Friday, February 26, 2010

Finally A Morning Run!

As this week progressed, I have felt a lot better when waking up in the morning. It looks like this infection is finally behind me!

This morning I got up early and hit the gym for a run. It's been too long since I've been able to utter those words...and even though the clock had a 5 as the first number when I left the house, it felt wonderful!!

The run itself wasn't that wonderful. After running on the harder side on Monday and Wednesday, I felt I needed a controlled easy run. My Garmin was now working ( was the USB port that I was using did not power it up properly), so I could monitor my heart rate.

I ended up having to keep my pace in the 11:30/mile range to keep my heart rate low enough to constitute an easy run. It's almost painful to go that slow, but I know it is best for me right now.

The good news about all of this - I have now run 3 times this week for a total of 9.5 miles. That's more than my totals for the last 3 weeks. And I'm planning to get one more run in some time this weekend.

Earlier this week I laid out some goals. Well, I have hit 2 out of the 3. I have run 3 times (and potentially 4 if I get a weekend run). I have started the Hundred Push-Ups program. I'm on Week 3, Column 3. I managed to do a total of 78 push-ups on Tuesday and 97 push-ups on Thursday. Again, I'll try to do one more set this weekend.

The one goal I did not get to is counting calories. I have watched what I have been eating to some extent, but I know that my portions are still way too big. At least I'm now doing something to burn off the extra calories I'm consuming. I'll see how my weight is on Monday...if it's going up still I'll probably start counting calories on Monday (yeah, right!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Two-And-A-Half-ish Miles On a Snowy Trail

The good news - I'm starting to feel much better. Finally! I'm waking up feeling almost refreshed and not continually run down.

However, I still haven't gotten up early enough for a morning run yet.

I was thinking about it on Wednesday morning and laid out my gear before going to bed on Tuesday night...but I woke up a bit too late to get the run in. So, I threw my gear in the gym bag and took it with me to the office (I worked in the Reston office on Wednesday).

The plan was to go for a run on the W&OD Trail during lunch (the trail is half a block from my office) and then go to the gym to shower (only about a mile away from the office).

I slipped out of the office around 12:30pm ready to go. Except my Garmin wasn't. Once again it wouldn't turn on. This time, I would get the "welcome screen" and then it would just disappear. UGH!!!

I had a quick decision to make - I was in my running clothes already. Do I just go for a run - no heart rate, no watch, no GPS - just to run? Or do I scrap it since I won't know how far, how fast and how hard I was running??

Of course I went for the run!

The W&OD trail near my office was mostly clear. Every so often there would be patches of the trail that still had snow on it with some tracks through the snow that I was able to use. A little over a mile into my run, though, there was more snow than pavement. And then there was a downed pine tree which had fallen completely across the path. I guess I found my turnaround point, I thought to myself.

I have no idea how far my run was. Or how long it took. Or what my heart rate was. But I still ran. I still got that great feeling of the blood pumping through my whole body during the run and that awesome high that I get about an hour after the run that you can tackle whatever life throws at you.

I sooooo needed this run...just to remind me why I do it in the first place.

As for the Garmin - I'm pretty sure that the issue is that the USB port I have been using (off of a very old USB hub) is not charging the battery well enough while it is sitting in the cradle. I have switched to another USB port and hope this clears the issue up. We'll see...I have my fingers crossed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Google Search Oddities

One of the running blogs that I read occasionally puts in a "Google Search Oddities" post every so often.

I use SiteMeter to check some stats for my blog (would I still blog if nobody at all read the thing?? I'm not sure...) and it's interesting to see how my blog is reached.

One of the oddest recurring searches is "running with ear pain". This actually brings up a post I wrote in my blog over two years ago - but I guess there are not too many people who write on this subject, so my blog jumps up in the searches.

This week's Google Search Oddity for my blog:
"treadmill 60 minute limit" and "how to go longer than 60 minutes on treadmill"

Lunchtime Run Before The Rain

This scenario has been happening waaaay too often. I lay my running clothes out the night before, but then either sleep in or can't get my behind out of bed in order to get the run in.

It happened again this morning.

By a nice stroke of luck, I had some meetings cancel and saw that there was a big empty space on my calendar from noon to 2pm. I could go for a lunchtime run. And I could do it outside since it wasn't going to start raining until this afternoon (and I loathe running in the rain when it is 40 degrees or colder...)

I ended up meeting HH at our neighborhood coffee shop to run 3-4 miles around the streets of my neighborhood. I decided not to look at my heart rate during the run, but to keep up with her while ensuring the pace was slow enough that I could keep up a conversation.

It seemed to have worked. Although I was a bit winded a few times along the way, I never felt that low-energy, fatigued feeling that I have been getting while running during the past week. That in itself was a huge confidence builder that I'm finally seeing the other side of being sick.

We ended up running for a little under 3.5 miles at an average pace of 9:48/mile. I'm glad I wasn't watching my HR as I averaged 165 bpm. I would expect an 8 minute mile pace with that average HR...I guess I'm still fighting off something.

All afternoon I had that great feeling pumping through me after a good run. I had almost forgotten what it felt like. I thought to myself, "this is only after 3.5 miles...I can't wait until I've ramped up to 6 or 10 or 15 miles again!"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Need to Finally Get Things Started

February is almost over and I haven't even logged 100 miles for the year. Heck...I was logging 100-150 miles a month during marathon training and I have a measly 98 miles over the first seven weeks of 2010.

I don't want to take on more than I can chew, but this is the week I need to get things started again. I'm going to the doctor for bloodwork (i.e. my cholesterol checkup) in three far in 2010 not only has my running been lacking, but my diet has gone out the window too.

So...starting this week I will try to: a) count calories again b) run at least 3 times (and hopefully 4 times) this week and c) start the 100 push up challenge (my initial test tonight was 31 push-ups...not too bad!)

Even if I can stick to one of the above three for more than two consecutive weeks, I should be in much better shape.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Still Running Short and Slow

I've been out in SoCal again this week. It was a great opportunity to get some running in - the weather was PERFECT! The mornings were in the low 50s and clear skies...daytime highs were in the 80s. It's going to be tough going back to DC where there's still over two feet of snow on the ground everywhere.

I went out for runs both on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Both times my heart rate was elevated, I felt weak and I just didn't have "it".

I'm not sure if it is still related to the sinus infection or stress at work or lack of sleep or lack of running.

On both runs I did out-and-backs from the hotel of 2.5 miles (1.25 out and then returning). Wednesday morning's run could have gone longer but I needed to get back to the hotel room to quickly shower and participate on an early conference call.

Even though the runs were not perfect, it definitely felt great to be out there running!

I'm taking the red eye home tonight. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully I'll be recovered enough for a Saturday morning run. Maybe I'll be able to go for a longer run (like at least 4 or 5 miles!).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Tough Run Today

I finally got a run in today - the first since the storms came and the first since I started feeling icky.

Even though I'm feeling better - I have two days of Levaquin to thank for that! - I'm no where near 100%. My run stats definitely show that.

I started out nice and slow - at 5.0 mph (a 12:00 mile). My heart rate climbed into the low-to-mid 150s within the first quarter mile and stayed there. Basically, since I didn't want to overdo it, I needed my heart rate to be in the low 150s ( really should have been in the 140s, but I really did not want to go any slower than I was going).

I planned to go 3 miles but after 2.5 miles my right leg - hamstring and calf - started to get a bit sore. I was a bit nervous given the fact that the pharmacist told me one of the (very rare) side effects for Levaquin is a ruptured tendon...I wasn't taking any chances today.

Final stats - 2.5 miles, 30:08. 151 average HR.

It's gotta get better than that. And soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sinus Infection

I went to the doctor yesterday morning after feeling yucky for almost a full week.

It's official. I have a sinus infection. I got me some antibiotics to try and kick this thing out of my system - and at least get rid of some of the congestion before I travel to California on Monday morning.

Who knows, if I feel better enough by tomorrow, perhaps I'll even go for a run...

Friday, February 12, 2010

I Need To Get Healthy!

I'm still feeling rather blah and congested. That along with the fact that half the sidewalks in the 'hood are still not shoveled, I have not been running.

What is making the not running part hurt so much more is reading about other running friends of mine who are going out for 20 mile runs this weekend. Not that I love a 20 miler (to me it is a necessary evil of marathon training...) but it's that I haven't even had a 20 mile week yet in 2010.

I really need to get running back into my routine.

Once I feel better, that is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow, Snow - Go Away!

It's been another 10 days since I have blogged. As I remarked during my last post, the busy-ness was not going to let up any time soon. Add about 50" of snow on top of that - and feeling icky on top of all that - there has been very little running and no blogging.

I managed to squeeze in a run on Friday morning. I went to the gym in anticipation of doing a treadmill interval run. I set the treadmill to a jog speed of 5.5 mph and a run speed of 7.5, but when I started that first quarter mile interval I just didn't have it. I felt weak. At first I thought that I was tired since it was early in the morning. However, when interval two - bumped down to 7.2 mph - also felt too much I knew two things - 1) there was no way I could continue this as speedwork...back to an easy run for me, and 2) I was likely coming down with a cold.

By the next morning, I was starting to sniffle and cough a bit. Definitely not a good time for this - as 30 inches of snow fell on my town between Friday night and Saturday night.

So, my exercise (not of choice, but of necessity) over the weekend was shoveling snow.

And - when I finally got everything shoveled out, we're getting an additional 20 inches of snow from last night through tonight. I woke up this morning and shoveled the back of my house - to my home office and also the driveway. About an hour later you wouldn't even know I shoveled.

All of this, and my head feels heavy and congested. Ick.

The good news - I'm heading to Southern California for work again next week. I'm hoping the weather improves there as it has been raining a bunch this week over there. But I'll definitely take rain over snow right now...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yes...I'm Still Here!

It has been 10 days since my last blog post. Wow! I don't think I have gone that long without posting to the blog since I started at the end of December 2007.

Things have just been really busy - my current project is based in SoCal so I feel like I'm working both in the Eastern and Pacific time zones, and I'm trying to balance this along with family time, Israeli Dance commitments and prepping our taxes.

I haven't been running as much - this can be attributed as much to the weather as it can to being busy. Since I came back from SoCal last Thursday night, I have run 5 times - 4 of them on the treadmill. And each of those runs have been "squeezed" in.

For example - this morning my younger son woke up at 3:45am (and woke us up too). He fell back asleep shortly afterwards, but I was still tossing and turning. By 5am I still wasn't asleep, so I decided to head to the gym (it was 10 degrees outside with many parts of the sidewalks not shoveled from Saturday's snow...). I'm glad I got a run in at that time as I don't see any other spot in my schedule today where I could run.

But at least I'm running a little. Which is more than I can say about blogging! No posts for 10 days? What gives? Additionally, I just checked my Google Reader of the blogs that I follow - I have 134 unread posts - YIKES! How will I ever catch up???

The worst part (or best part - depending on how you look at it)...I don't see it letting up anytime soon. This project will keep me busy through April at least, and my customer is discussing adding a Phase 2 that will go through July or August. I can't really complain about that - I like my job and it's great to have work - but it's also nice to run, keep this blog updated and read other blogs (and it will return in that order, of course!)