Sunday, January 31, 2010

The End of the Week Recap 1/31/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  I did 21.28 miles at an average of 8:31/mile.  I did 50 minutes of cross-training, which were mostly kettleball, dumbell and body weight exercises.  My weight has dropped to 160.8!  I attribute the weight loss to my long run at the end of last week and 2 hard tempo runs this week.  This week saw the temperatures drop into the 40's and by the weekend we were in the 20's and 30's with 6 inches of snow.  I'm learning to handle the 40 degree weather fairly well, but the 30's and the ice are still gamebreakers for me. So no long run past 8 miles.  I was planning another run around PWP, but the ice dashed those thoughts.  As far as my weight loss, I'd say that my diet/food journal was helping, but I gave up on that 2 days after starting it.  Instead, I've decided to count servings of the major food groups.  I'm trying to stick to 2 servings of each major food group per day, but I can do more than 2 servings for fruit and vegetables.  This hasn't been too bad so far, but I've noticed that once the weekend hits, I tend to fall behind on my fruit and veggie servings and go over on my protein/lean meat servings. On a final note, today is supposed to be a rest day, but I may add in 20 minutes of light stretching and body weight exercises.  I hate that I've made up so much ground since the fall, just to see it all fall to the wayside due to the inclement weather.  One final training note:  I'm toying around with the idea of keeping my long runs down to 11-13 miles for now.  Instead of upping my mileage, I'll up my speed for that mileage each week.  This should accommodate my already crammed schedule, and help me work on my pacing and endurance.  I already know that I can do 26.2 miles, but I need really work on my speed.  I'll have to get in at least a couple 18 milers before the marathon in April, but 2 should be plenty as long as I'm getting faster on the 13 milers.  Okay, I'm off to stretch in front of the boob tube.  Have fun and run hard!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Snow Ninja Experience

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  Earlier today, I thought about posting how I hated the snow and how it was interfering with my training schedule, and for the record, I do and it did.  Let me repeat:  A little brown man from a little island in the Pacific does not like snow and ice.  I had planned to get in another 11 miles at PWP, but thanks to the snow and ice, I can't even leave my driveway.  To be fair, I'm dumb enough to make a trip out to PWP, but even if I somehow managed not to slip and slide down any of the numerous hills in PWP, I doubt that I would survive the beating from my wife when I came back.  Instead I got in an easy 3 miles.  Of course it was only easy in terms that I ran slow, slow, slowly.  Running in the snow and ice was like running in mud.  My steps felt heavy and plodding.  This experience wasn't helped by the fact that I had to bundle up so heavily that I could barely move my arms or legs.  No lie, it felt like that I had added another 5 lbs to my body with my trail shoes and 3 layers of clothes.  I did get pretty warm around mile 1.5 so I had to take off my red pullover.  The upside to this move was that I was rocking the running ninja look.  Awesome.  Now for the hard numbers:  3.15 mile easy run at 9:53/mile.  Geek Tip:  In honor of ninja day, I give you this review.  As manga goes, Naruto is a great read for runners.  Naruto has gained a lot of mainstream attention thanks to Cartoonnetwork.  Basically it's the story of a kid who's trying very hard to be the best ninja that he can be.  He's not the best or most skilled, but he does have a secret power.  He also has lots of guts and determination.  If Pre were a ninja, he would have been Naruto.  Naruto doesn't give up and isn't afraid to put it on the line to accomplish his goals.  He locks onto his goal, digs deep into his secret power, and usually manages to come out on top.  If that isn't a metaphor for runners, I don't know what is.  Okay kids, I need to go warm up my toes.  Have fun and run hard!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Endorphin Recurrence

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  For those of you who keep up with  this blog (all three of you), you may notice that today's post is somewhat similar to the one that I did last week.  There is a good reason for that.  I'm an unimaginative hack.  I would apologize for this trait, but let's face it, I doubt anyone will notice.  Today I had one of those runs that went so well and felt so good that I almost regretted finishing my run.  Still, I did pull a Forrest Gump and ran another 2 miles more than I needed to run.  Afterwards, I was tired and cold (the weather guys are calling for another Tennessee Blizzard.  ;p), but I was energized.  The runner's high felt great and had me feeling like Superman.  Usually after a run, I'm ready to pass out from exhaustion, but today, I was jumping off the walls.  When I got home, I was still riding endorphins, so I decided to "step" for the Girl.  My 5 year old thought it was so funny that she was giggling uncontrollably.  Did I mention that I can't actually step?  I imagine that I looked somewhat like an uncoordinated, blind clown...without rhythm.  Very sad. What was even worse was that I may have strained a muscle that I'm very fond of.  Sad, but funny.  Now for the hard numbers:  8 mile tempo run at 7:53/mile.  Geek tip:  The Star Wars franchise is making another foray into the MMO market with Star Wars the Old Republic.  This time it looks like they're doing it right by using Bioware to develop the game.  Bioware has made some of the best computer role-playing games around, and they have had plenty of experience with the Star Wars Universe.  There's no release date yet, but they are taking applications to beta test the game.  I haven't gotten the call yet to try out my lightsaber in the game, but if they call, I'll be ready!  Okay kids, I need to go ice my groin.  Have fun and run hard!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Cold-Recovery Run Confluence

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  One would think that after a hard 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park yesterday that I might decide to rest today.  Well that just goes to show what you know!  After all, that run was last week, and this being Monday is the start of a whole brand-spanking new and shiny week.  But to show that I'm not a complete idiot (despite what my lovely wife thinks at times, particularly when the Boy's science fair proposal is due), I decided to make today a recovery run.  Just a nice and easy run around the snow!  Yes, dear the snow!  Let's recap very quickly.  Old, little guy from a small island in the Pacific near the equator.  Me no like-y cold!  Dammit!  But to be fair, it didn't really just flurried and didn't stick.  And it was around 40 degrees, and in my cold gear, I got warm very quickly.  But dammit, it was just 60 degrees yesterday!  Sigh.  I can't wait for spring and summer to get here, so that I can really amp up my training.  Still, I will admit that there is something very cool and romantic about running as the snow falls down around you.  Now for the hard numbers:  4.75 miles at 9:16/mile.   I would have preferred an easy run at under 9:00/mile, but I was feeling some slight pain in my right shin.  With that kind of pain, it just made sense to take it easy, work on my base mileage for the week, and let my body recover from yesterday.  Local Geek Tip:  If you need a comic book store (and let's face it, who doesn't), then I would suggest Rick's Comic City on Old Lebanon Road.  I've been going there for years now.  Rick is a good guy and he runs a family store.  I used to shop at Great Escape, but honestly I always felt that the comics were second banana to the music and videos there.  Rick's is a true comic store with a great variety of new titles and good amount of backstock.  Plus you can get graphic novels, manga, collecting supplies, toys, shirts, and statutes there also.  Rick runs a decent discount for his subscription customers, and he knows his comics as well as his customers.  Good comic book stores are hard to find (trust me, I know), and honestly Rick's is one of the best.  So say we all.  Okay kids, I need to do some Iron Gym before I crash.  Have fun and run hard.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

End of the Week Recap 1/24/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week I logged 31.28 miles at an average of 9:01/mile.  I did 55 minutes of cross-training.  My weight looks to be in the 163 range still.  The most noteworthy accomplishment for the week was that I got in a real long run.  I did one 11.2 mile loop around the Main Drive at Percy Warner Park at 9:02/mile.  The last time that I did just the Main Drive was back on 9/26/09 and I ran it at 9:04/mile.  Overall, it appears that my run today was a very modest improvement, but I think that it was actually a huge improvement considering that I haven't run over 8 miles since the Clarksville Half-Marathon back in November. Honestly it was all I could do to get out of bed and slug out that run in the cool drizzle today, but I made myself do it.  I'm very glad that I did it too even though I was cursing myself for my stupidity as I dragged myself through PWP.

A quick shoot out and congratulations to Phoebe Wright for her 1st place finish in the 800m with a time of 2:04:00 at the Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational.  Phoebe is the daughter of a fellow law school student, and I can say that I remember her when.  You can read more about her win here.

Okay, now it's late and I'm really, really tired.  So I'm out.  Have fun and run hard!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Health Convert Equation

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week I spent helping a compadre start his running program, I got in a few miles, and I taunted several of my co-workers for being wimps.  My buddy, Kevin, has decided to get back into shape.  Kev is doing it for health reasons, to shed some pounds and get back into fightin' trim.  So to help him along, I guilted and harassed him till he agreed that it really wasn't too cold to go outside and run.  It may have helped that he had nothing else to do on his lunch hour (other than eat), so he gave in.  I took him out and we did an easy mile and a half.  I wanted to make sure that he enjoyed the run and didn't overdo it like other people (like myself).  I must have worked because he grabbed another run the next day.  While I'm glad that he enjoyed it, I was concerned that he might push himself too hard and either hurt himself or ignore the rest/recovery part of working out.  But he despite some soreness, he did okay and rested the next day.  Today we did close to 2 miles up some tough hills.  He was winded, but afterwards he told me that he felt energized.  I know what he means.  Even after a hard workout or a ridiculous amount of miles, I still get that feeling of power and energy that pumps me up and makes me think that I can go do more.  You know that feeling of adrenaline that rushes to your head and makes you want to go farther, run faster, keep pushing to see if you can ride that high just a little bit longer.  I love that feeling.  Sadly I'm at that point in my training that I really have to push myself, otherwise I might cheat and coast through a workout without getting much benefit at all.  To prove my point, I went to the Y this week with some friends from work.  We did this ridiculous abs class that had me falling off a bosu ball through half the class and grunting as I tried to lift my legs higher into the air the other half.  My butt was sore, my abs were tight, and my legs felt like jelly (I know because jam don't shake like that), but after all that, I still put in a fast 5 miles.  It reminded me a lot of a long race.  That point in the race where you know that you're over the hump and you think that if you can tough it out you can finish strong.  It's that point in the race when your adrenaline is pushing you forward and all conscious thought has left your brain except that lone desire to finish fast.  Man, I love that feeling, and I just hope that I can get more people to share that feeling.  But maybe unlike me they won't have to go down the road that I've chosen.  As I told Beth, my friend Tiffany's sister, that pain is my friend and running buddy.  It teaches me what I can take and rewards me with those natural endorphins that flood my brain to mask whatever terrible thing that I'm doing to my body at the time.  Mmmm.  Good times, good times.  All right, enough of the crazy talk.  The hard numbers:  2 runs today.  1 with my friend 1.84 miles at 12:23/mile and then another 1.4 miles at 8:14/mile by myself.  Okay kids, run hard and have fun!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Weight Loss Control

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  We're three full weeks into the New Year, and I've determined that my plan of more exercise and less eating is going less than stellar.  It's not terrible either.  As a matter of fact, my weight has firmly stayed exactly where I started.  All right, technically I've dropped .6 of a pound, but that's not statistically relevant enough, at least for me.  So the next step is the one that I'd been hoping to avoid, but now I have to admit the unavoidable.  I have to keep a food journal.  Ugh.  I hate writing that stuff down and keeping up with calories.  Double ugh.  But if I want to really make this whole weight loss goal work, I need to take some responsibility for the things that I put into my body.  What a pain.  But you gotta do what you gotta do.  After all, winners win.  Losers make excuses.  Besides if it was easy, everyone would do it.  Time to give 110%.  Whew.  I think that's all the trite cliches that I have left.  Now for the hard numbers:  4.02 miles at 8:08/mile.  It was a speed day, so I did a fartlek down to Church Street.  Of course, I was wearing new shoes and now I have a ridiculous blister on my foot.  Oh well.  Geek tip: The Green Lantern family of books and the Blackest Night mini-series is one of the best series I've read in a long time.  The whole zombie chic is a bit played out, but Geoff Johns has managed to make this zombie story viable.  Okay kids, have fun and run hard!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Girl Scout Cookie Conundrum

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week saw me doing something I never thought I would do:  I was selling Girl Scout Cookies.  Generally I have a policy against pushing my kids' fund raising crap on other people. After all, I don't want to buy their kids' crap, so then why should they buy mine?  But as usual, my lovely wife knew better.  She said that Girl Scout cookies are different, because people actually want those.  Throw in some  "baby girl cuteness" and suddenly I'm pimping out cookies with the best of them.  About half way through my cookie sales pitch, it occurred to me that maybe I shouldn't be hooking up the GSC addicts in my office with their next fix.  After all, am I not that obnoxious SOB flaunting my new found athleticism and healthy lifestyle down the throats of my poor, beleaguered staff, associates, comrades, and friends.  Am I not the know-it-all, tut-tut-tutting my way through the breakroom as others attempt to hide that extra slice of pizza?  Damn right, I am!  And now, I'm pushing buttery, sugary, chocolatey tagalong goodness on my hapless staff (actually, looking at the numbers, GSC's are generally not too bad considering that a serving size is 2 cookies or more and that most have less sugar than an oreo.  Still I wouldn't say that GSC's are approved diet food.  As for that "hapless" one held a gun up to their head.).  Do I feel guilty for the role that I've played in America's dance with obesity?  Maybe a little, but it's hard to be superior and holier-than-thou when you have no one to be superior or holier-than-thou to.  Plus if anyone is going to profit from the millions of GSC addicts out there, then my daughter should!  Ha!  Okay kids, have fun and run hard!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Hail my running brothers and sisters!  It's Wednesday.  That means two things:  an easy run and comics day.  Hard to say which matters to me more these days, but the answer may be in that I'm blogging about running instead of reading my weekly stack.  But I also know that I'll get my best rest falling asleep on the couch with a comic book draped over my chest.  Yes, I realize that I have a problem, but I can't shake it.  Oh, sure I've tried to kick my Wednesday habit.  I've tried weights and game magazines.  Pilates and biographies.  But nothing satisfies that itch like running and comics.  I could tell you about that 6 miler last year and issue number 26 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but a gentleman never tells.  Okay the hard numbers for today:  4 mile easy run at 8:10/mile.  Geek tip:  Seriously if you liked the show, then you need to be reading the comic series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  It picked up after show and has caught us up with all our old favorite characters.  Over two years into the series and it's still going strong.  All right kids, have fun and run hard!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Guns of Steel

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  Thanks to a more than fair amount of Nyquil daytime and nighttime and my superior genetic recuperation, I have all but fully bounced back from my cold.  I'm taking it safe for awhile, so just easy runs this week, at least till the weekend.  But worry not, my friends, I have the Iron Gym.  Now I will add guns of steel to my amazing biological arsenal!  Seriously though, I've only had it for a couple days, but it seems to work pretty well.  It's surprisingly light.but sturdy so far.  I thought for sure it would tear up my door frame, but so far, not even a minor dent in the wood.  Pretty cool, huh?  Okay hard numbers for today...I got in 5.15 miles at 8:44/min and of course a couple sets of chin-ups, 5 reps each.  Geek tip of the day:  Chuck, Season 3 is back on the air Monday nights on NBC.  Nerds, spies, and sexy spies.  You just don't any better.  All right kids.  Have fun and run hard!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Someone Pass the Sudafed

Hail my running brothers and ***cough, cough, hack, hack wheeze, wheeze, snorple, cough, cough, cough*** sisters.  Whew!  Ugh.  I'm afraid that I can no longer deny the ugly truth...I'm sick.  Not flu sick, but cold sick.  Stuffy head, can't breathe, runny nose, achy shoulders, cold sick.  When I could tell myself that it was just the sniffles and not a big deal, I could belt out a quick and easy 5 miles in under an hour and pick up the kids from school 10 minutes later.  Now I can barely pick up my head off my desk to gurgle a snide remark at my staff.  So I took off yesterday, no weights, no running.  Today I did some light weights and calisthenics.  I'm hopped up on Sudafed and Nyquil, power-bombing vitamin C, and guzzling orange Gatorade to drown out this cold.  And rest.  I should be getting some rest, but I can't disappoint you, my devoted fans.  Some would argue that it's porn and mindless internet banality that keeps me from much needed sleep, but I swear that it's my tireless devotion to you, my readers that drives me forward!

On a side, but not entirely unrelated. note, it's a wonder that anyone can keep their New Year's resolutions.  I'm sure that you all have noticed, like me, that we are currently being inundated with commercials and ads in magazines, on TV, on the radio, and on the internet promoting each company's weight loss secret and plan.  And like me, you know that it is useless to head off to the gym at least until February when the Resoluters throw in the towel and curl up on the couch with a carton of ice cream with the final season of Lost.  The usual problem is that most Resoluters come out like gangbusters and push themselves too hard, too soon and get hurt or they don't follow any real plan and get discouraged quickly.  Throw in that they're trying to work out and diet at the height of cold and flu season, and it's a wonder that anyone sticks with any kind of lifestyle change.  I've been doing this for over a year, and the thought of working out when I feel like a pile of frozen turds is almost unfathomable.  Lucky for me, I have been here before.  I know that sticking it out and that pushing myself incrementally will yield the results that I'm seeking.  So keep the faith, my brothers and sisters Run hard and ***cough, cough, cough*** have fun!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Run of the Year

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  I got in my first official run of the year this morning, and it was cold one.  I hate the cold.  I despise it with all fires of infernus.  After all, I'm a little brown man who was born on a small island in the Pacific close to the equator, so clearly my dna wasn't exactly designed to handle 19 degree temperatures.  But as it was, I needed a long run, so out I went.  I ran an errand and hit the road.  Did I mention that it was 19 degrees out?  Well it was.  So I bundled up, wearing a compression shirt, hoodie, pullover, 2 pairs of socks, compression shorts, tights, running pants and a hat.  I had on so many clothes, I looked like the little brother in A Christmas Story, and frankly I ran like him too.  I slugged out a 7.3 mile run at 9;19/mile.  I did part of it along the trails at Warner Parks.  I really am digging trail runs, and I wish that I had more chances to get hit the trails.

I didn't do too much stretching today, but I did run some "suicides." Remember back in grade school and high school, when the gym teacher/coach would brutalize you with sprints up and down the court all day.  Yeah that's what I'm talking about.  See I was helping out with son's basketball team, and when the coach told them to do suicides, I did them too.  I hated running suicides as a kid almost as much as I hate running in the cold now.  Did I mention it was 19 degrees this morning?  It was so cold that I had frost all over my clothes when I got back from my long run.  Ugh.  Okay back to the basketball practice.  Well the boys must have been tired from the holidays, because they were missing a lot of lay-ups.  Missed lay-ups=more suicide runs.  As hard as they were though, I really enjoyed them.  I liked running them so much, I just may have to work it into my training program to break up the monotony.

As a final note, congratulations to Chris Johnson, the running back for the Titans, for running 2,006 yards this season.  He joined 5 other running backs who ran over 2,000 yards in a single season.  He edged out O.J. Simpson in that field and passed Earl Campbell's franchise record of 1,934 yards back in 1980. Way to go, C.J.!  Okay kids, run hard and have fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010: New Year, New Goals, New Name

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  As I said in my last post, I decided to shake things up a bit as I'm wont to do.  For those of you who don't read my blog through Facebook, you'll already see the changes.  For those of you on Facebook, I've changed the title to "Running Geek"  and the subtitle is "I run to level up!"  I can't take credit for it all.  The idea came to me from a comment made by my awesome wife.  I've cleared out 2009's race results to make way for 2010's.  Not to worry though, I've left up my personal records so that everyone can revel in my past badassed-ness.

As for my 2010 goals, this is the part where if you're my wife, you should stop reading, so that you don't have to yell at me later for being a dumbass.  Okay, are we alone now?  Whew.  Here we go.

1.  Drop my weight down to 155 lbs and keep it there throughout the year.  I know that I've been there before, but I've backslid into 165 lbs.  I need to be lighter if I'm I'm going to achieve the rest of my goals for the year.
2.  Run a 21:11 5k.  6:50/mile avg.
3.  Run a 43:23 10k.  7:00/mile avg.
4.  Run a 1:43:00 half-marathon.  7:51/mile avg.
5.  Run a 3:30 marathon.  8:00/mile avg.

Now I know you're looking over these numbers, and just like all curious little kiddies, you're wondering two things.  First, how are you gonna do this Monkeyboy?  This year, my plan is to achieve more balance with my training.  Last year, I trained and trained till I over-trained and ended up hurting myself.  This year, I'm taking rest and recovery more seriously.  At least one day is a rest day;  no weights, no running.  My current plan is 3 days of running.  1 day of speed work, 1 easy day, and 1 long run.  The other 3 days are weight days with some light/easy running or cross-cardio-training.  While I prefer heading to the Y, my lovely wife got me a kettleball for Christmas, so I'll have an easier time working out at home.  I'll also be throwing in some yoga and stretching everyday to keep those pesky injuries at bay.  After a holiday spent eating like a little piggy, I've got to get my diet back in line.  That means sacrificing my inner Pilsbury dough boy, and going back to a high protein/low sugar diet.  The biggest changes will be to add more raw fruits and veggies per day and to stop eating after 9:30 PM.  Expect to see more posts each week also.  My training tends to change pretty often, so this way I can keep you, my fans updated to all the changes.  Also the blogging will keep me honest, and I'll just have to be accountable to all of y'all.  So don't let me slide!

Second, you're probably wondering why I'm not going for my Boston Qualifier this year.  Elementary, my dear Watson, I'm not going for my BQ this year, because I'm running way too much.  That's a real head-scratcher, huh?  To qualify for Boston, I need to run a 3:20:00 marathon.  Unless I can find a way to sneak in another marathon, I'm only running 2 marathons, and they just don't lend themselves well to chasing a BQ.  They're gonna be HARD!!!  Throw in that I'm planning on doing a 30+ mile ultamarathon in October and the ridiculous challenge of running one of my marathons through Percy Warner Park in November, that leaves me having to score my 3:30:00 marathon at the Country Music Marathon early this year.  That just doesn't leave me a ton of time to properly train for the time I would need to score a BQ.  So I'm running to reach my PR and build my endurance for next year when I go into high gear chasing that 3:20:00.

Well enough whining.  I'm looking forward to this year and to chasing my goals.  I hope that y'all will stick around to see how I do, and if you need any help, just give a holler.  I'm always ready to lend any advice or a different perspective on things.  Run hard and have fun kids!

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