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?