Quick running update…

I didn’t get a chance to write this last night, so this will be short.

Let me just say:

  • 8 miles yesterday
  • 101 heat index
  • 9 days running in a row
  • 70 miles in a row
  • Taking today off running ūüôā

I may not post this weekend as I have a lot going on. ¬†But rest assured I’ll be back Monday with another 23 more miles under my belt!!!

8 miles closer to Boston

It was a hot, humid, lonely run yesterday.

I really enjoyed it.

I enjoy climbing mountains.  Well, actually, I enjoy the top of the mountain.  The finish.  The results.

So, to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy the run itself. ¬†I ran well for about 4 miles and then got a phone call. ¬†That really affected my momentum. ¬†After that I ran/walked the rest of the 8 miles, which is unusual for me. ¬†I think it was a combination of the heat, humidity and that I didn’t get my day off this week since I need to take Friday off. ¬†Also, this is a record mileage week/month for me if I get it all in. ¬†So I am trying to be wise and still get my full running in for the week.

To continue where I started, I really like setting a goal and then reaching that goal. ¬†This is probably why I am trying so hard to qualify for Boston this year if at all possible. ¬†It is my ultimate mountain to climb. ¬†It won’t be the end of life as I know it if I don’t achieve the goal I have set, but I will do all that I can do to achieve it.

People ask me why I don’t wait another year to try to qualify. ¬†I guess it is the thrill of doing something few have done in a way that few have tried and succeeding. ¬†It may be my midlife crisis, but it is ultimately cheaper and has many more benefits than a new sports car. ūüôā

It is hot and humid today.  At 4:30 AM on my way to work it was near 80 and near 100% humidity.

I can’t wait to climb another mountain this afternoon!

Summer running – 4 ways to make running more tolerable

What was I thinking?

Marathon training in the South and in the summer.

I had a great run with TJ yesterday and actually ran my 8 miles 5 minutes faster than Monday.  But my pace is still down and the heat is really difficult.

There are ways to enjoy running in the summer. ¬†Okay, maybe not enjoy, but to make it more tolerable. ¬†I have been trying to tweet articles as I have come upon them, but they mainly¬†seem to “boil” down to the same things:

STAY HYDRATED: ¬†Personally I try to drink at least 96 ounces of water a day before I go running and preferably 128 oz. ¬†I can feel the difference, even in the winter, when I haven’t had enough to drink. ¬†I began drinking half my body weight in ounces of water back when I was dieting and have been able to keep it up. ¬†The way I do this is to drink 32oz (1000 ml) of water as soon as I get to work. ¬†I just down it quickly and get it out of the way. ¬†Then I drink another 32 oz before lunch and a final 32 oz after lunch. ¬†I try to finish my last 32 oz about 2 hours before I go running, if at all possible.

STAY COOL: ¬†That may seem like a stupid thing to write about running in 100 degree heat, but it is true. ¬†Anyway to keep yourself cooler during your run is very helpful. ¬†I have gotten a hat and shirt that cool as they get wet (or sweaty). ¬†I also have heard that just running your hands under cold water before you head out of the house goes a long way in helping you stay cooler. ¬†Some people will run early in the morning or in the evening to make sure that they don’t run in the heat of the day. ¬†Unfortunately I can’t do that with my schedule, so I have to come up with other ways to cool off. ¬†I have even gotten to the point of going inside after the first half my run to drink some water and cool off a bit before continuing.

RUN SLOWER: ¬†This is a hard one on me. ¬†I worked all Fall and Winter to move my pace up and was pretty successful. Now as we begin with the heat of the summer, I am happy with 45 to 60 seconds a mile slower pace than during the winter. ¬†The psychological effect of this is the most difficult to get beyond. ¬†But now I have resigned myself that slowing down now will keep me alive for another run tomorrow, so that is good. ūüôā ¬†Basically as you run your blood goes to your skin to help cool your body. ¬†This is blood that used to be available to your muscles. ¬†So you will run slower in the heat because your body has to cool itself. ¬†Just slow down and enjoy the run!

BE SMART: Pay attention to your body as you run. ¬†Don’t push beyond what you can handle, even if it is less than normal. ¬†Heat isn’t something to play games with. ¬†Drink a sport drink or something equivalent right after exercising and rest. ¬†If you feel at all nauseous or have weakness or other unusual symptoms during a run, call someone to pick you up. ¬†TJ, RS and I have begun texting my Lovely Wife when we leave and when we expect to get back. ¬†That way if we are out too long, someone knows to come look for us.

This isn’t an exhaustive list – obviously. ¬†Just a couple of things I have picked up throughout the past several months. ¬† I am not a doctor, but I like to learn from experience. I hope this helps.

Enjoy the summer.  Enjoy your runs.  Enjoy life.

Marathon update and a 55 mile week

It has been a couple of crazy days.

My lovely wife had a horrible migraine starting Sunday afternoon.  I finally had to take her to the doctor yesterday morning and as of last night, it was better, but not great.

As I wrote yesterday, my plans for our marathon have hit a snag. ¬†Yesterday I was much less hopeful of a solution, but after a lot of feedback from many sources, I think I might have come up with an answer…

If my big brother will change his dates for visiting my mom’s and come in Sunday rather than Friday, I think it will work out. ¬†The only hitch is to find a hotel in Allentown for 2 days that won’t be way expensive because of the marathon. ¬†Then we can go up on Friday, have Saturday to review the course (which we always do before a race – it really helps) and the run Sunday and head to my mom’s afterwards. ¬†Seems doable. ¬†I haven’t looked at hotel rates yet, but I will and then check with big brother and if all that works, we will be back on. ¬†Thanks to everyone for your feedback via the blog, email or phone. ¬†It was a big help.

Now on to my killer week of running. ¬†I’ve thrown out pace all together. ¬†My goal right now is miles and building a base and then work on my speed about 6 weeks out. ¬†I normally take Monday off since Sunday is my long day, but I have obligations Friday afternoon, so I decided to run Monday – Thursday and take Friday as my off day. ¬†TJ has helped me work out a plan. ¬†I am running 8 mile days and a 15 mile long day. ¬†I’ll probably split my long day into 2 runs of 7 and 8 miles. ¬†That will put me at 55 miles for the week and 200 for the month. ¬†The reason I’ve thrown out my pace is I don’t want to push too hard and also the heat. ¬†I have had some light physical issues, but not much for the mileage, so I am thankful.

Sometimes life is like running.  You push and push to get through each day and if you hit a wall, you regroup, shake it off and keep going.  Running has taught me so much about endurance in life.

It will all work out!

I may not get my chance to qualify for Boston this year

Yesterday was a bit difficult the whole way around.

I did run in the morning and got in my 10 miles.  That put me at 37 for the week and 145 so far for the month.  That is exciting to me as I was working toward my marathon in September.

Then I was told news that might change my plans of running the Lehigh Valley Marathon…

I messed up. ¬†When I looked at the location of the marathon, somehow I thought it was in Altoona, PA. ¬†An old friend who was reading through my blog noticed that I had said Altoona and it is actually in Allentown, PA. ¬†Ugh…

Altoona is 1 hour from my mom’s home. My plan was to visit her which I do each Fall and then run the marathon with TJ (RS is too young) and then head back to her home afterwards. ¬†Allentown is 3 hours away! ¬†My plan no longer works. ¬†The race starts at 7:00 AM.

I have been thinking over my options all day yesterday. I just can’t make this work, at least at the moment.

So, Boston may have to wait for another year.  We may go to Jacksonville in December and run that marathon, but then if TJ and I qualify we will need to wait until 2015.

I like to set goals for myself and work hard to achieve them. ¬†This throws my goals into chaos. ¬†I know people will say, “you probably need another year anyway”, and that may be true. ¬†But I had a goal and this just makes it hard. ¬†It is one thing to try and not make it, but to not be able to try… Oh well.

Life goes on.  There may still be a way to qualify for Boston before September registration.

Never say never.


Quick Sunday Running Update

Off to do my long run, which fortunately is only 10 miles this week since I am almost through with my recovery week.

Why fortunately?

Well, I had a horrible night sleep. ¬†I don’t know why, just one of “those” nights. ¬†I woke up at 12:30 AM and drifted in and out of sleep from then on.

Anyway, not wanting that to stop me, I am heading out. ¬†Tomorrow is supposed to be my off day, but since I probably won’t have time to run Friday, I’ll try to run tomorrow and take Friday off.

Also I wanted to mention that my friend and trail running partner Neill adding running posts to his blog.  Here is the address bigbiggeek.wordpress.com, go visit and see his progress toward a half marathon.

Happy Sunday.

What are you going to do today?

This is a great video. It is short, so watch it if you can before you continue.  It gives life perspective in just a few minutes.  I like things that make me think and ponder.  This video does just that.


What are you going to do today.  One day.  Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today.  You have choices to make, either good or bad.

When I began running, it was hard. ¬†Actually, for me everyday is hard. ¬†My body isn’t made for running. ¬†I was born with hips and feet that turned inward quite a bit. ¬†I had to have corrective shoes and a bar between my feet holding my hips and feet in the correct position. ¬†Today you cannot tell that I had a problem, but that problem makes running harder. ¬†When my body gets tired, my hips hurt and my feet turn inward. ¬†That happens by the end of almost every run.


I don’t run because it makes me feel better. ¬†I like the consequences of running. ¬†I like that I have lost a lot of weight. ¬†I like that I look fit. ¬†I like that people who know me, notice even now, changes in my physical condition. ¬†I like the fact I am off my CPAP. ¬†I like the fact I am almost off all medications (I’m getting off my last one right now). ¬†I like running for what it does for me, but running hurts me physically a lot of times. ¬†Not major pain, just 50 year old aches and pains that I have to deal with.


What choices are you going to make today.  If you want to do something and do it well, make it a habit by doing it at the same time everyday.  Eventually that choice will become a habit and then the choice is no longer a choice.


The end of the video asks, “What are you going to do today?” ¬†The answer may not be running. ¬†DO SOMETHING TODAY. ¬†Make today a day you would want to write about in a blog!

What are you going to do today?


Is my iPhone 5 GPS measuring my runs wrong?

I had an awesome run with Neill ( @BigBigGeek ) yesterday around the same lake as a couple of weeks ago.

I don’t generally trail run because there aren’t any trails near me to run, but I really enjoyed getting on a surface that wasn’t asphalt. ¬†Up and down hills, around roots, over rocks, it was great. ¬†It is also fun to be able to run with Neill. ¬†He and I have a lot in common as he works for Dell and I buy from Dell. ūüôā

One thing that bothered me though was the way my iPhone 5 measured the distance. ¬†By the time we finished Neill’s Nike watch said we had run 5 miles under a 12 minute pace. ¬†My iPhone said we ran 4.58 miles at 13:11 pace. ¬†This really made me think. ¬†Last weekend on my long run I was running with my iPhone in a belt and though I should have been able to keep up with the goal pace I set, it was like I was behind the whole way. ¬†I ended my 13 mile run having to run 1/2 mile further than I thought I had too.

I guess it is better to have my phone measure me as going slower and less distance than I actually ran since in a race the distance and time are correct, but it is frustrating that I might be running a minute a mile faster than I think and not know it.

Maybe a Nike+ Sportwatch is in my near future.

Not much more to report today. ¬†I am a bit behind since I didn’t get to this last night. ¬†I hope everyone has a great weekend.

How I’m getting used to running in the heat…

Running in the heat isn’t fun. ¬†I have found this out by experience this year. ¬†Last Summer I was running 2 miles a day at 11:00 pace and it wasn’t as big of a deal. This year I am running 7 miles at 9:00 pace and it became a big deal.

I say this to say that yesterday I ran in what is, compared to last week, cooler weather.  it was 82 degrees with a heat index of 85.  It felt hot, especially as the heat came up from the street.

I ran well anyway.

Notice the images below.  One is from June 5th when the heat began to kick in.  The other is from yesterday.  Both runs were around the same time of day and exact same temperature.

photo 1      photo 2 copy

I remember the June 5th run. ¬†It was hot and I was running with TJ over a newer area we had just started running. ¬†I felt good in the beginning but by the end I didn’t think I could continue. ¬†My legs felt like lead and I was thinking, “What is wrong with me”.

Yesterday I didn’t feel perfect, but it felt good. ¬†I ran faster at the end of my run than at the beginning. ¬†I was tired when I was done, but not exhausted. ¬†Both runs finished in almost the exact same time, but the run yesterday was much better at the end.

What was the difference?

I read somewhere that it takes 2 weeks to get used to the heat while running. ¬†Your body has to get used to using all that energy (that produces heat) and also cool itself down at the same time. ¬†So I think that considering yesterday was 10 degrees cooler than our runs last week and it has been a couple weeks of warm weather really helped. ¬†Also I ran for the first time in my new Columbia running shirt that is made of material that cools when it gets wet. ¬†So as I sweated, the shirt actually cooled me. ¬†It didn’t cool a huge amount in the sun, but one time I was in the shade and a breeze blew and I actually felt a little cold! ¬†Crazy. ¬†These shirts cost $50 at Dick’s Sporting Goods so it will take some time to purchase more, but this one was a gift for Father’s Day from TJ and it really helped.

Today, I hope to run with Neill (@BigBigGeek) around the lake again.  If all works out and we can run, it will be a lot of fun and a nice change to my daily routine.

Keep running!

Life is cyclical and so is running – Yesterday was a good day!

Life is cyclical Рthat is something that I have been realizing lately.

If one of my kids come to me and say that they are having a difficult time with work or with a friend, I say, “life is cyclical; if today is a bad day, a good day is coming and, unfortunately the same is true in the other direction.” ¬†There are good days and bad days. ¬†If you can’t see beyond today, then you believe everyday will be the same as today. ¬†That can lead to depression or to exhilaration; both are bad if you can’t see past today. ¬†The key to life is to understand that you can learn from good days and bad days.

That was a bit of my philosophical side coming through there, but it applies to running and to my blog.

I have found out over the past 14 months of running that there are great days and horrible days running.  In between those days are just normal days.  I have been having a bit of a difficult time lately because of the heat.  I have gone from running an average of 8:30 pace to getting excited to hit 9:30.  To me that has been a bit depressing.  I have been telling myself, it is the heat.  It is the Summer setting in (of course we are still in Spring).  Still, to go through 3 or 4 weeks of slowing down and just being happy to finish and meet my mileage goal rather than my pace goal has been difficult.  Even on my Run Plan tab above, I have changed the emphasis to mileage and not pace.  What really worries me is that in September I need both mileage and pace.

Then there was yesterday.

It was a little cooler and overcast when I went out to run.  I have a reduced week of running this week to recover some from the higher mileage I have put in, so that is also a help.  I began my run and it began to rain.  It rained hard!  Then the thunder hit about mile 1.5.  I decided to head home and hope it passed by.  After about 10 minutes the thunder stopped and it was still pouring outside, but I decided to go back to my run anyway.  I had to stay close to home so I could go inside if lightening started, but it was still fun.  The rain made it cool and my run went great.

I began running at about a 9:00 pace.  The next two miles were near 8:30 pace.  The forth mile was near 8:00 and my final mile was 7:55!  It was soooo nice to be able to run faster for a change.  Of course 7:55 is going to be my marathon pace so that one mile will be my average for 26 miles, but who is counting.  I am just ecstatic that I ran well and had a great time in the rain.

Life is¬†cycular. ¬†I know there will be hot, humid days ahead where I’ll be glad to hit my 9:30 pace. ¬†But today I am so thankful for my run yesterday. ¬†It gives me hope and keeps the fire burning.

How many pair of shoes does it take to get to a marathon?

I love my running shoes.

I wear Saucony Fastwitch 5 and they are the one shoe that has gotten me through my achilles problem and allowed me to keep running. ¬†Saturday I put on my old Kinvara’s and after 2 miles was in a moderate amount of pain. ¬†So I went by the house and switched to my Fastwitch and felt much better and finished my run.

All that to say, I just bought 4 pair of Fastwitch 5’s from Running Warehouse. Being more of a built up racing flat, I can only get 200 – 300 miles out of them and my current pair feel like they are getting worn. ¬†So I did the math and 4 pair will get me through my marathon in September. ¬†I wanted to make sure I got them so that I would not be having to use a different shoe by the time of the marathon. ¬†They were $38 a piece at Running Warehouse (after discount) ¬†so all in all I got 4 pair of shoes for $150 and they are sent 2nd day air for free! ¬†Tomorrow will be like Christmas!

As I pondered getting all those shoes it makes my marathon become more and more a reality.  It is like I am on a path to Pennsylvania and it is a straight path, an unalterable path.

Last night TJ said he really believes that I can run the Lehigh Valley Marathon and qualify for Boston. ¬†That was the first time I can remember him saying that to me so directly. ¬†I have ¬†also had ¬†bloggers say the same thing, like Runningtoherdreams said yesterday, “I have no doubt you will rock the Lehigh Valley Marathon!”. ¬†I am going to print that statement out and put it on the wall of my office so that I look at it everyday! ¬†Many other bloggers have given me encouragement as well over the past few months.

Each day I wake up, work, run, see the family, eat dinner and go to bed.  Some of this has gotten a bit tiring to be honest.  But I have a goal.  I have to do all within the power that God gives me to make it to my goal!  Now that I have 4 new pair of shoes, it has become more real.

This week is a little break in my training. ¬†I am cutting back 25% on my mileage to give my body a break. ¬†TJ has helped me with my plan and I am thankful as I couldn’t figure this out on my own. ¬†So now I am running 5.25 miles a day rather than 7. ¬†That will be nice. ¬†And this week is supposed to be cooler than last week.

Gotta run (literally).  Have a GREAT day!!!