Thursday, December 30, 2010

Running is part of my routine

I feel like I've reached that point.

That doesn't mean every run is welcome or even great. Yesterday for example was pretty sucky; my chest was tight, my legs felt like lead. I was more glad than usual to be finished my five miles after struggling through every one. Yet, I did it. Never thought about giving it up and was ready to go out again today. And today's WAS great!

I started a few weeks ago determined to get a routine going. I feel like I'm there. I look forward to getting out there. Sometimes with more enthusiasm than other times. If I find a day that I can't run when planned; I find myself trying to adjust rather than giving it up entirely just because I had to adjust. I'm not making excuses. I'm being realistic about how long it should take and just doing it. It's hard to put to words how this makes me feel. It has had an effect on my outlook toward the running but also on the actual running itself. I like it :)

Tomorrow is a day off. That's another good side effect. I feel that I've earned this day off. I dont feel like a slacker. Anyway, tomorrow is a day off and on Saturday I start my official training schedule for Gettysburg. 8 miles on Sat and 6 on Sunday. We have a Phillyfit meeting set up for Saturday to celebrate the New Year at 10 am. I'm looking forward to see who shows up.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve run with friends

Today, Friday, I met with a few Phillyfitters at Valley Forge Park. This was my fourth day in a row this week. I'm pretty impressed with myself. I typically only go 3 in a row. I had a lot of fun.

We met at the parking lot below the visitor's center and went around the loop (about 5 miles). There were 9 of us. 4 of us dressed in Santa hats and bells in honor of the day! It was a gorgeous day today. Blue skies, lots of sun. It was very cold too but the sun really makes all the difference.

When I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm went off I was momentarily not thrilled. However, I really glad I went.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hey baby, it's cold outside

This week should have looked like this

Walk-3mile-4 miles-3miles-rest-5 miles-4 miles.
It ended up like this
Rest-4 miles-2 miles-off-rest-5 miles- 6 miles

Monday it was too cold out to walk. Running is one thing but walking is tougher.

Tuesday the temps were not even at 30 and the wind chills were approaching the teens. I am determined however so I layered up. Three layers on top, two layers on bottom, two pairs of gloves, a hat and my ear covering head band. I put Aquafor on my feet and my face. The aquafor worked really well. I missed the spot just under my chin and the difference was very obvious. I did a nice 4 mile loop around the edges of the borough with some extra loops up and down some side streets off 252. I was amazed at how comfortable the run felt. I just ran… no worries about pace.. I just ran. The last half mile was a bit of a struggle. My lungs were starting to feel the cold and I felt like I was straining. I finished 4 miles in sub 30 degrees (and dark) though. I’m very happy.

On Wednesday it was about 5 degrees warmer and not quite as windy. I dressed the same except for only one layer on the bottom and went out for 2 miles. It was uneventful and at the end I still had a good amount of energy left. That was a nice feeling. Wednesday was also my birthday which is why only 2 miles. I had a birthday date to get to. :)

On Thursday it snowed. I would like to run while snow is coming down but I determined it unsafe this time. The conditions were particluarly icy and I don'thave the yaktrax yet. At least one of us (me or the cars) should be steady on the road.

On Friday I planned to make up Thursday's run. But I didn't. I felt an extra layer of tired that I didn't think I wanted to work through. It's possible if I had I would have felt great but I didn't really think so. Considering I fell sound asleep on the couch right after dinner, I think I made the right choice.

On Saturday, I had a fantastic 5 mile run with Helen, Sammy, and Mary Kay at Valley Forge today. Cold but sunny. We did 3 and 1's. I felt really good. Changed my mileage to 6 for tomorrow. I think I'm ready and that will keep my mileage up for the week after losing Thursday.

Today I went out for 6 around Media. It was only 27 when I left the house but my extra layers and Aquafor kept me comfortable. I wouldn’t say this one was easy but for once my mind was stronger than my body. It was all about finishing; 11 miles for the weekend.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First full week of training for Gettysburg Marathon

So this week (Dec 6 - 12) was supposed to be my first full week back to training and then .. well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. That's ok though, I'm determined not to let little things (or big things if I can help it) wear away at my attitude. This week should have been

Mon - Walk
Tues - 2 miles
Wed - 3 miles
Thu - 2 miles
Fri - rest
Sat - 3 miles
Sun - 4 miles

Well on Monday I had to work a 12 hour day and didn't arrive home until after 9 PM. Bone tired. I don't want to walk at night especially that tired. So I skipped it. I also realized that I have to work Saturday and combined with the Phillyfit party Saturday evening I will not get out to run. So I redistributed my miles like this:

Mon - OFF
Tues - 2 miles  - I ran my 2 mile hilly run. In Media it's easy to run a hilly run. They are everywhere. It was very cold (low 30s') but I did well and felt great. I'd like to do that run at least once a week; either by itself or in combination with something else. It has one long slow hill and one short steep hill and the route goes up AND down both.
Wed - 3 miles.  - On the way home from work I heard it was 31 degrees out. For an instant I thought about not running. Then I remembered that my first two marathons were in similar temps. If I could last over 5 hours, then certainly I could manage the 3 miles I had planned for tonight. I did. Once I got started I was fine.
Thu - 3 miles.  - The weather was even colder tonight. 29 degrees. I thought twice about going out. Then I looked at the forecast for next week and found out it will be even colder. *Sigh* so if I bail now what am I going to do next week. So out I went. And you know what? It was ok. I did the same 3 miles as last night but in reverse.
Fri - 2 miles - still cold but in the low 30's now. Great 2 mile run. A little rebellion from my legs at the end. I think that's the first time I've run 4 days in a row.
Sat - rest
Sun - 4 miles - Today's run ended up being 5 miles at the VF loop. Sammy C and I made plans to meet there this morning at 9:00. Sammy didn't make it but since I was there I went out. It was a very windy run .. so windy that the water coming out of the fountain was blowing sideways in one gust that of course came by just when I wanted a drink. It was humid out from all the rain in the morning but it did not rain at all while I was out there... and it was 50+ degrees! :)

So I did a total of 19 miles for the week. I ran all my running days and skipped the walk day for another day of rest. That is a good week!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hello again....

My blogging for the past six months was over at the USAFit/Philly blog. It might be confusing to keep two blogs but I think, I'm going to keep my personal training stuff here and just comment on group stuff over there.

So, I'm back.......

It's time to start thinking about training for Gettsyburg. I've decided to use Hal Hidgon's Intermediate I schedule with a few modifications. I'm reversing the Saturday and Sunday schedules so I'll be going long on Saturdays and shorter on Sundays. That's the habit we've gotten into with Phillyfit and it works for me. I like the idea of running again on Sunday. When I trained for Goofy I ran back to back Sat and Sun and I believe I was in the best shape of my short running career at that time. The second mileage day is shorter in this plan but still I think there will be benefits.

I haven't read the descriptions for each day of the schedule yet but at first glance there doesn't seem to be any hill, tempo or speed workouts. So I've made my own notes to add those on the Tuesday and Thursday runs. Of course a lot of that depends on the weather. If it's icy or snow out just getting the miles in will be the priority. My primary goal is not to miss any workouts. That means all the runs plus core workouts on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. An 18 week schedule will start the week between Christmas and New Year's Until then I added my own distances (starting this past Sunday) working up to the 'official' start on December 28th. I have plenty of cold weather gear and I plan to ordre a pair of yaktrax in case we get another winter like last year. I'm determined not to let the weather stop me.

I admit to a small reservation about two 20 milers but I think if I stick to the schedule I'll be ready when the time comes. I'll take it one week at a time. Worst case, is I skip the first 20 miler and just do the second one. I really want to try for both though.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A wandering 50 minutes

I thought I had a planned route today but somehow it didn't come to be. I headed out shortly after work and got so lost in my head that I passed the turn I intended to make. Interesting. And very liberating! So I continued to run turning here or not and there or not and meandered through my neighborhood with no idea of time or distance.

After a bit I stopped back in the house for a drink and some stretches. I looked at the clock and saw that I was out for 15 minutes. I went back out again with a plan in mind only to change it part way into it and ran for another 25 minutes.

It felt really good.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A nice run followed by an even nicer walk

I met some USAFit/Philly friends at Oaks today. (2 weeks until our official start). We ran the Audobon Loop (4 miles). I cut off at the dog park spur and began walking. I walked to the end of there and back (4 miles) and then went back up toward Pawlings Road to find the 'other' Walnut Hill path to the River Trail. I found it but I don't think it's suitable for the group. The last part is on dirt path with lots of roots and ruts. I don't want to be responsible for anyone twisting an ankle. Of course they could do that on paved or gravel paths too but even more likely on this one.

I walked then to the end of the River Trail and back up Pawlings Road to the SRT and then back to my car. I hadn't really planned to do all the extra walking and ran out of water. :( Nothing serious but would have been nice to have more before getting back to Oaks.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Permission to walk

I woke up tired this morning. Ok so that's kind of par for the course lately. It is what it is. I jumped ahead to this evening to think about running after work. (Not a good idea when you're tired already but if you can figure out a way to control my wandering brain let me know... like now! LOL)

Anyway the point of this ramble is that I gave myself permission to walk. I keep forgetting that I can do that. So when I arrived home, still tired, I dressed for a run with permission to walk and ended up running three quarters of the distance.

Until next time.... :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting by with a little help from my friends

It's been three weeks since I ran. No excuses. I just haven't been doing it. Today I went to Betzwood to see who would show up for an informal USAFit/Philly spring run. Altogether there were 5 of us. We chatted for a bit and then started out. I assumed I'd be plodding along alone as one of our group was walking and the other three are typically much faster than I. As it turned out the three other runners were not in any hurry and decided to keep pace with me. That was very kind of them for sure. I had an absolutely wonderful time. Three miles went by before I even realized it. On the return trip we went a route I had never done completely before. It was really nice and I look forward to adding it to the USAFit/Philly routes this year.

The only downer was my knee. The same one that I fell on (hard) walking around Quebec last weekend. I'm not sure if there is relation but after about 5 miles it hurt a lot .. a shooting pain. If I walked it would subside but start up again as soon as the pounding of running started again. I'll have to be careful with it and test it out later in the week.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2 miles on Sunday

Not very exciting except that I did it. I felt a bit stiff for the first 5 minutes or so but once past that I more or less sailed through it. I stopped there knowing that I had much to do in the way of yard work this morning and an afternoon date with some friends. Still it I have 8 miles for the weekend!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

6 mile SPRING run with USAFit/Philly friends

Today I met Angie, Doreen, Kristie and Megan at Oaks at 8:30. Doreen planed 15 miles for the day. I was hoping for 6. We ran out to the three mile marker and turned around. Megan, Kristie and I went back to zero and then back to our starting point for a total of 6. It was great to catch up with them. Angie and Doreen went on past zero. I'm not sure if they made their 15 or not. I hope so. We were passed by Bob and Nicky who are much faster than us and had started at 8.

With luck I'll get out for a few more tomorrow before the rains return for tomorrow night and Monday.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

90 minutes and no fatigue!

Finally! (knock on wood). I was able to put in a quality workout the gym today. 90 minutes total and I felt great throughout. 20 minutes each on the bike, elliptical and treadmill with back extensions and stretches in between.

Now if I could just get outside to run.

I probably could have run outside today. It was flurrying and cold though and I needed a good workout. I figured the gym would allow me to get some good time in after such a long layoff without the added issue of being cold and uncomfortable and dodging snow banks.

Friday, February 26, 2010


So I've been spending a fair amount of time on USAFit/Philly these past weeks. I've been cleaning and organizing the contact database, working on some publicity and trying to figure out the website.

Next weekend (March 5-7) is the USAFit organizers meeting in Austin, TX. USAFit pays for the organizers to come together to learn how to run the programs. I'm looking forward to that in hopes that it will fill in some of the gaps.

Until then I've been using some skills from my day job to decide how to promote the group. (I may be repeating some stuff I've already posted about.. I'm not looking back to check first.) I've created a business card size flyer that people can easily hand out when asked about our group. I'm hoping that people will put it in their pocket when running or walking on the trails too. I figured a full size flyer is too bulky to carry around but a business card size can easily be handed off from one to the other...

One of the neat things about USAFit is that I design the flyer or tell them what I want and they design it and get it print. I just have to come up with the idea.

I've also been setting up for our group to have a booth at the Endurance Sports Expo the weekend of March 13-14. The expo is at the Greater Philadlephia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. In fact the buidling is right off one of the main trails we have our group run/walks.

I also hooked up with a publication called the Coffeenews. They put a one page 'newspaper' in about 2 dozen coffeeshops and similar stores in the oaks, collegeville, trappe area.. again right in our group meeting neighborhood. One of our group members brought it to my attention.

I have the three main coaches for the season lined up. I need to find some assistant coaches and a walking coach. I want to have a half marathon group this year. I will coach that group myself if there are any takers. I noticed we had a handful of people last year who only wanted to do the half marathon and they were really good about sticking with the routine but it might be easier if they had a coach and a designation all their own.

There seems to be a lot of work to do as organizer right now; probably more than during the acutal season... we'll see. I'm enjoying it though.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Speed work on the treadmill

Back the gym..... AGAIN ...... total mileage 2.6 with warm up and cool down. Yes I made it 2.6 on purpose to get rid of the decimal point in my yearly mileage... LOL

Went to the planet fitness next to my workplace... saved a lot of time that way. I keep forgetting its there and that I can go to that one too.

Monday, February 15, 2010

4 miles

Today I have 4 easy miles on the schedule. Having to do this at the gym was not my idea of fun but it had to be done. I broke up the monotony by going for 2 miles on the treadmill then stretching and some work on the lumbar machine then the final 2 miles on the treadmill. That worked ok.

I used the time to work out some more details for USAFit/Philly. That helped pass the time too.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


The streets are rough enough for cars right now and the trails at Oaks and Valley Forge are not plowed yet so I headed to the gym this morning. 7 miles on the treadmill.....

General consensus is that the treadmill is not the same as running outside; because the belt more or less keeps you going the effort is not the same as outside. There are adjustments you can make but still....

Having said that, mentally the treadmill is a much more difficult workout. I don't think there is enough music or video in the world to make the treadmill less stressful on the brain. So I consider it a huge accomplishment to have completed 7 miles this morning.

With more snow coming on Monday (4-8 inches is the latest prediction) I'm sure I'll be back there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

30 minutes at the gym

Not very much but it was all I could manage. I went to the doctor after work. A follow up for the sinus/laryngitis issues. I'm making progress but he really wants me to take the nasal spray (ugh). I go back again in a month.

I went to the Gym from there and just didn't have any energy. Not sure what that's all about but I'm not going to obsess about it either.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard ....

No running today.... but two passes at shoveling heavy wet snow and a walk to the Wawa (which was closed). The shoveling was a decent workout. It looks like it will be a while before running outside will happen again. Hopefully the gym will be open ... but probably not tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

4 miles in the snow

Ok.. getting back to a full schedule is proving quite a challenge. Between my sinus issues and the weather it's seems i'm always backed up. Last night I came home from work determined to run. Did I mention we had a 20 inch snowfall over the weekend? I think Dave thought I was a little bit crazy .. but then he already knew that. I finished 4 miles around my neighborhood. I have to say that dodging snow piles is a great way to pass the miles.

I passed on running tonight. Although it was warmer than yesterday it was also more humid and I just didn't feel like dealing with that. At this moment it is snowing again and the totals are expected to exceed the weekend totals so unlikely I'll be able to run tomorrow or get to the gym. I guess I really should have gone out tonight.

Thursday? We'll see.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Back Running

4 miles tonight and it felt great.... feels great. In fact my mind and most of my body were fine.. the congestion and cough left me a bit winded but i had decided to limit it to 4 regardless.

That's about it for now.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January is in the books

The Goofy Challenge was really an awesome event. That was the extent of my exercise this month. I did go on vacation (A Disney Cruise no less) and had a wonderful time. I rested and enjoyed myself immensely. The plan to get back to running and the gym has been sidetracked by health issues. My laryngitis attach which started at Christmas evolved into a full blown sinus/cough issue. I've been to the doctor and I'm on a steroid pack. I have to go back after two weeks to see what's wrong with my voicebox.

A sinus issue would not normally stop me dead in my tracks like this. Unfortunately, the cough is serious and keeps me up at night. I've had a slight tightness in my chest as well and the combo has left me with little or no energy. The weather has been in the teens with single digit wind chills which isn't inviting when I'm fully healthy! I really want to get back to things this week. Somehow I'm determined.

I signed up for the Garden Spot Half Marathon on April 10th.

I've been keeping busy trying to organize USAFit/Philly. There's so much to figure out and do all at the same time. I'm enjoying it but it's a bit mentally intense right now trying to keep track of it all.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Physically I am recovering much quicker from 39.3 miles this past weekend than I did from 26.2 miles in November 2008. I stopped walking like a penquin Monday morning and today (Wednesday) I don't have any pain in my legs anymore. I probably would feel it if I ran but I'm fine walking. I'm at least a day ahead of my recovery from the first marathon.

I'm content to not be running right now I'm tired. I am happy to come home and not be rushing back out to run or go to the gym. I know I will go back out but for now I'm happy to be taking a break.

I'm on vacation next week and I think I'll give myself that week off too and start up when I return.

I'll also decided then what my next event will be. I may go for a spring half marathon and save my next marathon for Philly in November. I think I spoke earlier about doing a full in the Spring but I don't think I want to push that much. I'll probably go for another half and work on some upper body strength at the same time.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goofy Challenge Part II

Temperature at start below 30
Temperature at end about 41

5 Mile in 01:03:29 (NET). Pace: 12:41
10 Mile in 02:06:41 (NET). Pace: 12:40
20 Mile in 04:39:00 (NET). Pace: 13:57
Finish in 06:12:28 (NET). Pace: 14:12

Things to feel good about:
- I finished; which is all I wanted to do anyway
- I was smiling at the end
- I kept moving (duh or I wouldn't have finished)
- Although I hit the wall at mile 18 (as I did in my first marathon 14 months ago) this time I had run a half marathon the day before so definitely in better shape
- At mile 20 I broke through the wall; something I never did in the first marathon

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Goofy Challenge Part I

Temperature: hovering around 32
Precipitation in the form of freezing rain/sleet/some snow

5K in 00:34:11 (NET). Pace: 11:00
10K in 01:10:45 (NET). Pace: 11:23
15K in 01:48:28 (NET). Pace: 11:38
Finish in 02:35:43 (NET). Pace: 11:52

I estimated a 12 min pace allowing for:
Stopping for pictures
Walking if necessary (it was on the last hill)
Taking it easy to save for the marathon tomorrow

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is this Florida?

The locals - and the attendants on our flight down - are disappointed in the chilly weather here. However, it is 20 degrees warmer than home and there is abudnant sunshine.... and very low humidity. Quite frankly I think it will be perfect for running.

Today we will head to the expo. Tomorrow morning I'm considering a short run around the neighborhood just to get a feel for the different conditions than at home and to get my legs back... with this throat thing I feel kind of out of practice...because I haven't been practicing! :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On my way......... almost

I am off to work shortly. Will be there until 2. All packed and ready to go (I think). Packing for this trip was like no other. First off because I am not travelling light. I had to bring two sets of running clothes including shoes for two days running and some optional gear because I'm not sure about which or how many layers to wear. I've been dressing for the 20's to run and it will not be quite that cold for Goofy so I will have to make some adjustments and those adjustments usually happen gradually not in the space of a few days. Then there was deciding what to pack for regular wear. Again it's colder here. So I was trying to think fall or early spring in what to pack and my brain was saying "Hellooooooooo... what's wrong with you".

It's flurrying here in PA this morning...

I'm excited, nervous and looking forward to this!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No running today...

It's still bitter cold and with wind gusts up to 40 mph or more it would have been miserable. I am staying in and doing lots of other prep work for Goofy. I've made lists (no surprise there) and emailed various support people and organized my stuff.

I'm about as ready as I'm going to be. Still I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. According to my sister Katie, who lives near DW and with whom we will be staying, the high temps will be 55-61 with a low on Saturday expected to be 27. I know they are not used to that in Florida. We ran the 2008 Philly Marathon at 26. Enough said! LOL

I went to Target and purchased some of their 'famous' 50 cent gloves to wear and throw away. I still have to track down some sweatshirts around the house that I can also throw away after the start.

5 days and counting :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Reminders of Marathon 2008

It was cold this morning.... with a high of 29 for the day it had to be in the mid 20's no more when I went out for a run. The good news is I finished 5 miles and nothing hurt and my throat issues did not seem to hold me back. The mucus is a pain though and I'm wondering if it's safe to take Mucinex before a run. I'll have to do some research on that.

Hoping to do 3-5 again tomorrow.

One week from right now I will have completed the half and probably getting ready for bed in preparation for the full marathon on Sunday.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

Good morning and Happy New Year.

Still not 100% yet. My voice is making a slow comeback. It is cold and wet out today...although not actually precipitating. My gut tells me that running is not a good idea and I've learned to trust my gut. I'm going to spend a good portion of the day organizing the USAFit/Philly stuff I picked up from Helen and organizing my marketing plan.

It's time to look at goals for the year. I generally don't make specific life resolutions but I think I'll attempt some fitness goals for this year. I also want to manage a successful season for USAFit/Philly. I'm not sure how to measure that though so I'll just do my best and see what happens.

I'm not going to predict what races I'll run beyond Goofy January 9-10 and the Philadelphia Marathon which will be the culmination of the USAFit/Philly season and the Landsdowne 5k (my first ever race and now a tradition). Since my focus will be on the group this year I want to commit to giving them a great experience rather than on training for my own races. I may still run some other races; I'm just not committing to anything right now.

I would like to hit 1000 miles this year. I think that would be cool.
I'd also like to get to the gym 2 days a week before work starting in February. I'd like to work more on upper body strength. That means getting up at 4:45-5:00 a.m. This will be a challenge.
I'd like to find some time to walk/hike. This was my first love and i'd like to work some back into my schedule.

There you have it. What are your fitness goals?