Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Already Rethinking 2012?

So I haven't planned on attempting to run a full marathon in 2012 because I want take time to focus on transitioning into Vibrams without being having the pressure of not completing the training or getting injured because of going too far before I'm ready.  However, after talking to a co-worker (who has run about 10 marathons, most recently was last year), I'm starting to rethink my plan for the year.  He thinks that I would have enough time to transition and start a beginner's marathon training plan if I wanted to run a fall race like the Marine Corps Marathon in late October.

The good news is that I don't have to commit to the race yet because the MCM registration doesn't open until 7 March.  I have a while to see how things are going before attempting (it closes quick right?) signing up and the 18 Hal Higdon training plan wouldn't start until late June.

And to think that all of this crazy talk comes before I've consumed any eggnog! 

What do you think, is fall marathon doable, not how about a half?  

Am I taking the "Clear Your Mind" suggestion too far or am I being a pansy about the idea of attempting a full marathon?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Clear Your Mind

This past weekend we had a great time visiting Lady M’s extended family in Wilson NC.  I wasn’t able to run on Friday so I had to reschedule it until Sunday morning.  I could have ran outside but since I was only going 1.5 miles I decided to take advantage of the hotels fitness room and it’s treadmill.  The run itself was very uneventful but this mantra on the mirror provided something for me to ponder, which forced me to do the opposite of what it suggested...curse you Hampton Inn!

This suggestion does not requried much effort.  Wait a second…done. 
This ability is one of the tops reasons why I'm glad I'm not a female (having to give birth to kids is my all time #1 reason).  Most men can think about absolutely nothing.  We can turn off our brain and just veg out.  Lady M doesn’t understand how I can do this, but its quite simply really.  There are three steps:
1. Lay/sit down
2. Turn on the TV
    a.  Might required changing the station to sports, however, the Disney Channel has proven to be  effective in providing a “no thinking environment”
3. Stop thinking
WARNING: Be sure to turn brain back own before answering any questions, this might result with girls attempting to paint your fingernails or put makeup on you!  Not that this has happened to me but I've "heard" about this from other guys.  (If this does happen to you don't freak out, most likely "play makeup/fingernail polish" was used and it can be washed off with warm soapy water in a manner of minutes)

It is nice to be a guy so that we can turn off our brains every now and then.  However, when turning of your brain I don't recommend keeping it off for a prolonged period of time.  Your wife and kids won't like it! 

I'm looking forward to a couple times where I can go into a "Brain Free Zone" mixed in with playing with the girls, spending more time with family and going for a few runs over the Christmas Holidays. 

What do you think?

What are your best places to turn off your brain? My personal favorite place is either in my office (when I can get a chance to go there by myself) and the chair in front of the TV.

Do you have an recommendations (attire, food, TV show, etc) on how to best make use this gift?  Pajama pants, my 2006 USAF Half Marathon shirt, and wool socks, coffee, and Phineas and Ferb seem to work the best for me

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Random Facts

1. I hope my Injinji socks help with the blisters from Wednesday’s run.  This is the first time that I’ve gotten blisters from my VFFs (been wearing them since last June), maybe I need a new pair.  Did you hear that Santa?
2. I gained an Acquisition mentor this week today.  Now I just need to figure out what I want to do God’s called me to do when I retire…I want to be ready long before these final 8 years are up!
3. I’m seriously thinking about re-starting (sometime in 2012) my efforts at Liberty to get my MAR/MDiv, see #2 above.
4. I can’t remember the last time I cleaned out my coffee mug at work…that should be a high priority before taking Christmas leave.
5. We are getting a about a 4% pay raise (before taxes) in 2012.  Dave Ramsey will be proud of where that pay raise is going.
6. I’m a bit surprised that after 2 VFF runs this week I have very little soreness…and my pace per mile has gone down a considerable amount!
7. I have the best wife and girls in the world, I can't wait to take a full week of leave to spend with them!
8. Best Christmas movie ever: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Hope everyone is haveing a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

2012 New Year's Resolutions

It’s almost that time again…have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions?  You know the list of grand ideas and goals that will inevitably be doomed by mid February.  Back in January, I came up with a list of running goals that I wanted to accomplish. Unfortunatley I only suceeded in 2 out of the 6 goals for the year.  Hopefully I will learn from this past year and do better in 2012. 
1. Stay healthy FAIL.  Ended up on crutches for about a month after having scar tissue removed
2. Run 1000 miles FAIL.  According to Dailymile I only ran 343 miles.  I know that I’ve logged some miles not posted on DM so I’ll give myself 400 miles…still way short of my goal
3. Run a 10K PASS.  George Washington Birthday Classic 10K (1:01:24); missed my personal goal to run a sub 1 hour but this was my first 10K so my ultimate goal was to just finish
4. PR in a 5K FAIL.  Only ran one 5K and there was no way I would every PR with the debacle we experienced
5. PR in a Half Marathon PASS.  My previous PR was 2:17:24 so running a 2:11:55 met my goal.  Additionally I set a personal goal of beating Paula Radcliffe’s WR time at the FULL Marathon (2:15:24) and I accomplished that goal as well.
Here are my goals for 2012.  All goals are related in nature so that I am essentially working at achieving all of them at the same time.  Specifically if I can achieve #2 then I'm well on my way to achieving #3.  It might be cheating but hopefully it serves as additional motiviation for me. 
I waivered on making the goals realistic so that they would be “easy” to achieve but then I read Goal Setting: 13 Secrets of World Class Achievers by Vic Johnson.  When talking about setting up your goals (specifically lifetime goals) Vic said that if your goal “doesn’t make you a little nervous – you know that feeling in the pit of your stomach; if it doesn’t take your breath away from the first time you think about it, it’s probably not big enough”.  Thinking back at 2010 my personal goal of beating Paula Radcliffe was a little daunting so it’s no wonder why I was so focused on achieving it.  Yet after finishing the race, I still wonder if I could have gone faster.  Perhaps my goal was not big enough. 
1. Weigh 180
2. PR the 1.5 (sub 11:42) mile run on the USAF PT Test
3. Run a sub 25 min 5K
4. Run 750 miles
5. Successfully transition into VFF
6. Run with my daughter in her school’s 1 mile fun run
For this year, I am setting two goals that meet Vic’s standards, the sub 25 min 5K, and the PR 1.5 mile.  They are big enough to make me nervous.  I am not planning on running a half marathon because I want to fully transition into the VFF’s.  If I feel that I can handle it after transitioning, and there is one available, I will think about adding to the schedule.  There should be no excuses for me NOT to achieve any of these goals (assuming that I do not go back on crutches). 
What are your goals for 2012?
I'd love to hear your goals especially the ones that give you that “feeling in the pit of your stomach”? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running with Lady M

I have not posted anything in quite awhile because well, frankly, I am just lazy. I can give you a whole bunch of meaningless details of how we’ve been out of town, I haven’t been running as much and life was real busy but the honest truth is that I was lazy. However, I want to get off my lazy bum and post something of which I am EXTREMELY proud.

Last December year my girls cheered for me as I ran the Fairfax Four Miler. As we drove home from the race I told Lady M and I would love to run at least ONE race with her. By her own admission, her response at the time was “Yeah, don’t hold your breath!” Well, she started running over the summer, got injured (twice) and still decided to run a race with me!

This past weekend we ran the Hot Chocolate 5K here in D.C. The race itself was lacking in a ton of areas. I have never been a part of a race that was so disorganized yet this post is not about the inadequacies of the race, rather how my wife rocked out her first 5K.  In preparing for the race, we decided that to run/walk our way through the course so that we did not re-injure her leg. We also agreed that we did not care what the clock said once we crossed the finish line, the goal was to finish…without injury!

After leaving the house at 0445 to pick up two of Lady M's friends we made it to the National Harbor with plenty of time to spare.  At the time we thought we got there way too early but in hindsight I'm glad we left when we did.  Eventually the time came to line for the 5K start so we lined up in the back of the pack because of our run/walk strategy.  Then we waited and waited and waited and yes waited some more. They finally started the race about an hour past the original start time.  It took us over a mile before we could actually start running without being forced to stop because of so much traffic on the course.  This was not my idea of the first race for Lady M, I hated that we had such a bad experience however, in the words of the great theologians, Monty Python, I decided to “Always look on the bright side of life!”  The race's issues actually reinforced that we were not going to be setting any PR's.  They actually helped us focus on having fun, enjoying fellowship with friends and finishing without looking at the clock. Plus, there were crazy log jams on the course and there was no way we could have ran the entire course with out walking even if we wanted to!  The best part of the race was the Ghirardelli chocolate at the end, that is one area where they nailed it.  I would have like a bit more chocolate but I can't complain since there were over 20K people running!

Lady M might not like this pic!

All in all, I could not have asked for a better chance to run with Lady M.  Sure I would love to have a jacket that has more thickness than a trash bag or a race that wasn't run backwards but I wouldn't trade this past Saturday for anything!  Now I just hope that Lady M will run another one!

Update...I can't believe I forgot to add pictures! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Rare Day in My Life

I absolutely love Saturdays that do not have anything on the schedule and it seems like an eternity since we’ve had one.  So armed with nothing on the agenda, I tried my luck at getting an Air Force hair cut at Quantico (this is always a risky thing to do) and to take the girls to the commissary.  We achieved reasonable success since I still have a decent amount of hair and the girls are still alive! 

I do have say a huge THANK YOU to the barber shop for giving both Claire and Madalynn two suckers and cleaning up the drink that they spilt.  I guess I should also thank the lobsters in the seafood section at the commissary because Claire and Madalynn were happy to watch them crawl around.  Surprisingly they did not make a big deal of me telling them they were soon to be on someone’s dinner plate.

Thanks to a successful family outing I actually had some time to mess around on the guitar after watching this Mercy Me video:

Another installment of MercyMe's Cover Tune Grab Bag. For more on MercyMe and more Cover Tune Grab Bags, visit

Even thought my fingers hurt because I have not played in a while it felt good not handcuffed to a schedule for a while!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ending the Streak and Finding My Wife’s Boyfriend

So, after a long hiatus due to work, school, life, and being lazy, I’ve decided to start trying to update the blog with some effort of consistency. (Thank you to the 2 of you who asked when my next blog post would be written.) It’s been 129 days between since I last posted something…that streak ends now:

In a nutshell here is an abbreviated recap since my last post. Stitches removed, went to work, celebrated Lauren’s first birthday, lost weight, gained all of the weight back, watched Claire start 1st grade, started my best Dave Ramsey impression, watched a lot of NCIS, and went on a date with Michelle to find out that she has a boyfriend!

What was the highlight of this 129 day span…you guessed it, the date where I realized that Michelle has a boyfriend. We spend this past weekend attending a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference hosted by Family Life. No, we are not having marital issues, we just took advantage of an opportunity to get away for the weekend (without kids) to refocus and strengthen our relationship. To be honest, we didn’t learn any earth shattering news or long lost theological thoughts on marriage but I was well worth every penny we spent.

I am so thankful for our weekend because I was reminded how much fun it was to “date” Michelle. The last time that we were able to spend an overnight trip without the kids was over a year ago…when Michelle was pregnant with Lauren. It’s amazing what 72 hours of non-stop direct access to the love of your life can do for your relationship. I knew that priorities change when you have a kid two kids three kids but I didn’t realize how much they changed. I keep letting this boyfriend of hers get lost in mix of other duties such as being a husband, father, bread winner, etc…for the family. Now that I’ve found him I need to let him come over and spend some time with Michelle on a regular basis.

I know have a renewed motivation to accomplish God’s plan for our marriage and our girls. If you have an opportunity to attend one of these conferences I highly recommend it, especially if you can schedule it with a group of friends. We had a chance to visit some of Michelle’s friends, whom I affectionately call the UNC mafia, as they attended with their husbands as well.

So, for the two of you who actually read this blog, thanks for the encouragement and motivation to writing start again. I hope to have another post done no later than 128 days!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Foot Growth Update

So yesterday, I went to the doc to see if they could determine the mutant adaptation that is growing on the arch of my left foot.  Unfortunately, she did not have a clue so she put in a referral to see a podiatrist so they could take a look.  She expected that it would need to be "cut out".  I am hoping they can do a better job than me because my attempts didn't resolve the situation.

I have an appointment next Wednesday to let the next doc look at it.  I expect I will have to make another appointment after that so they can try to fix it.  I have been told that it could take anywhere from two weeks to a month to schedule the "removal" if needed.  Once that happens, I should expect to be on a "waiver" preventing me from running for another two weeks. 

I guess it is time to start doing some P90-X workouts. 

One bit of good news is that I started the last class of my master's degree!  The bad news is that the next eight weeks will be spent in the basement office doing research and writing a paper.  I can not wait till it is over because 4-5 hours of sleep each night is starting to get really old!

Friday, April 29, 2011

RUNNERD Qualifications

What does it mean to be a runnerd?  According to the cafepress here is the definition. 

RUNNERD:  a person who does not conform, often highly intelligent but socially rejected because of their obesssion with running. A runnerd will run in any condition and is either constantly running, thinking about running, or talking about running.

So according to that explanation I think I am on the verge of becoming one. 

Constantly Running
This is one area where I fall short.  I have attempted to run in the past two weeks thanks to unexplainable very tender, blister, callous, wart, sore thingy on the arch of my foot.  I first noticed this right before the National Half and thought it was a blister yet it never went away.  Then I thought it was a combination of a blister that formed underneath a never went away.  Finally, I decided to play doctor and take matters into my own hands pocket knife.  Twice I've dug out the area that was causing me problems but the pesky thing keeps coming back.  My sister-in-law, a registered nurse, thought it was plantars wart so I took appropriate action.  The thing is still here.  It looks like I will be going to the doc to figure out what it is and what needs to be done.

Thinking about Running
In the two weeks that I haven't ran I've done a lot of thinking and ready about running.  I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, which has inspired me to really concentrate on my form and start getting serious about my diet.  It is a great book (as if you haven't already heard from the other gazillion of people who ready it).  I promptly downloaded three more running books on my kindle Running With God by Barry Simpson; The Long Run by Matt Long and Charles Butler; and The Barefoot Running Book First Edition by Jason Robillard.  This is an addition to my obsessively reading your runner blogs. 

Talking about Running
Lady M has heard her fair share of my whines about not running and my attempted transition to VFFs.  God bless her because she hasn't told me to stop.  On more than one occasion she has told me to go for a short run to see how the arch is feeling...however that only leads to longer discussions on what this growth is.  To her credit she has boasted a few times how she has ran more weekly miles than me during my short hiatus as she is in the middle of a "Couch to 5K" program.

So, I'm pretty sure that I'm about ready to submit my application, learn the secret handshake and become a card carrying runnerd.  There are worse things right?

What are you currently reading and books would you recommend?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Running News to Share

I’ve been out of touch with the blogging world for a while since we went on a quick trip to family in the Carolina’s and since I’m transitioning to the VFF my runs are pretty much non-existent and well…lame.  I was hoping to get a few short runs in over the extended weekend but that never happened.  The closest I got was chasing (in the VFFs) the kids around the yard for about 30 minutes.  I wish I had my Garmin on so I could actually see how far I ran and to see how the the GPS would track me climbing all over the fort/swing set.  The good news is that my calves weren’t sore at all.  I can’t wait to “officially” run tomorrow.

Since I don’t have anything running related to share I’ll torture you with a story about my kids:  About 7 hours into our 8 hour drive on Friday, my two oldest girls were singing to their praise and worship CD.  Lady M and I couldn’t be prouder as they sounded like angels.  Attempting to provide some fatherly love, encouragement and wisdom I started to tell the girls how proud I was of them.  I wanted to tell them that not only did they sound beautiful and look beautiful but they also had a beautiful character in that they were praising God.  I didn’t get that far.  After stating that I was proud of them my middle daughter (age 2) yelled out, “Anybody want to see my boobie!?”  The oldest daughter just laughed.  It was all I could do to stay on the road!

Needless to say I had to rethink my words about their character!  It’s a good thing that she is only 2 because if was older I would be really worried!  Now, that you’ve heard my girls are already being scouted by the producers of “Girls Gone Wild”, I feel I need to provide proof that they didn’t start with those ambitions.  Here is my youngest taking a nap while loving on a baby doll.  How can something this sweet turn into a flasher? 

Lauren's Nap

Maybe it is because they come from the same gene pool that gets excited about beating silly games.  Here is a picture of my finest moment of the mini-vacation.  I’m not expecting a Nobel Peace Prize in their future!


Finally congrats to all you Boston finishers!  I am impressed and motivated to run in your footsteps.  I can’t wait to read all of your race recaps!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Things Thursday

{ONE} Running With The Girls

Yesterday two of my three daughters decided that they wanted to go for a run with me and since I'm in the transitioning phase to my VFFs I was only going to run 1/2 mile and go slow I eagerly let them (see yesterday's Wordless Wednesday) for the pic.  However, I knew that we would be going slower than I wanted to when my oldest decided to ride her scooter but I was not prepared for how slow we went.  We stopped about 6 times to let my oldest daughter catch up...and even to get a drink of water.  When she decided to ditch the scooter and actually "run" (with perfect form) I couldn't keep up!  My youngest (9 months old) absolutely loved being the the running stroller.  So I think I have a new running partners for now!

{TWO} Random Observations of a Dad

Having a four females (wife and three daughters) in the house I often use the use the "4" key when typing, blogging, filling out forms, emails...etc.  Yesterday I noticed that the "4" key is shared with the "$" sign.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

I'm not going to complain because I'm sure they can say that my running habit can be expensive...especially if I keep on wanting to participate in more races.

{THREE} Theme Song for the Next Race(s) - Underdog by Audio Adrenaline

I am so weak and I'm so tired
It's hard for me to
Find enough strength to feed the fires
That fuel my ego
And consequently all my pride has all but died
Which leaves me
Down on my knees
Back to the place I
Should have started from

Been beat up
Been broken down
Nowhere but up
When you're face down
On the ground
I'm in last place
If I place at all
But there's hope for this underdog!
That's the way, uh-huh, we like it!
That's the way, uh-huh, we like it!
You can call me the underdog

I'm in this race to win a prize
The odds against me
The world has plans for my demise
What they don't see
Is that a winner is not judged by his small size
But by the substitute he picks to run the race
And mine's already won

This song really motivated me during the last mile of the National Half Marathon while I wasn't really "weak and tired" as the song says but it still helped me pick up the pace.  Secretly I would love to BQ but I know there are a lot of hurdles (like running surviving a marathon and enjoying it enough to do it again and again and again) that need to be cleared before I can even think about do that.  All that being said this song provides a lot of motivation to test the limits of my running ability.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Three Things Thursday

{One} Possible Government Shut Down...for who?
I have to be honest; my motivation for next week will be just about zero if the government decides to shut down at midnight tomorrow.  I am one of those people who will still have to come to work even though I'm not getting paid to so that really stinks.  Another thing that bothers me is how this puts a damper on my desire to find another race (or two) in the upcoming months.  In my mind I can't justify spending money on races knowing that I won't have an income for awhile.  Maybe I need to look more into creating the running group/ministry at church for extra motivation.

{Two} Group Runs and/or Running Clubs
The idea of meeting a group of people to run has always created anxeity for me.  There are two reasons for this 1) I'm afraid that I won't be able to keep up with the group therefore lagging behind by myself.  2) I'm afraid that some members of the group will feel sorry for me so they slow their pace down for me...which in turn ruins their run for that day.  For example, both times I've ran with a co-worker he slowed down to stay with me for the majority of the run.  Around the final mile he sped up to salvage the run.  Now he has never told me that was the reason for leaving me in the dust but I'm pretty sure that's why. 

{Three} Group Runs and/or Running Clubs Etiquette? Even with my apprehensions listed above I still feel the need, or call if you will, to get a group of people from my church to meet on Saturday mornings to run.  However, we would do more than just run we would also look for ways use the sport of running and its community help minister to the local area.  With this comes the challenge of providing an organized meeting that is suitable for runners from the newbie to the veteran marathoner. 

So my question goes is for all of you who take part in group runs or running clubs.

How do your groups/clubs incorporate runners with various skill levels and goals? 

If you enjoy your group/club what is it that you enjoy?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are You 'N Syncd with Google Calendar?

Since my life (work schedule, church schedule, girls school and dance schedule, etc...) is laid out in Google Calendar I've been searching for a way to add a get my running schedule syncd with it so that it is with me at all times.  This also allows me to use the weather feature so I know how bad mother nature will torture me during my runs. 

My number one priority in getting my training onto the calendar is for me NOT to manually input the entire thing.  Fortunately there are people who are a lot smarter than me who developed a program that will create the schedule and provide the ical link so that it can be imported into you calendar. 

This one only allows you to use Hal Higdon's Training Plans: Your Training Calendar.  It's nice if you are following one of his plans but it only allows you to import that 12-week schedule, not your personal schedule.  Additionally, this does not allow me to share my schedule with fellow runners, who use Google Calendar.

Do you have your running schedule syncd with Google Calendar?  If so did you import it or manually do it yourself?  Can you share it with other people?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Its going to be a long summer…

Even though today’s run on par with my normal 5 mile pace it was still the hardest run of the year.  I usually take two rest days after my Saturday long runs so my legs were still tired.   Add to the tired legs and warmer weather and I tried to keep up with much faster co-worker.  All of this combined created a rough run…especially the last mile.  For the 4 out of the the 5 miles I stayed within the overall recommend range of 9:45 – 10:15 in McMillian’s Running Calculator.

1 mi- 9:45.  Feeling strong and impressed that we nailed the lower end of the range.
2 mi- 9:47.  Still feeling strong as I weave my way through the crowd of people watching planes land at Ragan International
3 mi- 9:51.  Starting to feel the effects of the warmer weather while running over the Potomac River…still well within my range. 
4 mi- 9:47.  Had to really force myself to stay below 10:15 while weaving my way back through another crowd.  Not looking forward to the last mile.
5 mi- 10:38.  About 20 seconds over the higher end of the range.  Not a fun mile.

I’m going to chalk up last mile struggles to having tired legs since I normally have 2 days of rest after long runs.  Its going to be a long summer if all runs are this hard.

Thanks to Morgan and Adam for recommending the running calculator!

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Recap

March Running Stats
Planned: 87
Ran: 70
Delta: -17

Favorite Run:
This is a no brainer...the National Half Marathon.  Despite missing some runs throughout the month I still met my goal.  I was amazed that there were tons of supports and cheering sections for most of the course.  This aspect of race was well above my expectations as this was not the case with the Air Force Half in 2006.  You can count me running this again in 2012.

Again, this is a no brainer.  My "Non Long - Long Run".  My scheduled 11 miler only lasted 3 miles thanks to intestinal issues from the previous night's dinner.  This was my first missed long run of the year so I was a tad bit worried about it going into the race however everything turned out pretty good. 

This Month's Lesson Learned:
1) I need to properly if I want to keep on running.  While I think I have a pretty strong stomach I don't.  CINCDAF and my own mother have told me on multiple occasions that I have a sensitive stomach so I need to be careful.  Maybe they are on to something.

2) So far I've fallen short on every monthly goals for 2011 (Jan-6, Feb-17, Mar-17)...however, I only missed 1 long run.  While every run is important the long runs are essential to a training program.  I don't like missing any of the weekly runs but I don't think if affected me as much as it I would have missed long runs.

Quick Peek to Next Month
I'm looking at running 77 miles.  This will be the first time that I've ever done speedwork or tempo runs so things might be interesting.  I will also be looking a 10K race to run to make things a bit more exciting.  I already know of one week where work will take me to Tucson, AR so I need to start looking for routes near where I will be staying.  I really don't want to run the streets next to the hotel...I did that in Texas and it was pretty boring.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  The Boys of Summer are Back!  After months or no baseball and a few weeks of meaningless baseball (spring training) the boys are back for 162 games!  This is by far the most excited time of the year for me.  I felt like a child on Christmas Eve went I went to bed last night.  To honor this occasion I splurged a bit and bought an Atlanta Braves technical running shirt! 

The bad news is that I'm stuck here at work and the Braves will be playing across town against the Nationals.  On top of that my work does not allow me to have my phone on so I can't listen to the game on the radio. 

2. March was an all time high for monthly mileage.  As of right now I'm at 70 miles for the month...might be 72 if my legs feel up to 2 more in this afternoon.  After the 5 miler on Tuesday I felt like they needed an day of rest prior to my run on Saturday.  I know that some of you are running a lot more than that but I'm quite impressed with myself.

3.  I've officially lost 10lbs since 4 Feb.  I can't remember the last time that I was 192lbs...probably about 11 years ago.  They say the recommended weight for a 5'11" male is 179lbs...that's a bit scary.  Another 13lbs really?  CINCDAF (aka Commander in Charge of Domestic Affairs, aka Lady M, aka my wife) even agrees that being that weight would be extreme.  So I'm going to get to about 185lbs and see how I feel.  

3.1  I'm also very proud that the CINCDAF has lost about 10lbs.  She is back to the weight she was prior to getting pregnant with our third kid!  She has been working her way through the Couch to 5K program.  This is the first time that she has ran since about 4th grade and she is doing great!  I secretly hope that she learns to like to run so we can do some family races when the kids get a bit older but I'm not going to push it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday's not quite wordless.  Looks like I need to work on getting rid of that heel strike!  I do wish the picture had both feet off the ground, it looks like I'm power walking!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is There Hope?

Now that I've had a few days to recoup and marvel in my victory over Paula Radcliffe, I'm now looking at my next goal.  I'm still trying to be realistic because last Saturday's half marathon was my 2nd one ever so it seems kinda unfair to get too excited about running a PR.  But...I can't help but noticing that since January my pace has quickened and I'm not as winded after harder runs.  Not to mention that I've lost about 10 pounds. 

Could I really be getting faster?  As a self proclaimed W.U.S.S. this is something I must take seriously.  I've grown comfortable with my status.  I've always been one of the last ones to finish races but I'm starting to feel that this might change!  With a finish time of 2:11, I think I will shoot for a 2:00 at the Richmond Half Marathon on 12 November 11.  This has given me a considerable amount of motivation to see what I can really do if I train and eat properly.

The other source of motivation is that I've always heard that a good test to see when your legs are ready to run a full marathon with a respectable finish time.  I'm not quite sure I want to jump into the land of the "others" but its keeps my interested peaked. 

So for now my training plan will be based on one that I got off of the free version of SMART COACH on Runners World.  This plan will have me going down the path to a 2 hours half marathon.  There is plenty of time to adjust if needed but at least I have something to shoot for.  My goal will be lose some more weight, get close to the 2 hour mark for the half, and more importantly still have fun running.   If I can do that I might feel good enough to take away the WUSS label.  Maybe.  I'm no elite runner, and will never be one (I like to eat too much for that) but I might feel like I've arrived. 

For your experieced runners, what kind of running schedule do you keep after your planned races are over? 

Do you immediately (after a rest/recovery time) jump into a new plan for a new race? 

If you don't have a race what kind of running schedule do you do to keep up base mileage?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nation Half Marathon Race Recap

The morning started with some mild excitement.  I did my best to have everything laid last night so that I could spend more time sleeping.  Apparently after charging the Garmin 305 I left it on ALL night so when I was double checking everything my Garmin informed me that it had a low battery.  Fortunately I remembered that I have a car charger with an USB outlet so I charged the watch during the 45 minute drive.  For this reason alone I'm glad that I had to get up a bit earlier than I wanted.

Adding to the craziness I was not able to meet up with some fellow bloggers because I had to spend a little more time letting the watch charge and then making the mad scramble to a port-a-potty.  Once I got to Corral 7, I randomly met up with a buddy from work.  Having similar goals we decided to run together.    

As for the goals I tried to keep my expectations realistic since this was my 2nd first half marathon ever and my 1st since 2006.  Overall I wanted to have a good time so that I would be encouraged to keep running for my enjoyment and because I have to for work.  If you remember my "Goal A"" was to beat the Woman's WR Full Marathon time...with a 13 mile head start.  OK enough of the nice guy talk...

I am pumped that I beat my goal time of a 2:15:24!  I will have to wait for the official time to be posted but according to the Garmin I finished with a 2:11:55.  Take that Paula Radcliffe! 

Here are my splits:

After about 1.5 miles, my impromptu running partner decided that he wanted to push it a bit so I eagerly let him go ahead so that I could "attempt" to stay close to a 10:15 pace.  I'm pretty impressed with my splits however, I'm surprised with mile 7...I didn't think I was going that slow!  No matter I have nothing to complain about.

I do have to give some special thanks to the old school Guns n Roses, David Crowder Band and Audio Adrenalin for helping me kick up the pace in the last mile!

Hope those of you who ran today met your goals and had a great time.  Sorry to all of those who I planned on meeting this morning.  Maybe we can do it again at a future race.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Final Countdown for the National Half Marathon

With the race just two days away I'm constanlty thinking about what the weather will be like, how early do I need to get up, and how am I going to reward myself afterward.  It looks like it will be a chilly start to 2 plus hour run so I will be jumping on Runners World, What Should I Wear?  The sad thing is that I know I will wind up checking it at least 50 more times between now and then.

As it stands right now here is the recommended clothing for the race.  I'm good with all of these except for the running jacket and the gloves.  I have a jacket however; I think it might be overkill.  Sure it will feel good before and after the race but I bet it will be hot while running.  This might be a game time decision.  As for the gloves, if I can find them I will wear them.  I have a pair but I seem to have misplaced them.

When you add shorts over my tights (I would prefer to have an extra layer of clothing between my manhood and the weather), my iPod shuffle, and RoadID the outfit is complete. 

This might be a guy-girl thing but I can guarantee I will not be color coordinated as you females that have already posted your "outfits".  My color coordination will depend on what running clothes are clean, feel, good and make me feel fast. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Last Week's Non-Long Long Run

This past Saturday I was scheduled to run 11 miles for my weekly long run.  I was going to use this as a final evaluation for my attempt of keeping a 10:20 or better pace for this week's half marathon.  Little did I know that my plan was thwarted my Friday night's dinner decision.  Lady M, the girls and I treated ourselves to a great cheeseburger from Five Guys.  This wasn't the first time that I've had Five Guys the night before a run so I never thought it could come back and bite me in the end.  I. Was. Wrong.

The morning routine was no different from every other Saturday run.  I got up and did my business while checking facebook and playing my turn on Wordfued...see I can multitask.  My legs were really tired/heavy but I attributed them to running 5 miles, on back to back days, at a faster pace than I'm used to.  My stomach started out fine but the more I ran the more uneasy it felt.  I decided that the 1.5 mile mark would be the point of no return.  I either keep running and face the consequences, find a tree to hide behind (then run the rest without 1 sock), or turn around and head back home. 

I opted for make this a 3 mile run, with the chance of heading back out a finishing the remaining 8 once I was feeling better.  It proved to be a good decision.  I'm proud to say that I'm still on track for completing my overall goal for 2011.

I never made it out for the rest of the run though.  After feeling better, my two oldest daughters came downstairs and asked me to watch cartoons with them since I was already back from running.  I didn't have the heart to tell them that I still have over an hours worth of running left.  Plus my time was already booked for the late morning/early afternoon for my fantasy baseabll keeper league draft so I knew I couldn't spend time with them later in the day. 

This was the best decision I made all weekend.  Sure I might regret not finishing the run but I wouldn't trade snuggling up to my girls early in morning for anything...even if they both said that I stink and need a shower.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

National Half Elevation Comparision

     A couple days ago the official route for the National Half Marathon was released so I wanted to do an elevation comparison of this route and my normal training route.  I was informed that there was a significant hill around mile 6 so that made my mind starting wandering and worrying about the race.  Looking at the comparisons don't see a need to worry anymore.  You be the judge.

Official National Half Marathon Route Elevation (I guessed at the start/finish)

My Normal Training Route Elevation

I still see a decent sized hill about halfway through however, it doesn't seem as drastic as I originally thought.  All in all I'm still pumped about the race.  I'm also looking forward to meeting some new people prior to the start as I've told Lady M not to get the girls up early just to fight traffic just to wait for me to finish the run.

For those who have ran this race before am I way off the mark in comparing these graphs?  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Its Nice To Actually Feel Like A Runner

Mark it down on the calendar, on Monday 14 March 2011, I finally feel apart of the running community.  One of my co-workers made a sarcastic remark about my running.  According to office I run everyday at lunch so when I came back from lunch and mentioned that I was worn out they immediately thought that I just got done.  Trying to be "smart" my co-worker said, "Why, did you just finish running 10 miles?"  I could barely keep a straight face when I replied with, "No, I did that on Saturday."

This couldn't have come at a better time as I'm staring to get pumped up the upcoming half.  I've also noticed that I'm doing random things that me people think is weird.

Things like:
  • Randomly starting the trip-odometer in the truck to find new running routes.
  • Practicing the body form/position to perfect the snot rocket because the wrong form can leave your quite sticky.
  • Complaining how how big hills are when running yet how small it feels when driving.
  • Stretching out my legs whenever I get a chance.  I'm not quite as bad as this guy but I've been known to use an escalator to stretch out my calves.

This is the second badge of honor in recent days to put a little pep in my step.  There might be a third in the near future if my toenail continues to get darker and fall off.  The month of March has been very motivating for me. 

Its nice to actually feel like a runner.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stylish Awards

I just remembered that Mike at sent me this back in February. 
The award involves doing the following:

1. Make a post and link back to the person who tagged you with the award.2. Share 7 things about yourself.3. Award to 7 great bloggers.4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they've won.

7 Things about myself:
1.  If the job paid enough to support a wife and three daughters I would be either a bat boy or the grounds crew for the Atlanta Braves.  Sad to say but those are my dream jobs.

2.  I think excel spreadsheets are one of the coolest things invented.  I try to put everything in a spreadsheet just so I can mess around and learn new ways to reinvent the wheel.  Since I love running and I’m in a fantasy baseball league I’m never short of excuses.  

3.  I really enjoyed Disney world as a kid however, I enjoy it even more when we take the girls there.  Nothing beats watching your daughter’s face as Princess Belle hold her hand while walking in the park. 

4.  I have a tarnished driving record in Qatar.  According to them I was at fault in a automobile accident that resulted in a broken side mirror on a vehicle.  The real story is that I was turning in vehicles in preparation to go redeployment home.  This vehicle was driven by members of our aircrew and their chief was “too busy” to turn it in so I did it for him therefore I was forced to take blame.  I lost all respect of this CMSgt because he knew who broke the mirror but decided to act in ignorance of the situation.

5.  When we were living in Ohio, our dog got out without anybody knowing and unfortunately we never found her.  My oldest daughter thinks that I left the door open…I was in Texas at the time.  To this day she still asks God to forgive me for letting the dog get out.

6.  My high school counselor said I would never get into college.  I would love to see his reaction if I told him that I was about 10 weeks away from finishing my masters.  

7.  About 2 years ago I finally got the truck that I’ve been wanting.  I was pleased that it brought some testosterone to the family.  About 8 months later we had our 3rd girl.  Right now the back seat of the truck has three car seats and multiple princess coloring books.

Award to 7 great bloggers:
Aubrey Jane
Life on Daisy
It's a Wonderful Life
The Camouflage Flower
Running Ben
You Have Legs So Run
Seen and Heard

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Double Digit Territory!

I guess I can now officially say that I do long runs once a week.  I’ve always been under the impression that long runs are really considered “long” until they reach double digits.  I hit that mark this Saturday.  I am extremely proud that I kept a 10:11 pace with a overall time of 1:41:50.  I’m still amazed o f the effects of GU Gels because once I took one around mile 5 my pace increased so I had to be very deliberate in slowing it down a bit. 

So you can add GU Gels to the list of things that I must have when I run:

1. Garmin 305.  For a stat’s and numbers kind of guy this thing is amazing.
2. Body Glide.  No need to say anymore.
3. GU Gels.  I wish I knew about these before.  They simply are amazing.
4. I used to have an iPod but I left it on an airplane a couple months ago.  I’m currently using my Droid X because I’m too cheap to buy another iPod.  The DX also allows me to listen to the Braves anywhere I go so I’m likely not replace it anytime soon.
5. Nathan Water Bottle?  I just bought this over the weekend so that Lady M doesn't have to load the kids into swagger wagon and meet me on the run just to give me water.

I’m even more excited that according to the McMillan Running Calculator this 10 mile time will result in a 2:15:14…that’s 10 seconds better than the “Goal A” time!  I wonder if Paula is starting to get a bit jittery knowing that I might be able to beat her!  Even with my great run this past weekend I’m not changing my goals for the race. 

What are your "must haves" for running?  
Is there gadget, protein shake, or running paraphernalia that I'm missing out on?  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

National Half Marathon Goals

Only a couple more weeks until the National Half Marathon so I guess now is the time to re-think my goals for the race.  My original goal was to be beat the woman’s world’s record marathon time of 2:15:25.  However, after missing a couple of runs in the past weeks and not being able to get over the “dead leg” feeling I want to add a couple of additional goals for the race.

Goal A: 2:15:24.  Now that I’ve experienced the use of GU Gels I think this is still in reach.  However, there is a greater chance that the Gov’t will finally agree on a budget than me keeping a 10:20 pace for the entire race.
Goal B: 2:30:00.  It’s been 5 years since I last ran a half marathon so I’m keeping my expectations in check.  I’m trying to approach this race as if it was my first one.  This goal is simply to keep a steady pace and try to get a respectable time.
Goal C: FINISH: If the first two goals are out of my reach then I’m not going to stress out.  I simply want to enjoy the race, marvel in the history of the monuments and dream about the cheeseburger I’m going to devour for lunch.

I’m confident that I will be able to reach goals B and C and I’m going to give everything I’ve got to beat 2:15:24.

Question for you more experienced racers: how do you set your goals for a race?

Friday, March 4, 2011

February Recap

February Running Stats
Planned: 62.3
Ran: 44.7
Delta: -17.6

I missed a ton of runs due to fighting every disease that my kids could throw at me.  February’s totals are so close to January’s totals that the plan of 1000 miles for the year is definitely out of the question unless I feel good enough to take away some of the recovery time after the half in March and possible shoot for a full marathon in the fall.  At this point I would rather give up the yearly goal and get another 1/2 under my belt before thinking about jumping to the full.

Favorite Run: GW Birthday Classic 10K.  There were crazy winds (50 mph) strong enough to topple a couple porta potties so running was quite a challenge.  With all of that I was still able to get a PR…never mind that this was my first 10K.  I’m quite pleased with my 1:01:24 (9:50 pace).  My goal was to either finish under 1 hour or have a sub 10 minute pace, so mission accomplished!

Least Favorite Run: 7 miler on 26 Feb.  I simply ran out of energy/fuel around 50 minutes into the run.  I need to learn how to properly fuel before and during the run.  I felt a surge of energy after Lady M and my oldest daughter brought me some water around mile 5.  I also learned some areas that require a good lathering of Bodyglide.  On a positive note, Lady M said that it looked like I was “gliding” across the road rather than bouncing up and down.  That was a huge confidence builder because I’ve been working on my form and it appears that during the final miles of the run I was still maintaining proper form.

Currently Reading: Still reading the Count of Monte Cristo didn’t realize how long this book actually is.  I’ve also stated reading James Dobson’s book, Bring up Girls.  With three daughters this book will be essential to my “parenting” as they grow up.  With every turn of the page I’m amazed of how much pressure and threats my princesses will face as they enter adolescence and the teenage years.  While not recommended by Dr. Dobson I do want to make it clear that not only do I have both a shotgun and 
a shovel, I also know the order in which to use them!

Monday, January 31, 2011

January Recap/Stats

January Recap/Stats

I read a good monthly recap on another blog so I'm copying their idea.  I'm hoping that it can give me a good way to look back and see how I did against my goals.

Miles Planned/Ran: 52 mi/46.5 mi

Rest Days Planned/Taken: 12/14 (I missed two runs (2 and 3.5 miles) and last week thanks to crappy weather and treadmill that wasn't working right.

Long Runs Planned/Ran: 4/4

Favorite run: My favorite run in January was probably the 2 miler that felt like everything was clicking.  I didn't get winded until the right at the end.  For the first time in a VERY long time it felt like I was actually doing something right!  Right close behind this run was the 3 miler where it right after it started to snowing.  Going out to run I got some odd looks from people hustling to get out of the weather.  Yet on the on the running path the looks changed as other runners gave a slight smile and head nod.  

Least Favorite Run: The 5 miler on the treadmill.  I was able to get the treadmill serviced and back in working order so my AWOL from running streak stopped at 2.  While it felt good to be running again, 5 miles on the treadmill is not something I want to do again.  Ironically watching Tinkerbell with my girls while I ran didn't help pass the time.

Current Obsession: I finally got a Kindle so know I'm staying up way too late downloading all of the free the ebooks of the classics such as The Count of Monte Cristo.

What I'm Most Proud Of: Feeling like I could have ran longer than required after completing my first 5 mile long run, however that I'm most proud of the fact that I've kept my running priorities in place for the whole month. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

National Half Marathon Training Check In – Week 3

Here’s the week 3 check in for the National Half Marathon.  I completed all 14 miles scheduled; an increase from 12 miles in weeks 1 & 2.
Mon – Rest
Tuesday – 3.5 (37:43)
Wednesday – 2 (17:54)
Thursday – 3.5 (36:06)
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 5 Rest
Sunday – Rest 5 (51:53)

While the program doesn’t call for any tempo runs I’ve made the Wednesday short run a quasi tempo ran where if I’m feeling good and my legs are not overly sore I attempt to run a quicker pace than normal.  So far I’ve done that for all three weeks.  Once the long runs get longer I might have to stop my Wussy attempt of being a Kenyan.
For the second week in a row my Saturday’s long run was pushed to Sunday due to scheduling conflicts.  Last week we were traveling for a funeral so there was no time to run between threatening the kids with a blitzkrieg style of punishment if they don’t stop asking how much longer and attending the visitation.  Therefore I ran Sunday morning prior to the funeral service.
Week 3’s long run was pushed to Sunday due to happier circumstances.  We finally celebrated Christmas with Lady M’s family.  Because of funerals (three in two months) and work we were never able to meet long enough to open presents.  I guess it really doesn’t matter when the run gets done just as long as it did, right?
My goal is to get back on track in week 4 because going long on Sunday is pretty hard schedule wise due to Church and A.W.A.N.A. with the girls takes a higher priority.  I’m interested to see how my legs hold up without the extra day of rest before starting Week 4 and then taking away that extra day of rest by going long on Saturday. 
The good news is that after the 5 miles I felt like I could go a bit farther if needed.  Overall I’m feeling pretty good about how things are going so far.  I am a bit concerned since I’ve heard that the hills play more of a significant role in the half marathon than I figured. 
Still no luck on finding the lost shoes. 
If anybody has seen these shoes please let me know...if returned unharmed and no additional miles added a reward (Starbucks coffee) will be given.