Unmotivated Monday

As I get older I find that Mondays get harder and harder. They are getting harder from the standpoint that I know the time with my wife and kids over the weekend has drawn to a close. Sure we get time during the week, but the week gets so busy that quality time is almost impossible to find.

The fact that they are emotionally harder also makes them physically harder. This morning I had a really hard time getting myself out of bed. I set the alarm for 4:15 am because I wanted to get a quick two miles in and then head off to the gym to workout by 5:00 am. 4:15 came, and I reset the alarm..... multiple times..... until finally I knew I couldn't put off the inevitable any longer at 4:50.

As I mentioned I wanted to get in a two mile run and then head off to the gym. I knew because of my laziness that this wasn't going to happen now, so I instead opted to just go out for the two miles. As I contemplated it I decided that I wouldn't be so lazy and opted instead for a 4 mile run.

I was a bit concerned.... You see, Friday I went to the gym with my wife since I was not working. She always spends more time at the gym then I do because of time restraints. This being the case I knew I was going to have to find something to do for a little bit. I like to warm up before lifting but I specifically was not going to run since I had just put in 8 miles the previous day. I was so sure of this that I wore my old running shoes - that I had already removed the inserts from and went back to the factory inserts. Well, I got up on the treadmill to walk for a little bit to get warmed up. This only lasted for about a minutes before I kicked it up and started to run. My legs and feet felt good so I didn't think anything about it.......until Saturday! I woke up and my left ankle hurt pretty bad. I knew immediately that I had probably caused this the day before on the treadmill.

As the day progressed on Saturday and my ankle wasn't feeling any better I was just very happy that I had a couple weeks ago decided not to run the ING Half Marathon..... that was the very next day. This would have had me a total stressed out wreck if I had still planned on running it. I did have a couple friends that ran the full marathon, and one that was running the half. I have only heard back from one of my friends who ran this as his first marathon, although he has been running as long as I know. He finished in somewhere around 3:45 min. That is just awesome! Congrats Kevin!

Now, back to today..... My ankle felt better this morning and I took off for my run. It was cold, windy and misting during my run. My ankle felt pretty good but I can tell it is not 100%. I ran in my new Pearl Izumi's but this time I had my old inserts in them instead of the factory insoles. This seemed to help a lot and I was pleasantly surprised to have no leg pain. The jury is still out until I get a few more longer runs in them, but things are looking good.

I have rambled enough - and lead everyone in circles..... until next time!

8 Pre-work Miles

This morning was the first time that I have gone longer than a 10k before work. I have been trying to work my miles back up to pre-half weekly distances, but a busy work and life schedule has made this difficult for me.

I will be at a work related training seminar all day Saturday so I knew I wouldn't get much of a run in if any. I decided to hit the road at the normal 5:00 AM time and to try to go a bit further. Mind you that I have not run further than a 10k since my Half Marathon so I was not sure how this would go. The run went really good even though I was trying to talk myself out of the last two miles much of the run.... especially when my battery died in my mp3 player at mile 4. I went the full 8, and the last two felt the best.... what a great feeling!

I do have to add, the last half mile was probably all on adrenaline. When I was coming up on 7 1/2 I was running down a very familiar country road, the road I run almost every time I run. A car was headed towards me like every other car that heads towards me, and then all of a sudden the car swerved off the road onto the shoulder towards me, like they were intentionally trying to hit me. They quickly swerved back over, but I had already spiked my heart rate and jumped off the road into the grass scared to death. As they came past my fear turned to anger as I am sure this was one of those "hey watch this!" moments for the people (probably high school kids) in the car.

More New Shoes

Two to choose from....... I now have two pair of shoes to choose from when I head out each morning for my run. I got a second pair of running shoes this past Friday so I can check them out. This will give me a second pair of shoes to alternate with my current shoes.

The first leg of my running journey was in a pair of New Balance M767SB. These were my first running shoe and carried me through many a mile of training, and my first 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon. These shoes were tired and I retired them to be casual everyday shoes just a day or two following my Half Marathon. I had racked up over 450 miles on those shoes and they were starting to hurt me.

When retiring those shoes I went back to the running store and purchased myself another pair of New Balance, but this time went with the newer model MR768ST even though they had a pair of the same ones that I had just run so many miles in..... the new model just felt better. I went ahead and purchased a new pair of insoles as well to go with the new shoes.

Now, on to the newest addition. My new Pearl Izumi Syncro Infinity pair of shoes. At first the looks didn't do anything for me, in fact I thought they were pretty ugly, but so far as I have had them sitting around the house and have taken them for a walk and their first run this morning, they are really starting to grow on me. I may even have to say that I may be even starting to like the way they look. :)

I got these shoes this past Friday. They are a bit narrower than all my other running shoes so at first I was a bit worried since I have a wide foot. Saturday I went out for a 10k training run but opted for my current running shoes because of the distance. I didn't want to run that far in a new pair of shoes.

Sunday, I put them on for the first time to go for a walk with my wife. They felt great as far as a pair of shoes fitting, and I was looking forward to see how they felt walking and then running. We didn't walk far because of my wife's feet starting to hurt, but I was happy that my feet weren't hurting. My knee did start to hurt a little bit, but I am not sure if that was the shoe or not.

This morning I took them for their first test run. I went out for only 2 miles to get a good feel for how they felt without getting too committed in case they started to hurt me. The first mile they felt absolutely great, and the second mile my feet felt great but my right knee started to hurt a bit. I, again, am not sure if it is the shoes, it may be because I am used to running with insoles and I do not have insoles for these shoes. I may try to move my insoles from my other shoes and see if they will fit in these shoes. That will give me a good indication on how these shoes are going. I will keep you posted!

Looking forward to more miles in my new Pearl Izumi's. A cool place to find out more about the company (a Nautilus company) and their shoes is www.runlikeananimal.com

Happy Anniversary Lisa!

Lisa, I know you don't like Brad Paisley, but this song really says a whole lot about my thoughts about you. I can't embed it, so you will have to click here to listen to it, but I just wanted to say I Love You and Happy 18th Anniversary, they have been the best 18 years of my life!

First Sub-50 10k - 48:03

Well, to keep with tradition, I went out too fast, but this time with the distance it didn't hurt me. My first mile was just over 7:00 and I knew I was going out fast. I almost got tripped up a couple times with everyone standing along the edge trying to jump into the race when it started. That really irritates me.

I had a goal, as mentioned in this post, to get sub 55 so I could get a decent seeding for the Peachtree Road Race 2008 on July 4th. I secretly wanted to get a sub 50, but really didn't think I would be able to do so considering how my runs have been going lately.

The morning started off better than I expected, it wasn't too cold at about 50 degrees..... but that was at home out in the suburbs. When we got to Atlanta at about 7:15 AM it was really windy and felt more like about 40. I opted to run with my running pants and a long sleeve shirt as opposed to the shorts and short sleeve shirt like I originally planned.

I started the morning at 5:45 with a cup of coffee, a banana, and half of a soft wheat bagel. I drank a lot of water, and about 12 oz of gateraide right before leaving the house at 6:30. I rode down with my neighbors and right before the race they gave me a couple CLIF Shot Blocks. I vowed to never try something new on race day, but I broke that vow today. I feel pretty comfortable with the 10k distance so I figure I could suffer through it if I make a mistake.

As previously mentioned I started off a bit fast, as I knew I would. My first mile was just over 7:00 minutes, but then I settled into a good pace for the rest of the race between 7:45 and 8:15 for a average mile of 7:44. I missed the 5 mile marker so my mile 5 and mile 6 times were an average of the two which worked out to be almost exactly 8:00 each.

I was very happy with the course, it circled around a couple times, but kept us guessing as to where we were going. We did have a decent size hill that we had to climb just after the first mile, and because we had just passed the mile marker for mile 4 we knew we were going to be doing this hill again.

The 5k runners were finished, obviously half way through, but we also saw the 6 mile marker when we were passing there so we knew what our finish was going to be like well before time to enter the chute. This was nice, so we knew when we could turn it on near the end.

The most aggravating part of the entire race was at just past the 5 mile marker (which I didn't see...) all the 5 k walkers were completely covering the entire road. I, as well as many of the other 10k runners, had to go over into the part of the road that was not marked off just to get by the walkers. I am sure this cost me at least 1 second :)

I was happy that the race still went on as planned. As many of you heard I am sure, Downtown Atlanta got hit by tornado's on Thursday night which was the first time in history. It did a lot of damage downtown, but did not affect Midtown or Atlantic Station where this race was set to run.

I am pumped! This was a nice race to bring back some of my confidence. I haven't been feeling really good during my training runs lately and have been getting a bit discouraged. This really makes me again look on the bright side, and will help me with my training I am sure.

The official results are not yet posted on their website, and the pics are not yet posted either. I will update the post and/or post a new one when they do.
  • Official time: 48:03 (I hung around to get my official time on paper for the Peachtree)
  • Place: 33 in my age group (I have a tough age group) yea yea - I hear ya! :)
  • My Race log of this race showing my splits.
  • ShamRock 'N Roll official Website
**update** Well, the official race results are in, and my place changed from 33 to 34. I was 34th out of 74 in my age group and was 154th out of 789 overall. The official race results are here for the overall, and here for the age groups. They have the pics up too, but haven't found a good one yet.

ShamRock 'N Roll 10k

I just last night signed up for the ShamRock 'N Roll 10k It runs this Sunday morning down in Atlanta. I normally don't like to run races on Sunday mornings, but this was my last option for a Peachtree Qualifier.

I am shooting for sub 55, with a secret goal of sub 50. I am not sure about the sub 50 based on how my runs have been going lately, but will be happy with a sub 55. Either way it will be a good seeded time for the Peachtree so I can get the race over as early as possible before it gets too hot on July 4th.

No run today

Today is my day off..... from running. I put 4 days in a row, which was the longest I have ever run consecutively. This was mainly due to wanting to make sure I get my run in with my Daughter over the weekend. This past Saturday was very cold and very windy so I knew she wouldn't run with me, so we went out for our run on Sunday.

Things are looking up, my runs are feeling better, and I am kicking it up a notch in the weight training to try to kick start the weight loss again.

Work is going better. I still have a lot going on, but some of the crunch time is loosening up a bit. I will still be putting in a lot of hours, but I will be in more control of those hours.

Till next time.....

Three in a row

OK, it isn't much of a streak for many runners, but today marks the first time I can remember running three days in a row.

My runs have not been feeling great lately. I am not sore or anything, but they just don't feel great.

Saturday's run was a bit fast for a training run at an average of about 8:49/mile for the 4 miler. I felt the burning in my chest like we all know, but it made no sense since that was my average mile for the half marathon, and it seems like I felt better at the end of the half marathon than I did at the end of this four miler. I know that isn't true from a legs standpoint, but it does seem true from a lungs standpoint.

Sunday I went out for 2 miles with my daughter, this run felt a bit better, but not great considering the pace of about 9:14/mile.

This mornings run felt like one of the best ones I have had for some time. Sure the first two miles were kinda rough, but aren't they always? The rest of the run I just got in that grove and it felt great! I hope I am now on the upward swing. If only I could do the same for my weight loss......

Wow - It has been a week

Wow - I didn't realize it has been a week since I posted last. From seeing my last couple posts you could see part of my busy week. The busy schedule continued through this week and is just now starting to get back to normal.

I have been running, but am still not back up to my weekly mileage that I was used to training up for the half marathon. I will probably not be running the ING Atlanta Half Marathon as I had previously planned. This is mainly due to how my schedule has been messed up. I am not all that concerned as I was not 100% committed anyway.

I need(ed) to run a 10k today or next week at the latest to get a qualifying time so I can get a seeded spot in the Peachtree Road Race coming up on July 4th. The registration comes out in next Sunday's paper so I have to have a qualifying race in and the results back by next Sunday. I skipped the race I was going to do this morning because I really didn't feel like running in the cold 30 degree weather with rain and snow. Yea, I know - what a wimp! I just didn't feel up to it, and then on top of that I would have had to leave home by 5:30 or 6:00 to get to the other side of Atlanta.

I have one last option, there is a 10k next Saturday that is a Peachtree qualifier, and they let the runners hang around after the race to get the results card so they can use it the next day for the qualification. I will be running this race I think, if not I will not get a seeded entry into the Peachtree which would really stink. I know I can get sub 55 which will give me a good seeding, but would love to get sub 50 which is what I am shooting for.

I will be blogging more now - I have just been a bit too busy lately and that was one of the things that just didn't happen.

Run The Beach

This weekend ended up going a bit different than originally planned. As mentioned in my previous post we went to Savannah GA, or actually Fort Stewart, to pick up my wife's brother. We made the trip with his wife and kids who stayed the night with us in Atlanta. He is headed over to Iraq in the next week or two for his second tour of duty.

Our plans were to drive down (4 hours) and have dinner with him and spend a couple hours with him and then he and his family were headed on down to Florida to spend the few days of leave he gets before heading out. We were going to just get a hotel because of the late hour and then drive home Sunday. Well, we changed plans and decided to drive the couple extra hours south and spend the night with them since they had rented a beach house in Fernandina Beach, Florida, just over the Georgia/Florida border. This gave us a little more time to spend with them before saying goodbye. We were very happy we did.

I woke up this morning just before 5 and laid there for just over another hour because it was still dark out and I didn't know the area. I knew we were only a couple small blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach and I love the water. The problem was I didn't bring anything to run in, and the only shoes I brought were my recently retired running shoes. I couldn't miss the opportunity so I put on the swim suit I had brought, and one of the t-shirts I brought and my retired running shoes and headed out the door at 6:55 this morning, just as the sun was rising over the water. It was a beautiful 50 degrees and the morning was gorgeous. I headed down the road a bit and then turned towards the beach.

View Larger Map
I started to run down Ocean Drive which is just on the edge of the beach because I figured the sand would be too loose. I only took this for a short time when I had to walk over the steps to the beach. The sand was quite solid down by the water, and the beach was almost deserted. That coupled with the fact that the sun was just rising over the water, I ran the rest of my run on the beach. I didn't have any watch, mp3 player or even a plan on how far I would go other than I knew I couldn't be gone much over 30 minutes. I just ran, one of the most enjoyable runs I have ever had. Much because of the place I was privileged to run, but also because I had no watch, plan, or felt like I needed to do a certain mileage. I ran down the beach until I was ready to turn around, and then just ran back.

One interesting point that I didn't think about till it was too late and I had turned around and was heading back. I had not made any mental note of where I had gotten on the beach. This was probably because I was completely mindless just enjoying the run. I was running back trying to figure out how far I had gone. Luckily the beach was almost deserted so I eventually found my footsteps and followed them back till they headed off the beach.

I ended up running for about 35 minutes and when we got home to Atlanta tonight I checked and I had run about 3.25 miles. My favorite course so far :)

Off to Iraq

No, I am not personally off to Iraq, but my brother in law is headed there shortly. We are leaving shortly to head to Savanna, GA to see him off this afternoon. He will be leaving in the next week or two officially, but this is the time they give them to spend with family before they head out.

Today will be a tough day for all I am sure, especially for his wife and kids from Indiana, who are here with us now in Atlanta. Please pray for us today and over the next few days as he gets to spend some time with his wife and kids, and also pray for him as he heads to Iraq, that he and his group of guys will be safe and effective.

He has a website with a blog you can visit over here: www.mikesmilitarylife.com

Keep focused Mike! You will be home soon! We love you and we will miss you!