Tuesday, December 8, 2009

3.9 miles easy

Nothing major to document here.

3.9 miles - started pre-dawn

37 minutes (just under 10 minute pace)
felt very easy, but I didn't want to push myself.

Ran through the small Rollins College campus and through a neighborhood by Mead Gardens to the Florida Hospital area.

It was humid (there was fog) and cool. I could see my breath by the end of my run even though it wasn't cold. Temps were in the 60's.

Calves tightened up by the end of the run. No stretching.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pushing Through Pain

In the past 6 weeks, I have had bronchitis, a broken toe, influenza, and a weekend full of worrying while my significant other has been in the hospital.

The bronchitis was 6 weeks ago, the broken toe the following week, the flu 2 weeks ago and Thanksgiving weekend was spent at the hospital.  I have been holding on to something in my lungs and I could feel myself getting out of breath too easily.

I went out for a run this evening to the tune of 4.85 miles.  It felt great despite getting a blister on my left foot.  I started slowing down and a sinking feeling started to take hold.  No, sir.  I remembered how we used to show each other our blisters in the locker room in high school.  You start feeling the blister and if you just push through the pain for a minute or two, it will start to go numb.  I haven't done that in a long time.  Tonight, I remembered.  Tonight, I pushed through the pain until it faded.  I kept thinking about my pace and my form and I got through it.

Conditions:  cool 65 degrees, slightly humid

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Broken Toe Is Not Good For Running

A couple things to remember here.

I broke a phalange in my right foot.  OK, it's my pinkie toe.  It hurt a lot the first day, but hasn't been too bad since.  The swelling comes and goes depending on how much walking I do on it.  That's one thing to note.

The other thing is that I read a quiz in an email about your quality of life.  Topics were smoking, eating, relationships, blood pressure, exercise and a few more.  I scored in the middle.  That's not how I roll, so I went to the gym the same evening.  When I get there, I ask the guy behind the counter if he can look up the last time I had been there.  June 2nd he tells me.  That's 5 months.  I pay $25 per month in membership fees.  That's not bad at all, but if you go once every 5 months, that's a lot per workout.  I just had a $125 workout... plus tax.

At the gym, I wanted to test out my broken toe.  I hadn't tried running on it yet.  This may be a premature, because it hurts even when I walk on it too much.  This is why I wanted to use the treadmill instead of pounding the pavement, because if it hurts, I can stop at any time.

I start walking very slowly at .5 mph.  I can't feel a thing and either can my lungs.   Let's kick it up a notch I say in my head.  I bring it up to 3 mph.  Still doesn't hurt.  I keep increasing the belt speed to 5, then 6, and finally 7.5 mph.  Still no pain in my toe.  This is awesome!  I end up keeping that pace for 2 miles (8 minute mile).  No PRs forthcoming, but it felt great just to do that.  After the treadmill, I get some lat pulldowns, bench presses, arm curls, and stomach crunches into the workout.  I finished off with 7.5 minutes on the stationary bike for a cool down.

The next morning, my toe was swollen and purple again.  Oh yeah, it hurt a little, too.  Maybe running wasn't such a good idea... at least just yet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Couch Potato... Not

So this day pretty much started by watching pregame on ESPN at 11am until 1pm.  Watched the Cowboys beat the Bucs and then continued to be a couch potato until 7pm by watching the Giants clean up a Redskin mess.

I stored up some energy with a cheeseburger and some pizza through the day, but I still didn't have a whole lot of energy.  I had to get up and do something, though.  I was inside all day.  I missed the sun completely.

I had to run.  4 miles.  I was probably going about 10 minute pace, but didn't stop so that was good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Long Run in the AM

I went out this morning with a goal of running at least 40 minutes. Distance and pace meant nothing. I didn't care how far I traveled nor how fast. I didn't have a watch to time myself, but I kept having trouble getting past 2.5-3 miles for distance and 30 minutes for time.

I ran almost an hour covering 5.15 miles. I don't even want to calculate my average pace, because I started jogging at a speed that some people could walk. I didn't care about how far I was going when I started, but I did measure it after I got home.

My next run is scheduled for Thursday evening. Fleet Feet Sports and Harmoni Market is having a fun run. I have to find out the route. It is supposed to be 4 miles starting and ending at Harmoni Market and as sponsors, they are offering a complimentary glass of wine or beer and also a goodie bag to all participants. I did I mention that there is no cost. Oh yeah, I'm in. Run 4 miles and there is a reward at the end. We'll call this the Pavlovian Run.

This is reminiscent of our 7 Eleven runs back in high school cross country. Coach would have us run a few miles for Slurpies and run back to the school. That would break up the monotony of speedwork and long runs and everyone enjoyed it. Now as an adult, the beer sounds much, much better than a Slurpy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Getting in a Groove - Celebration 5k

I capped off the week with a 5k run on Saturday morning. How could I say no to a race less than a mile from my home? Maybe because I wasn't really ready to run a race of any distance. Nah. I had to.

I did a 1 mile warmup followed by a little stretching and next thing you know, the horn sounds. Off I go. I kept a nice easy pace, walked and drank at the 1 mile and 2 mile water stops. I never saw the 1 mile marker, but hit the 2 mile mark at 18:30. I stopped to walk at about 2.5 miles. Man, was I unprepared. I crossed the line at 28:04.

I love how the kid in front of me has an expression of boredom
on his face while everyone else including myself is in agony.

I wanted to keep up the same routine this week, but I have plans early Monday morning. I went out this afternoon and logged in a run of 2.7 miles in 30 minutes. Lots of work to do, but I feel like I'm back in a groove again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pre-Dawn Run

It's been a couple of weeks since I've run and it's been even longer since I've done a morning run. Waking up before the sun and heading out the door has a primal feel to it like a mountain lion out for a morning rabbit. A mile or so in, I find myself with plenty of company on the streets and sidewalks of College Park as daylight peaks its head over the horizon and I am back to being Doug running the streets of Orlando.

I only did 2.5 miles, but it feels good knowing I got a couple miles logged already for the day. I started around 11-12 minute pace, worked my way to 9 minute pace around the half mile mark and kept that through the remaining 2 miles.

Finished off with a cold shower. Feels great. Time for some coffee.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Running in Florida in the Summer

Three and half weeks since my last run and consequent post. I did a couple laps around Lake Eola around 5pm today. No pain... except in my lungs. It is really too hot to run in Florida during the summer. It doesn't seem to stop the YMCA runners from their Monday runs. I see them go by my apartment. I figure if they are stupid enough to tough it out, then I can, too.

I knew it was hot and humid, but I didn't really notice it until I stopped running. When we run (excluding the treadmill), we create our own wind. It's nice. When the sweat rolls down your forehead to your eyebrow and then down the side of your cheeks, you feel its natural cooling effects. As soon as you stop running, your self created wind is gone. On a day like today, there wasn't a breeze. The wall of air just hit me.

What the heck was I doing? It's a good thing my office is located across the street from Lake Eola. I made a dart for the door and the air conditioning. I hate running early in the morning, but I know why people do it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Running after the Rain

We had a wicked storm roll through this afternoon. I was with friends at Flagler Beach today. For dog owners out there, this is the closest beach to Orlando that you can take your dog. That's how I found it. Dogs are allowed in Flagler County and that is the first exit on 95 once you pass the county line.

So as we are finishing up ice cream cones, a tornado warning comes over the radio waves. We look inland and North and the sky is twisting around and turning black. We head to 95 and just get out of there. We cruise pretty fast southbound to I-4 to outrace the storm and get back home to Orlando. Once home, I had time to stop by 7 Eleven to drop off a redbox rental and go to Publix for some dinner supplies.

We get home and the storm hits. I waited till after dinner and for the rain to stop to get out on my run. I haven't run in a week... maybe more.

Either way, my legs were fresh. A little burnt, but fresh.

I didn't waste too much time to open up my stride, but I felt like I wasn't getting good turnover. My knee lift on the front end was weak and my kick was too low.

I had to get in motion. I started pushing off and really trying to feel my buttocks with each stride. I started moving forward a little better. I didn't change my turnover rate, just my form. After about 30 seconds of that, I added some knee lift to the front of my strides and just a little kick and I started moving faster... probably in the 7 to 8 minute range without a whole lot of effort.

Proper form does so much.

I couldn't help myself from quickening my turnover. Ruins me every time. After I got about a mile into my 2.5 mile run, I was going all out. It felt great, though, because the rain had just stopped and it was cool. About 78 degrees. That's cool for Orlando right now. We've been up in the mid 90's lately.

So yeah, I only got a quarter mile covered going all out. It felt like the speed that I used to run the mile in high school which is good, except it was only a quarter mile. I walked a little due to the cramping in my back. I've got to figure that spot out. Why do I keep cramping in my mid back on the sides?

Anyway. I went back and forth between all out running and walking until I got home and finished my 2.5 miles.

I am going to feel this tomorrow morning... along with some sunburn. Ouch!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Running and Bronchitis

Running and Bronchitis don't mix well. It's not exactly a Rum and Coke or anything with Pepperoni and Mozzarella. Well, my lungs were like mozzarella. Maybe a little more to the yellow side of things, but definitely gooey.

I haven't run in a couple of weeks. I went out Saturday early evening and logged an easy 2.5 miles. I wanted to see what I could handle. Would my lungs be too hard pressed for oxygen? Would my legs be jello after 2 weeks off? Not too bad really. I jogged it. I was probably doing 12 minute miles. I felt great. I did feel one of my toes get irritated during the run, but not painful. When I got home, my runner's toe was just about to fall off.

Tonight before I started another run, I pulled off the dead toenail. What's underneath is fairly hardened already, but it's black. Which means I will continue to go through this toenail on, toenail off thing. Oh well. It doesn't hurt.

I did an out and back which I had never run before. It finished raining just prior, so it was nice and cool. Probably in the mid-70s. That's cool for Florida, folks! It felt like I ran around 10 minute pace. It took 44 minutes. No warmup; no stretching. After looking up my route on gmap-pedometer.com, it appears that I ran 4.5 miles. That means my pace was 9:46 per mile. That's pretty close guessing especially considering I haven't run in 2 weeks and I haven't used a watch while running in 6 months or more.

I wish I could run 8 minute miles that effortlessly. Well, my breathing was never hampered by coughing up phlegm balls and I didn't feel asthmatic, so I think I'm on my way to healthy. I may not be ready for speed work, but I don't have any races lined up anytime soon, so steady miles will do for now.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pre Motivation

I ripped my 1981 classic U2 album October today and loaded it onto my Sanso mp3 player. It's old music, but new to my running. I warmed up to Gloria, which isn't very long and took off on my 2.5 mile jaunt when I Fall Down started. I finished my run at 3:46 of Tomorrow, so my total time was 19:48 for the 2 and a half miles. That's a 7:55 pace.

It felt like I was running a little faster than that, but I haven't run in a week. I need to get some mile repeats in a workout to better judge my time.

Great run up until about 1.75 miles when I started getting that mid back cramp again. This time I only got it on the right side. I kept pushing through it. Here's why and how...

I just got a free poster of Steve Prefontaine from Athletes for a Cure. His quote on the poster reads, "A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts."

Quite an inspirational quotation. I wish he lived longer. It's weird. I have this vision that I would have liked to have known him as a track superstar when I was in high school. He would have been a great role model I think. I used to watch Steve Scott run the mile on TV. And Eamonn Coughlan and another Irish indoor runner that I can't recall his name now.

Anyway... I pushed through the cramp in my back and when I picked it up on the last quarter mile, I got a sticker on my right side, but in the front... so my right side is totally in pain. Glad it was over.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Feeling Good

I was pressed for time Friday afternoon, but I really wanted to squeeze in a run. I started off slow like I normally do, except the time factor crept into my mind after about 100 yards. I usually don't get up to speed until I am at least 1 mile into my run.

I just took off like I used to... back in my school days. I didn't think about my breathing, my legs being stiff, or my pace. I got about half a mile and had to slow down. My breathing couldn't keep up with the oxygen demand created by my legs. I took it slow for about 100 yards, but never stopped. I took off again for another half mile until I got slight cramps in my mid back on each side. Right around my kidneys, but figure it had to be muscle since it seemed to stop as soon as I slowed down and stretched my arms out in each direction. Still didn't stop. Slowed down, but didn't stop. Again, I did this for about 100 yards. I took off and got the cramps again, but more intense this time. I still got my half mile in, but had to slow down to a turtle's pace for 100 yards. Started to fly once more, but this time the cramps got the best of me after about a quarter mile.

I slowed down and jogged a little over a quarter mile and then walked in the last quarter. I did the whole 2.5 miles in 23 minutes. It doesn't reflect how fast I was going when I was running my fastest, but I felt so good. I felt free. Unconfined by pace. It was like a fartlek workout even though I didn't have it mind when I set out on my run.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Speedwork on the Track

Started with an easy 2 miles around Lake Eola. My knees were a little stiff and I definitely needed the longer than usual warmup. Did a few quick stretches and I was ready to go.

The plan was, as usual... shortened by my lack of will power, to run 4 x 880 @ 3:30 with 440 recovery jogs. I ended running 3 x 880 at that speed.

It was a good workout regardless of whether I achieved by goal. It was hot out there today, which made it hard to breathe. It's Florida. What can you do?

All in all, I ran 4.25 miles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 miles tonight

I started off easy around 10 minute pace for the first mile and eased into a comfortable pace around 8 minutes per mile. Even though it got more difficult to keep the pace, I kept it up until the last quarter mile when I slowed down to a jog to cool down a little. It was a good 5 mile run around Lake Ivanhoe with a nice breeze. It is now a few hours later and my calves and butt are sore.

IOA Corporate 5K - Start

running corporate 5k downtown Orlando

I am in the lower right hand corner of this pic. This is just as the horn is going off and we are starting to inch forward toward the starting line. It took about 11 seconds for me to hit the line and I was only about 20 feet back.

IOA Corporate 5K - Finish

running corporate 5k downtown Orlando cramp stitch

Here I am a few seconds after crossing the finish. I am gasping for air. I had a cramp in the middle of my upper abdomen area for almost the entire last mile.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

IOA Corporate 5K

Today, Track Shack put on the Insurance Office of America Corporate 5K Run & Walk in downtown Orlando. They moved it back to Lake Eola Park after using the Citrus Bowl the past few years. I liked finishing in the Citrus Bowl the past couple years, but the tree lined streets of Lake Eola Heights makes for a cooler run.

I tried something new. I wanted to amp myself up for the run. On normal days, I drink 2-4 cups of coffee from the morning through early afternoon. Instead, I waited until a couple hours before the race to get my caffeine intake. Also, I popped a Claritin-D about an hour and a half before race time to open up my lungs a little.

That seemed like a really good idea as I was overcome with energy just prior to the start. I took off fast on the first mile and that turned into a bad thing later. I passed the first mile marker in 6:50. I slowed into a better pace for the second as my time was 14:38, which translates into a 7:48 mile. And that's when things got ugly. I stopped for some water at the second water station which was located a little after the 2 mile marker. I got a cramp under my ribs in the middle of my stomach at about 2.25m. That made me stop. I walked for a few seconds, picked up to a slow jog and back to running. Less than a quarter mile later, I did the same thing again. I was able to finish up the last half mile without cramping, but my time was considerably hampered. I crossed the finish line at exactly 24:00. If nothing else, it was easy to remember. My average pace was 7:43, so my last mile was around 8:31. That's quite a drop off.

I haven't run in a week, so I don't feel too bad about my time. I didn't get as much speedwork in as I would've liked. I just have to keep going. I'll post pics if I can find any online later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just marking my spot

Friday, I ran 5 miles. I didn't have anything in mind other than to complete 5 miles. Nice and easy. Used the old Brooks Adrenalines and they weren't too bad. They have way too many miles on them and I started to feel the pressure build up in my left arch. Another mile or two and I would've had a large blister. Good enough.

Total for the week = 12.5 miles (over 3 runs)

Ran Sunday for 2.5 miles. Easy run. At about 2 miles, I stopped when I saw an otter in Lake Highland. It was just as curious about me as I towards it. It jumped out of the water and perched itself onto a concrete wall for a few seconds until I figured out that it was watching me. Once I made eye contact, it darted back into the water and took off. That always makes for a good day.

So far this week = 2.5 miles

Monday, March 30, 2009

Easy Run Monday

I took an easy fun run today. I ran one time around Lake Ivanhoe which is 2.5 miles. My legs were a little stiff from running yesterday, but felt great after about 1.5 miles. By the time I was in a groove, the run was over. That's perfect for what I intended to do.

Tomorrow's run is at 6AM, so I don't have a lot of recovery time. I'll definitely have to get a good warmup before the group run.

mileage today: 2.5 miles
so far this week: 7.5 miles

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Long Run turned into Average Run

I had every intention of running 3 laps around Lake Ivanhoe today during the rain, since it was supposed to do that all day. Didn't happen. Either did my 3 laps. The sun came out and it got hot. 79 degrees at my run time.

I took off at a pace that I thought I could do my 7.5 miles with relate ease. I felt real good after 2.5, which is 1 lap around the lake. At about 4 miles, I started to feel tired and having a hard time. I usually feel good when my mind is wandering and I'm thinking about anything but my breathing and arms and legs.

When I hit home at 5 miles, I called it quits. 51 minutes. 10:12 average pace. The good thing is that I kept an even pace the entire time and thought I was running around 10 minute pace. When you can tell the relative speed you are running without using a clock, that's a good sign of your progress.

I feel a little let down, but instead of completely resting tomorrow as I planned, I will take an easy run at some point during the day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

3 Weeks to Race - Time for Tempo Run

I know it's only a few weeks to my next 5k. For some, it's no big deal, but I only run 2 or 3 races a year. So I get an email today from Vanos, a coworker, and he says that he has something going on with another team. I don't know if he's putting money on it, but pride is enough for me.

I put 24:30 on my expected time for the race. He says that I need to dig deep and try to shave off a couple minutes. Doesn't sound too hard. I ran 2 minutes faster than that at last year's corporate run, but my last 5k time was 24:30.

I tell him that I'll know if I can take off 2 minutes in another couple weeks. Time to guage my progress. That's right. Tempo Run Time. For newbies, that means that I am going to run my race pace. Usually, you'd run a bit shorter distance. I want to see exactly where I'm at, so I need to run a 5k.

After dinner, I get on the net and search on MapMyRun.com for a 5k course in my neighborhood. I find one that is 3.15 miles. Nearly perfect.

I figure it's a little cooler than what I can expect on race day since the sun was already down.

I started off with a mile and half warmup. I have a decent sweat going and head back home to check the time. My watch broke, so I have to check a clock. My cell phone says 9:20 and I head out the door. Conveniently, the 5k course I found goes by my street. I take off and I feel like I'm running a little fast. Maybe around 7 minute pace. I feel a little out of breath after about a quarter mile, so I ease back just a hair. I keep about the same pace through 2 miles... just over 7 minutes.

When I hit about the 2 mile mark, I start getting tightness in my mid-back. I'm obviously getting tired and my core back muscles feeling tight and painful is the signal to work on them. I will have to increase my mileage on long run days from around 5 to about 7 or 8 miles and on easy run days, I will need to include some middle back and lower back training.

I slowed down the final mile plus, but still finished up at 9:44pm. So I did 3.15 in 24 minutes give or take 30 seconds since there is no second hand on my cell phone.

I did some calculations based on an even 24 minute run. My average pace was 7:37. If I ran just .05 less, my time at that pace would have been 23:37. It will be a little hotter at 7pm, but I didn't sprint tonight either. To meet my goal of 22:30, I need to shave off just over 20 seconds per mile in the next 3 weeks.

In addition to longer runs once a week, I need to make speed work mandatory. For the 5k distance, I probably need to do 880's on the track. 440's are better for mile speed and 1 mile repeats may be too much for the 5k.

I need to run 7:15's on race day or better. I probably need to train for 6:15 speed on the track. That makes my 880 repeats around 3:07. I will probably do my speed work on Saturday. I'll need to do 4-6 repeats to do any good. I'll only have 2 Saturdays of speedwork until the race, so I better do all 6 both times. Some people try to run faster as they go, I will try to ladder my times. Start fast, taper, and end fast. Something like 3:00, 3:07, 3:15, 3:15, 3:07, 3:00.

The last time I ran 440 repeats, I was running around these times, but I wasn't doing 2 laps each time. Saturday is going to be tough, but Vanos said I need to dig deep. My old cross country coach used to tell us to dig deep sometimes. It brought back some good memories. It definitely fired me up for tonight's tempo run.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

5 Miles - Cool Night Run - Very Sore Afterward

Started at 8:40pm. It was cool... around 68 degrees and a little humid. Started off slow using heel strike form until my knees and thighs were warmed up. That took about a mile. Then, I switched to ball strike and I felt more at ease and got into a groove.

I coasted through 4 miles and then everything started to fall apart. I got tired. Kept having to remind myself to keep my arms pumping and I was losing stride length and turnover speed. The last mile was hard to eek out. Both calves started to tighten up and I got a cramp under my right ribs in the last half mile.

I pushed through it and completed at 9:24pm. 5 miles in 44 minutes. That's a pace of 8:48 and I know I started slow and ended slow, so I must have been running in the mid 7's for a couple miles in the middle of my run.

It is now 2 hours since I completed the run and my calves are tight and my feet are very sore. Need to log more miles per week.

Somehow, I am not as sore when I run in the morning vs. running at night or in the afternoons. I wonder if it is related to getting the lactic acid moving through my body during the day while I'm working.

Does anyone notice that they are more sore after evening runs versus morning runs?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Working the Core Muscles

Thanks to my Runner's World magazine, I found a few core exercises to use after my runs. The issue that has the core workouts has Lolo Jones on the cover and she is featured in the article about how important it is to strengthen your core muscles.

If the term "your core" or "core muscles" is foreign to you, it refers your stomach, lower back, and butt muscles. For the scientific names and pictures, you'll have to get the mag. I'm not typing that much. These are the muscles that keep your pelvis level while running, walking, etc.

As explained in the article, one of the benefits for runners is more endurance. For some, it could be as simple as less back pain.

I have been incorporating some core work the past few days during a couple walks and again today after my morning run.

I started the running workout with a mile warmup on the treadmill. In a ten minute time span, I started at 20 minute pace walking and ended up running pretty hard at 6 minute pace. All in all, I covered 1 mile and had enough time to do a couple quick stretches before the group run.

We did 3 miles as our normal routine and after 3, our group leader wanted to know if anyone wanted to do another lap. We covered another 1.4 miles at a slightly faster pace than the first 3 miles.

The first 3 miles, I felt congestion in my lungs. It was the kind of congestion related to the passageways feeling swollen rather than a mucus type. After the initial portion, though, the congestion went away.

So all told, just a hair shy of 5.5 miles.

I went into the gym, rehydrated with some water, and then hit the exercise mats to work on my core muscles. I did alternating Superman lifts, planks, and side planks.

This was all started at 6AM and finished by 7. Only one thing on my mind all day after that workout... beer. I had to wait out 11 hours till I could get a beer.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When it's cold, the treadmill is your friend

I have been starting off my Tuesday morning group runs with a warmup on the treadmill. I needed a thorough warmup after a ride in 41 degrees on my scooter to the gym.

Let me tell you, I was glad when a friend of our group leader came up to me and told me that she was running late. That gave me an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill.

I started off walking around 20 minute pace and slowly made my way through 15 min pace, 12 min pace, 10 min pace. I eventually ended up at 7 minute pace and was fully sweating. I had to take off my winter cap and hooded sweatshirt.

I was ready for my run. I already logged 2 miles, so our 9-10 minute pace 3 mile run was going to be easy. I stripped even further and took my warmup pants off and I don't know if that was a great idea. I need to get a pair of those running tights for next winter season. It's pretty much too late for this year. Any suggestions on a brand or type of material?

We had a nice run. I paced one of the slower runners and kept him with our pack by asking him to do a quick burst of speed about half way through the run. I don't always care about every runner, but you can see that this guy doesn't have a lot of running experience and he is trying. He's got the will power, but just needs a little work on his technique/form and obviously needs to log more miles, which just takes time.

He has been running for about 4 months and has done a few 5k's in that time, but was unsatisfied with the fact that he hasn't really improved much in this performance. I advised him to incorporate some speedwork once a week for a few weeks and he should see some improvement. One of the biggest problems with newbies to anything is that they don't know what you mean even though they have heard the term.

What is speedwork?

I gave him an example of some speedwork. I basically told him to try the same workout I did on the track this past Saturday. Start with about 15 minutes of warmup which should be about 1 slow mile. Then do some light stretching and run a lap around the track at about the pace you would like to run a mile. Then, run a recovery of 1 lap at about the warmup pace. Repeat 4 times. Cooldown jog.

I hope he tries it. I would like to see him improve and know that maybe the coaching I received in high school and at the Track Shack sessions will be passed on to a fellow runner and he will stick with it. It's hard to keep doing something when you don't see results.

Today's mileage: 5 miles

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Claritin To The Rescue

After 3 hellacious, allergy-draining weeks of constant clogging and running of my nose, I finally caved. I went to CVS and bought a pack of Claritin-D. The pseudoephedrin gives a boost of energy since it opens up your air passageways. Within a couple of hours, I felt so good that I didn't just feel like going for a run... I wanted to hit the track.

So I did. I took the scooter down to Howard Middle School, which is open to the public as long as there are no school children present. You can't beat that for a public policy.

I started off with a warmup mile run around Lake Eola, which was packed. It went up into the low 80's and everyone wanted to head out to the lake for picnicking, photobugging of the birds, letting their kids roam around the playground, and general walking around. It made the lap a little annoying, but I only had to do one, so I tried to grin it out.

Warmup done. I did a very light stretch routine. I did one hamstring stretch with my legs at shoulder width and grab my ankles and hold for 30 seconds. I also did a quadriceps stretch by holding my ankle behind me (by my buttocks) and hold for 30 seconds and then alternate legs. That's it. I was losing sun and wanted to get started.

My goal was 4x400 with 400 recovery. In my head, I was going to run these at 5k race pace, which should be around 8:00, so that equals 2:00 each. I instead ran them at 6:00 pace, which is 1:30 each. It was just right. My legs got a light burn by the end of the lap and my fingers just started to tingle.

I really felt the workout in my lower quadriceps near my knees and in my buttocks. I little more in my right side than my left, which attribute to running the standard counter clockwise around the track. I have to remember to run clockwise next time, so that I keep balanced muscle tone and growth.

Finished up with a half mile cooldown.

This workout was 3.5 miles. With my morning run on Tuesday of 5 miles, I totaled 8.5 miles for the week. For most people, this would be 1 run for the day. The forecast calls for rain today, so hopefully that will clear some of the oak pollen and I can breathe normally again. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Metro Runners Group - 2 in a Row

So I got up at 5AM again and enjoyed my 3 mile group run before work again. I don't like morning runs, but I may start changing my tune pretty soon.

My legs DO NOT hurt after these morning runs. That is a definite plus.

This time, I got to the gym a few minutes early and was able to hit the treadmill for a few minutes to warm up my legs. Since I was on the treadmill and it has a TV, I was able to watch the morning news. It was 46 degrees when we started our run. 46! That is freezing in Orlando.

Our group run leader said during our run today that others may join our group. You don't need a gym membership to participate. I think this is a very smart move by the gym. More than using the running group as a benefit to current members, it can be utilized as a marketing tool.

Also to Amy with the comment to my earlier post about running induced asthma, I appreciate your advice. As I mentioned, it was cold this morning. I didn't prepare by using a scarf while running, but I did partially cover my neck by wearing a hooded sweatshirt. That kept over half of my neck warm. About 3/4 of the way through the run, I took off the sweatshirt because I was sweating underneath. Shortly thereafter, the back of my neck got cold and my chest started to constrict. I only had a little more to run we weren't running too fast, so I kept going as is. I do appreciate the advice, though, and I will remember to keep my sweatshirt on the next it is cold.

Warmup: .75 miles on the dreadmill
Run: 3.0 miles on the pavement

Total for the day: 3.75 miles

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Morning Run with a Running Group

I woke up at 5AM this morning. As I twitted this morning, "If I had a rooster, I would have woke him up." I think that sums it up.

I haven't run in the morning in years. At least 2. It felt good, though. The morning rush of energy is great. It was cool, too. Around 50 degrees. My legs felt great and after cruising 3 miles with the new running group, I even did a quick 10 minute strengthing workout in the gym.

I was hoping we would meet at least one more time per week, but for now, I have to wait until next Tuesday.

I guess we'll have to see how this affects my sleeping patterns. I hit the hay around midnight last night and slept solid for the full five. Most nights though, I go to sleep closer to 1 or 2AM.

Either way, 3 miles logged and I still have the full day ahead of me. Let's see if I can hold this up past mid-afternoon. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Running Induced Asthma?

I have this happen to me frequently this time of year. I start feeling a shortness of breath even when my heart and the rest of my body aren't being taxed that much.

It doesn't take very long into my run to start feeling it either. Maybe 5 minutes or so. It makes me have to stop and walk and it's really annoying, because it throws off any pace that I had.

I can't tell if it has something to do with temperatures or allergens.

I know I have problems with Oak in late spring and early summer, but that usually makes my nose run and my eyes itchy. It doesn't affect my breathing.

If that was the case, I could take a pill a couple hours before running and just make sure that I drink more water. I can deal with that.

The symptoms seem to go away by the time my blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature are back to normal, which usually takes about 15-20 minutes after my runs.

Also, when it's real cold out (anything under 40 degrees), I may not get this feeling until after I am done running and I go indoors where heat is being used.

Does anyone up north or someone in Florida during this time of year experience a mild case of asthma during their runs? If so, is there anything I can do to prevent it or is there a quicker way to recover?


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Take It Out on the Street

You've heard the term, "Take it to the curb" or "Take it to the street."

It's referring to either trash (like... you're trash and get outta here) or you want to fight and someone tells you to take it outside to the street so you don't bust up a joint.

Sometimes you have a bad day at work and you gotta get it out of your system. Go for a run instead of taking it out on your spouse or friend, kids, parents, co-workers, fellow commuter.

Take It Out on the Street. Make the street pay for every bit of anxiety you have pent up inside of you. Every stride, every footstrike. Take It Out on the Street.

Take It Out on your Legs. Stride out a little more. Open it up. Kick back and make your hamstrings know about your day.

Take It Out on your Lungs. Increase your turnover. Pump your arms. Hit that anaerobic threshold and go till it burns and your legs start to feel like lead.

Take It Out on the Street. And when you go to work tomorrow and you still feel that run in your legs and your feet, you'll think about how you kicked the street's ass the day before instead the report that's due at 4.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blisters It Is

I haven't had any blisters in awhile. It was definitely time to end that.

Why did I get blisters if I have the same sneakers, I didn't run very hard, and my socks were dry?

I couldn't figure it out right away, but after some thought, I realise that I was holding my arms a little out from my side and higher than normal. If I did that, I may have altered my turnover and strike.

Did I mention that I put 10 pounds on during the holidays and I still haven't lost it? Yeah. That sucks still.

Well, I ran about 5 miles. I cut it short by about a quarter mile, though, because my feet were just killing me. I tried at different points to use a heel strike while lowering my center of gravity and raising my thighs on beginning of my stride. That helped while I could, but that was really hard to keep up.

That was Monday PM. Great to get out. This is such a great time in Orlando. It must have been around 70 degrees.

Tonight, the blisters won before I got out the gate. I went to the gym and logged 15 minutes on a bike. Added 3 sets each on the biceps, pecs, and abs and jumped back on the FlyScooter and headed home.

My abs are going to hurt tomorrow. Can't wait.

Oh yeah, my gym - Metro 24/7 Fitness in downtown Orlando is starting a runners group. They will be every Tuesday at 6AM starting February 3rd. I signed up. I don't know about the AM part, but I'll give it a shot.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Starting a New Year of Running

I haven't been out running since I ventured into the cold around Thanksgiving in North Carolina. I have put on 10 pounds since then and I surely can feel it and I want all 10 of them to go away.

There's one easy way to resolve this. Get out and run!!!

So I did.

I went out on Saturday afternoon and ran my 2.5 mile loop around Lake Ivanhoe. I had a little chest tightness towards the end and had to slow down a little, but I made it. I probably averaged around 12 min/miles.

I ran again yesterday after work and did the same 2.5 mile loop. This time I had no pain; my legs felt good and probably averaged around 10 min/miles. The last half mile I sped up and got down around 8 min pace, but that made me cramp in my middle back. That wasn't fun, but I pushed through it since I only had a little way to go.

Definitely paid the price for the speed (not really fast, but I was pushing myself). I woke up sore and took a Bayer aspirin first thing in the morning. I've been told to take Aleve due to its anti-inflammatory properties, but my father passed out after taking one and broke his grill a few years back. Having the same genes, it makes me worry if I will wake up with no front teeth after taking one. So.... Bayer it is. It may not help me heal faster, but it definitely cuts the pain down.

I hope to keep up the momentum and continue running and subsequently keep on blogging.

Happy New Year to anyone out there reading and Have a Great Run Today!!!