Monday, June 6, 2011

Crossway Mile

Every year my church does a 1-mile race on our church property to kick off the summer picnic season. This year was my first year running it. And I had a running partner...

Yes, it's true, my son Lane has his own Vibram Five Fingers and has started running with me! He's only gone a few times, but he does great. For the mile, he only had to stop twice to take a break, one of those times on a pretty tough hill. It was great to see the determination on his face as we started off, with Lane weaving around folks as he was passing them by. His time was 9:34! Way to go Lane, I'm so proud of you. If he sticks with it, I fear that it won't be long until he's a much better runner than I am!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Speed Work & New Vibrams

Over the past few weeks (since the half), I've been doing interval and speed training. A grueling task, but worth the effort. Today I ran 5.6 miles at an 8-minute mile pace! That's almost a whole minute off of my previous pace for anything over 5 miles. If I could keep up that pace for a long run, I'd be happy.

On another note, I ordered a new pair of Vibrams. My first pair (still wearing them) are starting to wear thin on the bottom. When I got my new ones, I really had no idea that they had worn so thin. I wish I would have kept track of the miles I have on them. I'll have to for this pair. I got the KSO's again. I've been happy with them, so there's really no need to get anything different. All the reviews I've read still put the KSO's above the rest, so I'm sticking with what works.

Garden Spot Half Marathon

I've been neglecting this...and have a very important update. It's been over 3 weeks since I ran the Garden Spot Half Marathon. My time was 1:56:16, which was over 3.5 minutes faster than my time last fall. I didn't have the same problem with my calves tightening up like they did last fall. I'm learning that a lot of things probably contributed to that. First of all, I'm a stronger runner than I was last fall. Second, I was probably partially dehydrated, which can lead to muscle cramps. So I'm a bit more seasoned of a runner and was destined to improve. I could have pushed myself a bit harder, but there were some pretty tough hills on that course, so I still feel good about my time.

April & the kids came out to see me off again. And this time, they drove out to about the 6-mile mark, which was right before the turn-around. So I got to hear them cheering me on at the beginning and twice in the middle of the race. April, you're the best...honest, I'm really not trying to pick races on cold Saturday mornings. Thanks for hauling the kids out in the cold and supporting me. Hey, at least it wasn't raining!

For the first few miles, I ran with a friend of mine, Jeremy Landis. He was running the full marathon. After about 3 miles (we had been running right around a 9-minute mile), he held back a bit and I kept going. His family was all there cheering him on. And they were cheering me on as well. After he held back, I could tell that he was about 30 seconds behind me. I'd see his family and they'd all cheer for me (a very loud and rowdy bunch). Then about 30 seconds later, I'd hear them again. Thanks Landis' for coming out and cheering us both on!

So I'm not sure what's next. A full marathon is something that I still want to do, so I'll try to keep in half-marathon shape until I figure out what race(s) I want to do this fall. I have a few options, so I just need to make a decision.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

One Week

It's been a few weeks since an update and since my next half-marathon is a week from today, I thought I better post something. I've been enjoying the "warmer" weather that the groundhog predicted (can you pick up on the sarcasm?). Ok, there's been a nice day or two here and there, but it's still been pretty cold and windy. But I've managed to get my long runs in over the past few weeks and I'm feeling pretty good about next week.

Last week's 12-mile training run felt good and I ran at a decent pace. If I can keep up the pace for another mile, then I should be in good position to shave about 5 minutes off my time from last fall (1:59:56). My knee is still giving me a little pain on those long runs, but it has definitely improved.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm (Halfway) Out

Well, I'm kind of disappointed, but I won't be doing the marathon on April 9th. My problem with my knee surfaced again this past Friday, this time after about 12 miles. The muscles just tightened up and it became incredible painful to run. Needless to say, I didn't complete my 18-mile run on Friday. I had to quit at 16 miles.

I think that because I didn't get back on my training schedule as soon as I should have after my surgery in December. Mostly because I was just not motivated for some reason. I guess I got lazy. Then, when I did decide to jump back into my training, I didn't ease into the long distances and I pushed myself too hard.

So I registered for the half-marathon on that day instead. I'm looking forward to that and hopefully will be able to improve on my time from last fall. I'm disappointed, but I also know that I have a lot to be proud of and thankful for. After all, running 13 miles in a half-marathon is still a pretty good acomplishment. And if I can knock a few minutes off of my time from last fall, I'll be thrilled.

The countdown is on...only 39 days! So if you're not doing anything Saturday, April 9th, the race starts at 8am and I should finish somewhere in the 9:45-10am range. For full details, see .

Monday, February 21, 2011

Just For Fun?

Yeah, so that "just for fun" option of bumping up to 12 miles didn't happen. I didn't want to push myself too hard. It's hard enough to gear myself up mentally for those long runs without putting any extra miles on just for fun. But I'm going to try 18 miles this Friday, so we'll see how it goes. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Friday's 10-mile run was great. It was 65 degrees and partly sunny. Running outside in shorts and a t-shirt felt great. But somewhere around 6 or 8 miles my right knee started giving me some problems. By the end of my run, it was pretty stiff. Later that day, I could barely walk...mostly because I sat down at my desk for the rest of the afternoon and it tightened up even more. I put some ice on it that night and by Saturday morning I didn't even think of it until the first time I tried to go down some stairs. It wasn't painful, just a dull ache.

Today I ran 4 miles and it was as if nothing had ever happened. I didn't feel a thing. Maybe it has something to do with running outside for the first time in a couple months. So we'll see how this Friday goes. And, if all goes well, I'll be registering for the marathon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

In or Out?

So the big question is did I sign up for the marathon yet? No, sadly, I haven't. The registration deadline before the fee goes up is the end of February. So I'm giving myself a bit of extra time to feel good about my progress.

Last Friday I managed to get in a 16-mile run on the treadmill. I did just kind of get into a groove and didn't think about the fact that I was running for 2.5 hours and didn't really go anywhere. I saw many people come into the gym, do their workout and leave...all while I was busy running nowhere. It wasn't a lot of fun, but it can definitely be done. Especially since I figured out how to override the 60 minute time limit on the treadmill.

So this week's long run is only 10 miles. I may bump it up to 12 just for fun, especially since it's supposed to be really nice outside tomorrow. I haven't run outside since just before Christmas, so I'm looking forward to that.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back On

Last week I made an effort to get back on track with my training. After all, the Garden Spot marathon is only 60 days away. I'm right on schedule, so as long as my muscles didn't forgot how to run long distances, I should be ok. I ran 10 miles last Friday and didn't really have any muscle soreness or anything that would indicate I shouldn't keep going. So this week I'm going to try 16 miles and see how it goes. If all goes well with that, then I should be in good shape to register for the race.

I need to prepare myself mentally again. Running 10 miles last Friday was very helpful with that. Especially since I ran those 10 miles on a treadmill. Not very exciting. And with all the snow on the ground, I don't think I'll be running outside this week either.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Off Course

So since recovering from surgery, I haven't been able to get back on my normal training schedule. I've still been able to fit in 3 or 4 runs per week, including 1 long run of at least 5 miles and at most 10 miles. I have to be honest, with all the snow on the ground it's hard to stay motivated. The thought of running 10+ miles on a treadmill disturbs me. On top of that, work has been extremely busy lately (losing a couple of people from my team), and I've been tied up with some pretty major projects there. Taking 2 or 3 hours to go run in the middle of the day is hard for me to justify right now.

I'm not ready to say I'm not going to run the Garden Spot marathon this spring, but I am evaluating whether or not it is the best timing for me. Regardless, a marathon is still in my future, and I am most definitely not going to quit running. I'm going to see if I can get back on schedule and maybe I'll still do the one in the spring. But there are lots of marathons in the fall that I can train for. Like I already said, I still want to complete one. I'm just not sure which one right now.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Back To Training

A good week this week. I didn't quite follow my training schedule this week. Since starting up again after my surgery, I noticed that my heart rate is up a bit, which means it's harder to maintain my old pace. But I've been trying and so I wanted to run everyday this week instead of having my usual Thursday off. So here's what I did:

Monday - 3 miles
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 6 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - 10 miles

I wanted to push myself a little bit today so that I can whip my leg muscles back in shape. Now, after sitting down for an hour after my run, my legs are a little stiff and sore, but not too bad. It's the kind of stiff and sore that feels good after a hard workout. So I'll take the weekend to recover and try to get back to my normal schedule next week.