Monday, August 31, 2009

Week 10 Plan

After last week - where almost of all my plans went out the window - I'm wondering if I should even bother putting a plan together. However, my type-A, Project Manager self needs a plan...even if there is no follow through.

The training plan shows runs of 4, 8, 4 and 17. Yes...that's SEVENTEEN miles on the weekend. I think the last time I ran anything that long was when I ran the Frederick Marathon last May.

I will be playing a bit of "Mr Mom" during the mornings this week. Sherry's school started today, my older son starts tomorrow, but my younger son doesn't start until next week. Luckily, work is still a bit quiet and my boss is on vacation. I'll likely log into work in the morning while watching my younger son and then take him to the gym at some point so he can interact with other children and caregivers (i.e. babysitting!) and I can get my weekday runs in. Sherry will return in the early afternoon and I'll go back into the office.

For the long weekend run, I've asked a few runners in the area if they would like to run a 17 miler together. I'm hoping to find someone as I think the run will be a little more enjoyable. Not that I dislike running alone or with the iPod, but my run in Central Park seemed to go by so quickly due to the conversation. Anything that can make a 3 hour run seem a bit shorter will be welcomed.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

An Awesome 11 Miler and 100 Mile Month Milestone!

Since my original long-run plans changed, this morning I was on my own with my iPod. Instead of the Rockville Millennium Trail, I ran a a loop from my house into Olde Town Gaithersburg which was 11.5 miles.

The weather this morning was lovely - high 60s and low humidity. I'm going to LOVE running in the fall!

My pace and heart rate are improving - I'm not sure if it is due to the better weather or if my conditioning is improving - or both. I ran the 11.4 miles in 2:02:57 - a 10:49/mile pace with an average heart rate of 153.

Actually, only two of my mile splits had an an average HR of over 160 - miles 9 and 10, and for mile 11 I slowed down a bit to a 156 bpm average. Also, only one of my miles was slower than an 11:00/mile pace - a hilly mile 2.

With how well this run went, I started to think about pacing for the marathon, and that I may use the Parks Half Marathon in two weeks as a practice for how to run the first half of the NY marathon. I will be running 18 miles that day - parking my car about 5 miles away from the starting line, running to the start and then running the 13.1 mile race. I'm hoping that I can finish the half marathon in a consistent 2:20 with energy left in the tank. I think this will be a good test on whether I'll be able to pace well for a 4:40 marathon. We'll see...


Looking at my running log, I see that with my long run today, I have crossed the 100 mile milestone for the month of August! This is my first 100 mile month this year (although the next two months will surely go over 100 miles as well!)

I have run 618 miles for the year so far, which puts me about 44 miles off pace for a 1,000 mile year. I'm not sure I'll be able to catch up to that milestone. I'll see how I feel after the marathon and make the decision then.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More Plans Gone Awry

I was planning to do this weekend's 11 miler on the Rockville Millennium Trail with my sister. She is training to do the Parks Half Marathon in a few weeks and it would be a nice opportunity to go running with her.

Although I normally do my long runs on Saturday, she was free on Sunday so I decided to push the run out for one day and run with her.

I got a call this morning that she's under the weather and won't be able to run tomorrow :-(

I'm not sure if I'll run the same route tomorrow morning or not. And part of tonight will be spent trying to pick which music to put on the iPod for my run tomorrow. Oh well...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sneaky Speedwork - And A Great Playlist

As the events of this morning unfolded, I knew that I could get my long run in this weekend. So, I can get my last weekday run in - a 4 miler - either today or tomorrow.

I decided to go for a late afternoon run today. Since it was 90-some-odd degrees outside, I hit the gym. And since I didn't do any speedwork sessions this week (I was trying to squish my longer runs in during the week, so I took it easy), I decided that I should do some speedwork.

The plan - 4.5 miles of "pyramid intervals". Set the jog speed on the treadmill to an 11:00/mile pace and the run speed to an 8:00/mile pace. Warm up for 3/4 mile and then run intervals of 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 mile with quarter mile recovery jogs in between. Finish with a half mile cool down.

I did great today! It felt good - and even that mile-long interval 3 miles into the run didn't beat me up too hard.

One thing that helped was my playlist. It went almost perfectly with the run. My warmup was to "Overload" by Sugababes, "Waterloo" by ABBA (I will be working for a Swedish company in a few weeks...) and "Salamati" by Arash. As I started my first interval, the Theme from Rocky came on which definitely gave me a lift. After that was "Lose Yourself" by Eminem which took me through the second interval. The third interval started during "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas and then was run mostly through "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin.

As I started my mile-long interval, the Theme to Chariots of Fire started. Then "Fire" by Jimi Hendrix and I finished off the mile to "Desire" by U2.

Awesome tunes to keep me going at an 8:00/mile pace!

Plans Get Thrown Out The Window

My plan for this morning - do my 11 mile long run for the week since our plan for this weekend was to go up to the Poconos for a birthday/retreat/Israeli Dance bash that a friend of mine has organized.

This morning's run started to unravel around 12:30am when my younger son appeared in our room. Unfortunately the game of trying to get him to sleep lasted a few hours - we would put him back in his bed and eventually he was back in our room, he would get into bed with us and then move around too much, etc. I eventually woke up at 6:30am and there was no way I was heading out for an 11 mile run. I stayed in bed until the munchkin woke up a little after 7am.

It actually won't be such a tragedy, as it looks like I should be able to get my long run in this weekend. With my wife's new job, the students arrive on Monday and there is still tons to do. So, it looks like we will not be going to the Poconos after all. At first we were kicking around scenarios where I would go with the kids and she would stay or she would stay with the kids and I would go, but in the end we decided it was best to stay together.

As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A New Paradigm For The Fox Family - And A Facebook Faux Pas

DISCLAIMER - Anyone who is only interested in my running can stop reading now :-)

Life in the Fox Family has been shaken up a bit over the past few days.

My wife Sherry is a teacher by trade. Since the time our first child was born, she has been a Stay-At-Home-Mom - with a private tutoring business on the side. This has been great when the kids were really young - it gave her flexibility to be with the kids during the day, and then I would watch them after work in the early evening while she tutored.

Now that my older son is going into 2nd grade, and my younger son will be going to Nursery School 5 days a week until 2pm, Sherry was going to try and change the business model of her tutoring business. Many private schools in the area allow tutors to come in during school hours to work with their students, and my wife was hoping to line up her sessions while the kids were in school. She had done this with one of her students last year and it worked out great.

That was the plan...until Thursday morning.

We logged into our email at the hotel on our way back from Florida on Thursday morning and found that the private school where Sherry tutored last year had a teaching position open. They were trying to contact her to see if she was interested in the position.

She spent many hours on the phone (luckily I was doing most of the driving) getting more information on the position and trying to come to a favorable agreement for her and the school. Long story short - she started today!

Her employment does change a lot of things for us. First of all, I will need to drive my younger son to school each day (Sherry will drive carpool in the morning for our older son on the way to her school). Also, we need to work out coverage for the kids this week (while she is at the school planning and preparing) and for my younger son next week (his school starts a week after everyone else does). Coverage for the kids was rarely an issue in the SAHM days.

It also means that things are just less flexible around here. If I want to run in the morning, I need to ensure I'm up and out the door by a specific time to be back before Sherry leaves for work/carpool. Looking ahead, I have some 8 mile weekday runs on the schedule coming up...I'll likely need to get out the door in the 5:30am timeframe for those. Ouch!

On the flip side, it should ease things up for us financially. We should be able to chip away at some debt (Home Equity lines of credit always seem like a good idea when you first use them...) and even start to save more (maybe for another Disney vacation???)

We had a Facebook Faux Pas last night.

My wife went to change her status to "I'm starting a NEW JOB tomorrow!". However, our shared computer in the kitchen popped my email address in the user login window instead of hers and she ended up changing my status to this.

An hour later I open my email to see about 20 comments about my Facebook status. When I started to read these comments I immediately knew what had happened. Sherry updated the wrong account's status!

I wrote a comment explaining that it was Sherry starting the new job, not me...that the computer signed in with the wrong account.

Luckily, I have not "friended" any of the colleagues in my group at work nor any of my customers (some of my work friends that I worked with before are FB friends, but no one in my current group). That would have been really embarrasing!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marathon Pace Run - Sort Of...

I'm in week 9 of my training plan. It is a "step back" week on mileage and calls for runs of 4, 7, 4 and 11 miles.

Again, life takes over - there is no way that I'll be able to do a long run over the weekend, so I'm rearranging this to 7 today, 4 tomorrow, 11 on Thursday and 4 on Saturday or Sunday if I can get it in. plan for today was a 7 miler before work. I was going to attempt a marathon pace run - at around a 10:40/mile pace. It's not really a speed session - so I won't tire myself out for the rest of the day - but it is not as pokey as my long runs have been.

After this weekend's long run, I was thinking that a 7 miler would be a piece of cake. It's amazing what a 15 mile run can do for your perspective!

Once again, the weather this morning was great. Humidity not too high and the temperatures were in the mid-60s.

I started running - and I felt good. It's nice to have that feeling again :-)

The first mile I came in at 10:29. Then a 10:23. Mile three was 9:47. Oops!

I slowed myself down after that - but although none of my miles were sub-10:00, none of them were over 10:40 either.

I finished my run strong - totals of 7.12 miles in 1:12:28; a 10:11/mile pace with an average HR of 157.

Next time I do a marathon pace run, I'm leaving the iPod at home and I'll focus on trying to hit my pace. However, getting out there and running faster than I have been felt really good!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Finally Completed A Long Run!

Three out of the last four long runs were not very successful.

At Riley's Rumble Half Marathon, I barely got in the 11 miles that was on my training plan (and basically walked in most of the last two), two weeks ago, the 9 miler in Central Park became a 7.5 miler (I'm pretty sure I could have done more but the group had finished at that time and I wasn't going to raise a stink about it!), last week's 14 miler in Boynton Beach, FL turned into a 7 miler due to the heat and humidity.

I was a bit nervous that I would meet the same fate this morning for my scheduled 15 miler.

Last night was my Fantasy Football Draft - which lasted until after midnight. (and where I consumed three slices of pizza and three bottles of Shiner Bock - not necessarily running fuel...) I didn't want to get out too late for my run so I could beat the I knew I wouldn't have much sleep to go on.

I ended up sleeping from about 12:30am until a little before 6am. No alarm, I just somehow woke up at that time. However, I didn't feel dead to the world - so this was a good sign.

The next really good sign is when I opened the door. It didn't feel like thick soup! The humidity had broken with last night's storms - so it was going to be a more comfortable morning.

I believe the lower humidity made all the difference. Even though my legs started to ache a bit after 10 miles in, I was able to continue and push myself through and finish out this run!

I ran over to the neighborhood where I grew up. I had my parents stow a water bottle in their mailbox so I could refill my water bottles mid-run and only carry two 6 oz bottles on my water belt. The extra water was very helpful. I ended up finishing up the entire 16.9oz bottle along with the 12oz that I started with.

I finished up the run in an 11:17/mile pace with an average HR of 156. My last "successful" long run - a 12 miler three weeks ago - I ran at an 11:23/mile pace with an average HR of there is a small amount of improvement here.

The best thing, though, is after finishing this run I feel "back in the groove" again. After being on the road for a week, my first few runs didn't feel right - I felt really lethargic. Not that I had a spring in my step for 15 miles today, but today's run felt more natural (even on 5 1/2 hours of sleep!)

I'm going to try to hit the sack early tonight. It's back to work tomorrow :-(

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Disney Pics Up!

Here's a non-running post. I've put up a bunch of Disney World pics on our family website. Enjoy!

I'm Back - And Running Slow

We're back from Disney and the drive from Florida! It was great to be away, but it's nice to be home too. I'll post some Disney pics on our family webpage or on Facebook in the next few days...

I did get one run in at Disney this week - a 4 miler. Which means I had 11 more miles of week day runs and a big 15 mile long longest run probably since last year's marathon.

I did the 7 miler at the gym on the treadmill yesterday. I took it nice an easy - set the treadmill at 5.3 mph with a 1.5% incline and went for 7 miles. Pretty uneventful. It was good to get the body moving again. Lots of rust.

This morning I did an easy 4 miles outside. When I stepped outside the air was still warm and humid - stale and disgusting. I also just didn't feel like running - not sure if was the red wine last night with dinner, or the fact that I'm still eating too much (I found that I made good choices with what I ate at Disney and on the road, however, the portions were just enormous that I surely put on some pounds...I'm just too afraid to step on the scale). In short, it was not going to be an easy run.

I ended up trudging through with an 11:25/mile pace this morning. My average HR was 145, so I definitely kept things easy. I thought I would feel better at some point during the run, but that never happened. I finally hit 4 miles and stopped running - and walked home the last half mile. I just didn't have any more in me.

I'm a bit concerned about tomorrow. I'm scheduled to run 15 miles. I know I'm not going to get a good night sleep because I have my Fantasy Football draft tonight (first of two - the second one in the day after Labor Day). Just what I don't need before a long run - a late night filled with beer and junk food. I may try to drink water or gatorade instead of beer tonight - and try to limit the junk. It won't be easy, but I'll try...I have a decent excuse.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quick Post From Florida!

I don't have too much time to post - not much internet access in our digs down here :-)

We left on Thursday morning - hit the road at 7:15am and made it to the hotel in Jacksonville, FL by 9pm. This included three long stops (breakfast, lunch and dinner), a few short stops (bathrooms and gas ups), a traffic jam in North Carolina due to construction and a bunch of patches of driving rain in South Carolina and Georgia (and two glorious rainbows south of Savannah!). Only one major child meltdown in the entire 14 hours - I'm very lucky that the kids are great car travelers.

We got to Boynton Beach around lunch time on Friday and have enjoyed being here in my parent's house here. The kids have slept much better than in the hotel (which gives me a bit of anxiety for Disney World the next three nights...)

Tomorrow morning we leave for Disney World! Hooray!!!

I got a run in this morning. Early. Like before the sun came up...thankfully.

The plan was to do 14 miles. When I stepped outside at 5:30am, it was hot and soupy already. I checked on the NOAA site and saw it was 84 degrees and 70% humidity. I was going to run a 7 mile loop twice, with a Gatorade stop at the house, but as I got started, I knew that was not going to happen. By mile 3 my shirt was already soaked through. By mile 5, I wasn't sure I would be able to make it through the first 7 mile loop without walking.

I eventually made it home. But there would be no 2nd loop. Instead of 14 miles, I settled for 7. UGH!

All I can say is that I'm happy the marathon is in New York in November - and not in Florida in August!!!

I'm not sure I'll be running at Disney. There's a fitness center at the hotel, but I may be too exhausted. If I don't run over the next few days, I'm going to have to re-build up my base again - especially as I'm supposed to get in some higher mileage weeks now.

I likely won't be blogging for a few days. Speak to you all when I get back from Florida!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nice And Easy!

Since I'll be on the road to Florida tomorrow and Friday, I had to cram my 3rd and final weekday run in today. I was out late last night so it was a lunchtime run for me.

Despite being the 4th day of running in a row, my body felt good. I took it nice and easy on the treadmill at the gym today - set it at 5.2 mph for the first mile and 5.5 mph for the next 3 miles.

Ended up with 4 miles in 44:19 - an 11:05/mile pace with an average heart rate of 139!!! I don't ever recall having a run this long with an average HR under 140.

Tomorrow morning we're up bright and early (OK, we're always up bright and early) and hitting the road. I'm a bit nervous about doing a 14 mile run in Boynton Beach on Saturday morning. The overnight low on Friday night is 78 degrees. 14 miles in 80 degree weather? ICK! I'm definitely bringing my water belt...

I Forget How Hungry You Get While Training

Yesterday morning I ran 7 miles. I felt awesome the entire day - and it was great to know that my weekday longer run was behind me in this jam-packed week leading up to my vacation.

However, what I totally forgot about is that when my mileage ramps up - so does my appetite. BIG TIME!

I started out the day like I normally would. I had a bowl of granola with soy milk - and added a banana for some extra fuel. I had a small mid-morning snack and I ended up having an early lunch due to some meetings at my lunch hour.

About two hours after lunch I was hungry again. I had to run an errand, so I grabbed a smoothie at a yogurt place. An hour after that I was hungry again.

I was like a food burning furnace yesterday!

I just need to remember that I can't overdo it, because I will gain weight if I eat too much....even when running 30-40 miles a week.

There were two incidents that happened to me yesterday that bother me a bit:

On my run yesterday morning, I saw a neighbor of mine outside (around 7am) entertaining her young son. She asked me if I was training for something in particular - I told her the New York Marathon - she seemed surprised and impressed..."That's Fantastic!" was her response. As I passed her though, I started thinking about this a bit more. I had invited her to my fundraiser via email and Facebook...and her husband was AT the fundraiser (he came at the end with a few other guys to drink a beer). Could she really not know that I was running the NY Marathon this fall? Was it really that much of a surprise to her? (or is she just tuned-out to the goings-on of acquaintances/neighbors? this could very well be...I know my wife seems to tune out some things when the kids activities get a bit overwhelming)

Later on, I was discussing my training and fundraising with someone. She made a comment like - "you should really keep a journal and write down all of this stuff...I would love to read about it". My response was that I'm keeping a blog - so, yes you CAN read about it. Her reply was that she was too busy right now to keep up with reading a blog. I smiled politely while I thought to myself, "Didn't you just say you would love to read about my training and fundraising???" It ends up that I deal with people like this a lot - they have great ideas and "should" you to death (i.e. you/we/I should do this or that), but then are very weak on the implementation of these ideas. As you can tell, it's a bit of a pet-peeve of mine...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Marathon Pace Run - A Bit Too Fast

Since I'm cramming my weekday runs in this week so I can get them all in before Disney, today became my weekday "longer" run in which I usually do my speedwork. However, tonight is also when I lead Israeli Dancing for 3 I didn't want to tire myself out too much doing intervals or a tempo run.

So I decided to try a marathon pace run. That is, try to run at the pace that I think I will run the marathon in. This is a bit faster than my long runs, but slower than normal speedwork.

Last night I had to start contemplating what will my marathon pace be? I ran my first marathon last year in 4:59 - an 11:25/min pace. I'm pretty sure I can improve on that - but by how much? I took a look at what finishing times corresponded to what pace: an 11:00/mile pace is a 4:48 finishing time, a 4:40 finish is a 10:42/mile pace and a 4:30 finish is a 10:19/mile pace.

I'm thinking that a 4:40 finish may be an attainable goal. So I left the house this morning thinking to myself that I wanted to try and run a 10:40/mile pace.

Great plan. Poor execution.

I guess I had in the back of my mind that this was "speedwork" because most of my splits were 30 to 40 seconds faster than 10:40. The two miles that were close - mile 2 was 10:37 and mile 5 was 10:45 - are all pretty hilly (I looked at the elevation on the map and both have steady climbs of over 100 ft over the mile).

Or perhaps it was because I was listening to some upbeat music on my iPod? I've been known to space out and/or change my pace to the cadence of the music when I am listening to tunes while running.

Either way, I went way too fast. I had 4 out of the 7 splits at faster than a 10:10/mile pace. It's fine for a normal run - but there is no way I'm running a marathon in 3 months at that pace.

The final stats for the run were 7.1 miles in 1:13:27 - a 10:20/mile pace. My average HR was 159 with a max of 177 (I did not look at my HR for the entire run...I was trying to focus on pace instead).

Tomorrow is another easy 4 and then off to Florida!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Scheduling The Next Two Weeks and This Morning's Run

Last week was a "step down" back to increasing miles on the training plan. This week will be a challenge - 4, 7, 4 and 14 miles. On a normal week it wouldn't be too bad.

But the next two weeks are not normal weeks. On Thursday we are driving to Florida - as the start of our week-long vacation which will feature 4-days and 3-nights in Disney World!

I will try to get my weekly runs in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I'll have two "rest" days on Thursday and Friday (driving down to Boynton Beach, FL). I'll try to do my long run on Saturday morning. Then on Sunday morning it is off to Orlando!

Next week will be just as challenging. I hear you do tons of walking at Disney World. Do I really want to run 7 miles one morning and then walk 15 miles around the park? The hotel I'm staying at has a gym with a treadmill, but we'll see how exhausted I am.

My run this morning went really well. I remember last year that my easy runs that immediately followed the long run or speedwork runs went really well - and today was no exception.

4.48 miles in 46:47 - a 10:27/mile pace with an average HR of 150 bpm. I'm really excited about the pace - that's a full minute per mile faster than my run yesterday, at only a slightly higher average heart rate.

Finally, I'm seeing the benefits of my training!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Back From New York

I went up to New York this weekend with Sherry and the kids. The main purpose - to run with Team Run To Remember for a 7 to 9 mile training run in Central Park.

On the way, we visited my cousins in Central Jersey and a good friend of mine from UofM visited us with her kids at the hotel for a dip in the pool and for dinner. Unfortunately, after all the excitement, my 7 year old did not sleep well in the hotel room (so Sherry and I also did not sleep well either).

We got up early this morning and left the Newark Airport hotel around 7am, parked in the city and I dropped Sherry and the kids off at a bagel place near the park. She was going to hang out with the kids in the park - however, it was a cloudy and overcast day with a bit of light rain in the morning. Oy! It ends up that they did do the park (nothing else was open at 8:30am when they finished breakfast) and the kids finally settled in at a playground.

I met up with the team at the Columbus Circle entrance to the park. I spotted one of the team coaches who was holding one of the team's purple shirts and introduced myself. By 8:15, there were five of us there for the run - the two coaches, BH and JL, team members EE and MM and myself. In a team of 50 I was expecting a few more people to show up for the team run...oh well, I'll just have to meet the other members in the next few months.

Luckily, the team members who were there ran around my pace so we all stuck together. Our coach took us on a gravel/dirt trail around Central Park - past Tavern On the Green, up to the Reservoir, past tennis courts and softball fields, under a bunch of overpasses (every time we went under one of these MM would check out the echo!) and finally back to Columbus Circle. We ran about 5.5 miles together in about an 11:30/mile pace.

MM left the group at that point and BH, EE and I went down 59th Street to the east part of the park where BH explained how the marathon ends - where the runners leave the park and re-enter, where the baggage pickup is after the finish line and where friends and family meet up with runners after the race. I hope he reviews all of this with me in a few months, as I'm not sure I'll remember all of it!

The three of us crossed the park at Terrace Drive and wandered over to Strawberry Fields (there's a nice hill going up that way...) before exiting the park and finishing our run down Central Park West. The complete run was 7.6 miles (according to Garmin - BH's Polar with footpod showed closer to 7.5 miles) in 1:26:47 - an 11:25/mile pace. Here's the map of our run.

The best thing for me was that my average HR was 146 over the entire 7 mile run. My splits were pretty consistent on average HR - only miles 4 and 5 had an average HR over 150.

Running with the group kept me going at a pace where I could keep up a conversation - and therefore I never got going too fast. It was a wonderful social experience as well - I really enjoyed my teammates company and I hope to run with them again soon. I totally get why many people run with groups or with running partners. I don't think I'll be trying to find a regular running partner or group yet, but perhaps I will try to do a few runs in the area with some of my running friends.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Going To New York!

Tomorrow morning, we're loading the family into the minivan and going up to New Jersey and New York.

The plan - get to my cousin's in Central Jersey around lunchtime and hang out with them for a few hours (have the kids play and get energy out!). Then go to the hotel near Newark Airport - a college friend of mine and her kids will visit with us there - hit the pool at the hotel and then find a place to eat.

On Sunday morning we'll go into the city. I'll get to meet some of my teammates from Team Run To Remember as they do a 7 to 9 mile run in Central Park. Sherry and the boys will explore the park on their own.

After the run, I'll find a place to shower and then hook back up with Sherry and the kids. At that point we'll grab some food and picnic in the park! Then back home to Maryland.

I've never taken a running vacation before...this seems like a good first step!

Great Morning For A Run!

Went outside this morning for an easy 3 mile run - and it was almost cool. 65 degrees - nice.

For the first time in a while I kept my average heart rate under 150. I looked back in my log and it was over a month ago (OK...if you don't count the crappy treadmill run I had earlier this week).

3.43 miles in 36:04 - a 10:31/mile pace with an average heart rate of 148 bpm. A month ago I ran at the same average HR but 30 seconds per mile slower...and it was about the same temperature that morning. Progress!

I was actually surprised I was able to reign it in this morning, as I was listening to some pretty upbeat music - The Black Eyed Peas.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Results Are In!!!!

As I posted last night, the fundraiser at The Star Diner was very successful. Today I spoke to the owner of the diner to find out just how successful it was.

He told me he had a check for me to give to the Alzheimer's Association for $400!!! Wow!!!! I was expecting in the $250-$300 range - even with the larger number of people that showed up.

I had also received a few other donations at the diner last night which totaled a little over $100.

So, the final tally from last night was a little over $500!!!! This pushes me over $2,000 in fundraising now. Woo hoo!!!

(For those of you in the blogosphere who want to donate, please visit my page here!)

Now the question is... Do I do another one???

A few people who did not show last night told me to let them know if I do another fundraiser that they can go to. A few other people who were at the diner last night also told me to let them know.

Actually, there was a table of 20-somethings who were there that made the suggestion that I do a Happy Hour. I told them it was a good idea (and one of my teammates in NY is doing one next week), however, the majority of the people who were in attendance last night would need to line up babysitting in order to attend the Happy Hour. I guess we're just in different stages of our lives right now...

So, do I hold another fundraising event? Part of me thinks that I don't want to be too pushy and ask people to attend multiple fundraisers. But this one was quite successful, and some people were asking if I was going to do another one.

What do you all think????

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birthday Post, Part 2 - And Post #500!!!

First, a blogging note. This is post number 500 for me on this blog. Whoa! I originally started the blog to chronicle events leading up to my first marathon, but I guess blogging became a habit which was hard to shake :-)

I did end up getting my run in during an early lunch break. I did the same 6 mile Yasso 800 interval workout as last week. The one difference is that today I ran it without my heart rate monitor.

You see, I own two heart rate monitors - my old Polar (the watch went kaput last year, but the strap still works - and the treadmills at the gym read the signal from that strap), and the Garmin which I use when I run outside. When I packed my gym bag this morning, I made sure to put my heart rate monitor strap in the bag. However, when I went to put it on at the gym, I found that I packed the fabric connector strap of the Garmin, with the electrodes plastic strap of the Polar. And of course these two are not compatible. So no HRM for me on today's run.

After the run, I went to California Tortilla for my free birthday burrito! Then back to work...

Tonight was my fundraiser at The Star Diner. It was hugely successful - I had over 100 people there, and at one point there was over a 30 minute wait for a table (so much for Wednesday nights being slow!) I'll find out tomorrow how much money I made. I should have a few pictures to post as well.

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday. I'm now 38 years old. In only two years I'll be 40 - UGH!

I'm going to try not to dwell on getting older and things like that. My body reminds me of this every day :-)

It should be a nice day, though. My work schedule doesn't seem too hectic. I'm planning to run during my lunch break (although I just got invited to a conference call at 12:30pm - so I either need to take my lunch break early or late...). And tonight I'm holding my fundraiser at The Star Diner - so I'll see lots of friends and celebrate!!

Also, I got a nice surprise this morning. Sherry and the boys gave me an awesome birthday present - a race bag from Mile 22 which sports lots of my race bibs! Check it out:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Not So Easy, Easy Run

This is a step-down week in mileage - runs of 3, 6, 3 and 9 miles this week.

The plan is normal during the week - Monday morning 3 mile easy run, Wednesday lunchtime 6 miles speedwork (likely on the 'mill as it is supposed to be 90 degrees that day), another 3 mile easy run on Thursday or Friday morning. Then we are heading up to New York for the weekend and I'll run the 9 miles with Team Run To Remember - in Central Park!!!

Unfortunately, Monday morning's run was affected by my work schedule. I had a maintenance window activity scheduled for Sunday night - so I worked from 11pm to 2am. I got up at 8am the next morning (my kids let me sleep - hooray!), but it was already hot and muggy out, so I opted for the gym.

My plan was a nice, easy steady run on one of the TechnoGym treadmills - set it for a heart rate program with a target HR in the mid-140s.

Unfortunately, the treadmill and my HR monitor were not on great speaking terms that morning. So my pace fluctuated from as high as 6.5 mph to as low as 4.0 mph. It was horrible.

I guess I'll set my own pace in the future and use the HR monitor as a guide.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow - another run (it has to be better than yesterday's, right?) and my fundraising dinner at The Star Diner. (oh...and it's my birthday to boot!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fundraising Update - 25% To My Goal!

Officially, my fundraising site shows that I have $1,150 in donations. I have also sent in two $50 checks, so that puts me at $1,250 once the money hits.

So, I'm 25% to my goal of $5,000!!!

I know a few family members told me they sent in checks - plus I have the Star Diner fundraiser this week - so I may be close to $2,000 by the end of the week.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Back Into The Long Run Groove

When I trained for my first marathon last year, I did most of my long runs early on Saturday morning - before the family and I went to synagogue.

This is week 5 of my training, and it is only the 2nd Saturday morning long run I have done. (actually, next week I am planning to go to New York to run my long run in Central Park with Team Run To Remember!)

I set out at 6:30am for my 12 mile long run. My plan - keep it slow. I was hoping to be somewhere in the 11:00/mile range and that my HR would stay in the 150s or below.

I put on my Amphipod water belt with two bottles of water, and took two GUs with me - one for 45 minutes into the run and the other for 90 minutes into the run. I also took my iPod - I let the Genius feature put together a playlist first based on Billy Joel's Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, and since that playlist was not going to be long enough, I supplemented it with another Genius playlist based on Simon and Garfunkle's The Only Living Boy In New York (yes, both songs with a New York theme...).

The beginning of this run went very well - my splits were all in the 11:00 to 11:30/mile range and my average HR was in the 150s or below. After mile 7, however, I started to lose steam - I kept up the same pace mostly (mile 8 was slower, but a large part of that mile is uphill), but my average heart rate started to climb into the 160s.

Also, around that time, I felt I needed more water. I rationed my water out until the end, but having a third water bottle would have been nice. Before my next run over 10 miles - especially given that this is summertime - I need to add the third water bottle to my water belt.

I finished the run in 2:16:24 - an 11:23/mile pace, with an average HR of 158. It's a tad slower than I would have liked, and my average HR was higher than I would have liked. However, I ran the entire 12 miles - no walking - which was a big accomplishment given my performance last weekend.

I also decided to check back in my running log to see how I did on my 12 mile run in last year's marathon training. I ran an 11:13/mile pace with an average HR of 153. It was definitely a better effort than now, but there are two main differences - that run was two weeks later into my program, and it was 31 degrees on that run - not in the mid-70s like today. With as hot and humid as it was today, 31 degrees sounds delightful!