Sunday, February 28, 2010

End of the Week Recap 2/28/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week I ran a total of 19:61 miles at an average pace of 7:50/mile.  I did 1:25:00 hours of cross-training/weights.  My weight checked in at 159 lbs today.  This was a rest/taper week as I went into my first race(s) for 2010.  While I would have liked to have broken 20 miles for the week, I won't beat myself up not getting my miles as my intensity stayed pretty high.  As for my race, I only did the 10K last year, but this year I did the 5K also and managed to better my 10K time by 8:18.  Next week will be tough as I go back to my regular run week.  Next week, I'm hoping to get in 38 miles and maintain my a"t least 10 minutes of cross-training each night" rule.  Throw in that I'm fighting the early stages of a cold, and I'll be lucky to get in 10 miles.  Okay, the Nyquil is starting to kick in, so I guess I'll go crash.  Have fun and run hard!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Race Judicata 5k/10k Race Report

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  I considered renaming this race report to "How to Burn Up Your Quads and Your Calves If You Hate Them," but I decided that was really just too long.  Today I returned to PWP to run in the Race Judicata 5K and 10K.  Clearly not one of my brightest moves because of the course difficulty, but I was feeling froggy from watching so much Olympics that I said, "What the heck...I'll go for it (Remember, no cussing during Lent.  Sigh.)"  It was a sunny but cold day at 31 degrees, but it warmed up pretty quickly.

Pre-race I went through my normal ritual of downing a PBJ sandwich and as much caffeine as I could handle, then it was off to the portapotty line, and then a quick warm-up at the starting line. I met my friends/co-workers, Matt and Tiffany, and we whined and bellyached about how hard this race would be.  The 5K started out with a bit of rolling hills causing me to speed up a bit too fast for the first mile.  Garmin said I averaged 7:11 on the first mile, but I know that I saw some 6:30's on the downslopes.  Around mile 1.5, the course's major hill slapped most everyone around to a crawl (other than those blessed elites.  I really hate those guys.  Keep in mind, it's pure jealousy for what they can do and what I can't, but still, the hate burns bright) and I was no exception.  While I slowed down to a HARD and painful 7:54/mile (thank goodness for the downslope on the back of the hill), I still managed a decent time through mile 2.  Mile 3.1 was mostly downhill, so I leaned forward, kept my feet moving under me, and let gravity take over as I blasted through the last mile with a 6:45 and the last .1 of a mile at a 6:26/mile pace.  It burned so bad that I could swear that I smelled the smoky remains of my quads as a staggered across the finishline.  Earlier in the week, I decided to go out hard on the 5K.  I figured an average pace of 7:30/mile would be pretty good for me, so I was extremely pleased with my time of 22:40, which is 7:19/mile!  After I settled my guts down and caught my breath, I quickly switched numbers for the 10K, grabbed a quick bite and a drink, and waited for my friends to finish.  Matt and Tiffany both finished strong, and I was pretty happy for them (It's easy to be happy for my friends as long as they don't beat me.  I'm shallow enough to admit it).

After the 5K was over, they showed quite a bit more sanity than me and left; leaving me to try to survive the 10K.  I got in line to use the portapotty again, but I quickly realized I wouldn't make it to the john before the race started.  So I found a break in the woods and used Nature's outhouse.  Then I caught up to my old college buddy, Pat, who was also running the 10k, so I hung with him for a a little bit before pressing the pace.  He's completed an Ironman, which totally amazes me.  Not by the fact that he could do it; the guy is a workout, health machine. I'm just shocked that I know someone that badass (Does that count as cussing?  Crap!).  Essentially the end of mile 1 and the beginning of mile 2 was just a mile long climb.  A really long, brutal, torturous climb that only a sadist could love and masochist could survive.  Mile 1, I did at 7:55/mile and mile 2, I did at 8:35/mile.  Mile 3, 4 and 5 were better with a 7:15. 7:49. and 7:48.  Nothing spectacular to note about those miles except that my leg started to cramp at mile 3 and I was sure that I would be on the news for having to be airliftted out of PWP.  There was another short climb at mile 5.5, which stopped me dead in my tracks and I found myself walking/dragging up the remainder of the hill.  I managed to finish the race with an 8:30 mile on mile 6, and a 7:09/mile pace on the last .2 miles of the race.  I had hoped to finish the 10K in 8:00 miles, so I was glad that I held on and finished in 49:29, 7:59/mile.  It was a close one with all the walking breaks that I had to take just to survive the race, but I still finished under my goal!

This year for running both the 5K and the 10K, runners got a towel with the race logo on it along with the technical shirt that all the runners received.  Not bad swag, even though I was hoping for arm warmers like last year.  I finished 8th and 14th in the 5K and 10K respectively in my age group.  Just another reminder that there are a lot of very fast people out there and a lot of them are in my age group, darnnit!  Still I'm pretty happy with the results for my first races of 2010.  Thanks to the Nashville Striders and all the great sponsors for putting on another great (if not ridiculously hard) race!  Run hard and have fun, kids!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Obesity Cold War, Part 2

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  As I said in Part 1 of this series (I think that this will be a recurring series of posts), trying to convert the obese en masse (heh) has not been successful, so my current plan is to convert assets 1 person at a time.  Then hopefully that person will inspire/convert another person, and then we'll soon have our ponzi scheme of Biggest Losers and Let's Movers.  I have drafted 1 of my co-workers into my plan (though admittedly, I haven't told her that she has been recruited into my cause).  We typically gang-up against other co-workers and sometimes her own family to emphasize how important a healthy lifestyle is.  It's had limited success so far, but I refuse to give up.  I've also started posting flyers of local races (here's one for your office) on my office door, so that anyone passing by can at least get some information.  After all, if you don't know about healthy options, then you can't start to pursue them, right?  S.O.P. suggests also preparing healthy alternatives for people to try.  I've been making an easy fruit salad lately that I've been serving at pot luck lunches, dinners, and parties.  Just cut up some strawberries, throw in some blueberries, and follow up with a can of mandarin oranges and no sugar added diced peaches.  If I want to make it look pretty, I'll layer them in a bowl.  Like I said easy, peasy.  Now for the hard numbers: running this week so far.  This is a rest/taper week before my races on Saturday.  I was supposed to get in 6 miles today, but I got out of court too late and didn't make it.  I'm hoping to make it up tomorrow, then another run on Thursday, rest on Friday and race on Saturday.  I did do some cross-training yesterday and today, but nothing overly strenuous.  All right, time for some rest.  Have fun and run hard!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

End of the Week Recap 2/21/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  For this week, I ran 35.57 miles at an average of 8:22/mile.  I only did 20 minutes of cross-training (Weak, I know).  As far as my weight, I broke 160, and weighed in at 159.8 lbs this morning and 158.4 lbs after my long run.  Yay for me, especially considering that my eating habits have not been great lately despite my Cold War campaign on obesity.  With this week, I believe that I have run every mile of the CMM.  The most interesting aspect of my training this week were 2 tempo runs of under 8:00/mile at 10k distance.  Hopefully, I can build on this speed going into the marathon and achieve a decent time.  The trick, of course, is to maximize my recovery so that I don't overtrain and injure myself in the process.  Next week, I'm changing things up a little.  My plan is to do at least 10 minutes or more of cross-training/conditioning every day. By doing some working out at night, I hope that I can carry some calorie burn through the evening before bed.  Next week is also a taper/rest week as I have my first race of 2010 on Saturday.  So no more than 3 days of running before Saturday, no more than 7 miles/run, and no running on Friday.  I'm running both the 5k and the 10k Race Judicata at PWP, so rest will be very important.  All right kids, I'm off to watch some Olympics.  Go USA!  Run hard and have fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Obesity Cold War

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  Fair warning:  This is a long post, which will be the first of a series of posts.

History of the War

This week marks the beginning of my Cold War campaign against obesity (Thank you Michelle O.)  A recent study of over 1,600 Tennessee participating schools found that obesity in children dropped from 40.9% in 2007-08 to 39% in 2008-09.  Yay, for the 1% drop;  boo, for the fact that nearly 50% of our children are considered obese (basically more pounds/body mass than they need to grow and develop).  If the statistics are correct, then Tennessee's numbers are still higher than the national average of 32% as found in another study.  This study suggested that obesity in children and adults may be leveling off, but still 68% of U.S. adults are either obese or overweight.  Holy schnike, people!  68% of people like you and me.  7 out of 10 people in your office or mine are obese.  4 out of 10 kids in my kids' school are considered obese.  Hey, I get it.  Kids are growing.  Some kids need more food to accommodate their growth.  Some kids are just bigger than other kids.  I know it's hard to get kids to eat a balanced meal.  Trust me I know.  My kids eat almost nothing, and if it's green, it better be a sprinkle on a cookie, darn it (I gave up cussing for Lent.  I was going to give up prideful boasting, but my wife said I couldn't handle it and she didn't want to live with me after Lent was over if I did).  But golly guys, if we don't do for our kids, who will?

Now don't get me wrong, this is not a fight I just joined.  My fight with obesity started over a year and a half ago with myself.  At 210 lbs, I wouldn't have necessarily called myself a fattie (at least back then), but looking back, I know that my weight was dangerously close to causing me real problems like diabetes and heart disease, both of which run in my family.  As some of my new employees pointed out today while looking at old pictures of our office staff, they did not recognize me as that fat, Chinese guy in those pictures, and it now made sense as to why I felt guilty about pimpin' out girl scout cookies.  

Since I've joined the fight, I've tried waging my war loudly and proudly.  I've bullied and bribed my staff into joining weight loss contests and offered tips on losing weight.  I've spotted friends as they worked out at the Y and taken others out on training runs.  I've challenged peers to join races and encouraged others to realize a half-marathon isn't really that bad.  I've even started a long-winded, self-aggrandizing blog spouting my trials and tribulations with running.  But for every 1 person that I've helped, I've lost 4 more as they just went back to their old lifestyle. Clearly the fast food insurgents are too entrenched, so now I have to change my tactics.  Taking a page from American foreign policy in the 60's and 70's, I'm now engaging in a cold war.  And yes, much like those in space, I too know that all warriors are cold warriors (10 geek points if you know what movie that line came from, and 10 more points if you know the name of the character).  I also realize that if you're reading this blog with any frequency, and are not related to me, then you're probably one of the converted.  Like me, you may have started working out, and now you too have caught the running bug.  Whether you do it for health or for the challenge, you continue to pursue this lifestyle, and like me, I assume that you've found excitement, joy and satisfaction from it.  It hasn't always been easy, but so far it has been rewarding.  So now it's time to pay it forward.  But I think this is enough for tonight, but stay tuned as I lay out my plan to take over the world!  Right, Pinky?

Now for the hard numbers:  Today I did 8.6 miles.  2.4 miles I did as a warm-up with a friend that I'm trying to get into running.  The other 6.2 miles were a tempo run that I did at 7:55/mile along part of the Country Music Marathon Course.  I hadn't intended on going that hard, but it was another beautiful day and I couldn't help myself.  I also got a little workout helping with my son's basketball team.  Those kids can go hard, and I had to really push myself to stay ahead of them!  All right, it's late and warrior needs sleep badly.  Fall out soldiers!  Have fun and run hard!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Snow Syndrome

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  With today's snow, I'm officially tired of winter, and I'm ready for spring.  I realize that this is not a new topic in the running blogsphere, but now I find myself drawn into the discussion.  I'm tired of sub-30 degree temperatures, 10 degree wind chill factors, dodging icy patches, snow pelting my face (okay, the snow is still cool, but I'm okay if it goes away), and slipping through the slush.  I'm sick of snot dripping down face, my breath burning from the cold, and then my breath freezing to my face.  I'm ridiculously tired of digging through my duffle bag for a pair of matching gloves and a hat, putting on enough layers so that I feel like I'm running in a sleeping bag, and peeling off wet, slushy socks after I'm done.  Now, the uninitiated and the neophyte might suggest that I try running inside on an indoor track, or God forbid, a dreadmill.  The problem with indoor tracks that I could use is that they tend to be narrow and short, so I never build up a great amount of speed without barreling through a crowd of walkers.  Then I also have to deal with the overwhelming feeling that I've turned into a giant hairless hamster running endlessly on that short track.  Ugh.  I won't even go into the numerous ways that I detest the treadmill.  Nope.  If I'm going to run, it better be outside. That being said, I blame that damn groundhog for all this snow.  Okay, now for the hard numbers:  I did an easy 5.2 mile run at 8:14/miles.  I didn't plan on going that hard, especially after a grueling 11 mile run yesterday, but I still managed the strong pace.  I'm still exploring the Country Music Marathon route, and I'm pretty confident that I'll have it down eventually.  Of course, it would be nice if the weather cleared up to do a decent long stretch of the course.  Well, enough ranting.  Have fun and run hard!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

End of the Week Recap 2/14/10

Happy Valentine's Day my running brothers and sisters!  This week I did 33.92 miles at an average of 8:13/mile, which included a .25 mile of barefoot training.  I did 1:02:24 hours of cross-training.  My weight started out at 160.2 lbs this morning and dropped down to 157.0 lbs after my long run.  As for my long run, it was one of those horrible runs where nothing seems to go right.  Sadly not every run is an endorphin wave of transcendence.  Sometimes the stress messes with you or you can't get out of your own head to enjoy your run.  Today, I returned to PWP for my long run.  I usually run east from where I park my car, but today I decided to start out heading west.  My time was alright, 8:39/mile, but my Garmin lets me cheat a bit.  See it pauses automatically when I stop, and though I wish that I could say it was the cross-winds that did it, I was so winded that I ended up stopping 3 or 4 times.  But that's not the worst of it.  You know where this is going, right?  Yup, I got lost.  I've run PWP, umpteen times, but switch directions and suddenly I have no idea where I am.  Eventually, I did figure out where I was and managed to get back to my car.  Sigh.  Still, it was a good training week overall.  I'm still feeling strong, if not a little sore.  I'm making headway with my weight, and I think that I'm managing my diet better (though I did eat way too much at my daughter's birthday party today).  I'm trying to run the Country Music Marathon route in bits and pieces to be ready for my home race.  Finally, my first race or the season is in a couple of weeks.  It's at PWP.  Hopefully I won't get lost.  Okay kids, have fun and run hard.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Biggest Loser Secret

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  It's another Tuesday night, so that means a new episode of The Biggest Loser.  There is nothing more inspiring than watching really fat people work off that ass!  Seriously though, if you're watching this show and you can't get inspired to move the bucket of chicken off your lap and bang out a push-up, you are too far gone, my friend.  Not only does this show give you good tips for eating and working out, they also talk about the head stuff that often gets in the way of serious weight loss.  We all know that in this age of Big Macs and chilli cheese fries, it's hard to eat right.  Throw in the stress of that annoying guy running through the office declaring how awesome he is while throwing girl scout cookies at you, so it's a wonder that anyone loses weight these days.  A lot of times, it's a bit touchy-feely but the message still holds true:  living a healthy life style is hard, but rewarding work.  Those guys really are inspiring...sweaty, but inspiring.  Now for my Biggest Loser secret:  I love to eat dessert while I watch the show.  Even as I type this and Melissa is whining about being kicked off the show, I'm drinking a glass of low-fat chocolate milk and eating a small bowl of dark chocolate chips and cinnamon gold fish.  Hmmm, good.  Okay, now for the hard numbers:  No running today.  It was a cross-training day.  I did 15 minutes on the stationary bike and 15 minutes of weight training.  All right, time for some rest.  Have fun and run hard!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

End of the Week Recap 2/7/10

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  This week I did 32.88 miles at an average of 8:22/mile.  I did 1:16:00 hours of cross training, which included 16 minutes of exercise bike.  My weight went up a bit to 162 thanks to Super Bowl Parties and my daughter's birthday party with her classmates.  I had done fairly well all week till the end, when my office had a pot luck lunch in honor of the Super Bowl.  As a side note, congratulations to the Saints on their first Super Bowl win, but I have to admit that I was pulling for the Colts.  Peyton was at UT when I was there, so I have to keep the faith.  You still my dawg, Peyton, even though you  threw that pick at the end of the game.  Okay, back on topic.  I did a long run today of 16 miles with the Nashville Striders.  I averaged 8:39/mile, which is right where I wanted to be.  Admittedly, it was tougher at the end then I was hoping, but I'm still happy with my run this morning.  While I'm being totally honest, I have to admit that I did not have a 16 miler planned for this week.  I was reviewing the Striders' training schedule with one of my followers, and I decided at the last minute to go ahead with the run.  I'm glad I did it, but I have no idea why I'm not hurt.  It was a tough run  considering that I was just not ready for it.   Okay, I'm gonna crash before I fall asleep on my keyboard.  Have fun and run hard!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Lost Imperative

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  I've been pretty bad about keeping up with the blog lately.  In my defense, I've been trying to catch up with Lost in time for Season 6 to start.  I had quit watching after Season 2, and to date, I've made it through the middle of Season 4.  Not bad for about a weeks worth of television watching, but sadly this leaves little time for blogging.  I figure with a little effort, I should be able to finish Season 5 by next week.  Then I'm straight into Season 6.  Ah, Lost, how you're convoluted story-telling and confusing plotlines have so entertained me.  I cursed the recap episodes, swore at the ridiculously long spans of time between episodes, drank in honor of the fallen characters, and delighted in the some of the most engaging and thought provoking television that I've watched in years.  I'll miss you when you're gone.  Now don't think I've haven't kept up with my running, because I have.  Not even Lost can keep me from my running.  Now for the hard numbers:  I did a 4.6 mile easy run at a 8:16/mile.  It was a decent run in the cold rain after a particularly hard abs class at the Y.  Apparently being skinnier doesn't mean that my core is any real shape.  A word to you fledgling runners, remember to build up your overall strength as well as your mileage.  You'll reduce the possibility and severity of injuries as well as build up your endurance for all those long runs.  All right kids, have fun and run hard!

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