Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's next????

I got through the week.... Yay!!! You know, it's probably not that big of a deal, but it feels like it is to me. I guess since I am fairly new to the running thing, and would never think that running 40 miles in a week would be remotely doable with my schedule... this does seem like a big deal. But probably a few months from now, this will probably be a routine week for me... actually I will only go under 40 miles for the week 2 more times for the next 3 1/2 I better get used to it. My body feels pretty good right now... just a little stiff, but overall I feel good. So, since the last time I posted, I have run 3 days in a row. On Friday, I cranked out a 9.5 mile run with Shane (had to cut it short, because I knew I was tight with time, with my first patient at 7 am. On Saturday, I ran a 5 mile recovery run (it was supposed to be 4, but I wanted to make up for the 2 days that I had to cut my runs short this week). Today, I ran a strong 14 mile run. The first 9 were at a 9:00 min/mile pace, and the last 5 were around 8:15-20/mile. The only thing that bothers me was my heart rate. I didn't pay any attention to it, but it was quite high at the end. The high 180's... but I felt fine. It was also quite hot, and I know the HR starts to climb as the temps climb, but hey.... that's how its gonna be for the next few months, so I just have to deal with it.
Next week, I will go up to 42 miles for the week. It might get a little tricky again, because we are headed down to Ft. Lauderdale for the 4th of July. I have to find some places to run....especially with a 15 miler that I have scheduled next Sunday. I might change around my schedule a bit, because it will probably be chaotic throughout the weekend down there. I might do my long run before I leave...I'm not really sure yet... I'll just play it out as the week goes on.

Another interesting thing I noticed as I was downloading my last few workouts this morning. I ran for exactly 6 hours this week. When you really think of it... it's such a small portion of my week, even though I thought this week was such a big deal. I sometimes spend 6 hours/week watching reality shows (when my favorites are on) or doing some other mindless endeavor... this is so much more beneficial than wasting time listening to Ryan Seacrest or some other joker.

Ok, gotta go... I will update as the next week progresses. Have a great week!!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trying to chill

I'm trying to chill today. I was supposed to run 10 miles this morning, but after my week so far, I told my wife that I am not doing anything today (running wise). I felt so tired last night when I got home. Unfortunately, my body is used to waking up at a certain time, so around 5:40 this morning, my eyes were wide awake. I had to try to fight it and go back to sleep... but I couldn't. I still stuck to my guns... and I didn't run, so I decided to go upstairs and take care of some work-related stuff, and just watch TV. The week has been a bit tough so far, but I am still on schedule. I ran 8 miles on Tuesday, 3.5 miles yesterday, and I will run my 10 miles on Friday (instead of today) with my buddy Shane on Bayshore. Luckily, the clinic is next to Bayshore, so we will start at 5:30, and hopefully finish a bit before 7. My first patient starts at 7 am, so I should be okay.
Today should be fun, because it's my day off from work, and I want to do stuff with my kids (maybe go to the movies, or go to the pool... just something fun!!) So not running today will make my day really easy with them.
BTW, did any of you see the concerns re: air pollution in Beijing for the Olympics? This is really disturbing... Click here

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Run on feel

As much as I love gadgets, such as the Garmin Forerunner 405, I think sometimes you really lose your ability to just run off of feel. Sometimes I fall into the habit of not listening to my body, and I become a slave to all the data that the watch shows. Am I in the right pace zone?? HR to high?? HR to low?? It's just too much information sometimes to take in!!! This morning I set out to run at 4:30 am, and in a way, it was a blessing in disguise because I could not see my watch due to it being so dark. So after a 2 mile warm up, I started to run at a comfortably hard (if that makes any sense) pace. I did look down on my watch in the beginning and saw that I was running at a 7:05/mile pace, and after that I did not look at my watch again. I just wanted to run off of "feel", not worrying about what the watch stated. At the end of the run, I felt like I should have felt... worked hard, but not absolutely wasted!!! Once I got home and looked at my stats, I was within 6 sec/mile for each mile, which was great!! I'm happy about that. It is now 11:00 am, I have seen about 6 patients so far, and my body feels really good. I hope I don't crash after lunch or anything. Still got a full day of work left before I go home.

I must admit that it was pretty desolate as I was out on the roads at 4:30 running... and it made me think... is this too crazy to be out this early? Well, I went on RW forums for the Chicago Marathon, and there has been over 14 people so far this morning that have posted information re: their runs.... 8 of them started at 4:30 or earlier... misery loves company!!!!
Click here to see my run. Have a great day!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Challenging week ahead...kinda...

I was able to get in 2 good runs this weekend. Saturday called for a 5 mile run at a fairly slow pace, but Chris and I decided to run together from my house, so I ended up going an extra 3 miles. The purpose of the run was to make sure my body was ready for today's run, and since I didn't give much of an effort, I felt pretty good after. This morning, I ran 13 miles before church. It was kinda weird, because the weather was almost perfect (for June that is!) at the outset. I guess with all the rain we got yesterday, it cooled down everything, and I felt absolutely great!!! I was around a 9:00/mile pace for the first 8 miles, and my plan for the last 5 miles was to average 8:15/mile. I stayed with my plan, even though it started to get pretty hot. I was able to do that, but for the last mile, I probably used a little more energy than I wanted to expend. I didn't feel wiped out by any means, but looking at my heart rate (which was hovering around the high 180's), I probably should have slowed it down. The biggest thing that I want to accomplish during my runs is to not feel wiped out throughout the day. This time, last year, I would have felt like a truck ran over me during a long run. Now, I felt just fine within 30 minutes after the run. I am sure my wife and kids fully appreciate that. Kerry and I taught 4-5 year olds at church, and then when we left church, I took Adryana to a local pool and practiced her swimming with her. I even swam 3 laps, just to try to work on my swimming strokes (triathlon in the future???)
Today I was talking to one of the ushers at church, who is a faithful blog reader, and he asked me how I got into the blogging? My wife, of course got me to do this... but I was also thinking about how people that read this blog are so helpful in keeping me on track. I use the blog to act as my accountability partner. Like everyone else, there are mornings that I want to sleep in later, and not bother run that early... but d/t having accountability in many different ways (the blog being one of them), I will usually fight it off and get my butt going. I never regret it, and I am grateful for that.
This week will be another challenge for me, as my running goes from 4 to 5 days/week. I have never run 5 days/week.... ever!!! But the overall mileage is 40, and due to the extra 3 miles that I put in yesterday, it brought this past week to around 39-40 miles... so that shouldn't be an issue. It is really just the logistics of my schedule. I work from 7 am to 7:30 pm M,W,F this week (usually don't leave the office until 8 pm) and I have to split my schedule between 2 clinics (one in the morning in Hyde Park, and the other in the afternoon). Tuesday, I will work from 7 am to 3:00 pm at the Wesley Chapel office, and then work with my Therafit clients ( I think I have my last scheduled client at 6:00 pm), so I should be home by 7:15-7:30...
Forgive me because I am thinking out loud how I am going to pull this off....
Tuesday morning, I will get up at 4:30 and run 8 miles, with 4 at tempo pace ( means hard, but I'll live)
Wednesday: Wake up at 5:00 am and run 4 miles... leave the house at 6:00 to get to the office by 7 am.
Thursday: I have the day off!!!! Run 10 miles.
Friday: No running
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 14 miles
I guess it's not so bad...
I am assuming that many of the people that read this blog have blogs of their own. If you struggle with sticking to an exercise plan, or struggle with weight issues on a whole, I advise you to talk about your plan on correcting your problem via your blog. It will make you accountable to a lot of people, and might just give you the kick in the rear that you need. Just a thought.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I was able to get a surprise last night as I was getting ready to leave work. My wife called me and said that the kids were going to spend the night with their auntie, and that they would be coming back home tomorrow. That very rarely ever happens. We have never let our kids stay overnight anywhere, except for with their grandparents in Ft. Lauderdale... so this was the first time we were doing this. But after our initial reservations, we decided to have a little fun with the break that we had. My Wednesday work day was a 12.5 hour shift at work, so I got home around 9 pm; so we decided to go and catch a 10 pm movie. Didn't get home until close to 1 am. It was so nice to get out though. I woke up at 6:30 (tired as can be) and headed out to do a 10 mile run. It started out crappy (literally)... and I didn't feel well at all. The lack of sleep, and pounding down popcorn and fruit punch at 11:30 pm, while at the movies was catching up to me very early in the run. But there are times that I have felt worse than this, and usually, my body just starts to warm up during the run.... which is exactly what happened this morning. By the 3rd mile, I was feeling better and luckily the sun didn't come out, so it made the run quite manageable. Usually when I run on the Suncoast Trail, it is very nice quiet time for me because you just don't find too many people biking or running during the week at that time in the morning. This is pretty much how it looked this morning on the Suncoast Trail:

While running, I glanced down at my watch and saw that I was running at a pace that only 1 year ago, was my pace that I ran my tempo runs at. It was very satisfying to think of how my fitness levels have improved over the last 10-12 months. I guess that is why my relationship with running is still in the "honeymoon" phase... because my improvements have been so drastic, that it just seems like this is how it will always be... but I know that is definitely not the case. I did think that when I used to run 9:30/mile runs, I never thought I would get to the point that I could run a 9:00/mile pace for more than 5 miles... but it happened. And the improvements have continued... so you never know. Anyways, I will continue to enjoy the "honeymoon" phase. This weekend, I will do a 5 miler on Saturday and a 13 miler on Sunday. That will put me at 36 miles for the week, which has been around my average before starting this structured program for Chicago.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's all in your head!!!

First of all, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies out there. I was able to have quite a nice Father's Day. I started it off with a 12 mile run with Ben at 6 am this morning on the Suncoast Trail. When I got home, my wife and kids presented me with cards with beautiful words... as always. We got Chinese food after everyone got home from church, and they presented me with cake and ice cream and sang, Happy Father's Day (Birthday style!!).

Running with Ben during my long runs has been very beneficial for me. First thing, is that it is allowing me to run without an Ipod... which I plan to do for my marathon. I enjoy talking with him, and he has so much great information to offer.

Today we talked about sports on a whole, and the mental training that it takes to succeed. We both felt as though we could do much better in running if we had a better mentality when it comes to "gutting it out". When I read stuff on message boards on Runner's World, and people give their race reports on marathons that they have completed, if they don't do well, there is almost always an excuse of some sort.... "too hot", "too hilly", "too flat", "didn't sleep well", "garmin wasn't working properly"... and I am no different...

As we continued to talk about it, we came up with a conclusion on why we mentally fade when the pressure is on.... most of us can't handle the fact that if we run a marathon (or train for any other sport for that matter) and give it everything we have in training... and fail? Well, we just can't handle it... we don't want to accept the fact that even your best effort at times will still not be good enough... that's a tough pill to swallow. Ben even said that when he didn't get under 3:00 hours in his marathon, he said he knew (while running the 26th mile of the race) that he would get a little sympathy because of all the excuses that he had... valid excuses... but excuses nonetheless.

For me, it's the same thing... Disney was because of poor preparation with hydration before the race (the water is not at fault...) I screwed up.

Lance Armstrong's coach was interviewed about 3 years ago on the Jim Rome show, and Jim Rome asked him if Lance did not get cancer, did he think he would have won 7 Tour DeFrance titles...
He answered, NO!!!! He said that when Lance realized that his life was nearly taken away, he said that he was no longer afraid of giving it everything he had, and was able to deal with the consequences of failing and just not being good enough.
Today, I watched a tennis match in which the #2 player in the world played the #3 player in the world. It was a very tightly contested match, but the #2 player won.
During the post ceremony speeches, the #3 player wanted everyone to know that this was only his 2nd tournament played on a grass court, and that he was very happy with his result.... again, I know his result weren't bad, but that was a bunch of nonsense.... he knew he could have won, but just didn't... because the other guy was better... but he had his string of excuses lined up to kind of sugar coat him not winning the match.
As I am typing this blog, I am watching the final round of the US Open golf tournament... and I just find it ironic how every time Tiger hits a bad shot, the announcers blame his knee as the culprit... but when he nails a ridiculous shot... he is just the best mental competitor of all time (which he is, IMO)... but my point is why are they trying to make excuses for Tiger if he happens to lose???? I mean, if he wasn't able to play, then don't play!!!

Okay, I don't want to go on a rant and get side tracked here, but at the end of the day, I realize, it's all in our heads...for the most part. We just have to believe in ourselves, and not be afraid to fail... and if we do fail???? Oh well.... try again another time... no excuses!!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Gettin' by....

I was a little nervous about this week. I sometimes get a bit fidgety if I know I'm going to have a rough week ahead of me. Chris has been on vacation this week, so I have had to work a bit more than I usually work. The work part of the week wasn't so much of an issue, but we also have my brother-in-law (who is 12) and niece (10 years old) here this week, so I thought it would be tough to get in my runs for the week. Well, everything has worked out fine. It's Friday, I feel fresh and strong, and I was able to get in a 7 miler on Tuesday and a 9 miler yesterday. I had a shorter day yesterday, and we were able to take the kids over to a local pool by my workplace. Once we got home, we were able to watch "Gameplan" and even got to watch a little bit of the Lakers vs. Celtics, last night. So now all I have to do is a 5 miler tomorrow, and a 12 miler on Sunday with Ben. My cousin and his family is coming up from Ft. Lauderdale today, and he has just recently started to get into running. Maybe he will accompany me on the 5 miler tomorrow... if he is up to it.
One of the reasons that I enjoy running so much is that I basically can eat whatever I want. I'm not saying this to brag in any way, but when you run as much miles as I am running... you really have to eat to keep your weight stable. The bad thing for me is that my stomach is very sensitive... actually it is quite unstable!!! So, for me I am trying to really get my nutrition down to the point that I am eating good food for my body, but at the same time not having Tofu for dinner... I would just strangle myself if I had to do that. So, that is what I am trying to figure out.... what is right for me? What can my body handle? What can I eat that will keep me healthy, but sane?
Any thoughts????

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I need a Red Bull!!

Today starts my formal training for Chicago. As usual, I run on Tuesdays, but I usually decide to run in the morning vs. the evening, based on if I can wake up early enough Tuesday morning. For me to run, I have to get up by 4:30-4:45 am. It usually takes me 5-10 min. to get ready to go, and I usually run for at least 1 hour. I don't set an alarm, because, as I said in earlier posts, I just don't want to turn running into a chore. If I wake up, I go.... if I don't, I'll just have to run at night. Well, my daughter woke up in the middle of the night and crawled into our bed, so I couldn't sleep great after that. That was my sign to get up and go.
So, I did a 7 mile run + 10 x 100 meter sprints at the end. During the run, I was shocked to see two ladies that were walking around 5:30 am. It was nice to have a little company, even though you only see them for like a second or two. As I got to mile 3 or so, I started to envision the race and running with all those people. So cool... I hope I get to the starting line to really experience it. The run went great, and my body felt very good afterwards. I showered up and felt great on my way to work. Well, I'm not sure what has happened since then (maybe because I've now been up for 10 hours and it's 1 pm), but now I feel blah!!! My eyes are shutting down, and I thought I would feel better after lunch, but I am still yawwwwning!!!! Well... the good news is that I should be home by 4:00 pm. Ok... gotta go... my first patient after lunch is here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

So Here's The Plan....

I had a great run this morning. Ben, my new training buddy, met me at my house at 6 am. We drove over to the Suncoast Trail and went out on a long run. We completed 14 miles, and it was a very good run for me. I'm not sure if the weather was better than usual or what, but I was able to keep my heart rate down for much of the run. Even more importantly, I was able to keep my own pace, and even though Ben is much faster than I am, he allowed me to keep the pace, which kept me quite comfortable. The most beneficial thing about it is that he gave me so many good tips on marathoning and endurance sports on a whole. As much as you think you know, you can always learn off of someone's good fortune or mistakes of what they have done. I am very grateful for what he told me today. The good thing is that he told me about what he does with his marathoning training, and what he really focuses on during his training. I guess the really good thing is that he thinks that the program I am going to use is very good, and that my times should significantly go down based on the program. So... here is my plan for the next 4 months:
I will start my marathon program this upcoming week. It will start out at 32 miles/week, and will peak at 55 miles/week. I might add a couple of miles to my program, or bring up the intensity a little bit on my long runs if my body feels up to it. During the 18 week program, I will try to do 2 races (hopefully a half-marathon,10k, or 15k) to gauge where I am at with my training. Also, I am still quite new to races, and I want to feel much more comfortable with getting into "race" mode.

My main goal as always is to stay injury-free, and be able to run Chicago.... that is the most important thing. I want to be able to experience what it feels like to run with 35,000+ people in the same race. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.

Second goal is to finish the marathon, with running/jogging the whole way. I want to demonstrate mental toughness, and run the whole way... not necessarily fast, but just continue to move... Ben told me today that usually once you stop... you're done. That is what I felt like at the Ft. Lauderdale race when I stopped... you just can't get back into the swing of things.

Third goal is to run a smart race....meaning that I can adjust my pace based on the weather conditions for that day, etc. I can't necessarily say that I have a specific goal pace yet ( I think I will wait for another month or two, when I do a time trial or race, and then I will figure it out from there), but I need to run smart.

I will always have fun. So that is not a goal. Running has always been fun for me, and my competitive spirit is what drives me to try to put together a good performance. Running keeps me focused and goal driven, which helps me with everyday life. When it stops helping me with staying focused and is no longer fun, I will stop it... Hasn't even come close to that. I love to run, and I am so excited to start my training.
For me, it is not only the actual race that I enjoy, but it is the journey and training it takes to get there.
As always, Thank you Jesus that you have blessed me with two legs that allow me to run, and have fun!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I got a "running" buddy!!!!!

This morning, I had no clue on to what pace I was going to run. I knew I wanted to run at least 10 miles, but with how hot it has been, I didn't know if I really wanted to run too hard. I didn't want to plop down somewhere on the trail... but I didn't want to run too slow. Anyways, I ended up going out fairly slow for the 1st 2 miles, and then I started to pick up the pace a bit. I decided to try to keep my pace around 8 min/mile or lower, and just see how long I could keep it up.... it's weird because at some points during the run, you feel pretty tired, and then it's like your body goes into another gear, and you feel good again. At the 5th mile, I had to take a potty break, and since I didn't bring any water with me, I decided to take a water break at that time also. I also decided to change my Ipod playlist.... so who knows... it could've been a 10 minute break or so. But whatever... I was able to get back into the swing of things within a 1/4 mile. So, basically I was able to run 8 miles under 8:00/mile with the rough heat. I was extremely happy with my run. The last mile was a little tough, and I could feel myself slowing down (I think due to dehydration), but I just did what my body told me... for me, unless it's a race, I'm not pushing the issue. So, I get to the 10th mile, which was my 8th mile of running hard, and then I went down to a very slow pace to start cooling down. All of a sudden, I sense someone sneak up right by me, and it startled me a bit... but the person started to run right next to me, and started to talk... I couldn't hear a word he was saying, so I took off my headphones. He basically introduced himself as "Ben", and he is from New Zealand. Apparently, he is visiting his brother for a few months here, and he is an avid runner. So we ended up running together for another 1 1/2 miles, and right before he came up to me, I was pretty exhausted..... once we started talking, I felt fine... I guess it took my mind off of my fatigue. So anyways, he just finished his 3rd marathon 1 month ago, and his time???? 3:00:08... WOW!!!!!! So, I told him that he was way above my league... and asked him if he was sure he wanted to run with me. He told me that he is not used to this heat and humidity, as New Zealand is nothing like this, so he has been struggling and needs to run a lot slower... so that sounds good to me!!!! I would love to learn off a runner that is that fast!!! He has run 2 other marathons, and finished both in 3:00: 48, and 3:00: 52.... so he wants to break 3 hrs... He has also completed a full Ironman, (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run). He is doing a 5k race this Saturday, and we decided to meet up to run on Sunday... we will probably run around 12-14 miles. I will take him on the Suncoast Trail, so he can see different areas to run around here. So, I am excited... always nice to have someone to talk to every once in a while when running. I like my alone time, but I also enjoy times when you can chat about stuff with people. Especially people you don't know... I am shy, but once we get in a conversation, I won't stop....
So... my plans for this weekend are to run 5 miles on Saturday... whenever, definitely not too early, and then do the big run on Sunday with Ben.
Should be fun....

BTW, here is my run from today.