Good first marathon workout

“You okay”?

I was half way through my steady state run yesterday. The heat index was 103 and I had to take a break in some shade.

“Yes – thanks” was my reply to the voice that seemed to come out of nowhere. “It’s hot out here today”, I said as I looked around to see who was talking to me. It was some nice people sitting outside on their porch. I must have looked as bad as I felt at the time. However it only took about 2 or 3 minutes to gather my composure and start back on my run.

I had been dreading this day for some time. Six weeks out from our marathon and we are now starting our workouts. TJ sent me the schedule and I had mistaken that yesterday was to be a tempo run and not a steady state run.

So, being hot out and a bit worried I wouldn’t get through, I set my iSmoothRun app and went out for my run.

Looking back on it, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. My first mile was slow as I warmed up. My achilles has been a bit sore, so I didn’t want to go too fast. After that I went straight into my steady state pace. I am supposed to keep my pace around 8:00, but with the heat, I set my app to 8:30 just to be on the easy side. I didn’t listen to my app.

Here are my splits:

Steady state splits

Steady state splits

Needless to say, I felt good about the run. It was tough, but it gave me some confidence that I can get through my workouts this summer and not pass out. ūüôā

This morning I woke up with a sinus infection. That, along with only 4 hours sleep means I will have to take the day off from running today. Oh well. Better safe than sorry!!!

I ran mile 16 – 18 yesterday!

Yesterday I continued my 15.7 mile run from Sunday. ¬†I know, I know, yesterday was Monday, but I thought I’d do a couple easy miles to get an early start on the week.

There are no easy miles the day after a 15.7 mile run. ūüôā

I did run/walk 3.25 miles. ¬†Nothing fast other than the last quarter mile which I ran at a 7:38 pace, just to know that I could. ¬†Anyway, my legs really did feel as they did at the end of Sunday’s run. ¬†They were weak and tired. ¬†I’ve heard that each run is the cumulation of your previous 2 runs put together. ¬†And I have heard that it can take 7 – 10 days to recover from a long (or hard) workout.

In a way yesterdays run was nice.  My legs were exhausted, but I was fresh.  It was 90 degrees outside, but I had no need to push my run or do a workout or run a specific distance.  It was refreshing, except for the heat.  I need refreshing.

Today starts my workouts for the marathon.  TJ said to do the same ones we did for the half marathon that worked so well.  So I will begin my marathon workouts today with a tempo run.  I am going to try for 3 miles, but will play it by ear.  During our half marathon workouts, it was winter and 40 Р50 degrees on average.  Now it is summer and 85 Р90 degrees.  So it may be a tad harder to pull these workouts out!

Hopefully my legs will cooperate and it will be a good run. ¬†I don’t like the torture of tempo runs, but I like the results. ¬†My pace usually goes down 30 seconds a mile the day after.

On a side note… I was able to walk with no problems yesterday. ¬†After my last 13 mile run my hip was so bad that I had to take 3 days off and start seeing a Chiropractor. ¬†Yesterday I was a bit sore, but really had no issues. ¬†I guess my Chiropractor is doing something right! ¬†¬†At 50 years old, I need all the help I can get.¬†¬†ūüôā

The most important run so far

15.7 miles.

Okay, really about 15.20 running and .50 walking.  That is what I ended up with yesterday.  There is some good and some not as good news from that run.

The good:

  • My goal was between 15 – 18 miles and I made it.
  • 13 miles were completed with a pace between 9:00 – 9:30.
  • I ran 5 mile loops for the first 10 miles and that seemed to work well for me to get some Gatorade Chews and water.
  • I can walk this morning without a limp, so my Chiropractor must be helping.

The not as good:

  • I really wanted to make 17 miles, but just couldn’t do it.
  • The Marathon is 6 weeks away and I don’t feel that I am close to 20 miles yet.
  • My hip hurt to the point that I feel it affected my run.
  • I crashed the last 1.5 miles.

Here are my thoughts:

I feel that the 5 mile loop was a key to me doing well. ¬†I decided to run the last 7 miles at one time and just as I hit 15 miles I couldn’t do more. ¬†I wonder if I had kept to the 5 mile loop if I would have been able to make it.

I am a little panicked about the marathon being so close and my mileage not being where I need it. ¬†I know that when the race comes, I will be able to do more than I can just running in my neighborhood. ¬†Also, my neighborhood is very hilly and the marathon isn’t. ¬†Finally, it is hot and humid here, so that will be better up North in September.

Ultimately, sometimes you have to do what you don’t think you can do in order to get what you really want. ¬†I am not worried about qualifying for Boston in this marathon. ¬†Right now, I want to finish the race. ¬†Who knows, it might be the perfect storm and I’ll fly through and do great. ¬†Time will tell.

So it was a good run.  It was a PR in distance.  It was fairly easy until the last two miles.

I can’t complain. ¬†It was a good run! ¬†It was the most important run so far in my training.

I am thankful.

Pondering my Long run while Hangin’ with “The Dog”

The Dog

Just sitting here pondering my long run with “The Dog”. ¬†She is happy to get some attention and I am happy to relax before I attempt my longest run. ¬†Last year at this time my longest run was 6 miles. ¬†Now I want to make between 15 – 18 miles.

I did take the good advice I got yesterday from Russ and others and took the day off of running.  We just did some shopping and I cut the hedges.  So I got a workout in anyway.

Today I plan on mixing up my route a bit.  I have a 7 mile route in our neighborhood that I run on long days.  Today however, I plan on running 2 five mile loops and then do the 7 mile route.  That will allow for me to come by the house and drink some water along the way.

Here is hoping for the “zone” that David mentioned. ¬†I’m really going to try to make it a steady run and just see what happens.

Dizzy update, Running update, Marathon update

So I went for my run yesterday; a little apprehensive after getting so dizzy on Thursday.

I took it slower and I ate more during the day yesterday (Okay, I had a donut at work).

I think I have decided that the socks didn’t cause my issues. I do think the 4 other items I listed were all part of the issue. Especially the fact it got 20 degrees hotter in 2 days. It has been so much cooler lately because of afternoon storms that it is almost like I have to get used to the heat all over again.

Starting out slowly yesterday really helped. I was able to get 6 miles in, and this after waking up at 1:30 AM and not being able to get back to sleep, working all day and taking myself and my Lovely Wife to the Chiropractor. After all that I ran 6 miles in a 9:22 pace. Not bad.

Today I am waffling about what to do. I should run, but I am sore from the week and I have my long run tomorrow. I know TJ would tell me that even 3 miles would help. I’ll see. I am going to take BZL to Steak N Shake for a birthday breakfast (can you believe I have a 26 year old son? I know I can’t). Then I’ll play it by ear.

I’m hoping to get somewhere between 15 – 18 miles Sunday. I really have to make that goal or rethink my marathon. 5 weeks left and all my injuries have really affected my progress. It is crazy that I went a year with no injuries and now 4 months filled with them.

Life is good.

Did running in compression socks make me dizzy?

You might be able to tell from the title of this post that it was a rough run yesterday.  I was so excited to try out my new compression socks that I got from a local retailer and see how they would help my running.  Specifically I want to try and help my legs on long runs to have better endurance.  The sales guy from the local store said these socks are made for running and specifically long distance runs like a marathon.

Here is a list of several things that may have contributed to my difficult run:

  • Hottest day of the week. ¬†Monday it was in the high 70s and Tuesday in the low 70s. ¬†Yesterday it was back up in the high 80s.
  • I didn’t drink as much water as usual. ¬†I drank 64 oz of water rather than my goal of 96 oz.
  • I had a bad night sleep. ¬†I woke up at 1:00 AM and did manage to get back to sleep, but it was not a very restful sleep.
  • Low carb eating. ¬†I was at my lowest weight ever (176 lbs) and have eaten very few carbs. ¬†Usually if I get below 180, I have difficult runs.

That said, I have NEVER felt as I did yesterday.  I ran a bit fast in the beginning which was not good.  Then as I hit the 3 mile mark, I got light headed and felt really strange.  It was almost like I was in a dream as I ran.  I tried to keep going and did for another half mile, but I got weak and really tired, so I gave up on the run at that point.  After I got home and rested, I felt fine.

So it could be a coincidence that I got so dizzy in my new compression socks. ¬†I know others who swear by them and several other bloggers have suggested I try them. ¬†I will say that my legs felt more relaxed and it seemed to me that I didn’t need to put as much energy into my legs in order to run. ¬†At least that was my impression.

So did my compression socks cause this problem or was it circumstantial?

I have a 7 mile run today and I plan to use them again, so I guess I’ll find out the answer… maybe.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Have a great weekend!

Prep run for our 5K next week

Yesterday I was sent the Runners World article as it will appear in the book. ¬†Pretty cool. ¬†My part is about how to make running a habit and about consistency. ¬†I was told the book will be out in January 2014, so I guess I’ll have to buy a copy. ¬†ūüôā

Okay, on to running… Of course.

TJ and I ran the 5K course that my friend Neill (@bigbiggeek) picked out for us to run August 3rd.  This will be TJ and my last 5K before our marathon in September.  We figure it is a good way to keep some speed workouts going without impacting our marathon training much.


This course was a killer for me.  I think some of my issue was that it was about 10 Р20 degrees hotter than it has been all week and it was sunny (it has rained all week also).  But it is in a really nice planned community.  Basically it is a run up and down the streets throughout the community.  It was a very pretty run and very interesting to see all the nice homes.  But to me, I felt like we were going up hill after hill after hill.  Actually it starts out flat-ish for a half mile, but then the hills kick in and continue through about mile 2.5.  At the end, it is mostly down hill which is really nice.

All in all it seems like it will be a good course. ¬†We ran it the first time at an 8:19 pace and then a second time at 9:27. ¬†I admit, I started out too fast and was dragging after the first time through. ¬†The second time we ran it much slower, but I really didn’t have much left. ¬†I did get in 6 miles for the day and was only planning on 5, so I am 1 mile ahead of my running plan for the week.

Also yesterday, Neill challenged me to a virtual 7 mile race on the Nike+ app. ¬†It is a pretty cool new feature. ¬†Of course this challenge starts Saturday and I was to run 7 miles on Friday. ¬†I try to keep Saturdays low mileage in preparation for my Sunday long run. ¬†I’ll see how it goes. ¬†He set it up to go until September 1, so I have time to work on it. ¬†Should be fun.

That is about all I have for today. ¬†My Chiropractor worked on my achilles some yesterday and it did feel better during my run. ¬†It has started acting up again this week, but I’m glad it is doing better.

Until next time (tomorrow) – Keep on running!!!

Exciting news – and a good run!

I’m excited. No, not that I had a great run yesterday (although I did)! I am going to be used in a book being written by Runners World. You could just blow me away with a feather (although I would have to lose a few more pounds first). I saw an article saying that Runners World was going to do some articles and write a book about how running changed your life. So I decided to write my thoughts based on the questions they asked. Low and behold, I got a response back saying that some of what I wrote interested them and they want to use it!!

I really don’t know much other information right now, but I will be sure to write about it when I do. ūüôā

Now on to my run yesterday… It was a 7 miler and the first 3 went well. I felt pretty good, but I was still sore from running my 5K and my workout on Monday. When I got to mile 4, my brain started to rebel. It was telling me to stop. It was telling me to walk or just give in. Mind you it was only 72 degrees out which is almost like winter in Alabama in July, so this was not heat related. I then decided to try something I have never tried before. I just blanked that thought from my mind. I refused to think about wanting to stop and I kept going. In the past when I would get those thoughts, I run anyway, but my running form would go down hill and it would end up being a difficult run. However, after I blanked that thought from my mind, I felt rejuvenated. My form came back and I suddenly had strength and power again in my legs.

This was an amazing thing for me to experience. I went from my run falling apart to having a really good run. Even my splits tell the story. Mile 1-3 were negative splits. Mile 4 was a much slower mile. Mile 5-7 were back in the same range as mile 2 and 3.

I don’t know if this was a one time event, or if perhaps, I have stumbled onto a key to my upcoming marathon. I am hoping for the second option here. If I can somehow stop the negative thoughts before they take over my run, that could change everything.

So all in all, yesterday was a great day. Hopefully today will be even better!

From the Chiropractor to a 6 mile run

It was a good run yesterday. Actually, probably the best run I’ve had in the past couple months. I was surprised it went so well as I had been dealing with sore muscles since our 5K on Saturday and even as I started the run I could feel the pain of the 5K still affecting me.

The day began with getting up early for work, then after work I headed to the Chiropractor. He was running late and I ended up being there for 90 minutes or so. He is still adjusting my hip, which I think is almost fixed. I still notice it sometimes as I begin a run, but for the most part it seems to be on the mend.

I got home and went for my run. There were dark skies with storms looming and rather than running in my neighborhood as usual, I thought I would go down to the high school track and run so that wouldn’t be far from the car if a storm struck. In the end, the dark luminous clouds never amounted to anything, so I just ran in circles. I ran in circles. I ran in circles. Over and over and over.

It was great.

Here are my splits and a screenshot from my Nike app. Lots of green. That is a good sign!

Great run

Great run

Pretty cool looking

Pretty cool looking

The nice thing about my run yesterday was it was on a level track. My neighborhood is very hilly and the marathon we are going to run is very flat. In fact the website says that if you are used to running hills, it would be good to run flat areas to prepare. That makes sense since running on a flat area means you need to use your own energy to propel you and not rely on going down a hill. Yesterday it was all me and that is why I was so encouraged. I am still not where I need to be for the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 7 weeks, but I am a little encouraged.

If I can get up to 20 miles in a run, I’d feel much better. I have only a few weeks to get there before we begin to taper. Nothing like taking this down to the last minute. However if I do run the marathon and finish (hopefully in 3:30 – Boston qualifying time) I will know that I can really do anything I set my mind to do.

Honestly running has changed my life in just about every way. My confidence is up, my weight is down and after each run, I get to have the feeling of doing something and giving it my all.

I do love running.

The Best Moment Award…

Thank you so much RunningToHerDreams for nominating me for the best moments award. ¬†It is such a nice thing for you to do!!! ¬†Please check out her blog, as I do think it is a “pretty awesome” place (and she is a “pretty awesome” person) to learn how to be positive in the midst of life’s storms!!! You will also be able to pick up some great running tips along the way. ¬†ūüôā

Here are the rules:

1. Display the award logo

2. Link back to the person who nominated you

 3. State 7 things about yourself

  1. I run for fun, but the fun is a race or the feeling at the end of a great run – I don’t enjoy the everyday run much… at least not in the summer.
  2. I used to be mostly deaf as a kid.  I read lips so no one knew it.  I had my adenoids out at 5 and have heard well ever since.
  3. I don’t like to read much and have never written much until my blog.
  4. I have the best family a man could have. ¬†We aren’t perfect, but we are a close, loving family who would do anything for each other.
  5. My Lovely Wife and I got engaged 3 weeks after we met and married in 4 months. ¬†We wanted to marry sooner, but didn’t think our families would approve.
  6. I hate vegetables. Not a good thing for a runner.
  7. When I was young, my goal was not to become president or an astronaut… ¬†I wanted to be a dog. ¬†Yup. ¬†To be able to lay around all day and eat when you wanted… What a life.

4. Nominate 15 (or however many you can) other bloggers for this award.

Here are some of the running blogs I read daily (not listed in any particular order). ¬†Of course not all of my favorites are listed as I have more than 15, but ones I like a lot – I would nominate RunningToHerDreams, but I think that might be against the rules. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I am keeping this list to running blogs. ¬†I do read others like (TheBlogInTheFog), but just want to keep with the theme of my site!

Retro Run 5K race recap

Wow, what a weekend.

To being with, our vow renewal went awesome Friday afternoon.  We had a great family time all of the day.

One thing I learned…

5 pieces of Pizza Hut pan pizza + 1 milk shake + hot weather + run immediately after = a really hard 4 mile run. ¬†ūüôā

On to our 5K race yesterday.  I really had fun.  It was Birmingham in July at 6:00 in the evening and it was just under 80 degrees.  At the starting line it began to rain, which felt nice, but into the race a bit, it got very humid and hard to breath.

All in all I had a good race. ¬†I didn’t know what to expect since I haven’t run much the past two weeks. ¬†But I ended up coming in at 22:04 which is my second best 5K race time, so I am happy with that.

TJ, RS and my friends Neill (@bigBigGeek) and David (@David_Topping) all did really well. ¬†Neill and David both set PR’s. ¬†On a warm humid evening like yesterday, that is amazing. ¬†TJ did incredible. ¬†Just shy of his PR, but he has also run 360 miles in the past month. ¬†I don’t know how he does it. ¬†JR and HM both came to watch and cheer us on. ¬†That is always a nice thing and really helps. ¬†Thank you both!! ¬†My Lovely Wife was home with her bad back, but she kept up with calls and texts. ¬†I really missed her there, but I understand why she couldn’t sit there for 2 hours.

Today is normally my long day. ¬†After averaging near a 7 minute mile for 5K just 14 hours ago, I may take today off or just go out for a short run later. ¬†I haven’t run under an 8 minute mile since May and my legs are feeling it this morning.

Tomorrow starts a new week and hopefully I’ll be going back to my 45 – 55 mileage. ¬†Marathon in 7 weeks. ¬†Oh my!