Saturday, October 3, 2009

15 years later, it's still fun.

I ran my first race in 15 years today. The Susan Komen 5k was today in Houston, and I signed up for the competitive rune.

I ran it in 21:39 (unofficially - that's per my Garmin), which is a time I am quite proud of.

The biggest deal, though, is what I learned (remembered, actually) about racing.

I forgot about the adrenaline rush you get when you start.

I forgot about the crowding you get at the start. I spent the first mile weaving in and out of people.

I forgot about that last mile, when you have to really push and fight through pain and fatigue.

I forgot about how good it feels to be done, and how great you feel afterwards.

The 5k is a much different race than a marathon, of course, but I got some great experience in race day mechanics. This 5k was about 30,000 people (even though only about 2,000-3,000 competitive runners), which is about the same size as the marathon will be. That will help me control pre-race jitters (I had plenty today and last night).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Update: the first rest week

Well, it's Rest Week #1, and I really need it. Sore feet. Achy knees. And my AS has flared up as well, just because (it does every time this year).

I put in a few more miles than I though I would (largely because I went 15 instead of 10 two weeks ago) but skipped my interval workout on Thursday (due to a commitment in NOLA on Saturday). Otherwise, training is going exactly as planned.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekly running update:

1. Intervals are hard.

2. I can kick little dogs a long way.

3. I am amazed that I consider this weather to be comparatively cool.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to spend money

It is not uncommon in a relationship for one person to take issue with how the other person spends the money. Stereotypes tell me that women are the spending culprits.

Experience tells me stereotypes don't match up with my marriage very well.

I've found that passing the marital audit is much easier when the expenses are more or less related to morphing into a sexy beast.

Anyway, here are my indispensable gear choices:

I am a moderate pronator, so I need stability. However, I'm still a big guy, so I need cushioning. I currently use the Saucony Progrid Omni 8:

and the Asics Gel 3010:

Between the two of them, I have to give the edge to the Saucony. It's definitely more breathable.

My wife gave me what may have been the most thoughtful (and practical) gift of our entire marriage for father's day. I never leave home without it on runs more than 5 miles or so:

I also never leave home without this:

And especially not this:

For clothes, I've found that the Nike Dri-Fit line wicks moisture very well and helps me avoid the horrors of nipple chafing. I usually go with fitted sleeveless tees and running shorts (5" or 7").

Saturday, August 22, 2009


It makes a difference.

Last night it rained pretty hard here, just at sunset, and cooled things down a bit. The upshot was that the morning was a few degrees cooler than usual, and it made a difference. There was also a nice breeze and lower humidity than I'm used to (it's usually around 90% when I go out).

I felt great today.

On an unrelated subject involving the word heat, I read a story this week about runners that pack heat. I guess I can understand that if you are a woman that runs at night, and moreso if you do a lot of trail running. But where would you put it? I cannot imagine any comfortable way of carrying a pistol while running.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Goals and Training

I have not publicly announced my marathon goal yet. It's my first marathon, and you're just supposed to try to finish, or so the experts say.

But that does leave the problem of pace. I'm not just going to get out there and run willy-nilly; first marathon or no, I do have to have some sort of plan and goal.

After consultation with experienced friends, a sub-max heart rate test, and review of my current running ability, I am targeting running the marathon in 3:45. This time is several minutes slower than I am predicted to be able to run but will still be challenging.

I've spent all spring and summer building up a good base (at no small personal cost - you try running when it's 95 degrees and 90 percent humidity!) in anticipation of the training. I have an established training program with a few tweaks of my own. Mondays and Wednesdays are mileage-grinders - I pay no attention to pace but just finish the miles. Wednesdays are pace runs - the distance, pace, hydration, fueling, etc. will mimic what I anticipate I will do in the marathon. Thursdays are for interval training. Saturdays are my long runs - the most important days of the week.

Friday and Sunday I rest. And every third week has a significantly reduced load (and no interval training) as well.

My longest runs are in November and December. I start to taper right after Christmas.

All of this barring injury. That's why I spent so much time building up base in the first place, but if I get even the slightest bit injured (as opposed to just being sore) I'm not going to hesitate to take a day/week off.

At the beginning of the year I was fat and lazy

Somewhere between then and now, I renewed my passionate affair with running. That means, if you include my wife and my motorcycle, I now have three needy lovers, some of which are more demanding (and expensive) than the others. I will let you guess as to the relative hierarchy.

I have spent all spring and summer working myself back into shape and am running the Houston Marathon on January 17, 2010.

This is my running blog.

I have little hope that anybody will care but me, and maybe my wife (to get satisfactory explanations about random credit card charges at local running shops).

Still, I have more than a few friends that are experienced runners, and they are more than welcome to tell me all the ways in which I am messing up.

I don't plan on posting about every run I do because, frankly, that's pretty boring. Also, I have a sidebar gadget doo-hickey that does it for me, which is nice. Instead, I think I'll just have random musings about nearly getting hit by deer when running, new gear, hydration plans, that sort of thing.

Tomorrow marks the first day of my training program. Wish me luck.