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?