Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Jumping Jacks

I have a few days coming up soon where I may not be able to go out for a run.  I started doing jumping jacks to show the kids what they were and to my surprise, my heart rate was up and I was feeling good.  I am looking to incorporate some more of these types of exercises into my routine.

I have jumping jacks, push ups, situps and maybe some weights. What are your favorite non running activities to try at home?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Its Cold!

Its cold here. For the first time I can remember, we have had a few days where frost is on the ground and cars.  Very unusual for where I live.  Running when it is cold out is not my favorite thing to do. I love the summer and the heat, so I pretty much just try to get through the cold days as best as I can.

I have gloves and and ear warmers that fit over my hat, that I wear. I also either where a long sleeve shirt or a jacket depending if it is wet or windy out.  Also, for the really cold days, I will wear pants rather than shorts.

However, what I noticed, I am only cold for about the first 5-10 minutes of my run and then I am comfortable. Sometimes, I feel I am wearing too many layers and start to peel them off. First goes my ear warmers and then the gloves. These either fit into my pack or pockets. Last, I unzip the jacket if I am getting too warm.

How do you decide what to wear when it is cold out?

Monday, December 16, 2013

240 Days!

I made it to 240 days running this year. This is 1 more than I did last year.  My goal for 2013 was 250.  As the weekend is ending, I am at 241 and only need 9 days to make it. Its going to be close.

I have been making an effort to try to make it out for a short run on the days when I am not feeling it or when time is short. Just the other day, I ran 3 miles and then made it home in time to pick up the kids from school.  We had some rain and during the break in the rain, I made it out again for 3 miles.

My personal rule is to only go for a run, if I can get in 3 miles.  Any thing less, its easier to take a day off.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Storm is Coming

Here in Israel, we are in the midst of a 5 day storm. I am not sure how much I will be able to get out for my run during the next few days. I am ok with this. I will try to get some things done around the house to make my off days worthwhile.

If I do decide to try to squeeze in a run, I will most likely run my loop which will leave me about 5-10 minutes walk away from home. How do you handle the poor weather?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It was raining on and off here and I was not sure if I would get out for my run. Finally, it looked like the storm would break and I could get out there. I got dressed and headed out.  After about 3 minutes of running, it started to rain. I had to make a decision about whether to continue to go home and get my jacket.

I decided to go home and pick up my jacket. Of course after I returned and was out for about 5 more minutes, the rain stopped and the sun came out.  I was a little warm in my coat, but I still ran 4 miles. It felt good to get out there.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Preparing for some time off

Around the end of this month, I may have a 5-7 days where I will not be able to get outside for a run, so I am trying to think of alternatives to help out during that week. I have come up with some creative ideas.

First, I can try to run inside. This would be more of sprints up and down my small hall way.  I may bring up my mini exercise bike and try that again.  I am going to try to take longer walks during the day to make up for the running I may miss.

There is also the possibility to just enjoy the days off and then a take a week with short runs to get back into it before adding longer runs. Maybe there is a chance that 2 or 3 of those days, I will be able to get a baby sitter and be able to get out for at least 30 minutes.

How have you handled an expected layoff?

Friday, December 06, 2013

Cold Run

Winter has finally arrived. We had our first real rain of the season yesterday. The temperatures are turning colder.  Yesterday was the first time I had to wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt to go running.  I was trying to time my run for when there was a break in the weather.

Around 5:00pm, it looked like it was starting to clear up over our city. I could see the stars and the moon in part of the sky.  However, running when it is wet outside can be dangerous. I have tripped in the past and luckily did not get injured minus a few scrapes. 

I knew I was going to run a short route and go a little slower.  I am very careful over the crosswalks and painted curbs as these are slippery when wet.  I thought about extending my run to 4 miles, but then about halfway it started to drizzle. I was not looking to be caught in the rain.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Just What I Needed

I made the smart decision to end my running streak after 10 days. On the tenth day, once I was out there, I was starting to feel it in my runs. I was a little tired.  Today, when I went out, I felt fresh. Instead of just pushing through 3 miles just to get a run in and keep the streak alive, I made it 4.7 miles at a nice pace.

I decided to try combining two routes and seeing how I made out.  It was a little less than 5 miles, but as I have learned from Running Without A Watch, there is not a big difference between 4.7 and 5 miles.  I do not need to run around in circles just to make it an even 5.0.

Sometimes a day off is just what you need.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


I had a 10 day running streak going until this evening when I decided to take a night off.  Personally, I think running streaks are ridiculous. I think the record currently is 40 years of someone running at least a mile each day.  To me running a mile is not considered a workout.  I could have gone out tonight for less than 10 minutes to keep my running streak alive, but its not worth it.

Last night, I started feeling a little tired during my run and this morning the bottoms of my feet hurt. I knew today would be a great day to skip.  Plus I was home with kids which means I was exhausted by the time they went to bed.  Tonight was a good night to skip.  Plus tommorow, I am able to go out for a run mid morning rather than waiting until the evening.

My advice to you with regards to a running streak.  Keep at it until your body tells you to stop. If you are only going to do 1 mile when you usually do 3 just to keep the streak alive, I'd say skip it and enjoy the rest day.

Monday, December 02, 2013

November Update

I ran 92.3 miles over 21 days for the month.  I finished on a 9 day streak.  It was close, I was not sure if I was going to make it to 20 days.  Once the time change hit and the days got darker earlier, plus the cold weather, it made it very difficult to become motivated to get out.  It took me almost to the last two weeks before I woke up and got back out there consistently.

For December, I am hoping to do 100 miles over 22 day. However, as long as I do 80 over 20 days, I will reach my goals of at least 250 days running and a 10th straight month of at least 80 miles over 20 days running.

How was your November?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Memory Run

I found out there was a 2K race tonight in my city. I was not sure what kind of "race" this would be. I thought I would just run up to the starting line, start the race and then continue on. I go to the starting line and then we waited about 20 minutes for the race to start.

After the made the announcements about 50 people including I headed off for a run/walk. It turned out this was a memory race in other of someone.  The person's father led the race and noone passed. He was going at a quick pace and soon the race was in two groups. The fast group of runners and the walkers. 

Being in the lead group, we ran some of the streets and then we would stop and hear a quick speech and then run some more. I ran with the group until the last stop and then continued on. I did about 3 miles and even though, I didn't get in the type of work out I wanted, it still felt nice.

Monday, November 25, 2013

1000 Miles

I did it. I completed my 2013 goal of reaching 1000 miles for the year. I even did it with about 6 weeks left in the year. I started this goal last year, but it was about October when I decided to push for it.  I came up short.

This year it helped that I have achieved a few runs of double digits and lots of 6, 7, 8 mile runs.  Also, I have increased my typical run from 3 to 4 miles. Now 3 miles are for when I just want to get a quick workout but do not have much time.

I am still working on my goal for amount of days running for the year. My goal was 250 days and I am up to 227, so it is still well within reach.

How are you 2013 goals coming along?

Friday, November 22, 2013

So Close

For some reason, I am obsessed with trying to run at least 80 miles over 20 days each month. Part of the reason, I started running without a watch was to take the pressure of my running.  It worked. My running became more relaxed. I got faster. My endurance increased and I ran farther than I ever thought I could.  I have reached double digits on a few occasions this year.  Now the only thing stopping me from running 10 miles is if I feel like it, not if I can.

For November so far, I am at 57.3 miles over 12 days. To reach 20 days, I will need to run 8 out of the next 10 days.  As I have stated before, sometimes life gets in the way as it should and you are better off getting some things done around the house or preparing some meals rather than going for a run. 

In fact tonight, I am debating on whether to head out for a run or not.  We need food shopping done and I cannot leave the house until my wife arrives home with our oldest son.  If I do decide to go running, do I go before or after. Before means, I won't get to the store until close to 8:00.  If I go shopping first, then I wont go running until about that time.  That would make for a late evening.

If I skip tonight, that leaves me 9 days left in the month to try to get out there an run at least 8 days. Only 1 day off. It would be cutting it close. 

What would you decide?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Double Digits

I finally made it to double digits again. The last time I tried was when I went 9.5 and then crashed and burned and had to the walk remaining distance home. I was really hoping to do 6 or 7 miles. I knew it was a good night to try to go long as I had nothing to do at the house and I was take my wife out to dinner the next night.

I made it to my 4 mile turnout and then went left. Doing this would add 2 more miles to the route as I looped out one neighborhood and then back. I then made the turn to add 1 more mile. 7 was a great number as it has even been a while since I have done this amount.

I was feeling great and the weather was cool enough to actually be enjoyable. I decided to go for it and complete the loop that would be 10 miles when I finished. The hard part about this loop is that there is a 1.5 mile part straight uphill. Tough!  My shoelace came undone about halfway so I had to stop and start again.

I completed the run and felt great. I took the next day off and then went out for a nice 4 mile run.  It felt great to get back to double digits. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Running Uphill

When I take my kids for a walk around the city, there is a steep hill that we walk up to get to one of our favorite playgrounds. I have been wanting to run this hill and then continue up past the playground, up another hill to reach the main road.

My main reason for skipping this is that I had no way to measure how far I was running. Yesterday, I took my watch to see if I can figure out the distance and I went for it.  I ran up this steep hill and then made to my mile marker in about 10 minutes. 

I have reached this point in 7:30 before. I was not going for a speed record, but I also wasnt running too slow. I was at my usual pace of 9 - 9:15 a mile. I counted it as 1 mile and stopped my watch. I then continued on and did 4 miles. It was nice to finally accomplish a run that I have been keeping my eye on every time I walk up it.

I do have to say, it was a lot easier running up it than pushing a double stroller up it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Making a Healthy Meal

Not only has my running suffered with the change in the weather and time, but so has my cooking.  I also do not feel too motivated to cook these healthy meals. I have been eating lots of homemade pizzas and fries or eggs for dinner. For lunch, it is has been a struggle as well. I may take a salad, but it does not leave me as fulfilled as they used to. Or I have been taking some cereal to have a cereal and milk snack at work  Not what I used to take.

Finally this week, I took some time to make a nice meal. I made three pieces of salmon with whole wheat pasta and steamed veggies for dinner. We are going to make a nice bean stew for me to take to work with some pasta or whole wheat couscous. This will be something that I can heat up that will keep me filled for the day.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Feeling Unmotivated

Its been a long month. Once the time change occurs and it gets darker sooner, I am a complete mess. I lose a lot of motivation. Its hard to go out and run for a while and it is dark and cold. This happens to me every year.  I work through it, but it takes time. 

So far, I have only ran 9 days out of 16 so this month. That means I have missed 7 days!!!  Out of those 7 days, I could have ran at least 5 of them.  But I was feeling unmotivated. Its hard, when two days a week, I take my son to a class and then get home around 6:30.  One night I go food shopping and Friday nights, I sometimes skip to have a nice evening with my wife. we can eat an early dinner and clean up and then have some time together.

With 14 days left this month, I do not have too many days left to skip if I want to make it to 20 days this month running.  What are some of the tricks you use to keep yourself motivated?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Running At Work

With my evenings getting filled up and I am working more than I used to, my time is getting more limited on when I can run. I started to think of some ways I can get a run in. Getting up earlier is out of the question. I am already waking up in the 4 o'clock hour for work. A treadmill is expensive and we have limited space in the apartment to place it.

My solution is to start running at work during my lunch break. I figure I can get in a 30-40 mile run and still have time to change back into my work clothes. Our bathroom is large enough that I have room to change.  We have cold water in the office to fill up a water bottle. I would just bring and take my clothes home each day.

Does anyone do this?  Do you have any tips to make this successful?:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Timed Run

Two days ago, I went out with my watch to run at an easy pace. I wanted to see if I am correct about my normal pace when I am out not trying to break records. I assumed I was right around 9 minutes a mile.

It was hard running with a watch and not trying to go for speed. I had a few tricks to use to keep me from going too fast.  The first was to pay attention to my breathing. As long as I was not out of breath, I knew I was at a correct pace. The second trick was to start singing a few lines of a song I know

This run was important as you can tell from yesterdays post, I am starting to go out with just my watch and not worry about any particular route. However, I still like to have an idea of how many miles I am running. 

Now it is official.  9:00 a mile is the pace I will use.  My long term goal will be to get to 2 hours of running.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun Run

Tonight I did a fun run and it was fun. I went out with out any set amount I needed to run or any particular route. I knew I wanted to do 4 miles which means at least 36 minutes.  Our city is filled with numerous pedestrian tunnels, bridges and paths throughout the different neighborhoods.

I started up my usual path and then this time, I went under the first tunnel and took the path all the way to the big park in the center of the city.  I ran through the park and then through one of the neighborhoods and crossed one of the bridges. I have not been to this part of the city before and was surprised to see some stores at the bottom of the buildings. I made a note to come back and check it during a different time.

I enjoyed myself running around and just going as I felt. I turned around when I wanted to and didn't care where I wound up. After about 25 minutes of this, I decided to start finding my way home.  I made it home in about 41 minutes and then decided that I can make it 5 miles just by going a few more minutes down the road and then back up. 

I ran to the end of the street and then instead of running right back up, I ran up the steps to the park and then down the path back to the street. It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Getting Lost on the Information Highway

How many of us get lost when we are on the internet.  We may just need to check one email or a quick news update, but all of a sudden 30 minutes go by and you have no idea why you are reading that particular article. It happens to me a lot. I get lost all the time.

One of the rules that I have, I stay off the web until after I complete my run.  There have been times in the past, where I literally wasted my workout time, just to read some dumb articles or check sport scores that would not matter if I checked an hour or two later. How often are you on facebook or tweeting?

Prioritize your run and get it done before going on the computer. You will be very happy with the results.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Running By Time

I am going to try something different this week. I have been so focused of trying to get a certain amount of miles in during each run that I am getting a little bored with my routes.  There are many places within my city that I would love to cover, that up to this point, I have not because I cant measure exactly how far I ran.  There are so many cross streets, short cuts, parks, trails and parts of the city that I have missed.

I have decided to go out and run by time.  What I mean, I am going to go out and do at least 30 minutes and just have fun. I will go where I feel like it and not worry about exactly how far I went. I will estimate based on a 9:00 minute per mile pace.  For example, if my total run was 45 minutes, I will mark down 5 miles. 

Does anyone else run by total time instead of total mileage?

Friday, November 08, 2013

Fast Run

I was feeling good, so I decided to change things up tonight.  I took my watch. It has been close to 2 months since I last ran with a watch, when I set my record pace back in September. Tonight started off similar. I was flying. I reached the half mile, mile and 2 mile mark in record time.

I reached the turnaround point about 4 seconds slower than last time.  Then, I started to slow down. One of the most important things I learned from Running Without a Watch is to run based on how I feel. I tried to keep pushing and pushing to harder, but I was slowing down into a nice pace.

I finished my 5 mile route in 42:57, which is not a new record, but nothing to be ashamed of. The most important thing, it changed up my running routine and I enjoyed myself.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

NY Marathon

This past weekend was the New York Marathon.  Congrats to those of you who ran it this weekend.  This is one marathon, that I do not think I will do for many reasons. The cost, the amount of time waiting and the amount of people who run it.

Now there are many people who run this race year in and year out. I saw on the news, there was one lady who has ran it the past 25 years and was 86.  The sad news was she died in her sleep the next day. 

I do not know whether to feel bad because she died or feel happy for her that she died after doing something she loved.  How do you feel?

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Crossing The Street

The other day, I was outside on my lunch break getting some fresh air when I notice a runner getting in a lunch time work out.  I like to watch runners. I like to see how fast are they going. I try to guess if they are training for a marathon or trying to lose weight. Are they new to running or a veteran.

Regardless of what type of runner he was, this guy I noticed was a complete moron.  I watched him cross the main road of the office park without even looking. He had his head phones in and just went.  There was a car approaching, who luckily slowed down.

What made this worse, was there was a crosswalk about 20 feet up ahead, that he most likely did not want to stop at.  Stopping to cross the street will not have any adverse effect on your run.  Luckily for this guy, everything worked out ok.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Beat 2012!

I did it. Tonight, with my 5 mile run, I have now ran more miles in 2013 that I did in all of 2012 and I still a little less than 2 months to go.  I also have exceeded these totals in less time. I ran 239 days in 2012. In 2013, I have completed this amount is 212 days.  Not too bad.

Tonight, I wasn't really feeling it. I was planning on only doing 3 miles. This would get me my new record and still be considered what I consider a quality run. However, as always, it worked out differently.  As I was running, I heard another runner come up behind me. Sometimes I slow down, so they can catch and pass me. Other times, I speed up and have them try to pass me. It all depends on what kind of run I want to have.

Tonight, he passed me. I followed behind and then I passed him (waving in a friendly way) and stayed in front until I got to the intersection. I always slow to make sure cars see me. He blew right through the intersection, not even looking at cars and passed me.

I caught back up to him and then passed him a final time.  At the next intersection, he went straight and I turned left.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

The other night, I was debating on whether I should I go out for a run. I had already run 4 days in a row and was looking forwards a nice relaxing evening with my wife.  My wife knows I have a habit of changing my mind frequently, especially when it comes to taking a night off from running. 

As I was having one of my moments trying to figure out what to do, I looked outside and saw dark clouds. Then I saw lightning and heard some thunder.  I was not going to take a chance.  Especially with it being a Friday night and there not being any bus service in case in really started to rain.  Thunder and lighting are one of the two weather related reasons, I will skip a run. The other is ice.

Friday, November 01, 2013

October Stats

For the month of October, I ran 91.3 miles over 20 days.  It was close. I needed to make it out the last four days of the month and I did.  October was tough.  We had a new schedule in the house and it was making it tough to get out for a run 3 of the days of the week.  Two of those days, my son has a class which makes the night later. The other day, I do a big food shopping run.

The schedule is getting easier to adopt to. The past week, I made it out on 2 out of those 3 days. I have decided that getting out at 6:30 is better than nothing. Also, now that the time changed, its getting darker earlier. This also keeps my motivation down. I am glad the weather has not turned colder yet. Put all three of those together, and I am really struggling to get out.

For November, I am hoping to run 100 miles over 22 days.  We will see.  How was your October?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Really Matters

Tonight my wife took our oldest son to his class. While she did this, I stayed at home and got the younger ones to bed.  After the kids were asleep, it provided me some free time to get everything done around the house. Making lunches, cleaning the sink, gathering the trash, etc...  Once I finished everything, I quickly changed into my running clothes and was getting ready to head out the door for a run as soon as they arrived home.

Of course, as soon as they get home. My son says "Daddy, can we play one game of Skip-Bo?"  I hesitate before answering and luckily my son did not notice After having a moment there, I quickly put on my game face and my son, my wife and I all played a nice game. I got out for my run about 25 minutes later that I was expecting, but it was ok.  Having this time with my son is what really matters.

As much as we put lots of pressure on ourselves to get out there each night or to run a certain distance, just remember what really matters; Family.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Its Only Five of 7

I was contemplating on whether to go running tonight or not. Usually, after a food shopping run, the night gets away from me. By the time, I finish putting everything away and cutting up the fruit and vegetables, its usually close to 7:00pm. 7:00pm may not be that late for you, but when you are up before 5:00am every morning to get ready for work, its late.

We just changed the clocks this weekend and my body is not adjusted yet.  It makes it harder to be motivated to go out when it is already dark.  I really wanted to get out there tonight and the rest of the month, as I am close to having my 8th straight month of at least 20 days running.

My wife saw me contemplating and said. Its only five of 7.  That is the time. Not five of 8.  Why don't you go out and do a quick run.  That is what I did. I did 3 miles.  This actually brought me to the ninth straight month of at least 80 miles running.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Overweight Kids

Its sad when I see overweight kids out an about. I see so many overweight 5-10 years old. I just think its not fair for them. Its not their fault.  Its their parents fault. The amount of junk these kids eat and sugary drinks they wash it down with. The lack of exercise as they rather stay in watching tv or playing video games.

My wife and I were discussing.  We ate junk when we were kids.  Why weren't there so many fat kids around then. Maybe it was the amount of exercise we got.  We use to ride our bikes to McDonalds which about 10 miles away.  We would spend every afternoon outside. Whether playing basketball, football, frisbee, or having a catch. The only time we would play video games or watch tv was if the weather was poor. 

Or are the recipes different in the foods we used to eat. As the quest for the all mightly dollar turned junk food from junk food into junk chemcials?

What do you think?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Its On

Last night I was out for a run. I was in the middle of deciding how far I wanted to go. Did I want to go 6 or 7 miles. It was getting late and part of me wanted to get home. The other part of me kept saying, stop being lazy and just get out there.

As I was about a .25 of a mile away from the point where I would need to go left to make it 7 miles or straight to go 6 miles, someone passed me. At this time, I was leisurely trying to make it up the hill when I heard the heavy breathing and feet behind me.  Sure enough, a runner who looked pretty fit flew right by me.

Rather than just let him pass, I decided to follow up at the same pace.  I knew this would change up my workout but I also knew I was going to be doing 6 miles rather than 7. I didn't care. No one passes me without me putting a  good fight.

I think he knew I was following as he slowed down a little and I slowed down as well. When we got to the point that the path changed from an flat surface to a slight decline, I went for it. I passed him and kept going for about a half a mile. Then I slowed down.

Sure enough a few minutes later, I heard him again. It was that hard, the guy spit as much as a camel. So between his feet, spitting and breathing, I knew he was catching up to me. He then passed me.  I said to myself forget this. I turned on the jets and passed him one more time. He tried to give chase, but could not keep up with me. I flew for about a half mile and then looked back.  There was no one there.

I won.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dinner Out

My wife and I went out to dinner the other night on a date.  I was looking forward to not having to cook and clean up for a change and know my wife was looking for forward as well.  Plus, I have been watching what I have been eating and was looking forward for dessert.

I got the teriyaki salmon with rice and veggies. While I enjoy this meal. I do not know why they feel the need to drown everything in teriyaki sauce.  I would have much preferred it to be on the side and I can dip if I choose to.

After waiting for quite a while for my dessert we split and enjoyed. It was ok. Not what I was expecting.  Sometimes, I don't know why we bother. My meals at home always taste better than anything I will get at a restaurant. They are healthier too.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How Much Are You Walking?

I just read an interesting article that mentions that young people are not getting as much walking in as we used due to technology. They are spending more time on their electronic items rather than enjoying the fresh air.

One of the reasons, I love running without a watch (and music) is the feeling of being unplugged.  I am on a computer all day long for work and I night, since we do not have a TV, I use the computer before bed.

One of the biggest reasons for not being able go walking is lack of time. That is BS.  Anyone can squeeze in 10 minutes once or twice a day.  I take two "walk breaks" at work.  About 10 minutes to clear my head and get some fresh air.  If you are in an office building, walk around the floor.  There is always an excuse, but there is also is always a way.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Podcast

I have found a new podcast that I have started to Listen to. Vinnie Tortorich, America’s angriest trainer.  He is big on no sugar and no grains. While I am not one to restrict any one group over of foods over an other, I still enjoy listening to his rants. He tells it like it is, but he is sincere. He sounds like he really cares and is angry that people are having their good intentions stolen.
He and his cohost Anna Vocino are very easy to listen to.  He has nearly 200 podcasts available for download.  Each are about 45-60 minutes long. Easy enough to listen on your commute or while you are exercising.  I have started with some of the newer ones and concurrently listen to the older ones.
They do go off topic and rants about non fitness related topics.  Sometimes, its one of the reasons, I enjoy the show. He has a new book out, “fitness confidential” that I am looking to order one of these days.
Which new Podcasts are you listening to?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Looking Towards the End of the Year

I just checked log and I am on past to exceed my 2012 total by the end of this month. Wow!  I finished September with 840.7 miles ran over 191 days. I completed 2012 with 939.0 miles over 239 days. To break 2012, I need to run 98.3 miles this month, which is completely feasible. This will put me well within my reach of my 2013 goals of 1000 miles, by the middle of November.
For the amount of days, I need to 48 days to exceed 2012 and 59 days to reach my goal of 250.  Over the last three months, it should be pretty easy to get there.
How are your 2013 goals looking?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Family First

On one of the blogs I read, the author states that they are cutting down on their training due to family commitments. Now this guy, used to train for ultras, so cutting down to a marathon is a big deal.  I am on the other end of the spectrum.  I run about on average about 45-60 minutes most nights, but have been wanting to train for a half marathon.  Due to my own family, I cannot. Let me rephrase, I choose not. 
Sometimes our dreams and hobbies, need to take a backseat to the reality of life. I would love to run for an hour or two every day of the week, but with work, commuting and family, I am unable to. I am not able to commit to train for a marathon at this time, and the half marathon goal is pretty iffy depending on it goes. 

But I have created a nice balance of running and family life. I try to include at least one short run a week, that I can go out and then come back in about 30 minutes. I try to help out with the chores around the house before I go. Laundry, dishes, and preparing dinner. Plus I help get the kids ready for bed or situated with quiet activities before I head out.

As the older they get, I am sure this will get harder.  Currently our oldest has a class two days a week, which means I do not get home to get started on most tasks until about 6:30.  Running is part of my life. I love it.

How does your family life coexist with your running life?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Puzzle Pieces

The city I live in is an interesting shape. Very good for running.  In it is almost shaped like a hand with different fingers sticking out.  Most of my runs involve running from my house to around one of the "fingers".  Sometimes, if I am feeling great, I will boost my mileage by adding more than one "finger".

I have added all the mileage if I run all the fingers and it comes to 12.9 miles. Very close to a half marathon.  I can easily add the distance to make it a perfect half. I am starting add the last of the fingers to my runs. The first is 2.7 miles which brings back to near the beginning of my usual path.

I just pick up and continue on normally.  The second is about a mile loop that will bring back to my usual halfway point. One of my "if everything goes right" goals for the year is to run the entire length.  I am slowly getting there. The puzzle is almost complete.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Relaxing Month

So far, in October, I am running a little less than I wanted to. I am at 43 miles over 10 days running so far this month. As my kids get older, they have more after school activities, which means less time to go running. Now two nights a week, I do not get home until about 6:30. By the time I finish everything, it is after 7 and would make for a late night if I go out.

For September, on the exact same date, I ran 53.5 miles over 11 days. I am not too far off if I step it up the rest of the month. I still want to reach 100 miles, so I can break my 2012 total by the end of this month. We will see.

How is your October?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Caffeine Free. Again.

I am caffeine free, again.  I knew I needed to quit it again once I started to need a coffee right when I got home from work to make it through the evening.  Plus, my half and half coffee was becoming 2 scoops of regular, rather than one of each.  It was getting out of hand.

Coffee is funny. It wakes you after you drink it, but then you start to crash and get tired again. So you wind up drinking more of it and the cycle repeats itself.  I quit cold turkey, as for me this is the best way to quit anything. 

Day one was ok. Day 2 and 3 were painful. I had a headache and I was very tired. I could not stay awake at all on Saturday. By Sunday and Monday, I was feeling better. Today, its great.  My headache was gone. I did not crash at all today. I stayed at one level the entire day.

I had enough energy to even go out for a 5 mile run tonight. It felt great.  The other thing, my weight always seems to go down when I quit regular coffee.  Either coffee has some kind of effect on my weight or I am just in a good place regarding diet and exercise, that I feel comfortable quitting it again.

Has anyone else made the move to decaf their life?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Weight Going Down

Finally, my weight has been moving in the right direction.  I was able to break out of my chocolate chip habit and stop the extra bowls of cereal and milk when I arrived home from work.

The funny thing, what helped the most was when I spent 4 days straight with the kids.  There was no time to eat or snack.  Eat breakfast, the lunch, then wait til they go to bed and then eat dinner.  I finally was able to control my need to constantly snack all day long.

I also decided to make chicken again. I am taking a piece of grilled chicken with a salad every day for lunch.  Very easy to prepare and its very filling.

Monday, October 14, 2013

To Go Cups for Food!!!

Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal speaking about KFC's new invention.  A to go cup for chicken and fries.  This cup will fit right into your cup holder in your car so you can eat on the run.  Just what Americans need. Another way to mindless eat high calorie no nutrition foods.

Just like with sodas, I am sure these will get bigger until one day when they are supersize. The fact that they spent 2 years working this design is ridiculous in itself. The statement that they use is that consumers for a snack that is protein, portable, a low price and no silverware needed. Since it has protein it must be healthy.

What do you think of the snack cups?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tough Run

Tonight I had a tough run.  It happens every once in a while, but the most important thing was I got out there and completed. I knew it was going to be tough. Today is the day I decided to give up caffeine (again).  I was a little more tired without my afternoon pick me up, plus I a slight headache.

On top of this, we went out last night.  I was still digesting my meal.  I have not had that kind of food for a few weeks. Then the temperature was a little warmer than the past week.  But I powered on and completed 3 miles. 

I figure, 3 miles today, 3 miles tomorrow and then over the weekend, I will be able to get back to my normal miles.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cleaning Your Running Clothes

Since yesterday, I started to talk about cleaning.  Today I want to bring up running clothes.  How often do you clean your running clothes or how many times to do you wear them in a row before you put them in the laundry?

I have a few systems that I use. First is the smell test. If my clothes start to smell, that is a dead giveaway its time to wash and use some clean shorts and shirt. If my wife tells me they smell, whether I agree with her, I will wash them and wear clean clothes.

Sometimes, if I am doing a load of laundry, I will wash them before they need to just to keep up with it. I find I feel better when I am running in clean clothes. In the summer months, I can go 2-3 runs. In the winter months, I go about 3-5 runs. Now of course, I change my socks and underwear after each run.

What is your system for staying fresh and clean?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cleaning Your Running Bottle

How often do you clean your running bottle?  Do you use a handheld, camelback or a throwaway bottle.  Since I only use water in my bottle, it clean it at least once a week. If I have dropped it or it just feels dirtier, I will clean it more often.

I keep it simple. I use dishwashing soap and just add it to the pile of dishes that need to be cleaned up after dinner. I find using a bottle brush which can be find in any baby section of a drugstore or grocery store.

For a throw away bottle, like the ones I used when I traveled, I would use the same bottle for a few days in a row and then toss it and start a new one.

I have never used a camelback, so I am not sure how to go about cleaning it. If any of my readers use one, please chime in with some advice on how to clean it.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Breaking The Rules

There has always been an unofficial rule about not exercising too close to when you go to sleep or not eating right before you go to bed.  Sometimes, this rule needs to be broken.  There are times that due to our schedule, I am not able to head out for a run until 7:30 or close to 8:000pm.  I know for some of you this does not see late, but when you get up at 4:30am to catch an early bus to head to work, it is late.

Usually, I have a choice of running that late or skipping my work out. I then say to myself, what am really going to do all night. I most likely will be on the computer looking at the news or getting lost in the internet.

Instead, I head out for a short run of 3 or 4 miles and make it back between 8 and 8:30.  I then change and eat dinner. I am done dinner between 9:30 and then I hop into bed to read or catch up the news.  Then I fall asleep.

The ironic thing is on these days, I have no problem falling asleep or staying asleep.

Do you break this rule?

Monday, October 07, 2013

4 Miles or 5 Miles

During my record run the other night, I reached the top of the last hill in about 38:30.  This is significant because I remember the first time, I reached this point during a 4 mile run in the same time.  I was so happy, that I was able to do 4 miles in under 40 minutes.

I was checking my training logs to make sure the 41:21 was a new record for 5 miles.  I could not remember if I came close to this a year or so ago.  I checked, my previous record was 42:34.  I beat it by over a minute.

I also checked and saw that this same route I ran, I used to complete in 51 minutes.   In just a little over 2 years, Running Without A Watch helped me to drop 10 minutes from this route or about a 20% improvement. 

Friday, October 04, 2013


Now the weather has gotten cooler, I figured it would be time to go out for a timed run with a watch. It has been so long, since I have run with a watch, that I almost forgot how to use it.  I said to myself, I will make it to my first checkpoint and if the time is under 5:30, I will continue on with the watch.

I made it and the time was 5:10.   I said to myself, "game on" and I picked up the pace. I hit the first mile marker in 7:30 and then flew up the hill. I made it the farthest ever in 10 minutes and kept going.  I reached two miles in 15:35 and kept on going. 

I have been trying to reach 20:00 for the halfway point of the route since I have been doing this route.  I made it in exactly 20:00.  By this time, I am feeling good.  To keep up this insane pace, it is more mental that physical.  At 30:00 minutes, I knew it was going to be close. My goal for this route is under 40:00. 

I reached my starting point at exactly 40:00.  This was impressive in itself, that I had the same time for these splits.  This means I kept up the same pace the entire time. I had about 0.2 miles left. I continued on and finished in 41:21.  A new personal record.

I felt great and still do. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Medium Run

My wife asked me how far I was going out tonight. I told her around 5 miles. She said, "You are a doing a long run tonight.".  I thought about for a moment and realized, that this was a medium length run. 

There was a time when 5 miles was my long run and if I pushed it, maybe I could do 6.  3 was my standard run with the occasional 4 mile run mixed in. 

Now, my short runs are 3 and 4 miles. My medium runs are 5, 6, 7 and my long runs are 8, 9 and above.  I have come a long way over the years.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

September Stats

For the month of September, I ran 112.7 miles over the course of 22 days.  I achieved a new personal best for miles ran per run. I averaged about 5.1 miles per run. This has been one of my goals to achieve an average of at least 5 miles per run during the course of a month.

It was not easy. I have been pushing myself to conquer the longer distances.  5 of my runs were above 8 miles and 2 of those were above 9!. For these runs, I felt great and just kept going. Once the weather got cooler at night, it made it easier to stay out a little longer.

For October, I had originally planned to run all 31 days, however due to a commitment early in the month, that will not happen.  I then wanted to plan to run 135 miles over 27 days to reach a new record for days and miles ran in a month.  Plus an average of 5.0 miles.

I decided to keep it simple. I am going to shoot for 110 miles over 22 days. Similar to this month. Maybe, I will finally get to 12 or 13.1 miles. 

How was your September and what do you have planned for October?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

A Humbling Run

The other night, something happened, that has not happened in a long time. I failed to complete my run.  I wound up running 9.5 miles before I had to stop and walk.  I should have ended at 7 miles. I made a mistake and I got lucky. I did not injure myself as I was worried.  I was able to do a short run the following day.

I was feeling good and planned on doing seven miles.   During the run, my legs and feet started to hurt. I thought it was my shoes, so I stopped and untied and retied my laces.  It helped for about another mile.  Then I got to a point, where if I went left, I would do 7 miles, if I turned around, I would do 9, and if I continued straight, it would be at least 10 or 11.

I went straight.  After doing those 2 miles, I was still feeling ok. I should have gone up the hill and took the short way home. It would have been a total of 9 miles and I would have made it, even finishing a little sore.  Nope. I went straight with visions of completing the 11 miles and doing one more loop of 2.4 to make it 13.4 miles. 

About a half mile into my choice, I knew I made a bad decision. I slowed down and could have walked from there. My run would have been a total of 8 miles, but I pushed on.  I then passed the 9 mile mark and still pushed on. At the bottom of the hill, my feet were hurting and my legs sore, that I finally said enough.  I walked the last half mile home.

I was disappointed that I filled to finish, however, I was even more disappointed that I almost did something dumb and caused an injury.  Looking back at my log, I realized within the past 7 days, I completed an 8 and 9 mile run and then this was another 9.5 mile run. Even with one rest day in there, it was too much.  Right now, I will complete a few short 3 and 4 miles and see how I feel in a few days and maybe complete 5 miles.

When have you made a mistake in going too far?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Are we Getting Slower?

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal mentions how this generation of runners are slower than previous generations. They also mention how runners do not care if they finish a marathon in 3 hours or 4 hours.  Some people quoted state is because of the everyone gets a trophy mentality of society.

I disagree. I think the slowing down of times and the less competitiveness of racing has to do with two factors.  The first, being healthy is now part of each person lifestyle. When people head for a run, they are doing it for themselves, not to prove that they are faster that everyone else. They enjoy running and run marathons for the experience of running in a city that they normally cannot run uninterrupted.

The other factor is we are more wired and plugged in that we have ever been in our history. People are working longer and harder than in the past. Also, the seperation between work and home life has become blurred. Running is a way to escape. People either unplug or tune out and just run.

Do you agree or disagree?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Instructions for he Kids

The other day I was at work and my wife had an appointment. My in-laws came over to watch the kids.  My wife had a list of instructions for each child to make it easier for her parents. What to do for naptime, snacks and activities.

Snacks for oldest, she listed, Apples, plums or carrots and for the other, apples or carrots.  Both kids enjoyed an apple while watching a video during naptime for the baby.  They were not offered chips, cookies, or cakes.  They didn't even think to ask. We don't have it at the house and they know they only get it during special occaision or if they are at their grandparents. 

Now as I have mentioned before, to have your kids eat healthy, first thing you need to do is model.  The kids always see us snacking on fruits and when I make my lunch, they see the vegetables I take.  I never take junk.

They know we save sweets for special occasions. In fact this past weekend, we made ice cream sundaes to celebrate a birthday.  They got ice cream, chocolate chips and cookies to go on top. Kids want to be like Mommy and Daddy including their eating habits.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rocky a Marathoner?

Was Rocky a Marathoner?  This article says yes. According the article, Rocky ran a total 30.61 miles during his famous training runs.  Even after this distance, he had enough energy to make it up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps.

Running is a great way to boost your cardiovascular system for endurance which no doubt helped Rocky defeat Apollo, Mr. T and the Russian. Plus, who doesn't have Eye of the Tiger or the Gonna Fly on their IPOD for extra motivation when out running.

Watch this Video before you head for a run.  See if it helps to motivate you.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Music Makes it Fun

The other night, I was debating on going out for a run.  You know how it is. First you get dressed slowly, then you have your prerun snack. Even then, you still haven't made up your mind.  During this time, I asked my wife what she had planned for the next hour. The older one was still awake watching a video. She just wanted some quiet time with her book. That made my decision, I headed out for a run.

I decided to grab my IPOD and go.  The music was what I needed. Since I usually do not run with music, it helped to change things up for me.  It relaxed me and I was feeling good. Instead of 3 miles, I did 5 bring me to 75 for the month. It also kept my monthly average at 5.0 per run.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What Kind of Runner Are You?

What kind of runner are you? Are you a type A personality, where you need to have your schedule set for the next few months. Do you plan long runs and then do not deviate no matter on your family schedule, weather, or how you feel? 

Or are you a go with the flow type of runner.  Do you go out with an idea of what you want to accomplish that day or week and then see where the run takes you. I am this type of runner.  I have an idea of how far I want to go, but depending on how I am feeling, the weather, or my schedule, I will change it even during the run.

There are many times, I head out not really feeling like I want to and only planning on doing 3 miles and then the next thing, I wind up doing five.  Or maybe, I am feeling great early on my run. My eyes then get big and I say, I am going to do 10, 11 or even 13.1 miles that day.  Instead I wind up stopping at 4.

Which kind are you?

Monday, September 23, 2013

800 Miles

I broke 800 miles for the year Saturday night. This was my 184th date running this year. I am at exactly 803.0 miles for the year. In 2012, I reached 800 miles on November 10th when I completed a 5 mile run to bring me to 801.1 miles for the year.  This is about 2 months later than 2013.  It also took me 203 days. 

I am averaging 4.36 miles per run this year compared to 3.94 during the same time in 2012. A lot of my success in these totals is due to the longer distances I have mastered this year. I am able to run 7, 8, 9 miles without any extra effort.  I usually cut it short depending on the time and what I need to accomplish that evening.  I also have gone over double digits 3 time this year. 

Another difference, the kids are getting older and we have more of an evening. in 2012, we had a new baby, so it was not as easy to head out for an hour or more at a time. Now in 2013, the baby goes to bed early enough that I am out of the house well after she is asleep.

I am still on pace for 1000 miles over 250 days running.  I may even reach 100 miles in December. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Exercise At Work

I have read a news article indicating that more and more people are finding time to exercise while at work.  They either are using a walk station (treadmill built into a desk), riding an exercise bike at their desk, using an exercise ball instead of a chair or just going out for a plain walk.

At my old job, I used the exercise bike under the desk.  I would petal about an hour throughout the day.  I had two that I used as the first one broke. The first one was a cheaper model that I bought at target.  This was quiet and light. The second one was one from brookstone. It was more stable but a little louder.

Now, I am big into taking walks during the day. During my day, I get out for about 2 walks plus I have my walk to work and from work.  It helps to refresh me and when I am stuck on a difficult case, I can take some time to think it through.

How do you exercise at work?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quick Run

After arriving home from work a few hours early today, I found the baby was taking a nap and the older kids were out with their grandparents.  I had a quick decision to make. I could either make it out for a quick run or wait until later to go out a little longer.

My wife was not feeling so good, so I would be on a time crunch.  Even if I was feeling great, it would not be right to extend my run more than 3 miles.  My plan was to arrive home right before the older kids.

Even as I was out on my run, I thought about going a mile or two longer, but better judgement prevented me. I completed my run and arrived home about 5 minutes after the kids. My wife was glad to see me. Now she could go rest and I took care of the kids.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To Run or Not to Run

I got out of work a few minutes early today and made great bus connections. I was home before 3.  I was deciding if I should go out for a run then or wait until later. It was still warm out and I knew once the sun set, the temperature would drop.  My run would be so much more enjoyable.

I decided to wait. As I was home, I completed a lot of chores around the house and ran up to the mall to go grocery shopping. I was back home by 6.  I decided then to skip my run and get a few extra things done around the house.

There is only 24 hours in a day and sometimes, you just need to take a night off.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Just when you are starting to get back on track, temptations start to appear. Tomorrow, we are having cake at work and maybe even a free lunch.  Today, my in laws took the kids into the city and they stopped at one of my favorite bakeries.  They almost brought me home a giant black and white cookie, but was afraid it would melt.  I am glad they did not bring it home.

It always seems that every Monday or the First of the month, I am saying to myself, enough. Just when I make it a day or two something comes up and interferes.  Not anymore.  I will not give into those temptations.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Speed Test

Tonight, I was deciding between going for a 5 mile speed test or 5.5 miles to bring my monthly average up to 5.0 miles. When I got out side, I noticed it was cooler so I decided to go for it. It has been a while since I have completed this route timed.  I wanted to see if I have lost any speed since March.

My record is about 42:21 for this route. I am hoping to break 40:00 one day, but I have not reached this goal yet.  Tonight, I used the nike plus to time myself. I stuck the IPOD in my fanny pack and periodically checked. When I reached the first checkpoint, I looked at my time. If I was under 6:00, I would keep going fast, if I was above, I was going to slow down and go for distance. It was at 5:40. Not my fastest, but I was happy.

During this entire time, I did not feel tired one bit. I was pushing myself, but I was never out of breath.  When I reached the end, and the time said 43:23, I was ecstatic.  This was not my fastest time and not a new record, but I have not lost much of anything during the heat of the summer.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Spoke to Soon!

Yesterday, I was speaking about how nice the weather has become. How I thought summer was over and fall was arriving. How wrong was I. The next few days will bring temperatures near 100F degrees.

The heat could not have arrived at a worse time for me. Saturday is Yom Kippur and I was hoping to get our for a run on Friday after I arrived home from work which is in the mid afternoon. I am planning on heading out, but now it is going to be near 100.  I won't go as far as I hoped. I may just make it easy and do 3 miles.

Saturday, I will not make it out for a run as the holiday ends between 7:30 and 8:00 at night. I don't think I want to go out that late. Maybe I will use the holiday as a rest day and go running Sunday Morning.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fall has Arrived

Ahh.  Fall has arrived. I love this time of year. The temperature has dropped.  When I have gone out on my night runs, it is not as hot as it was a few weeks ago. I do not drink as much. I am able to go longer and faster than before.  Even during the day, when I decide to go out for a run, I can feel the chill of the cooler air even as I am baking in the sun.

It is starting to get darker earlier. Now by 7:30 it is pitch black out. If I wait to go running til about 6:30, I do not need to take my sunglasses.  Because of this, I am more vigilant when crossing the streets to make sure I see cars and their drivers see me.

This time of the year I say that Fall is my favorite time of the year to run.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Running At a Stoplight

As I was waiting for my bus during my commute home today, a guy out for a run passed me. I then saw him stop at the next intersection due to a red light. Rather than stop completely, he ran and hopped in place until the light turned green and he could continue.

There is no reason to do this. I have mentioned previously, one of the best things you can do is get used to stopping and then having to start again. This will help you when your shoelace comes untied, for a bathroom break, or to fill up your water bottle.

There was a time, that when I stopped, it would ruin the rest of my run. I would have to walk/run the rest of the way. Now, I am able to extend my runs because I am able to get back out there after stopping.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2 Years!!!

This past Sunday was 2 years since I started Running without a watch.  My weight has fluctuated from 172.0 pounds that I started at, all the way down to 153.0 and then for a while in a 5 pound range around 160.0. Lately, it has increased up to around 167.0.  I know why it has gone up and it is still a work in progess.

However, my running has never been better. I have been running consistently for these two years.  The longest stretch ever. I have been injury free. I think because I am running based on feel rather on time, it is keeping me from injuring myself. I have reached double digits twice.  I can run any size hill.

I am able to run 7,8, or 9 miles like I used to run 4 and 5 miles.  Just this past week, I had an 8.5 mile run and an 8 mile run. I have run my first race and have plans to do it again in the spring.

I do not feel like running has become a burden. It is part of my life. My kids cannot wait until they are old enough to go with me.

I am happy, I have found a way to keep running fun and making sure I get out there.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Football Vs. Running

Being 7 hours ahead of the US, this means the late night football games start at 3:30am. My Baltimore Ravens (defending Super Bowl Champs) were playing the first game of the NFL season this past Friday. Now I won't set an alarm to get up that early, the boys woke me up around 5:30.  Thanks to a delay due to stormy weather, the game was well into the second quarter.  I had more than enough time to watch the game.

The boys and I watched until halftime (watching Dallas Clark drop and easy catch that would have turned into a touchdown) and then the Ravens kicking a field goal to take a 17-14 lead at the half. We turned the game off and planned on going back after about 15 minutes. 

My wife said, if you want to go running, now is a good time.  I had to make a choice.  Get out for my run or stay and watch the second half the game.  When I lived in the US, it was easy, I could take my radio and listen to the game on my run. I do not have a fancy smartphone, so I could not take the game with me and it is not on here on the regular radio.

I decided to miss the second half and head out for a run. I could always read the summary, check the box score and watch highlights.  The Ravens of course lost 49-24 with Peyton Manning throwing SEVEN touchdowns. 

It felt good getting my run done in the morning. I had the entire day without worrying about getting out there. Sometimes, running needs to be a priority over other things and sometimes other things take a priority over running.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Music or no Music

I know many times, I have stated not to run with music, but it is so tempting to take the ipod.  I found myself taking more with me than the times I do not. I hate the feeling of having to rely on something when I go out for a run.  I will try to only take it on about half my runs.

The music really changes things up for me and I have some more fun when I am out. Plus, since I have a new ipod, there is only about 100 songs on it. I use the shuffle feature and have a different playlist each time.

Do you rely on music when you run?

Thursday, September 05, 2013


I have taken the past few days off of work to spend time with my family leading into the holidays.  The kids will have a few days off of school and since I worked a lot in August, I will get to spend some time with them. One of the things I was hoping to do was go running each of the 10 days I was out. I figured I could average 5.0 miles on each run.

What I did not count on was how tired I would be at the end of each day. How does my wife do it!  It is tiring to entertain the kids while at the same time, getting everything done around the house. Making food, cleaning up and laundry. While I am working everyday, I have about a 1 hour commute door to door. This hour involves some walking and usually by the time I get home, I feel refreshed to help out with the kids for bedtime. I have enough energy to go out for a run.

I was planning on getting up each morning early and be out of the house by 6am.  Instead, I have found myself sleeping in til about 5:30 - 6am. Then, the kids want to eat breakfast with me and the day begins. Yesterday, I skipped my run. Today, I did make it out for 5 miles.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Wake Up Call

An acquaintance of ours has received a wake up call from their doctor.  He recently went to the doctor and found out he is close to becoming diabetic.  His diet is not the greatest and he hardly exercises. He was overweight, but not extremely overweight.

Hopefully, he will take his doctor's news seriously and make some lifestyle changes.  Nothing too drastic at first.  Get up and move. Start walking during the day. Use portion control.  Cut out liquid calories.  Start with these first and he will see some changes.

I remember when my dad received the same kinds of news. He changed his entire lifestyle and dropped over 50 pounds and even ran a half marathon.

You can do it!!!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Running to the Lake

Today, was my first Sunday off in over a month. I took advantage.  The kids were at school and my wife was with the baby at an appointment, so I had some time to get out for a nice relaxing run.  I started to go on my 7 mile route, but after about 3.5 miles in, I decided to make a detour and run down towards the new lake that was built in the city.

This was a place that I once tried to walk the kids down one day, but did not get too far. Its a steep hill down and then back up. It is not on a bus route, so if I have any issues, I am walking back or I will have to hitch a ride back up the hill.

I had no idea how far it was and I estimated at about 2 miles the last time, I measured it with a car.  After using, I found out it is about 1 mile down and 1 mile back up and then to get around the lake and back to the road, was another 0.5 miles. I was very proud of myself. I almost walked twice, but I slowed down and took small steps. I made it and then continued on my route. I did a total of 8.5 miles.

What a way to start the month!

Monday, September 02, 2013

August Stats

For the month of August, I ran 83 miles over 20 days.  I was 18 days until the 30th and 31st and just made it.  While I have a year goal of 250 days running, I still like to have at least 20 days running each month over at least 80 miles.  Anything less, does not feel like much.

For the month, we had a few family events and I worked every Sunday which at times made it harder to get out on those days. Also, after a very cool July, the weather finally heated up and there were many hot nights that I just did not feel like getting out there or going as far.

For September, I have a lot of vacation days that I am using and there are a bunch of a holidays.  I should have no problem going running on those days.  Especially in the morning.  I think I can get to 100 miles over 22 days this month.

How was your August and what do you have planned for September?

Friday, August 30, 2013


My birthday is coming up. I am trying to figure out the best way to celebrate it. I would love to go for a run with my wife, however she is not a runner and also, needs to stay here with the kids while I go out.

I most likely will try to head out for a 5-7 mile run. I would like to go in the morning to get it over with and then have the rest of the day to enjoy my family.  I also want to spend the day with kids. Go to the park, ride bikes, eat ice cream. 

How do you like to spend your birthday?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Winds of War

I was out on my run tonight wondering what the next few days will look like. It seems the US is close to sending missiles to Syria.  Will Syria and any of their "friends" decide to send rockets/missiles over here in Israel.  No one knows. Will any of my upcoming runs be interupted by the red alert siren of an incoming attack?

Where would I go?  When I am out, I scope out places, I could lay down waiting for the attack to be over. While, I think most of the attacks would be closer to Tel Aviv, living near Jerusalem, we did have a few alerts last November.

Even my IPOD seemed to have picked up on what I was thinking. First song after choosing shuffle, was Its the end of the world as we no it then it was followed by The danger zone.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2 Days in a Row

Today and yesterday were the first two days in a row that I did not run since the end of May.  Yesterday, I got home from work a little bit later and had a lot to do around the house. It was nice getting everything done. 

Today, I skipped my run to allow my wife to have a nice evening in the city.  She has been home with the kids the whole summer and earned a nice night. I was planning on going running, but made a last minute decision to skip it, so she can go out.

She always gives me time to get out there and encourages me on the nights when I do not feel like it. It was nice that she got to have a relaxing evening.  Remember, running is part of your life, not your life.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not Happy With Nike Plus

I have started to use the Nike Plus with my IPOD, the past few runs. I am not happy with it. It is very inconsistent. It almost seems it is closer to a pedometer than to a GPS watch.  I have ran the same route twice. First time, it was 3.94 miles. Second time was 5.98! 

I was hoping to use this new tool to measure new routes that I want to try.  Does anyone use Nike Plus and enjoy it?

Monday, August 26, 2013

700 Miles!!!

I broke 700 miles for the year last week.  In 2012, I reached this milestone on October 12.  This is close to two months sooner.  For the same time period, I have also ran 163 days to reach this number verses in 2012, I completed in 181 days 19 days more.  

So far for the year, I am averaging 4.3 miles per run compared to 3.9 miles last year.  I am well on my way to reach my year goals of 1000 miles over 250 days.

Friday, August 23, 2013

31 Days

After a record setting month in July, I have been taking it a little easier this month.  I may still break 100 miles this month, but definably 80 and close to 90 miles.  I should be able to get in 22 or 23 days ran this month.  September is looking as a similar month, with so many holidays occurring.

I am setting my sights on October. I am hoping to try and get out there and run at least 3 miles on each day within the month.  I am going to try to push it and average 5 miles per run for a monthly total of 155 miles.

I figure with the cooler weather, no holidays, kids are back in school, and the clocks have not changed yet, its my best chance to accomplish this.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

I saw on the news about a guy who was out running with headphones along some railroad tracks and was hit by an Amtrak train going 110mph and he survived. Talk about lucky. Let this be a reminder to everyone who runs with headphones on to not have it so loud, you cannot hear a train horn. 

Always be aware of your surroundings. I truly recommend to keep the music for the treadmill.  However, when I do use headphones when I am out, I keep the volume low enough that I can hear cars approach, other people and dogs.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not As Daunting

The thought of running 10 or miles used to very daunting. I used to think, I would never be able to cover that distance. I would run 7 miles and every once in a while stretch it to 8 or 9.  The fact that I have now covered 10 and 11 miles makes running these distances a real possibility. I even think I am capable of 12, 13 or even 14 miles.

Just today, I was thinking of going out for a long run.  The weather has gotten cooler. I thought about 10 or 11 miles.  The only thing stopping me is do I want to be out for an hour and half or 2 hours.  I wound up running for 5 miles. It was not as cool as I thought and I wanted to get home.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Making the Right Decision

Today I made some good decisions in the food department. I finished almost all of my food halfway through my day which led me to being hungrier than I usually am.  I went into the kitchen to the vending machine looking for cereal.  They didn’t have any which was a good thing.

I glanced at the rest of the food in there and then remembered how sick I feel whenever I eat that junk. My body just can’t take it anymore.   Instead I went back to my desk and then asked a friend if they wanted to go get some fresh air and go for a walk.  He said sure. 

We went out for about 30 minutes and drank my entire bottle of water and felt refreshed. We got back and I was not hungry anymore. I ate my red pepper sticks about an hour before I left for the day.  Then I made it to home and ate a snack.

I never made it out for a run. I took my son up to the mall for a show. I held him on my shoulders the entire time we were there and the entire time we walked home.

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's That Simple

To lose weight, its very simple. Eat less, move more.  For some reason people are always looking for the easy way to accomplish this. I have read two disturbing articles recently dealing with people and what they will do to lose weight. 

The first one involved some kind of treatment placed on your tongue which makes it painful to swallow. They women they interviewed were trying to lose weight over the next few weeks to look good in a bathing suit on a trip. What kind of doctor would even perform this type of treatment?

The other one involves a person who swallowed a tapeworm that she bought of the internet.  Why?  She wanted a quick way to lose weight.  Again, to lose weights, eat less and move more. Its that simple.  

People struggle because they do not want to put the work into it. I am the first to say, this has happened to me. There are so many times, I eat more than I should or have foods that I should not. I know what I am doing and it just seems easier at the time.

Friday, August 16, 2013


The past two days I was met with two challenges regarding food and I can proudly say, they were both a success. Today was more difficult. It was pizza day. I love pizza.  They ordered about 5 pies too many, so there was a lot of leftovers. Today, I could have eaten at least 4 if not 6 slices. I am glad I did not.

In the past, when I have overate pizza, I felt bloated, sick, and hot. My runs that night were terrible and I did not feel good about myself. Today, instead of eating pizza, I took my apple and left the office for about 10 minutes for a quick walk.

It worked!. When I returned, I went back to my desk and the party was about over.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Run With Nike Plus

I was very excited to get out tonight with my new ipod and nike plus built in.  I wanted to measure my running paths and see how they compare to google maps.  I ran into a probably, almost as soon as I started. The protective case I bought causes an issue with the earphones to stay connected. Right at the beginning of my run, they came out and the IPOD stopped. 

I started over and was about 2 miles in when it happened again. I fooled with the plug and then it happened one more time. I said forget it. I have run this long without music and nike plus that I didn’t really need it today. I may have to look into getting an armband.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tough Choices Ahead

In the coming days, I have some tough choices ahead of me.  My number one weakness is free food at work. In the next few days we are having a birthday celebration and a pizza lunch. I always wind up overeating. I don't know if its because its free or if its because I do not usually eat this food and I can't stop.

At one point along my journey, I was able to control myself and not eat this stuff.  I am at a different point now.  We will see how things go this week.

How do you handle this kind of challenge?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nike Plus

My IPOD broker on me, so I went out and purchased an IPOD NANO. I did not realize that the Nano has Nike Plus on it. I am excited to use this when I run. I am not looking to see how fast I am going or what pace I am currently running.

I really want to use this to measure certain routes in the city that cannot be found on google maps. We have some security roads and trails that are off the beaten path, that i have been meaning to run on. Also, it has a feature to put on your goto song when you really need it at the push of a button.

Who here uses nike plus? What do you like and dislike about it?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tired Run

Friday, I was out late with my volunteer job and didn’t get home until about 2:30am Saturday. Lucky for me, my wife was very accommodating and she got up with the kids which allowed me to sleep in until about 7:00am. 

When I first woke up, I thought about going for a run. I was feeling fine and knew later I would crash hard.  I decided not to even that question, as my wife has already been with the kids by this point for about 2 hours and I was thinking she could use some help.

I wound up drinking some coffee, but I still crashed later in the day. I had to go lay down for about an hour to recover. After that, I felt like a new person. I decided, I felt up for going for a run. I went out and ran 3 miles which was much needed.  I thought about going a little longer, but I didn’t want to push it.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Out of Wack

My Schedule recently has been out of wack. The kids are off of school and camp until the end of the month. We have family visiting that we have been trying to coordinate with. This has meant some later nights.  After running 121 miles last month, I am ok with having an easy month.

I have been trying to run every other day just to get a run in. I have not had a long run yet this month.  Mainly just 4 mile runs.   Soon enough, September will be here and the temperatures will start to fall.  I will be able to get out faster and farther.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Running to Relax

Sometimes, my runs relax me and calm my nerves down. Today I took off of work to take the kids to the beach. Driving over an hour with 3 little ones and then being in the sea with them can be a little nerve racking.

We wanted to be on the road by 9:30 at the latest. After getting everything packed up and ready to go, I went out for a quick 4 mile run at 7:45. It was just what I needed. Not too long, where I was tired all day. I was energetic all day. I was relaxed and calm.

We had a lot of fun at the beach and the sea. When we hit traffic returning home, I was calm as well. Sometimes, a run is all you need to help you get through your day.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Be Careful

I saw in my hometown paper that a female runner was attacked while they were out for a run. The assailant grabbed her and pulled her into the woods and tried to strangle her. Luckily, she fought him off and escaped.

Be Careful out there.  I would recommend, to not run in secluded areas alone. Do not listen to music if you do.  Take your cell phone with you.  Have an ID on you.  Tell someone your route and when to expect you. Also, let them know when to call you in case you decide extend your run.

How do you stay safe when you run?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Empty House

I got home from work today in the middle of the afternoon. My wife was at the pool with the kids, so I had the place to myself.  I was deciding on going for a run or getting everything done around the house that needed to be done.  

The other day I went out for a run in the middle of the afternoon and it was hot. About the low to mid 90’s with no clouds.  It was not a fun run. I had to stop and pick up some ice cold water.  Today I decided, to stay at home and get everything done that I needed. I made granola, my lunch for tomorrow, laundry and dinner.  

IT was great, once my wife and I got the kids showered and ready for bed, I went out for a nice 4 mile run.  While it was still hot out, the sun was not as strong and it felt great.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Interesting Quote

I am in the midst of reading some back issues of Runner’s World.  They interviewed Mike Huckabee who at the time was governor of Arkansas. He was overweight and out of shape.  He then worked very hard to lose over 60 pounds by eating right and exercising.
One thing that he stated that helps to motivate him when he is in a situation where there may be food that he is tempted to eat that he knows he should not. He says, “No food tastes as good as it feels to be thin.”  This is something I keep in the back of my head when faced with difficult choices.

Which phrase helps to motivate you?

Friday, August 02, 2013

So Close

July is almost over. Only 2 more days left. So far I have achieved a personal best in miles per month, days ran in a month, longest run and I tied my personal best for days ran and am very close to breaking my average miles per run record.
With 2 days left, I only need to get in 1 5 mile run to break the last two records. However, I am tempted to go more.  If I go 15 miles over the last 2 days, I will have an average of 5.0 miles per run. This is a longtime goal of mine 

The other part of me is saying to stay smart. Go out for 1 run of 5 miles and achieve the records. Then take the last day of the month off and start August off fresh.  This was what I wound up doing. I ran 6 miles on July 30th and then took a rest day July 31st.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

July Stats

What a month!  I broke all of my personal records. I ran 121 miles over 25 days.   This turned out to be an average of 4.84 miles a run. I also had a run of 11 miles during the month.  I felt great at the end of the month. I completed all of this in 30 days. I decided to take the last day of the month off to have a rest day to be ready to start the new month.  

I am going to shoot big. My goals for August are 110 miles over 22 days. This would be an average of 5.0 miles per run which is another goal of mine. I am also hoping to finally complete a run of 13.1 miles.  

How was your July and what do you have planned for August?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Felt Like Poison

The other day, we had a small pizza party at work. I went a little overboard and I stuffed myself with pizza and coke.  My body was angry at me. I felt sick.  It was almost as if I ate poison.  It hurt when I went running and the heat started to bother me. It even got so bad that I could not enjoy my prerun banana bread.  I felt nauseous eating it.

I decided to go out for a run and ran 5 miles. If you can call it running. It felt more like shuffling.  It was the worst run I have had in a long time.  Usually, I do not get upset with myself when I have a bad run, but this was preventable.

I learned my lesson.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

11 Miles!!!

I ran 11 miles! This is a new personal record for me.  This also makes the second time I have reached double digits when out for a run.  I planned on attempting this distance of a run. I brought some music with a playlist that was over 2 hours.  I started slow and I knew about 2 miles into the run, this could be the night I reach a new record. 

I had to make a few stops during the run. The first was to put my sunglasses away. The second was when I needed to make a pit stop. The third was when I ran into a convenience store to pick up some water and the last was after a guy on a motorscooter fell off to see if he was ok. 

After I stopped and got some ice cold water, I felt refreshed. I made the turn where I knew I would reach 10 miles and then made the other turn to make it to 11. I thought about trying for 13.1 to make a half marathon, but I decided against it.  No injuries!

The next day I felt fine. I took the night off from running to give my body a nice break.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dieting, Not a New Concept

I recently downloaded some podcasts that had radio broadcasts from the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Old comedians, such as Jack Benny and George Burns.  People my grandparents used to speak about.
One of the things that caught my attention is that they speak about low fat items and dieting.  Usually, it is the women or are worried about this.  I assumed the obsession over weight loss and dieting began in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It shocked me that even two to three generations ago, there was a worry.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Healthier Buildings

I saw on the news that the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg wants to have buildings designed with a more healthy approach.  For example, he wants to have easier access to stairwells rather than have to take a elevator. 

I support this idea 100%. I can’t tell you how many times I go into a building and the stairs are closed by a fire door or the lighting is poor or you do not feel safe going into the stairwell. When I was in New York earlier this year, I stayed in a hotel. We were on the 23rd floor. The workout room was on the 9th.  I would walk down the 14 floors and then back up the 14 floors.  Now that is a little extreme, but maybe walking down 2 or 3 floors and then taking the elevator the rest of the way or walking up 1 floor would be a healthy change for most people.

In our apartment building, we are only a few floors up, which is just enough that I can zip up and down the stairs either by myself or with the kids or take the elevator if I have a lot of groceries to carry up. 

How do you feel if buildings became healthier?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A New Kind of Timed Run

It has been a while since I have taken my watch out for a run.  I like to do this every once in a while just to get a feel if I am getting faster, slower, or staying the same. I used to just set the watch and run as fast as I could for either a 3 or 5 mile run.

This time I did it differently.  The number 1 distance that I run is 4 miles. I have an easy loop. I head up past the mall, circle the long way and then make a turn towards home. During this route there is a 2.4 mile loop. 

I decided that I would run to the start of the loop and then run the entire 2.4 mile loop as fast I can.  The first one I did was on a hot day. I did it in 22:01.  I am hoping when fall comes and the weather gets cooler, I will be able to break 20 minutes if not 18 minutes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Adding New Workouts

Recently I decided to add weights and fartlek running into my workout.  I caught myself, before I made the same mistake as I usually do. I first decided I would do weights every Monday and Wednesday and fartlek runs every Tuesday and Thursday.  In the past, when I did this, this would last about one week and then miss one and I would forget the entire plan.

This time, I am doing things with more thought.  I am only going to require each of these once a week to do when my schedule dictates.  No particular day. I can choose when I want. A benefit of this is that I will not burn myself out by putting too much pressure to complete a certain type of workout.  I will reevaluate my plan in August or September and make an adjustment.

Tell me about your strategy.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I have a new pump me song.  Whenever I hear it, it makes me think of the movie Animal House.  Sometimes, I even find myself raising my hands at each “shout”. Last night, I felt the need to sprint up the last hill before I finished my run.  I quickly put the song on and off I went. I ran as fast as I could up the ill. I made it about half way before I needed to slow to a normal pace.  

What is your go to song these days?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Who Fartleked?

I ran a fartlek run the other night. It felt great. What is a fartlek run?  A fartlek run is when you have speed spurts during your run at an irregular interval.  This means, after I warmed up for a mile, I would run as fast to a certain and then slow down. Then when I felt ready again, I would repeat. 

This is different than intervals.  In interval training, you are picking up your pace at regular intervals. For example, when I used to run intervals on the treadmill, I would do 30 seconds at 9.0 miles per hour followed by 90 seconds at 7.0 miles per hour and then repeat 10 times. 

With Fartlek running, I would pick a random spot like a light post and then pick up my pace until I arrived at a lamppost.  Then I would repeat as I felt.  The night I went out, it was a little warm than I expected, but I still tried this.  I warmed up for about 1.25 miles and then picked up my pace and slowed back down for about 2.5 miles. Then I cooled down for the last 1.25 miles.

This felt great.  It changed up my routine.  The route I would run felt like a new route. I was so focused on when to start and stop that the run seemed faster.  Also, the run was harder than previous runs I have had recently. 

Do you have ever use fartlek or interval training?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tired Legs

The other day I decided to go out for a run. I was debating on taking a day off as I ran 16 miles in the previous two days.  But it was the first of this month and I wanted to get out there and get off to a good start for July. 

Once I arrived home from work, I completed a lot of tasks, I needed to complete around the house, while my wife got the younger kids ready for bed.  I then took the oldest with me to the grocery store to pick up a watermelon.  Finally, I was ready to go. 

My legs felt tired, but it was a good tired. I felt like I was going faster as the run went on. It felt great. I finished strong.  This was important to me as I wanted to see how I can handle running on tired legs to prepare for a half or full marathon in the future.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Possible Half Marathon

I have found a possible half marathon at the end of the summer, that I am thinking of signing up for. I feel like I would be ready in time. I have already had a long run over 10 miles and can run 7-8 miles without any issue.  The race is in about a month and a half.

My biggest concern is the climate. I am used to running in a hot dry environment and the race takes place in hot and humid conditions. I am unable to train in humid conditions.  I do not want to sign up for a race and then suffer because I am not prepared for the conditions.

Has anyone trained in one climate and ran a race in another?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grocery List

Yesterday, my wife was playing a game with our kids.  They were pretending to make a grocery list for the house.  The kids were close to 100% accurate listing almost everything we use.  They had milk, eggs, yogurt, cereal and all the different fruits and vegetables we use.

What were missing were cookies, chips, cake, ice cream and other sweets and junk food we do not bring into the house.  The thought never crossed their mind.

The kids are alright.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mid July Update

So far the first half of July I have ran 60 miles over 13 days.  The best thing is that most of my runs are 4 and 5 miles long. I only have one run less than 4 miles (3 miles) and only 1 run over (8 miles).

Now that the weather has gotten a little hotter and July is now starting to feel like July, I haven’t been going as far as I was previously.  Sometimes, it is just hot.  Currently, I am also working 6 days a week, so my free time is very limited.

All in all, I am very happy with how the month is going. I am on pace to shatter my previous records of miles per month and days ran per month.

How is your July?