Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hills Are Alive.. with the sound of heavy breathing....

Finally had a good evening run. It is the first one in a while and the first that I did that much distance. Overall, it was actually my best 5 mile run yet. The best part is that I picked about the hilliest (is that a word) course I could find and still averaged under 10 min / mile, which is good for me with that distance. I think this is my half marathon race pace right now, which I could live with.

I think I will be doing the Pontiac Lake trail run on Saturday. It is about 9.5 miles and is even a bit more hilly than what I did today. This will be a huge test, but I think I am ready. I won't beat myself up if I need to walk at some point, but that isn't my plan. I've come a long way and I will consider this essentially my July race (as it looks like I won't be doing a formal race in July right now, unless I sneak one in late.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nice weekend

We had a nice weekend. The weather was perfect while my little boy and I were at camp. Camp Lael is also the site of a 5k race which I participated in last year (and at which I was schooled by a 7 or 8 year old boy.) and I will be helping out to make this year's race a success. The course is compacted sand, dirt and gravel (the best surface to run on) and is quite hilly. I ran 5 relatively easy miles Saturday morning. Would have gone faster and / or longer, but I knew I had a full day of fun planned with my lil' guy and took it easy. That and the hills were tough. I need to put some hill runs back in my schedule.

I ran this morning too. I hadn't run at a "near 5k pac:e since the last race, so I went fairly quickly (for me). It took about 1.5 miles to really catch my breath and feel comfortable.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It Ain't Got No Gas In It

I've had a couple runs since my race, but nothing which dignifies embedding the runs at all. Ran Monday morning and had a decent, easy mid-distance run. Ran again tonight (even though I said no evening runs) and it was quite forgettable. I was just tired and had no energy. My legs didn't hurt or anything, but they just didn't want to move. I didn't even move fast enough to breathe very hard. I was just outta gas I guess.

This week has been busy at home and a bit stressful at work, so the sub-par outing tonight was no surprise. I would have liked to get up early and go, but due to family activities, I didn't get in bed early enough to even think about getting up early.

Looking forward to going to camp this weekend with Lil' J. We should have a great time and I plan to run in the morning when I get up. The camp is the site of a 5k run later this year, so I plan to run the course over and over. Will do a long run most likely on Saturday. I don't know that I can go more than 8.5 mi then have a full day of camp fun, but 6 or so sounds about right.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Open Door Julie Run 5K - gimme two seconds here

It was a great day for running a race, in this case the Open Door Julie Run 5k in Commerce. This is my third time running the event, but the first time I was actually in decent shape to do so. I had 3 goals for the race (kind of like Bronze, Silver and Gold I guess). The first was to beat 27 minutes, then 26:30 and then 26:00. I ended up with an official time of 26:01.8. Overall, I am happy with the time (which is over a minute faster than my previous best just 2 weeks ago), but am disappointed because I left those 2 seconds on the course.

I didn't feel great for the race, just OK. I think I am ready to go too early and then there is some standing around during lineup and announcements and such. I felt "crabby" from the start of the race, as there were people with dogs, strollers and others who just weren't going to run lined up ahead of people who were actually runners. If they are going to allow dogs and strollers, they need to get them in the back and out of the way.

My legs felt good overall, but the course was a bit more hilly than I remember. No huge hills, but more small inclines than I remember.

I did well and I'm trying not to let 2 seconds ruin what was a good run overall. I can say that if there was a timed start as well as a finish, I would have beat 26 minutes, but I want it official on record. Oh well. In a while, 26 minutes will be a distant memory for a 5k time and I will be competing to win my age group at this race next year.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm a morning person...keep telling yourself that.

Did my first "pre-work" run this morning. Ideally, I would have done it yesterday too, but I didn't get up in time. As the temperature increases and it when it is still hot in the evening, maybe I'll be more motivated to have a comparatively cool morning run.

This morning, I just wanted to run a mid-tempo couple miles so my body isn't in shock for Saturday's race. I figured a 9:30 pace overall and did just slightly slower than that. I'm not sure why but today, like a few other times, I do exactly what I set out to do and still feel a little disappointed. I think it is because I wasn't relaxed and was thinking about all I had to do at work today and worrying about things I shouldn't worry about. My most enjoyable runs are not only when I have what I consider to be a good performance, but when I am able to relax and just enjoy the run itself.

My main goal was to test my lower back, which I apparently strained a bit Monday during a very poor round of golf. It isn't bad, just a bit stiff and slightly sore at times. The good news is that it didn't bother me while running, so that can't be an excuse.

I wish tomorrow was Saturday, as I'm looking forward to the race and to the weekend in general.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Good Mornin' Run

Had a nice "tempo" run this morning. Ran 5k almost as fast as I did for the race last week, which is nice. I was putting in a good effort, but didn't feel like I was running that hard.

Hopefully, that means that this Saturday's Open Door Julie Run 5k will go as well as I hope. I have set three goals for the race, a each with decreasing times. I think I can drop quite a bit of time off of my OPC race.

Will try to run early Wednesday or Thursday, then it's on!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Now its time to bring it around town, bring it a-round town.

Had a good long run of 8.5 miles this morning (personal record for distance). Felt pretty good throughout and was able to keep mile times pretty consistent throughout. The only things that felt a bit tired and almost sore during this run were my knees. No ill effects a while after the run, so I'm hoping that the muscles around the knees will continue to strengthen.

Each of these long runs gives me confidence that I can not only do the half marathon, but that I can do fairly well.

Watch Spongebob and Squidward Bring It Around Town

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Done with Evening Runs?

I try to run one or twice a week after work. I work a 10 hr shift until 6:30 pm and often do not get home until well after 7. By this time I've had a full day and am tired and hungry. My guess is that this is not the best situation for running. I rarely have a "good" run this late in the day. It's more like "Well... doing something is better than nothing".

Unfortunately, the options for avoiding evening runs are A) Not running at all or B) Running in the early morning before work. Like 5:30 am early. I don't like either choice, but I may try some morning runs. It was difficult to commit to regular exercise and running, but I have done it and now enjoy it. It will be more challenging to get up at the "butt crack of dawn" and try to gallop around the neighborhood.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Mornin' Run

Nothin' exciting here. Legs still stiff from race and yard work. Started to loosen about mile 4. I'm trying to get used to running in hot weather. Not enjoying it so far.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I am victorious!

With an record 5k time as an adult of 27:11, I finished 1st in the 30 - 39 year old category at the OPC 5K in Rochester today (28th overall). I received a nice Running Fit gift certificate for my efforts. For whatever reason, thirty-something males have not turned out in droves at the last two races I have participated in, allowing me to place 3rd last month and 1st today in my age group. I am unapologetic, as I will take what I can get. I never expected to place at all this year, so to do it twice is very encouraging!

As for the race, it was very nice. It was only $5 to run and included a bag and t-shirt. The run itself was downhill from the start to the Clinton River trail, about 1.3 miles down the trail and back again. I enjoy trail runs as it is nice to run on something other than concrete or asphalt.

The best thing I did today is pace myself. I had my Garmin GPS watch and decided that I wanted to run an average of 8:30/mile. First mile I was right on and ran just a bit slower the next 2 miles. This allowed me an experience that I haven't had much: passing people late in a race. It is much more encouraging to pass other runners than to be passed. I caught 5 or 6 runners in the last half of the race, including passing one (that I didn't think I could catch) right before the finish.

This puts me in a good position for the Open Door Julie Run in two weeks. I ran this race near 32 minutes a couple years back and would love to finish with a time that starts with 26. I've dropped most of my time goals as I was starting to worry about it too much, but this is something I really want to do.

Friday, June 3, 2011

No Mac Bridge Run this year for me....

No Mackinac Bridge Run for me this Labor Day. Maybe next year. I still think this would be a pretty cool thing to do, but I'm not going to deal with the trouble of going up there to do a consolation walk.

Dear Runner:

We regret to inform you that you have not been selected to participate in the 2011 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run. Many great athletes entered the lottery, and unfortunately not all can attend the event.

We would like to encourage you to enter the lottery again next year. If you would like to receive notification about the 2012 lottery please send an e-mail to If you are still interested in being a part of the Labor Day festivities at the Bridge, please consider participating in the walk hosted by the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

We appreciate your personal dedication to health and wellness and encourage you to register for other endorsed events. A list of these events can be found on our website.