Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Six Days & Counting

The Broad Street Run is only six days away and I can safely say that I am woefully under prepared for the race.  I have done my best over the past couple weeks to prepare myself for it, but I suspect that Sunday is going to be a suffer-fest for me.  Regardless of my training, or lack thereof, I am still hoping to run it in under 1:20:00 (8:00/mile pace).  I will be running it with my friend Bill, who I will be relying on to pace me for the duration, or at least until he pulls away from me with four miles or so remaining.  Despite my lack of training, I think I can hold a sub 8:00/mile pace for ten miles.....God I hope I can!!!

As for my training, I did manage to make it five straight days in a row.  Friday night was a 45 minute spin on the bike and Saturday was a 9.1 mile run in the pouring rain.  It was slow going, but I did get it done.  Needless to say, Saturday afternoon was a little rough for me, I was extremely sore from the run.  It is a far cry from six months ago when my typical training run was 8 miles, which included a good amount of speed work.  I have a quite a long road ahead of me until I get into race shape.

I wasn't able to do anything on Easter Sunday because I was busy with all of the things that come with the holiday, e.g. going to church, preparing for company, cleaning, entertaining, etc.  I suppose I could have gone out for an easy run before bed, but I was just so tired.  Monday is my traditional day off from training, so I didn't even attempt to head out, although I probably should have gotten back into P90X.  Oh well, I could always start again tonight.

Speaking of racing, I haven't been a pool since mid-January and it doesn't look like I am going to be swimming anytime soon.  Work is a killer right now and I just don't have the funds to join the local "Y" right now.  I guess I am going to have to wait until our local pool opens up Memorial Day weekend and just do all of my swimming there.  I can assure you that there will be many a wetsuit swim in the chilly waters of Fanny Chapman.

Technically this is a taper week for me, but then again how does one taper when two weeks ago I was logging a whopping 10 miles a week?  I guess there will be no taper for this week, maybe just take off on Friday and do an easy 2 - 3 mile run on Saturday.

That is it for now, time to get back to work and set up some appointments.  Cheers!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mini-Mile Stone

Yesterday marked the first time since November that I have run/biked THREE days in a row!!!  Yes, it is a huge accomplishment.  In reality, how sad is it that no more than six months ago I was putting in 20 hours of training a week, only taking Monday's off to rest.  Now I am celebrating three days of physical activity in a row. 

Today I will be hoping to complete the quadruple, yes, that's right....FOUR days in a row!!!  When I get home from work I am going to head into my basement and put in 45 minutes on the bike.  Wait it gets better because tomorrow I will be running yet again.....8 to 10 miles in preparation for the Broad Street Run which is a mere ten days away.  Provided I am able to complete all of my planned activities, that will make FIVE straight days and SIX out of SEVEN days of training.  Sounds like I am back baby!

As for my run yesterday, it was much better than my Wednesday run.  I managed to get in 5.25 miles at about 8:17/mile pace.  I am still way off my sub-8/min mile training pace of last year, but I am also 15 lbs heavier and not even close to being in "good" shape.  I'll take it for now.  Enough for today, back to work.  Adios!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick Update

I don't have a lot of time this morning so I am going to make this short and sweet....then again I always say that and end up writing way more than I planned.

I like to think  I am back in the swing of training, but I say that having only done two days of training in a row.  The real test will be if I am able to run or bike after my daughters lacrosse practice tonight (which I coach as well).  I probably won't get home until around 8:00PM and after getting her cleaned up and the other two in bed it will probably be close to 8:45PM.  That means I am going to have to utilize all of my will power to get me either out the door for a nice 4 - 5 mile run or in to my basement for an hour ride on the trainer.  No doubt it will be difficult, but I am sure that I can do it.  Hell, I was able to do it for eleven straight months in 2010, no reason I can't do it now.

As for the week in training thus far, Tuesday I was all ready to head out for a run, but then life got in the way.  Before I knew it, it was already 9:15PM and I had no desire to go out into the wet weather for a 5 mile run.  Instead of packing it in an doing nothing, I put on my cycling gear and did a 45 minute ride in the basement while watching IM New Zealand.  For me, there is nothing better for motivation than to watch replays of past Ironman's to make me work hard.  I know I am not going to be a professional triathlete, but being a solid age group contender going forward is what I want. 

Yesterday was a gorgeous day and I was able to get out and do a 4.75 mile run right before dinner.  I felt like crap for the whole run, but I think that was largely due to what I ate prior.  It started with a breakfast meeting at Shula's where I consumed a healthy portion of French Toast and sausage.  I then followed that up with a lunch meeting at the White Dog where I had the "Green Meadow Farm Cheddar Burger - Smoked Bacon Mayo, Grilled Red Onion, Brioche Bun" with fries.  I was so full and I think it stayed with me all through my run which was a solid four hours afterwards.  It was warm out (75F) and I was slow, but I got it done.

I had been pretty good about watching what I eat, but then it all fell apart yesterday.  I tried to remedy that this morning by starting my day with a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast.  For lunch today I think it is going to be a Salad Works day and for dinner maybe just some eggs on a bagel (after my training session of course).

That is it for now....the Broad Street Run is only eleven days away.  Sayonara!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saturday & the Stateliner Spring Classic 5K (not the UNITE)

I woke up on Saturday morning feeling a hell of a lot better than I did on Friday.  Apparently the meds I was prescribed were doing what they were supposed to do.  I had what looked like a very busy day ahead of me and I was ready to get started. 

First up was to take my youngest daughter to dance class at 9:30AM, oh and have my older daughter accompany me so that my wife to do some food shopping and other necessary household duties, all of which keep the household running smoothly.  Dance was pretty uneventful except for the last 10 or 15 minutes when I was able to watch a run through of their June recital.  It is going to be really cute;  about ten 4 and 5 year old girls tap dancing to a song from "The Lion King."

Next up, waiting to see if my oldest daughter was going to have a lacrosse game.  The end result - called off at 11:30AM because of the "threat of heavy rain."  This proved to be a very wise decision.  Upon finding this out, the girls and I decided (actually I decided and they fought the decision) to take a drive to Rutgers to pick up my race packet for the UNITE Half Marathon....the race I would not be running because I was not even close to being in race shape.  We had a good time though, driving and walking around my Alma Mater, despite all of the rain.  They girls were great the whole time.

The rest of the night was uneventful, except for the thunderstorms that kept the girls up a bit later than normal.

Sunday - Stateliner Spring Classic 5K
Stateliner Spring Classic 5K was my first race since Ironman Arizona, and I can honestly say that I don't think I have ever been less prepared for a race in my life.  The only reason that I was even going to do the race was because two of my old friends from Chubb (Bill and Chris) were doing it and it was a chance to catch up with them. 

I have been riddled with injuries and illness for the better part of the past four months and my training has been limited to about three days a week.  I went in hoping for something around 23 minutes and anything lower would be a bonus.  At the start I told Bill and Chris that I was going to try and stay with them for about 1/4 mile and then I would just settle into my pace and try to have fun.....and that is exactly what happened. 

Mile 1 - I was passed by quite a few people, which is a very different feeling for me.  Granted I am not the fastest runner, but I do normally run a 5K at about 6:45/mile pace.  Runners were passing me like I was standing still....I was OK with this.  The first mile is pretty much uphill and I was just hoping to be around 7:30 by the mile marker, and that was about where I ended up, maybe slightly faster.

Mile 2 - The course flattens out there and it was at this point that I started to pass many of the overzealous teens and young ladies that went out like, well inexperienced kids.  My pace improved and I believe I was right around 7:12 for that mile.

Mile 3 - Ah, finally the downhill payback, but why wasn't I going faster?  I guess I just didn't have it in me or just didn't care to push myself too hard for fear of injury or making my "strep" worse.  I chose to cruise down the hill, not getting passed by anyone, but also not catching anyone either.  7:01

The Track - I entered the Phillipsburg track on the heels of another runner with another runner about 20 yards ahead of him.  Any other day I would have busted ass and caught both of them and been dry heaving at the finish.  Today was a different day, I didn't want to be puking at the end, I just wanted to glide in to the finish.  And....that is exactly what I did.  I just glided into the finish, happy to be done and happy to have finished with a time of 22:20, a 7:12/mile pace.

I definitely could have run at a much faster pace.  I definitely could have really bombed the last mile downhill.  I definitely could have caught those two guys on the track.  I definitely could have pulled a hamstring or tore my Achilles tendon.  I chose to take it easy for once in my life and just enjoy the day.  It was a good day for a race.

The three of us hung around for the raffle and awards.  I won two tickets to the Wurst Festival at Shawnee Mountain (they will probably be re gifted).  Chris took second our age group and Bill took third; a solid job by both of them.  After that is was off for a hearty breakfast at the Key City Diner, where I had a much deserved plate of French Toast (so good!).  That was followed with a tour of P-burg and then home.

At Home
On the drive home I tossed around the idea of going for a run with my oldest daughter (she is in the running club at school).  She is supposed to be running during the week and gets to double the miles if she runs with a parent.  So when I got home I asked her if she wanted to go running with me.  She said yes and off we went (with me pushing my 5 year old in the jogging stroller).  We ran to the park near us, they played for a little bit and then we ran home.  It was awesome to be able to go for a run with my 8 year old.  Who knows, maybe it will be another of our things.

That is about it for now.  Work is calling me.  I have about two weeks to get ready to run the Broad Street Run in Philly (May 1st).  That should be an experience.  Adios!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Roller Coaster Continues

Just when I think I am back, something happens.  Something drags me down and I am forced to start back at the beginning.  When I last left off here I was back to running and doing P90X; I was back in the game and prepping for a strong showing in 2011. Well, things have changed and I am back at square one again thanks to a number of things, ugh so frustratings. 

So, the first thing was my knee.  Three weeks ago when playing soccer I landed on my knee, directly on the turf.  I didn't think it was a big deal until the next day when it swelled up quite a bit.  Turns out I had burst a bursa sac under my knee cap.  I didn't have to get it drained, but I did have to stay off of it for two weeks (translation - NO RUNNING OR BIKING). 

So after a two week lay off I was back playing soccer and luckily I ended the season without any other injuries.  I then started running and biking again, actually biking outside (yahoo!).  My knee was a little sore, but no more swelling or pain.

This week I did an easy 4 mile run on Tuesday, the start of my three week training plan for the Broad Street Run.  Overall I felt pretty good, although much slower than I would like.  Wednesday I did an hour on the bike in the basement since it was late and rainy when I finally had time to go for a run.  No worries, I put in a very respectable ride, I felt good.  Yesterday I was ready to get out on the road and put in a 5 mile run after my daughters lacrosse practice, but I just didn't feel right.  It was then that my wife looked at my neck (which was really sore) and told me I needed to go to the doctor because my lymph nodes were all swollen on the left side of my neck.  I should add that I felt like crap, but would have probably tried to go for a run had I not been told to see the doctor.

Today I went to the doctor and was told that instead of doing a Strep culture, they are just going to treat me for Strep and a couple other things.  The doctor definitely saw the swelling in my neck and wanted to start treatment right away.  She also advised that I should lay low today and all weekend so that I am better by Monday.  So what does that do for my weekend?

UNITE Half Marathon - I decided that I wasn't going to do this race about three weeks ago.  I am woefully under-prepared and it would be more of a death march than a race for me.  I may still head over to Rutgers to get my race bib and shirt.  Shame I'm not running, I got a good number ....699!

Stateliner 5K - I may do this on Sunday, it is a chance to do a short run with some of my good friends from Chubb (where I used to work).  If I do it, I will be taking it easy.

Now, long term, I need to get healthy. 
  • I have to get over this Strep-type illness
  • My knee needs to get to 100%
  • I still have some numbness in my left quadricep that I know I have to see a specialist about.
Upcoming race schedule:
  • Broad Street Run - I should be able to do this, but my time is going to be around 1:20:00, not where I really want to be, but it is still early on in the season.
  • Lavaman Triathlon (Lavallette, NJ) - I can't do it this year because of my daughters soccer schedule.  I am bummed, this is one of my favorite races
  • NJ State Triathlon (Olympic) - I am signed up to do the Olympic distance this year, first time doing that distance at the venue.
After that....I'm not sure.  I am still hoping to do Ironman Pocono Mountains 70.3, but that is still up in the air.  I don't want to pony up for a lot of races only to not be able to do them because of injuries. 

I am off to get some rest and hopefully be back on Sunday ready to go out for run.  Ciao!