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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Speed laces

Lacing up some shoes. I have been transferring these quick laces between new shoes for a couple of years - this is about the 6th pair to have these laces. I also use the yankz laces for racing. Who has time to tie shoes in a transition area.

I have been riding the rollers each morning for the past couple and I am actually getting used to it - although I am only riding for about 30 minutes. I continue to try to push a bigger gear - tough work but I think it will pay dividends come spring.

I have been staying off on the ankle. Still a little tender. I am doubling up on the bike, however, by riding the exercise bike at the gym. It has also let me read some bicycling and triathlon magazine (I know I am a little obsessive). Still doing the strength training - I know this is in complete contrast to my other goals but I can not waste muscle mass - I have too little to begin with.

I have been following the diet and it has been pretty easy. I have strayed a little this year with all of the racing an training a forgot about feeling hungry. Once you get used to it, it's not such a bad feeling. I would like to lose a little body fat for the coming half marathon. Lite makes right and I am looking for any speed I can gain.

I will, however, go off of the diet tomorrow night for Halloween. There is a special 'Track on Tap' Halloween edition (costume mandatory). T on T is a month get together of the pine belt pacers where you get together and run from pub to pub. It is really a lot of fun. This one will be downtown with a lot of neat bars that I have not frequented.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ugg - the boots cometh...

What is the opposite of an Indian summer? Maybe a cold snap? That is what we are experiencing here in Mississippi. You would think that the rivers had frozen. The days of sandals and flip flops seem to have (briefly) come to an end. The age of Ugg Boots is upon us!

Ugg Boots


I rode the rollers this morning for 30 minutes (nursing the tendon - if you know what I mean). It is dull, dull, dull but I read a magazine and did intervals to pass the time. I would pedal along at a cadence of just over 100 at a comfortable level. Watching my heart rate monitor / watch I would then click into a higher gear and maintain the same cadence. Drop back down after a minute and repeat.

It made the time pass by much quicker. I am trying to adapt to pushing a bigger gear at high cadence. When I first started riding I had a low cadence and I worked from the very beginning to bring that up to the low hundreds. That was pretty easy to accomplish because it relies more on cardio endurance than leg strength. So now I need to increase the strength while keeping the cadence which will equal faster cycling. I spun out the gearing of my road bike for about 5 minutes. (I was in the highest gear pedaling at a cadence of 100+ / this equaled a little over 35 MPH - not real since there is no wind resistance.) I would like to try and add a minute or two to each workout and become a cycling god.

The time is now!


Got down to freezing last night and I enjoyed a brisk run into work. It was about 35 degrees when I left the house. I was dressed just about right and got a good workout in without getting chilled or overheating. I have done enough of these runs in the past that I have a pretty good idea of how to manage. I did the 6 miles run in a comfortable pace of 8 minute miles. This is a conversational pace for me and I am just adding base miles. It is much easier to run in cool / cold weather than bike. Many more layers are necessary with a 20 MPH wind chill.

My Achilles tendon started hurt just a little towards the end of the run. I need to baby this so that it does not get out of control and actually affect my training.

At lunch I decided to skip the "Dot Race" (everyone was pretty wussy with the temperature outside anyway) and I rode the exercise bike for 30 minutes. A pretty challenging effort but I was still able to read most of a Women's Fitness magazine - good stuff. After the bike Richard, Chad and I hit the WOZ (workout zone) for arms. I generally do not do isolation exercises so these always kill me.

So, it's true, I am very goal oriented. I firmly believe that if you plan something then you will succeed! Write down what you want to do, make it a priority and you can achieve it (sounds like an infomercial - you'll be saying sham wow everytime). I found a social networking site regarding goals ( http://www.43things.com/ ). Not sure if this is the site for me but I registered and put down my exercise goals - (complete half marathon, complete full marathon, complete half ironman, complete full ironman, lose body fat). You can also encourage others on goals that you believe to be worth while. It might help to motivate a little. BTW - do not do a search for fat girlfriends - you will find this guy - link ... and whatever you do - please do not go to his myspace page - link ...

Anyway - back on track -

A glass of water was knocked over on the alarm clock last night - not sure how that happened - the lights go out early at my house. Anyway I awoke to the 'zero hour'. Wake up call?

zero hour - The scheduled time for the start of an operation or action, especially a combat operation of great size. Thesaurus: A decisive point: climacteric, crisis, crossroad (used in plural), exigence, exigency, head, juncture, pass, turning point. See decide/hesitate.

I used to listen to a podcast from (I think) everydaysystems that had an episode about resolutions not just being for New Year's. Why put everything off to one time of year? Why not do resolutions (forming positive habits / breaking negative habits) all year long. So starting next month I am going to pick a new resolution and attempt to stick to it. They (I don't know who they are) say that it takes 21 days to start / stop a habit. A month should be plenty of time for self improvement. I've got tons of stuff that I would like to improve on - and fortunately I have already started some good ones and broken some pretty bad ones. (I already exercise a lot and I don't smoke anymore - if you do these then this is the place to start - let me know if you need any encouragement or to be slapped around if you slip - I'm good at this.) I'm going to try to stick to a little better diet and lose some body fat. I already eat fairly well but I get into trouble as the week goes on. I get in a calorie deficit and I overcompensate with bad food (binge - I like the cake). I have started tracking everything that eat with http://www.fitday.com again. Complete transparency! - my fitday - I'm going to track everything.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Into the wind...

Sunday was a tough exercise day. I started the day fine but was not feeling the exercise. This sometimes happens, even to me. However, I will always give the outing a fair shake and almost always I will get in the groove. When running I will not call it a day until at least a couple of miles are under my belt. At about the 2 mile mark I will start getting into - the endorphins will start flowing, the neurons will be firing - there will be joy in the world again. I never come back from an exercise session sorry for having done it - even if I am not feeling it mentally I know that it was good for my body!

So I decided to go for a bike ride on Sunday. My legs were feeling good even though I had a demanding run the day before. I was not sure how far I was going to ride but to be on the safe side I provisioned enough for a 50 mile ride. (A couple of granola bars.)

I set out on the bike and I was not into it but I was going to shake it out. There was a strong head wind that I was pushing through. On the bright side the sun was shinning and the weather cool - just about perfect. I was travelling at a good clip and blew past several runners and bikers. I quickly decided that I was only going to do a quick 20 mile ride. My heart rate was not reading on my exercise watch so I had to restart it. That blew the opportunity to do a time trial. I like to race against my best times. They are not always comparable (ie. wind, temperature, trace congestion, etc.) but I do enjoy comparing today against my best.

Well the 20 miler changed to a 12 miler and I turned around Epley. I was a little demoralized.

Later in the afternoon Jodie was going for a run. I almost never run with her - when you run with her she feels that you are competing and she can not run at her pace. Anyway, she let me run with her. I raced her to the end of the street and told her to hurry up - lol - that was a joke.

I ran at her pace and at about the 2 mile mark my Achilles tendon started to get tight and hurt. This happened a couple of weeks ago when I switched to a new pair of shoes (New Balance). I had not experienced any pain for about a week and I am not sure why this came back. We ended up with a 4 mile run.

Today, I rode in on the bike - cold and windy (tomorrow the low is 33). Still a lot of discomfort in the tendon. I decide to stay off the foot and only do strength training at lunch. I never follow a plan and attempted my usual Monday routine. I started the 'Alpine Trail' at max 8.5MPH and 12 incline for 45 minutes (last week was 40 minutes).

After the first hill (20 minutes) my foot was aching. I stopped the machine. The rest of the session was chin ups, pull up, back and abs.

The ride home I felt great even though the wind was strong.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

For the good ol' American life -- for the money, for the glory, and for the fun. Mostly for the money.

I worked a short day on Friday. I has some pressing things that needed to be attended to and, in addition, I just was in need of some time away from the office. I never got any exercise in even though I had the time.

I felt I was spinning my wheels. I had a lot to do but was not sure of the best way to get it done. I am trying to prioritize the things that are important to me. I had a job that was all about responsibility and accountability at one time. It was hard and people always looked to you for the right answers. Decisions were a part of the job. I never had any problem making decisions at work. It was by the book - very little grey area (unless you really looked. And you never had to look - that was also part of the job).

At home it was different; it was personal. Decisions are harder when they are full of grey and have a seemingly permanent impact. but I digress, the reason that I brought up work was the lessons that I learned. In priorities there are two attributes to consider - urgency and importance. Sometimes they seem like they are the same but there not.

urgency - the state of being urgent; an earnest and insistent necessity

importance - Strongly affecting the course of events or the nature of things; significant

"What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." - Eisenhower

Only if it meets both of those criteria then it has to be done now. However, what one person thinks is important (The water in the break room is getting low) and someone else thinks is urgent (There is a huge sale at the dirty-mart that only lasts to 3PM we have to go now - or virtually any phone call I get at work) may not be either to you. (Not good examples I know, sorry.)

Anyway, I have been trying to prioritize my objectives for the coming year. Going over these I first had to look at importance and rank everything. Then I had to look at what steps were necessary to achieve these goals. And finally look at what was important and was also urgent and needed immediate attention. These objectives were taken care of today.

These are grown up ways of looking at things and the decisions can be hard and not immediately gratifying. Being a grown up is tough work sometimes.

I slept late on Saturday and really did not know exactly what kind of run I wanted to do - the day off of exercise did my body good so I decided to run a hard 10 miles. I had wanted to do 12.9+ (or 13) miles but I was not sure if I would be successful considering the pace that I was planning.

I took the first mile out at a medium effort at my comfort level (a little less than 7:45 pace) then picked up the pace to LT. I cruised the next mile and felt pretty good. Not Green-Goblin-god-like good but doing okay. (By the way, I love the Green-Goblin-god-like feeling!) That second mile was at 7:17. This mile included some acceleration and I knew more speed was to be had if I wanted it. My slowest mile was the third mile simply because I saw a few comrades and stopped to speak with them for a minute or so (8:42 pace). The next 8 miles were all less than 7:15 with the fastest mile clocking in at 7:01.

The total time of the run was 1:14:09 (74 minutes and 9 seconds for a 7:24 minute / miles pace). If I deduct 3 minutes for the warm up and talking I get a much closer to my goal pace. 1:11:00 equals 7:06 minute miles.

To meet my fantasy goal for the 1/2 marathon all of the miles need to be 6:56. Sub seven minute miles for 13.1 miles is such 'a long way to go with a short time to get there'.

As a side note - Big Lots is out of tuna pouches...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Suicides

Tried to do a LT run in the treadmill this morning at the Payne Center. I started out a little too aggressive. I set the treadmill to maintain my heart rate at 170 BPM. However, the treadmill with allow the heart rate to fluctuate by five degrees either way before slowing or increasing pace / incline. After 20 minutes my heart rate was at 175 and I was not able to sustain. Next time I will put in a more conservative 165 - 168.

I hit the pull ups and chin ups pretty hard to finish out the workout.

Did suicides at lunch. A hard set of 6 with 1 minute RI followed by a slow run around the field. Then two more hard sets.

Finished out the lunch session with a chest workout. Just like last week, every set to failure was tough. We have been doing a reverse pyramid the last two weeks. I will feel this all weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Panic

Ended up riding the bike home on Tuesday. Nice cool weather. Jodie and I enjoyed the ride.

I had planned on getting up and running to work again. Jodie had to drive so I would not have to run home. We went to bed a normal time, however, we were both awaken by the door bell ringing non-stop. It was after midnight. I jumped out of bed and put on a pair of jeans and a shirt. The ringing had turned to banging on the front door. We live in a quite neighborhood. This was very odd.

I went to the front door and it was Phil from across the street. We have been over to Phil's house for a cookout and we are very neighborly.

Phil was very pale and not breathing well. He had his blackberry out and was talking to someone. I told Phil to come into the house. He was having problems breathing. He was trying to speak with his son on the phone. I took the phone and spoke with Scott - Scott does not live in town.

Scott said that this has happened to Phil before and that we has acid reflux and has trouble breathing. Phil was also in full blown panic. I tried to decide whether to call an ambulance or take Phil to the hospital.

I am ashamed to say that if it were more serious Phil would have died in my house. Eventually I went with Phil to his house and we talk and he felt better.

I got back to sleep at around 3AM.

I drove in to work with Jodie. I was dead to the world. When my schedule gets interrupted it is hard for me to get started. So no morning workout.

Wednesdays are "Stadium Days." Ran the steps with Vic, Chad and Richard. The weather was cool and I felt strong. I post a 5:37, 5:22 and a 5:23 on the stadium sessions. We then went out on the field to attempt a few field goals. Chad, a former soccer player, had made Vic a wager that we could nail 9 out of 10 from 23 yards. The same distance that the Mississippi State kicker had recently missed.

It turned out that Chad probably could not hit 1 out of 10 much less 9. We all made a few attempts at the field goal. I was the only one to hit one. Did abs and shoulders in the gym.

Ended up driving home with Jodie.

As a side note - I did not do the Dot Race on Tuesday but Vic clocked a 6:4x! He is getting fast.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Running ragged

Have really stepped the running up this week in preparation of the half marathon at the end of next month. Rode the bike in Monday morning. It was brisk and although I did not time the ride I feel that it was rather fast. I have made this mistake before - time trialing every ride. There is no recovery for the wicked. I had to stop timing the rides - I always tried to beat the last one. Not doing that anymore, but the ride was fast!

Decided to increase the time on the "alpine trail" treadmill run for Monday. Max 8.5 MPH with an incline of 12 units (units because I really do not know what it measures but 15 is the highest) for 40 minutes. This comes out to a very challenging 4.5 miles in 40 minutes at near constant incline. There is no decline on the treadmill just less incline. After the first hill the flat section at 8.5 MPH gets you going.

Ran home from work in the afternoon (6 miles). It was a steady pace and felt good. Saw Lance out on the trace on his bike. We slowed and we chewed the fat a bit. He rehashed and relived the recent Heritage Triathlon. I was jealous of his war stories - I missed this race. It is always hard to talk to someone on a bike when you are running. At even the slowest pace on a bike you are trying to keep up on foot. We talked for maybe a mile and I was wearing down.

That gave me 10.5 miles for the day. Not too bad. Since I left the bike at work I knew - and was prepared - to run back into work in the morning.

Another brisk morning so I wore some light gloves and a log sleeve technical shirt under a cycling jersey. I was dressed just about right. For fun I pushed the pace when I encountered the dots. Not a fast pace but I did pick it up a bit.

Saw a guest lecturer at lunch so no workout. Still have to run or ride home - have not made my mind up yet but I have nearly 30 miles in 3 days. I like to push it when I feel it but sometimes I need to temper myself.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A very gratifing hurt but hurt none the less.

Thursday night was another all night session at work (the last for a few months). Worked all day Thursday and rode the bike home at around 4:30 PM. Drove back to work at 8PM and ran some errands with Kyle.

Kyle ended up buying a bathtub full of tuna at discount retailer - something line 60 pouches of plain tuna in water. As a side note he would have to have all of this fishy food in his carry-on bag for his flight home on Saturday.

Got back to work at about 9:30 PM and did not wrap up and finish until 5AM. I drove home just in time to grab the first cup of coffee. I was able to get about 2 1/2 hours of sleep that morning. Friday was also going to be a demanding night at work. I arrived at work at around 1PM and did not leave until after 11PM. To decompress we went to a local tavern to have a drink - I only had a Diet Coke. Got home just before 1AM.

Slept like a rock until 6AM. I had agreed to do a 'Coastal Clean up' in Gulf Port about 60 miles away. I'm just glad that I did not have to drive. Made it to Gulf Port and picked up trash for about 2 hours and then I had to go and lie down in the car. I was exhausted, my stomach hurt and just did not feel well. So much for exercise and working the plan for Friday and Saturday.

I was also damn sore from the weight traingin work out from Thursday. The chest was aching, the shoulders were damaged. A very gratifing hurt but hurt none the less.

Got back on the horse on Sunday with a brisk (55 degree) run to Epley and Back. This run is just over 12 miles. Started out with a comfortable pace (Heart rate in the 140's) of about 8 minute miles. I ran this for the first 6 something miles and picked the pace up just a little as I turned to home. Ran the next 4 miles at 7:30 - 7:40 minutes per mile (150's). On the home stretch I again pushed the pace a little with close to 7:00 minute miles (160's). I ran past the house to get a full 13 miles - I stopped just short at 12.9x miles. I finished the run at 1:39:41 for an average pace of 7:44/mile. I do not believe that I will be able to finish the Gulf Coast 1/2 Marathon at my goal pace.

Just for clarification, I always pick my goals in a fashion. I pick the Gold Medal - this is out of reach, it will take a miracle to achieve this goal, it will not happen but it is the ultimate goal. The Silver Medal is achievable but everything will have to go as planned, no mistakes, just hard work and perseverance. And the Bronze Medal - Train hard and smart and this one is possible, but not a given, it will require work.

My Gold medal goal for this 1/2 marathon (which I have not taken as serious as I should have and only have 5 weeks left) is a 7:00/mile pace and finishing at or below 1:31. I guess I also have a super goal of finishing just below 1:30. I am going to use the results of this 1/2 marathon to plan the paces and workouts for a full marathon early next year. A Boston qualifing time is a dream in a full marathon but once again that is a gold medal goal.

The Silver medal is the low 1:30's. Finishing at 1:35 or less. This is going to be damn hard. I am really going to have determine my max pace for 13.1 miles and execute to achieve this goal - I can do this one.

The Bronze medal is 1:40 or less. Not a given but I think that I can do this one with a hard but not killer effort. I have never run a foot race of anywhere near this distance but I do have confidence.

I am trying to catch the excitement for this race. The water is hot but not yet boiling. Waiting for the steam.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The stadium ate my lunch

Drove in yesterday morning due to needing to run some errands in the AM and PM. This would only be a one-a-day exercise day and a small break from the grind.

Ran out to 'The Rock' to run the stadium stairs with Vic, Chad and Richard. This was a tough day. I wore a pair of old running shoes and it was very apparent. Cardio wise I was doing well but my legs and feet hurt. Not hitting the stadium for a couple weeks was noticeable.

Successfully completed three sessions and then back to the gym. Gym felt better then the stadium and we did several bouts of abs with the medicine ball. Good times. Felt strong.

Today I rode the bike in and at lunch decided to try the treadmill with the 'Alpine Trail'. This is a challenging workout. I set the max speed at 8.5 MPH and the max incline at 12 for 30 minutes. I can complete this session but it is definitely a work out that is felt in the calves.

Did chest workout with Vic and Chad for first time in a couple of weeks. Started at a higher weight (205) and then dropped down each set. This is the first time in a very long time that I gone to failure on each set. I will be sore in tomorrow.

On a side note I will be working all night again and bad food will be present.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Christmas in October

Monday I decided to run into work and follow the good vibes from Sunday. (Jodie had taken a supply of clothes to her lab to help facilitate this.) Why not another fast paced run near LT. I put on my headphones and headed out the door. I did the 6 miles in a not near record pace (43:3x - record is about 42:0x - a pretty big difference) but acceptable considering the lack of recent purposeful training. I have been maintaining fitness but not actively improving.

At lunch, still getting back to the plan, I hit the treadmill for hard forced intervals. I had planned on a 1 mile warm up followed by 3 miles of 1/4 mile intervals @ 6 min / mile pace (1/4 REST @ 8 min / mile pace) and then a 1 mile cool down.

I ended up doing only 3/4 mile warm up and no cool down. The intervals went fine. I can run these faster but not willing to push the pace at this point in the training. The Gulf Coast 1/2 mary that I am now officially signed up for is just 6 weeks away. That will give 5 week of concentrated training. I have not really picked a plan yet (I have been looking at the end of a challenging full mary plan) but I know the routine. I hope to do well in this 1/2 mary because I will use the pace to develop the training plans for the rest of the year.

I rode the bike into work this morning. With all of the travel and late nights at work, etc. I have not ridden the bike much. I also push the bike too hard in the commute - these should be easy miles but they are not. From house to campus, stowing the bike and getting clothes and making my way to the locker room in just under 30 minutes. The bike is still the fastest way to work and considering the construction around town that now includes taking a shower.

Tuesdays are the 'Dot Race' and as always they are exciting. Vic has been on a roll and continues to drop big blocks of time for his handicap. He started just a few weeks ago with a 8:30 minute mile and today clocked a 6:55. Huge gains in time. Chad has come down to a 6:30 minute mile and has plateaued a bit - he has been nursing a strained quad. I was able to better pace myself this week and watched the quarter mile markers and was able to keep my heart rate under control. Challenging but not out of control I clicked off 1:30 1/4 mile splits and was then able to push it to a 1:24 for the final leg of the mile. I passed Chad in this segment but Vic was too fast today. With the new handicaps next week Vic will have to continue to put up big numbers.

I decided to run a bit further and hooked up with Ryan. We ran about 3 more miles in and around campus at 8 min / mile pace. Total running miles today was 6.

Pent up and full of energy I surged repeatedly on the bike commute home. I would slow down for Jodie but we have always agreed to not race home. To better expend this tension I rode a good portion of the ride standing on the cranks in the largest gear.

Still wound up I decided to drop the backpack off and do a early evening time trial. I was not sure if I was going to do the 11.85 mile (home to Epley) or the 20 mile (home to Sumrall) time trial out and backs. My heart rate monitor was not registering and I probably pushed the pace a little hard so I decided to do the shorter of the two. Funny enough I finished in exactly the same time as my PR for this course (achieved on 07/31/08). 32:10 @ 22.10 MPH - however, I have not been riding much the past few weeks and this ride has brought on the 'Santa Claus Syndrome'.

Mind and body better I called it a night.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. - Ernest Hemingway

Being out of the swing the last few weeks I was not sure where my baseline was. I decided to do a moderate LT run just to ascertain my current fitness. I decided to do a LT run for between 8 and 10 miles. I started out at a slow pace for the first mile and then pushed it up to about LT - 6 BPM. This second mile was tough. My legs were aching and I had a lot of discomfort. I decide to drop back down to a slow pace for a mile and gather my thoughts. This was an easy mile but I was surprised at just how slow it was. Once the easy mile was complete I pushed back up to the prior harder level. This mile went a little better but still not firing on all cylinders. I dropped back down again a did another slow mile. I had conceded and was just going to alternate between easy and hard for the duration of the run.

I picked the pace up again and this time it clicked. I felt strong like I should. I ran the last five miles at this exertion level and even picked it up a little at the end. It was a great feeling of satisfaction to persevere and be redeemed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hard days night

So we were working like dogs last night. Got home at 5AM and here it is 7:45AM and back at work. Jodie had to do some of her bird stuff (check their hormone levels by extracting blood) early this morning and then we are hitting the road for a nine plus hour drive to attend a wedding.

I'm up for anything but I am feeling it this morning. Everything except the dehydration if you know what I mean. I should be able to catch some zzz's in the car but as you know that is never valuable sleep. It is just get-by sleep.

No exercise on the docket today! Have to 'get into the grind' and 'work the plan' starting Sunday.

As a side note this will the the 4th weekend in a row that I have been in Atlanta (this time just driving through).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Working the plan.

I ran 3 easy miles Tuesday morning with Jodie. The weather was nice but my Achilles tendon on my right foot was aching horribly. I was foolish and strayed to a different brand of shoe. I have tried New Balance in the past and I believe that they are good shoes but they just do not fit me well. Everything is fine with the shoe except the back of the shoe is too stiff. I put about 15 miles on them and my Achilles felt, not stranded or pulled, but bruised. These shoes have been shelved. On a related note I also bought a pair of light and fast Adidas running shoes. Also not a normal shoe for me. These shoes are working great. Against my own advice I continued to run even with the pain just not in the New Balance shoes.

I also ran at lunch with Vic and Chad however I did not participate in the "Dot Race". I ran the course but not the race. I started slow and tried to increase my speed at each 1/4 interval. The last 1/4 mile was an all out 1:22. Pretty good considering the pain and already have run 3/4 of a mile at a 'good' pace.

Woke up this morning feeling good and wanted to run a light tempo run (faster than normal but not all out). I was shooting for about 5 BPM below lactic acid threshold (LT - also called aerobic threshold - this is the level you can sustain without going anaerobic). So after a short 1/2 mile warm up I started at the 5k start / stop point of a known out and back course. I accelerated to a comfortably hard pace. Clicked off the first mile at 6:38. Not anywhere near 1 mile records but feeling strong. During training I have so much difficulty sticking to the PLAN. As I said I was feeling strong and pushed just a little harder - maybe to just above LT. Hit the half way point and charged home. The ground was wet from a light rain the night before and the sun was still not all the way up. I missed the last mile marker so I was unable to get my splits. With about 3/4 mile left I pushed the pace higher. I was now well above LT. Breathing was labored. Still strong but having to push hard. Was about to cross under the final bridge with a 1/4 mile left and I gave everything. Arms were pumping, my stride increased (not always a good thing), and I focused on the goal. Crossed the finish line feeling like I had accomplished something. My day was made. Ended up with an unofficial personal best 5k time of 19:42 - 15 seconds better than my race times. For the record I will add about 10 seconds because the start/stop is not marked exactly - but I will take it.

I guess the time off probably really helped - I tend to have a difficult time taking the easy days easy and I rarely train smart. Something that I have to work on.

I am getting inspired for the 1/2 mary coming up. I had previously only been going through the paces. It is now time to put the goal in permanent marker and work the plan.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back to the grind

Was out of town last weekend. Had a good time but was unable to get much exercise in to the mix. Had to be in the car for much of Friday and Sunday.

Went for an easy 3.5 mile run today at lunch and then hit the weights. I am sure the weights will make me a little sore tomorrow.

Only six weeks to the Gulf Coast 1/2 mary. I have not started to train for this event at all. I can go the distance without much difficultly, however, I am sure that this will not be my best time.

I am thinking about hitting the last 6 weeks of an intermediate 12 week 1/2 mary training plan. That would be challenging. A lot of tempo and speed work with a weekly long run. Keep the volume within reason.

Need to start working the plan!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Voting

Just a quick note - I got my new voter registration card in the mail last week. My polling station could not be in a better location. It is actually on the trace. I can vote on my cycling commute to work! How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stadium Days

No exercise this morning. Was originally supposed to go swimming at Lake Serene with Jim. However, I stayed up late doing the Mystery Beer Tasting. I think that everyone had a really good time.

I woke up later than usual (at about 6AM) and heard my phone beeping. It was a message from Jim stating that we was not able to make the swim. This was a relief. I have not done any swimming in a couple of weeks, much less OWS.

Hit the stadium with Vic and Chad. Vic is having a great week. Chad trailed him most of the way. (Chad is still struggling with the quad.)

I ran the steps out in front of both of them and ran the transitions - no recovery at all! It was a good work out. I doubt I will be sore tomorrow at all - this work out is starting to build strength.

Hit the weights after the stadium. A little shoulders and a lot of abs. The core is also getting stronger.

Special thanks to Julie (Vic's wife) for the awesome banner!