Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Got To Love It!

Yesterday's run was good - as most of you know I currently run pushing my 3 year old during these outings......

Cade - Daddy, when will we be home?

Me - About 10 mins *puff puff*

Cade - What?

Me - I said about 10 mins, all we have to do is run up this hill.

Cade - What hill? That one? He points to a wilderness ridge that dominates out local skyline (It's about 600 ft high straight up)

Me - No, we're following the street today. (Silence, insert crickets here.)

Cade - Daddy?

Me - Yeah? *puff puff*

Cade - This isn't a hill.......

Damm I ran up the whole damm thing.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A PB Falls.

Well last night I decided that I was going to do my mile TT that I missed this last Saturday. I don't know why, but I've been nervous about this run since I started eyeballing a possible attempt at it about three weeks ago. I'm not sure why I had so much apprehension regarding this run but I'm thinking it's because I really didn't want to know where I was conditioning-wise . I know this might sound counter productive but in the back of my mind I was terrified that I wasn't going to better my PR and the thought of missing this PR was giving me fits. I've put in so many good runs (mentally gauged) that I was afraid that I wouldn't get results.

I started out with a 1.18 mile warm up - nice and easy because I wanted to see how my knee reacted to my cycling the night prior. It was fine, but then I was worried about my breathing. I felt sluggish and slow. Every step I took a little doubt and fear seeped into my mind so I took the warm up slow. After about 14 mins I crossed the starting point and picked up my pace. Lengthening my stride I began to struggle right away. I could feel the tired feeling in my legs - just an overall sluggishness as I tried to power myself up the first hill (approx 105 ft in elevation). Still I increased my stride turnover, and I couldn't even feel my bothersome knee. Hey a good sign! At the top of the course (half way) I was cruising along pretty well, glancing at my watch, I saw 3:50. "Hmm maybe I need to measure this course again", was my first thought. "No, I've run this a thousand times, the distance is right." Anyway the second half is uphill again, this time the route is a more subtle incline but it's higher, 150 feet elevation. Now I was struggling. "Come on - it's only a half mile and half of that is downhill." The hill seemed to last forever but soon I was over it and travelling downhill towards the finish. Slowly I was picking up speed and I took a quick glance at my watch: 6:55. "Damm that went by fast - I'm really going to have to push it." Then came the pain. about 400 meters out I put down the pedal and finished with an 8:15 mile. I finished up the night with a cool down 1.18 miles in 16:28 (yeah some walking).

The mile distance is interesting - and clocking an 8:15 on this hilly course I'm pleased with my results. Still, now I want a sub 8 min mile and I know I'll attempt this again before the year's out. Funny how that works.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, September 28, 2009

Change of Plans.....

I kind of changed things this weekend. My knee was still tender to the touch, so I decided not to run my planned mile TT. I'll reschedule this for sometime in the next week. Instead I took the opportunity to pull out the bike and go for a ride. I always forget why I don't ride more - I enjoy it so much and yesterday was no exception to this. I started pretty late (5:00 pm) and tried to 'race' home the setting sun. 19 miles later I made it home just after the run sun dipped beyond the ridge that dominates the skyline at my house. I can't even start to describe what the sky looked like and I didn't have my phone so I couldn't even try to capture a picture.

I'm pretty pleased at where I'm at with my conditioning right now. I have plenty of room to improve but I'm making good progress. I think I'm going to have to try for a PB on Thanksgiving, I'll be in a better position to gauge my goal once I get in that mile TT though so I'm waiting until I get that run in before I set any concrete goals for that race.

Stock wise, I got caught with RIMM stock last week and took a pretty big hit before I dumped it. I did capture back some of my losses by getting in on a option put with RIMM, but the damage was already done. Today is another day and the market is doing well and I'm about 1/3 of the way back as of right now so I'm doing ok. My buy stock today is YGE. Chinese solar stock that does pretty well fundamentals are ok, but I'm looking for a move off the $12 range up to about $16. The big investors are putting money into the account, and if I can capture just a single point here that would be nice.

Keep Steppin'

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beautiful Morning!

This mornings run was beautiful. The sun came out to a cloudless sky and the air was crisp (well as crisp as Southern California can be.) and what started out as a 3 miler quickly turned into a 4.5 mile run when I decided to take a right turn instead of a left on the upper end of my planned course. Cade as usual was catting away and I tried to keep up the conversation but it was hard. Pace overall was 11:08 not too bad for a stroller training run and I'm pleased with my results even if I had to walk a short uphill section for about :30 sec.

Saturday is going to be my last official attempt at a mile PB this year. I don't run this distance anymore on it's own, but with my increased mileage this year I think I might be able to break 8:44. The plan is to run a warm up 1.18 miles then do the TT and finish with an easy cool down of 1.18 miles. I'll still get in over 5k for the day and that should also get me over my weekly goal of 28 miles and get me very close to my monthly mileage goal of 79 miles. Physically I feel pretty good. My legs are a little tired but my recovery between runs seem to be OK. My left knee (my bad knee) is a little sore and yesterday I found out is hurts when I kneel on the tile to clean it. I know Beth I won't use this as an excuse to get out of cleaning the tile. :)

Tonight I'm filling in for softball (it's amazing they've asked me to play every game as a backup since I told them I wasn't going to play this season) The scabs on my knees just healed up this morning from the last double header we had - hopefully I won't have to dive too much tonight.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stoller Pacing

My graph

Pace for my stroller runs....

I'm improving on these runs, but I'm not sure if it's because I getting into better conditioning or if it's because I'm getting used to pushing the stroller. I'm guessing it's a little of both. Over the past few weeks - I feel like I'm getting stronger, and it's reflected in my pacing here.

Now please understand that I never start a training run with a pace in mind unless I'm planning on running a tempo run. Stroller runs have been strictly 'easy' runs on my calendar so effort wise I'm not trying to 'bust' these runs out so I feel good about my progress at this point in time. I still can't understand the runners in my races that pass me pushing someone at a 9 min pace. That to me is just a monster pace.

Maybe in a few months I'll re-run this report and publish it again. That may be interesting, hopefully I'll be pleased at the results then also.

Last night I got in a easy run with Bogey - I only went 2.2 miles, but that put me at 9 miles for the day so I was pleased with the effort here also. 10:29 was my pace so I was right where I wanted to be for this run. Even with my legs feeling really tired it was nice to run this with little effort.

This morning's run was only 1.6 miles - just enough to test out my legs after yesterday's big mileage. Tonight I'm planning an easy 5k which will put me over 70 miles for the month. My mileage goal this month is 79 miles so I'm well on pace to reach that goal and I feel pretty good about that.

Saturday is my mile TT date. 8:44 is my current PB and I really want to beat this. It's been sitting at this time for a while now (I haven't tried to break it to be honest) and I'm not feeling too confident right now in being able to beat this. Mainly because even though I've put in some good training runs over the past few weeks, I don't feel like the speed is there to break this yet. My weight hasn't gone down like I've expected and I think that's going to hold me back this weekend. (I'd rather be around 198 rather than 203). Oh well we'll see how it goes - I'll keep you posted.

Stocks are going well, I reached another cash out goal this morning (that's five this month, where I was only planning two). Right now I'm just sitting back and waiting for some purchases to move before I can cash them out. I'm guessing sometime before Friday I'll be making another cash out. Currently I have two different trading accounts, an IRA account that is non-taxable and setup for long term investments. On this account I'm also invested in companies that hand out dividends. My other account (which is much smaller by about 60%) I use for income. Here I work in $400.00 groups. Every $400.00 I make, $300 comes out as income and the other 25% get re-invested so I can grow this account to over 25k (for those who don't know 25k is the cutoff the government has created to let investors have unlimited day trades. Right now I'm only allowed 3 days trades in a 5 day period.) All this means is that I need to make sure I hold onto a stock overnight in most cases. Most of the time this is good because I can then catch the up gaps that have been occurring recently on this market's bull trend we've been having since March of this year.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

5 Miler in the Bank

Got out and pushed Cade for 5 miles this morning and it felt pretty good. The run was on a pretty hilly course and I did struggle, I even had to walk about :45 seconds at one point, but I'm sure this training is going to help me a ton later on. My pace was slow (11 min miles) so it's difficult looking at my log knowing I'm putting up these very slow times, shoot I even entered a new running category (stroller runs) so I know why the pace is so slow on these runs. That helps a little.

My legs feel good today - a little tired but not too bad overall. Conditioning is slowly getting better and I'm gaining confidence in my ability.

I've been slacking on my evening runs so far over the past several days which is unfair to my running buddie Bogey. He doesn't seem to mind too much but I really need to get out with him tonight. Last night I put Cade down and completely crashed with him, Beth work me up around 9 pm and I was just beat. So I did a little work and came to bed around 11 pm.

Today is Beth's actual B-day. Happy birthday cutie! I love you. She's celebrating her 2nd 30th birthday today. From here on out it's going to be difficult remembering how old she is. :) Her Boss gave her a day at the local spa. All expenses paid on him - shoot he's even paying her salary today. So right about now I think she's getting some sort of facial and foot rub.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lazy Weekend

I didn't get a run in this weekend at all - I spent time with the family, and just never got out. Saturday Beth and I went out to dinner for her Birthday. It was nice getting out by ourselves without the kids (Mas and Papa watched them overnight.) We went to a great place in San Clemente (El Mariachi) and had just a little too much to drink. There was a nice couple next to us out on the patio who kept eyeballing out margaritas and finally asked what out bill was (they were $16 each!) A little more than what we'd normally spend, but it was good for us to get out.

Saturday morning/noon we spend at Abby's soccer game. I don't know if I've mentioned this but I've been coaching her for about 4 years now. They played really good, but fell apart in the final 5 mins of the game. After missing several chances to score early on they gave up three goals in a 5 min span and lost 3-0. Much better than the 9-0 skunking from last week. Even with the loss, I was pleased with the girls effort and they played much better this week. For practice this week we'll work on scoring more.

Sunday was spent cleaning, picking up the kids at the Grandparents and then watching my Chargers blow a game. I can't remember such poor play calling from the coaching staff in the past 10 years. I really hope they fix that problem.

Running this morning was great. After walking the girls to school, Cade and I went for a short run. I originally wanted to get in about 2 miles, but once we started I changed the course a little and it turned out to be 3 miles once we were finished. Pace was roughly :30 seconds faster per mile than we have been running so I was pleased with the effort. The only issue I had today was my feet. Both were cramping up a little, so I'm thinking I needed to stretch them out a little before my run. I'll keep an eye on this because my shoes are getting up there in miles (260 miles). I'm hoping to get closer to 500 mile though, but this is the first time I'm running with Brooks so I'm going to monitor this closely.

Keep Steppin'

Friday, September 18, 2009

Boy I love working out of the house.....

Well today is Friday - and I love what I'm doing. The weeks seem to fly by, and even though I'm not making a ton of money just yet, I am hitting my start up income goals already and I'm ahead of my plan. Now I'm sitting here thinking that I'm bummed out that today is Friday - that means no market tomorrow; but I DO have plenty of research and training I can do - it's just that it's not quite the same. Today was another great day for me market wise and I'm basically done for the day other than watching, and spending time learning.

As for running, I'm doing very well. Last night I did take off since I was already sitting at 20 miles for the week and during my morning run yesterday my legs felt like lead. But this morning I did put in a 4.5 miler after I walked Abby to school. Even though my legs are tired, it felt good to head out pushing Cade into the morning mist. We had a pretty heavy marine layer and drops were hanging off the spiderwebs along the walking trails. Cade wanted to do a 'long' run this morning and since he was armed with Coco Puffs, juice, and his transformer I headed out and ran a course that we haven't tried before. Overall the run wasn't bad - I took it very slowly and my legs felt ok (at least much better than yesterday.)

I am planning on getting another 2-3 miles in tonight with Bogey and maybe I can talk Beth into joining us since Alex will be over and he can watch the little ones sleep.

Racewise I'm starting to think about a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot (5k). It's about the perfect time out training wise so I think I'll sign up for this next week. My goal here is to beat last years time (31:55) and my stretch goal will be a PB time (sub 28:27). There's a pretty big gap here but I don't want to put too much pressure on me right now. As I get closer to the race date I'll decide which side I want to be closer to.

Keep Steppin'

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wild Morning!

I woke up early this morning with a feeling the market was going to go crazy. If fact over the past several days I've been prepping for today. Low and behold it DID blow up to the upside! I started cashing in stocks left and right and before I knew it, I had already reached my personal income quota for the month! So I walked away from my computer took Abby to school and then when for a nice 3 miler this morning without having to think about anything.

Abby on the Papa's boat

And the run was nice - the sun was trying to break through the marine cover so the temp was staying low (about 69). Cade kept looking for his shadow which wasn't coming out to play. Needless to say he wasn't happy about that and kept shifting around in the stroller. Talk about making it difficult to run! Still I'm getting used to having Cade with me and even though he doesn't stop talking, or asking questions, on days like today it doesn't bother me at all. If fact today I was happy to spend time with him chatting about clouds, Abby's school, the local tunnel (and shouting inside it to listen to our voices echoing), and looking for our shadows. Before I knew it we'd finished and I clocked 3.3 mile at a 11:19 pace which is pretty good for lugging a 30lb kid and stroller.

Damm, It just didn't look like he wanted to join me.

Hopefully I'll get another run in tonight. Last night's run I didn't take Bogey so I felt kind of bad, and I need to make it up to him. Plus last night's run turned into a tempo run - I think it was because I was by myself and just opened up a little. So tonight I want to run a 3 miler easy to give my legs a little chance to recover.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nice Morning(s)

I'm starting to shift my running time to the mornings, the reasoning has to do with being home now. I walk Abby to school and then take Cade out for a nice run in the stroller. I've already mentioned that I'm still getting used to running with a stroller, but in the long run it should help me.

Yesterday's run was a (very) short but it's so nice being out at that time (8:00 am). When I'm out running, all I think about is that last year I'd be stuck in some stupid meeting trying to figure out how to make someone else money just to keep my job. Now I'm enjoying time spent with my son as I try to figure out which researched stocks I need to buy/sell for the day. Less than an hour later I'm making those changes and I'm dictating HOW I'm making money. Now you have to realize that I'm also spending 2-4 hours daily just researching stocks, and another 1-2 hours listening to analysis discuss stock plays. During this time I'm also checking my inventory for interday trades trying to make sure I don't miss anything that might make me some money or I'm taking an on-line class about day trading or how to use my desktop platform. I still have a long way to go and I'm just barely scratching the surface with my knowledge on the subject, but I'm starting to make some money now so that's encouraging.

I'm planning on keeping my evening running in place 3-4 days a week though. Hey I have to keep my running partner happy (see above) Can you believe he's 9 months old now? And he doesn't have any problem keeping up with me on a 4 miler. The evening runs will be longer and quicker pace - these runs are still 'my time' so I want to keep them going.

The morning running is really helping me put some focus on my morning planning - it forces me to evaluate my decisions BEFORE I go make any changes. That way when I choose actions I'm sure I'm doing the right thing.

Today's run was difficult not because of the weather or my conditioning; it's just pushing the running stroller. I know once I get used to it, it will help me in the long run but man it's tough! On top of pushing, Cade wouldn't stop talking - asking questions........ And anyone who has kids that are about three know when they ask a question (about a million in 30 seconds) and you give an answer then NEVER hear it the first time - SO they ask you again. So here I am gasping telling Cade that "Yes, the house is in that direction, and Yes we are going away from the house." Sigh.......

Hopefully I'll get a nice run in tonight.

NOTE: WLP had a nice pullback this morning - still in an upwards trend. Good chance to get into the stock. Also take a look at DVN (I think I've mentioned this already - Natural gas play) and PALM. PALM is having its having it's earnings report tomorrow after the market closes, I think they are going to report earnings better than expectations.

Keep Steppin'

Monday, September 14, 2009

Taking a Day Off

Yesterday I took a day off - I originally had a small run planned, but I never got to it.

Beth and I took the family and joined my Father-in-law on his sail boat for the Tall Ship Festival here in Dana Point, Ca. It's a fun event. All these replica period ships get together just outside the breakwater and have a 'mock' battle at sunset. This year we invited our neighbor's that have two young children, the boy LOVES pirate ships so it was a no brainer.

The weather was nice and the kids really enjoyed themselves.

Us joining the 'fray'

Tall Ship Califorian - I spent 3 months on this ship in HS.

Califorian scaring the seagulls.

Got to love the local wildlife

Other that the sail - I did get in a nice run on Saturday night, nothing big just 2.2 miles at a 9:47 pace. That's a little fast for me, but I wasn't running with the stroller so I decided to pick up my pace a little. Legs feel pretty good, but my conditioning is horrible.

Tonight I'm planning a 3.1 miler at an easy pace - nothing fast this week except a little mile TT I'm scheduling for myself on Saturday. I want to see if I can break my 8:44 PB. That should give me a good gauge on where I am and what I need to work on next.

On the stock front - I'm trading several different potentials this week - (WLP) Wellpoint Inc. is a healthcare company that has been getting good scores since March of this year the stock has steadily climbed from 30 to 50 per share and the company is most likely the strongest in its sector. Even though the Phase 1 and 2 scores aren't anything to write home about, the cash flow in the company is strong. All current patterns are still Bullish and the stock is still climbing. I bought at 52 per share and I'm looking to sell at about 58. Currently I'm about a third of the way there. (+54). So if you are looking for a Healthcare play - I'd recommend WLP as a short term investment (less than 6 months) - if Obama get a health program into place. If not this could turn into a keeper.

Keep Steppin'


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Morning Outing

This morning was interesting - I took Cade for a run in the jogging stroller. I don't know how people do that every run. It's really tough and kind of unnatural - your arms are up, and you really can't swing them very well while holding the jogger. Oh well I'll get better at this.

2.73 miles on a hilly course pushing Cade in 32:11 I'll take that today. I'm still going to log another 3-5 miles later today so I'm just glad to get out and run.

The market is going crazy this morning - I'll have to keep a close eye on a few stocks. More later after my night run.

Keep Steppin'

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hello Again

Well it's been about three months and I'm back. Getting used to being Mr. Mom, and learning a new 'trade' has been exhausting. Abby went back to school today, so I'll have a little more time to get some runs in during the week.

Today was nice to get out again. Overall I put in about 5 miles today and I feel great. Tomorrow I'm planning about 8 miles all together. We'll see how that goes. I guess a summer of cleaning and taking the kids to the pool didn't hurt my conditioning that much. In fact I think I could have gone much faster than the 9:52 pace I logged today for my basic run.

Since I'm now spending time doing stock market trading I'm going spend a little time here charting my success and failures. If you do some investing yourself feel free to use some of my research for your own investing if you want. If you are not interested at all in this stuff feel free to skim over this since I'll still put plenty of running thoughts in this blog. If fact the blog will still be 90% about running.

Today with the market being up - I was limited on my buys, but I did buy a stock BJ (yeah a pretty funny name, but it's easy to remember.) For the West Coast crowd, BJ's is a whole seller warehouse store very similar to COSTCO. This company is put into the same group as TJMaxx, COSTCO, Big Lots, etc... After doing some research, I chose to invest in BJ's about two weeks ago, and cashed in last week making a profit of about $100.00 on an investment of about 3k. With that in mind, I took advantage of a small pullback in the stock mid morning and purchased the stock again. We'll see how it preforms.

Well I have to get caught up on some blog reading - three months of reading in fact. (It's going to be a late night.)

Keep Steppin'