Friday, December 31, 2010

Last run of the year

There are the mile splits (the first two times)! I'm pretty happy with the run; several times, my watch had to tell me to SLOW DOWN, which take for a good thing as I was wanting to go faster. But, keeping in mind that I was supposed to be taking it easy, I settled for maintaining around a 12 min/mile pace.

EDIT: I forgot to tell you all what the best part of the run was! I was wearing shorts and a short sleeved tech shirt! It was 60 degrees F!!!

Glad I was able to run one more time in short sleeves before the end of the year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Did I mention that I got a Garmin Forerunner 305 for Christmas? I didn't? Well, I did!

I ran with it on Monday, but I hadn't taken the time to set it up with the heart rate monitor or any of the other bells and whistles. I was mainly concerned about getting it to find the GPS satellites, getting used to the weight (who thought 2.72 oz could feel so heavy?), and making sure I knew where to look for my pace, distance, and time.

So, yesterday, I took the time to go through and set it up. I put in my current weight for calorie counting, my current age for max heart rate monitoring, and alarm chirps for mile increments, slower than set pace, and faster than set pace. It was quite the workout!

Anyways, I took off on my intended 1.5 mile run and just had to test out the limits right away. I slowed down to >14 minute miles and was rewarded with a beep! I then sped up to <10 minute miles and was chastised with another beep! Yay, the limits worked.

When I resume regular training, I'll set those limits tighter, but for yesterday's run, they were perfect. At the one mile mark, I received the congratulatory beep. I need a sign: Will run for beeps.

The only thing that I had trouble with were the mile splits. I realized this when I uploaded my information to the computer, and it wasn't separated out by miles. After looking over the Garmin program thoroughly (and updating it), I decided that I had some how missed that part of the setup.

Sure enough, after mucking around in the menus for quite some time, I finally figured out that I had to set the lap time to "on" and the default lap to "1.00 Mile." I haven't tested it yet, but I'm fairly certain that my run on Friday should be broken down into mile splits.

Speaking of Friday, the weatherman is calling for highs in the 50's! Yesterday, I ran in shorts, under armor shirt, long sleeve tech shirt, gloves, and headband. Tomorrow, I might be able to get away with shorts and a short sleeve tech shirt! Here's hoping!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another good run

I'd like to run faster, but I know that I need to hold back and make sure everything is good to go. Here's hoping that I can crank it up to 2 miles on Friday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

On the run again

Ok, back into running. Slow...short...easy. These are the keys to working my way back up to where I was before I injured myself. I figure I'll do this same pace and distance on Wed and Fri, assuming that everything feels all right the next couple of days.

Then, next week, 5 milers!! or maybe jump it up to 1.5 milers...yeah, that's more likely.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Ok, with a groin pull, that means no frog kicks, which means no breast stroke. After some time off swimming and doing all freestyle (front crawl), it's no wonder I was slower and couldn't go as long.

If my groin feels ok tomorrow, I'll do another swim. Of course, my wife and I went back to the gym and worked out, so something I did there may have aggravated it. Must leg stuff on the workout machines.../sigh.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not so fast

Well, that nagging groin pull that I've been dealing with (and the cause for my week's rest last week) is back, so I've decided to rest it until 27 Dec.

Then, my plan is to start running again, albeit, slowly (11-12 min miles) two times/week.

I'll re-evaluate after each run.

Stinks not being able to run; I never thought I'd ever say THAT!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back to it

I thought the 10 min/mile pace would be fairly easy, and it was. Although, toward the end of the run, I felt my left hamstring was strained a bit. A nice soak in the whirlpool helped me to get it stretched out, as well as helped me work on my other tight muscles.

Stretching is really nice when done in a jacuzzi. mmmmm....jacuuuuuuuzzi.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Sub 9 min/mile pace! Oh...YEAH! I am really happy about my time and excited about getting back out there training for my mini marathon in May.

Oh, and I think that the last 1/10th was not really a tenth. The third mile marker had to have been off...

EDIT: Stats for those who are interested:
26th/62 for my age group (40-44)
438/805 guys
654/1820 over all
33/72 people from Greenwood!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rest Week

I think I may have strained something on Saturday's run, so I decided to rest this week before my race this Saturday. Another excuse I have is that it's been pretty nippy out so far this week.

Oh, and I've had appts after work Mon, Tues, and Wed, and since I have a race on Sat, that means no running on Thu or Fri to rest up for it.

Add all those together and it equals no running before Saturday; at least in my world.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


The snow put a halt to my plans for an outside 6 mile run with Bad Brad, so I took it indoors, tacked another quarter mile on, and ran a 10K! Booya!

And for those tracking things at home:
1. No, I didn't run yesterday. I stayed home from work with some intestinal issues, and just couldn't get up the gumption to run.

2. Yes, this is the farthest distance that I have run in one shot.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Triathlon Workout...again

I almost skipped it, but I'm glad I stopped by the gym and pounded it out. The hot tub time was definitely worth it...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I could only make it 3.65 miles. Time for some running tights. It was 28 degrees with 18 MPH winds, so windchill (I hate that I have to make excuses with windchill...) was 16 degrees. In Anchorage, I scoffed at windchill, but here in Indiana, it really makes a difference.

...and of course, after 5.5 years of living here, unfortunately, I've acclimated...

What's this???

A non-workout post??


Looking over the last couple of month's posts, I realized that I hadn't included hardly any non-workout posts. Yeah, boring me...

Unfortunately for you all, I'm very excited about my runs and workout stuff, so I won't be eliminating them. Remember who you're dealing with - Mr. 1 or 0. I'm either on or off, never in between...So I turned the WoW switch off and the fitness switch on.

An aside, yes, I have had temptations to return to World of Warcrack, but thankfully, I immediately remember the time sink that it is and the unhealthy worship that I engaged in with it. The temptation passes very quickly.

Of course, I can't be running all the time, so there is a natural limit to how much I can engage in my current activity of choice. I need that to help me keep it in its proper place. WoW didn't have that for me, so the limitations had to be self imposed (difficult for me) or had to come from familial pressure (very bad idea to let it get to that point.)

I can't remember if I let you all know that I had picked up Dragon Age: Origins. I did. I played through it once and have another character that I've done a little bit with, but truthfully, it doesn't have the same hold over me as Warcrack did, even on the first play through.

I've been sitting on the couch more, along side my wife. That's been nice. We watch some DVR shows (NCIS, CSI, It's Me or the Dog) or just read. It's funny that I'm exercising more AND being the couch potato more.

Speaking of reading, Thomas Sowell put out a book in 2008 called Economic Facts and Fallacies. I'm reading through it right now; it has been very beneficial in understanding some of the political rhetoric that is being bantered about these days.

Dr. Sowell takes several large areas of Economics that have quite a number of "facts" associated with them and dissects the associated data to come up with alternate theories as to why things are the way they are.

One such misconception is in regards to "the poor." While media and politicians are fond of referring to the poor (bottom 20% or whatever is the percentage du jour), what they don't mention is that "the poor" are not an enduring class, meaning that most of the current poor will not be in the same income bracket 10 years from now and that with no government intervention.

The fact is that a 20 year old in that particular bracket most likely won't be making the same money when he is a 30 year old. Of course, exceptions abound, and I'm wondering if my oldest son will ever make enough money or have the motivation to take care of himself...<.<....>.>.....

I've also had some time to polish up my piano playing. My two Chopin pieces are coming along nicely, and I can play through each of them without the sheet music. That isn't to say that I can play them perfectly; execution is not memorization...

And finally, it's going to be at least a two post day, because I have some running to do. I'm still not sure if I'm going to do my speed work today or 4.58 miles. I don't think I should do both; I'll probably make up my mind after seeing the weather at 3 PM. There were snow flurries this morning...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Triathlon Workout

I added a half mile on the bike and 100 yds on the swim. Now that I'm back from vacation, this kind of workout is going to hopefully happen every Tues and Thur. Hopefully.

Oh, and I weighed in at 188.2 lbs this morning.../flex!

Monday, November 29, 2010

More Mileage

Allllllllmost to that magical 5 mile training run! I'm going to be experimenting with my workout runs for a little bit; I'm switching my speed work to Wednesdays and incorporating a long run every Saturday. I will also probably shorten my Friday run in order to get in a better long run on Saturday.

I've hit the point where I'm no longer running to lose weight, but rather for the sake of training for upcoming races and staying in shape. I'm not anywhere near where I want to be weight-wise, but I figure if I keep on training the way I've been training as well as keeping the dietary changes intact, the weight will come off.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back Home

Got back home at about 4:15, so I decided to squeeze in 4.32 miles to make it 12.4 miles on the week. Running was probably 40th or 41st on my list of things I'd rather do after spending 7 hours on the road, but the hot bath afterward did help mitigate some of that reluctance.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ocala YMCA Turkey Trot 5K

Another race, another PR! I placed 25th in my age group, but I don't know how many guys were in my group. I placed 347th over all out of around 1100 participants.

My father-in-law placed first in his age group (60-64) with a 21:54. off...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ahhh Florida!

I'm in Inverness, FL at my father-in-law's house for Thanksgiving. We ran this morning, and he promised me 11 minute miles.

As you can see, we didn't run even one mile at that pace. We did make two stops - one was his regularly scheduled drink and stretch at 1.3 miles. The second was at 3.7 miles when I had a....uh.....pressing issue...

Anyways, it felt pretty good to run in the nice weather down here, and I'm glad that my coach did push the pace a bit. He knew that I would do my best to keep up.

Thursday is my third race. I'm not expecting a PR because coach said that the course is a bit hilly and the races that I've done so far have been somewhat flat.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bike Run Swim!

You'll notice several differences in my charts today. First off, I alluded to it today in the comment section from my last post, and here it is: Pale Yellow Yes, I realize that color is really hard to see; sorry I can't change the background. Pale yellow signifies a treadmill run.

The second thing is I've changed up my lap length. I was timing every length of the pool, now I just time laps (down and back.) I also added 100 yards; go me! Next up for swimming is to get rid of those rest breaks, then GO FASTER!

The reason for the 1/2 mile run is brick training. One of these days, I'll devote a workout to switching between running and biking, but for now, I'll do my best to run any where from a half to a full mile after my bike workouts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


There was a time, just after the 3rd mile, that I was in the zone. I just ran. I didn't have any pains, no breathing issues, no weaknesses.

It was awesome! I was just running along at a 10 minute mile clip.

Now, it only lasted about a half mile, but still, I'm excited about hitting that zone more often. It felt really, really nice!

Of course, when I stopped running, everything started complaining...but there for about 5 minutes...bliss...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gym Cardio

The weather was miserable outside, so I decided that biking from my house to the gym would be a bad idea.

I'm sure you all appreciate the pretty colors that I use to differentiate my biking, running, and freestyle/breast stroke swimming. Allow me to introduce you to the newest color to help you all with your scoring at home: The pale green.

"Thank you, Rusty. Hi, I'm pale green, and I must say that I am very happy to join the team in providing exciting differences for Rusty's workouts. I think that my record speaks for itself, but allow me to just mention honeydew melons, aventurine, and the luna moth.

"I'm sure you'll agree that Rusty has made a wise choice in selecting me to assist him, and I look forward to learning the exciting world of biking, specifically, stationary biking.

"My sole duty will be to provide a nice color difference, along with my better known counterpart, Lime Green, for Rusty's biking workouts. When you see me, you'll know that Rusty rode a stationary bike for that particular workout.

"Once again, I cannot say how thrilled I am to be part of this elite team, and I will work hard to be the best stationary bike color that Rusty could ask for. Thank you. "

Wow, I didn't realize pale green was going to give a speech; maybe I should have chosen another color that wasn't as gabby...

If you have a hard time reading his words, just use your cursor to highlight the text to give it a better background.

Monday, November 15, 2010

4.32 miles

Slowly but surely, I'm approaching the 5 mile daily run. I'll do two more of this distance this week, then increase it again. I'm looking at increasing my mileage every week; we'll see how long this can go on...

Run Bike Swim!

19.2 miles of biking
16.6 miles of running
.25 miles of swimming

~36 miles of activity last week! I won't get close to that this week or in the foreseeable future due to old man winter making a comeback, but I can see myself ramping up to that in the spring.

Also, I plan on doing some indoor stationary cycling to keep up my conditioning; I'll figure out some way of keeping track of what I've done. Time would be the most logical choice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speed Work

Timed mile was slower, but my warm up mile was faster than last time I did speed work. This workout was only 5 seconds slower than last time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another 5 miler, with less walking!

I biked over to my friend Jeff's house, and we went for a nice run. Jeff has some Achilles tendon issues, so we warmed up with about a half mile jog, walked about a half mile, then jogged the half mile back to his house where we stretched.

Then we set out on the remainder of the run and kept a nice easy pace where we could hold a conversation without huffing and puffing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

"Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life."

A friend of mine (actually, my brother's friend, but everyone's friends on Facebook!) had this as part of his status today.

I like this perspective. Happy Veteran's Day.

(yes, that is me!)

Duathlete or should I say Dualthleet!

The order of today's workout was:

Bike from home to hair cut place. ~4 miles
Bike from hair cut place to LA Fitness. ~3.6 miles
Swim at LA Fitness. 400 yards alternated Freestyle and Breast strokes.
Bike from LA Fitness to Applebees. ~ 2 miles
Ate my free Veteran's Day meal. Yummy!
Bike from Applebees to home. ~ 2.2 miles

For my swim, I tried to work a bit on form, technique, and conservation. Mostly, I tried to glide through the water and keep as slender a profile as I could maintain.

Alternating strokes also helped me with my conservation and being able to swim two 200 yard sets. (I took a two minute rest after the 8th interval) I'll take the same game plan with my swimming as I did with my running - I'll rest at certain intervals, but the goal is to swim the whole thing continuously.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another 4 miler, only faster!

11 minute miles, booya! I felt pretty good after each of these runs; I'm sure the slower pace has something to do with it. I'll be ratcheting up to around 4.25-4.33 mile runs next week; I haven't mapped them out yet, so I'm not sure what the final mileage will be.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Go Fish

I have been trying to incorporate more fish into our family's diet. As I am usually responsible for preparing dinner, I have a pretty big say in what we actually eat for dinner. Couple that with the fact that my wife and I like to eat tasty food, and, hopefully without sounding like a total tool, I've developed into a capable chef.

Of course, I've bragged, uh, I mean, told you all, about my Indian cooking, my leet Mexican soup making skills, my beer, and some other food that I've forgotten about.

But today, I'll run down a very tasty meal that you can make in the comfort of your very own kitchen! We had it tonight, and to say, "I was very pleased with myself," would be a huge understatement.

We had Orange Roughy with a roasted red pepper cream sauce, red potatoes, and asparagus.

Orange roughy is a very mild fish that my wife really liked (she doesn't like real fishy fish.), and I really liked the flavor combined with the cream sauce. Ok, ok, here's what I did:

Set oven to 350 degrees
2 lbs Orange roughy (thawed)
1 medium sized tomato, sliced
1 lb Small red potatoes, quartered. (the potatoes I had ranged in size from a golf ball to a racquet ball)
1 bunch of Asparagus
Olde Thompson Fish and Seafood Seasoning (or your favorite seafood seasoning)
Olive oil
Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

In a large cooking dish (I used a 12x12 Polish pottery deep dish, anything but metal will do), place the fish in the middle, with the tomato slices laid in a single layer on the top of the fish.

Put the potatoes around the edges and the asparagus on top of the potatoes around the fish.

Sprinkle the seasoning on everything and drizzle with olive oil. Cover and bake 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees.

While that is baking, make the cream sauce! I followed the linked recipe with the following exceptions:

For roasting my peppers, I put a little olive oil in a frying pan, set the heat on medium, plopped the whole peppers in it, and occasionally turned them. When all the sides had some nice black char on them, they were done, and I removed them from the heat and covered them.

I didn't have any green onions, so I used 1/2 a small yellow onion, diced. I had to fry it a bit longer than green onions to get them cooked.

I did not strain the puree; I hated to waste all that goodness...

I added the called for amount of cream and then added more as I...uh, felt like it. I was shooting for a little creamier sauce than the recipe apparently makes. shrug. Of course, having all that pulp in my sauce probably accounted for having to put in more cream.

Now, I didn't follow this order because I'm giving you all the benefit of my hindsight. You might have to start the peppers roasting while you prepare the fish for baking; that's what I did.

And, because I did that, I was done with my sauce about 20 minutes before the dish was done, so the sauce had time to sit, off the burner. I do believe that time helped the flavors to meld together.

When the fish dish was done (the potatoes took the longest to cook), I warmed up the cream sauce.

My wife had the sauce just on the fish, but I had it on the potatoes as well. My son declined to have any sauce; he doesn't do sauces...

Ok, now comes the broken arm patting myself on the back part.

I'm sure that everyone has had a vision of something that they'd like to make, whether it's a dinner, or a structure, or a garden, a drawing, or, well, just about anything that one might create, and after you get through crafting the item, you stand back and are so amazed that it turned out not as you envisioned it...

...but even better. That was this dish for me tonight. It was better than I ever could have imagined!

5 Miles

What? Biking, of course! I was going to swim, but I forgot my Ironman watch. So, then, I figured it was such a beautiful day, that I would go for a bike ride.

After airing up my tires, finding my bike clothes, and getting situated, I headed off to the grocery store: Asparagus, red potatoes, and some tomatoes.

It felt pretty good to be back on the bike; I'm remembering why I like it more than running: Coasting, FTW!! (Ro, that's "For The Win" just in case you were wondering). It's really hard to coast when you're running; it's possible if you're running downhill AND you trip. And it's not really coasting as much as it's rolling. I would not recommend it on hard surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, steep frozen ponds, or buildings.

So, yeah, iBike!

Monday, November 8, 2010

4 Miles

I ran the whole way! I purposely started slow and kept it slow to make sure that I could make it the entire four miles without walking. At that pace, I felt like I could have probably squeezed in another mile, so I'm pretty happy with my condition.

I'll run another 4.07 miler on Wed, then on Friday, I'm planning on running a 5 miler with a friend. That run will be a mix of running a walking as we'll run a half mile, walk a half mile, run a half mile, stretch, then run about 3.75 miles. So, while it won't be all running it should be a nice workout, not to mention, I get to run with someone!

Making the switch

Ok, so, we all know that I'm no stranger to cold (to the newbies, I biked through two winters in Anchorage, AK. /flex), but, I'm finding that after 5+ years in Indiana, my body...has adapted.

And I'm also older.

And I figured why be out in the cold when I have another option for now.

So, this week, I'm going to run in the afternoons. If all goes well, I plan on switching for the winter; now next spring/summer is another ball game and I might switch back to mornings. But for now, I'll run in broad daylight.

Oh, yeah, let that be a warning to everyone that plans on being in my neighborhood around 3-4:30 PM time frame on M-W-F. Remember, the shambling zombie corpse that you may shoot might just be me!

A side note, so, I'll be posting my results after my run some time this afternoon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

More Perspective

My father-in-law (my coach) ran a 5K yesterday too. Now, he's got a couple of years on me, so it really shows that experience pays off. He is in the 60-64 age group...

...and ran it in...



...21:30...yeah, min:sec....

I don't know if I'll ever be THAT fast!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


There were no scoring pads to start the race, so my official time was 29:31, which is still a PR. I'm going to go with my unofficial results, though, 'cause 28:59 is sooooooo schweet!!

I've been following; he's the guy in the 120 lb journey video that I "liked" on Facebook. Anyways, that guy, Ben, sells "Do Life" t-shirts, and I espied someone wearing one!

So, being the quiet little wallflower that I am, I immediately went up to him and started talking about bendoeslife and the video. Nick shared that he had just started running three weeks ago and that this was his very first 5K.

After I finished (in record time, mind you...did I mention that? oh yeah, I guess I did. 28:59, baby!!), I waited around for Nick and acted the fool cheering for him as he finished. It was a great time!!

Race temperature was a brisk 27-29 degrees F. I was a little concerned about keeping warm as our race was starting just after the sun was rising, but I ended up being ok in my Under Armor shirt, long sleeve shirt, shorts (SHORTS!!), headband, gloves, my chili pepper racing sockies, and my running shoes. Basically the same outfit I wore for my first race adding the headgear and handgear.

Alrighty then, 2 races in the books, both of them PRs. I believe that I am going to sign up today for the mini marathon here in Indy in May. I've got another 5K scheduled for Thanksgiving and plan on signing up for the training races for the mini. I might do the Jingle Bell in Dec.

Of course, the most important thing in all of this is....I DIDN'T DIE!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Today is my second day of rest (no workouts) before tomorrow's race. I decided not to push my body with swim workouts this week due to the upcoming event, but next week, I'll try to incorporate at least two swim workouts.

I'm also thinking about changing things up with my runs, as in running after work. I've been getting up at 3:30 am in order to get my run in before work. There are several things I really like about running that early - no traffic, nobody around, peace/quiet, and solitude.

But there are also some things that I don't like - getting up that early, the darkness, and the avoidable coolness. I say avoidable because I know that if I switch to the afternoon, it would be much warmer.

If I do switch, it would also be much easier to hit the treadmill at the club after work; since the club opens at 5 am, before work is not an option. I'm not opposed to running in the cold, rain, or other inclement weather, but it would be nice to have another option.

The danger in moving my runs to the afternoon is the blow off factor. If I get up at 3:30 am to run, then by golly, I'm going to run. But if it seems optional...well, I could see myself hemming and hawing myself out of it. Oh yeah, I have something called self discipline that I can counter that with, don't I!

The best thing that I can do is to get into a routine where I work out every weekday after work, whether it's a run, the gym, or a swim. If I commit myself and make that routine my norm, then I should be ok.

I just have to be home in time to make dinner; momma won't put up with any foolishness in that department...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not for the faint of heart

I don't often link youtube stuff, but this Ironman triathlon finish is pretty brutal...and inspiring in a sadistic/masochistic way...

Let the Crosstraining BEGIN!!!

aka, Rusty Swims.
At first I thought I'd only do 200 yards (8 lengths, 4 laps), but I saw that it only took me a hair over 6 minutes, so I added on another 100 yards. I'll be paying for that tomorrow, I'm sure.

I don't know if I'll be swimming every day after work, but I'm inclined to think, "yes." I'll have to do some research on swimming training and recommended starting distances/times.

Oh, and I'll need a goal...hmmmm... maybe this one... We'll have to see if another sprint tri pops up in Jun/July 2011.

The bouncing ball

It's been a while since I've posted a weight chart. To tell the truth, I reached a low of 185.x in May of this year and steadily gained tonnage until Aug. So, I was a bit ashamed of posting my fatness, but now that I've had some nice shedding, I'll post it.
One of the reasons for the post is that I'm very happy to report that I broke the 190 barrier this morning. Woot! Hopefully between the running and the gym, I'll be able to tone up and drop some more weight; 180, I'm eyin' YOU!

Rusty goes to the gym

Last night, my wife and I headed out to take advantage of our new gym membership at LA Fitness. We didn't do much, just a little machine training; we were mainly looking to familiarize ourselves with the machines.

I was going to do a little swimming and some jaccuzziing, but my wife didn't bring her swim suit and the yoga class that she was going to take while I was water boarding, was on Wed night...not Tues, we just wrapped it up and went home.

Today, I'm going after work to swim a couple of laps and sit in the hot tub to soak my aching legs.

aaaaaaahhhhh....hooooooot tuuuuuuuub....

EDIT: I just did this post at work, so yesterday's difficulties in posting seem to be gone. yay.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I hit a wall just after the second mile, and it was all I could do to resist cutting the run short and finish the 3.5 miles. I'm paying for it now: My hips ache, my muscles ache, my back aches. Good thing I don't have any more runs scheduled until the race on Saturday.

EDIT: that 4th mile should be .5 miles...

Monday, November 1, 2010

No run

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were a lot of fun in my house; I had some wicked back spasms. I'm not sure if the speed work brought them on or if it was just my back acting up. Regardless, even though I'm back to abby-normal, I figured I'd take today off and run tomorrow.

Oh, and Percocet is my frieeeeeeend.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Speed Work

I decided to mix things up a bit for my speed work. I ran my slow mile first in order to loosen things up. Then, before my timed mile, I rested and stretched. After my timed mile, I rested and stretched again before my fartleks. I also added three seconds to each fartlek and subtracted three seconds from my recovery time.

So, my total workout time, including walking to and from the start and finish, was around 50 minutes.

In 36 degree F weather. Yeah, it was a bit chilly. I wore the same stuff as I did at 39 degrees; it was a bit longer before I took off the gloves though. Thankfully, it was clear and once the sun rose, sunny.

In other news, we are thinking about joining LA Fitness. I'd like to get some swimming in, as you all know, and my wife would like to take a yoga class. They offer personal training services that we may take advantage of, but they are very expensive, so we may just see how we do the first couple of months without them.

One week until my next race. I have two more runs before then; Monday should be a race pace run while Wednesday should be an easy pace. Thu and Fri are rest days. Yay for rest days!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Race Pace

Today, instead of letting my body parts determine my running, I told them what they were going to do! I pushed it from the start, worked out the kinks early, and ignored the pathetic whines from my extremities.

As a result, I was able to maintain a nice pace that is on par with the time I ran my 5K in. I've read a bit of some different pacing for runs - easy, tempo, race, but I haven't paid much attention because I figured I was putting out the effort that was comfortable for my body to handle.

It looks like I've been taking the easy pace; I'll have to research recommended schedules for the different run paces. That said, I know I need to start stepping it up during my morning runs in order to improve.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I just finished volume II of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, edited by Kyle Freeman.

I also recently read Sherlock Holmes the Montana Chronicles by John S. Fitzpatrick; this book, written in 2008, is a collection of 4 Holmes stories set in Montana.

One of the things I loved about the original stories is the fact that Doyle set his hero in contemporary times, that is, the late 19th century and early 20th century. There are several interesting observations that I can make because Doyle chose his own era to place his detective stories.

1. With the exception of one story, The Adventure of the Creeping Man, Doyle seems to stick with the logical and ordinary world. The deductions, observations, adventures, and characters all fall within one's experiential norms, and they do not seem to fall outside of natural laws found in physics, chemistry, or other sciences.

An aside, the aforementioned story wanders off the beaten path into the realm of science fiction, however, that observation is made from 2010. In the year that it was written, it may have been a viable scientific theory.

So, the first thing that I like about Holmes' adventures is that they are set in the natural world that I live in. That's a good thing; I know a bit about this world - rain forms mud, things fall down when dropped, and all the other things that we take for granted in the natural world.

2. Without realizing it, I'm sure, Doyle chronicled a time capsule. Kyle Freeman does a wonderful job of explaining some of the more obscure references that are written about as quite ordinary. Doyle assumes that the reader is more than acquainted with his contemporary world.

For example, different carriage terms are used for the various transportation available in that time. I'm sure most people in this century have no clue as to the difference between a hansom, a dog-cart, and a landau; once again, in addition to copious notes, Kyle Freeman includes a list, as well as an explanation, of the available coaches.

So, the second thing that I like about the stories is that I get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the not so average bachelor of 100+ years ago. I also get a good dose of the culture, the mannerisms (so polite!), and thought processes. I find it fascinating.

3. Perhaps it is wishful thinking on my part, but I can't help but think that Doyle would incorporate crime fighting techniques unique to his time. In short, while he may have made stuff up, I don't think that he went into the realm of futuristic crime solving procedures.

Holmes knew mud, Holmes knew cigar ash, Holmes knew poisons. All of these are logical things for the great detective to catalog.

Holmes did not know ballistics, DNA, or pollen tracking through forensic palynology. He didn't have the benefit of CSI or any of its spin offs on TV.

So, the third thing that I like about the stories is that I gain insight into what tools and thought processes were available to detectives around the turn of the 20th century.

These three points make up my issue with the Montana chronicles. I can appreciate fan fiction, and this is very good fan fiction. But, unfortunately, the writer incorporates at least two modern day forensic methods into his stories, and attributes their discoveries to Holmes.

My mind rebels at such an idea because it makes the extraordinary Holmes into little more than Nick the CSI.

There is no great deduction made; it's just matching bullets.

There is no brilliant chain of seemingly unrelated facts; there is a pollen trail.

The mystic of the exceptional Sherlock Holmes is reduced to the trivial CSI lab rat. Ho hum.

Other than that fact(yeah, the fact of taking the world's greatest detective and turning him into just another dude with a clue), as I said, the book is pretty good. It includes what I believe is a nice history of the Anaconda area (although it goes overboard a bit at the beginning of one of the stories). It mentions several readily identifiable landmarks and historical events. And aside from my stated problem, the stories are interesting mysteries.

All in all, I am very glad that I had finished Vol. I and most of Vol. II before picking up The Montana Chronicles; sorry, but, Fitzpatrick's Holmes isn't fit to light Doyle's Holmes' pipe.

I'm not sayin'....I'm just sayin'....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New PR!!

The nice thing about adding mileage is that I hit a new PR(Personal Record) the first time I run it. Then, as I get used to the distance, in this case the very next run, I set another PR. Then, as I continue to recover from my Saturday workout, I expect that I'll set another PR!! It's almost as addictive as playing Warcrack!

I'm coming to grips with the fact that my first mile is going to be slow. My body does a lot of complaining during that mile. The legs protest, the back groans, the lungs sigh. Sometimes the feet whine, the hips grind, and the knees creak.

Once I get into the second mile, I've settled into a nice rhythm, and my various body parts have resigned themselves to the fact that I'm going to run. The second mile is by far, the nicest one to run.

The third mile brings breathing issues. Not problems, but I find myself breathing harder and sometimes developing side stitches. I try to alternate which foot I breath on, and Bad Brad taught me a trick to help with them.

The trick is to close your mouth and force your breath out through your closed mouth. I've noticed that I do not keep up my breathing/foot pattern when I do this and that may account for why it works. Regardless, it seems to help.

I'm trying to pick up the pace a bit for the last 1/2 mile and last .1 mile. I want to get in the habit of finishing strong, so while I know I need to cut time off my other miles, the last half is what I'm focusing on.

This Saturday is speed work. I was thinking about going to a track, but I have somewhere to be at 10 am, and with sunrise being at 8 am, I'd probably be better off just running my regular route around 7 am or so. The track will still be there in a couple of weeks.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Unexpected warmth creates an eyesore

This morning's run was pretty good. I was a bit sore from Saturday's 5 miler, so I just took it easy. I'm glad that I've started checking the temperature before I head out because this morning, it was 63 degrees F. SIXTY THREE DEGREES!!!! Where am I, Arizona?? sheesh.

So, I grabbed a short sleeve workout shirt; unfortunately, it was my heavier shirt as opposed to my lighter weight shirt. But, I figured I'd be all right in it.

WARNING: Severe mental images follow. The below content has not been approved for people with delicate constitutions, heart problems, queasy stomachs, hardened arteries, diabetes, acid reflux, or hemorrhoidal issues. You have been warned.

After the second mile...I had to take my shirt off. Yes, I know that the blinding white light shambling around the "nice" neighborhood (we live on the white trash side of the neighborhood) caused at least some of the residents to grab their shotguns to protect themselves against the nuclear zombie apocalypse.

I sincerely apologize to everyone over there for any retching or discomfort that I know I caused to anyone who happened to observe me. I know that you'll never be able to erase the images that have been seared into your brains, and for that I am very sorry. I also know that my apologies cannot undo the utter destruction that I have wrought.

I hope Wednesday is cooler...for everyone's sake...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Mileage

Tomorrow, I start adding mileage again to my morning runs. I had hoped to decrease my minutes/mile significantly before I started adding length, but I'm only tagging on a quarter mile, so it's not all that bad.

So, starting tomorrow, I'll be pounding out 3.5 miles before work. I'll be calling around tomorrow also to see what the pool availability and fees are in order to gauge what swimming will cost. I also might drag out the ole bike for a ride on Tues and Thu while I'm figuring out the swimming gig.

Two weeks until my next race! This Saturday is a speed work day. I might roll on down to a track to run it. It'd be cool to feel like a bona fide track runner! Maybe I need to pick up some skimpy shorts and a tech tank top.

Uh....scratch that, it'd probably just scare people; then I'd have to explain myself to the police, and we all know how the last time turn out...I think it's best to just keep wearing my normal workout attire. It's for the common good...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not what I hoped for, but I'll take it

Ended up walking some of the 5 miler. It seems that Indiana does have some hills in some parts of the state; I was in that part.

The start of the run was a long down hill of about .7 miles, and since it was an out and back, I knew that what went down, would have to come back up. It was roughly a 200 ft climb or about a 5.5% grade. Or you could put it at a-whole-lotta-not-fun grade.

I had some muscle/cramping issues that we walked for (although I didn't realize that we walked for so long the first time and really wonder if I screwed up the timing by not knowing what I'm doing with my watch), and the other two walk breaks were due to my cardio stinking.

But, you see that last 17 minutes? Yeah, all...the...way...up the hill! I didn't stop or walk; of course, bad Brad deserves a lot of the credit for pulling me through with his encouragement!

So, 5 miler in the bucket; it's going to be sooooo much easier on flat ground!

Friday, October 22, 2010


Yesterday, I took a half day off to spend with my honey. After her Dr. appt, we went to Maggiano's. I promised Joshua that I'd mention him in my post, so here ya go, Josh!

I had the Linguini de Mare with an alfredo sauce instead of the marinara. My wife had the Rustic Chicken and Shrimp. Both meals were excellent! We even splurged for dessert; her with one of the specials a donut like thingy that was creme filled and had strawberry and chocolate sauces for dipping, me with the Chocolate Zuccotto Cake. Mmmmmm...chocolate....

If you like very good Italian food that's commiserate with the price of such, you'll find Maggiano's a wonderful place! We got out of there for about $72 (including tip), but we also had two lunches and a half a piece of cake left over.

I don't regret not going to Mitchell's. shhhhhh, don't tell them that...


Ok, here ya go:
It was a pretty sweet run this morning. 39 degrees F, wore my gloves until halfway point, wore my ear warmer/headband entire time, wore long sleeve tech shirt w/ UnderArmor on. Shorts, socks and shoes completed the outfit. I was dressed just about perfectly.

More importantly, while I was out of breath at the end, I wasn't sucking wind like I did on my 5K, but I did hit around the same pace. Yes, yes, I know, the course I ran this morning is flat flat flat; let me have my delusions.

Tomorrow, 5 miles! My friend Brad is going to pull me through 11 minute miles! The last mile is all up hill...ew...

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Most of you all know that I'm an instant gratification type guy (Warcrack did a really good job of providing a steady stream of such), so it should be no surprise that I'm struggling with the lack of instant results from my running.

My muscles are actually the least of my worries as I've maintained a lot of my leg form from my bike riding; no, my cardio is what is dragging me down.

Now, to that point, I am thinking about doing something on Tue/Thu to strengthen my lung capacity, and my old nemesis, swimming, popped into my head. Ok, it's not a nemesis, it's just something that I don't really enjoy doing since my mom forced us kids to go swimming every freakin' day one summer in Glenrock, WY.

I wasn't as scarred from that as I was the "Before school, wash the truck in 32 degrees F weather in Medford, OR" incident (I still refuse to hand wash my vehicles, almost 30 years later...), but, swimming still isn't my favorite thing to do.

Now, SCUBA, that's an entirely different matter; I love SCUBA!

Anyways, back to swimming; I'm toying with the idea of competing in a or some triathlons, and I hear they have a swimming requirement. They also, it seems, have a biking element, and that is also a very viable option for the Tue/Thu slot.

Add to that whole mess, I'd really like to find some physical exercise (ok, another physical exercise) that I can enjoy doing with my wife. She has a hard time running due to her constant headache, and, as you can see from her pics, she lacks the, uh, body fat to regulate her temperature in a comfortable range (not a cold weather person.) So, biking in the cold is definitely out.

Swimming it is! Of course, I could bike after work, then swim in the evening with her. Off to check on pool schedules.

EDIT: Fall break, ftl. Have to wait until Monday when the schools are open.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ahhhh, that's better

You may have noticed that I've ditched my walking warm up/cool down time. There really is no need to track that.

I pushed a little harder this morning because of the abysmal run on Monday; I still don't want to go all out on a week day morning because I do have to work and all...

This Saturday, I've scheduled a 5 miler with a buddy from church. We'll be out at the Walnut Hills Retreat for our men's retreat; I mapped a 5 mile out and back run and hope to run mile splits in 10:40, 10:30, 10:20, 10:10, and 10:00. That last one is going to be a killer as it's almost all up hill, I do believe...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ok, now that that's done...

I've got two goals to replace the one goal (finish a 5K race under 30 minutes):

1. Race! I am planning on entering at least one 5K (or longer) race per month. I think that I really need to get some racing experience in before I hit the next goal, which is:

2. Run the Mini-Marathon under 2 hours in May. To do this, I'm going to have to pick up the pace a bit as well as build my endurance. My current 5K pace will not meet this goal even if I could maintain it for 13.1 miles, which I can't right now.

Next race is a 5K on Nov. 6th, and the one after that is on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25th. I still need to sign up for the Jingle Bell on Dec 11 as well as the Mini. I do plan on signing up for the training series associated with the Mini, which is a 5K in Feb, a 10K in Mar, and a 15K in Apr.

I'll be doing my first 5 miler this Saturday. Our church is having its annual men's retreat, and I've asked a fellow runner if he wanted to pull me through my longest run to date. He agreed to...ignorance is bliss. haha.

Not what I hoped for

Yeah, real slow. I'm still sore from Saturday, and my back was pretty stiff this morning. Go ahead and insert any other lame excuse you can think of here...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Gory Details

I didn't have time yesterday to break down the race for you all, so I figured I'd do it now.

I was worried a bit about my starting position; I was in corral J, which I thought was at the very end. I worried about making my way through the walkers and the few slower people.

Turns out, J was at the very start! Then I got worried about being run over! So I purposed to keep to the side and try to stay out of everyone's way.

At the gun, I set off and tried to count steps to set my pace. I was pretty sure that I was running a 15 step (right foot)/10 seconds, which was what I wanted to run for the first mile and should have been just under or right around 10 minutes.

I hit my lap timer at the first mile and much to my dismay, I ran a 9:13 mile. Too fast! There was nothing I could do to fix the past, so I decided to just keep chugging along.

The single water station was around mile 1.5. I found I really need to practice drinking from an open cup. I got a couple of sips of water down, but mostly just got it on myself. Luckily, I didn't breathe too much water...

Just after the water station, there was a down hill section. Now, it wasn't all that steep, but I had to consciously restrain myself from going too fast down the hill. Afterwards, I wondered if I should have just let gravity pull me down at a faster clip - I still don't know what's the right answer.

I also knew, since the Start/Finish line was both the...start....and finish....line, that what goes down (me), must also come up. And the up started about 1/4th of a mile before the 2 mile marker.

I hit the two mile marker and wanted to quit, erm, walk. There was one guy that I had been running around that was running and walking, so I passed him several times. He did not encourage me to keep running with his walking, but I persevered and kept plodding along.

This same guy did inspire me at the three mile mark. I had been steadily gaining on him during his latest run phase and when I punched my watch at the .1 mile to go mark (same as the 3 mile mark), I turned on the afterburners!

All of those speed work runs finally paid off! I still can't believe it, but they did! I was able to pick up my pace and run the last 1/10th of a mile in 40 seconds, which is a 6:40 minute/mile pace!

I left ole run/walker in the dust! I also passed about 10 other people. I was chugging like a locomotive!! I ran out of gas around the 30 second mark and ran the last 10 seconds on sheer will.

It made the difference in attaining my goal and just missing it. Speed work, who knew! Ok, well, lots of people knew (including, thankfully, my coach.)

So, results! I ended up placing 8th in my age group out of 20, 98/252 men, and 157/659 overall. You can go here to find me - bib# 5444.

17 seconds separated me from 5th in my age group. Seven...teen.....seconds. I do believe that I can be competitive in this age group; I mean, I did beat over half of the men in my group. 8-P

I plan on looking for a 5K on Nov 6th; I'd kind of like to run one before the Thanksgiving one just to see how much I can improve in the next three weeks. Of course, I also need to think about switching my focus from 5Ks to 13.1 miles. I have a schedule for the rest of the year that will have me running a long run of 8 miles on New Year's Day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


And! (finish time of 29:43)