Awesome run yesterday!

Yesterday I had the type of run that makes me hopeful that I will be able to qualify for Boston in September in Pennsylvania.

Just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote how I struggled on my long run day (link).  I did several things to fix my problem.  I started getting up and drinking 32 oz (1000 ml) of water immediately.  I then wait two hours before running.  This seems to help me wake up and make sure I don’t have to stop my run to go to the bathroom.  Also I eat eggs and a whole wheat bagel.  One other thing I tried this week is moving my off day to Saturday.  I always run better the day after an off day and so I thought I’d give that a try and see if it helped.

It helped.

I ran the farthest and the fastest long run ever.  Here are the stats from my run:

  • 15 miles
  • 2 hours 3 minutes
  • 8:14/mile
  • 90 Avg Cadence

Wow, it was incredible!  I ran differently from most of my runs.  I worked on running relaxed.  I let my legs run and by body go along for the ride.  It really helped.  By the time I reached the half way mark, I was still feeling good.  I wasn’t tired and I wasn’t breathing hard.  In fact, mile 13 was my fastest of the day at 7:58!  My slowest was mile 1 at 8:57.

The weather was good also.  It was in the mid 40s, no wind and sunny.  It must have been close to 60 by the time I was through with my run.

All in all, it was a great day for running.  The only issues were my knees hurt a little and my hip was not good after the run.  I have to figure that one out if I want to keep up the mileage.  Also I got blisters on the balls of my feet.  That seems to happen on long runs no matter what socks I wear.  Not sure the reason.

Today is another day.  The one thing about running is each day you start over.  Sometimes that is a good thing when you had a tough run.  Sometimes it would be nice to just relive that great run for a few days, but that can’t happen.

For tomorrow, I asked my brother to write a guest post.  I thought it would be nice to get his views on running as he ran a lot with my siblings and my dad during the marathon years that I missed.

Have a wonderful day and keep running.  I’ll be back Wednesday!

2014 Boston Marathon – Is it possible for me to go?

Ahhh, the long run day.  Today is where the rubber hits the road, so to speak.  I am all ready to head out, but I must say that getting up at 5:00am on a Sunday morning is not my thought of fun.  However as my long runs get longer, I am going to have to sacrifice sleep on the weekend for running.  In the end, it will be worth it (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

I am trying something new this week (yes, there is something new from time to time in my routine).  I took Saturday off from running rather than Monday.  I will see how this works out.  I really need a day off before my long run as I do better after a day off.  However that will have me running non-stop into the week and my workouts.  I know… I could take 2 days off – but who would be that crazy!!!

I haven’t mentioned Boston since Tuesday as I wanted to give some time before I talk about running next year.  I’ve noticed news articles this past week on how interest in running the Boston Marathon has skyrocketed since the tragedy last Monday.  Notice the image below.  Talk about skyrocketing…  Click the image to read the story (but not until you finish my post, of course).

Huge Interest In Qualifying For Boston 2014

I have some mixed emotions about this.  One side of me says, “Great!  Look at all that support and how people are coming together after a terrible tragedy”.  But the other side of me says, “Now with so many people wanting to qualify for Boston, I probably won’t make it for 2014”.  I’m not trying to be selfish, just honest about what I am feeling.

I am very encouraged by the response to last Monday.  Personally, I’ve had many people that have sought me out to say that because of this blog and my goal, they thought of me after what happened.  It is nice when people are so thoughtful.

So my eyes are set on a goal.  I’d rather not have to wait until 2015 to run Boston and I’d also like to support the marathon the year after the tragedy.  I have 5 months to train and to run my first marathon under 3:30 to qualify.  What are the chances of a 50 year old who will have only been running for 18 months being able to do that?  Not very high.  But I am going to try.  This was a personal goal from the beginning, long before last Monday.  Now it is even more important to me.  I will work hard to qualify for this marathon one day.  Maybe this year, but if not, then next.  If not next year then I’ll keep trying until I cannot try anymore.

I am still praying for those affected by the events last Monday.  So many people are hurt, afraid, confused, etc.  Some wounds, even time can’t heal.

Here is to Boston!  We are with you.  We will support you.

I hope to see you soon. 🙂

Running on a perfect day (in new shoes)

It was another great run yesterday. Once again, TJ and I ran together and the temperature was down in the 50s. It was a perfect situation for a great run… Add to this that my new running shoes came in the mail and I couldn’t ask for more.

I decided to try Saucony Fastwitch 5 as they are from my favorite manufacturer and being one generation old, I got them for $42 (after coupon) from Running Warehouse. I currently run my workouts in Saucony Mirage and these new shoes are lighter and felt great on my run.

So I ran with TJ, 5 miles at just over an 8:00 pace. He had run a 5K practice run in our neighborhood earlier at 18:33. Wow, I was amazed.

It was truly a great day for running. TJ had a PR 5K, I got new shoes that felt great, it was cool and I got to run with TJ.

Days like yesterday keep me motivated and excited about running. Now if I’d just turn off the news, life would be perfect. 🙂

Hill run day. I actually enjoyed it.

Hill day isn’t a day I look forward to most of the time.  Yesterday wasn’t an exception.  I had to work later than normal and it was still quite warm, but with a nice breeze.  The day did get better when TJ said he wanted to run with me, so I had someone to run with.

We ran 2 warmup miles and then hit the hill.  As I’ve mentioned before, the hill is quite steep and then less steep but long.  It is about a quarter mile long, but you know when you’ve run up it, believe me.  I think because it is getting warmer out, this workout was tougher than the last time I ran the hill.  I was so out of breath each time we got to the top of the steep section.  Then we would finish and go back down to start up again.  I made it up 4 times and TJ ran 3 with me and the 4th he ran at his pace, which was just a little faster than mine 🙂

We also saw RS running the hill.  He ran it 8 times which is what TJ does if he isn’t running with me.  I actually contemplated running more reps up the hill, but my hip has been bothering me and I didn’t want to push it.

So we headed home.  Now this wasn’t my normal easy jog home after a hill run.  In fact my last half mile was paced at about 8:15 (with a shoe that came untied).  So it was a great workout in the end.

Cooler weather returns today with storms and rain.  The weekend is going to be beautiful with temps in the low 70s and sunny clear skies.

So much going on in the world.  It is nice to get away and run with your kids.

Life is good.

The heat returns and running gets harder

The heat is back.  I realized last week that the heat was an issue and now this week I can see it is going to be a long summer of running.

Yesterday went well.  I ran the paired back 5 miles I budgeted after the pain of running too much without a break last week.  I thought of running further and might have, but kept getting a pain in my hip and down my leg every quarter mile or so.  It would last only about one or two strides, but it was consistent for the first 3 miles.  I figured that since I am to hill run workouts today, I should keep to my original plan and only run 5 miles.

Oh and did I mention the heat?

It was only 81 officially, but the heat index was 85 and I imagine when you add the radiation from the pavement it must have been close to 90.  This might have been easier if we had slowly gone into this situation, but 2 weeks ago I was running with a jacket and now I am so hot that my shirt is soaked after my run.

The good news is that tomorrow the rain comes back and the temp won’t even reach 60.  Then low 70’s and sunny through the weekend.  So, I look forward to at least a few more days of cool weather in which to run.

This does make me wonder about this summer.  Last summer I remember running in the upper 90’s and even in the 100’s, but I was also only running 2 miles a day, not 7 or 8.  I guess I’ll have to get used to it and take it slow.  TJ told me that running in the heat has a similar effect to running in high altitude.  So, if I can get used to running well this summer, it should bode well for the Fall marathon season.

BTW, Jeff sent me a Facebook pic that simply said,

“If you’re trying to defeat the
human spirit, marathoners
are the wrong group to target.”

Great post.  There is so much going on in the world right now.  I am thankful I took up running when I did.  I can put up with a little heat.  Running is worth it!

Life goes on – Tempo run Tuesday

Yesterday, with the Boston tragedy fresh on my mind, I got on my running shoes and did my tempo run.  My ultimate goal stands.  I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon in September in Pennsylvania.  If I don’t make it then, I will try in December in Jacksonville.  Either way, I have my eyes set on a goal and as long as I can physically make it, I will make it.  What happened Monday makes me more determined.  I continue to feel sadness, anger, confusion over it all.  I honestly don’t understand.  But as I said, it just makes me more determined to make it this year and if not, next!

My run yesterday went really well. Actually if it was a cool winter day in the South, I would say it was just average, but being a humid, hot day in the South it went great. Here are my splits for the tempo part of my run:

Mile 1 – 7:17
Mile 2 – 7:13
Mile 3 – 7:50

All in all it was a good run. Overall my pace was 8:14 for 6 miles.  I really want my tempo splits to get into the 6:30 range if at all possible by May so I can reasonably be assured of a 20:00 5K.  I averaged 6:54 for 5K once before, so I know it is a possibility.

I must say that running has altered many aspects of my life.  I understand setting goals and then working hard to achieve them in a way I have never understood before.  I used to be very undisciplined in my life and am much better at that now.  Not perfect.  But I am able to set a goal and work toward that goal and not drop it after a week or two.

Today is a regular run and then Thursday is my hill run.  I may push the hill run to Friday as we are to get cooler weather again by then, but eventually the hot Southern summer will set in and no amount of pushing will help.  I might as well get used to it sooner rather than later.

Praying for Boston.

After the tragedy, we pray and then we run

I am a runner.  I think I can make that declaration now.  I have been running over a year.  I run between 40 – 45 miles a week on average.  I have run over 1,200 miles in the past year.

Why do we as runners run?  Why run 5, 10, 13.1, 26.2 miles.  Why do people put their body, mind and spirit into running?

I run because of the challenge.  It is about the goals.  It is about the ups and the downs.  It is making my body do what I never thought it could.  It is about doing what no one thought I could ever do.  Like most runners, I am determined.  It is a part of my life now.  My off day form running is misery, not the days I run.

I have a goal.  I put that goal in the url of my blog so that I would keep it before my eyes.  In some ways, in just a short period of time, it has become part of my identity.


Yesterday was beyond belief.  I really have no words to express my shock and sadness that something like that could happen.  When tragedies that that occur, it seems to take away something from us as people, as a nation and now, as runners.

Life is about the finish.  When we run a race, we run for the finish.  When we see that line in front of us and we are exhausted and tired, wether a 5K or a marathon, we push harder.  The finish is the goal for the race.  What happened yesterday at the finish line  turns everything on its head.  The finish of the Boston Marathon went from victory to tragedy in a split moment.  Lives where changed forever, not in the way people had thought earlier that day, the way of victory and joy, but in the tragedy of those blasts.

I am praying for those who were hurt, those who lost loved ones.  Those whose lives will never be the same.

We are runners whether we run 1 mile a day or 10 miles a day.  We will continue.  We will persevere.

We will pray for everyone affected and then…

We will put on our shoes and run.