Friday, May 29, 2009


Fantastic is the best way to describe today's run. Since I've been feeling stronger lately, it was time to really test myself. I started at the Art Museum and ran to Strawberry Mansion Avenue and back. To date, my longest run was 4 miles on Monday. This one was 5.5 miles. Hopefully in a couple months I'll be laughing at how short and easy it was, but right now this is a big accomplishment.

I started off strong. I was a little worried because my hip was tight early on, but it got better as I ran. There are too long stretches of stone to run on during this session and that was a big help in cushioning the pounding that my knee took. The second area of stone was tricky because of the way it drains, it forms hills. It was still helpful though.

One thing that always worries me are all the geese out there. When I was passing a walker, a goose started running towards me a couple steps. I paused and it stopped and I kept going. I'm not really sure why it came towards me. Later on, I ran in between about 20 of them. They aren't too bothered by runners I guess, but I just never know. I'm especially concerned because some of them have babies this time of year and might protect them.

I was very surprised at how well this run went, especially after the halfway point. Shortly after turning around and heading home, I became tired and felt sluggish. My feet began dragging. I concentrated on keeping good form though. I also started using all the bridges that run overhead as intervals, telling myself "take it one bridge at a time."

I felt some minor soreness in my leg as I came towards the end of the run. More than that though, the long distance was wearing me down. I began thinking that I'd probably be able to finish, but the end of the run was really just junk miles.

Then I got to boathouse row and saw a slow female runner a few hundred yards ahead. I wanted to pass her before the end of boathouse row and I was able to do just that. It's amazing how much a runner up ahead like that can cause you to pickup your pace. When I pushed it the soreness and tiredness were forgotten. That was the start of my strongest finish yet.

Right after passing her, I started heading up big hill on the side of the Art Museum. This was the final hurdle in this long run. Getting up the hill was a little tough, but for whatever reason I was just made to run hills. I guess a lot of people probably slow down and tire easily going uphill. I do the opposite, I push harder and get up it much faster. I'm not really sure what causes that, but I've always excelled on hills. I actually slowed down a lot after I reached flat ground again. I then finished the final few hundred years in sprint mode.

It was great to not only run far, but really push myself at the end too. My knee is really starting to bother me less and less. I think the gradual buildup combined with some good stretching is really helping. Actually, the one thing that was sore today oddly enough was my right arm. I'm not sure why that was the case, but I had to stretch it out a bit. Of course now that I'm done running, just about every muscle is sore sitting around here.

I'm really starting to look seriously into running a marathon. I checked out the Philadelphia Marathon website yesterday to see some of the basics. I also read the first two chapters in a marathon training book that I had. If my knee can hold up and I can get up to doing 10+ mile runs within the next two months, I'm going to give the marathon a go. The Philly one would work out good because it is in late November so I'd have a lot of time to prepare. I can't believe how far the course actually goes. It would be a tough challenge, but it's something I definitely want to do.

Tomorrow and Sunday will be relaxing off days. I think I'll do some shorter runs on Monday and Tuesday. I'll likely jump on the bike on Wednesday and do some speedwork on Thursday. I'm now approaching my sixth week of running and I'm very happy with the progress I'm making. Let's hope it stays that way.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Back on the Bike

Today was an easy ride of about 7 miles on the bike. It felt weird because I hadn't been on it in over a week. I thought the weather was perfect when I first got on, but it actually turned out to be quite windy. The wind wasn't strong enough to have a big impact on my ride though. It just made me a little uncomfortable.

I rode to Strawberry Mansion Avenue and back. This is where I hope to do a long run tomorrow. The ride was easy and I didn't tire myself out. At the same time, I still did sweat quite a bit and got a decent workout.

One of the nice things is that the weather hasn't been outstanding in Philly yet. It was only the low 70s today. That's great because when it gets too warm, boathouse row is really crowded. I was able to cruise through that area at full speed today.

The other good thing thus far is that I haven't skipped any workouts due to laziness. That was always a past problem that I had. Weather and other factors have caused me to change my mind on a couple occasions and give myself more rest, but I haven't done it simply because I was lazy and didn't feel like heading out. Those skipped runs are really what held me back in the past when I did run. I always had unused potential because of those days.

As I said, tomorrow is a long run, followed by two rest days. Next week will include a speedwork session. Hopefully, two weeks will be a road race.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pulling Back

I made today's run short and easy. I started at Lloyd Hall on Boat House row and ran south to do the Walnut Street loop. On the way back, I finished up after the train bridge behind 30th street station. It was probably less than a 2 mile run.

The weather was terrible on Tuesday so I took the day off rather than biking. It was cold, rainy and windy and wasn't worth the short ride that I was planning on. I wanted to stick with a short run today and that definitely became the case when I started out sluggish.

I did more running last week and Monday than I had previously done and it was starting to take its toll on me. My legs were really sore for the first half mile and I was slow. Although I still plan on a 5 or 6 mile run on Friday, it is time to stick with some more biking and short runs in between my long runs. I don't want to wear myself out too early on.

I still certainly have plenty of energy and desire. I'm looking into running my first road race (probably a 5-K) when I go to my parents house on Father's Day weekend. It'll be a good way to gauge where I'm at from a speed perspective. I haven't run a race in years and I'm eager to see what I can do.

I'm continuing to think long term too. My goal is obviously just to run the half marathon next year faster than I did in 2000, but I'm really starting to think about a full marathon too. I can't seriously consider that though until I'm able to at least comfortably run 10 miles when I go out. I'd love to complete a marathon sometime and even better would be to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon.

Anyways, back to reality and the world of my short runs. Tomorrow will definitely be a bike ride. Friday I'll be trying to complete a 5 or 6 mile run.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Back Home Again

Not in Indiana, but instead in Nazareth. After a long and fun weekend in Indianapolis, it was back to Pennsylvania. I didn't run on race day so I decided on a long run today (Memorial Day). I went back to an old 4 mile loop that I used to run all the time a decade ago.

This route used to be an easy day for me when I was at my peak. I was able to finish it today and it's the first time I've definitely run 4 miles or more since I started running 5 weeks ago. When I started off today, my goal was to finish this run, but I figured I'd probably fall short.

The course is much more hilly than what I'm used to in Philadelphia. There are plenty of hills in my hometown, but not much in the City of Brotherly Love. I was never fast on flat surfaces, but I used to be outstanding making up time on the hills.

I really thought the hills would bother my knee injury and just wear me down in general. That didn't happen until near the end of the run though. Going uphill did bother my knee some, but I battled through it and it never got too sore. I am definitely building up strength in my knee and the stretching I'm doing seems to be happening soon. The cool weather late in the evening helped too.

It is interesting how some days play out. In the past few weeks, I felt great early on in runs but couldn't finish. Today, I was sluggish at the start, but got through it and ran pretty well. I tried to just keep up good solid form during the entire run, especially when going uphill. Although, I was dead at the end, I still could've actually pushed harder. My goal was to just finish the run though. I didn't keep my time, but I think I would've clocked pretty well too.

One of the interesting parts of the run was that I ran into two bugs that almost derailed my run. The first one flew right in my eye about halfway through. I managed to get to the point where it didn't irritate me anymore. Towards the end, a bug flew in my mouth and caused me to cough. I've certainly come across bugs from time to time, but it doesn't happen that often and I don't think I've ever had that happen twice on the same run.

I have run a lot over the last week, so tomorrow it's time to get back on the bike. I'll likely do a short ride then and follow it up with a short run on Wednesday. I'd like to try to run 5 or 6 miles on Friday. Some rest and time on the bike this week will be a key to being able to do that though. I'm really happy with progress I've made in these first five weeks. Now, I just have to keep it up.

Indy Run #2 (May 23rd)

Of course today was another interesting run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I started off with a goal to run around the outside of the track. I knew this would be tough since there isn't a clear cut way around the backstretch. I didn't complete the run in its entirety, but I surprised myself with how much I did accomplish.

Even though I didn't complete the full lap, I still managed to run about somewhere between 3 and 3.5 miles. Even though it was still in the 80s today, the start wasn't nearly as bad. It was hot, but most of the front straightaway bleachers covered me in the first half of the run. That combined with a nice breeze made for an excellent start.

After going past turn two and into the backstretch, I encountered the expected problem of no direct route around the back of the track. I made a left at the first road I could. That took me through a neighborhood before hitting a dead end. I had to go further around the track then. After running through a shopping center parking lot, I decided to give up. I thought I was closer to the track than I actually was.

I had about a mile walk back from my stopping point. That was difficult in the blazing sun after a long run. The heat wasn't a problem early on, but really took its toll in the later portion of the run. It was also tricky today because I ran on many different surfaces. I started off on smooth sidewalk. I ran some on the grass. I also went over some deteriorated asphalt in the neighborhood behind the speedway. My knee was sore at times, but it is definitely getting stronger.

I didn't complete the goal set run, but that's mainly because I didn't really know where I was going. Today was definitely one of my furthest runs to date. All that and it was one of hottest days I've run too. I'm really starting to make progress. Taking a day off in between runs was a big help this weekend too.

Tomorrow is race day and then we're traveling back home. It's likely that that will be another rest day. On Monday, I'll be back at my parents house. The goal is to attempt to run the old 4 mile loop that I used to do in HS and early college years. That'll be a challenge though because there are more hills back there than I'm used to. I'm looking forward to it though. Of course, I'm much more excited about the race tomorrow though.

Indy Run #1 (May 21st)

Today was an interesting run. It's not everyday that you get to run by the greatest auto racing circuit in the country. I started off running down the smooth sidewalk in front of the front straight away at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The straightaway itself is nearly a mile long. After that, I turned and went to the church that I'll be going to on Saturday or Sunday.

When I started off, my hamstring was tight. It loosen as I ran though. Even though it was 80 degrees, there was a nice breeze in my face along front stretch. When I turned right though, things changed dramatically. It suddenly became very hot. It's been rather cool back home and this high temperature and humidity (even at 6 PM) was tough to handle.

I drank a bottle of water about half an hour before starting my run, but even so I was still dehydrated within the first mile. The heat really took its toll as I hit the church, but I pushed on and back to the campsite. I made it to the edge of our camping area, but couldn't make it all the way to our camper.

The heat really destroyed me and of course I felt it even more after I was done running. My knee was a little sore too, but I ran through it without any real problems. The hard concrete sidewalks really gave my knees a pounding. I managed to survive that and the blazing heat too. I end up running about 2.6 miles total. Not great, but not too bad either considering the circumstances.

After how difficult today was, I'll probably take tomorrow off. There's no activity on the track on Saturday, so I'll likely run at some point then. Today I ran the opposite direction as my track workout two days ago. Not sure if that really reduced stress on my leg or not. Regardless, I'm probably going to run the normal direction Saturday. I want to run on the outside of the 2.5 mile track. Sunday will be a race and travel day too so I'll likely rest then as well. That'll allow me to really push it on Saturday. All in all, it was a very productive day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Disappointing Day

Today was a disappointing workout to say the least. The plan was to do an easy two miles around the neighborhood after a tough track day yesterday. I don't even think I made it to the 3/4 mile mark before my knee was acting up. I guess I should've just taken the day off.

I probably would've taken off if I felt sore while walking around the house in the morning. I felt good though. The soreness didn't take affect until I started running. I knew early on it would be difficult because my legs didn't feel like they had much in them.

The neighborhood roads haven't been paved in years and that made for a rough surface. What really messed with me though was the circle at the end of the block. I ran it in the same direction as I ran around the track yesterday and that really bothered my knee. After that, I made it a little farther, but elected to stop before a hill.

It was disappointing, but I'm also glad I didn't push it. Hopefully I saved enough to run tomorrow and Friday. It would be good to get on the bike, but I'm not taking one with me to Indianapolis. I think I might try to run in the opposite direction out there, if I elect to run around the speedway. It should be a great weekend of auto racing and maybe I can get some good runs in.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back on Track

Today I went out and completed my first full track workout. It might be more beneficial to do some hill repeats, but I'm not sure how my knee would hold up. So I headed out to Lehigh University's track this afternoon.

Things went great today, much better than I expected actually. I planned on doing 400 meter repeats (1/4 mile each). The goal was to complete 6 of them and I was able to do so successfully. I wanted to start off somewhat slow through the first three of them to make sure I was good to go in the final three. It worked out well, but I might've even been too slow.

I felt really good through the 4th one and picked up the pace. I decided to try to finish hard on the 5th and 6th ones. That worked well for the 5th one, but I didn't have much left in the tank at the end of the 6th. I pushed, but sort of stumbled home.

I think I did a really good job of picking the amount of recovery time in between repeats. It got tricky at the end though as some high school girls were doing 200 meter repeats with their coach. Between the final two runs of my workout, I might've rested too long. I was waiting to get a clear run with the girls out of the way. After being strong throughout, my legs felt like jelly on the last run.

I felt like I pushed relatively hard. Of course, running by myself, I am just naturally slower than if I had others to work with. I probably should've pushed even more, but really there's no need to do so this early in the game.

I stretched a lot and hopefully won't be sore tomorrow. My knee did start acting up after the last run, but was fine following the cool down. I guess I picked the correct number of repititions to do. On a couple of the runs, the wind was in my face bothered me a little bit at the start. I think next time I do a track workout, I'll do ladders to give myself more of a challenge.

Hopefully I recover well enough tomorrow. I plan to take it easy and only run around my old neighborhood twice (about 2 miles total). I weighed myself after the run today. Obviously that is the lightest I'll be, but I was still impressed when it came out as 170 pounds. I started off exactly a month ago at 180 pounds. That's a good start, but there is even more to go. I haven't gone crazy watching what I eat, but I have been careful and tried to cut back on unhealthy things. Clearly, that's helped a lot too along with this exercising.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Today was really a waste. It was unseasonably cold and the weather just destroyed me. I went for a walk earlier and thought that sweat pants and a long sleeve T-shirt would be enough. They weren't though.

It wouldn't have been too bad of a day if I chose to run. Instead, I elected to bike and the wind was just brutal. I had a head wind on the way out and it was really bothering me. Since I was heading to my parents house afterward and wanted to beat some traffic, I just decided to cut it short.

I ended up riding at most 3 miles. I went out to the Girard Avenue Bridge and back. By the time I turned around, I was breaking into a slight sweat anyways. The wind was much better on the way back, but at that time I had already committed to turning around.

It was good to get at least some minor exercising done. Tomorrow will be a track workout back near my parents house and the remainder of the week will be some other runs. It'll be a good test. On a positive note, I confirmed that I have lost at least 5, possibly 6 pounds since starting to workout about 3 week ago.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today was a simple 12 mile bike ride after running yesterday. It went pretty well, particularly the start and end. I started out strong and felt very good. I had to weave my way through some of the regatta, but it wasn't too bad. I was able to get on the road then since it was closed. I actually drafted off a golf cart for about a mile. That was a big help.

On the way back, I hit some strong head winds and really struggled. I dropped down to a slower gear and that didn't help much. Once I went back to a faster gear, I was able to finish pretty strong. The faster gear isn't as hard to pedal as I thought it would be. I got a good steady motion going then. I really need to work on staying in faster gear. Of course a couple guys still blew by me.

The weather was nearly perfect. It was partly cloudy and 80 degrees. That wind can sure be a problem though. It really beats you down.

I'm really so hungry right now. I need to take tomorrow off and rest, but I want to run badly. I don't know if I've ever been this into running. Maybe it's because it used to come so easily to me and now I've made it hard by putting on weight and being dormant. I can't wait to get back on top or near the top anyways.

The remainder the week will likely involve a lot of running in Indianapolis. I might head home on Monday night and if that's the case, I'll likely do a track workout on Tuesday. Wednesday will be our travel day so I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to run then.

Friday, May 15, 2009

So So Day

I didn't run or bike yesterday since I took my parents to the Phillies game and couldn't get up early enough to exercise. That's something I need to work. As it's getting hotter, I'm going to really pay if I try running at noon. Today, I slept in until 10:30 again.

I thought the day off would be a big help. Oddly, I was actually really sore, even early on. It was easy to tell it would be a rough day in the beginning of the run. I did some stretches beforehand, but that didn't help much.

I started at the Art Museum and was really hoping to make it all the way back there. What really threw me off was that there was a high school regatta at the river. I knew about the Dad Vail last weekend, but didn't know about the high school one. That made running tough because I had to weave in and out of people and boats. Doing erratic running certainly didn't help my leg at all. I impacted the ground at so many funny angles.

The leg was bothering me, but I did run through it for about half a mile. It actually felt decent when I stopped, but I was worn out at that point. I didn't make it back to the Girard Ave. Bridge, but still did end up running close to 3 miles anyways. Physically I was actually pretty tired early. I didn't think I pushed that hard at the start, but I guess I did. I was already feeling it about a mile in.

The great thing with my knee acting up is that it prevents me from overdoing it. In the past, I used to set a goal run for the day before going out and I always ran that far no matter what. Some days you just don't have it and it's not worth pushing yourself. This injury keeps me in check and allows me to gradually build up mileage. If not for it, I'd probably be pushing myself to 7 or 8 miles right now. I really do need to pass the 4 mile barrier soon though.

It's funny because I was thinking about how I've been disappointed lately that I'm struggling with 3 or 4 miles runs about three weeks into training. For a lot of people, that's actually an impressive run. I just set the bar pretty high with past performances.

Lately, I've been thinking about what competitive events I want to get into. I'll definitely run a 5-K in June sometime. I'd love to be able to do so running under 25 minutes. I don't wear a watch anymore when I run though, so I really have no idea what pace I'm at these days. Maybe next time I want to hit the track, I'll time myself on a three mile run just to see where I'm at.

Beyond the 5-K, I'm looking into a bunch of things. In the fall, I might run the Philadelphia Half Marathon. Really my progress at about mid July will determine where I'm at for that and other distance events. If I'm making outstanding progress, I might consider starting to train for the Philadelphia Marathon. I'm also possibly thinking about doing the City to the Shore bike ride. It's a 75 mile ride from Philly to the Ocean and another ride back the next day. If you aren't up for riding back, you can take a bus back.

The bike ride requires getting sponsors, but I could probably do that on my website. I've always dreamed big so that's why I'm starting to think about some of these crazy fall events. Ultimately, I'd love to run a marathon and qualify for and then run the Boston Marathon. I need to take a lot of steps at this point to achieve that though. I feel that I'm more disciplined now to do that than when I was a younger runner. If I ever get to the marathon distance, I'm going to have to get some training partners. I'm considering joining a running club. Perhaps I'll do that this summer.

I want to get out and ride on Saturday and then take Sunday off. Next week we're driving out to the Indianapolis 500 so my exercise schedule from mid week on will be hectic. I will definitely get some runs in out there though. One nice thing about that event is that there is actually a lot of down time. I should be able to get some nice runs in. The weather was great today and hopefully will stay that way for awhile now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Track Workout

I headed up to Temple today to use their track. I thought I'd get in a ladders workout. The plan was to start with 200 meters, then 400, then 800, then another 800, another 400, and finally another 200. I didn't get there until 2:30 in the afternoon though.

I managed to get in a warm up lap and a 200 and 400. Then I was told the track was closing for Temple's practice. I squeezed out another hard 400 meter lap. It's actually probably a good thing the workout was cut short. The few runs I did really wore me out and I was sore.

I always forget how hard track workouts are until I get back into them. It's just tough for a distance runner to run fast and hard for short bursts. The first 200 seemed quick, but the two 400s were just brutal.

I've been working on some stretches to try to help out my knee. It sounds like I have Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Hopefully some good stretching and not pushing too much will help me overcome it if that's indeed what it is.

Tomorrow, my parents are coming for the Phillies game in the afternoon. I need to get up early and ride the bike. I probably won't do anything more than 10 miles. Hopefully I can do a fairly long run on Friday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


After a strong run yesterday, I took it easy today. I got on the bike and only did about 6 or 7 miles. I didn't push myself to hard either. I want to be rested up to do a track workout tomorrow.

It was still a bit difficult today. There was a strong wind in my face most of the time. That really made me work harder than I wanted to just to get anywhere. The weather otherwise was nice and cool again.

I still had a couple people blow by me on bikes. Even though I wasn't pushing hard, I'm amazed at how easily they can cruise by me. I feel like I'm improving on the bike though. I seem to be able to ride in a faster gear.

It's been a little slow, but I am making progress. Tomorrow's track workout should be interesting. I haven't pushed myself at something like that in awhile. We'll have to see how it goes.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I didn't get a chance to post on Friday because I drove to Virginia for an AAU tournament right after my run. The run was a disappointment though. It was pretty warm. I walked down to the river to watch the Dad Vail Regatta beforehand. I tried running back, but couldn't even make 2 miles before my knee started acting up. Even though I didn't feel much soreness after the long bike ride on Thursday, that must've had some impact on my knee's condition on Friday.

Today was my best run to date. It was really cool and cloudy outside. That was nearly perfect weather except for some wind. It was actually the windiest day since I started running again. I started off strong, but the wind really slowed me down as it was blowing in my face.

Through the middle of the run, I really started to wear down. That was partly do to the wind. The good thing at least is that I started out strong. I just need to work on my stamina. Early on, I blew past this guy. He turned around right before me on the way back, but I was so slow that I wasn't able to catch him.

The goal was finishing the run though and I did that. I ran from the Art Museum to the grandstands and then back to the Girard Ave. Bridge. That's about 3.7 miles and easily the farthest I've run thus far.

I'm trying to figure out why my knee has been bothering me. It didn't do so today until about the last quarter mile or so. Even then, it was actually mild. I concentrated on using higher and longer strides today. When I was growing tired, I made sure to focus on keeping good strides. That must've helped.

Running on the softer gravel has probably had a positive impact too. The two days of rest over the weekend were likely a factor as well and kept me fresh. I did get a side stitch (from drinking too much before going out), but I slowed and little bit and worked through it.

I guess I should limit the mileage on my bike days. The bike isn't helping my running conditioning as much as I thought it would. At this point, I figured I'd be able to run 4 miles easily, but that's just not the case.

Regardless, it was a strong run today and something to build on. I think tomorrow I'll ride the bike and do 10 or 12 miles on it. I want to get some speedwork in at a track on Wednesday. I'll likely head up to Temple for that.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


It's always fun trying out new routes. I decided that I wanted to ride my bike along the river beyond Falls Bridge. I ended finding a bike path that I didn't know about and wound up riding all the way to Conshohocken.

I never intended to ride that far, but when I found the path that goes all the way to Valley Forge, I just kept going. I rode a nice pace most of the way out. I didn't know how to get through Manayunk so I just went down Main Street on the way out. That was interesting because it's a busy street. The good thing was that it was slow enough that I could just ride behind a car.

After getting through there, I hit some wider roads that were more rider friendly. There were a couple tough hills though. I guess I should've suspected that in the Manayunk area. The end of that road was a steep downhill, which I knew would become a steep uphill on the way back.

I didn't exactly know which roads to take to ride along the river. I had looked at a map earlier, but didn't memorize them or write down directions. I ended up taking the correct route and eventually wound up on River Road. As I was on that road, I found the bike path to Valley Forge.

That's an excellent route. River Road is such a quiet road along the river. It reminds me of some of the houses along the rivers back home. It doesn't seem like part of Philadelphia. The bike path is mostly just a path through the woods. There were a couple businesses along the route. It's smooth, flat and fast, most of the way. Once I got to the Spring Mill/Conshohocken area, I finally hit more civilization. It's definitely a path I'll be using again. Eventually, I hope to ride to Valley Forge.

The way back was kind of tough, but could've been worse. I'm not used to hills, so the few I came across were tough, especially after I had already rode over 12 miles on the way out. When I got back to Manayunk, I found a canal towpath which goes around the town and also directly to River Road. I took the path through Manayunk.

The canal path probably wasn't the best for my road bike. There were a couple stretches of rough rocks and some wooden planks over the water. It was a good way around Manayunk, but not sure if I'll use it again.

The really interesting part of the ride was when I got to the Manayunk area. The sky had been getting dark and I saw a bolt of lightning. I heard thunder a few other times and it did rain some. I actually rode pretty hard to try to beat the storm. Luckily, it never started to pour and the weather got better as I approached the Art Museum.

A good portion of Kelly Drive was closed today because of the Dad Vail Regatta this weekend. It made for a good place to ride, although it got crowded down where the teams setup. I can't believe how many college crew teams there are.

I finished pretty strong, but certainly was a little tired. After 25 miles, it would be hard to not have a few aches and pains. I rode hard most of the way. More importantly, I rode consistently throughout the trek. The weather (other than the brief storms) was pretty good. It was nice and cool in the mid 60s and that was a big help.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to run near the Dad Vail and watch it afterwards. Hopefully my body won't be too sore. I'll be heading to Virginia for an AAU tournament this weekend so I'm not sure if I'll get any exercising done there. Today's ride was excellent though so that should help out if I can't get anything done this weekend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No Easy Days

Well today was supposed to be an easy day after two straight days of running. It was only a ten mile bike ride, but I really pushed myself. I never seem to take it easy.

I decided to do a reverse of the usual river route. I started off on a faster gear than usual and finished at a really fast gear. The weather was an excellent mid 60s and partly sunny. That allowed me to push myself. By the end, I was actually pushing so hard that my knees are pretty sore. Of course I was still passed during the second half of the ride, so I've got a long way to improve when it comes to riding.

Tomorrow will be a much longer bike ride before running on Friday. I'm actually going to take a route past Falls Bridge and do some exploring. I don't exactly know where I'm headed, but that's part of the fun.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reducing the Impact

Today was another cold and cloudy day. It seems like it's been that way ever since the hot spell ended a week ago. We've had 50 degree and 90 degree days in the past couple weeks. It would actually be nice to get somewhere in the middle.

After running yesterday, I decided to run again today. I started off okay, although a little sluggish. Fairly early on though, my knee started acting up. I guess it couldn't handle two days in a row of running.

Luckily, I was able to switch to a stone path rather than run on asphalt. My knee felt much better after that and I was able to get to the end of that path and turn around. I guess I'll have to try running more often on softer surfaces. I never liked doing that, but it might be necessary to help reduce this stress problem on my knee.

I still only ran a couple miles, but I was able to turn around this time and set a goal location to stop at on the way back. That was a big help and really allowed me to keep going.

The end of the run was tough, but I really pushed myself. It was the hardest I've run in years. My knee felt pretty good by the end of the run and I forgot I was even having any problems with it at all. It's been a good start to week and I'm actually pretty worn out. I remember when I first started track back in HS, I was so tired that I ended up going to sleep at about 9 PM for the first few nights. I'm not quite that exhausted, but close to it.

Tomorrow I'll definitely get back onto the bike. I'm not sure yet about my plans for Thursday. I'll be biking one day and running the other between Thursday and Friday. Just not sure which one on which day yet. Next week, I want to try to get my first speed work session in. I'll either do ladders or repeats on the track. Progress is still on the slow side, but I'm feeling better everyday. I've already lost a couple pounds too. I'd really love to drop another 20+ pounds though.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Rainy Day

I didn't get a chance to get out and run or bike over the weekend at the auto race. I did probably end up walking about 7 or 8 miles all over the track on Saturday and did a few miles of walking on Friday and Sunday too.

I got out and ran in the pouring rain this afternoon. For whatever reason, I've always loved running in the rain and had some of my best races and runs in that weather. Oddly, it's the most comfortable I am when running.

That was really the case early on. I felt good and it was the first time since I've got back into running that I actually felt like a runner. My muscle were tight, but I felt very strong.

I was actually hoping to run out the grandstands and back, but didn't even make it to the grandstands. I could've pushed a little further, but my knee was bothering me a little and I was tiring. I need to find more realistic distances to run now as I start out. I could've pushed myself another mile or so, but not the 2 or more that I needed. Right now, I'd rather be safe than sorry though.

Because I ran out fairly far and stopped, I had to walk back a couple miles in the cold rain. I ended up getting soaked and wish that I had run for a few more minutes before quitting.

I need to work in more running now and less biking. I'm going to try some running on a track tomorrow and see if I can do 3.5 to 4 miles there. Hopefully I'll add a 3rd run this week, possibly on Thursday. I really can't wait to get through this next month or so. This is going to be the hardest part until I really start training for the race.