Sunday, January 17, 2010

Too Cold?

As soon as I planned my travel for this week that included a weekend layover in the Dallas area, I went in search of a run. I've struggled to get any decent runs in. Just one over 4 miles since Marine Corps, and that was just over 5 miles.

Today's event, Too Cold to Hold , had a 5k or a 15k option. In my mind, I kept going back and forth as to whether I would do either and, if I did run, then which event. I knew from history that anything short of getting out there for the 15k would leave me disappointed in myself. I had packed for a chilly day.

Yesterday, I made schlep #1 to register and pick up my packet at the Run On! shoe store. This was the first event that I've ever done with a Clydesdale category. That's for men over 200 pounds. I signed up for the 15k. When checking out, the clerk says: "Are you from Baltimore?" Wow, I said, how did you know? Uhh, the Raven's jersey you're wearing. Duhhh! She's from Havre de Grace, MD, and, she told me when I saw her before the run, she's the cousin of a very famous Marylander also born in HdG . . . Guesses anyone? How about Cal Ripken, Jr! Pretty cool.

Anyway, this morning I stopped for a Starbucks and headed out for schlep #2 -- 45 miles to the starting line, hit the port-o-potty and got ready to go. Temps were in the mid-40's. I opted for running tights, a short sleeve shirt and hat. The course was an out and back half way around a big lake, with one small hill, but otherwise flat.

My goal was to run an 11 mile pace, ideally breaking 100 minutes for the 9.33 miles.

There were about 1200 runners starting out -- 700 for the 15k, the balance for the 5k. As the race began, I found myself with an 11 minute pace group led by the running store. Pure luck, no doubt. I was able to keep up with the group, getting past them at one point. It felt good to be out there and I never questioned my decision to go long.

Other than walking the four water stops and two bathroom breaks, that cost me about 4-5 minutes total, I felt great. I chatted with a number of folks along the way and was very glad that I ran it.
My time was 1:43:07, just over an 11 minute pace. I couldn't be happier with it, given the bathroom necessities.
Of course, the schwag wasn't too bad either. A nice long sleeve t-shirt and a wool cap. Love the cap!

Time to start planning the next one!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Out the Window

No other way to put it. Just throwing all of my goals for 2010 out the window. No other choice really. And its a good thing.

Why is that? Well, my "involuntary semi-retirement" is over. (Yeay!)

I started a new job as Director of Special Projects for a company in my old industry, based in North Florida. (No, no relocation planned.) I couldn't be more excited.

It's not that I didn't accomplish anything during my hiatus. I watched the complete The West Wing tv series on cable. There was also the Daniel Silver thriller series featuring Israeli Secret Service killer Gabriel Allon. (Outstanding reading, by the way. Check out The Kill Artist first.) I'm very proud.

There was also the daily morning coffee that I shared with my Mrs. I'll most certainly miss that the most.

The new position will require a lot of travel. Though travel can be diet and exercise destructive, I'm determined not to let it be so. I found a 24 Hour Fitness near my hotel in Fort Worth, TX Wednesday night and had a great spin class and run. Gotta keep that up.

It's time to move on and put 2009 behind me and have a great 2010 and beyond.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back on the Wagon

It's been a very good week back on the wagon. Actually, It's been a great week and a fantastic start to the year.

Since last Monday's crash, I've been going non-stop, hitting the gym every day since Tuesday. I've finally gotten my running back going with 11 miles last week in addition to 33 spin miles and 3 Body Pump classes.

My diet has gone back the right way as well. While I'm not full blown South Beaching, I am using that as my base with added fruits like bananas and oranges. Other than that and a Clif Bar before workouts, it's all going well. I've dropped 12 of the refound pounds, now weighing in at 252.

So far, I've run every day in 2010, at least two miles. I've never done any "run every day" kind of self-challenge, but I think it's time. For the month of January, my goal is to run at least two miles a day. It would be a great start to the year.

Now, I've bowed to my many fans for more posts. Hope to have many more to come.


Monday, January 4, 2010

2010: The Year of the Bike

2010 will be the best year ever. To start with, most of the fun will be on two wheels.

I had a great summer of biking last year and on numerous occasions, running got in the way. Not to say I won't run this year, but I really am focused on bike fitness.

My calendar isn't complete, but in the early part of the year, the only event will be the Tri-to-Help indoor tri in early March. This was the same event that I did last year.

I'm looking at a number of biking events of metric century (62 miles) and century distance. A few are on my calendar to the left.

As for running, no marathons planned for the year. The training is just too intense. I'm focusing on distances from 10k to half marathons.

So, here are the targets for 2009:
  • Running: 800 miles
  • Cycling: 2,000 miles
  • Spinning: 1,000 miles

These numbers will be tough to hit, especially depending on how the job situation works out, but I'm game to give it a try!

What's missing? Oh, my weight. Well, I've got to give that elusive 199 another shot. Yes it's a long way, but that too can be done!

Onward. . .


Saturday, January 2, 2010

It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times

It's hard to categorize 2009 as a good year or bad year. There was plenty of good, but much of it is overshadowed by bad.

The year started out with grand plans. I was finally going to hit that weight goal and was finally going to crack the 1,000 mile barrier for both running and cycling. With four half marathons and a full on the schedule, I'd need my feet to stay healthy, but I figured that the mileage goals would be hard to miss with those big runs planned.

Unfortunately, early in January, my professional life came to a halt as I was laid off from my job after 19 years. With a decent severance package, I didn't worry too much early on. There was plenty of time to get working. As the days became weeks and weeks became months, it's suddenly 2010 and I'm still not employed. This cast a pall over the last half of the year as I struggled to keep positive.

The layoff was great for cycling. In June, I rode more than 300 miles, much of it with my neighbor, also laid off. Good news for him that his layoff was short. By the end of the year, I had eclipsed 1,100 miles, beating 2008 by 200 miles including a return to the Seagull Century and a new ride at the Covered Bridges ride, both of which I look forward to annual rituals.

As for running, there was tremendous progress here as well. I completed four half marathons between March and May and trained for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. Over the course of the year, my times continued to improve. Though my weight was stagnant for most of the year, I credit my new found speed to weight workouts and the morning boot camp.

When the marathon training heated up with more and more miles, I dropped my strength program. There is no question in my mind that this had a negative effect on the marathon as I slowed considerably and a toe issue as well as illness the week leading into the marathon really impacted my endurance. Though I did finish, I feel like there is unfinished business there.

After the marathon, my running essentially stopped. With 860 miles run, I beat 2008 by 300 miles, but still fell short of my elusive goal, which was well within reach at the end of October.

The scale was my nemesis as I stagnated around 230 for most of the year. Given the volume of training through the summer, to stay even was a true disappointment, and I knew that if I stopped training or even slowed my routine, I'd need a big change in my diet. Ultimately, I proved myself right on the money here (see my last post!)

So that is the year in review. Stay tuned for 2010 goals . . .