Cooooold Runnings, and an eh swim

Sunday was the first cold, cold, cold day I’ve run outside. I’d say it was a mistake, ‘cept it was a run, I didn’t get injured, so how could it be bad?

Ran from the house in the afternoon in a vain hope that I’d catch warmer weather. Wrong-o. I was layered well on my torso, arms, and legs, and had good gloves. But I wasn’t prepared for how cold the wind on my face was. Next time, I’ll bring my fleece muffler.

Other than the chill, Sunday’s run was good. I hit the monster steep hill about a mile from my house, and had my first “gut check” in a while. Every fiber in my abs was screaming “Just walk it” for a bit, but I grunted and banged up it, then went slow till I caught my breath. Not so bad. Mile 1 – 9:10. Miles 2 and 3 were better. I turned to run with the wind, got back some feeling in my cheeks, and did both of them in about 8:30. Got to love the negative split, especially when it’s set up by running the first half uphill!

Hit the Y this morning to swim. Don’t know if I was still winded or what, but the swim did not feel right at all. Whatever rhythm I may have found last time left, and I was feeling rough. Ah, well. 30 laps, .75 miles.

For the year, I completed week 2 of the training program with no hiccups. One more week and it’s a habit!

Mileage last week: 13.4 running, 1 swimming.
YTD totals: 25.7 running, 2.5 swimming (including today), 28.3 total, 971.7 to go

No sympathy pregnancy this time

I tried this a while back. Actually, my lovely wife and I tried this a while back. We’d decided to do the Disney Marathon in 2000, provided we survived Y2K. We also decided to try having a kid, too. Guess which one was easier?

I continued training until about mid-October and the 15-16 mile point, at which point I let weather get the best of me, and committed to having a sympathy pregnancy (gaining weight, being moody, etc).

This time – Well, this time I do it. We’re 2 kids to the good, and I’m 20 or so pounds to the heavy. Plus, my little bro has run two in the interm. So I’m set for the Mystic Places Marathon in October.

When did you start running?

April-Anne asks “Why did you start running?”

My folks ran when I was a kid, and would drag my brother and I along (often quite literally kicking and screaming). But that doesn’t quite count as when I started running.

I ran a lot in OCS, but at first that was mainly due to the Marines chasing me. But somewhere along the route, something snapped. It was probably when I could actually keep up and shout at the same time without gasping for breath.

I would run occasionally during my time in the nuke power pipeline and while assigned to a submarine, but that was more giving into the “flight” part of the “fight or flight” response hardwired into us.

I started running while my lovely wife and I were training for the 2000 Disney marathon. I hit a point where I could do 5 miles without blinking, and I was hooked. We didn’t make it to the marathon – we decided to stop trying not to have kids, and almost immediately we were expecting, so I slacked off training in late October when the weather got nasty.

I’ve had a couple more stops/starts since then, but overall I’ve kept up with it, or at least with an intense desire to be out there.

Run away from your troubles

Today was supposed to be a rest day.


It was one of those days. I couldn’t focus ’cause I was spun up over life in general. So this afternoon, I decided to hit the road. ‘Cept (D’oh!) I had no warm top And the temp, as promised, fell rapidly after noon. Thankfully, there’s a discount clothes store near the office, so I picked up a groovy new henley, headed back to the office, and strapped on the sneaks.

I’d been doing out-and-backs along the highway access road on the north side of the interstate where the office is, but another runner from the office told me that it was a good loop to head under I-95 and come back on the other side. He was right.

I’ve posted a picture of the giant hill on the north side before; there was a similar hill, ‘cept better on the south side of the freeway. Great run.

What blew me away, though, was a field I ran past. 100 yards off the interstate, down an embankment, was an entire herd of deer just sitting there grazing. Good stuff. Not sure why a mid-sized unglutate can make me so happy, but they do. (Hungry, too, but that’s an easy reason)

3.3 miles, 28:37 minutes. 22.8 miles for the year. 977.2 to hit 1,000 human powered miles for the year (Just kicking around potential goals).

Be Like A Duck

Got to the pool tonight. For whatever reason, while the 5:30 AM lap swim is packed to the point where every lane is being shared, the evening lap swims are usually pretty empty. Last week it was me and one other guy, tonight it was me and two/three other guys. And the hot lifeguard.

I’m sure it was my imagination, but it felt like something had clicked in the pool tonight. Maybe it was taking Monday as a rest day, and the worry-free run on Tuesday, but the first half of tonight’s workout felt almost effortless, and the second half where I really pushed felt not awful. Well, except for supper trying to revisit once – two hours may not be enough digestion time, especially for someone who ships enough water while trying to breathe to sink a small ship.

But it felt good, and I swam for almost 50 minutes. My personal triumphs (kind of like Chris’ chin-ups were
1. Doing a set of 10 laps with good flip-turns at each end.
2. Doing a flip-turn that did not end with me sticking my head completely out of the water and gasping.
3. Actually lapping someone (Small dog rears his ugly head) who looked of similar fitness. He lapped me later, too, so it was probably just warm ups for him/cool downs for me.

I stopped by a pub downtown to catch the end of Trivia Night with some friends who were hanging out there, and completely undid any good the swimming did with some nachos. Mmmmm, nachos (no beer, though). One thing at a time, I guess. This 21 days is to get back into the swing of fitness, maybe the next 21 days will be working on diet (not as in restricted calories, but as in avoiding eating crap).

30 Minutes

Long day at work yesterday. Late night. 5 AM came early, early, and I really thought about texting Christian to tell him that there was absolutely no way that I was getting out of the warm bed to go jog. Because I know that Chris would have read the message, happily rolled over, and not mentioned it at all.

Then, I thought of you, RBF, and the sullen post I’d have to make.

So I dragged out of bed, started the coffee pot, threw on clothes and shoes, brushed my teeth, grabbed a mugga’ joe, and headed to Christian’s. He seemed somewhat drowsy, so I’m guessing he’d figured I’d be bailing. But, we headed out.

About halfway to Chris’s house, I realized I’d left my ForeRunner at the house. Crap. Since I’d been using it, I’ve stopped wearing a watch – the ForeRunner captures my running times, my cell has a clock, my car has a clock, my computer has a clock – you get the picture. It’s been a while since I’ve been running in Newport, so I’ve forgotten the measurements on most of my routes.

(An aside: Another thing to love about the ForeRunner is that it completely frees me from having to have a “route”. It counts mileage, so I can make up routes on the fly. See a good hill? Head up it. Never been around that corner? Go. Feeling a little draggy? Take the low road. It’s a training tool for short attention spans.)

But I had my iPod. iPod, have I told you I love you? Fired up Wilco’s ‘A Ghost is Born’, which if you haven’t listened to, you are missing the final step in the evolution of the garage band. It explains most of the current crop of bad knockoff garage bands. Skipped the first track, and kicked it to “When the devil showed up, he did not wear red, he had chrome on his head”. Checked the clock – 6:29, did the math – turn around at 6:44, finish at 6:59, and that’d be 30 minutes, which at a conservative 10 minute mile meant I’d do 3 miles, on plan for the year.

The first half of the run was absolutely perfect; probably the first time since I’ve re-dedicated myself that it has been. Even the hill up Memorial from the feet felt good; it wasn’t until I started heading back that there was even a hint of tired.

It’s the humidity, stupid

So it turns out that my hypothesis about humidity making it feel much, much colder on Saturday was true: I did my 3.0 miles for today outside in weather that was probably 5 degrees colder than yesterday afternoon’s run, and it felt about 5 degrees warmer. Go figure.

But, the first mental milestone is past – I made one full week on a program! My optimism at eking out a little extra may have been misplaced – Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday’s runs were not in the pantheon of “good” runs, but neither were they bad runs. They were tough, and rightly so – It’s been probably a quarter since I did more than 10 miles in a week. I’d pull it up off of the Forerunner, ‘cept I dumped the memory to start fresh for 2005.

Speaking of fresh starts, it made my day to see that April-Anne jumped back into her shoes last week, too.

Today, I set out to do the bare minimum for the program, and finished 3.02 miles in 26:39, average of 8:50/mile.

For the week, I did 9 outside and 3.4 on a treadmill, for a total of 12.4, .4 ahead of plan.

Here’s to weeks 2 and 3, and the old college psychology class rumor – if you can do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit that takes at least 21 days to break.