Saturday, September 29, 2007

10 mile run - 9/29/07

Today was my long run for the week--10 miles and some change. I decided last night that I'd run 10 this morning to get some longer mileage in as I get ready for the half-marathon coming up in a month and then the marathon in February. It's a little early to have the marathon plan together, but I need to build up my base mileage now.

As you can see from the Nike+ picture above, the run started good and slowly went downhill and then I picked it up as I got closer to the end. Slowest time was around 9 minute miles and fastest was in the 8:25-8:30 milers. Feeling good, but tired.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Progress - 9/28/07

I'm at 297 miles and continuing west on Rt. 70. I just passed Twilight, Speers, and Lover and I'm heading towards Zediker. I'm only 50 miles from the West Virginia border.

Tomorrow is a longer run. Haven't decided what I'll do, but likely in the 7-10 range. I've mapped out my World Wide Half run, which I'm looking forward to doing sometime between October 2 and the 22nd.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Call for Runners: Reach the Beach 200 mile relay anyone?

Every year, New Hampshire has a 200-mile relay from coast to coast called "Reach the Beach". 10-12 runners (or less for the crazier people) run across the state over alternating legs to finish the race in 24 hours (or less).

I thought it'd be interesting to bring together all of the supportive runners that reach each other's blogs to compete together in this race. It's typically in the second weekend of September, so we'd have a year to work out the details. It's a big run, but it looks like it'd be a great challenge for everyone.

I'm strategically asking this before a number of people run their marathons in November. (Maddy, Petra, Susan, I'm looking at you.) I'm hoping to catch everyone on the upswing of the training.

So, what does everybody think? Up for one big blogger/runner challenge to end all challenges?

Some information below, if you're interested. Feel free to leave a comment if you're up for it. Registration is in April, so we have some time, but I wanted to plant the seed early.

- Course legs
- J's Tips for Reach the Beach

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why I Run

I started exercising in May 2006 after I broke up with my girlfriend. I looked at myself in the mirror and my waist size and I knew that I had let myself go (see below). I was pushing a 40 waist and I looked bad--really bad. I wasn't sleeping well and didn't feel that good about myself. So, I started walking on a treadmill along with doing Weight Watchers. I did that until January 2007 when I was at my peak for walking and wasn't burning the calories or getting the level of work out that I wanted to have.

So, purely out of efficiency, I started to run on the treadmill. I wasn't running very fast (12 minute miles), but I had set a goal for myself. I was going to run the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia in May 2007 -- a 10 mile run, exactly 10x my longest run ever before. I now had something to train for. As soon as it got warm enough out, I hit a trail a 1/4 mile from my house. I started with 2 miles and eventually worked up to 10 miles. I didn't like it at first, but I grew to love it. I couldn't stay inside anymore because I liked the allure of the road, even if I wasn't going anywhere in particular.

Since that race, I've developed a fever and the only cure was more running. I work out 6 days a week and feel guilty on the 7th day, but I know it's better for me. At this point, I do between 25 and 35 miles a week and I couldn't be happier. I went from 12 minute miles to 8-8:15 minute miles.

So, did it help? Well, you can be the judge. I lost 75 pounds in a year and went from a 40 to a 31 waist. Needless to say, I feel great.

Before (40 waist)

After (31 waist)

Progress - 9/21/07

I'm finally on Rt 70 on my way to Wheeling, WV. I'm 271 miles in and about 50 miles to the West Virginia border. Man, Pennsylvania is huge!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm back, baby!

When I woke up this morning, I took off that darn sling for the last time. I'm free! I head to an occupational therapist tomorrow to get the official diagnosis, but I'm feeling quite good.

That said, I could barely sleep last night (got 3 1/2 hours, I think) because I was so excited about being able to get back on the road to run. I ran this morning bright and early and very cold (40 degrees) and I only ran about 2 miles, but I didn't care. It felt great to be out.

I was feeling a little bit of tenderness at the beginning and end of run, but nothing too bad and certainly not too much to stop. I think the shoulder is just stretching out a bit.

These last couple of weeks have reminded me about my not-so-distant thinking that running was boring and annoying. In fact, I just started to run in January, so it hasn't even been a full year. It's funny how you can get into something and then never know how you lived without it. In the coming weeks, I'll share what got me into running in the first place.

By the way, if you're curious, my pace was 8:07. Seriously. I didn't push myself or anything--just ran at a comfortable pace.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Crawl, walk, run 26.2 - The Mardi Gras Marathon

Well, there's nothing like going from a complete stop to running a marathon. I just signed up for the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon at the end of February. It's my first marathon and it will likely be a doosy. I'm incredibly excited and at the same time, I'm incredibly worried.

Mainly what it means is that I'll need to stay motivated and run the entire winter, which isn't the easiest thing in the snowy north east. Regardless, I'm committed to making this happen and doing well. It requires some more rigorous training and planning, but I'm confident I can do the mileage.

To answer some questions, no, I haven't been doing a whole lot of walking. I just frankly can't stand it. It's too slow. Plus, it's been raining. Unlike Susan, I love running in the rain, but I can't stand walking in it. And, thankfully, this stupid brace comes off in less than a week. I can't wait!

OK, that said, I know there are a ton of training programs/sites out there. Does anyone have a particular one that you're using that's working well?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Progress - 9/2/07

I'm 271 miles in and getting closer to the West Virginia border and Route 70. It'll be slower since I'm walking, but hey, I'll get there sooner or later.

I hate walking!

Since my shoulder injury earlier this week, I haven't been able/allowed to run. I walked the last two days (4 miles on Saturday and 2 today) and I have to tell you--I hate it. It takes me an hour to do 4 miles and I'm actually walking at a pretty good clip.

I spent the majority of the last year walking on treadmills and on trails, and I can't figure out how I stood it. The lack of running and the slow pace of walking is just making me crazy. I know that I'll never be able to go back to walking. It's just too darn slow.

That said, thank you for all the comments and kind words about my shoulder injury. I think one of the best ones was from Peter, who reminded me that this is natural and comes from getting off the couch and pushing yourself. It's a really good point, Peter. A year and a half ago, the only way I'd dislocate my shoulder was from falling off the couch during a marathon of Law & Order. Life certainly has changed.

That said, congrats Maddy, on your long run. That's fantastic!