Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 - Hoping for a Healthy Year

2018 didn't end well.  I was plagued by a pulled calf muscle in the left leg.  It started on November 19 running down a steep part of the Harlem Hills.  I was slowing down and it felt like a simple tweak, which I've had many times in the past.  Usually, I take a week off and rest it.  Then, it's back to normal training runs.  This time, I gave it a week (Nov 26) and went through the same thing after 1 mile.  Slight pull.  Again, I waited and rested.  This time, I gave it 10 days (Dec 6).  I went out and made it 2.5 miles before the pull.  I was definitely getting aggro about it.  I have now waited 4 full weeks since the last attempt.  I got out and ran restrained and smooth tonight.  I did 1 mile out and 1 mile back non-stop at an easy pace.  No pain and no pulls.  Finally, but we'll see how it goes.  I did some light stretching after the run.

I didn't do any resolutions so to speak.  I have goals for this year.  One of my goals is to workout 6 times per week with a focus on strength and flexibility.  The stretching and run counted today toward a workout and flexibility.  Here's to more of it for 2019!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018 Running Year in Review (or lack of running)

This is a summary of 2018.  I moved from Orlando to New York City in January.  I did not run when I got here.  There was too much to do including getting used to a new job.

I ran a few times in the spring and just like in Orlando, I cut out almost all running in the summer.  This was due to working too many hours at the day job and the heat in the city.  Surprisingly, it gets very hot in NYC in the summer.  It's not what you would think.  It's like an oven in that all the concrete holds the heat.  That's my theory.

This fall, I started running a little more.  I may have missed one or two workouts, but I generally ran with MapMyRun tracking.  Here's what it says...

Oct 1 - 3.03 miles
Oct 3 - 3.14 miles
Oct 5 - 4.00 miles
Oct 8 - 5.00 miles
Oct 10 - 3.41 miles
Oct 15 - 4.00 miles
Oct 16 - 4.01 miles
Oct 26 - 4.16 miles
Nov 1 - 4.00 miles
Nov 2 - 3.72 miles
Nov 5 - 6.00 miles
Nov 10 - 4.01 miles
Nov 12 - 6.22 miles

In October, most of the runs were 4:00 running with 2:00 walking.  As of Oct 26, I switched up the workouts to 4:30 running with 2:00 walking.  As of the Nov 12 workout, the 4:30 is starting to feel easy.  I only start to feel a little out of breath when running uphill, so that's normal.  I think I am ready to switch things up.  I don't know if I want to increase the running to 5:00 or lower the rest.  Maybe a combo of lowering the rest and the running portion.  Since I am not ready to start any kind of speed work, it is probably best to keep slowly increasing the running time and go with 5 minutes.

Running these intervals (slow intervals) has been a pain since I started, because I was always looking at my phone to check the time.  I started thinking that there has to be a better way to do this.  I thought that maybe I could go through the process of building an app for the phone that allows me to enter split times and the device would beep as needed.  The smart thing to do here is see if someone already invented that wheel.  Sure enough, it has been done.  There is an app (at least on iPhone/AppStore) called Intervals.  It is created by Fourthframe Technologies.

Also, it is notable to mention the weather.  The temps stayed hot longer than normal (so the natives tell me) and the cold temps came on faster than normal.  So, I had to buy some winter running gear (and there may be more like a balaclava or neck warmer) and that has helped.  In October, the temps were cool in the 50's and 60's in the early evening, so I was running on my lunch breaks in shorts and T-shirts.  That's a nice break in the middle of a shift (working nights and lunch is around sundown).  It is dark by 4:45pm now, so I have switched to running during the days.  The temps have generally been in the 40's the past couple weeks.

And another big note, I signed up for the New York Road Runners today.  2018 marks their 60th year.  This is the organization that puts on the New York City Marathon and I'm guessing they are the largest event organizer in the city for fitness/running.  It's not a running club, though.  There are plenty of those.  I would like to get in the Central Park Track Club, but I need to get in better shape and hopefully get my times down before attempting that.

Friday, December 8, 2017

2017 Holiday Season Started and My Weight is a PR

I can't remember how many runs I've done this year.  Not too many either way.

I had a short run on a trip in October while in New York.  Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  It has a paved loop which is 1/3 mile.  It's cool because the markers are in the ground and made of brass.  They say 1 lap = 1/3 mile.  It was cool and I ran 6 laps, so 2 miles.  It wasn't very far, but exhilarating.

I have to admit that I got on the scale after Thanksgiving and I hit a new high.  I weighed 206 pounds.  I have never been this heavy in my life.  Another note on this, I went into the settings of the MapMyRun app on my phone and it had my weight set for 188 pounds, so that was 18 pounds ago.  I wish I knew when that was set.

That triggered me to start running this past weekend.  I ran Saturday and Sunday for 6 and 5 files respectively.  Last night, our company had its annual holiday party.  I ate, but made the committed effort of not drinking any alcoholic beverages, which was tough.  I do like to partake.  I waited a couple hours after eating and drove to Baldwin Park.  There, I ran 2 laps around the lake and put 5 miles in.

After I went home and showered, I put on an old pair of shorts that I haven't been able to button up for a few months.  That felt really gratifying.  I have a long way to go.  I can hardly believe that 3 decent runs this week did much in the way of losing any kind of weight, but it did something.

And here's to charging forward with this season's running.  I plan on putting in a few more miles tonight.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another Lesson about Summer Running... Special Florida Edition

When you have every intention of running after a long day at work, it will rain.  It's not my rule.  It's a rule for Central Florida.  It will rain.

So how do you make up for it?

a) treadmill
b) run in place
c) alternate workout

You still have to go out in the rain to get to a treadmill, so option a is out.  Running in place is kept for a special occasion.  That is done when I'm hurt... like a pulled hamstring.  You don't push off, so it's easier on the legs.  That leaves option c.  For this, I did a weight workout.

I did an overall better full body workout even though it didn't have the same cardio effect.  That's OK.  Right now, I need to lose at least 20 pounds before I can do any effective running workouts anyway.  So using 10 pound dumbells:

side lateral raises
arm curls
shoulder shrugs
overhead press
overhead tricep extensions
stiff leg good mornings
bent over rows
bent over reverse flys
calf raises
sit ups
high knees

I did 4 sets of 10 reps for each exercise.  With a 1 minute break between sets to get some water, the total workout was 31 minutes.  I feel great.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lesson about Running in the Summer

I usually sit on my bum throughout the workday.  This morning, we had a few problems that needed to be resolved and they couldn't all be done at my desk.  I had to get up and I walked around from place to place from about an hour and a half.  I knew I walked more than normal and since I was carrying my phone the whole time, I looked up my mileage on the pedometer app.  It turns out that I covered 1.15 miles.

This got me excited.  Probably too much.  I went home for lunch and decided that instead of jumping into a meal, I was going to hop into my running shorts and shoes.  I live on a lake with a decent tree canopy... on my side of the lake.  That tree canopy ran out after half a mile.

I planned on running 5k.  After a mile of 92 degrees, I checked the weather app and it says the feels like temp is 102.  Awesome!  I want to feel 102.  It wasn't very much farther and I changed my route from a single loop with a water fountain at one point to an out-and-back past that water fountain a second time.  It wasn't enough to quell the heat building in my core.

That last half mile with some shade under the trees turned into a new workout.  Run the sun, walk the shade.  Whatever it takes.  In total the workout was good and I finished with 2.75 miles.  A little short of my original goal, but 102 degrees will do that.

When I got home, I took a couple gulps of pickle juice.  I know.  How very hipster Williamsburg of me!  Gotta get the sodium replaced.

When I run in the afternoons, which is becoming prohibitive due to the afternoon storms, it usually takes about 30 minutes to cool down.  Today, it took about an hour.  So the lesson is to either run in the morning or evening when the temps are above 80 degrees during the day.  I think that's a safe rule.

I don't think I mentioned on here that I changed my running website from to  It is the domain name I wanted years ago, but didn't become available until earlier this year.  I am going to list some of the upcoming races in our area at the bottom of my blog posts.  Here goes:

Upcoming Races in the Orlando Area

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Starting over again

Starting over again. It's never easy to get back into any kind of rhythm.  Heck, I guess I'm not even worried about a rhythm right now. I just need to get any kind of consistency whatsoever. Is that a rhythm?  I'd be happy to just get three runs in a week on a consistent basis for a month and that'll be a good base for me.

With today's kind of weather, it sure makes it hard. It was 83° and very humid. It was raining in the distance. You could see it but it didn't rain where I was. It's  good and bad. The air had the humidity of the storm but no relief from the heat.

I went out planning on running 3 miles. Part way through my run, I thought about taking on about 4 miles, but then gave in and finished around three.

I feel like my head is going to explode.  I don't know if you can tell from the pic below, but my face is a little red.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Well Spring

noun well·spring \-ˌspriŋ\
: something or someone that provides a large amount of something : a good source of something

or more like....   well, spring.

I went for a run on Monday, March 23.  I logged into the MapMyRun app on my phone and it says my last run was in August 2014.  I haven't run since last summer.  The weather is still nice in Orlando.  It has been cool at night (60's F) and warm bordering on hot during the days (low 80's F).  I usually go running at the onset of spring which really occurs in February.  I didn't run all fall and winter, which is bad enough.  Subsequently, I've put on a few pounds.  I also added to my running sabbatical and bypassed our pollen season, which is so strong that it actually affects people without allergy problems in Central Florida.  The oak pollen is so heavy that you can see it in the air.  It coats your eyes, nose, and throat with powder.  Normally, I run through it and suffer from non-stop sneezing attacks all night.  This year, I skipped my running in favor of my sanity.

Another thing that has been bothering me... I am pretty sure I have sciatica.  Pain in my hip, calf, ankle, ball of my foot and all on my left side.  I also get cramps on the side of my lower leg and also in my foot... only on my left side.  It's getting worse and one of the best things I can do is lose weight and strengthen my core.

The pollen has died down (hopefully for the year).  Hence my return to running.  It is now Thursday and my legs and thoracic area are still sore from the run.  I'm going on 43 and it's sad that I am this sore 3 days later... after running just under a mile and a half.  Just sad.

We'll see how things go and if I can stack up workouts into an actual routine.

On a positive note, I have made some updates to one of my other websites.  I have started adding local Central Florida races and put it on the front page.  The races used to be on a different page and this should make it easier to find.  I also bought the domain name and will eventually transition the website over to that name.  Not everyone knows that Lake Eola is the center of downtown Orlando, but most people recognize the name Orlando.  It fits.  Updates to come.  For now, check out the race list and thanks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Run the Straightaways

My running group normally runs at a track owned by the local middle school.  The rule is that if it is free for public use unless kids from the school are using it.  Well today, it was being used by a youth football team.  I think my group was running somewhere else and I completely forgot where.  I must have missed a memo.

Not sure what everyone ran, but I decided to make it a speed/form run again.  Slight different in that I ran the straightaways at mile pace and jogged the curves.  I had every intention of doing 4 sets consisting of 4 laps.  Without the group, I was ill prepared in water supply.  There is a water fountain, but it is not cooled.  In fact, I think they warm it up in case you want to draw a bath.

Due to the temperature of 91 degrees feeling more like this...

and not having a cool water supply, my workout turned into 2 sets of 4 laps each.  It was a great workout otherwise.  I kept good form and I think I ran around a 7:00 pace on the straights.  I am going to have to start bringing a watch, so I can gauge my improvement.

I can't wait for fall, which is more like October/November in Central Florida.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mid summer Meltdown

Today's workout was a blast. It was around 90° in the afternoon at workout time and the humidity was probably about 2000%.

We had to run 4 sets of 200, 200, 400 intervals with the same jog recovery.  Mile pace so we keep good form and not run too fast.  It really shouldn't have been that hard of a workout, but the heat really made it difficult to keep going.

I made it though.  It is now 45 minutes after my one hour workout and I am almost done sweating.  That's ridiculous!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No Time Like the Present

Well there's no time like the present.  And it's not a play on words with Christmas either.  I decided a few weeks ago that I couldn't wait for New Year's to come around and I need to start running and getting in shape. It's time to lose some weight.  I definitely have a few pounds on me that need to come off and who said that we have to base our routines on New Year's, a calendar which is something the Romans dreamed up, to plan our workouts. Did they have Thanksgiving and Christmas packing on the pounds?

So there's that and then there's the coworker that sends you the workout routine and he says, "Hey, it's time to start ramping up for the Corporate 5K in April."  That happened yesterday.

I looked over the routine and it looks good. It's 6 to 7 days a week running and I can do it.  It's have to be determined and try everyday.

Yesterday, the workout was an easy distance day. I ran just over 3 miles around 9:30 average pace.

Today, the routine was 6-8 x 1000m at tempo with a 1:00 active rest
.  I haven't run hard in a long time, but it's either try or do.  Yoda says to do.

Started with a 1 and 1/2 mile warm-up, got some quick stretching and got to it.

My splits were:


This is going to hurt tomorrow, but it felt good when I get done.  Total mileage was 5.75 miles.  Day 2, that's a wrap.