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!