Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

USAF Marathon 10K

15 Sep 2012
My alarm was set for 5:00 AM, and I didn't even need to use the snooze. I'd been going to bed at 10:00 all week and getting up at 5:30 or 5:45, running in the dark. My bib was already pinned to my shirt, and it didn't make much sense to take a shower. All I really needed to do was cook a pancake for breakfast and get dressed.

I'd been thinking about this morning every day for 9 months, so it was kind of hard to believe it was finally time. I double-checked that I had my minimal needed items (wallet, keys, phone, camera, bottled water) and headed out into the dark morning. I pulled onto the grounds of the Air Force Museum about 6:15 and followed the traffic to a parking spot, from where I saw the following view.

Thousands of cars filed through three gates. I got all my things together and began the long dark walk towards the start line, first through wet grass, then on a gravel road, across a runway, along a crumbling former taxiway, and around the Museum itself before passing through the security checkpoint. I found the portable toilets and walked through more wet grass towards the other end where the lines weren't as long. Managed to one that was on such a slant that the door wouldn't open all the way. On my way back to the gear check tent, this was the view.

30 minutes to go. After talking to Evren on the phone, I checked my warm-ups, phone, and camera and waited near the gear check tent. After 7:20 and the National Anthem, I thought I should make my way towards the start corral. Evren saw me walking away and got my attention. At 7:28 the B2 Spirit flew overhead.

Before we knew it, the gun went off and the front racers were gone. It took about 2 1/2 minutes to make it up to the start gate where an Air Force chopper was revving its engine. I started my watch and turned right at a nice slow (crowded) pace with a view of thousands and thousands of runners in front of me, stretched out at least a half mile. This was really a warm-up mile, but I knew I needed to speed up a little to make my goal of 60 minutes (had to average 9:40/mile or less). Continuing down the road which used to be a runway, we passed a band playing some oldies off to the left. Shortly after I came up behind one of the units running in BDUs and carrying flags. I noticed one of them was a former student and said Hi to him as I passed.

By the start of the second mile we were already starting up the hill. I wasn't worrying about my pace. I just wanted to make sure to keep moving and not get worn out. I didn't pass anyone going up the hill. Just tried to maintain. Rounding the corner at the top of the hill, guys were running in and out of the trees...a mile and a half into what was probably a 26 mile race for most of them (10K and Marathon started at the same time). I guess they didn't have time to use the portable toilets before the race started. I later heard it wasn't just guys making a stop. It couldn't have been more than a half mile after the top of the hill when we hit the first water stop (including toilets). I grabbed a water and drank what I could, knowing the hardest part of the run was now behind me. Even with the hill my second mile had a slightly better time than the first, but still over 10 minutes. I knew I would make it up soon. I mostly stayed with the pack, passing someone occasionally, but racing the clock, not them.

We passed another band, this one with a full horn section. The road was pretty level, but started to gradually slope down until the end of the third mile where it became a steep downhill. One of the things I learned when I was "relearning" to run in May and June was how to run down hills. Most of the people around me were sticking their heels way out in front of their bodies and using them to slow themselves down....but not me. I used gravity to my advantage, kept my feet under my body, and strides fast and short. Essentially I flew down the hill, hitting a 5:26 pace at my fastest, giving me 8:21 for the mile. It was also at the bottom of this hill where the Marathoners split off to the right for another 23 miles...while I was now half finished.

A left turn out the gate revealed the next water stop. I grabbed a Gatorade and choked down what I could, barely missing the trash can with my cup. Another quick left found us now running on OH Rt. 444 with two lanes blocked off for runners. I stayed to the left and remember passing a couple more people. Then the second downhill segment took us under the bridge to Springfield Street where the only clock on the course was located (that I remember) and back to the entry gate for Area B at the end of mile 4 (8:42).

I knew it was flat the rest of the way, but I still had 2 miles to go, so I decided I needed to rest a bit. 9:27 for mile 5 kept me under my 9:40 and past the final two water stops. We could also hear the finish line announcer from this point, and he was calling out the names as people crossed. Rounding the corner at the end of mile 5 I was side-by-side with a woman who asked if I was going to get water. I wanted to, so we switched sides. After I sipped a bit of water I tossed it and for whatever reason felt myself speed up for the return course on the old runway. Most of us were really spread out at this point, so there wasn't much passing going on. I didn't want to push myself too early, so I decided to wait until I saw 6.0 on my watch.

As it turns out, the final 0.2 miles is just the home stretch to the finish line. I already knew I'd make it under 60 minutes. This was it. This was the culmination of every step of the past 300 miles over 8 1/2 months, every salad instead of fried chicken, every shin splint, ankle pain, and muscle ache, and nearly 40 pounds gone. I could see the finish line and wouldn't be satisfied to hold anything back, managing to dip below a 6-minute pace for a few moments along the way. I think I passed 2 or 3 people down the final stretch. I don't think I saw much except what was right in front of me. I remember being confused about the first chip reader on the ground until I realized that's how the announcer was calling out our names. Just before the actual finish I heard my mom cheering for me and smiled without looking. I saw the clock above me head still under 60 minutes, even though I didn't start running when the clock started ticking.

I stopped my watch at 57:07. Then I was awarded my finishers medal and had to pose for a couple pictures.
Passing through the food tent, I didn't get any food (anticipating Smashburger later) but ended up with water, Gatorade, and chocolate milk. I went back to find mom,

and waited there for Evren.


I was really happy with my results relative to the rest of the field, though I imagine it's because most of the "real" runners who didn't finish ahead of me were doing the longer races anyway. But given that my goal in January was just to cross the finish line without having to walk part of the course, I'll take it.

View AF 10K in a larger map

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

One week to go

I was really starting to have doubts this week. Every time I would try to run, I got very tired and had to walk part of it. Never got over 4 miles. I thought I was psyching myself out of running longer. Today I'm convinced the heat and humidity were just more than I was used to. After the cold front passed through and it stopped raining this morning, I carbed up on a pancake and syrup, hydrated, stretched, and walked out the door with a fully-charged iPod and nearly-dead Garmin watch. Thankfully the battery on the watch lasted the whole run or I probably wouldn't have taken the extra lap around the block to give me 7 miles. Not only that, but with the exception of mile 2, every mile was faster than the one prior. I knew things were going well when I saw 4 miles on my watch, because I almost always have trouble after mile 3.

I put this week's times in my spreadsheet and I also passed 300 miles for the year, today.

I just hope the weather next Saturday morning is as perfect...and now I need to get used to running without my music.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Goal acheived

After my not-favorite day, I actually ended up having a really good week. I was back to running the next day, doing 3-4 miles during the first half of the week. On Thursday of that week I ran 5 miles just to see if I could. ORRRC had a 10K race on Saturday, so I took Friday off, still not sure that I really wanted to try 6.2 miles for the first time in a race. But I did, 6 weeks before my original goal date. I took my time on the relatively flat (except up and over Taylorsville Dam) out-and-back bike-trail course, on which I had to pass the place where I had previously passed out.

Shin splints are still a struggle, but I keep doing exercises to strengthen those muscles, and need to add a bit more rest into my schedule. Maybe some strength training on days off, instead.

I found this picture from last October and it's pretty difficult to look at, at this point. I'm still stuck around the 220 mark, but I know I can run 10K at that weight if I have to, and I still think I can get to 199 before the end of the year.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Not my favorite day

I think it's safe to call this a memorable week. Last weekend I finally got back to comfortable 5K runs, just in time for a timed ORRRC race with 250 other people. Finally passed 200 miles on my Thursday run after sunset. Did my first 4-mile run since 1 April this morning (Saturday). My weight is going back in the right direction, though I'm no longer confident I can get below 200 before 15 September.

Then I got a text from my mom asking me to bike with her. It never crossed my mind until late that I had only eaten a banana and some Gatorade because I wasn't hungry and it was only 10 AM. After riding about 7 miles on the bike trail north of Taylorsville Dam, I coasted into the parking lot and lost my balance as I was simultaneously slowing and pulling my shoes from the pedal clips. I was mad that I fell, but wasn't badly hurt and even told the woman who asked twice that I was fine. I picked up the bike and my sunglasses, walked over to the car. I realized my elbow was bleeding and asked my mom to grab some napkins from my glove box. She noticed my face was pale and I started feeling dizzy, so I leaned back against the rear quarter panel of the car. I closed my eyes to try to let the dizziness pass, but the next thing I remember I was sitting on the ground next to the car with three people around me and water being poured on my head. I felt okay, but I knew I didn't sit down and I was hearing that I passed out. I passed out a second time and woke up laying down, where I stayed until the ambulance got there. I really didn't want to to go the emergency room, but everyone told me I should. All tests were fine. I got a unit of saline fluid through an IV and was finally released after a couple hours. Never tested low for blood sugar even though I probably should have eaten something more before the bike ride. The P.A. at the E.R. chalked it up to this:

Not my favorite day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back...for real

I'm finally back to running.

My post-injury goal was to be running again by June 15th, since that was exactly 3 months before the Air Force Marathon. I was able to start back on the 11th, but I still didn't fully understand my shin splints until the 13th when I was volunteering at a water stop for a trail run. The guy working with me gave me some leg exercises with a paint can hanging from my foot. It strengthens the shin muscles to balance the calf growth that occurs in a new runner.

I've also changed the way I run, taking shorter steps and landing mid-foot with my body weight over top, not behind, my foot.

Any pain that was left is nearly gone, and I'm building my endurance back up, but still only at about 1/2 my previous time/distance I was running in March. I keep adding 1/4-mile every few days, so my body is getting used to it again. I'm sure I can be ready by September 15th, and I want to be down to 199 pounds by then.

More than 13 miles last week, running every day.

Over 160 miles for the year. Should have been a lot more, but I can't change that now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


For a few months,  I really thought this was going to be a great year. I was running 3-5 days a week. I lost 25 pounds. I got more hours at work.

It's disheartening how quickly things can turn around.

I've been dealing with shin issues since mid-March. Every time I think it's healed, it starts to hurt again. I've gained 5 pounds back. I'm losing my job. Then today I managed to break both the outside water faucet AND my lawnmower (I tried to go too close to a stump and got the blade stuck. Now it makes noise and vibrates severely).

It's a bit overwhelming.

Monday, April 16, 2012

5 months

I've only run once this month. Only April 1st I ran 4.6, but the first mile caused some shin splint pain. I've taken some real time off to rest, but I was concerned about a stress fracture. X-rays didn't show anything, so I'm on Naproxen through the end of the week, only biking and walking on occasion. My weight loss has halted, so I'm going to have to work harder on the nutrition side (hoping to run the 10K at 200 pounds in 151 days. Will be about 50 pounds less than I was January 1st.)

I also bought a pair of compression sleeves for my calves. Supposed to help with shin splints. Increased blood flow and reduced vibration. I'm hoping this is the end of this problem because I really need to get back on my feet and log some miles. Can't wait to pass 5 miles.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two weeks one post.
My shin pain has gone on longer than I expected...I think my insistence in returning to running every couple of days kept it from healing as quickly as it could.

March 18-24
Only a couple of runs, tying to keep off the leg.
20th - 2.4
24th - 4.25

6.65 for the week

March 25-31
25th - 3.5
28th - 4
31st - 4.6

12.1 for the week

138.9 for the calendar year

Also got my bicycle out after a long hiatus and rode 8.75 on the 29th.

Hopefully I can pick up the pace a little next week. New running shorts arrived in the mail today, too.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

3/11 - 3/17

Had to nurse a shin splint this week. Didn't want to take any chances after reading about hairline fractures, etc. Plus I didn't want to be sore for the fun run Saturday. First time really running with other people. There were plenty of people in front, but also plenty behind. It was quite a confidence boost to still have the energy to pass people on the last 1/2 mile and really stretch out my stride.

3/11/2012 3
3/13/2012 4
3/16/2012 2.25
3/17/2012 3.1

Week: 12.35

Year: 120

181 days to go

Saturday, March 10, 2012

3/4 - 3/10

Weekly summary:

3/4/2012 3.6
3/5/2012 3.6
3/6/2012 3.3
3/8/2012 2.4
3/9/2012 4
3/10/2012 4

Week: 20.9

Calendar year: 107.9 miles

Next Saturday is the St. Patrick's Day 5K/10K fun run.

188 days until the Air Force 10K. I feel like I'm ahead of schedule, but that's good. Still more than 6 months to go. Hopefully I'l be 30 pounds lighter by then.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


I think today was the first time someone I knew saw me running. At least someone that told me about it. I was told I looked like a ninja. Most of my cold-weather running clothes are black, so I always try to finish up before sunset. It reminded me of a time in college when we were walking to dinner and we always had to cross the street to get to the cafeteria. It was autumn and my hands were in my jacket pocket when I ran across the road. Despite being 6' 3" and 215 pounds, and only having 2 legs, one of the guys from my floor insisted I looked like a gazelle bounding across the street, so he called me that for quite awhile afterwards.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I decided to quit posting runs every day and just post a weekly summary. It's still not "easy" to run 3 miles, but my body definitely has crossed a new threshold over the past week. 5K became the norm. Breathing isn't labored. Legs still get tired of course, but they're still pushing 236 pounds down the road (down at least 10 pounds, but I didn't buy the scale until I'd been running for 3 weeks).

2/27/2012 2.5
2/28/2012 3.1
3/1/2012 3.1
3/2/2012 3.1
3/3/2012 3.1

14.9 for the week (Sunday - Saturday)

I expect to pass 100 miles for the year by the end of this coming week.

195 days to go.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Enough already

I'm ready for this wind to let up. It's nice to have a tailwind on the last 1/2 mile, but it makes the straight leg of my run interminable.
2.5 today.
200 days to go.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Windy and Windier

Yesterday I got some bad news at work, so all I wanted to do when I got home was run. It's the only time I feel like I'm in control of anything because it's just me. Ran 5K, then ran the same route backwards this morning just to have something different to look at. In both cases I ended up running uphill and into the wind simultaneously, but 3.1 miles is feeling better, so I need to find a 3.5 route and start making my runs longer so I can keep pushing towards 6.2. I also passed 70 miles for the year, today.
202 days to go.

I guess it's time for a career change, because not only is there no room for advancement is closing. Maybe some day I'll actually find something I'm good at, or can at least finish. I guess that's why this race is so important to me. I know I can cross the finish line, unlike so many other things I've started in the past.

TPTB want to retain the benefits of having us on base (141 Flight School certificate) without retaining us, but when the personnel goes, so does the certificate. That will be explained in a meeting on Wednesday, the day after Col Keasley comes to our safety meeting to tell the membership why she hates us she's closing the Aero Club. Leadership continues to fail to see the big picture consequences of their actions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Windy and Warm

Finally got back up to a full 5K run again. I wore my new cold weather running socks but they were almost too warm. There were a couple of times I had to really fight through to keep running, but my legs felt strong and just kept taking small steps. It's always different when I get close to home because I know I don't have to conserve my energy anymore and can just run.

205 days to go

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day

Took the holiday at work...then went to work for a couple of flights. Clouds were really low, so we had to stay low on the way south. Finally broke out and climbed into the clear, then completely clear on the route back.

Walked at the park, plus ran about 2 miles. Started to get a little uphill practice.

207 days to go.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Less sick

Was able to run 2 1/2 miles this afternoon. I pushed through, but was pretty tired afterward, so I ended up taking a little nap before I went to work for some flight planning and a night flight.

208 days to go

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Not a great week. Had trouble finishing 2 miles on Tuesday, then I woke up Wednesday with a sore throat and achy muscles (not run-achy, sick-achy). I took a couple of days off but the weather was so nice on Friday that I tried to run and was able to do a mile and a half, but I realized what the problem was. It wasn't just that my energy was down, my cold was making breathing more difficult so I end up breathing too shallow, which I think was also causing my side stitches because I hadn't had that problem before until this week. I finally went to the store and bought some cold medicine. I hope next week is a little better.

Monday, February 13, 2012

5-ish K

Ran another 3.1 miles. Was really having to push myself, and ended up walking 45-60 seconds uphill with less than a 1/2 mile left just to catch my breath, so I could push myself to run the rest of the way.

214 days to go

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Ran inside at the gym this morning. Ran more than 3 miles with a little walking between each mile. That's 13.6 miles for the week.

216 days to go.

Friday, February 10, 2012


About 1/2-mile into my run this morning I started noticing the tiny snowflakes. The size and frequency continued to increase the longer I was out. I felt pretty good for my first mile. I kept a slow pace and was breathing easy. In the second mile when I was in the park, though, I kind of psyched myself out. I kept thinking about slowing to a walk, but I fought through it. I did, however, end up taking the short way home for a 2 1/2-mile run instead of 2 3/4 or 3.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

One foot in front of the other

Ran 2 3/4 miles today, but had to slow to a walk twice. Not my best day. I might take a rest day tomorrow so I can try a longer run Saturday morning. Still trying to get into shape...not sure why some days are easier than others. Looking forward to the day when 3 miles is a short run.

Sometimes my right foot drags a little when I get tired. I wonder if my right leg is a little longer, because my left foot doesn't usually drag.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shorter run

Only 2 1/4 miles today. Feeling a little tired.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Finished my first unofficial 3.1-mile run today. Added a lap around the park to my 2.5 (which is really more like 2.59)-mile route. 220 days to go.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Good Morning

I figured I would sleep in this morning and let my body rest, but Zoe insisted that we get up at 7:00 so she could eat. I didn't have to be at church to learn The Ohio State Battle Cry for Superbowl service until 9:00, so yep, I ran another 2 1/2 miles before breakfast. That's 6 runs in 7 days and more than 14 miles in a week.

221 days to go

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Last Minute

I didn't think I'd have time to run today, but the weather was bad so work closed early and had enough time to run 2 1/2 miles and shower before going to see The Descendants. Ankle is better.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Frost on the Grass

This is the first time I've ever set my alarm clock earlier than I needed to so I could run in the morning. It was 30 degrees when I left and there was still frost on the grass by the time I got home. I started off a little slower than yesterday and was still feeling strong going up the hill after the 2-mile mark (usually I start to get tired around 1.5 miles). It was like my legs were on autopilot and I was able to pick up the pace a little until I got home, then about a 5 minute cool-down walk. Pretty easy to cool down when it's in the 30s...just took off gloves and headgear. I also ran without the thermal shirt I had on yesterday. It that helped. I probably got a little to warm yesterday.

Today was also my first run with my second pair of Reebok Realflex...I know, I know...Mark, do you really need a second pair of identical shoes? Well, I justified two ways. I didn't pay for the first pair, so it's buy one get one free for me (both pairs were on sale). The new pair is a pretty similar color scheme, but instead of white mesh, it has grey suede with very little added weight. I was right that this pair keeps my toes from getting cold the way my first pair allows. I ordered them online to pick up in the store (free shipping) but they never called me to tell me they were there. I called and found out they had already arrived and had time to pick them up since I had a cancel one of my 4 flights yesterday due to the clouds.

My left ankle had some slight discomfort this morning, but I'm sure it wasn't the shoes. I ran out of glucosamine pills for my joints, so that's going to be a priority today. 224 days to go.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

Ran 2 miles. Saw my shadow.
I was a little tired. I think I started off too fast.
225 days to go

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


So another month is over. What a great start to the year. I'm really happy with my progress so far (probably just the endorphins). I started the year running 1/4 mile at a time, then 1/2, and today I practically raced home to run and covered more than 2.5 miles in 30 minutes (running, not racing home.) Still 3 months to 5K, and 227 days to the U.S. Air Force 10K.
I think I'll take tomorrow off, maybe get to the museum for the Norman Rockwell exhibit...line was too long Sunday afternoon and it ends this weekend.

Monday, January 30, 2012


There's some perverse thing that apparently happens in the psychology of someone who runs jogs (okay, that gag is seriously played out). Instead of knowing I have to run because there are 228 days to go, I was honestly excited to have the time and circumstances to be able to run this afternoon after work.

I didn't even bother to take the phone with me today because I knew that would force me to run the entire 2 1/4 mile route. If I slowed down to a walk earlier, I wouldn't quite know how far I ran. I forced myself to run about 4 houses past my driveway just to prove to myself I can do more even when I'm tired (6.2 miles still feels so far away), then walked back as a short cool-down.

I'm hoping some of my weight starts to drop off soon. I really think that allow me to keep my energy up and maybe even speed up a little. I think I can get to the 5K distance pretty soon. The Miamisburg 5K Fun Run is 2 months away. While my goal has always been just to finish, it would be fun to finish without being behind everyone else, but I won't get caught up in that.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dog's life

While I was on vacation, friends with two dogs were kind enough to take care of her for me, so she had people and other dogs to play with. Since I've been back I hadn't taken her on a walk, so I wanted to do that today (I couldn't fly because the weather wasn't cooperating). We walked about 2 1/4 miles and I thought that would be my exercise for the day. After all, it's a little cold out, and I don't have to run EVERY day, right? But I won't get to run tomorrow (Saturday) because I have a class in the morning and it's off to work after lunch.

After I got warmed up from walking, though, I decided to change shoes and run anyway. I ran jogged the same route I had just walked with Zoe. That's the furthest I've run this year (or in many many years). There are so many times along the way (pretty much every time I go out) that I have to talk myself out of slowing to a walk.

I don't know if my blood pressure is up along with my heart rate, but I noticed that my tinnitus seemed louder after I got home and sat down. That's something I've had to learn to ignore for the last 8 years or so.

Anyway, good running day. (That's a slightly different route on the map than the 1.95 route. I turn right off Shull a block later.)

231 days to go.

View 1/27/12 12:26 PM in a larger map

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rain, rain

It rained all night and most of the morning, lots of puddles on the sidewalks. Nose is still stuffed up a little, but I really wanted to run today. I dressed lighter so I wouldn't get overheated. It's pretty amazing what a difference it makes without a jacket, track pants, and wearing the Reeboks instead of leather Sketchers. Unfortunately I did end up stepping in one puddle after about a mile and a half, but I took the liner out of the left shoe when I got home and I think it'll dry out well.

Got a little tired. Ended up walking one stretch. I still want to get one of the Garmin watches and hope it's more accurate. My phone does okay, but if it records 2.15 and I straighten out my path on the Google maps, it ends up being 1.96 (today).

232 days to go.

View 1/26/12 12:30 PM in a larger map

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To clarify

When I write that I "run", that's really being quite generous. While technically what I'm doing isn't speed-walking because there are split seconds where both feet are off the ground, it's not really much faster since I'm trying to keep a slow pace and increase my distance. Maybe "jogging" is more fair. Or beating the sidewalk into submission.

Temperature was below 30F this morning. Very quickly the problem of staying warm disappears and the issue of staying cool arises. Wasn't my best day. I couldn't wear my running shoes because they are so thin. There are other versions of the same shoe make of suede that I'm looking at, because none of the other shoes I own are that great for running jogging. I did 1.5 miles including two walking breaks.

233 days to go

View 1/25/12 8:30 AM in a larger map

Monday, January 23, 2012

235 days to go

Feeling good today. I got a boost of confidence running with Evren Saturday after we ran for 20 minutes and I still felt like I could do more. So today I challenged myself to run 2 miles without slowing to a walk. (I'm convinced there's a significant psychological element to this whole running thing. Sure, your body has to be conditioned, but I think there were times when I've "talked" myself out of running farther.)

It was really windy this afternoon, but most of the headwind was in the first half of the run...which of course meant I had wind at my back for a significant portion of the second mile. I didn't let myself slow to a walk until I got back to my driveway, which ended up being about 2.1 miles in 22 minutes.

View 1/23/12 4:23 PM in a larger map

Saturday, January 21, 2012

237 days to go

Indoor running today. Hard to keep track of laps around the indoor track, but I think it ended up being about 5-10 minutes walking, 20 minutes running, 5 minutes walking, 5 minutes running before they kicked us off the track, and 30 minutes walking on the treadmill.

Running actually seemed easier than when I was running alone. I guess it was the fact of having someone else there to talk with as a distraction, as well as encouragement. And the spongy indoor track was certainly more comfortable than pavement...the frequency of the turns is the only down side. Better than running in the cold, though.

Friday, January 20, 2012

238 days to go

Well, I got to run 4 of 7 days in Florida. My last full day was busy with visiting the Kennedy Space Center. Then yesterday I was up at 3:30 AM to make my flight to Roanoke. Now that I'm home there's snow on the ground and a weird thing has happened. I realize I actually miss getting to run. Even if it's only a mile, there's still a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day that it'll soon be 2 miles at a time, then 3.1 (5K), and on from there. I know I can't wait until spring to get back to it, but if the weather keeps me from working tomorrow, I really want to get over to the Wright Field Fitness Center and use their indoor track.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

241 days to go

Went to the beach yesterday after we dropped off Eric, Monica, and Wyatt at the airport so they could go home. I didn't get to run, but probably wouldn't have anyway. My lower back was pretty tight with a little pain. Felt better this morning after sleeping on an actual bed, but when I started running this I could tell my back still wasn't straight, so I walked instead. After walking a mile my back was starting to feel better and I was standing straighter. Beastie Boys - Sabotage came up on my iPod in shuffle mode and I knew I had to start running. I ran another mile, then walked 1/4 mile, and ran the last 1/4 mile.

View 1/17/12 9:24 AM in a larger map

Sunday, January 15, 2012

243 days to go

2.55 Run/walk/run/walk/run
After 3 running days in a row, some of the muscles in my legs are starting to rebel.

View 1/15/12 7:51 AM in a larger map

Saturday, January 14, 2012

244 days to go

Took it a little easier today. 1.3 run and .6 cool-down walk.

View 1/14/12 9:31 AM in a larger map

Friday, January 13, 2012

245 days to go

2.55 mostly jogging.
I understand Ohio has snow. Florida is just about perfect. First run, here. Finding my pace. It's feeling a little easier to jog longer distances.

View 1/13/12 9:20 AM in a larger map

Monday, January 9, 2012

249 days to go

Well, I'm in the midst of a couple days that are really busy and not sure when I'll be able to get back out, even though the weather has been great. I scheduled myself to work the past 2 days, today, and tomorrow to get as many hours as possible before I leave on vacation tomorrow. So as soon as I get home after my flight today, I have to get Zoe's things together to drop her off at her sitter, finish packing my bags and my car. Obviously no map to post today, but I thought I'd write about them briefly. I've been using my Android phone and an app called MyTracks to record distance, speed, and ground track. I love that I can just hit a button and have a map exported to my google account, I'm not sure exactly how accurate it is. The tracks on the maps obviously weave back and forth as my phone tries to get a good signal, etc. Also, it's kind of a pain to carry a phone in your hip pocket. It really only works when it's cold enough to justify a jacket (with an inside pocket), and even then, it's not he most comfortable. That's why I've been looking into getting a Garmin ForeRunner 110 watch. I don't necessarily need one with a heart monitor, but the reviews seems to indicate a high level of accuracy, and I can still export the data to a course map on the Garmin Connect site. I'm keeping an eye on eBay for one, but either way it'll have to wait until I get back from Florida, where at least it will be warm enough to break in the running shoes.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

251 days to go

Extremely lazy day
0.9 walking Zoe
My lower back was a little tight, and I underestimated the temperature so my hands got cold pretty quick.

View 1/7/12 4:42 PM in a larger map

Friday, January 6, 2012

252 days to go

3.2 Jog/Walk

View 1/6/12 10:40 AM in a larger map


Last year I started using when I couldn't sell a DVD for a price I wanted, and had already bought the Blu-ray version. I picked up the French thriller Caché through one of the trades because it stars Juliette Binoche, but as the cover also shows, it received some strong accolades. After a rather brilliant opening sequence that successfully disorients the viewer, Caché is a pretty straightforward mystery that forces the lead character Georges to revisit some disturbing occurrences from his childhood. Someone is filming Georges' house and family for hours at a time and leaving the videocassettes on their doorstep.

The movie is less "thriller" than creepy, and ultimately a little frustrating. The cover compares this film to Hitchcock, but at the end of his films, Hitchcock ultimately explained the questions that he set up. If this was an American film, we'd see the face of the person as they turned off the video camera in the last seconds before the credits. If it was Japanese, someone would spend 10 minutes explaining what happened the rest of the movie. Since it's French, they simply can't be bothered to reveal the mystery that drives every action throughout the film, which is a little frustrating. I understand the director's point that it's more "real" in that some mysteries in life go unsolved. I would argue, though, that most people watch films to escape from the Real, and the videotapes weren't just a MacGuffin, but the central story of the film.

Caché means "Hidden", which clearly applies to the resolution of the film. If you can stand the frustration having more questions at the end of the movie than at the beginning, it's probably worth a viewing, but not necessarily one worth keeping on the shelf.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

253 days to go

Legs are a little sore from pushing myself yesterday, so I just walked Zoe 3.2 miles. Warmer today. Almost felt like too many layers of clothes.

View 1/5/12 2:32 PM in a larger map

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

254 days to go

Before I started running I'd been sucked in the by the marketing of the Reebok Realflex. When I won a $100 gift certificate for The Greene shopping center I didn't know what to spend it on since it's mostly clothes or restaurants, and not my type of clothes. I wanted to buy movie tickets, but the Rave doesn't take Green gift cards. However, I learned that E.O. Burger sells movie passes when you get a meal, so for $35 off the card, I got two IMAX tickets plus two dinners. Also swung by Finish Line and picked up this color of Realflex, which are incredibly light, and this color also happened to be on sale. Now I need to find something for $4.85 to wipe out the gift card.

Today: 2.75 Jog / Walk (but not in the Reeboks. They don't keep out much cold air.)

View 1/4/12 4:17 PM in a larger map

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Run Forrest, Run!

Well, this is going to be interesting. No turning back. In 258 days I'm committed to running the Air Force 10K. That's 6.2 miles, and I have no idea if I'll be able to do it. Keep in mind I've never run more than 2.5 miles at a stretch in my life, so registering to do this makes me very nervous. But at the same time, I HAD to register to be motivated to force myself to get in shape. I probably wouldn't be doing this, though, without my friend Evren. Only once in a very long time does someone come along that so effectively inspires one to try to be a better person, but that's exactly she does.