Friday, August 31, 2007

August Miles

I was looking at my monthly miles and it looks like I'm down a bit this month. But I beg to differ. I've done some hard running this month and made some good progress on the weight loss.

So, where am I? Well, for August '06, I ran 59 miles so I guess I'm ten miles ahead of what I ran last year. I'm about 25 pounds lighter than this time last year. And last year on Labor Day weekend, I ran a 40:51 at the Fired up 5K. I hope to better that a bit in just a couple days.

It's progress.


It's getting really hard to find time to blog, especially in a reasonable amount of time after a run. The real problem is probably that my posts are just too long and since I don't have time to write down all my thoughts at night when I get home, I put it off until some time like now when nothing's fresh in my mind anymore.

That's not totally true. I can still remember one thing from last night. I nailed that workout. I've been flexible to tailor the SMART workouts to my ability, doing a few less reps, running a bit shorter warmup, and even walking to cool down instead of running. But tonight, I did the full workout and man did it feel good. I mean it felt good when it was over. :)

The short version is that the schedule called for SMARTie Hop. That's 2 mile warmup, silly walks, and the Hop routine. Then the fun began. The plan called for tacking on a meltdown run out to Dairy Ashford. That was 2 miles out @ 10K effort and then 2 back for the cooldown. I did the first .5 at easy run effort and then kicked it up a notch or 2 and averaged 12:10 pace all the way to the water fountain at Dairy Ashford. Man, did that suck running hard like that on legs that were already fatigued from the Hop. But I guess that's what it's all about, right. Running on tired legs.

So, total running was about 6 miles. Warmup was 13:15 average pace. The pre-meltdown half mile was around 13:35 pace and then the next ~1.5 was 12:10 pace. Then 2 miles cooldown with some walking thrown in for an average 14:15 pace.

I made it over to Charcoal Chicken for some good grub and great company with all the SMARTie's. Sometimes I wish we were ALL together, Memorial, Sugarland, and West side groups. But I guess that's what Saturday mornings are for. Speaking of...let me get to bed.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Getting Fired up for the 5K

Monday will be my first race this Fall and I'm looking for a sign of things to come. I said in January that one of my goal for the year was to PR at every distance and my marathon ambitions are quite lofty so I'm looking for something dramatic to kick this whole thing off. Of course, I still need to manage expectations, chill out a bit, know that this is the sport of running and anything, absolutely anything can happen in a race. But I want to give myself every chance to really nail this 5K.

Of course, since I am training for the Houston Marathon and that is my #1 goal race, training must continue through all of the races between now and then. That means a long run on Saturday, probably a tough Track-Long-Track workout with the SMARTies. I've been concerned that I may not be recovered from that by race time Monday morning. So, I e-mailed Catherine the Great to see what she would suggest nutrition-wise to maximize my recovery and be ready for Monday. Here's what she replied:

Here's the scoop. I would do Endurox within 30 minutes after your long run on Saturday. Have you ever used it before? Then two hours later eat a balanced meal. The rest of the day just eat healthy like you normally would :) On Sunday, eat your typically healthy balanced meals, but it is okay to go over your calories by 250-300 calories. Then Monday, eat what you normally do on race day and you should be great. I think a bigger factor than the food is hydration so make sure to drink a lot of water starting Friday thru Monday.

So, I got some of this Endurox last night at the store for post-long run on Saturday. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One on One

Tuesday night was a tough workout as SMART Lite scheduled 12x30/30's with WU and CD. I had the special privilege of receiving some major one-on-one coaching from coach Steeeve who led me through the 30/30's. Steeeve pulled me through a tough one, one of those where you just feel like quitting, like you've done enough, but something (or in this case, someONE!) just won't allow you to quit.

The weather was unseasonably comfortable, probably in the high 70's/low 80's. I felt very, very strong during the warmup, comfortably holding right at or slightly below 13:00 min/mile pace for 2 miles. I kept wondering if I should slow down but seriously, my effort was quite easy so I kept it going.

After silly walks, we got a drink, received instructions, synchronized our watches and we were off. I felt real good through 6 repeats. Then Steeeve told me I was halfway done. I don't know if knowing that was too good a thing because things soon got harder. The rolling hills of TH Park made for some interesting speedwork, too. With 3 repeats to go, Steeeve tells me that this is the point where I need to really start covering some distance. WHAT?!?!?!?! I'm really huffin' by that time and in my mind I'm thinking, "I'm getting close to the end. The hard part is over. I deserve to taper off these last 3." But in my heart I'm saying, "I want to nail these last 3!!!" Steeeve said, let's try to get to the bridge. So, as much as it sucked, I was intent on making it to that bridge. I ended up not just making it to the bridge but to the other side at that. :)

I stopped to catch my breath while Steeeve continued to coach. We talked about my effort, how far I got, how far I was going to get the next time we do 30/30's, and how far I'm going to get doing this same workout next year. We talked a little about Monday's 5K coming up on Labor Day.

It's hard to predict based on anything really (e.g. my mile time trial, this workout) what my time is going to be. I'll jump for joy if I go sub-35 but I don't really know if that's possible. I know one thing. It's gonna suck real bad and I know it's gonna hurt but I'm going for it. I have a bit of a different mindset or strategy if you will. In the past, I've pretty much always raced conservatively, always saving something, maybe not consciously but in the back of my mind fearing a DNF or worse. But right now, where I am now, I'm ready to NAIL a race. I'm ready to run hard, as hard as I can and just see what happens.

Boot camp tomorrow!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


My memory may be not be correct on this but I don't remember ever running the day after a long run. I do know one thing. I've never run well the day after a long run until tonight.

SMART Lite called for 4 miles. For most SMARTie's, that's a 32-44 minute run so that's what I gave and it was sure a nice one. I started around dusk and it was a beautiful night. Off to the east were clear skies and just about a full moon, lighting my way through the Fairfield greenbelts. To the west, lightning and thunder lit up the night, issuing a jolt of adrenalin every time a bolt cracked the sky.

It was quite hot and extremely humid for that late in the evening but I tolerated it very well. I stayed conversational and kept it between recovery jog and easy effort. Here are the stats:

Total distance - 3 miles
Venue - Fairfield greenbelts and neighborhoods
Splits - 13:39 / 13:47 / 13:40
Total Time - 41:08
Average pace - 13:43 min/mil

I'm happy with this week. 5 days of running, 21 miles, including some Kenyan relays, some quality work on Thursday, a decent long run on Saturday, with some easy miles sprinkled here and there. I'm happy with this week. Now I just gotta keep it going.

Friday, August 24, 2007

LSD'n like I knew what I was doing

It's been about a month since I've done any kind of long run. I did 9 miles on July 15 and a couple of 6 milers here and there since then. That's about it. I've been telling myself that it's ok because I've been getting a lot of quality stuff in and have been working on my core. But sooner rather than later, it's going to be time to start ramping up and LSD'n on the weekends.

Of course the temptation for the first long run in a while is to overdo it, to prove I still have a good 12, 13, 15 mile run in me. But the prudent thing would be to pick a moderate distance, somewhere around 8 to 10, and build on that. I'm nothing if not prudent, you know, so 9 it was.

I ran this one like a pro. The effort was just right. I stayed conversational miles 1-6, cranked it up just a bit for a couple of miles, and cooled down with number 9. Here are the stats.

Total distance - 9 miles
Venue - Memorial park to Allen Parkway (4.5 out and back)
Splits - 14:01 / 13:51 / 13:46 / 14:05 / 13:49 / 14:32 / 13:13 / 13:02 / 13:28
Total time - 2:03:51
Average pace - 13:46

...and by the way, those splits and times include water/gu breaks.

The best part of this morning's run was finishing to the roaring good times of HARRA's party in the park. Great tunes, beverages, breakfast, friends, and frivolity. It don't get much better than that after a tough workout. Lee and company were working the Strider tent, taking inquiries, signing up new members, and showing off our dozen or so HARRA team awards. It was a good morning.

Ok, nap over. Blog done. Let's get on with this day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I knew I hadn't blogged in a while but Sunday??? It's been since Sunday??? That's totally unacceptable.

Let me catch up Current events first.

I arrived at Terry Hershey 10 minutes late for the SMARTie workout. Guess it was really 20 minutes late since I usually start my warmup 10 minutes early. I stretched a bit and took off for an abbreviated warmup, arriving back just a few minutes into the SMARTie Hop workout. I owe some one leg squats and a couple sets of toyotas but jumped right in for the better part of the workout.

Every day seems to bring back more and more memories of last year's journey to my first marathon. I couldn't help but remember tonight as we were strolling over to start greyhounds how 11 months ago, Steeeve had invited me to "one of SMART's easier workouts," the SMARTie Hop. I remember how tough that workout was. I remember how the greyhounds were to that date the hardest training exercise I had ever done. I remember how my legs felt like jelly after we were done and how it was all I could muster just to walk a 1.5 mile cooldown.

Tonight was quite a different story. Don't get me wrong, the Hop is a tough workout and even now as I lay here in bed blogging, my legs still slightly resemble jelly but I did the workout, no problem. I felt strong doing runner's poses. I didn't fall off the bench doing high bench step-ups. The maniacs burned but were kind of fun. I still hate the wall shin raises!!! :) And the greyhounds really surprised me. I did 2 kind of scared! Like, I'd better save a little. Then the 3rd one was tough but I was fine. I remember a year ago at this point wanting to just quit and walk it in. Tonight, I was like LET 'ER RIP. I took off ahead of the entire group, accelerating to a smooth, kickin' all out sprint. Last year I would have worried about being in everybody's way. WIDE LOAD!!! Tonight, I stayed pretty much with the group. It was a great confidence boost for me.

Post-cooldown, a decent sized entourage gathered at Charcoal Chicken for some scrumptious fixins and some timely trash talking. It was a blast, as always when the Striders get together.

The details are fading fast from my memory but Wednesday found me running trails with the Striders. I took it very, very easy as my foot has been hurting lately. It felt really good after the run so I think my easy run was just what the doctor ordered. what did I do Tuesday? Oh, yeah! Kenyan relays. Oh, no, I'd like to forget that. What a tough thing!!! But fun and novel as the SMART program is keepin' it fresh for all of us. Pamela was a great relay partner and we kept each other moving at a pretty consistent effort for the whole 20 minutes. Steeeve asked me tonight if I lasted the entire 20 minutes. I thought, "You mean I could have cut it short? I didn't know that was an option." :) The thing about the relays is you pretty much gotta keep going or basically your partner is done too. So, that's what I did. But it was a long 20 minutes and the second 10 minutes was definitely longer that the first 10. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


After Steeeve's comment on my blog, I re-read what I had written and the first words out of my brain were "Huh?"

That was confusing. Here's the down and dirty.

Monday's - easy run in the early dawn (3-5 miles)
Tuesday's - rest
Wednesdays - group run with the Striders (4-6 miles)
Thursday's - SMART workout (hard day)
Friday's - rest
Saturdays - SMART workout (long run) Sunday - rest or 2-4 miles easy


Heck, I don't know. Maybe I'm fine. Maybe I don't need any changes. Maybe I need to quit thinking so much and just keep doing what I'm doing. It seems to be working.

Please feel free to shut-up now, Vic.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Beat up!

Going into this week, I frankly was starting to feel pretty beat up. It's been an intense 3 or 4 weeks for me and my joints were starting to feel it. I didn't mention it because I thought it wasn't a big deal but climbing up the side of a tree on Wednesday's trail run, I stepped the wrong way and strained a ligament or tendon or something in my foot. All I could remember was Steeeve saying that he didn't care to do the trails because he'd just end up getting hurt. I do love the trails, though.

I haven't run since Wednesday as that place in my foot continued to nag me Thursday and Friday. To be quite honest, this morning, when I woke up, it felt great. Definitely runnable. I really wanted to get out for the TLT workout with the SMARTie's but I just don't want to get into that cycle where a strain or sprain is aaaaalmost healed and then you go out and do a hard workout and regress back to where you started. So, I skipped it today.

It was kind of a good thing as I got to go with the family to get the 14 y/o all set up for his first week of High School. This morning was get-your-schedule, get-your-books, get-your-locker, join-a-club, see-your-friends day for all the incoming freshmen. DW has been the sole taxi cab driver for the last month or more since I've been SMART'n it on Saturday mornings. It was nice to spend the morning with the family.

That brings up another change that's going to have to take place pretty soon. As school gears up, there's going to be a lot more stuff going on. DS's football games are going to be on Thursday's, the 4 y/o has soccer practice on Friday's. DD's soccer practices are on Tuesday's. Both have games on Saturday's. So, it's gonna get real busy real soon and it's not fair for me to be off training and playing with the Strider's while DW gets all the other duties. So, I'll be doing a lot more early AM running before work. I hope to still make it out on Wednesday's and definitely on Saturday mornings. I'll have to play Tuesdays and Thursdays by ear.

I was telling JM that my body isn't tolerating Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday very well. I've been going real hard on Tuesdays and then Wednesday's, even though they've been easy miles have been tough. By Thursday, I haven't felt recovered and have struggled or just not run on Thursday at all. So, I'm taking a new tack.

I'm going to switch Monday's from a rest day to a running day. I'm going to rest on Tuesdays and do a hard run on either Wednesday or Thursday. Whichever is hard, the other is going to be easy. Even though Wednesdays are easy, recovery runs for the SMARTie's, I could turn it into a good tempo run, then run easy on Thursday. If I run easy on Wednesday before work, I should be good and ready on Thursday night for a hard boot camp or hills or whatever the SMARTies are doing.

So, that's the plan. Again, I sure missed everyone this morning. It sounds like a good group showed up. Can't wait for next week.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Let's get some traffic going on this guy's blog. He seems cool enough. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why I run

I came across this blog entry on Runner's world and it really hit home for me. Check it out if you like. It's quite inspirational.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Mother nature had me in a chokehold tonight as I battled to get through tonight's boot camp. I made it through the warmup and just over halfway through the boot camp and then cried, "UNCLE!!!". I was just done. Actually, it was partly the heat and partly that things just didn't feel right. Going into my second set of body weight squats, my knees just felt weak and there was a little pain. That's when I knew I was done.

No excuses or apologies for tonight. I got a GREAT workout in tough conditions. I'm way ahead of where I would have been had I just stayed home tonight. The boot camps have given me a lot of confidence, not to mention the noticeable fitness gains, even over a short period of time. So, no worries about tonight's abbreviated workout. I still got in 3 and a half miles. My pushups are getting a lot better. My crunches are improving. I'm doing more reps then when I started. Who knows? One day I may even be able to do a pullup.

Fun times!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

PR's, celebrity pacers, friends!!!

It don't get any better than this!!!!

I don't know if I let on during the post run trash talking at Starbuck's but I AM PUMPED UP!!! FLYING HIGH!!! EXCITED!!! STOKED!!! FREAKING ON CLOUD NINE!!! This morning, I NAILED my mile time trial. Not having a clue what to expect, I totally surprised myself. If it gets any better than this folks, I'm gonna burst!!! Seriously, I just did a happy dance around the living room couch. My kids are looking at me wondering what's wrong with Dad. Not a thing, kids! Just livin' this wonderful life.

And to think when I woke up, I actually contemplated skipping out on this morning's SMARTie workout. That would have been a big mistake. So, SMART Lite today called for silly walks, 1 mile all out, and 3 mile cool down. In other words, it's MILE TIME TRIAL DAY!!! I got up in plenty time to take in some sustenance and get over to the track a little before 7. After some stretching and a warmup mile we gathered for some silly, silly walks. Coach was giving out booby prizes for anyone who could guess the artist, song, and album that he was playing on the speakers. No one had a clue. So, he offered a prize for just the artist. Blank stares. :| He finally just asked if anyone knew the decade the music was from. Finally a few guesses...70's? No. 80's? BINGO!!! Nice guess, Adam! You win.

Steeeve had already organized our heats by the time silly walks were over. I was in the 3rd heat with Barb, Pamela, K, and Jen. We were about to start and I found out that I had a treat in store. I was assigned a pacer, none other than HARRA top 10 Open Female Runner of the Season, Jennie Minken. What an honor.

5...4...3...2...1 and we're off. Right out of the gate, Jennie was there pulling me along, keeping me steady and strong, not too fast for the first quarter mile. Jenn said all the right things. "C'mon, you big hunk!"..."You run, gorgeous!!!" Ha! Ha! Seriously, Jen paced me perfectly. She knew when I was giving in (lap 3) and she knew exactly when it was time on that back straightaway in lap 4 to kick it up and finish strong. Thanks Jennie!!! You rock!!! I owe you big time.

Ok, so I had not clue what my time was going to be. I've only done one mile time trial in my life and it was last year around October, after a good 3 or 4 months of training. I ran a 11:07 then so I'm thinking, hey, it's just August. I'd be happy with anything under 11 minutes. A 10:something would make for a pretty good blog entry, right? Now, just for grins, when I was surfing the net last night, I made my way over to McMillan Running Calculator to take a gander at what my mile prediction would be for a 5:48:30 marathon. That's my goal time this year for Houston. That's exactly one hour better than last year. Anyway, I didn't really remember this morning what it said but I remembered it was around 10:20 or 10:30. But that was really dreaming to think I could do that. Like I say, I was shooting for ANYTHING with a 10 in it.

I finished lap one in 2:30, a little fast but feeling good, of course. I knew then and there I had gone out too fast but I didn't feel like I was running on too much credit. Lap two showed that I had settled in with a split of 5:13 or something like that. I didn't want to lose ANOTHER 15 seconds on lap 3 so I just concentrated on maintaining my effort and trying not to crash. I was breathing rally hard going into lap 4. Heck, I was breathing pretty hard going into lap 2 and 3 for that matter. I maintained good effort through the turn and then at about the straightaway, Jennie said "Now here it is. Pick it up a bit. Almost there." It's kind of a blur but I remember feeling good coming around that last curve. Not good in a good way but good like "this is almost over". I do remember one thing very vividly. When I came out of the 2nd turn on lap one, I could see the clock very clearly, 100 yards in the distance. Same on lap 2. Lap 3, I didn't care. I didnt' even look at the clock. But on lap 4, I hit 100 yards and looked up at the clock and I couldn't see it. The numbers were all a blur. Oh, well, I thought. It really doesn't matter now. Just push it!!! I picked it up as best I could, legs burning, chest about to explode, and collapsed across the finish line.

I don't know what I saw or what tricks the heat was playing on me but I could have sworn I saw 10:26 when I came across the finish. I was pumping my fist a little, very, very pleased with 10:26, trying to come back from the dead. Once conscious, I checked the Garmin. 10:19??? What the hey? Well, I just figured in the state I was in, I hit stop halfway down the last straightaway, hoping it would be over if I just hit that button. But then it was confirmed. The time that was recoreded from the clock was 10:19. That's official!!!

Talk about all smiles!!! I was very, very surprised and pleased with a 10:19 mile, a PR for me and 48 seconds off last October's attempt, and it's August. It was so encouraging doing this with all the Striders. The morning's most memorable and encouraging words for me came from Steeeve. He told me that the difference between this year and last year, besides the 48 seconds, was that this year "I was running." Now some people might take that wrong but I know exactly what coach meant and that was a HUGE encouragement to me.

If that wasn't fun enough, I got to do a 3 mile cooldown with Jen. Not Jen the pacer, Jen the blogger. I must say we kicked butt on those 3 miles. Even though it was getting hotter and hotter, Jen and I just got faster and faster. We did a big negative split (not much of a cooldown but a good workout) with a 13:38, 13:34, and 13:08 for miles 1, 2, and 3. Way to go, Jen!!! That was fun.

Now, I said I didn't remember what McMillan running calculator said was my mile predictor for a 5:48:30 marathon, right? When I got home, I went back to check, just for fun. I type in the url, get to the calculator and enter 5:48:30, my goal marathon time. The page loads and I scan to find the 1 mile time. I do a doubletake. It's exactly 10:19. Don't believe me? Go there and put in 5:48:30 and choose marathon and look at the mile time. I've done it 5 times now because I don't believe it. No way I planned that this morning when I woke up. I think it's an omen.

Good times!!!

quack! quack!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Knocked out another Boot Camp

This time it was schedule C. Again, I just did my thing, tried to hang in there and work hard and finish strong.

I know I've only been at it for about a week or so but I'm really feeling like I'm getting stronger. I'm not putting in the big weekly miles that I should be but I'm doing good and the weight is melting away. I only logged 17 miles last week but I still feel like I worked hard. I guess I have time still to start ramping up. I want to be good and ready for Space City 10-miler in October. Look for a leaner faster me at the starting line for that one.

So, here are the stats for the boot camp, the running ones at least:
Total distance - 3.8 miles
2 mile warmup - average 13:38 pace
600m splits - 4:05 / 4:04 / 4:04 / 4:10 / 4:08 (average ~11:03 pace)
Average pace for the night - 12:19

I really ran those 600s consistently. My legs felt like mush to start the 3rd one and I was really huffin'. But I kept thos last ones strong all the way to the finish. I'm definitely pleased with my effort for this on.

I can't say enough thanks to our coaches who are strictlyl volunteer. Thanks Miriam, Lee, Chris, Steeeve, and Barbara for your motivation, encouragement, and friendship. YOU ROCK!!! Oh, and Barb, you're a hoot!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Oooo!!! Abs a burnin'

You know that silly little 8 minute core workout that the SMARTies do, where you just prop yourself up on your elbows and toes for a few seconds and hold your leg up or hold your arm out or both? Yeah, that one. Well, let me just say I'm feelin' it today, BIG TIME!!! I knew my running was improving a little but I'm still MASSIVELY out of shape. I'll be working hard on my days off and on easy running days to fit this core workout into my schedule, even if it's a few minutes on the floor in front of the TV. Much appreciation to coach Miriam for showing me how to do the workout propped on my knees instead of my toes. I was able to do the workout and reap the benefits.

Another good week on the weight loss front. Here's what the chart looks like.

Moving farther and farther away from 300. The temptation is to try even harder, to eat even less, to exercise even more. But patience will persist. I'll always prefer a moderate, consistent 1.5 - 2 pound loss per week over 5 or 10 pound losses from starving myself and then gains the following week and wondering what went wrong. At this rate, I'm still right on track for my goal of 252 by January 14th.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Much fun and some good runnin' with the SMARTies

This morning marked the first official long run of SMART training. I'm not sure what's happened or where I went astray, but somewhere along the way, I went from "well, I'll see the SMARTies around if I happened to be running the same venue" to "well, I'll join the SMARTies every once in a while for one of their easier workouts but I'm pretty much on my own" to actually wondering (with some slight modifications) if I might be able to actually do this. Getting through next week should tell the tale.

This morning's workout called for 2 mile warmup, silly walks, 4 miles at MP effort, and 2 miles cooldown. Now, normally, if I were running with the Striders (or anybody else for that matter), I'd start early and shoot for finishing up around the same time. But with this morning being opening morning and my wanting to be WITH the group for silly walks and orientation/meet and greet post run, I decided to start with everyone else and just cut my run short to finish in time for the festivities. There are about a hundred more workouts the rest of the season that I can start early and "do my thing" as I like to say. Luckily and as ALWAYS, Steeeve had a plan. A group running at a more relaxed pace got a bit of a head start and timed it perfectly with the speedier folks.

We did silly walks and then took off for our run. The larger group headed east on Clay for a 6 mile romp but I stayed closer to home and did 2x2mile loops with some other Striders in the Park. I had the privilege of running with Jen for the last couple miles. Actually, and I don't know if Jen knew this, we cut our loop short right off the bat by taking a left too soon. But I think we just cut off .3 or .4 miles. No biggie. It was great to catch up and we actually ran a pretty good effort.

Speaking of stats, I did my 2 mile warmup at average 12:47 pace and it felt good. Probably a bit quick for me warming up but two days rest and this horse is ready to run. The next 3 were consisitently right at 13:15 and my effort was just what coach ordered, basically MP effort. The last .6 or so back to the barn was at a brisk 12:45 pace. I definitely felt like I could have easily held that for another loop, no problem.

Then we all convened for a demonstration and then execution of the SMARTie core workout. It's 8 minutes of H-E-double-hockey-sticks. Steeeve said if we do this 4 times a week, it'll help us stay upright the last 6 miles of the marathon. That's enough to convince me. I'm doing it.

We finished up with a fun meet and greet under the Pavillion. We all introduced ourselves and talked about our goals. I guess this was the first time I've really stated my goal for Houston 2008 out loud. Of course, it's a lot less risky when people don't know your goals because then they don't know when you fail. But when it came my turn, I just said it. My goal for Houston is twofold, to run it 50 lbs. lighter and 1 hour faster. There...I really said it now!!! On the WWW!!! Oh well, guess I'll risk it.

All these festivities were followed by breakfast at my favorite breakfast joint, Sandy's with some of my favorite people, the Striders. The food was fantastic and the company was even better. Thanks all for a great start to what is sure to be another memorable season.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Blood Pressure Boiling!!!

Yesterday evening found me in a frantic dash through traffic and the streets of Fairfield, trying to get all the way home from work, get dressed, and get all the way out to TH Park for another round of Boot Camp, Schedule A.

My original plan had me resting today as I was still very sore from Tuesday's round and had a good workout on Wednesday. But after e-mailing coach during the day yesterday, he assured me that there were many others having the same thoughts out there but that after a warmup and silly walks, I would be good to go and ready for round 2. Besides, the sense of accomplishment, enduring two Boot Camp sessions in one week, would be worth the pain, right?

So, I'm thinking I'll just sneak out of work around 4:15 or 4:30 and drive all the way home (to Cypress), change, eat a snack, gather my belongings, and head over to the park. At 5:15, I still had not left work. But, I was determined!!! I was nimble getting out of the garage and onto the Beltway but at right at the Memorial exit, the traffic came to a standstill. It was stop and go all the way to 290 and Hwy 6. But there was still hope. I hopped out of the car at my home at 6:30. Got dressed, gathered my things and booked it out the door. Got in the car. Ooops, forgot socks. Went back in. Ran back out with socks. Oops, I'm starving and need to get something to eat. Got something to take with me and then back to the car. Ooops, I got paged for work. But I'm off...

Thanks to the new wireless card that we got from work, I can be on the internet anywhere. So, I'm flying down 290, logged onto the MH network, trying to troubleshoot an instrument interface problem, calling the customer, logging my comments, just trying to live through the daredevil driving. I'm finally on Barker Cypress because I know there's construction on Hwy 6. It's 6:freakin' 50. I finally accepted the fact that I wasn't going to be close to making it, even if I skipped the warmup and silly walks. Besides, that's an important part of the workout and I didn't want to jump into intervals and boot camp, not warmed up.

So, I went home and spent the evening with the family. I'm looking forward to nailing tomorrow's workout, especially after two day's rest. Later.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I definitely needed an easy run tonight. Delayed onset of PAIN from Tuesday night's boot camp started creeping into my muscles around 3 pm and was in full force by the time 7 o'clock rolled around. In an odd way, I was feeling pretty good and set out at about a 12:30 pace. I proceeded to do about 1.8 trail miles and brought it in with a 13:10 mile.

Excellent turnout tonight and good times were had by all. Lots of new faces like Randi, who's training for her first marathon. I can't wait to hear about it. And my good buddy Jack brought me some singlets leftover from the old PIM days. 2X, you know. I told him those would get me through the next month or two but I'll very soon be in a 1X.

Speaking of weight, I thought I'd give a report. My trend weight has finally gone under 300 as the spreadsheed showed 299.9. My acutal weight this morning was 295 and I've been in under 300 everyday this week. Here's what the past couple months look like:

Gotta like that consistent, gradual downward slope since early July, huh? By the way, my goal is 2 lbs per week, with a final marathon goal weight of 250. I'll end this week right on track, no doubt.

Time to get these tired muscles to bed.

All I get is 3.3 miles?

Last night marked the start of the Striders Marathon Training program. I arrived around 6:30 to engage in cheery talk and general frivolity but was greeted right away by Miram with a very scary "I'm gonna kick your ass tonight, Vic." I realized then and there that this was going to be serious business.

The SMART and the SMART Lite schedule called for Boot Camp Scedule A. Holy crap!!! I think the last time I worked out like that acutally was boot camp back in 1988. It went (was supposed to go) something like this:

  • 2 mile warmup - I guess I started a bit ahead of the actual measured starting line because I did 1.83. I did 12:45 for mile 1 and 12:25 pace for the .83.
  • Silly walks - no problem.
  • 400m interval - 10:33 pace. Hard running. About an 7 or 8 out of 10 on effort.
  • Squat thrusts with burpees, 12 reps - Whoever was standing behind me may have gotten a mid-summer half moon as I don't think my shorts were tied. I knew there was a reason I was on the back row.
  • Chinups, 2 reps - I found out I can't do a chinup so I just kind of hung there for 5 or 10 seconds. Actually, confession time. I already knew I couldn't do a chinup.
  • Ab crunches, 30 - Completed, no problem.
  • Pushups, 12 - I stayed on my knees to try to be able to complete the pushups. I did 8.
  • Body-weight squats, 24 - 24?!?!?! I did as many as I could, I'm losing the ability to count at this point in the workout.
  • (Here's where the fun begins) 400m interval at 8 out of 10 effort. - 10:31 pace. "Ok, workout over, right?" No, we're about 1/4 done.
  • Squats, back extensions, pushups, lunges (OUCH!!!), dips - I'm just trying at this point to hold my form for the few of each exercise I can do. I was pleased with my pushups. I pushed through 8 again, on the knees, and kept good form.
  • 400m interval - 10:51 pace. I'm done at this point. Just trying to hang on but I ran all the way through the end of the 400.
  • Halfway done. Back to the top.
  • 400m interval - 11:13 pace
  • something, something. something... - don't remember much here.
  • Last 400m - 10:34 pace. Happy with this one.

After the last 400, Cassie was trying to say something to me. I said "Huh?" She said it again. I said, "I'm sorry." I don't know what was up but I guess that part of my brain that takes words and assigns meaning to them was without oxygen for too long. I'm just now starting to be able to carry on a conversation with my co-workers.

I have a lot of work to do. No, I didn't do every single rep but I worked hard last night. The toughest part was running the 400s tired. When I finally got to my car and sat down my quads just cramped up. My shins and lower legs were twitching all the way home, thanks to those Silly Walks. By the way, Matt, you looked silly doing those things. :)

It's just not fair that I only got 3.3 miles in the log for this workout. I felt like I ran a hard half marathon. Still, this BEST thing about it was working out with the Striders. It was all good times with good people. And lil' ole' Miriam, you did kick my arse!!!