Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5K Simulation

Since I'm running a 5K for New Year's Eve, I decided to simulate it this morning. I run on the course all the time, but I've never run it hard. I know it's not the best idea to run hard right before the race, but I wanted to gauge what I'm capable of, since I haven't run fast in awhile.

As I was about to start my run, a guy ran by. I didn't want to blow past him, so I gave it some time. Of course as I was about to start again, a guy and girl went by. This time I started. I fly right past them as I went out very hard. Running 5Ks at that speed are just so uncomfortable for me.

Even running against the wind, the first mile was a very impressive 6:26. I wasn't even sure if I could actually run that fast. I impressed myself really. I definitely slowed the second mile and at the turnaround. I passed both groups of runners in the opposite direction, on the second mile.

I still was well under 7 minutes, even after slowing down. When I saw that I was approaching 20 minutes, I really picked it up. My race goal is to run under 20 minutes. That may be tough as this run took me 20:17 and I gave it about everything I had.

I actually only ran 3.09 miles. One thing I don't like about my Garmin is that I have difficulty getting it off of the calories setting and into the distance setting. I was unable to change its settings until after the race. I was close enough on the distance though and it just shows how accurate that thing is.

I'd like to run a little faster, but I'm not really sure how. Maybe if I back off a little early, I can pick up more later in the race with the wind likely at my back. I don't know that I can truly gain a lot though. I put about everything I had into today's run. Maybe some competition can push me a little more.

Weather is going to be another issue. Today, I went with just a Nike base layer. Tomorrow night, might be rain and snow. I definitely don't want to wear a jacket, unless I have no other choice. Regardless of the weather, it should be fun.

3.09 miles - 20:17 (6:33 pace)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Valley Forge Trail

I was called by work and told that I didn't need to be in until 4 PM, instead of 2 PM. I took the extra time and decided to run at Valley Forge National Park. It was a great experience.

The weather was almost unbearable. I got out to freezing cold and a driving wind. There are a lot of open fields up there, so the wind blows right through. Luckily, I was running on the trails and they were blocked by trees.

I found the Mount Joy trail and started up that in my new trail shoes. The start was incredibly steep. I had to work very hard to get up it. I had trouble breathing because it was so steep. It did even off a little bit at least.

I opted for the less steep portion when I encountered a spot with two choices. I eventually ran on what I thought was the trail and wound up near some deer. I had heard that they don't move and are used to people. I didn't believe until I actually saw it. I was about 15 yards away from them and they just stared at me. It was a neat experience.

Eventually, I got back onto the right trail. I took off my Under Armour Hood because it was too hot. Every now and then, some wind did blow at me though. The trail was quite narrow and interesting to run on at times. I finished it up and turned around after just over a mile. I was disappointed that it was so short.

I found a steep turnoff and ran up that. It was very rocky and quite the climb. I passed some walkers, who had trouble even going down in that fashion. I managed to get up and down it though. Since I was trying to find more trails, I found a very steep path. It went down to nearby Route 252. It was tough to even run down it. The trail then really kicked my ass on the way back up. I had to stop and walk briefly a couple times.

After getting back on level ground, I headed towards home. I found one more new steep incline before I eventually headed for home. That uphill was very tough as well. I haven't experienced hills like this. I guess the trails off of Forbidden Drive are comparable, but I've typically just stuck to the road.

The running and the hills were excellent and I'll definitely be back. My ass was really kicked today and this will be a good test of my fitness as I get stronger. Hopefully I can cruise on this trail at some point in the future. Now I see why the Kenyans like to run here. I'm still adapting to trail running in general. Downhill is tough and this trail was quite narrow.

I was disappointed that this trail wasn't connected to any others. There are a couple other trails across the creek. I'll have to try them out next time. That should give me enough mileage. I had hoped for 7 miles today, but 5 miles at that difficulty was okay.

I'm really enjoying trail running. Now, it's back to the roads tomorrow though. It's an easy 3 miler as I rest for the upcoming 5K. I might run the 5K route and see how fast I can do it. I really want to break 20 minutes for the run.

5.11 miles - 51:57 (10:09 pace)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Getting Windy

Today was an easy five mile run. I went one mile out on Kelly Drive and turned around and ran the Schuykill Banks loop. I really like this route.

The first mile was brutal due to the wind. The temperature was 40 degrees, but it was 31 degrees with the wind chill. Fighting the wind, I started off slowly. I consistently improved with every mile. The Garmin was a big part of me doing just that.

After the first mile, the next 2.5 miles were wind free. That was a big plus and I got into a groove. I actually was too hot and put my headband away. I really fought some wind during the final uphill portion. My legs were feeling a little dead, but I continued to battle.

I dressed with just a ColdGear top and shorts. It was actually the right outfit. It was a little troublesome with the wind, but very comfortable when going the other way.

After the run, I ran three steep 8 second hill sprints. I used a path near some rocks at the back of the Art Museum. It is steep there anywhere else that I've used hills. It still didn't seem difficult though.

Tomorrow will be a difficult hilly run on Forbidden Drive. I don't work until 2, so I can head out there. It'll be great to have GPS out there, because I never know how far I'm going. I might use the heart rate monitor too. I also can't wait to use my trail shoes. It'll be a fun day.

5 miles - 38:19 (7:40 pace)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Loving the Garmin

This morning was my weekly long run. Since I missed my 9 mile one last week due to the snow, I was a little concerned that I'd struggle to run 10 miles. I was very happy with today's results. I chose a relatively flat course from my parents house to an industrial park.

The first mile was nice and smooth. I went out with my new Garmin Forerunner leading the way. I cruised to around an 8 mile first mile. The temperature was in the 40s, even at 8 AM. I only had on a long sleeve shirt and tights. I matched that with a headband and gloves. That was actually too much. I rolled up my sleeves and took off my gloves and headband as I began to get hot.

I ran a solid pace. It definitely wasn't an easy pace, but I'm not sure I'd call it hard. It was great to watch my mile by mile pace on the Garmin. With so few cars on the road, I ran a lot in the middle of the road. That was much better than running on the crowned shoulder. Surprisingly, my IT band rarely bothered me.

My pace picked up slightly nearly every mile. I finally got to the industrial park and was very pleased when I turned around. I thought about slowing down because I wasn't sure how I'd react in the last miles. I continued to be strong though.

There was a pretty steep hill with 2 miles to go. That did take a lot out of me, but didn't kill me. I actually pushed harder and ran my fastest mile. The final mile was even faster, at just over 7 minutes.

I was thrilled with tracking my progress on the Forerunner. It'll allow me to monitor my workouts much more closely and take them to the next level. It's just what I need to qualify for Boston. I couldn't believe the pace that I sustained for 10 miles. I'm definitely getting much stronger. I think the hill running has been a big help. I will continue with that.

Tomorrow is an easy run. Later in the week, I'll be running the Midnight 5K on Boathouse Row. It should be a blast. Hopefully, my work schedule doesn't make it too rough.

10 miles - 1:15:21 (7:32 pace)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Appalachian Trail

Today certainly turned into an interesting Christmas Day run. I got a pair of tights and Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS watch among my many gifts. I didn't get any trail running shoes. Regardless, I decided to try finding a trail. I wound up trying the Appalachian Trail, since it isn't too far from my parents house.

They drove me to the snow covered trail and waited for me in the car. Running it seemed pretty crazy when I looked it over, so of course I jumped right in. I ran what I thought was the main trail, but later learned it was just a rugged adjacent path. I climbed up the very rocky path. I had to go slow and the hill was steep. I had trouble breathing early on too.

I fell once and there were some sharp rocks that hurt my feet. Luckily, the snow actually provided some nice cushioning and with only a few inches, it was reasonable to run on. After climbing for awhile, I came to an opening. I ran down a little and had a spectacular view from the top of the mountain.

I wasn't on the right path though, so I continued along the main trail. That was much wider and easier to navigate through. I ran faster there when I could. The problem I encountered was a lot of snow drifts. I had thin socks on and snow was often getting into my shoe.

A nearby chemical plant destroyed a lot of the trees in that area and it was eerie running through that desolate portion of the trail. The ground there is either black or orange. Some sections had snow drifts, others were bare.

I finally decided to turn around after 32 minutes. I regretted doing so though, because I was having such a blast. I never did much trail running and didn't realize how much fun it could be. I was the only one up there and crazy enough to run in those conditions. The rugged section had some other footprints, but the main trail only had animal tracks.

The run back was a real shock and slap in the face. I came across incredibly strong winds, one of the reasons that there was no snow on the ground (it all blew away). My feet still felt pretty good, but I was beginning to become concerned with how much snow and cold they were being exposed to. Trail shoes would've certainly helped.

I kept on running because I had no other choice. Even though my foot impacted the ground at different angles, my IT band didn't bother me. The softness of the snow must've cushioned it very well.

I got lost on the way back. I recognized the power line tower near where I came out of the rugged portion of the trail. I stayed on the main trail though for about 5 more minutes. I wasn't sure if I was going the right way, so I turned around and headed back for the tower. I then found the rugged trail.

It took awhile to get down there and I had to navigate down the steep slope very slowly. My dad actually called out for me at one point. They were getting worried. It was getting pretty dark by the end of the run. The rugged section of trail was marked with white paint on the trees, so it wasn't hard to follow.

I finally finished up, after over an hour of running. It was a very slow run, but definitely challenging. The hills were excellent and just what I need to get stronger. I later discovered that when I turned around to go back to the power line tower, that I was actually on the right path. That would've led right to the car and in a much easier fashion.

The run was a blast and I'll definitely have to go up there again sometime. I guess I need to find some more trails to run on as well as getting some trail shoes. Thicker socks would've helped too.

Tomorrow, I'll take off and buy a couple running related items. I'm going to run 10 miles on Sunday before leaving for the Eagles game. I'll likely stick to the roads this time though. What an amazing Christmas run though.

6.36 miles - 1:11:38 (11:16 pace)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Overheating in the Cold

Today was another easy morning run. I started off at my apartment and along Kelly Drive. I ran to the John B. Kelly statue by the grandstands and back. That's the turnaround point for the upcoming New Year's run, so I figured I'd run the course a little.

I couldn't decide on what to wear for the run. That ended up being a mistake. It was 27 degrees, but little to no wind. I just couldn't fathom going out in that weather without a jacket. Apparently I should have though as I severely overheated. I was sweating like crazy when I got back. Even opening my jacket during the run, taking off the headband and gloves, didn't help.

I tried to run hard and fast for awhile early on, but getting too hot eventually took its toll. There was a slight wind on the way out, but none on the way back. That's when I really got hot.

My IT band problem was just so so today. It continues to nag me, but it didn't slow me down any. I still ran an okay pace. It never got really bad. It's something I'll just have to continue to battle through. Running on uneven surfaces and at a slower pace are clearly issues. Maybe when I get vibrams in the spring, that'll really help.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day. I'm looking forward to getting some new running stuff and possibly testing it out during an afternoon run. I want to really do a hilly 7 mile run. Being back that the parents, I'm not sure where to run though. I'll have to figure that part out. It's been great to get out the last two days and I look forward to tomorrow's run as well.

5.4 miles - 43:57 (8:08 pace)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Slower Pace

I've been having trouble dragging myself out of bed to run lately. The cold temperatures combined with a lack of sleep have been an issue. Today, I did get up and get my run in. I still never ran my long run from over the weekend, but at least I'm making some effort.

I decided to start off running when I got to 21st and Green Streets. Running on the uneven sidewalks which are covered in ice might not be a good idea. Not only is it a safety hazard, but I think it bothers my IT band.

The beginning of the run along West River Drive was interesting too. Of course, it was very cold when I ran over the river. That is always the case. I had on my jacket and my new winter running hat. That was a big help. The temperature were in the teens with a wind chill in single digits.

I real interesting part was as I ran over the bridge over the river. The snow had melted and refroze. It made for a slow going through that portion. Once I hit the actual path, I was very impressed with how clear it was. Rarely did I come across any ice.

The head wind that encountered slowed my pace and my IT band started acting up before I turned around at the railroad bridge near Montgomery Drive. I was able to pick my pace up later and noticed that with a different stride, my IT band doesn't act up as much. It still bothered me though, but I managed to finish my run at the Art Museum.

All in all, it was a productive run. I was hoping to continue to improve over the winter, but I guess I'm just going to have to settle for putting in miles and just surviving. The cold isn't bad, it is the wind that is the pain. I constantly have to change how I'm dressed during the run because of it. Wearing extra clothes is slowing me down as well.

Tomorrow will be my last run here before heading home for Christmas. I hope to get in an easy 5 miler. Back home, I'm going to run a hilly 7 miler and then follow that up with a 10 mile Sunday long run. Hopefully, this week will stay on track now.

5.15 miles - 42:44 (8:18 pace)

Monday, December 21, 2009

After the Snow

I failed to get out a run yesterday morning after the snow, so I tried to run my 9 miler this morning. Things didn't start out well as I was very tired and struggled to get out of bed. I slept in another hour later than I planned. I finally hit the road though.

Part of my reason for not running up to this point was that I didn't expect the 20 inches of snow to be plowed from the Kelly Drive path yet. I was very shocked when I got out and it was relatively clear this morning.

I couldn't decide which shoes to wear. I didn't want to get my new ones full of snow, so I chose the old pair. I figured I'd be running in snow, so the additional support of my news shoes wouldn't help much anyways.

It turned out I made the wrong choice. The path was fairly clear. The only issues were water that refroze and a section by the grandstand that still had an inch or two.

I actually started from my house for a change. That wasn't too bad and I felt pretty good by the time I reached Lloyd Hall. I went a couple miles before I noticed any problem with my IT band. I ran slow, but comfortable. It was windy for most of the way out.

Once I hit the snow by the grandstands, it became obvious that I wasn't going to finish 9 miles. The snow caused my IT band to really start acting up. I couldn't land on even ground and it was a big problem. I went just past the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and then turned around.

Shortly after that, I started to walk. I figured it was a good idea to do so for 2 minutes. I started back up, but the left IT band continued to be a problem. I had to run/walk the rest of the way and struggled to get back to Lloyd Hall. On my last run/walk segment, I got a burst and ran fast for a few hundred meters. That was over quickly though.

I was disappointed that I still didn't get my long run in. I did complete 6 miles though. That's better than nothing. I'll have to see if my new shoes will work better on the uneven ground.

One good thing is that I'm no longer very sore in work. Even after a shift of over 9 hours, I'm only slightly sore. Hopefully, I can get in a 9 miler tomorrow. Since I rested two days over the weekend, I can skip my scheduled rest day tomorrow.

6 miles - 55:17 (9:13 pace)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Going Solo

Well this evening was certainly an interesting run. I was unable to get much sleep on Thursday night, so I opted to sleep later instead of run in the morning. I didn't eat anything other than breakfast before work and I didn't get a break until 5 hours were up. I developed a headache and eating McDonald's during break wasn't any help.

I was still determined to get out and run in the beautiful 31 degree weather though (wind chill of 24 degrees). I ended up resting for about an hour to try to clear my headache. Following that, I opted to just attempt to sleep instead and make up the run at another time.

Of course the Friday night party downstairs started up and I couldn't sleep. As 10:30 rolled around, I just decided to head out the door for a run. Kind of crazy, but I might as well do something productive. I ran a 4 miler. I started on Kelly Drive and did an out and back for a total of a mile. I then ran the Schuykill Banks loop.

Not surprisingly, I was the only runner out. I was passed by about 5 bikers and a couple walkers. I think most people that were crazy enough to be out an 11 PM on a Friday were just commuting from somewhere.

I figured that I had dressed too warm with a jacket over my shirt. I was worried about going out without a jacket that late at night though. I was right, it was definitely too hot. Throughout some of the run, I had to open the jacket.

I ran a nice solid pace on this easy day. My quads were a bit sore from yesterday's hills, but other than that, I felt good. I was even crazy enough to add two hill sprints behind the Art Museum. Luckily, no one saw me. I would've looked completely ridiculous running uphill at full speed with tights and a yellow shirt on over my jacket.

I'm really starting to like this night running thing. The skyline is beautiful and everything is so peaceful. Of course, I've always enjoyed the darkness in general. If it wasn't somewhat dangerous, I might run more often at night.

This was good practice for the upcoming New Year's Midnight run that I signed up for along the river. As I was walking home, the clock hit 12 AM and it officially became my birthday. Speaking of which, I'd still like to get a 9 mile long run in tomorrow afternoon. It might get tricky because a big snowstorm is supposed to start overnight.

4 miles - 32:26 (8:07 pace)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Always Uphill

It was another day of hills on Forbidden Drive. I headed out there late in the morning for a fine trail run. After a couple strides, high knees and kick butts, I took off running. The plan was to go about 6 miles.

I started off easy, running north along the path from Valley Green. I did that for 5 minutes and then turned around. It is mostly flat there, but there was actually a portion that was quite hilly.

I started with my jacket over my ColdGear. It was too hot though. I just ditched the jacket and was comfortable. There was a little breeze, but the top and tights kept me warm enough. I didn't have any ear protection, but that didn't become a big problem.

The hills that I encountered when heading south were great. They are very challenging and you go from one to the next. It wasn't too wet today, but there were a few spots, including some with ice. I made it all the way out to Lincoln Drive again. This time, I ran comfortably because I didn't have anyone to push me like the hard workout two weeks ago.

It worked out well though. I still worked very hard. On the way back, it seemed like I was still hitting a lot of inclines. It was like the terrain stayed the same as on the way out. That bothered my IT band a little, but not so much so that I had to quit. I was able to keep going. I have definitely become a lot stronger than just a couple weeks ago. The hills are strengthening me, as is spending all day on my feet at work.

I finally found out why trail shoes are so important. This is a soft trail, but I still ran into a problem. On the way back, a sharp rock pierced my shoe and there's actually a hole in it. I'm definitely going to buy trail shoes if I don't get any for Christmas.

Overall, it was a great workout. It'll really help me in my quest to qualify for Boston. I'm am so focused on that right now. The cold weather can't even phase me. Tomorrow will be a simple recovery run. I'll likely do another flat route along the river. This time, perhaps I'll run on West River Drive. I haven't done that in awhile.

50:01 ~ 6 miles

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lonely Winter Night Run

Well I took a rest day on Tuesday. I didn't get to bed soon enough last night, so I slept in a little this morning and didn't have time for my run. That meant that I had to run at night, after my 8 PM shift was over.

It was very windy, which made it feel extremely cold. I was actually surprised to see that the temperature is currently 30 degrees (feels like 20 degrees). I headed out the door prepared, with a couple layers on. I didn't want to put on a heavy ColdGear shirt, so I tried a lighter base layer. The cheaper brown shirt that I have didn't work as well as I had hoped, and actually was quite sweaty.

The first quarter mile was brutal. I put on the hood and battled a strong head wind. I had the hood on very tight. It actually bothered my neck after a couple miles and I had to loosen it. I felt pretty good for awhile. My Under Armour tights worked awesome and the jacket that I have really did break the wind.

Around 1.5 miles, I started to get hot though. I was surprised that this happened even before the turnaround. I took down my hood for awhile and even removed my gloves and unzipped my jacket to cool down. Eventually, I put the hood back up again.

Not surprisingly, my first half of the run was very slow. It took me about 17:15 to get to the turnaround. Today was an easy day, so I didn't push much. I did pick it up with the wind at my back though.

Even though it's cold, it is beautiful running in the city at night. The Kelly Drive path is dimly lit. The skyline is pretty. It's peaceful because there aren't many other runners, walkers or bikings out. I'm definitely taking a liking to the night run. There's also a certain toughness about being out in these conditions.

I also used my cheap yellow shirt again as a night vest. The shirt sucks to actually run in, but it's great for this application. I don't even need to buy a vest now, although I probably will at some point.

I'll be out to run again in less than 12 hours. I have a 2PM start time at work, so I'm going to run before it starts. It'll be my weekly hilly run on Forbidden Drive. Hopefully my feet will do okay on the rough terrain and I pray the ground isn't too wet. It doesn't seem like it ever dries out there though.

4 miles - 32:45 (8:11 pace)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sore Hip

Today was an easy 4 mile run. I went out and back on Kelly Drive from Lloyd Hall. It's nice and flat. I followed that up with a pair of sprints on Lemon Hill.

The temperature was great for this recovery run. It was 39 degrees with no wind. I wore shorts, a light long sleeve shirt and light gloves. I was even a bit hot actually.

The run itself went pretty well, but my left IT band acted up a little bit again. I was pushing a little hard to get past some people. The IT band became a minor problem around mile 2.5. It bothered me slightly throughout the rest of the run.

After 8 hours on my feet, my right hip was sore again. I wonder when I'll finally get used to being on my feet. Maybe it was because I still have to break in the new shoes. I actually ran in my old shoes today and that might've been part of the IT band problem.

Tomorrow will most likely be a 10 mile bike ride. It's that or rest. I don't work until 2 PM, so I'll probably just bike beforehand.

4 miles - 30:51 (7:43 pace)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cold and Rainy

Well it's December, but apparently the rain still doesn't want to leave. At least we won't have to worry about having a drought anytime soon. When I checked the weather before the run, it was 34 degrees with light rain. The only thing that could've made it worse was some rain.

I walked outside with just my ColdGear top on. I went right back inside and switched to a shirt sleeve shirt and water resistant jacket. I only wore short shorts on the bottom. It actually didn't feel as bad as it would've seemed. Maybe I'm just used to 34 degrees now.

I didn't feel very strong early on. My legs didn't have a lot of bounce. The jacket made me feel a lot heavier too. A guy blew by me just after the first mile and I let him go. It was a pain adjusting the jacket's hood. At first, the light breeze would nearly blow it off my head. Once I got it right and the rain started weighing it down, it worked well.

Although I didn't feel strong, I ran okay. My IT band started acting up a little bit after the third mile. I also noticed that my legs were red and they were numb when I touched them. It was odd because they never felt cold. I decided that I'd run to Falls Bridge and turn around.

Going up to Falls Bridge, my IT band bothered me again. I went all the way across the bridge before turning around. I was really concerned about my legs, so I thought about warming up in a portable bathroom for awhile.

A few minutes later, I came across another guy with shorts on. His legs looked redder than mine and a women with him had a very red face. I decided to plug on. I still didn't feel great, but my IT band didn't bother me. It was mostly just a problem on the hills.

The IT band did finally act up again as I was half a mile from Lloyd Hall. I tried picking up the pace for awhile and that's when it started bothering me. After reaching Lloyd Hall, I added on a portion to the circle in the drive by the art museum. That made my IT band worse too.

When I finally stopped, my legs were quite red. I rested and stretched for about 15 minutes in the bathroom. The worst part wasn't the part of my legs that were exposed, it was portion that was under my legs. The wet shorts were a problem for my legs. I put some paper towels under them and survived. It was a little scary for awhile though.

My IT band is still a problem, but it's definitely getting better. Last week, I only made it 4 miles before walking. I made it through the whole 8 miles today, even though I had some struggles. Tomorrow is an easy 4 mile run, as I continue to balance running and working.

7.8 miles - 1:02:03 (7:57 pace)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Extreme Weather

Today was my first test in extreme weather. It was an interesting run to say the least. Luckily, it was an easy day with only 3 miles planned. When I awoke, I checked the weather and was shocked to see 24 degrees and feels like 10 degrees. I knew it was going to make for a difficult time.

On the plus side, it was my first chance to try out the new running jacket. It worked well against the brutal headwind at the start, although the hood actually blew off. I had to tie it tight. It is definitely a solid jacket and I'll wear it again throughout most of the winter.

I went with Under Armour ColdGear underneath as well as UA tights. That was a pretty good choice, although I got fairly hot on the way back. My gloves still worked well in this temperature. I tried out my Under Armour Hoodie for a half mile. It was so so.

I wanted to run easy, but it is kind of difficult to do when the wind is pushing you backwards. I certainly didn't push the pace and really I couldn't have if I wanted to.

Once I hit the turnaround, I went from uncomfortable to hot. I actually took off the hood for awhile. I was sweating a little. The dramatic difference that the wind can make in each direction is what makes me so frustrated during winter running. I actually don't mind the cold part. It is just that the wind is brutal.

After finally finishing, I ran two short hill sprints on Lemon Hill. I am definitely getting stronger. I've only had minor soreness with my IT band lately. I wasn't sore today at work, even after being on my feet for 8 hours. That strengthening is going to be a big help in my marathon training.

This is the first time in a long time that I've run for 5 straight days. I don't feel tired or worn down either. I'm actually taking tomorrow off, but I'm eager to run again. I have an 8 mile run scheduled for Sunday. I might just make it 9 miles. I'm starting to develop a nice base.

Tomorrow, I need to lay out the rest of my training schedule. I have to mess my current fitness with my planned fitness. Bill Treichel wants to run a half marathon in the spring, so I'm going to put together a plan for him as well. I love making training plans. Maybe one day I'll coach and do that all the time.

3 miles - 25:31 (8:30 pace)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Trail Running Again

I went out to Forbidden Drive again. That's becoming a place that I really like to run. I ran for 35 minutes. It was freezing cold and very windy by my apartment, but comfortable out there.

This time, I ran north on Forbidden Drive. I ran to just past Bells Mill Road. Most of the route was flat, compared with the southern portion of the drive. There are still a few challenging hills though.

What made it very interesting was running through all the mud and puddles. It rained yesterday, but it was still wet. Apparently that area doesn't drain well at all. I was surprised that it was in that condition. I navigated around most of it, but a few times my shoes got wet.

I definitely need to get some trail running shoes. That'll protect my feet from water and mud. It will also give me some protection when I'm running over rocks. Eventually, I'll have to pick up a cheap pair.

I ran pretty hard, especially on the way back. I saw a couple people ahead of me and I passed them. I pushed hard to stay in front of them. I finished up with a pair of striders too.

It was fun running through the slop and I definitely need to get out and do more of that. I need to try running some of the trails around there too. Those are very hilly and will be a huge test.

My right hip has been sore the last couple days. It was very sore during work after my run. Tomorrow, I'll take it easy. I'm going to run a flat route with some hill sprints afterwards.

35 minutes (~4.5 miles)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gorgeous Night

When I awoke this morning, it was pouring rain. While I like running in the rain, I'm not too crazy about it in December. I went back to bed.

At work, they had me working in shoes for most of the day. That meant running up and down stairs all day. After awhile, I started to get sore. It was good strengthening work.

Even after a busy day at work, I decided to get in my run afterwards. I went out for a nice 4 miler along Kelly Drive around 9 PM. The weather was great, in the mid 50s.

There is just something wonderful about running at night. I love the dark. Running in between the lights is pretty cool too. It was peaceful with only a few runners and bikers out.

I wore a short sleeve shirt and shorts with gloves. I put on the yellow running shirt too. I really don't like it for running, but it seems to be working well as a reflective shirt.

I went out at a comfortable pace. I wore my Asics again. I felt very good. I was actually a bit hot after awhile. As I was running around the 1.5 mile mark, a guy passed me. He was wearing an Ironman shirt and hydration belt. He wasn't going too fast and I tucked in behind him and picked up the pace. It was a good workout for a brief stint, but he turned around before I did.

His faster pace caused me to run the rest of the route hard. Right after passing him, I had to run up on a trail near the stands. The portion of the path near the river was flooded. I really pushed through the final two miles, even though my legs felt like they were dieing. I finished strong though.

It was an excellent workout and I'm really liking my new shoes. I had no problems with my IT band. Although it was almost all flat, that was still surprising. Tomorrow, I will test it out again with a hilly run. I'm considering riding my bike for a little beforehand too. I'm crazy with my latest addiction. Maybe I should backoff at some point.

4 miles - 29:44 (7:26 pace)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I guess you can say I'm becoming addicted to running and exercise in general. I do have an addictive behavior, it is good that it is being used for something productive this time. Today was an easy 3 miles in the new shoes this morning. That wasn't enough though, as I biked about 10 miles in the dark after work.

The run went fairly well. I just ran the Schuykill Banks loop. I warmed up with some strides, high knees and kick butts. I bought a pair of Asics Gel GT 2140. I forgot how good it feels to have a new pair of shoes. I felt like I could fly. I actually had to hold back a lot. I didn't realize just how dead my old pair was.

My IT band continued to act up on the hills. It never got too bad, but the last uphill near the 676 overpass became really tough. I had to slow down quite dramatically. I guess my shoes weren't only problem when it comes to the IT band.

I ran in my new Under Armour ColdGear Compression Hoodie. It worked out very nicely with shorts and gloves. The temperature was in the low to mid 30s, but it wasn't windy at all. It was quite nice for that temperature.

I spend a few minutes in the shoe department at work. I didn't sell much, but I had a nice talk with a gentleman about trail running, barefoot running, ultramarathing and so on. I'll definitely be most helpful in the long run when working in the shoe department. I will be able to relate well to runners, once I know more about our shoe products. I've been doing a lot of studying up lately.

They cut me early from work again. That is kind of frustrating right now, but at the same time, my legs are thankful. I took advantage of the situation though. I went out for a bike ride. Since it's dark and I don't have a working light, I wore a bright yellow running shirt over my jacket. I wore my Under Armour tights and my Hoodie underneath my jacket. It was perfect attire for the ride. The hood kept my ears warm.

Riding in the dark was interesting. Luckily, there aren't too many people out. The Schuykill loop is also fairly well lit. I should rephrase that. Kelly Drive is well lit, West River Drive isn't. That became a real problem too because there are a lot of bumpy stretches of pavement where tree roots stick up. I could see quite a few of them thanks to the street lights, but I hit a couple of them hard too.

Tomorrow will be another fairly easy run. This time I'm looking at 4 miles. I work again tomorrow too. On Thursday, I'm hoping to head back to the hills of Forbidden Drive. I might actually ride my bike afterwards too. I don't work until 4 PM on that day.

3 miles - 24:31 (8:10 pace)

Easy Monday

This Monday run was a nice and easy one. I got up late and didn't have a lot of time to run. It was important to get out there though. I ran a nice and easy mile out and back, starting at Lloyd Hall.

The IT band bothered me a little bit, but it wasn't too bad. The weather was one of the issues. I didn't wear gloves and I should have. I covered my hands with the ends of my shirt.

After the run, I did two hill sprints on Lemon Hill. This time, I did them around 8 seconds. I'm still surprised at how short of a hill that is. I'd run much longer on Lemon Hill last time. It seems to easy to be doing a lot of work.

After my shift was over at work, I bought a pair of shoes. I tried on a couple pairs of Asics as well as a pair of the Brooks Adrenline GTS 10. The Brooks seemed too narrow. I went with the Asics Gel GT 2140s because we didn't have the 2150s in my size. I probably should get a size smaller actually, but I like my shoes loose.

2 miles - 15:56 (7:58 pace)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Run/Walk

I was planning on an 8 mile run today. The IT band continues to bother me and I was only able to make it through 6 miles, even after some walking. I did run the first 4 miles at least.

I felt pretty good and went out hard. I cruised through the first two miles in just over 15 minutes. I was strong. I saw a girl up ahead and worked hard to catch and pass her. After about 2.5 miles, the IT band began giving me minor problems.

I thought about stopping, but managed to force myself to keep running to Falls Bridge. I made it a bit farther as well. Just after mile 4, I walked for 2.5 minutes. That helped and I ran for another mile after that, before I had to stop again. After walking for a second time, I battled to the 6 mile point. I then walked all the way home.

Being on my feet at work as been part of the problem with my IT band. I probably did too much too soon after the marathon too. I will try to back off a little.

My shoes have 400 miles on them, so that could be a culprit too. I plan on getting a new pair. I get 40% off of my first pair at City Sports. I'm going to check out a couple on Monday. Without trying any on, I'm leaning towards the Asics Gel GT 2150 or Brooks Adrenaline 10. Hopefully, they'll help my IT band issue.

I wore Under Armour ColdGear today. That worked really well. The temperature was in the 30s and it was cloudy. I wore gloves and shorts and was actually a bit hot during the run. It is amazing how much you warm up during runs. It'll probably be awhile until I have wear a jacket.

I bought a bunch of half price Under Armour stuff thanks to my training for City Sports. They called me yesterday and said I wasn't needed. I worked on studying shoes more. I will be in all 5 days this week. That should be interesting. It'll be good to get hours.

I may bike for awhile tomorrow. I need to reorganize my training plan and go a little easier this coming week. I have to back off and make sure this IT band doesn't become a bigger issue. I'm going to stretch and strengthen my hips too.

6 miles - 54:50 (9:08 pace)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

IT Band Back Again

Today was an easy run. I ran a mile out and back on Kelly Drive and then added in the Schuykill Banks loop. The run was 4 miles total. I struggled through it.

I stretched and warmed up. I felt pretty good with the slow paced first mile. My IT band began bothering me a little after that though. I had to walk downhill as I went to the Schuykill Banks. I stopped and stretched my leg.

I was determined to finish though. I was able to run until the turnaround. I struggled towards the end and stretched shortly after turning for home. I walked for a bit more.

I then got back to running again. I was able to run until the final uphill stretch. I walked part of it and finished with a run.

Whenever I picked up the pace, I felt much better. I really struggle when running at slow paces. I know no how to control the IT band problem a little better than in the past. Hopefully, the additional stretching I'm doing will help me through it again this time. I had not been stretching the left IT band and that's been the one that's bothered me this time. Usually it was the right one.

I'm going to run 2 short hill sprints on Lemon Hill tomorrow morning before work. I'm hoping to run 12 miles on Saturday. We'll see how the legs hold up after another day of work.

I think the extra time on my feet at work has been the problem. Hopefully, I'll adapt to it. I need to get stronger, but it's hard. Every time I do hills to get stronger, I have problems.

I've been studying up on shoes for work and I'm starting to learn more about them. I'm eager to become more knowledgeable. I'm thinking about getting a new pair of shoes myself.

4 miles - 36:30 (9:08 pace)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hilly Forbidden Drive

This morning, I headed to Forbidden Drive to run. I haven't worked out there since the summer. I really should've went out there more during my marathon training. I just hated looking for parking before I got a permit.

It was a great workout. The area is quite hilly and that made things very challenging. The start was actually all uphill and I didn't warmup beforehand. That ended up giving me some bad IT Band problems.

I got settled in after a slow start. The IT Band issue went away and I picked up the pace. I heard someone coming up behind me. I picked the pace up even more. It was actually an older guy that I passed early on. He was friendly when he passed me. Both of us ran very up and down the hills until we hit Lincoln Drive.

He stopped there to stretch. I kept going at a slow pace. I was very worn out from the hard workout. After a few more hills slowed me down, my IT Band bothered me again. It got pretty bad, so I stopped on a hill. The guy caught up to me and chatted a little and thanked me for a hard run.

After a few minutes of walking, I found a steep hill. I was only 1:15 from running for 40 minutes. I decided to go hard up the hill for 1:15. That was helpful, but my soreness still continued.

I'm not sure why I'm so sore. Obviously, I'm still weak on hills. I need to get better on those, but it's tough when this problem is arising. I'm sure being on my feet all day at work is a huge issue too. I have to be smart with it. I need to stretch more frequently.

Tomorrow will be an easy 4 mile run. I'm going to make sure it's flat again. I'll probably run the Schuykill Banks, plus a mile add on. That should be a decent workout. I'm off again tomorrow, so I'll have all day to recover.

~ 5 miles (40:00)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Post Marathon Run

Today was my first day back to running after the marathon. I went out for an easy 4 mile out and back along Kelly Drive. It felt great to get back into running. I missed it over the last week.

The temperature was in the upper 30s when I started out. I dressed in tights and a new long sleeve Nike shirt. That seemed great when I got out the door. I found that it was way too hot once I got going.

The other problem I encountered was that my IT band starting bothering me. The weird part is that it occurred on my left one. That hasn't caused me problems at all, it has always been the right side. The tights I wore were the ones that I had 9 years ago when I first ran. That's when I first discovered the IT band issue. Perhaps the tights are part of the problem.

I wasn't quite as sore after I a few minutes. I settled into a nice, comfortable pace. I wanted to ease back into running and I did just that.

I concluded my workout by running two hill sprints behind the Art Museum. They were supposed to only be 8 seconds long, but I wound up doing about 14 seconds each. Eight seconds is a very short sprint. I didn't realize how short until I timed it.

I worked in shoes at City Sports on Monday. That requires going up and down a flight of stairs over and over again. It'll be good training, but I'll have to get used to it. Today, I worked in the fitting room and some on the floor. It's getting better now that I'm comfortable with where everything is.

We have a training website for a lot of our vendors. If you go on it and pass the quizzes, you get significant discounts on products. I bought some Under Armour gear with it. It's already been pretty helpful in training me on shoes, but I'm going to study those even more.

I have two days off now. I might wander out to Valley Forge Park tomorrow and check it out. I tried doing that the other day on my way back from the Philadelphia Premium Outlets. I didn't find the trail though.

I'm also putting together my training plan for the next marathon. I'm leaning towards running the Minneapolis one in June. I'm reading and following Brad Hudson's book that features adaptive running. I took his schedule from the back on the book. I'll likely tweak it and change things as necessary. I'm really having a lot of fun putting together training plan. I need to make one up for my strength training exercises too.

4 miles - 31:12 (7:48 pace)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. So far, I'm recovering pretty well from the marathon. I was quite sore on Monday and definitely the day off. I couldn't walk down stairs until yesterday. The only thing that is sore right now is my left foot.

I started work on Tuesday. Luckily, I was only there for three hours because business was slow. That allowed my aching body to rest. I worked six hours yesterday and I'm not getting more used to being on my feet all day. I have off today and work again tomorrow.

Thus far, work has been good. I'm just starting to learn the ropes. I've mostly been working at the fitting room and have done a lot of folding. I'm getting a feel for where the products are. I still have a lot to learn. It's a great staff and I look forward to my time there.

Since I couldn't run today, I decided to volunteer for a 5K in Nazareth. I wound up working right at the finish line. My job was the make sure that when people finished, they stayed in order. It became a real mess though as the finish chute backed onto the course. I had to actually stop people short of the finish line, so their times weren't accurate. Sometimes I was successful, other times I wasn't. It really bothered me that people were screwed like that. It was great to volunteer though and talk to some people. I need to do that more often.

After the race, I couldn't resist the urge to run. I decided that rather than run a couple miles, I'd just do a few hill sprints. Those are meant to strengthen your legs and hips and prevent injury. I'm going to do them twice a week after easy runs. They are only supposed to be 8 seconds long, but I ended up running them for 20 seconds. Next week, I'll do two of them. Since my first one was so slow today, I ran three of them.

I'll be off from running until Tuesday. I'm dieing by not running. I need to get back on the pavement. I started putting together my spring training schedule already. I want to build up mileage for a couple weeks first. Then, I'll go into the full program. I think I'm going to run the Minneapolis Marathon in June. That'll give me time to get to where I want to go. I'm so hungry right now and can't wait to get started.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Philadelphia Marathon

Well, today was it. After months of training, I completed my first marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon. It was great to finished, but I have mixed feelings on the way things turned out.

I got up bright and early and made short trek in the dark to the start line. I went to the bathroom twice while waiting around and I actually had to go again at the start. I drank too much before the race.

The corral start was nice, although a little confusing. When I walked to the starting line, they were supposed to be starting the green wave (one in front of me). I wasn't going to stand around at the line and wait, so I just started. The first mile was frustrating. I ran it in 9 minutes because there was no room to go around anyone.

It thinned out a little in the second mile and I was able to fly by people in spots. Shortly after mile 3, I had to use the bathroom. That cost me about a minute. It was already hot that early on and I took of my gloves. I was wearing short sleeves and shorts. Some people were in long sleeves and more. The temperature was actually perfect.

South Street was nice, there were a lot of people. Chestnut Street was much of the same, especially near the river. After the slow start, I hit a pretty consistent 8 minute per mile pace. My plan was to run comfortably through at least the first half, if not more. I did just that and cranked out 8 minute mile after 8 minute mile.

I ran by Drexel, but didn't notice anyone. Our names were on our bibs. That kind of sucked because I didn't know when friends were yelling if they did yell. I only noticed my parents throughout the run.

Thirty-fourth Street is a long gradual uphill. It was the start of the most hilly part. I knew that was uphill, but I didn't anticipate how hilly the portion of Fairmount Park past the zoo was. That section killed my legs. My hamstring soreness came back and my IT band starting bothering me.

We got onto West River Drive and I got back into rhythm. It was nice being on familiar ground. I couldn't believe there were a lot of people on Kelly Drive already at that point. I felt fairly strong as we got to the Art Museum and halfway point.

I took it easy over Lemon Hill. The sore legs continued on Kelly Drive. I was happy that they leader hadn't come by on the way back yet. He passed by and had a big lead. It must be nice to be an elite runner and finish that early.

When we got to Ridge Avenue, there was a ramp. I decided to walk uphill to be smart. It was after mile 18 and the first time I walked. After that came Manayunk. That was great because there were huge crowds. It was loud and tough to hold back.

I was slipping a little, but didn't feel too bad until shortly after the 20 mile mark. That was my longest training run and it showed. My legs started to get very sore. I had to take a 3 minute walk break to try to recover. I walked again before Falls Bridge.

From about mile 15 on, I was saying to myself, "race starts at Falls Bridge." I did okay for a little while. At mile 22, I got a second wind and made a nice surge. I began passing people left and right. I was being cheered for and thought this was the part where I'd pick it up.

It wasn't meant to be though. My legs were just too sore and also began cramping up. They never actually fully cramped. I always stopped and walked before that. The final two miles were brutal. I had to walk a lot of it.

I within the final mile, but still couldn't run much. Once I was at the final hill, I decided to walk up it so that I could finish. People were yelling at me to start running because they thought I just quit. I didn't have a choice. Walking was the only way I'd finish.

After the hill, I decided to run again for the final quarter mile or so. I even tried to use my usual strong kick. Whenever I picked up my stride, I nearly cramped. I was even limping as I crossed the finish line.

It was good to finish and I was happy that I correctly followed my easy early strategy. My longest run was 20 miles and my second longest was only 16.5 miles. I just didn't have enough really long runs. I wasn't trained well enough for the whole distance. I thought that I could just battle through the final 6+ miles.

The cramps were the most frustrating thing. I drank quite a bit before the race and almost all the water stations. I took Gatorade nearly every time. I was still dehydrated at the end though. I only drank about half of each cup. I guess next time, I'll drink the whole thing and take more time. Perhaps I'll grab a second cup.

I ate four GU Energy Gels throughout the race. I felt like I had a lot of energy. I didn't ever work very hard in the race. I never truely got to race. I just ran. My legs didn't have it.

I did some things right and some wrong. That's part of learning in your first marathon. Once my legs were losing it, I already began thinking about my next marathon and how great it'll be when I'm better trained.

Some people never imagined that they'd be able to run 26.2 miles, so it is impressed when they finish. I always knew that if I was in decent shape, I could do it. Now, I'm going to focus on qualifying for Boston. I figured that I'd do that in spring, but it might take until next fall to do so.

I'll rest up for the next week or so. After that, it's time to get into the spring training program. I start my new job on Tuesday, so it's not much of a rest. I'll be on my feet all day too, so that'll be interesting. One of the employees qualified for Boston. I'll have to get some advice from her and maybe run with her as well.

3:48:12 (8:42 pace)
51:39 (10K)
1:48:52 (half)
2:34:29 (30K)
Overall place: 2407/7464
Gender: 1825/4357
Age: 351/749

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last Training Run

This morning was my final training run before the marathon. I ran an easy two miles in the neighborhood across from my parents house. It was cloudy and a bit cold.

I was at a comfortable and relaxed pace throughout the run. I didn't take the time to stretch before or after and I probably should have.

I wore a long sleeve shirt and the medium weight gloves. It was too hot for those. I'm definitely going with short sleeves. I'm still unsure whether to go lightweight or medium weight gloves though. I really dislike the lightweight ones, but the medium weight ones are kind of hot.

Shortly after my run, I drove back home. I went through Main Street Manayunk on the way back, so that I could drive along the course. I've ran there a few times, so I already have a good feel for the course. They already had the mile markers painted on the road.

They were still setting up along the parkway. I actually think I saw the race director. I thought that the start and finish areas would be setup, but that wasn't the case. Hopefully they'll have them up tomorrow. I want to grab a couple pictures. I'd like to drive some of the course that I've never ran on. Hopefully I find time tomorrow.

I'm sure keeping busy right now. Today, I filled out my working papers at City Sports. Tomorrow, I go in for a couple hours to go over checklists of either apparel, shoes or equipment. I start work on Tuesday. I'm working the afternoons and evenings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. There's going to be a lot of new stuff to learn. I'm eager though.

2 miles - 16:56 (8:28 pace)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We're All on a Flyer

Today was my last fast run before the marathon. I ran a very hard 4 miles on Kelly Drive. I noticed that I wasn't alone. As I started out, I passed no fewer than 3 women who were coming in very fast along boathouse row.

I started quite hard as I began at Lloyd Hall. I ran early in the morning this time, just after 7 AM. It was fairly cool at that time, in the mid 40s. I decided to go out wearing my new Under Armour ColdGear and Nike Running Tights. I knew it wasn't quite cold enough for them, but figured it wouldn't be a problem on the short distance.

I was very pleased as I hit the first mile at about 7:10. I felt like I had slowed a little through the second mile, but still came through there at about 14:20. I was very pleased with that first half.

The second half was even more impressive. I struggled at first because the clothes were causing me to overheat. I slowed down for a little, but then talked myself back into a faster pace.

The final was the best of them all as I ran in well under a 7 minute pace. I wanted to slow, but wouldn't allow myself to. I talked myself into continuing to push harder and harder. It hurt, but obviously it worked.

It was a very rewarding workout and I'm ready for the marathon. Only one more training run is left now. The extra day off before the marathon will be nice.

Tomorrow, I'm going in to fill out paperwork at City Sports. Friday is the marathon expo. I'm really looking forward to it.

4 miles - 27:58 (7:00 pace)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fresh Legs

For a change I had fresh legs on a Tuesday. They weren't dead. I ran the three mile Schuykill River loop. It was nice weather and I felt very good.

I started off at a decent pace. I increased the pace a little more early on in the run. It was ideal running weather and I felt pretty good. Someone who was running really hard passed me. I elected not to battle with him. I wish people that passed me there would actually turn around and finish the loop, but they never do. Knowing that there are people running faster than me, will continue to motivate me.

That said, I passed a ton of people too. After hitting the halfway point in 11:22, I really picked it up in the 2nd half of the run. I still wasn't going all out. It was hard, but still a bit comfortable. I'd love to be able to end the marathon at that pace.

It's actually become a little difficult to get out the door during this taper period. I don't have much of a problem getting out for long runs, but short ones just seem so useless. I do understand that they are important. It's just difficult.

The biggest news of today is that I got hired at City Sports. I'm really excited to start the new job and especially one that is related to running. It should help me make new contacts and learn more about the gear.

I'm definitely ready to get the marathon going. I plan on going out at a very comfortable and relaxing first half. If I'm close to Boston qualifying pace, I'm going to pick it up a little then. If I'm not, then I'll take it easy until about mile 18. It looks like the weather will be pretty nice and I'll be able to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I'm eager to get going.

Tomorrow will be a four mile run. I plan to run it extremely hard before taking it easy on Thursday's two miler. It is hard to believe that there are only two training runs left. Time has flown by pretty quickly, even though it was a lot of training runs ago.

3 miles - 22:33 (7:31 pace)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Last Cross Training

Today was the last day of cross training. It was rather interesting. The weather was beautiful, near 70 degrees, but I didn't feel like biking. Instead, I decided to walk the half hour each way to the Drexel women's basketball game. I actually ended up running hope from Cav's.

I ran with a camera bag, long pants and a hat. I ran so that I could get back for the Eagles game. It took about 20 minutes. It was very hot.

Tomorrow, I'm going to do some clothes shopping with my mom tomorrow. I want to get some Under Armour Cold Gear. It's supposed to be pretty good.

It's now less than a week to the marathon. I'm ready to get going. I'm not overly excited yet. I really need to stick to my marathon plan. I want to run the first half at a very comfortable pace and see where I'm at. If I'm close to Boston pace, I might push it then. Either way, I don't want to push too hard before mile 18.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Final Saturday Run

Today was my final Saturday run. I was in Connecticut so I had to make due with where I was. I managed to create a nice loop route that was 4.3 miles. I ran it twice for a little more than the planned 8 miles.

I didn't get to warm up, so I ran very slow to start. I coasted through most of the first loop. The layout was great. It was about 3 segments of 1.5 to 2.5 miles. There were rolling hills, which made it a little tough.

The nice thing is that there was a good shoulder to run on throughout most of the route. It was paved like the rest of the road and relatively flat. Early on, my IT band started bothering me along with my hip. It cleared up after a bit though.

The first loop was nice and I commented how great it was running without it raining. Of course during the second loop, it started to rain. I had to avoid puddles as well as cars then.

I had to stop at the end of the first loop and use my hotel bathroom. I actually had to stop running for a couple tenths of a mile before going. I pushed a little during the second loop, but it still wasn't too hard.

It feels great to have all easy runs left. I can't wait until next week. I didn't stretch as much as I would've liked after the run and it caused me to be sore during my 5 hour drive home from a football game.

I had an interview at City Sports yesterday. It went great. I had a lot of energy, asked questions and was quite talkative. I really think I'd like the job. They have a running club and I could run with them too.

8.6 miles - 1:11:04 (8:16 pace)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cruising Along

After pushing hard yesterday, I ran a very easy three miles today. I went out and back along West River Drive. It was probably the easiest run that I've done during this training segment.

I got up pretty early today for the first time awhile. I didn't head out the door until about 8:30 AM, but I was up at 7 AM. I need to get back into a rhythm of waking early.

Once again, the weather sucked outside. It was windy with cold rain. That's always tough running over the bridge over the river. I cruised along though and just tried to relax. I didn't think of much of anything and wasn't as focused as usual. It's the type of run that is nice to have every once in awhile.

Even during the second half of the run, I continued to take it slow. I'll tune up a little faster on Saturday and next week. Right now, I'm enjoying the taper. I'm really looking forward to marathon day. I can't believe how quickly it is approaching. I only have 4 days of running and 1 day of cross training before the marathon itself.

I got a phone call today for a job interview at City Sports. I'm headed there tomorrow morning. I'm actually more excited for this interview than I ever was for engineering jobs and this one won't even pay much. I'm just so excited to find other ways to get more involved in running. It would be nice to get some discounted winter gear too.

Saturday, I'm heading to Massachusetts for a Lafayette football game. I have to come up with an 8 mile more run in the hotel area. That'll be the final long run of the program.

3 miles - 27:08 (9:03 pace)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuning Up

Yesterday's disappointing run was apparently short lived. Today, I ran possibly my best run yet. I did a 6 mile out and back along Kelly Drive and really pushed myself.

I did some really slow jogging for a few minutes, before taking off on the timed 6 mile run. I felt strong and fast early on. I tried to cruise along and settle into a slightly difficult pace. I was thrilled when I hit the mile marker at 7:22. I thought that was about as fast as I could run.

I continued to stay smooth and fast. My breathing was a little hard, but I felt I had more left. I was amazed again when I hit the 2 mile mark under 15 miles. I knew the pace would wear me out, so I back off a bit in the 3rd and 4th miles. I ran them pretty well too though.

I hit a head wind between 1.5 miles and 2.5 miles. That was kind of tough and slowed me down. I kept solid form though and battled on. The weather was tricky because it felt really cold. I was debating whether or not to wear a long sleeve shirt or not. Once I saw a girl in short sleeves and shorts, I decided that was the way to go. It worked perfectly for this fast run with a temperature in the low 50s.

I wore some new gloves too. They are medium weight gloves and I really like them. I thought I might get too sweaty in those temperatures, but that didn't happen until the end. I might wear them during the marathon. We shall see.

Once I hit the final 2.5 miles, I took it up a notch. I kept focusing on the short term. I ran so hard that I started developing some slight side stitches. My breathing was hard too. I kept pushing and mentally talked to myself to keep going.

My legs didn't respond quite as well as I had hoped at the end. They didn't die, but there was no extra juice either. I probably should've went out just slightly slower. That could've made me a lot faster in the end. That said, I did run a faster second half, so it's still positive. I blew by a bunch of people. I struggled through the last half mile, but didn't slow much.

It felt so good to run this fast. The plan coming into the run was to go very hard. I definitely did that. There sure wasn't much left in the tank after that one. I hope I can push that hard through the final 6 miles of the marathon. That would be huge.

One thing I do need to do is get up earlier to adjust to the marathon starting time of 7 AM. I just have trouble getting out of bed early in the morning during this cold time of year. I ran late in the afternoon today. I'll try to get up at 7 AM tomorrow to run my easy 3 miler. We'll see how that works out.

I'm very happy about today though. I figured that this would be about my race pace for a 10k, not just a training run. I could probably go under 7 minutes easily for a 10k race right now. I'm definitely making progress. I really can't wait to add speedwork too.

6 miles - 43:29 (7:15 pace)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Terrible Tuesdays

It seems like I begin every week with a terrible run. This Tuesday outing was my worst to date though. Other than runs where I was bothered by injury, it was my worst run of the entire training period. It was only a 4 miler and I felt like I could barely complete it.

I did my Saturday run through a hilly 12 miles near my parents house. Perhaps that was the problem. Oddly though, I wasn't sore at all. Usually that's my problem on a Tuesday. My legs just felt dead today, they had no snap to them. I really thought that during the taper period, they'd become rejuvenated. So far, that hasn't happened.

I ran the Schuykill Banks route and added in another mile along Kelly Drive. The small hills really seemed to slow me on the banks. I actually ran fairly hard and crisp for about 10 minutes in the middle of the run, but then my legs were gone again.

I passed a few people, but only because they were very slow. A little while before the turnaround, I saw two big girls that I figured I could catch later on. I worked hard to get to them. As I was cruising towards them, they started to walk. That took all the fun out of it.

My IT band started bothering me on the uphill portion of the walk home. That's odd because that hasn't been a problem for months. I'm guessing the hills on Saturday's run attributed to that. Hopefully it doesn't continue.

I'm still amazed at how people dress. It was warm and nearly 60 today. Yet I saw plenty of people with jackets, long pants and long sleeve shirts on. I've been very happy with my choice of running attire thus far. Hopefully there isn't a significant temperature drop on race day.

I did ride my bike on Sunday morning. It was very warm and uneventful. It really does suck trying to ride on the path with all the walkers and runners (now that the road is open again on weekends).

They put the banners up for the Philadelphia Marathon. That was kind of cool to see and a reminder of how close we are. I'm going to snap some pictures of them tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I'm going to really push hard and see how fast I can go on tomorrow's 6 mile route. Hopefully my legs will respond better than today.

4 miles - 31:58 (8:00 pace)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Done With Double Digits

Today was my final double digit mileage run until the marathon. The next longest one will be 8 miles, next weekend. I actually ran at 7:30 at night in 45 degree weather.

I'm back at my parent house and planned on running to my high school and back in the morning. It was freezing cold then (28 degrees), so I decided it would be better to run at night. I ran all throughout the neighborhoods in the township.

It was really nice running in the calm and quiet. It was a little chilly, but not too bad. I ran with a long sleeve shirt and shorts, but it was tough weather to gauge. It was sort of in between short and long sleeve shirt weather. I'm actually glad I ran in a long sleeve shirt though.

Because I was running at night, I had to stay alert. It wasn't too bad though. I probably only saw 10-15 cars in the entire time that I was running. The hardest part was actually avoiding all the roadside leaf piles. I managed to navigate around them successfully.

I ran nice and relaxed the whole time. I just enjoyed myself. I ran at a decent pace, but didn't push too much. I didn't even check my watch until 55 minutes into the run (when I ate a gel). I just focused on the next part of my route.

There were a lot of hills and I was actually surprised that they didn't bother me more. My foot felt sore early and my legs followed at the end of the run. Overall, the legs weren't too bad though. The run wasn't as hard as I thought it was.

Tomorrow will be an hour bike ride back in Philadelphia. It'll be another easy and relaxing week coming up. I will push hard again on Wednesday. The marathon is only two weeks away. It's really hard to believe.

12 miles - 1:43:05 (8:35 pace)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Horrible Weather

I came back to my parents house for the weekend. Since I decided on a cheesesteak for lunch, I didn't run until after 4 PM. Right before I started to run, it began to rain.

I ran my typical favorite route through the neighborhood across from my old elementary school. It's an easy 4 miles with a few hills. I haven't run it in awhile, but didn't anticipate a problem. The roads in that neighborhood were recently paved, so that was nice.

I wasn't sure what to wear. Even though the rain stopped when I started, it was still cloudy, windy and cold. I elected to throw on a sweatshirt over the Lancaster Half Marathon shirt.

It was rough early on as I faced a lot of wind. After running hard on Wednesday, I settled into a nice, comfortable pace. The weather was really the only factor in the run. Up until about the halfway point, it was very windy.

After changing directions, the wind disappeared. I noticed that the sky was getting very dark and not just because it was getting late. It didn't look good, but I figured it would be over 15 minutes until the weather actually approached.

I started to get hot so I tied my sweatshirt to my waste. After about 2 minutes, it began to pour. I put the sweatshirt back on. The rain was brutal. It was a very cold November rain. It was blowing sideways too, because of the wind. It was almost unbearable.

The most surprise came though when I saw lightning and heard thunder. Since when does this happen at this time of year? Luckily, it only occurred once as I was finishing up.

The final mile was a little cool, but pretty comfortable. I hit one short turn against a strong head wind though. I couldn't have run much longer in those conditions. I finished up at a nice pace and then walked. I couldn't wait to get indoors.

I'll be running 12 miles here on Saturday. I think I'll run up to my old high school and back. That's actually only about 10 miles though, so I'll have add on a little more. I'm really enjoying this taper period. My legs are starting to recover and things should get even better.

My friend already asked where her couch to 5K plan is. I have to get on that I guess, although I don't think she'll start running until after the winter. Maybe she'll surprise me. I really look forward to trying to work with her. It should be a nice challenge and also fun.

4 miles - 34:10 (8:33 pace)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I was a bit worried about my sore left foot yesterday. It felt great today though and I had no problems. I went out and ran a very fast mid week 8 mile run. I did the loop, starting on West River Drive.

As usual, I took it slow early on and got into a groove. Yesterday, there was a lot of wind. Today, was very nice. It was nearly perfect. It was a little cool and some slight wind, but overall very comfortable.

My quads were still very sore. My calves were pretty sore, but the rest of my body felt pretty good. It's odd how I was sore at the slow pace, but once I picked it up, I felt good.

I started to pick up the pace as I got to the Montgomery Drive. I focused on running at a nice pace until the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. That continued to Falls Bridge as well. On the way back, I continued to push hard and focus on running until specific points.

I though at some point, I'd slip up and start to wear down. It never happened though, as I got closer and closer to Lloyd Hall. Some leaves were a little slippery, but other than that, there were few issues. I was flying. I kept talking to myself to keep myself mentally strong and that was a big help.

This run was very rewarding and I haven't felt better in a long time. Hopefully, my sore legs will improve as I continue to taper. I want them to start feeling very sharp. I feel excellent mentally right now and want the same to happen physically too.

After the hard run today, tomorrow will be an easy 4 miler. I'd like to run it in the morning this time, but we'll see how I feel then. I'd imagine that I'd be quite sore.

8 miles - 1:01:21 (7:40 pace)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Not Fully Recovered

Well not surprisingly, I was very still very sore during today's easy 5 mile run. I did the same short mile out and back along Kelly Drive, followed by the Schuykill Banks loop. The temperature was nice, but the wind was brutal.

The windy conditions along the river is my biggest concern as the marathon approaches. It was brutal today on the way out a long Kelly Drive. Not the way to start. Luckily, there was no wind on the way back and it wasn't nearly as bad on the Schuykill Banks loop either.

I started off slow and my legs were quite sore. That was expected after the 20 mile run on Saturday. My first run every week is usually difficult. Once I get through it, things typically get easier. It shouldn't be as tough anymore, since I'm now in the taper period.

After the slow start, I got into a nice rhythm and cruised along at a fine pace. I didn't push hard enough to where my breathing was affected, but I was moving quite well.

My biggest concern isn't my sore legs though. It's my left foot. It has been bothering me for weeks and is now quite sore after today's run. I iced it, but it didn't get any better. I'm hoping the reduced miles will help it heal better. I'll have to monitor it though.

I ran in the afternoon today and I really hate doing that. It's hard to get out the door then. I like to run first thing and get it out of the way. I've been having trouble falling asleep lately though, especially with all the Phillies playoff games. I need to get back to a nice sleep schedule soon. That'll keep me well rested for the marathon.

Tomorrow is a scheduled 8 mile run. I'll probably the loop. I'd like to run in the morning, but it depends if I can get up and also how my body feels.

I am looking forward to using some of my extra time now to put together a couch to 5K training plan for my friend. I'll help her become and runner and also run with her. I'm glad someone is finally willing to take my instructions. It'll be a fun little project.

5 miles - 40:16 (8:03 pace)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Too Windy to Ride

Today, I wrote on my bike for almost 45 minutes. I didn't get a chance to ride on Sunday because of the Eagles game, so I switched it up until today. I rode along West River Drive to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge and back.

It was 51 degrees and windy. I really don't know how people can cycle in the winter. It's not even that cold yet, but today was brutal. My ears and face were very uncomfortable.

I actually overdressed on the rest of my clothes. I wore a long sleeve shirt under my jacket and a pair of long pants too. I was sweating a lot by the end of the ride.

I was actually impressed that I even rode for as long as I did. I didn't pedal hard at all. I just cruised along. Cycling has been a good recovery, but I'm glad it's over. I don't know if it was the ice bath or what, but I recovered much better from the 20 mile run than I anticipated.

I am now in the taper phase of my training. It'll feel great to cut back before the marathon. I still have some relatively long runs. Tomorrow, will be a 5 miler. The mid week run is still 8 miles and this weekend's long run is 12 miles. I'm going to work on fine tuning my speed and keeping my workouts crisp.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Longest Run

Today was the big day (well the one other than the marathon anyways). It was the 20 mile run, the longest prior to the marathon and my new longest run ever. Oh, and of course it was raining. What would a Saturday long run be without the raindrops.

I saw that the forecast said it was cloudy in the morning with rain in the afternoon. Of course it rained a lot during the run. Most of the time it was just an annoying mist, but sometimes it came down at a good clip.

I started off nice and slowly. An attractive female runner passed me early on. She had a nice pace going, so I tucked in behind her and took it easy early on. That was a big help in the early stages.

The fuel belt was bothering me during that part of the run. I filled it completely this time and it was really heavy early on. After awhile, it's not too bad because you get used to it and plus it weighs less after you drink some fluid. It does put quite the strain on your body though. The first 5 miles felt like 10 miles without the belt.

After about two miles, I decided that I was probably getting annoying being right on the girl's heels. I picked up the pace and passed her. I would've been better off staying behind for another mile or so.

Just like last week, when I hit mile 6, I was already feeling it. My legs were pretty sore, although I think running on the soft track the other day helped them recover. I was wondering how I'd finish. The back half of the first loop seemed like forever. I never enjoy the West River Drive portion of runs. Everything is too much alike. Key markers are hard to find.

Initially, I was going to run two loops and then run to the grandstand and back to complete the 20 miles. After the first loop, I was feeling kind of tired and sore, but I was in a good rhythm. I decided it would be easier both physically and mentally to do the out and back to the grandstands in between each loop. That way, I'd have to finish 20 miles to get back home.

That strategy worked well and when I got back to Lloyd Hall, I decided to take and quick bathroom break and do some stretching. I spent about 5 minutes total doing both. I think that was quite helpful.

On the second loop, I just took it short segment by short segment at a time. There were markings every quarter mile that said how far it was back to Lloyd Hall. That was kind of maddening early in the loop, but as I got closer to the finish, it was a huge relief.

Just trying to make it to Falls Bridge was a huge goal. West River Drive was lonely during the 2nd loop. I did pass quite a few runners multiple times. I'm betting a lot of them were on their long runs too.

On the way back, I just focused on the usual landmarks. First it was the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Then came the grandstands, followed by the Girard Avenue Bridge and finally the start of Boathouse Row.

I was very sore from miles 16 on. As I got further and further though, it was rewarding knowing that only once I went farther in my whole life. Even as slow as I was going, I actually still passed a few runners. At one point, I decided to pick up the pace. That works wonder for your muscles. You wouldn't think that running faster after 16 or 17 miles would help, but impacting the ground in a different way is a huge plus.

I was quite sore, but my energy wasn't too low. I ran out of liquid at the end. I brought three GU gels this time, but unfortunately, I dropped one out of my fuel belt. I still felt that I could've pushed harder at the end though, if needed.

After finishing the run, I did longer stretches than usual. My legs are still very sore though. I can't imagine what they'll be like after marathon day.

I tried to take an ice bath after I was done watching a football game. I put in too much water and didn't have enough ice though. It just ended up being a cool bath. It still might've helped some.

Finishing this run was a huge relief. A few weeks back, I was riding my bike and nursing my sore leg. I was unsure if I could get to this point, let alone complete the marathon. Now, I know I can do both. This was huge, both mentally and physically. I'm really looking forward to the taper period now.

If I can get up tomorrow morning before the Eagles and Giants game, I'm going to bike for an hour. It might be tough to do with the World Series on tonight as well. If I need to, I'll ride during the Packers and Vikings game. Hopefully, I won't forget this time though.

20 miles - 3:02:49 (9:08 pace)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Running in Circles

I stepped out the door this morning and realized that my legs were still quite sore. Instead of running some tough hills and on the pavement around my parents house, I decided to head to the track later. That also allowed a few more hours for my legs to rest.

I headed to my old high school's new track. It's really nice and an all weather track. It's located next to the new middle school. This is the second new middle school that they've build since I was in middle school 15 years ago.

I ran 5 miles around the track. I reversed directions after every mile, to be easier on my legs. The soreness that my legs are experiencing right now, makes for a slow and awkward start. The first lap took 2:30. Following that, most of my laps were about 2:00.

I felt pretty good once warming up. I ran very well in miles two and three before tailing off towards the end. At least I had some company. A little girl, who looked to be about 8, must've run 3 or 4 laps. That was pretty impressive.

Running in circles for 20 times was maddening. It was very difficult to go over and over again. I tried to just take it one lap at a time. I'd much rather run on the road and over an ever changing course.

I had chafing issues the other day and they crept up again. I took my shirt off and that was a big relief. It was cool by the end of the run though. It was also dark.

My marathon training is nearing a close and I'm already thinking a lot about the future after that. I can't wait to pump my training up even more, with speedwork and more miles. I'm happy with where I am and where I've come from, but I've only just begun.

The big part of the marathon isn't so much finishing the race as it is committing to the training. I haven't missed a single run to laziness. I only stopped running when I felt an injury coming on. When I ran my first half marathon, the opposite was true. I was incredibly lazy back then and often missed runs for no reason.

I am still focused on the long run this week. It'll be a 20 miler around the river loop a couple times. The training will be all downhill from there. I wish I wasn't so sore going into it.

5 miles - 41:15 (8:15 pace)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Another run, another rain storm. I can't remember the last time I saw the sun during a run. Okay, it was actually last week. I ran the loop, starting at Lloyd Hall and running along Kelly Drive, plus an add on. The whole route was 10 miles.

For the first half mile to mile, I was very slow. My hip was still really stiff. I ran in the morning after running in the afternoon on Tuesday. Additional rest probably would've helped. It really took quite awhile for me to forget about my hip. I even stopped for a bathroom break and it was weird starting up again.

Once I felt better, I ran pretty hard for selected segments. Changes paces has really helped me work my muscles differently. After the sluggish first few miles, I was wondering how I'd ever finish. Luckily, I just stay focused on the short term and getting to different landmarks just up the road. Sometimes, I'll look across the ride and think about how great it'll be to get there in a few minutes. That makes it much more rewarding when I do arrive on that side.

The rain was very light on Kelly Drive, but started to pick up once I got on West River Drive. Combined with the leaves that have now fallen, conditions were a little tricky. There were a bunch of markers every quarter mile along the route and they aligned almost perfectly with my mileage. That was both a blessing and frustrating.

I kept changing paces along West River Drive. I tried at one point to run hard during one segment. I didn't make it as far as I was hoping though. My calf started feeling funny, so I backed off. I probably ran too hard, as I had little gas in the tank for the finish.

I did have energy, but my legs didn't recover from the day before or the weekend's long run. They became very sore and really slowed me down at the end. I felt like I was crawling for the final 20 minutes. I tried to pick it up towards the end, but my legs just wouldn't respond.

It was great to finish though and I just need to battle through this week. Things will get easier after that. This is the most mileage of my training.

I came back to my parents house to watch the D11 and D1 cross country meets at Lehigh. I'll do my 5 mile run here tomorrow morning. I need to find a relatively easy route with minimal hills. I'm a little beat up right now, but 15 miles are now down and only 25 more to go this week.

10 miles - 1:23:59 (8:24 pace)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gutting it Out

Well today wasn't a pretty day. What I ate the night before (probably popcorn) didn't agree with me. I had stomach cramps and wound up in the bathroom a lot. I felt so bad that I didn't even eat lunch. I slept from 1 PM to 3:30 PM.

I had to tough it out though. I got out of bed and finished my five mile, even when feeling in such awful condition. I grabbed a gel and some Gatorade and headed out to run.

Once again, it was more miserable, rainy weather. I guess it's my fault for saying how I like running in the rain. I'm getting really sick of it though. I like the warm summer rain, but this stuff sucks.

Once again, I went out overdressed. I wore a hat and my light jacket over a T-shirt. I still threw on shorts at least. I was quite hot throughout the run though.

I decided to start at Lloyd Hall and then run a mile out and back along Kelly Drive. Following that I ran the Schuykill Banks loop for the five mile total. Breaking the run into two short loops made it much easier.

I felt very good on the first loop and really started to fly. I caught a girl just before the turnaround. I decided to continue to really push myself and run hard until Lloyd Hall. I then slowed until the Schuykill Banks part flattened out. Right before that, I was passed by a fast runner, but decided not to go with him.

I then ran hard through the turaround on the Schuykill Banks loop. I just missed passing another girl that was going pretty fast. She turned off at the end of the path though. I continued to run hard until my watch hit the 30 minute mark. After that, I slowed and cruised to the finish for a cooldown.

While I was able to run at a fast pace, my legs were still sore from the long run the other day. The 16.5 miles really gave them a pounding. They just didn't have any zip in them. Now is the biggest week of training though, so it's not the time to worry about them. I'll be cutting back once this week is done.

Tomorrow, is a 10 mile run. I'll likely run the loop, plus a short add on. Sticking to the flat portions of the trail on both sides of the river has been a big help lately. I'm feeling as good as I have in awhile and I'm very confident.

5 miles - 40:28 (8:06 pace)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Windy Biking

Today was my weekly hour of cross training, which I've actually skipped a lot lately. I did the usual bike ride to Falls Bridge and back. I pedaled in a low gear the whole time.

The temperature was in the low 60s, so I figured I'd just wear a long sleeve T-shirt and shorts. That was a huge mistake. The winds along the river were extreme. It was very cold and uncomfortable.

I was going to ride along West River Drive. There was huge walk when I got there though. Instead, I rode to Lloyd Hall and along Kelly Drive. The regatta was going on for a second straight day.

I rode along the close roadway where possible. I thought about turning around, but figured that it would only be windy on the way out and if I could just make it to the bridge, I'd be fine. It turns out that it was actually worse going the other direction. I was really freezing, but made it back home.

It was a good ride, other than the conditions. My quads were a little sore from yesterday, but not too bad. Overall, I recovered pretty well from my second longest run ever on Saturday. My biggest running week ever is coming up and I can't wait. It consists of a 20 mile long run and 40 miles of running total.

I had a text conversation with my friend Bridget today. She was asking about my running. Jokingly, I said, "now I have to get you running." She said she hates running, but would like to run a 5K sometime. I told her that I'll train her and run with her in the spring (since I know she won't run in the winter).

I've been eager to help friends that have started running, take their workouts to another level. Some people have said maybe, but none have really committed to it. I'd love to be able to get Bridget to the 5K distance and I'd run with her in the race too. She lives fairly close to Valley Forge Park and I've wanted to run there too. I think helping others with their running would be even more rewarding than improving my own running.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to run on Tuesday. I have to run 5 miles. I think I'll do an out and back on West River Drive. I'd like to make it a morning run, but we'll have to see because the Eagles play tomorrow night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back in the Green

On my marathon training schedule, I color in green for days that are successful completed. I haven't had a full green week since the week before the Lancaster Half Marathon. This week, I completed all of my runs. It has been a big boost. Technically, I still have to complete my cross training bike ride tomorrow though.

I felt great today so I actually ran about 16.5 miles instead of the scheduled 14 miles. I nearly did two full Falls Bridge loops. The weather was rainy, but what else is new for my long runs. It seems like it is always raining. I do like running in the rain, but it would be nice to get a clear day for the long run every now and then.

I started at Lloyd Hall since I had to make a stop at the bathroom. I ran along Kelly Drive after some good stretching. I ran pretty hard early on. I made sure to change paces throughout most of the first half of the run. That was a big help.

Early on, I felt hot and thought that wearing my special T-shirt with the fuel belt would be a big problem. As the rain fell harder, it did an excellent job of wicking away the rain water. The rain was in my face for most of the way back on the loop.

I'm starting to get used to the fuel belt, but I still don't really like it. Even with the bottles only half full, it is heavy. Because I ran so much longer than expected, I actually ran out of Gatorade and gels. It really didn't bother me though.

There was a high school regatta that was a pain to get by. Most people are considerate, but some just don't pay any attention and it becomes a real pain. It seems like there's always a regatta of some kind. I'm just glad I didn't drive down there, as I was considering doing.

There was also another charity walk on West River Drive. It wasn't as packed as the other week though and the participants didn't get in the way. They even offered me water at the water stop at one point. I was out of fluid and should've actually taken it.

Right as I was finishing my first loop I saw a guy in a hat partly blocking my path. I thought to myself, "what's wrong with this jerk. Pay attention." When his face came up from under the baseball cap, I realized it was Mayor Michael Nutter. I'm glad I didn't make a smartass comment.

When I got to Lloyd Hall, I turned around and ran the opposite direction for the second loop. Shortly after starting that loop, I came across one of the Drexel women's coaches. I should've just turned around and ran with her for a bit.

I kept going on West River Drive. I was getting tired and had to slow down. The road was closed on that portion, so I ran on it. One part is kind of tough because it slopes a lot. I started thinking about some other things rather than my aching body and that was a big help getting through the second loop.

On the way back, I wanted to just go to the Strawberry Mansion Bridge on Kelly Drive, but I realized that would make for a long walk back home. That was all that kept me going as far as I did beyond the 13 miles. Eventually I made it past there and ran the grandstands.

I really should've stopped at the grandstand and grabbed some water. Instead, I ran along, trying to get to Lloyd Hall. My left calf starting getting tight and I decided to stop running about 3/10th of a mile from Lloyd Hall.

As I walked back, it started raining hard. I was very sore, especially my feet. I had to stop a couple times to rest on the walk home. I did stretch very well again afterwards. That seemed to be a big help as I'm not too sore right now.

I've been behind schedule for quite awhile now. This successful week has been a key big boost for me. Just a week ago, I was wondering if I'd even be able to run the marathon. Now, I'm confident I can. It is still a little overwhelming to think that I'll run 10 more miles than today. It'll help to not being wearing a fuel belt and also I'll be running with a crowd then.

Tomorrow, will be another hour bike ride early in the morning. I'm really looking forward to the marathon now and especially this next week of training. My long run is a big focus right now. I need to complete the 20 mile run. There's still quite a few runs after that, but it gets easy as I taper before the marathon.

16.46 miles - 2:23:02 (8:41 pace)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Making the Most of It

Today was sure an interesting day. I planned on running on Temple's track. Once again, the token machine tricked me. I put in 6 dollars and wound up getting a bunch of change plus tokens. When I got to the track, I found it was closed. That meant I had to change things up. I decided to starting running back towards my place.

I ran down Broad Street all the way to Callowhill. It was kind of weird running through a ghetto area. Running on sidewalks was the weird part though. After going along Callowhill, I ran to the Art Museum and then along Kelly Drive for about a mile. I turned around and finished up at the Art Museum.

It was very hot once again. The heat got to me a little, but it wasn't too bad. My legs felt pretty good, but I had a nice blister. I ran with two handfuls of change from the token machine and that wasn't very comfortable.

I bought orthodics yesterday, but after experimenting with them, I elected not to use them. I was wondering why putting the old insole in felt funny on my right shoe. I loosened my shoe and it then fit better. When I got home, I realized that the orthodic was still in place in that shoe. I might try to use those now.

I didn't quite go the full 5 miles, but I ran well over 5 miles on Tuesday. The run wasn't very fast, but I was thrilled to complete it. I'm happy to have made it through this week successfully thus far. The 14 mile run on Saturday will be a big test. Today is one month from the marathon!

4.58 miles - 42:42 (9:19 pace)