Gatorade folly and tomorrow’s 5K

I had a fairly good run yesterday and I think I know why this week had been so hard.

Other than getting adjusted to the heat, I have been drinking Gatorade before running.  I just started this on Tuesday, thinking that it would help with the heat.  To be honest, I have been putting a scoop of Gatorade into a half cup of water since I didn’t want to drink too much before running.  So I gave myself a 30 minute high on all that sugar, but when that wore off around the 3-4 mile mark, I would crash hard.

As a test to see if that was it, I had nothing to drink before running yesterday (I had 96 oz during the day though).  It wasn’t easy, but I did get 5 miles in at an 8:40 pace and never felt like I couldn’t go on.  I stopped on purpose at 5 miles since I ran and walked 16 miles the past 2 days and I want to be fresh for my 5K on Saturday.  Anyway, no more Gatorade before a run for me.

I haven’t mentioned much about the 5K tomorrow since I wasn’t going to push it too hard, but now I am changing my thoughts.  It is an inaugural 5K and I have run the course and am familiar with it.  I really think I can PR it if I run it correctly.  Right now I plan on running the first 2 miles at a 7:00 pace and try to run the 3rd at 6:30.  That would give me a PR and be a good end to my 5K days as I start my marathon training.  I’m looking forward to seeing Neill (@bigbigggeek) and David (@David_Topping) at the race.  RS is going to run with us and TJ isn’t running the race, but wants to help pace me.  I’ve never had anyone pace me in a race before, so that will be really great.

Tonight it is Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese and chicken caesars (thanks big brother @fooddude4life) for the inspiration; then we will watch “The Race” Seinfeld episode.  Finally a good night rest so we can run hard tomorrow (and not get hurt – thanks Lovely Wife).

I love 5Ks.  I hope this one is memorable.

Boston, Boston, Boston

Summer, I have decided, is not a running season – at least for me.

Yesterday I had a run where I had to constantly remind myself why I am doing this.  Some days are wonderful and it feel like I can run a thousand miles.  No runs this week have been wonderful to me.

I hesitate here because I don’t want to sound like I am complaining on this blog.  I write it for me to remind myself from where I have come and where I hope to go.  FYI, I come from a 5’9″ 278 pound man and I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon this September (i.e.:  That is what I had to keep reminding myself yesterday as I ran.

I started my run in my old Saucony Mirage 2 shoes.  Not old in mileage – they only have 78 miles on them.  They are the shoes I loved before I got my Saucony Fastwitch shoes that I have been using during my achilles recovery.  Why did I switch yesterday?  Mainly because they are heavier and have more support and I thought that they would help me not push as hard as I did the day before.

I got less than a mile into my run and felt a sharp pain in my achilles.  I thought to myself, “run relaxed and keep your form”.  As I ran a bit more – another sharp pain.  I thought at this point that perhaps I should head home and change shoes.  By the time I got home (5 minutes later) I had 2 more sharp pains.  Ugh.  I don’t want to have this problem again.  I just felt like I was getting over it.

I went inside and put on my Fastwitch shoes and headed back out.  After that point, I had one more minor pain and then I was pain free.  Well, I thought to myself, I guess I have another pair of lawn mowing shoes (thinking of the Mirage).

I don’t know what he difference is between the shoes except that the Mirage is stiffer and pulls more on my heel.  Either way I was elated that I could continue with my run (which didn’t go much better after that).

It was hot outside again.  The heat index was 90.  At least there was a breeze.  Then it rained.  Not a bad thing, but it rained just enough to get the road wet and then the sun came out again.  The sun and heat radiating off the road shot the temperature up at least 10 degrees.  I made it to 7 miles with a 9:12 average pace. My last mile was close to 10:00.

I’ve decided it is going to be a long hot summer and I had better get used to it.  I run in the afternoon because I leave for work at 5:00am and just can’t get up early enough to get my mileage in.

So, I guess I did complain some.  It was actually one of the roughest runs I’ve had in a long time.  I run one more time today and take tomorrow off to get my body ready for the 5K on Saturday.  Then it is marathon training until September.

Boston, Boston Boston.  I have to keep my eye on the goal.  Summer will eventually turn to fall and then I can have some fun.  Then the Spring and hopefully Boston!

How to hit “THE WALL” half way through a 6 mile run

It was the third mile of my run.

It had been a good run so far, but I could feel that something was changing.

It was hot and humid.  My last quarter mile was at 7:45 pace, which I knew was too fast.

I continued on, hoping to make 8 miles for the day when suddenly my brain switched to, “are you kidding me.  You can’t make 8 miles.  You can’t make 4 miles. I revolt!  I revolt!”

I hit “the wall” after only 3 miles of my run.  I suddenly got tired.  I didn’t know how I was going to get to 4 miles, let alone 8.

I made it to 6 miles and stopped.  I know my error / circumstance that created this situation.

  1. I slept poorly the night before
  2. I stopped all Ibuprofen last weekend.  I have read recently that since Ibuprofen masks pain, you can actually hurt yourself without knowing it.  Also the soreness that you experience after a workout is how your body knows what muscles to strengthen, so if you mask that pain, the process of strengthening doesn’t happen either.  No pain, no gain.
  3. It was a hot and humid day and last weekend was cool, so I needed to adjust to the heat slower.
  4. I started slow, but sped up too quickly. I need to concentrate more on mileage rather than speed; at lest during the summer.
  5. I eat at a luncheon at work, so I eat much more than I normally do during the day.  I felt bloated and heavy even at the start of the run.

I need to learn from my mistakes now more than ever.  I only have 15 weeks until the marathon and I really want to be ready.  I am encouraged that I got in 6 miles though.  Last summer I was running 2 miles a day and barely making it through.  I would like to get in 8 today if possible since I am taking Friday off to be ready for the 5K on Saturday.  This may be one of my last competitive 5Ks before the marathon.  I really need to work on distance and strengthen my body for long runs more than fast runs.  Also taking off Friday before the 5K really messes with my mileage.  I say all that knowing I’ll still run 5Ks and just deal with it, but I need to not worry about being competitive.  I need to look forward and prepare for what is most important.

One encouraging note from yesterday.  I hit the wall and kept going.  My whole being wanted me to stop, but I didn’t.

I think that is an important part of marathon training also.  Training your body to know that you master it; it does not master you.

I think my body got the hint 🙂

A great running weekend!

It was a productive weekend running wise.

I got to run 7 miles on Friday, 7 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday.

Friday’s run was fun.  I ran a mile warmup, 5 miles close to marathon pace and a mile cool down.  I was really pleased, as that was the first time I ran 7 miles since my achilles injury.

Saturday was spent running with TJ and RS.  The three of us got up early and ran the 5K route we will run this weekend for the CityFest 5K.  Part of the run is on a busy road with little shoulder room, so it is rather difficult to run.  All three of us ran the route at about an 8:40 pace.  Then TJ and I decided to run it again at my 5K pace to see the best way to deal with the hills.

We rested up and then started our run. It really isn’t too bad of a course until you start the second leg of the busy road.  That is a pretty big uphill, then a run through a neighborhood with a couple big hills.  I did well until the last hill.  Suddenly my app stopped my run, which was annoying.  Then seconds later my shoe lace came untied.  TJ said, “I guess you wont forget to double tie your shoes on race day”.  True.  Then the downhill started.  The entire last mile is either downhill or level.  I did well until the end that I thought stopped at the stadium.  As we reached that point, we still had about half a mile to go.  I know on race day that we run into the stadium and around the track, but I was psyched to stop at the stadium.  So I did well until the last 10th of a mile and at that point, I lost it.  All in all, we ran just about 45 seconds slower than last week’s 5K which isn’t bad.  I’m looking forward to the race.

Sunday was my long run and considering I ran so much Friday and Saturday, I decided to run 10 miles with a 60 second walk in between each mile.  I don’t know if that helped or not, but it wasn’t easy.  I ran okay, but I could feel the effect of the miles on my body by the time it was over.

On to this week…  We have 3.5 months until our marathon in Pennsylvania.  It is slowly creeping up on us.  TJ and I were talking training last night and I think I am beginning to develop a training plan.  More on that another day.

All in all I’d say it was a great running weekend.

Running with a new attitude

Great run yesterday. I put into practice my new “No FEAR” attitude and just ran. I did a 1 mile warmup and then ran 3 miles under a 7:30 pace and then my last mile at 8:15.

It was hot, but I felt good. I also drank half a glass of Gatorade before I left and I think that helped.

So I feel much better today about running with my new attitude. Today is cool and sunny compared to out other days lately. I hope to run 7 miles later this afternoon.

Everyone have a fantastic weekend.


After my recent achilles injury (the first of my short running career), I realized yesterday that I have been running in fear.  I think that I have known this all along, but it has gotten out of control.

Don’t get me wrong.  A certain amount of fear is good for a runner.  I know that I am not beyond getting a run ending injury, especially as I add speed and miles.  So when I say No FEAR, I don’t mean being stupid!  I mean that I’ve gotten to the point where I am so fearful of getting hurt that running isn’t fun anymore.  I spend much of my run literally doing mental checks of my body and making sure there isn’t something happening for which I need to stop my run.

So I am changing my attitude.  I will run and be careful, but not to the point of fear.  I will still soak my foot after my run and tape up, but I have decided to enjoy running again.  If I feel something that hurts, I’ll be careful, but if I stop at every ache and pain, I’ll never make my goal of a September marathon.

It is a new day!

Yesterday was hot.  TJ said real feel was 90, but I think with the heat radiating off the road, it must have “felt” hotter.  I use the Weather Bug app on my phone and as I saw storm clouds gathering, I kept checking the app for lightening.  It is really cool.  There is a part of the app called “Spark” that will tell you how far lightening is away from you.  It started 11 miles away and by the time I hit the 5 mile mark on my run lightening was 4 miles away.  I texted TJ to come home and I went inside.  5 minutes after TJ came in the door the storm hit.  I love technology.

Monday is a holiday so I am taking tomorrow off.  It is supposed to cool off and be a beautiful weekend.

I am going to enjoy running again!


The dreaded hill/trail/hill run

Some days you head out to run and things just click.

Some days you head out and it is just a normal run.

Other days are like yesterday…

TJ, RS and I decided to try out the 5K course of the CityFest 5K that is happening a week from Saturday.  Being a new course to us and an area we hadn’t run before, it was exciting to see how to run this race.  Now understand it was nearing 90, but this was a rough 5K.  Almost every 5K I have ever run starts with a downhill in the beginning, not this one.  It has a slight upgrade for about half a mile and then the hills start.  I’m thinking about 2 miles of up and down hills and not necessarily small hills either. TJ remarked that this course is not a course to set a PR on.  I guess I’ll keep to my original plan to just go out and have fun.  I know though that the competitiveness in me will come through and I’ll want to do well.  We will see.  There is a masters award given (40+), I’d like to win that.  My thought is that those who aren’t expecting this course won’t be able to keep a good pace.  I just have to figure out a strategy and then run the plan.

After the course, RS went home as he didn’t drink enough water for the heat.  I don’t think I did either.  I thought I had 96 ounces of water, but it might have been 64.  Anyway, TJ and I decided to run a trail that goes down to a park.  Not a good idea.  After the hills and a gravel trail for a mile, I was shot.  At the end of the trail we had a choice to make.  One was to go back via the trail and the other was to run up a rather large hill with traffic and very little shoulder (actually no shoulder, just lumpy grass).  We went for the hill as I couldn’t face the trail.

After the hill we just ran the neighborhood home.  Not bad, but at the top of the big hill my heal / achilles / something started hurting.  I was all taped up, but I found out after I got home that the tape didn’t hold for some reason.  So I concentrated on relaxing my foot and not pushing off but using gravity and actually had a good run at the end.   I was glad to stop and go soak my foot in ice water and drink Gatorade.  TJ went on for another 5 miles.  I had nothing left.  The hill/trail/hill run took everything out of me.

All in all it was a hard, but good workout.  I realized that during the summer I won’t be pushing speed as much as distance (except for speed workouts).

It seems summer is finally arriving a month or two late.

Now we start training for the September marathon

Well I have somewhat recuperated from the 5K I ran on Saturday. It still amazes me how I can run a 5K at close to the same speed in my neighborhood and not feel badly the next day.  After a race however, I’m sore, tired and wonder if ill ever run again.

Maybe that’s a little over dramatic, but I have had pains where I never felt them before. My right shin woke me up in pain Sunday morning and my right heel hurt when I got out of bed. Both are already better, but it is crazy how a race can batter your body.  Glad I’m doing another one in under 2 weeks. 🙂
Yesterday was a purposely slow run. I had taken off Friday and Sunday, so I wanted to get going again soon. I got 4.8 miles complete when I accidentally stopped my app and then just walked home.  It wasn’t very hot according to the thermometer, but it was sunny and humid and I was tired.
Today is another easy run, maybe a little faster, then a workout on Wednesday.
The goal of our training (TJ, RS and myself)  now moves onto our first marathon in September.  We will run 5Ks during the summer, just for fun, but the marathon is the goal of all our running and workouts this summer. My goal for the marathon is 3:30, but I hope to do it in 3:20.
Time will tell.


Spring Scramble 2013 5K race results – What a difference a year makes!

Wow, it was a fun race.  Although none of us (TJ, RS or myself) met our goals, we all did well.

Just a quick recap.  The Spring Scramble was the first race of any type we ran last year after we began running.  In fact, I had only run 3 miles a couple times before the race.  So this race has memories attached to it.  I figured I would first post how we did last year and then post this year’s results.

Last year’s race results were:

Me: Finished 83rd overall, last in my age group at 31:28 (10:07 pace).
TJ: Finished 11th overall, first in his age group at 22:27 (7:13 pace).
RS: Finished 90th overall, last in his age group at 32:35 (10:29 pace)

Really not bad considering I had only been running a month and TJ and RS had been running just a couple of weeks.  In fact, TJ ran in old sneakers that had to be glued the night before!

Okay, on to Spring Scramble 2013.

We arrived a little later than planned, but still had time to run our warmups and strides before the gun went off.  It was great seeing collegues from work and a couple of other new friends I’ve made on twitter lately.  I’m not sure they want their names listed so I am being a bit vague on purpose.

It was supposed to rain all day, but didn’t rain a drop.  It was very humid though which made things a little hard, but the temps were in the 70s and being overcast made it a good Spring race.

I did well.  I used my iSmoothRun app and wireless headsets to keep my pace.  I set the app for a pace of 6:30.  I was only 3 seconds behind after the first mile, but I knew by then I wasn’t going to keep that pace up.  The app did help a lot in keeping me running as fast as I could for the whole race.  Of course TJ was way off in front of me and RS dropped back behind me early.  I expected both, as TJ is a much faster runner than I and RS has just started getting over a virus that had him in bed for a week.  He did amazingly well as did TJ in this race.

I also decided not to wear my racing flats because I’ve only warn them twice and they killed my feet during my workout.  So I went with my Saucony Fastwitch shoes.  I love those shoes, but I wonder if I would have done better if I still had my A5’s.

Enough said… Here are our result for this year (the full results aren’t out yet, but this is what we know):

Me: Finished 5th overall, first in my age group at 21:42 (6:59 pace).
TJ: Finished 3rd overall – Wow!
RS: Finished ??? overall, second in his age group!

I don’t have TJ or RS’s times with me, but I will update this post after I ask them.  I know TJ was around 19 minutes and RS around 28 minutes.

So we all got metals, the first time that has happened.

For me personally it was a great race, even though I didn’t hit near the 20:00 mark.  I did PR my 5K by about 25 seconds.  Also, finishing 5th overall was just amazing for me.  Just guessing, there were probably 120 people who came.  I know over 170 signed up.  I think the weather kept some away.  So not a big race, but it was sweet to see the improvement we all had in just 1 year.  I am so proud of my boys!

That’s it for now.  I signed up for another 5K in two weeks.  I’m not going to push it for this one.  I’m just going to go out and have fun.  I don’t yet know if TJ or RS can get off of work to go with me, but I hope so.

Thanks for reading and for all the encouragement during my achilles injury!!!