Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunday Six: 3/28

If the Saturday Seven I did the day before was about me focusing my world around my run, Sunday's Six was about enjoying what fulfills me.  Everyone disappoints themselves from time to time, and recently I've been letting myself down more than I care to admit.  I've managed to come through on most of the big things.  But, I've been falling into an old pattern of focusing too much attention on things, which aren't important and getting overwhelmed by the trivial.  Everything sort of came to head this weekend, and I just decided that I wasn't really happy with my own behavior.  I internalize a great deal and easily become obsessive, which leads me to place greater importance silly things than they deserve. 

I created my blog as a way of trying to deal with issues caused by my weight loss struggles.  I didn't want to burden Hiroko with all the messy thoughts running through my head from day to day, and I figured that this blog could be where I worked through my thoughts till they were better organized and more palpable However, I got away from a lot of that by focusing upon the details of my workouts, which are really not important and kind of boring.  That is not to say that I don't see the value in recording my workout, but there is no need for an accurate detailing of the number of reps in each of my workouts.  What I want/need is to a place to process the mental side of these activities.  So on Sunday, I set out to recreate to my run from the day before in an attempt to better appreciate it.

I enjoyed Saturday's run and felt great for having done it.  I felt some pride but more so  was pleased for having done exactly what I set out to accomplish.  On Sunday, I wanted to relive it, but not focus as much on the running, but more on the place.  I wanted capture the feeling generated by Umstead and see myself enjoying a moment of happiness.  I wanted to share some images of where I run with Jessie and Irene, who often take the time to read and comment on my blog.  I wanted to share with them images of me enjoying this run, so I brought my camera along.  I wasn't at all concerned with my time.  Heck, I didn't even know if I would be able to run six miles the day after running seven.  Thirteen miles would easily exceeds my highest two day mileage total by around four miles.   Of course, I brought Old Bob, but I looked at him less on this run than I had on Saturday's.

It rained here in Raleigh sometime during the night and early morning and the temperature dropped from Saturday to Sunday.  It was around 38 degrees when I left for my run, which I have since decided is my ideal temperature to run in when wind is a non-factor.  I was cold enough for a jacket and my Raiders toboggan, but not so cold that I regretted wearing shorts.  The air had a dampness to it, but the rain held off for my entire run.  I only encountered a few runners during this run and the guy in the picture below was by far the most memorable.  He looked to be in his late 50's or early 60's, incredibly thin, and obviously a highly trained runner.  As I was plodding my way down Ready Creek Rd., he just torched past me effortlessly.  There was no traffic on the road and I was able to listen to the sound of his strides as he approached and went by me.  The differences between sounds of our footsteps was vast to say the least.   
Ghost of a good Chritsmas Future

I saw him again as I entered Umstead.  He had stopped to get some water and take off his jacket, and I said "hello again" as I passed where her stood.  A little while later, he scooted past me again as he mad his way down the trail, and said, "I guess we'll be doing this all day."  I smiled back, but we both knew that this would be the last time that we saw each other unless he were doing and out and back.  I enjoyed watching him glide past me because seeing him gave me hope that I might be running and enjoying it the way he obviously was in twenty or so years.  In a good way, I began to think of him as a Ghost of Christmas Future showing me what I could become if I worked hard enough.  This was a pleasant thought for me.  Not so long ago, I nearly gave up on myself and was nearly resigned to spending the es of my life well over 300lbs.  But, now I see a future where I co e the one d down a trail at 60.

After he was out of sight, I continued on down the multi-purpose trail.  I was on a different trail from the one, which I had run in the past because I didn't want to be able to gauge my progress by landmarks and start anticipating a turn, a hill, or a crossing.  This run need to be enjoyed and recognizing the landscape would only distract from that purpose.  I progressed along without giving any thought to pace, listening to the birds, and taking pictures as I went.  I even stopped long enough to take a picture with my camera's timer.

Self-timer shot.
After I entered Umstead, the multipurpose trail I was running along had gone mostly down hill.  And I knew that the return trip would be more difficult.  However, I did a fairly good job of keeping it from mind as I continued my run farther down the trail.  My legs were doing well, and my feet were holding up fine, which I was a little worried about because I hadn't taped before leaving that day.  I could feel my toboggan getting damp with sweat, but the air felt great against my skin and in my lungs. 
As I approached the three mile mark I fought off the temptation to extend my run, turned about, and headed back up the trial.  I didn't feel like I was falling off or slowing down as I made my way back up the trail.  The uphills were not nearly as pronounced as they were on the trail I ran Saturday.  The trail got steep in a few places but for the most part remained a slow steady progression upward.  I continued taking photos as I ran and was fairly shocked at how quickly I found myself back out on Ready Creek Rd. and heading back to my car.  The last mile was made easier by the sight of trees begining to bloom, geese sitting in one of the NC State University research pastures beside the road, and horses milling about.  Before long, I was back to my car and heading home having completed my run. 

When I got in I plugged in Old Bob and this is what he had to say:

6 miles in 1:03.45 at a 10:36 pace.
1 --9:53.69
2 --10:30.55
3 --11:06.42
4 -- 11.07.95
5 --10.03.45
6 -- 10.29.00

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday Seven: 3/19

Exiting Umstead
My runs have been getting longer over the last few weeks for many reasons.  Spring is beginning to hit here in Raleigh as we can all tell by the thin layer of green pollen on everything and soon this thin dusting will turn into a thick green coating.  However, I will take it over snow.  On Saturday, I found myself two weeks away from my second 10k.  I registered for my first 10k, the Old Reliable Run, on a whim and hadn't really trained to run a 10k.  At that time, I was running around four and five miles as my longest distances.  But, I ran six miles once and decided that I could handle a 10k.  Perhaps not the best decision, but that was the decision I made.  What is more baffling to me is how I made that choice after my disappointing Autism Run 5k a or so prior registering.  At the Autism run, I got a PR but had a horrid race.  I went out way too fast, spent a lot of energy weaving through the crowd at the start, and had to stop and walk three times over the last mile.  Yet, for some reason, I still thought that running a 10k was a good idea.

I'll admit that I was afraid of not finishing the race and got more worried after the first mile, when despite my best efforts, I went out too fast again.  I spent the entire second mile trying to recover from the start, and ended up running the rest of the race too conservatively until the very end, which I still consider to be one of my most fun finishes.   Considering how my first 10k seemed to teeter on the edge of disaster, I have been increasing my miles and the difficulty of my courses over the last few weeks to prove to myself that 10k is a manageable distance for me.  Also, I enjoy spending a good hour running.  Honestly, I think that I need that time to sort myself out, which was certainly the case on Saturday.

On Saturday, I approached my run with a clarity of purpose that I don't find often in my life.  I thought about this run for most of the week.  I knew exactly when I was going to run, where I would run, what I would wear, where I planned to park.  Simply put, my entire plan for Saturday was to run 7 miles in Umstead Park.  I didn't care that the temperature was going to drop or that we were supposed to get rain.  I wanted to run 7 miles in Umstead Park.  And, it was going to be a fan-tab-u-lose run that I need it to be.  I wasn't expecting a Whitman-esque transcendental moment, but I wasn't opposed to the idea of one either.  I just need to center myself on this run.  This run had to be my entire world for just a little while.  This isn't meant to sound dramatic, profound, or whatever.  It is simply that this run meant more to me than most of my past few runs had, and most certainly meant more to me than most of the things that I have found myself doing recently.  

Let me explain it this way, the thing that I enjoyed most about living in Japan was that I could spend an entire day in Tokyo surrounded by millions of people and be almost completely disengaged.  It was the most at peace I have ever felt with the world.  I used to love to ride the train and just sit . . . and read.  I read the better part of East of Eden, Vineland, and To Kill a Mocking Bird on the JR along with many others.  Since I've returned to the States, I have become increasingly re-engaged, and unable to disconnect from the world around me.  In Japan, if I didn't feel like dealing with something, all I had to do was stop trying to understand.  Simply turn off Japanese mode, and I could slip into a peaceful state of obliviousness.  Now, I have to work to tune out annoying conversations, people complaining to cashiers about the sale price of two liter bottles of soda, and 24 hour cable news networks.  I-pods help, but I can't just pop one in any old time.  In short, what I really needed out of this run was 7 miles of me time.  I wasn't opposed to seeing people on the trails or exchanging a smile and a wave, but that was the extent of my ability to interact.  This run was about me taking the time to prove to myself that I could run seven miles, and taking the time to enjoy running seven mile.
Reedy Creek Rd. near the start of my run.

And, I did just that.  I ran my seven miles without really looking at Old Bob until it was time to locate the turnaround.  I ran down Reedy Creek Rd. giving hardly any thought to the hills that I knew were ahead of me.  I pulled my hat down and concentrated on the path in front of me, but still managed to exchange a few waves and hellos.  I enjoyed struggling up hills, working out how to lift my left leg on downhill so my knee didn't click, and keeping the salt from gathering in the corners of my mouth.   For one hour and nine minutes my entire world was reduced to this run, one footstep after the other, and was happy for it.

When I got home I plugged in Old Bob and this is the tale he had to tell:

7.00 miles in 1:10:09.09
1-- 10:11.95
2 -- 9:44.10
3-- 10.04.61
4-- 10.26.59
5 -- 9.43.89
6-- 10.02.62
7 -- 9.55.95

Monday, March 28, 2011

Serotonin Dash: Thursday 3/24

By far the most interesting thing
that came up when I googled Serotonin
 I found myself in a bit a a dulldrum after having Wednesday off and having to return to work on Thursday.  By the time the Fleet Feet Social Run came around, I was waffling.  I could tell that Hiroko wasn't in the mood but would go if I went.  Eventhough I was glad that she was willing to go for me, I didn't want to make her go.  Knowing that she would enjoy it once she got there and started running wasn't enough to get me out the door for the run.  I stuggling mentally myself and need her to want to go as much as I did otherwise, I just couldn't do it, so I asked her if she wanted to skip, which she gleefully said yes.

This presented me with a new propblem, I still needed to run.  I had been in a progreesivly worse mood as the day progressed and I could litterally feel my Serotonin level's draining.  I needed to do something because if I sat around the apartment all night I new that I would just make myself frickin's Crazy!!!  Around 6:30 I told Hiro that I changed my mind and was going for a run.  I think that she knew that it was for the best.  I didn't want or need to do too much, just a couple of miles to burn off my mood.  I did the first two miles of the of a 5k course I'll be running in the spring.  I figured that this would help me get a feel for that course and work up enough of a sweat that I would spend the night hating myself for eating Hiroko's leftover birthday cake I was sure to but a hurting on as soon as I enter the house. 

I did 2:21 in 20:06.97

Mile 1: 8:53.78
Mile 2: 2 9:22.33
Last . 21: 1:50.86 for an 8.58 pace.

 By the way here is a link to Science Geek Tattoo Emporium for you enjoyment.

Morning Run & Class: 3/16

You'll have to forgive the tardiness of the next few posts.  I've gotten a bit behind in my blogging recently.  Last Wednesday was Hiroko's Birthday, so we both took the day off to celebrate together (insert Aaahhhh's **here**). 

I got up early and ran to the gym before Hiroko woke.  I enjoyed the run more than I can really explain, but I'll try.  Early morning before the sunrise is my favorite time of day, always has been.  One of my best memories from childhood is of a pre-dawn trip, my aunt took me on, to a local pre-Starbucks era coffee shop/cafe.  Being up and out before the sunrise always feels like stepping into an alternate reality, and the people that you see moving about are different, like members of a secret Illuminati-esque society.  They' re more aware of the people, who cross paths with them than people who keep regular hours and seem to be searching for a secret gesture or signal that indicates if you're part of their pre-dawn cabal.  Perhaps, it is just my over active imagination, who knows, but the point is that I really enjoy this time of day. 

And, I find my connection to this pre-dawn world is much stronger when walking, running, or on my bike rather than in my car.  Recently, I've shed my I-pod on my runs, so Wednesday's morning run just seemed to come alive much more than it ever has with, depending on my mood, Adam Lambert, Wolfmother, or Johnny Cash streaming into my ears.  Wednesday's morning's air was cool but still warm enough to wear short sleeves.  The feeling of the air on my skin mixed with the sounds of all the birds just beginning their day put me in a great frame of mind, which I needed because I've been struggling and letting frustrations from one aspect of my life bleed over into others.  Running's been the area of my life where the lines have held firm.  As I made my way to the gym, I listened to my breathing, the sounds of the city and my feet falling on the pavement, and began to long for my next run in Umstead.  I decided in that moment that my next run their would be a 7 miler, my longest distance to date.  By the time, I arrived at the gym the decision was set in my mind.

The workout class was Lisa's interval Sport's Conditioning where we do three exercise a 30 seconds, rest 10 seconds in between each one, then run back and forth across the gym, before moving on to the next set of exercises.  By the end of class, I was pouring sweat, but I wasn't exhausted to the point where I thought that the run home would be difficult.

The run home was a different than the run to the gym because t he sun was nearly up and the streets  more activity.  But, I was feeling really invigorated and looking forward to spending the day with Hiroko.   By the time I arrived at home, I felt awesome and was ready to cook Hiroko breakfast, and start the birthday festivities.

first run -- 1.65 15:02.77 9:07
1 9:29.95
.65 5:32.82

second run 1.63 15:12.21 9:19
1 9:30
.63 5:42.21

Friday, March 25, 2011

Random Search Terms and Toning Class: Tues 3/22

First off, I need to issue an apology.  AR has a a regular feature on her blog where she shares some of the more exotic search terms that led readers to her blog: Angry Runner's Search Term of the Day.  I never paid much attention to the search terms people used to find my blog, instead I've always been more fixated upon why I had five hits from Slovenia last month.  However, after reading AR's post I began taking notice.  Mostly the search terms were rather boring or run of the mill things I have talked about in my blog: "First five miler", "Free to Breathe 5k", or "Gary Busey Teeth", OK . . . these terms all fit, I used a picture of Busey in one of my posts, wrote a rather scathing race report about a Free to Breathe 5k, and made a post about my first 5 miler, so I feel that the people that made these searches at least found something close to what they were looking for.  Yeah, the guy looking for "gary busey teeth" might not have found the Dr Bailey’s Instant Smile Cosmetic Dentures False Teeth Novelty he wanted, but he at least got a picture of Gary Busey's teeth.  However, this morning I noticed a search term which led someone to my blog to whom I feel compelled to issue an apology.  My deepest heart felt apology goes out to the individual brought to my blog by searching "i like pissing my panties,"  clearly my blog did not satisfy your interest in any way and for this, I apologize.

I am not so sure there is a good way to transition to Toning class from here or if it really even matters.  Hiroko and I went back to Toning class for the first time in a few weeks.  The class was just what I hoped and expected.  I can tell that I am starting to recover my over all fitness from slacking off over the winter.  This class was the first time that I was able to complete every exercise in a long time.  also, I used 10lbs. dumbbells throughout the class.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

nOg Run March 21 -- Hurt

Johnny Cash's version of Hurt could easily serve as my personal theme song for Monday's nOg run. I didn't sustain any injury during or after the run, but I hurt throughout. One of my quirks is that I am annoyingly prompt. I can't stand to be late! Seriously, I Fucking HAAAAAAAAAATE IT! I grew up the only child of a single mom who has been late for every single thing she has had to do since May 14th, 1957. I know that is like 20 odd years before my birth, but by all family accounts the date is correct (love ya mom). So, I was late for everything from birth to age 18, and were are not talking 5 minutes here either. So, now I am annoyingly prompt! I have no problem showing up a the airport three hours before a flight. Love it! Really, I can't describe the feeling pleasure and comfort an early arrival provides me.

So, running late and having to drive across Raleigh at rush hour to make the nOg Run had my panties in just a bit more than a bunch on Monday. I got there 3 or 4 minutes early and just before I was about to start hyperventilating and breakout in hives. The weather was perfect and Hiroko was going to walk with her friend from work again this week, which meant I was on my own again and could spend the run recovering form my near tizzy.

I was all kinds of worked up and went out too fast, but was to fucking stubborn/stupid, take your pick or don't, to back down. Also, all of the traffic signals were going my way, which never frickin happens for me, so I wasn't going to risk pissing on the gods of traffic by not taking full fucking advantage of the situation. I did the first mile in 8:25.52, only three seconds off from the first mile of my last race. Can anyone say dumb ass!

Anyway, the Second mile would make me regret this in a bad way. This is going to get a little bit TMI, but I think moist runners can handle it. A few night back before my last rest day I asked Hiroko to make some tacos because I love tacos, but tacos are unkind to me, so I wanted to eat them before a rest day. Well we had some leftover taco meat that Hiroko was saving in the fridge. She decided to add the leftover taco meat to some leftover pasta we had without telling me. I took the pasta to work with me on Monday and ate it for lunch. That taco meat kicked in right at the start of the second mile. Let's just say I was gas powered from that point on. Also, when I get gassy the pains will manifest themselves just about anywhere in my torso that the damn well please and by a mile and a half into the nOg run the pain was right between my heart and left arm pit. I truly thought I was going to die! But . . . . here is the kicker . . . other than gas pains from hell . . . I am having a monster run, so guess what has two thumbs, won't be eatin' tacos for the rest of 2011, and was too dense to back down . . . that's right . . .

This Guy!

So, I endured the next mile which I did in 9:14.99.

By the last .83 I was hurt . . . hurt . . . .hurt! I couldn't wait to stop and ways praying for every light to turn red in front of me, so I would have to stop for traffic. The pain in my chest . . . um . . . passed . . . if you catch my drift, but my stomach was un-trilled by the whole running thing. By the time, I finished . . . I wasn't sure if innards were actually still in their proper configuration and just wanted to go home and catch up on me magazine reading! I did the last .83 in 7:18.44 for an 8.49 pace.

I did the whole 2.83 in 24:58.95, and when I got home Hiro told me that she put the taco meat in the pasta because she thought I was just blaming the tacos, and if I didn't know the taco meat was in the pasta nothing would happen! Ha!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Six Mile Saturday: 3/19

Ready Creek Rd. Greenway

The runs prior to Saturday's six miler had been less than stellar.  Also, I'd gotten kind of bored running the same routes and was in need of a change.  Umstead park is one of my favorite places to run, but I twisted the crap out my ankle the last time I ran their.  I always run on the hiking trails, but the idea of trying to negotiate the rocks, roots, and tight spaces of the trails made me wax nostalgic for my last root canal.  Luckily, Umstead has some nice multipurpose that run through the park, which are used by runner's, horseback rides, and mountain bikers.  The Greenway by my apartment that runs into the art park leads to the park and one of these multipurpose trails.  I decided to skip over the portion of the greenway, which I run and head out to Ready Creek Rd., pick up the greenway there and run into the park from there. 

I knew that this portion of the greenway was hilly, but I didn't realize the extent.  In fact, I never thought to Raleigh as a hilly place until I started running.  Having grown up in West Virginia and gone to School in the Mountains of North Carolina, Raleigh seemed fairly flat, granted it is nowhere near as flat as Kasukabe, Japan where I lived for three years, but Raleigh's hills never made that much of an impression on me.  Well, they are making one now.  This Greenway and multipurpose trail was nothing but hill after hill.  And, these weren't the little rollers that are found on most of the city streets.  They meet this WV boys basic standard of a nice little hill.

Umstead Multipurpose Road.
I ran the full six without an I-pod and don't really feel like I need it at all when I run.  I am sure that I'll use it from time to time, but at the moment I am fin without it.  The idea of doing six miles is still kind intimidating to me because I only run the distance a few times.  But, I was determined to run the full six even though I had never run the trail before and had no idea what was in store for me.  I started the run on a huge decline, which was a great way to start the run, but I couldn't enjoy it in the slightest because I knew the last .75th of a mile of my run would be up hill since I was doing an out and back.  The idea of it wore on my mind throughout the run.  The only time I was able to escape it was when I was having to force myself up a beast of a hill just before the turn around.  At that time, I couldn't think of anything other than begging Old Bob to beep that third frickin mile beep, so I could turn myself around and hooky pokey down that mofo!  I felt pretty beat over that last mile, but I was determined to have a good run and make it back to my car without stopping or too much inner bitching at myself.  The climb up the last .75 didn't hurt as bad as I thought that it would . . . it wasn't a picnic either, but I did it and afterward felt the run went well.  However, the weather has changed and I need to make sure I drink enough prior to these runs because after I got home I felt wreaked!

I ran 6.01 in 59:18.97 for a 9.52 pace.

Mile 1:  9.41.78
Mile 2:  9:20.12
Mile 3:  9.49.36
Mile 4: 10.02.27
Mile 5: 10.04.81
Mile 6: 10.17.52

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don't Run Angry! You Gotstobe Kiddin': 3/17

I have spoken before about how prior to my run I might sometimes come across as a etsy bitsy intsy weensy bit anti-social, which is kind out of place at a . . . um . . . social run.  I've suspected for awhile that because I don't talk all that much before my run and am a ginormous guy that people tend to wonder if I'm going to loose it, go into some crazy Frankenstein "Fire bad!" freak out, and smash shit.  Well, on Thursday Hiroko kept asking me if I was alright before the Fleet Feet Social Run.  I was fine for the most part, a little put off by the smoking ashtray right outside the store, but other than that no problem.

However, I started to wonder that if my own wife thinks I look pissed, then the rest of the people must be of the opinion that I am teetering on the cusp of a total mental breakdown.   I know that after about the first mile, I'll often begin talking, and by the end of run I'll be downright chatty, but before a run . . . it just isn't happening.  I need to focus because when I just bebop into a run is when the injury bug is going to hit.  I am keenly aware that people my size are not really cut out for distance running, and according to Yahoo!, the Heaviest man to ever complete a Marathon until a 400 sumo wrestler did it (in Nine hours, 48 minutes, 52 seconds), was a guy 275 pounds, which is about my current weight.  I know what you're thinking: damn Greg, there goes your chance at a record! That I shouldn't take things so seriously.  And, I shouldn't.  Maybe it is because I am a Cancer, and we internalize everything, or perhaps it is because I was an only and am not properly socialized, I don't know.  I do know that running is my release.  My frustrations, petty grievances, rages against a world that I don't really get, and fears that I wasted the best years of my life watching M*A*S*H reruns instead of living, all melt away for a little while as the miles click off.  Therefore if you happen to see me before a run, and  I look like William Foster trying to get breakfast at Whammyburger 11:37 don't be alarmed because I am about to go for a nice little run and sort myself out.

Thursday's cathartic little run was3.01 hilly little miles which I did in  28:15.42 for a 9:23 pace.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Doing Away with the Crap: Wednesday Sports Conditioning

Three straight crap runs were reason enough for a change, but the changing I ended up doing wasn't what I had in mind.  I used Tuesday as a rest day because I had run on Sunday when I should have rested.  The time change made the morning classes difficult to attend, so I only attended the afternoon Sports Conditioning class.  Cross training is going to be really important if I want to avoid injury over the spring and summer.  The weather is getting nice and the urge to run everyday is going to get stronger as the days get longer.  I'll need to go to the gym in the morning to avoid the temptation because it will be difficult to force myself into the gym on a beautiful day after work.

The class was a standard stations class with intervals.  We did seven sets of one exercise before moving on to a new station.  Each set was 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds rest.  The exercises were sprints, bicycles, Bosu step ups, push ups, side shuffles, mountian climbers, and hamstring pulls with the exercise ball. 

Yes, my litter box is clean!
I began with sprints and ended with the hamstring pulls, which I think was for the best.  The hamstring exercises were awesome and  really hit my hammy's hard. Sprinting after doing those would have just sucked.  The push ups were the most difficult of all of the exercises, and cost me the most becasue I challenged Hiro do 15 in her last set.  She busted out 15 (girl push ups) in 20 seconds meeting the goal that I set.  Her reward was that I would clean Basil's litter box next time it needed cleaning.  Next time, I will maker her do 10 guy pushups because Basil is a really awesome cute cat, but a litter box is still a litter box!

Friday, March 18, 2011

In Search of . . . A Halfway Decent Run: nOg Run 3/14

Nimoy is such a creepy dude . . .
God, I have a crazy non-Star Trek related Man Crush
Anyone out there remember that old TV show, In Search of . . ., hosted by Leonard Nimoy during the years between Star Trek the TV show and the movies?  I watched In Search of . . . when it was in syndication an Looovvved it!   The show was a bunch of mini "documentaries" about controversial and paranormal X-files worthy stuff,  mysterious historical events and personalities, and your random myths and legends.  Basically, In Search Of . . .was the 70's kick-ass cool forerunner of just about half the crap shows on the History Channel, The Discovery Channel, and NatGeo!

Now, I didn't just launch into this so I could post the Awesome picture of Nimoy that I found!  I bring In Search of . . . up because after two utterly wretched runs, I am left to wonder just what the heck is going on with me?  Granted, I have made several poor choices that have contributed to the misery of these runs, but two weeks ago I was feeling all Rockstar and now am feeling very not Rockstar!  I keep thinking I did too much prior to my race or I didn't do enough last week.  Also, last week was awful at work, and after the earthquake in Japan, the week just became really stressful.  Hiroko's entire family is in Japan along with her friends as well as mine.  We spent most of Thursday and Friday contacting people, luckily everyone was alright.  However, the stresses of the week were weighing heavily on my mind during those crappy weekend miles, and by the nOg Run on Monday, I am most assuredly In Search of . . . A halfway decent run.

The weather was nice but a bit breezy, and my right foot was cranky.  The tendon on the bottom of my foot has begun to flare up again, which has caused me to get proactive with treatment.  The foot doesn't hurt while running.  Instead, it flares up while as I sit at work.   Rolling it on a tennis ball during the day helps alleviate it.  But, it was still worrisome by the time I arrived at the nOg.  I wasn't expecting the wind and was feeling the chill a little more than I wanted but was confident that it wouldn't matter by the end of the first mile.  Hiro was there but was going to be with a friend of her hers that was attending for the first time, which meant I would be running on my own.  I didn't mind because running alone allowed me to focus on my own run and not worry about anyone else, which I need after two bad runs. 

This run got off to a rocky start with nothing feeling good.  I didn't feel horrid, but I had no real push in place where I usually run well.  I couldn't get into anything near a groove and messed up my splits on Old Bob at stop light when I hit the lap button instead of the pause.  By the one mile mark, I was running strong but fighting it. 

The second mile wasn't any better or worse, just more of the same.  My legs weren't dead, but had no jump to them at all.  I struggled on and tried to avoid looking at Old Bob.  Several, skinny fast dude blew right by me during this mile which pissed me off and gave motivated me to keep my pace.

The last mile, was more of the same, but I did pick up the pace a bit as I got passed twice by skinny people.  I was just about to re-pass one of them when I got stuck on the wrong side of a traffic light.  After crossing, the second one blew past me, and I pushed to stay on him, but we were so close to the end of the run it would have been pointless to try to "prove my manhood" and re-pass.

After finishing the run, I looked at Old Bob, who read: 2.86 in 24:53.25 at an 8:41pace.  I was more than shocked.  Nothing felt close to good with this run.  Everything was off just a little, yet my time was pretty good in comparison to my other nOg runs.  Someone please call Nimoy because I am In Search Of . . . Answers!  I got my halfway decent run without ever really feeling halfway decent . . . how does that shit happen?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Slog Fest -- Part 2: You Never Learn! 3/13

Wish that I could say I learned my lesson from the day before and got out for my run early, shook off the wonkiness, and had a great run.  Just didn't even happen.  I piddled around most of the morning -- can't even remember what I did . . .ok . . . I watched a Top Chef Marathon . . . Shoot me!  Then the Caps were playing the Blackhawks at 12:30pm, so I couldn't leave.

At one point I decided that I wasn't going to run.  I would just take the day off and rest, but then I read  AR's Race Report, got all jazzed up, and decided to run.  Yep, I am the king of waffling!  Once again I find myself leaving in the mid-afternoon for a run with spring in full effect.  Just brilliant!  My plan is to run 5, but I am having a difficult time deciding where to run.  Yep, more waffling!  I don't want any part of hills, nor do I feel like dealing with traffic, so both the greenway and my local neighborhood are out.  I decide to run on the track near my house, but it is in use.  Which leads me to take the lesser of two evils and go with the hilly greenway over the streets.  But, I decide to cut it down to 3.5 rather than 5 and avoid some of the more major hills.

The first mile is all right: 9:24.87 nothing great, but nothing awful.
The second mile is more hilly, and I want no part of it.  I'm slogging through it angry at myself for waiting this long into the day and wishing that I had taken my I-pod with me.  I did this mile in 10:11.64
Mile 3 was just right back up the hill and just as unfun.  I did it in 10:49.91 and was just feeling like total crap.  The last .51 took 4:49.82 for a 9:32 pace, which can only be attributed to my intense desire to get this run over with. 

The whole run came 3.51 which I did in 35:16.24 for a 10:03 pace.  Meh!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Slog Fest Part 1: March 12

I have no one to blame for this run turning into crap but myself.  I should have left my house by 9am at the latest, but I managed to screw around, watch 4 hours of The Walking Dead (I have a thing for Zombie movies/TV Shows), do some dishes and laundry, play with my cat, and just waste time until 2pm.  I had planned on running in Umstead, but that idea went out the window when the clock struck 2 because I would not be back in time to pick Hiro from work if I did.  So, I decided to just drive to Hiroko's work and leave the car for her and run home.  My idea was to just enjoy a pleasant run through Glenwood, Glenwood South, Cameron Park, and Cameron Village before returning home on a nice warm little lazy Saturday afternoon.  However, it wasn't at all meant to be.  I hadn't really realized just how much a 30 degree shift in temperature would effect me, but I was about to find out.  I know that it is stating the obvious to say that running in the 60's and 70's is a whole lot different than running in the 30's and 40's, but the obvious was obviously lost on my dumb ass!  I should have known this run was going to be a total shit show when I saw this guy mid way through mile 1:

Greg, read the signs!

By then everything felt wonky.  My feet were sore, knee was clicking, hip ached . . . nothing felt right and it was in my head.  Heck, I had even forgot to switch Old Bob over from cycling to running.  I tried to force myself to run 4 miles but by mile 2 I was heading for home and just hoping not to breakdown.  Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, I managed to startle a  homeless man who proceed to yell at me in bum speak. I didn't mean to interrupt his conversation with the inner voices/gods/ancient Atlantian's, but he seem to look at my little wave as I went by him as some obsene finger gesture and proceeded to launch into a bit of a tirate.  So after speeding up just enough to put him out of ear shot, I went right back into full on slog mode the rest of the way home. 

I ended up doing 3.86 miles in 39.22 for a 10:11 pace, which in retospect was not that aweful, but in the future, I will really need to pay attention to the temperatures.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wendnesday Two-a-Day Sports Conditioning Double Dip: 3/9

Over the last few weeks, I have begun to add more two-a-days into my workouts.  I know fitness people have strong opinions on two-a-days with some people swearing by them and others thinking that the risks out weigh the rewards.  I have nothing really educated to say on the matter.  When it comes to my workouts, I am kind of subscriber to the Doctor Emmett Brown Zany Scientist approach: I read a lot of idea, listen to people, try things out, and come up with my best ideas after slipping off the toilet. 

My point is that, I have my reasons for following my workout regiment, but I am not sure if it is the best idea ever.  My main goal is to push myself as hard as I can without injuring myself.  I am always open for suggestion, and I am pretty susceptible to peer pressure, so if you have any ideas or dastardly plans you feel like sharing, please give me a shout!  The main concern for me is to push myself out of my comfort zone.  I have lost some weight and done good work, but I am not satisfied with my results or attitude of late.  I hope that doing two-a-days, taking different classes, and trying new forms of exercise that I will be able to meet my goals without burning out or breaking down. 

A few people at the Y have started to notice that I do two-a-days either because of comments from instructors or because they switch between AM and PM classes from week to week and upon seeing me will ask if I missed the morning class.  Most times, they will compliment me on my dedication or talk about me being hardcore.  I won't lie, at first I liked it a little, but now it makes me uncomfortable because I there isn't anyway to express to them the desperation behind my efforts.  I am so filled with regret and frustration for letting myself get to this point and for not having enough self-respect to change my life before now that I am willing to do crazy two-a-days not because I am hardcore, but because my 20's are long gone, my 30's are fading fast, and God knows that I don't want to hit 40 with my ass this large! 

So here is last Wednesday's "Hardcore" regret and shame induced two-a-day:

I rode Frankenbike to the gym in the morning for Holly's Sports Conditioning class.  We did an all out track run for 6 minutes.  Our goal was to try to get as close to a mile a we could.  The track at the gym is 15 laps for one mile, and I completed 11 laps.  Not sure what that pace would, but it wasn't important for what we were doing.  We then did six stationary exercises for one minute each, then ran again for three minutes with the goal being to do more than half of what we had achieved in 6 minutes.  I completed just over 6 laps in 3 minutes.  Following this we stationary exercises for the remainder of the class.   I then Rode Frankenbike home and then to work.

After work, I returned to the gym for Holly's boot camp, which was basically intervals.  We rotated through groups of exercises doing each one for 1 minute.  This class did not have as much space, so we were not able to incorporate that much running, but we did run suicides, carioka's, side shuffles, and some stairs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sports Conditioning: Yeah Sprints . . . Monday Marh 7th

The title of this post is not intended to be read sarcastically.  I honestly enjoy sprints.  No joke . . . Have you ever seen the movie Wild Cats?  Coach McGrath's only way to get her players to show up for practice was to tell that there would be a scrimmage the next day.  Well, I am sort of like that about sprints.  If you want me to show up to an exercise class, just tell me that we are going to do sprints, suicides, or something like that, and I will be there with bells on.  I am not fast at all.  But, I have always enjoyed a good all out sprint.  You know the kind that give you that dizzy feeling and leave you gasping for air.  I know . . . sounds crazy, huh, but I shit you not.  I love sprints . . . never wanted to be a sprinter at any time in my life, just enjoy a good sprint.  So while rest of the people in my class were sort of mailing in their sprints at 5:45am on a Monday morning, want to venture a guess at just who was making a jackass of himself and runnin' flat out across the gym.  That's right, yours truly!! 

Holly was our instructor for this class, which made it fairly hardcore.  I've taken her circuit class before and enjoyed it eventhough I am not that fond of stationary classes.  This class did not have that problem.  The class broke into two groups with one group running sprints and the other group doing stationary exercises like push ups and sit ups.  We sprinted down the long end of the gym then walked the short side and then repeated the process until it was time to switch.  Most of the class seemed to be content to just run a little briskly then do a jog, but I embraced my inner jackass and busted out the sprints. The groups switched after 3 minutes.  After both groups completed this set we switched from sprints to stairs and repeated the process.  We did lunges up the stairs for 3 mins. then switched again.  We alternated our cardio exercises between the sprints and stairs and changed up the stationary exercises throughout the class.  I am fair certain I was the only one that actually enjoyed the sprints.  In fact, Holly actually commented on it at the end of class.  This class was just what I needed following my race. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

St. Patty's Run Green 8K: Race Report -- 4 Teeny-tiny Little Seconds 3/7/11

Warming up: notice the lack of an i-pod.
The St. Patty's Run Green 8k is a really cool earth-friendly St. Patty's celebration here in Raleigh. It was the first sustainable "Race Without a Trace" in Raleigh, and offers some nice perks for participants including, a Free BEER for participants over 21, a free plastic beer mug (glass was prohibited by the city), lots of live music after the run, pipers and Celtic signers along the course, and an after party that goes on until 2am!   Of course, this race is a big hit with the costume crowd as all St. Patty's races are, but I think that it organized well and had a challenging enough course that I think serious runners could still enjoy the race as well. 

The Run Green 8k is organized jointly by  Fleet Feet of Raleigh, the Tir Na nOg Pub, and  Tir Na nOg Run Club all of which are a big part of Raleigh's running community.  The race was held in Downtown Raleigh and featured a challenging course with a lot of rolling hills that snaked through Raleigh's historic Oakwood neighborhood, which is a nice place to run. 

Personally, I had high hopes for this race.  I enjoy the 8k distance, and have felt good the two other times that I have run the distance.  Recently, my overall fitness has improved, and my recent training runs have been strong.  I thought that I could at least challenge my PR, which stood at 44:44, but I was a little worried about the course.  I knew that there were a lot rolling hills around the course, but I wasn't sure if they would play a major factor.  Hiroko wasn't running the race, but would be there to take pictures a cheer me on, which would allow me to be a bit more of a selfish bastard runner and think only of myself while I ran.  Also, this would be my first race where I wasn't fettered to amateurish shame by my I-pod.  I used to think that I needed music to run.  However, I have recently been running without it and found that I don't miss it.  Also, I know that several races actually ban the use of headphones, so I just knew that it was time to break free. 

One of the more creative costumes at the race.
I did have a minor plantar fasciitis flare up the night before the race but I KT Taped it and was feeling fine by race time.  I was able to line up in a good spot and luckily there weren't many people lined up at the front that had no earthly reason for being there like at most of your charity 5k's.  I hate getting stuck behind the people who want to be up front at the start, but slow jog about 50 feet before the start walking or worse the kid that jumps out at a 6 min mile, quickly slowed to a 9, and then around the mile mark is winded and abruptly stops running right in front of you.   I think that the combination of the 8k distance and this race being organized by a run club cut down on that element.  There were a lot of costumes, but most of the people with costumes that would hinder people stayed to the rear.

I knew the first mile portion of the course pretty well and had run most of it before as part of another race.  I thought that the first two miles along with last half mile would be the fastest part of the course.  But, I also thought that this would be dangerous for me because I would be tempted to go out too fast.  Over the first mile, I kept trying to slow down to a 9 min mile.  I wanted to conserve energy, but I just couldn't bring myself down to that pace.  Over the first half mile, I wasn't far off, but at the first right turn we hit a small decline and my pace went all to hell on me.  I decided to just try to find a comfortable pace.  I ended up doing the first mile in 8:22.89.
Just past the starting line.

Mile 2 was better, but it wasn't because of my ability to run the pace I wanted to hit.  It was just that the first hill was on the second mile, which caused me to slow my pace down.  The good thing was that I wasn't feeling overly taxed at this point and knew that by the end of the second mile that I would have some time to give back if needed.  But, the course was about to gt nice and hilly for almost the remainder of the race.  The weather was awesome, low 60's no real wind issues, but the 3pm start time had been hard to figure and I started to feel a bit uneasy in the stomach during the second mile, but it quickly passed.  I did the second mile in 8:44.09.

The third mile ran past Oakwood Cemetery and St. Aug's College.  I was really not thrilled to be running past a cemetery at this time because we were getting in to the hilly portion of the course, and I did't want to be thinking about death.  Most of the hills weren't that big, but they follow one another pretty quickly and didn't offer much time to recover.  The people I had picked to try and keep up with over the first two miles were starting to fade by the end of this mile, so I started trying to find someone to lock onto and pace myself against, but no one really seemed to present themselves as a good candidate because most people seem determine to do their Best Teddy Roosevelt at San Juan Hill imitation only to fade once they got to the top.  I kept finding myself getting passed on the inclines by the same people I would pass on the declines.  The third mile ended right as we past St. Augustine's College one of Raleigh's two HBC's.  Some of the students shouted out encouragement from their dorm rooms as we passed by.  The third mile went by in 9:14.14

Fleet Feet Racing Team Kilt
The fourth mile was difficult and consisted of more hills.  Now they were a bit farther apart, but larger.  At this point, doubts were starting to creep into my mind.  Regret over my starting pace combined with my inability breath anywhere near properly was messing with my mind and causing me to think that I might have to drop down to a walk.  I wasn't feeling at all good as we passed Oakwood Park, but I was able to tough it out.  And luckily for me right as we approached the 4 mile mark there were a porch full of obnoxious drunks on yelling at the runners, which pissed me  off and caused me to run angry motivated me to keep going.  Mainly they were yelling at the kilted runner trying to get them to lift their kilts, which am sure more than few people did or drunken bastards probably would have given up by the time I got there.  St. Patty's day races always bring out the kilts, but in addition  the Fleet Feet Racing Team members buy racing Kilts from Sport Kilt, who was a co-sponsor of the race, so these drunks had plenty of people at whom to yell.  I did the fourth mile in 9.26.19 and knowing I had  given back all of the time I had gained on the first two miles.  I was more than a little worried that I was going to meet my goal. 

In mid kick
I knew the last mile the best of the whole course because it was most of the first mile we had just run only in the opposite direction. I thought that it would take better than a 9 min mile for a PR.  I would love to be able to say that I was too tired to figure out just how much time there was to play with, but who am I kidding, those counting horses at the state fair have better math skills than mine.  The last mile was a right turn, a small decline, and left turn at the next block and a small uphill to another immediate left turn followed by a long straight stretch with two good rolling hills, a right turn up the first hill of the race, and a straight flat run back to the start finish line.  Doubts were abound as I climbed the incline and turn left onto the straight stretch.  I band was playing at the corner, which lifted my spirits just a bit.  The two hills were less than fun, but the first one went by without much problem.  The second one was worse because of the awareness that it didn't end, but went into another hill at the corner.  If, was going to stop this was the moment, but as I made the turn up the last hill I wasn't stopping.  I was still going well off pace, but I was moving.  And, somewhere in my mind there was a fleeting notion that I had a kick left in me.  After climbing the last hill, I turned right and could see the finish line three blocks away.  I decided to kick it right there and started picking up my pace.  The idea of legging out that distance didn't scare me because I had covered about the same distance at the Old Reliable Run, when I felt much worse, and my classes at the Y have had us running a lot of sprints over the last few weeks.  As, I was going in I tried to just focus on the finish line ahead of me.  I was passing a lot of people and expected at someone to put up a fight, but they all seemed content to let me make a jackass of myself all alone.  I picked up more speed the closer that I got to the finish and by the time I passed Hiro about a block from the finish I was in an all out sprint.  I could see the clock at 45:00 minutes as I approached the finish, but knew that my chip time might be enough for my PR. 

Crossing the finish line, I felt crunched.  The pipers were playing and there was a nice size crowd gathered, but I couldn't focus.  I wasn't at all sure about a PR, but I knew it would be close and was really happy with my effort.  I had run the last portion of the race in 8:52.76 and when Hiro and I checked the results on the computer my time read 44:40, which beat my PR by 4 Teeny-tiny Little Seconds!  But a new PR is always worth celebrating especially with a free beer!
Drinking My Free Beer and celebrating a new PR for the 8k

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thursday Fleet Feet (Anti-) Social Run: 3/3/11

I didn't really set out to be anti-social, but the star aligned and I just went with it.  Fleet Feet was hosting the pre-race packet pick up for the Run Green 8k on the 5th, so I think a lot of the regulars just stayed away because of the traffic, but that's just a wild guess.  Regardless of the reason, I was the only person running a my pace and distance for the run.  There was a big group of people doing 11 min. miles and a couple of guys doing 9 min. miles, who were planning to run between 5-7 miles.  I planned to run 4 miles at around 9 min pace, so I decided to tag along with the guys going for the longer run for a bit. 

My sinuses were less of a problem than earlier in the week.  I had been rocking the nasal decongestants and was finally feeling something akin to normal (or as close as I get).  I felt better than I had at anytime in the last week, so with a race just a few days away. It was time for me to try pick up my pace a bit and prove to myself that I could challenge my 8k PR this weekend.  I didn't want to do anything stupid during this run, but I also wasn't looking to mail it in either.

After hitting the half mile mark I started to pull away from the two guys that were planning to run longer than I planned.  This wasn't bad form in my mind because we were going to split off at the mile and a half mark regardless.  I was just feeling the need to test my legs.  I wanted to go after my 8k PR, which I thought I could challenge depending upon the course.  I ran on a very cold day when I set it and it took a long time for my legs to warm up, also I was in the midst of my overall Fall Fitness Land Slide!  Currently, I have not returned to my peak fitness level, but I am moving in the right direction, which provided me with some optimism going into the race. 

As I passed the Mile mark, I felt like I had hit a good pace a really wanted to work at maintain it.  Over the next two miles I tried focus on my stride and not allow myself to back down.  I knew that over the last mile I would need to back off a bit because of the climbs that were involved there.  But over these to miles I really didn't want to get complacent or lost in my thoughts.  I ignored everything but the road and traffic around me and just pushed myself forward.  I wanted to run just shy of race pace and felt like I was doing just that.  Also, I was running without my I-pod, which I have been leaving at home recently because I know that it is bad form to wear it in races, and some of the races that I have been registering for have had bans on them, so I just thought that it was time to shed the I-pod.  Surprisingly, I didn't miss it.  And, I was able to keep my pace under 9 mins, which was right where I wanted it. 

The last mile was basically all incline so I backed of a little to spare my achilles and feet any unnecessary strain just before my race.

I ran 4 miles in 36:56.49 for a 9:13 pace, which was close enough to the 9 minute mile I would need if I wanted to get near my 8k PR of 44:44 . . . It looks pretty, but I wanted to see it fall!

Mile 1 8:54.05
Mile 2 8:22.58
Mile 3 8:58.61
Mile 4 10.39.48

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sports Conditioning with Sinus Issues: 3/2/11

My sinuses HATE me!  I am not sure if this is because of pollen, shifts in barometric pressure, or one of those Total Recall tracking devices.  So, I've started wrapping my head in a wet towel taking copious amounts of decongestant. 

I woke up with a crazy headache on Monday that kept me home from work.  Tuesday, I went in and was planning to workout after work even though I wasn't feeling top notch when one of my Co-workers offered my free tickets to a hockey game that night.  So, of course, I went to the game! ( Since it was Carolina vs. Florida, I wore my Hartford Whalers shirt, which is a close as I come to supporting the Canes.)    I had a great time at the game, but I was forced to face the fact that I hadn't done any kind of cross training since last Wednesday, which meant there was no way that I could allow myself to miss Sports Conditioning class, no matter how bad my Sinuses felt.  Luckily, since this was a race week I had planned on taking things a bit easy and not do any two-a-days, which meant that I could sleep in and take the PM class, which I did. 

The class was a Set & Sprints class. we started with a warm up on the track for about 5 minutes.  Then, we did a rotation of three exercises for 60 seconds each, rested, but for 10 seconds between the first two exercises, then sprinted up and down the basketball court, and switched two three different exercises.  After completing those three, we would repeat the process again.  Example:

Push ups 1 min
rest 10 sec.
Jumping Jack 1 min
rest 10 sec.

Burpees 1 min
Plank 1 min
Rest 10 sec.

Squats 1 min
Rest 10 sec.

Crunch 1 min
Push ups 1 min

rest 10 sec.
Jumping Jack 1 min
rest 10 sec.
Burpees 1 min
Plank 1 min
Rest 10 sec.
Squats 1 min
Rest 10 sec.
Crunch 1 min

then we would move on two six totally new exercise.  We did 3 or cycles of this then had a stretch.  The sprints really seemed to crush me, but after the race on Saturday I was really happy that they are such a big part of Lisa's class.  I really needed to know just what I was capable of doing at the end of the race and the sprint sessions have helped me build my confidence.  I did feel kind of dizzy and queasy at times from my headache, but I was able to manage without getting all weepy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Too Pretty Out to Stay In & Too Tired to Run Worth a Damn: 2/27

76 degrees outside.  How the hell could I stay inside and not feel like a worthless sack of poo.  So, despite the fact that this was suppose to be a rest day.  I spent all morning thinking about going for a run.  Around mid-afternoon one of my neighbors told that it was suppose to rain Monday night, and the clinched it.  I was dressed and ready to run.  However, my body felt like hell and I ran like hell.  I even got lost . . . twice . . . I slogged through it at a wretched pace, but I was glad to be outside.  76 degrees . . . it was like the Sirens song leading me to the rock! 

I did 3.79 in 41:11.24 for 10:51 pace.

When I got home I just too a long shower, sat down to watch a hocey game and laughed about it. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Fleet Feet Social Run: 2/26

Thankfully, Friday was my off day because I honestly felt like I had been hit by truck.  It wasn't like I had overdone one exercise and had strained a muscle or group.  Instead, I just hurt equally throughout my body.  I spent most of the day shuffling around my office like Billy Crystal in The Princess Bride.  To top it off, my usual Friday Pre-Weekend 1,000 yard stare was now accompanied by a complete and total lack anything close to energy.  It was difficult to believe just how rundown I felt.  However, after completing six workouts/runs in four days, I also couldn't avoid recognizing just how slack I had been over the last few months.  Yes, I had been dealing with injury issues, but it was obvious that I had used my injuries as an excuse for not continuing to push myself.  So, on Friday I resolved to do away with my slothish ways and bring more focus and energy to my workouts.  The up coming week would be a race week, so I wouldn't be going crazy like I had over the past two weeks, but I also wouldn't be mailing it in either. 

Saturday, Fleet Feet was having a morning social run to help people prepare for the 8k on the 5th and to promote a sale on all of their Brooks stuff in the store.  I decided to use this Social Run as my Saturday run because I knew that I might be struggling a bit, so run with others might help me push through.  Since this Fleet Feet run wasn't after work, I had enough time to walk/jog to fleet feet rather than drive.  The store is only around a mile from where I live, but I usually have to drive, so I can make it on time and not have to come back in the dark.  On Saturday, I was able to use the use the trip to Fleet Feet as a warm up, which really helped.  I felt much better by the time that I got there than I had before I left. 

For the run, we did a 5 mile out and back down Ridge Rd. to the belt line.  Once we started running I felt much better than I had anticipated, but since this was a social run I stayed with the other people, who were running with me.  One of them dropped off at the turn due to a flare up from her Plantar Fasciites and the other lady stayed with me until the last mile when she decided to walk because she planned to run 12 the next day.  I decided to keep running.  I already had a mile walk home, and I wanted to run the full 5 miles to get in the right mindset for St. Patty's Run Green 8K.  After the run I treated myself to a Breakfast at Whole Foods, which is right next door to Fleet Feet.  It was kind of funny because the place was packed with runners from the the Social run, a training group that had just finished, and several people bak from running the Greenway.  I half expected them to set up a wather station.  As I ate my eggs florentine, I kept thinking about how happy I am that I have found running and just so desperatly wish that I had done so earlier in life. 

I did 5miles in  46:56.19 at 9.23 pace.

Mile 1 9:31.89
Mile 2 9:06.21
Mile 3 10:07.21
Mile 4 9:21.04
Mile 5 8:48.17

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fleet Feet Social Run -- Beating the Dead Horse: 2/24

Last week, I set out to have a huge workout week.  I wanted to hit it hard because I knew that I would be taking it a little easy this week in order to rest up a bit for my race.  By the time Thursday's social run came around I felt rough.  I had five workout in the previous three days and really didn't know how my legs were going to handle the social run.  However, the thought of skipping the social run never entered my twisted little mind.  I was ticked-off about falling out of the run the week before and wanted to prove to myself that no matter how crappy I felt that I could do this run. 

Before the run, as we were trying to determine the mileage and speed grouping, I had said that I didn't know what to expect because I was feeling pretty rough.  However, as we began to run I started out pretty well and kept my pace up as the first two miles ticked by.  On other group members commented that she thought that I wasn't feeling good, so why was I still running around my normal pace.  My response was that "I was too stupid to run any other way."  Which is partially true, I haven't been running that long, it still hasn't been a year since my first race, and there is so much that I don't know about my new sport.  I am trying to learn as I go.  But, I think one of my major problems is that I only know how to run one way.  I don't know how to run to conserve energy or how to get the most out of my body when I feel like hell.  I just try to run as well as I can at any given time . . . and sometimes I end up beating that old dead horse along, which is kind of what I did on Thursday.  I ran as strong or the way I did because I felt that if I went easier it would lead me to think that I was more tired than I was an cause me to slow down or walk.  I wanted to prove to myself they I had it in me to run those four miles, which I did.  However, on Friday I felt like I had been hit by a truck . . . twice. 

I wonder if it better to force myself to push through a run that I am not sure I feel up for or better to back it down a bit.  Also, I feel like I have taken it easy for so much of my life that I really want to keep pushing myself till I sweat out all the lazy!  I don't like the idea of taking it easy any more, and I am not sure that it is a bad thing.  Granted I don't want any injuries, but I also don't want to give myself any easy outs.  I would love to hear how other people approach a run when they are not feeling it. 

Thursday's run was 4.08 miles in 38:38.70 at a 9.28 pace.