Sunday, September 16, 2007


Well, the Striders were meeting for our TLT on Saturday AM. I mistakenly set my alarm for PM. I failed to get up in time in the AM. So, I decided to do TLT myself in the PM. Especially since we had soccer in the AM and I would have gotten too late a start in the AM since I slept in to 7 AM. After that workout, I think I need some Tylenol PM!

I got to Memorial Park last night around 6:30 (PM, that is). Did some stretching and set out for my warmup. 2 miles easy at around 13:45 pace. I followed that up with some Silly Walks and a Gu. After that the SMART Lite schedule prescribed 2 miles @ 10K effort, 5 miles at LSD effort, and then 2 more miles @ 10K with a mile cooldown.

I'd say I pretty much nailed the first 2 miles. I ran them at average 11:41 pace. Then, I confess, I recovered a minute or two with some water and a walk break before starting out on the LSD portion. I stayed consistent through 3 or 4 miles, maintaining about a 14:20 pace, including water/gu/stretching breaks. However, after 4 miles, I was spent. I finished the 5 miles of the LSD and packed it in. 9 miles total.

I'm not so sure I"m cut out for these hard, quality, TLT long runs. They're a lot harder than a regular old, mind-numbing LSD. But 9 miles is a good workout and I'm not kicking myself for that. And average pace for those 9 was 13:28 according to the Garmin, including a lot of water breaks. I'll take it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


When I arrived at Memorial park last night, Steeeve asked me how it had been going. I said I had not run since boot camp last Thursday. "Oh, you took at WEEK off, huh?" Now let's just get a few things straight everyone. I ran last Thursday. Friday was already scheduled as a rest day. I missed Saturday's Yasso's and Sunday's long run. Oh, and there was a little Kenyan relay action on Tuesday night that I skipped too. Then, I was back at it on Wednesday. By my count, that's 4 days off, not a whole week. OK? Are we straight? Good?

In all seriousness, Wednesday's run actually felt like I had been off for 2 weeks. Very dead legs. I just could not wake them up. If felt like I just started running, like a total noob. That all ended tonight as the Smartie Hop seemed to awaken the sleeping giant. I didn't know during the workout that I was actually going to feel good after it was over but getting back into a bit of the routing has me feeling good tonight. Don't get me wrong. I'm gonna sleep well and I'm definitely ready for a rest day to get ready for TLT. But I'm feeling my oats again. Hope to be back in that awesome groovy place by next week.

Yikes!!! Next week. That reminds me. Boot camp D. Need I say more? Jen, I'd better see you out there Tuedsay night, ok? Next week's gonna be a bear. I can see it coming.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


A couple of friends of ours had stomach bypass surgery to lose weight. She had the surgery several years ago and he just had it earlier this year. Of course they've lost a lot of weight. Well, we haven't seen our friends for 4 or 5 months but we ran into them at B's season opener soccer game this morning. I saw one of them this morn ing from about 20 yards away and waved at her. No response. Anyway, she went her way over to the soccer fields where their son was playing. Later, we caught up with them and she told DW that she didn't recognize me earlier. She asked if I had "the surgery" too. LOL!!! She said she couldn't believe how much weight I'd lost. She asked Jan how I did it. Jan was like, "Well, goodness, he's been working over a year at it and has just been losing." I guess in their mind, they couldn't fathom losing that much weight on my own. Guess that's why they had to have their stomach cut out.

But speaking of weight, I've been flatlined for a couple weeks now. I've been around 291-293 now for a couple weeks now. Guess it's kind of a mini-plateau. That's to be expected. But, it's time for another BIG push to break through and get to the next level. I hope to be comfortably and consistenly at 285-288 by the Cross Country relay. I'll be logging religiously starting tomorrow and really watching every calorie.

Looks like a wee hour 10 or 11 miler at Memorial park is in order. I'd sure love to run early with the Striders but their route takes me too far away from the car and I need to stay close in case I get paged for work this weekend. Will post the report tomorrow afternoon. Until then, happy waddling.

Bad decision

Last night, just before bed, I had to make a decision. Several things were considered. Friday morning I woke up very sore from Thursday's brutal Boot Camp and through the day, it got worse and worse. By bedtime, I could barely get down the stairs. Also, B had a soccer game at 9 am and I kind of wanted to give the fam a saturday morning. And third, I'm on call this weekend. So I decided to skip the Yasso's this morning.

That turned out to be a bad decision. First off, when I woke up at 7:30 and put my two feet on the floor, the soreness was gone completely. In fact, I felt quite frisky, just the way you'd like to feel when you wake up for an early morning workout. Then, we went to the 9 am soccer game only to find out that the coach gave us the wrong schedule and that the game wasn't until 11. And even though I've had my beeper and laptop with me the whole morning, I haven't been paged even once all weekend.

So, I missed a good opportunity for another needed workout but I got to spend the morning with the family. Guess it wasn't that bad of a decision. At least, it could have been worse. :)

Now that this opportunity has passed, though, I've got to find a way to get a long run or something in this weekend. Whatever I do, it will need to be close to the computer. I guess I'll do 3 or 4 Memorial park loops in the wee hours tomorrow morning. That's gonna be my best bet. Plan two is an evening 10 miler at the same venue. Hope it works out cause I need to keep this train moving.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grim Determination!

Thanks goes out to Steeeve for this title as he so aptly and succinctly summarized tonight's Boot camp C out at TH park. The last time we arrived at TH park with weather like tonight and Boot Camp C on the schedule, we didn't hesitate to knock it down to the Boot camp A schedule, get it done, and count our blessings and get out of there. Tonight, that was not an option.

We grimly noted about a quarter mile into our warmup that this was not going to be anywhere close to a walk in the park tonight. But the group was determined. Besides the boot camp part (squats, pushups, thrusts, pullups, lunges...) we had 5x800m intervals spread out through the workout. I'll tell you what. Doing those intervals, I thought they would never end. We did 400 out and 400 back and when I turned around at the halfway point and looked back, it may as well had been halfway through a marathon. The finish was so far off.

My goal for tonight was to just hang in there on the boot camp and try to run the intervals as best I could. I think I got through the workout only owing about 20 or so burpies, and about half of the number of reps required for all the other exercises. However, I just got back home here and checked the Garmin and really, really liked what I saw. My splits for the 800's were


No lie. Those were my splits. I was not in any way trying to be consistent and only glanced at the Garmin a couple of times. I like that consistency. The last one sure didn't feel like a 5:21. It felt more like a 6:21 if you ask me. But it looks like I finished strong.

Much fun and trash talking at NY Pizza after the workout. They were nice enough to serve our group right at closing and never made a fuss. They even thanked us for stopping in. AWESOME!!! Congrats to Jen who made here Boot Camp debut tonight. I feel bad. I kind of teased her a bit. She asked me near the end of the workout if it was almost over. She did not look at the description in the SMARTie manual so she really didn't know where we were. I told her we were almost halfway done. I know Jen...NOT FUNNY!!! Great to see you out there.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Christmas in Septemeber

It must be Christmas because this morning, Bill gave me the coolest present anyone could have given me, a 1 minute 41 second PR at the Fired up 5K. Bill volunteered this morning for pacing duties as I set out to see if any of the training I've been doing has paid off.

I've been chasing my 5K PR now for almost 3 years, since the Houston Press 5K, January 2005. About 32 months, major ankle reconstruction, a lot of yo-yo dieting, 30 or 40 lbs. lost, 30 or 40 gained and lost again, and few hundred miles lie between then and now. How sweet it is to finally feel like I'm making just a little bit of progress. I ran the Fired up 5K last year, just about as hard as I did today, and brought it home in 40:51. Today's race was 5 minutes and 47 seconds better than that. What a difference a year makes, huh? I couldn't be more thrilled for myself and for all the other Striders who PR'd.

The conditions this morning were suboptimal to say the least. The sun was behind the clouds but that's the only thing positive I can say. No breeze at all. None!!! The flags at the fire station were limp. Bill and I did a warmup and I was dripping sweat after just a mile. The good part was I warmed up quickly. After a few pickups we got our spot. I was casually waiting of the national anthem, a prayer, or something and bent over to tie my shoes and I heard, "Runners to your mark. Get set. POW!!! So much for patriotism, I guess.

Bill's original plan was to take us out just under 11 minutes. If 34 and change was possible at all, we'd have to hand around just under 11. Things were clicking along pretty well through mile 1. Bill's job was to pace and my job was to keep up. Bill did a perfect job. It would have been nice to have a little more in the bank after mile 1 but 11:14 was right on pace for a sub-35.

Mile 2, I was still steady and felt like crap but in a good way. I logged an 11:22 for mile 2. At the turnaround, I got a cup of water and splashed it on my head. That felt gooooooood!!! "Now, back to the barn," I thought. I didn't realize it but I had picked it up a little bit and according to Bill, dropped it down to 10:30 or so. Well, that didn't last as I slipped into a bad, bad place and had to take a 5 or 6 second walk break. It was just that, 5 or 6 seconds, a chance to catch just a little of my breath. Then off I went.

I settled right back in to that 11:20 pace. I couldn't (or wouldn't) seem to push past that. When I did, I just felt like I was gonna die. I tried to change my stride a bit, maybe bend my knees, lengthen it out a bit but I nothing seemed to help. This was my highest gear. Of course, you think it's your highest gear until the last few hundred yards. Then you realize you had another gear. After an 11:21 mile 3, I finished up the last bit at 9:20 pace for a 35:04!!!

I'll take it!!! If I had any energy left, I'd have done some cartwheels. Just 5 seconds off of sub-35 and in not too favorable conditions.

Lots of Striders took home hardware and all the Striders took home free socks. :)

Bill, this was one for the memory books. You taught me a lot out there about mental toughness. I'll not soon forget the stuff you were telling me about the 5K being less about your legs and more about your mind. Way to go out there today, buddy. I owe you big time. And great to see E, A, and P, too!!! That made the morning even that much more special.

Bring on Run with the Saints!!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Well, it's Saturday morning. For a good bit of the running community out there, that means long run. Still, others would prefer speedwork to an LSD run any day. The SMARTies had the best of both worlds as we ran two sets of 2 (or 3) 1200m intervals with a long run in between or as it's more affectionately called, TLT (track-long-track).

Of course there was the customary 2 mile warmup which I completed at ~13:25 pace. It was unseasonably NOT HOT out this morning. Overcast skies made for some bearable running. After silly walks we mosied over to the starting line. I cranked out 2x1200 with 400m recovery. The average pace for the 2x1200's was 11:37 m/mile and 10:59 m/mile. Next was 3.6 miles which I covered at around 13:55 pace. Then back to the starting line for 2 more 1200's. Although I was quite tired, I averaged a consistent 11:16 and 11:17 minute pace. Throw in a half mile cooldown and that totals just over 9 miles for the morning.

Now, it's rest and hydration in preparation for Monday's 5K. I'd like to make it over to packet pickup for some free lunch but I'd like more to just go to bed. Think I will...go to bed that is.