5.5 miles in 105 degree heat. The “wild-eyed runner”

Boy will I be glad when the Fall arrives.  Of course here in the South, it doesn’t really start getting cool until the middle to end of October.

Yesterday was another hot day.  Not too hot by the temperature, but over 105 with the heat index.

I got home from work, kissed my Lovely Wife, pet the dog, said hi to the kids and headed out for my run.  I really just wanted to run with no intentions.  I hoped to even make it up to 8 miles, but I decided to play it by ear.  Several people have died in my area from the heat and I didn’t want to be numbered with them.

So I headed out.  I tried to start slow, but ended up a bit faster than I planned.  As the run when on, I actually felt pretty good.  Even though it was hot, I didn’t stop at the top of hills or in the shade.  I just kept running.  In fact, without really trying, my pace was under 9:00 for several miles.

I guess 4 miles is where the heat really begins to affect me.  I started to feel a little tired and my legs felt a bit weak.  At 5 miles I was beginning to feel a little light headed.  So, I thought it would be best just to head home and not take a chance with the heat.  I ended up at 5.5 miles at just around a 9:00 pace for the whole run.  Not bad.

After I got back, I sat outside with “The Dog” and threw a stick, but I couldn’t last more than about 10 minutes.  I went back in and stood in the kitchen under the air vent and tried to cool off.  By the time another 10 minutes had passed, the floor in the kitchen was soaked and so was I.  It was like I had just gotten out of the pool.  When I went up to take a shower, even my Lovely Wife said I was “wild eyed”.  I guess running 5.5 miles in 105 heat will do that to you.  🙂

I’m not sure what I am doing today.  The heat continues and I haven’t done my speed workout yet for this week.  The storms on Tuesday really messed with my schedule.  I’ll probably just try to get more miles in and take it easy preparing for my (hopefully) 18 mile run on Sunday.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome weekend!!!

More “Voices” from another run blogger!

More voices…

It is amazing how many people have had the same experiences as I in dealing with “The Voice” that continually speaks negative thoughts during a workout or run.

Another blogger, Mimi’s Getting Fit, just posted a great post talking about the same issue.  When you get a chance, go read the post and also peruse her blog, you will be inspired and motivated after you see all that she has accomplished!

Yesterday, as I sat at the Chiropractor’s office waiting to be seen, I began pondering…  “What, for me, would be the best way to stay positive about my workouts and long runs?”  Good question, I answered. 🙂

Hmmm.  What really excites me about a particular run is the feeling just after I finish.  As I sit on the back porch, throwing a stick to “The Dog” and look at the stats of my run; that is the best feeling.  It is the feeling of accomplishment.  The feeling of beating the odds.  I never thought I’d be a runner, let alone one who likes his stats!

For instance yesterday, I ran hard hill workouts in 108 heat index and humidity.  I only ran 4 miles overall, but they were good miles.  I got home, soaked in sweat, and sat outside in that same 108 heat and felt great.  The run wasn’t easy, but that feeling of accomplishment was so powerful.

I say all that to say this… Each day I am going to reach for that goal.  The goal of enjoying the results of my runs.  So when I head out to run (after getting up at 2:30 AM, working 10 hours, running to the store on the way home, then finally heading out in the summer heat to run) I am going to begin by thinking of the end.  Thinking of the point of exhilaration I experience after a good workout.  Thinking of the positive.  SILENCING THE VOICE!!!

Everyone has a reason(s) they run, workout and or exercise.  Everyone has a voice telling them at times that today just isn’t going to be a good day to go out and they need a break.

Recognize “The Voice” and defeat it with the very reason you run or exercise.  Your motivation.  For me,  it is that feeling of, “Ahhh, what a great workout” and playing with “The Dog”!!!

My Kryptonite

Making running a habit has been the one thing that has kept me consistent and allowed me to do as well as I do running.  Habits are amazing things.  They can be great to get you up and out when you just don’t want to go or feel to tired to get out.  I run 6 days a week and rest/walk on the 7th.

Yesterday my habit worked against me.

A nasty storm came over our neighborhood right as I began heading out to do my workout.  TJ and I debated if we should run or wait as the storm approached.  Finally we decided to run, but stick close to home.  I got a half mile into my run and looked in the direction on my house and a huge bolt of lightening flashed down right in front of me.  I’ll run in any weather – but I will not run with lightening close by.  So I headed home and decided to go out with “The Dog” as I waited to see what the weather would do.

Here is my daily habit:  I run.  I get home.  I go out with the dog.  I drink my Gatorade.  I take a shower.

Essentially, by doing all but the shower, I crashed my day for running.  It was like Kryptonite to Superman.  I sat with my Lovely Wife as I waited to see if the storm would pass.  15/30/45/60 minutes.  Finally it passed, but all my strength was gone.

I see now that by doing my normal post run habit, I unintentionally messed with the fragile balance I have created over the past 18 months.

But I have a blog to write.  I have to overcome.  I psyched myself up after the storm was over and went out to run.  I ran another 1.5 miles, then the Gatorade hit.  I decided to head home to use the bathroom.  I got inside and that was that.  My kryptonite got to me.  My hair was cut.  I had no strength.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you a happy ending for your blog.

Running isn’t everything.  I had a good night watching TV with my kids and Lovely Wife.  I got to sleep early and slept well.  Today I will work,  go to the chiropractor, head home and then another chance to change the world through running. 🙂

The great thing about this sport is that every day is a new day… a new start… a new race… Every day is NEW!

OrthoLite Fusion Insole Review

I am hard on my running shoes.  I love my Saucony Fastwitch shoes, but they seem to “feel” worn out after 120 – 150 miles.  My solution… Purchase them on clearance from runningwarehouse.com at a great price and get 4 or 5 pair at one time.

I now, however,  have another option that doesn’t involve having to replace my shoes almost every month.  I was sent a pair of insoles in the mail from a company who saw my running blog.  I have never gotten  anything free from writing my blog, so it was pretty neat to get these and give them a try.

So, here are the details:

The insoles are “OrthoLite Fusion” insoles and can be found in many of the top athletic shoes such as Nike, New Balance, UnderArmour, Merrell.

At first glance, there didn’t seem to be much to the insoles.  “They are just insoles”, I thought to myself.  “I wonder how these will feel or will they even help?”

They helped a lot.

First I took out my old insoles from my Fastwitch’ and noticed how flat and worn they were.  Hmmm.  Maybe there is something to this.  Then I put in the Ortho Lite Fusion insoles into my shoes, tied up my laces and went out for my run.

I’m really not saying this for any reason than other how they felt…  It was like I had a new pair of shoes on.  Seriously, I have struggled with wearing out my shoes so much that this was like a gift to me.  I loved them.  I ran great that night and two days later had the best long run I’ve had ever.  I’m not saying that all of this is because of new insoles, but I was able to keep going strong for 3 – 4 miles longer than the week before.  Something helped, and I’m sure these were part of the solution.

Here is some info I got with the insoles:

OrthoLite Fusion Insoles

  • OrthoLite Fusion insoles are available at ortholite.com or amazon.com for $19.99. Features include:
  • Designed to fit all athletic and outdoor shoes or boots
  • Made with open-cell foam, allowing air to circulate around the foot, keeping it cooler and drier inside the shoe
  • Wicks moisture away from your foot leaving your foot cooler and drier
  • Unique spring-back technology ensures that your insole won’t flatten out and it will retain over 95% of its thickness over time
  • Our patented anti-microbial formulation (approved by the EPA and FDA) fights fungus, bacteria and shoe odor
  • Lightweight and fully washable
  • $1 from each purchase goes to  directly to the Level Field Fund, a grant-giving program that strives to bridge the gap in funding to uniquely talented athletes.

So, I will be using these insoles in the future when my shoes are low mileage, but the insoles are worn.  It made a huge difference in my running.

I hope this has been helpful to you also!

More thoughts on “The Voice”… Thankfulness is the key!

Thank you everyone for such a great response to my blog post yesterday!  I had more views on my post yesterday than the day of the Boston Marathon.  It was also a great thing to see another blogger pick up where I ended and write their own story about struggling with “The Voice”.  Sarah wrote a really good post here (http://reallyarunner.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/why-blogging-is-brilliant/).  Go read it when you get a chance.

Yesterday, as I lay on the Chiropractor table waiting for him to work on my hip, I thought more about combating that voice that talks so negatively to me during my runs.  I realized that it actually begins before my run.  Mainly on my speed workout or long run days.  So I decided that I am going to begin thinking more positively about my running, especially on those days.  I am beginning by just being thankful that I can run, let alone so many miles and in the Southern heat.  I am thankful that I can go to a Chiropractor who can help me be able to run a 5K race and a 17 mile long run in the same weekend and still be able to walk.  I am thankful for my continued weight loss and keeping those 100 lbs off.  I am thankful that I am off all my prescriptions that I took for years.  I am thankful I am off my CPAP.  There are so many things that running has helped me with that I cannot even begin to list them here.

Running has changed my life.  I went to the doctor the other day for my sinus infection and my heart rate was 56!  That isn’t even one beat a second.  That reminded me of something my father used to say to me.  He said that his theory was everyones heart has a finite amount to beats for each life.  So the slower he could get his heart to beat, the longer he would live.  I don’t know if that is scientific or not, but it sounded good to me.

I am training for my marathon on September.  It is hard and not every workout will be pleasant.  However, I am going to work harder at being more positive and thankful to God for the fact I can run and I am really going to work at extinguishing that negative voice before and during my workouts.

Life is too short!  I want to make the most of all the time I have to live.  Running helps me do that!

I am thankful!

Long run chatter. The Voice! I hate that Voice!

I was 10.25 miles into my long run.  Frankly I was surprised I made it that far, but I needed to make another 7-8 miles.  There was a lot going against me.

First, I am still not over my sinus infection.  It is better, but not gone and it hit me hard Saturday night and I woke up Sunday feeling tired and a little sick.

Then there is the 5K I ran just 24 hours before.  I ran as hard as I could and I have never been able to run the day after a 5K because my body is way too sore.

Finally had I just drank water, had some Cliff Block Chews and I ran my tenth mile way too fast.  My thoughts were, “maybe I should call it a day”.  “I still have 5 weeks before my marathon”. ” Who would criticize me for running 10 miles after such a busy weekend”.

Then my phone rang… It was my work… I had to help someone with an IT issue.  I stopped running.  I talked on the phone for 10 minutes.  In the mean time, TJ ran past me on his run and another runner ran past.  I finished the call.  I stood there thinking,  “What do I do?”  I was tired and hot.  It was getting close to 80 degrees and 90% humidity.  I was soaked.

One more mile, I decided.  I’ll run one more mile and see how I feel.  I’ll slow down a bit, try to run relaxed, not push.  After all, 11 miles is better than 10.

I finished that one mile and went for another.  I finished that and then another.  By the time I finished, I made a distance PR of 17 miles.  2 miles farther than I have ever run.  I also managed to keep an average pace of 9:15/mile.  I am so glad I didn’t give into that voice.


I hate that voice.  It talks to me on all my long runs and hard workouts.  It is constantly telling me to give in.  Give up.  There is always tomorrow.  You are tired.  You are hot.  Today is just a bad day.


I have decided that that voice is not my friend. Yes I have to be wise and if I get hurt, I’ll know I am hurt.  But there is no way for me to run a marathon in 5 weeks if I let that voice be my friend any longer.

So I am going to work my hardest to ignore this voice and move forward.  My goal is to run this race and do my best.  However if I bring this voice along with me, I will just live in fear the whole race.  My goal for the next 5 weeks is to silence this voice and move forward confidently and wisely and make the right choices based on fact and not on “a voice”.

Today is my off day.  I have a trip to the chiropractor this afternoon and then I hope I can rest for the evening.  It was a great weekend for running and I feel much better than I did about my upcoming marathon.

Thank you all for your comments and encouragement!  I am so thankful I started this blog!!!

Shake and Bake 5K – AWESOME!

It was a great race…

The Shake and Bake 5K ended up being fun, lots of PRs and a family pizza!!!

So, we got to the 5K about an hour early. Perhaps it was a bit too early, but I already had my beet root juice; TJ, RS and I eat breakfast and we were ready to get to the race. Thus we got there an hour early. We ran a mile and then met Neill (@BigBigGeek) near the starting line.

So what do you do when you have run a mile, used the porta potty, and meet your friend who is going to run the same race… You run another mile. That is what we did.

As we started running another warmup mile, I noticed this sign on the route:

stop go slow

Seriously, the first turn of the 5K said “Stop… Go Slow”. I began to worry a bit. 🙂

We finished our run and lined up on the starting line. A prayer… and the race began.

I stated out too fast. I was a half mile into the race and I could still see TJ. I knew I was running too fast, so I slowed down. Perhaps it was too late. I was only a mile into the race and I was breathing way too hard. A few up hills and a few down hills and I was back on my game. Then 2 missed turns. Fortunately I was able to correct my errors pretty quickly, but I lost precious time. The first turn that I missed, I noticed a runner retracing his route and figured that something was wrong. I corrected fairly quickly. The second, I was going the wrong way and another runner behind me called out (thank you, I don’t know who you are) and I corrected, but I lost time and he moved in front.

Okay this isn’t the Olympics, but I take my 5K seriously… Perhaps I shouldn’t.

From this point on I ran the course correctly. I got to a T intersection and I had to turn left and I saw TJ running to the right – right in front of me – He was smoking.

I came up on the finish line and TJ was cheering me on and I noticed the clock… I finished 4 seconds slower than my last 5K and 20 seconds below my PR. Those dreaded missed turns. Oh well. What could I do.

I ran a final cool down mile with TJ. Perhaps the most fun mile of the race (post race). We ran and we recounted the race and had fun. We got back in time to see RS sitting alone and resting. He had finished 2:00 faster than our last race and had only gotten 4 hours sleep because of work. Wow. We all did amazing things in this race.

Finally the awards. First, our family award… Yes, family award. I had never seen one before, but our family one one of two awards and got a $50 certificate to a local pizza place. Now that is my kind of award. From then on they only gave awards for the first place finish. TJ, who came in second in his age group at 18:48 didn’t get to hear his name. Such a shame as he ran a FANTASTIC race. RS came in third in his age group at 26:23 (1 second behind 2nd place) didn’t get to hear his name. [editorial: I think there should be recognition for the 3 top age group winners – just my opinion]. Finally the 50 and up group… Yes my age group. I feel so old sometimes as I just turned 50… okay 9 months ago. I won my age group. Wow, my time of 22:08 won the 50 and up (really sad when there is no upper age limit) age group.

It was a hard race. There were a lot of up hills and at some points I wanted to just walk, but something TJ said to RS at our half marathon kept playing in my head… “you can jog, but don’t walk”. I just kept going.

So maybe that is the moral to the story… When things get tough, “Just keep going”. Also TJ always says, “Never make a decision on a hill”. Both sayings have wisdom in life.

So it was a great day. My friend Neill also got a fantastic PR by beating his best race by almost a minute. Way to go Neill.

Now for the pictures – Thanks for reading.

RS, TJ and Me

RS, TJ and Me – Yes I am shorter than all my sons!

Neill (@BigBigGeek)

Neill (@BigBigGeek) Awesome race Neill!

Hangin’ with “The Dog” before our 5K

Feeling better today.

I had a long day yesterday and by the time I got home, it was late and I have my 5K today, so I only ran 4 miles.  They were 4 really good miles.  The heat didn’t bother me as much and I just felt good running.

Today is the Shake and Bake 5K.  TJ, RS and I are going to eat breakfast at Steak n Shake and then head out to meet Neill (@BigBigGeek) at the race.

By the way, I drank a bottle of the beet root juice.  Interesting to say the least.  Sweet going down, but the after taste is similar to soil.  🙂


“The Dog” loves her ball. I think she thinks I will take it from her. 🙂

Anyway, I’m just hangin’ with “The Dog” and playing ball as I wait to head out.

Thank you everyone for your encouragement.  This marathon training isn’t as fun as I thought it would be.  🙂

Sick Daze

Okay, it seems that as soon as I committed to running the Lehigh Valley Marathon on September 8th, my life has… well fallen apart.

Maybe it is just me, but I was very sick the past two days.  I had the worse sinus infection I’ve had in years.  In fact, I don’t think I have missed a day of work since I have lost weight and stated running because of being sick.  Now…  2 days.

I just had a great run on Tuesday and now the week is gone.  Today I will run, but since we have a 5K race in the morning, I’ll have to take it easy (and since I haven’t been out of bed in 2 days).

But I am going to try my new magic weapon.  Beat root juice.  Yes it sounds disgusting, but it is loaded with nitrates and is supposed to increase endurance by up to 15%.  Well, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Short post today.  Tomorrow I’ll be hangin’ with the dog and then running with TJ, RS and my friend Neill (@BigBigGeed) in the Shake and Bake 5K.