Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm a Bum - (Or Just Really Busy)

I just wanted to drop a quick note - I haven't died......yet. It's Saturday and I'm in the office. Why? That's a very good question. I think I've got almost 50hrs this week already plus the 1.5 hrs of driving time a day leaves me with no time. Long story short - no running this week. :( Hopefully I'll get my inventory done and I can get out this afternoon. We'll see.

Beth has been running/walking twice this week that I know of. She's kicking my a$$ in mileage this week. (She might have done more but I really haven't seen her at all this week so there's no telling :))

That's it for now - I'll post again after I actually get a run in. Have a great weekend!

Keep Steppin'

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week Ending Summary 1/25/09

This week was good for me. I got in plenty of miles even though I was very busy at work. As most of you know I called out Cassandra early in the week - well my week I logged 20.1 miles. Beat that.

Yesterday I got out for a bike ride - 15.9 miles. It felt good even though it was 57 degrees and I only wore a jersey and shorts. Still it was nice to get on the bike after seven weeks. And on top of that it was a PB for distance.

This week the plan is as follows:

  1. Sun: 15.9 cycling
  2. Mon: 4 miles
  3. Tues: 3 miles
  4. Wed: 4 miles
  5. Thurs: 2 miles + softball
  6. Fri: 2 miles
  7. Sat: 6 miles

Total: 21 miles + 15.9 cycling + softball

Doing this I should reach a few of my goals this month (overall mileage) but I'm going to fail my 20-day in a row goal I gave myself and I missed my 2 mile time trail I had scheduled for over the past weekend. (I ran 6+ miles instead; which by the way was a very nice run). Maybe I can run Friday's 2 miler as a TT for a PB. I'll have to think about it.

Finally just to clarify - my vacation isn't until the 11th of Feb. I know I keep harping on making it to my vacation, but it's still a ways out and I have to deal with the stress level until then. Thank you all for the kind comments but no I'm still plodding towards my vacation time. (20 days)! Trust me I do plan on taking pics, running, and hiking while in Maui so I'll share all that with you. There may be a delay due to Internet access (and my willingness to sit in front of a PC) but I will share everything with you guys.

Keep Steppin'

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's Been Quite - Too Quiet

Not much going on the last few days. The weather has been crazy, my job been busy and up to last night I hadn't seen Beth in about three days other than saying 'Hello' in passing. Just a few more days of the craziness and things will settle down. Never before have I looked forward to vacation time like I'm looking forward to now. Maybe it's the stress, maybe it's because the whole family is coming (ask me after if I was glad the whole family came; plane flight, travel, etc.) But whatever the reason, I am looking forward to this time.

Running wise not much on the plate over the past few days. With going back and forth between the old office and the new office, I haven't had the chance to get my afternoon walks in. Plus the weather out in So Cal is playing games - rain, no rain, hot, cold I don't know what to expect right now (not an excuse, just stating something).

Hopefully I'll get in about 5-6 miles today total and end my week an a strong note.

Finally - I want to welcome a few readers I've picked up this week. (It's a little thing I have - thanks for reading). Please comment, I do read them all and enjoy the feedback.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Wife Went Running

Yesterday I got home and Beth told be she went running with the kids in tow. Abby riding her scooter (since it was MLK Day) and Cade riding in the running stroller. I was impressed. You have to understand when we first met she told me outright that she didn't like running at all.

Deep down I hope she enjoys it and continues to work on it. But if not I still love you honey!

For me yesterday was a good day. Over 7 miles logged throughout the day. Today I'm feeling it in my shins and quads. I'm planning about 3-4 miles today as a very easy pace just to get out and get some miles in. The stress level at work is the highest I've ever had (this includes being laid off in the past) so I'm hoping these runs will keep me sane.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, January 19, 2009


The last two days I've been battling the worst case of heartburn. It started on Friday night and got worse as the weekend wore on. I've got a lot of stress carried over from work that I've bottled-up and its starting to get to me. Nothing I can't handle, but enough that it's causing a horrid case of heartburn. All I have to do is get everything settled into our new building, pass a government ISO audit, inventory and close out our year end by Jan 31th. Then I have only two weeks before my vacation! I can do this. (yogi pose; hmmmmm, hmmmm)

Needless to say I ended last week (sat) weakly and started this week bad. Still I'm planning over 20 miles this week so that should keep me sane.

Another blogger I read posted a blog today about heartburn and motivation so I challenged her for total mileage this week; she accepted. (this could be a fun week) Granted I have the nice So Cal weather, but she's prepping for a marathon. Cassandra, let's see what you got.

Keep Steppin'

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Motivation (Extra)

I've joined a on-line running group - 800 miles for the year. It's tied to my running log and I think it will help me stay motivated throughout the year. The YTD distance graph is kind of nice. Damm I want to beat that pace bunny. (Take a look at the link and you'll understand) I'd encourage anyone who reads and wants to do 800+ this year to join me. The group is very quiet and it would be nice to have more members.

Yesterday I had another good run - I did a route that I've only run once before so it was nice having a change. 31:08 was my time for a 5k distance. Warmup and cooldown was about a mile added to that roughly at a 14:20 pace. Today my legs are a little sore and I had originally scheduled a PB long run for 7 miles today but that will have to be scrapped since we are have some old friends visiting us tonight for dinner. Hopefully I'll still get out and log about 3-4 miles though.

With today being my last day for the week, I've had a pretty good week. Mileage is up where I want it, and back to levels before the holidays. If all goes well tonight I should end my week at around 23 miles. Not a bad week, I'll take that. Hopefully I can build on that all the way up to our Maui trip in mid-Feb.

Keep Steppin'

Friday, January 16, 2009

Log Entry 1/14/09

The other day I had a short day planned. An easy 2 miler plus my warmup and cooldown. I really haven't run this course in a while now since I've pretty much have moved on to longer runs, but I was running late and I was using this run as a recovery run to bounce back from some more intensive runs earlier in the week.

Long story short - I ran a 9:35 first mile and finished in 19:33! That was only off a PB by :02 seconds. Effort level in the first mile was super easy, but I struggled to hold pace the second.

Straight from my log:

Date: 1/14/2009 8:50 PM
Type: Easy
Course: 2.0 Mile TT Ladera Trail Run
Distance: 2 miles
Duration: 19:33
Pace: 9:47 / mile
Shoe: New Balance MR710RY (1)
Weight: 211.7 lb
Quality: 8/10, Effort: 7/10
Weather: 60° F, Sunny
First mile felt really good, and easy effort level. After that it was tough though. Effort level felt really high even though my second mile wasn't really any faster. Actually it was about :30 slower.
Calories: 320VO2 Max: 29.6

Overall it was a good run, not great but good. I love seeing my 'growth as a runner' over time and this run proved that what I'm doing is working.

Yesterday was a different story - I had scheduled an off day with just a lunch walk then softball at night; first I ended up going out to lunch with some co-workers so the walk fell through, then for softball we had the late game: 8:50, and the other team was a no-show. By the time I got home it was too late to get out the door so nothing was logged. :(

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Log entry 1/13/09

Last night's run was nice - after missing the day before I was itching to get out the door and the weather helped a ton (91 during the day and it dropped to 58 by 8 pm). I planned an easy three miles with another mile as a warmup and cooldown.

The three miles I wanted to do at 10 min pace - and this is where I'm glad I've been running for so long.

Mile 1 - 10:01
Mile 2 - 10:01
Mile 3 - 10:02

The only time I even looked at my watch was at the mile markers. At the second mile I thought I had pressed the wrong button and my watch had stopped after mile 1. Imagine my confusion at first when I finished......

Overall it was a very good run, and I'm pleased with my progress over the last quarter. I've increased my cooldown distance to force myself into doing some slower miles throughout the week. I was noticing on my log graphs that I'd been trying to get in too many 'quick' miles. This was a good way to 'trick' myself. Right now my cooldown is .94 miles and I'm doing that at a 15 min pace. (OK now everyone can open the debate over 'junk miles') My though is: I am putting in another mile, and that 5 additional miles for the week, and less time spend sitting on my ass in front of the TV.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Even the best plans........

Well yesterday didn't go as planned at all. I got home late, and everything was late from that point on. Finally I gave up putting the little one down at 9 pm and handed him to Beth. By that time I was so frustrated I had decided on not running for the night.

I'm guessing Cade could feel I was anxious and therefore wouldn't go to sleep. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. Actually I was just spent at this point and didn't want to go out. (no excuses)

Well there's always tonight. The wife is taking Alex to the Dr. right now to get his cast put on so I don't have to worry about that (Thanks Honny!)

Hopefully tonight I'll get in about a 40 min route.

More later.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's a New Year!

So far this year has started pretty slow, but I'm slowly getting into the swing of things. It's been difficult with no races on the horizon and vacation coming up, but slowly I'm moving forward with my workouts. Only about 12 miles logged so far this month but that should start rising pretty quickly this week if everything goes to plan.

I'm shooting for about 20 miles this week (upwards to 25) with today being about 5 miles total. The weather in So Cal is beautiful today (even a hot 85) so I'm not worried about freezing my ass off tonight.

Tomorrow might be a different story though. I wanted to log about 4 miles but I need to take Alex into a specialist for his wrist that he broke last week. The swelling has gone down and he needs to get his arm in a permanent cast (rather than the sugar-spoon splint he's wearing now.) We all know that something like this SHOULD only take about 15 mins, but I'm guessing I'll be there about 3 hours.....

Back to running & racing - my next race just might not be until May. It's a while away, but my goal here is to run a sub 30 5k in a race. If the training goes well I'd actually like to cut that to a sub 28 min, but that just might be trying to do too much too fast. I'll re-evaluate this at the end of this month. So between now and then I need to come up with some sore of 'game' for myself to keep me on-track. I'm leaning towards some sore of long-run test. Maybe a 10-miler between now and May. I wouldn't be for time but rather just running the length. I have a 7 miler scheduled this Sat so a 10 miler wouldn't be out of the question and doable. Just logging the base miles needed for the 10 miler should improve my 5k times without really 'training' for the 5k.

BTW - did any of you 'other' night runners notice the moon the last couple of days? I read that Sat night the moon was the closest to the earth it will be for all of 2009. It was kind of cool running under it's light.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another PB!

Well, I'm slowly getting caught up with my news. If anyone pays attention to my sidebar I posted another 5k PB on Monday. Just days after my attempt at a PB for 5k, I come back and shatter my record by :24 seconds without even trying.

It was a late night run with cold weather, and I really wasn't trying to keep my pace up. My actual log entry pretty much says it all:

1/5/2009 8:45 PM
Course:3.1 Mile TT Narrow Canyon + O'Neil Stepback / Surry Farms / Sienna / Narrow Canyon
Distance:3.1 miles
Pace:9:48 / mile
Shoe:New Balance MR710RY (1)
Weight:210.9 lb
Quality: 8/10, Effort: 7/10
Weather:44° F, Sunny
I could have gone harder on this run - actually I held back except for the final mile. Only a few days late from my race date. Still a good run overall. Legs feel fresh and good, but strength-wise they are now holding me back on faster times. Breathing was good until about 20 mins into the run.
Calories: 494VO2 Max: 30.3

This was one of the "good runs" we all have but seem to forget it except the time that was logged. Here it is only days after this run and I'm reading my comments and I'd totally forgotten about pushing myself over the final mile. Not once was I really struggling but rather I was cruising through the run. This is just another instance for my theory on 'bad runs'.

The only other news to report right now is that I'm trying to run 20-days in a row right now. Actually I want to run everyday until my Maui vacation, but I was afraid to put it in writing on my goal section.......Today's run will make 4-in-a-row. Still a ways to go.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Month End (December 2008) and Year End Summary

Well the race report that marked the 'Year End' for racing for me took forever to write. Sorry about that I hope you all enjoyed it. I'm just now getting to my monthly review and in this case my yearly review also. I'll start with just going over my December numbers then I'll take a brief look at 2008 at a whole.

My Monthly numbers look pretty good, my biggest problem was that I was really sporadic with my workouts. With the time off from work, and the bad, cold weather I didn't get out as much as I wanted. When the month was over I had only worked out 12 of the 31 days this month, and never more than 3-days in a row. Still I was able to accomplish a few milestones.

1. Ran a new PB 'long run' of 6.2 miles in 1:08:29 on 12/20/08. Not bad for the first time at this distance. I should be able to improve this time easily in the future.

2. Total miles per week PB at 39.5 miles done week ending 12/6/08.

3. Logged 67.7 miles for the months total - that's second only to November's total.

4. PB 3.1 mile run of 30:45 on 12/29/08.

So I'm happy with my progress this month other than the fact I didn't get out as much as I wanted. My original goal was to log about 75 miles which I came short of. Physically I feel pretty fresh. I can tell my next step of development should be made with more core work and leg strength. Conditioning is coming along nicely but these other two facets are holding me back at this point. I'm doing the work so we'll see what transpires in the first quarter of 2009.

My Yearly summary is a little different since I don't have a full year recorded and I only started this blog on Oct 13th 2008. So it's a little hard to see the overall picture just yet. The biggest thing is that I've really taken running back into my life. I've embraced it as an everyday item and I'm enjoying the time I spend getting better. On July 4th 2008 I clocked a 36:27 5k and have already taken almost 6 mins off that time. I feel stronger and better about myself, and my self confidence is starting to rise as my 5k times start to lower. Last year I logged over 400 miles (my goal was 365 miles) so overall I'm happy with the effort.

In the next few days I'll be setting some long-term goals for this year. I'm adjusting my goals a little and I really need to decide if I'm going to do some longer distance races this year and then put it down in writing.

Keep Steppin'


Monday, January 5, 2009

Race Report - 1st Annual Bob Hazen's Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k Run

Well today (12/29/08) was the 1st Annual Bob Hazen's Birthday Ladera Ranch 5k Run. (1st ABHBLR 5k R for short.) I've been prepping for this race since Thanksgiving and it marked the year end for races for me. I hadn't heard and pre-race humm on the Internet regarding this race, and didn't even know that 90% of the registration fee was going towards Bob Hazen's kids college fund until I got to the starting line. (Now I've heard of this fund, but have never participated or given towards it before. Note to self - remember next year this is a taxable charity.)

The race was originally scheduled for a 6:00 pm start on a Monday (That's the date when Bob Hazen's Birthday fell on this year.) But due to a major blackout in the area causing the race organizers to come home early from work the race was moved up to 3:30! That really didn't give me much time to prepare mentally. I was shooting for a PR today and being rushed to the start didn't help.

Luckily, the race start was very close to my home and I was able to warm up by running the .44 miles to the start. The course itself was the same course that I had run for my 4th of July race earlier this year (36:27) the only difference was that the Start/Finish line was at the 1st mile marker. This is better anyway because since the course is a loop with lowest part of the course was at the finish - good for making up some time in the final mile.

Imagine my surprise when I got to the starting line - no banner, no MC, no starting line, NOTHING! The race organizers weren't even there! Well I guess I wasn't going to have to pay the last registration fee...... Stashing my waterbottle in the 'Y' of a nearby tree, I made my way to the starting line.

Starting/Finish Line for the 5k race. Notice the large send-off banner...

Promptly at 3:30 the non-existent gun sounded and I shot off the line without having to worry too much about chip time versus gun time. (Or other runners for that matter.) Right off I felt pretty good. Legs felt strong and even my feet were saying 'Let's GO!' But still I wanted to take the first mile kind of slow and get into a groove. The sub 30:30 was on my mind and I had planned to run the first mile in about 10:30. Most of this mile was uphill and I knew if I could clock a 10:30 mile I'd be in good shape on the backside. Still since I have been doing the majority of my running after 8:00 pm everyday I was surprised to feel my strength slowly ebb due to the 75 degree weather. But the time I hit the corner before the 'major' hill I was looking forward to this first water station. When I finally turned the corner and looked up the hill - nothing! No water station, no mile marker just nothing.

At the top of the hill, Mile 1 Marker - What happened to the water station?

As I powered up the hill and crossed where the mile marker SHOULD have been, I looked over to my left and WHAT?!? A bandit was running! He must have jumped into the fray sometime just after the start. Man was he quiet. And didn't really speak much. Over the next half mile he just kept pace with me, stride for stride and damm he wasn't even huffing! Finally as we turned the next corner he just up and vanished! Gone, poof! Where did he go? Oh well I didn't like running along side him anyway, he wasn't talkative at all. In fact now that I think about it, he was quite a SHADY character and dammit I can't even remember what his face looked like.

Mile 2 Marker - Wait..... This is the Mile mark right?

At I approached the next mile marker (or where one should have been) I glanced down at my watch: 10:15 mile putting me at 20:58. Slightly off my planned time, but still with the final mile almost all downhill a sub 30:30 was still possible, I'd just have to start booking. Cranking is up a notch, my legs started to burn with the extra effort.

The Finish - Once again I'm all alone. Damm I hate finishing last (or was that first? Where was that bandit? I got to go kick his a$$).

As I approached the Start/Finish line I still could get over the large crowd that had formed at the start. (Yeah right) Maybe it the the change in time that held the crowds back, or the fact that the funds collected for the event were going to Bob's kids. I don't know, I almost forgot to stop my watch at the finish - thank God I did since there wasn't any chip timing. (30:45) Damm and the mile 3 marker logged a 9:03 mile. Way to pick up the pace.

Overall the race was fun even if there wasn't all the 'trimmings' you find in a normal race. Too bad I missed my target by a lousy :15 seconds. I'll blame it on the bandit... Yeah that's the ticket. Maybe next year I can get my son to run with me at least his race entry fee would go towards his education. But then again maybe not, I kind of like finishing first overall.

Keep Steppin'