Have I mentioned it gets cold up here?

Went out on the roads this afternoon. 3.6 miles in slightly less than 32 minutes. Yippie! But, man, it was cold. I swear that today, at just above freezing and rainy, felt colder than days when it was 20 and clear. Kind of the nasty, humid days of summer in reverse.

But it’s all good – I’m back on schedule mileage-wise for the year (transcription error had me a week behind in my planner, and rather than scratch it out, I added a mile to this week, split between 2 runs), and feeling pretty good. I probably should have done the treadmill, but I dunno – it makes me feel 1) like a wuss, and 2) wasteful for using electricity to run when the good Lord has made all of this good ground and hills that don’t use any extra energy.

Not that I haven’t had my love of treadmills in the past – one of the joys I experienced going to sea on an aircraft carrier was the “gerbil gyms” loaded with treadmills. See, submarines don’t have room for treadmills – they usually only have bikes, rowers, and stair-climbers because that’s what fits. So being able to actually run underway was nice. But it’s not like there were roads and fresh air as options…


At least that’s what I called myself.

Wednesday Night I got a call from Christian saying “Hey, why don’t we run Thursday at lunch instead of at the crack of dawn?”

“Sure, fine, whatever” I say. It was snowing, and Thursday Morning was supposed to be a bear.

So I get to work on Thursday, and Christian says “Hey, why don’t we go later this afternoon.” With which I was cool, ’cause I was wrapped up in meetings.

So the end of the day rolls around, and I go park myself by Christian’s desk until he is ready to go. Then the wuss factor rolls in: We head to the base gym and jump on the gerbil wheels.

Yep, Thursday’s run was on a treadmill. I feel dirty. But I did it.

3.4 miles, 30 minutes. Still on plan.

I love my wife

My longsuffering wife was stir-crazy this evening. Why, you ask? Well, here along the Connecticut coast, they cancel school as if we lived down south – threat of snow sends the kids home. Consequently, Jake’s pre-school was canx this afternoon, and with the threat of snow blasting from every media outlet, the prudent choice was to stay home. Hence, the stir-craze.

In any case, we finish supper, and she decides to run to the bookstore for a little cuppa and some sanity while I get a little insanity from the boys (Yeah, bathtime!). Today was a running day off, and I’d completely intended to go swim this morning, so I mention to her that I might head to the Y after the boys are in bed. Fine, whatever, she says over her shoulder as she zips down the porch stairs.

8 PM, the boys are clean(ish), in PJ’s, and Jake is safely tucked in his bed. Nate and I are snoozing on the couch waiting patiently for my bride to return, when she does. She throws me the key, and says “Hey, can you fill up my car on your way home?”

I look at her through half-lidded eyes and mumble “I kind of decided to blow it off tonight. I tried to call on your cell.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Oh.”

She bends down to pick up the baby to feed him and put him to sleep. Half a beat too late, I get the message. “Hey, I guess I will go swim.”

I run into the bedroom, pull on the swimming shorts and pull my pants over them. My gym bag is downstairs in my car, so I can get it on my way out. “Where’s the key?” I ask as I head towards the door.

She mumbles something, and I stick my head in the living room where she’s got the baby. I ask “What?”

“No, don’t bother … I’ll fill it up tomorrow.”

“No, I changed my mind again, I want to go.”

“I rushed home for this. You’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t seem supportive, and I know you really want to get in shape this year.”

Did I mention I love this woman? Cabin fever, crappy weather (rained all day, so it’s not like she could kick the boy outside to play), and the New Year’s blues, together with the aftermath of 2 weeks of company over the holidays, and her driving concern for the evening is my goals.

I can be a heel sometimes.

I don’t know if my workout tonight was inspired by luv or what, but the swim was really, really nice. Started with 10 laps of breaststroke that just seemed smooth. A lap with the kickboard (straight legs), 10x freestyle, another kickboard, another 10X freestyle, kickboard and 5x breast to finish. The first set of freestyle felt great – the first time I’ve ever felt like I was swimming, as opposed to flailing. The last set of freestyle was back to my ugly self, but I think a lot of that is a lack of upper body strength.

Swimming is amazing, BTW. It may just be my imagination, but after about 2x a week for only 2-3 weeks, I think I can start to see some definition in my arms. (Probably not, but it makes me feel good to think it.) It really uses a bunch of muscles that running and cycling don’t, especially in the upper back and abs.

Kicked off the New Year right

Finally made it out of bed in time to get over to Newport and run with Christian in the morning. 40 degrees, wet, and misty. And me without my hat and gloves.

Oh, well.

I misread the training plan this morning, and thought I was up for a 2 miler. Decided I could fudge it a little bit, so I set the Forerunner for a 20 minute run, figuring that most folks starting a beginner program will be doing about 10 minute miles, so I could convert the mileage figures into minutes, and do a little extra without killing myself.

Whiz, bang, 20 minutes later, I”m done with 2.4 miles, and happy as a clam. Head over to the gym for sauna shower and shave, and get out my planner. D’oh – today was supposed to be a 3 miler. Ah, well, such is life. Guess Thursday will be a 3+ to make up.

It felt good to be back out. I could tell that I haven’t been really committed for the last couple of months. Not so much because I got winded or sore. But the rhythm and flow wasn’t quite there. I felt clunky. But in a good way.


Plan for 05

Centers around the Mystic Places Marathon. I was thinking Hartford initially, but there’s a decent chance that Drill Weekend will fall on the 9th of October. But October drill is a Fiscal Year 06 thing, and the schedule isn’t set yet. So, for planning purposes, I am doing Mystic. The upside is that if my schedule is open for Hartford, I can always move it up a couple weeks.

I’m going to be using the training plan from the New York Road Runners, specifically, the 18 week schedule starting from a 20 mile/week base. Not very aggressive, I know, but I want to leave a good amount of leeway to allow for swimming and biking. In the past, I’ve been very prone to overtraining. My secondary goal is to avoid overtraining while still reaching achievable goals.

To that, I’m starting the New Year with the program to build from a 10 mile/week base to a 20 mile/week base from the NYRR Training Diary. Again, not an aggressive plan, but I will likely swim or bike on the “rest” days. Realism and results is what I want.

Hopefully I can find some time in the next week to dig into the HTML of the site and add a bar with the races I’m planning on doing over the year.

In any case, it’s nice to be starting the year with a plan, and a new pair of shoes. (got them from the Exchange, but RRS is a quality place.) Christian and I should be on the road in 6 hours.