Tuesday, May 31, 2011

8 Miles Commited : New Distance Mark (5/29)

Sunday, I set out to run 8 mile.  I got the goal in my head some time after Thursday's debacle of a run.  I am not sure why I became fixated on running eight mile, but following Saturday's run, eight miles became my goal for Sunday.  I got an even later start on Sunday than I had on Monday, which caused me some consternation.  The heat would be heading for the low 90's, so a 9 am start time was less than desirable.  I had drank a good deal of water, eaten a pear, and some watermelon before leaving home, so I felt hydrated.  I also knew there were water pumps on the trails that were used for water horses (and people), so even though I wouldn't be carrying water during my run, it would be available.

I decided to stick to the multipurpose roads and avoid the trails.  Eight miles would be the longest run of my life, and the last time I tried for seven things had gone badly.  Still, as I began my run, eight miles was my intent.  Immediately, I began to struggle.  Since I was running an out and back course that offered few opportunities for alteration, I looked at my initial miles as commitment miles: mile one committed me to two mile, two committed me to four, and so on.  The first mile was all down hill and felt rough, and forced me to think about running it in reverse as my last mile-- no matter what distance I chose.  I began to waiver as Old Bob clocked the first mile at  10:47.7

Mile Two has the steepest incline, but the climb wouldn't be as long as the last miles.  I handled it alright, but doubts about eight miles were swirling in my head with every step.  As the climb ended and Old Bob chimed 11:26.04 I had now committed to four miles,was sweating profusely, and begun to encounter my first deer flies.

Mile three was more rolling hills and offered my the only two alternative paths back to the parking lot that would let me shorten my run. I slogged through the hills and passed both of the trails, Old Bob chimed  11:24.18 just as I passed the second one, and I was now committed to six miles.

At the start of mile four, the thought of Thursday's crappy run began to weigh on my mind.  I remember just how badly I had struggled with a three mile run just the other day, and began to have some strong doubts about the wisdom at attempting eight.  Luckily, some Deer Flies caused we to lose focus on my doubt as I tried to swat them away.  At the three and a half mile mark I came to a water stop.  I had been really struggling and thought hard about turning around at the stop and settling for seven mile, but as I approached the water stop I decided not to make up my mind until I had a drink.  I took three handfuls of water from the pump meant for watering horses because the water pressure on the drinking fountain was non-existent.  After drinking, I decided to press on.  I kept going forward as Old Bob chimed mile 4 at 10:55.5.  I went forward for another tenth of a mile because I had no intention of running through the parking lot like I had at the beinging of the run and also want to accommodate for any tangent I may have been clipping off.

As I began mile five, I knew that I was now fully committed to eight miles.  It didn't matter if I ran them, walked, or swam them, one way or another I was going to cover those eight miles.  The funny thing is that as soon as I made the turn around for home and the dread lifted, I started to feel better and my pace picked up.  My dread had been holding me back.  Mile five took 11:06.65 Also, my scatological mind centered on this song, which would be lodged in my head for the better part of the next two miles:

I am not a big Kid Rock fan, but my mind jumped from 8 miles to 8 mile and Eminem, who is from Detroit.  Then from there to Kid Rock, who is also from Michigan, and lodged . . .

Bawitdaba right in my melon.

Mile 6 saw me felling really good.  I was on a section of rolling hills, but I found myself attacking the hills with zeal.  I hadn't felt this good running in a while.  Kid Rock was still streaming through my head, and even the deer flies hardly seem to bother me. Mid way into the sixth mile, I noticed that I was completely soaked in sweat.  My clothes were sticking to me, and I could ring out my shirt.  I wasn't to worried about how much I was sweating until I realized that my shoes were actually squishing because they were so full of sweat.  I was well past any of the water stops in the park.  Despite the fact that I had not a single dry spot on my clothes, I was continuing to run strong.  I did mile six in 10:13.29

Mile Seven was a mainly a massive down hill that went by in a total blur because the only thing that I could think of was the up hill that was facing me.  I was crushing the mile seven and my legs hurt but were feeling strong.  However, all the dread that I had felt during the first four miles, found me again as I hit the bottom of the hill and approached the wooden bridge that would mark the end of the seventh mile.  I did mile seven in 9:54.23 but as I finished this mile Kid Rock was gone and the only thing streaming through my mind now was the prospect of a one mile climb back to the parking lot.

Mile Eight . . . everything that I had dreaded hit me during this climb.  I kept my legs churning, but this mile was the perfect lesson in just how quickly things can unravel when your running.  In actuality, I was maintain a pretty respectable pace up the hill but, my legs were hurting so bad that I felt like I was crawling up the hill.  I couldn't bring my self to look at the road ahead of me.  Every time I looked up the road ahead of me just seemed to stretch out endlessly.  The memory of how easily I had climbed this very same hill just the day before was stabbing at my mind.  By the time I reached the seven and a half mile mark, the only thing that kept me running was the knowledge of just how close I was to reaching my goal of eight miles.  After passing the steepest point of the hill and reaching the paved portion of the road, my eyes were just fixed on Old Bob, but to add insult to injury . . . Deer Flies.  I swatted at them and knocked off my sun glasses!  When I bent down to pick them up, I knew that either my hammies were going to snap or I was going to pass out!  But luckily, just as I picked them up could see that I was in falling distance of eight miles.  By the time that he clicked off eight miles, I was in tatters and close to tears.  Mentally, I was completely shattered.  I was proud of myself for having push myself to finish, but all I could think of was getting to my car, so I could get my water bottle, towel off, and change my shirt. The last mile took me 12:20.82, but if you had asked me at the time I would have sworn that it took twice that long.

Once I got back to the parking lot, I walked around for a bit and forced myself to stretch.  After I drank some water, I could feel my head begin to clear.  Eight miles.  I couldn't believe that I had done it, and in this crazy frickin' heat.  I am an idiot!  But, I am also an idiot that just ran eight miles for the first time in his life . . .and that is pretty damn cool!

8 miles in 1:28:10.74 for a 11.01 pace.  Also, my last four miles were nearly one and twenty seconds faster than my first four miles, which was pretty awesome considering just how much of a struggle that last mile turned into.

Taking the Triumphs to Trails: 5/28

The heat and humidity are beginning to fray my nerves, and it is only May!  It has me wanting to sell all of my shit, set fire to what won't sell, pack up Hiroko and Basil and move somewhere that actually has four real distinct seasons.  Enough of the this "just cold enough to annoy", followed by "Green pollen hell" season,  then "summer?", then "wait you thought that was summer?  Fuck you, this is SUMMER!", Followed by "God Hates You ALL . . . Roast in the Fires of Hell", then "Summer lite", and then for about a week and a half . . ."Fall".  Perhaps, I am just a bit pissy because tomorrows high is going to be 97, which is just maddening. 

Ok, In actuality, Friday and Saturday weren't too bad because we got a lot rain, which kept the heat within reason.  Friday was my rest day, so Saturday morning I set out to break in my new Saucony Triumph 8's in a 15 wide.  I decided to do my regular 3.76 because I was breaking in some new kicks and because my last run hadn't left my with all that confident.  I got to the park just after 8am, which was later than I had hoped to start, but I hoped that the rain the day before would keep the temperature in check.  The trail was nice and soft and only a little sloppy in the place I would expect it to be.  My legs weren't feeling great, but weren't lifeless either. 

My new shoes for running in messy places

I did 3.76  in 43:29.22 for an 11:33 pace.  The first mile felt slow, and I would like to blame the dampness of the trail but just can't.  It took 12:05.33.  The heat was alright, but the air was really muggy.  It felt thick in my lungs and just seemed to cling to me.  I was sweating nearly the moment I began to run. 

Mile two is usually slower but the drop off wasn't bad  12:45.46.  Mile three got me off of the trails and on to the multipurpose road.  Also, it was mainly down hill so my pace quickened despite the fatigue setting in my legs.  Mile 3 took 10:38.25  My new Triumphs felt heavy compared to my old Ride 3'sthat were nice an broken in --  they had dome me well on the trails, so it will just be a matter of breaking them in.  Also, the Super Feet insole were new which made them feel a little less forgiving than I am normal.

The last .76 is all up hill, but I managed it fairly well.  It took  8:18 for 10:31 pace, which was really kind of good.  My legs seemed to be adjusting to the idea of running just as I was about to finish.  But, I was really glad to be done and avoid either the heat or more rain, one of which  or both were sure to come.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Mizuno "Run with Us" Truck at Fleet Feet Social Run: 5/26

Mizuno One Pager
The Mizuno "Run with Us" Truck stopped by the Fleet Feet Social run last night and brought tons of shoes for everyone to test run, some awesome prizes, and pretty cool give always. Despite temperatures in the low 90's and some unforgiving humidity, there was a pretty large turn out. Fleet Feet also offered a 10% discount on all Mizuno purchases made that night, which was a nice little plus. I recently purchased two new pairs of Saucony and moved up to a 15 wide after ripping my last pair, so I wasn't looking to purchase anything last night. However, Mizuno is a brand that I know little about, so I was interested in seeing what they had to offer. Truthfully, I hadn't even expected them to have any 15's for me to try on, but shockingly, I was wrong. In fact, the Mizuno "Run with Us" Truck had two pairs from which I could choose. I can't tell you how much that impressed me because far too often stores won't even stock 15's, which is really frustrating. Finding that Mizuno had brought two pairs with them, on the off chance that someone with large feet might come to an event, just made me really happy and scored the folks at Mizuno some major points! I tried on the Mizuno Wave Rider 14, which are offered in a 15 wide. The Truck had the standard 15, and I decided to give it a try anyway. Immediately, I could tell that I had made the right choice by moving to a wide. I tried to give it a go nonetheless, but I quickly thought better of it and went back for my shoes. Still, just the fact that the 15's were there was impressive, and next time I go looking for shoes, I'll be much more likely to look into Mizuno's offerings. On many occasions when I have asked people about Mizuno's, I have been told that they run narrow and that I shouldn't waste my time, but now that I know that they offer 15, and 16 in both standard and wide sizes, I won't be so quick to dismiss them.

As for my run, I had planned to do the 4 mile loop, but I lost my group when I went back to exchange my shoes. When I returned to the run, I decided to run the course in reverse and do an out and back when I met up with the group. I could tell right away that this wasn't going to be a good run for me. I had a lot of soreness from the prior day's sports conditioning class. And, the humid air was much more punishing than I had expected. I am still in my first year of running, and I spent last summer either running early in the morning, on the treadmill, or injured, so I am not really experienced with the Raleigh's humidity from a runner's perspective. Of coures, having lived here I know the challenges our summers bring, but trying to run in this climate is whole different animal.

I met the group at about a mile and a half into my run. And, fell in with them knowing full well that I would basically be re-running the most hilly portion of the course, and would now be running it in the more difficult direction. Right away, I could tell that I wasn't up to snuff today. My stomach felt dicey, but I wanted to try to push through. I made it nearly all the way back, but I was increasingly struggling to keep with the guy with whom I was running. Just as we got the the steepest portion of the run, which is right at the end, I felt done in and dropped down to a walk. I was a little disappointed in myself, but I knew that I just didn't have the will to push myself the rest of the way. But, that's alright because I know that this frustration I am feeling about falling out of my run will be fuel for my next run.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday Afternoon Sports Conditioning 5/25

Great Class!  lots of Squats, Push ups, Burpees, Suicides, Crab walks, Walking lunges, and high knees.  Fun stuff!

Here video of one of my favorite Japanese comedians  Gori Matsuura and his alter ego or Gorie.  Gorie is suppose to be a 15 year old girl who thinks she is super cute and dresses and act accordingly.  However, she looks like a dude dressed as up like a 15 girl to everyone else (which of course she is).  The real comedy is that most people try not to shatter Gorie's self image or hurt her feelings, but in the end, Gorie always pushes people beyond the breaking point.  This is a music video that is a result of Gorie cheer leading, which is one of her many super cute activies:

Tuesday Two and Half mile Biggest Loser Shout out! 5/24

I went to the gym on Tuesday with every intention of lifting legs.



So, rather than half ass things and hurt myself . . . I went home.  However . . . After dinner, Hiroko and I began watching . . . The Biggest Loser . . .

After 15 Minutes . . .  I was lacing up my shoes and heading out for a run.

I slogged through the most humid air I've felt in 2011 for two and a half mile Biggest Loser shout out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunday @#*%*@$ Six! -- May 22

Sunday, I took my back up shoes out for a spin.  After running right out of my shoes on Saturday's run.  I decided to avoid the trails and stick to the Multi-purpose roads.  The heat is becoming more of an issue and a 9:30 am start time was really pushing it.  Our highs have started to reach the low 90's, so I need to get a much earlier start if I want to avoid the very real possibilities of heat exhaustion, dehydration, or sun stroke.  Also, the horse and deer fly plague that infests Umstead through most of the summer seems much worse as the day progresses. 

Sunday, I chose to run six miles.  I was already pretty tired from the five miles that I had done the day before and, I knew that no matter what route I took my last mile would have to be uh hill.  Truth be told I was both dreading and looking forward to that last mile more than anything else.  I wanted to exhaust myself for that last mile because I wanted to suffer.  This may sound odd or just plain dumb, but I have decided that so much of longer distance running is about dealing with suffering, pain, and mental exhaustion that the best way I could train for longer distances is to kind of punish that crap out of myself and just strive to hold it together. 

Sunday, I met that goal.  But, it took me a lot longer to get to the point where I doubted myself than I thought it would, which kind leads me to believe that I have been kind of soft on myself recently.  I choose to run to run a moderately hilly portion of the park that I had been running when I first returned to Umstead a couple of months ago.  At that time the hill kicked the crap out of me, but on Sunday I handled them really well considering I had run five miles the day before.  None of my miles went over 12 minutes, which was pretty shocking to me.  Miles 2, 4, 6 are filled with large uphills and mile 3 is sort of a mixed bag, but I handled all of them but mile six with relatively little foul language, which is a rarity for me.  Most of my runs are fueled by a steady stream of self directed obscenities, which I mutter between and around breaths.  However, as the heat of the day approached and mile six came about the suffer that I sought kicked in and the obscenities became less restrained -- I may have even direct a few slurs at myself as I approached the steepest portion of mile six!  By the time Old Bob beeped for that sixth mile, I was done in and ready to stop! 

6 miles in 1:06:50.2 for a 11:08 pace.

Mile 1 10:49.11
Mile 2 11:40.40
Mile 3 11:20.58
Mile 4 10:47.22
Mile 5 10:18.44
Mile 6 11:53.10

Monday, May 23, 2011

Running Right Out Of My Shoe: 5/21

3 miles into a 5 mile run, I caught my foot on a rock and this happened.
 (That isn't blood, just red from the flash.)

I was on a trail in Umstead, and my toes just popped right out through the split.
I put my foot back in the shoe and ran the last two miles the toe box ripped open,
but it didn't effect the run at all.  I Love Saucony!
5 miles 58:02.63 11:36
First three miles were on trails and the last two were on utility roads, but with a gutted shoe!
Mile 1 11:41.88
Mile 2 12:57.59
Mile 3 12:24.11
Mile 4 10:05.32
Mile 5 10:53.73

Thursday Fleet Feet Social Run: Road Testing the Little Piggy that Stayed Home -- 5/19

After three days of ice, anti-inflammatory medicine, and no running, the little piggy that stayed home was felling pretty good .  The bone which the swelling was around is still sticking up more than the bone on the opposite foot, but the pain had subsided.  After thinking about it for absolutely no time at all, I decided to go to Fleet Feet's Social Run for the first time in a good while.  I feel in with a group that was targeting a 4 mile run at an 8.5 minute pace, which is faster than what I have been doing recently.  A 9 min mile pace would have been right in my comfort zone, but after thinking about it for absolutely no time yet again, I decided to go with it.

I though that we would build up to that pace gradually because that was what we said we would do when we set out.  However, I seemed to be mistaken because we started out right around 8 flat for most of the first mile.  I decided to hang on as long as I could but knew I couldn't maintain that pace for 4 miles.  We did the first mile in 8:16.25 after we backed off a bit toward the end of the first mile.

The second mile was nearly the same pace and I thought that I would just drop back at the two mile mark.  At the pace we were running I would beat my 5k PR if we maintained this pace, and I wanted no part of a training run PR!  If I am going to break that sucker, I want it to be in a race!  My toe was just a little sore just as we started the run but any pain I was feeling quickly faded.  We did the second mile in 8:17.74, and I told the other runners that I was going to drop back and not to worry about me.

However, as the third mile progressed I closed the initial gap that had opened up between us right a the two mile mark.  This wasn't on purpose or ego driven in any way.  I just felt as if I had hit a pretty good groove and keeping pace well.  My new goal became to hang with them until the three mile mark.  We were no longer in danger of eclipsing my PR, but I just felt that three miles would be a good place for me to stop and walk.  The foot was still feeling good but there just wasn't any need to press my luck -- No need for the running Whammy.  The last mile took 8:48.49, and I happily shut it down.  I could have pressed on, but this just felt like a it was enough.  I had done 3 miles in 25:22.32

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wednesday Lifting & a song from Sunday's Run: Lupe Fiasco - The Show Goes On

Wednesday, I lifted upper body, and it was pretty boring, but I got through it.  I want to share this song that I heard right before my run today (Sunday).  It samples a Modest Mouse song, so I have no idea if Lupe Fiasco's other songs are this good or not, but I really like this one, and it was a good song to have in my head as I began my run.  I really like the message of the songs as well.  Not enough positive hip-hip out there, so it is was good to hear this song get some play on the radio.  I also really enjoyed the video, so I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lifting Legs & "Run for Your Life" Trailer: 5/17

Tuesday, I lifted legs and did abs.  After taking some Naproxin and applying some muscle creme to my foot and toe, the little piggy that stayed home began to feel much improved.

I find talking about lifting weights wearyingly dull, more than actually lifting them, which I am no real fan of either.  But I will say that since I have begun lifting weights my legs have felt considerably more sturdy.  The video above is the trailer for Run For Your Life which is documentary about the life of Fred Lebow, the late director of the NYC Marathon.  Lebow and the NYC Marathon are the duel subjects of the film because the development of the race and Lebow are so intertwined that they are inseparable.  I saw Run For Your Life on Netflix a while back when the offered it via their streaming service (it is no longer offered in that manner, but can still be watched via DVD through netflix).  The film did a wonderful job of depicting the early days and development of the The NYC Marathon and Lebow's role in the running boom of the 70's and 80's.  It had me hooked from the moment I started watching it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Great Run on a Bad Foot -- 5/15

After my run on Saturday, the little piggy that stayed home was really squealing about the fact that I hadn't let him stay home.  My foot just wasn't happy in the slightest.  I came iced it, put on my compression socks, and elevated it. in hopes of getting the pain to subside.  However, unless my foot was in my shoe, it just hurt every time I stood on it.  As the day progressed, I began to have some doubts about running on Sunday.  But when I woke up my foot felt better and I decided to tape it up, go on with my run, and just see how things went. 

It rained again on Saturday night and part of Sunday morning, which I knew would mean that the ground would still be soft and slick.  I decided to just stick with the same course that I ran the day before as to not complicate matters.  When I got to Umstead, I noticed a lot more cars in the parking lot that I normally see on Sunday.  It seemed that a local Church was having their service out doors under on of the picnic shelters just of to the side of the trail I run along.  They began to sing just as I was preparing to start my run, which seemed to punctuate the peacefulness of the moment in a way that is really difficult to describe.  I am in no way a religious person, and I am not about to tell you about any sort of awakening or anything, but I will say that listening to the sound of singing as I made my way down the trail and into the woods helped me get my mind into a very peaceful place and reminded me a great deal of this scene from O'Brother Where Art Thou:

The rest of the run went really well.  My foot held up well and my legs felt better than they have since my trip to WV.  I felt like I was running stronger than I had the day before, but there wasn't any big difference in overall times.  I was hoping that the congregation would still bee singing as I went back up the trail, but they were in praying when I returned.  But, hey -- I am not going to complain.  They were their to do their thing I was their to do mine, and for a few moments those two things just happened to overlap nicely for me.

After the run my toe was even more pissed at me than it had been the day before, which would cause me to finally give in, take some anti-inflammatory medication, take Monday off, and schedule lifting days for Tuesday and Wednesday in order to let my foot heal.  Still, I don't regret my Sunday run because the experience itself was so unique that the memory of it is well worth any pain that I felt after words.
3.76 miles in 41:28.95 at an 11:02 pace

Mile 1 9:54.85
Mile 2 12:27.63
Mile 3 10:23.27
.76 8:43.20 11:28

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sprained Toe Umstead Run: 5/14

Yes, I am just that dumb to run with a sprained toe!  Actually, it didn't really hurt to run.  I use Superfeet insoles in my shoes, which are a hard insole as opposed to the more common cushion insoles.  The Superfeet seemed to offer my feet a level of protection that eliminated a lot of the stress on my toe that I had been feeling just walking around the house.  I would even go as far to say that walking barefoot in the house was a lot more painful than running on the trails. 

I ran the same course that I had run last Sunday.  However, the ground was much softer do to a heavy rain the night before.  The softness of the ground made me go a bit slower over the first mile, which was mostly downhill.  I am really enjoying this new course and am pretty sure that it will be my new standard course for the next few months.  A nice thing about this course is that it will allow me to easily vary my distances and difficulty levels from week to week without limiting.

3.76 miles 41:32.67 for a 11:02 pace.

Mile 1: 11:29.73
Mile 2: 12:13.29
Mile 3: 9:36.31
.76: 8:10.34 for a 10:43 pace

Monday, May 16, 2011

One of My Favorite Songs of My Youth

riday, I lifted upperbody, which is too boring to write about.  So I give you this kick ass live version of one of the greated songs of my youth! I told Hiroko that when I run my first Marathon that she must meet me at the last mile and have Jukebox Hero playing for me!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wednesday X-rays and Thursday Class.

I took Wednesday off from working out because I woke up with some swelling in my foot, appropriately enough, just below "the little piggy that stayed home."  I kept thinking that t would be just my luck to find out I have a broken foot or something the day after I decide to due my first half marathon.  Hiroko and I both could feel some swelling around the bone at the base of my toe, so it wasn't a case of my imagination run amok.  However, I could still move the toe, didn't have any discoloration, and could put weight on it (with some pain).  I was pretty sure that this was a sprain because I've sprained several fingers in the past and they felt a lot like this.  But, just to be on the safe side, a trip to the doctor would be on the agenda for Wednesday morning rather than a trip to the gym.  The doc agreed that I most likely injured the toe when I rolled my ankle.  I may not have noticed at the time because the ankle was hurting worse or I could have aggravated the toe recently, either way, I was off for X-rays.  Luckily, the x-rays came back negative, so it will be more sprain treatment for my foot!  I know that I shouldn't run on my foot until it heals, but  . . . I also know that I can run on it . . . if I am careful and take some precautions. So, of course, I'll run on it until it is clear that I can't. 

Thursday morning I went to Plycore class in the morning and had a great workout.  45 minutes, tons of core work, but a good full body workout that didn't put a lot of stress on my toe.  My foot is still swollen, but I have started treating it with ice and elevation.  I want to try to avoid anti-inflammatories if I can, but if things done improve, I'll add them in as well.   

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tuesday Lifting Legs and Running: 5/10

Yes, I am sucker for a good running ad.  This one has hooked me recently, making me want to throw on my shoes a go! 

Now that the weather is improving hiroko and I are biking to work more, which is a really good thing.  On Tuesday, I road from work to the gym and met Hiro there.  I lifted legs and did abs while Hiro did the Elliptical.  After our workout I tossed my bike on the back of the car and ran home.  Running after lifting legs wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be, but it took about a mile for my legs to get used to the idea of running.

nOg Run -- May 9th and last year's First Friday Bike Ride -- the lost post!

This weeks nOg Run attendance was down right staggering! I wouldn't be shocked if it surpassed last weeks record of 366. It is surreal to see 300 plus runners take to the city streets en masse without the street being closed or having traffic stopped in any way. Even with wave starts based upon speed and some groups running divergent courses due to distance, the street are still packed with runners. Most passers by seem truly perplexed by the scene. The only thing that compares is the attention that Ruff Bicycle Squadron garners at First Fridays.
Below is a video that I shot of last may's First Friday bike ride:

I've had worse nOg runs than this one, but today's wasn't my best effort either. I wasn't feeling wretched like I did all of last week, so I'll take what I can get. During this run, I began to realize that my ankle isn't 100% from twisting it in Umstead a few weeks back. I hadn't noticed last week because I had it taped up fairly well and felt like hell everywhere, so it largely went under the radar. However, there is still some soreness in there that holding me back a touch. Hiroko sat out this nOg run, so I was flying solo. Still it was really nice to get out and join such a large group of people. The nOg run is just a great run to take part in, and I really enjoy seeing people out and about that I recognize from the nOg run. I am not sure how my attendance will be effected by the heat that is sure to be punishing come July and August, but at the moment the nOg Run is one of my weekly running high lights.

I did 2.81 in 25:50.65 for a 9.12 pace on the nOg run.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Feeling Human Again Run 5/8 & Big News:

Here is the skinny on Sunday's Run . . . It didn't suck! 

I returned to Umstead and ran two miles of  a hiking trail and just under two of one of the multi-purpose trails.  It was a really nice run regardless of the enormous amount of dread  the last mile, which is nearly all uphill, caused me.  It was nice to have a decent run again.

In Fact . . . 

 I enjoyed those 3.81 miles so much that I started thinking about my plans for next weeks run this morning . . .

Which . . . led me to this post by JessiePants and to do this:

Registration Confirmation for:

2011 Neuse River Bridge Run

Dear Greg,

Congratulations! You are now registered for 2011 Neuse River Bridge Run. Please check the event's official website for updates: http://www.bridgerun.org/

View your complete registration details »

Thank you for registering for the Neuse River Bridge Run. As long as you provided an email address, we'll keep you posted with important details and reminders. You can also monitor the latest information and updates on our website . . . Blah . . . blah . . . blah . . .

That is right boys and girls, I registered for my first Half Marathon!

Which will be on October 15th in New Bern, NC:

New Bern, NC

Monday, May 9, 2011

What Were You Thinking: Lifting & Running -- May 7th

Recently, I read an article that said that running after lifting weights is a more effective way to lose weight than running prior to lifting.  The basic idea being that weights will cause your body to burn off sugar rather rapidly, which would then cause your body to get energy from fat for a longer period of time while you ran.  If one were to run first, you would still be burning off sugar by the time you began lifting weights, and lifting does not keep your heart rate elevated long enough to burn off fat the way running does.  This sounds alright to me -- and, hey, who am I to question science? I am the guy who just slacked off most of last week because he was tired from driving -- I need a the help I can get!  At least that was how I was feeling on Saturday when I decided that I need to make up for some of the workouts that I missed (Yeah, I know, this make up for lost workouts state of mind is never a good idea). 

Ignoring anything close to a logical thought, I decided to go straight to the the gym after dropping Hiroko off for work, lift weights, then drive the 10 mins it take to get to Umstead and go right into my Saturday run.  Now, one does not need to be a Mensa member to figure out where this is going. 

I feel your look, dude.

The lifting went fine.  I did upper body and had no issues other than I didn't bring a water bottle, so I was drinking much less water than normal.  Regardless, I left the gym as soon as I finished my last rep and went straight to Umstead.  I ran the first 2 miles on a hiking trail, and was feeling alright. not good, not great, but alright. the next mile six was on one of the Multi-purpose trails, and it just sucked.  But was manageable.  However, things went off the trails when I decided to take a hiking trail that I have never been on before rather than continue on the multi-purpose trail because it was coming to a place that I hate to run.  Bad.  Bad idea.  I spent the next two miles regretting this decision as Umstead kick the snot out me.  Misery followed.  Cursing spewed.  Tears were fought off.  And, fake tough guy looks were given out to anyone who passed.  By the time I reached my car, I had to force myself to do a minimum amount of stretching before  driving home.  Once I got home, I cleaned up, put on some compression sock a lay on the floor with my cat, Basil, just looked at me with eyes that screamed "you FUCKING idiot!" 

Thanks, guy. 

All total I did 5.57 miles in well over an hour.  muh.

Wednesday 5/4: Lifting Legs -- Zombie Style

True Confessions of Greg:  I love Zombie Films!  Even before the recent revival of Zombie movies, I loved them!  My first Zombie movie was Night of the Comet (1984), one of the best B movies flicks of the 1980's.  Next was the classic Night of the Living Dead, which was set in Western Pennsylvania near where I grew up.  I remember how the story seem to strike home with me even more because I recognized the names of all the towns mentioned in the film, and I remember staying up till 3am to see 1990 remake during a free preview of HBO, while I was in high school.  If push came to shove and I had to name my all time favorite Zombie movie, I would go with Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the Dead.

So what does this have to do with running and working out you ask?  Well, last week I felt like one of the living dead!  On Wednesday, I went to the gym determined to lift legs.  I waited until after work to go because the mornings were indescribably horrific. By the end of the day, I felt alright enough to go or just too dumb to go home a rest (perhaps a bit of both).  I did make it to the gym around 6pm and did manage to lift legs, but I was CRUSHED!  That night I went to bed at 9:30pm and slept straight through until 7am, which I never do!  When I got up, I told Hiroko that I would be taking a sick day on Friday because despite the sleep, it was going to take everything I had to make it through Thursday.  I really can't remember every being that worn down without some form of illness playing a part in it.  But, Last week the only thing bothering me were my allergies.  Thursday and Friday were total rest days for my Zombified self.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Singing In The Rain Inspired 2 miler -- 5/3/11

You may be wondering what the heck is up with this post. Well, I am just beat these days and few things in this world make me feel better than watching my favorite movie: Singing in the Rain.

Did you know that according to IMDB: The "Singing in the Rain" number took all day to set up --and Gene Kelly was very ill (some say with a fever over 101). When it was all set up, Kelly insisted on doing a take - even though the blocking was only rudimentary (starting and ending positions only), and the director was ready to send him home. He ad-libbed most of it and it only took one take - which is what you see on film.
And . . .

For the "Make Em Laugh" number, Gene Kelly asked Donald O'Connor to revive a trick he had done as a young dancer, running up a wall and completing a somersault. The number was so physically taxing that O'Connor, who smoked four packs of cigarettes a day at the time, went to bed (or may have been hospitalized, depending on the source) for a week after its completion, suffering from exhaustion and painful carpet burns. Unfortunately, an accident ruined all of the initial footage, so after a brief rest, O'Connor, ever the professional, agreed to do the difficult number all over again.

I've felt like I could use a few days of bed rest over the last week, but I forced myself to run 2.34 on Tuesday at a 9:38 pace. It was a nice little run along the streets near my apartment. I felt better after the run, but getting started was rough. Anyway, Sing in the Rain can always make me feel better no matter my mood, so it seem like a good day to put it in a post.  Because, If Gene Kelly can do that in one take with 101 fever, I can get out there and knock out a couple of miles.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Running In My Home Town: Morris Park -- Fairmont WV, May 29th

I visted my hometown for the first time in over two years.  I grew up in Fairmont West Virginia, which is a small town about 16 miles south of Pennslyvainia.  This trip was my first trip back since I started running, so I was looking forward to getting in at least one run while I was there.  I decided to run at Morris park, which is a par that contains the town reservoir.  I used to live just down the hill from the park and would bring my dog there often when I was in High School.  Morris Park was never a place for running -- it was for cookouts, walking my dog, or playing tennis, but never running, so I decided that this was something I needed to change while I was on this trip.
WV was about 10 degrees cooler than NC

The road that goes around the park is a bit hilly

The whole park is cover with trees, but hardly
any of the pine that you find everywhere in Raleigh

Since I was running on a Friday morning there was only
one other runner, a few walkers, and some guys playing disc golf

this used to be a little wading pool for kids when I was young, but was filled in a long time ago.

Enjoying my run: I did two laps, which equaled 2.6 miles

Down over this hill there is some playgroung equipment that I used to play on as a kid

Many a game of freeze tag and red light, green light were played around here
Once again leaving the park and heading for home.
I had a nice little run and enjoyed a good trip down memory lane.  I wished that I could have run more while I was in Fairmont, but it was a short trip and I was really tired most of the time I was there, but next time I go back I plan to run more.

Wed. the 27th & The Snugs-Strugglin'

Well I picked this song because I was strugglin' on my run last Wednesday, and I am sure strugglin' today!  Over 19 hours driving since last Thursday ~ Ugh! 

Wednesday's run was a 2.5 miler in the morning before work, which I did at about 10 min. mile pace.  I didn't do that much that morning because I knew that my trip to WV would be a rough one.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tuesday 4/26 Lifting Legs & Abs, and also music by Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'

Tuesday, I lifted legs for the first time in forever.  My legs felt better just after one session, so I am hopeful that lifting will add some balance and sability to my legs and clear up some of my leg crakiness.  Anyway, here is another song to share.  Back to Raleigh tomorrow!

Monday 4/25: Lifting Upper Body and music by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Sugarfoot

I am currently out of town and don't have much time to write. Also, Monday's workout was just a lifting session, which is just boring to talk about, so I will take a page from Jessie Pants and share a song that I like.