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?