, I either needed to walk or see my heart rate in the 160s early in the run. I elected to walk. I think it was a good move as by the time I got to the top of the hill and was ready to run again, my heart rate was back down in the 130s.

Final Stats - 4.46 miles, 47:11; a 10:35/mile pace. Avg HR 154, Max HR 183

At lunchtime, I attempted a platelets donation once again. I won't go into the gory details, but it ended just like the last time - with a stinging bulge in my right (receiving) arm. I guess I'm going to have to stick to whole blood donations - which of course brings my average heart rate up on my runs for a few days, and doesn't get back to normal for about 3 weeks. I don't know if I can afford for my HR to get any higher (and my running any slower) than it is now...

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Marathon - One Year Later

It has been a full year since I ran my first marathon. I'm a bit surprised that I'm still blogging - although, it is not as often as I was leading up to the big race.

I'm glad that I am still running consistently - I know of many people who get to that marathon goal and then burn-out or drop-out from running altogether.

Not only am I still running consistently, the past year has me in my running "prime". I ran a full marathon. I set PRs in the 5K and Half Marathon. I am definitely "a runner" now.

One funny example of my "runner" status - this Saturday morning as I was about to get out of bed to go for a run, my wife asked me "how long will you be running today?" My answer was 6 or 7 miles and her response was "Good, you're not doing a long run this morning...".

As soon as this exchange was over, I wondered to myself when did the transformation actually happen? When I trained for my first 10K about 7 years ago, I used to have knee pain any time I attempted to run more than 5 miles. Now I'm at the point where only running 6 or 7 on a weekend morning is a "short" run.

Anyhow, with the exception of the Run For The Shelter Half Marathon, my runs over the past 6 weeks have been shorter and with virtually no speedwork. I'm chalking this up to fatigue with everything else going on in my life right now. Over the past two years, I likely would have stressed out about slacking so much. However, I'm not going to sweat it right now since I believe that once my schedule becomes kinder, I'll be back to hitting the track once a week and going longer on the weekend. Because I now know that running is an integral part of my life...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Crazy, Busy Week

This past week was Yom Ha'atzmaut - Israel's Independence Day.  So, I had a bunch of Israeli Dance events going on - teaching at a religious school on Sunday morning, a performance with the troupe I lead on Monday afternoon, my normal weekly group on Tuesday evening and the troupe's rehearsal on Wednesday evening.

Adding to the stresses of additional Israeli Dance gigs, work was a pressure cooker this week.  My customer instituted a daily 6:30pm call to review the progress of the day and discuss the next day's schedule.  I luckily got most of my teams caught up to the point where we are now waiting for them - but with 7 more weeks before launch, there will be tons of pressure at work for me until late June.

Despite all of this, I was able to get out and run 3 mornings by myself - and another bonus morning with my son!  As much as waking up before 6am to run makes me a bit sleep deprived, I'm not sure I'd be able to handle the pressure without the release of running.

The fatigue of the week definitely showed up in my performance.  My pace was around 10:45/mile each morning and my average HR kept going higher as the week went on.  Unfortunately, I don't see it getting much better soon...