Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Shoes

I got new shoes last night. I had a coupon for $15 off $75 purchase at Dicks. The ASICS GT 2120, originally $94.99, were marked down to $79.99. So I ended up paying less than $70 including tax!

Common advice is to break in the shoes but I've never had problems with new shoes. I'll probably run in them once and then use them in the 1/2 marathon this weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Resolution and Rest

First the rest. Wearing the heel lifts yesterday moved the pain from the back of my heel, higher up my leg, to the outside of my right ankle. I'm not wearing them today. My whole ankle seems to stiffen up whenever I sit down for any length of time.

I decided whatever I run this week isn't going to greatly affect my half-marathon time on Sunday so I am resting Tuesday & Wednesday. I'll go for an easy run on Thursday and then rest again on Friday & Saturday.

A couple days ago I wrote how Hermes had lost my registration for the Skeleton Run. Well I have contacted them by email and Drew was very helpful in figuring what probably happened. Hermes moved to a new office recently but their old address was on the entry form for the Skeleton Run.

Drew was also the guy who got us signed up quickly on Sunday morning. Thanks again for getting us going quickly so that we were able to run in the races.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Achilles Pain and Heel Lifts

I've been wearing a heel lift most of Sunday evening and today.

I didn't want to try to wear it while I ran but I decided to give it a try in my work shoes. I think it is definitely relieving some of the achilles pain that I was having, but at the same time it seems to be causeing some tightness in my ankles. As I type, I have my shoes off and my feet under my desk. I hope I don't get any visitors in my office.

I ran today, the homeless route backwards, and then got back just in time to do Jenny's abs workout.

Weight = 187 lbs.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

2007 Skeleton Run 5K Race Report

I ran the Skeleton Run 5K in Amherst today. My kids "Levi", "Bess", and "Rae" also ran the 1-mile Funny Bone run.

We were a few minutes late in leaving, and then we stopped to pick up Dunkin' Donuts (for after the race, we had a coupon) and coffee on the way. At this point we were still pretty close to on schedule. But unfortunately I made a wrong turn and it took us about 15 minutes to travel the mile from the donut shop to the race site.

Then we went in to pick up our numbers and Hermes had lost our registrations. The race personnel got us re-signed up but this took some time and "Levi" and I didn't get to warm up as much as we usually would have.

"Levi" ran about the same time as last year, and while he was in the top 10 overall, he didn't place in his age group.

"Bess" started off in the very back and jogged with "Rae" for a while. She ran to the side of the road and high-fived her baby brother "Gabe" around the 1/4 mile mark. The next time I saw her she had moved up past at least half of the field and was the 4th girl in the race. She ran in the low 8-minutes and got a medal for 2nd in her age group.

"Rae" knew if she finished she would have a good chance at a medal so she was just trying to get there. The finish was on the track and she picked up the pace on the backstretch, and then stopped and walked. Another girl came along and passed her, and then she took off like she'd been shot from a cannon, and left that girl (and the next one in front of her) in the dust.

"Rae" won her age group in a time around 11-12 minutes.

Then I had to hustle over for the start of the 5k. It was a narrow start due to the chip-timing and I found a spot about 8 rows back from the front. I got a decent start but never made it up close enough to the front to be able to count what place I was in, something I'm usually able to do in a race this size.

I was hoping for a mile time around 5:50 but the timer called off 5:59 as I ran past. I was slightly disappointed but kept my focus on the race and tried to keep a steady pace. (I didn't realize at the time that my chip-offset was 6 seconds and I'd really run 5:53).

We went up and down a bike path, into a little park past a soccer field, and then back down. The timer called out 12:39. Again, my actual 2-mile time would have been 12:33.

I really felt focused and engaged in the race for pretty much the entire course. I picked up the pace when I hit the track and held off a sizable pack of runners right behind me. I crossed the line at 19:57 but my chip time of 19:51 gave me my best 5k since I ran 19:27 in 2000. I got the medal for 3rd in my age group, finishing 31st overall.

I was hoping the speedwork of the last 3 weeks would have enabled me to run a faster time, but all things considered I was satisfied with the effort.

The weather was cool and crisp but the sun came out and it ended up being a decent day. We saw a parent and another family from our soccer team, as Jason's dad was running, as well as Justin's sister and mother.

Full results for the 5k are posted already.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday 6.5 Miles

I ran with Rick & Marty today. Marty always runs out to Aviation HS on Fridays so this was our route. A light rain fell on us for a few minutes, as we were running by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Rick turned around a little early but Marty and I ran the whole 6.5 miles. We kept a nice easy pace and had a good conversation about recent and upcoming races, as well was Marty's daughter and her first season of HS Cross Country. Come to find out she is coached by Keith Gorby, a great runner from a family of runners from Youngstown, who my nephew is acquainted with.

Weight = 185 lbs.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Blood Drive

I gave blood again today. I like going in the morning as it seems to go faster. There aren't as many people waiting.

Interestingly, the nurse that checked me in lives less than 2 miles from me. We discussed the convenience of the new Super WalMart in my back yard.

I think I'm resting the rest of today. Between the achilles tendinitis, the speedwork and 2nd workout yesterday, and the blood drive, I think it's the wise thing to do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Cardio Conditioning Class

I wasn't on the pizza schedule tonight and my family wouldn't be home so I stayed after work for Chris' cardio conditioning class. Once again it was a small class, 5 students plus Chris. This was the last class for a while. Next Wednesday is Halloween and the following Wednesday is flu shot day.

And after that, the class may be moved to Mondays at 1 PM.

The highlight of today's class was Chris' idea that every time a song ended we had to stop whatever we were doing and do 10 pushups. Along with a set of 8 - hover - 7 - hover (down to 1) and another set of pushups where we did the down movement slowly (first 7 counts to get down, then 6 counts, ...) we probably did close to 200 pushups today.

My achilles is still giving me tremendous pain but I have pretty much resigned myself that I'm going to run through it for the next week and a half until these 2 races are done.

Tomorrow is probably a rest day as I am scheduled to give blood in the morning.

Weight = 186 lbs.

Wednesday Speedwork - Part 3

I ran my weekly speedwork today for the 3rd week in a row. Today again I ran on the track at St. Ignatius. The weather was much cooler (53) and a little breezy.

My plan was to run 3 x 400m. Hopefully around 75 seconds or faster. And I succeeded.
  • 78
  • 75
  • 74

Since my fastest last week was 76, I felt pretty good about this. Total distance = 5 miles.

Money found = 6 cents (1 nickle & 1 penny)

Weight = 185 lbs

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Circuits

The weather was rainy outside today so I went to Circuits Class instead. Matt was the instructor, as he usually is on Tuesdays. Class was very full, with 18 people in all!

It seemed to me like we did alot of pushups, as well as quite a bit of cardo. It was a good class for me.

I hope the weather is better tomorrow so I can go to the track and get my 400's in.

Weight = 187 lbs

Monday, October 22, 2007

Beautiful Day

Ran the lakefront run today, 4.5 miles. My achilles still hurts but it seems to be better than last week. Not much else to say except that the weather was beautiful.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday 5.5

None of my regular running friends were running today so I went to the fitness center planning to run alone. But then I ran into Matt, also getting ready to run alone. So we ran together.

Matt said that 5 people from the company, including Marty, Curt, and Troy who I have run with before, are doing marathons this weekend.

Matt was preparing to give a presentation on our company's "wellness culture" to a group of students from Michigan State in some sort of Honors Fraternity.

We ran the homeless route. Matt cut out about 4 miles (behind tower city) while I continued to commercial hill and then added a loop around Jacobs Field. I ran almost 5.5 miles.

Weight = 184 lbs.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Treading Along

I ran 3 miles easy today on the treadmill at our company fitness center. First mile was aroun 9:00 and then I set it for 7.5 MPH and my last 2 miles were 8:00 each. I ran inside because it was rainy outside.

It was my 4th day of running in a row, my first streak of any significance since I ran 19 of 20 days back in late June / early July.

My achilles still hurts for the first mile or so.

Weight = 186 lbs

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trophy-Winning Speedwork

I ran speedwork on the St. Ignatius track today. I took a few sidestreets to get there and noticed something I've never seen before. The birthplace of John Heisman! Yes, the famous football coach who the award for college football's best player is named after.

Anyways, after a 1 3/4 mile warm-up, run partly with Rick and Kevin D, I arrived at the track. My plan was to do 4 x 400 meters, in around 80 seconds. My first one felt easy and smooth at 77 seconds. I guess it felt too easy because the next one I ran in 82 seconds.

I put some more effort into the 3rd one and was back down to 80 seconds, and the final repeat was my fastest of all in 76 seconds. I jogged 1 lap in between.

My pulse before the final 400 was 132 and then immediately after I finished it was all the way up to 204!

My 2 mile cool down took me past the Heisman house again for a total of 5 1/2 miles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Solo 5 Miles

Most of the gang was in circuits class today but with my new plan to run a 1/2 marathon in 3 weeks, I figure it's best for me to run 5-6 days per week. So I ran the homeless route alone today. The weather was great, definitely warmer than expected for October.

My right achilles / heel area is giving me some pain. It hurts the most when I just start out and after a mile the pain decreases significantly. I've been trying to stretch a little more, but I figure I'll probably just run through it.

Weight = 186 lbs

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Easy 4.5 Miles

I ran the lakefront route today, a nice easy run. I wore long sleeves but it seemed warmer outside than in my office. After the run I did Jenny's abs class - always very tough!

Also I have decided to run the Inland Trail Half Marathon. The race is coming up in just 3 weeks and is 1 week after the Skeleton Run 5k which I am also running, so I won't do much differently to train, but hopefully I will be a little more consistent than I have been the last few weeks.\

And I found a penny! Right in front of our building.

Weight = 183 lbs.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Speedwork

I haven't done any speedwork since I hurt my hamstring almost 3 months ago. However, since I am planning on running my last race of the season at the end of the month, I decided to give it another try.

After 1 1/2 mile warm-up, I ran 3 repeats of 1/2 mile, with 1/4 mile walk/jog in between.
  • 2:55
  • 2:55
  • 2:49

The weather was chilly, there was a light rain / drizzle falling, and the pavement was wet. To top it off, I was running alone, which is always more of a mental challenge. So I'm pretty happy with the results.

Next week I plan to do 4 x 400, and the following week 3 x 300, leading up to the race.

With a 3/4 mile cool down, total mileage for the day was 4.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Marathon News, Thursday Circuits

I worked out today but before I write about that, I want to discuss several marathon races that happened recently.

First, congratulations to Ken, Randy, Keith, and Greg for their finishes in the Towpath Marathon and Half Marathon last weekend. Ken finished in the top 3 in his age group for the half-marathon. Randy, Keith, and Greg all finished in the top 10 in their respective age groups, Randy in the half and Keith and Greg in the full marathon. It was a wickedly hot day, congratulations on the effort even if the time wasn't what you were hoping for. The Towpath marathon had 380 finishers this year.

Meanwhile, about 350 miles to the west, similarly oppressive heat plagued one of the world's largest marathons, the Chicago Marathon. I expect most of you have heard about it already. The temperature there was in the high 80's. One runner died, several more were hospitalized, and the race was actually called off around 3 hours.

Any runners still on the course were advised to stop and walk. I don't know all the details about how they collected the runners, but this must have been a difficult decision for the race organizers. This story quotes several runners who claim that there wasn't enough water on the course. The heat, and how it affected the non-elite runners, is an even bigger story than the fact that the first 2 runners in the race finished just 0.05 seconds apart.

Finally, on a lighter note, this story I found on CNN describes how Roberto Madrazo, a Mexican politician, won his age group in the 2007 Berlin Marathon. Madrazo, age 55, crossed the line in an amazing time of 2:41. Race photographers also noticed that he was dressed differently than the other runners near him, wearing a jacket, hat, and long running pants.

Race organizers then reviewed his computer-chip times to see when he passed various checkpoints and discovered that he covered 9 miles in just 21 minutes. They promptly disqualified him for cheating!

Now for today's workout. I went to Circuits Class, led by Matt. Today was strange in that there were just 8 of us in the class, all men. It was a good class and I think now that it is fall, I will start going to Circuits on a more regular basis.

Weight = 187 lbs.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday 4 Easy - Go Tribe!

When I was planning to run today I decided I definitely wanted to run past Jacobs Field, where the Indians open the playoffs tonight against the New York Yankees.

So I decided to run the "bridges plus" route. I was by myself so I was going pretty slow.

As I crossed West 25th by the West Side Market, another runner I recognized from our fitness center was turning the corner onto Lorain Ave. We ended up running the last mile or so together, his name is Steve S. and he works in Purchasing.

Cardio Conditioning Class

I had a meeting last night at 8 so in between work and the meeting I stayed for Chris' Wednesday night Cardio Conditioning Class. There were only 5 of us plus Chris, the instructor.

This class is very similar to circuits, without the stations. A little more running and cardo activity. One of the exercises from last night was 1 push-up, 1 jumping jack, 2 push-ups, 2 jumping jacks, all the way up to 10 of each.

Weight = 186 lbs.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tuesday Night Running Club - 4.5 Miles

There were 6 of us last night: Randy & Kassie, Keith, Greg, Brad, and I. We pretty much stayed together the entire way, which was rare. The weather was just right but it was very dark out.

Topics of discussion included upcoming races, high school cross country, how much Randy would have to train to qualify for Boston, cell phones, and even typing class.

We ended with the now customary Freeze-Pops.