Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snowicane in Pennsylvania

I have been really lazy this week about pounding the keyboard to get anything written on here.  This is probably because I have spent so much time dealing with all of the friggin snow.  Here is what has been going on brief:
  • Wednesday night - Did an hour on the trainer in the basement all while watching Lost.
  • Thursday - The "Snowicane" hit late, but I managed to get in my speed work out (no swim though).  I did 2 x 2miles at Half-Marathon pace (7:20/mile).
  • Friday - Wanted to do swimming but instead spent an hour shoveling the driveway, 3" - 18" of snow at various points (lots of drifting snow).  Essentially a rest day. Oh, I did take my 7 year old to the park to go sledding....lots of trodding through knee deep snow and dragging 50 lbs on a sled.
  • Friday night - We took the kids to PF Chang's for dinner, my oldest daughter is learning about China in school and really wanted to eat with chop sticks.  The meal was awesome!
  • Today - Did a well paced 4 mile run around 1:00PM, averaged ~7:47/mile (last two miles at 7:30/mile).  I felt like I could have kept going at that pace, I felt really fresh.  Decided I should ease up since I have a race tomorrow (4.6 miles) and am going to have to add an additional 4.5 miles afterward.
Right now I am just chilling out with my girls while my wife is out at the store (she needed to get out of the house....I can't blame her).  I am about to be recruited to play a game of Hullabaloo, so it is time to run, err play.  Adios!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2,000....Doh, Only 1,900

When I hopped out of the pool this morning I was proud of myself.  I had finally worked my way up to 2,000M in the pool and I was psyched that it had only taken me around a month to do so.  Not to mention that my average 100M split is right around two minutes, slightly lower than when I first started back in January.  I walked tall into the locker room, took a well deserved long hot shower, got dressed and then sauntered out to my car with a little swagger (off to work). 

Once at my desk I looked at my watch (how I keep track of laps) and wrote down really quick all of the laps that I had done as part of my 10 x 100M set.  I kept coming up with only nine 100s.  The pround grin faded into a look of disbelief.  Ah DAMN!!!  I had miscounted at the pool and only swam nine 100s instead of ten.  Translation, I ended up only doing 1,900M instead of 2,000M.  My head dropped to my desk, I sat there saddened by the fact that I hadn't done what I set out to do.  Then a thought popped into my head.  How many yards did I swim today? 

1,900M x 1.09 (rough meter to yard conversion) = 2,071 yards

I'll take it!  I might not be the same thing as swimming 2,000 meters, but it is still a solid swim.  All it in all that 2,000M is just an obligatory number, a round number that essentially means nothing.  Whether I swam 1,900 or 2,100 meters, the fact that I have been able to increase not only my daily distance, but also lower my average times is a great thing.  I am miles (literally) ahead training-wise of any triathlon season I have ever done, I should not get discouraged by coming up 100M short during a swim workout.  I should focus on the positive and know that the next time in the pool I will swim farther and faster.

So, enough of the self affirmation for now.  What has been going on over the past four or five days?  Well, I have started a half-marathon training plan, the Runner's World Intermediate Half-Marathon Plan.  My work/running friend Chris and I are both following it so that means he will be able to push me to run faster during our training sessions. 

Saturday - I did a 9 mile run on Saturday in 8:13/mile pace, a bit slower than I wanted, but then again the first half of the run was pretty much all uphill. 

Sunday - 2nd to last race of the Bucks County Road Runners Winter Series.  It was the "Pick Your Way 5.2M".  Traditionally it has been a 5.3 mile race, but the trails still haven't been totally cleared so we had to modify the course.  I finished the run in 36:53 (7:05/mile), and in 31st place out of 171 runners.  Overall I was pretty happy with my race, especially considering that it is so friggin' hilly. 

(picture on the right is from the start of the half-marathon from last weekend.  It was a long slow start)

Monday - I was a still a bit tired from the weekend that was full of running so I opted to just do a swim workout, down at the Newtown Athletic Center (sister gym of HealthQuest).  I was working from home so I went down at lunch time; it was so great to be swimming during the daytime, with the sun lighting up the pool area.  I put in 1,500M which included some hypoxic breathing drills....holy crap were they hard.

Tuesday - 1,250M in the fish bowl at 6:15AM.  The pool was absolutely packed and I had to stand around for about 10 minutes just to get into a lane (each one already had two people occupying them).  I wanted to do 1,500 - 1,750M but time wasn't on my side and I had to get to work.  At lunch I was supposed to do a speed workout with Chris but he was late getting down so I did four miles with Bill at around 8:00/mile.  Not a tough run, but solid enough.

Tonight I am going to get ont he bike for an hour and catch up on last nights episode of "Lost" and also watch "Modern Family".  That should fill in my hour long spin session.  I have dragged on long enough and I have to get some work done.

Peace out!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Feeling Fresh (I Don't Mean Naughty)

I despise the expression "TGIF" or "Thank God It's Friday".  I just really don't like it at all.  With that said, I am so happy the end of the work week is here and I only have about seven hours left of work before the weekend begins.  It has been a pretty good week for me, the soreness and tiredness that had plagued me all of last week has finally exited and I feel fresher than I have in a couple weeks.  Even though I have been doubling up workouts this week (AM swim and lunch run or evening bike), I feel good.  I think I underestimated the impact that shoveling all of that snow had on my body.

Wednesday I actually didn't do a double, instead I skipped the 5:30AM ride and put it off until the evening.  I opened my eyes at 5:00AM and made the decision to put off the ride and get an extra hour of sleep and extra 16 hours of rest that I really needed.  Turns out that was the best decision I made all week.  When it came time to ride at 9:00PM I felt so great, no soreness in my legs, my heartrate was where it should be and when I was pushing it I felt strong.  Granted I did ride hard, but it didn't feel like I was being limited by anything other than my fitness level.  That is a good thing.

Thursday I was back in the pool and was it ever cold.  I don't know what the heck happened to the heater but the temp isn't the standard 82 - 83F.  It is closer to 75F and does that ever make a difference.  Of course once you swim that first lap you can't tell the difference, but boy does that first push off the wall wake you up when the cold water is lapping against your forehead.  Whew!!!  I did 1,500M in about 31:30, not terribly fast but I feel like I am swimming more efficiently which is what I am striving to do.

My afternoon work out was one that I was kind of dreading but knew had to be done.  My friend Chris and I are doing the Unite Half Marathon at Rutgers in eight weeks and we are both following the same training plan.  That plan called for 2 x 2 miles at half marathon pace with an 1/2 mile recovery (1/2 mile warm-up and cool down).  Also we had to do 4 x 100 strides at the conclusion.  Chris is faster than me, it is just the way it is.  We are about the same height, but he probably only weights about 150 lbs (I am around 190 lbs).  I accepted the fact that I would be trailing him for both of the 2 mile stretches....and that is exactly what happened.  My first split was 14:47 (7:24/mile), his was 14:37 (7:19/mile).  My second split was faster at 14:32 (7:16/mile), as was his at 14:18 (7:09).  We were both happy with our times and ready for our strides. 

The one thing that I have on Chris is my short distance speed, I am a sprinter through and through.  My 40 yard time in college was 4.4 seconds....granted it was a long time ago, but I am still pretty fast over 100 yards.  So off we went doing our strides and I felt great, we ran at about 90% of all out top speed.  I probably could have pushed it a bit faster than I was, but decided to stick with Chris for these (I won't be so nice the next time out).  All in all a great session that actually made me regret not having done speed work in so long.  It sucked when I was doing it, but once done, I felt like I really accomplished something.

This morning was back in the pool....yes, I actually dragged my tired ass out of bed this morning to make it there early (I was in the water by 5:50AM).  I did a 500M warm-up (200 Free, 30 Pull Buoy) then did 5 x 200M, these friggin' killed me, just thoroughly beat me down.  I polished if off with a 250M cool down.  Yes mama, a 1,750M day (over 1,900 yards!!!), and I did it in 36:59.  Provided I can get out of bed so easily next week and get in the water at 5:45AM, I will start moving into the 2,000M zone.  I may have to set my alarm for 4:45AM to make that happen.

That is all for now, really time to get to work.  I am thinking about getting on the bike tonight for 30 minutes or so to loosen my legs up a bit.  My half marathon training plan calls for the following:
  • Saturday - 4 miles + 4 x 100 Strides
  • Sunday 8 - 9 miles
I will probably switch those around since I have a 5.3 mile race on Sunday.  I am going to have get up early to get those miles in on Saturday.  Ciao!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shoe Review - K-Swiss Keahou II

Wow did it take a long time for me to get a new pair of running shoes.  I had originally ordered my K-Swiss Keahou II from, but they neglected to tell me that they were back ordered.  So then I ordered the newer version from because I had a $25 coupon (for orders over $100), and I neglected to see that they wouldn't be shipped until February 4th.  So frustrating.

Anyway, I did finally receive them last week and when I took them out of the box I couldn't believe how white and clean they were.  It has been a while since I have run in new shoes (too long in fact), and I was psyched to get them I did just that...I took out the inserts and slipped my "Power Steps" into them....and walked around the house for about an hour.  Not the maiden voyage I had hope to have in them, but it was something.

So what do I think of them?  First thought is that they feel lighter than my Nike Air Pegasus.  Second, it is odd to be wearing a running shoe that is not Nike (I have been wearing Pegasus and Vomero for the past five years).  I have about 30 miles in them so far and I must say that I am a fan.  I was nervous about changing shoes because the last time I did so I ended up dealing with plantar fasciitis for about three months.  I can honestly say that I feel no pain in my very high arches, the cushioning is probably a bit better than the Pegasus, and overall I like the look of the shoes.  Heck, I even ran my modified half marthon this past Sunday in them and they felt awesome.  I am not a real shoe snob, so I can't report on their flex or rebound or any tecnical jargon.  I can only say that my feet feel comfortable in them and I am running pain free.

Granted I have only put about a weeks worth of running in them, but so far so good.  I hope that I can get close to 400 miles in them before they wear out.  I anticipate picking up an additional pair of them in the next month or two, hopefully I can grab a pair of the older version on sale (see below), I actually like the look of that model better than the new one.

Today, no run scheduled for today.  Actually I was going to get up early and get some miles in on the bike (on the trainer), but decided to get an extra hour of sleep.  I will head down tonight once the girls are asleep and ride for about an hour and watch some Modern Family and maybe the rest of the 2001 Ironman World Championships that I did finish last week.  It should be a good night.....sayonara!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Drama, Rest, Run, Rest

The past three or four days have been a mixed bag.  Let me start on Friday and work my way forward from there.

Friday was a good day, I got in a brief but solid swim at HealthQuest.  It was only about 1,250M, but I really felt like I swam better than I have recently.  One of the bright spots from my time in the water was that I decided to see how fast I could do back to back 100M at the end of my work out.  So after swimming 1,000M, I rested for a minute and then pushed off, hoping to swim fast.....and surprisingly I did (for me that is).  I did back to back 1:50 100Ms (this equates to 1:40/100 yd).  I was psyched!  I left the pool very happy and ready to start the day.

Once at work I found out that the milk I poured into my cereal was bad.  I was a bit pissed off.  I then made a conscious decision that I wasn't going to let a little thing like sour milk turn my day into a "bad" day.  Then around 8:15AM I received a call from my boss....he officially resigned the night before.  This was an absolute bombshell for me.  To explain, he is the man who had hired me nine-plus years ago.  I was pretty much looking for my first "adult" job (had completed my MBA six months earlier) and he took a chance on me.  I hadn't worked for him the entire nine years I have been at my company, but just six months ago, due to an organizational change, I was not reporting to him again.  To say that my head was spinning would be an understatement.  I was totally lost all day.

At lunch I went out for a run with Chris and Bill, I had to get out and just talk, talk about anything and everything.  We didn't go terribly fast, but it didn't matter to me, I just needed to get out and clear my mind and not sit at my desk and dwell on the days events.  We ended up doing 5.15 miles in 41:28 (8:03/mile), again not fast but fast enough to feel better about everything once I got back to my desk.

Saturday was a rest day for me.  I had my running clubs half marathon the next day and I just wanted to take it easy....and that is exactly what I did.  Oh, I did do something significant on Saturday, I ordered an Apple iPod Touch.  My iPod Nano is really hurting, the battery life is horrible and I think it is a 1st Gen.  I thought it was time for an upgrade.  It is scheduled to arrive today, I am very excited!!!  Now all I have to do is get a waterproof case for it and I will be all set.

Ah, now for was a beautiful and sunny day for the most part.  I was feeling OK, not great, but OK.  I made my way down to Tyler State Park a little earlier than usual because there word on the street was that parking was going to be a little rough due to all of the snow.  I ended up parking at one of the upper lots and ran down to the boat house (a nice 1.25 mile warm-up).  About 15 minutes from the start of the race we were informed that it was going to be a 12.6 mile race and that the course had been modified because of all of the snow that we had received.  It was going to be three 4.2 mile loops and a good portion of the course still had some snow on it.  In fact we would later find out that there was a portion about a quarter mile long that was three inches deep in snow and was like running in sand.  I resigned myself to just running a solid race and not to expect to run a PR.  I finised the race in 1:36:55 (7:41/mile), a time that is slower than I would have expected but still good considering the conditions.

Oh, I almost forgot, I wasn't able to get a ride back up to my car after the race, so I had a nice uphill 1.25 mile run to my car, which brought my total mileage run for the day up to 15.1 miles.  Dang!  That is a lot for me so early in the season.

I spent the rest of Sunday laying around the house as I was exhausted.  But since it was Valentine's Day, me and the family went out for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants....Ted's!  It was a bison burger for me, and I felt I earned it.  Such a good way to end the night.

Monday was a holiday and I decided that I would be resting.  No running, biking or swimming.  Well, there was some physical activity to be, my wife and the girls went bowling.  That's right, bowling.  It was the third or fourth time that my 7 year old has gone, but the first for my 4 year old.  My wife and I had a lot of fun watching the girls bowl, especially my little one who would stand legs apart and push that six pound ball as hard as she could down the alley.  It was classic.  Funny thing was, I think she beat her older sister the first game.  Ahem, I should note that I bowled a 170, which included a stretch where I threw five straight strikes...OH YEAH!

Now for today, I put in an easy 1,500M at the pool, 400M warm up, then 4 x 100, then 500 straight and a 200M cool down.  I ran a little more than four miles at lunch with Chris.  It was a bit quicker than I would have liked but that isn't always a bad legs are still a bit sore from Sunday.  Adios!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Storm Pictures

As are some pictures of the winter storm(s).

Picture of our bird house hanging from our covered back deck....I just like this picture.

Below is a picture taken around 5:00PM on Tuesday....the snow was coming down hard, but not as hard as it had been at 3:00PM. There is about 18" of snow on the ground at this point.

Close up of the picture above, you can see how heavy the snow is falling.

Our mailbox on Wednesday morning, the snow would have been higher on it had my neighbor not cleaned if off around noon the day before.

Looking down my street, the snow is piled about 4' high on each side and there is about two inches of hard pack on the road (it still looked the same this morning when I left the house at 5:15AM).

That's me pulling my girls back from lunch at out local pizza place....they are thoroughly enjoying the joy ride, in case you couldn't tell.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Oh my gosh!  22" of the white stuff fell on Eastern Pennsylvania yesterday.  They initially called for 12 - 18" then changed it to 12 - 22"....we ended up in the 22" range.  That equated to four separate one hour shoveling work-outs spaced approximately four hours apart from 8:00AM to 8:00PM.  It also means my lower back is feeling it pretty bad. 

I am sitting in my kitchen right now, looking out our bay window at our back yard, which is blanketed in white.  It is just amazing how much snow we have out there.  My daughters (both off from school today) are running around the house in sundresses playing freeze tag.  My wife is going a bit stir crazy I think.  I am hoping to get out of the house soon and go for an easy four to five mile run along the snowy streets and get a feel for how the roads are.  Hopefully sometime tonight I can get to the pool and do a 2,000M swim.

Anyway, just a quick post today.  I hope to get onto my home computer tonight and post some pictures of the storm.  Peace out!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

5:00AM....The Norm

I don't know whether or not I should be happy with the way my mornings have been going this week.  The past two days I have gotten out of bed no later than 5:03AM....this is a good thing, this is exactly what I need to be doing.  Now for the twist, I have woken up at 4:50AM each of the past two mornings wide awake and ready to go.  I look at my watch and then make the decision to cram in ten extra minutes of shut-eye instead of getting up.  Why is my body doing this to me?  I guess I should be thankful that my internal clock is making the change to the early wake up (thanks to a couple nights of getting be sleep before 10:00AM).  But still, I feel like those ten extra minutes are so utterly important. 

Anyhow, I was up and at 'em this morning, got in the water at 5:55AM and put in a very tough swim workout for me.  I did a 400M warm-up (200 Free, 200 Pull), then I did a pyramid work out (50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 200, 150, 100, 50) with 15 - 30 seconds rest.  I did a 100M cool down, although I would have preferred to have done 200 - 300M but time was getting short and I had to get showered and get to work.  The entire swim was 1,750M in 36:38, the longest I have swam since the summer.

A couple notes about my swim:
  • I felt really good in the pool today, my stroke is getting smoother and I am lengthening my body more.
  • My catch and pull is so much better than last week, I feel like I am gliding through the water now, more like a sailboat, less like a barge.
  • My speed is improving as well; I am no means fast but I am faster than a week ago.
  • I need to start learning bilateral breathing....I tried it a week ago but stopped after three laps.
Looking to run at lunch today, hopefully left leg starts to loosen up a bit more.  It feels better today, but still not great.  I am worried that the impending snow storm (expecting 12 - 18" of snow) and the inevitable shoveling is going to kill my lower back.  Hopefully it is nice light now.  I hope to post some pictures of last weekends storm and tomorrows as well.  Ciao!

Afternoon Update:  Ran a little over 4 miles at around 7:55/mile pace (156 BPM).  I was really tired and just couldn't find a good rhythm.  Still managed to get it done though.  Oh, there is a second scenario that is floating around about the snow storm are supposed to get tonight into tomorrow, possibly 18 - 24".  Dang, I am going to have to recruit my daughters to help me shovel......then again, how much snow can a four and a half year old and seven year old really move?  I'm thinking not much.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Dream, Believe, Succeed"

"Dream, Believe, Succeed"...those are the words I read on Chris McCormack's (Macca) blog this morning.  Three simple words that really resonate with where I am in my life right now.  They are words that I need to repeat every morning when I wake up and every night before I fall asleep.  They are words that I need to repeat to my daughters, so they know that anything is possible.  They are words to live by and words that will not only help me in my journe to Ironman, but also my journey through this life.

The past few days have been exhausting, that is the only word that I can think to accurately sum up Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  EXHAUSTING!  Friday was supposed to be a swim-only day because I was just feeling tired from the days leading up to it (did a five mile, very hilly run on Thursday).  I hadn't gotten more than five hours of sleep in any of the two nights prior and I just wanted to take it somewhat easy.  I guess I got my wish of taking it easy...I slept through my alarm and didn't get out of bed until 5:45AM.  DAMN!  Looks like the swim was off.  I think that was my bodies way of telling me to take a day off and relax, which is pretty much what I did.

Saturday was a whole different story.  I awoke to find that the much talked about snow storm was in full effect and it was looking like I was going to be doing a bit of snow shoveling.  Around 11:00AM, I went outside and spend about an hour shoveling our driveway, front walk and back deck.  About a half-hour into the shoveling, my back was already starting to get sore.  45 minutes and my shoulders were aching.  When I was finally done, all I wanted to do was eat some lunch and lay down.  What happened instead was my daughters wanted to come out and play in the snow.  So out they came and for the next hour we ran around, made snow angels, build an igloo/tunnel and just had fun. (pictures will be posted later)

I wish that it could have all been fun and games for the entire day, but around 3:30PM I knew that I had to get a long run in since I have a half-marathon to run next Sunday.  So I threw on my trail running shoes and my cold weather running gear and headed out for a 10 mile run in the snow.  It was slow going because of my lack of solid traction; I felt like for every four steps forward I was only going maybe two or three, my feet slipping in the snow.  I figured that this ten mile run would be like running 13 based on my least that is how I justified my slow pace.  I ran from my house into the Borough of Doylestown, a route that allowed me to run on streets that didn't have a lot of traffic on them. 

The Good Deed - Once in town, I spotted a station wagon that was struggling to make it up a bit of a hill and was in jeopardy of gettign stuck in the middle of an intersection.  I hustled over to it and tried pushing it, but nothing doing.  Then another guy hopped out of his car and offered to help me push this strangers car.  A couple of heavy-ho's and off the station wagon went.  That little act put the biggest smile on my face.  That is all I have to say about that.

The rest of the run was slow going.  My legs were sore, joints were aching, and my mind was starting to get filled with doubt.  I just wanted to get home and take a hot shower.  I ended up finishing up my 10 mile run in 1:28 (8:48/mile), not horrible considering the conditions.  With some better traction under foot, I think that pace is closer to 8:00/mile.

Sunday was supposed to be a 5.3 mile race down in Tyler, but it was cancelled.  Sunday was supposed to include a 1,500M swim, but I was tired.  Sunday was supposed to be a free-for-all-eat-fest, and unfortunately it was.  Let me just say that when you make a full plate of nachos, a ton of homemade french fries, and a platter of pigs-in-a-blanket, it is best to do so when surrounded by a bunch of burly guys who will eat their share.  What you shouldn't do is make all of the above food and then expected your tiny wife and two young daughters to eat their share, because what ends up happening is that I ate my share plus their share and still fell as though my body is breaking down all of the fat and pasting it to the walls of my abdomen.  Too much food and not enough people.

As for today, I was good.  I woke up at 4:50AM and laid there until my alarm went off at 5:00AM.  I did my morning things, go the the gym and was in the pool just before 6:00AM.  It was pretty empty, good for me!.  I banged out 1,500M and even though I was sore as hell, I was happy with my effort. 

That leaves me where I am now, procrastinating, knowing that I have a ton of work to do today, but not wanting to get started.  I will now stop abruptly and get to it.  Goodbye!

Afternoon Update:  Lunchtime run, 4.58 miles in 35:43 (7:48/mile), 160 BPM.  I ran the first two miles with Chris and despite my desire to run at an easy pace (~8:15/mile would have been good), we averaged 7:50/mile.  He continued on and did a 6.5 mile run, while I turned and headed back to the office.  I maintained that same pace for the rest of my run, with the exception being the last .58 miles where I ran at 7:28 pace.  I felt really good and didn't feel like I was killing myself.  This coming Sunday should be interesting with the half-marathon at Tyler.  It is going to be tough, but I am nearly ready.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

BIG mini Day

Wednesday was a just a mixed bag of stuff.  That is really the only way to describe how my day went, stuff, lots of stuff.  Biking, meetings, running, swimming, and dinner.  I suppose I should explain.

The Bike - I started off the day at 5:30AM with the sight of snow outside my window.  I had no clue it was supposed to snow.....odd.  I headed down to the basement to get in a 45 minute ride in and finished watching "The Big Lebowski" and of course "Lost" (fell asleep watching it the night before).  The ride was pretty uneventfull aside from finding out that my daughter was going to have a delayed opening.  Dang was she lucky!  I don't recall the stats from the ride, I just know that I put it in a tougher gear than my ride the day before and tried to increase my speed a bit.  All in all it was a good ride.

It was then time to head into work and sit through all day meetings...BLAH..., but it is part of the job and I did my best to stay focused.  The all day meetings meant that I wasn't going to be able to get in an afternoon run which meant I was going to go three full days without getting outside and actually running.  I can't remember the last time such a thing has happened, I was very confused how I should handle the situation.

Our meetings wrapped up around 4:30PM which left me with three hours before a business dinner (yup, a 7:30PM dinner....really?).  I decided to head to the gym and try to get my swim in as well as some weights.  I didn't find out until too late that the swim team has most of the pool reserved until 6:30PM, so I wasn't going to be able to get into the pool until after they were done which really sucked.  So I did something that I haven't done in probably two years....I hopped on the treadmill and ran.  Yes, that is right, I actually ran on a treadmill.  I should state here that the last time I ran on a treadmill (I have one in my basement that my wife uses on occassion) I was training for the 2007 NYC Marathon and I ended up cracking the platform right down the middle.  I guess I was a bit too heavy for it.

My Treadmill Experience - I couldn't believe how effortless my brief run was.  I initially set the speed at 8.0 MPH (incline at 2%)and it felt like I was crawling.  I did a 1/2 mile at that pace and then brought the speed up to 9.0 MPH for the next 1/2 mile.  I had to stop for a minute after a mile to remove a stone from my shoe (must have gotten there during my race on Sunday) before continuing on with mile number two.  The next mile I kept the speed at 8.0 MPH and was just cruising along....then I got bored.  So I decided that I had enough of this and with about 1/4 mile to go I put the speed up to 12 MPH and finished the run at 5:00/mile pace.  It was awesome, I was just flying along, watching the hundreths of a mile just turn and turn.  So ended my treadmill experience, I just couldn't go anymore for the fact that I was just really bored and I was going to try and get into the pool.  I may try another session in the future, maybe for some speedwork.

The Swim - I managed to get into the pool at 6:25PM which was huge.  What ensued was not so huge.  I was hurting so badly in the pool.  I don't know if it was ride in the pre-dawn hours or my two mile run, but I was just not feeling it.  In short I did 1,100M in 22:48, and I think my longest stretch was maybe 300M straight.  I would have liked to have done more, but my body just wouldn't let me...also the fact that it was 6:55PM and I had to get showered and off to dinner by 7:30PM didn't help either. 

Dinner - Our Chief Opererating Officer is in from Hong Kong for a few days and he scheduled a dinner for all of the senior leadership (me included) at Char Steakhouse in Raritan, NJ.  The 7:30PM was tough, I just don't eat that late, but it was still awesome.  I had a great dinner - lettuce wedge w/Blue Cheese, NY Prime w/garlic mashed potatoes, and brownie a la mode for dessert.  I was stuffed but very, very happy. 

So all in all it was a pretty busy day and I packed in a couple mini workouts (run and swim).  Today is going to be a run only day, which I decided at 5:00AM this morning when I just needed to get another 45 minutes of sleep.  I am hoping to get in 5 miles or more, especially when considering that we are supposed to get a pretty good sized snow storm beginning tomorrow.  Peace out!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Early Mornings

There is a saying that nothing good happens after 2:00AM.  If that is the case, then what is the deal with 5:00AM?  It is not too long after 2:00AM.  The sun isn't up yet.  I usually feel like crap when the alarm goes off at such an un-Godly hour.  Despite the saying and my reluctance to get out of the bed so early, some of my best work has happened at this time or soon thereafter.

Why do I have to get up so early?  Well, the only time I can get my swim training in while still being able to spend time with my family is when they are sleeping.  Also, it has a minimal impact on my work schedule, actually it allows me to get into work by 7:00AM (and thus I can leave a bit early to pick up my daughters from school).  Even if I am not going to go to the pool, I still plan on getting up early on the week days and get in some time on the bike.  This is something that I have never done before, but I can see the benefits already.

This morning I hoped out of bed, actually it was more of a shrug and limp, and threw on my biking gear and went in to the basement (it was around 5:45AM by the time I actually got down there).  I turned on the TV, clicked into my pedals and started to spin while watching "The Big Lebowski".  I found a good spin workout on line the other day and decided to give it a try, 15 minute warm-up, ~10 minutes of alternate leg pedalling (:30 concentrating on right leg, :30 both legs, :30 left leg, :30 both, :30 right and so forth and so on), 10 minutes of :60 at 105 RPMs, then :60 at 80 RPMs and repeat, 10 minutes of ~65 RPMs (hard gear) with breaks when needed. and finished off with five minutes of a cool down.  It was a tough workout, but a good one.  I was done riding by 6:30AM or so and was ready to get cleaned up and spend some time with my girls prior to getting them to school.

A couple months ago I was dreading what was up-coming, getting up well before dawn to get my workouts done and out of the way.  I didn't know how I was going to be able to do it and still function properly.  Well, it has only been about three weeks and things are going OK.  I can only hope that it continues for the next 291 days!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Terrible Tyler 9.3 Miles

Never has a race been so appropriately named as the Terrible Tyler 9.3M.  The fact that it is run on paved paths through Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA would lead most not familiar with the park to think that it is a beautiful and scenic run through a lush and magical forest (maybe lush and magical is really pouring it on, but you get the point).  Anyone who has run in Tyler knows that there are few easy trails and most border on extremely hilly and steep.  Well, Sunday was the day of the race and I thought I was ready for it...I thought I was ready.

I had a good nights sleep, close to eight hours which is unheard of for me.  I hopped out of bed around 7:15AM and headed to the kitchen to fix myself a bagel with jelly, which would serve as my pre-race meal.  My wife came down shortly after and around 7:45AM my two little ones finally emerged from their bedrooms.  My wife and I couldn't believe that the whole house had made it past 7:00AM, especially the girls.  Anyway, after finishing breakfast, I threw on my cold running gear since the temperature outside was still in the teens, and it wasn't likely to warm up anytime soon.

Wow!  My one mile warm-up was COLD!  Everything was freezing, I mean literally freezing.....snot, spit, drool, tears....all of it was freezing on contact.  It was going to be one cold race today.   9:30AM came all too quickly, I had found a spot near the fire to warm-up and BAMN, time to head to the start. 

I felt surprisingly good for the first 2.5 miles (for the most part all uphill), the whole time I kept reminding myself to leave some fuel in the tank for the second loop, which starts out with a one mile long steep uphill climb (thus where the name "Terrible Tyler" derives from).  After getting to the top the next 2.8 miles was mostly downhill and I was able to cruise for a bit, preparing myself for the BIG hill. 

At the 5.3 mile mark (the Start/Finish location), I grabbed a cup of very strong Gatorade, downed it quickly, cleared my sinuses and took a couple of deep breathes.  I knew what lay before me and it deserved all of the respect that I could give it.  I thought that I had prepared myself, I thought that I was ready to go strong up the hill and pass some people, I thought I would be able to just crush that hill.  I was hurting. I was weak. I was wrong.   Despite how badly I was feeling, I made a promise to myself that I would not walk one step up that friggin' hill; no matter how tired or dejected I felt, I wouldn't allow myself to walk.  I kept trudging along, keeping my head up and pushing.  It felt like the longest mile I had ever run, but I made it to the top and then it was time to start making up time.

My legs were feeling heavy and I didn't think that I was going to be able to come close to my PR I set two year prior.  I was at the point where I needed to make a decsion, do I push on and run as hard as I could to try and get close to 1:07 or 1:08 or do I just coast in and chalk it up as a good training run?  I opted to push on hard and see how fast I could run it.  My Garmin was a bit off mileage wise (lots of tree cover that skews the mileage, usually cutting corners, etc.) so it was tough for me to gauge how well or badly I was really doing, so I really had no clue how far I had left.  

The last three miles is probably 80% downhill, but it still was tough going.   With my quads feeling as sore as they were, what should have an easy cruise down the mountain was more like jack-hammer pounding session.  I pushed on.  About a half mile from the finish I had some one in my sights that I thought I could catch, he would be my target, the one that would pull me along.  (there I am about 50 yds behind my target)

About 200 yards from the finish I was able to catch and pass him (Thank God!) and held him off to finish in 1:07:10 (7:13/mile).  I was surprised that I was able to do so well considering how slow and heavy I felt the last loop.  I was happy with the result even though I didn't beat my time of 2008 (1:06:35).  It was a bitterly cold day and I ran as hard as I could.

I would spend the rest of the day laying around the house.  I was tired!

As for today, I was up bright and early to get in a swim at HealthQuest.  I think I was in the pool by 5:50AM, sore legs and all.  I managed 1,450M in 30:27, which consisted of a 400M warm up, a 50 - 200M ladder (up and down) and then a 250M cool down.  I didn't realize until I was adding it all up in my head on my way to work that I should have just done and extra 50M at the end to make 1,500M....but that is really just a number and I shouldn't be too concerned about it.

I would like to get out at lunch today and do an easy 4 miles, but I think I have lunch plans.  I am thinking about skipping out on the lunch though since I don't know when I am going to fit work outs in over the next few days.  I have an all day Leadership Meeting both Tuesday and Wednesday, which happen to also include dinners.  Looks like no swimming those days, but I will have to get up early and get on my bike before getting the kids to school and then off to work.

Time to build some web pages....Peace out!