Thursday, March 29, 2007

Running Form!!

I think running has been good for me?
I'm not saying. I'm just saying..........

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Calories and More Calories....

March 18th was a glorious day for me. Twelve Weeks of hard training came to an end with my successful running of the March Madness Half Marathon. This day also marked the end of my calorie counting obsession. OK, an attempt, and my first attempt at that, to cure this obsession.

For over ONE year I have logged my calorie intake and activities on a daily basis at I have well over 100 custom entered food items on my account. If I ate out I would look up the nutritional info afterwards and log it in for the day. Unless the food items were generic, say like Milk or Cheese, I would custom enter it into Fitday. Food and Drink from Starbucks to Chillis to Diary Queen to Brown Cow. Every Single Day!!

It was good to me. I went from 236 pounds to 170 pounds. I know more about food nutrition then I ever thought possible. However, the time has come. I do not want to be consumed with having to enter my meals and what the exact calories of this and that are.

I need to let it go and I have. I may still think about what I eat. I may mentally tally my calories before deciding on ice cream or not. I just don't need to be obsessed with entering the numbers and seeing the numbers and maintaining deficiencies. I am sooo dang active that a burger from Red Robin or Birthday Cake Remix from ColdStone don't even put a dent it me :)

Simple fact is we should be eating when we are hungry. Just make smart choices.

Fitday was awesome for me and a great tool. I recommend it to all and any who are looking to lose weight and lead a healthy lifestyle. Good luck. Later.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hey Tough Guy......

Slow it down!!

Yeah, it is almost 80 degrees AND March, but your cycling season has just started.

OK, so the weather was, and still is today, off the charts fabulous this weekend. The 06 Giant TCR C2 made its debut on Saturday. I departed around 9am and while it was warm it was overcast and drizzly, but very warm.

Right out of the box I was excited to see how high my cycling fitness level was. That five months of running 20 mpw has me primed and ready! I logged 30 miles Saturday. I felt great afterwards. A little muddy, but otherwise fantastic.

Then came Sunday. The ride started out well, but the last ten miles hurt. As I headed home into the wind the legs went dead. I mean totally dead! I had nothing. I trudged back home for another 30 miles for a total of 60 miles for the weekend.

I was totally fatigued the rest of the day. I couldn't shake it. Plus, I got the sore butt. Yep, like anything else, you need to ease into it. The body needs to adjust to the new activity. There is plenty of cycling left this season.

Do NOT worry my running friends. This is not the end of me running. Just a slight slow down. The goal is 2 to 3 runs a week while the cycling picks up. I still have this little 26.2 mile run planned for October.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Rest of the Madness

I am by no means a running or race expert. I started running because it was too damn cold to ride my bike and I am obsessed with staying in shape. That being said, this was an awesome event. Very well organized, great support, and a fabulously difficult route.

It was my fourth race and a would be distance PR. I awoke at 5:30am, departed at 6am, and arrived at 7:am. Hey, I wanted to get a prime parking spot and checked in with no issues. Well, I did, and I had plenty of time to warm up for the 8:35am start.

The weather was perfect for a March run. Temps were around 35 ish degrees, the sun was bright and the winds were light. The race was limited to 1000 runners. They had the start marked off with 6, 7, 8, & 9 minute pace markers. I lined up between 8 and 9. I hoped to grab on to a small group that was keeping 8:30 pace, but the start was fast.

I managed to get my pace under control just before the first Hill, Roller, Climb, Mountain....whatever that was. Despite the hills I felt like I was keeping a comfortable and fast pace. It wasn't until the big hill at the halfway point where I felt like I actually slowed while going up one. At this point things started to get tight. This was sooner then I expected the PAIN, but this is coming from a guy who did NO hill training :) !!

Mile 9 brought the longest of the climbs. It would slightly level off, then shot up again. It was a tricky little devil. Mile 11 had a tough little steep son-of-a-gun roller. Some of these climbs would have been tough on my bike!!

The water stations were interesting. I had my technique planned out to grab water near the end, move to the shoulder, stop, drink, then get it going again. I did this twice very successfully. The stops were for a second or two, just to allow me to get the water down. At mile 11.5, the last water station, I tried to just grab, drink, and run all at the same time. Uh, that didn't work and I ended up with cold water all over myself.

After all of that I even had a little finishing kick. My Garmin was ticking away and approaching the 1 hr 50 minute mark as I neared the finish line. I really wanted that time and managed to just sneak in under it.

Afterwards, despite significant stretching, I had a lot of stiffness and pain. The hour long car ride home did NOT help. The knees and shins were throbbing, but an very COLD WATER, a.k.a. Ice Bath, really helped alleviate that swelling and pain. The quads and hammys are still sore, but when a flat lander runs in the hills that should be expected.

I am totally satisfied with my training and race results. I never walked and I battled through the pain, both physically and mental. I am not sure where this leaves my thoughts on running the Chicago Marathon in October though????

Anyway, today is my third consecutive OFF day and I am still not sure I am ready to run. I want to run. I mean three days OFF in a row is bit ridiculous. Maybe a brisk Eddie Vedder (the dog) walk tonight?

Plus, I am itching to get my cycling season started this weekend!!!

Thank to all those who wished me well in this endeavour. I really appreciate the nice comments. Thank you.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Half The Story....

*****13.1 Miles*****
My Finish Time = 1:49:17
Average Pace Per Mile = 8:20
Overall Finish Place = 392 out of 1000 runners
Finish Place for Males = 294
Age Group Finish place = 33

Laps - Pace
1 - 8:10
2 - 8:01
3 - 7:54
4 - 8:14
5 - 8:09
6 - 8:23
7 - 8:32
8 - 8:20
9 - 7:55
10 - 8:44
11 - 8:43
12 - 8:38
13 - 8:12
14 - 1:16

This was advertised as a hilly route AND oh boy was it. Three monster climbs and numerous rollers. I spent that last 20 weeks running the flat lands of my neighborhood and have NEVER run up any hills like these. The total elevation was 4207 feet: 2113 feet UP and 2094 feet down. OUCH. My goal was under 2 hours, but I wanted 1:50!! :) More to come later, but I am off to find some ice and a tub. See all the stats via the link below. Later.

The Stats

Thursday, March 15, 2007

4 - 3 - 2 - 13.1?

The countdown is over. I have done all I can do. Eight weeks of base building then 11 weeks of Hal Higdon's Novice Half Marathon Training Plan. Twenty Weeks, 300 miles, and I managed to stay on plan and relatively injury free. It's go time people. Later.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The End Is Near......

I am in the final week of Half Marathon Preparation. Yesterday I completed the longest run of my life, TEN MILES. I have followed Hal Higdon's Novice Training plan almost perfectly. I moved runs and workouts when life called for it. I missed no runs, in fact most weeks I ran more then called for as I had built a decent base prior to starting. I did miss or skip a couple of Strength and Cross Training efforts, but for the most part I was hardcore about keeping to the Plan. I should be ready for March Madness, the Half Marathon!

So, I ran TEN miles yesterday. The time was 1:22:48 for a average pace of 8:33 Min/Mile. This was the pace I was aiming for and hope to achieve for the Half. I switched back to my old sneakers and the left knee felt better. However, I experienced some serious tightness near the end of the run in the knee. I see plenty of ICE in this knee's immediate future!

It is crazy that running for One Hour Thirty Minutes is so taxing on the body. I mean I can ride a bike for Six Hours and not feel half the pain, or is that enjoyment??

Speaking of cycling it is warming up for us MidWesterners. With temps over 50 degrees it is going to be REAL HARD for me to NOT jump on the bike and hammer out 30 miles. I must show restraint though :). It would only do more harm then good at this point in my Half Marathon Journey. I mean I have spent 12 weeks preparing for this event like a MadMan. The bike can wait one more week. Right???


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Espresso Is GOOOOOOD :) !!!!

How do you like my new Coffee Bar? You love it, don't you! You are looking at a
Cuisinart Brew Central (drip coffee maker), Gaggia Coffee DeLuxe (espresso maker) and Rancilio Rocky Doserless Grinder. Oh yeah, look closely and you can see a 1 pound bag of Metropolis Coffee Redline Blend. One of the best Coffee Shops and Roaster in the states! Check them out................HERE! I placed my order Tuesday the 6th. The beans were roasted Wednesday the 7th and delivered today, Thursday the 8th. Can it get any more fresh then that? Later.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

That's Gonna Leave a Mark........

Today was a PR day for me on the distance front AND on the discomfort front. It went something like this;

Miles 2 to 5, really bad stomach and number two issues. Miles 5 to finish had my left knee and right hip feeling like they were going to explode. Mile 6 I had to stop to tie my left shoelace. At mile 8.5 the right shoelace came untied, but I ran on. At mile 9 the left one got bored and began flapping in the wind with the right. Good thing the goal was only 9 miles.

With all that being blogged, I still managed to keep a 9:07 pace for the 9 miles. I was out there for 1 hour 22 minutes. That evil cold winter wind was blowing around 15 mph from the west and half my run was straight in to it. It made the 20 degree temp feel like 5. At least the sun was out spreading hope that Spring is near.

So, why all the issues. First, the not so fun to talk about stomach and twossie issues are my own fault. My diet has been pretty poor lately. Well, poor for someone training for a Half Marathon. I mean loading up on Deep Dish Pizza and Red Wine the night before a long run is really dumb. Too much cheese really clogs things up for me..........Now that is too much information :) !

I think the knee and hip issues are shoe related. I have about 70 miles on my 2006 Nike Air Pegasus and this was their first run over 5 miles. They also have a ton of toe box room, which feels weird. I may need to revert back to my older more cushioned Nike Air Max Solas. They are heavier and reaching the end of their life with 295 miles logged. What a poor time to have shoe issues.

I may hit the running shoe store tomorrow, but is two weeks enough time to break in a pair of shoes? I would think not?? Later.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


If all goes as Hal Higdon has planned I shall achieve a personal record tomorrow. If only life played out as we planned?????????? Later.