Tuesday, December 30, 2008

1st Annual Bob Hazen's Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k Run - (or 1st ABHBLD 5K R for short)

Well I ran my race yesterday, and did pretty well. I'm currently writing the race report but haven't finished just yet so I wanted to get something out today. Anyone really interested on how I did can check out my log by clicking the link on the sidebar. If you don't want to spoil the race report you'll just have to wait.

Christmas was nice, and my Birthday was good too. Beth and the kids treated me well and I couldn't ask for a better life right now. I get a few days off later in the week so maybe I can get out on my bike on Thursday for Friday, but other than that I'm not planning much else.

Please sit tight for my race report.....

Keep Steppin'

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lazy Week + Christmas!

This week has been rather slow and I'm embarrassed to say so far I haven't run a measly mile - yet. The poor weather has finally passed us and I plan to get a few miles in today and tomorrow.

Christmas was great! The kids really enjoyed themselves this year, and we presented their Maui airfare tickets for our trip in Feb as one of their gifts, let's just say it went over well. For a while there when gas was so high Beth and I discussed leaving them behind. Now we should have a great family vacation together.

We spent time with both side of the family, and ate too much rich foods and sweets. Santa left Abby a new beach cruiser bike, and Cade got some cool RC 'monster trucks'. Alex pulled in about $70 in cash, and still had his Mom's side of the family to go.

I'll blog more about some running (once I do some.) I guess I don't have to 'taper' for the 1st Annual Bob Hazen Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k......

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Well its been a few days since I've posted, the weather was nice, then it's turned bad again this morning and now it's expected to be bad all the way through the holidays. That puts a crimp on my training schedule, but I still should be ok to finish out the year strong.

The family is doing well, the kids are really looking forward to Christmas this year, and the new house really looks good all lit up at night - I'll take a few pictures tonight before my run (if it's not raining) to share with everyone. Beth is happy that the kids are happy so all's good. Christmas Eve will be spent with my parents and Christmas day is split between Beth's and my parents houses' luckily we all only live 10 miles apart and no freeway traveling will be necessary.

I have Christmas Eve off from work and was planning to go for a 10-15 mile ride, but I woke up hearing that is supposed to rain so I'll have to play it by ear. With the cycling, I had planned a 39 mile week, but the plan may just go up in the rain if the forecasts are correct. Kind of sucks; maybe I'll pretend that I'm in Iowa and just run in the cold stuff......

Now to some good stuff; I hit two milestones this weekend.

1. 400 miles for the year! That's good for me considering I was only trying for 365 miles. I can tell I'm getting stronger, and my core work is beginning to pay off in recovery and during runs. The extra weight I'm carrying still hasn't come off like I wanted, but it is coming off.

2. I logged a new 'Long Run' of 6.2 miles (10k) kind of by chance. Sat I woke up wanting to run - so after getting some stuff done at the office I went running late morning, and finished an hour later. I only walked twice and today I feel pretty good. Tired but not sore.

I'm really looking forward to 2009 in regards to my running. Even though I don't have any long-term goals set for the year, I am very happy with my improvement this year and I fully anticipate growing as a runner this upcoming year.

Next Monday I will be racing in the 1st Annual Bob Hazen's Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k run. (By myself) and will report on my experience. It's a certified course (the same one I raced on in July) so that will be fun. The race report will be somewhat tongue-and-cheek since it is my b-day.

A final note; I did get two new 'readers' this weekend. Welcome and thanks for spending time reading! Tanya, I recommend your blog to anyone who is interested in running and wants to see the 'big' picture from a good starting point. Great read and it only took me about 2 days to get 'caught up' from your starting point.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cold / Wet Weather

This rant is in no way intended to insult anyone in non-sunny states (or North Dakota). If any offense is taken, please be aware I will plead weather insanity and 'black out' all knowledge of this post.

Ok - I know I'm a Southern California boy born and raised, but I really, really hate cold, wet weather. (That's why I still live here) Over the past 5 days it's been both. sub 50 weather and very wet. I don't do very well in this kind of weather let alone run in it.

And before you all start laughing at me or sending me comments about running in sub 0 weather - I don't care. I live in SUNNY Southern California, I have solar panels on my roof for God sake! If I wanted rain and poor weather I'd live in the Midwest or in the eastern seaboard....... Been there, done that and I don't like it. I pay more taxes to be a home owner in California, so our government should get together with Mother Nature and put my money to good use - go dump all that rain on North Dakota. Shoot we just fined our local water district for dumping raw sewage into parkland areas up the road from my home, why can we just fine Mother Nature for not holding up her end and allowing all this rain to dump on my house? BTW 392,000 gallons? Come on some yahoo at a control panel must have known something was up? No pressure sensors on that waste line? Damm my 2001 Saturn has a ton of sensors in it that tell me all sorts of stuff.......
Keep Steppin'

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Few Days Off

I've taken a few days off here just to re-group. Thursday I played in a doubleheader for softball (we won both games, and I played pretty well) so I haven't been a complete bum. Today I do plan on running sometime late this afternoon - hopefully at least 3 miles today. That won't make the whole week a complete loss. I need to gear-up and start planning another race. Otherwise it will be too easy to skip runs here and there with the cold weather setting in.

Other than that, not much else is going on - the family is great and the house is decoroated for Christmas. Beth purchased our Maui airfare tickets late last month so the family is set for our Feb vacation which I'm already looking forward to.

Work is busy, next Friday will be my last day in the old building so I have a ton of work to get donw before the end of next week. Hopefully that won't put a crimp in my training plans.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Updated Goals!

I've updated my goals on my sidebar, Nothing spectacular just added Jan 09. Near the end of the year I'll be setting some long term goals so I can start eyeing my long-term aspirations.
For the racing year, I'm eyeballing a 5k run in March 09 as my next race - beyond that will be another 5k in May 09. For July 4th next year I'm thinking I'll do a 10k instead or my normal 5k, and begin prepping myself for the 1/2 in May 2010.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, December 8, 2008

Consecutive Running Streaks

I love this story! What is it about consecutive days running streaks? I have mine listed in my side bar (only 14 days) but there are a whole group of people of have 30+ YEARS of running everyday! That's mind boggling to me. I wish I could do that (but I never will).

One of the things about this story for me was the comments I found on the MSN site (attached). Even though the article was written for the WSJ I used the MSN version so you could read the comments yourselves if you really wanted to take the time doing that. Overall the comments were very positive, but early on a lot of people were commenting on how this was addictive behaviour and unhealthy. Some even went as far to call it a 'form' of OCD. I found those comments interesting. You always hear that habits are formed after 30-60 days of doing the activity (running in this case) when does someone start to consider the habit as overkill? Or even dangerous? When does this habit or running become a negative connotation? What happens if this habit isn't running? Maybe we're talking about watching TV. Shoot I watch TV everyday - and I'm guessing 99% of the population watches 30 mins of TV per day - why doesn't that get a negative connotation? You hear about studies regarding the AMOUNT of time someone watches TV but never a study of if you actually TURNED the TV on for the day. In fact I'm guessing I could put together a 30+ year streak of watching TV.......... And don't even get into my streak on teeth brushing. (Dude, am I OCD?)

Anyway, I tend to believe that the people who labeled this running streak as bad - or addicting behaviour don't understand the accomplishment (or they're jealous, or lazy). I truly believe the people who accomplish these feats are just like you and I, no one in their right mind wants to get up at 4:00am in order to get in a 5 miler, or in my case a 8:00pm 3 miler. The very fact that these 'streakers' are able to step out the door everyday for 30+ years makes them special. (And I don't mean 'special' special.) I would love to tell someone that I've run everyday for 30+ years without missing a day. God that would be great! Image how good that would feel, talk about self pride. Therefore my 'Streak' sidebar PB will be listed here, and maybe one day I'll be able to upgrade it from 14 consecutive days.......

Keep Steppin'

Log Entry 12/3/08 / PB's & PR's

So much is going on with my training, I just don't have enough time in the day to write about it all. So once again this post is behind. Last Wednesday I went out form my evening run and logged a PB for 3 miles (again!) Now really I'm not trying to push these runs, but they are just occurring because I'm getting in better shape. My body really isn't sore - but my times are beginning to fall like stones in water.....

How I look at PB's and PR's is a little different then everyone else (or so I'd like to think.) As I get older, I have noticed that I was getting slower and slower - I mean who am I fooling? I'll NEVER hit 16:08 for a 5k in my life again - why should I mark (or measure) myself against a time that's over 20 years old? So a few years ago I began to make a distinction between PB's and PR's. In Aug 2006 I 'started over' with my records, before you cry out 'foul!' hear me out - It was in Aug 2006 where I was coming back from a long off period from running (2 years) - and I wanted a new challenge. 'Starting over' was my new challenge.

With the help of GPS, computers, Google, and certified courses I started 'qualifying' Time Trial' courses I could use for PB's. Qualification of a course would meet at least four of the five requirements:

1. run using GPS - in my case my Timex speed and distance system
2. run mapped on google (in my case I'm using the mapping function on RunningAHEAD)
3. certified course used in racing. Like my Thanksgiving 5k, etc....
4. course must be even miles or a 'standard' Km race ie. 5k, 10k etc...
5. PB can not be recorded as a mile split in a run - only the whole distance is considered for a PB.

Doing 4 of the 5 listed above pretty much gives me a +/- 1% variance over distance (5k) so I can live with that. And it's not like I'm running top class or anything.......

Personal Best's: Are then just really TT runs over a qualified course by myself. (yeah I know I don't have people to deal with, but a run is still a run. And doing this once every week (or every other week) keeps my training interesting.

Personal Records: are PB's made during an actual race - which I only do about 5 per year. Therefore I make a distinction. This helps me stay focused and upbeat during my long training periods throughout the year. I really don't expect to 'peak' during a race nor do I train that way.

So without any more fanfare:
12/3/08 : 3 miles in 28:43 (PB)

Where was this over Thanksgiving? The last week or so I'm starting to feel stronger and happier with my runs - still with the 5k trail run scrapped from my race calendar, I need to find something here in the next two months to work towards. Tonight I'll hop on-line and do a race search for the month of January, maybe I'll find something then.

Keep Steppin'

Friday, December 5, 2008

Month End Summary (November)

Well this is late in coming but I wanted to get it posted. The month was very good for me - a 5k under my belt in under my goal time was the crown of the month. But other than that, there were several other notable milestones.

I ran 24 out of the 30 days in the month, and a lot of times I did a afternoon then an evening so I'm very pleased with the effort I've put forth in being consistent.

I ran a 5k training run in 31:11 on 11/16. That was enjoyable - funny though I'm having difficulty remembering how the run felt (see my entry on Difficult Runs last month)

Logged a total of 91.8 miles for the month (a PB)

Ran a new PB long run of 5.48 miles in 54:48.

Finally I got back on my bike and rode 12.6 miles in the month. It's been over 6 months since I last rode so this was a nice accomplishment. I plan to include weekly Sunday rides from now on.

All in all a very solid month - health wise I struggled with a bad lower back and some pain in my left foot. The back is feeling much better, and the foot cramping comes and goes. I'm continuing to ice after runs to help in recovery.

I'm going to skip the xterra 5k trail run in December and schedule something in January (funds, plus I didn't get a chance to preview the course because of the rains last week.) I'm going to keep the link active because I'm very interested in starting some sort of trail running, and this race next year may be a good target point. NOTE: race is sold out.

Sometime in the next week I'm going to adjust my goals and include Jan's goals in my right sidebar so keep an eye out for that. One final note is I picked up my second follower, Thank you for reading (and sharing) with me. The extra motivation knowing someone is reading this is helpful on cold nights.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Log entry 12/2/08

I decided to run 3.4 miles today - nice and easy not pushing it too hard (trying to recover from a long run and cycling on Sunday) My legs felt pretty good and breathing is slowly coming around - but around the 1.5 mile mark I got cramping in my left foot again. I'm noticing that the cramping is occurring while I run downhill - I'll just have to make sure I don't injure myself over the long haul with something like this. Still with an easy pace I logged 10:53 per mile pace.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K Race Report

Well I've taken a few days to get this together, and I'm a little disappointed I didn't get any pictures (It was actually pouring rain during the event and I didn't want to ruin my wife's camera) so you'll have to conjure up your own images in your mind. Sorry about that.

Alex and I got to the course about an hour before our race time, but we sat in the car watching the 10k runners slosh back to their cars. The two of us warm and dry began to wonder if the rain was going to let up before our gun sounded. Alex was a little nervous so he was quiet and was answering my questions, comments with one-word phrases so the conversation inside the car wasn't very lively. Still it was nice having him there and I could tell he was excited to run.

About 30 mins before the race start we decided to start walking to the starting line which was about a half mile away. Stripping down to our running clothes we left our jackets inside the car. Low and behold the rain let up - but the temp was still roughly 52 degrees, so it was a little cold. I love running in this kind of weather, but poor Alex doesn't have an ounce of fat on his body and he was shivering during the walk down the hill to the harbor course.

Once down the hill, the over 39 5ker's were finishing up so I took the time to point out the 3 mile marker, Start and Finish out to Alex since he was going to reach all of this WAY before I did. I think that helped because he really started talking and asking questions. Before too long the starter asked for us to start 'loading up'. Over 2000 runners were in our race and over 12000 overall in the whole 5-10k event. Dana Point's largest race (And they have been running this event for over 30 years) So you can picture the crowding in that started to occur. Still everyone around us was very pleasant, and thoughtful and actually it wasn't that bad. Alex and I found a spot next to the barriers and was fairly open and we were about mid-way in the pack.

Once the gun sounded - it took us about a 1:30 to get to the line (of course this is chip timed) and I really didn't see Alex again except for the turn around points. Now for anyone who hasn't run this course before it's basically a capital "H" in design the the cross of the "H" being the harbor bridge. Very flat and very fast so people 'ship in' from all over trying for PR's (not to mention there are some good cash prizes for top place finishers.)

The first mile went by pretty quickly - I spent most of my time filtering my way through the throngs of moving people - Alex quickly disappeared into the sea..... My breathing was good, but I lacked any real strength in my legs. I was disappointed to feel that because I had taken off several days before to help eliminate this. My back that had been bothering me so much over the past four weeks felt pretty good and I clocked a 9:58 over the first mile. I briefly saw Alex right before the first mile marker and he was closing in on some of the front runners (he didn't wear a watch but at the mile marker they were calling out times - 7:43 was his)

Mile 2 is always kind of tough for me - once again we cross over the bridge, and by this time my breathing was coming a little harder. People started to pass me, not many but enough for me to notice. Growing up I never had to worry about that, but as I grow older (and slower) its pretty disheartening to happen. 10:22 was my second mile split which I was still happy with since I was on pace to break my 33 min goal. Quickly doing the math I realized that the sub 31 most likely wasn't going to happen unless I turned in a really good third mile. Once again I saw Alex at a turn around early in the mile and he looked really good - falling back in the pack a little, but still his form was good.

The final mile on this course usually gets me pretty good. I've run this course many times over and now it's just a mental block in my mind. I was struggling at this point early on in the mile as Alex scooted by me going the opposite direction (this time look pretty tired). Once he past I just fixed in on a girl in front of me and let her keep pace. All was fine and dandy until the it came time for the final turn around for 'us' she quit on me! Just upright stopped at the turn around! After barely avoiding her going around the pylon (along with several other runners) I looked over my shoulder and said: "Come on - you pulled me now it's your turn." Slowly she filed in behind me and I could hear her for a little bit, but after about three mins she fell off. By this time I couldn't worry about her since the third mile marker was coming up. 10:41 I'd fell off again - the sub 31 min was gone - all I could do was power it up and finish strong. :53 seconds later I had clocked a 31:55 on my watch, happy but a little disappointed I felt I had left some out on the course......

Alex greeted me with a big grin; "How'd you do?" Was the first question out of his mouth. Without his watch we wasn't sure what he had clocked so we had to wait until the results were on the web site: 25:05. Not bad for his first 5k. He was pleased. I think that put him in 386th overall.

I didn't do as well:

Overall 1147 out of 2334
Male 688 out of 1116
Age (35-39) 90 out of 144
Total Time 31:55

Well I finished my race - had fun and reached my race time with a minute to spare. I can't complain with anything. Next year I'll be running mid 25's though, that will be something to write about.

Keep Steppin'