Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No time

The more I run, the more I eat. Strap on the feed bag Augustus!! I’ve blogged about this before but I think that it is worth revisiting.

One of my injury prevention strategies this training cycle is to make sure I get the calories I need. My approximate estimation is that I burn approximately 3000 calories a day. I’m assuming 2000 or so resting and about 1000 a day via running, lifting weights, or punting baby kittens. I try to avoid eating crap – because quite honestly it doesn’t sit as well as the good stuff does. The healthier I eat, the less my gut is able to take greasy food. I consistently try to jam shit down there (that’s what she said) to get the calories, but I usually end up regretting it later.

So, I try to eat healthy foods that are generally not very calorie heavy. The issue? Time. I can’t seem to get everything done before my “dinner” time. My schedule looks something like this:

Work: 8:30am – 7:30pm
Gym: 8:00 – 9:15 (approx)
Eat: 9:30???
Watch shitty summer TV: 10:00 – midnight
Sleep: midnight – 7:30

Somehow I just can’t force myself to eat before I work out. I still am afraid that I’ll end up barfing all over the bench press machine while grunting out my massively large 140 pound presses. Either that, or having some sort of ass-plotion while performing chin ups. Maybe both!

I’m honestly not sure what I am going to do. I could try to get some sort of routine where I eat before and hope for the best on the ass-plotion front, but I’m not sure that I’m willing to take that risk. Unfortunately, because of my transcontinental commute, working out before work isn’t an option that I’d like to explore either. How should I juggle my schedule to fit it all in??

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lollipop! Boom boom boom boom

Is it just me or have the commercials been better than TV lately? I'm sitting here in my hotel room flipping between a "show" that follows swamp loggers and a show about stripper cakes and the commercial below popped on.

This logging show is horrible. They bitch, piss, and moan about everything but they don't have any good personalities to go with it. I need to watch some good TV - you know, some TV about crab fisherman that bitch, piss, and moan about everything. Guys that smoke like chimneys but at the same time are funny!

Anyway, while I am gritting through this show like an old man through a prostate exam I saw the commercial below and I now have the song in my head and I LOVE it. Will I have to give away a corner of a man card for admitting I like this commercial? Probably. But, just like the extra $5 for the aromatherapy at the spa - totally worth it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Weeks worth of Running

I've been able to get quite a few good runs in while on vacation. That may make me a bit sadistic to run on vacation, but it gave me a chance to blow off some pent up vacation energy. Either that or burn off a few of the Pina Colatas. All drinks on the beach don't count towards daily calories, right?

6/22 - 3 miles @ 8:30 - Recovery
6/23 - 6 miles @ 8:00 - Longish run
6/24 - 6 mile crazy long "nature hike" (story below)
6/25 - 5 miles with 4xhills. 4x400 @ 6:22 pace w/ 5% incline and 400 rest @ 9:30 recovery pace
6/26 - Sweet glorious rest
6/27 - No runs. Planned MP day, however due to flights was not able to run
6/28 - 13.1 miles, 8:12 pace (1:47:32 total time)

Total weekly mileage: 33 miles

So, like I said earlier, I relented to the treadmill while in St Thomas. I couldn't handle the hills or the heat. Fail. As a result, my first two days of running were pretty much business as usual. My 'nature hike' is a completely different story. My wife and I decided to go to St John and go for a "quick" hike. It was supposed to be a 3 mile, downhill hike from one of the highest points on the island to the beach. We would then catch a cab at the plentiful resorts that would await us at the beach. THERE WERE NO RESORTS. Fail fail fail. Once we arrived on the beach, we found it deserted. (See picture to the right) My wife was NOT impressed. The great news? Not my fault! Yay! So, round trip we put in a solid 6 miles. It should count for more since my wife so so pissed we practically jogged up all 1000 feet of vertical assent.

Wow, that hill entry on the 25th seems VERY complicated and drawn out. I think that it kicked my ass just as much as it was complicated. It was the first time that I've done real hill work on the treadmill. I'm not sure if I liked it, but it definitely made me hit my paces. While I was running my hills, a ~18 year old kid was next to me running what seemed to be a progressive tempo run. Nothing like seeing a young guy inch closer and closer to my 'normal' pace to keep me motivated. We almost came to blows a time or two, but eventually cooler heads prevailed. We eventually just compared size of chest hair patches, I lost and then I cried myself to sleep.

Finally, my long run today was a scheduled 13 miles. As usual, I tacked on the extra 0.1 mile to make it a solid half marathon. I was able to keep the pace that I wanted to (8:15) even in the Arizona heat. I stayed VERY hydrated - to the point that for a while I started wondering if the various utility cabinets would cover my jumblies enough that the passing cars wouldn't call the cops. While I was able to hold the pace I wanted, my legs are a bit sore and tired after the run. Hopefully they'll be able to bounce back - 42 miles scheduled next week!

Whew. Now I can get caught back up on blogs. I have a feeling that I won't get through the 200+ that I need to until Monday night or so. Here I go!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thoughts on MJ

It is funny how I can be on a different continent (sort of? I guess on no continent at all..) and still hear about the death of Michael Jackson. I was in the health club getting ready for a massage when the receptionist told me she was surfing TMZ.com and said that she found it. Only in St Thomas.

By the time my massage was over, CNN.com had picked up the story - which gave it some credibility both to myself as well as the receptionist. On a side note, never underestimate the knowledge and power of receptionists and executive assistants. They are where ALL of the real work gets done. The rest of us can do well to just stay out of their way and watch the magic happen.

While I was saddened to hear about MJ's death, I was not surprised. He was the king of pop, but I will not be surprised if we find out that, much like Elvis the original king, he is hopped up on all sorts of pain killers and anti-kid touching meds.

Nevertheless, I was a fan. I am pretty sure that Thriller was in my batch of 10 "free" CDs from the strong arm people at BMG that I received shortly after buying my very first CD. (My first CD was Snow, Informer.... Don't hate because you're jealous) In fact, during "swing show" my senior year, my buddies and I lip synced to Jackson 5's I want you back. I couldn't find a picture of just how cool we were during Jackson 5, but I did find this to the right. How were we not covered in bras and panties thrown on stage? Your guess is as good as mine.

I hope that people can remember MJ for selling millions and millions of records in a time where music had staying power and people were able to forgive just a bit of his idiosyncrasies. Lord knows that MJ had them, but that was OK, because he put out some pretty good tunes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fake Beer!

On the first night, my wife and I got a welcome gift which included some nuts and a rum and coke. Score! Daddy like.

Since it was so late by the time we got in, we decided to pop down to the local hotel bar, get some bar food and a few drinks, and crash upstairs in our room. When I was down in the bar, after having the sterotypical Mai Thai, I asked the bar tender if he had any "local" beer. "Of course!" he said, "We have a dark and a summer ale." I tried the dark first and then the summer ale. They were both billed as being local "Virgin Islands Beer". In fact, one of them was called Black Beard Beer and the other was Island Summer Ale. Very Caribbean. Very islandy. Right? Wrong...wrong...wrong.....

When I was looking on the label to see where it was brewed (maybe a brewery tour while we are here?) I found out that not only were they not brewed in the Virgin Islands, they were brewed in MN and ME respectively!! I felt so cheated and violated that I immediately chugged my beer to get it out of my sight. Here is the 'proof' (click to enlarge):

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

St Thomas - Heaven?

If it isn't, I'm really in for a treat when I get to the Pearly Gates. Here is a picture from my seat on the beach:

And the view of a little baby island from the resturant Mafolie, way up on top of one of the highest hills on the island.

Thats it for now, got to go back to the beach! There are some old men in speedos that need made fun of - I can already tell.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Runnin' in St Thomas

6 miles: 10:05 pace

Hello from the sunny US Virgin Islands! I'm pretty sure that I didn't mention it before, but I am currently on a much needed week off on the island of St Thomas. I'll likely keep posting while I am here to keep you up to date (and to pass the time while my wife is resting) of my goings on.

Yesterday, I had 8 miles scheduled. Unfortunately, because of the flights I was not able to get my 6 mile marathon pace run in on Saturday. I tried to think as hard as I could to get the run in, but most of my thoughts had me running laps in the Atlanta Airport. I'll bet the TSA would love that.

However, yesterday, I did get in a longish run. I wasn't able to go quite as far as I would have liked (6 miles instead of 8) but it was still a killer run. My ass is still sore from the hills! The temperature here doesn't vary a whole lot - usually withing +/- 3 degrees of 82 - day or night. The humidity level is generally just south of 1,000,000%. Add that to the ridiculous hills in the area and I was pooped after just 6 miles. Figuratively, not literally. Whew! I ran the first three miles at ~8:20 pace and ran / walked the last 3 miles. I didn't want to kill myself off on the first day of a week long vacation.

To give you an idea of how hot it was, I took the above picture just after coming back from the run. I had drank a full 1.5L of water while out on the run and subsequently drank 2/3 of one after that. 2.5L of water - GAH!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gross and Bizarre Plane Ride

Last night, on my flight to Phoenix from Atlanta, I had one of the most strange and gross things happen to me. Of course, I thought that I'd share!

The flight was full and I was in an isle seat. We had just leveled off so I decided to crack open my crisp USA Today newspaper. I can almost smell the newspaper now.... Clean, crisp, informative, mmmm. No sooner had I cracked the front page of the front section when the guy in the middle seat next to me asks, "Mind if we share the paper?" "Sure!" I said being the normally friendly guy I am, "I have no problem with that at all!" What I SHOULD have said was "I'll give you the sections as I read them". I'm sure that I'm not the only one that likes to be the first one to read a paper all freshly folded. Never the less, I threw the remainder of the paper at him.

About 5 minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I see middle seat guy scratching his nose and proceed to wipe a bit of snot onto the top of a page of the newspaper that I had not read. A SECTION THAT I HAD NOT READ!!! I was so flabbergasted that I didn't know what to say. I was feeling a range of emotions ranging from shock, horror, and disgust. Sort of the way I envision a little kid feeling when he finds out for the first time where babies REALLY come from.

For the remainder of the 4 hour flight, I sat there in a state of shock and awe. He eventually asked if I wanted the paper back and I kindly refused. I've got enough snot on my hands from running thank you very much.

As if that weren't offending enough, as we were standing to get off of the flight and I was getting my suitcase down from the overhead, he tried to sneak past me when it was our turn to leave! So, I promptly gave my suitcase a purposefully quick jerk which sent it flying into his head. "Opps, sorry there watch your head" I mumbled.

Blow your nose next time before you get on the flight - and maybe put some ice on that head.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beer - The best motivator

Over the last 5 days, I've been on an accidental sobriety bender. (Can you have benders where you DON'T drink?) You see, between work, travel, working out, and running I have had exactly zero time or energy to knock back a few. This went through my mind this morning at 6:00am. Before you call AA on me for thinking about beer at 6 in the morning, let me explain....

Today was an interval speed day. I was scheduled to run 4x800. That means that I run 1/2 a mile at about 5K pace or a bit faster. For me, about 6:15 - 6:20 per mile. However, when my alarm went off at 6:00am, I was sleepy......REALLY sleepy.

You see, lately I have been working on the east coast but living my life on west coast time as much as possible. I run at 8:00pm, I eat dinner around 9:30pm, and go to bed around 12:30pm - not getting up until 7:45am. However, on Thursdays since I have to fly in the afternoon I have to run in the morning. Confused? Me too.
Basically what this means is that I have to run 3 miles on Wednesday around 8:00pm and then turn right around on Thursday and have my hardest running day of the week at 6:00am the next morning. Oyy. only 10 hours of turnaround makes me tired.

So, as I laid in bed trying to talk myself out of running so early "you could use the extra rest, it wil actually help you run FASTER, etc", one thing came to mind - BEER. Previously, I told myself on Wednesday night that as soon as I landed on Thursday I was going to raid my father in laws beer stash and go to down. If I have stupid intervals to run when I get home on Thursday night, there is NO way that I would be able to have beer(s). I.immidiatly.got.out.of.bed.

Good thing, my interval workout wasn't too bad:

1 mile warm up @ 8:22 pace
1st interval @ 6:26 pace (had to run around construction slowly)
2nd interval @ 6:05 pace
3rd interval @ 6:12 pace
4th interval @ 6:11 pace
1 mile cool down @ 7:46 pace

I jogged / walked an average of 1/4 mile in between each set. NOW, bring on the beeeer. Shoot, maybe I'll shotgun one for old time sake.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm a Homeowner (again)

Houses toured: ~35
Offers submitted: 3
Number of times offer was above list price: 2
Number of relatives and friends that all of a sudden became real estate experts: Countless
Buying a home that the head of household hasn't seen: Priceless

Whatever happened to those Mastercard commercials anyway? I always got a kick out of them. I guess I'll just have to settle for the Southwest airlines "Wanna get away?" ones.

Yes, that is right - I bought a house! Yes, that is also right - I have yet to set foot in it. I figure that I trust my wife enough to know what I like and don't like. One of the downsides of traveling I suppose. Besides, if I don't like it I have the next 10 years to complain. "Yeah, you don't want to watch football huh? Well, I let you buy the house...soooo....." Kidding, kidding.

Here are a few pictures of the final product. It is a foreclosure, so the pool pictures are from the previous owner. Since this is a foreclosure, my realtor (a family friend) was really good about looking up the previous MLS listings of the two houses that we put offers on to find 'lived in' pictures of what it could look like. This probably sold me on this house.


Current Kitchen

Pool Before

Current "Pool"

There were a few things that were "interesting" about house hunting in Phoenix:
  • The market is hot again. All of the nice houses that we looked at or remotely liked had multiple offers within days of us looking at them - including the two houses that we ultimately put offers on.
  • While the market is hot, the houses are ~60% of their 2005-6 value and nearly 90% of the houses that we looked at were either short sales or foreclosures. Our house is no different.
  • I found that one of the most important things for me is being in a nice neighborhood. That said, the neighborhoods in Phoenix are really spotty. You could be in a McMansion neighborhood in one minute and half a mile later be in the ghetto.
  • Even though the neighborhoods are spotty, they are, for the most part, really nice. Houses don't seem to age nearly as bad here as they do in the Midwest.
I'm very excited - but at the same time I'm trying to hold back my excitement a little bit to avoid becoming "that guy". Everyone who talks to me a on a regular basis needs to hold me to that!

Monday, June 15, 2009

6/14 Weekend Runs

I haven’t had a straight up running update in a while so I thought that I’d post one to let you know how my first two weeks of training have been.

6/13: 5 miles, 7:31 pace (MP run)

My marathon pace run was in Iowa which was surprisingly cool. In fact, it was very unseasonably cool. I mentioned yesterday that there was a marathon near my hometown on Saturday. To be honest, the people at the Marathon to Marathon had about as good of weather as expected for June in the Midwest! Running there in June is like playing weather Russian roulette – only 4/5 of the chambers have bullets.
Since the run was so cool, while running I constantly had to watch my pace. I think that I was really revved up and ready to go after having two crappy runs in a row. The good news is that I didn’t feel like I was going to barf, die, or not be able to go any further… all things that I felt on my run on Thursday. Overall I basically kept the pace I wanted to (if not a bit faster).

6/14 11 miles, 8:13 pace (Long Slow Run)

My wife and I had some pretty early flights back to PHX and ATL respectively, so I wasn’t able to run in the morning. I really don’t like running my long runs in the evenings because I am anxious about the long runs all day long. Yes, after running for a solid 3 years, I still get a touch anxious about long runs. Fail. So, once I landed in ATL, drove to the hotel and got changed it was 10:00pm. Suck. To top it off, I had spent part of the plane ride putting some podcasts on my iPod to listen to while running. However, when I went to turn my iPod on, it wouldn’t start (probably due to a sync error). Suck suck. So, I went out and proceeded to crank out my 11 miles.
The run went well. I believe that it was the first 10+ mile run since my last marathon. As a result, I’m a bit sore today – but it is a good sore. The kind that will likely go away after my 3 miler tonight. The only downside is that it was dark – really dark. I scared myself with a few odd looking stumps a few times and a couple of bikers REALLY scared me twice.

33 miles for the week. I’m not sure of my overall pace because I still haven’t had time to look into Buckeye Outdoors.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

10 years - Iowa High School Style

The older I get, the faster time seems to slip through my fingers. I can only assume that as I get older and older this will only get worse. Although, that isn't to say that it is all a bad thing. After all, I can buy beer now! Yay!

The reason for my lack of blog posts this weekend is because I have been in my northwest Iowa hometown for my 10 year class reunion. I graduated with a whopping 65 people in my class, but despite the small numbers (or maybe because of them?) we have had nearly 50% return for each reunion that we have had thus far.

Here are the 'class' photos at 5 and 10 years out. Of course, highlighted with a red arrow of yours truly.

5 Years:

10 Years:

We are a really fun group. I was able to reconnect with a few people that I had lost track of and reminisce about all of the old High School stories that everyone has and everyone loves. Of course, even after 10 years it was still a bit "clicky" but for the most part, we all just had a really good time. I was, like at my 5 year, amazed at how many people had kids and how many people hadn't changed a lick.

Finally, there was a marathon (The Marathon to Marathon) on Saturday that was mostly through the corn fields of Iowa that finished in Marathon, IA. After the reunion at the bar, I met a relative of my wife that ran it this year. So, not only did she finish a marathon in June in blazing hot Iowa, she was at the bar that night! Talk about setting the bar HIGH for my next race!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Call me the blog-burgler

A friend of a friend recently posted this on her blog. So, being the kind of guy that I am, that is lazy… worthless… efficient, I decided that I too would post it because it cracks me UP! “Is this even real life?” ha.

Now, don’t get me wrong – this thing is like a month old. But, I’d like to think that I’m still a bit ahead of the curve. I was talking to a friend of mine about how I am getting old and can’t keep up with the “kids” and their crazy fads. I told her that as long as I am at least within 5 years of fads, I still consider that “in”.

[15:37] Tera: THE NEW EMINEM CD!!!
[15:38] adamrisu: is that the one w/ the barfing song on it?
[15:39] Tera: that's like a way old song
[15:39] Tera: from like his 2nd cd maybe
[15:39] adamrisu: are you serious?
[15:40] adamrisu: I don't care what you say Tera, I'm hip

[15:43] Tera: oh nope, i just looked it up - puke was from encore (his last cd, released in 2004)
[15:44] adamrisu: whew. See, i'm still cool.
[15:44] Tera: yeah, only 5 yrs behind ;-)
[15:44] adamrisu: Tera, I'll take 5 years behind ANY Day of the week
[15:44] Tera: do you still use winamp?
[15:45] adamrisu: No, I finally upgraded to iTunes once I got my iPod.
[15:45] adamrisu: How old is itunes?
[15:45] adamrisu: 5 years?
[15:45] adamrisu: I've probably been using it for just over a year

[15:45] Tera: 5 yrs ago probably would have only been early adopters
[15:45] Tera: but probably mainstream for like 3 yrs
[15:46] adamrisu: Hells yeah! Ahead of the 5 year curve!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Running History Update - Including Puke?

Gosh, I've fallen behind on my running updates, so this post will likely be long and a bit attention deficit disor.....I love lady bugs!

First, I am still on a hunt for a good, easy to use, online upload utility. I seem to be a bit fickle about what I like and what I don't like so finding one has been a challenge. Of course, I've been so busy with actually running that I honestly haven't had a lot of time to look into many of them. One of the podcasts that I listen to looooves them some buckeyeoutdoors, so I might try that one out next. Until then, I've resorted to an Excel spreadsheet. I'm a dork.

Next, my running has been going well. I'm still able to keep up with most of the runs and hit most of the paces that I would like to (if not a bit faster - doh). Last week I only ran 23 miles when I was scheduled to do 30. That is 100% because I didn't get in the full 10 miles on Sunday when I did the 5K. In hindsight, I should have swapped my MP run (Saturday) and my long run (Sunday) so that I could have called the 5K my MP run. Oh well, come hell or high water I'm going to get in the 30 miles this week.

Speaking of hell, I had one of my worst runs in a while last night. I was scheduled to do my mid week sorta-long run of 5 miles. However, all of the people on the account team (30 people or so) all had tickets to the Braves/Pirates game. Much like all of those times I went to check out the guy in the black van who was giving away candy, how could I say no to that?! Let's look at the numbers:

Miles gutted out: 5
Garmin watches left at work: 1
Pre run carbo load beers: 4
Pre run ballpark french fries and chicken strips: 1
Time run started: 10:45
Time run finished: 11:27
Times I wanted to throw up during the run: 1,000,000
Times I actually threw up: 0
Times I had to talk to myself to keep running: 5
Number of idiots who actually ran the 5 miles after the above: 1
Overall pace of run: 7:35

When I got back to the hotel and had the desk guy holler out the minutes and seconds I found out why I was sucking wind so bad (other than because of the beer). I ran the F'ing run about 30 seconds a mile too fast! What is worse than calling yourself an idiot? Maybe a dolt? Let's go with that. I'm a dolt. On a side note the hotel front desk guy (who I am now pretty good buddies with) was really cool about timing me since I forgot my watch in the office. Good job Marriott.

Finally, here are some stats on the rest of my runs over the past week. I'll get better about regular running updates.

Thur 4-Jun: 4.6 miles 8:26 - Hill workout!
Sat 6-Jun: 5 miles 7:19 - Good solid MP run - although it was just a bit too fast
Sun 7-Jun: 3.1 miles 6:25 - 5K PR, consider yourself rocked
Mon 8-Jun: 3 miles 8:30 - Ohh, recovery run how I love you so
Tues 9-Jun: 5 miles 7:35 - Puke? Not quite

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First Class

I fly a lot. During any given year, I’ll take 35-40 round trip flights. As a result, I accumulate a LOT of frequent flyer miles. Up until recently, this just meant that I didn’t have to pay to visit exotic locals friends or family. (SCORE!!) However, last week something very different happened. I made Silver Status on Delta.

What does Silver Status give me? You ask? Well, when I looked hoping to find automatic entry to the mile high club (I checked – nope), I basically found that I get more bonus miles when I fly. Well, that and I am eligible for first class upgrades. Yes, THAT first class. You know, those snooty people that the airline forces you walk past as they are sipping their mimosas? They make me want to punch them in the face every time. I am one of those people now! I think that I am going to start wearing a hockey mask when everyone else is boarding just in case.

Ever sense I made silver status, I have been upgraded to first class. I’m two for two!! Let me tell you, it is niiiiiice. It has been like “The Beverly Hillbillies go to Maui”. Although, I have tried to keep my overalls buttoned up. I was talking to my wife the other day and we both agreed that we were both quite ignorant as to the level of service in first class. That is, not only was I served a full hot breakfast, but I also had all the drinks I could stand, and was practically force fed pretzels and peanuts. Shit, they even had REAL silverware. I could hardly stand it.

Now, just to be clear, I’m not a very fancy guy. I have my moments (e.g. my watch) but am generally pretty low maintenance. I don’t dry clean anything and I certainly don’t drive a very nice car. However, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy some top notch service while on my 4 hour flight to and from Phoenix courtesy of my buddies over at Delta.

Now that everyone has heard about my awesome experience in first class, everyone can now feel free to mentally kick me in the junk / poke pins into the crotch of their Adam Voodoo dolls.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Run For Vania 5K Race Report!

aka "Opps, I need a new summer goal"
aka "Arizona running is super fun"

I officially finished the 3.1 miles in 19:56 (6:25 pace). That is good for 11th overall place out of 149 and 2nd in my age group!

This race was a last minute add to my running schedule. I wanted to run a race early in the summer to set a baseline for my fitness to see how much I had improved during my training over the course of the summer. Well, that and I just can't get enough of those diced up bagel bits. Mmmmm. Like I said earlier, we all received an email stating that the race was going to be 3.44 miles long. I was honestly quite pissed. However, when we got there, they told us that it was indeed 3.11 (or, a 5K). It turns out that when they had went to click off the 'official' distance, a gate was closed. Now, how having a gate closed makes the race longer and not shorter - I'll never know.

My wife didn't come with on this race because it was SOOO early at a 6:30am start (I can't blame her a bit), so it was nice to fly solo for one. As a result, I was responsible for my own pre/during/post race pictures. I think that I got quite a few good ones. For example, here is a picture of the prerace crowd (about 30 min before the race started):

1st mile: 6:31
Since this was my first 5K that I've ran HARD, I wasn't quite sure how fast I should go out. So, I just decided to find a good group of people and run with them for a while. Hey they are:

2nd mile: 6:31 - how about some consistency!?
The second mile took us on a hard packed dirt path along a canal. I was able to hold my time and started to pass people. In fact, I passed all of the people except for one in the one mile picture above as well as this two mile picture below:

3rd mile: 6:22
I was starting to get substantially tired during this mile. I honestly wasn't sure how fast I was running, but I knew that it was fast. Possibly too fast? I was trying to hold a 6:40 pace throughout the entire race (which would have gave me ~21:00) but every time I'd look down, my watch would say 6:20. There were a few annoying (albeit small) hills (ok, not hills, maybe just mounds) along the lake, but I was able to grunt through them.

0.1 mile: 32 seconds. (Yeah, my garmin must have been a 'bit' long on those first three)
When I heard my watch beep at 3 miles, I looked down and saw that I was at around 19:20. "Oh shit" I thought to myself, "I am not only going to beat 21:00, I may beat 20:00!!" So, I essentially sprinted to the end to ensure that I would make it. The race clock said 19:55 when I crossed, but I'll admit that it might have actually been 19:56.

Here is a picture of me about 10 seconds after the race ended. I had to brace myself against a tree. When I pointed that out to my wife, she said "yeah, you normally have to brace yourself after a race". Yeah, after a race AND during "business time".

All in all, I am VERY excited about my finish. I was a full minute faster than even my best goal. The race was very well organized, was extremely punctual, and had great pre/post race organization. If this organization is what I have to look forward to with the Arizona Road Racers, I'll race every one of their events! The spread:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Funny Photo Friday

Hooray alliteration! So, I have two funny pictures for Friday:

First, the file name for this picture is called "only in middle school". Yup, seems about right.

Second, my 10 year high school reunion is in two weeks, so everyone is posting old high school pictures on facebook. So, here is a picture from my senior prom. I was actually dumped around two weeks before prom, so a friend (who was also dumped) and I went stag. I'll give you two guesses which guy is me. You're only going to need one.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

So many running updates, so little time

I officially signed up for the Vania's Run 5k this weekend in Tempe, AZ. It will only be my second 5K. The only problem is the email that I received today: “The 5k course was measured with a GPS at 3.44 miles. The one mile is approximately 1.08 miles. Here is the link to the course, http://www.mapmyrun.com/ride//az/tempe/553124389789630097”. WTF. I love long lovin’, long walks on the beach, and long… socks, but I don’t like longer than normal races. I don’t get it, so does that mean that it is 3.1 miles or is it 3.44? If it is 3.44, I’m going to be a bit disappointed because I will not be able to tell my EXACT time. I’ll probably still stop my Garmin at 3.1 to see how I did.

The Marathon training for the Twin Cities Marathon has officially started. Well, okay – it started on Monday. But, just like in high school, I’m a little slow. Not in a running way, more in an “I like to eat glue” kind of a way.

Either way, I’ve started my Hal Higdon Advanced I training. Like I said earlier, it adds tempo runs, interval runs, and HILL WORK. I’m a tempo and hill virgin, so my first time I can only assume is going to be elbowy and awkward.

Mon: 3 miles, 7:52 pace, 4pm in Phoenix…. 99 degrees. Yes, I am an idiot.
Tues: 5 miles, 8:09 pace
Weds: 3 miles, 8:44 pace (recovery run)
Thrs: 4.6 miles, 8:26 pace – HILL WORK OUT

I completed my first hill workout on Thursday. It was interesting. First, it was raining (actual radar to the right). Not like a little sprinkle, I’m talking soak my shorts pool peepee shrinkage raining. I did keep my shirt off which I would like to think scared as many kids as Michael Jackson at 6 flags. Higdon said to run 3xhill, so that is what I did. I meant to run 1/4 of a mile, but when I got back and downloaded from my Garmin, it turned out to be 0.20 miles. Fail.

0.20 miles:
1:10 min @ 5:55 pace
1:10 min @ 5:47 pace
1:11 min @ 5:54 pace

I walked / jogged down the hill so that I was completely recovered by the time I was finished. It looks like I walked / jogged down the hill around 11:00 pace. Is this what I am supposed to do?

No Time!

I can only assume that there are two reasons for the 10% rule of gradually increasing your running mileage.

First, it is so you don't get hurt, blah blah blah.
Second, and most importantly, it is because you need to organize your life in such a way that you can account for the time commitment required.

This week, I’m running 30 miles. I peak out at 58.

You see, quite ironically, I’m running so much that I haven’t had time to actually BLOG about running so much! So, I’ve told myself that since I’m running my first EVER hill workout tonight and should be running very fast, I’ll have time to blog about my training for the Twin Cities Marathon.

That, or I’ll be so zonked out by the intense workout that I’ll keel over in my hotel room and not get anything more done. I’m hoping for #1.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

House Hunting, Running, and Working

Since the move I’ve been very busy.  Even though I made a good attempt last night at getting caught up on blogs, I still have a few that I need to read.  So, here is my life over the past few days – in attention deficit disorder approved bullets!

  • For the most part, we’re settled into my inlaws house.  My old boss said that when he moved in with his inlaws while building a house, he about killed his wife.  While I hope to not have to resort to first degree murder, hopefully we’ll find a house soon.  If all else fails, hopefully I’ll only get second degree murder – tops.
  • Our house hunt did start in earnest on Monday.  We looked at about a dozen houses but didn’t really find any that we’d put an offer on.  We DID see a lot of lime green pools that had not been taken care of.  Here is a picture of me taking a drink to see if it was a salt water pool or not.  Mmmm, minty.
  • I am starting to run VERY regularly again. I’m following Hal Higdon’s Advanced I schedule which has me running 6x per week – toping out around 57 or 60 miles per week.  Bring on the feed bag!!!!  I can already tell after 4 days of regular running that I’m becoming hungrier and hungrier for food to fuel my muscles……and for a new Hanson album.  Those little mop top boys just put out a quality product and I can’t get enough.
  • My first “official” flight from Phoenix to Atlanta went okay.  I was upgraded to first class which rocked my face off.  Nothing like a 4 hour flight to get some pampering.  Daddy like.  Although, on the free in flight TV, CNN was showing coverage of the Air France flight crash.  Not exactly something that I needed to see while flying at 39,000 feet. 
  • Finally, I did end up registering for a few additional races.  The 5K “Run For Vania” in Kiwanis Park Tempe, AZ (this weekend) as well as the Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon (in January).  Since the 5K is this weekend and starts at 6:30am, my wife said that I am “on my own”.  I’ll try to run w/ a camera Steve in a Speedo style and am going to try to break 21:00 as a nice “benchmark” (and a 15 min PR!!).  Of course, I will have ran 5 miles at MP the day before, so even doing that will be a stretch.