Training Widget

Monday, December 31, 2007

Another year behind me

Day 116 - December 31, 2007


2007 was not the greatest running year I've ever had, but I think I may have turned the corner by starting the streak. It wasn't until I looked back at 2006 that I realized how poor my running was in 2007. Here's my monthly mileage from back in 2006. As you can see I was running a lot of miles and doing it at a good pace. But, after July, I started to tail off.



Here's a look at 2007 - ugly!


The monthly mileage is coming back up now that the streak is in full swing, but the average pace is way down from last year. But, that will be a good motivator for me as I prepare for the next 10 miler.

Now I'm sure some will argue that running everyday may be the reason for the slower miles and lower daily average, but I think it is premature. The main reason for the slower miles is the big dump I took in the middle of the year. As the next chart shows, I ran 50% of my miles this year in the last 4 months. I think by April I should be back to where I was running in the peak of '06. We'll see.

I closed 2007 out with a new run in Charlottesville. It was a nice 4 mile run that I felt really good on. I'm hoping that is a good sign heading into 2008 and I can look forward to my best year of running yet.

Have a safe New Year's Eve,

Chris

Day: 116 Time/Date: 11:45 AM 12/31/2007 Weather: Windy, 49F
Run: Four Seasons Loop Miles: 4.0 Time: 28:38 Pace: 7:09 min/mile
Miles to Date: 435.9 Total Running Time: 53:30:58

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Closing out the Year

Day 115 - December 30, 2007


December is finally coming to an end and life is slowly returning to normal. It was a cold dreary day today and I wasn't very motivated to run. So I hung around the neighborhood and went through the motions for 3.5 miles. No heroics to end the month. The weather forecast looks better for tomorrow, so hopefully I can celebrate the end of 2007 with a better run.

In keeping with my looking back at 2007 theme, you can see that it has been a very up and down running year for me. I never really got it going at the beginning of the year and fell off into complete laziness by the summer.


With September and the beginning of this streak, I've gotten much more consistent. Even with the minimal running I've done in December, I'll still should hit 90 miles for the month.
Tomorrow I'll compare this year to 2006 and hopefully show (even myself) that the streak is a good thing.
Chris

Day: 115 Time/Date: 11:45 AM 12/30/2007 Weather: Light Rain, 42F
Run: Geranium-Amicus Miles: 3.5 Time: 25:40 Pace: 7:20 min/mile
Miles to Date: 431.9 Total Running Time: 53:02:20

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Racing Arizona

Day 114 - December 29, 2007

As 2007 comes to a close, I figured it was a good time to update the trek cross country. With the last update, I was leaving Las Vegas behind and on my way to the Grand Canyon State. And even though the runs have been pretty short this month, I've slowly plodded along and have now crossed into Arizona.

Over the next few weeks, I should make my way into Utah and into Zion National Park. Maybe I'll spend some time visiting the to Hoodoos.

Check back to see what I find.

Chris

Day: 114 Time/Date: 4:15 PM 12/29/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 50F
Run: N Carnation-Davis Miles: 3.6 Time: 25:26 Pace: 7:04 min/mile
Miles to Date: 428.4 Total Running Time: 52:36:40

Rain and Fog

Day 113 - December 28, 2007

As you may have guessed from the very late post, I just barely had time to squeeze in a run after work and before the evenings festivities. Lucky for me it was just after dark, in the middle of a foggy downpour. The rain gear proved sufficient to keep me warm enough and I did my best squirrel impersonation with each passing car as I tried to avoid being run down. Good times.

Chris

Day: 113 Time/Date: 6:15 PM 12/28/2007 Weather: Fog, Rain 40F
Run: Carnation Loops Miles: 2.6 Time: 18:36 Pace: 7:09 min/mile
Miles to Date: 424.8 Total Running Time: 52:11:14

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Just another 2 miles

Day 112 - December 27, 2007

Another blah morning as I try and shake this cold. I felt much better last night, but I managed to get in another short run this morning. I'm still hoping to get into a better routine once January arrives.

Chris

Day: 112 Time/Date: 6:15 AM 12/27/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 32F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 14:31 Pace: 7:15 min/mile
Miles to Date: 422.2 Total Running Time: 51:52:38

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

First cold of the season

Day 111 - December 26, 2007

Well, I can no longer deny that I have come down with my first cold of the year. It started on Monday with that nasty sore throat feeling you get when you have dripping sinuses. By yesterday it had spread to my ears and I just felt blah. By this morning, I didn't even want to get out of bed and I ended up 2 hours late to work. But not being one to let a cold get me down, I took my own SIUCB advice and went out for a few short runs. By tonight I was feeling a bit better and now that the run is over I feel great. I'll still take it easy for another day or two, but I think I have managed to keep the streak going through my first cold.

Chris

Day: 111 Time/Date: 6:15 PM 12/26/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 42F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 14:18 Pace: 7:09 min/mile
Miles to Date: 420.2 Total Running Time: 51:38:07

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Day 110 - December 25, 2007

This year is most likely the first time I have ever ran on Christmas morning. I went out the front door at 5:50 this morning trying to finish before the munchkins were up and ready to open their gifts from Santa. Good thing I only ran two miles, because no sooner was I home and trying to get in the shower when they came bursting into our room. They patiently (sort of)waited for me to quickly shower and get dressed and then the chaos began.

I hope your Christmas morning was full of excitement and that Santa was good to you.

Merry Christmas.

Chris

Day: 110 Time/Date: 5:50 AM 12/25/2007 Weather: Clear, 31F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 15:04 Pace: 7:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 418.2 Total Running Time: 51:23:49

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

Day 109 - December 24, 2007

The entire run felt like I was in slow motion today - it turns out I was. It still was cool to run in the full moon light under crystal clear skies. Enjoy the last day of shopping.

Chris

Day: 109 Time/Date: 6:15 AM 12/24/2007 Weather: Clear, 31F
Run: N Carnation-Davis Miles: 3.6 Time: 24:27 Pace: 7:29 min/mile
Miles to Date: 416.2 Total Running Time: 51:08:45

ooops - I thought I had posted already

Day 108 - December 23rdish, 2007

I can't believe I forgot to come back and record my run. The streak still continues - just poor blogging. Today (Sunday) was 2 miles in the fog and mist. Nothin' fancy.

Chris

Day: 108 Time/Date: 6:45 AM 12/23/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 39F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 14:50 Pace: 7:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 412.6 Total Running Time: 50:41:47

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Last Saturday to Shop

Day 107 - December 22, 2007

I just grabbed a quick 2 miles this morning because I knew I would be running through he crowds at the mall today. Family invasion number 1 will prevent any nighttime running this weekend, so it was get out early and get it done quick. Nine more days to go.

Chris

Day: 107 Time/Date: 8:05 AM 12/22/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 40F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 13:40 Pace: 6:50 min/mile
Miles to Date: 410.6 Total Running Time: 50:26:57

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Peaceful end to Autumn

Day 106 - December 21, 2007

It hardly felt like the winter eve tonight with temperatures still hovering around 40 at quarter till 10. It was nice to get out for a run and not have to wear the long winter pants and multiple layers to stay warm. The air was very still tonight and the clouds filtered the nearly full moon light without making it too dark to see. All of this combined for a peaceful run to end a hectic and busy season.

Chris

Day: 106 Time/Date: 9:45 PM 12/21/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 40F
Run: Geranium-Amicus Miles: 3.5 Time: 24:53 Pace: 7:07 min/mile
Miles to Date: 408.6 Total Running Time: 50:13:17

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here's to 2008

Day 105 - December 20, 2007

Eleven more days and December will be over - my running life is very much looking forward to that.

Chris

Day: 105 Time/Date: 5:30 AM 12/20/2007 Weather: Clear, 29F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 14:43 Pace: 7:22 min/mile
Miles To Date: 405.1 Total Running Time: 49:48:24

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Death by MP3

Day 104 – December 19, 2007

Today was a relatively quick hitter day. I wanted a little more than my minimum two miles, but rolling out of bed early enough to go much further didn’t happen. So I settled for a simple 3ish at a comfortable pace. Traffic was tricky this morning and I actually took a dive into the ditch to avoid a pair of cars traveling in opposite directions. It was, as they say, impeccable timing that they both arrived at the same time, on a curve, after cresting a small knoll. Fortunately, while they had no idea of my presence, I could hear the car from behind coming and could see the headlights of the oncoming car reflecting off the trees above and knew that I had but one option.

Moments like these are why I could never run with headphones on. I have to be able to hear cars coming so I don’t do something dumb. When I saw the headlights approaching, my first thought was to cross to the other side of the road. There was very little shoulder on my side and I knew that the car was going to break over the hill and I would be right there. Just as I started to make my move, I heard the car coming from behind. If I had been jamming along to “Eye of the Tiger” I’d probably be vulture dessert.

I’ll save my rant about forgoing personal safety because people can’t run without their IPods for another day.

Chris

(You may have to turn your sarcasm filters off to read the comment below)

PS – For those of you too young to even know what Eye of the Tiger is – rent Rocky III – it’s a classic with two of the greatest actors of all time: Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T.

Day: 104 Time/Date: 6:30 AM 12/19/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 30F
Run: Carnation-Swift-Davis Miles: 2.9 Time: 21:30 Pace: 7:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 403.2 Total Running Time: 49:33:41

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Finally 400

Day 103 - December 18, 2007

Today was another day where actively managing my run was important, but I wasn’t able to avoid the cold. I would have liked/preferred to rest longer than 10 hours between runs, but knowing that my schedule tonight is pretty packed, I forced myself out early into the cold. Again, this is a situation where I might have gone for the bare minimum, but seeing that my mileage to date was 3.1 miles short of 400, I decided to extend it out a bit just to crack that milestone. Quirky, but it forced me to run 50% further than I would have otherwise.

It was funny to compare to last night’s moonlit run to this morning’s run after the moon had set and before the sun had come up. It was much darker and almost no visible shadows on the ground. I actually had to use my flash light this morning where as last night I could see well enough with just the light of the moon.

Over the last three months, I’ve noticed that my mood/attitude about running in the dark is much better when I have a little bit of moonlight to run by. I never realized just how much difference there was between a full moon and the new moon. Even the partial moon last night was enough light to allow me to see the road and my surrounding without batter powered illumination. I am going to start actively monitoring the moonrise/set times to see if I can add that to the mental algorithm I use to determine my best time to run each day. To keep going for 1000 days, I’m sure I’m going to need all the tricks I can come up with to keep me motivated.

Day: 103 Time/Date: 6:20 AM 12/18/2007 Weather: Clear, 20F
Run: Random Miles Miles: 3.3 Time: 24:24 Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 400.2 Total Running Time: 49:12:11

Monday, December 17, 2007

Between Orion and the Moon

Day 102 - December 17, 2007

One of the keys to a healthy consistent running program is to actively manage it. A lot of people I know try to set a routine and won't vary it. The problem with that is you don't have any flexibility, and when life throws you a curve ball, you skip the run. You don't feel great on a scheduled hard day and you miss an important piece of the training puzzle.

I prefer to actively manage my running schedule but allow it to be flexible. By keeping track of the weather forecast and watching my schedule, I try to carve out the best time to run each day and maximize my running effectiveness. Today is a perfect example. My plan was to run early before work, but when I realized it was only 22 degrees and there was a 20 mile an hour wind I was less than enthusiastic. I did a quick check of the weather and saw that the wind was forecast to die down by afternoon, so I had 2 options. I could still run before work and probably only run 2 miles or I could wait it out and run after work. I chose to wait and was rewarded with a perfectly calm and clear evening. If I had been locked into a routine, with no streak to keep going, I probably would have just skipped the run today.

By waiting until this evening, I had much better weather. It was still cool, but I dressed warm, put on all my safety lights and headed out. The moon and stars were out in full force and cast a beautiful blue light to light the way for me. The constellation Orion kept pace with me as I ran around the 4.4 mile loop. So, instead of cutting the run short on a chilly windy morning, I was able to get a relaxing, quiet run in that was longer than any I have done in the last 10 days. So while it is important to have a plan, it is just as important for me to be flexible and adapt. Allowing myself that flexibility keeps me from feeling guilty when I need to back off and in return I occasionally will run further on a day when I'm feeling better.

It is a strategy thats been working for me.

Chris

Day: 102 Time/Date: 8:00 PM 12/17/2007 Weather: Clear, 30F
Run: 5 Hill 4.4 Miles: 4.4 Time: 33:09 Pace: 7:32 min/mile
Miles to Date: 396.9 Total Running Time: 48:47:47

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Double take

Day 101 - December 16, 2007

After a long night of cold rain, this morning cleared off and the weather turned quite nice. I ran the same route as yesterday thinkin gI would try and improve upon my time. My thinking being that yesterday I ran really relaxed and never looked at my watch until I clicked it off at the end. Today I set out at a quicker pace and felt like I was pushing the entire way. I was quite surprised when I finished to see that I wa actually 2 seconds slower than yesterday. The differene? Well it was the wind. It was hitting me square in the face almost the entire way out today. I guess that was enough to cause me a few seconds in time while making it feel like a much harder effort. It was still a good run with my pace well below 7 min/mile and is a good start to my second 100 days.

Chris

Day: 101 Time/Date: 11:50 AM 12/16/2007 Weather: Partly Cloudy, 44F
Run: N Carnation-Davis Miles: 3.6 Time: 24:27 Pace: 6:47 min/mile
Miles to Date: 392.5 Total Running Time: 48:14:38

Saturday, December 15, 2007

100 Days of Running!!!!!!!!!!

Day 100 - December 15, 2007

I have finally cracked into triple digits. It actually has been much easier to accomplish than I had imagined. In fact, at this point it is sort of routine, which is the point. There have been plenty of days where I would have taken off without the streak in place. The reality is I probably would have taken at least 40 days off based on past experience.

Sure plenty of people have mocked my short days where I only run 2 miles - as if there days off are somehow superior if they run similar weekly mileage in 4 or 5 days a week, but I don't care. I have had less injuries and need to take a week off (which they seem to need to do often). So why on a given week they may run as many miles - I wonder how they compare over a month or three?

The streak is working well for me - without it I probably would have been lucky to have 5 runs in this month so far. But instead, I've run 389 miles over a total of 47 hours and 50 minutes. Almost 2 full days worth of running! I am excited about that and am looking forward to running more miles through he winter and into the spring. Over the next 100 days, I will begin training for the Charlottesville 10 miler and begin a speed workout routine to make myself faster. I plan to run closer to 450 miles over the next 100 days and get myself closer to being on track to reach my goal of 4200 miles in 1000 days. I hope you will continue to follow my progress and maybe even drop me a comment or two now and then and tell me about your current running streaks. To my regular readers - thanks - and yes there are more than one of you.

Chris

Day: 100 Time/Date: 2:30 PM 12/15/2007 Weather: Cloudy, 38F
Run: N Carnation-Davis Miles: 3.6 Time: 24:25 Pace: 6:47 min/mile
Miles to Date: 388.9 Total Running Time: 47:50:11

Friday, December 14, 2007

Leaving Las Vegas

Day 99 – December 14, 2007


It has been too long since I updated my fantasy cross country journey and now that I've updated the route, I see that I passed through Las Vegas miles ago. Bummer – I would have liked to have seen that, but apparently with all this early morning running in the dark I missed it. Who knew they turned the lights off there. I guess Al Gore probably had something to do with that – or maybe he just invented the light bulb – I don't remember. Anyway, I've made a good deal of progress since the last update and if I continue on Route 15 I will shortly pass through the NW corner of Arizona and into the SW corner of Utah.


Today was a chilly 2 miles - with only 2.5 hours of sleep and about 8 hours since yesterday's run, I was not going to push it. So while the last 10 days have been pretty pathetic mileage wise, I am now poised to make the jump to the second 100 days. Check in tomorrow to see how I celebrate.



Chris

Day: 99 Time/Date: 5:50 AM 12/14/2007 Weather: Clear, 29F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile Miles: 2.0 Time: 14:42 Pace: 7:21 min/mile
Miles to Date: 385.3 Total Running Time: 47:25:46

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chili-Cheese-Burger

Day 98 – December 13, 2007


Ok – I know I know – those three words should never be uttered less than 8 hours before a run. What can I say – I'm a glutton for punishment. We were at the mall so the girls could give Santa their wish list and well then we needed dinner. The female vote was unanimous and so of to Red Robin we went. What is a guy to do on a cold foggy rainy night when faced with the messy goodness of hot chilly smothering a juicy cheeseburger?


I won't say much more about the run – I'm sure my poky time says enough. I will tell you this – that burger tasted much better the first time.




Tomorrow I plan to update my fantasy journey across the country. So check back and be as surprised as I was at how far I have progressed in the first 99 days.


Chris

Day: 98 Time/Date: 8:55 PM 12/13/2007 Weather: Fog, 39F
Run: Daffodil Geranium Loop Miles: 2.7 Time: 19:52 Pace: 7:21 min/mile
Miles to Date: 383.3 Total Running Time: 47:11:04

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tropical Breezes

Day 97 - December 12, 2007

It is getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning. Partly because I'm waiting for more daylight, partly because I'm not getting enough sleep, and partly because I'm avoiding all the work that needs to be done before Christmas. Procrastination left me a very small window to run in this morning and running this evening is completely out of the question. So, the mileage suffered again today. The run itself wasn't bad and the warm southerly breeze made it feel almost tropical - well as tropical as 51F can feel. It's a shame that I didn't make more time to run today and enjoy the weather. So if you have time today - get out and enjoy it.

Chris

Day: 97 Time/Date: 6:50 AM 12/12/2007 Weather: Clear, 51F
Run: Davis 2.5 Miles: 2.5 Time: 18:13 Pace: 7:17 min/mile
Miles to Date: 380.6 Total Running Time: 46:51:12

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two miles closer to January

Day 96 - December 11, 2007

Today felt good. With more time and few more hours of sleep this week it could have been an awesome run. I probably should have named this the "Obsessive Compulsive Schizophrenic Running Blog" for as often as I change my attitude about my running and my need to run every single day. January is only three weeks away!

Chris

Day: 96 ...Time/Date: 6:40 AM 12/11/2007 ...Weather: Mist, 44F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile... Miles: 2.0 ...Time: 13:40 ...Pace: 6:50 min/mile
Miles to Date: 378.1 ...Total Running Time: 46:32:59

Monday, December 10, 2007

Turning the corner

Day 95 – December 10, 2007

After a better night's sleep, the run this evening was an improvement over the last week's worth of garbage runs. I'm starting to feel guilty about the lack of miles this month. That's a good sign that the motivation is returning. Given that time is still going to be really limited as Christmas approaches, I don't expect any miraculous runs to find their way into my schedule, but hopefully the quality can improve. Plus hey, I've got that 100 day milestone approaching quickly – that's got to be worth something.

Chris

Day: 95 .....Time/Date: 8:00 PM 12/10/2007 .....Weather: Partly Cloudy, 50F
Run: Carnation Loop .....Miles: 2.6 .....Time: 18:27 .....Pace: 7:06 min/mile
Miles to Date: 376.1..... Total Running Time: 46:19:19

Sunday, December 9, 2007

ughlaaaah - the sound of exhaustion

Day 94 - December 9, 2007

Exhausted after only getting 3 hours of sleep last night, I chose the shortest route I could find today. I'm starting to worry about injury from not getting enough rest, so I'm going to keep the runs as short as possible until the work load lightens up. I hate that I've lost momentum heading into the last week of the first 100 days, but with 900+ days to go, there's plenty of time to recover.

Chris

Day: 94 .....Time/Date: 1:05 PM 12/09/2007 .....Weather: Clear, 52F
Run: EDaff Dam Loop.....Miles: 2.0..... Time: 15:00..... Pace: 7:30 min/mile
Miles to Date: 373.5 .....Total Running Time: 46:00:52

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Daylight

Day 93 - December 8, 2007

I had forgotten how much easier it is to run during the day. Today's warmer temperatures and actual daylight were very welcome. I felt pretty good and was able to pick up the tempo for a quick sub 7 min/mile run. I guess my funk is more about the dark than the actual run. So here's to one week shy of 100 straight days!!!

Chris


Day: 93..... Time/Date: 12:05 PM 12/8/2007 ..... Weather: Cloudy, 46F
Run: N Carnation-Davis..... Miles: 3.6..... Time: 24:51..... Pace: 6:54 min/mile
Miles to Date: 371.5 ..... Total Running Time: 45:45:52

Better Late than never

Day 92 - December 7, 2007

No, the streak didn't end on Day 92 - I just ran out of time to post before I passed out on the couch. But, today's run was certainly not a run that will live in infamy. It was just another quickie after work just to get some miles in. Most likely this will be the routine until at least Tuesday as I have more things scheduled than there are hours in the day. Gotta love December.

Chris

Day: 92..... Time/Date: 5:45 PM 12/07/2007..... Weather: Cloudy, 38F
Run: Daffodil Geranium Loop .....Miles: 2.7..... Time: 19:49 .....Pace: 7:20 min/mile
Miles to Date: 367.9 .....Total Running Time: 45:21:01

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Going through the motions

Day 91 - December 6, 2007

Ok - I'm officially in a funk. This morning it was all I could do to go through he motions of running. It was cold, I was tired, and I had no desire to go out and run this morning. But you know what? Even getting in that short run this morning I felt better after showering and getting some food. I'm hoping this funk is more about all the business and less about my desire to run. Until I figure that out, I'll just keep plugging along and being thankful that I have a streak to keep me motivated.

Chris

Day: 91 .....Time/Date: 6:30 AM 12/6/2007 .....Weather: Clear, 23F
Run: N Carnation-Davis..... Miles: 3.6..... Time: 27:21 .....Pace: 7:36min/mile
Miles to Date: 365.2 .....Total Running Time: 45:01:12

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First VA snow

Day 90 - December 5, 2007

A light snow covered the ground this morning. It definitely wasn't as dark as last night, but it was a little slippery. I chose my route this morning to make it the easiest and shortest I could. My mileage will really be down this week, but that's ok. Surviving until January....

Chris

Day: 90 .....Time/Date: 7:00 AM 12/05/2007..... Weather:Snow, 29F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile .....Miles: 2.0 .....Time: 14:53 .....Pace: 7:26min/mile
Miles to Date: 361.6 .....Total Running Time: 44:33:51

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Unnaturally Dark

Day 89 - December 4, 2007

Where did all the light go. It was as if someone had sprinkled Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder all over the road. Even the light from my flashlights was sucked up by the darkness. I must have stepped off the road and into the ditch four times tonight. I finally had enough and cut the run short. December is turning out to be tougher than I expected. Too many work and family responsibilities forcing the runs into the smallest windows of opportunity. I'm going to just do what I can to make it through the month and be ready for the 10 miler training in January.

Chris

Day: 89 .....Time/Date: 8:10 PM 12/04/2007..... Weather: Clear, 30F
Run: TL 4.2 .....Miles: 4.2 .....Time: 31:18 .....Pace: 7:27 min/mile
Miles to Date: 359.6 .....Total Running Time: 44:18:58

Monday, December 3, 2007

Well, at least it was a run

Day 88 - December 3, 2007

Today's run was lousy and not even worth the electrons used to write this. BLAAAHHHH.

Day: 88 .....Time/Date: 6:30 PM 12/03/2007 .....Weather: Clear, Windy 36F
Run: Carnation Loops .....Miles: 2.6 .....Time: 18:35..... Pace: 7:07 min/mile
Miles to Date: 355.4 .....Total Running Time: 43:47:40

Sunday, December 2, 2007

We Need the Rain, but Jeeeesh!

Day 87 - December 2, 2007

The cold wet weather is getting tough to take, but I'm glad that I managed to get another run in today. I was hoping to run at least 5, but decided that pouring rain again today was a good excuse to cut it a little short.

It's kind of funny that the first time I ran this run, I thought of it as a 5 hill run. Today I just kind of breezed through it and really didn't pay much attention to the hills. Of course I also was four and a half minutes faster than when I ran it back in October. I guess that is a pretty good sign that running everyday is paying some dividends.

Chris

Day: 87 .....Time/Date: 4:00 PM 12/02/2007 .....Weather:Rain, 36F
Run: 5 Hill 4.4 .....Miles: 4.4 .....Time: 32:18..... Pace: 7:20 min/mile
Miles to Date: 352.8..... Total Running Time: 43:29:05

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A quiet return

Day 86 - December 1, 2007

The day kind of snuck away from me today and I ended up with just enough time for a short run. The weather was much better than Buffalo, but I expected it to be warmer. It was good to be back on familiar routes and not have the o-so-healthy Buffalonians looking at me like the bearded lady who sticks drills up her nose at the circus. I'm sure there are other runners there, but I didn't see any with the nasty weather that occurred while I was there.

Day: 86 .....Time/Date: 5:15 PM 12/1/2007 .....Weather: Partly Cloudy, 39F
Run: Narcissus, E Daff Dam .....Miles: 2.5..... Time: 18:29 .....Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 348.4 .....Total Running Time: 42:56:47

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Month Comes To A Close

Day 85 - November 30, 2007

I closed out November with a chilly run this morning. I needed to get a quick run in before heading back home today because I know full well there won't be time to run once I get home. So I sacrificed 30 degrees of warmth to get the run in early.

November has been a good month for running. I completed 130 miles in just under 16 hours of running and dropped my average pace for the month down to 7:18. If I can match this type of performance for December, I will be in great shape to start training for the Charlottesville 10 miler.

Have a great Friday,
Chris

Day: 85..... Time/Date: 5:25 AM 11/30/2007..... Weather: Cloudy, 26F
Run: Cascade, Main, Waverly..... Miles: 2.4..... Time: 17:05 .....Pace: 7:07 min/mile
Miles to Date: 345.9 .....Total Running Time: 42:38:18

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Let it Snow

Day 84 - November 29, 2007

Today was another fun weather run as it began to snow mid-afternoon and was blanketing the ground by the time I ran. The snow was steady the entire run, but wouldn't have been that bad if it weren't for those nasty winds. Fortunately, this town knows how to use salt - and they use it a lot of it. The sidewalks were mostly bare, and I only found myself slipping in a few places.

But, the run today was much easier to take than with the sleet we had on Tuesday and I ran it at a much better pace today. All in all, I'm happy that I've managed to get through another business trip and keep the streak alive. I'm feeling more confident that I can keep it going and reach my goal of 1000 days. Only 916 more days to go!

Chris

Day: 84 .....Time/Date: 4:40 PM 11/29/2007 .....Weather: Snow, Windy, 31F
Run: Waverly, Main, 240..... Miles: 5.4..... Time: 37:52 .....Pace: 7:01 min/mile
Miles to Date: 343.5 .....Total Running Time: 42:21:13

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Almost pleasant

Day 83 - November 28, 2007
Today was a piece of cake after the two miserable runs of earlier this week. I was ready for an easy day, and the weather decided to cooperate. The wind was still blowing, but was a gentle 10 miles an hour with temperatures in the low 30's. It almost felt warm.

Tomorrow, winter returns with snow forecasts of up to 7 inches - stay tuned.

Chris

Day: 83..... Time/Date: 5:15 PM 11/28/2007 .....Weather: Cloudy, 34F
Run: Waverly, Buffalo .....Miles: 2.8..... Time: 19:11..... Pace: 6:51 min/mile
Miles to Date: 338.1 .....Total Running Time: 41:43:21

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The worst weather ever

Day 82 - November 27, 2007

I am no longer going to complain about the weather when I run because it will never be worse than tonight. The wind was blowing about 30 miles an hour to the point that running into a headwind was almost impossible. At one point I actually felt my body begin to lift. So why run in these conditions?

Well, admittedly, when I first walked out of the hotel, the wind was tough to take. But I thought I could get a 2-3 mile run in and it wouldn't be that bad. My running friend and I headed down the side street to avoid the traffic and the wind appeared to stop. In fact, after about a half mile, even the temperature didn't feel that bad. So the 2-3 mile run got stretched out to a 20 minute out and 20 minute back run. Despite some soreness from yesterday's run, I thought no big deal.

At the turn around point, the error of our ways hit us like a ton of bricks. As we turned back down Main Street, the wind was just ferocious. Apparently, running with the wind, we didn't notice it blowing the leaves past us, kind of like running down a long steady decline. But, turning around now, the wind was ferocious. To make matters worse, it started to sleet. Tiny ice pellets began to tear into my cheeks and eyes. I was forced to run head down and eyes squinted shut most of the way back. It was miserable. Ive never run in wind like that before, and the stinging ice pellets really were a nice touch.

So, if I can run through that kind of crappy weather, I will never have an excuse (short of hurricane or tornado) for not running due to weather. I can't wait to see what Buffalo ha in store for me tomorrow. Until then...

Chris

Day: 82 .....Time/Date: 5:00 PM 11/27/2007 .....Weather: Wind, Sleet, 36F
Run: Waverly, Main, 240 .....Miles: 5.4..... Time: 39:55 .....Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 335.3 .....Total Running Time: 41:24:10

Monday, November 26, 2007

I guess it could have been snow

Day 81 - November 26, 2007

Work ended early today so I thought I was going to get nice late afternoon run in for my first run in Buffalo. My plan was to go for a 3 or 4 mile run in the cold November rain. My friend had other ideas. Well, to be more accurate, he had no clue where he was going. Seven plus miles later, I was soaked to the point of no longer avoiding the puddles and covered in mud.

It was good though - without the lack of direction, I never would have run that far in those conditions. I'm not a big fan of running till I'm pink. I was the punch line of the classic what's black and white and red all over.

I actually wish the rain had been snow. For the amount of rain that fell today, it would have been 8-10 inches of fresh powder. Maybe later in the week I'll get a good snow run in if something comes off the lake.

Chris

Day: 81 .....Time/Date: 4:30 PM 11/26/2007..... Weather: Rain, 40F
Run: Blue Bridge Run .....Miles: 7.2..... Time: 53:04..... Pace: 7:22 min/mile
Miles to Date: 329.9 .....Total Running Time: 40:44:15

Sunday, November 25, 2007

80 down - 920 to go

Day 80 - November 25, 2007

Wow - 8% done. Today was one of those days that was just to keep the streak going. I decided to push the pace a bit since time was short. Hopefully there will be more time for running next week as my mileage was pretty low this week.

Day: .....Time/Date: 11:40 AM 11/25/2007 .....Weather: Light Rain, 39F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile..... Miles: 2.0..... Time: 13:15 .....Pace: 6:37 min/mile
Miles to Date: 322.7 .....Total Running Time: 39:51:11

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sometimes this is all you got

Day 79 - November 24, 2007

Ughhh - I'm telling you - holidays are exhausting. The SIL is gone, but so is my energy. With three days worth of time to make up, I decided to take the easy route today and only run enough to make it count. This is probably a good week to back off the mileage and rest up a bit before heading into December.

Day: 79..... Time/Date: 7:00 PM 11/24/2007 .....Weather: Cloudy, 38F
Run: Carnation Loop .....Miles: 2.6..... Time: 19:36..... Pace: 7:32 min/mile
Miles to Date: 320.7..... Total Running Time: 39:37:56

Friday, November 23, 2007

Winds of Change

Day 78 - November 23, 2007

Yesterday's warm temperatures lasted about as long a Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart. The winds were whipping this morning and made the sub 40 degree temperatures feel down right frigid. I guess its good preparation for my upcoming trip to Buffalo. At least I had one more nice day before the winter routine sets in.

Chris

Day: 78 .....Time/Date: 7:00 AM 11/13/2007 .....Weather: Clear, Windy 37F
Run: N Carnation-Davis ..... Miles: 3.6 .....Time: 26:25 .....Pace: 7:20min/mile
Miles to Date: 318.1 .....Total Running Time: 39:18:20

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Day 77 - November 22, 2007

Go Figure - Thanksgiving morning and its 60 degrees. Last April, Easter morning we had 4 inches of snow. I am thankful that it was such a nice morning. Apparently I was not alone. Three miles into the run, I actually met another runner - that never happens out here. A little later I met a couple of walkers. I guess lots of people out getting some exercise before the big meal today.

Well, time to go enjoy the family and festivities. Enjoy the day.

Chris

Day: 77 .....Time/Date: 6:45AM 11/22/2007 .....Weather: Clear 59F
Run: Beazely .....Miles: 5.1 .....Time: 38:24 .....Pace: 7:32min/mile
Miles to Date: 314.5..... Total Running Time: 38:51:55

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Invasion of the SIL

Day 76 - November 21, 2007

The next three days of running may be interesting. Today, I just need a quick run before work because tonight the SIL arrives. While I'm going to want to run to stay away this week, I'm sure I will not have a lot of time free. Hopefully I can get a good run in on Saturday before I head out of town. It will be challenging to keep the streak alive the next 10 days or so, but I'm sure I can find a way.

Chris

Day: 76 .....Time/Date: 6:10 AM 11/21/2007..... Weather: Clear, 43F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile .....Miles: 2.0 .....Time: 14:15..... Pace: 7:07 min/mile
Miles to Date: 309.4 .....Total Running Time: 38:13:31

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Time to Share One of Running's Dirty Secrets

Day 75 - November 20, 2007

So here's something they never tell you when they recommend starting a running program...nipple burn hurts. Yep - they warn you about shin splints, side stitches, runner's knee, plantar fasciitis, and sciatic nerve pain. But no one ever tells you to protect your nipples.

Back when I was running marathons, I learned that lesson the hard way, but learned to protect myself with lots of pre-run band aids and vaseline. Sunday, I went out for my first 10 mile run in over a year. When I got home and walked into the house, the wife says, "that's gotta hurt". I looked down and there were the tell-tale signs - bloody trails running down my shirt.

So, for the last two days, I've been suffering through stinging showers and rubbing shirts. It has not been fun. And nothing is much more disgusting than scabbed up nipples.

So, hear me now - when the temperatures are cool and you are planning a long run, take some protection. First, where wicking clothing. Don't let your shirt be soaking wet for the entire run. Another trick is to use band-aids to help prevent rubbing. It sounds goofy, but it works.

So there you have it - chaffing is the enemy - avoid it anyway you can.

Chris

Day: 74 .....Time/Date: 8:30 PM 11/20/2007 .....Weather: Clear, 59F
Run: Geranium-Amicus .....Miles: 3.5..... Time: 25:15 .....Pace: 7:13 min/mile
Miles to Date: 307.4 .....Total Running Time: 37:59:16

Monday, November 19, 2007

Early run before a LOOOOONG day

Day 74 - November 19, 2007

Nothin' fancy today - just a quick 2 mile recovery run. The legs felt surprisingly good for such a quick turn around after yesterday afternoon's long run. So, with no soreness to complain about, I'll check out for today.

Chris

Day: 74 .....Time/Date: 6:10 AM 11/19/2007 .....Weather:Cloudy, 40F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile .....Miles: 2.0 .....Time: 14:30 .....Pace: 7:15 min/mile
Miles to Date: 303.9 .....Total Running Time: 37:34:01

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Finally out of California

Day 73 - November 18, 2007

I'm glad I saved this week's long run for today. The weather this afternoon was perfect for running. Temperatures were in the mid 50's, there was a light breeze, and big puffy clouds broke up the moments of bright sun. At mile 6, I found myself running along the edge of a mowed hay field. The field was the deepest shade of green and the sun was casting my shadow across the grasses. The yellow, red, and orange oaks boarding the field glowed brilliantly in the late afternoon sun. I couldn't have painted a prettier picture.

Today's run was the first time I've cracked 10 miles this year. In fact, the last time I ran that far was July 2006. It felt great to get out and find a rhythm and let the miles just click away. It also was pretty cool that today's run took me over the 300 mile mark. It was just 22 days ago that I reached the 200 mile mark. Running 100 miles every three weeks should be a decent amount of mileage to get me through the holidays.

The other cool thing about today was that I crossed into Nevada on my imaginary journey across the county. I can almost see the bright lights from Vegas on the horizon.


Day: 73 .....Time/Date: 2:30 PM 11/18/2007 .....Weather: Partly Cloudy, 53F
Run: Ruckersville 10 miler..... Miles: 10.1..... Time: 1:12:07 .....Pace: 7:08 min/mile
Miles to Date: 301.9 .....Total Running Time: 37:19:31

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just a few hills this morning

Day 72 - November 17, 2007

Waking up this morning I decided to delay the long run another day. I guess that is one of the benefits of running every day - there is always tomorrow. Instead, I decided to venture over to the other side of the neighborhood and reacquaint myself with those nasty hills on Jonquil. Jonquil is just under a mile long and has two seriously steep hills and another shorter hill. I turned onto Jonquil off of Morning Glory Turn, which is right at the lowest lake overflow... i.e. the lowest elevation in the neighborhood. After passing by the lake, it immediately turns upward and rises 95 feet in elevation in just the first quarter mile. The road then drops 50 feet in less than a 10th of a mile before climbing back another 65 feet in the next 10th of a mile. That accounts for 160 feet of climb (16 flights of stairs) in less than half a mile or about 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Jonquil then turns back down, but at a gentle 75 feet over the next 4/10ths of a mile. Then, for the grand finally, and just so you don't forget, the road climbs another 60 feet back up to Amicus over the last 10th of a mile. All in all about 220 feet of gross elevation gain over that short mile.

I would have loved to have a had a road like Jonquil when I was training for Cross-Country back in high school. Hill repeats like that are almost as good as going to the track to build leg strength. I'm sure I will be back to attempt those hills over the next few weeks as I begin to prepare for the Charlottesville 10 miler in April.

Day: 72 ..... Time/Date: 8:20 AM 11/17/2007 ..... Weather: Cloudy, 38F
Run: Jonquil Hills ..... Miles: 5.5 ..... Time: 40:41 ..... Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 291.8 ..... Total Running Time: 36:07:24

Friday, November 16, 2007

And the Front Came Through

Day 71 - November 16, 2007

Yep - it got cold. It isn't so much the temperature as it is the wind. Mornings like today are tough for me because it takes me so long to warm up, that by the time I do, I'm almost done with the run. I think tomorrow I will take advantage of the cold and go for a long run. That way, I can take 3 miles to warm up and still get in a good workout - we'll see if it is actually in the 20's like predicted.

Chris

Day: 71 Time/Date: 6:40 AM 11/16/2007 Weather: Clear, 39F
Run: N Carnation-Davis Miles: 3.6 Time: 26:36 Pace: 7:23min/mile
Miles to Date: 286.3 Total Running Time: 35:26:43

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Morning Rain or Evening Cold

Day 70 – November 15, 2007

That's the choice I was faced with this morning. At first it was pretty easy. The torrential downpour that ushered in today's cold front was a lock for pushing me to a date with the freezing temperatures expected this evening. But around 6:00, the rains gave way and I decided to take advantage of the window of opportunity. I quickly changed into my rain gear and headed out. The temperature wasn't too bad at first, but the rains returned about a mile into the run. I managed to avoid the heaviest downpours and it really was only uncomfortable for about 10 minutes.

There is something about running in the rain that really focuses me. The hills today, and I ran quite a few, did not seem to bother me at all. Sure, I am getting stronger with running them every day, but I'm talking about a significant difference even from this past weekend. It reminded me of the time I ran the Charlottesville 10 miler race in a nasty thunderstorm. The day of that race started with a steady light rain that had been falling all evening. The temperature was warm enough, but the rain was cold. About three miles into the race, a large thunderstorm rolled in and it let loose. By Mile 8, we were running in water that was over an inch deep, and in places it was over the tops of my shoes. Not exactly great conditions for a race. My goal that day was to run sub 65 minutes. When I crossed the finish line, the clock read 64:10. I was so focused on the rain and the puddles that I didn't notice my own discomfort and had run the best 10 miler of my life. This was 1:20 faster than my previous best.

So, some days, the bad weather can actually help get you through a run. It seems counter intuitive, but I've noticed it over and over. Yes, it is still hard to go out when you know the weather is bad, but I try not to get discouraged when the weather suddenly turns bad on a run. I think this supports the idea that running really is as much of a mental exercise as a physical one. Another reason to stay positive and not let the negative things get me down.



Day: 70 .....Time/Date: 6:40 AM 11/15/2007 .....Weather: Rain, 51F
Run: Twin Lakes 4.8..... Miles: 4.8 .....Time: 36:30 .....Pace: 7:36 min/mile
Miles to Date: 282.7 .....Total Running Time: 35:00:07

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Foggy Morning

Day 69 - November 14, 2007

It was extremely foggy when I first dressed for the run this morning and despite the new LED warning lights I bought yesterday, I decided to wait for a bit more daylight. It was a good choice. By 7:00, the sun had started to burn off the fog and it was beginning to lift. Being short of time with the late start, I opted for the relatively flat 3.6 mile Davis run to get some easy miles in.

Other than scaring my neighbor half to death, it was a pretty normal run. I run pretty light on my feet and was able to get within about 3 feet of her before she noticed. I bet she's looking over her shoulder tomorrow morning.

Day: 69 .....Time/Date: 7:10 AM 11/14/2007 .....Weather: Fog, 51F
Run: N Carnation-Davis..... Miles: 3.6 .....Time: 26:07 .....Pace: 7:15 min/mile
Miles to Date: 277.9 .....Total Running Time: 34:23:37

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Farewell to OHILL

Day 68 - November 13, 2007

Today was probably the end of my runs starting on OHill. My office is moving off grounds and I won't have any reason to come up here to start a run. In tribute, my friend and I tried to get in as many parts of the different courses that we would normally run. We started off like normal running up to the top near the observatory and back down the other side to McCormack. From there we headed out toward Dirty Nelley's, turned and headed down to Shamrock and back up Cleveland. Once we got back to JPA, we turned out Stribling and ran over to Fontaine. From there we left the road and jumped on the Rivanna Trail for a jaunt through the woods. The leaves were absolutely amazing today with every shade of yellow and red you can imagine. It made the burning thighs tolerable as we climbed the steep side of OHill. I will miss running up here. OHill is an amazing island of peace and quiet hidden within the heart of Charlottesville. I'm sure that I will still venture up here in the middle of a run on occasion, but it won't be as often as I would like.

Day: 68 .....Time/Date: 8:00 AM 11/13/2007 .....Weather: Cloudy, 57F
Run: Ohill Farewell .....Miles: 5.4 .....Time: 40:04 .....Pace: 7:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 274.3 .....Total Running Time: 33:57:30

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Recovery Run

Day 67 - November 12, 2007

Today I ran the third of the 4 types of runs - the recovery day. This one is pretty easy to figure out. The day after a long run or a speed workout, it is important to back off and rest. Rest can be a complete day off, but I prefer to go out for a short run at a comfortable pace. By not taking the day off, I still get out and loosen up, and I'm less sore the next day. I still get some mileage in, but don't' have to spend a lot of energy doing it.

This morning I took it easy and only ran 2 miles. I was still feeling the effects of yesterday's long run. My legs were pretty dead and my hips felt like there was sandpaper in the joints when I started out. But, by the end of the run, I was feeling pretty good. The recovery run had served its purpose.

Day: 67 ..... Time/Date: 6:30 AM 11/12/2007 ..... Weather:Clear, 41F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile..... Miles: 2.0 ..... Time: 15:07 ..... Pace: 7:34 min/mile
Miles to Date: 268.9 .....Total Running Time: 33:17:26

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Long Run

Day 66 - November 11, 2007

Today is a good example of what I call the long run. I define a long run as being at least 8 miles or 2x the length of my average run. But this definition is kind of fluid for me depending on how well my training is going. When I set out on a long run, my focus is a steady pace that will be 20-40 seconds per mile slower than average. I'm solely looking to increase my endurance and mileage.

Long runs are actually my favorite of all the runs. There's just something about running a 15 mile run. Of course you are tired when you finish, but the endorphins and the sense of accomplishment are worth it. If I had unlimited time, I'd run a 2-2.5 hour run every weekend.

The other benefit of the long run comes the next day. No matter what distance you choose for your recovery run, it feels incredibly short and fast.

Today's long run was pretty typical of what I like to do. I started out at a comfortable pace and slowly warmed up. After about 3 miles, I stopped and stretched for like 5-10 minutes. Not only does this loosen up your stride, but it also allows you to catch your breath and prepare for the hard part of the run. I then start back up at a slightly faster pace (still slower than average) and try and maintain that for the remainder or the run. Depending on the total distance, I may stop one or two more times to stretch along the way. I have found that this really helps with recovery the next day and I am no where near as sore as I might expect to be. Today, I stopped again at the 5 mile mark, then finished the last 3.4 miles uninterrupted.

As I continue, I plan to extend my long run out to 10, 12, and then maybe 15 miles. If I loose my senses, and decide to try for another marathon at some point, I'll bump that up to the 20+ range. Probably not this coming year, but maybe the second year. We'll see.

Chris

Day: 66 ..... Time/Date: 4:45 PM 11/11/2007 ..... Weather: Cloudy, 47F
Run: Twilight Long .....Run Miles: 8.4 .....Time: 1:02:22...... Pace: 7:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 266.9 .....Total Running Time: 33:02:19

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Routine run

Day 65 - November 10, 2007

To maintain a streak like this, it is impossible to run hard every day. That means that several times a week, I run just to run. I call these routine days. Routine days are short to mid mileage days at a very comfortable pace. I use them the same way many people use rest days in their training. While not very exciting, injury would be inevitable if were to try and run hard every day.

Routine days are great for the day before a long run or a speed workout. Since I plan to run 8+ miles tomorrow, I decided today was a good day to take it easy. Check back tomorrow to see how the long run goes.

Chris

Day: 65 ..... Time/Date: 4:10 PM 11/10/2007 .....Weather: Cloudy, 44F
Run: N Carnation-Davis..... Miles: 3.6 ..... Time: 25:41 ..... Pace: 7:08 min/mile
Miles to Date: 258.5 ..... Total Running Time: 31:59:57

Friday, November 9, 2007

Not exactly motivating weather

Day 64 - November 9, 2007

Well, blowing off the run this morning in favor of an extra 30 minutes of sleep was rewarded with a cold, dark, rainy evening run. Without even climbing out of bed this morning, I decided it must be too cold to go out and that it would be warmer after work. Nice rationalization, but no where near accurate. In fact, when I finally did get up and take the dog out, I was surprised by how warm it actually was. Funny how 40 feels warm after one day in the 20's. I guess it never really got any warmer than that today and the cold rain that started 2 minutes into my run made it feel even cooler. Undeterred by the lousy visibility and weather, I decided to stick to my plan to run a bit farther than normal. In fact, I extended the 4.5 mile run an additional mile just to make the out and back comparison easier (20:33 out, 19:36 in). It was a good run to complete. There were plenty of hills and every run I complete in crappy weather makes it that much easier to keep the streak going in the future on days I don't want to run. But again, without this streak, there would have been no chance of me running today. So, chalk up another victory for the new training program.

Chris

Day: 64 ..... Time/Date: 6:15 PM 11/09/2007 ..... Weather: Light Rain, 41F
Run: Twin Lakes 5.4 ..... Miles: 5.4 .....Time: 40:09 ..... Pace: 7:08 min/mile
Miles to Date: 254.9 ..... Total Running Time: 31:34:16

Thursday, November 8, 2007

That was cold

Day 63 - November 8, 2007

Woke up this morning to the first day with temperatures in the 20's. Not exactly the most motivating thing to see when I turned on the TV. So, I gathered up the winter gear and headed out for a short run. My two mile run got extended to 3.3, mostly because I wanted to make sure I hit 30 miles for the week. It wasn't too bad running in the cold - I had nice skies again this morning and very little traffic. One more day checked off.

Chris

Day: 63 ..... Time/Date: 6:45 AM 11/08/2007 ..... Weather: Clear, 26F
Run: Davis Run ..... Miles: 3.3 ..... Time: 23:34 ..... Pace: 7:08 min/mile
Miles to Date: 249.5 ..... Total Running Time: 30:54:07

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lovin' the Time Change

Day 62 - November 7, 2007

I was chatting with a friend yesterday who was not happy that it was already dark at 5:30. Normally I would agree with that, but since I've started running earlier, I really appreciate that the skies are starting to lighten by 6:15. This morning I was blessed with a kaleidoscope sky that changed by the minute. Last week, running at 6:30 would have meant complete darkness. I never would have seen the two deer that stepped out onto the road and challenged me to a real cross country race (I politely declined) if we hadn't gained back that extra hour. I would have missed the moment the sun just starts to peak through the trees as it rises above the horizon. So, for the next couple of weeks, I will enjoy the time change until the days shorten further and the darkness returns to my early morning runs.

Chris

Day: 62 .....Time/Date: 6:30 AM 11/07/2007 .....Weather: Partly Cloudy, 33F
Run: N Carnation-Davis..... Miles: 3.6 .....Time: 26:37..... Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 246.2 .....Total Running Time: 30:30:33

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

2 Months and counting

Day 61 - November 6, 2007

Today celebrates another milestone. Two months complete - 242 miles and over 30 hours of running. I'm feeling really good about my running and have even survived a few challenges. I expected that I would have run a lot more 2 mile runs just to get them in, but there have been relatively few. I also expected there to be a lot more days where I was really tempted to just bag it and pretend this never existed.

But, I'm feeling great. I've had very few aches and pains which tells me that I've handled the mileage well. I'm getting close to averaging over 4 miles a day, so I'm not taking it too easy. And I'm getting back to the speed that I was running at a few years ago. All in all, I couldn't be happier with my progress and I'm looking forward to month 3.

I ran a new run with a friend today. Mostly an out and back course, but near the end, we decided to jump on the Rivanna Trails and come up the backside of O-Hill. The footing wasn't great, but it was like being back in high school running a cross-country meet. The burn in the quads felt about the same anyway. All together we ran 5 miles and even with the trail section we maintained a decent pace. I should run the trails more often for something different, and that should assure me the opportunity to run more in the daylight.

Chris

Day: 61 .....Time/Date: 8:00 AM 11/06/2007 .....Weather: Sunny, 49F
Run: Ohill-Nat’l Res-Trail..... Miles: 5.0 .....Time: 37:01..... Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 242.6 .....Total Running Time: 30:03:56

Monday, November 5, 2007

Geranium again?

Day 60 - November 5, 2007

Ok, so I guess the Geranium-Amicus run has become my safe evening run. It's getting a little old, but it definitely has the least amount of traffic and it is long enough to feel like a run. For some reason, I don't feel comfortable running after dark at night on some of the other runs. I guess it is the extra traffic. Anyway, a boring run is better than no run.

Day: 60 ..... Time/Date: 6:30 PM 11/05/2007 ..... Weather: Cloudy, 51F
Run: Geranium-Amicus ..... Miles: 3.5 ..... Time: 24:40 ..... Pace: 7:03 min/mile
Miles to Date: 237.6 ..... Total Running Time: 29:26:55

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Taking advantage of the extra hour

Day 59 - November 4, 2007

Ahhh - the 25 hour day. I love it. Today I could run for an hour and it was like I didn't spend any time at all. I decided on an out and back course and ventured out over the rolling hills. I hit the turn-around point in 30:03, stopped and stretched for a quick minute, and then headed back in. It was great to get out and take advantage of a stress-free hour. I hope everyone took advantage of the extra hour today, and if not yet, enjoy it later today.

Chris

Day: 59 ..... Time/Date: 11:30 AM 11/04/2007..... Weather: Cloudy, Windy, 54F
Run: Blue Run..... Miles: 8.2..... Time: 58:24..... Pace: 7:07 min/mile
Miles to Date: 234.1..... Total Running Time: 29:02:15

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Darkness

Day 58 - November 3, 2007

Running after dark has given me a new appreciation for the entire running experience. Tonight, I felt like I was running blind. Sure I had my flashlight and the occasional street light, but for most of the run, I was running with only my sense of touch to guide me. There was the occasional whiff of chimney smoke, the distant sounds of far off cars, and faint glimmer of light reflecting from passing mailboxes, but when I finished the run, there was almost nothing I could remember of it. I realized tonight that the run is more than the burn in my legs, the racing of my heart rate, or the time on my watch. It's about the escape from the grind and resetting my mind with the fresh reboot that I get from the overall experience.

Day: 58 .....Time/Date: 9:55 PM 11/03/2007 ..... Weather: Clear, 43F
Run: Geranium-Amicus ..... Miles: 3.5 .....Time: 26:06 ..... Pace: 7:27 min/mile
Miles to Date: 225.9..... Total Running Time: 28:03:51

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shooting stars

Day 57 - November 2, 2007

I don't know if was some kind of Leonids preview, or if I just happened to see some space junk returning to earth. The sky was perfectly clear tonight and I saw half a dozen meteors streak across the sky. The first really got my attention as it lit up the north sky. A few minutes later, a second fainter streak appeared. All in all, four out of the six were very faint, but the other two were quite bright. It was awesome.

The cool thing is, without the streak, I never would have run today. I was exhausted this morning from the craziness and lack of sleep this week. Work was very intense today without a minutes rest. Family arrived this afternoon for a weekend visit, which meant a large dinner. So as you can imagine, it would have been very easy to blow off the run today. Fortunately, they like to go to bed early, and I was able to sneak out at 9:30. But after tonight's light show, I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Chris

Day: 57 .....Time/Date: 9:30 PM 11/02/2007 .....Weather: Clear, 41F
Run: Geranium-Amicus .....Miles: 3.5 .....Time: 25:55 .....Pace: 7:24 min/mile
Miles to Date: 222.4 .....Total Running Time: 27:37:45

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Crossing California

Day 56 - November 1, 2007

One of the ideas I had to track my progress along my 1000 day journey was to plot an imaginary course across the country as I logged the miles. I decided to start in San Diego and have now completed almost 220 miles. That puts me smack dab in the middle of Nowhere California on my way to Las Vegas.



I originally wanted to be to Las Vegas by New Years, but it doesn't look like that is a reality with over 300 miles to go. Maybe I'll just try and get to Nevada. After Las Vegas I'll probably head north east and check out Yellowstone. That should keep me busy for a good portion of 2008.


Today's run was at a leisurely pace to recover a bit from yesterday's madness. It was another perfect day with temperatures well above normal. I hope I don't pay for this in February.


Chris

Day: 56..... Time/Date: 4:30 PM 11/01/2007 .....Weather: Partly Cloudy, 65F
Run: N Carnation-Davis .....Miles: 3.6 .....Time: 26:00 .....Pace: 7:13 min/mile
Miles to Date: 218.9 .....Total Running Time: 27:11:50

The end of October

Day 55 - October 31, 2007

The only thing scary about this Halloween was how fast the day went by. I was planning to run at least 5 miles today, but that was not what fate had in store for me today. Bla, bla, bla - long story short, I was lucky to squeeze in 13 minutes for my 2 mile run today.

So another month comes to a close and the streak lives on. I pounded the pavement for a total of 15 hours and 39 minutes this month to the tune of 127.5 miles (Tomorrow I'll give an update on my fictional cross country run). That's just over 4 miles a day and I'm getting closer to the average I'll need to reach Key West in another 945 days. Until then...I'll take it one day at a time.

Chris (sorry for the late post - like I said, bla, bla, bla)

Day: 55 .....Time/Date: 2:25PM 10/31/2007 .....Weather:Sunny, 68F
Run: Amicus 2 Mile..... Miles: 2.0..... Time: 12:50 .....Pace: 6:25 min/mile
Miles to Date: 215.3 .....Total Running Time: 26:45:50

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jackets, and Hats, and Gloves, Oh My

Day 54 - October 30, 2007

Today it was officially cold. The ground was covered in a crisp layer of white frost that reflected the fog filtered moonlight creating a fantasy-like landscape to run through. I hate to be cold when I run, so even though 30 isn't that bad, I broke out the winter gear before heading out. The return to long pants, jacket, hat and gloves kept me comfortable and the run wasn't too bad this morning. In fact, I'd say I felt warmer than during yesterday afternoon's run.

For me to stay motivated through the cold months of winter, I'm going to need to stay comfortable on my runs. Not being bothered by the cold this morning is a good start.

Day: 54 ..... Time/Date: 6:15 AM 10/30/2007 ..... Weather: Fog, 30F
Run: Geranium-Amicus ..... Miles: 3.5 ..... Time: 26:21 ..... Pace: 7:32 min/mile
Miles to Date: 213.3 ..... Total Running Time: 26:33:00

Monday, October 29, 2007

Proof of Progress

Day 53 - October 29, 2007

The race on Saturday has apparently reminded my legs that running faster is more fun. Not feeling the need to run early this morning, I waited to run around the university after work and I chose the 6 mile run I had so many troubles with back in September.

Today was much better: no sudden urge to leave my lunch on JPA, no need to stop every mile and a half, and no pain in my teeth when I finished. Just a run that I can really appreciate. Even the final hill didn't seem all that bad. I think another couple of weeks and my conditioning will be back to where I was before the great running slump.

Consistency may have its rewards.

Day: 53..... Time/Date: 5:05PM 10/29/2007 .....Weather:Sunny, 55F
Run: OHill-5thSt..... Miles: 6.0 .....Time: 41:18..... Pace: 6:53 min/mile
Miles to Date: 209.8 .....Total Running Time: 26:06:39

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recovery run

Day 52 - October 28, 2007

Just an easy three and half miles to recover from yesterday's race. The soreness I felt early this morning was pretty much gone by the time I got out on the road. Racing yesterday made today's faster pace seem relatively easy, so I must have been running pretty well yesterday before the confusion.

My next goal is to raise my mileage and try to reach the 300 mile mark within 3 weeks. If the back doesn't flare up again, it should be doable.

Day: 52 .....Time/Date: 11:40 AM 10/28/2007 .....Weather: Sunny, Breezy, 55F
Run: N Carnation-Davis .....Miles: 3.6..... Time: 25:04..... Pace: 6:58 min/mile
Miles to Date: 203.8 .....Total Running Time: 25:25:21

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Disqualified in a Fun Run

Day 51 - October 27, 2007

The Greene County Technical Center 5K went off as scheduled this morning despite the thick fog and standing water on the course. Water oozed up out of the ground at the starting line and the fog was so thick, you could not see across the length of the field. After a brief description of the course, along with hand drawn map, we were ready to begin. A quick lap around the soccer fields, up past the flag pole into the woods, back past the pavilion, into the woods again, across the road, enter the woods on the other side, back along the fields, down across the bridge, back past the pole for a third lap in the woods, past the pavilion again, around the soccer fields and finish on the far side - SIMPLE.

With a thunderous boom, the starting gun musket went off and I was on my way. Two young Greene County cross country runners jumped out to an early lead, and I settled into 4th place just behind Mr. G. As we rounded the soccer fields and headed to the flag pole, the young runners started to fade and Mr. G and I overtook them and left them behind as we raced through the woods. As the race progressed, Mr. G put some distance between us and for the final half of the race I was running by myself through the fog. I felt like I was running pretty well, and was pleasantly surprised at my 2 mile split - 13:35. I was way ahead of my sub seven pace prediction despite the conditions. Crossing the final field before the bridge, I expected to get a look at how big the lead Mr. G had accumulated, but the fog had settled in so thick that I could barely see 30 yards ahead. So with just under a mile to go, I settled into a pace that I was confident would get me to the finish in under my goal.

I started back up across the front of the soccer fields, headed for the flag pole to enter the third and final lap when the course "marshall" told me I was headed in the wrong direction. No I said, I need to run the third lap in the woods. But she insisted that it was only two laps in the woods. At this point I had come to a complete stop and was begging for help from anyone around. She insisted that I just go around the soccer field and finish - so I did. I crossed the finish in an amazing 17:30. Ok - I know - no way that is 5K.

After the race, the director came up to Mr. G and I and explained that he had told the "marshall" the wrong direction and we had gotten to the third lap so quickly that he was confused and sent us to the finish to soon. He talked to the third place runner, after the race, and both agreed that there was no way he would have caught us, even if we had run the entire course, and they decided to award unofficial first and second place trophies to Mr. G and me. I now have the second fastest time ever in the Greene County 4.2K.

To get in some extra miles, I did a long cool down of 1.7 miles. While I am disappointed I don't know my actual race time, I still got in a good speed workout. And hey, I went over Maybe now I'll start focusing on getting a little faster with my daily runs and preparing for the next race.

Day: 51 Time/Date: 7:45 AM 10/27/2007 Weather: Fog, 60F
Run: Greene County Park Miles: 4.6 Time: 32:20 Pace: 7:02 min/mile
Miles to Date: 200.2 Total Running Time: 25:00:17

Friday, October 26, 2007

950 To Go

Day 50 - October 26, 2007

My journey has reached the 5% complete milestone. So far, I'm impressed with how easy it has been. Sure there have been a few days with aches and pains, and there have been a few days where getting the run in has come down to the last 3 hours of the day, but the temptation to take a day off has been pretty low. I even survived a weekend wedding trip to NYC and found time to get my runs in. I am starting to wonder why I ever settled for 4-5 days of running a week before.

I am very appreciative of the warm weather that I have had this fall. I know things will get tougher when the temperatures dip into the 20's and I have to go out at 5:30 am, but the deeper I get into this streak, the more motivated I will be to keep it going.

As the winter months creep in, I really need to look into getting some more reflective clothing. I imagine there will be fewer and fewer days where I am able to run when there is enough light to safely be seen. For now, I will continue running with my lightweight LED flashlight. It is very bright with 5 white LEDs and fits easily in the palm of my hand. I use it mostly for alerting oncoming vehicles, but occasionally to light up a dark section of roadway. I do not leave it on all the time. I find the swinging light to be a bit annoying and I'm not going to alter my stride to accommodate less arm swing.

Today's run was another good run despite the heavier rains. I pretty much just blocked it out after the first 50 meters or so and I'm not even sure when it stopped, but by the time I was halfway back, it was just a light mist. The back and hip felt pretty good again today while running. The extra stretching I've been doing lately seems to be doing the job. I think I will go ahead and give the 5K trail race a shot tomorrow. I'm certain I will run faster than I did at the Spring Hill 5K, but I doubt that I will break any PRs. In the last 5K I ran 7:11 pace. I'd really like to average 6:50's tomorrow, but I think I'll be more realistic and shoot for sub 7's. So the goal is 21:39. I expect that the footing might be a bit slick after all this rain and I'm not going to get crazy about my predictions. But I do expect significant improvement with 41 extra days of training. Check back tomorrow to see how I've done.

Chris

Day: 50..... Time/Date: 8:20AM 10/26/2007 .....Weather: Rain, 55F
Run: N Carnation-Davis .....Miles: 3.6 .....Time: 26:31 .....Pace: 7:22 min/mile
Miles to Date: 195.6 .....Total Running Time: 24:27:57

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Running in the Mist

Day 49 - October 25, 2007

Tonight was another one of those runs where everything just felt great. The miles clicked away effortlessly and not even a cold and dark misty night could dampen my running bliss. The back and hip felt much better tonight as well. I'm hoping that means I'll be ok for Saturday's race.

The roads were dead quiet tonight - I met one walker, one deer, and I was 42 minutes into the run before I met my first car. It was great to have the roads to myself.

Day: 49 Time/Date: 8:20 PM 10/25/2007 Weather: Mist, 51F
Run: Random Miles Miles: 6.7 Time: 50:12 Pace: 7:30 min/mile
Miles to Date: 192 Total Running Time: 24:01:26

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Taking it easy

Day 48 - October 24, 2007

Today was another delicate balance between hitting my stride and the lower back and hip pain. Fortunately, within a mile or so, I had loosened up enough and it wasn't too bad.

The clouds this morning made it seem especially dark. At times it was almost like running on a treadmill in the dark. Quite different from last night's run under clear skies and a nearly full moon. Running in the dark this morning will be worth it if the forecast of heavy rains turns out to be accurate for this afternoon. We'll see.

Day: 48 .....Time/Date: 5:45AM 10/24/2007 .....Weather:Cloudy, 71F
Run: N Carnation-Davis..... Miles: 3.6 .....Time: 27:18 .....Pace: 7:35 min/mile
Miles to Date: 185.3 .....Total Running Time: 23:11:14

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Well that was better

Day 47 - October 23, 2007

Yesterday I mentioned having some sciatic pain. Well, you may have guessed from my overall pace that it was more than some pain. In fact, a few times it felt like a root canal in my hip. I've only ever had this happen one other time. In that instance, I was running down Alderman past the stadium and my hip completely locked up. The pain was so sharp that my leg would not come all the way forward. That is a tough thing to realize mid stride. It looks pretty comical to try and get your trail leg back in under you before your face hits the pavement. Fortunately, with some stretching, I was able to at least limp back to finish the run.

Yesterday, wasn't quite that bad, but close. I really had to go slow on the down hills and keep my stride short. The pain would come and go, as long as I was careful with my stride length.

I was a bit nervous about tonight's run and the prospect of the pain returning. I decided to run short loops and never get more than half a mile from the house. I also decided to back off the mileage for a few days and let the inflammation calm itself. There was very little sharp pain tonight, just the occasional reminder that I had "bruised" it pretty good the day before. I'll still take it easier tomorrow. Hopefully it will be OK for Saturday's race.

Day: 47 .....Time/Date: 7:45 PM 10/23/2007 .....Weather: Clear, 73F
Run: Carnation Loops .....Miles: 2.6 .....Time: 19:42..... Pace: 7:35 min/mile
Miles to Date: 181.7 .....Total Running Time: 22:43:56

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some advice

Day 46 – October 22, 2007

It was hard to decide what to write about today. Should I complain about the sudden flare up of my sciatic nerve or offer some safety advice to keep someone else from becoming a statistic? Hmmm.

Well, since the sciatic problem will probably be here for a few days, I guess I'll go with the safety warning.

NEVER ASSUME A VEHICLE MAKING A RIGHT HAND TURN WILL LOOK TO THE RIGHT BEFORE PULLING INTO THE STREET

If you run like I do, facing traffic, this can be a serious concern. Normally, on the back roads that I run on, when I see someone ahead of me looking to turn right, I quickly cross over to the right side of the road and put as much distance between me and their front tires. But this morning, there was traffic coming from behind, and I decided against it. I watched the minivan come to a stop at the intersection, and I waited to see if they made a quick turn or if they were going to wait for me to cross in front. When they hesitated at the stop sign, I assumed they had seen me and were waiting…WRONG!

Just as I entered the intersection, a good 4-5 feet in front of the car, the engine roared as foot hit accelerator. I thought I was done. The van lurched forward and just in time, the passenger alerted the driver and they slammed on the brake. The front bumper stopped about 8 inches short of hitting me. The hood ornament was sighted in perfectly on my chest. I'm thankful for that passenger because when I heard the engine rev, I instinctively turned and saw the driver through the windshield still looking back to their left to watch for oncoming cars. The driver never would have seen me before the thud. I was lucky. I knew better than to cross in front, but they had stopped far enough back from the sign and waited long enough that I was sure they had seen me. I will not be making that mistake again. It will be really hard to log my run from the undercarriage of a vehicle.

This is not the first time I've seen this happen. On at least two occasions, I've had cars roll through stop signs, looking back to the left, and never seen me in the cross walk until I slapped their hoods. I'm really sensitive to it now and I guess that is why this morning was such a surprise. Every indication from this driver was that she had seen me. From now on, I'll make sure I get a wave or a nod before I pass in front.

So, when you are out running, watch out for those cars looking back the other way. And if you are out driving, please remember to look right before pulling out into the intersection. It may not be a runner who should be paying attention that you gun down – it could be a school kid crossing the street.

Chris

Day: 46..... Time/Date: 6:50 AM 10/22/2007..... Weather:Clear, 451F
Run: 5 Hill 4.4 .....Miles: 4.4..... Time: 36:45 .....Pace: 8:21 min/mile
Miles to Date: 179.1 .....Total Running Time: 22:24:14

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A spoiled run

Day 45 - October 21, 2007

Today was another amazing fall day. One of those rare days when there is absolutely zero pollution or humidity to degrade visibility. One of those days when you feel like you could count every leaf on a tree half way up the mountain. There was a cool fall breeze that released a continuous shower of color that rained down on the once verdant landscape. Each quiet stream crossing brought a kaleidoscope of color reflected in the mirror like surface. Days like today, I feel very fortunate to have the ability to get out and enjoy them.

And it is days like today that make me wonder how people can be so thoughtless and disgusting. I've grown accustom to seeing the random drink bottle or fast food meal bag littering the ditches along every road in the area. But today, there were not one, but two full kitchen sized garbage bags - one on the side of the road, and one right in the middle of traffic. I will never understand the selfish attitude that some use to justify their actions. I feel sorry for people, so inconsiderate that they can not appreciate the beauty around them. For you to be so sad that dumping trash on the roads that you travel everyday, has no affect on you, is pitiful.

Maybe if these same people, got outside and slowed down for 20 minutes a day, they could appreciate how beautiful this area is. Maybe they need a running streak or a walking streak. Maybe then, they'd realize how foul it is to mindlessly toss out their trash. I guess though that laziness rules these people's lives.

Day: 45 .....Time/Date: 12:15 PM 10/21/2007 .....Weather: Sunny, Breezy, 72F
Run: Amicus - Celt .....Miles: 7.5..... Time: 55:06 .....Pace: 7:21 min/mile
Miles to Date: 174.7 .....Total Running Time: 21:47:29

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fall has arrived

Day 44 - October 20, 2007

Yesterday's rain really brought out the colors in the leaves. Lots of reds and yellows were really popping in the early morning light. The cooler temperatures really made it feel like fall today.

I was pretty slow getting started, but by the end I had increased my pace considerably, running the last mile in sub 7's. Good to know that I can still turn it over when I want to. I'll be running another 5k soon and I hope to keep bringing my time back down to where it should be.

Day: 44 Time/Date: 7:45AM 10/20/2007 Weather:Sunny, 55F
Run: N Carnation-Davis Miles: 3.6 Time: 26:31 Pace: 7:22 min/mile
Miles to Date: 167.2 Total Running Time: 20:52:23