Monday, November 30, 2009


For the past month I have not exercised one bit. Why you ask? One of those running of together events that really put running on the back burner. I had a fishing trip at the end of October with a bunch of the guys down in Ohio. That means lots of fishing, lots of beer and no running. That was to be expected. I also took the last two weeks of November off for deer hunting. Because I had such a large block of time off from work, I had to work twice as much for the first two weeks of the month. As such, I did not run at all during that time. The good news is I caught alot of Walleye on the fishing trip and got a 6 point during hunting. The bad news is I put on about 7 pounds during the process!

I did run today but wont go into the details until the end of the week. That should keep me motivated this first crucial week back to actually run! I dont have any races scheduled until Spring since its going to be snowing here for the next 4 months. While I wont go into detail about the run, suffice to say it sucked at bad as I thought it was going to.

Ill post more at the end of the week though! It is good to be back!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some Time Off!!

Just an update....I didnt vanish, but work and some much need vacation has intruded. I did not and will not exercise this week. After a week of work and meetings, I'm going on a fishing trip on Lake Erie. Of course, the weather is threatening to not cooperate, but we should get in at least a day of it.

Next week, I plan on restarting my running routine. I do have two weeks off in November where I will be challenged to complete running, but I have to get back into the groove. I'm not in a rut, but life intruded and now its time to take it back!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Post Half Marathon

Well....the excitement is gone, the race is done and now what? I plan to run @ least 3 half marathons and a full next year, but that starts in April! This is Northern Michigan, land of feet of snow! I decided to take some time off from running until my legs loosen up (still a little stiff) and feel like the biggest slug around! I swear to god I can actually feel pounds getting added on day to day. (in weight has not changed by 1 ounce)

My wife has decided at this point she doesn't want anything to do with a marathon, and I'm ok with that. 13.1 miles is one thing....double the distance is quite another! She knows me better then most though. The spring and early summer half's I have scheduled I'm shooting for goal times in the neighborhood of 1:35 - 1:50. Yeah, a pretty wide range, but until I run one for myself, I won't really know what I'm capable of. I know I can break 2 hours without a problem, but each minute off of that will be that much harder. (funny how that works) When I started this, I was creeping up on the 220's. Now, I'm only 5'10, so I was squarely in the overweight category. In my 180's now, according to BMI, I'm still considered overweight by a smidgen but I wouldn't want to lose anymore then probably 10 pounds at this point. I started by not being able to run 1 mile any faster then a 10 minute pace. Now, on a flat course I can bust out 3 miles in 23 minutes. I'm not speed demon, but its a big improvement. I know I can hold a 91/2 - 10 minute pace all day long. It all was done my increments of small steps, gradually increasing my mileage and always trying to run faster at shorter distance tempo type runs.

This winter, I will continue to run about 25-30 miles per week. Instead of long runs on Saturday, Ill probably change to a 4 day 6 mile run or a 5 day 5 mile run. (or maybe mix something similar up) Ill keep the three week on one week light throughout the winter. Also, I'm going to implement a core workout routine. I hate core workouts....with a passion. If I'm not sweating buckets, I don't feel like I've done anything. I love to of those people that actually enjoy it. My wife has the P90x routine, and I might try that out. Something that concentrates on developing the core, which I have just ignored this past couple year. (I'm a runner with a one pack...while I don't expect a six pack, I could do without the mini keg up front!)

Had to get all of this out! Call in post run depression or whatever. I'll keep up my routine, I know that.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grand Rapids Half Marathon

Corey and I finished the Grand Rapids Half Marathon this morning! We decided that since this was her first half marathon, I would pace her for this race. I figured she could handle a pace in the 11:00/mile range and she did not disappoint. She was hoping for under 2:45 and we finished in 2:34......success.

Now, the race started at 8:00 am. Grand Rapids is in mid Michigan which meant October cold weather and that did not disappoint either. At race time, it was in the low 30's with frost everywhere. My wife was joking along the way about people whose sweat had collected on their hats, and refroze due to the low temps. My goatee was frozen by the time I crossed the finish line.

Mile 1 through 8.4 went extremely well. Grand Rapids is billed as a flat race, and that is no bull. This was one of the flatter races I have run. There were some "inclines" but nothing that would be considered a problem for anyone trying to attempt a half/full marathon. I have to mention this was a well run race in addition. There were more than enough aid stations for the half marathon. Even before we reached the aid station @ 8.4 miles there were people handing out gummy bears. At the 8.4 station, there was not only the normal water and Gatorade, but a full selection of GU. As this is the fuel of choice for myself, it was perfect. The full and half marathoners split at this point, with the half marathoners taking a slightly different route back. The full marathoners kept going and from what I read, the rest of there aid stations had the regular water and Gatorade with another station having GU later on and two nearer the end having orange slices. The support people handling the station were awesome! You couldn't ask for better and it reminded me of Cincinnati....but was even better run and organized believe it or not.

Miles 8.4 to 11 went pretty good too, but I did notice my wife was starting to slow up a little, so I let her. She had pounded out the first 8 miles at just under an 11:00 pace and I wanted her to enjoy the race. At mile 11, she looked at me and says "If you want to go on ahead, you can." Yeah, right! I knew she was at a point where she thought she couldn't do it anymore. She really didn't care if there was only 2.1 miles left....she thought she was done. Of course, I told her no, and we continued on, albeitly at a slower pace. Those last 2.1 miles were ran out, and we saw the finish line about a half mile out. She told me she didn't have enough to hammer it out, and I told her at that point, we were certainly getting a 2:30 something, so that was OK. We crossed the finish line, received out awesomely heavy medal, and proceeded to eat the well stocked post run refreshments. If anyone is thinking of running a marathon or half marathon in Michigan, this is a great one to run! Detroit is typically on the same weekend, but for me, that isn't going to much of a choice. I tend to enjoy the smaller city marathons, and this one is tops.

Now, I don't have the race experience in this particular race to comment on the full marathon. Well....this will be my first full marathon. I can say that without a doubt. Flat course...well temps....what's not to like. I believe I heard the race director (I could be wrong though) say that 20% of runner qualify for Boston on this race. I believe it!

Ill post pics later of the medal and assorted pics that were taken during the race and at the finish.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One Week Left To Go!!

It was an great week of running....only one injury to speak of! Yesterday, was the VASA 5k race as well as a later 9 mile run we did across town. First off, all day it didn't get above 40 degrees. The race was freezing and the only saving grace was no wind. By the time we decided to run the long run, the wind has kicked up and we were running right into it. We reached the halfway point, and wouldn't you know started to rain....and it was as freezing as the temperature. Actually, as soon as we got back home, it started to snow. During the run, by feet ended up getting soaked. Because they were cold, I couldn't feel any pain and didn't notice until I got near the car that my right shoe was soaked with blood. After I got home, I checked my toes and the only damage I could find was a small cut on one toe. It bled like no tomorrow, that's all I know!

The half marathon is one week from today!! I can say without a doubt that I'm ready for it. It shouldn't be a problem. The only issue I can say that will affect anything might be the weather, but its too far out to see what that might be. Right now it's showing a start in the mid 40's with mostly sunny conditions but it's Michigan...the weather can change day to day no matter what the forecast.

As a recap of running for the week, here it is...this next week will be much lighter, and I will most likely just recap the half for that.

Monday - 3 Mile Tempo - 7:35 pace

Tuesday - 4 Mile of Intervals - 5 x 800 @ 7:00 pace with 3:30 rest in between each.

Thursday - 5.0 Mile On Treadmill - 8:37 pace

Saturday - 3.25 mile VASA run - 30:14 (unofficial) Hilly trail run
8.75 mile TART run w/ Corey - 1:40:00.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Two Weeks to Go!

This week went really good with good in fact, that I ran 3 miles further but that was due to an unforeseen event! Even with the increased mileage, my legs are feeling fine. The next two weekends have weekend is the VASA 5k. This is probably my favorite 5k of the year, so I'm looking forward to it. It is scheduled on the last long run day of the month before the half-marathon (the following weekend). I am planning on just running 9 miles later on in the afternoon. Since it was raining yesterday, I ran my 11 mile run on the treadmill. (it was awful!) I was able to run it at a solid 9:40 pace throughout, and really could have gone around 9:00-9:15 pace. I just wanted to see what I could do on my own with it.

For a recap of the week:

Tuesday: 4.0 miles @ 8:36 pace
Wednesday: 4.0 miles @ 9:13 pace on TART trail
Thursday: 4.0 miles intervals. 5x800 @ 7:00 pace w/ 3:30 cool down in between @ 11:00 pace.
Saturday: 3.0 mile run @ 12:00 pace. This was interrupted long run...Corey got sick!
11.0 mile run @ 9:40 pace. Ran this on treadmill due to weather. Went great!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Week Down!

Pretty fair week for running this past one! I missed yet another tempo run during the week but I was proud I got the other run's in. I had some off days this past week with know those unexplained days where you just suck! I had that one on Thursday. I think I took off too fast or something, but I paid for it the entire run.

Anyway, the 10 mile run with Corey was on Saturday. It went pretty good. We set out at a little slower of a pace this time. I didn't want to try and push a 10:30 pace on Corey with another mile to run. We got a little past the 4 mile point, and you could tell she was ready for a break. Ill give her credit, she pushed to the 5 mile point and took a 5 minute walk break. On the way back, she asked me to stick with her to the 7 mile marker, which I did. I then increased the pace to 10:45 - 11:30 for the next 1.5 miles, which is where the lone drinking fountain is. Lo and behold, she kept up with me until that point! The last 1.5, I finished @ the 9:30 - 9:45 pace I normally run longer at, and walked back to run back with Corey. She was a little distraught over her time, which I assured her was ok. The most important thing at this point is just getting the mileage in. I haven't decided what our goal pace will be in Grand Rapids (I'm gonna be the pacer) but I thinking somewhere in the 11:00 - 11:30 range. Ill for sure pace us slower the first half of it, and then try and goose it up a little from there. I know for sure she can keep the 11:00 range pace the entire race if she has a break in the middle.

As a recap, the running this week was as follows:

Wednesday: 4.3 miles @ 8:12 pace on treadmill

Thursday: 4.5 miles on TART Trail @ 9:26 pace...felt like crap!

Saturday: 10 miles on TART Trail @ 11:50 pace. This includes the 5 minute rest break in the middle of the run and a lost 3-4 minutes waiting for traffic lights. If you took off the "lost" time, it would have been finished in 1:50:00 approx, or about an 11:00 pace.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Its Getting Closer!

This week's running went great with the Harvest Stompede yesterday ending with a new best time. I was out of town (yet again) for work, but kept up with running although I did run less than I wanted this week.

The Harvest Run was as expected. We arrived early, with the temp's in the mid 50's. This quickly changed of course with the start of the run at the sweat starting. There were more runners this year, and I felt like the first mile of the run went much slower, due to race congestion. For anyone thinking of running this race, you are not getting a PR on this race; its just a very fun race to run in. After the first mile, I hit "the hill" which really is one kilometer of up. This is a trailish run through a grape/wine orchard. There is minimal footing, rough terrain and no real easy spots, save the first mile of which is usually pretty congested. This year, I ran up 1/4 of the hill, and fast walked up the rest. Last year, I killed myself trying to charge up the hill. Being the first time I ran it, I didn't have anything left for the last part of the race and ended up walking a majority of it. After the top of the hill, I resumed near my normal pace and finished 2 1/2 minutes faster then last year. (30:24). I could have finished it probably in the 29:00's if I would have pushed it after the fill, but miscalculated how far I had left. (will not make that mistake next year)

We have less than one month until the Grand Rapids Half Marathon and have one race before then, the VASA 5k trail run on October 10th. Corey and I ran that yesterday afternoon after the Harvest Stompede as a gauge to see where we were at. I finished that in about 29:00, and that was with a couple slow down/stop breaks because we had the dog with us. I hope to finish that race in the 27:00-28:00 range.

As a recap, the week's runs were as follows:

Monday - 3.5 miles @ 8:50 pace
Tuesday - 4.0 miles easy @ 9:36 pace treadmill
Wend - 4.0 miles easy @ 9:36 pace treadmill
Saturday - 3.1 miles Harvest Stompede - 29:24 finish
3.1 miles VASA run - 29:10 finish

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another Great Week!

This week was somewhat of a challenge as I was out of town on business, but was able to get in two days of running while gone, and still was ready for the 9 mile run on Saturday.

Now before I recap the week, I feel I should admit to something I'm not proud of. I fell back into smoking momentarily the past couple months. At first, it was a one smoke every day, and eventually progressed back to the point where it was 1/2 pack a day. While it hadn't affected my running up to that point, I knew that it was likely keeping improvement muted. I'm not a spring chicken anymore, and my goal at some point in my life is to qualify for this past week was quit week. (yet again) My wife (who does not smoke) is understanding and supportive. I am using the patch again, which is a little difficult because I don't want to use it anywhere near my run. The morning run (today) was great, but by the time I put the patch on, my body of course went into nicotine craving mode. I fought it off by drinking water, not leaving the house and completing this blog entry! Besides the health issues, the fact that the half marathon is 1 month away and the cost, its just time to kick it for good.

Now this past week went great again! The runs were as follows:

Monday: 3.2 mile hilly run in back fields. Finished at 9:27 average pace.
Tuesday: 4.0 mile flat run @ 8:37 average pace.
Wednesday: 4.0 mile flat run @ 8:34 average pace.
Saturday: 9.0 run w/ Corey @ average 11:30 pace.

Now as for Saturday, I have mentioned it before, but my wife and I are running the Grand Rapids half marathon next month (our first) and have been on Hal Higdon's training plan with some modifications. My wife would appreciate it if I ran this first half marathon with her. I don't have any issues with that, and have been the pacer on these past long runs. (we train the other days on our own) I have been gradually increasing our pace on the long runs from the high 11:00 range to the mid 10:00 range. I haven't told my wife yet, but we lost about 8 minutes total time on the run due to traffic stops, one water break and a break at the half way point. The half way point break was nearly 5 minutes, but was something she needed. (first 9 miler for her) Without those breaks, we would have been at nearly a 10:30 pace. My personal goal for the run is to try and pace her to an 11 minute mile pace, or about 2 hours and 23 minutes. If I really tried and ran hard this first half marathon, its possible I could break 2 hours but that's not important this first race.

Lastly, the Polar is still working perfectly, and is really helping we with my pacing. The Nike Pegasus shoes are holding up great, although its about time I change to a new pair. I have about 400 miles on these and although they still look nearly new, I have noticed increased calf pain on my long runs. I bought two pair on Eastbay for half what I would have paid for at the local running store, so I'm fine for awhile with the shoes. The sprain has alleviated itself (thank goodness!)

Ill post my results next week after the Harvest Stompede 5k on Saturday.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Two Week Post!

This blog entry will be a two week combined entry. I forgot to enter last week, and by the time I realized it, it was better to just combine the two.

Last week went extremely well with the exception of the long run. My runs were as follows:

Monday: 3.3 miles @ 9:21 pace. It was very windy and hot where I was running. I was out of town, so didn't know the exact route, which didn't help matters. The run frankly kicked my butt.

Wednesday: 4.1 miles @ 8:04 pace. This run went much better, and I felt I could have gone quite a bit faster.

Thursday: 4.0 miles @ 7:43 pace. The first 5k I could have pushed the run faster. I let off in the beginning starting at the previous days pace.

Friday: 5.0 miles @ 8:25 pace. Again, this run went extremely well. I could have run faster, but had a long run planned for Saturday so didn't want to push it too much.

Saturday: Rained all day long. Ran 5.0 miles @ 9:14 pace on treadmill. I was not prepared to try and run the long run on the treadmill and couldn't get going. Not tired, just bored.

It had become apparent this past week that my training has been improving my times by a considerable margin in the past couple months. My 5k times are now below 24 minutes, and my 10k times are in the 52 minute or under range.

As for my ankle, it also became apparent that I have been favoring my other leg because of the discomfort. My ankle still is a little sore, but the calf on the same side now will tighten up. I've been doing more of my fast runs on the treadmill because its softer. The Harvest Stompede is two weeks away, so the last thing I want to do is blow out the ankle.

As for this week, the good runs have continued. Today's long run was a little different, but well get to that.

Monday - Intervals. Did 5 x 800 with the interval at 7:15 pace and the cooldown (400 m) @ 11:00 pace.

Thursday - 4.0 miles @ 7:43 pace. Great run. Took break Tuesday/Wednesday due to ankle issues.

Friday - 4.0 miles @ 8:04 pace. Could have run faster and further but long run on Saturday.

Saturday - 8.0 mile TART trail run with Corey. We didn't get out until around noon. During the run, the temp climbed into the high 70's/low 80's. Corey and I ran the run together the first 4 miles, and did it in 46:54. The last 4 miles was actually harder due to the heat, and we had split up at that moment. I ran that 4 mile section in 43:16. If my addition is correct, the time for the total run was 1:30; a pace of about 11:21. Included in this time was a 4 minute rest break Corey took at the end of the first 4 miles.

Next week, the long run goes up to 9 miles. We will be doing this run on a flat course. I have talked to my wife also about doing the runs much earlier in the day, so we don't run into the oppressive heat. We will see how that goes. The following week in the Harvest Stompede so we will have to split up the runs that weekend to reach the long run goal.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Best week running ever!!

This week was an awesome week as far as running was concerned except for one minor (hopefully) setback. Every run this week, I kept the pace around or above 10k pace (except for the long run) and I had ton's of gas in the tank at the end of all the runs. These were 4 and 5 mile runs, so I was pretty happy with that.

The minor setback occurred today at the very beginning of the long run. (8 miles w/ hills) The great thing about the run is its the 2nd fastest Corey and I have run it together, so her speed is increasing. The first fastest run was on a completely flat and paved course, and this course followed road routes around the county we live in. It is not flat.... in fact, there is a pretty long hill near the beginning 1/3 of the route, and a smaller, but steeper hill at mile 7. She was pretty stoked about the time, which is in the 11 minute range. I'm hoping that by the time the half rolls around, we are running the 13 miles at that pace. If I run with her, it wont be an issue. If she decides she can do it on her own, then I figure I can probably pull a 9-10 minute pace out of it. Under two hours would be great, but its too early to try for that right now. The setback was when I was running on the road. I run against traffic so I can see trouble when its coming. A car was coming my way, and I ran onto the shoulder of the road, directly on a medium sized stone. I felt a twinge in my ankle, but the pain was momentary and I ran on. Whenever I had to run on the soft shoulder the rest of the run, my ankle/heel was in some pain. Luckily, the rest of the run was on the pavement for the most part. Ill see tomorrow what holds for the ankle. I have a pretty hard trail run next month, so I may have to baby the ankle. That means alot of treadmill running. (it could be worse I guess)

For a recap for the week, the runs were as follows:

Monday - 4.1 miles @ 8:31 pace
Tuesday - 4.0 miles @ 8:45 pace
Thursday - 4.0 miles @ 8:37 pace
Friday - 5.0 miles @ 8:45 pace
Saturday - 8.0 miles @ 11:45 pace

This next week, I plan to run around the same schedule. 4 miles on Monday - Wednesday, and then 5 miles on Thursday with a rest day on Friday. Saturday will be another 8 mile run.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Late Entry

The graph shown shows that practice at least improves! I found out how to print an average line with the Polar software. Now, I only have 2 1/2 months worth of data, but there is already a distinct trend in faster times! This is pretty exciting because I have also increased my mileage from when I started. As for last week, it was a pretty uneventful week as far as running was concerned. I did not get all the miles I wanted in, and Saturday's run was awful. The weather forecast was for 80's by noon, so we started off early. Unfortunantly, it hit 80 earlier in the morning. It was fine up to the 5 mile mark, but we were way too hot after to make it the full eight at full speed. We ended up slowing up quite a bit. If this happens again with the heat, we will probably split the run up into two seperate 4 mile runs.

My runs for last week are as follows:

Monday - Intervals 10x400 @ 7:03 pace with 45 sec cooldown in between

Friday - 5.2 mile run in 47 minutes

Saturday - 8 miles 1:26 pace for the running part, and 1/2 hour walking included to add to time.

That was it! I was working out of town so missed on most of the week. I also made the mistake of trying to catch up to some of it on Friday, which probably wasnt the smartest thing!

That's it!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hiatus Forgotten!

This week was a return to my schedule after a two week break. (work and training intruded!) I could have run during this time frame, but it just didn't happen and I'm not going to dwell on it. After a very slow and painful start, I finished the week feeling like I had made up for the time off. Today's 8 miler went extremely well. Corey didnt feel real good at mile 1.5 through 3, but she eventually ran through the discomfort and we ended up finishing around where we usually do. Today's route was new, and included a massive hill around mile 6. I was impressed we ran so close to our flat course time. I like these long runs with Corey for two reasons. One, it keeps me within the middle zones of my heart rate. During the rest of the week, I'm running 5/10k pace runs or intervals. I don't do alot of easy runs unless I'm not feeling well. Also, we like to run together as I've mentioned before, although she sometimes curses my back towards the end of runs.

This weeks running was as follows:

Monday - 3.5 miles at 9:18 pace with .6 mile @ 10:00 pace, with last quarter at 6:30 pace
Tuesday - 3.0 miles at 9:44 pace (did not feel real strong)
Wednesday - 4.6 miles at 9:04 pace
Thurday - 4.5 miles @ 8:48 pace
Saturday - 8.0 miles @ 11:52 pace

For those that don't know, Corey and I have entered a half marathon this fall. I have run close to the 13.1 miles necessary in training runs already. Corey is working up to that point with Hal Higdons intermediate training schedule. This week was week one of training, but I maintain a modified week 8 year long at around 24 miles a week. Corey is right at week 8. At this point, both of us will run the half together; neither of us have raced this distance before. This is why we are running at the 11:00 ish pace which Corey can maintain fairly easily over an 8 mile distance currently.

No races until September, where we will run two is looks like. Mackinac Island was going to end up being a very expensive race, so we will most likely opt for a local race. We also have the Harvest Stompede, which is always difficult.

That's it! Hopefully next weekgoes similary to this week (out of town the whole week). We shall soon see!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A 2 week Hiatus???

I had to work of of town and work late every night, so needless to say, I did not run the week before last. Last week, I was in the Baltimore/DC area on business. While I could have and should have ran....I did not. Monday starts a new week, and I will be resuming my running schedule. The 1/2 marathon training schedule starts this week. Luckily I have been training somewhere around week 6-7 for a while so the break wont be too detrimental.

Our next race isnt until September, where we have two races. Both races are under the half marathon distance (5-k and 8 mile) Ill update again later in the week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The End of Another Week!!

I should start out my saying I'm in a little trouble this week! Saturday is long run day, but we were unable to run it due to the weather, so we rescheduled for today. I had mapped out a local 8 mile run, but knew it to be verrry hilly and in the worst way. The first 4 miles of the run are basically flat/downhill. There were some inclines, but I wouldn't call them hills. The problem is, the last four miles is basically hills. I warned Corey that this wouldn't be like our normal long run, but she still wanted to do it. I let Corey set the pace for the run, and she pushed the hills the first half, speeding up to a 9:30 - 10:00 pace. The last four miles back though were pretty tough for her. Our pace fell at times, and twice she walked for a minimal amount of time. In the end, we finished the run 4 minutes off the best time for us running together. I told her, with the amount of hills in this run, that is a pretty decent time.

For the week's recap:

Monday - Interval's 10x400 @ around 7:03 pace w/ 45 second recovery in between. Ran 1/2 mile warm up and cool down.

Tuesday - Light Tempo 4 miles in 35:20 (8:50 pace)

Friday - Easy Run 4 miles in 36:11 (9:02 pace)

Sunday - Long Run (Hilly) 8 miles in 1:37:19 (12:09 pace)

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Thinking about this blog the other day, I thought I should give my take on some of the problems associated with running in regards to gear. Today, Ill give my take on shoes. When I started running again a year and a half ago, I bought a mid range pair of Nike's from MCSports, with no regards to anything except that they were in the running section. After I put 400 or so miles on them, I knew I needed another pair. I then decided that I should go to a speciality store and get "better" shoes. The wet test shows my arch as high, so I thought I needed support shoes. After going through various Brooks and Asics shoes, the owner of the store told me to try out what worked best in the past; Nike. He also let me know that there were some people who had arches that were one way, but who needed a more neutral shoe. Thus, I was led to the Nike Pegasus + line. The shoe I ended up getting was the 25th year edition, but I don't know if that really makes a difference. All I know is that the shoe has performed as well as any shoe I have worn. All of the other shoes gave me little blisters along the top of my arch. (Painful!) Usually, they popped up around the 4-5 mile mark on runs.

I have run as little as 3 mile miles and as much as 8 miles at one time in these shoes. I have had no hint of discomfort in my feet. So far, I have 300 miles on the shoes, and knew I was probably getting close to needing another pair. I found them online at Eastbay for around $68 + shipping. There was a sale on for 20% off the order, so they ended up around $60 and I purchased two pair. Ill transition the pair with mileage on them to short treadmill runs until them give me problems.

My only problem with the shoes had been a "sleeping foot" issue in the very beginning. This started around the same time I increased my mileage though, and the issue only arose on treadmill runs, so I will keep an eye on it when the new shoes arrive. Also, I wish running shoes would last longer. If you run 25 miles a week, the shoes will only last 3-5 months, and 5 months would be pushing any shoe. I do quite a bit of road running with races and training, and do trail running later in the year, so shoes tend to wear out quicker.

All in all, if you need a neutral shoe to mild pronation shoe, this would work. The price is attractive, and even if the shoe needs to be replaced after 300-400 miles of running, they are half the price of many competing models.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Between the Week Thoughts!

Today I ran intervals, but that's not what this post is about. Its about how running is slowly changing my body. When I re-started running a year and a half ago, I was closing in on 220 lbs, and I'm one of those people where the weight gets deposited everywhere! Today, I am usually at around 180 lbs. Now, I haven't lost a pound since the beginning of the year, but changes-a-plenty still abound. My pace has inched upwards throughout the past year and a half, with what I think are huge increases this year in particular. What extra weight I do have is slowly being redistributed from my waist area and I feel a thousand times better than I can remember. My resting heart rate used to be in the mid 70's; its now in the high 50's. According to rough calculation, my max heart rate for my age should be somewhere around 182. It is closer to 192 beats per minute. (I have exceeded 182 on more than a couple occasions; usually on intervals)

The most awesome part of this whole thing though is my wife is now involved with me on our running adventures! Never in a million years did I think she would actually go to Cincinnati to run the Flying Pig 10k. Now, she's itching to sign up for the Flying Pig Half Marathon, pending results from the Grand Rapids Half Marathon we have already signed up for! This, and she has already found out about black toenails! The best part about all of this is we both actually enjoy running (especially long runs together) and the company makes it easier for both of us. I would encourage people interesting in running to get there significant others to "join the craze" with them. What helped us was the destination run in Cincinnati. You are kinda of stuck with it if you commit to the sign up. (unless you don't mind just giving them the money) We had a strong relationship before this running thing; but I think its made our relationship even stronger. We may have gotten a little crazier though too; we were talking destination runs in Hawaii in the other day! Who schedules a vacation around a half or full marathon!? Those crazy runner folks....that's who!

I had mentioned before that I had received a Polar RS800 sd and have posted a few screenshots. I have been nothing but impressed with the unit. It is expensive (mine was $300) but I'm one of those people who like to see graphs of all the information, so it is perfect for me. You get all of the heart-rate, pacing, altitude and calorie expenditure information you could ever ask for. My wife now wants a HRM that will help with the pacing. Go figure! I'll give a more detailed review of the unit in the next couple weeks.

That's really about it! I just was thinking about all of this the past couple days. Who willingly puts themselves through the work of 20-30+ miles per week for fun? (and health) In doing this, who willingly buys pair upon pair of shoes because they are leaving the bottom of the shoes on the road? Who purchases BodyGlide (which I had never heard of before) to put on body area's that start to chafe because your moving for that long. Like I said.....those damn crazy runner folk!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Week! Another Race! Another PR!!

My wife, her sister, mother and myself ran the Cherry Festival 5k this morning. It was great and I have a new post high-school PR of 26:45 (unofficial; it might vary 1 or 2 seconds) I was thrilled! As you can see by the Polar output, I pretty much ran it through at the same pace. I by accident stopped the Polar at the 3 mile mark or so, but that didn't affect my race. What did affect it though were two area's. About 3/4 to 1 mile into the race, we had to run through the Civic Center area. It was real tight, and with 2000+ runners, there was some speed up slowing down action. Worse yet, it was rolling through that particular area, so I had to push a little harder to keep the pace up. I usually like to run the first couple miles faster, just in case I find out there isn't enough gas in tank with a 5k. The second area was more detrimental, and you can see where it happened by my heart rate drop towards the end of the race. I got caught up in a pretty good group of people, and one particular slower runner who was all over the road. I lost a good amount of time in that area and recovered OK, but there wasn't enough time or distance left to make up for it. Oh well! I'd say a near 4 minute improvement over last year is good enough!

The week went well, although I missed Thursday's run due to work and didn't want to try and squeeze it in Friday before the race.

Monday - 4 miles @ 8:25 pace
Tuesday - 4.2 miles @ 10:59 pace (felt like crap that day....ate like crap all day though)
Wednesday - 4 miles @ 9:36 pace (felt much better)
Saturday - 3.1 mile race in 26:45 (around 8:35 pace)

The next race isn't until September unless we add another in. We have two in September and two in October. There hasn't been any close races we really wanted to enter in August, but that may be for the better as its the hottest that month. Half marathon training officially starts the end of this month, and we have to start training for a very hilly run in September soon, so intervals will be replaced by hills every other week. (that'll be fun)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Finally...A Solid Week of Running!!

This was a great week for running! I got in all of the running I scheduled, which doesnt happen very often! Not only was I relieved, but it felt great and there were no aches and pains!

Monday - Intervals - 10x400 @ 7:03 pace w/45 sec. recovery.
Wends - 4 miles @ 8:55 average pace
Thursday - 4 miles @ 8:47 pace
Friday - 4 miles @ 9:05 pace
Saturday - 8 miles @ 11:44 pace w/Corey

Like I said, it felt great...even the long run on Saturday; and it was warm again. I plan on keeping the same schedule this week with the exception of doing a tempo run today (Monday) in place of intervals, and keeping the pace somewhat slower. I do have a 5k race on Saturday (National Cherry Festival) and we plan on running back to the car at the finish. (for 6 miles total on Saturday) We then have a long break until the next run in September. We have decided though to add a run in September, the Mackinaw Island 8 mile run around the island. This should be a great training run for the upcoming half in Grand Rapids in October. I start that schedule July 27th although I am already training around the week 5 schedule. I wont add any more mileage until week 7 of that schedule, which calls for a total of about 24 miles for the week. The max mileage is 27 miles, so I'm not too far off of that. The long run is where the increase will come in, with a max distance of 12 miles.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Charlevoix 10k Week!!

Well, I finished the Charlevoix "10k" in 59:22 according to my HRM, which is my best time yet! I checked out my distance with my Polar though, and it was around 6.427 miles. I know that they can be off, but I ran this race much better than any of the others, and was actually a little upset at the 59:22 time. Oh well! All you can do is gauge against the results next year! I did have one problem in the race at a rather long incline just before mile 5. (great place to put that) I ended up walking up some of that. I posted my heartrate log from the run and you can see exactly where that happened. I was surprised it also posted my water-stops, although those are really only visible by the drop in cadence.

Corey did good too, beating her previous best time!

To recap, here is what I did this week:

Monday - 3 mile tempo run - 25:17
Tuesday - Intervals - 10x400 at 7:03 with 45 sec rest
Thursday - 3.5 miles easy - 35:00
Saturday - Charlevoix 10k - 59:22

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Shorter Week...Work Intrudes!

I had to work out of town this week, so I missed two days of running.

Monday - Intervals: 10x400 @ 7:03 pace. Total of 40 minutes with warm-up and cool down as well as 45 second recovery in between 400's.

Tuesday - 4.2 miles at an average of 9:00ish pace. The 1st split @ mile 1 was 9:18 but includes some warmup, the 2nd mile was 9:09, third was 9:05 and 4th was 8:27.

Saturday - 8.2 miles with Corey at the around 11ish pace. It was very warm today (had to near 80) so the run was significantly more difficult at the same pace. We also did not hydrate like we should have. (that won't happen again)

A week from today is the Charlevoix 10k that we are both running in. I'm going to have a look over of the course on Tuesday and see how "rolling" it is. This will be the last 10k race of the season most likely, and we will switch to 5k races through the summer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Update for the Week!

This is my record retrieved from my new Polar from my 7 mile run on Saturday. I ran with Corey, so we ran an easy pace. She wants to get up to 10 miles non-stop on a run, and I told her the best way was to start off slow and make sure she can do it. She can then worry about how fast she can do it in!

I have decided to start posting blog's once a week instead of everytime I do something related to running; otherwise I would be on here forever. This week, I did the following.

Monday - 4.0 total - 2.5 miles intervals (400x10 @ 7:13) 45 second rest. Warm up/cooldown jog included.

Tuesday - 4.1 miles 41 minutes. Easy run.

Wednesday - 4.1 miles 41 minutes. Started at +10:00 mile and increased speed each mile.

Thursday - 4.0 miles - 39 minutes. Easy run.

Friday - Off

Saturday - 7.0 mile run with Corey. 1 hour and 16 minutes. We could have gone further and faster but didn't want to push it and we were running it together. Hope to add a mile in a week.

I think this schedule is going to work pretty good. I'm going to increase the long runs to 10 miles until the half marathon training kicks in.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Intervals....and they were awful!

Today I did my intervals. Last time, I did 10x400 @ a 7:30 pace with about a minute cooldown in between each one. This time, I did the same 10x400, but @ a 7:13 pace and only 45 seconds cool down in between each. I did my warm up run before; about a 1/2 mile or so @ a 10:00ish pace. I also ran around a half mile after the intervals @ a 10:00 pace. Next time I may go down to a 7:00 pace, but that will be it for awhile. I don't think I go much faster without seriously pushing it. It was hard enough today to do it today.....there was sweat flying around everywhere! We will see what the 7:00 pace does. I haven't really finished the intervals with nothing left, which is where I'd like to be near. I also haven't done intervals every Ill just have to see how my body handles it.

Tomorrow, an easy 5 mile run is scheduled. (and I mean easy!) with a quicker change up tempo 6 miler on Wednesday, and a 3 mile tempo on Thursday. Friday will be off and Saturday should be an 8 mile long run! I will have the new Polar by tomorrow, but be able to use it until probably Wednesday. Ill have that info, but all of this weeks runs until the weekend will be on the treadmill. I'd rather have the data from an actual outside run.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I haven't posted in a few days, so thought I would catch up. I was out of town for business, and ran a 5 mile easy run at the hotel on the treadmill June 4th. This went pretty smoothly; I just kept it at a 9:30/min pace. Yesterday, June 6th, I ran 8 miles at a very easy 10/min pace. I wanted to see how far I could go with the pace, and could have gone much further, but didn't want to jump the distance too far in one week. I need to concentrate a little harder on making the long runs on Saturday easier. I have been trying to hammer them out like they are races instead of it just being an easy run.

I mentioned I was getting a new HRM. Well, I finally ordered it and should have it in time (and figured out) for my 6-8 mile run this weekend. My wife and I will probably run a 6.2 mile route through the VASA trail here where I live. Its a pretty hard run, and I want to see if the elevation changes are picked up.

Lastly, a new pic of me at the finish of the Cincinnati Flying Pig has been posted. This course was more rolling then the Bayshore as you can see by the expression when I was done. Next year, I'll run the half marathon there and see if that is similar.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tempo Six Miler

Today I ran a tempo six miler. I started off at a 9:30 pace and kept increasing it. I ended up with a total of time of 53:22. My best time this year, at least in training was 53:15. I probably could have done a little better, but am supposed to run an easy 5 miles tomorrow and six again on Thursday. (again 9:30-10:30 a mile) Today's run was a little odd though. My right leg seemed to want to almost fall asleep from 1.5 to about 2.25 miles. This has happened a couple times since I got my new shoes, and usually on the treadmill. Also, my left foot was aching pretty bad up until 3.5 miles, and then the pain mysteriously vanished. Ill have to keep an eye on both things and make sure its not a symptom of something worse.

On a different note, I may have mentioned before, but I usually use a HRM for running. My wife got me a Polar HRM for my birthday this year (I picked it out) and unfortunantly, I didnt do enough research on it. I only used the new one a couple times, so am going to return it and get a Polar RS800 G3. This particular HRM will do just about everything. It has an altimeter in it (and GPS) so you can not only get accurate mileage/pace on a run, but can see how your handling hills and descents and get measurements for those inclines and declines. I will also get the footpod for treadmill training. I cannot wait to try it out! Ill give a rundown of how it works and post one of the graphs you can create in the software that comes with it on the first six miler after I get the watch.

Lastly, I have a picture from Cincinnati's Flying Pig 10k my wife had framed. (1st 10k) Ill see how it will scan in and post it this weekend.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three Mile Easy Run

I decided to just run three miles easy today. I had all intentions of running six miles, but with the race last week, and the jump in mileage and with the help of the call of nature on my run....I cut it short. This week will be a 23 mile week, with 26 miles or so after.

My wife also got the EA Sports Active "game" for the Wii. Now, this game is geared towards women mostly, but if you set the workout for intense, its pretty intense. Some of the exercises are too easy; anything upper body is because the resistance band that comes with the unit is too weak. That could be fixed by getting another one with more resistance. The lower body stuff though is pretty good. The incline skating routine with jumps is a fairly strenuous workout! I could barely finish it the first time, and then it had me do it a second time! While it could in no way be your only workout, its a good addition to a workout routine, and I think I'll be trying to add it in on my easy days (less than 6 miles) and off days.

Lastly, I posted a picture one of the course photographers had taken at I imagine mile 4. (it was after the turnaround and near the last water stop) As you can see, for some reason I am smiling, which must mean I wasnt going fast enough! I think I just passed my mother-in-law at that point when she was out on the course looking for my wife and I.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Three Mile Easy - Oh....changed my mind!

Today was "supposed" to be my easy three mile run as I have another six or so miler tommorrow. I started off with good intentions, and ran the 1st mile in about 9:30. I decided to speed it up a little bit, and ran the second mile in 8:30. The last mile, I still had alot left, so sped up a little more, and pushed out a 6:59 last mile! A 24:59 total! While this is a far cry from high school days, when 7 min miles were a norm (and a whole lot easier), it is quite a bit better compared to my last 5k race. (30:09) This was the kind of improvement I was hoping for over a year, and exceeded my expectations. Although I hope to be able to hold an 8:00 - 8:30 pace over much longer distances, that will come with longer runs I expect.

Disclaimer - There was Korn, Black Eyed Peas and Marilyn Manson playing during this run on my Ipod!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Easy 6 miler

Due to my light running week last week, I'm diving right back into my regular running routine. I did 6 miles today in 56:06. Because of the rain today, I ran on the treadmill, and again set the incline @ 2%. I started off at a 9:30ish pace for the first three miles, and then gradually increased the speed as I went along. It was - dare I say it - an enjoyable run! No aches, pains or problems what-so-ever! I plan on a quick 3 miles tomorrow, and then six with my wife on Saturday on the trails.

The rest of our racing schedule is final too and is as follows:

June 27th - Run Charlevoix 10k
July 11th - Cherry Festival 5k
August 1st - Film Festival 5k
September 19th - Harvest Stompede 5k (this is a pretty hard one)
October 10th - VASA 5k
October 18th - Grand Rapids Half Marathon

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25th - Intervals

I woke up today, ready to tackle an easy six mile run today, when I realized it was Monday. I typically do interval running on Monday's, mainly because it gives me some rest during the week before I do a long run. While I do run throughout the week, its mainly easy runs and maybe shorter tempo runs. I don't especially care for interval running, but know its good for increasing your speed and how fast your body will adapt to faster speeds so I deal with it.

I went out to do 8 x 400 repeats @ a 7:30 pace, or around 1:50 lap time, then walk/jog for half the time in between. (so about 55 seconds) I quickly found out I was probably doing them too slow, and next time will try for a 7:00 pace to see how that goes. I ended up doing 10 x 400 repeats at the 7:30 pace. My heart rate did get up into the 170's but just barely. I recovered down into the high 140's by the start of the next repeat until the last few repeats, when it stayed in the 150's in recovery.

I should note that I like to do my intervals on a treadmill versus a track. To account for the difference, I set the incline on the treadmill to 2%. This is supposed to make up for the lack of wind resistance you have when running on a treadmill, although I still think its easier. My heart rate monitor has a footpod so I can track indoor distances too (outside is GPS). The treadmill is usually within 2.5 - 5%, and it can go either way.

Post race, no bodily problems other than a sore shin, which is expected as I had to get new shoes just before the race. My wife did run into her first issue with chafing, so I'm getting a kick out of that. (I went through it a few times in a couple different places and learned what BodyGlide was real quick) Also, I we did have pictures that were taken about 3/4 of the way through the race; so they should be choice! Ill see if I can get a hold of those and post those later on.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bayshore 10k

Well, the race is complete and although the official time is not in yet according to my HRM, I came in 59:25, just beating the goal I had set! The course was basically completely flat except for one hill coming back into the college for the finish.

The start was veryyy slow due to the amount of runners for the 10k. It felt like I was held back the first mile, but I was @ a 9:16 pace at that point, so I kept it up. I bounced between 9:00 and 9:30 most of way. I ran negative splits the first three miles with mile one @ a 9:16 pace, mile 2 @ a 9:03 pace, and mile three @ a 9:01 pace. The fourth mile and fifth mile were run @ a 9:41 pace, and the sixth mile was @ a 9:55 pace. I knew I slowed down quite a bit after the turn around but I figured I had time to spare to reach my goal, and almost slowed down too much. I wasn't completely wasted at the end, and was able to push the last 2/10 @ around a 6:30 pace. We will most likely run this course again next year. Its nice to have a course that is flat when they say its flat. The last hill I mentioned is more of a minor nuisance than anything. My wife Corey also beat her previous best 10k time from Cincinnati, and came in @ an unofficial 1:08:00. (yea for Corey!) She also wasn't completely spent after this race which usually is an indication that going faster is possible. I feel pretty good about my time. I know I could have probably finished in 55:00 or so if I would have really, really pushed it but could have also gotten hurt. This is my second 10k, and to improve 6 minutes from the last race is pretty good in my opinion.

Our next race is tentatively the Charlevoix 10k run on June 27th. This course has more hills in it, likely exceeding the Cincinnati 10k we ran at the beginning of May. I think we are going to run the Cherry Festival 5k also, just because it's really flat, and we ran it last year.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three Mile Easy Run

With the Bayshore 10k on Saturday, I didnt want to push it too hard. Being holed up in a hotel in the Jackson, Michigan area, I decided an outside run wasnt what I had been wishing for. I finished the three miles on the treadmill with a 2% incline in 27:03. I started out easy @ a 9:00 minute mile and just kept it going at that pace. I had alot left at the end, but this was just to keep loose.

The weather forecast for the race isnt preferable by any means. There is rain and some wind in it, but its a 40% chance, so its a coin flip. The temperature is supposed to drop to the comfortable range, and not 80 degrees like today. Ill post the results after the run.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1st Post!

I am creating this blog to document the victories (and probable setbacks) on my quest to run the Grand Rapids Half Marathon in October '09 and eventual Full Marathon in '10, so hopefully this blog becomes something of a story!

To start off, I smoked cigarettes since I was 16 years old. (I am now 37). My wife and I started running to get in shape, but the goal has changed somewhat for myself. I have found it quite therapeutic to run in place of smoking! Being somewhat goal oriented, I have now signed up for the half marathon with the ultimate goal being a marathon. I have run numerous 5k's already and actually, the second 10k of the season is this Saturday at the Bayshore in Traverse City, Michigan. We had already ran the Cincinnati Flying Pig 10k earlier in the month. (time was 1:05; not great but something to work towards)

As I have a race this weekend, I am in a modified taper. I did run 3 miles yesterday in 26:15, which was my goal pace. I do have some soreness in my quads right now due to some weekend work, so am going to lay off running at all for a couple days. I might try an easy 3 mile run on Thursday to stay loose. I am hoping for a time under 1:00, although I hope I didn't jinx it by blogging it. I guess we will know on Saturday!

Like I mentioned, I hope to document this journey, which I would think will take at least a year, since the first goal is the half. I cant be ready for a full marathon by the end of the year with the half in October, so the Bayshore may be my full marathon initiation in '10!

Lastly, as a last edit to my post, I have linked my training program for the half that I start in July. For now, I am going to be running about 25 miles per week on average, depending on race schedules. (we have one 5-10k planned each month this summer) I will be using Hal Higdon's Intermediate training plan, which calls for gradual increases in distance. I have over 12 weeks to prepare for this, so this should ensure I dont end up with some kind of injury.